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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tapering body shapes

While out on a date night my wife began sketching an arm with a hand on a napkin.  As she drew the sketch was turning out cute and cartoony.  She asked me to give her a lesson based on her sketch.  The first thing I thought about was the shapes must taper!  I started sketching the same drawing she did and began tapering the shapes of the caricatured anatomy.  I also added in straights against curves but the tapering shapes were what I wanted her to grasp right off the bat.  I started speaking the direction of "start with a shoulder, it's a bit round then down to the biceps, down to the elbow...etc"

The skin closet to the the joints such as the elbow, wrist, and ankle are some examples where the shapes taper in. the rest of the anatomy could very in almost any kind of shape depending on the person.


My wife was catching onto the lesson and started asking for more tips but suddenly my buffalo chicken sandwich arrived and art school ended.

Tapering shapes will help any drawing or sketch.  This is deceptively simple but a good one to remember.  It's enemy is symmetrical shapes and parallel lines.    Lastly I thought this simple idea would help.

13 comments:

Andy J. Latham said...

A lovely lesson, thanks a lot Dave :)

Your blog is one of my favourites!

Clean3d said...

FINALLY I learn exactly what opposing curves are! (these are "opposing curves", right? I've heard that phrase so many times...)

Dave Pimentel said...

Clean3d- straights against curves are obviously not opposing curves, of which I didn't elaborate on but basically they're curves that face each other in a rhytmic pattern. An example woul be the red line diagrams on the leg sketches in the post. Maybe I can post an "opposing curves post another time.

Thanks To both of you for the comments.
:-)

Clean3d said...

Ah, thanks for correcting me, Dave. :)

Virgil said...

I like your wife's cartoon hand better :D Come on, admit it, it's much better! (at least compared to the tapered, cartoon anatomy example next to it.)

Dave Pimentel said...

Ha ha- I think you're right.

Man Vs. Art said...

Wow Dave this is wonderful stuff! As always you kick major ass. It's all about straights against curves!
Orale Paisa!

Thanks!

chromasketch said...

interesting post, thanks for sharing.

nickwatson said...

great posts!

solutionsby said...

thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you

Dave Pimentel said...

You're welcome:-)

michaelamos said...

Great tips Dave, and I really like your wife's arm/hand. I am still trying to get my wife past the wonky dented thing that is supposed to be a circle!

Ron said...

Mmm... buffalo chicken.