07 August 2010

Top Secret Drawing Reference

Previously, I yammered on on how it's hard to draw from TV.

But that was before I found these neat reference videos designed solely for gesture studies.

The models are shot in long-shot or full-shot at nearly all times, so the artist can see how the entire figure reacts to a movement, and distributes weight around.
Like action analysis classes, the models move fast, forcing the artist to cut unnecessary details, and they repeat each action several times, providing opportunity to focus on the movement and revisit a pose in action, rather than at rest.
These videos are affordable. At a thrift store, you can find an hour of useful sketch fodder on VHS for 50 cents. That's less than a pack of chewing gum. Since they're cleverly disguised as "exercise" merchandise, you could conceivably have some in your house or place of dwelling right now!

There are some drawbacks. The models tend to be more "pose" than "personality", which, in my case, makes for kinetic drawings, but with a certain sterility of character. Also, the poses are dynamic but unnatural, which helps me break away from the standard "S-curve of standing man" formula, but seem to lack applicability toward character-based narrative. ...And the noise Richard Simmons makes at 0:25 is deeply disturbing.

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