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Figure Drawing Fundamentals

You Need to Think 3Dimensionally for Your


Drawings Appear Realistic
(Most artists are taught to "copy" what they are viewing 2dimensionally and this produces a very "flat" drawing)
Glenn Vilppu has been teaching professionals in the animation
industry since his early days working at Disney (He worked on
The Fox and The Hound as one of his projects). He has
maintained a strong presence in the fine-art world
simultaneously and many of his clients are professional artists
making a living from their art.
Vilppu has distilled the training passed down from the
Renaissance Masters, like Michelangelo, Pontormo, DaVinci, (and
so on) into a simple method that will teach you
to understand the how to draw the human figure so that youcan
create any pose from any angle from just your imagination!
Most artists today have not learned these techniques that the
Old Masters used. During the time when Glenn was in school,
studying at Art Center, it was more popular to study "abstract"
art instead of the methods of the Old Masters. He was one of
very few people who veered in this "unconventional" direction,
instead of moving "forward" with the times, going "back in time"
to study the great art of the Renaissance.
As a result of this rift that formed between Abstract vs
Renaissance, most artists at that time, who then went on to
teach art for future generations, only know the method of
"copying" what you see onto paper, as if you are looking through
a 2-dimensional surface at your model. You may be familiar with
the concept of using a grid to line up different parts of your

drawing, looking to see where the shading is on the model and


then drawing it where you see it... that sort of thing is the
"copying" approach.
Instead, Glenn teaches us a method that actually has us think
about what we are seeing - first we analyze the gesture so that
we can communicate theAction in our drawing. Without this
action/gesture communicated, the viewer cannot look at the
image and see it as "alive" or "real". (This is one of the biggest
reasons animators learn this method - their characters really do
need to come across as alive and moving beings.)
He then teaches us to analyze the volumes 3-dimensionally. In
order for a drawing to appear "real", it needs to communicate
what we naturally see in real life, which is 3-dimensional.
Interestingly, since the paper causes us to be creating a 2dimensional rendition of what we are seeing, we need to learn
the techniques that help us "translate" from 3-d to 2-d that
appears as if it is 3-d. Further steps, such as in the use of tone
and shade can either enhance our communication of this 3dimensionality or it can ruin the drawing and make it look flat or
"off".
The other aspects of what was passed down from these Old
Masters is that of "constructing" the human figure, essentially
understanding just enough of the actual anatomy, muscles and
structure, to be able to draw a realistic human form. You can and
will understand enough of this to be able to draw a figure from
your imagination.

Gesture is the single most important element in the drawing". The action of the figure is usually
expressed as "gesture". It means the movement and attitude of the figure. It is body language and
all of those subtle differences that characterize individuals, be they human or animal. Glenn breaks
this down into a series of steps that are easy to understand and apply.

Lecture 1: 36 min, Lecture 2: 25 min, Demo 1: 20 min


Total Duration: 81 Minutes
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Chapter 2, Spherical Forms


Now that you've mapped out the action of the pose, the next step in the process is to define your
figure in 3-D space. Learning to see your subject in terms of simple shapes and forms along with
values is one of the basic elements in learning to draw. Glenn breaks this down into a series of
steps that are easy to understand and apply.

Contains: Lecture 1: 41 min, Lecture 2: 32 min, Demo 1: 15 minutes


Total Duration: 88 Minutes
File Size: 650MB (in 3 separate files, apx. 20 minutes to download each)

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New! PAL format DVDs for our international clients

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Online Streaming Rental of Video $7 for one week access to


the entire series of 5. If you choose to purchase the DVD within
60 days after renting this item, we will credit your $7 towards
the DVD purchase.
click here to play video in popup player

Chapter 3, Box Forms


The box is like the sphere in Lesson 2. It is a critical form that you must learn how to draw if you
are serious about developing your drawing skills. The ability to draw the box is a necessary basic
skill. If you don't have a complete mastery of this, it will hinder your development as an artist. Glenn
breaks this down into a series of steps that are easy to understand and apply.

Contains: Intro: 6 min, Lecture 1: 34 min, Demo 1: 19 minutes, Demo 2: 50


min
Total Duration: 109 Minutes
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Chapter 4, Combining Spheres and Boxes


In lessons 2 & 3 we developed our skills at handling spheres and boxes, manipulating them, and
giving them personalities. In this lesson, we combine them and at the same time introduce two new
elements. Glenn breaks this down into a series of steps that are easy to
understand and apply.
Contains: Lecture 1: 34 min, Demo 1: 23 minutes, Demo 2: 29 min, Demo
3: 6 min, Demo 4: 10 min
Total Duration: 102 Minutes
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Chapter 5, Ellipses and Cylinders


In the first four lessons, we have been basically dealing with the torso of either human, animal or
cartoon characters without actually calling them that. In this lesson we want to expand on that
direction by adding appendages to these basic forms. The primary skill required to do this is being

able to draw cylinders. Glenn breaks this down into a series of steps that are easy to understand
and apply.
Contains: Lecture 1: 23 min, Demo 1: 33 minutes, Demo 2: 44 min
Total Duration: 100 Minutes
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Chapter 6, Basic Procedure


In the first five lessons, we have gone through the basic elements, or tools, that we use to create
form. All of the work we have done so far has been on the presumption that we were doing a
procedural drawing where one element was built on top of the previous rather than a direct type of
drawing where each line essentially was the finished line. In this lesson, I will outline a basic
procedure showing how all of the elements that we have discussed so far fit in. The essence of this
approach is that we go from the general to the specific. Glenn breaks this down into a series of
steps that are easy to understand and apply.
Contains: Lecture 1: 31 min, Demo 1: 62 minutes, Demo 2: 13 min
Total Duration: 106 Minutes
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Chapter 7, Using Anatomy Part One

It is a truism that you cannot draw something unless you know what it looks like. It is also true that
just because you know something very well, it does not mean that you can draw it. I have taught
many medical personnel, including doctors, nurses, and various specialists with much more
understanding of anatomy than myself. In fact, it took a while for me to realize that just knowing
anatomy would not make me draw better. What I needed was a method of understanding
anatomical facts so I could use these landmarks as a tool of communication and expression without
violating basic anatomical reality and thereby detracting from the drawing what it was trying to
communicate. Glenn breaks this down into a series of steps that are easy to understand and
apply.
The content has finally been brought over from VHS format, and new
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Contains: Lecture 1: 59 min, Demo 1: 17 min
Total Duration: 76 Minutes
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File Size: 482MB (in 2 separate files The content has finally been brought over from VHS format,
and new demonstrations have been added. Note that a modification has been made to make nude
male appear as semi-nude.
, apx. 20 minutes to download each) DVD Price:$59.95 Downloadable Version: $29.95

Chapter 8, Using Anatomy Part Two


In the last lesson, we concentrated on the specific landmarks of anatomy we use with the symmetry
of the figure to help us see and draw the action of the figure. The next step in using anatomy is
learning to see the large anatomical masses. In the first four lessons we laid much of the
groundwork by concentrating on simple forms as a means of analyzing the figure as a total. This
lesson is a continuation of that procedure, breaking those larger units into smaller units, while at the
same time adding a new level of believability to our drawings. Glenn breaks this down into a series
of steps that are easy to understand and apply.

The content has finally been brought over from VHS format, and new
demonstrations have been added. Note that a modification has been
made to make nude male appear as semi-nude.
Contains: Lecture 1: 38 min, Demo 1: 32 min
Total Duration: 70 Minutes
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Chapter 9, Combining 2D & 3D Observations


The reality of drawing is that we draw on a two dimensional piece of paper; the drawing is not a
three dimensional object. Up to this point, our efforts have been almost exclusively concerned with
creating that three dimensional illusion on a two dimensional surface. We used a series of tools
and procedures that didn't necessarily rely on the model, but on an analytical and constructive
approach to drawing the figure. In drawing from the model, i.e. reality, rather than from imagination
or an ideal, we must develop a set of visual tools to help us make that translation from the real three
dimensional world (3-D) to the flat two dimensional world (2-D) of the paper. Glenn breaks this
down into a series of steps that are easy to understand and apply.
Contains: Lecture 1: 41 min, Demo 1: 17 min, Demo 2: 5 min
Total Duration: 63 Minutes
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Chapter 10, Indirect Lighting and Model Tone


The first half of this manual has been primarily concerned with creating form using line,
emphasizing the need to visualize the whole form and to draw across the surface of the form to
show its volume. In learning to see spheres, boxes, and cylinders, we focused on seeing the
corners of forms and used these basic visual tools to help us see the orientation of the forms in
space and to draw them. In reality, we see things primarily in tone, not line. In this chapter, and the
next two, we will discuss three distinct methods of using tone. The three approaches, which are
indirect lighting, direct lighting, and atmospheric perspective are distinct but generally used in
various degrees together. Glenn breaks this down into a series of steps that are easy to understand
and apply. Covers the concept of modeling tone.
Contains: Lecture 1: 36 min, Demo 1: 60 min
Total Duration: 96 Minutes
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Chapter 11, Direct Lighting


In the last chapter, we discussed indirect lighting, the modeling tone, and started on atmospheric
perspective, which we will be dealing with more in Chapter 12. Direct lighting is what we normally
see when we have a strong single light source. Sunlight on a clear day is an example. The basic
elements of direct lighting are highlights, halftone, core, reflected light, and cast shadow. Glenn
breaks this down into a series of steps that are easy to understand and apply. Covers the concepts
of; core, cast shadow and reflected light.

Contains: Lecture 1: 45 min, Demo 1: 12 min, Demo 2: 34 min


Total Duration: 91 Minutes
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Chapter 12, Atmospheric Perspective


Atmospheric perspective is normally discussed in conjunction with landscape painting since its true
effect is primarily seen in nature in conjunction with great distances in space. The figurative artist
has taken this sense of atmosphere and developed it as a strong tool of expression by abstracting
the main elements and learning to use them while describing form. In the last two chapters, I have
already indicated some of the main elements involved in atmospheric perspective. First, the
graying and loss of detail as objects recede in space due to more atmosphere coming between the
viewer and the object. Second, the use of this phenomenon in a formulaic manner by artists to
separate forms. In this chapter, using the idea of atmosphere will be expanded upon to include its
use as a basic element of design in drawing to enhance the action of the figure and to clarify the
three dimensionality of the form. Glenn breaks this down into a series of steps that are easy to
understand and apply.