The Form, Gesture, Anatomy Figure Drawing Course
This course has resulted from the experience of over six years of teaching figure drawing, with a gradual refinement of how each of the elements of figure drawing might be taught more effectively, as well as how the student might be assisted in the challenge of integrating these factors.
As described below, the course was designed as an offline course (ie in the physical classroom). However, it can also be utilised independently in a variety of ways. The detailed, sequential models provide a way you can approach studying the human form, or a resource for building your own ecorche on your own armature at home. The drawing concepts and sequential exercises can be applied in your own time either from a model from life or using online images of life models such as www.posespace.com or https://www.artmodeltips.com/poses/
The Offline Course:
Simplified sculpting of the axial skeleton
A basic ecorche over a 3D Printed skeleton - kept simple to emphasise the main masses rather than every last muscle (for example the adductor muscles of the inner thigh are grouped together as one volume rather than learning the Adductor Magnus, Gracilis and so on. In the model at left you will see the soft tissues of the neck that underly the Sternocleidomastoid and Trapezius grouped together as one mass)
Drawing exercises designed to help the student conceive of and depict the gestural figure as mass in space (rather than flat shapes)
Tuition in Life drawing, drawing poses from 1 minute to 2 hours in length to help students see and depict the important relationships efficiently and with a sense of movement
Analysis of surface form of the figure to relate Anatomical investigations to the figure that is actually observed by the artist
Work on fundamental form drawing tools such as cross contouring and becoming comfortable with the geometric forms
The first delivery of this course that (integrating many of these elements that I have offered separately before) was in May 2015 in Florence, Italy for ICACEA art workshops, and has turned out to be a very effective course.
This updated version of the course has the extensive notes (over 200 pages) provided on this website rather than as printed notes. This means you can access with your phone, tablet or laptop in class or at home, with full colour diagrams. As with the model shown above, the ecorche component the course and some other models are visualised not as 2D images but as 3d models that you can rotate, zoom and pan, and even change the lighting. Click the model to load and try this out. For more info on navigating the model, once you have loaded the model, click the little eye at bottom right of the embedded model and then click "help".
Click the free sample diagrams below to enlarge. Feel free to download but please let people know where they are from if you share them.
Please note that this course was designed to be taught in a class where students would be provided with a 40cm cast model of a skeleton in the pose depicted, so that you can build up the layers of muscle in coloured plasticine. You can do the same thing on a wire armature if you are very careful with the proportions of the skeleton. This is arguably a more thorough learning experience, and I recommend it.
I am considering to offer the cast skeleton for sale, depending on manufacturing, so if this is something that interests you, please feel free to let me know.
Above: Photos from the Basic Ecorche and Gestural Figure Drawing delivered for ICACEA art workshops, Florence Italy
Above: Diagrams from the course - click to enlarge