This is the final part of figure drawing! We'll see the missing pieces necessary to draw the complete figure. These missing pieces are: some measuring and proportion, as well as shading!
As always there's a video accompanying this post, but I'll be keeping this post updated with new resources that I find, so I encourage you to take a look at both!
I didn't want to make two separate posts for proportion and shading because I didn't think they'd be long enough. Nonetheless, these are two important things we need to learn before we can draw the complete figure.
We saw a bit of proportion and how to check if we have the correct proportion in gesture, but now we'll be going more in depth in the different methods for measuring while we're drawing. That'll be the first concept I'll talk about. I had mentioned that the figure is usually divided into gesture, form, and anatomy. However, I won't be talking about anatomy yet, but you'll still be able to draw from imagination with only the information I'll be sharing. Of course anatomy is very important, but you need to be in the right moment to do it and I think it's too early in this seres for that. We'll come back to anatomy in the future, for now though, proportion and landmarks will be everything you need.
The second thing we're missing is how to shade our drawings. This is something else I'll only be sharing a few points because I'm going to make more detailed posts on light and shadow in the future. But, again, you don't need to know all of that and overwhelm yourself with it for now. There're just a few main points about shading that'll be enough for now, later we can dive deeper and get even better. So let's take a look at these concepts.
I promise this time I won't mention how you should set a time frame for how long you should study proportion and shading. I won't talk about how you need to study smart and study in cycles and all of that.
In this final stage of studying, we are going to see a few concepts that are missing such as the different types of shadow, but we also have to learn about some tools that we can use, which are the different ways you can measure.
Planes: This is the furthest we'll go into anatomy for now. The volumes we saw in the previous post have planes or sides, and depending on the direction they're facing, the planes are hit by light in different intensities. Some parts will have full blast of the light and others will be completely hidden from it. So it's important to know what are the planes of the body and the direction the light is coming to know how to shade it.
Core Shadow: Core shadow is the darkest shadow you see in the transition from planes and, thus, from intensity of light. This is the key for good shading, if the core shadow is well shown, the shading is going to look good. The core shadow alone is enough for it to look good.
Cast Shadow: This is the shadow that other objects cast because they're blocking the light. If the light source if very diffuse, the edges of the shadow will be very blurred. If the light is sharper though, the edges will be sharp as well. Usually in art reference photos, light sources are sharp.
Reflected Light: The core shadow is the darkest because the rest of the shaded areas are usually hit by light that is reflected from the ambient, also known as ambient light. So, in general, the other parts of the body that are in shadow shouldn't be as dark as the core shadow. If you do so, you run the risk of muddy or dirty looking drawings.
As I said, this isn't all there is to know about shadows, there's so much to learn on values, halftones, the different lights, different shadows, and etc. But this is what we need to know for now. I don't want you to get any deeper than that because there's a high chance it'll be too much and you'll end up with muddy or dirty looking drawings.