Focal Press have given us permission to reprint a few lessons from their great new book, Drawn to Life: 20 Golden Years of Disney Master Classes, Volume 2: The Walt Stanchfield Lectures. Check out the first lesson on Perspective Drawing here. Here’s the second lesson on figure drawing in perspective… Enjoy!
Isn’t this a beauty! Of course, you’d have to go out of your way to draw something so third dimensionally screwed up. Even a non-artist could come closer to reality than that, because a box is a relatively simple form.
A box takes place in space, and as we draw it, it’s easy to think of it as occupying space, especially with the help of some elementary perspective.
The human (or animal) shape exists also in space and, though much more complicated, the idea of it displacing space is the same. However, quite often when drawing from a model we switch into a different mode than when drawing a box. With a box, it’s easy to see the space inside and around the shape, but with the more complicated human figure that aspect is not so obvious.
Let’s try to establish a clear concept of seeing the figure in space by using what might be called the “shock treatment.” Here is a screen with a 2-dimensional shadow of a figure cast on it.
Now the screen is suddenly pulled away and there before us, without 3D glasses, is the same figure in glorious 3D. (Drawing by 3D advocate, Mike Swofford; modeled by third dimensional Allison Mosa.)
Look from drawing to drawing and you can see it happen. That gratifying and fascinating realization of 3D that overwhelms you — which should be your normal realization at all times while drawing.
Superimposing the box onto the figure illustrates how they both relate to space in a similar way.
Also of interest:
Download the rest of this tutorial (PDF)
20 Golden Years of Disney Master Classes, Volume 2: The Walt Stanchfield Lectures (Amazon)
Perspective Drawing Lesson by Walt Stanchfield