It was that time again, the urge to explore the figure. While I have some experience with studying this subject from books and live-figure drawing classes, I somehow struggled with drawing it from imagination. I always ended up looking stuff up which started to become a bottleneck in my process.
So I said enough of this and started researching online resources and how other artists dealt with this. I quickly ‘figured’ out that it mainly comes down to the fundamentals of form and perspective and that the Drawabox program I followed gave me a good foundation to build upon. Following a lot of recommendations, I got in the Proko courses on youtube. While Stan Prokopenko works very traditional, his insights are very applicable across all styles. I quickly got in the extended videos and demonstrations in his (cheap) premium course.
It is one thing to watch all of his videos and something else to practise it. Systematically I worked my way through his videos over the last several months. Only moving up to the next video when I noticed I somewhat mastered the techniques and insights. It mainly came down to really understanding “gesture”(essence of movement or pose) and mainly thinking of the “bean” (ribcage and pelvis) of the body. Limbs, proportions and rendering shadows all come natural when the basics are down. I included a flip through and some scans of all the exercises I went through.
While following lessons and exercises are great, at the end of the day you also have to make “your art”. As a test to myself, I wanted to make something inspired by the workflow of Proko. I chose a very dynamic pose of man and woman and reconstructed it on a A0 sized paper. Because of the complexity, size of the work and the amount of detail I couldn’t just copy what I saw. At every step I had think my way through it all starting with the form, to the muscle, to lightning and finally the texture.
While I was at it I made a time-lapse recording of the proces. The work took about 64 hours with a lot of breaks and nights of sleep in between. I titled it “Dancers of Rodin” (dance where the reference comes from) and it measures 120×80 cm.