Saturday, October 27, 2012

Poser Poseur

Spidey-Ray Vaughn
I've been drawing since I could hold a pencil.  Mostly cartoons, as my style and preference lean that way.  It's only recently though that I've done it in earnest as I've always been a Lazy Artist.  That and I never fully mastered the drawing of the human body (another reason I leaned towards cartooning - funny animals and such).

Anyway, one of my shortcomings (in art, anyway) was that foreshortening has always eluded me - it was VERY hard for me to see a body or object in perspective, no matter how much I read in art books or saw on the net.  Oh I can do a street in one-and-two-point-perspective, but getting, say,  ol' Nick Fury to reach out to the viewer is well-nigh impossible.  Therefore, seeing the writing on the wall, I knuckled under and decided to get a model.

"Hmm...Spider Climb...how quaint..."
At the time I came to this realization, luck was with me - Spider-Man 2 had hit the theaters and one of the mercandising items was perfect for my purposes: The Amazing Spider-man 18" Ultimate Super Poseable Action Figure.  I picked him up at Wal-Mart for about 20 bucks and it was probably the best art investment I made.  This bad boy has 67 points of articulation.  If you don't get that, take a look at the picture - you can pose each individual finger!  His feet!  This guy was made for modeling!

He does have a few downsides: 1) he's heavy, which makes it tricky to pose sometimes, because of that and 2) the knees got weak after a while.  Plus, I had to use a rubber band to keep his head posed the way I wanted to (due to my 3 year old - at the time - grandson getting at him and twisting his head too much).

Other than that, he's great for the perspective-challenged like me.  We quickly fell into a routine:

1. I pose him the way I want
2. I snap his picture with my digital camera
3. I feed it into my PC and use PSP 8 to cut, crop and make him B/W
4. Print and transfer (via pencil rubbing or lightbox) to paper
5. Draw away

This figure has been a real boon to my art.  I thought it was time to give him the props he's due.  Thanks, Spidey.  You really DO whatever a spider (and more than any other figure model) can.

P.S. You can find these on eBay or on Amazon but, as you can see (via the link above) be prepared to pay a king's ransom for one.

3 comments:

Jeremy Deram said...

Great tip! I can't draw very well without some sort of model either, but I had never conceived of such an approach.

Catie's Blog said...

Awesome concept!

dervishdelver said...

A great book that I can suggest highly is, "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" by Betty Edwards. It can be found cheap on Amazon or check it out at your local library. You might be surprised by how it can change your methods of drawing.