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Figure Drawing

After I completed my formal art training I went to work in the entertainment world. Unfortunately, when I started working, I realized that I was ill equipped for the profession I had managed to talk myself into. Thus, began my effort to fill in the gaps that my formal education failed to fill.

At this time, late 1989, I began going to a figure-drawing lab that Walt Disney Imagineering provided. I say "lab" as opposed to "workshop" because it was uninstructed; it was simply a place where a figure-drawing model showed up, where a model stand was provided along with drawing horses and a spot light.

The class was in the evenings, and not a whole lot of people had the discipline to go after putting in a hard days work (that's where I met Hans Bacher and Andreas Deja). I began attending regularly, but I soon noticed that there were many interferences that seemed to prevent me from attending regularly. It was at that point that I realized that I would have to be unreasonable if I were going to attend figure drawing regularly. Basically, there was no reason good enough to skip even one class. I resolved myself to attend these drawing sessions, and nothing would deter me.

Why, you might ask? In truth, I had no understanding of why it was important or relevant to my craft ... I just figured that if the old masters diligently studied the figure, it was a good thing. Three years later, after my diligent weekly attendances, it all began to make sense to me. I realized that I wasn't drawing the figure, I was designing the figure.

Ever since 1989 (not including the four years of figure drawing between 1983-1987 at my lousy art school ... which I would prefer not to mention), I've been figure drawing regularly, and recommend it to anyone starting out in his or her professional career.



Mark McDonnell said...

Great sketch Marcelo. Wonderfully classical with a nice sense of design, especially in the shoulder cap on the top one . . .great stuff.


J said...

Hey Marcelo, I think thats a great observation, designing the figure. I think that's where the life study really starts to take hold and becomes really useful practise. Great post.

Henry Elmo Bawden said...

They are wonderful Marcelo. I had a couple of questions though. What size are the originals. Are they full page like the sketchbooks we use to use, or are they on smaller pieces of paper? Also what are you using? Colored pencils? Love the sketches, keep them up.

Marcelo Vignali said...

Hello Henry,

These drawings are about 15 inches or so? I drew both of these when I was living in Utah, drawing at Lincoln's studio. The paper was a greenish colored charcoal paper that I selected because it had a middle value ... good for putting darks and lights on top. It also has a slight texture, kind of like a sandpaper. The pencils were charcoal also.

I don't care for the Canson colored paper because the tooth is too coarse. Go to an art store and try to get paper that doesn't have too much tooth or texture pattern. I've noticed the Canson has a geometric horizontal and vertical pattern that kills a sensitive drawing.

Then again, if you find a paper that is akin to drawing on dried oatmeal, that makes for terrific drawing paper. If it's pulpy, with no pattern, that's terrific stuff to buy.

Marcelo Vignali said...
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ShigueS said...

Really great! I always wondered how would be to sit next with artists at your level in an Disney lab... wonderfull.

sexy said...
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