Sunday, April 11, 2010

Studies from 2009 - Breaking up cetacean profiles

Quadrupeds are hard to draw because their shapes are very complex while birds and cetaceans have the opposite problem: their shapes look very simple, but they are actually full of subtle curves, and without such subtleties they lose a lot.

Their profile may look a like it can be drawn with a single continuous line. Sometimes it's possible, but the result often feels stiff and lifeless to me, it's just too "designy"/oversimplified. This happens specially in dynamic poses, as real cetaceans have muscles and fat tissue shifting all the time and creating small changes in their profile depending on the movement they are doing.

So I've become used to sketch cetaceans and birds trying to break up the profile into many lines, obviously trying to keep them consistent with the actual variations in the curves of their body. Trying to keep them tangent to the curves seems a good strategy to study their bodies and get a feeling of where the subtleties lie. The results seem lively enough in spite of the hard angles.

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