Saturday, June 19, 2010

Notes about Nicolaides

I'm continuing to work my way through the Nicolaides curriculum. I thought that once I'd gotten through the boring blind contours, things would pick up. Then I got to the modelled exercise!

Essentially, I like the exercise and I believe it has a benefit. But maybe it's one of those things that requires a live model because working from photos doesn't quite work. The predecessor to modelled was the weight exercises; modelled is weight with contours indicated. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite work as described.

But I'm not giving up on it. I simply treat the modelled exercises like the weight exercises and leave it at that. I think it's ultimately important to have the experience and to think a certain way while drawing as opposed to the final result.

FYI, for the gesture exercises and similar others, I'm using a stack of pictures I pulled from surfing magazines, skateboard magazines, etc. Anytime I saw a picture of a person in a dramatic action pose, I tore it out of the magazine or printed it. Glad I did because they're substituting for live models.

Another resource I have is this book:


This book has become invaluable for the weight/modelled exercises due to the multiple angles of nude models.

There is one exercise I simply cannot do without a model and that's the Descriptive Pose exercise. One is to describe a pose in words, draw it, then have the model take the pose to draw what it actually looks like. I may have fudged this exercise in the past using a posable mannequin but it simply wasn't working this time. In the future, when it's called for (luckily, it's a 15 minute exercise), I'll substitute the Reverse Pose exercise instead. I really like that one: you have to look at a pose then draw its mirror image. I think that's a skill that will be helpful for animation.

I'm glad I finally got around to using all of the resources I've collected over 35 years!

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