All Drawn Out...The Artists Resource
July 13, 2006
Hi, and welcome to Learning2draw.com's newsletter. This issue
1) Our Q&A Answer Session, where you will learn exciting secrets
of the artworld exposed through answers to your questions.
2) Video Game Artist Description for Level Builders
3) Send us Your Success STories- August 5th is approaching
4) Life Sketch of Michelangelo- Part 1 of 4 A Sculptor and a Painter
5) Never Give Up- 5 Tips to Help You Stay Motivated and Create Great Art
6) Tip of the Month- Composition the Golden Mean by Jerry McClish
7) This month's quotes by:
Kippenberger, Matisse, and Michelangelo
inspiration pieces to help.
You will not want to miss this!
8) Learning2draw.com Announcements, upcoming changes to site!
Spotlight ona an artist,Natalie Portman, super bonus,
back issues of newsletters,additional articles and more!
Feel Free to Pass This Newsletter On to Anyone Interested!
1) Question and Answer Session with Todd
QUESTION: from Jeff B.
Hi, I have heard tons of different opinions on this and just wanted
to get a final answer. How many heads high is the human figure?
I have heard different things from my art teacher who has said 6 1/2,
7, 7 1/2 and then I have read different things as well. I just
started studying the loomis book and bridgman and they have it as 8.
Is it just prefrence, or is there a guideline artists should stick to?
ANSWER: from Todd
Hi, thanks for your question. First let me refer you to our article at
www.learning2draw.com/how.htm and see the article on proportions. It talks
about how there are standards or guidelines in proportions but these are just
that...guidelines. People are individual and so will be proportions from
one given person to another. As a sidenote on Loomis, he uses more
idealized proportions, while academic proportions seem to be more towards
the plumper 6.5 or 7 heads tall.
Just remember that people are different, and 6.5 isnt necessarily more
correct than 8. Artists use different proportions to help build a characters,
for example you wouldnt see the hulk or superman drawn to fit in the
6.5 proportions but when drawing portraits or people use the guidelines
and then adapt them to the individual you are drawing.
Thanks for your question, please let me know if you need any
other questions answered.
Please, if you have a question you would like answered by Todd,
email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, if you know of any art topics that you would like to see
addressed on our article page, please email us at
email@example.com with the subject art article. We would
love to hear your ideas and write about them.
2) Video Game Artist- How do I get Started?
This type of artist is a technical artist.
They are commonly skilled in one of the 3D programs such as
Studio Max or others. They are to lay out the levels that have
been designed by the game designers. It combines parts of 3D
artist and world designing. You usually work to place structures,
objects, and characters in the actual levels. Technical fixes on
seams and other fixes are also part of this job.
3) Send Us Your Success Stories!
Congratulations to Kelly Walters, who received our starter kit
full of strathmore paper, pencils, charcoal and kneaded erasers.
We would love to hear from you on how our site and ebook have
helped your art! So much so, that we will enter your name in a
quarterly drawing for an art supply starter kit. Just email us
your story to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line
Success in Art Stories, and we will enter your name for a chance
to win pencils, paper, kneaded erasers, and more. Please email
your story by Aug 5th for our second drawing.
4) Life Sketch of Michelangelo-
Italian sculptor, painter, and architect, b. at Caprese in the
valley of the upper Arno, 6 March, 1475; d. at Rome, 18 February, 1564.
Michelangelo, one of the greatest artists of all times, came from a
noble Florentine family of small means, and in 1488 was apprenticed
to Domenico Ghirlandajo. While apprentice, he excited the admiration
of his master by the life-like animation of this drawings, and upon
Ghirlandajo's recommendation, and a the wish of Lorenzo the Magnificent,
he received further training (1489-92) in the palace of the Medici,
at the school of sculpture then under the direction of Bertoldo, one
of Donatello's pupils. As student and resident of the palace,
Michelangelo lived with Lorenzo's sons in the most distinguished
society of Florence, and at this time was introduced by the poet
Politian into the circle of the scholars of the Academy and to their
learned pursuits. Meanwhile, Michelangelo was studying with marked
success the frescoes in the Branacci chapel. After Lorenzo's death he
passed his time partly at home, partly at the monastery of Santo Spirito,
where he busied himself with anatomical studies, and partly in the house
of Pietro de' Medici, who, however, was banished in 1494. About the same
time Michelangelo left Florence for Bologna. He returned in 1495, and
began to work as a sculptor, taking as his model the works of his
predecessors and the masterpieces of classical antiquity, without,
however, sacrificing his individuality. In 1496 he went to Rome,
whither his fame had preceded him, and remained there working as a
sculptor until 1501. Returning to Florence, he occupied himself with
his painting and sculpture until 1505, when Pope Julius II called him
to enter his service. After this, Michelangelo was employed alternately
in Rome and Florence by Julius and his successors, Leo X, Clement VII,
and Paul III being his special patrons. In 1534, shortly after the death
of his father, Michelangelo left Florence never to return. The further
events of his life are closely connected with his artistic labours. Some
weeks after his death his body was brought back to Florence and a few
months later a stately memorial service was held in the church of San
Lorenzo. His nephew, Leonardo Buonarroti, erected a monument over his
tomb in Santa Croce, for which Vasari, his well known pupil and biographer,
furnished the design, and Duke Cosimo de' Medici the marble. The three
arts are represented as mourning over the sarcophagus, above which is
a niche containing a bust of Michelangelo. A monument was erected in
his memory in the church of the Santi Apostoli, at Rome, representing
him as an artist in working garb, with an inscription: Tanto nomini
nullum par elogium. (No praise is sufficient for so great a man.)
Michelangelo was a man of many-sided character, independent and persistent
in his views and his endeavours. His most striking characteristic was a
sturdy determination, guided by a lofty ideal. Untiring, he worked until
far advanced in years, at the cost of great personal sacrifices. He was
not, however, unyielding to the point of obstinancy. His productions in
all departments of art show the great fertility of his mind. In
literature he was a devoted student and admirer of Dante. A copy of
the "Divine Comedy", ornamented by him with marginal drawings, has
unfortunately been lost. Imitating the style of Dante and Petrarch, he
wrote verses, "canzoni", and especially sonnets, which are not without
value, and excite surprise by their warmth of feeling. Some of his poems
give expression to an ideally pure affection. He never married. A stern
earnestness is characteristic of the sculptor, but the tenderness of his
heart is shown in his touching love and solicitude for his father and
brothers. Although seemingly absorbed in his art, and often straitened
in circumstances, he was ever ready to aid them by word and deed.
"I will send you what you demand of me", he wrote, "even if I have to
sell myself as a slave". After the death of his father he conceived a
deep affection for a young Roman, Tommaso de' Cavalieri, and also entered
into intimate friendship with the noble-minded poetess, Vittoria Colonna,
then past her youth. With his pupils, Vasari and Condivi, he was on the
most cordial terms, and a servant who was twenty-six years in his employ
experienced his bounty. The biographies we have from the pupils just
mentiond and the letters of Michelangelo himself testify to the gentler
traits of his character. He gave younger artists generous aid by suggestions,
sketches, and designs, among others to Sebastiano del Poimbo,
Daniele da Volterra, and Jacopo da Pontormo. Michelangelo had few personal
wants and was unusually self-denying in dress and diet. Savonarola's sermons,
which he recalled even in his old age, probably influenced him in some
degree to adopt this austerity of life. Moreover, the seriousness of his
own mind caused him to realize the vanity of earthly ideals. His spirit
was always absorbed in a struggle to attain perfection. Yet with all this
he was not haughty; many of his sayings that have come down to us show him
to have been unusually unassuming. The explanation of his unwillingness
to have the aid of assistants must be sought in the peculiarity of his
artistic methods. Michelangelo's life was one of incessant trials, yet
in spite of an imperious temper and many bodily infirmities he showed
remarkable composure and forbearance. No matter how much trouble was
caused him by his distinguished patrons he seldom failed in loyalty to
them. He was equally faithful to his native city, Florence, although the
political confusion which reigned there wrung from him many complaints.
It obliged him to spend half of his life elsewhere, yet he wished to lie
after death in Florentine earth; nor could the most enticing offers
induce him to leave Italy. A contemporary bestows praise which seems
merited, when he says that Michelangelo in all the ninety years of his
life never gave any grounds for suspecting the integrity of his moral
*this article is part 1 of 4 on the Michelangelo life study it is taken
from the NewAdvent group.
****Note on Sketch by Todd
I just wanted to mention that art is about devotion and passion and
that Michelangelo is a prime example of this. From sculptor to painter
he was amazing. I put him in this issue because the human form was
central to his studies. I think this is key. To rise so quickly
in the study of the human form takes hard work, dedication, and
great teachers but can be done! He was able to master many
different genres of art. He did art in place of sleep.Don't give up!
You can always check out our page
at www.learning2draw.com for more info on how to draw faces and
the human form.
Also, on www.learning2draw.com/how.htm we have an article that
simplifies proportions and measuring. Check it out and let us
know what you think!
5) 5 Tips to Help You Stay Motivated and Create Great Art
Tip 1) Have A Vision for Your Life- The definition of motive is,
A reason to act. This is the cognitive or rational side of motivation.
It is your vision. You have to have a vision that is big enough to
motivate you.Do you want to be the next great Painter or the next
great game designer? You need a vision to inspire you to greatness.
Tip 2) Get Motivated Every Day- We have to renew it each and every day.
Whatever works for you. If it means looking at great art, do it!
If it means looking at great artists, do it.Is it reading inspirational
stories? Whatever it takes to get motivated daily, do it! It doesn’t
make motivation a bad thing. We simply have to realize that if we want
to stay motivated over the long term, it is something we will have to
apply to ourselves each and every day.
Tip 3) Fuel Your Passion- This is my very favorite! Get you emotions
roaring and do your passion, this will fuel itself and help you grow
in your passion. Consume it, do it, ignite it. Breathe it!
Tip 4) Hard Work Pays Off- You can get whatever you want in this world.
It's for the taking.The harder you work, the more results you
will get and the more results you get, the more you will be motivated
to get more. These things all build on one another. Passion plus hard
work equals success.
Tip 5) Ride the Wave- When something is working for you, go with it!
Creative slumps may come, drawing slumps may come, but when greatness
comes, ride the wave of success day and night and get as much out of it
as you can!
6) Tip of the Month
Meet a Drawing Challenge -- Inner Space
Make the most of your picture area with these time-tested methods
for creating a composition.
By Jerry McClish
The size of your picture and the placement of your center of interest
are decisions that shouldn’t be made at random. But how do you know
what the best choices are? The answer is simple: Do what has
historically proven effective, and that’s where the golden mean
and the Rabatman come in. They’ll help you get the most visually
pleasing division of space in your painting, and that will set you
up for a positive reaction from your viewers before you even begin
to show off your other talents.
The Golden Mean
A formula used by the ancient Egyptians and Greeks and still employed
today, especially in architecture, the golden mean states that the best
division of a line makes the ratio of the shorter part to the longer
part equal to the ratio of the longer part to the whole line. The same
is true for area.
Mathematically this means that the smaller portion is .618 times the
larger, which results in the larger portion being .618 times the entire
line or area. This ratio is manifested in the natural growth of seedpods,
sunflowers, seashell spirals, pinecones and even cells, and it’s also
the constant factor in several geometrical progressions.
What does that mean for you as an artist? First, with the method described
here you can use the golden mean to determine the size of your surface
so that the relationship of length to width is .618-to-1 (or vice versa).
You can also use it to find the possible focal points for the picture,
which would divide the space into the same proportions. And, more easily,
once you’re familiar with how the golden mean works it can become second
nature, and you can approximate the measurements without getting out the
ruler and compass.
The only drawback of this method is that the size of the picture created
by using the golden mean often doesn’t match the commonly available papers
The Shorter Way
There are also a couple of quicker ways to benefit from some of the same
principles used for the golden mean. The Rabatman is a method that gives
you a division of space much closer to the sizes of paper we’re accustomed
to, but it does not involve a repetitive ratio or constant. It’s similar to
the golden mean but uses the diagonal of a square as a radius to create a
rectangle that turns out a bit shorter. Also, an easy method for locating a
center of interest in any picture space is to simply create a diagonal across
the picture, then divide it into thirds to find the two points along that
diagonal that are comfortable focal points.
Each artistic composition can seem to make its own demands, however, so while
these methods give us safe and reliable guidelines, take into account the
uniqueness of your picture. Multiple objects, strange shapes and repetitive
patterns can force you to break the rules. But always remember that many
centuries of art and architecture have taught us a lot about how we see,
and a little bit of good engineering can be all you need to take
advantage of that.
The Golden Touch
The golden mean also can guide you to the best placement of your focal
point, which would lie a bit more than a third of the distance away from
the two nearest sides, thereby dividing the space into the same proportions.
In the diagram above, the ratio of C to B is the same as the ratios
already mentioned, so line D is a natural place of focus.
Why does this strategy work? We don’t know for sure, but plenty of experience
and research has shown it to be visually satisfying. And once you become
familiar with it you won’t have to measure or calculate—just approximate
the proportions and you’ll have a picture that falls right into place.
Jerry McClish, of Bradenton, Florida, is a contributing editor to
The Artist’s Magazine
For more info on proportions see www.learning2draw.com/how.htm.
7) Inspirational Quotes
Inspirational Quotes by Kippenberger, Matisse, and Michelangelo
A Good artist has less time than ideas.
Creativity takes courage.
If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn't seem
so wonderful at all.
8) Upcoming changes to site!
New changes coming up include, more articles added to our how-to
section. We will be adding new images to the site as well. We've
added a huge bonus to our site as well. Also, we are going to have
an art challenge coming up, we'll keep you posted. Check it out!
We have added the newsletters to the archive now and you can check
out back issues by clicking on the article archive button beneath
the newsletter sign up on the left hand column of the site.
SPOTLIGHT*** We would like to start spotlighting artists who
subscribe to this newsletter. If you would like to be an artist
who is spotlighted, please send us an email with your name, info
about what kind of art you do, how you got started, etc, etc. and
email it to email@example.com with the subject line Spotlight.
Also, if you would like back issues of any of our newsletters
or our series on DaVinci's Proportions, please email us at
firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject title newsletters followed
by which issue you would like or have not received.
Thank you everyone for your comments on our e-book and for your
support of our site. We've extended our promotion based on your
Also***Special Announcement Coming Soon!
Peace and Have a Great Weekend!
Todd Harris Learning2draw.com
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Peace and Have a Great Weekend!
Todd Harris Learning2draw.com
If you like this newsletter and would like to share it with a friend, have them send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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