Once the bones are well understood, attention must be directed to the muscles and to the flesh which rounds out the body. One should learn in just what manner the muscles are attached to the bones themselves, just how they appear when at rest and when in action. And it is necessary to not only study each important muscle by itself, but to also learn its relation to every other muscle and to the body as a whole. When the larger groups of muscles are mastered attention should be given to some of the more important of the smaller ones, such as those of the face. The sculptor or portrait painter or illustrator will, of course, give special thought to these, for unless they are well understood it will be difficult for him to properly express such emotions as sadness, joy, fear, surprise. For although the entire pose of the figure varies with these emotions, it is not enough to have the proper action in the body as a whole; much depends on these smaller parts. To learn them well one must study the action of the muscles when people talk or eat or smile or whistle, special studies being made of the eye, the ear, the nose and the mouth. Then, too, one must study the various characteristics of youth and of old age, and of the different races. It is not only the faces which should be carefully analyzed, however. Hands, too, are very expressive; the clenched fist tells a far different story than does the hand extended for a clasp of friendship. Even feet are very important; some artists who seem quite familiar with the rest of the figure have much difficulty with them or consider them too unimportant to be studied with care.
Pencil Study By Jules Guer1n For Figure In His Mural Decorations.
In The Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D. C.
Henry Bacon, Architect.
Now needless to say it is best before studying all of these smaller parts in detail to learn to draw well the figure as a whole, so as soon as one has had some practice from the skeleton placed in different positions, he should start working from the nude model. In line with what we have said above, the models should be varied not only as to sex but as to age, size and race. Then, too, the lighting should not always be the same. As to posing the model it seems almost needless to remark that the student should work from a great variety of poses; the figure should be shown at rest, sitting or standing or reclining, and in action. Action poses are often hard for the model to take and to hold, but they should be attempted, especially after the student has gained enough practice from the figure in repose to enable him to work swiftly and directly, so that the main lines of action may be swept in while the model is still fresh. In these let the model be doing something in a natural way; give a boy a baseball bat for instance and let him put as much action into the pose as though he intended to make a home run; give an aged man a wheelbarrow (or as a substitute for it - two sticks will do) and let him pretend to trudge across the garden. In these poses the model will, of course, remain as nearly as possible in the one set position, resting and resuming the pose as often as seems necessary. There is another type of action pose, however, in which the model repeats some motion a great number of times, rather slowly, so the student is able to study the muscles as they assume different positions. Quick sketches can be made showing these changes in a comparative manner. Boxing, fencing and the like offer excellent movements for this type of action sketch, especially if one motion is repeated over and over again. Too little of this w6rk is given in most of our schools.
The architectural student has less need, perhaps, for these action sketches, than the artist, for the nude or partly draped figure as used in architectural sculpture and ornament is more often shown at rest; too much motion would be disturbing to the design as a whole. So in posing the model, horizontals and verticals should be worked for to harmonize with the structural lines of the architecture, many of the lines being straight or nearly so, and the whole arranged to express strength and solidity.
In drawing from the nude there is no principle which is at all different from those already described under object and cast drawing. The placing on the paper is arrived at in just the same way, points being located to mark the extreme limits of the figure. The student must learn to work quickly for even the easiest poses cannot be held for over a half hour and a new pose is seldom quite the same, even if intended to be. The student who has the necessary foundation for this work will be able to do away with many of the construction lines which are needed by the beginner in object drawing, but he will, instead of making so many trial lines, locate only a few salient points, comparing these with the model carefully and correcting them until they are just right, for the model is likely to sway and slightly change the pose at any time. On the first drawings forget all such small details as the features, fingers, etc., but above all be sure that the action of the figure and the general masses are correct. A half hour or an hour is usually enough for each subject; - it is better to do a number of them and get the essentials of each pose than to spend too much time on one. The shading may be almost neglected or merely suggested on the early problems, but carefully finished studies should be made later with special attention to the values.