Monday, June 18, 2012

Anatomy Lessons from the Great Masters

One problem with dumping your brush water all over your laptop is that it makes it harder to keep your blog updated.  I write from an undisclosed university library where the scanning is free and computers are plentiful and unpopulated. 

Here are a few facsimiles of Great Master sketches I made from the reproductions in Philip Beverly Hale's book, Anatomy Lessons from the Great Masters.  I like this book a lot, and hope to spend much more time with it. 

Every time I draw from life or from photographs or others' drawings, I learn a huge amount.  It's difficult to tear myself away from working from my imagination, but these exercises are invaluable for advancing my work.  When one of my goals is to be able to draw human bodies accurately and fluidly in any position from any perspective without any reference material, it's only fair to assume that I will have to first draw these bodies and positions and perspectives with the use of visual reference.  Stubbornly working exclusively from my imagination, I may occasionally stumble upon better ways of drawing humans that more accurately reflect their real-life forms, but this belabored and frustrating path to facility is far longer than that of the disciplined, humble student, content to learn from those who came before, and from the proliferation of perfection in the natural world around her. 

The library is closing.  Thanks for stopping by.


  1. wow, ben, thanks so much for sharing this perspective & look into your world!

  2. you are very welcome! Thanks very much to you for your interest, enjoyment, and comment!