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Old 10-24-2002, 11:19 AM   #1
Chris Saper Chris Saper is offline
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Help your model pose

Unless you are painting a professional model, most sitters need guidelines, so that they can help you by retaining a pose.

Once I position my sitter (in a chair, on a couch, etc.), and determine the direction and angle of the head, I ask the sitter to close one eye, and with the other, look across the bridge of his nose. I ask him to find a visual point on the wall (bookshelf, whatever) that just touches the bridge of the nose before it disppears. If the wall is blank, I walk over to it and find the spot the sitter sees, and place a piece of colored tape on the wall.

I help the sitter set the gaze I want after the direction of the head is established, in just the same way.

Last, use masking tape to place the figure on the chair, so that the body angle can be reestablished after a break or between sittings.
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Old 07-15-2006, 09:54 PM   #2
Mari DeRuntz Mari DeRuntz is offline
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A small piece of masking tape can also mark a spot for the model's gaze.

I try to keep the instructions very simple if I have to make a correction: something along the lines of "Chin up 1/2 an inch," or "Turn your head to the left a half inch" is a whole lot more instructive and precise than my usual drawing mode half-sentences.
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Old 07-16-2006, 07:54 PM   #3
Sharon Knettell Sharon Knettell is offline
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What excellent information, both of you.

I cannot tell my left from my right, so after awhile the model (poor thing) learns to do the opposite of what I tell her.

When I paint or draw, I get positively monosyllabic, and what I say to the model must sound rather prehistoric.

To get the most workable pose, after finding something close to what I think works, I find it is best to teach the model to move in small increments, slowly, rather than make quicker, more sweeping changes or movements.

Also, for those just beginning, do not use a lot of foreshortening. If it is a seated pose, have the model turn her legs more to the side. Also eye level is important. You must have the model on a dais, mine is 9"high, ( others like it higher, 18-24"). I can add another level to it if I want it higher for a seated figure. If you draw or paint a figure at your same eye level, it has the unfortunate telescoping effect on the lower part of the body, making the legs look too short and thin, a rather triangular effect.
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Old 07-17-2006, 11:07 AM   #4
Linda Brandon Linda Brandon is offline
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Another thing that is helpful is to make sure your model understands the difference between head rotation and tilt. What often happens is that models tend to slump in the direction of the tilt and then overcorrect during the couse of the pose.

Make sure to help your model line up the tilt at the beginning of every sitting. Do this by checking placement of the ears and the angles of the corners of the eyes and the nose and mouth lines. It can help to have a long-haired model pull back hair to locate the tops of the ears so that you can set the pose back up. The amount of ear that you see will also help you to set the foreshortening of the features.
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Old 07-17-2006, 01:44 PM   #5
Debra Jones Debra Jones is offline
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It always seems the model will jump and look at you if you begin to give directions. I think the fastest easiest way to avoid the over compensation is to stand in their vision range and hold the brush up (like how they bring in planes sort of) and put it at the angle of the head is THEN tilt the top back or toward her, or tilt left or right. Sort of guides them more subtly and there is not such a jolt from the quiet of the posing ambience,

Not to mention beginning your own painting with a small thumbnail with all the basic angles blocked in will help YOU re-orient and don't paint over it until you are done using it. Especially the distances from the edge of the nose to the face. Marking edge shapes are a great way to know you are always correcting to the same pose, not necessarily the one they sank into.
Because some people have four legs.
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Old 01-04-2009, 12:23 PM   #6
Clayton J. Beck III Clayton J. Beck III is offline
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Originally Posted by Debra Jones
... hold the brush up (like how they bring in planes sort of) and put it at the angle of the head is THEN tilt the top back or toward her, or tilt left or right.
A brush! Great idea. I always use my finger and it is not as precise as a brush. The landing a plane analogy is pure gold. Thanks Debra
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