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Q&A with Proko and Friends

June 13, 20136 Comments

Live Q&A Hangout answering viewer questions and having fun.

Thad Taylor –
Tyler Lucas –

Figure Drawing Premium –

Filed in: Critiques / Q&AMisc.Videos

Comments (6)

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  1. George says:

    Why’d you leave Watts? I was looking take some classes there again. You only teaching online besides studios?


    • Hey George, leaving Watts wasn’t my decision. Jeff Watts had to let go of the two newest instructors because of financial difficulties.

      Yup, at the moment I’m only teaching online and occasional workshops.

      • George says:

        Dang, sorry to hear that man. I was laid off from High Moon Studios recently also. You’re doing a great thing here though and wish all the best. Keep up the great work.


  2. tom says:

    You’ve awesome skills and a great presentation style, hope this online school works out for you, it’s really helped me.

  3. Jac says:

    Hey Stan,

    Whats your take on artists who use the “Alberti’s Veil” method of drawing (the grid) as opposed to classical drawing? Do you believe it lessons the artistic process, or is simply another tool which helps to perfect the rendering.

    Best regards,

    • I wrote a script on it a while back, but haven’t made the video yet. Here are my thoughts:

      My quick answer to this is that, I personally don’t like it very much, but I don’t think it’s cheating.

      Now, to go into more detail about it, there’s 2 reasons why I don’t like it very much. The first is that, its not always about accuracy. A lot of my favorite drawings and paintings, aren’t always accurate. The artist pushes and pulls and redesigns things to be so much more than the photo. When I’m drawing a figure, I like to exaggerate the gesture and the structure. Make it more dynamic. And then with the anatomy, I’ll change things around a bit to go with the gesture so that everything is working together to make a clearer statement. A figure drawing isn’t about individual muscles and bumps, its about all the anatomy coming together to form a picture. From my experience with the gridding method, it doesn’t allow you to deviate from the reference to make a better picture. When I use the gridding method, I feel like i’m just copying and I don’t like that.

      The second reason I don’t like it very much is because its so easy to become a slave to it. It makes proportion so much easier that its tempting to just use it every time. That becomes kind of dangerous because then you don’t ever really develop your ability to see shape and proportion without it. If you regularly practice drawing from life, from a model, after years of practice you can develop your eye to be really accurate. You won’t really need a grid anymore. You can rely on your mind to do it. And that becomes so much more enjoyable, then plotting points on a grid.

      There is a benefit to it though, and that is that, it saves a lot of time. So, don’t use it because you rely on it to get an accurate drawing, use it only when you need to save time. You have a deadline and you can’t spend hours making careful measurements. The reality is, if you’re a professional artist, you gotta make a living. If deadlines are tight, you have to get the job done. And the gridding method could be a great way to get the job done.

      The reason I don’t think it’s cheating is because if you have a junior artist and an advanced artist use the gridding method from the same reference, you’ll still see a big difference in the finished drawing. It makes it easier and quicker to put things generally in the right place, but you still need to work out your values, create interesting edges, design your shapes, and make the forms 3 dimensional. A good drawing is about much more than just copying the proportions correctly. An advanced artist will improve the reference, he’ll clarify the structure, and design things to tell a better story. Lead the eye to the focal point and just make the whole drawing more interesting to look at.

      Also, a beginner always ends up messing up even when using a grid. There’s so much subtlety that is required that a grid doesn’t help at all there. Even if a beginner traces it, you can still see in the end where they lost the subtleties while shading. Especially with a painting. Once the tracing is covered with paint, the beginner gets lost and always messed up.

      So, if you are using the gridding method, try not to become a slave to it. Always remember that you are an ARTIST, you’re not a copy machine. So don’t try to be one. What is it about your reference that you like? Make that part of it even better and get rid of the stuff you don’t like. You need to have a filter. your way of seeing and interpreting the reference. let yourself be an artist, explore your uniqueness, rather than hiding it and trying to be like everyone else.

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