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Force: Character Design from Life Drawing by Mike Mattesi

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Chapter 3Shape with Character

In Chapter 2 I mentioned the importance of understanding depth and flatness at the same time in art. Shape makes this point real clear. You may draw dimensionally but you can still outline a silhouette. This immediately gives an image a sense of flatness. Drawings can start to feel like a jigsaw puzzle. You start seeing how one puzzle piece fits perfectly into another. You start to shape design the large, medium, and small shapes. Remember, you are still working on a flat plane.

As children, we start the act of drawing through simple shapes. As we become teenagers and young adults, we travel through a period of striving for reality in the art. Ironically, in maturity it is a return to childhood that balances out ...

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