Thursday, October 13, 2011


I know you're saying to yourself.............THAT IS NOT A STICK PERSON!!! and you're absolutely right. but how I got to this image was through a construction of a sort of stick figure. I was recently asked to to an image based on It's a Wonderful Life's  drawing of George Lasso's the Moon, and since this is one of my all time favourite movies, this image is burned into my memory. As I sat down with my sketchbook to draw out ol' George, the key thing to this image was his posture. He HAD to have that schlump, and as I started to work the pose,I realized that to get it right I had to break things down to their most basic structure....the stick man:

The outline drawings are the first attempts at getting George's posture right, and as you can see I started to break it down into more basic components of the structure.............STRUCTURE  is a key word too, it is what we are built on, it defines and dictates where we bend and how we move....... so for this to work I went to the internal structure or framework of the body.... a simplified skeletal structure or a stick figure.

 Now some of you are saying this is not  how I draw a stick figure...................most people think of the stick man as this:

As artists we sort of do a more detailed if you will stick figure based on the rib cage, pelvis and head.....the limbs are really the only sticks:

As you can see the rib cage is sort of a cylinder and the hip structure or pelvis is sort of a barbell......a wider barbell can be used as female and narrower as male.... the dots at the end of the stick represent the joints and an oval like thing is the head, the little blob at the bottom can represent the hands or feet.

This little fellow is not new..........Andrew Loomis used a slightly more elaborate fellow than what I do and just about every artist I know or can think about has at one time or another used someone similar to this guy. In Bridgmans books he used more of a blocking system which as you will see further down I used in getting to my final image as well.

The Block man is wonderful in establishing the planes of the figure and helping to map out shadows and musculature in a basic way.

Block man also gives you a whole lot more surface area to see how things can pan out.... he is a cool dude.

In the doodles to the left you can see the page in which I arrived at my George figure. Here you can see I used the stick man as well as a version of block man.

In this I initially drew out the pelvis and to achieve mys schulmp.....I set the ribs back away from them and not linearly on top where they would usually go  ( this is the little fellas at the bottom of the page ). I then used block man up top to sort of see a more solid form and from there I drew the final George.

So as you can see..............the Stick Figure is not really a lowly creature but really an extremely useful little guy. He can help you to find a position, or specific posture, he can help you to define movement and perspective. He is a work horse............. can even draw a stick horse ( bottom of the page )

 So, whenever someone says to me " I can't even draw a stick figure" I really can see why at times. The Stick Man is  a cool dude and someone I come to rely on a lot at times.

Ya'll should get to know him if you don't.