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Deconstructed: Drawing People

Viktor Kalvachev
9 Lessons (9h 33m)
9 Week(s)
English French Spanish Portuguese

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Course Description

If you're an artist, in all likelihood, you will eventually want to or be asked to draw people.

Regardless of your style or artistic sensibility, there are certain fundamental principles of drawing people that apply to most work (at least until you get to a stage of mastery that allows you to break all the rules).

I have tried to structure and organize the lessons and assignments here into bite-sized morsels that I hope you will find easily digestible, engaging, and fun. We will explore shapes, perspective, anatomy, among many of my other techniques. Through this course, I aim to help you get a better understanding of drawing in general, and how to draw the human specifically in order to get the best possible results.

(PLEASE NOTE: This class makes use of artistic nudity. For students under the age of majority, parental discretion is advised.)

  • Pencil/Paper

Lesson Plan

In this first lesson, we will get right into the nuts and bolts of drawing. Namely, we will look at a rendering technique that I enjoy and use liberally: crosshatching. I will explain how I use crosshatching to control my drawing tool and thus turn it into a true physical extension of my artistic intentions, and show you how you can do the same.

Now that we have spent some time talking about crosshatching, let's carry on to the logical next thing, which is shapes. In this lesson, through a demo using a life-drawing model, we will look at how to quickly define shapes by choosing stroke directions.

In this lesson, I will share with you my techniques for expressing value while drawing various life-drawing models. Values are something that all artists at every skill level are constantly learning and re-learning. I hope the tips I present here will strengthen and embolden your understanding of values before we tackle the very complex work of drawing people.

Now we will take the principles and techniques taught previously on controlling and expressing values and apply them to drawing topless models, both male and female. We will pay special attention to common light and shadow patterns on a human body, which can form a baseline for your future work drawing people

Now let's look at the basics of the body. Here, we will talk about creating different yet believable characters while experimenting with a variety of body proportions and explain the principles that make such exploration possible. In doing so, I will share a technique that will ensure that you never draw a body with a broken structure ever again! This method will help keep your drawings solid even without extensive knowledge of anatomy.

In this lesson, we will cover perspective and foreshortening the human body through a series of exercises drawing different models. I will show you a useful method of determining the middle of a line in perspective that will help you when drawing foreshortened bodies.

This is not a hardcore anatomy lesson; we WILL, however, examine the most critical parts of the body, which, incidentally, artists tend to have the most trouble drawing. I will share the tips and techniques that I employ to help me tackle these body parts and produce solid drawings. We will apply and demonstrate these principles in drawings using various models. This is a big task and will therefore occupy two lessons.

Carrying on from lesson 7, we will continue to examine tricky anatomy and how to tackle them effectively by drawing various live models for practice.

There are some people who naturally "never forget a face". If you are not one of these people, have no fear! Observation and recollection are skills that can be learned and practiced, and in this lesson, we will examine strategies to do just that. By the time we are done, you should experience a marked increase in your ability to remember and recreate faces that you have glimpsed for just a few seconds, a skill anyone can benefit from, especially a character designer!


Viktor Kalvachev

Born in Bulgaria in 1972, Viktor Kalvachev moved to the US in his 20s to begin a career in the entertainment industry that led him to work on almost every major children IP from Micky Mouse Clubhouse and Blue's Clues, to Spiderman and The Incredibles.

With more than 20 years of experience, Kalvachev considers himself a "visual storyteller." His career has taken him across the globe and extended his range from art production, graphic novel creator, graphic designer, UIX designer, chief creative officer and freelancer with notable clients such as Disney, Pixar, DreamWorks, RIOT Games, DC Comics, Hasbro, Nickelodeon and many more.

Kalvachev is the recipient of the Best Downloadable Game of the Year Award, several Betsy Awards (for education products), the Bologna Children's Game Award and more. He was also nominated for two Eisner awards for his cover and color work on the comic book series Blue Estate. He has had several solo exhibitions and taken part of many group shows around the world.

Viktor Kalvachev is mostly known for his graphic novels PHERONE and Blue Estate, as well as his work on comic book titles such as Batman Beyond, Men of War, B.P.R.D. and DMZ. His latest art book INSPIRE was successfully funded through Kickstarter and made its debut at SDCC 2018. Kalvachev has his M.F.A. degree from the National Academy of Fine Arts in Sofia, Bulgaria.