Day 26: Alignment
We really like to use alignment when drawing figures. By alignment, I mean seeing what lines up vertically or horizontally with other points, like in this pose.
You might be doing this without realising a lot during a drawing. Doing it consciously can help you build the skill so that you do it sub-consciously too. If it’s a longer pose, you can hold out your pencil or something to really see the exact points that line up vertically. But in a shorter pose, there’s no time, so you can just use your eyes.
We have a pretty good sense of vertical and horizontal in our eyes I think. If I asked you to imagine vertical lines in front of you or horizontal lines, I think you could. 45 degrees would be a bit harder but doable and something like 15 degrees would be tricky, but I think you’d be pretty confident about imagining vertical and horizontal lines. So alignment uses that intuitive ability to see those lines.
Checking these lines is a good habit especially for when you are unsure of what’s going wrong with your drawing. Which lines you check depends on what you are struggling with and what is going on in the pose, but here are some that we find are often useful.
The vertical line down from the centre of the collarbones.
The line down from the ear.
The vertical line up from the bump on the ankle.
The lines across from the elbows.
The other useful thing is to check what is on each side of those horizontal or vertical lines.
So while doing your drawings today, especially the 2 minute and 5 minute poses, when you get the sense that something is wrong or you are confused about where something should go, imagine the vertical and horizontal lines that lead to that point and what else they line up with. I hope you enjoy your session today, and I’ll see you tomorrow.