In my work instructing Visual Arts, I often find it necessary to 'show' as much as 'tell' students how processes work in creating a drawing. Using computer generated models as the foundation for studies in the figure has helped students learn processes well and several who went to post-secondary studies in the arts afterwards said it gave them a bit of an edge when they started.

Using the models alone did not work. When working with a new model, I would always try at least drawing myself to get a feel for the character and the mechanics in putting it together on the page. Unfortunately, because of the length of the courses and the kind of people taking them, the poses would often be ones using simple expressionless faces. Many of my students would be in a class for 'the manditory credit' and then move on. It seemed pointless, therefore, trying to pull more from them. However, where students with more interest were concerned, the means were always made available to have them explore expressions and more complex compositions.

The images below are a grab-bag of works done- often on the fly in the classroom during a spare moment- of a couple of characters used in classes in the last couple of years. You will see that a number of them are 'toon' based. That is because younger students are often steeped in 'toon' or manga inspired imagery when they show up. I found that forcing them immediately to switch to more representational models created difficulties for them and sometimes led to students with promise going elsewhere. By using 'toon' models to teach the mechanics of figure drawing, they would be, year by year, led to more realistic models. By the time they graduated, they were skilled in both, or at least knew how to approach drawing them when needed.


Junior students with special needs worked on this character, loaded with little modification into Poser from the factory- Runtime DNA, where she, accessories and character variations are available. Below is a composite of images I threw together to 'learn' the character. The basic shapes gave me a sense of the body proportions- although I think I stretched the legs a little- and the two portraits were practice pieces to get used to the round head and huge eyes. These 'kodomo' or super cute characters have always been a challenge for me, especially when I was working on the video game CORRUPTED in 2010. The small head on the left is not a piece I was happy with because I did not like the eyes. The bigger one on the right put in a little of my own sensibilities with the character, making her a bit of a hybrid.

Cookie was a favorite of those who worked on her. I look forward to more fun work in the future, adding more of my own studies as they become available.