Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Squah and Stretch (Part Two)

Okay, so here's the concept I actually wanted to talk about concerning "squash and stretch": how it applies in drawing (as opposed to as a force in animation).

Basically this is all about using "Squash and Stretch" to help organize your drawings and as an aid in drawing forms that are fleshy or pliable.

When you bend over and touch your toes, you feel a stretching sensation across the back of your legs, your back and spine and the back of your neck, right?

And you feel a squashing sensation in your stomach, right?

This can be helpful in drawing. When one side of a form stretches, the other side side should squash...and vice versa. This really helps add life to your drawings, get a better feeling of weight and is an aid in avoiding symmetry. A drawing that is totally symmetrical (both sides are mirror images) is usually a flat, uninteresting drawing. Here's a refresher from Carson Van Osten on why symmetry leads to weak drawing:

 I find myself thinking about Squash and Stretch while I draw and I often organize my figures so that one side is always squashing and the other side is stretching. And the reason that Rapunzel makes a good model to illustrate this is that I used that concept a lot while drawing her. It helped me organize all that hair in a way that prevented it from just being a shapeless mess (well, sort of).Click to see bigger:

Here, I've drawn red arrows to indicate the stretches...and invariably you'll find a blue arrow on the opposite side of the body part indicating a squash.

Wherever the bottom of her hair hits the floor and flattens out in a squash, I was always careful to try and give shape and form to the top side of her hair and add a stretch so it had shape, form and contrast. Here's a less confusing version (maybe?) where I put red lines on the stretches and blue lines on the squashes.

Sorry, it's a rough quick drawing but I hope it illustrates the point clearly!



good post.. always love to see analysis on how Good drawings Work..


Aaron Ludwig said...

Very cool (and helpful too!). Love the broken down illustration. Thanks for your time and efforts to educate all of us.

Rodney Baker said...

Your sketches perfectly illustrate your point. Thanks!

aisha said...

Volvo V40 Turbocharger
These paintings are awesome! I really like these!

JKR said...

Thanks for another great post. I'm a little confused, though. Wouldn't the right side of her be all stretch, and the left side be squash? It seems like she's stretching out her hip to jut to the right there. That's the only thing I'm not totally clear on. I understand the hair part, just maybe not the hips/torso. Thanks!

Graham Ross said...

Hey Mark. I could be wrong but isn't the squash on her right side and the stretch on her left? It should match the compression of her clothing, right?

Hobo Divine said...

Thank you Mark.