I’m Tim Gula and I’m here to
introduce you all to the Reilly method and how it’s broken down and applied
in your drawing. Stan: Tim Gula studied under Fred Fixler
who studied under Frank Reilly. I met up with Tim to watch him do some
quicksketch using the Reilly method. Enjoy. Tim: I begin my drawings by first, like,
taking a good, what I’d call visual gulp, of the model and the pose and try in my
mind’s eye to like break it down into its most simple and visible diagram. First,
I’ll start off with the head. I always start off with the head because
that’s where I’d begin in my proportions. So I have a proportionary guide to keep
everything to scale. And then I’ll start by making features.
I keep the shapes very simple. The angles of the skull for like the
cheek, neck, shoulder, and I’ll apply like say even the line like
that for the shoulder to help the pose become more discernible.
See these nice flowing rhythm lines rather than kind of like a jagged,
like most people draw with. Instead, we’ve been taught to like have
these nice flowing rhythm lines because that helps the pose become more
convincing. All these things kind of like start to work together to make the
pose more recognizable. See how I just use like the nice,
smooth rhythm lines? I don’t get… I try not to get hung up at this point.
I try just to establish the pose, the shape, the weight, the rhythm,
all the things needed to make it natural-looking. The breast line.
See how I make a circumference like that? And think in terms of like it being like
rounded. Use the rhythm lines to help establish that. It’s like a blueprint.
What you put down initially is just to get things… the ball rolling and then
when you come in later, you’ll notice where it really ought to be
or not and then you can just make the necessary alterations. It’s okay.
Keeping it simple, nice and simple. All I’m interested in is placement
and also proportions. It takes a while to get there. So do not be discouraged.
You just got to hang in there and the more you do that, the more the information
becomes clear and available to you. This kind of drawing that I just showed
you, this automatic life drawing workshops is very important because it keeps your
sense of who you are intact. If I could pass on a message,
it’s that and keep practicing and make sure your heart’s in it completely because
then you’ll see that its fullest benefit available to you. All right.
So I’m going to try my best to describe the rhythm lines and how they are used
in its most basic and practical way. Okay. So when I draw,
the first thing I do is I look at the model and I break down the model’s shape
into, in my mind, like, lines and these lines are rhythm lines and what a rhythm
line is is a line that has a nice flow that kind of compliments the form and the
action that the model’s taking. So, for instance, what do I mean by that?
Like I’ll start off with the head and I’ll just make a diagram impression of the
head. Now, I have the head to use for the size proportion of the rest. Then,
I’ll have the neck. Okay. Now here’s where the rhythm line
comes in. So like say the pose is a back view and it has a slight twist.
So I’ll go where the shoulder begins. That would be the arm.
Then another rhythm line for the forearm. Then back up towards the shoulder
connecting to the torso. And here’s another rhythm line, see,
where the back would be. That forms the torso and the ribcage.
Then where the forearm is on the waist. So these rhythm lines,
they’re kind of like, you want them to flow because then that
way, you capture the action more convincingly. Like a fashion
drawing, almost. Stan: How is it like fashion drawing? Tim: Kind of what you don’t see much anymore
but like say the art of like Rene Gruau who kind of was an inspiration to my
teacher, Fred Fixler. His fashion drawings have these nice, kind
of flowing rhythms, it’s almost like the fabric just naturally drapes over them.
You just have to get used to like being able to create like these nice, flowing
lines and that takes practice. But by watching like this video and seeing
how I apply it, you’ll know what to practice and how to help you become
more competent and confident with something that at first is going to
be probably intimidating and confusing. But just keep the shapes simple,
keep the rhythm lines clear and nice and flowing. Then you start applying the
other parts of the figure. But first, you have to have the armature,
the figure itself broken down nice and clear and that’s what these rhythm lines
help establish. Start off with the head. See also how I put the ear on the side,
so I have a nice idea of the circumference of the head and the face.
I give myself landmarks like that and when I say landmark, it’s like I’ll put the
nose in a certain place or the ear and then the cheek. Everything I can do
to help make the figure more obvious and discernible, little cheating tricks.
And see even like where I would imagine that the model is…the weight is shifted.
So this shoulder would be more risen than the other would which be more lowered
which would create that balance and then, once I have that, once again,
I’ll make a nice rhythm for the torso. And see, I’ll put in a line like that
to show where the ribcage ends. You have to practice looking carefully and
understanding what you’re looking at. Once again, getting those shapes nice,
clear, using those rhythms to really show the action and the shape of the action.
At first, just make the shapes simple but clear so you can come back later
and make them even more definable. The real secret though to all this is
through practice. There is no way that you’re going to just get this all of a
sudden. Well, maybe there’s someone out there that might have like an amazing,
miraculous advantage. But the rest of us, like, say me, had to spend a lot of time
understanding this. It’s kind of like a hieroglyphic language.
It’s hard at first to understand what and then, you begin to understand what the
image is and the shapes make and then, you’re able to follow and that’s what kind
of is going to happen here and an intuitiveness then becomes more and
more available to you and somehow, you start knowing and you’re not even sure
how but just by looking, the recognition takes place and like,
“Oh yeah, that’s how that came about.” My career as such started in 1980 and it
was started at Hanna-Barbera and that’s where I met a guy named Alex Toth who was
a pretty darn good artist himself. And I started by drawing concepts to weird
science fiction type shows and there, I went from there to Bakshi,
working onFire and Icewhere I met Frank Frazetta which was an uninspiring
film but it was great experience and especially working with Frazetta and from
there, I worked at Disney onTheBlack Cauldron. I started working at DC
onSupermanandMartian ManhunterandThe Spectre. And the more that you
practice this wholeheartedly, the more you’ll believe in yourself and
what you’re capable of and then kind of like a magic takes place.
You start doing things that you didn’t think possible. See?
And then you get this stuff and that you tuck it away in your memory banks and
then, when you’re doing like a future project, all the experiences from,
like, say, that you’re obtaining now, they become…they come in handy later on.