Drawing From Movie Stills Exercise

  • So this is something I've wanted to do for a long while. And I think I just need some accountability so that it moves up on my list of priorities and gets done. The idea is that by recreating movie stills we will learn things about framing, composition, value, lighting, etc. I would say this falls closely along the same lines as the master studies exercise where you draw from observation and try not to do tracing/color picking. I would love it if some of you could recommend good movies to do this from. I am mostly looking for live action film so I can strengthen my realism, but some animated movies have some beautiful shots as well and I would not be adverse to working from those.

    So! Lay your suggestions on me! And then, please , bother me about posting my results. I need that. You can post stills that you like or just tell me a movie that I need to go rent and work from.

    Also, feel free to join me in this exercise. Company is always better when starting the long journey to improvement. 🙂

  • Pro SVS OG

    @kasey-snow These are black and white movie stills from Legend of the Falls...I found them really interesting and I thought a black and white exercise could be fun too if you want to choose one! Great idea! I may try one too!




  • SVS OG

    @Kasey-Snow Andrie Torkovsky films would be a gold mine - quick google brings up "equal to any painting master..." - Sculpting in Time is a book about his work - Amazing - "The Sacrifice", "Andrie Rublev", "Stalker".....those are the three I would start with...I think Hulu has the entire Criterion Collection -

  • SVS OG

    In my highschool art class one of our assignments was to paint a still from one of our favorite movies. It was a great exercise!

    One of my favorite live action movies as far as composition goes (and, well, I love the story too) is Fiddler on the Roof. There are so many shots with amazing composition in that one. I watched it and paused it to do a quick value study periodically and I was seriously pausing it every few seconds it seemed like! It did win an Oscar for best cinematography, I believe, and it was well deserved.

    Also if you're into romances, the new Pride and Prejudice (the one with Keira Knightley, not the zombies one 😉 has some awesome composition shots as well. Plot-wise I prefer the A&E long version, but I can sit through the new short version because it's just so pretty ;-).

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