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So I'm finishing up my year of mandatory Art and finding myself interested in recreational drawing.
Now my first obstacle is getting over the complete lack of direction (and by direction I mean 'being given a photo and being told to reproduce it'). I've only done face shots straight on and a reproduction of 'Girl With a Pearl Earring'.
My current distraction is making a character portrait for a DND game. The concept is a lovestruck, halfling knife-fighter. A wanna-be gangster turned dupe, he gets carved up when it comes time for his backers to cash in (half a Glasgow smile and not-pictured gash over the sternum), and falls in love with the nurse who saves his life. Because this is getting wordy I'll throw out the sketches before going on...
-The right (stage right) shoulder is supposed to be in the forefront. I think I need to sink the left like in the first sketches. Details are nagging me too. Where should I ruffle the shirt and whatnot?
-Due to my complete unfamiliarity with fashion I treated overalls as synonymous to pants with suspenders. This has resulted in a completely whack crotch-height.
-It's not supposed to be a grim character. I'm caught in the uncanny valley of toddler and halfling because I don't want a perma-scowling loner, just a guy who's made a mistake.
-I hate the "anime chin", want to avoid that.
-The tee is supposed to be pinstripe, but since this is just a sketching it's hard to make the chest striped without crowding out the suspenders.
For reference I used
Captain Vidal from Pan's Labyrinth
And Czeslaw Meyer from Baccano
I await dissection.
Last edited by LordOfTheDucks; May 24th, 2009 at 05:24 PM.
I'm not sure if I understood this well, but you're trying to recreate the anime sketch on the bottom with a more realistic approach, correct?
From your sketches so far I can tell you don't have enough understanding of the shapes and masses of the face and human body to accurately make a character just yet. It's good that you're using references, but for this particular piece I suggest you find poses that are similar to the illustration you're trying to imitate.
Your current pose is very stiff, so instead of starting with his clothes why don't you begin by defining the volumes of his torso?
As has been said over and over again, life drawing is essential if you want to understand the structure of the human body and be able to recreate that in your art.
Ah, ok. Well one exercise which I love and I've been doing for a few days now is gesture drawing. It's basically trying to capture the essential movement and masses of a figure with the least amount of strokes, usually done within 30 seconds and a live model (you can find plenty of these anywhere, just take a little sketchpad with you and begin sketching). You don't need to worry about proportions or shading in this exercise. Although it doesn't directly help with anatomy, it helps gain an understanding of articulations and how to convey movement and give life to your figures.
For anatomy and making realistic figures, loads and loads of life drawings of your hands, self portraits and life drawings of other people are the only way to get better.