Need help with early stages of sci-fi action piece

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  1. #1
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    Need help with early stages of sci-fi action piece

    I need a little help, if anyone sees this - there's something wrong with this pose, but it was drawn without reference. There's something totally wrong with the anatomy, and I think it's (mostly) in the hips and lower torso, but the small amount of visible back is bugging me too.

    It's supposed to be the beginning of a science-fiction piece: The idea is a woman holding a rifle dodging fire coming from the right of the frame.

    Unfortunately, the only other reference I have right now is in my sketchbook, the woman in the green jacket about halfway down the page. There's a much, much earlier pen sketch of this character at the top, too.

    Any help, criticism, paint/draw over, to-shred-tearing is appreciated!

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  3. #2
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    Well, first and foremost, get that boogerhook off that trigger. Second, it'll help quite a bit to block the idea in a bit more. Her left arm's also horribly...bulgy in all the wrong places.

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  5. #3
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    Problem:
    Quote Originally Posted by BigJiantRobut View Post
    there's something wrong with this pose
    Answer:
    Quote Originally Posted by BigJiantRobut View Post
    it was drawn without reference.
    In all seriousness, you're right that the pose is off. Get a mirror and reference yourself in the pose. The spine, position of the legs and shape of arms in particular. I could do a redline for you, but if you aren't even using reference when you know you should, then how are you learning?

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    Haha, I knew someone would comment on the trigger discipline! I know it's not much of an excuse - it was intentional, since this character isn't the brightest crayon in the box. Still, I'll change it to a proper position, since it's not like anybody but me is going to know that about the character anyway.

    I'll fill this out a bit more so there's a clearer picture of what's going on - if anyone could help with the figure, though, it'd be much appreciated. I'll post an update and a hopefully less-wonky arm in a bit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mirana View Post
    Answer:
    D'oh! I meant without reference in the pose, since it seemed fairly specific and I didn't want to feel like I was copying. I had reference in the form of figure studies, but obviously, I had trouble bending them into the right position.

    I hadn't even thought of doing a photo myself

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    Reference is not copying. I don't know what you mean "without reference in the pose" since the pose is the only thing on the page at the moment.

    When I was in high school, I didn't even have a camera. I would hold the position in front of a cheap, full-length mirror that I could move around, memorize a bit, then sketch in my book that was nearby. Repeat. It's the low-rent version of life drawing, but for any pose I wanted to do. Those drawings came out much better than any photo referenced ones. I was usually drawing the opposite gender too, haha. There are little things that trip you up when doing that, like the hips, but overall you're trying to learn viable poses, muscles and bone structure. It's similar enough to do the job right now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mirana View Post
    Reference is not copying. I don't know what you mean "without reference in the pose" since the pose is the only thing on the page at the moment.
    I meant that I had reference pictures of people and such, just not in the same pose as the drawing which is definitely why this is currently so wonky. Sorry about the confusion. I wasn't trying to make excuses, haha.

    I'll bust out my camera tomorrow and see what I can do!

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    Hi there mate.

    Ok the problem with the pose you have got there is the pose itself, it doesnt look right because the balance is off. The womans legs are together like they had been glued or because she was otherwise fixed in place on guard duty at the gate and is dodging incoming fire.

    Fundamental principles of pysics are the key here with an action pose such as this. Try it for yourself and feel where the weight goes, which muscles pull and which others stretch. What you are trying to get from the pose is a sense of action this comes from the body language itself and the feeling of movement.

    So what you seem to want is someone moving forward to engage the enemy on a battlefield who reacts to a round striking nearby or an explosion or whatever and throws the weight over to the side as they avoid the hit.

    Now you have all the information you need to get the little loomis stick men going, once you have the stick pose that works for you then translate it to the flexible clay pipes idea and set it up properly and give it some depth.

    By going through all these phases of construction you will get a better pose and a better image on the whole.

    I hope this helps you out and I am sorry if this comes across as a lecture, its not meant to be, its just what I have learned so far on my journey on the road to enlightenment.


    All the best to you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigJiantRobut View Post
    I'll bust out my camera tomorrow and see what I can do!
    And as you do, also think what you want to convey with the pose. Like, right now she looks like she's dodging a low flying baseball or an incoming bee, not fire (like, try dodging something with your legs tightly clenched together, and you'll be likely to fall). Also since this is an action piece, you probably should put some action to it. So make her move, go for dynamic poses, don't settle for straight-in-the-middle composition with thigh crop.
    Try even doing thumbnails of the image and pose before taking reference photos.

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    First, learn about proportions... They are totally off (especially the hip is tiny and weird).
    Draw a simplified skeleton or stickman first, it may help a lot too.
    And what are her thighs doing? They will keep that thickness all the way down? They should be slimmer at the bottom of the drawing.
    But a photo about a standing woman should say this much.

    {I wasn't intended to be harsh, it just came out like this.}

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    One of the things that it really bugging me is the waist. With the way she is bending to the side like that the left (our right) side of her waist should be stretched out not indented in. Man I wish I could remember the book I read where the author used noodles to demonstrate bendy parts...

    anyway, there's plenty of other odd things going on that others have noted. that's just one that leaps out at me when I see it.

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  19. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by wooden mango View Post
    One of the things that it really bugging me is the waist. With the way she is bending to the side like that the left (our right) side of her waist should be stretched out not indented in. Man I wish I could remember the book I read where the author used noodles to demonstrate bendy parts...
    That sounds incredibly helpful, since that's what I feel is really murdering me at the moment - bent elbows, shoulders, legs, hips, etc. Other than proper anatomy of course. Let me know if you remember the book!

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    Yeah for the "recently returned" list at my library! "Drawing People: How to portray the clothed figure" by Barbara Bradley. It was really useful, thinking of actually buying a copy

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    "This is a paint and pixel-splattered furnace that forges the swords of artistic mastery. This is a place where swarthy and belligerent dwarves drink turpentine mead, berate their apprentices and slap the trade into their skulls. It's where the anvils are made of graphite, the hammers are as true as rectangular marquee selections and the fires burn with the light of a thousand lensflares." --Jason Rainville
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  22. #14
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    Thanks a ton, I'll take a look!

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    Are you going for just a character design or some kind of scene? You said sci-fi action piece so I assume you want to do some kind of scene or illustration? In that case start with thumbnails defining the scene - what is happening, what is the best pov/composition to illustrate the scene? What is the environment, lighting, action, etc.

    THEN, when you've selected the best scene, start developing specific reference.

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