Hello, Conceptart folks
I'm Lyraina, stealthy observer of these forums for quite some time now, and decided it is time to take heart and join this community. I'm still a bit confused about all the different sections of this site/forum, but I hope I will do everything right - feel free to correct me if I'm wrong!
Anyway, I decided I must seriously improve my painting skills, since I'm not getting any younger. Randomly painting what comes to my mind just doesn't really help improving though. I will have to practice on my own, since art school isn't an option for me right now, but I am utterly lost! I read so many tutorials and "How to"s, but I guess practicing is the only way to go. Here comes my first question: How am I supposed to practice? I own one anatomy book which I started drawing from (I already read it), but I always read that copying from photos or other two dimensional sources does not help as much as drawing from life. But it surely does help a bit, I hope? I really don't know where I should get a skull or skeleton or something like that from, to draw from life. I might buy a Loomis book, since they are said to be good!
I'm mostely painting digital (fantasy, people, conceptart, I'd also like to learn doing environments at some point), but my main focus at the moment is improving human anatomy, so I started sketching on paper again. I hope I'll find the time to do some gesture drawing with posemaniacs as well.
Enough text - I'll just try to upload something, all of those are drawn from my anatomy book. Every criticism is very appreciated, also any advice how I should practice, to improve my general drawing/painting skills. Thanks in advance!
It's indeed better to think the face as a whole first that way you won't getted bugged into details while drawing and make proportion mistakes, however it's not bad to work on those details as when you'll have understood ha face stuff it will quickly come as a whole.
You could have a look at this post : http://www.conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=1432
it's very good to decompose the body parts and there are some relyable advice there.
You can as well make selfportraits, drawing from real life is always a better way to learn things as you have to make the process of turning 3D stuff into 2D design yourself and it teaches form. Working from photos is not that bad it's just a longer way to understand things, photo studies are very good to practice colour.
You can practice from real life at home drawing friends family, stuff on your desk, anyway the key is to practice regularly and to frequently wonder what can i do to get things better.
Hope it helps.
i think you should omit shading for figure drawing and focus on proportions and balancing ur figures which is what u r weak at. i speak from exp, i use to love shading the figures i draw to make them presentable and polished, but my figures were all wrg anatomically, it was just a huge waste of time and i improved very little since shading eats up time where i culd have spent on drawing more figures. i suggest u dun even flesh out the figures too much until ur basic proportion and dimensions r correct. dun need to add too much muscle details. a gd tutorial im following is this. u'll have to google translate if u find the pics not thorough enuff to guide u:
Feil Magnus: Nice link, thanks! Still so much to explore here on conceptart
emptyvessel: You are right, I think the anatomy book I used for my studies until now isn't really suited for beginners. I got my hands on Loomis yesterday and started from the beginning again, much better to learn about basic proportions before drawing every tiny muscle! Your link is nice as well, thanks for that!
As mentioned I did loads of Loomis studies (the first pages for basic anatomy), but nothing worth showing came out yet, so I'll show you my first attempts at environment paintings instead.
I also did some gesture drawing with posemaniacs again and figured out that mini-skeletons are much easier to complete in time than drawing the whole figure, I utterly failed at that!
I really like your anatomy studies, specially the eyes/noses, and this enviroments even though arent fully rendered i think theyre good compositions, love the grass one.
Be aware with loomis, it can make you focus too much on the "little" things and forget the "big picture". I started studying like that too but found i wasnt improving too much, so now i got to practice a bit more on figures and regular people (life drawing and from reference) and i find it even more entertaining
First of all you haven't failed..when you fall you always learn from it or at least try figure out why you fell...and then you actually learn new things...well obviously. Your studies are looking rlly good. I'm just starting out my anatomy studies and what i find helpful is just trying to understand the form and how it works...so there is a lot of thinking involved and hardly any copying...when you get the idea of it you just try to find the solution with drawing...dunno if that makes any sense but anyhow...first what you cud try is just drawing figures out of boxes, spheres and cylinders. it might help. Just keep on practicing it's looking good! Waiting to see more!
for more info about human figure try searching Michael Hampton and Glenn Vilppu
Thanks for the advice, I try to mix my Loomis studies with other things like gesture drawing and whatever I think might be useful as well.
Thank you, cylinder/box-people drawing might be something to look into as well! I'll also look up the names you gave me.
Here's some speedpainting from yesterday I did after drawing female thoraxes all day. Everything I "just drew" in former times seems to get so hard and impossible to get right after I started studying it O_o Still looks like a weird stick figure even though I tried to give it some flow. Sorry for the crap design, I guess I should better draw nudes! I'll try to scan in some of the loads of posemaniacs and loomis studies I did, just have to work for university a bit now.
Major update! I'm drawing more/faster than I'm scanning the stuff. I'll spare you most of it, but give you some representative sheets instead. I did loads of Loomis studies, copied his standard-figure sheets several times, but I think those skeleton thingies are much more helpful than the head-drawings. More intuitive.
Also did some posemaniacs, mostly stick figures because I'm just too slow.
I also tried to copy some female bodies from artists whose women I liked (hoping they won't kill me), because after Loomis all my women looked like men and vice versa O_o You'll recognize them due to the better proportions than my posemaniacs or Loomis figures, I think. I'm also trying to improve my line quality (single lines instead of one line consisting of 20 small ones), but it's really hard, if the results look like my drawings from 15 years ago, because I'm unable to draw a nice, clean line where I want it to be.
Sorry for the bad quality.
Thanks for posting in my thread/sketchbook, it was really helpful. I see that it's going much better here with studies, etc. Those you have here are really great so the only thing I have to say here is: keep going, you are doing great! : D
More Loomis stuff from today, didn't find the time to do some figures of my own as he suggests, yet.
I must confess, I didn't really understand how I'm supposed to draw those circles for movement of limps in perspective
Lux_Aeterna: Thanks! Yes, I'll have to practice faces as well - sadly a day has only 24 hours, so I want to concentrate on the whole first.
Here is my newest finished painting, it took me about 30 hours, and I'm aware that she looks quite stiff - but all in all I'm really proud!
(Visit my blog for non-technical background info which doesn't really belong here I guess: Link)
More Loomis-like studies, but this time without looking at his models (the male ones). I was too uncreative to think of dynamic poses myself, so I took random poses from pixelovely and tried not to apply what I learnt from Loomis about the muscles and how to get it right. "Staying loose" somehow turned into sloppy lines again, but some of the poses are not too bad for my standards, I guess! (Others are.) The women are referenced by Loomis, again.
I wonder if I should take more time to get individual poses right, or better be aware of mistakes and try to avoid them in the future, and draw on with more poses?
I feel like I tend to draw my men a bit too thin around the waist, not by purpose though..
Great sketchbook! I agree with you, your male models look too thin in the waist, but it's not a big deal.... I can see some evolution on those last loomis figures drawings, and also from the finalized drawing some posts earlier. keep on going!
Loomis from today.
I wonder if I should mix my studies and add some head studies or hands to my general anatomy drawings, or just stick to one topic at a time.
I'm somewhat afraid that I'll forget this stuff as fast as I forget everything, if I don't repeat everything every single day... which I can't, due to obvious reasons like a 24 hours/day limit.
More Loomis stuff, and also tried to apply the new learnt things to figures from imagination. I was quite scared to draw on my own, after all this muscle-copying. Will have to do more of those, and compare to the "correct" figures afterwards, I think...
Also, some cinnamon cookies from life, the apple was easier.
I'm still somewhat stuck on the anatomy exercises, so I decided to do some more color practice and speedpaintings.
The shoe took me a bit longer than the other recent studies from life, about 2 hours. The environments are 30 to 45 min each, referenced by photos I took myself.