Was going to continue with the random "scenario visualizations" with a chase scene. Wasn't really feeling it so I'm just going to post some random developments. Having a hard time keeping proportion when the full body isn't within the frame so I'm going to focus on head/hand compositions.
Hello Disciple, Welcome to CA. You are in the right place, mentally and virtually. Most young artists would be focusing on copying someone else's work and going around in circles, you chose to do the tough things such as the fundamentals and posting on this form .
From what I see, you want to tackle the basics but are afraid of making messy drawings; your sketches all look neat and clean whether digital or traditional. While there is nothing wrong with that mentality, it's stopping you from making progress right now. Sketch books are not meant to be pretty and neat(well some people's sketch books are, but they're the exception to the rule). Sketch books are for learning and experimenting. I suggest you try to go out of your comfort zone, even if you do anatomy studies and they look off...that's ok, infact its much better than repeating the things you're good at.
I like the muscle studies you did in the beginning, that's the sort of things you should concentrate on. Also gestures, long poses and short poses. I would strongly recommend the Spartan Camp as you learn from what you and others draw. It is a weekly gesture group with references and resources.
ps; and one advice from an ex-fanartist ....don't do fanart, right now it's detrimental to your art progress. Do the basics, purely studies and memory/imagination drawings from your studies. You can do fanart as a hobby when you have already grasped the fundamentals.
Last edited by - nat -; March 15th, 2014 at 03:03 AM.
Thanks so much for the comments Nat. I really appreciate your critiques and hope to get more of your thoughts with what I'm about to say below.
I did use to do anatomy studies and it used to be my primary focus especially when starting off. I am posting various studies that I did from last year below, you can find more of the type of stuff I was studying in the download link in the first post.
But I ran into several problems when trying to draw from imagination. Trying to hold onto anatomical details while trying to maintain the visual intent of what I originally had in my head lead to my brain overloading. As soon as I touch pencil to paper the image really weakens with each passing second. So during the gestural phase I am trying to eliminate all muscle details and simply trying to capture my first impressions which is usually the head, hands and feet (the endpoints). Right now I have tried to simplify everything back down to boxes, cylinders, and spheres (along with caricatured variations). I put most of the deeper anatomy stuff on hold until I get a firm handle on being able to express any idea that I have in my brain visually.
The type of skill that I am trying to develop is this, I should be able to draw someone on the telephone, cooking, teaching, holding hands, jumping, punching, kicking, etc... The only method that I have found that works for me is drawing stupidly simple and almost diagramatically, like you find on signage (or Nichijou style). Anatomy definitely helps when you are trying to design a compelling figure but for me its become a road block when trying to express very simple actions. Even the posemaniacs stuff was too much detail for me. For now I trying for a more rhythmic and intuitive form of visual expression. My studies basically consist of this level of detail:
This style of simplification has been infinitely more helpful in memorizing. I am focusing solely on basic forms and concept of Overlap which has been the biggest struggle for me. The ability to see through the form and omit or hide specific pieces of the figure depending on perspective.
I know its important to draw from reference or else you will make the same mistakes over and over again but I missed out on my childhood drawing days. I got a C in middle school art and was convinced I was untalented so never picked up a pencil to draw again until recently which was after college graduation. I never developed the imaginative and creative side so I want to work on that a little bit before switching back to more technical studies.
Once again I really appreciate your comments and hope I am not getting too defensive. Also don't worry the fanart was only for a friend's birthday
Not at all, on the contrary...I do see your reasoning . I'm glad you are honest about what makes you worried art-wise. Most artists, amateurs and professionals often fall in dark thoughts simply because they bite more than they can chew. I have that very same problem, and I hate it. By problem, I mean when you want to do everything at once and you want to get very good at imagination and observational drawings, and then you get frustrated and not do anything at all.
What I learned from the pros here is doing everything in small doses (also Spartan camp, they have a special study every week- just one body part per week). For example hands are painful to draw, but to know how to draw them you need to practice for years...I kid you not. The thing about references is mainly about rewiring the brain, when someone is used to proportions and poses of anime for example, they keep channeling them and it looks strange and mostly wrong (same face syndrome). Real life references and anatomy makes artwork look natural. The sooner you start, the better it is.
But in the end drawing cylinders and boxes is also excellent, it's part of teaching your eye to tell different planes and 3d forms. And if simplification works with you, keep doing it consistently until you're ready to move on.
And by the way.....schools and grading system are horrible...I had the same experience, except at the time I know that my teacher failed in art so her opinion was obsolete. It was just a class in which the teacher's pet would get the best grades, not actual talent. And don't worry about age and past experience, it's about how much you draw from now on and how much effort you put in this sketch book. A legendary member of this forum (Algenpfleger) used to draw 6-8 hours a day. And age doesn't really matter
Last edited by - nat -; March 15th, 2014 at 03:47 PM.
Thanks Nat for your intelligent comments and insight. It was helpful and I will try to add in more anatomical studies slowly so I don't run into the complexity overload problem.
More box and cylinder people, need to remind myself to avoid construction during the gesture and ideation phase, even that remains a distraction from the idea, focus on angles and action. Going to try to breakdown learning into phases, gestures and first impression (need to train visual memory here), volume pass (cubes and cylinders), detail pass (anatomical detail and design elements).
Didn't have enough energy today to do some imagination stuff so just tried to correct some pen mistakes. Also might as well make an animation out of the studies if I'm going to focus on sequential gestures.
Have a question for people who are experienced in drawing figures from imagination, are you able to make up poses by "feeling" them out and taking mental notes? I want to focus on pre-visualizing, rather than drawing random limbs in weird perspective, or defaulting to generic views.
I really like the poses studies you have done.
And the Zbrush copy, I like how you defined the planes of the face.
The last imagination poses are looking good too.
Why don't you try pushing one of your poses?, as in try to turn it into a character illustration for example.