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Thread: Critique my figure drawings

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    Critique my figure drawings

    These are all from quick poses, not from life. I feel as though I need to exaggerate perspective when using quick poses because otherwise the drawings look flat. I know it's best to draw from life whenever possible but at the moment I'm not in a figure drawing class. Here are three recent 120 second drawings. Should I be focusing more on gesture or structure?
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    Last edited by Graph; August 9th, 2014 at 11:06 PM.
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    How's it going?

    I'd say it's a pretty good start, using the intuitive method almost everyone starts with, which is this: Draw the Contour > Shade the Figure. You've started in on a few of the forms, which is really good, but you can take that a LOT further. The figure at the bottom has progressed the furthest in this respect.

    I think it's good to exaggerate the gesture of a pose, since the typical tendency is for a pose to get underexaggerated and drift towards stasis.

    The process that I like is one I modified a bit from studying Vilppu and Kevin Chen and Andrew Loomis, along with having a really good teacher (Jeff Markowsky) for three years. Here it is: Gesture (establish movement, 1/2 proportions) > forms (3 major masses especially) > measure (check balance, proportion, angles, negative shapes) > Refine Gesture and Forms > Add anatomical details to forms > Posterize by dividing light and dark and putting a midtone over the whole shadow area > find the Shadow Core > Refine Shadows and light > Bind the figure by picking up a few areas to outline. Here's a few examples of stuff I've done with this process. You should be able to see all the stages: My figure drawings

    At any rate, I can tell you're just shy of a breakthrough in the stage of forms because you can hit proportions pretty well and you're starting to see the forms.

    I hope that helps.

    Mead

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    I appreciate the thorough comment. After a bit of searching I found a demo by Vilppu; Since I've started, my process has began with the torso and pelvis, then an action line. Next I'd do limbs and finish with the head. Occasionally I just draw freely and rapidly (top two) and that's when I add value, otherwise my figure drawings are structural.
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    These are very good. You capture the gesture and sense of movement very well. If you feel you need to study structure you could trace over these and see if you can draw in the hands and so forth and still retain the action of the pose.
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    Three more. @RFalconeArt Thanks! Wasn't expecting compliments in the Critique Center, much appreciated.
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    Last edited by Graph; August 9th, 2014 at 11:07 PM.
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    why not compliments? I enjoy looking at your drawings. You are clearly doing well with them and I think whichever way you decide to develop your figure drawing you will continue to grow and develop.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graph View Post
    I appreciate the thorough comment. After a bit of searching I found a demo by Vilppu; Since I've started, my process has began with the torso and pelvis, then an action line. Next I'd do limbs and finish with the head. Occasionally I just draw freely and rapidly (top two) and that's when I add value, otherwise my figure drawings are structural.
    I think what's missing is the stage of adding anatomical details. Generally, the figures look like figures, which is what you want. But then refining the forms and adding anatomy is difficult and complex, but very much necessary. The latest ones are fun and reminiscent of cubist sculptures, which is cool.

    I guess things also depend on where you want to take your technique, too. If you want to go classical, cartoony, concept art/sequential, or push for your own style.
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    I'm not too worried about developing a 'style', I just want whatever I do to look structurally solid. I guess that means I'll have to stop delaying picking up Loomis.
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    Last edited by Graph; August 9th, 2014 at 11:08 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graph View Post
    I'm not too worried about developing a 'style', I just want whatever I do to look structurally solid. I guess that means I'll have to stop delaying picking up Loomis.
    Loomis is great. Glenn Vilppu built on his stuff, and Kevin Chen took stuff even further. For sure check all of them out.
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    Hey hey what is up fellow artists!

    Okay I would say overall your figures look very stiff; they do not tend to have a story to them or a sense of force in them; always draw through the form of the figure and stick to curves and straight lines. The problem with your figures I can see is that they are all comprised of straight lines- which in turn does not convey clearly the sense of humanity in your drawings very well.

    Straight lines are great for structure; I feel as though you are doing this very well; now work on conveying form with light contour lines to give your figures that "fleshy" feel. Exaggerate the figure a bit more to help convey the mood of the pose (this is what I mean by the story I mentioned earlier).

    I do not advise copying the model completely; rather feel the mood of the model- the story- feel the action of the model; when doing figure drawings I always take the pose of the model as well to feel where the most force is being held within the figure. I advise you to do the same. I recommend the book "Force: Dynamic Life Drawing for Animators" by Michael Mattesi. This book I recently finished and has opened my eyes to figure drawing. Do not be fooled by the title Mattesi even states that this book is for everyone-not just animators.

    Lastly think more about perspective in your figure drawings. Corners of the body are a great indicator of this such as the knees, shoulder line, eye line, breast line, feet, pelvis and mouth line-also the hands. There is something called 4 point perspective that commonly is associated with really tall buildings in New York City; seeing 4D is where the top and bottom of the skyscraper seem to go to different points in space. This is explained further in the Force book I have recommended to you.

    Incorporating 4 dimensions into your figure drawings subtly will help to show depth. When you are in a figure drawing class try and get as close to the model as possible; especially when they are standing. then try and fit the whole model onto the page, and you will see how 4 point perspective takes care of itself if you let it, and remember there are four points to be considered; take the head to the top point, the feet to the bottom point and the right side to the right point, and the left side to the left point. Phew...

    Anyways friend good luck! P.S. I am no master yet either, but I wanted to share my new knowledge.
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    Make the pictures smaller, they are huge.

    Buy a scanner. Doing noisy snapshots with a phone in low light isn't the best presentation style.
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    I couldn't tell if the third paragraph was a joke because
    Quote Originally Posted by Graph View Post
    It looks slightly stiff, I highly recommend the book "Force: Dynamic Life Drawing For Animators". I bought it thinking it would give me an understanding of anatomy, instead it improved my understanding of perspective dramatically. To clarify this is not a book on anatomy, pickup Loomis or an equivalent for that; this is a book on how to "loosen" stiff figures and make them stand out in 3D space.
    lol(I do need to review because I feel as though my drawing skills have declined), but thank you. I came to Concept Art in order to push myself to start drawing on a consistent basis again. @arenhaus Working on it. The pictures aren't necessarily as noisy as they seem; they are done on mid-tone paper because it was the largest paper I had. I neglected to use highlights because of time-constraints(quickposes), but I understand how awful it looks digitally. Love your sketchbook, by the way.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graph View Post
    I couldn't tell if the third paragraph was a joke because lol(I do need to review because I feel as though my drawing skills have declined), but thank you. I came to Concept Art in order to push myself to start drawing on a consistent basis again. @arenhaus Working on it. The pictures aren't necessarily as noisy as they seem; they are done on mid-tone paper because it was the largest paper I had. I neglected to use highlights because of time-constraints(quickposes), but I understand how awful it looks digitally. Love your sketchbook, by the way.
    Oh snap! That was you! Thank you so much! I got that book and ate it for breakfast! Hehe
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