First of all, my apologies for my english
I'm a 21 years old spanish boy trying to learn how to draw. I was set to another path for 5 or more years, this was because my parents couldn't accept I just wanted to draw for a living and I wasn't brave enough to defend my own convictions, so I just tried to 'kill' that inner artist I have inside me. So I lost 5 years studying science (I wasn't bad at it, actually, but I HATED it), the last 2 years I fell into depression but finally I changed my mind and started a 2 and half a year 'course' (i dont know the english word) of illustration, it's not a full degree so you know what to expect. I'm learning lots of things but not enough things, I want to draw reallistic looking people and knights and futuristic people and creatures and all that stuff. I can draw nice cartoons but what I want is to draw WELL, not just the cartoons I can do right now. this last year I'm starting to feel happier (a lot!!) although I'm yet very passive, lazy, i think the english word is "procastination", I'd like to overcome it soooon.
So at home I draw many 'doodles' as you call them, random sketches of random things and people (or parts of people) that in the end are nothing and serve no purpose, without much thought put on them, I just waste my time A LOT but being lazy and by doing things that drive me nowhere.
I want to learn how to draw the human figure, I have looked many books on the subject, and downloaded some of them. This includes Vilppu's Drawing Manual, Loomis books, Bridgmans, some from burne hogarth, etc, books I have read some people recommend. Different people recomend different books, but out of all recommendations these seem the best ones and the ones people recommend the most.
Now, I have YET ANOTHER problem. I can read them (as a first read) and get a few things, but as I decide to work from one book I just get stuck in the first chapters and keep doing them because I don't seem to get to the level in the books. I have lots of problems in my figures and I can spot some, but can't really correct them. I acknowledge part of "what is wrong" -certainly not everything- but I can't correct it. So I don't go on, just keep doing the starting things to later get bored and stop studying that book. Then I'll jump to another one and so on.
First I want to learn how to draw the figure, then I'll study perspective, then I don't know. I'd like to work on painting, because this is my biggest flaw, I can't paint, I don't understand color nor any technique (the only technique I understand and manage nicely is photoshop, because I have a pixel art background during those years of science studying when I drew next to nothing hehe). Because of this I never paint aside from school assignments, which aren't as good as I'd like, to be honest they are terrible.
Some people say im hyper self-critic, but I want to paint at a proffesional level, I don't ask to be Michelangelo or Leonardo over night, I want to catch up with some people from this forums. I know I can be really good, but I need to develop myself and currently I'm losing time. I know I will get good in the end, but i'd like to make it shorter, I mean, by not wasting my time. Sometimes I look at works of people of my age and think 'omg im so terrible compared to this guy, maybe I dont have the talent or I'm too old to catch up' but actually I know I have it, I can do it, but not by wasting time not learning a lot everyday.
SO???!! (you'll be asking)
I'd like to know what's your book of preference, and what's your way (or what was) of working on figure drawing from any of these books, assignments I can set up to myself, or whatever. Also I'd like to get advice on what I have to work the most so I'll post some of my best pictures and maybe later I'll post some of the bad/awful ones. I mean, current pieces, because i'm not very consistent, or just not consistent at all. I know you'll say "draw from life" but what I need is to understand human figure and being able to draw it from imagination, so (and I know drawing from life is necessary and I'm doing it) I need to study the structure, anatomy, you know.
I think I'll make this post become like a progress log where I'll surely learn a lot with your help.
edit: this was my first post in conceptart.org, i never posted afterwards. I should send a pm to white rose saying thank you, I've improved a lot since that, and didn't even thank him hehe. That was late July 2006.