Hi everyone. I've been lurking around this board for a long time, being inspired by the work of a lot of the wonderful artists here.
I've been drawing for a long time, mostly comic style work. However, for the last couple of years i've been working on my BFA and thus have been really focused on fine art drawing and painting. My interest in concept and comic art has just begun to resurface. Sadly, I was really disappointed with the quality of work I was able to do. Most specifically, I feel that my figures are very stiff and are weakly constructed.
Enter the daily sketchook. A couple of weeks ago I saw Michael Mentler's hanging flesh sketchbook, and was really inspired by his knowledge of the figure. One of his exercises is to draw a figure, from memory, in three angles, every day. I decided to combine this with a daily anatomy study from reference, as well as doing a page of gestures for getting warmed up and working on looser posing. I've managed to keep to this regime for the last two weeks, and I am really happy with the results so far.
I've just gotten my scanner all set up again, so I will start with a big dump of the sketches for the last week. If you have any comments or criticism, please share it. I often have trouble seeing the innacuracies in my own work, so knowing what others are seeing is great.
Thanks for stopping by!
A page of gestures. I won't post many of these, but this is just as an example, to show the bredth of the exercise:
Leg study (colored to help me understand the positions of the muscles from different angles):
3 angle study, with breakdowns. Facial expressions are another area I need work:
Here are the sketches from today. There are a lot of problems with the three figures. I have been focusing a lot on the legs in my anatomy studies because I want to get them pretty under control before moving on.
Wertle - Thanks! I started doing them because I realized that while I was learning the muscles from the 4 different sides, I didn't know how they related. Having them color coded helps me to actually understand their location spatialy.
Great stuff. I really like it. Anatomy and figure drawing skills are great fundamentals. Definitlely keep those up. Are they all from your mind? If so, I would reccommend doing some studies from reference, too.
Arkain and Dan1989 - Thanks so much for stopping by and taking a look. The poses for the three figure drawings are from imagination, or memory, or whatever you'd like to call it. I try and do a page of gesture tumbnails everyday, which is where the poses for the figure studies come from. As for working from ref, I have been doing a lot of studies from Barcsay's anatomy book lately, which has been helping. I do find it hard to translate the info from these studies to my figures because of my a tendancy to simplify and stylize. That tendancy is my worst emeny, as it leads to drawing symbols for things instead of taking the time to figure out the actual shapes.
Here are today's sketches. Coloring with the markers seems to be a nice way to spice up the figure studies and help me keep my interest. I am also trying to get back into concept character ideas, hopefully more of that on the way.
Here's today's work. I am trying a new thing on the arm study. I did 2 from reference (barcsay) then constructed the rest. Hopefully this approach will help cement the forms a little more solidly. I am also trying some new stuff with the markers and really enjoying them. My only technical challege is that they make the pen bleed a little bit, which is a problem when using lighter tones( they get blue-ified by the ink). Does anyone know of a pen, preferably rollerball style, that is more permanent?
The middle figure of the three is a little wonky. looks like a board. I am relatively happy with the other two though, especially the right.
man good job , you seem to handle the muscles of the arm pretty well
i think the figure in the first picture on the bottom right have his arm a bit to long , other than that its very good.
you should try gray markers (20% , 50% etc) i had a marker course this year and its pretty amazing.
Do you use reference for the pose and you build up muscles on them after ?
kepp the good work dude!!
I am really liking the new posts! This makes me want to go the art store and buy markers! I bought some Prismacolors but they are too dark. I should start doing the three figures from imagination a day thing... your anatomy studies are great
Arkain - Yeah, that arm is a little long. I was focused on the arms, so I drew the long horizontal one, then the body, them the other. I figure that its ok since my focus was on the arm musculature, rather than an overall figure. Cop out, i know. I have tried some using the % grays and it is fun. I paint in oils most of the time though, so i always jump to color. I think my knowledge of lighting could use some work though, and grays are an awsome way to do that. BTW, have you checked out michael mentler's hanging flesh daily thread? It was my inspiration, and its awsome. In the three angle studies, all of the poses are from memory/imagination. One of my goals is to increase the looseness of my posing/figures, so this is part of that training.
Dan - When I was looking at markers i almost got prismas, because their color pencils are so damn amazing. However, I wasn't happy with how the sample tones matched up with the color the marker acutally made. I went down the aisle at the Uw bookstore to the Tria marker section and was much more impressed. They are all marked by their pantone color, and seem to hold true. also, until they dry out they have fine point, a medium point and a wide point, which is awsome. I know markers are expensive as hell, but if you get the chance, try them out! I can't even imagine an entire marker course. I am in a BFA program, so most of the focus is on more traditional media. However, I think oil painting has really helped my art in a lot of ways.
Try to be aware of how perspective affects the figure (more specifically, how the feet are planted on the ground) !
You're improving a lot ... but be sure to do enough from reference as well ... unless you draw from life (model) a lot as well, I think you might end up making things up if you only use anatomy books & imagination ?
mmm ... one more sketchbook to check out regularly ! Keep 'em drawings coming !
Sorry for the lack of an update. I got sick and went out of town (both unexpectedly) and I don't have access to a scanner. I will be home tomorrow and should get back on track. I know, i know, I'm only cheating myself.
NightVision - You have some very good points. Puting my figures into "real" space is definatly a weakness. I think it comes from long years of just drawing figures on a blank page without establishing a space for them to be in. I also agree that drawing from life or reference is important as well, to "keep things real" as it were. I'm trying to add some more of this to my routine. Thanks for stopping by and for the kind words!
Nice stuff leslief. The colorful markers really spice things up, looks good. A constructive crit might be to lessen the amount of scribbling in your pics... reduce the amount of lines needed to the minimum required to convey the shape. Not exactly the easiest thing, but maybe something to look into? Keep on updating .
kapturowski - Thanks for pointing that out. It is a long time problem of mine, but I often stop thinking about it and let myself get back into the habit of just making a ton of marks rather than being firm with my line. I'll try to refocus on this.
I'm back from my sudden trip, but the head-fogging sickness is still deeply entrenched. Thus the meager offerings. I also left out some pages I did that were just poop. I think I got out of control with the marker thing. going to be mor judicious in my use from now on.
Here's the update for today. Decided to go to the ref pics and do some sketches. Most of the refs were torso only, I wasn't just coping out on the rest of the body. However, judging from the whole figure on the second sheet I need to work on the totality more. However, i do find trying to do the symmetrical frontal or back pose very hard to deal with. Trying to watch the extraneous lines, but still scribbling a lot. I did try and go back and address the hands a second time for some practice.
I really like the effort you are putting into learning the various muscles, especially seperating them with color. Your calves seem to be a bit exxagerated and the relationship of your feet to the ground a bit off...but all in all, awesome! I LOVE to see people putting a lot of effort in figures!
Your hand study seems to be going well, Ill definitely keep an eye on this SB.
BoostedRotors- Thanks for the critiques. They are good ones. Things I already had in the back of my mind. I think i need to focus on putting the figures in perspective, maybe that will help lock the feet in the right place. Thanks for stopping by, the encouragement is always nice to have.
New sketches. The first is actually from last night, right before bed and after scanning. Studies of women, good and bad. Enough said.
For some reason I've had streetfighter on my mind lately. The second is a ballpoint sketch of a Zangief vs Cammy match. In case you feel like critiquing, here are the big problems I already know about: her neck/his hand relationship, her head to her body proportions, her pose.
Here is a dump from the last couple of days. I found the loomis book online at www.saveloomis.org and really like the material. I decided to just start from the basics, shore up my foundations. He has some good examples and exercises, and places emphasis differently than some of the other books I have read.Ihave been trying to keep a much closer eye on my line quality and weight. Think it is coming along.