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I've practiced drawing from reference pics for some time, and now I tried my first sketch without reference pic. It took me several hours, lots of draw redraw, and I peeked at Loomis' muscles studies in Figure Drawing now and then. Well, I'm really really curious to read your comments, the sketch was hellish fun to do so far and I could consider as entirely my own :-D
I think if you modify the head so its looking down the posture would look more natural, and maybe make the head/face slightly smaller.
But really good for a memory sketch, keep it up
There is nothing wrong with using reference pictures and you shouldn't be just peeking at books and studies. Learn them backwards and forwards and always use references. It will help you, trust me. If you are worried about drawing someone else's pictures or photos, then draw from life. Just keep up your studies.
I don't know about anyone else, but I found that I learn much faster and easier if I don't spend alot of time working on the same picture (especially sketches). I would suggest spending 10-15 minutes on a sketch like this then move on. Take a break for a bit then come back to it and try to see what you can improve on, then draw a new picture.
danlambert, thank you, you're right about the head.
Xezor, I have a question about studies. I took a look at your pictures, and I must say they're astonishing to me, I especially admire your stuff on that which I like most about painting: light. That's why I think maybe you can give me some good ideas on how to approach those art books like by Loomis.
What do you mean by "learning" books/studies? Do you/would you e.g. take Loomis' Figure Drawing book and draw it? Page by page? I tried to do that, but I feel very uncomfortable about that. It is not nearly as fun as to draw from some photo refs, or, like I found now, to draw from imagination. Can you tell me a good approach on, well, how to approach books? Or is it the only really rewarding way to bite it and draw yourself through Loomis? What would you do in my place?
I would suggest drawing from life. I learned the most, by far, when I took a life drawing class at my local community college. In that class we used Loomis's book not as a reference for the drawings, but kind of as a guide. When I say learn studies, I mean learn how the muscles connect, the length and proportion of body parts etc. These concepts are outlined very well in books.
The problem with drawing from the imagination is that you never know if it's right. You have a good idea of what you want in your mind, but you really can't translate it to paper like you think you should be able to. This is why refs are your friend.
Your best bet I would say is to draw from life. It doesn't get any better, or harder than that Books can teach you good techniques (like methods for drawing faces) but they won't make you better. You only get better through practice.
Note: Everything I say is just opinion; I am a student and not any authority on this matter
Do you notice that the arms are as long as the legs? I fixed your pic a bit in photoshop. But it's all up to you to improve further.
thank you for your replies. I'm sorry I haven't continued the picture very much yet, apart from making the correction Cat suggested (thank you!). I will try to get to it when I'll have more time, it's not a picture to work half an hour on, so that's why I guess I kinda avoided it so far. But I have made several other pictures, they are from refs, and done rather quickly, in 30min or 45min, apart from the sitting girl which took over an hour. Hope you like 'em :-)