Let your model's muscles show more. Even if they are not there, try putting them in a bit more using basic shapes like eggs, parallelograms, teardrops and the like. (A little extra drama never killed a drawing.)
I feel it may make your work a bit less stiff and more apt to feel like it is coming off the page.
I suggest working with two pencils (one B pencil and one H pencil) with gestures for 5 minutes or more. Start your gesture lines and general shape and larger muscle shapes with the H pencil, Then come in with the B pencil and place in more mussels and basic shapes to fill out your work.
Keep going! You got this.
All the best,
JCML Fine Art
Alrighty will do! So far I've been only using a mechanical pencil but I do believe I should step it up a bit as well. Thank you!
If you like the feel of a mechanical pencil, I would suggest getting yourself a Woodless pencil set.
They are heavier than wood pencils. But! There is no cleaving the wood away to get an excellent artist tip on your pencils. All you'll need is some sandpaper, and off you go.
If you like this idea of using woodless pencils, try Kohinoor- (An excellent range of pencils) or Eveneed - (A more extensive range of pencils, but make sure to get a bit of masking tape and rewrite the hardness or softness level on them as it tends to rub off with use)
However, if you want a full range of pencils, you will have to get the wood ones because woodless pencils don't come in high H numbers.
I hope you enjoy finding your pigment pencil scale.
I think that a key component for you to focus on at this point is the roundness of your figures, as well as the quality of your line. You seem to stick to the contour and outline of a figure, but some attention to the internal structure and depth of the form is key, especially in practice, but really at all times. Try pulling away from the outline and using broad and curvy strokes to give that sense of 3D-ness to the figures. Often preemptively finding the spine, button on the neck, sacral triangle, head, and all of the inner joints helps alot with this sort of thing. Techniques like minute line quality changes and greater understandings of outline can wait until slightly later in your progression. Picking up some soft vine charcoal and bigger pads of really cheap newsprint paper helps alot with this sort of stuff. Gets your arm working up through your elbow and especially your shoulder which is a great departure from the stiff and short-reaching wrist. Charcoal is also much more lenient with layering, so even if you were to draw every single bone and muscle within a form, a little smudging here and there and some over-drawing will give it the illusion of soft skin over real, 3-Dimensional body.
P.S. Try not to be so tentitive with your lines! Don't be afraid to use singular long and attentive strokes rather than little knicks and scratches. Even though those little knicks and scratches definitly have their place. Your long qestural lines may not match up to your reference or how you want them to be at first, but that's alright! The name of the game is making tons of crappy drawings and picking out the ones that stand out and have impact. Do alot of 30 second, 2 minute, five minute, 8 minute, fifteen minute, and thirty minute gestures. Working up in time as you go. Super quick and short drawings are AMAZING for warmups. And warmups help tons!
Sometimes the size of the paper can change your hand. If you work with small sizes like a4 or less, it becomes more challenging to draw from the elbow or wrist.
Why not take their advice and try using size A3 paper or more extensive? I would recommend the A2 paper. It's a nice drawing size to get your whole body involved in the process of drawing.
Wow thats quite a bit but all things I didn't even think about that you brought to the light. Thank you for this information!