Drawing Without Understructure

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Torrilin 4 years ago.

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    I've always tended to rely pretty heavily on some form of understructure in my art, but lately I've been trying to break away from that for a few reasons. I often feel like my work is very stiff, and that I'm not drawing as efficiently as I could, sometimes requirking well over an hour of tweaks and revisions just to construct a simple pose.

    I feel like pushing myself to draw in a less constructionist way will help alleviate some of these issues, as well as forcing me to improve my eye for spacial relationships and shape design. A lot of my favorite art lately is drawn like this, and to me it just feels a lot more elegant and expressive. Ultimately I'd like to get into animation and comics and so being able to work quickly express complex forms with simple, effective lines is important to me.

    My questions are A) does anyone know some good ways to practice this, beyond just what's offered here, and B) am I jumping the gun? Should I spend more time mastering the constructionist method before I start trying to simplify?

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    I think it's good to keep practicing both. I often make a very loose drawing, follow it up with construction shapes, refine those shapes, and then do the detail work. It may perform the poses you want to draw and kind of get the feel of what it's actually like to be in that pose. You can have someone else take pictures of you so you have a more personalized reference than what you can find online?

    You can also just do doodle excercises such as like- theres one where you just draw a scribble and build off of it

    I'm sure there's other exercises for loosening up you could just google


    I’m not sure what you mean by construction here?

    If I’m inventing a pose while doodling, it’s often very difficult. A 100% invented pose with no reference is just hard. A pose where I have some reference but I need to invent or fill in details is still hard, but less so. A pose where I have multiple reference shots is easier. A pose where I have reference shots I took myself and i added reference as needed is easiest.

    It often happens when I’m drawing from my own photos that I find a conventional set of reference shots don’t work for what I want.

    And if you look at what comics artists and animators say, they rely on having reference. Loads of it. They’re usually not making up a pose or scene out of whole cloth. Plus they usually put in a lot of time in on drawing from life, both in class format and in a more urban sketching format.

    Construction is more usually about finding ideal forms in a real thing. Definitely it applies to drawing people but if you’re relying on it for whole poses rather than teasing out how muscles work it’s probably gonna feel clunky and slow and repetitive.

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