I feel like I'm plateauing

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Jcmlfineart 2 years ago.

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    Stuck in a rut, feedback and adivce much appreciated.

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    Practice is always the key to remove yourself from plateuing.
    I myself feel like being plateued from time to time, but I look back my sketchbook I did year ago: I discovered myself I have improved from that year till today.

    I admire especially your hand sketches, they are smoother to see (than what I do, hehe)

    On two images, you're getting hand of the artist style of sketching, really handy for practicing and starting out!

    Keep movin


    Maybe you could benefit from studying your favorite artists. I found that studying styles I like usually shakes me up a bit and pushes me to experiment more.
    You're already practicing, so just like Lan G said, you might not know how much you improved until you look back at your old works!


    I think maybe youa re too stuck on details and not paying enough attention to the structure nd proportins. I would recommend staying away from detail completly until the form feels right. When you feel you are getting more of the dynamics of the poses in your drawings, you can start adding more details on top of the structure. Detail such as hair, eyelashes, and outline of the lips will alwas be the least importnt thing in your drawing and if you focus on it when youa re learning, your understanding of form and stucture will not progress the way you want it to.


    First of all, your hands are really clean and neat. Way better than your heads and poses.

    Looking at your poses, I think the problem starts with your underdrawings. You draw one circle-ish form, about head sized or a tiny touch bigger at the point where the neck meets the torso to represent the ribcage, than a loooong spine, then another tiny form that is more square-ish to represent the hip. Then you draw a body over it following your old habits.

    That is not how a torso works, and that is not how an underdrawing works. Ribcage and hip almost completely determine the shape of a torso. Touch your sides, feel the distance between your lowest rib and the upper bone of your hip. Unless you are in a reeeally awkward overstretched position, you have a hard time fitting an entire hand between them.

    I highly recommend proko.com "Figure Drawing Fundamentals" course, where I learned a lot, but from my memory one of the first lessons is "the bean". Draw an egg-like shape that represents the entirety of the upper torso, draw a circle, that represents the entirety of the hip, then join them like a sock, into which you had put two spheres. It resembles a literal bean very much. Try to make them look 3-dimensional like two real spheres, that are closely connected. Look at the sides, that connect them, often one side is pinched in, while the other is stretched out.

    Don't draw anything else, until you are really used to it, instead just start the next draft for practice.

    With your heads, you kinda try to use the Loomis method, but you don't really do. You start with a sphere and draw a face over it. Loomis has this whole procedure: Start with a sphere, find the browline from eyebrows to the tip of the ears, draw a center line, determine cutouts at the side of the head, etcetera, etcetera.

    I know, I struggled with finding those cut-outs, too, but they actually are important, as they help determine the height of the nose and the chinline, things that you are wildly guessing about. hairline to browline is 1/3 of the face, browline to tip of the nose is 1/3, tip of the nose to chin is 1/3. Chinline goes up to the ear, which is in the lower back quarter of the cut-outs for the sides of the head.

    Maybe read up on the Loomis method. Mr. Loomis original book can be found as a free pdf on the net, and there is at least a dozen youtube tutorials teaching the Loomis method step by step.

    Bit of a warning, Loomis heads are idealized, when drawing from reference you will find, that natural heads don't always follow his proportions 100%, but understanding his method still gives a good starting point.

    Oh, and don't worry about quickdrawing while practicing Loomis. Following all this steps will take its time, don't hurry. Stop the timer or switch back when the reference changes. But really stick to drawing the foundational structure, don't spend time on embellishments before you are really comfortable with finding the size and position of all the features of the face from every angle.



    I would try working with lighter pencils. It looks like you are using a "B" Pencil and that you press somewhat hard onto the page. I would suggest that you work on the essence of your line quality.

    Using an "H" pencil, it is easy to "scratch" the page when you press too hard. When that happens, and you erase then make another mark over it, the mistake mark is more apt to show. This will force you to think about the pressure you place on your pencil. It will also make you more sensitive to the line quality you create on the page.

    Also, since it is so light, it is easy to come in with darker pencils to make a drawing more dramatic if you find you got the excellent basics to make a fab drawing.

    One last reminder. The brain is incredible. We don't need to draw every line. You can remove half or a quarter of the outer lines of the object, and most of the time, the brain will fill in the blanks. That means we do not need to outline the whole of the drawing. Just sections we feel are the most important to the visual story we are creating.

    I hope you find some drawing nuggets here to help you move on to the next stage in your pigment adventure. (Also, Know I fall prey to some of the same issues you have. You are not alone.)

    All the best,

    JCML Fine Art

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