Daily Gesture Practice =)

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This topic contains 22 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by Torrilin 8 months ago.

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  • #2858

    Hello everyone, it's my first time posting on this forum. I'm an aspiring professional artist (mostly comics and illustrations) and I'm trying to improve my skills with some gesture drawing. The main problem I have with my finished drawings is that they feel stiff and unnatural to me, so I'm praticing gestures everyday to try and become more fluid and instinctive. Any feedback is deeply appreciated! =)

    EDIT: I'll post the images in the thread below, but I'll keep the links here so you can quickly access all of them from the same place. :P

    15-9-2015 Session

    16-5-2018 Session

    17-9-2018 Session

    18-9-2018 Session

    19-9-2018 Session

    20-9-2018 Session

    21-9-2018 Session

    24-9-2018 Session

    25-9-2018 Session

    26-9-2018 Session

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    #2860

    Hi Mike,

    This is also my first time using this forum :) I've been getting back to basics in my own work and gaining a better understanding of how strong depiction of gesture leads to more interesting and beleivable figures. Your figures are excellent - anatomically, proportions look correct and there's a clear understanding of underlying bone and muscle structure. In terms of gesture - you do nice work showing how the body parts flow into one another and where the main thrust of energy is going - the three figures on the second page are especially nice for this (the one with the woman arching back on the ground at the top). The only area that jumps out at me where I see improvement is that I'm not always seeing where the weight of the figure is that anchors them to the ground, making the overall pose less believable. For instance, first page, woman in C shape, last page, woman leg up, I don't really beleive that they're standing with their weight on the grounded foot.

    Best,

    Serena

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    #2863

    Nice work. Accurate proportions and lines, you seem to be able to find the correct curves very quickly.

    Regading the impression of stiffness: I'm getting the same feeling from your drawings than from academic illustrations.

    Very realistic, but somehow missing a bit of a "spark of life".

    That can be a direction for your drawings, and I can think of several comics authors who draw this way (Edgar P. Jacobs, Jean Giraud, ...).

    If you want to get your drawings more flexible, what i would suggest is to try the 30s drawings: This way you can focus only on the main lines, the ones carrying movement.

    I guess you need to go down to 30s, seeing the quality of what you draw in 2min!

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    #2872

    Thanks for the feedback Serena and Love =D

    I have the problem of "planting the feet right" sometimes, I'll try to be more effective at discharging the weight of the figure on the ground. I always had a very cartoonish style but I'm trying to get more realistic now, that doesn't help with my drawings feeling cold I guess XD

    I used the "class" feature today for pratice, with 10 figures at 30 seconds and then progressively longer pauses. I'm probably doing something wrong, but I'm really slow and I can't really put down the whole figure with only 30 seconds =(. 1 Minute is the bare minimum I need to figure out the silhouette

    16 - 9 - 2018 practice "Class mode".

    #2876

    Sanne
    Moderator

    Hey Mike!

    Your gestures today look really good, I like them a lot!

    I used the "class" feature today for pratice, with 10 figures at 30 seconds and then progressively longer pauses. I'm probably doing something wrong, but I'm really slow and I can't really put down the whole figure with only 30 seconds =(. 1 Minute is the bare minimum I need to figure out the silhouette

    Fun fact: you're not really supposed to get the whole figure down in 30 seconds! You're really meant to capture the action lines of the figure. Here's an article that explains why and how:

    What happens if 30 seconds isn't enough?

    I've been trying to pinpoint the reason your gestures look very fluid, but at the same time lack something. I'm wondering if it might be the necks? I can't help but feel that some of them are uncomfortably arched and contradicting the action line of the body sometimes. An example is the figure on the very bottom center at 5 minutes. There's a lot of good motion going on, but the neck feels stiff.

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    #2880

    Kim
    Moderator

    I would go even further and say: If a day comes when you CAN get an entire figure down in 30 seconds, switch to 10 or 5 second warm-up excercises. The purpose of the 30-seconders is to teach your brain to see the essence of the pose and force it to prioritize what's most important to communicating that feeling or movement. If you can draw a whole body, you have to make WAY fewer hard choices about what's "essential" or "core" :)

    Back to your other drawings: I'm really enoying the way you've captured special patches of light on the figures by just circling them. It gives them a much more 3D appearance without the need for actual shading. I think I'm going to try doing more of that myself, now that your drawings have reminded me of it!

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    #2888

    I've been trying to pinpoint the reason your gestures look very fluid, but at the same time lack something. I'm wondering if it might be the necks? I can't help but feel that some of them are uncomfortably arched and contradicting the action line of the body sometimes. An example is the figure on the very bottom center at 5 minutes. There's a lot of good motion going on, but the neck feels stiff.

    Thanks for the feedback =D. I think that's probably because of my habit of drawing the torso and hips first to give the body the direction, then I draw the neck and head after that :P When I have more time and I can be more accurate and I can place it better, but if I'm in a rush it doesn't work well ^^"

    Back to your other drawings: I'm really enoying the way you've captured special patches of light on the figures by just circling them. It gives them a much more 3D appearance without the need for actual shading. I think I'm going to try doing more of that myself, now that your drawings have reminded me of it!

    Thanks a lot =) My teacher suggexted me to use that method, because it allows you to block out the volumes faster. It's quite useful when drawing comics and you're on a deadline :P I'm still not very good at it though ahah.

    Today session, 17-9-2018. I tried to be more loose, especially with the 30 seconds ones, I still can't free myself from drawing contours, it's an habit deeply engraved in my brain XD.

    #2898

    Hi MikeKatar :)

    It's looking good!

    It looks like you do know what to do and I really like your line.

    But I feel like the more you look at the reference your hand become stiff. There's something in your 2 min drawing which is more flowing.

    I would recommend to search after the line of action and try to keep you free hand you might have when you do the 2 min drawings.

    keep going :)

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    #2907

    I feel like the more you look at the reference your hand become stiff. There's something in your 2 min drawing which is more flowing.

    Thanks Avibu! See, that's exactly what I'm talking about T_T When I refine my sketches and refine drawing they become sooooo stiff, it's really frustrating. I try to be loose and let the arm make the gesture, but then I lose something along the way and I can't really figure out how to fix that. And I've been practicing for years T_T

    18-9-2018 class session

    #2930

    Moar practice. For the last one I cheated a bit and I stopped the timer, because I appreciated the subject quite a bit *cough*. It was more like 20 minutes XD

    19-9-2018 class session.

    #2931

    Hi Mike, great work! I struggle with my figures becoming stiff as well and have talked to others on this site who struggle too. What has helped me is using a brush to do my inking with (you can get brush pens too if you don't want to deal with the mess), it keeps things looking fluid. I think part of it is the desire to make the image clean, and as a result I lose some of that great motion my figures have. With gestures there's less pressure to create a perfect image and you have less time to overwork the drawing. I think when we are more decisive and quick about creating lines the less stiff the image become. That's just my input on it anyway, hope it helps!

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    #2947

    Thanks Madammallow =) I like brushes but they're kinda of a mess to use and require a lot of time and practice ^^" I'll try them this Inktober for sure (by the way is there a section for stuff like that here on the site?).

    Today session 20-9-1028

    #2952

    Kim
    Moderator

    I'm loving watching these. I DO think you're making progress!

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    #2963

    I'm loving watching these. I DO think you're making progress!

    Thanks a lot =). Truth be told, I'm really frustrated with my skill level these days. When I draw from reference it seems like I finally got it, at last I understand how it works! Then I draw from imagination and it sucks XD.

    Today session 21-9-2018. Am I spamming too much? Should I post only every few days to avoid clogging the forum with my thread? I think a daily sketchbook would be great but I don't think this is the right forum section for it, right?

    #2964

    Sanne
    Moderator

    Thanks a lot =). Truth be told, I'm really frustrated with my skill level these days. When I draw from reference it seems like I finally got it, at last I understand how it works! Then I draw from imagination and it sucks XD.

    That makes total sense to me, they're two different skillsets! Being able to draw from reference requires a different way of drawing than drawing from the imagination. But the best way to learn how to draw from your imagination is by having that 'drawing what you see' as a basis where you deconstruct and understand the figure. Drawing from life is chapter 1, drawing from the mind is chapter 2, so to speak!

    You also need to keep in mind that the two key components to improval are time and practice. Practicing is necessary of course, but you also need to allow yourself to take your time doing so. You're also seeing your drawings every practice session, so it's harder to see your own progress. (Think of it like seeing a 2 year old child grow and age - if you see the child every day, you won't notice their growth until there's a sudden click in your head of recognition. But you also can't expect a 2 year old to age to age 5 in just a single year. The same is true for your progress and skills, you won't see growth in your work for a while, but when you do you also need to remember that there's only so much progress you can make in that period of time.)

    Learning art takes time. It's different for everyone how much time it takes to reach certain milestones, but we don't ever really stop learning. So be kind to yourself and your progress - I compared your first post's drawing to your most recent one, and I can definitely see areas where you've learned a lot in a short amount of time. The small improvements you made matter just as much, even if they're hard for you to see. It's okay to recognize and appreciate them!

    Today session 21-9-2018. Am I spamming too much? Should I post only every few days to avoid clogging the forum with my thread? I think a daily sketchbook would be great but I don't think this is the right forum section for it, right?

    It's totally fine to keep this topic updated with daily drawings! It's not spam at all. :) Your first post shows up in the random critique queue only though (as it's posted in the Critique forum), not your responses, so if there's a piece that you really want separate critique for I recommend dedicating its own topic to it. Updating the same forum to keep a daily gesture journal however is absolutely okay and a good way to keep track of your progress without overwhelming other people's critique topics.

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