Figure drawing training but I feel like I'm running in circles, advice please?

Home Forums Critique Figure drawing training but I feel like I'm running in circles, advice please?

This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Meijiisconfused 2 months ago.

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    I'd like some critique on 2 sessions of 30 minute figures I just finished doing.

    Also I'd gladly want to hear some insights about my progression so far, am I going into the right direction at all ? I feel like I'm plateauing or getting worse and worse sometimes, but that might be just me.

    For example here are 30 minute figure sessions I've made from nearly 1 month ago.

    I've also been updating my sketchbook for the past week and trying to incorporate critique I receive, here are the works I've posted so far:

    Thank you in advance

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    Well, Meijiis, I've looked at your 30 minute sesh drawings, and I think that your plasticity of your loosest lines are on the right track, but I really and completely feel that there's not totally enough flexibility and plasticity to your lines of action and rhythm yet. Why don't you please speed up your sketch rhythms by experimenting with 35 mins of 29 second sketches, all from our custom timer here? (35x60=2100/29≈about 72 sketches)

    The actual reason behind this thing is because you can and will be able to observe and sketch with the most organic flow and plasticity of the graphic forces, or forms or shapes. Hope this has informed and inspired you the most best.

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    Alrighty dude. I am actually super familiar with your situation. I've spun my wheels for a long time, drawing for years and never feeling any progress. I quit art entirely for a little while and only jumped back into it the past year. Its really rough. And it can especially suck when the art advice you get constantly is just "draw more" and "It takes time". Both of those things are true, but they aren't motivating and they don't give you direction and direction is one of the most important things to know when you want to know how to draw.

    Now cut yourself some slack. The art you drew a month ago was with a thin line pen technique that you are probably more familiar with while your newer one is using a technique you just don't know as well. Its gonna look a little rougher and thats alright. These are STUDIES. They aren't always going to look great. WHat's important is that you try to LEARN something from them.

    And you have learned something! Look at your five minute drawings that you just drew compared to about a month ago!

    The form on your newer stuff is SO MUCH BETTER. Your lines are sooo much more confident. THe older ones are a scribbly mess while, your later pieces look so much more organic, 3D and less like you are guessing where to put your lines.

    Thin scribbly lines are fun, BUT they often trick your eyes into just seeing the lines that work. SO many of your older 30 second to minute gestures work because you just put so many marks down its easier to pick which ones to develope more. That trick doesn't work with the thicker brush. You have to consciously think about every line.

    You are better at drawing the line of Action in the older 30 second pieces because you redraw with that sketchy thin line and that holds most of your figures together. Your newer thirty second pieces I can tell you kind of panic, try to add all the things you could before and then the lines get all kerfuffled.

    Your newer minute long gestures though, still have most of the same energy as your older work and thats impressive considering they are made with less lines.

    Your ten minute pieces are just simply over rendered in your recent work. You are trying to capture the same level of detail as you could with thin lines and thats just not possible, not with a scribbly technique. Concentrate on getting the building blocks of a figure correct when you have longer pieces.

    TLDR Advice for next time:

    Keep the thicker brush, I think its working.

    For 30 second drawings: Don't forget the line of action. Messing up is okay, just remember to correct yourself and don't get too ambitious

    For 60 Second Drawings: You are kind of nailing them. Try pushing the poses more and try not to scritch the lines and mark them solidly.

    For 5 Minute Drawings: Try to remember the whole figure. Keep your limb lengths in mind.

    For 10 Minute Drawings: Get the basic figure correct before adding the shading and details. Don't be afraid to draw them bigger.

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    Thank you both of you for the helpful feedback!


    Well I can say this, despite not feeling it yourself your figures from recent practices do look more fluid and dynamic than the ones months ago. They feel animated almost. Its also important to remeber (and this is something I struggle with a lot) that progress isnt going to be linear. The trend will be upwards but there will be day to day differences, and thats ok.

    One thing I might suggest for you to do though, if you want to break the stagnancy, is do some figure practice but narrow your focus in from the entire body. Im noticing your anatomy, especially arms and legs is very extreme and often looks warped. This gives a fluid look to your drawings which i love, but perhaps it would be prudent for you really focus in on the anatomy of different parts of the body to better refine and control this, allowing you more precise expression

    Another possible way for you to break your rut is take a completely different subject matter for a while. Im noticing that in your sketchbook (or at least what youve shared) that your work is almost exclusively figure studies, making taking some time to work on faces, or hands or animals or even looking beyond this website and doing still lives, environments, style studies. Or even simply approaching poses in a different way like trying to get it down using painting features in your digital program instead of drawing lines. If you keep doing the same thing over and over again, your going to feel stuck in a rut. Going to something else for a bit, and then coming back to figure studies later after its had time to marinate might help a lot in seeing what your doing with new eyes.

    I hope any piece of this is helpful. Your stuff is really striking a fluid, and Im excited to see what you can do as you continue to refine your work!

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    Hello Sci Girl,

    Indeed, I should really focus on anatomy more, I've already ordered an anatomy book (the one from Michael Mattesi since I'm a great fan of his teachings) so this will be one of my priorities real soon!

    I also wanted to say that I'm also doing a bunch of completely different things asides from figures and line work like value studies, color studies, face sessions, hands sessions, brushes experimentation, original pieces, OC characters, animals, monsters, and the list goes on...

    I just like don't want to "spam" the site with my work and I especially wanted to get critiqued on what I struggle the most in art : drawing the figure and giving life to it

    But you're still right I think, I should maybe take a break from the figure in general once in a while and then come back.

    Thanks for the advices!

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