First two drawings I've done in about two years after medical problems prevented me from drawing; how did I do?

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Amarin Reyny 1 year ago.

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    So, as the title says, I've spent about two years unable to draw due to medical problems. Now that I have some equipment to make those medical problems easier to deal with, I've started to get back into drawing. So far, I've made two sketches - one in the more "comic book realism" (not sure what else to call it) style I'm more accustomed to, and the other being my very first-ever attempt at making a "chibi" drawing.

    How did I do? Anything I did wrong? Anything I could have done better? Anything I should practice going forward? Anything I did right?

    The first picture is here. Content warning, though - it does depict a face with an open hole in the cheek.

    The second picture is here.

    Thank you!

    • Amarin Reyny edited this post on January 24, 2023 2:36am. Reason: Typo correction
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    Good evening, Amarin Reyny, and welcome back, and greatest job on your comic book realism- and your chibi-style sketches, but it's OK to be taking a break from drawing for two years because of your medical condition, which I wouldn't get into too much. Great work on your first attempts in two years. Please keep moving forward in hour drawing myelin sheaths.

    Yet still, I'm not getting enough of that funniest grotesquerie in your gesturally graphic lines or shapes. How would you kindly free up your observation and caricature with 5 minutes of 30 second poses and faces and expressions? The reason is because, it's a skill that you could and would and should develop for several years or so, if you can. And furthermore, your drawings and cartoons will become less stiffer and the most dynamic, vital and full of energy. And if your wanna know some more, be sure to look into the Betty Edwards books, like Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, and Drawing on the Artist Within. Look into the text and illustrations and do some 1 minute warm-up doodles in gesture form and blind contour form, too. Not to mention the section on the upside down drawing exercise, which emphasizes emphatically the concept, which some people find a bit dated, on the L-Mode and R-Mode. More on another commment.

    Good night, and good luck and great health on you and your march of progress.


    I'm afraid I'm not so good at the sort of spontaneous, quick thinking that would enable me to draw a pose or expression in 30 seconds, let alone do that repeatedly for 5 minutes. Executive dysfunction from ADD makes letting go of one task and starting a new one very difficult, at least when ideal conditions are not met - there are times when it's bad enough that I can't even get up to go to the bathroom. That, and I'm a rather slow, methodical, analytical sort, likely due to a combination of C-PTSD* and being autistic. I'm great at thinking thoroughly, but I get overwhelmed easily, and often shut down, when I have to think quickly. All in all, for each drawing, it took several days in a row of anxiously ditting at the table, trying to gather the nerves necessary to finally put pencil to paper.

    I'm not saying that I absolutely won't practice in the ways you've suggested; rather, I was wondering if you had any alternative suggestions which might work better for me than the ones you've suggested already.

    That said, I thank you for your reply, and I appreciate your willingness to help.

    *(More details here, which provide further useful information for figuring out a better alternative for me to use for practice, or if such an alternative even exists, but which may be triggering to some readers)

    • Amarin Reyny edited this post on January 24, 2023 4:50am. Reason: Further clarification
    • Amarin Reyny edited this post on January 24, 2023 5:01am. Reason: Re-wording to remove a presumption and to more honestly accommodate the uncertainty regarding knowledge I do not have
    • Amarin Reyny edited this post on January 24, 2023 4:00pm. Reason: Further elaboration on difficulty

    So, after considering your suggestions, as well as the suggestions given by Sivreayyl via a private message, and the various tips I've found after doing my own research, it's pretty clear that there's a common element of learning to make motions with the elbow, rather than the wrist, to practice gesture drawing. As mentioned before, I do have some mental hurdles regarding this, but as I told Siv, I was planning on seeking advice from my therapist to overcome these mental hurdles, and allow myself to be better able to practice using the recommended 30 second drawing exercises.

    Unfortunately, a winter storm I was not expecting prevented me from having my scheduled session with her this week, along with preventing me from accessing the internet to any meaningful extent. Since Wednesday morning, I had nothing but one other bit of info I learned from my online research, which was that making lines thicker where they intersect is one way to make drawings less stiff. I decided that practicing that was a better use of my time than doing nothing at all, so I did some additional work on the lines of one of the drawings I have already shown you.

    My internet connection has been restored as of this afternoon, though, and even though it's not at all the same as what you and Siv had recommended, I'd like to ask if the additional line work I did, which can be seen here, is at least somewhat of an improvement over what I had done before, and/or if it's at least somewhat of a step in the right direction, regardless of how small of a step it is. Personally, I'd say the eye looks better than it did before, but I'm no expert.

    I still plan to ask my therapist for help with overcoming the mental hurdles that have kept me from doing the 30-second drawing exercises, though I am wondering about one other thing... This body I occupy is extremely tense at all times, to the point where I've described its motions as "similar to those of a clockwork automaton meant to resemble a zombified penguin." That said, would such tension cause any problems when practicing the gesture drawing, or would it make no difference? And, if it does make a difference, do you, or does anyone else, have advice on what to do about that?

    • Amarin Reyny edited this post on January 27, 2023 8:55pm. Reason: Better wording

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