More alive and fluid

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Pastabrother 2 years ago.

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    My goal in the last months was to achive more fluid and alive drawings. I think I managed that to some extent. Here some examples ...

    Can you give me some feedback where to still improve or if I should / I am ready to concentrate more on anatomy...


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    Hello, Pasta! I do think you achieved some fluidity in these drawings! Though I feel they are pretty stiff, and I believe it's due to the fact you are adding details in the beginning stages of your drawing, which can cause your drawings to look stiff and make your proportions look off. For example, the second image: His legs are small compared to the rest of the body, which might of been caused by running out of space on the paper, which leads into my second critique:

    The drawings are too big on the paper. Don't get me wrong, drawing big like this isn't bad! Only when creating finished pieces, though. Since most of the exercises on this site are for creating quick sketches, drawing big isn't necessary. To combat this I recommend doing thumbnail sketches! Thumbnail sketches are tiny quick sketches used for capturing the pose and getting proportions right, before going on to the final illustration, or in this case, sketch. Depending on the time limit, you will most likely have enough time to do a tiny sketch of the pose, and then doing it again, but this time bigger. Or, you can practice doing some of the exercises small, and others big. That way you can have more sketches on one page! And can show contrast between sketches, but in my opinion that's not all that important right now.

    I recommend checking out an article from Hbeats Art about thumbnail sketching (Warning! The page does contain some lude/smexy art! But it's still a good read for learning more about thumbnail sketching and how to do it!), I recommend checking this out for more information about thumbnail sketching!


    Another thing that impacts the fluidity of a drawing is the shading and line quality. I noticed that you blend almost all of the shadings on the drawing, which gives it a soft look. That's not a bad thing! Some art styles do well with this kind of soft look. But for realism, that's sadly not the case. There are both soft and hard shadows on the human figure. Usually, hard shadows can be used to define muscles, and show that something is in front of an object. Soft shadows can be used to blend the hard shadows, but don't do it too much or you might get that soft look again! I'm not very good with shading, so try doing more longer exercises trying to find the hard and soft shadows specifically!

    I can see that your lines don't feel very confident. They feel very rough and firm, which takes away from the fluidity of the drawing. They also have a soft look in some spots, which could be due to the blending. All you have to do for that is go over the lines again to make them darker. Gaining confidence in your lines is something even I still struggle with. A tip I can give you is before you start working on exercises for the day, trying making short lines and long lines on the paper. Do them quick! Don't do them slowly. Trying being quick and lose. Try holding your pencil/pen a different way each time to see if you can find a position that's more comfortable for you when making these lines.

    The last tip I can give is using an under sketch, which ties back in to the first critique I gave you. To me, it doesn't look like you used an under sketch, which is basically the basic shapes that make up the drawing. Example, circle/oval for the head, oval for the rib cage etc. Making an under sketch will help you with placement of the features, and getting the overall feeling of the drawing before going to add details. These sketches should be light and not super dark! They aren't a finished drawing, but will help you make a finished piece! If you have trouble making light lines, then repeat the exercise I mentioned above, but instead trying to make lighter lines. Try holding the pencil more farther back to easily create light lines! And don't forget to be lose! This will help a lot with fluidity and will overall make your drawings much better!


    Try not to add details too early in the sketching process

    Try to make your drawings more smaller, use thumbnail sketching!

    Article that goes more in depth:

    Use both hard and soft shadows! Try not too over blend, look at reference!

    Gain more confident lines! Before exercises, try drawing some lines on the paper, do it quick and not slow!

    Before adding details, use an under drawing! Use basic shapes, and sketch lightly! Use same excerise as above, but drawing lightly! Hold pencil further back to get more lighter lines!

    Overall, I think you do rather good! The third image is the most fluid in my opinion! And the fourth image portrays emotion really nicely! I didn't go to in depth with proportions because that's more of an anatomy thing, and you will get better at proportions by drawing everyday and making connections on how things look on the body! I hope my critiques helped you, and I apologize for it being so long lol. You are doing a great job so far, keep it up!



    Good morning, Pastabrother, how are you doing this morning? I love so much on how much vitality and energy you've got going in your caricature and exaggeration of the poses and gestures. So far so great. I love how much fluidity and life and intrinsic motivation you'd gotten pent up into your poses. Very, very, very, VERY great job indeed. Push yourself.

    I love how much of the bone structure in your anatomy in your female semi-nude figure in underwear, but I think, really, where is the skeleton? Would you kindly loosen up your skeleton practice with 5 minutes of 30 second skeleton images, all flipped vertically? Your right side of the brain could be obviously applied to your quicker studies in your gestures of the anatomy. There's more! Your skeletal structures will be able to get more looser and evern more stylized. For more help into your anatomy inspiration, look this up, it can help you out very much.

    Great luck and great practicing out of your artist's block.


    Thank you both for your feedback... It is very helpfull.

    @ Darlin I dont mind the length... No need to appoligize. A really appriciate the in depth respond.

    I want to add that I do a lot of smaller and faster sketching and drawing.

    But in the end my goal is that these excercises should show in my more detailed drawings... So I posted more "finished" examples.

    Never the less thanks for the link and suggestions... Also about the Power of the end of paper. I accept the challenge and put more drawings at the corner or draw a box and finish a drawing in these bounderies... to learn more to see beyond the paperline...

    @ poly.... You absolutely got me there... I dont like skeleton drawing... I allways avoid them ... .... .... So you are right... It is absolutly the right moment to jump right into it...

    In the end where one struggles the most... There is also the place to learn the most...

    All the Best



    Hi Pastabrother

    i think we have to start understanding the figure drawing as a tridimensional object, composed by squares, triangles, piramids, circles and cubes.

    This way you can understand the points of perspective aplied to some positions of the human figure.

    to start may help "Tridimensional drawing" by Andrew Loomis and the sinix videos about the figure drawing.

    Dont stop practicing!!



    I would first like to state that I think you are definitely heading in the right direction for fluidity! Your drawings do still seem a little bit on the stiffer side, but I believe a bit of exaggeration will do you wonders! Maybe try going back to and practicing the absolute basics of 30 second gesture poses, and only focus on the line of action! This could really help you visualize the pose in a simplified way, and then you could try exaggerating it!


    Hi, PastaBrother!

    I know you've already gotten a lot of critique on this, but I would just like to add some things I think might be helpful. First off, I would like to say I like how expressive your drawings feel. It's like you can tell how they breathe just by their stance.

    After looking at both your final, more detailed sketches and your quicker pieces, I think you should try working on creating longer, more continuous lines rather than the small scratchy ones you currently do. This will help form a pose that's a lot less stiff and rigid. It also saves you less time in the long run, even with your more detailed poses. I think it would help to sketch it in your head first by just looking at the image and then start your piece after.

    Along with that, while your sketches are very good and well detailed, they lack depth and perspective. Currently, your image can make it look like they're supposed to be facing a certain way, but then you're placing the feet or the arms along the same invisible line. It helps if you draw inside a cube for some poses or put three lines or an oval where the feet should be.


    Thank you all. I got a lot of feedback for this post and i can profit from all your expirience.

    I noticed for myself that my lines are not that fluent. Interesstingly they flow much better when i draw from my Imagination only and not from a reference. It is maybe a trust issue.

    Thanks for your ideas with the box/cube or for more line training ... I do that.


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