My daily figure drawings (and portraits)

Home Forums Critique My daily figure drawings (and portraits)

This topic contains 10 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Frystorm 4 years ago.

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    First, I will share a few that I did from memory. I've been using line of action for the past 2 years, so I have a lot of the poses in my head...of course, it's hard to recall them without a prompt, but here are a few I just thought off the top of my head yesterday morning before doing the figure sketching.

    now for some of the real figure sketches these are my sketches from Sunday-today, so 3 days though I didn't include all of them. I'll start with 30 second ones. They're kind of messy and some fo the figures are sideways or upside-down, but I hope you can identify them.

    Next, are a few 1 minutes and 2 minute sketches

    then some 5 minute ones

    another 5 minute

    The last one was 5 minutes, but I kind of made a mess so I used the last minute to just make a new one in the corner.

    Finally, a couple of 10 minute sketches

    I also did some portraits today. Then 30 sec drawings.

    five 1 minute drawings

    a a couple of 5 minute drawings

    and one 10 minute drawing

    Any critique is appreciated! I use a felt tip pen to get out of the habit of making very small, tiny strokes and instead try to draw long, confident lines. It also helps that I can't erase so every mark I make, I try to make sure it is necessary. Though sometimes, this strategy doesn't work (like in the final 5 minute figure drawing, I kept going over the centre line/edges of the back), I find that in general it helps me learn.

    I also do some digital sketches, which are easier to share but I'm a lot slower working on a computer, and also it's harder to get good line quality unless I really go slowly.

    Edit:I removed some of the sketches from above and put them below after rotating/cropping some. I also added todays 1-hour class.

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    a few more animal drawings from tonight">


    a few mannequin type practices I did tonight :




    You have a lot of drawings where you’re using a concave (bent in towards bone) line rather than a straight line or a convex (bent outward from bone). If you think you have a concave line, it’s probably a combination of straight lines, tho it’s possible shadow shapes are a little weird in that spot. But mostly muscles don’t bend towards bone, it’s not how they’re structured. Some art teachers will say it’s flat out impossible to have concave, I am always inclined to ask if they’ve ever seen a broken bone ;). But the vast majority of the time, concave will have a subtle or not so subtle wrong feeling.

    I think if you pay closer attention to straight lines, finding straight lines and finding ways to make sense of straight vs (convex) curves you’ll be a lot happier with your results. Bodies have a lot more straightness than you might expect.


    Hello Torrilin.

    First of all, thank you for your advice.

    The only area I (intentionally) add concave lines is for the tibia, or the shin bone, which tends to curve inward a lot. I undertsand the muscle on top still makes the overall shape of the shin convex, as the gastrocnemeus or calf muscle attached,but usually I add it afterwards, or not at all if it's a quick sketch.

    I'll look into making some of my lines straighter. I might have exaggerated a bit too much, as I'm still learning gesture.


    You‘re doing it on femurs and humerus bones too, not just tibia. And you sometimes have it show up along spines, which can definitely look concave in some poses... but I‘ve found for myself it tends to make it easy to get the pelvis anatomy wrong when I try it. Much easier to anchor the S curve if I find the straight part of the S first and get the lower curve from the hip joints and the upper curve from the shoulder joints.

    And I don‘t think it‘s a question of exaggerating too much? Gesture drawings, we draw what moves. If the exaggeration describes the movement, it’s probably fine. Just the number of times where concave is helpful is uh... not as many as my love of S curves would have me believe. Damnit. Curse those 30s poses and their ruthless ability to show me the flaws in my skeleton model!


    What I meant by exaggerating was more like stylizing, in the way that you see anime or comic book characters with typically more-concave-than-usual bodies. I'll try to get a better handle on the basics before attempting it in that way. I see the issue in the thighs. I'll analyze them to make more C curves than S curve to make things appear more realistic..


    I think the thing I'm seeing the most is proportional issues, which I think might be a result of your short pen strokes on those 30 sec to 2 or 5 minute drawings. The thing that a long line does is not just provide a more sweeping gesture, it also defines a lot of space at once. Using short strokes over and over takes a much longer time to define the same amount of area. What this does is, one those short-timed sessions, gives you less time to actually consider the form and how things are spaced.

    My suggestion would be to take a few seconds just to consider the form, draw the head and the angle of the neck, then draw the largest defining curve you can find. Then stop. Consider the form again, the distance between that line and the next most defining curve. When you've determined the distance, draw that line and reconsider the form. It doesn't take as much time as you'd think, and it helps you consider the whole form rather than one particular area. In this way it may not only help with your overall proportions, but also with making the sketch feel more cohesive and composed.

    If you haven't seen his stuff already, I draw heavily from the site Proko which has a lot of amazing drawing tutorials for free. The one I revisit when I'm having trouble with these kinds of things is his How to Draw Gesture - Step by Step tutorial. All of them are good though.

    Congrats on the 2 year track record by the way! That's absolutely fantastic. Happy drawing!


    Yeah, as proko also says, getting proportions right is usually more important for longer drawings (more than 10 minutes), so moving forward, I think I'll follow that rule. I've known about it for a long time, but I actually only just reached the proportion section. So mainly, I was focused on getting down the gesture, though you're right, the proportions require a bit more care for longer drawings.

    I don't think my pen strokes are short as a rule:there might be a couple of drawings where that's true and quite possibly the digital ones are, but that is because it's pretty hard to get a clean line on a tiny tablet. Ultimately, the solution to that for me is to have more construction in my drawing either with pencil or with a lighter line using a pen, or remove that problem completely by having multiple layers on a digital drawing (I'll still have to do the stroke eventually, with an even smaller drawing surface).

    Also I think that drawing big with graphite can help me get out out of that habit, I've got a big sketchbook so I'll try to visit some life drawing classes with that, since I've pretty much only been using this website for figures the past couple of years (but it's still very useful as I can practice every day, whereas even when I was drawing from life, I would go at most once a week).

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