Hey there. First time on the forum, I hope I'm in the right place.
For the past while I have been studying anatomy, and I think it's going pretty well! Given a reference photo I can replicate it in a way that I find accurate and visually pleasing and I'm satisfied. However, when I sit down to draw something from imagination, suddenly all of my anatomy knowledge and experience drawing poses seems to evaporate and everything is stiff and the anatomy is nonexistent, never mind the perspective. I guess what I'm trying to say is I'm having trouble translating fundamentals to actual practice. For reference, I'm trying to draw comic art and concept art, so character design, posing characters interacting with each other, and stuff like that.
I know that the response to "I have trouble drawing from imagination" is simply "then draw from reference", but often the images that I need are too specific and I can't find a good reference for them, and/or are multi-person or have too weird of an angle or too different of a body type to be able to take a reference photo of myself.
Does anyone have any advice, stuff that worked for you? Thanks.
I can tell you, what I am trying to do, can't guarantee it's the best way, as I feel like I am not done with it to the amount that I can give a final judgement.
Step 1, I try to focus on simplyfied geometric forms when drawing from reference (over for example fluid dynamic lines or beautiful shapes, or exaggerated poses). I am almost more drawing a posable artist's mascot than a human being, except that on overweight people I also add paunch, breasts or massive thighs as independent "masses", if they are voluminous enough to decisively influence the outline of the body.
Step 2, When I am done with my daily practice, I chose one or two poses, that I like most
Step 3, I try to draw the same pose, but from a different angle. like 90° turned to the left or right, or turned up or down by 45°. I am keeping the OG for comparison, to make sure, that I keep the size and relations identical.
From experience I feel, like this taxes my perspective thinking quite a lot. I think I get the benefit of drawing from reference that way, namely avoiding to settle down on a small range of same-y poses, but I also get the challenge of drawing from "imagination", in that I have to develop a really distinctive concept of the underlying foundation.
The goal is to learn to be able to manipulate a reference, to make it fit my artistic vision.
ATM the time and energy it takes me to "manipulate" a reference in this way feels like 5 to 7 times higher, than straight up drawing it. I hope that practicing this will lower the difference a lot, until manipulating a reference feels natural.
Once I feel satisfied with my practice in this regard, I'll have to check out, whether this solves my problems, or whether I will have to come up with an idea to deepdive more into physiology in regards to human range of motions and body mechanics.