Hello, I very recently started drawing again and on a tablet. I would like to draw full bodies and be able to bring characters specifically fantasy characters to life. My main struggle right now is I am overwhelmed and don't know where to start? With gesture drawing I don't know where to start with it and seeing the whole body by brain explodes perhaps start drawing body parts? I know a bunch of people will read this and face palm and say just draw, but I feel its more than that I want to go in the right direction. I guess I should start out with drawing skeletons? In any case any helpful tips or advice is much appreciated for this lost soul.
I suggest learning to draw the head first as that is often the most important part of a drawing and it is important to nail that down. From there move to neck, shoulder, arms and simple hand shape, then move to pelvis, legs, and feet. Feet and Hands is okay to start with simple shapes and study them separately since they are really hard to draw and need time to learn them separately.
This is a 'formula' my teacher suggested to me:
1. Draw head
2. Learn a body part attached to the head and draw that body part independently
3. Draw head with the added body part
4. Repeat 2&3
Do note some think it is better to learn the general shape of the human body first then go into detail into each parts individually.
The books I recommend is How to Draw drawing and sketching objects by Scott Robertson, Figure Drawing by Michael Hampton, and Force: Either Anatomy or Figure Drawing by Mike Mattesi. Scott Robertson's book are a general drawing guide which is super helpful, Figure Drawing is about Anatomy and figure drawing, and Force is about making your figure drawing more expressive and creative.
As for learning the anatomy itself tracing the bones helped me alot. After you are comfortable with the bones add muscle then try to draw it without any help. There are also many guides online teaching anatomy. This might be controversial but I suggest not paying money for it since I think the free anatomy lesson are just as good as the paid ones. Proko on youtube is great and I think there was one here that was really helpful too.
As for hands I recommend instead of drawing hands itself, first draw a mitten and draw fingers underneath it(kind of like a x-ray). or start just drawing finger bones. Then when you got the general shape down try drawing the hand.