Where to go, general feedback for my drawing summary of march

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Aunt Herbert 3 weeks ago.

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    Hi everybody

    It is some time since I posted here in critique ...

    I draw for some time now... I try to practice different things ... like figure drawing, line of action but also a lot of fast sketching when I am in the train, drinking coffee or when i am not tired in the night... mostly by hand ... sometimes with a wacom one.

    I would love to have some general feedback how to proceed, what to do in the next months... this is a collection of some of my drawings, I did them in february or march 2024. I tried to choose different styles to show an accurate representation, so a little bit of everything. These are photos so they my not be perfectly aligned...

    I am not an artist, so this is my hobby and my time is sadly rather limited and to have fun is my primary objective.

    I would also appriciate specific things for individual drawings if you like, some general findings if you find commen cause failiures and also advise for a books, good online ressources and maybe what kind of courses to take to further improve. I hope I didn't took up to many nasty habbits. I didn't have much art education... only 20 years back when I was still in school.

    Here the link... beware it is quite a lot ...


    Thx for your feedback and support.

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    I am afraid there is a problem with your link. I get a 404 page not found from imgur.


    Reposted it and I had to change the setting to public... don't know why it was only working for me.

    Hope it works now.


    OK, first observation: the skill level you show with this sketches is rather inconsistent. It kinda ranges from, "OK, I'll start explaining from first baby steps" to, "Ah, no, that is actually decent" to "Wow, that one looks pro" (the skier made me think that).

    Sometimes you nail it, sometimes you are a mile off with the proportions. So, you need to develop a functioning method to measure proportions. And I am not talking about holding a brush in front of you with a straightened arm and a goofy face, but something that consistently works, fast, and in any kind of environment you happen to be drawing in.

    How about cheating? You don't actually measure, you learn some proportions by heart, by repeatedly drawing them a lot. That obviously only can work on stuff, that repeatedly actually HAS the same proportions, but luckily human faces and human bodies are generally similar enough to each other to just grind their proportions by heart.

    First guy who came up with that cheat was famously Leonardo da Vinci, and he was really thorough with measuring a looot of proportions. Luckily for us, some time has passed since then, and generations after L. d. V. spent a lot of time and thought into how to economically memorize the important stuff.

    For memorizing the proportions of the face and head, nowadays everybody cites a guy named Andrew Loomis, a professional illustrator who lived from 1892 to 1959. His main work was probably "Creative Illustration", but I think his most famous one is called "Fun with a Pencil". Like the name implies, it was basically a small side project to sell his knowledge about illustrations as entertainment project to hobbyists and families. It contains the famous Loomis head, a fun little way to learn how to draw human faces within 15 minutes. And it actually works. Draw a circle-ish thingy here, cut it off like that, draw another circle like so, et voila, this looks unmistakenly like a human face.

    Good thing, that was long enough ago, so all copyrights have expired, and you can check the pdf of those books for yourself on the interwebs.

    Now, a Loomis head isn't really a measuring device, and Loomis himself didn't use that method for his own professional work, a Loomis head is "an abstraction". It teaches idealized proportions of an idealized human head. It is purely a method to draw from imagination, and all that Loomis guaranteed was, that you would be able to draw "some" human head, not necessarily that specific one of the exact person that you want to draw a portrait of. But, if you keep drawing a dozen or so daily for a good time, you will develop a spidey sense for when the proportions in your own drawing start to leave the range of what is plausible on a human being.

    Loomis-heads are probably the simplest abstraction for the human face, and if you image search for them, you will find a slew of very abstracted once, that literally look like robot heads. Those are the most useful to actually grind, and if you ever see a clip of a professional artist starting to draw a human head, there is at least a 66% (or so) chance, that the first few lines they put on paper will be exactly that.

    There are other abstractions of the human face. Reilly (more about him later) adds additional lines and circles (rhythms, as he loves to call them) to indicate the muscles around the mouth and at the cheeks. Avaro came up with an abstraction of every possible plane on the human face, and you can buy full-sized Avaro heads, which are especially useful to reproduce the shadows a human head will have under variable lighting. George Bridgman, Steve Huston, and Michael Hampton have come up with abstractions, too, constructing the head from squares or from triangles...

    You can invest time into each one of these people, and it will be time well spent. On the other side, you can find very honest statements from serious artists on youtube, that tell you, they feel like they spent too much time on that, and wish they had spent time otherwise. Learning at least one abstraction of the head will help you out, if you find yourself having a hard time to figure out, where exactly this or that feature of the face should go in your drawings.

    Now that is the head, what about the human body? There is off course the method that this site is named after, "Line of Action", and if you do the tutorial here there will be a few short sentences about how to find the "line of action" first, then "the main masses" (which generally correspond with head, ribcage and hips". None of those snippets is wrong, I just feel like they are awfully short, which is probably a necessary consequence of webpage design. I personally learned a method, that is at least very similar from this course: https://www.proko.com/course/figure-drawing-fundamentals/overview which takes a lot more time to explain the concepts. There is a premium version of the course, but I recommend doing the free version first, and deciding whether what you learned from it was worth it to pay the sum Stan Prokopenko wants for the premium. All the essential infos are in the free version, the premium version seems to be more of an elaborate buy-me-a-coffee button, that gives you a few extra videos of Stan applying his lessons to a specific model. I don't know the exact history of that method.

    The essence I found in this method: If you understand how the ribcage, the shoulders, the hips and the head relate to each other, you can draw convincing bodies. If you mess up, everybody who never held a pencil in their life will be able to tell you: this looks wrong.

    A second famous and I guess related method is by a guy named Reilly who has a whole system of rhythms, that teach you how to divide the body, and the face, and basically everything up. I think if you here the name "Watts atelier", they are basically the living descendants that carry on Reilly's tradition.

    I'll end my rambling wall of text here, I hope there were some interesting tidbits within it.

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    Hello and good morning again, Pasta. You know, when it comes to your sense of fun and enjoyment of the inherent drawing process and progress, I think you're completely and totally on the right track. But I feel that your figures, faces and expressions, animals, and cartoony animals have tones of potential. But, however, I'm not too hot on your senses of line confidence followed by holistic gestalt articulation of your things. How would you like to please exercise your hands and speeds with 5 minutes of 30 second figures, faces, animals, and cartoony works, all from your underhanded positions of both hands, and all from either hand, and all from both online and offline?

    As a result, your economic delineations can, will, and shall, and must be more looser and more expressive, once you can be ready to sculpt out your forms with time and mastery. So, for even more tips and hints, please kindly look into free PDFS of the Walt Stanchfield series, but wait, there's more! You can and will also look into some free YouTube tutorials from guys like Toniko Pantoja and Stan P.,but that's not all!! Look into Quickposes and Adorkastock, too!

    My hat's off to you!


    Thanks all of you for your feefback.

    I was never very consistent in my lines and proportion quality ever. Till now I thougth that is normal... Not every drawing or line is accurate ... Also that the first 3 to 5 of the 30 second figures are only to wake up the reflexes and memories in my hand to warm up....

    Also I did wanted to show some "failures" or very rough excercices because I think you can support my effort to improve better when you also see the entire or big picture of my efforts.

    But your feedback got me thinking about that mindset a lot...

    @ aunt It is also no chance that my sports drawings are more spot on. I do a lot of climbing, skiing and boarding... There I have a intuitiv feeling for the poses, movments and the force at work... So I can draw more what it is and less only what I see with my eyes.

    I have much more trouble with ballet or dance poses... or some of the models here on the page... I can't feel there posture... or stance... It looks sometimes kind of staged for me... Meaning I dont know the movment behind it. I can't really connect very well with the anatomy or involved energy there.

    So I set my goal, also here on line of action, to more accurately portrait the human body and study anatomy, do more "construction" of faces and figures methodical and systematicly, even though I don't like that very much. I hope that traines my hand, momories and flow more consistently.

    @ polyvios Thanks for your link to stanchfield... wow I love that source... So much inspiration and great linework...

    I will keep you posted. Best regards



    One immediate thought: Yes, I agree, that a number of poses here are .... hard to grasp. Thing is, I started my habit of daily timed drawing not here, but on quickposes.com. Then that site ran into issues, as the masters of the interwebs made the creators of quickposes.com aware of a dirty little thing called copyrights, and how that does relate to earning money with a site that lives of depicting photos. quickpose.com was down for a time, and I ended up here as an alternative. I do love about line of action, that it has a forum, where at least the chance exists to talk with people about drawing and exchanging experience. But occassionally I check back in with quickposes.com, and you might try it to.

    The images there are just from a different set of photographers, and they feel much more intuitive to grasp silhouette and movement. In comparison line of action images feel like at a higher level of difficulty. Which, by now, I somehow enjoy. Daily quicksketching to me has partially an appeal that is comparable with solving crossword puzzles, or sudoku.

    I frankly would be curious for your opinion, if you go try out a bunch of images on quickpose.com, post your results here, and tell me whether I am crazy, or if you get the same feeling.


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