Forum posts by Vyse

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  • #1353

    Hey there,

    it's getting pretty late here and I'll have to go to bed soon, so I'll just list a few quick things:
    1. The proportions are off. Try to understand the shape of a head and construct it to ensure you place everything in the right position. Here is a quick tutorial Understanding this method will also make it easier to draw things in perspective and not just from the front.
    2. If you are trying to draw realistically, you will need to get a lot more details in there. Hairs aren't just a few lines with a common general direction, Noses aren't as catlike as they are in your picture, etc. In general you are simpliffying too many things while also slightly distorting them. Doing this right requires either looking very very closely at what you are trying to draw or a very good understanding of anatomy (preferably both) I'd point to Gottfried Bamme's "Die Gestalt des Menschen" (roughly translates to: the human form) but as I said before it is only available in german and not for everyone… Maybe take a look at Betty Edward's "Drawing on the right side of the brain. In this book you'll find a lot of good tips for understanding the "right way to see" things with all the details they contain.
    3. Learning all of this isn't easy. It takes tons of practice. If you want to get to an actually realistic look, you'll have to practice and do hundrets upon hundrets of drawings. Not neccessarily of entire faces, but individual features like eyes, noses, mouths, etc. If you are trying to improve, try to do so step by step by focusing on one aspect before you try everything at once. It is much easier to see your own mistakes this way and improve.
    4. Speaking of improvement. I'd suggest that you do not shade the pictures until you have an understanding of the proportions. Shading makes pictures a lot better (most of the time) but it does so by disguising mistakes you made which in turn makes it harder to find them and improve.

    In general I'd practice the basics (anatomy, proportions) if I were you. I hope this wasn't too blunt and if so, then please forgive me, but as I said in the beginning I am somewhat tired right now and need to go to bed. Take care and keep going!


    Well, it is going to be hard for me to crique anything here, because you seem to be a fair bit above my level. The first picture has weird proportions, but I guess this was one of your earlier works? Anyway, the closer we get to picture eight, the better your drawings become which is good. Keep going like this!

    From what I can tell, some proportions are still ever so slightly off and you seem to be drawing only from what you can see without fully considering the underlying distribution of muscles fat and bones. Maybe getting an overview over the human anaotmy might help you to get even better. (Where the muscles are placed, how they're connected to the skeleton and what this means for the shape of the human body in certain poses)

    The best book on the market for studying anatomy is Gottfried Bammes "Die Gestalt des Menschen" (At least in my opinion it is) It is a fantastic book that goes into great detail and explains everything you need to know in text and picture. Sadly the book has only been published in German as far as I am aware and itt is also quite expensive (80€ or 90$). Nonetheless I have heard people who do not speak German say that the book helped them nonetheless because the drawings in there are so fantastic (and they are. Here are some samples: ).

    Other than that I'd suggest to continue on to the next step which is adding more shading/lighting to your figures, color and so on.

    Somebody else might be able to give you better feedback since I am nor quite on the same level as you and probably miss a lot of things a better artist might see. Maybe wait for some more feedback from others.


    You seem to be about on the same level as I was a few years back, when I did my 100project. ( Sadly that was during my Bachelor degree and at some point I just didn't have the time to keep drawing on the side…

    Anyway, let me first say, that it is obvious that you are putting a lot of effort into your drawings and that is one of the most important qualities an artist can have. Nobody was born perfect. Every great artist sucked at the beginning, but most of them did so during their childhood when they didn't know any better. Starting as an adult is horribly hard because your art looks terrible and you can actually tell that it is terrible. Yet you have to keep on drawing to get past this phase which is where 99% already give up. You seem to have already passed this point however, so congratulations on that. As you can tell from looking at my tumblr however, the risk of quitting for whatever reason is always there. Never ever quit! Always keep drawing something even if it is just a scribble on a napkin in the restaurant you went for lunch. Practice is important for various reasons (the way our brain builds connections, psychological effects, the preactice itsself, etc) If you keep practicing (at best 10-30 min daily) you'll keep improving with or without class. The advantages of a class are that they have prepared the material and assigments for you and that they tell you what to do. When you are on your own ou have to figure everything out by yourself, organize yourself, motivate yourself and critique yourself. It's harder and takes more discipline, but you are on a good path. Keep it up!

    I assume however, that you came here for more detailed advice on what to improve in your drawings… You should keep in mind that there isn't really a right or wrong way to to draw, but if what you strive for is the accurate depiction of the human body, there are a few things I'd try to improve on if I were you (things I planned to work on myself back then)

    1. Constructions. Unless you erased the underlying constructions of the bodys, I'd reccomend starting to make some before you draw in the figures. If you just start drawing and then notice that the torso is way too big or the arms are too short, you've wasted quite a bit of time and energy. Start with a rough sketch done with a pencil (very light strokes) to see where each bodypart should be and then draw over it. (stuff like this )

    2. If you are anything like I was back then, I guess you are trying to get the basic proportions of the human body down before moving on to details like hands, feet etc. That's fine (actually that is the best way to approach the whole thing in my opinion) but if that is the case, then do not start shading your figures just yet. Get the proportions right first. Shading makes a drawing look a lot better, yes, but it also disguises your mistakes. It is a lot easier to see where your proportions are off when there is no shading on the figure.

    3. Your figures still look somewhat flat, like you're looking at a reference picture and try to draw the outline you see rather than understanding how the threedimensional shapes fit together. Try to construct your bodys from threedimensional shapes every now and then (Here is how I tried to do just that )

    4. Once you've got the proportions right, try adding more details to the bodys. Hands and feet with actual fingers and toes, faces and so on.

    5. After (or during that) add shading, then color, then backgrounds etc. The inportant thing is to focus on ONE THING at a time. Don't try to improve on everything at ocne or you'll just end up frustrated (unless you are a total genius). Stick with one topic, like "proportions" or "muscle structure" or "more detailed bodies" and stick with it until you feel confident enough to move on or hit a wall and don't feel like you're making any progress anymore. That's what the 100project was all about. I don't know if people in this forum are still doing it, but the point was to pick one (and only one) of these topics and do 100 drawings in 33days (3 drawings a day) You wouldn't believe how much progress you can make this way, especially in the beginning.

    I hope that wasn't too much or too harsh criticism. As I said you've already come a very long way and are basically doing everything right to improve. You're practicing and that is what you should keep doing. It is up to you if you feel like you need a class for it or if you think you can manage to stick with it by yourself (that IS a lot of work but everything can be learned. A great book on human anatomy would be "Die Gestalt des Menschen" by Gottfried Bammes. It's entirely written in German, but just about the best book on anatomy for artists you can find. Take a look if you find a copy in a store somewhere)


    Okay, the bad news first:

    Believe me, I have tried to make things easier for myself when it came to drawing in a million ways and watched even more tutorials on how to draw. I won't deny that knowing about certain techniques is very helpful and a lot easier than figuring them out on your own, but just watching a video or kowing a method won't make you better and it will not make drawing any easier!
    That is a hard lesson to learn (It was for me at least). You have to produce a ton of crap to make any progress in anything.

    Let's take a look at art:
    You see, many of the better artists out there have been drawing stuff since they were little. When you're small, you usually don't realize the stuff you're doing looks horrible. You just draw because it is fun. When you draw for several years though, you still get better at it, even if it is just on a motoric level. By the time they start to compare themselves with others, they're often good enough to not think everything they did so far is crap.

    When you try to start drawing as an adult however and you've already seen paintings like the Mona Lisa it's a different story. You think "Wow that's awesome I wanna do that" and try it yourself. So you sit down and you try to draw a face and after 2 minutes you have one circle that is suppesed to be the face and two ellipses that are supposed to be eyes and you think "Oh dear lord, that's horrible I have no talent at all" and quit again.
    There are many reasons for that (mainly its our brain trying to simplyfy shapes because that makes things easier to recognize). What most people don't realize though, is that pretty much everyone who can draw started at that point, and it was through hours and hours of drawing that they got to where they are. Now that sounds horribly discouraging, I know. That's why we're all here though.

    The 100-method described on this page is a good way against the demotivational effects of "everything I make sucks" If you don't know already: The method involves picking a specific goal and then doing 100 drawings on that (3 a day) to improve in that one field. This works because trying to improve everything at once withouth having a clear goal is pretty much suicide.
    You're porbably thinking right now "Well yeah, easy for you to say, but I can't work on proportions when I have no basics at all yet"
    Remember what I said earler? There are no shortcuts. The good news however is, that there are different ways to think about the problem, like the 100 thingy. If you can't draw ANYTHING yet, then start with the most basic things. Try to fill sheets of papers with parallel lines or actually round circles to get your motoric abilities up a bit, then try to draw humans (or whatever you aim to draw). It WILL look horrible at first, I promise you that. Try to get a reference. A model would be best, but hardly anyone can have a nude model in his room posing for him/her an hour each day, so pictures like in the tool on this site are of help.

    The thing I am trying to say is: Draw and ignore that it looks horrible! Make 100 pictures and then compare YOUR first picture with YOUR last picture. I am almost certain you will see an improvement. When you have developed some basic skills, you can start looking at tutorials. They will NOT help you before you got some practice!

    Looking at tutorials without having any practice at all will result in something like this:

    So to sum it up:
    _Nobody ever started good! (And nobody shows their earliest work to the public which is why people believe they were awesome from the beginning...)
    _Learning how to draw is a slow process. Especially your early works can be frustrating as hell and may make you want to quit (but drawing something is less complex than driving a car actually. You just need practice. You didn't expect to be a perfect driver on your first driving-lesson either didn't you?)
    _ It doesn't matter what your stuff looks like as long as you keep at it! (Nobody will care about the crap you produced in the beginning, but the only way to get good is to draw a ton of stuff. Don't despair over bad early results, just keep going!)
    _It doesn't matter what you are trying to draw either. Everything will help you improve (simple shapes like cubes and other geometry may be less frustrating than trying to draw a face or human beings right away though)
    _When you feel like you improved a little, start looking at beginner-level tutorials on perspective and how to construct stuff. You'll find it a lot more helpful because now it'll awnsear questions you asked yourself while you were drawing stuff and getting the answear will help you improve.
    _HAVE A GOAL! I can't stress this enough! Working without a goal is the most demotivational thing. That is why we often find work boring as well. We have no goal and no purpose! If you do drawing as a hobby, you have no goal set by somebody else either, SO SET ONE YOURSELF! "I want to improve my proportions within 50 drawings" Something clear and concrete!

    Okay, I think that's it from me. Hopefully that helped a little bit.


    Hey everybody, what's going on? Did everyone else die? Come on, don't give up! Keep drawing!


    Allthough that's a grat picture Sylvester I gotta be an ass and say: Tha's not practicing perspective :P

    (It's awesome though. You even used colored lightsources.)


    I'm not so sure about the arms, but I've been putitng off taking a closer look at hands and feet for a while now. It's scheduled, but I don't know when I'll get there. Until now I literally put almost no effort into hands to be honest. A circle and a few lines tht might be fingers with a lot of imagination, done.
    I guess I'll give Anatomy another look soon which will hopefully fix the arms and male/female differentiation issues. Hands, feet and faces will come after that I suppose.




    Thanks A_A

    On that note: HurrDurr Update


    Well, first of all, welcome and please take it easy.

    I am not too great myself yet, but from what I can see on your deviantart page you want to draw mangas or at least use the manga style for your work. I couldn't look at the picture you linked since it had an adult rating and DA blocks those for anyone who is not registered on the site which I am not. Looking at everything else though, I'd say you're oing a lot of stuff right already, but lack some basics.

    I'd assume you just started figuredrawing someday and developed your style from there?
    Anway, I'd suggest you do what many of us here do which is basically a challange with specific rules. You can see how it works here

    I'd suggest you get a book on drawing for reference as well. El Bow always suggests Michael Hampton allthough you may prefer a book specifically about manga like this one (I heard a lot of good stuff about it so I hope it is good)

    If I were you I' work on understanding the body as a 3-Dimensional object (most of your pictures seem very flat, like you drew a skeleton and then just added an outline, without thinking about how the object would look from the angle it is seen in the picture)

    Speaking of perspective, that'd be a good thing to practice as well, just to understand how forshortening works and how lines converge to certain points (which are usually NOT on your paper. If they are that close you usually end up with a very extreme perspective)

    I guess that is enough for now. I hope I was able to help you a little bit and I'd also like to suggest that you use the critique forum next time if that is what you are looking for since you are way more likely to get a response there.


    You are aware that I am the one making these, right? o.oa

    The photorealistic stuff wasn't me in case you got confused.



    Allthough I certainly agree with you, and allthough I do have a goal Sylvester, I must admit that the link was meant more as a joke than an actual goal for the next 100 drawings I do :P

    As empowering as having a goal can be, having an unrealistic one can be equally depressing (Which is one of the reasons so many people these days are. The strife for unrealistic things suggested by the american dream and become frustrated when it doesn't work out. Most of it like wealth, fame and beauty also don't make you happy, but i am getting off-topic) If I attempted to reach the level of that artist within the next 100 pictures I make I'd most likely get frustrated. Realistic goals are important.

    I was simply impressed with his skill and wanted to share it with you guys, wrapped in some humor, that's all.


    Good work with the color by the way. Keep at it Sylvester :)


    Even more Updates


    I also found a target for the next 100…


    More Updates

    It was kind of frustrating because the first one felt like I had forgotten everything I learned so far. It looked terrible and I did some heads instead. the second one turned out quite well after correcting it for quite some time and the last one are two figures I drew from a book. I will probably do this more often afterall since it helps me understand how to draw certain sections of the body a little bit better.


    Does anyone know how I can posta  comment on my own tumblr uploads? I just can't find the option allthough I wanted to comment on some stuff multiple times already. It's driving me nuts. And while we're at it: How can I change my Avatar in this Forum? It's evidently possible since some people managed to do it, but I don't seem to have the option in my CP. D:


    I made some more (and I can't help but feel like I made el bow angry :<)