Seeking to improve

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by Jimm 3 years ago.

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    Mmm hello, everyone. I've been around relatively little (a couple of weeks maybe?) but I've finally dared to open up to criticism despite the fear it generated in me, because, well, I need to improve and not feel like I'm not making any progress!

    I've been "drawing" seriously for a little over six months. I've always liked it, but I've never really tried to learn... until now, even if I have to do it on my own. So, I've been doing Croquis Cafe exercises almost every day since December of last year, until a few weeks ago when I came here and settled down more with this format. With it, every day I dedicated at least 20-30 minutes to it, extending in some (not many) up to two hours.

    I leave you some images so you can see some of the first ones I did, compared to the last session I did just a few minutes ago. Obviously, the ones that matter are the last ones, but I'd like you to see that step from the beginning. This is all on my own, so really, any advice is good, I want to progress more than anything else and I feel that I'm moving too slowly - thank you very much and sorry for the length of this!

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    Your artwork is amazing! i see you put a lot of effort into imroving and thats so amazing! The figure is so accurate. I would say maybe try and put one single line and not hesitate to. i can see lots of lines in your artwork so if you put less it would be perfect! hope this helps!:)


    I agree with the comment above,i think the best thing you could do is to be more decisive in your lines and get rid of the bad habit that comes with chicken scratching your drawings.I assure you that you'll see a massive improvement because your figures will read much clearer as a result!


    I totally, and really love your improvements, Coel, but I've got one small invitation: Why don't you go for yet another 10 minute figure study of the Croquis image you screen captured, if you haven't already, pretty please? The rationalization is because, your forces, forms, and details will become more than pronounced and expressive. Hope and assume that it'll happen.

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    Coel, your drawings are good and very real. I would suggest if you want to add anything like clothes or hair above your sketches, then don't make your guidelines so dark because unless you have a really good eraser, if you try to erase the guidelines will be imprinted on the paper. Try and sketch a bit lighter or you will form a habit of drawing hard.


    That's pretty cool stuff you got there, I can see you've been looking at proko as well. He's a very inspiring teacher, and he's got some very helpful tips for artists. I was wondering though, what are you looking to imrpove into? Where are you looking to go with your art?
    If realism, I'd recommend you keep looking at proko, and looking more into realism

    If comics, I'd recommend looking at Kienan Lafferty, host of knkl and a very skilled illustrator, very anime too.

    If animation, maybe Aaron blaise is for you, he has very helpful tips considering he worked for disney.

    You can find all of these guys on Youtube, as well as Marco bucci, a more oldschool painter of realism and cartoon fantasy, very skilled and very informative and noob friendly when it comes to breaking down the basic fundamentals.

    I'd also recommend you take your time when you draw. It's a lot easier to understand things when you slow down and grind it over and over. It's tedious but only if you let it be. It's also an expression of yourself so don't be afraid to just let yourself be in the moment, take your time and don't stress over mistakes :)

    Good luck going forward.

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    Loving this work!!! I can see you're making a lot of strides in understanding structure and anatomy, where everything fits in together, and that's super important. I think you've done a really good job at capturing the position of the ribs and pelvis and how they relate to the position of the spine, as well as the placement of other limbs; I think the work you did on 16/06/20 and 18/06/20 is a really good indicator of your understanding of structure, and I think the proportions and anatomy look really good.

    I want to second the idea that one way you can improve is drawing with longer, more confident strokes. Something that helps me do that is to look at the human body more abstractly by converting it into shapes and lines in my head; instead of seeing a foot, with toes and bones and muscles, I look at it as a group of curves and arches, no structure underneath. I will say that drawing this way will turn out messy the first few times, you might get a figure that looks like a bunch of ribbons rather than a human person, but that's okay. It's a really good way to liven up your drawings, reduce stiffness, and even get a better sense of anatomy in different positions other than forward-facing; you can start to understand how the parts of the body widen or narrow based on their position relative to the camera, i.e. how to foreshorten. You can do this by practicing gesture drawing in 30-second or 1-minute mode, and keep yourself from putting the underlying structures in, just draw the form you see as it is. The most important thing to remember is that you will get frustrated and pull out some drawings that don't look anatomically correct, and that's okay--the best thing you can do for your art right now is to keep going, keep pushing, and keep experimenting to look for what works for you.

    I can also see you've done a really good job studying the internal structures of the body, i.e. the skeleton, as shapes, for example the pelvis as a 3D cone that can shift based on its angle, a good example is the top left drawing on the last page. A solid next step would be to convert the rest of the body to cones and cylinders, such as each section of the arms and legs. Instead of drawing the ribcage as an "m" shape, draw it as a big cylinder. If you have a hard time with rotating it, a good exercise might be to get a soda can or a can of spraypaint and tilt it around at different angles, drawing how you see it, to get a better grasp on thinking in a 3D space.

    I recommend the same steps for expression drawing as well. If you can, don't draw a base for the heads at all, practice a few pages of just drawing the basic position of the eyebrows, nose, eyes, and mouth as big, loose shapes and lines, and exaggerate where you can. It's okay if it doesn't look accurate, and you can still do work on studying structure afterward if you like. Something that helps me is drawing these "phantom faces" and then drawing the head and facial muscles around them to see how they might interact. This can be done after you've seen the reference material, and it's okay if it doesn't look like the reference material. You can compare and contrast after the fact to see where the structures under the skin (muscles, fat, bone) might differ from the reference material in your interpretation.

    Two sources I want to recommend for studying structure more is this brief overview from Lackadaisy author Tracey Butler on construction drawing, or drawing with shapes; it's helped me IMMENSELY in understanding how to position facial features in a 3D space, as well as body features, by thinking of all of them as just 3D geometric shapes with some lines on top. The other resource is Anatomy for Artists by Anthony Apesos, which is a comprehensive study guide on finding and understanding the skeletal and muscular structures that contribute to form, or otherwise what we see moving the skin and body to give it shape. There's stuff you expect, like the ab muscles and shoulders, but also a lot of muscles that you did not know people had, and it's also helped me in not only rendering, but understanding what i'm seeing when I do render.

    EDIT: sorry one more resource from Tracey Butler that is useful for expressions OK COOL SORRY

    Sorry this got so wordy, I hope it helps!! You've got a really solid start, and you'll only get stronger moving forward. I see massive improvents from your first few pages to the last, so you're going to do great!!!

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    • Sokarads edited this post on June 20, 2020 6:42am. Reason: adding another link to study material

    Wow, I didn't expect so many answers, thank you all so much for taking the time to do this! I will try to implement everything you have told me, although I will have to kick the bad habit of squeezing the pencil too hard and leaving everything too "dirty". But it is necessary, I see it now clearly.

    Pixeld, thank you very much for the recommendations. In principle I know and do not know the style I want to look for. I don't want a "pure" realism, and the more... comic format I love, but without going to something extreme as I can consider, for example, the manga style, from which I want to move away. Likewise, I think the anatomical basis for it is more than necessary for me. I'll keep an eye on the artists you mentioned, because I'm sure they're great, just like when I looked at Proko hahaha.

    Sokarads, thank you very, very much for that response. I'll try to apply the advice you give me, to see if I can improve my creation. Thanks in turn for the links, I'll take a close look at them and get as many as I can!

    Really, thank you very much to all of you, the drawing is very important for me and your advice and support encourage me a lot ^^ I hope I can continue showing you my evolution!


    You and I have opposite types of brains.

    That's whats so fun about art!

    You are very sensative to internal construction of the model. You have the Leonardo Da Vinci kinda brain! Not too shabby!

    All i would suggest is in practicing, to try and play around with the opposite pole. Drawing the entire shape of the form all at once/ trying to sum up the pose in as few strokes as possible.

    SO maybe find 1 or 2 big curves or lines or shapes that sum up the whole pose, and then build the model around that


    You have progressed already!! Keep going, it'll keep getting better


    Hello Coel,

    Thanks for posting!

    It looks like you're drawing from the wrist, which most artists do, and struggle with fixing (been drawing seriously for 3 years and I still do it. xD). Drawing with your wrist is great for precise short lines, but when creating long fluid lines for gestures, it gives your drawing a sketchy look. So instead, try drawing with your elbow and your shoulder, meaning don't pivot your wrist, but instead, pivot from your elbow, and/or shoulder. This will help give your gestures a flow and a weight and help remove the sketchy lines. I recommend visiting in addition to your studies here to help you study line-making. It's a lot of hard work, but I've personally been enjoying it and am finding great value in its practice.

    Honestly, keep up the hard work, don't give up and definitely keep posting!

    • Jimm edited this post on June 29, 2020 5:20pm. Reason: grammar

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