Oh No, I'm Lost: General critique on multiple drawings

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Drunkenelf 2 weeks ago.

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    Good day!

    I have been trying to seriously improve my art for a handful of years now, but I feel like I have hit a plateau where my muscle memory is ingrained with bad habits that I'm not really sure how to shake.

    What can I do? What practices should I get into more? Whenever I try to draw, my lines, structure, angles, planes, and perspective feels off... I struggle with planes and constructing elements in a way that makes them feel volumetric and solid. I would appreciate some pointers and resources (and how to take advantage of them!) so I can finally be on the right path; I'm very lost on where to go next, and it sure feels like I've been beating around the bush for a while!

    Thank you very, very much in advance!


    • Voelpes edited this post on May 7, 2023 6:12pm. Reason: added something that crossed my mind -- specifying struggles, so to speak
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    Hi Voelpes, first id like to say your style looks very geometric and energetic. Its clear youve spent a long time developing it. I specifically really like the way you exagerate faces and capture expressions!

    Im your junior in terms of art, but one thing i tend to do to force myself to innovate with my art is style studies. I'll find an artist I like and pick a piece of their art, first tracing over it and then trying to mimic it with just a reference, and finally trying to do an original piece mimicking the chosen artists style. Its an excersize that takes a long time, and is frustrating at times, but i always come away from it with new tricks and ways of thinking of things. I find it forces me not only to think of how I would do the shapes at hand, but also forces me to try and dissect how the other artist was approaching it, as well as forces me to give up my usual muscle memory in the tracing phase. Maybe finding an artist that you think thrives in your weak spots(angles and perspective) and dissecting how they do, or even a few and analyzing different approaches to the same problem.

    I hope it ends up being a useful exersize! good luck out there!

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    Love how much of the loosest and liveliest caricatures and colors and tones of your faces and expressions, but I think and feel that your abstractions and exaggerations could use the most intensity and insanity yet this morning, so how would you like to do 30 more minutes of 29 second quickest faces and expressions? As a result, your faces and expressions will be the most loosest and liveliest in your master studies, without fear of toning down the guts of the studies naturally.

    Good luck practicing and remember, HAVE FUN with it!

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    Thank you for your responses, Polyvios and Sci Girl! I will try them and report back once I've done a few studies along with practices!

    One thing I have trouble with during the 30-second face practices is constructing the face -- I'm rather lacking in anchors to build the entire expression with, and they oft end up rather lopsided. If anyone could point me to some resources that really help in strengthening how to build the face (or tips!) I would highly appreciate it. Thank you in advance!


    Some advice Ive been working on lately for my own faces has been the advice of getting a real feel for the skull. Ive been reading the "artists complete guide to facial expressions" by Gary Faigin and he advises that before drawing any face to break down the skull into its component parts--a rounded box and a wedge. On these two components the rest of the skull is sculpted and the face is overlaid. Maybe instead of focusing on expressions with just thirty seconds, you should focus on the overall shape of the head. Try to especially mark the chin and center of the head, and either the thirds you want to divide the head into, or the eyeline you want to mark, as well as where the neck connects relative to the chin and ears. Trying to draw some just plain skulls may also help you get a sense for the overal geometry of the face and skull.


    Hello, and thanks for your inputs!

    First of all I'm trying out the 30-second (and some 3-minute/5-minute) face practices, and my weakness in building faces have reared it's head! I am rather lost as to how to construct the face itself, even with skulls. Any pointers would be appreciated, thank you!


    If you are having trouble with the skull, then I reccomend just practicing the skull. Or maybe a more detailed mannquein head. Take one and just pracice drawing its shape over and over at different angles. Then practice squashing and stretching it while you do you 30 second drawings. DOn't focus so much on the little details. Form is very important for realistic faces. When you add the details without a solid foundation, they can be placed slightly off model and you get that melted face kind of look.

    Practice drawing that basic skull form or mannequin head and you'll be surprised how quickly you can access it when you decide to add the other details. You'll get to the point where you can do those small details without even putting them down. I have a feeling that since you practiced it before, they will come back to you faster than you think.

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