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Getting better at drawing figure

tracertongtracertong Registered User regular
edited June 2011 in Artist's Corner
I'm very interested in drawing figure.

What I've done so far though is 99% draw from pictures (Loomis' book). It seems to be working - I've noticed a huge improvement as of late.

But, I'm wondering if I'm doing it right? Should I keep drawing "the mannequin" from pictures? Other recommended books? Anyone know of a cheap action figure with lots of points of articulation that I could use instead of that wooden mannequin that doesn't pose hardly at all?

I'm at the end of chapter 1 of Figure Drawing for All its Worth and he basically says to focus on the mannequin figure with simplified muscles for a long time (make many drawings of it) before going on to chapter 2 with the muscles.
2wly2hg.png

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    DeeLockDeeLock Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    tracertong wrote: »
    But, I'm wondering if I'm doing it right? Should I keep drawing "the mannequin" from pictures? Anyone know of a cheap action figure with lots of points of articulation that I could use instead of that wooden mannequin that doesn't pose hardly at all?

    You will not improve that much by only drawing from a static and stock wooden mannequin, even photos can only help you so much (what with photo distortion, bloom effects, and inconsistent lighting). What you really need to do is DRAW FROM LIFE!!!

    If you have any figure drawing groups in your area GO! If you have a girlfriend/boyfriend or a friend who will pose nude for you, draw from them! This is the best way to learn the ins and outs of the human figure, the only way if you want to achieve any sort of realism in your drawings.

    What are your goals as an artist?

    DeeLock on
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    tracertongtracertong Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I'd like to make a webcomic in the Marvel style with fantasy elements. I want to get the art part locked down so so so hard that when people see it they are like "this kid can draw" and then they focus on the story.

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    tracertongtracertong Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    I'm having real difficulty drawing the back 3/4 view - I've been practicing and drawing everything I can but I cant seem to nail this pose. I need some hint on where I'm going wrong with it, please.

    this was from a wooden mannequin but I tried to add muscles and simple overhead lighting to it

    5fg2et.jpg

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    DeeLockDeeLock Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Mate, take my advice.

    You're not going to improve by just drawing from a mannequin. Without knowledge of anatomy or how the human form actually looks and works, you're just going to keep making the same mistakes.

    Put at least a little effort into this.

    DeeLock on
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    tracertongtracertong Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Makes me sad that you say I have poor knowledge of anatomy after I've been seriously studying it for months and have taken courses in it which I passed with A's and I also used to bodybuild for 2 years.

    Oh well. I guess my anatomy isnt as good as I thought.

    Life drawing can't happen right now. Mainly I've been drawing from magic cards.

    I think I sort of solved the problem anyway, the shoulder was too far out. A quick transform fixed it up - I just had to step away from it for a minute to see it more clearly. But feel free to draw over it with your own additional corrections!

    289iyrb.jpg

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    IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator Mod Emeritus
    edited June 2011
    You can at least pose in front of a mirror, if nothing else. I would buy this book, while it unfortunately doesn't have very many pictures of the whole figure, it has some nice overlays and photographs.

    Iruka on
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    BroloBrolo Broseidon Lord of the BroceanRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Oh hey, I have that book! It's great for closeups!

    at your stage, roughly in order of how much they'll help you:

    Drawing from life, using a human figure
    Drawing from a mirror
    Drawing from a well lit (no flash) and large photo
    Drawing from other figure studies
    Drawing from a wooden model
    Drawing just by making it up as you go along

    The wooden model isn't really meant for the exercises you're doing or what you're trying to learn. It's good if you want to learn more about perspective (particularly in extreme cases where it's impractical to have a human pose), and it can be useful as a reference for lighting.

    It will not, however, teach you how to draw the human form particularly well, because it's not a human, it's just a piece of wood that's somewhat human shaped. Real humans have muscles and skin and fat, and they have to balance and shift their weight to support themselves, something your figurine will never do.

    Not all that long ago I was trying to do the same thing you were, trying to learn to draw the human form almost exclusively from using figurines. You feel in some ways you're gaining more control because you're not just "copying a photo" and having a figurine on your desk is much more convenient than searching for people to stand still for you, but in the end up you'll really end up limiting yourself, as well as developing some bad drawing habits.

    Brolo on
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    tracertongtracertong Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Where would drawing an outline from a picture as best you can and then adding basic overhead lighting to it rank on your scale? (see attached) See, I have thousands of magic cards I can draw from....I also cant really detect multiple lights on the cards so i just add my own and "feel" around the planes for it


    cant really draw the head or hands yet but am about to do some studies on it.

    oigd4y.jpg

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    DeeLockDeeLock Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Wut.

    DeeLock on
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    WassermeloneWassermelone Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    tracertong wrote: »
    Where would drawing an outline from a picture as best you can and then adding basic overhead lighting to it rank on your scale? (see attached) See, I have thousands of magic cards I can draw from....I also cant really detect multiple lights on the cards so i just add my own and "feel" around the planes for it

    Low.

    Draw from Loomis, Bridgman, and the book that Iruka linked.

    I would stop the mannequin 'studies' because they are not really helping you.

    Wassermelone on
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    BroloBrolo Broseidon Lord of the BroceanRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    tracertong wrote: »
    Where would drawing an outline from a picture as best you can and then adding basic overhead lighting to it rank on your scale? (see attached) See, I have thousands of magic cards I can draw from....I also cant really detect multiple lights on the cards so i just add my own and "feel" around the planes for it


    cant really draw the head or hands yet but am about to do some studies on it.

    oigd4y.jpg

    Drawing from a ... magic card? Like Magic: the Gathering?

    You'll learn very little from those. For one thing they're tiny, and for another they're mainly of exaggerated or highly stylized fantasy characters.

    Drawing from references means getting *BIG* pictures, like a full-page spread from an old LIFE magazine.

    Bigger is better with this stuff! Both for references and for the size of paper you're drawing on!

    Brolo on
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    tracertongtracertong Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Thanks for all the tips. I'm studying the hands and just discovered how well pure gesture (no looking) has helped me. With the drawing on my first monitor I select my brush then I look at the image on my second monitor and then feel out the outlines on my Wacom. Then I go back to the drawing and put in the the muscles of the hand underneath and fix it up.....before I did it this way the hands kept turning out stiff and wooden looking and took a loooong time to make. Who knows if this will work for other stuff besides copying.

    Is anyone else using a similar workflow with pure gesture to start?

    tracertong on
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    Adam R KearleyAdam R Kearley Registered User new member
    edited February 2014
    I'm a bit late to this thread, but if it's any help at all, DON'T LISTEN TO DEELOCK! You don't NEED to draw from a flesh and blood naked person, while I would never argue that it wouldn't be helpful, it is by no means necessary.

    Action Figure - UFC action figures are well articulated and highly accurate in terms of musculature, the shoulders are a bit iffy, but overall they're wonderful and fairly cheap. As with most highly articulated figures you'll need a stand of some kind to pose them on. I got mine from Amazon.com, sign up for a prime trial and you get free 2 day shipping on all eligible items, and many of them are, (be sure to go into setting and deactivate auto renewal though), and don't worry about wasting the trial either, you can sign up for another one with a different email address and amazon account.

    The Human Figure In Motion BOOK - this a collection of black and white photos by Eadward Muybridge which he began taking in 1879. Some are very blurry and useless, but most of them are very high quality for the time and are invaluable as reference material, additionally the images themselves are in the public domain, so there's no legal concerns about using them as pose references for anything whatsoever. They are sequential images of nude or almost nude figures doing regular activities, seriously, this book is amazing.

    Albinus On Anatomy - BOOK - great for learning the ins and outs of the human body, also public domain images.

    Anything by George Bridgeman - BOOKS - just, yeah.

    Anatronica - PROGRAM/APP - same use as Albinus On Anatomy, but a bit less portable, and very "skinny."

    Websites -
    elovely.com/gesture/figuredrawing.php
    posemaniacs.com
    youtube.com (seriously, find a good HD video, pause and draw, pause and draw.)


    Final thought: Just draw draw draw, don't try to draw each figure to the best of your ability, if the shoulders weird, don't fix it, draw another one. Draw the figure from every possible angle you can find a reference for. Draw as many figures as you possibly can. Try practicing in pen on paper, that way you CAN'T correct it. Don't focus on improving your best, focus on improving your worst.

    Adam R Kearley on
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    IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator Mod Emeritus
    Don't bump threads from 2011.

    Also Drawing from life is always recommended.

This discussion has been closed.