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Things I've Done
First post on the forums. I invested in a tablet this year and decided to start taking doodling more seriously. So I'm just gonna put up some of what I've been working on! Cheers!
Here we have King Umami and Princess Yuzu.
Registered User, Moderator
Hey man! Welcome to the forums.
Congrats on picking up a tablet, If you are looking for some resources and direction, be sure to check out the other wing of the forum:
Note that with threads, generally people are going to be looking to help as much as possible by way of critique. If you are really looking to get serious, we can try to give you advice to put you in the right direction. I recommend posting some goals you may have, check out the welcome thread for tips:
If you give us insight into what you want to do as you post work, you'll get more helpful responses!
Thanks! As far as my goals atm I'm trying to work on ideas for comics and projects I can finish on my own. I saw the assignments thread and plan on digging in there for sure! I'm also a writer and would like to share a comic book story/script I've written but its long and I'm not sure if I should just link it or what. Anyway thanks. I'll be posting more stuff and would love any kind of thoughts on it.
Forced myself to work this morning, just used some figure images and google for clothes. Hopefully this will push me to draw more seriously more often. Anyway, just some practice, probably keep working on this guy.
Hey, welcome to the forums!
I think at the moment, (and in general, if you're doing comics), you'll probably find a lot of benefit from studying gesture (capturing the movement, pose, weight shifts of the body), and construction (breaking down the body, or any other object, into simple cubes, cylinders, and spheres in perspective.) While I see a few guidelines on the pencil sketch of this drawing showing you're at least somewhat aware of the need to build up your drawing from some kind of structure, the drawing currently lacks the sort of solidity that makes a drawing believable.
I took your guy's design here and tried to redraw it using a gesture>construction>anatomy>detail methodology. I look at building up a drawing kinda like building a house- you build a scaffold, nail up the drywall, paint it up, hang some cool posters on the wall. Try to hang that poster or paint before the other stuff is done, it'll just fall to the ground.
Because I'm not sure if you're really aiming for that kind of comic book version of realism, I also did a more abstract, cartoon version- the same principles apply, they are just applies in simplified and exaggerated manner.
1: You'll notice on the gesture, it's usually to a drawing's benefit to avoid symmetrical , or straight up-and-down poses, unless there is a significant technical or artistic reason for doing so (ex: doing a character sheet turnaround for 2d animation, or a bindpose drawing for a 3d modeler- or the character is supposed to look unnatural/possessed/dead, etc.). The human body is rarely so evenly posed, and gesture is a great place to apply informative body language to help get across the personality of a character- and if you're doing comics, getting across a character's attitude and action is something you might be doing 20 times a page, so it's an important thing to keep in mind and practice.
Some tip on gesture: get up and act the gesture out, take pictures, look up reference, sketch people in public places walking around- get used to analyzing and breaking down how people move, how they carry and shift their weight from pose to pose. Also as a suggestion, generally the more angled the spine is away from a straight vertical position, as well as the more variation there is in the 3 main 'tilts' of the body (hips, shoulders, head), the more, 'dynamic' a pose will appear. Not that every pose needs to/should be an ultra-dynamic action pose, but when you look at ref/models, make a point of noticing how these 3 things tilt and twist, and get a feel for how it effects the pose overall. You'll notice on my drawover I added a little bit of a tilt to the shoulders and hips, and bent his knees to give a sense of braced readiness.
I'm going to throw out some additional resources at you, since I can only give a brief overview for you without writing a whole book on the subject. I like Force: Dynamic Life Drawing For Animators by Mike Mattesi and Drawn To Life by Walt Stanchfield as for books that go into gesture in detail.
Stan Prokopenko's Youtube channel has a ton of great video resources-mostly traditional figure drawing, though he's been adding videos about cartooning and caricature as well lately. So just going down the whole Figure Drawing playlist is a great way to get introduced to fundamental drawing concepts for free.
2. Breaking down the gesture into simple volumes-cylinders and spheres and boxes. There's no single rule of how to put together this kind of action-figure version of the figure- some prefer to draw the ribcage as an oval, some may prefer a box, some may prefer doing the whole body as boxes, etc. While the particular application of the idea varies, the principle remains the same: by constructing the figure out of these simple volumes, it's much easier to make sure that the figure holds up in perspective; that is, the figure will appear solid and believable as an object that exists in space, rather than just 2d lines on top of a sheet of paper. This step also helps make sure that in your final drawing you know where details of your lineart need to go to maintain a sense of foreshortening.
Notice in the drawover how breaking the limbs down into cylinders, you get an immediate sense of them coming towards or away from you- so with any further addition of detail- belts, shirt cuffs, etc. - those things will have to maintain that same curving around the form to look properly placed on the body, to read as an object in space.
There are a lot of how-to books that go over some version of this idea: I like to recommend How to Draw the Marvel Way by John Buscema/Stan Lee for this, since they give very simple, clear, applicable examples and explanations (I know the title doesn't give much indication that 'hey, this is actually a real art book', but trust me). Figure Drawing For All Its Worth by Andrew Loomis also gets recommended a lot, though I personally find his take a little confusing for most people I've seen try to start out with his version as a base.
And of course, Proko also has a good breakdown of this.
3. Having a good knowledge of anatomy can help inform your figure drawings a lot, especially if you want to do more realistic drawings. That said, it's not as important
construction/perspective/proportion, really...having all these latin names and knowing all the insertions and origins of various muscles is great and useful, but if you're really solid with the construction/perspective/proportion, anatomy is more of the icing on the cake, than the cake itself. Some anatomy has been added in the drawover to indicate things that I think would be useful in the final drawing, like pecs and delts, that will show through any additional clothing added.
4. The detail pass may seem like a big leap, but it's really just a little bit of polish on what's already been established- I don't have to struggle figuring out how the belts and cuffs and laces go on to the body, because I've already figured out how those things would wrap around the form thank to my construction step. Mostly it's a matter of making sure the details I add emphasize the solidity I've already established, and I don't add anything that detracts from it.
For the cartoon version, much of the ideas remain the same, I'm just working with bigger, broader shapes- big triangle torso shape, more squared off head, big squared off fists- shapes that tell the story of this character being a big 'ol bruiser. If you want some more info on cartoon design specifically, you might want to check out The Silver Way by Steven Silver, where he goes over this kind of exaggerated construction. He also has a Youtube channel with some pretty informative stuff on it.
Some other small points:
-You're getting a bit wobbly on some of the linework here. It's a bit better on the pencil drawing, so I assume part of it may be getting used to working on the tablet, but there's still a bit of wobbliness on the belt and some of the clothes. Try to make a point of drawing confidently with solid, simple long strokes, rather than slowly drawing with trepidation. A suggestion I was taught that was 'CSI'- each line should fall into a category of one of those letter shapes: a 'C' curve- a single, single arc, an 'S' curve- 2 connected, opposing arcs, or I- a straight line. By limiting your lines to one of these simple line types, you do away with a lot of unnecessary wobbles and get a much more confident look as a result.
-Most of the linework here is a 'dead' line- meaning, it has an even thickness, or 'weight', to the line throughout. If you look at comics and a lot of lineart illustrations, a lot of what makes the art look fresh and alive is the variance of line weight, going from thin to thick.
This isn't an area of art that has any hard or fast rules, (after all, in real life people don't actually have 'lines' around the contours of their bodies), but common ideas are A) use a thicker line weight on the side of opposite of a light source, to indicate that side falling into shadow B) use a thicker line weight where an object comes closer to the 'camera', C) using line weight to emphasize anatomy, ie: when delineating a muscle, starting with a thin weight at the start and end of the line, tapering to a thicker weight in the center, to make it feel like the muscle is 'bulging'. I would suggest looking up artists you admire and trying to break down how they are employing line weight, and try to employ those ideas in your own work.
I'm not sure what software or table you're using, but most should have some kind of pressure sensitivity settings that will allow the thickness of your brush to increase or decrease depending on how hard you push your stylus. This is how digital artists get that kind of line variation, which is also basically the same as using traditional inking tools of crowquill pen or brush. Most digital artists when doing 'pencil' drawings on their tablet will also have the brush opacity vary based on pen pressure as well, so they can draw lightly when starting out, then use a heavier line to solidify their drawing.
Anyway, I know that's a lot of junk to throw at you, so I hope some of it is useful/I explained it in a way that actually makes sense!
Thank you so much! I did not expect all that
I will be absorbing all of this now. I can't wait to keep posting progress.
I just finished some pencil work on a character I decided to redo better. So this is where I'm at right now and I will be working with this character from now on as I learn more.
Lots of pulling from Google for references. Just trying to draw in different poses right now but I will be applying everything you shared.
BTW those versions you drew up are awesome! I really love them.
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