I’ve been making art. Awesome! But I haven’t been scanning it. Not awesome! So I sifted through what I thought was worth sharing, scanned all that, cropped it, etc. Today I’m sharing my practice and what I’ve been learning.
Sometime in October, I decided that what I really needed to do in order to actually draw whatever I felt like was to work with and fix my anatomy problems. After fussing around looking for anatomy resource books, I finally decided to just do google searches for what was giving me trouble, and then to practice it. It was frustrating, but I am amazed at how much progress I made in just a month or so.
First up, feet and hands!
It wasn’t that long ago that I purposely tried to make poses where the character’s hands were hidden. I really wasn’t happy with that, and spent a lot of time trying to figure out the difficult poses. I didn’t have too much success, even with plenty of help. This time, I found images of hands and feet from every possible angle, and in a variety of poses. I also pulled up references of skeleton hands and feet. Between these two, I was able to figure out easy masses that I could position relative to each other.
For feet, the biggest takeaway for me is the middle chunk of food between the ankle and the arch can be represented by a band. If I use that band while drawing a foot from different angles, it turns out really well. Trying to freehand without that doesn’t work at all.
I’ve worked to learn proportions before, and had some success. But generally I just ended up trying to pin things up somewhere in space without a good idea of what should be where. So I started using the separate references for arms, torsos, backs, etc, and made Frankenstein’s monster style sketches. I still have some issues – making people too short, for instance. But it’s all coming together nicely!
The sketch above shows a problem that I just managed to fix yesterday. I had been mixing in the old fashioned cartooning ‘heads’ into my other proportion tricks, but I couldn’t figure out how the head fit into it. I tried just making a circle the size of all the others and moving it a little further up – but the head was always too big. So I realized that if I added two short lines about 1/4 of the way up the top circle, I could then draw another circle inside for the head, and voila! It’s in proportion.
While the people I’ve been drawing didn’t seem short to me, apparently they are short. So I drew from my previous attempts at drawing Bigfoot, and made people with exceptionally long limbs. They still don’t look right to me, but I figure the more I practice with them, the more natural it will seem.
I also experimented with doing different amounts of heads for the heights. 7 heads for average, 6.5 for a little short, and 6 for very short. Presently I am still drawing everyone as pretty muscular – but that will change as I practice varying it up with different body shapes.
Lastly, here re some poses and faces!
I really enjoy how the soccer player turned out. I didn’t start out with anything particular in mind, but I thought the flailing pose would be amusing if it were a soccer player.
The faces in the last image are not the most up to date, but that one does contain my notes from learning where eyes are in the skull. I have a good sense of where the eye sockets are, but had to fuss at muscle references for quite awhile to figure out where the eyes actually end up – rather than having them just floating somewhere in the skull.
I’m very happy with the improvements in my art, and I am finding more and more that I can actually draw the things that pop up in my head. To celebrate this, I’m intending to doodle lots of fun little fan art while I continue to learn. In the meantime, here is a happy happy chicken lady!