Want to draw people better ??
Here are some tips that help me draw people that look like actual people
- References from the internet are good, but references you make yourself are better
Why tho? Because we know what we look like. How we move, what our body does when it twists and turns - we know our own bodies far better than any stranger’s. Taking pictures of yourself in crazy poses helps not only put your own personality into the characters you draw, it gives you a better understanding of anatomy and pose dynamics. Even if you aren’t a model, every human is expressive in their own way, and chances are the fact that you aren’t a model is going to put a lot more realistic depth and likability into your drawings. Why do you think folks at Disney, Laika and more depend on their own footage other than one’s handed to them?
Here are some of mine. I will embarrass myself for education.
- Draw the human figure every chance you get
I know we don’t all have access to top notch figure drawing classes, but I’m assuming we all have friends (?) that would love to jump in and pose for us every so often. I try and do a session of 1 min poses daily before I start work on my comic. It helps my mind think three dimensional and it’s fun to see yourself improve as time goes on. PLUS you can always go back to a drawing you like and reference that in another drawing too! There are websites all over that have free image drawing sessions you can choose from. Or you can be a creep like I am and go sit in public places and sketch people from afar (or even just go up to them and ask to draw them, I find most people are flattered and don’t mind at all). A good idea is to switch every now and then between pencil and pen. I know, pen is scary, but so is growth. Go nuts.
These are from when I first started figure drawing. Don’t do what I did and leave out the hands/feet just because they’re hard.
- Capture the pose now, add your own style later
I don’t want to start an art student fight on Tumblr, so I’ll just say this: Ya can’t add the pzazz if you don’t have the pza. If your foundations aren’t strong, guess what, you’re drawing is going to suffer. You can try and hide it with your own stylistic choices, sure, but anyone artist or not can look at a drawing and tell that something is “off” when you don’t have your fundamentals down. Take - your life drawing - seriously. I understand that not everyone LOVES to draw bottles and bowls for three hours, I get it. But if you can’t draw bottles and bowls in front of you correctly, how can you expect to draw bottles and bowls from your noggin correctly? Remember this equation: (Fundamentals)pza + (Your own thang)zz = pzazz.
Cute drawing, right? Wrong. This doesn’t even make sense. Let’s play a game called “how many mistakes can you see in this old drawing” of mine?
- Accept that drawing people is the hardest thing to draw and take the time you need to make a good drawing
Whoever says that drawing people is easy is lying. Ask all the professionals out there, drawing the human figure takes practice, practice, practice. Folks who have been working at Disney for years are still required to enroll in company exclusive figure drawing classes daily. There are days I can whip out a model sheet in thirty minutes, then there are some days it takes me a good two hours to get a face to look right. You WILL learn the more you do it, but that’s assuming that you are dedicated and will set time aside every day to challenge yourself and take your work seriously. If you desire to go into the animation industry, or any art occupation for that matter, expect the people hiring you to ask you for figure drawings in your portfolio.
Draw on my dudes!