beckhamdraws

4

“You know what your problem is? You want to think of yourself as the good guy. Well, I know you better than anyone, and I can tell you that you’re not. In fact, you’d probably sleep a lot better at night if you just admitted to yourself that you’re a selfish goddamn coward who just takes whatever he wants and doesn’t give a shit about who he hurts. That’s you. That’s BoJack Horseman.”

Boj doodles for practice/fun.

anonymous asked:

Yo hi I just wanted to say I adore ur art it's gorgeous but like, do you have any tips when it comes to keeping characters looking consistant? Like doing references and profiles, my characters always look different in each picture and Idk how to fix it but yours is stunning?

Thank you! Glad you enjoy my stuff.

I’m gonna admit it right now, I’m really not the best as consistency or angles or teaching, but I made some images to illustrate some tips I have, mostly because I’m a very visual person and find it easier to explain this way. I feel like it’s important to include both how I go about keeping my characters looking the same on each draw AND keeping them looking the same from different angles because let’s face it, you won’t just be drawing ¾ views of your character forever.

This is my Gin design for my Ginga fan project. I picked him because he seems like he’d be easiest to illustrate and I’m familiar with his design.
Basically, Gin’s head is a very simple conglomeration of basic shapes when you get down to it: the base is a sphere, the muzzle is somewhat cubic, like a square styrofoam cup, he has a solid dent in his head for his browline, his ears are triangular, and his eyes are beeeg balls in his head. Notice how I refer to his body parts as things like “spheres” and “cubes” and not “circles” and “squares”. That’s because when constructing a 2D character in a 3D space, you should make an effort to understand them in 3D terms. It takes some practice, but you should be envisioning them as essentially a 3D model on the page.
This is essentially how I draw Gin’s head, regardless of angle. His head is a squashed sphere, so I turn it like a sphere depending on where he’s looking (like forward, for instance.) His blocky muzzle also gets turned to a different angle if necessary. The key here is that he’s made up of solid shapes to start with, not just lines. If you’re in the habit of composing characters of purely lines while you draw and you’re having trouble with consistency, try breaking them down into basic shapes instead.

Another tip that helped me when I was younger (and occasionally does now) is laying down extra lines on my references, even if those references are just the original character drawing, to communicate proportions. You’ll probably notice the line running down the center of Gin’s face in the first image, which is typically all I need, but it might be useful to someone else to draw him with three lines running down the center of his face to understand where to put his eyes.
This grid-looking Gin can be helpful. The three lines in the middle of his face, fore example, run through both his eyes and his nose. The line extending from his browline runs to the edge of his ear. He has a line immediately over his eyes and one immediately under them. That can help you align some of his features. The paranoid looking Gin was draw freehanded, not traced, and though it’s not perfectly exact, it’s fairly accurate to the original’s proportions.
Something I didn’t illustrate here is how I quickly “measure” different body parts while drawing them. Ever seen a characiture of an artist holding up a paintbrush? That’s a real technique used to see how something in the reference image measures up to something on the page. I typically do this in my head by approximating, like “Hmm, if I say the eyeball is 1, then the ear is 2 eyeballs long” or something similar.
Don’t be embarrassed of using a lot of guidelines if you’re getting into the swing of things. Nobody will need to see your sketch anyway, especially with digital lineart, or you can erase away the mess later if you need to. All that matters is understanding your subject.

This is sort of a combination of the above two things. I erased a lot of the more distracting construction lines, but you can typically still see the lines running down the middle of Gin’s face and maybe the lines of the sphere forming it as well. I primarily tried to illustrate that the centerline of his face (the eyeline) and the browline curve and follow the angle of his head, which shows me where to place his eyes. This could be expanded out to help place other features of his too.
When using guidelines like this to keep consistency, think of the angle the subject is being viewed from. e.g. when his head is turned up and back, the centerline is also curved in a way that shows his head sphere is turned up and back. If his head is pointing downwards, the lines curve in a downwards slope.
Despite the curve of each line, I tried to keep each line approximately the same length, even if it wraps around an unseen part of the head.
Another thing is that when his head is angled back, his eyeline and browline are placed further up on his head, and when it’s angled down it’s the same thing in reverse. This is also something to remember when constructing a character from different angles - you can’t have everything in the same place it is from a neutral position and expect it to look right.

It’s also much easier to tell if you’re keeping everything in check with references. Just because a reference is realistic doesn’t mean it can’t show you how your stylized character might look from a different angle - not only will you pick up on the subtle details that you might not have included before, but it will be easier to fit your character’s relative proportions to match. e.g. Riki’s mouth in the bottom ref is smaller then it usually appears since he’s at a downward angle, so i can take Gin’s already fairly small chin and make it smaller and it looks fine (though I probably could’ve stood to make his upper jaw a little longer… whoops!.)

Another thing that often works: try something new, and slow down. The sketch of my design of John on the left took me maybe 5 minutes, and it shows, even with references. I wanted him to have his head at an upward angle, showing his prideful attitude, but it wasn’t working. So I angled him a little differently, slowed down, and corrected myself as I went along, and he started looking more on model. He also began looking more like himself, as in he showed more of his personality, which also makes a character seem more “accurate”. It took more time, at least half an hour, but I was satisfied with the results. You can see I erased a lot more guidelines in the second one from all the left over pixely mess, which is fine given nobody has ever seen this sketch… til now!
You’ll notice similarities between the two, but in the end they ended up looking very different despite being constructed in a pretty similar way.

TL;DR -

  1. Build a character’s design out of shapes. Remember those shapes and practice drawing them.
  2. Use as many guidelines as necessary to keep yourself in check.
  3. Wrap those guidelines around a character’s form to keep consistency at different angles.
  4. References are a godsend.
  5. Be willing to spend time trying a new approach if you don’t get it right the first time.

General tips -

  1. Learn to draw basic 3D shapes. Use them as often as you can.
  2. Become familiar with your subject - I’ve been drawing dogs for years so it was easier for me to adjust then someone who hasn’t.
  3. Actively look for the shapes that could potentially make up a character’s form.
  4. Practice with simple designs with easy to see construction shapes and forms first.
  5. Be patient with yourself. Improvement doesn’t happen overnight.

Some (more eloquent and pretty) tutorials on construction: