So I ended up doing a piece on a pretty dark subject: A review for Susan Klebold, mother of one of the columbine shooters, new book. It was pretty interesting to try to empathize with someone who loved and lost a monster.
How do you sketch people so well? What is your trick? My drawings of people look like lifeless boxes and yours look so lively and defined. How do you do this? How can I do this?
Hey, thank you–its funny you say that, because when I look back on them, I mostly see my mistakes. But I have a few tricks people have taught me to help keep figure drawing feel alive…
- Draw in ink. This forces you to commit to a line. It’s scary at first but it’s really helpful in the long run.
- Think of the gesture as their base to build all other pieces of the pose off of.
- Try to be conscious of straights-against-curves. Just two parallel lines can make a leg feel flat. A straight line against a curve or two–that brings form to the leg.
- Basically, just go get your hands on the Walt Stanchfield figure drawing lecture books, “Drawn to Life”. He will show and explain way better. There are two volumes of this gold!!!! :
Drawn to Life: 20 Golden Years of Disney Master Classes: Volume 1: The Walt Stanchfield Lectures https://www.amazon.com/dp/0240810961/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_sCMizbNCYSD5F
Art wants you for the long haul. Pace yourself. An athlete is old at thirty-four. Artists are catching their stride at sixty.
There’s a famous anecdote about Anders Zorn. It may be apocryphal. Zorn went to art school eight hours a day, so the story goes. Not enough for this prodigious talent, so he went home and painted for four more. Twelve hours a day: that’s how much dedication Zorn put into his craft.
Good for him, and good for you if you can do it. And you may be the type that can. But, if you’re not …
You’ll try it for a week—fail miserably. You’ll give up your dream, convinced you never had it, whatever it is.
Just as there’s an art to drawing a beautiful figure, there’s also an art to reinventing yourself. Both need a process to build on.
• I want to be a fine artist. • I want to be an animator. • I want a hobby other than surfing the Internet. • I want to draw my grandchild or grandparent and be proud enough to frame it.
Whatever your dream is, try this: Draw for five minutes a day. Draw a tube. Draw a figure. Draw the eye of a figure or whatever you can draw in five minutes. Do that for two weeks and only that. If you miss a day or two, forgive yourself and start again.When you’ve accomplished those, make it ten minutes a day. Do that for another week.The strange and wondrous thing about the human condition is each of us needs to motivate ourselves to become the person we really want to be. Motivate! It’s usually about forming good habits and building on countless little improvements: improvements in craft, in work habits, in cutting ourselves a break every once in a while. So …
• five minutes • ten minutes • fifteen minutes
Eventually, you’ll find a good habit has formed, and you no longer have to fool yourself into doing what you really wanted to do all along. You’ll also find the five or ten minutes often turn into ten or fifteen minutes without even realizing it.Now, how are you feeling? Like a winner? An artist? You should. Artists do art, and you’ve been doing it every single day.
How many hours do five minutes every day over twenty years equal? A lot. Be in it for the long term. And when you’re not drawing with a pencil, draw with your eyes. See the world as an artist because you are an artist. Be modest in your goals, at first.Five minutes a day and soon you’ll be putting in the long hours without even thinking about it. Why? Because you proved weeks ago who you really are!So, I wish for you those small improvements. Because, then, I know you’ll be making new ones next year and the year after that, just like I will be.I’ll know both of us are making our world a little more beautiful, five minutes at a time.
Hi there! I came across your blog today and I really truly love your art veeery much :'))) for an aspiring artists myself, do you have any art tips? I'm struggling with drawing figures/poses/proportions and my imagination is limited Orz oshietekudasai sensei!
thank you kindly! i’m still learning a lot tbh so i might not be able to give the most cohesive advice.
the main thing i keep in mind is how i can simplify the figure into just 3D blocks and planes. these are some pages from one of andrew loomis’ figure drawing books which i find is pretty helpful explaining in what i mean.
dont overcomplicate, these blocks just form the basic framework to hang your persons skin and clothes on!! tracing these shapes over anatomical figures or musculature diagrams can often help with proportion too.
additionally, theres no shame in using photo references to understand how poses can work. these are just a few stock images i found, and i did some simplified figures next to them.
everyone struggles whether they’ve been drawing for 10 years or are only starting out, but really the best way is just to keep practicing and doing lots of studies so you understand how the human figure can move and pose. nothing beats hard work and practice so i hope this helps somewhat and good luck!
Mack, I saw your answer about what books you used to learn how to draw. How you learned to draw with Loomis' figure drawing? His book helped me to draw heads but I can't understand his full body construction method... I know it's a weird question and probably the answer is not simple. Forgive my english.
Hey, Anon. It’s not a weird question at all! And your question is pretty clear.
So, I guess you have a problem with few first part about all that crazy perspective lines and some boxes, right? Sorry about messy doodle! I left my copy in Korea, I cannot remember what’s the title of that part. Anyway, I hope I guess it correctly.
I totally understand your situation, Anon. To be honest, I’m not a text-friendly person. I couldn’t understand those parts clearly even though it’s written in my first language. Maybe it’s because I had zero knowledge about perspective and so on, but I was kinda person who wanted more images, not bunch of texts. I personally think I can learn more better when I draw rather than trying to understand whole meaning of texts in the book, and I tried to study this book as much as I could understand. I actually read whole book, but the only thing I still remember is Mr. Loomis’ drawing.
And I found this part. I felt this way of sketching with rough&simple lines helped me to learn how to draw full body more believable. This is also simplified skeleton structure, so it’s much more easier to understand anatomy (and it’s actually really fun to draw!) I started with those simple lines, then moved on to muscles. Speaking of anatomy, I’ve never tried to memorize muscles’ or bones’ name, I more focused on drawing them “correctly.”
Summary (step by step) : Simple line drawing of full body bone structure - More detailed(or maybe realistic?) bones and muscles - More more detailed muscles of each parts (Arms, legs and so on) - Head, hands, feet - Perspective
Even though a book gives you all that informations, you need to find a way how to learn, interpret, and use it to your art. And I think you don’t have to follow that book exactly. You can use it as you want. I thought I wasn’t smart enough to understand whole meanings, so I found the easiest part and then moved on to more deeper part. I’m not saying that all texts in an art book are useless, it sometimes makes me super confused and it leads to time-wasting. I don’t think my answer is the right answer because everyone learns differently. If you put effort on finding your own way to use books, you’ll get what you want. Hope my answer is not confusing! I’ll be glad if this helps you at least just a little. Good luck!
*draws a thing* Hey I should post this to Tumblr *posts to Deviantart and promptly forgets that I have a Tumblr*
Hey guess who’s not dead.
I haven’t posted any art here or there in what feels like 8 years like Yikes. I’ll spare you all the boring details but sufficient to say that there was about a month where some outside factors were causing me a huge amount of stress and I was too upset to do any drawing or really anything besides watch Haikyuu. Thankfully that’s been dealt with (for now), but then I got busy with work and school and still didn’t have any time to draw. But! As my poor followers are painfully aware, a few months I got into My Hero Academia and I’m head-over-heels in love.
I have something like half a notebook’s worth of sketches and doodles to submit, so to start here’s the clean version of a sketch of Uraraka I did. I love her but that costume is kind of a pain to draw. (Those boots make no sense?? Trying to draw the heels made me wanna stab somebody.)
I have a ton of trouble drawing from anything but a frontshot which obviously makes a lot of art boring and limits poses. How do I draw the head from different angles? I have the most trouble with feature placement but also how to actuallydrawthehead