Help! I have been trying really hard to improve my drawing skills, practicing almost everyday. I have been watching tutorials and studying anatomy but I can't get my characters to look natural.. They look extremely stiff and blocky... Any advice?? Oh! I almost forgot, I LOVE YOUR ART SO MUCH!!!
GESTURES. GESTURES. GESTURES!
Studying anatomy is fantastic. Whatever you do, don’t stop! I’m going to suggest gestures but that is by no means a suggestion to swap. Just start implementing gestures as well.
Okay. So. Look at this.
This is a still from Glean Keane animating Tarzan - and it exactly nails what a gesture is. Just a few simple lines that are full of movement and you can tell exactly what the heck is going on. All with a few simple lines.
Learning anatomy is great - but learning how to implement it is another thing. If I focus too much on nailing anatomy - the drawing starts to feel stiff, exactly as you’ve stated.
Gestures are all about forgetting what you think you know about muscles and structure and instead drawing what movement in a body FEELS like. That might sound cooky but that’s kind of how I approach it in my head. It’s all about those lines of movement and contrast and CURVES.
I think loosening up and forgetting about how technically correct a drawing is and instead embracing something rough and full of movement, and looking at how the lines in the human body contrast themselves will do you wonders. Keep learning anatomy, but look at how we move and look the weird shapes we can make with our bodies. Look at the way we slouch and stand tall. The way we dance, the way we run. Sit in a coffee shop and try to draw the heart of someone’s pose in like 30 seconds.
Observe MOVEMENT AND RHYTHM AND MY GOD THE HUMAN BODY IS POETRY *GESTICULATES WILDLY*
Even just grabbing a photograph from the net and looking at it objectively - how would this pose break down into a few simple lines? It’s so damn simple to look at something this way. You can endlessly improve your knowledge of anatomy and your technical abilities - but I think so many of us (myself included) stumble at the simplest foundations.
Always take the notes for a particular class in the same notebook. Spiral bound notebooks were invented because they solved the problem of keeping related information consolidated in one place. Take advantage of this.
Date each entry into your notebook.
It is usually best to keep the notes for different classes separate from each other. Spiral notebooks with built in dividers are excellent for this purpose.
Your notes should contain as complete a record of what the instructor said as possible. Of course, you should not try to write every word spoken, but don’t leave out ideas. When you study, your notes should call back to your mind the entire sequence of ideas presented. Take care to spell all new words carefully. It you don’t know how to spell a word, ask your instructor to write it on the board. Most will automatically do so for new or difficult terms.
Anything the instructor writes on the board should appear in your notes. If the instructor took the time to write it out, he or she considers it important. You should do the same.
If possible, try to take your notes in some kind of outline form. The organization of ideas is as important as the content of those ideas, especially when it comes to learning the material for an exam.
You might find it useful to have a second color of pen or pencil available for highlighting important ideas or indicating vocabulary.
Be involved in your classes.
Don’t simply pretend you are a sponge, ready to soak up whatever the instructor says. You are there to learn, not to be taught.
If the instructor is moving too rapidly for you, or if you don’t understand what is being said, say something!
Ask questions if you are confused. Confusion is definitely your worst enemy.
If your class includes group activities, participate as fully as you can. Such exercises are done for your benefit, not to provide a break for the instructor.
Review your notes every day.
This suggestion is one which we have all heard a thousand times. Unfortunately, most of us never really believe it until we actually try it. Spend 30 minutes or so each evening going over the notes from each class. There are at least two tremendous benefits to be gained from this discipline.
Research has shown that reviewing new material within 24 hours of hearing it increases your retention of that material by about 60%. This means that you will be 60% ahead of the game the next time you walk into class. If you want to significantly reduce the time necessary to prepare for exams, this is the way to do it.
Reviewing material before the next class period enables you to identify points of confusion or omission in your notes, which prepares you to ask the questions you need to ask before the next lecture. Again, confusion is your worst enemy.
It is excellent policy to give high priority to new vocabulary. Language is the most fundamental tool of any subject, and it can seriously handicap you to fall behind in this.
Keep up on your reading.
Unlike most high school teachers, many college instructors don’t give specific reading assignments. You are expected to go to your text for the reading related to the materials covered in class. Be independent enough to do this without being told.
Using Your Textbook
Don’t expect your instructor to give you detailed, page by page textbook assignments. While some may do so, many do not. College teachers are much more likely to expect you to use your own initiative in making use of the text.
In most cases, it will be most useful for you to at least skim the relevant chapters before each lecture. You should receive a course outline/syllabus at the beginning of the quarter, which will tell you the subject for each day. You may receive chapter references (or even page references), or you instructor may expect you to be perceptive enough to refer to the Table of Contents.
When you first approach a chapter, page through it fairly quickly, noting boldface headings and subheadings, examining figures, illustrations, charts, etc., and thinking about any highlighted vocabulary terms and concepts. Also take note of the pedagogical aids at the end of the chapter–study questions, summary, etc.
When you have finished surveying the chapter, return to the beginning and read in more detail. Remember to concentrate upon understanding. Don’t simply read through the words. Any words which you don’t understand you should look up. If you own the book and intend to keep it, you may want to write definitions of such words in the margins. You may also find it helpful to make observations and other useful notes in the margins. If you don’t intend to keep the book yourself, you should carry out similar activities on a page in your class notebook.
On this first trip through the chapter, you should concentrate upon catching the major subjects and points of the material. Also take note of those things which you don’t understand. If the lecture on the material doesn’t clarify those points, you should ask your instructor to explain.
Following coverage of the chapter’s material in class, you should go back to the book and read it again. It will probably be helpful to skim through it first, as you did when you first looked at it. The tables and figures should be more readily read in detail. If you are a truly conscientious student, you will outline the chapter and prepare a vocabulary list of the terms which are pertinent.
At this time you should think seriously about the review and study questions at the end of the chapter. Do your best to answer all of them as if they were a take-home exam.
You may also want to develop a system of cross referencing symbols to use when comparing your class notes to your notes from the text.
Remember that your instructor will probably not use the same words which you find in the text book. nothing is more frustrating than to discover that what you hear in class is no more than a rehash of what you read in the book. However, if your instructor knows his/her subject, and the author of your text knows his/her subject, the meat of what they say should be the same.
NOTE: Nobody is infallible. Your instructor may make mistakes. Don’t expect
them to be more than human.
Here’s another thing we have all been told thousands of times: Don’t leave assignments until the day before they are due! If you have a paper to write or a lab report to prepare, begin it as soon as possible. In most cases, instructors will be delighted to receive work early. Remember that many papers or projects require quite a bit of research before you can even begin writing. In most cases, it is impossible to accomplish the necessary preparation in one day or even one week. In some cases, instructors won’t accept late work at all. They are perfectly justified.
Another sore point:Be aware of the appearance of the work you submit. You should want to be proud of every assignment you submit, and that includes being proud of its appearance. If possible, assignments should always be typed. Never turn in an assignment written in pencil. Pages torn out of notebooks are sloppy and unsightly.Thinkabout this point every time you hand an instructor an assignment. That paper represents the quality of your work, and your instructor is perfectly justified in taking its appearance into consideration when assigning a grade.
Preparing for Exams
Keep in mind that you want to be an activelearner, not a passive one. The more you use and manipulate the information, the better you will understand it. Using and manipulating information in as many ways as possible also maximizes your ability to access your memory.
Do not wait until the night before an exam to study! Of course, you should be regularly reviewing your notes, but the preparation still takes time.
If your instructor hasn’t explained to you how he or she designs exams, ask. this is a perfectly legitimate concern. However, keep in mind that an instructor has the right to design exams in whatever fashion he or she sees fit, and in most cases you have no business asking for changes in that design. You need to learn to handle all testing styles–including the dreaded essay exam!
A good first step in preparation is to read through your notes a couple of times. While you are doing this, you might also;
Highlightmajor topics and subtopics, with the goal of generating an outline of your notes. Even if you take your notes in outline form, this is a good practice. Major topics often extend through more than one day’s lecture, and it is easy to lose track of the overall picture from day to day.
With a second color, highlight all vocabulary terms.
Outline the entire set of notes. When you study a large body of information, you should study from concept to detail, not the other way around. It will, in fact, be much easier to learn the details if you take the time to learn the concept and theory first. The least efficient approach to studying is to attempt to memorize your notes from beginning to end. It’s not the words which are important–it’s the ideas.
Consider ways of dealing with the information other than those used in class. the more ways you can manipulate and experience the material you are trying to learn, the more secure your understanding and memory will be. Some suggestions:
Make charts, diagrams and graphs.
If the subject matter includes structures, practice drawing those structures. Remember that a drawing is useless unless the important structures are labeled.
There are almost always types of information which you will have to memorize (eg. vocabulary). No one has ever invented a better device for memorizing than flash cards.
One of the most universally effective ways to polish off your study activities is to prepare a self test.
Challenge yourself as severely as you can.
As you are studying, keep a running collection of “exam questions.” If you seriously attempt to write difficult and meaningful questions, by the time you finish you will have created a formidable exam. When you begin to feel you’re ready for your instructor’s exam, take out your questions and see if you can answer them. If you can’t, you may need to go back and reinforce some of the things your are trying to learn.
Never, ever pull an “All-Nighter" on the night before an exam. This is a "freshman trick,” meaning that good students learn very quickly that it is futile. What you may gain from extra study time won’t compensate for the loss of alertness and ability to concentrate due to lack of sleep.
On exam day:
Try not to “cram” during every spare moment before an exam. This only increases the feeling of desperation which leads to panic, and then to test anxiety. You may find it useful, on the night before an exam, to jot down a few ideas or facts which you wish to have fresh in your mind when you begin the exam. Read through your list a couple of times when you get up in the morning and/or just before you take the exam, then put it away. This kind of memory reinforcement not only improves your performance on the test, it also improves your long-term memory of the material.
Be physically prepared.
Get a good night’s sleep.
Bring necessary writing materials to the test–at least 2 writing tools, erasers, blue books if necessary, calculators if appropriate and allowed. Be aware of what the instructor has specified as permitted for use. Some instructors object to exams written pencil; some prohibit use of tools like calculators. It is your responsibility to know these requirements; you should be prepared to take the consequences if you don’t.
This may seem silly, but go to the bathroomjust before the exam. Don’t expect your teacher to let you leave to do this during the test! The tension which generally goes along with taking an exam may increase the need to perform this physical activity, so you may need to go, even though you don’t particularly feel like it.
Some Final Suggestions
You should receive a syllabus for each class. This is the Rule Bookfor that class (in my classes, we call it the Survival Manual). Know everythingon that syllabus! Your teacher has the right to expect you to know and abide by any rules and stipulations on that document, and it is perfectly within his/her rights to penalize you for failing to do so. Respect dates and deadlines, and expect to lose points if you turn things in late.
Never miss an examif you can help it. You will rarely be more ready for the exam in two or three days than you are on the scheduled date, and the annoyance the teacher will feel about having to arrange a special exam time for you can actually hurt your grade in the end. Miss exams only if you absolutely have to.
Save everything. Never throw away a handout or a returned assignment or exam. With this in mind, equip yourself with a pouched folder for each class.
Develop systematic behavior patterns associated with your schoolwork.
Keep your class materials together and neat.
Never allow yourself to be caught at school without the necessary notebooks and materials. If you develop systematic habits with respect to attending classes, etc., this will be no problem.
It is excellent practice to set aside a study area at home, and to designate a particular span of time each day as study time. However, don’t fall into the trap of feeling that study should never exceed the preordained time limits. You put in as much study time as is necessary to master the material for your classes.
*Rebecca Black’s voice* It’s friday friday, it’s tutorials time on friday! - last week I asked which tutorial would you like and some of you said noses, o here you are! I hope these tips will be useful, here you can see some examples of the structure I use to draw the noses. Check all my tutorials on my instagram account ☺️💪🏻 or on my tumblr: akisdoodles.tumblr.com/tagged/tutorial#akitutorials#motivationfriday
got a lil’ bored of my grid loose leaf papers so i wrote my geography notes in a tiny lined muji notebook (which i got as a gift) instead (*´◡｀*) also i am never going to draw the structure of a nephron again it sucks so bad
I just adore your art style, it's so cute! I'm thinking of making comics myself. Do you think you could give me some tips on angling or facial expressions or overall detail?
Thank you so so much! I really appreciate that! Like, a whole lot. ^^
I’m not exactly sure how much I’ll be able to help you, though I can at least give you some pointers on expressions! I’ll do my best. I’m sorry this is coming a bit late!
I’m going to use Bendy for my examples, just because he’s super easy to draw and I have him on hand/mind at the moment. But! These can be used on just about anyone.
Keep in mind: this is just my way of doing things. There isn’t one “set” way to create great art! There’s a lot of experimenting, testing and growing when it comes to artwork.
When it comes down to expressions, there are a few things to consider: what are they feeling? How intense is this feeling? How far can, or should you push it? How can you make this feel realistic? In visual storytelling, showing what a character is going through is far more important than telling the reader. In a comic setting, there’s a very fine balance–since you have images to go with the words, but you can’t convey each minute action… At least in a reasonable amount of panels, the dialogue and the images have to work together when they’re used in tandem.
When a character is shouting, you have to push their expression further–it won’t be enough to show them with their mouth slightly open, or with a flat face. Give them wide eyes, or shut their eyes completely with frustration. Open their mouth wide, maybe even get their body language involved if you have enough room. Throw their arms in the air, have them pulling at their hair!
Likewise, if what they’re saying is quiet or somber, soften their expression. Have their gaze ill-focused, or looking to the ground. Their shoulders could be slumped, their brow could be low. Their mouth could be almost, or entirely closed. Or are they happy? Raise their eyebrows, widen their eyes with joy! Bring out that smile! Use as much variety and as many shapes as you can!
Because I’m a visual person, here are a few examples to give you a better idea of what I mean:
(I’m sorry if my handwriting is hard to read)
Which facial expressions are more interesting? Sure, the ones on the left are going through the motions of emoting, but the ones to the right REALLY show how the character is feeling!
Body language is also immensely important when it comes down to expressiveness. Every part of the body can be used to convey a message. The crossing of arms can indicate disgust, or even put a small barrier between two people. Slumped shoulders show disappointment or sadness. Every little movement a character makes can have a massive impact on their overall tone. Here are a few examples like the above:
Even minute changes to a static pose can make a BIG difference! Test around and see what works best.
I’ve noticed that some animators have mirrors near their desk. This is so they can look up at their reflection and make a face into the mirror. They project their character’s feelings onto themselves, that way they can see what sort of facial expression would be best suited to that emotion. Nowadays we can just google this, but it’s still a good idea. Don’t be afraid to look up references whenever you need them. I know I do frequently! There’s no shame in using references!
I’m sorry I can’t help you quite as much with angles. I feel that I’d need to do a little more research in order to be able to articulate this more fluently. Perhaps some other time I can try and revisit this and go more into depth about perspective and foreshortening, but for now, here’s another great guide that might help you along in the right direction. I use a similar structure for my own drawings!
I know you didn’t ask for it, but I’d like to give you some tips about comic making. If you don’t want them, then I guess you can just stop reading, pfff. Either way I’ll put it under a cut so this post doesn’t take up so much of the dashboard.
Despite being my favorite animals, tigers have given me difficulty when drawing because of their facial structure being unique in contrast to common cats and other big cats. Their fur is longer on certain areas and much of their structure relies on the placement of the stripes and the fur around their face and ears, unlike leopards and lions which have an easier structure to draw with linework due to the short fur. I want to stem away from the familiar habit of relying on colors and markings to differentiate similar species. Here are some messy practice drawings!
It’s a two-fer! Courtesy of @dcwomenkickingass, and specifically this post, I had to do an edit of these, while my storyboards wait.
I’m not going to go into long explanations here, I hope the drawings do speak for themselves. In the first case, it’s a Land being Land, although I do have to say that he did give a butt to Silk, as opposed to his usual ablation of hips and gluteus maximi. However, he unfortunately did it wrong.
Artistic anatomy is all about drawing structure, from the inside out. Your muscles by themselves can’t look right if they aren’t placed on top of a properly proportioned skeleton. Boobs won’t look right if they aren’t drawn as following the curve of the ribcage, its center line, or the movement of the arms which either pull or push on the pectorals on which the breasts hang. The arms back mean the shoulders are lowered, and the angle of the hands will be different since there’s a ¾ turn on the torso. It shows that Land is drawing by guessed shapes, copied contours and practiced repeated motions. There’s no real structure underneath his shapes.
And if we look at the legs, I can only picture Kitty Pride phasing out of a wall: the legs look like they got mangled up to look like stumps. But even structure-wise, there is no thought put into whether the pose actually works, which is why it looks so clumsy. The legs should be reversed due to the line of action that’s in the torso but not followed through into the pelvis and legs. And I’ve been using the coil technique a lot in order to make my volumes work - it should be obvious by the roughs above - which help me figure out things like foreshortening.
Silk too was a problem of lack of structure, proportions all over the place, and lack of weight and purpose, but it felt moreso than Spiderwoman. I used the same pose Land did but worked out the skeleton first, using rotation arcs in order to properly proportion the length of the various limbs. I don’t know these characters and I might not have used these poses, but Silk here definitely looks like she’s dancing.
The variant cover by Manara looks like a pose right out of porn, pelvis up and cheeks spread, costume looking like body paint, and it makes me very uncomfortable. She doesn’t look like a superhero about to strike, she looks like she’s about to get… well, it’s a porn pose. This is sexualisation. It also reminds me of the Dog Bone sexy shape.
So I turned the pose sideways to figure it out, and to see what would work better. The sideways pose as is, as you can see, is angled to do quite the opposite of ass-kicking. Were she to try to leap from that pose, she’d fall flat on her face. The second pose is the “coiled like a spring”, but in the camera angle of the cover, it’s an ugly, ugly pose. So I tried to do something in-between, and just by making the pelvis horizontal and lifting the torso off the ground, I’ve managed to move the center of gravity so her weight is on her feet instead of her knees, she can use her arms to maneuver in most directions, and you still get an interesting body shape to look at. I think this works better, and much more ready to spring into motion.
Wanted also to say thanks for all the reblogs, likes and recent follows! I appreciate each one of them, and it’s because you’re still sharing and commenting that I came back to do this. However I’m still really busy! I won’t be posting a lot, but I do plan on posting more than I have. Back to storyboards for me!
hey everyone! How I create my spells has been a hot topic on this blog recently. Spending time to create my own spells is one of the things that I love most about witchcraft - and I highly recommend giving it a go. So this post is a combination of the process that I use when writing my own spells, and also some random tips which may be useful. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me!
For me a spell has four main parts: an intent, something which charges the spell and supplies the energy, ingredients/items which transmute the energy to your intent, and a way that your spell is brought together or contained. From this, spells can be made in a limitless amount of ways.
The first thing to do when creating your spell is to determine what the intent is. Write down the intent for your spell and make sure it’s clear and concise.
Once you have your intent, determine what type of spell that you want to create. Examples of these include spell jars, spell sachets, potions, charmed objects or jewellery…
After this, think about ingredients that you own that fit with your intent - these make up the basis of your spell and help to transmute the energy to your intent. Examples of these ingredients are iron nails for protection, bay laurel for wish granting.
The next thing is to work out what way your spell will be charged. Examples of this include crystals, stones, salt, using a wand or athame, asking a deity for help.
Once you have decided these things, you can gather your ingredients and prepare to perform your spell.
Remember to cleanse yourself, your space and your items before you perform your spells. This can be as simple as you like - i.e using a sigil.
You can also use sigils to make your intent clear, or replace the wording of your intent.
You can also ask your deities or spirits to help you with spells, if you work with any. Depending on the theme of your spell, some deities may be more suited than others.
Decide if you want to perform your spell on a specific day of the week, Sabbat or moon phase. Certain times of the year lend themselves to specific intents.
Do research on tumblr, online and from books. See how other people spells are structured and draw inspiration from this.
Ta-da! I hope that this post can be helpful to some of you. Let me know how you get on with creating your own spells!
Going over the basic shapes and proportions that you need to be aware of when drawing hands, as well as covering some common mistakes that people make when drawing the structure of the hand. Subscribe to get notified when Part 2 goes up! In Part 2 we’ll look at the hand in 3D and how it moves!
hey! i'm an Aspiring Artist and i've got troubles. I was wondering if you have/could make a tutorial on how to make wider/bigger noses? I've been trying so hard but I only come out with a white people nose when i'm trying hard to draw someone who isn't white. Thanks!
This is an amazing, comprehensive resource on drawing different types of facial features and the way they vary across ethnicities.
I also suggest looking up stock photos, pics of your favorite celebrities with different nose structures and drawing them.
What I found when I analyzed a few photos is that the proportions are similar, yet the bridge is slightly wider, the nostrils flare slightly, and the end is a bit wider.
I will draw out a tutorial for you in the near future! I got a bit of school work to do right now, but when I have time, I will make a more visual tutorial explaining what I mean.
Hope this helps!
Please consider giving this post a reblog if you enjoyed it! It helps this reach more people <3 It would mean the world to me if you could check out my art at @astrikos!
The most common mistake when drawing after Bridgman (I was guilty of this one), is copying his marks. Instead, look at what he’s trying to show you. His drawings are exaggerations of the form analogies he’s trying to communicate to his students. Bridgman is all about 3D form. He simplifies form better than anyone else. He shows us how the forms lock together and flow through the body. Even though he’s so heavy on structure, his drawings are super dynamic. Once you learn how to study Bridgman, his teaching becomes priceless.
can u please do a tutorial on body structure?? I only discovered ur art 2 min ago and i think its a GODSEND
Hi there! To be honest, my knowledge of drawing anatomy and structure is still growing as an artist, but I do have some general shortcuts that I use when I draw or storyboard. Most of the time I begin my drawings with the gesture and then build on top of the drawing. For dynamic and clear poses, starting off with a simple gesture before laying down the structure is good to help maintain “life” in the pose. I tend to refer to Rad Sechrist’s tutorials on his blog “Rad’s How To,” for specific structure tips, since he breaks down how to draw hands, arms, legs, etc. In addition, my friend Alex Chiu is a fantastic story artist, and she has a strong understanding of anatomy and structure in her drawings. I hope this helps! Thanks!