Artloader - Sketchbook
Hey Loader! Saw you did some pen and paper sketches, cool to see that. Keep 'em up, looks like you are getting some good solid studying in those drawings.

I notice that your lines are bit messy and hairy, though. That's quite common, especially if you do mostly digital art (that medium is so forgiving that it tends to promote bad habits). I learned how not to do that with the lessons here. XD I still need more practice, but it works so much better to think BEFORE you draw and make one confident stroke than to think on your paper and make a lot of hairy strokes. Using your whole arm and not just your wrist is important too, as Feng Zhu explains here.

I like to practice these skills in felt-tip pens, 'cause they are so unforgiving that every mistake and bad bit of penmanship stands out. And you can't erase or undo it. Once you can handle a permanent medium like that and make nice drawings, you can take those skills straight to the Wacom tablet. :-)

What can I say, I <3 pens. I do want to do more pencil drawing but I just haven't gotten time right now! But mostly I just want to get more pens, some markers, and draw more with stuff I can't erase. It sounds paradoxical, but not being able to erase actually made me more secure. If I mess up, I make another drawing. And another. And keep going until that pen does just what I want.

"Drawing is a skill like hammering a nail. You might not be great at it yet, but there is nothing stopping you from gettin' down and hammering away." -Irshad Karim

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Hey Mech dude!  Thanks for dropping by again.

That is some awesome Art Kung Fu you linked me to right there man!  Drawabox and Feng Zhu know how to kick butt with pen and paper for sure!

So drawing with a pen gets you to "think before you draw" - sounds like the kind of training I need.

Did a couple of quick pen gestures trying to "think before I draw":




Man I gotta learn how to use the camera on my new phone!

“Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.” -- H. Jackson Brown Jr.

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Studying landmarks for arms and legs using my Hampton book.





“Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.” -- H. Jackson Brown Jr.

CD Sketchbook



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That cg cookie values assignment looks very similar to some of the exercises I've done from Ctrl+Paint. That stuff can be so challenging but it's definitely worth taking the time to break down values and form analytically. I need to get back to those studies myself.

Nice Hampton drawings, he really is one of the best figure construction resources. My only critique is that you're losing the "boxiness" of the torso in some of your figures. I can see you're at the chapter on connections but don't forget to draw the hard edges of the rib cage and pelvis to clarify the solid forms.

Keep on keeping on Artloader

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Hey man, good to see your recent stuff! I think it's great to practice on paper like that, especially with figures. I think that on paper you look at the whole drawing a lot more, on the screen it's hard not to look at just parts of the drawing so things like proportion can be hard to practice.

I think it's good too to introduce other study areas like values or perspective instead of getting stuck in one area. I would say, for the sake of your sanity, to regard them as a kind of 'overview' of the study area, to familiarise yourself, then in the future at some point you can go back to them and study them really intensely (in reality it's more like a roundabout going over those same topics again and again each time adding a new layer of understanding). I mention this stuff because when I did that stuff first time round, I studied different things like you but then got super frustrated when I couldn't pull some amazing illustration out of my head and I kept beating myself up with things like 'but you studied perspective and values, why can't you draw this perfectly lit interior with two characters interacting in a down angle, what's the matter with you, you're useless'. I still feel like that XD but am better at knowing why things don't work out how I want.

Not that you're doing any of that stuff, just seemed like a good thing to drop ^^

Aspiring comic book creator
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@DQ_Nick: Thanks for visiting again dude - I'll make sure I keep the virtual coffee and biscuits out for you :).  Yeah good spot with the torsos - I will watch out for that - thanks dude!

@JyonnyNovice:  Hey help yourself to a virtual brew and a biscuit dude!  Yeah I'm enjoying the traditional stuff and will continue it :).  A roundabout adding layers?  That sounds like a great way of thinking about studies - awesome!  Thanks for sharing the benefit of your experiences Jyonny :).

Talking of frustration - I'm pretty frustrated with my gestures tonight - the proportions of the one on the right is really off - I think I'm trying to do too much construction and not enough copying!

(I'm also itching to get onto the Peter Han stuff as well and couldn't help trying a few boxes and things).




And here I've started a drawing from reference where I've tried to copy more accurately.  I'm going to see if I can guess the vanishing points on this to practice perspective.



“Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.” -- H. Jackson Brown Jr.

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mmm biscuits and coffee :)

Mechanizoid is on point about your scratchy lines, but taking a step back to draw on paper, more methodically, and with pen is a great way to improve your draftsmanship.
You may already be aware of this concept but it makes a huge difference to draw with your shoulder rather than your wrist.

Looking forward to watching your growth man

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@DQ_Nick:  Heheh yeah there's beer and nibbles on the side too - help yourself!  Yep - good crit dude - thanks - I will watch out for that and I've been trying to use my shoulder more.

Studying perspective and values with the piece from reference:



“Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.” -- H. Jackson Brown Jr.

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Hey Art! :-) I'm glad my that pen stuff is helpful to you. Keep up with the pen practice! You have to draw hundreds of boxes (over time, not all at once, of course) to really get the hang of it. I think you'll find that it is fun to vary the mediums you use.

That perspective and anatomy study you are working on is kind of interesting. I think you made a mistake with the proportions, though. His head looks a bit too small. Now I'm not figure expert, but one of the things I notice is that your figures tend to be quite stiff and almost blocky. I think that is because of the way you practice constructing them–you emphasize geometric forms over fluidity and organic curves, and while those forms are helpful, having them alone tends to stiffen figures into mannequin like figures.

BTW, when you do what you call "gestures", you are really drawing constructions, not gestures. This may be why you are frustrated with them! Gestures are all about the movement, not the form. Proko explains it here. If we are drawing, say, a woman undressing, the gesture isn't her head being a sphere and her arms cylinders. Nor is it the proportions. It's that movement that connects all those forms as she undoes her dress straps or whatever. It sounds weird but Proko explains it far better than I can.

This reminds me that I must get into gestures again myself. LOL Hope that helps!

"Drawing is a skill like hammering a nail. You might not be great at it yet, but there is nothing stopping you from gettin' down and hammering away." -Irshad Karim

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Hey Mech you are so right!  Somewhere along the line I confused my gestures with construction!  I actually have studied Proko's gestures videos already but I guess I unlearned what I learned over the last couple of months!  Thanks for the push man - I'm gonna have to go back over gestures again.

Some more pen and paper gestures and I hope these are actually gestures this time!




Added some reflected light and some full light values to the referenced perspective grid study.  It is interesting to note that the left vanishing point is way way off to the left - almost in the next country!  I guess the photo must have been taken from a long way away.



“Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.” -- H. Jackson Brown Jr.

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nice one with that pose! he really feels solid and like he's jogging! I think the stiffness mentioned about that pose actually works in its favour here, since he is a built up guy running I think you'd expect to see some tension / stiffness to his upper body as he braces to impact with the ground.

Definitions differ but in general I believe a 'gesture' can really just refer to something that's unfinished and suggests something. There's a video on Watts' channel where the guy does an arm drawing that's super detailed (to my eyes) and spends about an hour on it but still says it's 'just a gesture', so take it as you will. I agree though that when we talk about figure drawing gesture we refer to more the flow and action to the pose - but then we build construction on top of that. So what you've done before they definitely are gesture drawings, just depends on your definition! I don't remember if you've been studying Hampton, he has a good process for getting a really flowing idea of the pose then building solid construction on top. Here's some crappy examples of mine following his sort of method (I posted some gesture stuff before but these might be clearer about what I'm doing)

30 second gesture, I guess proper 'gestures' looking just at rhythm and movement (although there is still some wrapping lines and stuff)

[Image: MJXaksn.jpg]

Then this next page, I start exactly as I did in the ones above but start to add just a little bit of construction and form and did them in 2 minutes each (the one in the bottom right was left in this '2 min gesture' form). Then, after I did the whole page I went back over them with no timer and started adding some more solid mannequin like constructions - maybe spending about 3 - 5 minutes on each one but I wasn't concerned with how long it took. The one in the bottom right I left untouched like I said, that's how they all looked at the beginning (you can't really see the initial flowy lines since they are really light and must've got smudged out by my hand, or else they became a part of the construction like shapes that came after).

[Image: BbD8h7r.jpg]

The poses themselves are not so good, lots of errors and weirdness but they're just my warm up, just posting them to show the process. I used more rounded mannequin construction but boxy works as well (it's actually harder I think to use boxy forms since small errors are really noticeable!).

Hope that helps in some way! Basically I'm posting this stuff again to show that you can practice gesture and construction (even accurate copying if you keep the reference images) in the same session in this kind of 3 stage approach of

1 Initial Line of action & flowy lines
2 Adding simple forms and a little structure
3 Putting solid construction on top

EDIT The benefit of doing a bunch of figure gestures first before going back to add construction one by one is that your eye will pick up more errors when you go back over them. Your kind of 'visual cache' if you like is cleared and you see the figure in a fresher way. Also if you do the construction phase without the reference it's a good challenge of your construction skills and tests if you can read your own gestures.

Aspiring comic book creator
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Take the antidote !!
All this analytical work is necessary for
mastery, but it’s not the end of it. when
you’ve studied anatomy enough to control
the forms you create, don’t forget to take
the antidote for finickiness. draw fast;
draw recklessly; draw for fun. you may
do your best work when you let go of your
intellect and follow your impulses.

Marshall Vandruff. ^^

'The best way to have a good ideas is to have a lot of ideas ' Linus Paulingth

Another guy trying learn to draw.^^
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@Jyonny: Heheh it's not too difficult to come up with a natural looking pose when I've copied it from reference - thanks though :).

It was great to get your thoughts on and see how you approach the different stages of figure drawing - it helped to reiterate to me the purpose of gesture - rhythm and movement. I am indeed following Hampton and he has a set process as you say - gesture - landmarks - anatomy - but he always starts with a gesture to capture the rhythm and movement.

Thanks for taking the time dude.


@Abnormal: Having fun with art?!? Are you sure? Just kidding ;). The thing is - I am actually having fun doing studies because I can feel the improvement in my art. However, you're not the first person to say that to me so I have just recently taken to carrying a pocket sketchbook around with me and doing sketches for fun. I think I should probably start up a side project each month where I do a more finished piece - just for fun. Thanks for the nudge though mate - appreciated.

“Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.” -- H. Jackson Brown Jr.

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Finally got around to starting the drawabox exercises.  I tried to draw from the shoulder like instructed but I wasn't sure how fast to be moving the pen - the faster I went the less accurate.  I kept overshooting the mark.  Good fun though!

I think I might use these as warm-ups each night.







“Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.” -- H. Jackson Brown Jr.

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Did some more drawabox lines to warm up (I won't post until I've filled the page) and then did some sketches using first an automatic pencil and then my fineliner pen.

This one was from imagination:




And this one was from a reference of Pinterest (I invented the obliques and serratus muscles on this though - looks a bit off I think):



“Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.” -- H. Jackson Brown Jr.

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Your studies look really interesting, I think it would be nice if you combine them with silhouette studies so you could work on form and flow at the same time. Keep up the good work :)
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Your figures really starting to look better. For the line exercises, try really to draw from your shoulder, first ghost it and then try to make a line. And try to make thin lines and thicker ones, this will be helpful with the boxes and more complex constructions later on.

Keep going :)

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@Mariyan: Thanks for dropping by :).   That sounds like a really smart move - I will give this a go - maybe even join up with the Notan study group for it!

@Eyliana:  Thanks for the push :).  Yep I am trying to draw more from the shoulder nowadays - will see if it helps with my line quality :).

Got a bit side tracked tonight - I had this idea of rendering a 3D model of a pelvis and femur from different angles and using that to practice sketching in the gluteal muscles.  First I had to do a rough model of a pelvis though - this is what I have so far (done in Blender):




Bed time now - I've broken my self imposed curfew by over an hour!

“Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.” -- H. Jackson Brown Jr.

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Good stuff man!

Lately I've been trying to sketch people in malls (portraits, poses, etc) directly on ink, it scary as hell but its helping me with my lines and of course my anatomy.

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I went through your sketchbook Artloader and I can say your progress is impressive, good improvement on a short time.

I don't have much to suggest , but would be interesting to see a full fledged painting of yours, you could use that compare what you can do in another few months.
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