I'm gonna be really honest here, because that's what you need. I JUST saw this thread for the first time (only now getting back into this site) and after looking at the first few pics you posted from back in 2009 I thought "this guy will be deadly with some anatomy books". You clearly have artistic talent and clearly have a strong like/desire for drawing, which in my opinion is EQUALLY necessary.
Then I skipped to the last 2 pages of the thread and saw pics from this year. You have clearly improved. Your proportions are much better, you draw things like hands better, small details including but not limited to the surroundings of the characters are better, etc. Shading and texturing seems improved. Just all around improvement. The honest part of my post here is that its actually not the level of improvement I was hoping/expecting to see after 4 and a half years.
You said you picked up some anatomy books back in 2009 (a Hogarth one too, nice, I really like him. I just picked up Dynamic Anatomy myself!) so I wonder, how much time, say in a week, do you spend reading from those books, drawing the examples they have and using what you read/see in your own sketches? Have you used any other online artists anatomy source to make up for the fact you cannot take life drawing classes (posemaniacs is a GREAT website for this. If you do not already know it, google that shit my friend)? Basically how much time over these years have to committed to drawing and how much of you drawing time have you committed to studying the things you wish to improve (like anatomy)?
I say/ask these things both because its what aspiring artists like you want to hear in order to face what they do and better decide what to do next, and because I too am an aspiring artist who is desperately trying to improve to overcome what the last several years of not taking my drawing seriously at all has done to my skills and I'm interested in knowing as much as I can about what other improving artists are doing and how they are doing it.
Thank you for your comments and crits sir.I'm trying to get better with anatomy but it seems like a slow struggle with me.I have not been using those resources as much as I should have and I did stop drawing for awhile out of frustration or what I called artist block.I just did'nt have the love or feeling of wanting to draw anymore.That also slowed down my progess.I'll check out the sites you suggested Im trying to keep my love of drawing alive but I will admit it is hard.
I know exactly what you mean. I know from experience, as long as its something you still want to be doing, the enjoyment of actually doing it comes back with progress, and progress comes with practice. Get that pencil mileage in, make sure you are drawing SOMETHING as close to every day as you can, even if its just a few quick gesture drawings or sketching a few pages from one of your anatomy books or random stuff you see in your room.
Even make a schedule of sorts for yourself if you need to and make it easy to accomplish but worth the time as well.
For example what I do is tell myself I will fill X number of pages in my sketchbook this week. That number changes a lot based on what I feel is realistic with what I got going on that week. When I start I do a page or two of figure drawing from posemaniacs.com. Theres a section that switches the image to a random one at time intervals you set. I set it to 1 minute and I do several 1 minute poses per page until there's no more room for more (usually ends up being 3 or 4). This loosens up the drawing hand and helps reinforce both knowledge of visual anatomy and the ability to draw it quickly, both of which make you better at drawing the human form on your own over time. That's anywhere from 3-8 minutes of you training to draw the human form. Its a useful use of minimal time and over time it has an effect.
Next I will do 1 or 2, depending on whats going on later, more detailed figure drawings. I'll either choose a pose from that website or find something from a Hogarth book and draw it in more detail, taking a bit more time with it and thinking about it a little more, refining it so it looks like far more than a sketch.
THEN, I'm warmed up, I'm loose, and I've improved my ability to draw the human form just that much more by simply taking a few minutes to get in a little bit of pencil mileage.
If that's all I have time for, then that's it for the night. If I have plenty of time then I'll draw a cool panel or splash page or simply a cool figure from a comic I like and draw it. This is not to improve knowledge of anatomy (though it does still help actually, as long as you have a realistic anatomy reference to use as well, which you do) but is more to help in drawing overall, especially if the panel/page I am drawing has a lot of other things in it besides a figure, and even more importantly its far more enjoyable that sketching basic human form in random poses. It brings the fun back into drawing, at least it did for me.
Depending on the complexity of that image it might take me 1 day or 5 to complete, working no more than 1 hour a night on it during the week usually. I try to get as many of the 1 minute poses and the rest down often too, even if I haven't completed that cool comic image yet.
Thats what I do, and I feel very positive about it. I stopped drawing when I was 18 or 19. I picked it up again, drew a few pages from some comics then stopped again by the time I was 21 or 22. I'm 29 now and I just started drawing again in March, only taking it as seriously as I sound like I do for maybe 2 or 3 months. I personally feel I have improved. Not nearly as much as I want to, but I see it. The most important thing is the desire is there and I have found a way to improve my skills, if slowly, and have fun too. Thats the key. Find a way to learn/train/improve AND have fun.
And do it as close to every day as you can, because it's an uphill battle to get it and a downhill slide to lose.
or Joe Jusko.
In the meantime, I have one piece of advice if you want it. Life drawing would do you a world of good. I wouldn't stop doing what you're already doing, but you should at least photo reference something from time to time in order to fine tune your sense of anatomy.
Otherwise I like what I see. The art looks fluid and dynamic, proportions are nice (a good trick for checking this is to set the work aside for a bit, then look at it upside down or in a mirror), and you aren't drawing the same angle all the time, instead choosing to "move the camera". It's not at all boring. Never stop drawing.
Last edited by thetrellan; 11-25-2013 at 07:41 PM.
"Crucifiction? Good. Out the door, line on the left, one cross each." Michael Palin in "Life of Brian"