Friday, November 14, 2014

Process of learning...

 When I draw, I usually try to create the sketch first without reference. Probably not the most productive, and will most likely change as I get better, but for sketching it works ok. One example is today's sketch. The image below shows my initial sketch of a little girl screaming, working from memory and assumptions on how I thought she should be posed. What I ended up with was a little monkey faced girl attempting to take a bite some whatever might be out of frame. (Ok, it is not that bad, but obviously could be better!) Also shown are my further attempts to get her mouth right.

I have been going thru my copy of Drawn to Life: Vol 1 and came across some tips on using angles in your images. When I started the image above, I knew to balance herself, the girl would have her arms back as she leaned forward. After looking thru the text and further examining the image above, I knew her legs also needed to be angled to help with balance (and the dynamics of the image).

Not happy with the mouth either, I looked up some images of kids screaming, and found one of a little girl screaming at her sister (posed stock photo). I quickly sketched her to get a feel for the angles, and how her mouth was shaped. Thus the second sketch below.

Much more dynamic. Using this knowledge, I sketched the image below.

Still a work in progress, but much better than the first! I am also learning to simplify in the beginning to get the pose correct with shapes before I begin adding details, which helps a great deal as well.

If you don't have a copy of Drawn to Life (there are 2 volumes), grab one. There is a wealth of info there to help improve your drawing.

I will end this post by saying to any aspiring illustrators who happen by, don't allow "bad" drawings or "lack of skill" or "lack of progress" to discourage you into giving up like I did. I lost over 2 years of work because I did not have my priorities straight of what I wanted to do and the skills I had deep inside. Improvement takes time, sometimes years. And you have to do it a lot. I mean a lot. Keep your eye on the destination, but enjoy the ride as well. I have a quote on a sticky note some to that effect. Will have to dig it out so I can share it. And if you are looking for some good illustration information, Will Terry has a host of tutorial and advice videos and classes thru his YouTube channel, blog, and online school.

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