After a month of practice, my figures still look "off". Suggestions welcome.
Started figure drawing a month ago. Been attending live sessions as often as I can, but I've had no fireball instruction aside from Proko videos. While I can see steady improvement, it's hard to see what's wrong even though I can tell something's off. Both the laying down figure and the seated figure were from a live model. I had to do most of the shading and background work after the model had left. I like them but something still feels off. The third standing figure I used a photo of a person to get proportions and the general pose, but everything else was from imagination. I feel like something is off about this one too but I can't put my finger on it. I'd say the head was too big but I measured the original image and the figure and they're in proportion- I think.
Hey Carin! Good job on these, these are impressive for only having done it for a month. You're really getting the hang of primitives, shading and composition. What I would say is that though these are getting there, you should keep an eye on a few things moving forward. The first thing would be gesture. It's sort of a tough concept to understand, but once you get it your drawings will improve drastically. Gesture is defined as the movement between forms, which essentially describes "what the body is doing". Your drawings are stiff, and over complicated which create a bunch of the problems with the structure, and as a result the overall forms. An exercise that helped me was to try to simplify the entire body into a single line of action. Below are example draw overs of what I'm talking about. The second would be line quality and simplification. Again, these are definitely getting there but you're focusing too much on the contour of the drawing vs the gesture. Gesture and line quality are closely tied, but still different. At this stage in a drawing, the only lines you should be using are C S and I lines. See this video Stan did for reference Q&A – Gesture vs Contour and Scribbly Lines. As it is right now, you're definitely including too much information in your drawings. As a general rule of thumb as well, when drawing females try to use less anatomy and more basic forms. In your second drawing, the anatomy indications makes her look more masculine. The third thing is more clearly organizing your shadow shapes. As it is right now, there are no clear shadow patterns or edges for where your shadows end. Those edges are extremely important in making a figure read, and right now they're sort of all over the place. It's sort of hard to explain over text so see the Charles Bargue plates below for a visual example. You can see he clearly and simply defines his shadow patters before laying down tone. Also see the draw over below for more context Again, great job on these and keep up the good work!
Hi, There are many problems in your drawings. They feel off because you don't have a good grasp concepts like perspective, proportions, anatomy, form, etc.. I think you're being too hasty, you should spend more time on the figure drawing course until you're comfortable with gesture drawings, the robo-bean, and mannequinization. Then, you'll notice that your drawings are gradually getting more solid, and you'll have an easier time learning anatomy. Hope this helped.