It looks as though you are using them well. I see you’ve noted clavicles, sometimes the sacral triangle, the spine…etc. In identifying where they are I think that comes with more practice and understanding of the human body. Generally a landmark is going to be an easily identifiable spot on the body in which you can build from or measure from. Usually they are bony spots because those won’t change (where bodily tissues can stretch, fold, squash…). Some of the easier points to identify are clavicles, crest of the hips, head of a the femur, sacral triangle, ridge of the scapula, parts of the rib cage, and 7th cervical. However, sometimes they can also be certain spots on the body (bellybutton, nipple line etc…). These obviously can shift, but I find them to be very nice to do quick measurements from to get a very general idea of things (2 heads to nipples, 3 head down to bellybutton…). How to use them…well they are used for a lot of things. They help you with proportions, they help lay in structure of other tissues, they help with the flow of the pose and can bring a nice balance between flesh (softer) to bony point (sharper) when you draw them. I think for the most part these things become intuitive as you draw more. If you’re unsure about what or where something specific is take the extra time to look. I sometimes find that poking around and identifying something on my body helps me understand where something is better. Find resources with easily identifiable features so you know exactly what you’re seeing. Get good at drawing a basic skeleton for sure. The skeletal proportions in people aren’t really so different. Yes they vary slightly from person to person, but generally they are very similar. So knowing he skeleton (male and female) is super helpful with the figure. Just keep practicing. btw, nice gestures. I really like the “child’s pose” one on the page with the red drawings.
In most situations to learn some fundamental I’d always suggest going out and drawing from life. Not only can you get a good basis for perspective you can begin to understand depth alongside perspective by showing how objects relate to each other as they get further away. But also, practicing as you are doing by creating vanishing points and filling in shapes is good. Start simple with boxes then graduate to more than one. Create a simplified building. Creat a simplified cityscape. Make a building and build more details in it to learn size comparison (try adding other items - wheels, barrels, chairs, fences, chimneys, sheds, tools…etc.) There are probably loads of videos and ideas you can try from youtube and what not. Back many years ago when I had a short lived stint in a art/design college I remember 2 projects in which 1 we had to draw an interior scene (I drew a bar), and another was a lighthouse in 3 point perspective. You could do that, or really anything your wee lil’ heart desires. Good luck!
I really enjoy the live questions (and also the other live podcast episode) but will we be able to listen to these on podcast platforms (like Spotify)? Last live episode was only a 1m clip saying it was going to be live (and of course I watched the episode on the website), but sometimes I just like to re-listen to old episodes while I take walks and also it’s more convenient when I can download it and play it anywhere without need internet access.
You're doing it right. Work for a focused period, then get up and take a break. Sometimes you'll get in a flow state and want to work longer, and that's fine. Just make sure you are doing longer studies and not only 30 minute studies. As long as you are practicing doing finished work as well as short studies, I think it's good. We have this weird idea in modern day culture of the 9-5 job, where you work 4 hour chunks. But how much of that time is checking email, zoning out, chatting with friends, and generally bullshitting? Better to do many highly focused intervals than one sloppy 3 hour chunk
I agree with the others, you can try different sorts of paper and a smoother tooth will definitely help with that. But I also agree that there is nothing wrong with texture. Another note, shading with pencil to get a really even sense of values is very labor intensive, meaning it takes a long time of going back and forth taking out dark spots with an eraser, smoothing bits with a shading stick (if that’s your sort of thing) and lightly shading with the pencil once again. When I get to a point where I’m laying trying to even out the values (picture 1) and get the transitions smooth I’ll take my kneaded eraser and roll a fine tip on it so I can pick out the dark spots (picture 2), sometimes a bit too much pencil will come off in the process (picture 3) so I’ll switch back to the pencil and very lightly run over again to try and get that even value I’m looking for (picture 4). It takes time, but it can be really relaxing. I’ll constantly go back and forth between laying pencil down or picking it up with an eraser. It’s a dance between the two. But in the end it can look very, very nice to have such smooth transitions and even values built up. And just to clarify, this is not the only way to approach the situation. Lot’s of people use other tools to help, I’ve seen sponges, shading sticks, hard mono erasers, fingers, newsprint, charcoal dust, etc… It takes a bit of exploring to find a process you enjoy. And also not everything needs to be that baby-bottom smoothness, it depends on the person, the approach, the individual piece, etc… Hope I’ve helped.
These are looking pretty! I especially love the "flow" feeling in the first three, maybe the forth is a bit less of that but still nice! And you can draw on-location! wow! I never feel comfortable doing drawings outside. I like your "minimal" approach, this way the image will not look that "adjusted", and appears to be more natural.
I definitely wouldn’t consider my inspiration sources to be uncommon or weird but for me I’m got inspiration from: personal experiences/feelings podcast interviews music books death/life nature old architecture And my old sketchbooks I sometimes browse through. It’s surprising what you’ve forgotten about from a sketch years ago that could inspire you in some way today.
About 2 months ago I started illustrating a well known 85km tourist route in the area I live in. I just wanted to post on the art forum to see if anyone had anything to comment on with the 4 I’ve attached. I do them on location to a point where I can bring it back home and refine things a bit. I’ll spend anywhere from 3-4 hours outside and another 1-3 hours touching them up. I keep the supplies to a bare minimum using only HB pencils and Gummi erasers/hard erasers, just don’t want to be lugging around a lot of things since I’m mostly walking (and later when I have to go much farther I’ll be taking public transport/cycling). I’ve only done around 10 illustrations so far, the weather here has been just a buzzkill for this as it’s been raining so much. Anyways. Hope you guys like them and thanks for taking the time to look. .
I am sure almost everyone can relate to this, I know I can. Learning art is very taxing mentally and emotionally. Studying all day every day can burn your brain to a crisp and worse, it can completely separate you from the reason you fell in love with art in the first place. Don’t get me wrong, studying and practicing these skills are extremely important, but I think cultivating the love and the creative aspect is just as important. Between these two things I think is a balance, but that is different from one person to the next. If you’re feeling burnt out with the studying take a break. Do something entirely different like go camping, play guitar, write in a journal or some other activity you enjoy that is stimulating (key word is stimulating as we don’t want to fall into the trap of 18 hours of video games or TV, bad sleep, bad food, and thus feeling worse off). For me personally, when I’m feeling fed up with the studying I’ll read or listen to music, I’ll take long walks and bring my sketchbook and just draw whatever I find personally interesting. I’ll go lift some weights or listen to some podcasts on subjects that interest me. All of these things stimulate my brain and give me more creative thoughts. So even though I’m not spending all my waking hours drawing it doesn’t mean I’m not doing something that can benefit my artistic endeavors. Or alternatively you can step away from studying and give yourself a personal project, something YOU want to do. It doesn’t have to mean anything to anyone else. Learning to pursue art requires a lot of discipline, a lot of which is aimed toward drawing fundamentals, but that’s not all there is to it. It’s also learning the skill of creativity and developing new ideas from external stimuli. Anyways, sorry for the long winded answer, I tend to write such long replies, perhaps I need to work on simplifying that! Keep your head up! When all else fails Mother Nature gives you countless things to draw outside.
To simplify I think you’ll have to take a few steps back and be patient with the learning process. It looks as though you’re very focused on what you see as an outline and you aren’t thinking below the surface to define the structure. What might help is to think of approaching a drawing as though it were a sculpture. First you start with a very large block and carve out the biggest planes possible and get a very, very basic shape. Cylinders, boxes, spheres, etc… This is where all the goofy looking blocky heads or cylinder arms/legs come in to play. They are very useful to start with for a number of reasons…like in the event you have some perspective wrong or some measurement doesn’t work, you can move that easier than moving something you spent 5 hours detailing. There are a number of ways to learn how to get better at structure, it’s not a one size fits all. For me learning via the Bargue method helped a lot, so perhaps doing Bargue copies is something you can look into, I’m pretty sure Stephen Baumann teaches this method via his patreon if you’re looking for something other than youtube. But, in the end what I’d recommend doing is learning how to break things down to they most basic shape you can find (even hair!) and learn what is underneath (anatomy). Also, very important is learning to create the illusion of dimension without needing to shade. I’m sure you can draw a basic cube and with no shading you can understand that it is a cube, yes? Well, we want to think of a head the same way, we need to know what is beyond what we see to create that illusion. We might not necessarily draw all of that information, but it’s important to understand what is going on. Hope that helps.