Author Topic: Help?  (Read 1656 times)

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Offline Shiro Moonpaw

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Help?
« on: April 29, 2010, 12:33:41 am »
Hey guys some of you may have seen my art in my thread and I'm trying to broaden my skills to include character art. I have tried sketching and just practicing but no techniques or guidance to helpme improve. Can anyone help?
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Offline 489109

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Re: Help?
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2010, 10:30:07 am »
A great place to go and get first hand real time help on your artwork is at a Furry Con. There are tables and tables of furry artists in the Dealer's Den, Artist's Alley, Panel Discussion Groups and just people lounging around the umm lounges. Online, you can get a lot of links of tutorials or have people give you their own experiences and opinions in a message, but I feel that there is nothing better then face to face instruction. So, the next time there is a Furry Con remorely close to you, try checking it out and you'll find a wealth of help for you there.

Offline LordFenrir

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Re: Help?
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2010, 08:38:43 pm »
Alternatively, I found that I vastly improved by imitating artists I admired.  By studying how they drew and how they drew it, I began to notice improvements to my artwork even on the same page in my dA gallery.

Also: PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE!!  In order to improve your artwork, you must continuously pursue improvement.  Draw a picture every day and keep everything dated and organized.  Heck, start on Saturday and do one drawing every day for 31 days.  I guarantee you will see a noticeable difference in quality between the first one you draw to the one thirty days later.

Cheers,
Fenrir

Offline Yip

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Re: Help?
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2010, 10:50:53 am »
In a way, drawing requires two separate skills.  One in the physical ability and techniques to the drawing come out the way you want. And the other is the mental ability and knowledge to figure out how you want it.

Both require practice.  When people say "Practice! Practice! Practice!" they often focus on the physical side. That part is important, but don't skimp on the mental side. For example, look at things with the idea of drawing them even if you don't actually draw them. It'll help you pay attention to details. And you have to know what things look like in order to draw them well. Also, since you mention character art, study basic anatomy. Seriously. If you do Fenrir's idea of drawing a picture a day for 31 days but don't understand basic anatomy, you WILL run into a limitation to how well you can draw characters. As I said, you have to know what things look like in order to draw them well.  I'm not discounting Fenrir's idea. I'm saying learn about what things look like IN ADDITION to getting actual drawing practice.


That's not to say you shouldn't get actual practice. Personally, I think both are equally necessary. (and what I'm calling 'virtual practice' is often mixed with

Offline Valexi

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Re: Help?
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2010, 07:23:36 pm »
Personally, I wouldn't suggest imitating other artists (no offence, Fenrir). When you do that, you're not really learning good a foundation, you're learning how to draw in someone elses way rather than your own way. Plus, it's not proper since the person you're imitating might be drawing stylistically, meaning that you'll only learn how to draw objects the way that the other artist sees them, rather than what they really look like.
Although drawing stylistically sounds fun, you can't just jump in and decide you're going to draw in a certain style (ex: anime). You have to learn how things really look before you warp them to the style you want.
You have to learn the rules before you break them.
If you draw things realistically at first, then you have a good foundation and understanding, meaning it'll be easier to develop a style because you'll know what things really look like, and you'll know how you can change them to obtain the look you want to achieve.
That being said, the best way to learn is to draw from real life references.
Pictures are okay, but nothing beats the real thing.
See, with pictures you only see the dimension that the camera sees, whereas if you draw from life, then you can see all sides of the object and understand its dimension so you can better communicate that in your drawing.
So, if you want to learn how to do character drawings, you need to learn how to draw the human (or animal) form first.
If you're doing a furry character, it's important to learn how to draw humans and animals, that way you can have more options when it comes to drawing your character (ex: giving them more human looking feet, or more animal looking hands, or an interesting mix of the two).
Like I said, drawing from pictures is good, but draw from real life as often as you can.
It's also good to get some good tutorials from Deviantart that explain how to better measure the placement of body parts or facial features (ex: eyes are usually one-eye-length apart from each other, the ends of the mouth usually meet the middle the eyes, the bottom part of the ear usually meets the bottom of the nose placement).
Sorry for the HUGE WALL OF TEXT, but I do plan to be an art teacher in the future, so I have lots to say on the subject.

Anyway, if you survived all that, here's a good tutorial on drawing furries:
http://hippie.nu/~unicorn/tut/xhtml/
It's good because it also gives guides on how muscles act and are placed, as well as skeletal structure.
It's a lot to read, but there's some really good stuff and guides in there, so I would suggest it to anyone.
And if you scroll all the way down, there's an index in case you just want to look out one certain part of the guide.

Another good site is:
http://characterdesigns.com/index.php?sitepage=photosets
WARNING, THEY DO HAVE NUDE MODELS ON THIS SITE.
But, they are all for artistic purposes (not pornographic).
Anyway, that site has a BUNCH of pictures of models in different poses, so it's good for practice.

ANOTHER good site is:
http://www.posemaniacs.com/
This site has 3D pictures of people without skin.
Now, although it isn't really a real-life reference, it's still an excellent site, since it shows muscle placement, PLUS you can ROTATE the 3D models, which is great for practice and learning how the body looks from all angles in a wide variety of poses. I believe there's also a 3D head model somewhere in there that you can rotate to whichever angel you want....
« Last Edit: April 30, 2010, 08:52:51 pm by InColdBlood »

Offline Yip

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Re: Help?
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2010, 10:55:09 am »
That being said, the best way to learn is to draw from real life references.
Pictures are okay, but nothing beats the real thing.
See, with pictures you only see the dimension that the camera sees, whereas if you draw from life, then you can see all sides of the object and understand its dimension so you can better communicate that in your drawing.
Personally, I think drawing from real life is overrated.  I'm not saying it isn't a good thing to do, but honestly, when I'm drawing from a real reference, I'm constantly trying to maintain the angle I'm observing it from so the picture will come out right. So yes, a real life reference you can see from multiple angles, but that messes up the picture because you don't want to the POV in the picture to shift. With photos, you don't have worry about that.

For best results, use photos you've taken yourself specifically for the picture you are working on. That way when you are taking the picture, you'll do it with an idea of how you want the to compose the picture.

I do think looking at real life objects to learn to draw is good, but I prefer to separate that from the actual act of drawing.  When I'm drawing, I generally prefer to be someplace isolated. Which is the reason I'm an advocate for "mental drawing". That is, while going about normal life, take the time to look at things as if you were going to draw it. Paying attention to the shapes, the way the light hits and reflects, and so forth.

I think it may be just different way of drawing. The same methods won't work for everyone. Myself, I -need- to plan what I'm going to draw. I can't just start doodling and end up with something cool.  I know some people can do that, but when I try it I end up with...  doodles.  So perhaps this "draw from real life" thing you are promoting is more suited to people with a different learning style.

Offline Sskessa

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Re: Help?
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2010, 02:16:16 pm »
Quote
Personally, I think drawing from real life is overrated.  I'm not saying it isn't a good thing to do, but honestly, when I'm drawing from a real reference, I'm constantly trying to maintain the angle I'm observing it from so the picture will come out right. So yes, a real life reference you can see from multiple angles, but that messes up the picture because you don't want to the POV in the picture to shift. With photos, you don't have worry about that.

It's important to loosen up when learning to draw, and life drawing helps with that for the very reason you've stated. You can't see your still-life or your figure from the exact same angle all the time, which forces you to focus on the big shapes first and fit the details into the structure of the big shapes. It forces you to think about the three-dimensional structure, rather than trying to reproduce an exact copy of a flat image.

That said, I agree with you about mental training. And drawing from life is less important if you want to be a cartoonist, which is pretty much what all of us furry artists do. I recommend John K's blog: http://johnkcurriculum.blogspot.com/2010/01/preston-blair-book.html
There is a list of links on the left on all sorts of topics. Here's a good starting point: http://johnkstuff.blogspot.com/2008/08/kurtzman-and-composition.html
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