AuthorTopic: How to learn how to draw  (Read 1695 times)

Offline cels

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 258
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • View Profile

How to learn how to draw

on: June 11, 2015, 05:57:00 pm
I've been taking a break from pixel art to improve my skills with a pencil and knowledge of anatomy. But I'm... not quite sure how to go about it. I feel like a new guy at a gym, just picking up different weights and trying out different machines without a clear idea of how to train the body properly. Specifically, I'm not sure how much time I should be spending just drawing skeletons, muscles, different parts of the body as opposed to the whole body... how much time should I be meticulously imitating references and how much time should I just be just drawing stuff from scratch? How much time should I spend refining each piece, meticulously adding shadows and texture and how much time should I be spending just doing lots of speed sketches?

Or is there no right answer to any of those things, unlike when you're learning a new sport? Should motivation be my only guide, and should I just do whatever I feel like doing?

Offline Cyangmou

  • 0011
  • **
  • Posts: 929
  • Karma: +3/-0
    • cyangmou
    • cyangmou
    • View Profile
    • Pixwerk Homepage

Re: How to learn how to draw

Reply #1 on: June 11, 2015, 06:42:05 pm
The Body consists aout of various parts

-general proportions
-skeletal landmarks on the human body
-gesture drawing (whole body)
-gesture drawing (hands)
-difference between male/female/kids
-difference between different people of different countries
-facial expression

-shoulder belt

all of those parts have their simplified structure, their joints, their muscles, muscle insertion points, fat storages and much more

it's just tons of stuff. Even just nailing down the basics takes a very long time.

Generally there are 2 very important things I'd say every new artist should draw:
1) about 10.000 30 second pose drawings to get some kind of a feeling for the proportion of the human body
2) tons of portraits - because a close up portrait will challenge an artist with all major problems of drawing. You need proportions, simplify your drawing in simple constructive forms, learn each feature for drawing a portrait (skull, nose, eyes, ears, lips) while keeping the stuff in place and respective size.
and because humans are very good at recoginzing other people (unless you suffer from prosopagnosia, but if it's just slight even then it's manageable to draw portraits) - you will instantly see how far you are off from an actual face.

Everything will improve gradually, you will go over one thing let's say skulls, later once you did a few other steps you will get back to it and refine your methods. It's like circles. If you start with it you will also never be "finished", there is always stuff you forget and need to relearn or you might learn a new way how to construct a feature and will get back to that.

Mindless copying references and details and to fully detail won't help you at all... except if you need to copy something. For inventing figures you need to learn how the whole skeleton and all important muscle groups work for certain movements. For learning the stuff crude drawings were you conciously draw each step help a lot more.
Even if it's as "simple" as just making 100 drawings for the size and position relationships for skulls and ribcage and you simplify them just with 2 circles - if you do it consciously and check for each drawing the size relationship, the perspective, the landmarks and then you draw it 100 times you will learn a lot  more than you draw 1 fully detailled photorealistic body study.
"Because the beauty of the human body is that it hasn't a single muscle which doesn't serve its purpose; that there's not a line wasted; that every detail of it fits one idea, the idea of a man and the life of a man."


Offline cels

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 258
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • View Profile

Re: How to learn how to draw

Reply #2 on: June 11, 2015, 07:43:37 pm
Thank you, that's very helpful. So basically, I need to focus more on quantity and trying to illustrate different key parts from different angles many, many times in order to get a good feeling for the proportions. Not get bogged down with highly detailed copies of references. I'm actually relieved to hear that.

I guess I'll start posting in the daily sketch thread this summer, to keep me going.

Offline Gil

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1542
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • Too square to be hip
    • View Profile
    • My Portfolio

Re: How to learn how to draw

Reply #3 on: June 12, 2015, 03:57:36 pm
This website is basically where it's at if you want to learn how to draw figure:

I bought his figure drawing and head drawing packs and wasn't disappointed. Most of the content is also on Youtube for free, but when you buy the packs, you get massive extra tutorials lasting several hours.

Offline pgil

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 65
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: How to learn how to draw

Reply #4 on: June 16, 2015, 07:16:05 pm
Proko has some really helpful videos.

You might also like if you want to get into a regular practice routine.  It has nothing to do with pixel art, despite its name.  Basically, it just has a big library of photos (nude and clothed models, faces, hands, animals), and it shows them at timed intervals.  You can do quick gesture drawings to warm up, then do longer 30min-1hour drawings.