Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Betterin' my Art
Habilis_Orian at 6:36PM, Jan. 27, 2006
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I'm trying to better myself in art, I've been praticing for a while. But what I really need help in is making my characters more limber, drawing better arm, leg and body bends and such. T_K brought this to my atttention, so could someone show me where I can get some tuts on figure drawing?
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:40PM
Elysium at 6:48PM, Jan. 27, 2006
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one thing that worked for me was buying a magazine. any magazine, as long as it has lots of pictures. i would usually buy a skateboard magazine (since a lot of the guys in the mag were limber and were young or looked like a lot of my characters in at least body shape) and just use that as a reference. Use something thats other than your style, like…don't use manga references if you do manga, etc, etc. It helps to transfer something from one style to the other, it gives extra practice.
another thing that helps is buying one of those little puppets/manikans that you can put in any stance…you know, one of those art puppets. getting a female or a male model doesn't really matter, just put it in the stance you want and then draw it out, then add details like crazy.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:21PM
Habilis_Orian at 7:31PM, Jan. 27, 2006
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That's a really good idea Elysium, thanks. How much would those manikans cost? And where can I get them?
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:40PM
warofwinds at 8:21PM, Jan. 27, 2006
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The mannequins less than $25 bucks suck. Don't even bother. Take a class if you can, if not, try to break down bodies into basic shapes and understand how they're connected. Often times you can do this by taking a photo reference and drawing over it. Outline the circles of the head, the ovals of the arms and legs, the blocks of the body and torso. Map out the centerlines down each limb, see how it's twisted, or in most cases, how it can't twist. Rent art books from a nearby library. Go to a used book sale–they usually have something good for sale. Above all, draw a lot from reference until you can do so without reference.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:46PM
mykill at 8:40PM, Jan. 27, 2006
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Well, life drawing and gesture drawing will nip the problem quickly - if you go at it with intensity

The cheap ass artist dummies arn't very flexable - but they have utility too. To help you visualize ‘tubes’ and composition shapes in proportion, at different angles.

But to pull it together, you need to combine figure composition techniques with the intuitive know how you only get from drawing from life. Get a notebook just for doodles and learn to draw people so rapidly it doesn't matter that they are animated. This gesture type drawing, after doing a LOT of it, will loosen up your figure drawing and help it seem more naturalistic.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:09PM
LostPriestess at 12:04AM, Jan. 28, 2006
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I would recomend lots and lots of life drawing. Getting the hang of how the human body works isn't something that comes to you over night, it takes a lot of time and practace to get down. It's tricky, but woth it. If you can't get live models, photos work as well. (Try just cornering your friends and asking them to post for a few minutes so you can draw them.

I've also dome some practace by doing gesture drawings of people in the park, subway, or other random public places. Just look at them and try to capture the basics essence of their pose and body with a few lines. They shouldn't be very detailed or take more than a minute or two.

In short: draw from life, and practace. A lot.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:45PM
chewdy at 7:57AM, Jan. 28, 2006
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Life Drawing (in particular the brutal practice of gesture drawing) is seriously the best thing you can do for yourself. There can be night courses to get, or if you look around there are walk-in sessions you can get into that cost a small fee.

If there /are/ no Life Drawing classes around you you could maybe do a makeshift thing with a program that does a timed slideshow and finding a bunch of full-body nude photos (preferably a batch of the same person at a time, to help with your rhythm), but honestly I couldn't find the proper photos for this idea when I tried it. :P And on top of that, photos don't really give you the /proper/ perspective your eye would have in person, but it's better than nothing if there's no other options.

Personally, I don't think I was really drawing until I took a Life Drawing class. I didn't know /anything/ about anatomy before then. Hell, I didn't know anything about anatomy during the class. It was a horrible, ego-shattering, soul-hurting class to take and I felt like a complete hack. But a month or two after the class it started sinking in, heh. 30-second or so gesture drawing is humiliating and nerve-wracking but it beats anatomy into you eventually!
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:41AM
T_K at 8:52AM, Jan. 28, 2006
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uh… I personally just copied stuff alot, I first looked in some kind of a comic, drew the character a couple of times, in the pose, and then I drew my character in the exact same pose and souch… that kinda helped me… I dunno if anyone else does it.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:35PM
magicalmisfits at 1:52PM, Jan. 28, 2006
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I somtimes get one of my kids to strike a pose or do somthing so I can see how it looks. I make faces in the mirror alot. I used to have a mirror by my board but my Daughter stole it. A full length mirror can help you do a reference sketchs. And don't forget the digital camera. But be carful I did a reference photo with my digital camera with my sons help and now there is a picture of me floating around with a red light sabre. Photoshop in the wrong hands:) http://www.drunkduck.com/Magical_Misfits/
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:50PM
doubleY at 8:46AM, Jan. 29, 2006
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This is a good place to get started on gesture drawing:
http://www.art.net/studios/visual/Rebecca/LifeDrawing1.html

Neato general (if mixed up) overview of art “rules” and tips:
http://www.itchstudios.com/psg/art_tut.htm

Anyway, on making characters “limber”, the best tip I ever learnt for drawing strong dynamic character poses is applying either a C curve or an S curve to the line of action like this:

http://www.polykarbon.com/tutorials/action/action3.htm

Hope it helps. :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:13PM
spaz201 at 11:45AM, Jan. 29, 2006
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Number one way to get better at art. Practice, Practice, Practice. The more you draw the better you'll get. You'll start to see parts of your art that you don't like or don't work and fix them. When it comes to the human body I always start off with the Stick Figure head, and work from there, for me it helps establish where the character is looking and feeling and that helps me move its body into an appropriate position.

But as always, just keep at it. If you want proof that practice makes perfect, look at a picture you drew a year ago and compare it to one you drew recently. You'll see what I mean.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:53PM
subcultured at 12:17PM, Jan. 29, 2006
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if you can't get life drawing classes turn to porn
softcore porn…it's kinda the same.
it's the best free way to understand women anatomy so you wont be drawing circular boobs…they are more towards tear drop shape.

Draw people on Tv, walking by, goto a park. pay attention to gestures, facial expressions, their small habits (biting nails, scratching head)

Watch movies with good acting to also understand how to emote emotioins through action.
J
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:00PM

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