I have working to improve my figure drawing as of late. I feel like I’m making steady improvements over the last couple of weeks. When last I left you I was feeling a lot better about faces. I have moved back to the rest of the body to see if I can get the characters I draw to appear more natural. The problem that I’ve faced in the past is the characters don’t look like they’re bearing weight. It looks more like they’re floating in space rather than standing IN a space. I think part if this was my infamiliarity with human anatomy. I’m not talking about the muscle structure or contours or anything that precise. I’m just talking about basic placement of the pelvis and rib cage. How those two interact with each other determines where the spine is at. The spine, my friends, is where things look natural vs. unnatural. You can see this in some of my basic figure drawings:
These are of course just figures, but they illustrate the importance of “bearing weight”. Starting with the rib cage and the pelvis, I have been able to create a natural balance between the two. The result is a much more organic feel when they are standing in place. That has always been a problem for me. I would be happy with how something looks, and then when I look at it again there is a slight uncanniness with how they stand. These figure drawings have a more natural feel.
The second thing I’ve been working on is something called “foreshortening”. That is the depth affect when something is not facing the viewer face on. It is the part of every three dimensional object. I also like to think that it is the affect of not having all parts of the subject visible based on the position and angle its in.
Figuring out how the body interacts with each other in three demensional space is a really brutal challenge. These poses need to look weighty, but they also have to make sense in terms of body parts being in the right places. Sometimes I finish a drawing and I’m like “😁”. Then, I look at it later and I’m like “😳” because the body look malformed. As you can see from the drawings above, I am having some success in this area. I still have some work to go, but the progress in such a short period of time has been outstanding.
I would like to take a moment to shout out some tutorials I found from Robert Marzullo over at Ram Studios Comics. He does a few classes on on SkillShare. Check it out on the App Store. It’s a pretty incredible resource. Keep in mind this website is not affiliated with either Ram Studios or Skillshare, but if there is anyone out there looking to improve their skill or get started, it helps to have resources to turn to.
I still have a long way to go. I want to get to the point where I can start telling the stories I want to tell. There are so many tales of adventure that I have swimming around in this noggin of mine, but I have always lacked the ability to share them. In my busy life, its not just a question of writing it. Also, unlike drawing, I lack the ambition to improve that craft. I’ve tried. This is where my passion lies. This is the skill I want to cultivate. This is where I want to see progress. It feels good to be making headway.
See y’all later.
The thoughts, musings, and postings of a character designer. Subscribe to never miss a curious inner monologue.