Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Method of Drawing and More Sketches

As stated in my previous post, the subject I draw the most is women. When drawing people, male or female, it is helpful to have a basic understanding of anatomy. Knowing what the bones and muscles look like and which ones belong where will help you to create a more realistic portrait. Even if your intention is to draw more of a cartoon style person, understanding how the human body is set up will enhance your drawing nonetheless.

One way I used to start off drawing was by actually drawing out a skeleton. I would draw all the major bones (the tibia and fibula, femur, ribs, humerus, ulna, radius, etc.) and then one I had the basic outline and key parts to the bone structure, I would place skin and clothes.

You're probably thinking, "wow, that's a lot of preparation just to draw a person," and it is. Luckily, there's an easier way than being so anal about drawing out each specific bone and muscle. This method can be done with drawing squares and circles.

The human body can be reduced into basic shapes, such as above. This will be the general outline for this person. You can see where her torso, her legs, her arms, her fingers, and her head will be.

Now, some more resemblance to an actual human body needs to be made. Start by slimming down, for example, the two circles that were in place of her legs. Withing the given shapes, body parts can be made.
It is also helpful to always start of drawing your person naked, breasts included. I can't tell you how many times I was drawing in public and someone would look over and see I had a detailed naked woman on my paper and I'd get weird looks. But it is helpful for the next step when you place clothes on the person. Especially if you intend the clothes to appear tight or fitted, you want to be able to see some outline of their body underneath.
Also note, when you are shaping your body's outline, add a little movement in their posture. Even if it is just a tilt of the head, an arm bent, or hips pushed out to one side, it looks more pleasing than a person standing straight forward with arms and legs straight down.

Now you can add the clothes and whatever details you want. Remember not to erase some of the marks you made for body parts so there are natural crease marks on the clothes. In reality, clothes do not hang straight and flat on people, and they shouldn't in the drawing either.

The next step is to finish all the detail and add shading. If you are drawing a person without a reference, you must keep in mind where the light would be shining. You don't have to press very hard to shade skin depending on how dark the skin is to start with. For instance, above, just a series of light strokes were placed in certain areas, and then I smoothed and blended them with my finger. Also, remember to shade where the creases are in the clothes. Furthermore, be consistent with your shading. Since you have to keep in mind where the light would be shining, you have to stick to that once you start. Above, I had the light shining on the left and so the right side of the neck, torso, face, and legs are shaded. On the arms, however, I shaded the inside of them because of the shadows caused from the body itself.
The previous step could be the last if you wished. However, for a finishing touch I usually like to take a black ink pen or a black permanent marker and outline. I also use it to color in certain areas where color would be. In personal preference, I feel this makes the drawing look more finished and there are crisp and definite lines.
Notice, also, since I used black to color in the dress I lost some of the dress shading. That is why I left a white sliver where the creases in the clothes are. This way you can still see the outline of the body.

Of course, that was just a quick drawing I whipped up for an example of my methods. To learn more methods and more detailed tutorials, check out this wonderful website. http://www.drawinghowtodraw.com/drawing-lessons/drawing-faces-lessons/howtodraw-people-tutorials.html
It covers how to draw every part of the body from toes to ears. And if you are not someone who likes to draw people, there are many other tutorials on the side bar that will show you tips on scenery, animals, objects, etc.

My main intention for this blog was to share three drawings I worked on and finished today.

A woman in a bath towel.

A cheerleader from the 50's. Have to love the vintage.

This one is my favorite of the three. A closeup of a depressed woman who is wearing a black hat with a funeral veil. I honestly had no idea where I was going with this when I started. I began by doodling a nose, then I decided to complete the face.... then I added a hat and some hair. The hat then reminded me of those huge black hats you see people sometimes where to funerals. Thus, I added the veil. It matched perfectly because the eyes already had a bit of sadness and emptiness in them. About 90% of the time, I begin a drawing with no clear final destination in mind.

Any comments, feedback, thoughts?

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