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Stop Negative Self-Talk and Draw Like a Pro!

Negative self-talk is devastating to the creative spirit. You can draw a portrait and criticize it until the cows come home and then never draw again because you “just aren’t good enough.” STOP! Having a negative inner voice always criticizing your art isn’t just bad for your self-esteem and drawing confidence, it can have lasting affects on whether you enjoy drawing or hate it and never try again.

Do you hear that little voice in you head, after you’ve drawn something, and it says things like, “This is ugly,” “This drawing stinks,” “I have no talent.”? That is the negative self talk creeping its way into your creativity. So what can you do to stop that annoying voice in your head? SWITCH to constructive talk.

Constructive talk is just that, constructive. It’s more accurate and specific than negative talk and actually helps you improve your skill set.

For example, that negative voice in your head will say things like, “That arm doesn’t look right.” Does that help you improve your drawing? No! Instead, try to switch to more constructive talk like, “What is the overall shape of the arm?”
“Is the shoulder more horizontal or slightly tilted?”
“How is the hand positioned?”
“How far away is the arm from the body?”

Do you see the difference in the two types of talk? Don’t listen to that critical voice in your head when you draw. If you find yourself descending into the depths of negative self-talk, catch it, recognize it, and consciously switch to more constructive words.

Instead try this, FOCUS on your subject. Look more at your subject than at your paper. This will help squash the critical voice because you are concentrating on your subject, NOT the critic in your head. Use more descriptive words as you draw and stay away from opinions. Negative self-talk is full of opinions rather than objective, accurate descriptions. Use adjectives and nouns to describe and construct your subject in your head. Ask yourself objective questions pertaining to capturing your subject rather than commenting what you “think” your art should look like. Change that negative into a positive and watch your art improve as well as your attitude towards drawing!


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How to Draw Hands: Basic Construction

What do most people have trouble drawing? Hands! And I don’t blame anyone because I do too! I have researched and experimented with different ways to draw hands. Hands down (I couldn’t resist),  this is the most effective way I have found to draw a hand. I always start with the basic shapes that make up the mass of the hand, mainly the palm, fingers, and the thumb mass.

 

BREAK THE HAND DOWN INTO BASIC SHAPESbasic shape
The two basic shapes I use are a square-like wedge and the cylinder. If you break down the hand into its most basic shape you will notice that the palm is basically a wedge and the fingers are a series of cylinders. When I draw hands, I try to see the most basic shape. Why? It is a lot easier to change the position, size, and proportions of a geometric shape then a fully rendered hand. This is the stage in the drawing process where the artist checks all of those important details before moving on: proportions, positioning, angle, aesthetics, etc.

basic shape2

 

If you look at the hand in its most basic shape you will see these two dominant forms: a square-like wedge and a cylinder. Practice drawing these shapes. Place the wedge in different positions in space and try to draw it.

Also, find a cylindrical shape in your house and practice drawing it in different positions in space. Once you get good at drawing those two basic forms, put them together to draw the basic constructive forms of the hand.

ASSIGNMENT

Download the following worksheet and practice drawing the hand in it’s most basic form. When you get confident enough continue drawing using your non-dominant hand as your model and draw the hand in as many different positions as you can. Practice!

practice-hand-positions

practice-hand-positions

 


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Welcome 2020

Wow! This is the beginning of a new decade! Imagine that, how wonderful. And what does Vanquish Studio have for the new year? Lots of new projects, videos, tutorials, and (of course) coloring pages. So let’s welcome the new decade in style. Stay tuned!


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New Coloring Page Coming Soon!

Okay, I don’t have Disney Plus streaming (yet) but I’m considering it because EVERYONE is talking about The Mandalorian. I don’t normally go for sci-fi but I am the generation that saw Star Wars for the first time in 1977 (yes, I’m that old). That being said, it left an impact on me. I was awe struck at the special effects. I understand George Lucas had to invent Industrial Light and Magic just to make some of the things he needed to tell the story. Impressive.

Now, fast forward a few decades and the Disney conglomerate has taken intellectual hold of George Lucas’ creation. Sometimes the result is fantastic like The Force Awakens and then sometimes you get Solo: A Star Wars Story (Although I wasn’t a big fan of Rogue One either). Of course, the special effects will be more stunning with computers and CGI and advances in make-up effects, costuming, set-design (the list goes on). Anyway, all the buzz is about baby Yoda. Apparently, there is a very young Yoda specie on the show and it is unclear where this little cutie originated. Check the Internet and there are theories all over cyberspace. Regardless, it is a very cute creature so, of course, that will be my next coloring page. STAY TUNED!


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The Three Types of Practice

The biggest thing any new artist will hear, or anyone else trying to improve their craft, is  “you need to practice.” Practice isn’t just plugging away and drawing anything. It should have direction and focus, otherwise, you will lose sight of the end goal and procrastinate. Or worse yet, draw and draw and see little improvement for a lot of work! In my opinion, there are three types of practice: inspirational, intentional, and reflective.

INSPIRATIONAL PRACTICE
Inspirational practice is the easiest of the three. This is where you look at other people’s art, read books, watch movies, or do anything that gives you an idea for a project. Draw inspiration from everyday life. Look at other people’s sketchbooks, read magazines, check out Art Station or other online galleries, look at comic books, manga, anything to give you ideas! Take the time to research styles and artists. Inspirational practice can take place anytime, anywhere.

INTENTIONAL PRACTICE
The second form of practice is intentional practice. What I mean by this is that instead of just drawing anything, have a plan, an intention. Specifically target areas that you need to work on. For example, I find drawing the male figure infinitely easier than drawing women. Why? It’s difficult for me to make women look muscular but not manly. When I practice, I women1would draw a preliminary sketch and then look at it. Next, I would examine the areas I need to work on. DON’T CLOBBER YOURSELF! Use constructive criticism when critiquing your work to keep it helpful and positive. Negativity will only make you want to quit.

If you look at the sketches to the right you’ll notice I need to work on my construction and my proportions. Now that I know what to draw, I can do it with direction and purpose. I can draw women’s bodies and concentrate on construction and anatomy. I now have a direction for practicing.

During practice time, I’ll draw just the construction of the form: spheres, cubes, cylinders. I can practice using comparative measurement to check my proportions. I also know that I need to work on my anatomy. Since I have trouble drawing women’s hips I know to practice anatomy specifically concentrating on the torso, legs, and hips. Once I feel comfortable with those elements, I can move on to other elements like arms, hands, foreshortening, etc. My point is, I have a specific intention when I practice. I’m not drawing endlessly with no focus.

REFLECTIVE PRACTICE
The last type of practice is an important one and often times overlooked, or done hastily, and that is reflective practice. That is, after you draw critique your work. Don’t rip it to shreds. Instead, be realistic and practical. Use constructive words to describe your art. For example, don’t say, “My women suck!” That doesn’t help you to improve: too negative and not specific. I like the stance of each character (in the sketches above) and I think that my figures are looking more fluid and less stiff. I do, however, need to get better at basic construction, specifically proportion and foreshortening the arms and legs. Being reflective helps you to pinpoint what you need to improve and not get discouraged. Remember to be constructive in your criticism; stay accurate and objective.

Look at older art you drew and compare it to your newer stuff to see your progression. Look at other people’s art that you admire and compare it to yours: What’s alike? What’s different? How can you adjust your drawing? Always remember to really look at your art after you create it and reflect on the process as well as the end result.

GOOD LUCK!


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New Coloring Page – Pennywise!

I just got back from the Tucson Comic Con which I attended over the weekend. THANK YOU to everyone who commissioned an artwork or bought a print! I truly appreciate it. I noticed in my originals that Pennywise was especially popular. I barely finished drawing him and someone bought it right away. Who would have thought that a homicidal clown that eats children would be so popular, but he is?

I must confess that It: Chapter One was one of the better adaptations of Stephen King’s novel. I still have to go see Chapter Two! I will definitely have to go see it before it leaves the theaters. Until then, here he is in all his spooky glory- Pennywise the Dancing Clown.

Of course, if you have any ideas for a coloring page please don’t hesitate to let me know with an e-mail or in the comments. Enjoy!

Pennywise Coloring page
pennywise-coloring-page


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At Tucson Comic Con – Thank You!

Yesterday was preview night and today was the big day. THANK YOU to EVERYONE who stopped by and commissioned artwork. I drew Captain Marvel, Thunderstrike, X-23, and a host of other characters. I have been drawing ALL DAY! I love it.

Stop by AA15 on Sunday.TCC_2019