Vanquish Studio


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Why Draw from Life?

A lot of people ask me how to get better at drawing and the answer is always the same, keep drawing! The only problem is that people don’t know exactly what TO draw. I look around my house and find everyday objects as my subject. This helps with a very useful and much needed skill if anyone is going to improve their craft. Drawing from life helps to train your eyes to see in three dimensions but create that same optical illusion on a two-dimensional surface: paper. Truthfully, when you are recreating the physical world on to your paper, you are creating the illusion of depth because the image doesn’t really recede into space, it’s a flat piece of paper. Or you create the illusion of light with values because we all know there is no light inside the image. This is the trick to drawing believable forms in your art.

As you draw from life, look closely at the lines, textures, values, and shapes that create the image. You may need to draw it a few times before you get a sketch that you are happy with, so don’t get discouraged! Drawing from life is NOT as easy as people may think. Many people work from photographs which have already flattened the image for them. It’s a good habit to draw from life and not just from photographs.

In this video, I make a quick sketch from a houseplant. This may seem silly or simple but it actually helps with looking at the shapes that make up the plant and . Go find a houseplant, some paper, a pencil, and an eraser and get started! Walk around the plant, look at it from above, place it on a shelf and draw it from below. There are a variety of ways to draw plants which will help hone your sketching and drawing skills.

 


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New Coloring Page: Princess Leia

Instead of just drawing and inking my next coloring page, I decided to make a quick video about workflow. Check it out!

Here is what the finished coloring page looks like. I needed to add some female characters to my Star Wars coloring page collection. Enjoy!

Princess Leia Coloring page
princess-leia-coloring-page


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A New “How-to-Draw-Hands” Video!

I have several different series on my YouTube channel to help with drawing and, of course, one of them is hands. Hands are very important to drawing because they are so expressive. You can really add to the body language of your character using the hands. Regrettably, they are also one of the most difficult body parts to draw. How does anyone get better at anything? Repetition.

In this video I demonstrate penciling, inking, and coloring the hand in two different positions while holding a pencil. So go get your sketchbook and follow along. A little practice goes a long way!

sketch end


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Ideas for New Coloring Pages: Star Wars

Lately, I’ve been working on a series of videos for my YouTube channel but I also need to keep drawing! I noticed my Star Wars coloring page link on the site was a little low in characters. I only have a few of the biggies and I don’t, repeat, don’t have the three biggies Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia (may our wonderful princess Carrie Fisher rest in peace). So I made up a project for myself to fill that page a little more. Now I just need ideas!

I’m thinking about the most popular characters from episodes 4, 5, 6, and 7 The Force Awakens. Those seem to be the best movies so far, although my nephew recommends the animated series Attack of the Clones. I also understand there are characters in books and video games that people like too like Grand Admiral Thrawn.

I have my work cut out for me! Stay tuned for more releases.


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Women’s Poses: Practicing Drawing the Female Figure

It’s funny but if you ask any artist they will tell you that they have an easier time drawing one sex over the other. Some will say they can draw women really well but not men. Others will tell you men are a lot easier for them to draw than women. It’s peculiar but true. Try it and find out!

In the meantime, I started another series on my YouTube channel: the figure! To me, both men AND women are hard to draw but, yes, I find women more difficult to draw. Capturing a feminine quality while retaining a strong figure is a challenge, to say the least. What can you do to practice? What can help when drawing the figure? Warm ups!

Warm-Ups

Look through any magazine, although I’m partial to fashion and sport magazines for the fantastic poses you can get, and find four poses. In your sketchbook (you should have one by now) draw those four poses you chose. Change it slightly by adding a prop. Think of this as a warm-up for your creativity. Imagine really working out, you don’t just grab the biggest dumbbell and start lifting! With a cold muscle? Ouch. You will definitely hurt something. If you are safe, you do a warm-up first. Why not do the same thing before drawing? Sketching at least four poses is a great way to warm up. You can check proportions, spacing, angles, anatomy and so much more as a warm-up before drawing. It’s a lot easier because it’s a sketch, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Don’t worry about the details like facial features and clothing, just draw with correct proportion and foreshortening. If you do warm-ups before you draw, you will definitely see improvements in your finished product.

Check out the video below and you’ll see what I mean!

 

What is a Pose Catalog?

Well, I’m working on drawing my own comic book which means I’ll need to draw the figure in multiple ways. Why not build a pose catalog that I can easily reference if I ever get stuck or need a creative boost? I always warm up with a few poses to keep ideas fresh and exciting. Below is the example of poses I made from the video. If you look at the first two my anatomy is off. By the third try, I’m getting better at it and the fourth try is a huge improvement over the first one. Imagine if I kept going and drew eight poses? Twelve?Decide for yourself how many sketch warm-ups you want to do before you start drawing the figure for an actual artwork. I recommend a minimum of four to have any effect.

Remember no matter what you do have fun!

women1


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New Coloring Page: Thanos

Believe it or not I still haven’t gone to the movies and watched “Avengers Endgame”. But that won’t stop me from making a new coloring page of the universe’s current bad boy, Thanos. In fact, this was a request from Blair in Indiana! Here it is! I really had a lot of fun drawing this one. I especially liked emphasizing the Infinity Gauntlet. I decided to do a crossover of the movie version of Thanos with the comic book version.

I’m always pleased to hear that my art is enjoyed and appreciated. If you have a suggestion for a coloring page let me know in the comments or e-mail.

Thanos coloring page

thanos-coloring-page


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How to Get Better at Drawing? Draw from Life

One of the best ways to get better at drawing is to draw from life. The experience of putting a three dimensional object within a two dimensional space can’t be ignored. The more you draw, the better at it you will get. The only problem is that most people ignore the things around them from which to draw. I suppose people are looking for a magical moment to capture not realizing it is the artist who makes that moment. There is an abundance of subject matter from which to draw inspiration and improve observational, drawing skills.

Draw from Life

Look at things around your house that you can draw. But don’t just look at them as things, look at them and break them down into the elements of art. For example, in the video tutorial below I draw curtains. Curtains are, undoubtedly, a boring subject. But a better way to look at drawing curtains is to ask yourself how can I also use this knowledge when I’m creating comic books? Capes come to mind: big, flowing, back lighting against the moon, capes! Now it isn’t just curtains, it’s a study for drawing clothing, specifically, capes.

Pets, counter tops, furniture, houseplants, etc., there is a plethora of objects around the house that can help any artist hone those observational drawing skills.

Drawing with Intention: Guided Practice


Another thing I like to do when I sketch is to choose two or three elements of art to emphasize. I let the subject dictate which elements would be best suited for the sketch. For example, if I’m drawing draperies in my house I’m going to look at the lines that create the folds. I would also focus my attention on the values (the lights and darks giving the folds their form). So for my first sketch, I would focus on line and value. For my second sketch I might focus on space, the distances between the folds. For my next sketch, I would choose two other elements. It always helps to have an intention when drawing. Why? It gives the artist direction in sketching. You can use the subject to guide your decision making while drawing.

curtains
DrawingfromLifeDraperies

Watch the video, download the worksheet, and practice drawing draperies and draped fabrics. You can print as many copies as you need of the superhero worksheet.

Practice, practice, practice.