Vanquish Studio


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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

 

 


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Practice Sketching: Experiment!

No, I haven’t forgotten about my tutorials. My dog chewed the tip of the power cord that plugs into my camera. No camera, no tutorials. I ordered another cord but it didn’t get to me in time to film this week’s video. I publish “how to” videos every Thursday on my You Tube channel. So what do you do when you have a deadline to meet and no power cord? Use older footage of course! Luckily, I record many things at once and then edit them later.

I found this footage of a character I was experimenting with for my best friend’s comic. Why experiment? For several reasons. First, changing reference material slightly is a safe way to change the look and mood of an artwork before you commit. Nothing is more frustrating than creating a drawing and then realizing, once it’s finished, that the pose is off, or you could have changed this or that. I like to use reference material so I can look at the anatomy and shading accurately but then change it and make the drawing my own.

I also like to practice with reference material because you can experiment with the shading. Try lighting from the left and then from the right. Change it up! In the video I’m practicing my foreshortening to make the arms and legs look as though they are coming forward.

Check out this crazy footage. Actually, a YouTube channel is more difficult than it might seem. Don’t mind the mistakes in editing and filming, I’m getting better as time goes on, remember this was last year!


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New Coloring Page Series!

I’m writing the tutorial downloads for my videos but I still haven’t bought my new cord. That is forthcoming. I DO have a new series of coloring pages. This time it isn’t really a movie or comic book as much as a series inspired by video games. I used to play them religiously when I was much younger. Dare I say it, I’m from the Atari 2600 generation. Yes, that old! I witnessed the evolution of video games from Atari to Nintendo to Sega to PlayStation to Wii and beyond! It was fantastic and I’m grateful to have lived through that epic time in history.

On another tangent, I’m also making some more tutorials. Here is a preview video of what you can expect in the coming weeks.

 


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Look for More Tutorials

This past weekend was a three-day-weekend for my school district so, of course, I took advantage of the time. I was writing and editing tutorials and  I was ready to re-shoot some video and I noticed my cord to charge my camera was chewed! Yes, my dog ate the cord. Can you believe that excuse? But it’s true! ARGH! So I’m on top of that emergency and will be looking for a replacement cord.

As for downloads, my nine-to-five requires my utmost attention and, incidentally, it pays the bills. It’s also where I do a lot of my research FOR my tutorial downloads! I get a lot of good data to use and then revise my videos. Anyway, I’m working on a program to help people focus their efforts when practicing. Yes, it’s a download that aids in the structuring of drawing practice which isn’t as easy as it sounds. How many times have heard you just need to practice but then no one tells you exactly how or what TO practice? It can be frustrating.

Never more! Vanquish Studio is adding more tutorials soon on everything from sketching to inking to foreshortening! Here is the new trailer for my YouTube channel. I post the videos there and then stream them on to my website. Hey, it saves space for other media I put on my site.

STAY TUNED!


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Using a Guided Portfolio

Yes, I’ve been practicing drawing the female head and face. In fact, I’ve been researching two books about figure drawing. The first is Drawing the Head and Hands by master illustrator Andrew Loomis. The second is Dynamic Figure Drawing by equally talented Burne Hogarth. Both are EXCELLENT books for researching how to improve your drawing. I think my drawing skills are improving with research and practice.

Here is a video I made about practicing. I’m going to make more videos focusing on the female figure and drawing hands, since that is what I’m attempting to improve upon. Let me know in the comments if these videos are helpful or informative.