Vanquish Studio


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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.


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How Do You Find Your Style?

I’ve been practicing drawing women’s faces for a couple of weeks now. I think I’m getting better but I keep asking myself, “How do I find my style?” I know I want to draw in a Manga-American hybrid style but I really don’t know what that would look like. Moreover, I know that the central theme of my comic is forgiveness. What kind of style does that one have??!!?? I mean really? How does a person find a style? How do you know how to draw?

The truth is that you will develop your style the more you draw. It will come to you naturally. For example, I’ve always drawn characters with big heads and little bodies so chibi was a natural style to gravitate towards. Even before I knew there was a name for it, I was drawing in that type of style.

woman1But what about my comic book style? I need to make my characters look believable and semi-realistic. I’m also shooting for a more minimalist approach. I want to add the shading and the values to the faces using color gradients and shapes more than lines to define the nose, cheeks, and chin. As I’m drawing (and practicing) I’m watching my use of lines around the eye and nose areas.

Natural Progression

As you continue to draw more regularly, a style will indeed evolve. It does so my osmosis! So even though you may feel like you DON’T want to practice, do it anyway. Break the time up into chunks and work on different aspects of your drawing to keep things fresh. For example, practicing gesture drawing, and then spheres and cones building of the form, and then shading would break up a comic book character drawing session.

As for me and my practicing, I’m drawing the eyes more comfortably and using a more almond-shape to them. In all the books that I’ve been researching, they suggest this look for that sexy, sultry, femme-fatale look I’m going for in my anti-heroine.

This is an inked practice pic I did just below. Have I found my style yet? No, but I’m getting more comfortable. In fact, the next evolution of my practicing is to: A) find my style by increasing frequency in drawing and B) draw a style sheet for my character once I feel comfortable with how I draw women.

As you practice keep setting new goals for yourself to keep things fresh. woman2

I’ve been researching different artists’ styles that I really like. I’m not going to copy their style or anything like that because they’ve already done it and I can’t do it any better than they already did! Does that make sense?

Instead, I’m going to find things that I like about the way they draw and incorporate it into my drawing to make it my own. The two examples in this post were made using magazines as reference material. I’m going to try combination drawing: both from my head and reference, so I get less dependent on reference material and can draw “my style” of women on my own.

What I Need to Do Next

  • Keep practicing, increasing frequency
  • Research other artists’ styles
  • Try to develop my own style
  • Draw a character sheet

Remember, your style will come to you naturally, don’t force it. Keep practicing and trying new things and gradually, you WILL develop your style.

 

 

 

 


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How to Practice Drawing

Start Drawing

Okay, so from my last post about drawing (which was about a week ago) I did a pre-assessment and determined that I needed to work on drawing the female face and head. I especially needed to work on the eyes, lips, and hair. So to get started, I got started! I drew a few female faces and heads WITHOUT any help of any kind. I tried to draw from my memory and imagination. Needless to say, it was a dismal failure.

women

As you can see I made the eyes cross-eyed, the jawline is STILL too heavy, and the hairstyles are off. Whatever you do, don’t throw out your bad drawings. I really wanted to toss out these early sketches but I didn’t. The only way to grow and improve is to look at them, examine your mistakes, and make corrections in your drawings. I can easily tell from my early sketches that I’m not proficient enough to draw from memory. I need to get some reference material. But if I had chucked them out, I wouldn’t reflect on them. Don’t be afraid to examine your mistakes.

Use Reference Material

Okay, I definitely need to look at some images of women’s faces and heads before I go any further. I decided to check out some magazines and focus on drawing women whose faces were turned at an angle. I also decided to look at a few drawing books so I can better understand the structure of the face and head. As I draw, I’m focusing on making the jawline more feminine, sultry eyes, and a decent hairstyle (at least believable) so that is my focus area. Of course, feel free to change your focus area as needed.woman1

My new drawing is a lot better than the ones I tried without looking at reference. The eyes aren’t crossed anymore and the jawline is a little better. The lips are definitely better than the drawing without reference. I still need to work on the hair and make it look more natural. In the sketch below I tried to add some shading to the figure as well. I like the hair on this sketch and I’m getting more comfortable making the hair more flowing.

w1

Getting Closer

Remember NOT TO GIVE UP! It is going to take some time before you get really good at a particular skill. I’ve been sketching 30 minutes a day to work on my women’s faces. I definitely think I’ve been improving but if I crumpled up all my old failures I never would know that! As painful as it is to look at something you really don’t like, that is the best way to see improvement. This final image is what I got after a couple of days of practice. If you scroll up and look at the first attempts you can definitely see some improvement. This was only a week of practicing and I can see some changes in my drawing already. I will continue to practice using reference material as well as apply anything I learn in the two books I’m reading about drawing. So, since I’m not proficient enough yet, it’s back to the drawing board.

KEEP PRACTICING until you get better, or at least comfortable, but do you see how critiquing your work can help pin-point exactly what to practice? That way you aren’t drawing something you already are good at and you can focus your efforts on what you really need to work on!

w2


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How to Start Drawing?

I need to get better at drawing but I don’t know where to start?

Does that sound familiar? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve procrastinated because of that very same thing. I just don’t know where to start. So instead of actually trying to figure out a good starting point, I just put it off. So what can you do to figure out a good starting point?

Do a pre-assessment…

What do I mean by a pre-assessment? Well, you need to do a sketch of what it is you want to get better at and decide what you need to do from there. For example, I would like to create my own comic book. What’s the problem? I draw in a chibi style. My comic is a serious, action-packed, saga about a fallen angel seeking redemption. Does that sound like it would be good in the chibi style? Absolutely not. Of course I don’t want to do the Marvel style either. I’m looking for a hybrid style like my chibi-fusion only manga and American-style together. Hmmm, well I guess my style will evolve and I shouldn’t get too concerned this early. Regardless, I basically have to teach myself a new style to make my comic wish come true. My main character, the fallen angel, is a female. So, since it’s “not-my-strong-point” to draw women, I’ll start there. I’m not going to overload myself, I’m going to take it piece-by-piece. I’ll worry about the body later, right now, I’m drawing the face.

Below you’ll see, I drew a sketch of a woman’s face and inked it.

diagnostic

BE HONEST with Yourself!

Now, if I really look at this drawing, I could rip it to shreds but that really doesn’t help. STAY POSITIVE! Don’t just attack your art, be constructive.

For me, I definitely need to work on my hair styles. I also think I need to fix the jawline. I don’t think the placement of the jawline is feminine enough, too wide. I’ll have to research other artists and styles.

I like the placement of the features, so I’m good there, but the features themselves need some work. I don’t like the eyes and the lips. I want to make my fallen angel more sultry. I mean after all she has tempted mankind for centuries! I’m definitely going to need to look at that.

Now You have a starting point. Get to work!

Okay, so now I have some direction as to what to work on. I’m not just blindly drawing something not knowing what to improve on. I now know what I need to do:

  • research how to draw the female face and head
  • practice drawing hairstyles
  • practice drawing eyes, and lips (that’s just for starters)

So what are YOU waiting for? Draw a picture and critique it to determine a starting point.


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More Tutorial Videos

I just barely started getting into my tutorial videos this summer. 2019, however, will be a new start and that means – MORE VIDEOS! I’m currently working on a series of videos to help  anyone wanting to draw in the comic book style art as well as how to draw hands. Everyone, myself included, could always use a little help with hands. I’m also continuing with my sketch series because sketching helps improve drawing immeasurably!

Stay tuned and keep drawing!