Vanquish Studio


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Pick a Starting Point to Draw

I’m working on drawing my own comic. Not an easy task but I’m up for the challenge! Before any drawing program, there needs to be a starting point. Where are you at in your skill set? From there you can plan a clear path to where you want to be or where are you aiming towards? I drew an image of a generic, heroic character with his fist raised in a dramatic pose (look below).¬† That is my starting point. Looking at it, YES! I could use some improvement. If you follow any of my rubrics (I’m a teacher by day) you would see what I see. I need to develop my structure, anatomy, and fluidity.

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Okay so I’ve narrowed it down to three categories. That’s too much. I need to break it down further. I’m going to narrow it to working on creating more natural looking characters with more ease of movement, in other words, fluidity.¬† How do I do that? Practice making an action line when I draw gesture. What is an action line? The imaginary line that runs down the spine of your subject.

I think that by utilizing this principle of using an action line to establish the pose is a solid one that will yield favorable results. So that is my drawing goal. (Don’t forget to create a goal so you don’t practice aimlessly.)

After that, I’m going to read artist’s anatomy books to help me draw the musculature more realistically. I also want to create that exaggerated look in comics’ muscles (they keep adding muscles that aren’t there but it still looks good). Okay, I have another goal, now I can plan my drawing time!

While I’m going to be drawing gesture drawings (at least 30 per day), I’m also going to be practicing drawing women’s and men’s faces (5 each in three-quarter view). Why two different things? I can divide my time and break up the monotony of drawing the same thing over and over (drawing combined with reflection, is necessary for improvement). Also, switching female and male faces I break up those drawing sessions even further. I can change angle and gender for added variety and a sense of freshness so I won’t be so easily frustrated. So I have my drawing session planned: gesture drawing and faces. Remember to always break up the time to avoid boredom or creativity blocks.


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Seven Steps to Better Drawings!

Every struggling new artist asks her or himself the same question, “How do I get better at drawing?” I’ve complied this list of seven things that anyone can do to get better and to ¬†improve their skill:

  1. DRAW DAILY
    This may sound simple and easy but it’s not! Drawing every day takes time and effort but the payoff is more improved insight into the drawing process and muscle memory. Set aside a time every day when you can sit down and just draw.
  2. DRAW A LOT, NOT NECESSARILY FOR PERFECTION
    All too often people don’t draw because they think their art “just isn’t good enough”. It will never get to the level you want unless you draw a lot. Think of professional athletes who do drills over and over again to get better at a certain skill, drawing is the same way. Keep drawing anything and everything! The more you draw, the better at it you will get.
  3. COPY ARTISTS YOU ADMIRE
    Look at other artists whose art you admire or want to draw like and copy them! It’s always a good idea to look at how other people draw their subjects and try to emulate their style. I’m not saying plagiarize their work, but look at what they do and take what you can use and leave the rest.
  4. INTENTIONAL PRACTICE
    Intentional practice is drawing with the intent of improving a specific area. For example, you may want to draw the figure but you have trouble with the arms in foreshortened view. What should you practice? The arms in foreshortened view! Practice looking at the arm in different positions and from a foreshortened perspective. Choose areas that you could work on and narrow your scope to that particular area. That way, you aren’t needlessly drawing something that you have already mastered. Draw with intention and you will see improvement.
  5. TAKE BREAKS
    I know I said to draw every day, which is a good practice, but also take a break once in awhile. If you are drawing the figure, take a break and concentrate on perspective drawing or draw foliage or animals. Take breaks from what you are drawing because frustration can set in and then you’ll be tempted to stop and that would be disastrous!
  6. ASK FOR FEEDBACK
    This step is critical to growing as an artist. Always ask other people what they think about your drawing. It is always a good idea to have a fresh set of eyes look at your work and tell you where you can improve. Don’t take the criticism personally as if it were directed at you. The feedback is about your art. Keep that in mind and really listen. An outside point-of-view can be a very valuable resource.
  7. DRAW WHAT YOU LIKE
    I’m partial to drawing in the Marvel style rather than manga so that is what I concentrate on the most. If you like drawing animals, draw animals. If you like drawing manga, draw manga. Don’t draw things that you aren’t interested in because that is the quickest way to lose interest and stop drawing.

I hope this list helped you in some way. Now, go forth and draw!

 


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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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New Coloring Page – Flash!

I just looked in my coloring page archive and realized I never made one of The Flash! This was one of my earliest drawings and was one of the original nine prints I had when I first started showing at comic conventions in 2012! It was my first show after a dismal failure at the Phoenix Con two years prior. I actually sold out of EVERY print except Green Lantern (go figure). Anyway, here is a blast from the past, my original Flash. I should probably do an updated version.

Enjoy!

Flash Coloring page

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