Vanquish Studio


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How to STOP Procrastination!

Are you one of those people that wants to learn how to draw but it just seems like there is soooooo much to learn that you can’t do it all? Guess what, you can’t! Not all at once at any rate! That would be too much to ask anyone. Think about exercising, when someone starts to lift weights with chest presses you don’t put 500 pounds on the barbell their first time on the bench! You’ll kill ’em! You gotta build up that strength and eventually you have it. The same is true of drawing and practice, if you try to do too much you will feel overwhelmed and be more likely to quit and not even start – procrastination. Start with a small goal and work from there. I’m having trouble drawing comic book hero heads and faces. My style is chibi so it’s really quite a turn from drawing big over-sized heads to that of correct proportional heads. Regardless, I need to get it done for my comic book I’m writing.

DO YOUR RESEARCH
I’ve started with reading a book about drawing the head by master illustrator Andrew Loomis. It’s called
Drawing the Head and Hands. You can find it in any library for free or if you feel like paying get it on Half Price Books. It’s an invaluable resource for proportions and has practical, usable advice.

loomis1After reading the book, I need to practice. Let’s all be realistic, instead of expecting a perfect drawing within two seconds, I need to set realistic goals and expectations. I’ve decided to draw the head at least three times this week for a minimum of 30 minutes each day. That is a small start that I can handle and I should still see results because its enough drawing time. Of course, if I choose to draw longer than 30 minutes, I may! Sometimes, though, it’s quality and not necessarily quantity of practice time that one strives towards. A good artist knows the difference.

My point is that often times people procrastinate because they simply just don’t know where to start. Quality or quantity, if you don’t know where to start, you won’t!

HOW AND WHEN TO PRACTICE
Choose an area you need to work on and create a schedule. That should help with the procrastination because you have a narrowed target, its a much smaller more reachable goal. For myself, I need to draw men’s heads. Specifically, I want to make them more masculine and draw more consistent with realistic proportions. If I commit to drawing at least three days in a seven day week, I will see results. If I feel the need to practice more, I can change my time to 60 minutes or add another 30 minute day. Flexibility is what helps people stay on a schedule. Don’t overdo it! Start small. Add those weights to the barbell, little by little.

Once I’m good at one target I can choose another one – female heads. I’m choosing small, manageable pieces instead of the whole. Once I have my pieces the way I want them, then the whole will come together by itself.

Does that sound “The Zen of Art” -ish enough?

 

practicing3


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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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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.

 

 


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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!