Vanquish Studio


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Look at Your Art Constructively, NOT Critically

We’ve all done it. We rip into our art and say it isn’t any good. Stop the insanity! Look at your art with an objective, constructive eye instead of a critical one. How? Use a rubric!
This video demonstrates how to use a rubric to diagnose where you need to improve and where you don’t to streamline your drawing practice so it’s more effective and efficient.

drawing-hands-rubric


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The Three Types of Practice

The biggest thing any new artist will hear, or anyone else trying to improve their craft, is  “you need to practice.” Practice isn’t just plugging away and drawing anything. It should have direction and focus, otherwise, you will lose sight of the end goal and procrastinate. Or worse yet, draw and draw and see little improvement for a lot of work! In my opinion, there are three types of practice: inspirational, intentional, and reflective.

INSPIRATIONAL PRACTICE
Inspirational practice is the easiest of the three. This is where you look at other people’s art, read books, watch movies, or do anything that gives you an idea for a project. Draw inspiration from everyday life. Look at other people’s sketchbooks, read magazines, check out Art Station or other online galleries, look at comic books, manga, anything to give you ideas! Take the time to research styles and artists. Inspirational practice can take place anytime, anywhere.

INTENTIONAL PRACTICE
The second form of practice is intentional practice. What I mean by this is that instead of just drawing anything, have a plan, an intention. Specifically target areas that you need to work on. For example, I find drawing the male figure infinitely easier than drawing women. Why? It’s difficult for me to make women look muscular but not manly. When I practice, I women1would draw a preliminary sketch and then look at it. Next, I would examine the areas I need to work on. DON’T CLOBBER YOURSELF! Use constructive criticism when critiquing your work to keep it helpful and positive. Negativity will only make you want to quit.

If you look at the sketches to the right you’ll notice I need to work on my construction and my proportions. Now that I know what to draw, I can do it with direction and purpose. I can draw women’s bodies and concentrate on construction and anatomy. I now have a direction for practicing.

During practice time, I’ll draw just the construction of the form: spheres, cubes, cylinders. I can practice using comparative measurement to check my proportions. I also know that I need to work on my anatomy. Since I have trouble drawing women’s hips I know to practice anatomy specifically concentrating on the torso, legs, and hips. Once I feel comfortable with those elements, I can move on to other elements like arms, hands, foreshortening, etc. My point is, I have a specific intention when I practice. I’m not drawing endlessly with no focus.

REFLECTIVE PRACTICE
The last type of practice is an important one and often times overlooked, or done hastily, and that is reflective practice. That is, after you draw critique your work. Don’t rip it to shreds. Instead, be realistic and practical. Use constructive words to describe your art. For example, don’t say, “My women suck!” That doesn’t help you to improve: too negative and not specific. I like the stance of each character (in the sketches above) and I think that my figures are looking more fluid and less stiff. I do, however, need to get better at basic construction, specifically proportion and foreshortening the arms and legs. Being reflective helps you to pinpoint what you need to improve and not get discouraged. Remember to be constructive in your criticism; stay accurate and objective.

Look at older art you drew and compare it to your newer stuff to see your progression. Look at other people’s art that you admire and compare it to yours: What’s alike? What’s different? How can you adjust your drawing? Always remember to really look at your art after you create it and reflect on the process as well as the end result.

GOOD LUCK!


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New You Tube Video: Drawing the Head

I’m extremely new to making You Tube videos and it’s really quite more difficult than people may think. I’m trying to make informational videos about drawing but I don’t want to go over a certain time period either and have the videos drag. I recently discovered an old master who has been around for awhile! Did I learn about this person in school? NO! I have no idea why not but, hey, better late than never, right? I made a video introducing Andrew Loomis’ method of drawing the human head. He is an absolute GENIUS when it comes to figure drawing. I definitely recommend reading his book Drawing the Head and Hands.

Let me know how I can improve my videos with a comment! Enjoy.


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Ideas for You Tube Videos

It’s been an eternity since I made a new You Tube video but the time taken hasn’t been in vain. I’ve been restructuring how I present my content and concentrating on things that people want to learn. For example, my “how to draw hands” videos get the most views so I’m going to do more videos about foreshortening the fingers, dynamic hand positions, and measurements of the hand. I’m also trying to draw my comic book which means more videos about how to draw in the comic book style. I’ve been researching how to create basic construction of the human form (male and female) and I think those videos will be a lot of help as well. I’m also going to deliver on topics like composition, shading, and coloring.

Stay tuned because some really cool stuff is coming soon!