(In reference to the heavily construction-focused figure class I’m currently taking - a class where methods I’m not really sold on are taught)
I don’t know how to write about this without sounding condescending, but you can learn so much about about drawing “lively” figures from cartoonists and animators. I feel like my peers are missing out on a lot of that stuff.
I look at the right side of that and I’m like, “heh, I used to do all that stuff.” I remember, I used to start every drawing with an eye. Then, I’d draw the nose, then the other eye. Then, a mouth, and the jaw. Then, the sides of the head, then the top of the head. Then, I’d draw a neck, and some shoulders, but I just got lost from there. I was really bad at drawing bodies.
I felt like some kind of a genius when it finally sunk in that I should draw the whole head first, so I’d actually know where to put the features. So, the drawings got a little better, but it was still - the head, the neck, the shoulders, all separate from each other, looking like they don’t flow together. Same problems.
Then, I was like, WHAT IF I DRAW THE HEAD AND THE SHOULDERS FIRST?
It took me until I was 21-22 to understand that I should plan the WHOLE BODY first. But, of course, I wasn’t good at that. It’s funny, I got a lot of compliments on being “good at anatomy” back then, but the reality was that I just couldn’t figure out how to draw people in most poses. Instead, I was good at a limited library of poses - the ones where I could visualize the anatomy and how it interacted. Really basic stuff, like “standing with your arms at your sides, with one foot turned out”. That’s part of why my work was so stiff.
Now, I’ve gotten to a place where I can gesture out the body without trying to lay awkward figure construction in place, first. You know how there’s some shapes, some curves, that seem to suggest a feeling? I find that I get a better result now if I try to gesture figures that imply a swoosh, or a square, or - whatever shape conveys the tone I want.
Even now, I still do that thing where I have pictures that need an environment, and instead of planning the environment, gesturing the figure in, and then working on details, I’ll often still draw the figure first (despite the figure having no context), then the environment. Not a very good way to do things. I’m trying to correct that now, by creating the environment first, and only gesturing the figures in so I’m not tempted to wander off and work on them, and leave the environment in neglect.
me: I can make an environment that feels 3D, but the level of detail will be super low versus the occupants. It does make sense for the LOD to be SOMEWHAT lower, because an equivalent LOD could make it difficult to focus on the character. But, that’s not why my environments are so low in detail. It’s just that I don’t know what in the balls to put in them - so they end up looking empty, anyway.
IT SUCKS. It’s like, I know what everyone’s rooms look like in a general sense, I could write them for an RP scene, but the details of the rooms change every time. Like, I wouldn’t know where to throw a potted plant or whatever.
A: That’s an understandable problem, haha.
A: But also, the only backgrounds I have really seen from you recently are in MO, and those areas kind of SHOULD feel wide open.
A: Or at least free of clutter.
Steven’s office is sort of deceptive as an opening environment for MO. His office is supposed to be unusually empty. Even then, I left out a lot of architectural details I could have included. Those would have helped drive home that the room is “empty”, not just that I “don’t know how much detail a room has”. But I know that now.
(About how stressing yourself out over art quality can be counterproductive)
I was actually A Talk with Greg yesterday, because of the issues I have with perfectionism. When I don’t finish homework and stuff, it’s not because the homework is hard, you know? It’s not beyond my skill level. It’s actually because I am trying TOO HARD and it stresses me out SO much that I can’t finish, and sometimes I’m SO STRESSED OUT that I can’t even move on to another assignment. Or, “won’t” is more accurate, I suppose.
Greg said, “That’s what happens when you feel like there’s an expectation to live up to.”
“You think you’re good, other people think you’re good, so it’s important that EVERYTHING you do is good. That doesn’t actually make your work good. It just stresses you out. It makes your work worse. It makes you averse to experimentation.”
“I was most productive and most prolific as an artist when I was bad at it, and I didn’t know about what stuff should look like, or what other people thought of my stuff.” (this was true, he used to draw constantly.)
Even though he’s a decent programmer now, some of the pressure is off because most people… can’t actually interpret your programming, you know? They can only see the product. But even then, he’s good enough at it that he does still feel some of that pressure. He has to try to trick himself out of worrying about other people’s expectations about his abilities.
And I thought, that’s really insightful. I do have that problem super bad.
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- warchiefeny said: Relatin’ hardcore to the perfectionism deal.
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