As for Japan, I'm teaching English here as a means to save up money to go to art school back in the states!
It's interesting that your school is so focused on copying and exaggerated proportions--make sure that you're not just turning into a photo copying expert without understanding any of the anatomy! I'm a little skeptical of a school that just focuses on copying photos without telling you anything about how anatomy works, but at the same time, any drawing is good practice!
Amarok: Nice ^^ I'd been planning to go to Japan to teach English and figure out what to do with my life but ended up in Korea instead. Love it here
I also totally agree about the importance of understanding anatomy, or understanding in general. I don't want to sound contrary but after experiencing the eastern learning style I'm not sure I understand what "understanding" is. They like to copy instead of formulating words and ideas about things, I guess?
My teacher looked at my pictures and thought for a minute and drew some super rough sketches, croquis style I guess. Then he told me to draw like that.
After reading some I came to think that the difference between "loose" and "sloppy" is "skill" Which is annoying because I'm trying to draw carefully and get skill in the first place! So i've gone a little crazy trying to find loose lines. Feels good~
Man, I love that your "eureka!" moment is accompanied by a deluge of gesture sketches, these are just exploding with ...trying to find the word. Somewhere in between energy, confidence, and exploration. You've nailed the loose sketch idea: it explores the forms while you draw. It speeds up your drawing considerably. Loose lines create flow and rhythm, and (IMHO) are key to figure invention vs figure replication. All my sketches start as a complete mess, and I just add a new layer, drop the transparency on the previous mess, and come back over the lines I want to keep, repeat 3 or 4 times.
You're going to keep making wicked progress at this rate, way to keep at it
The program you are in sounds really interesting, I'm curious about how you will keep developing. I think some of those loose sketches look pretty good, but be careful not to go so loose and fast you loose proportions all together. If you're interested in gesture drawing there are two great books there collecting walt stansfields notes on that, Drawn to Life. He approaches it from an animation standpoint, but the lessons are great for anyone.
Jablar: Thank you! George&Guo has some amazing progress shots, I recommend looking for his sketchbook
Morkai: Thank you sir! I'm still trying to find the balance between sloppiness and speed. I haven't gotten the hang of adding new layers yet and working on top, it feels too much like restarting so I tend to erase and rework instead..
Suncut: Thanks so much for the book suggestion, I'll definitely check those out. The Disney animators are crazy, those movies still look great 20 years later..
My Eureka moment actually came in a slightly different way.. While I was going nuts trying to find loose lines and figure out how to draw what I was looking at in a relaxed way an idea occurred to me. I was going way too fast to catch any details or proportions, as Suncut said, and I didn't really want to slow down..
What is the point of taking a year to copy a basic picture? You could go forever and still not reach an exactly perfect copy. There should be some kind of time limit that makes sense for what you want to do. And you have to perform well in that time limit. I'm using some arbitrary time limits for sketching, 1, 5, 10, and 20 minute intervals. It's nice because 1 minute is too fast to get eveything so you have to aim to express the key points, and then the loose feeling carries over to the longer time intervals.
So my Eureka moment is.. keep going harder and faster
The teacher wants me to focus on copying characters and then designing new clothes.. so I haven't really been doing that, I'm being a bad student ^^;;
I'm really feeling a good vibe about the timed copying though and i'm slowly introducing imagination and design work too, so I feel nice and productive~
Sooo i'm really loving copying but that is all you do at the hagwon.. copy copy copy.. I'm taking a month long break to work on my copying. I'm enjoying it and it's making me realize I need to be stronger at drawing before my painted pictures will look professional.
I'm trying to get my 5 min sketches to look better than my 20 mins, and my 5 min imaginations like my 5 min copies.. I hope it only takes a month~
Hey Vice, Thanks for sharing that video link. I remember watching that interview long time ago, but now I'm watching it again! very inspiring stuff.
You got tons of study here!! Copying can be helpful, but looks like you're losing form in some of the drawings. I find that especially with copying anime can sometimes do that. Copying Loomis or Bammes figures can help understand form. Then when you do other stuff you can build the form on top. Keep up the good work!
Cabbage Caterpillar: Thank you! The clothed figures were looking flat but I thought it was because I was bad at clothing. In fact the problem was in trying to follow the path of the folds I started thinking in vertical and horizontal lines. "Form" is totally missing and something I don't think about and it's time to remedy that
i'm excited to find that imagination work is becoming less intimidating and beginning to look similar to my copy work! On the flip side, I'm becoming much less impressed with myself and am starting to see how long this road stretches out..
You've definately improved! some of those copies are starting to look really good, and as you said your imagination work has come a long way. You seem to have the most problems drawing muscular guys, I think you're focusing too much on the individual muscle bulges and missing the form they are all anchored in.
Suncut: Thank you! You are totally right and I feel very lacking as far as muscular guys go. I really think it would help me draw girls better too to know how the muscles fit into the form. I gotta start remedying this ASAP.
Man, congratulations on putting in so much work, it's great to watch your dedication and improvement. I can already tell you're getting a better grasp for details and form in your studies, they don't look as flat as earlier and your imagination work is benefiting greatly as a result. I have to agree on the muscular detail comment someone made earlier, I fall into the same trap: I've learned which muscles are where, but I haven't done enough life study to really couch those inside realistic human form (with fat, skin, and interaction) well.
You've got me all fired up to get some serious studies done, so congratulations, your passion is addictive! Great work, keep it up!
You've got a good routine going here of copying and working from imagination but I would say trying studying from actual photographs instead of cghub artists since those images tend to have quite stylized anatomy. If you learn correct anatomy first you can learn to stylize the heck out of it later and actually understand the choices you're making. Keep up the bridgeman and loomis studies, they help a lot too. To help improve your line and eye you can try gesture drawings. You almost came to that conclusion yourself with the timed studies but check out this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmiwGm32dXU
Jondawo: Thanks for commenting! You are absolutely correct about gestures. The more I try to make a picture look right the more it becomes rigid. Thanks for that link to Sycra's video, he's got a ton of great stuff. On the anatomy aspect I can't agree about the order of learning, photographs first, other artists first, a little bit of everything, etc. Tomato tomato right?
I had to go to Fukuoka Japan for a couple days to refresh my Visa in Korea. I had a great time and saw a ton of stuff, ate so much delicious food. Still didn't make it to a hot spring though. Predictably when I came back my drawing feeling was sooo not good. I wanted to bust out something in color because they always look better when they're painted but I don't feel like I've "earned" color yet. I haven't accomplished what I set out to do with lines.
The more I learn the more I realize I know nothing...~
Oh damn, your work is getting better and better! Your progress is very noticeable too, very nice.
You're also drawing and studying almost exactly what I usually study too. It reminds me of my studies.
As long as you keep it up you'll be as good as all of those artists you linked and you'll also be able to add your own personal touch to your work. The amount of drawing you're doing is more than me! So you'll be able to catch up to me, no problem!
I really like the type of Korean art you're into as well, it's halfway between realistic renderings but it's also exaggerated in perspective, proportion, colour, design, and emotion - all the good areas!
Lucarky: Thank you sir! I've left many comments for other people telling them I like their girls but hearing someone else say it to me is too cool Keep fighting~
FinalKnight: Damn.. man you know I admire your work intensely and getting a compliment about improving from you is touching
I'm drawing more than you? Aren't you a professional artist though? I always thought with your level of skill that your day job was something art related..
Michael Hampton's human drawing book was easier than I expected to get in Korea and I have very few complaints, but many awesome things to say about it. It very clearly reduces the human muscle structures into blocks that are easy to understand and rotate. It also provides a great way to think about "constructing" the body. More than that, learning those simple forms greatly facilitates learning/memorizing the actual muscles.. Which means I'm now taking another step backwards and learning anatomy again lol