I worked on this drawing from imagination. No reference... just lots of brain wrecking for several hours.
I'm just interested in critique regarding anatomy and light/shadow, not about composition or subject matter.
Next step would be to get a reference photo, but would someone tell me how in the world would I get a reference for a pose like this? Like.. Good luck!! (This calls for the following icon) I don't even know why.
Anyway... I've had a terrible time trying to figure out how the light would work on this one. How do comic book artist do it with such ease? Seems like a brain surgery to me.
Bring it on, people. Lemme know what you think (also, don't be shy to point out some of the positives... I could use encouragement also ;-) ).
From what I see, the proportions need some work, especially the head and neck area. The neck is too long, and the head is too big.
She also looks like she's about to fall over. I know that the tension on the strings would give her some additional balance, and I am assuming you might have her pulling/leaning on the strings, but a good thing to keep in mind for center-of-balance is to drop a vertical line down from the middle of the subject's collarbone to the "floor" of the drawing. If you do that here, you can see that there would be no way she'd be able to hold that pose. If you're relying on the ropes for this pose, I would make them look a little tighter/stronger
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Not that bad, but your perspective is crawling all over the place: the feet seem to be drawn as if viewed from ground level, the shoulders as if viewed from above, and the hips somewhere in between. Real perspective works exactly the opposite way: things closer to your POV are seen at a shallower angle, not vice versa.
Also, you've made this girl a giraffe - her neck is unbelievably long - and didn't quite know where to plot the arms. Balance issues have already been mentioned.
I suggest you take a different page and build the same figure out of boxes, in perspective. That'll give you a base for both proportions at this tricky angle, and the lighting. Lighting is easier to calculate if you have a good perspective plot with a clear light direction.
Lighting is never so easy, Comic book artists just deal with it alot so they have more experience.
To light a Scene in Cinema in the most basic ideal 3-point lighting scheme:
-have a Primary light source that give out the most light...
-A secondary fill light that has lesser intensity and is coming at the figure from a direction of ~90deg from from where the primary light is coming at.
-Last you have a Back-light that is used to separate the figure from the background, it has a very low intensity compared to the Primary light and is coming at the figure from the opposite direction (~180 deg) to give the figure a slight rim-light. (sometimes its a light, sometimes its just a reflective surface that gives up the back-light)
Its important to note that this is not some accurate science, depending on what you want the scene to give off you can use hard light, soft light, intentionally leave mostly silhouette etc...
Thanks all. Very useful. I do want to say, you realize I drew it entirely from my head? No anatomy book on the side or anything. For something from imagination I think this is effing great. That aside, it does have all the issues you all mentioned.
I appreciate the advice regarding perspective (drawing the feet angled down and doing cubes). This is a very useful advice and something I need to work on systematically. What makes it hard is that the feet are angles forward and in a 7/8 angle. I saw your sketchbook, arenhaus, I think you have the perspective stuff right on... Especially in this one, for example. very useful for me.
Since her shoulders are tilted toward the viewer we see the upper plane, I'm going to keep that. I think there is some issue with the perspective on her left hip. The angle is inaccurate or maybe the side plane is too narrow or something... The trouble is, she is tilted toward the viewer in her upper body part, which makes figuring out the perspective more difficult. I think the cubes/tubes is an excellent idea. I shall do that.
I think at this point I need to get a reference photo/photos + sorting out the perspective (my demon).
Regarding the balance, yes the bands balance her out. I actually tried it out... I had my husband hold my wrists while I was leaning forward. I'd need to show more tension in the bands somehow, though I don't want them to steal the show.
Now the pain of getting the right lighting and the right pose (closest to the drawing). The rest should be easier. Gosh, it's gonna be hard since I don't have studio lights but just a regular apartment and a shitty fish-eye camera.
Anyway, thanks for your input. I think it would be useful for me to turn this into a full drawing though knowing how hard this would be I am tempted to just work on the drawing a bit more and let it be.
Thanks all. Very useful. I do want to say, you realize I drew it entirely from my head? No anatomy book on the side or anything. For something from imagination I think this is effing great. That aside, it does have all the issues you all mentioned
I think most of us draw from our imagination so you are on the right track and congratulations, its not easy but keep it up.
Using reference to know what stuff look like is permissible but eventually , if you practice like you do by drawing from imagination, you will learn to do without.
Boy, do I know what you mean! Nothing beats that feeling of creating something from your head. Nothing. It's so satisfying and you get so caught up in the process. But, after 2 years of attending an atelier of drawing one figure over 4 weeks, I realized that you can't rely on imagination 100% for creating a highly detailed painting or drawing, with the value and color scheme looking just right. Heck, it's hard enough getting it all just right even when you have a model sitting right in front of you every day!
So, if I work really hard, memorize anatomy until I can shoot it out of my ass, work on getting light and shadow right from imagination, I'd be able to get maybe great looking comics, but not like a fine art piece, and that's more the direction I wish to go. (by the way, did you know that you're not suppose to put a comma before the word "and", even if the two parts of the sentence require a logical disconnection? That just feels wrong. Every bone in my body is protesting).
You're right, everyone here draw from their head, I should hold myself to a higher standard, perhaps. Still I think what I accomplished in this one is pretty spanktacular at least in some aspects. Like getting the volume of the torso to work in perspective despite an unusual tilt of the body. I find that I need to compliment myself on what I do do right at the same time as looking for errors, otherwise I might go mad and smash my keyboard after hours of work.
I always looked up to artists who draw from imagination. I study classical realism, but it's funny that I admire a lot more comic book illustrators. It's frustrating, to be honest, because I would love to be able to do fine art from imagination. I just don't think it's doable. What do you think? Do you know artists who do this?
Thanks for the book recommendation. I already have the Loomis one. I love it.
Thanks for the grammar tip, ill try to keep it in mind.
I think the definition of fine art is too broad, it encompasses surrealists.
Impressionists do not draw from imagination exactly but they do not use photo-reference either so they have to relay on imagination to complete what they remember and reproduce that impression as a painting. I'm no expert since I was never into realism much but according to wikipedia Classical Realism is influenced by impressionism so you probably already know this.
So from that I make the deduction that you can use realistically proportioned comic book art as the under-drawing where the realist aspect comes in mostly from the rendering, thus at least in theory if you observe and analyze how light interacts with different materials you can come fairly close to realism.
(that is what people technically do with 3d rendering engines nowadays, although even there don't be fooled into believing that accomplishing that is easy since to cause light,materials and texture to behave like you want them to is not so trivial).
It seems as though most comic-like artists that do realism paint digitally over photos (Tim Bradstreet and his ilk) .
Last edited by LightandDark; July 22nd, 2012 at 08:01 AM.