I've been doing life drawing from my computer, which has helped me immensly. However, I still have no idea how to draw a character doing stuff. Most of my characters are sitting or standing, and their body languege is very limited.
How do I make them pose and do stuff? I want to draw comics, so I need to learn how to do this from my head.
Draw from life. Get friends/family to pose for you. Draw yourself in the mirror.
Find more references for what you want to study. If drawing photos are your thing I guarantee you
will find a lot more pictures on the net of people doing more than just sitting or standing.
GO OUTSIDE. You'll learn even more!
It's ok to disconnect from a computer and observe life. That's how a lot of art is created. You get inspired by people doing stuff!
If you are okay with working from photographs you could of course also simply use a webcam or simple point-and-shoot with timer device and then take photos of yourself, assuming whatever poses you like.
As for books, I rather like Ron Tiner's "Figure drawing without a model." It's a like a somewhat more recent version of Loomis, and has all manner of handy tips and tricks. Many of which boil down to "observe people around you and draw what you see." :-)
My sketchbook thread:
Either way your going to use reference. Your going to need to practice for years and years to get good enough at construction to use it without much issue. Then you'll still come across situations where you have no clue what it looks like because you haven't observed it. Especially in comics with ever changing and dynamic perspectives and angles
"Oh shit I need to draw someone swinging a bat. I've seen it before.... ... but I haven't really..... 'seen' it mid stride or anything. Fuck."
Comics are a bit of a learning experience. Your storytelling not just drawing. Along with practicing consistency, and then the balancing act of quality and not spending forever on a single page. It's honestly practicing efficiency if your doing it all alone. The figures have to feel like they're doing what they are supposed to in the story. The best way to do this is to reference what it would be in real life to help capture that feeling best as possible and also helps so your not spending hours and hours and hours on a single panel because it doesn't feel right.
I'm about to move, once I unpack I'm putting a giant mirror in front of where I draw because I already find myself running back and forth to the nearest bathroom (closest mirror)
Step away from your computer, go outside, and draw real people moving around and doing things. Gesture drawings of real live people are excellent practice for cartoonists and animators, it's a great way to study body language and how people move and act. If you have a park anywhere near you, I recommend going and sketching people doing sports and similar activities.
And depending on what kind of comic art you do, you may do most of it from your head, or you may do most of it from photo ref, or you may use ref for some bits and imagination for other bits... I second what's already been said about learning a constructive approach to the figure, that's pretty essential for cartooning and animation. But it helps to supplement that with drawing and observing real live people, so you can understand all the nuances of real expression and movement. Otherwise you'll probably end up with stiff, generic characters.
(And yes, mirrors are really reeeeally handy... Especially at 3:00am when you suddenly realize you have no idea how this arm should twist...)
http://www.amazon.com/Drawing-your-I...pd_sim_sbs_b_2 its starts off where the last one left off...what i like about Figure Drawing Without a Model Ron Tiner preaches over and over that artist need to take a sketch book with them every where you go and sketch every thing you see even if you don't like the subject.
Last edited by creeptool; November 2nd, 2012 at 03:48 PM.
"If you wish to become a successful imaginative artist, the best advice I can offer you is: be prepared to draw anything and everything you see."
- Ron Tiner, "Drawing from your imagination"
My sketchbook thread:
**Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial
Crash Course for Artists, Illustrators, and Cartoonists, NYC, the 2013 Edition!
"Work is more fun than fun."
"Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
I'm pretty sure the OP meant they were drawing figures ON the computer, not drawing figures WITH the computer... If you know what I mean... (As in, the "models" are on the screen.)
I've seen people lug laptops to life drawing, but the models themselves are not on the screen. That makes all the difference.
Thank you so much for the book reccomandation! I've checked it out from the library and written up the author's name. It was exactly what I was looking for, and I've spent the evening drawing my friends.
Yes, I have been drawing naked figures from the laptop screen by using the good ol' slideshow method. It's not as good as actual life drawing, but it has helped me improve significantly during times when life drawing was unavailable to me.