Hello, my name is Cat, or Felis Margarita, and I'm a struggling artist. I've been a bit nervous about joining this site but I'm sick of not improving, so I finally signed up. I found it hard to get critique from places like Devinatart and Tumblr, so hopefully I'll have better luck here.
The 1st picture is based off of this skeleton model:
2nd picture is a thylacine, no refs were used, and the 3rd image comes with the ref.
I'm currently studying "The Art of Animal Drawing" by Ken Hultgren, but I also tend to be a slow learn and need as much help as I can get.
I also have "Drawing the Head and Figure" by Jack Hamm, want to know of any other good books for learning how to draw people.
I also wanted to ask, and I'm sorry if this isn't the appropriate place to ask this and I'll delete this part if it is, I have clinical depression which from time to time will completely wipe away my motivation to draw, and I wanted to know if any other artists on here deal with the same thing and advice for how to overcome it?
Last edited by FelisMargarita; November 23rd, 2012 at 10:02 AM.
Can you please resize those images? It's hard to critique anything when you can't see the whole image at once. I try to stay under 1000px wide for the web.
Oh I apologize, I resized everything.
Never despair; but if you do, work on in despair.
Edmund Burke (1729 - 1797)
I think most creative people find practicing their art is an escape from...whatever. It's one reason the arts have such a high proportion of neurotics (that might be a chicken-and-egg thing, though). I mean, you shouldn't have to grit your teeth and nerve yourself up for drawing. There's a time for serious drawing, and there's a time that drawing can be a relief and an escape. Don't take it so seriously all the time.
Your drawings look fine. Try pencil and paper and doodling for some light relief. A few years ago, my morning ritual with my first cup of coffee was to do a Google images search on a word -- say, camel -- and then spend an hour sketching what I found. Not trying to do anything finished or final, just drawing for the hell of it.
Of course, I've never had serious clinical depression, so I might be utterly full of crap.
Hey, Josey -- I like that illustration, too -- but I'll eat my hat if it isn't a nicely done photo manip. Nothing wrong with that, but it's a somehwat different skillset.
I was once on the receiving end of a critique so savagely nasty, I marched straight out of class to the office and changed my major (sketchbook).
I don't know about the first animal you posted, but I can comment on the other too: the stripes and something about the face make your thylacine just recognizable but the proportions are off, particularly in the legs. Here's a link to the Arkive's information on it
Try watching the videos and seeing how it moves. In the future I'd recommend drawing with reference on hand if at all possible, or at least use it to correct your sketches. You'll find you make more satisfactory work with it.
The BBC Arkive is one of my favorite sources for information on an animal, for many species it has video clips and photographs as well as discussions of its natural behaviors. I find it to be a good place to start my research.
The last pic of the cat suffers a lot of distortion--take a look at your reference again and note the proportion of the head, paws and body. It's ok to deviate from your ref of course, but in this case your proportions do not relate to each other. For example, each paw is a different size.
I do like the dynamicism in the first two sketches, though! I wish I could keep my sketches as clean with nice lines!
On the depression--I have it as a side-effect of an anxiety disorder, particularly in the winter months. I've found that there's nothing to it but to do it. I schedule myself and keep to it as a job and draw even when I don't feel like it. Sometimes it's very difficult, and on those days I instead try to work on gesture drawings or other tasks rather than commission work. That at least keeps me sharp and improves my skills for when I can work. I also have small projects on the side to work on, and sometimes finishing one can give me a boost of confidence needed for a larger painting. I love the quote from Picasso: "Inspiration does exist but it must find you working" and I remind myself of it.
Last edited by Stormslegacy; November 23rd, 2012 at 09:58 PM. Reason: added a critique of the last piece
On the first one i can't really tell what animal its supposed to be. for a sketch that was following a skeleton its ok but for a finished product unless your trying to make a made up animal you need to focuse on the face shape and body shape/ markings ect. The second one is very good i would just say if u make it into a finished work don't make the tail so stiff even if the tail is supposed to be in a attention type pose it wouldn't be that straight and stiff mabybey a sligth curve at the end or the base would help that. the last one the coloring is absolutely adorble i love it the proportions are a bit off but or a cartoony type drawing thats nothing to be worried about and very normal. I personally don't know anything about being clinically depressed the question is have you seen a doctor to discuss options you can take?
I also have anxiety, clinical depression and PTSD from being shot when I get in a mood I find what helps me is to just not care how the drawing comes out and just scribble stuff wether its good or not.. Also a thing I do is I draw things I want. Like if I've been wanting a new set of juggling clubs I draw that, or if I want a naked horned vixen I'll draw that.. Today I drew a fabulous kitchen with half ass perspective.. But any drawing is better than no drawing..
Thank you all for the critique and advice, I appreciate it very much. I worked on the thylacine picture a bit more, please let me know if it looks more natural. Also, I tried fixing the cat's paw, do they look about the same size now?