Square One (the state of starting anew, not the hit public broadcasting television series)

February 21st, 2011

I haven’t been drawing.

There was a time, oh so long ago, when I thought to myself, “Self, you need to create something people will enjoy. This something should come in the form of a webcomic that doesn’t involve the intellectual property of others.”

And so I promptly screwed around and stopped working on everything comic-related. Life got in the way, but really I let life take over and changed my priorities. I got a better job, moved back to the part of California that doesn’t suck, and threw myself into activities directly related to paying bills and advancing career.

Through all this, I kept it in my mind that I wanted to get back to comics, that I wanted to make my big splash in the webcomic world with something I could truly call my own. I’m finally at a point where I feel like I can start to work toward these goals.

Too bad I forgot to keep drawing during all that downtime!

I feel like I’ve got a horrible case of the stupid fingers. I would never have claimed to be a great artist (that takes more formal art education, generally), but my lack of practice means my drawings today look not all that different from my drawings five years ago, when I still wasn’t where I wanted to be talent-wise. As a result, I’m forcing myself to go through the basics, to rebuild a foundation upon which I can build something resembling decent artistry.

While browsing through various Livejournal blogs of webcomic artists I admire (not at all to try and steal their powers), I was directed toward an excellent online tool at Pose Maniacs. The site has digitally-rendered male and female models in thousands of configurations of poses, with musculature exposed to help you break down the form. Of particular interest is the thirty second randomizer, forcing you to get your gesture draw on. It’s a wonderful resource I highly recommend everyone bookmark and frequent right away (get the iPhone app while you’re at it; I love the thought of having this sort of resource wherever I go). In the interest of attempting to build discipline through public display, here are some figure drawing exercises from yesterday and today (slightly NSFW pics of naked nudeness after the break).

After all these years, and even with all the blank sketch books I keep around, I still take great joy in doodling on college ruled three hole-punch paper. My biggest challenge continues to be properly representing proportion, so Pose Maniacs is proving a most helpful tool in forcing me to deal with it.

Switched to the fancy paper (on account of shit having JUST GOTTEN REAL). Paul and I tried out the thirty second randomizer, but for our respective states of drawing atrophy it was too crazy-fast and we switched to ninety seconds. Even then, I barely had time to block out the basic structures. Gonna have to work on my gesture drawing skills a bit. Did one negative space drawing too, looking forward to digging into that some more.

Checked out more Pose Maniacs stuff and found a hand-drawing tool. The CG hand isn’t much to look at but is helpful for seeing the finger overlap and proper shading. The hand is probably my worst of the sketch dumps. Went back to more random poses.

Let me know what you think! My hope is to start setting aside regular time to hone some drawing skills. Perhaps one day I’ll be able to look down at these lobster claws and see actual hands! But I understand that it’s a process.