Hello my friends. I got home from the hospital a few days ago. They mostly keep me in for observation and to flush my system out. I am behind on where I wanted to be with the blog right now, but I'll wing it today until I have time to go through some disk and find pictures, training exercises. I promise, unless I go downhill again, that next week I will have all that back on my computer so I can share with you. Today we are going to talk about drawing people. I want to give you some things to think about that if you take to heart, it will speed your skills along and teach you to draw the human figure even better, or animals, or aliens for that matter.
Daniel told me that my goal as an artist is give my work life, and give it a life of it's own. For a couple of years I thought about that and to be honest, I was not being sure exactly what he meant. Then I would study his work, the way he painted the figure or portrait and compared it to the way I had painted mine. I think it was the first time that I realized just how much better I had gotten since he started training me, but my work was no where near his level. I'm getting there, but honestly, it will still be several years before I reach his level of excellence.
I'm going to give you a BIG tip right now before we talk about the drawing the figure. Your no where as good as you think you are, period. Your ego will ruin you if you let it. If you put being a known artist over being the best artist you can be, you never will be anything but a want-a-be. If you are truly an artist, then you will always seek knowledge and skill over fame. The fame comes in time, you just can't claim it. It takes hard work. In my case, I have been there and let myself get sidetracked by greedy talentless people, but now I am in training mode again, and this time I am not going to leave it. I find it much more rewarding to see improvement in each piece of work over a few people telling me how great I am. When you all are bragging on me, I am very flattered, but in a way I feel like I have let you down, because I know deep down, I could have done better.
So if you believe yourself to be an artist, ask yourself why do you really want to paint or draw? Search your heart, this is important. You and if you have a family need to know that this is your calling, and you will work your arshe off to be the best you can. If you are doing it because you want fame, then threat it as a hobby only. You can get published in small press, but you will have to work a regular job to support yourself and your family. I do not ever want to crush any ones dream, but at a show, and almost everyone, a young artist will come up to me with some of their work and ask me do I think they have what it takes. An a lot of times their is a spouse with them holding a baby. In some of these artist works I see talent, but I also know it will be years before they develop that talent enough to make a living at it. So I am honest with them. I tell them that I do see potential, but it will take years of training for them to be what they want. As much as I want to see this artist succeed, I also see that there is a family to take care of, and you have to always put your family first. So I know if this person truly has the gift, no matter what, they will pursue it. I did.
Other than that, please don't put your family through hell and make them go without so many things that they truly need. If your lucky, you will find a spouse that loves you enough to help you with your dream. They will carry the burden of the bills so that you may work, and work hard you must. You don't want your loved one to have to bare the burden no longer than necessary, and hopefully one day you can make enough to let them pursue their dream.
Now lets talk about figure drawing. First off, remember and save this link. It will take you to where you will have access several books by Master Illustrator Andrew Loomis. Study these books almost daily. Practice what you see, draw the figures over and over again. Anatomy is the hardest thing that most artist have a hard time grasping, and it takes years to master it. I study it constantly, and you should as well. As an artist you must take your craft seriously and learn everything everyday.
When most artist are learning anatomy they tend to draw the figure stiff. It looks posed. The trick is to learn to draw it, and make it not look stiff, even if your model or reference picture is. The ability to do this comes from practice, practice and more practice. Get a medical book on anatomy, learn to draw the human body without skin. Understand the muscles and how they react to movement. Learn to draw them when they are relaxed as well. This is what makes them look real with the skin. A lot of times when I shoot a model, they are sometimes uptight and try to pose instead of acting natural. These days it doesn't matter, because I know how to draw them with their muscles relaxed if even in the picture they are stiff. I learned to do this by understanding how muscles work.
In anatomy classes, they don't teach you that. They just put a naked person in front of you and tell you that you have a hour to draw the figure. Now there is a lot to be said for speed drawing, but when you are trying to learn anatomy, take your time. Draw it over and over until it starts looking natural. Life drawing is great, but you need to study the anatomy of the muscles just as much if you want to be the best you can be. Please take this to heart, and spend at least one hour a day doing anatomy sketches. More if you can. In a years time, you will start to have a good grasp of anatomy. Now, unless your ambition is to be a comic book artist, stay away from that type of anatomy drawing and stick with the real thing.
I used to watch football every Sunday, but I would feel guilty for allowing myself to just veg out. So I would get a newsprint pad, and practice speed drawing while watching a game. Most sketches where just lines, but they where lines of movement, and this really help me understand how the body reacts when in movement. I started doing the same thing watching wrestling. You want to learn some powerful anatomy, wrestlers have it, and it's real, not unbelievable like in a comic book. Thinking about that, it wouldn't hurt to get back to doing that again, and I believe I will.
Okay on the next blog, I should have the things back on the computer I need to help you understand some of the things I talk to you about. I am wanting to buy a video camera so i can start filming while I work and show you on the blog how I do things while I explain them. So please invest in a few of my prints so we can get that started. Please go to here to help me help you. Also remember that for every print sold, 1 dollar of the 10 dollars goes to the Shriner Burn hospital for Children.
I almost forgot that I am the featured artist again in Horrorbound magazine this month. That's twice in one year! Go here to check it out. I want to thank Maria for promoting my work so much. She even bought a print!
Till next week my friends. Much Love and "May the Darkness Comfort you"