I Am Struggling

Last week I mentioned that I might juggle anatomy/perspective practice through the week. That didn’t work out, it’s been all perspective practice and it is has been BAAAAAAAD.

Nothing I’ve drawn has exposed my terrible draftsmanship more than perspective. It makes me feel so stupid. How could I ever have hoped to master something as complex as the human form if I can’t construct simple shapes in perspective? smh.

New plan, try to get my head around linear perspective and all the basic construction techniques. I’m juggling a few different books: Framed Perspective, Perspective Made Easy, Perspective Drawing Handbook and another one I can’t remember. It’s obvious I won’t be getting the most out of learning anything regarding figures until I figure this shit out.

One thing that came to mind late this evening is that I should be reading the theory first before drawing. Maybe trying to do both at the same time is fucking me over? I’ll test this out tomorrow by reading the chapters of whatever book I’ll be studying from during any free moments in the work day.

This week’s trash:

Weiiird Week

Studied everyday but it was a struggle. I’ve mentioned wanting to tackle perspective after anatomy. Well, I figure if I’m so afraid of it, fuck it, started on Friday. Tackled Scott Robertson’s How To Draw. The same book and topic that pretty much made me stop drawing for three months lol. I can report that I fared much better this time. Made it 4 chapters into his book by Saturday, either I’m dumb(probably) or this book really glosses over perspective basics and is structured very strangely. He’ll instruct you to construct something on page 31, that he doesn’t explain how to contruct until 50 pages later.

Anyways, wasn’t fucking with the book at all, so I went to a often recommended perspective book, Perspective Made Easy. Faaaaaaar more digestible, Robertson comes off as a robot in comparison. I don’t know if I’ll do perspective studies for weekends or mix them in throughout the week. We’ll see by next week I guess.

Anatomy Studies, turns out like all other anatomy, legs and necks are tough as fuck:

Scott Robertson stuff

Perspective Made Easy stuff:

4 months in

Haven’t given up yet. Not much else to say. Torso’s still tough, started on the neck. Speaking of the torso, it’s really the 3d form of it that kills me. Like someone bending over might be the most intimidating pose ever lol. Anyways, 141 hours of study in April. Lets see if I can top that in May.

I like this face.

April’s Coming to an end.

The grind continues, I wanna say I’m almost there when it comes to understanding the torso(the densely packed muscles in the back are giving me the most trouble), but eh, time will tell. Also, unless I breeze through the head, hair, lower body, hands, feet, perspective, rendering and clothing I’m probably not going to “make it” this year. I’m actually fine with that, I’m just hoping to keep the consistency up. The only way to really speed things up would be to study 6 hours after work, I don’t know how feasible that is :/

I don’t believe i’ve ever detailed my study plain/guide. Basically I want to grind anatomy to the point where I can replicate all the bone and muscle groups from memory. After that, I’m moving on to perspective. When I’m at the perspective stage, I’m planning on having half of every study session be perspective studies, then the other half be figure/life drawing. As Richard Williams says, Life drawing is the antidote. It will expose my weakness(and with anatomy knowledge, I’ll know what to fix precisely) and I’ll also be able to explore stuff like gesture. After all, I wanna do mostly character stuff if I ever go pro.

After gaining a basic knowledge of perspective, I’m hoping that will help me with simplifying figures in 3d space. Rendering/lighting/painting after that, the final frontier. Also grouping composition in that as well.

We’re almost 4 months into 2020. So far so good as far as my art journey. Anyways, here’s this past week’s studies:

Moment of Weakness & a Small Victory

Yesterday started off like most days have this year. Woke up tired after around 5 hours of sleep the night prior, showered and arrived at work. Speaking of work, it almost feels shitty to say but the ongoing pandemic hasn’t affected my routine. My job has deemed themselves essential and while work has slowed down , as somebody that isn’t college educated or particularly skilled, I’m lucky to have a job at the moment. I hope I didn’t jinx myself. Anyways, I usually arrive home after work around 6 P.M. Like I said, standard work day.

During the week, I try to start my studies by 7:30 P.M the latest. Yesterday, while browsing internet forums and watching Twitch streams, my eye was on clock knowing it would soon be time to put on the hardhat and struggle with anatomy for the next 4 hours, as usual.

6:30 came and went, still on my ass, enjoying myself. Then 7:00 and 7:30 . Before I knew it, it was 8 P.M and I hadn’t even plugged in my Wacom tablet or opened Clip Studio :/. And as if I hadn’t built up some semblance of discipline this year, I started to make the same mental bargains in my head like I had been doing all those years prior.

“It’s okay, you can just study for 2 hours and study extra hard tomorrow!”

“You’ve been working hard, you can take a day off”

“It’s just one night”

I was so disappointed at how easily I was able to slip into this familiar, lazy mindset. It put my effort this year into perspective. I’ve been consistently studying every single day since late January of this year. what’s barely 3 months compared to decades of procrastination? Sigh.

When 8:30 P.M rolled around, I opened up the Bammes PDF and plugged in my Tablet’s USB cable. Loaded up a 10 hour “rain sound” stream on Spotify, closed Chrome and Discord and studied for 4 hours straight. Like the title said, small victory but I’m glad I didn’t give into the temptation of laziness. Funnily enough, the thought of writing this blog was the driving force lol.

Sidenote: I’m becoming a bit of a Mit Kahl stan. Reading about him on Disney Legend Andreas Deja’s blog constantly intimidates and inspires me to become a better draftsman.

This Weeks Studies + UNPLUG

The Little Grey Notebook — Why animators should unplug when ...
I’ve seen this image floating around before but didn’t give it much thought. But seeing it after looking up William’s work and more importantly reading that opening chapter in The Animator’s Survival Kit detailing his training and experiences with other godlike draftsmen(Like Milt Kahl, pictured above), it hit different. Tried it Monday through Thursday last week, and I don’t want to hype it up too much but the difference in focus and amount of work I did after going back to listening to music/twitch streams was very noticeable, so I think I’ll stick with it . Studying to music has made me hate every song in my library so that probably helps too lol.

More torso stuff, god this stuff never ends.

Bonus Sasuke

Well said words

After Sunday night’s studies, I was pretty tuckered out and browsed /IC before bed. Not too interested in doing animation(but I do love 2D animation) and came across Richard Williams’ Animator’s Survival Kit. 

He provides many insights he’s gained from his experience in training and work in just the opening chapter. I thought I’d post this bit from an interaction he had with Milt Kahl which really gave me a boost in my pursuit of competency in drawing fundamentals and provided a bit more clarification on what I want out of this whole art thing. To be a good enough draftsman to a point where the drawing isn’t the difficult part, but expression and design is the goal. 

I’m not going pretending that this particular advice or conclusion is unique or hasn’t been repeated many times by many different artists or that I haven’t head some form of this wisdom before. It’s just put very succinctly by such an incredibly skilled artist that it really took to me. In fact it kept me up practically all night looking up some of the artists he encountered. John Watkiss’ anatomy skills and visdev work on Tarzan is fucking crazy good. Yeesh.

I might post more of these from time to time.

Torsos are hard, yo

Shout out to AvoidingThePuddle’s for helping to fill the time while studying because I’m starting to hate every song in my library T_T

I’m better at torsos, abs and obliques still fuck me up, will probably study the shoulder girdle this week, but still need to work on torsos. Frustrating.