By no means have I mastered proportion, but the construction I’ve worked to implement over the past few days has allowed me to see the body for what it can be – a simplified series of organic solids that can be translated into a 2D space through knowledge of 3D contours. But it was in doing so that I read that becoming reliant on construction can lead to rather stiff poses and since most of my art is going to revolve around character design, I wanted to try and avoid that.
On Friday, I took the time to go all the way back to the beginning with structured armature drawings, specifically the ‘super stickman’ that includes the shoulders and hips. Today, I did the same – trying to keep myself from dwelling too hard on nuance by timing myself!
In so doing, I discovered that if I ever want something more dynamic than a person standing in blank space, stock photos of various sports are precisely where it’s at and it’s probably what I’m going to be doing from here on out while practicing figures.
From here on, the next step I was advised to take by artistically inclined acquaintances was gesture drawing which, in no uncertain terms, has been the bane of my existence. The whole point is to focus on the shape language and conveyance of tone without getting caught up in the contours of the reference, but I feel like I’m either adding too much or appending too little…!
I can definitely see the benefits, as contours are the reason why I tend to find it difficult to take a pose from, say, a very gaunt person and then apply it to someone who’s chubby and vice versa, but anxiety has a way with words when it comes to talking me out of the process since these look nothing like Proko’s gesture drawings.
It’s also nigh impossible to do these gesture drawings without drawing on the reference, which was something I was slowly getting out of doing with the armatures.
I’ll definitely keep it up, there’s no worry about that – but I will say that this is pushing my observational skills well beyond where I thought they’d be and it’s going to be some time before I even come close to where I want to be with gesture. But if I can master this, or at least understand the fundamentals and then implement them with intent rather than my accident – it’ll mean that my days of having to shrink the armature in order to do poses from smaller cartoon characters are completely over and that’s really exciting!