san-pie asked: im sorry to ask, but i was wondering if you may show us how to draw abs please?
I STILL TAKE A LONG TIME TO DRAW OK looking abs HHahA SOBS AND LIES DOWN but yeah!! GO LOOK AND Some real life abs i promise you it’ll be ten times more helpful than my crude doodles!!
PLS TAKE THIS WITH A GRAIN OF ASALT AND Hope this helps u out a little!!
I just started making some references for myself, but got carried away hahah… ha :’D
I figured I’d share. I’m hoping to make a series of these things for all the drawing bits that give me trouble: woman torsos, hands, wings, different body types, etc.
I hope you also find them useful!
Phil Straub Composition Tutorial (go to the original page for much more information, pictures, and different types of composition)
The Golden Rule — “The golden rule can and usually is applied to a paintings canvas proportions. As you read through the following text you’ll notice that most of the imagery presented utilizes similar dimensions and almost all of them fall into the golden rectangle. Today you can find the Golden Rectangle almost everywhere: from credit cards to phone cards to book covers, all are shaped with its proportions.
The imagery below represents the division of space when the “golden rule” is applied to a blank canvas. Basically it is the division of a line in two sections, where the ratio between the smallest section and the largest section is identical to the ratio between the largest section and the entire length of the line. In other words A/B = B/(A+B). The ratio is about 1/1.618. Honestly, I’m still not exactly sure what that all means? but, I do know that I used this grid layout a-lot when I first started painting and found it helpful. I still do.”
Rule of Thirds— “From the golden rule came the “rule of thirds” which is virtually the same concept but slightly altered to fit photographic proportions. I find it a bit easier to follow since it’s very simple in its origin.Here we have a look at the rule of thirds in action.
Notice that the main focal point sits right almost directly over one of the “golden means.” Additionally, other objects are placed near the other converging lines (the bird, for example) but, not directly on them, since that would create competition for the focal point.”
Implied Forms (Circular) — “The Circle is made up of a continuous ‘Curve’ and it’s circular movement keeps the eye in the picture frame. There are many circles in nature and man made objects. You can use the circle in a very obvious way in your composition or simply suggest it.”
Implied Forms (Radii) — “Is a connection of ‘Lines’ meeting in the Center and an expansion of ‘Lines’ leaving the Center. The Radii is usually found in Nature Subjects. The best example of the man made Radii is the spokes of a wheel.
The eye has two ways to go when it comes upon the Radii. It can either be drawn in to the picture area or it can be led out of the picture area. You must be careful how you used the Radii and try to have the eye led into the picture.”
Cross composition — “A showing of ‘Opposing Force’ that will give the picture a feeling of Cohesion and Relationship. The horizontal bar of the Cross will act as a “stopper’ while the vertical pole can act as a leading line. The windows in a large skyscraper will form crosses and will keep your interest in the building.”
L Composition — “This makes an attractive ‘frame’. It can be used to accentuate important subjects. Many times it is a ‘frame’ within a ‘frame’.
A tree with an overhanging branch at the ‘right’ side of the picture area will form a ‘Rectangle’ and help frame the Main Subject in the picture. By doing this you will make the Center of Interest stand out and be noticed clearly.”
ziggy9911 asked: Just curious on how you approach composition and perspective. I feel as if sometimes I think too hard, not really about what to draw but how to draw it and make it look interesting. The comic panels you have been doing are amazing. Any tips/references on improving my knowledge of composition and perspective? What do you think about as you lay your pencil on the drawing paper? what goes through your mind?
*STANDARD DISCLAIMER* I’m not handing down life lessons or trying to assert that there’s a ‘correct way’ to draw. I’m just trying to make perspective more approachable for thems that want to tackle it.
Okay. Let’s do this.
1. Understand what perspective is and what it’s for. Stay away from rulers while you get comfortable.
Everyone struggles with perspective because 1. it’s not well or widely taught and 2. artists tend to see linear perspective as a set of rules rather than a set of tools.
Linear perspective is a TOOL we use to create and depict SPACE. That’s it. That’s all it is. Your goal is not to draw in ‘accurate linear perspective.’ Stay away from the ruler and precision for as long as you can. Your goal is to create the illusion of three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional surface. Perspective is just a tool to help you construct and correct that space.
2. Know in your bones that you can ONLY learn to draw in perspective through physical practice. There is no other way.
Grab some paper and draw with me. If you match me drawing for drawing you will be more fluent in linear perspective and spatial drawing by the end of this post. Unfortunately if you don’t, you won’t be.
3. Sketch around in rough perspective. NO RULERS.
So let’s make some simple space. let’s start with a two dimensional surface…
K. We have a flat, 2D surface. Let’s create some depth by putting a vanishing point in the middle, and having parallel lines converge towards it. Make a gridded plane inside that space.
Good. Let’s make that space meaningful by adding a dude and a road or something. (Again, parallel ‘depth lines’ will converge into the vanishing point along the horizon)
And now we have the rough illusion of some space. I didn’t use any rulers, and it’s not perfectly accurate, but we got our depth from that vanishing point right in the middle of the page. And since we have a little dude in there, we’ve got human scale, which allows us to gauge the size of the space we’ve created. Gives it meaning.
You need people or cars or some recognizable, human-scale THING in there as a frame of reference or your space won’t mean much to your viewer. Watch. We can make that same basic space a whole lot bigger like this:
Same vanishing point in the same place, completely different scale, and a totally different feeling of space. Cool, right?
3. Sketch around in rough perspective MORE. STAY LOOSE.
See what sort of spaces and feelings you can create with vanishing points and gridded planes on a post-it or something. Super small, super rough. Feel it out. Pick a vanishing point or lay out a grid in perspective, and MAKE SOME SPACE. Do it. Draw, I don’t know, a lady and her dog in a desert. I’ll do it, too.
Good job. LOOK AT YOU creating the illusion of space! This is how you’ll thumbnail and plan anything you want to draw in space. All of my drawings start this way. I think about how I want the viewer to feel and then play around with space and composition until I find something that works.
Once you have a sketch you like, and space that you feel, THEN you can take out the ruler and make it more accurate and convincing.
4. Draw environments from life.
I cannot stress this enough. Draw the world around you, try to draw the shapes and angles as you see them, and you will ‘get’ how and why perspective is used. Use something permanent so that you’ll move fast and commit. I usually use black prismacolor pencil.
You’ll learn or reinforce something with every drawing. I learned a lot about multiple vanishing points from this drawing:
Learned from the receding, winding space I tired to draw here:
Layered, interior spaces:
You get the idea.
Life drawing will also help you develop your own shorthand and language for depicting textures, materials, details, natural and architectural features, etc. Do it. Do it all the time. Go to pretty or interesting places just to draw them.
Take a second and just draw a quick sketch of whatever room you’re in.
5. Perspective in formal Illustration: apply what you’ve learned.
1. I always start with research. For this particular location I looked at Angkor Wat.
2. Once I had enough reference, I did a bunch of little thumbnail sketches with a very loose sense of space and picked the one I liked best.
3. Scanned the thumbnail and drew a little more clearly over it. Worked out the rough space before using formal perspective.
4. Reinforced the space with formal perspective. I dropped in pre-made vanishing points over my drawing. If I were drawing in real media here’s where I’d get out the ruler to sketch in some accurate space.
5. Drew the damn thing. Because I do my research, draw from life, and am comfortable drawing in perspective, I can wing it. I just sort of ‘build’ the ruins freehand in the space I’ve established, keeping it more or less accurate, experimenting and playing with details along the way. I erase a lot, too, both in PS and when drawing in pencil. Keeps it fun for me.
And that’s what I know about composition and perspective. If you want more formal instruction on perspective and it’s uses, you can use John Buscema’s How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way. Or If you want to get really intense about it, Andrew Loomis can help you
very good, this.
Someone asked me my layer settings and textures for my latest image. So i made a tutorial thing? I’m bad at this stuff. UGH.
Test out your colors and check how layers work! sometimes you need to toss an overlay layer on things, sometimes you need to work in a soft light layer, sometimes you need multiple shading layers!
Hi Claire! Thanks so much for helping out! I’ve attached the sketch.
So, for some clarification on what’s going on in the scene. It’s very slightly inspired by an old fairy tale about broken porcelain dolls. In the picture I wanted the story to be this girl is holding one of the dolls from the hutch behind her, but the man who owns them has just entered the room, and she looks up at him. Want him to be casting a shadow on about half the comp. (Which you can faintly see in the sketch.)
The thing is. I wanted this picture to be a super drastic angle and really push three point perspective. But I’m having trouble doing so and without it looking too weird. haha! Especially the girl. I keep trying to bring the horizon line down to about her knees. But somehow it just keeps going back to where it was everytime I redraw it. And last but not least, I even tried taking some reference photos and I still can’t quite capture the the angle and perspective I want.
That was a mouthful. My apologies for the novel! So my questions to you would be, do you have any advice in exaggerating an angle that we can’t quite get in real life? Any ideas as to how I can better capture this correctly. And for composition. i still feel it’s a bit weak since I made it a head-on shot. I thought of making the corner of the room visible and so her back is not against the hutch, if that makes sense. But then i worry it might take away from the story I want it to tell? And if i can even pull that off. haha. okay! I’m done now! So sorry for being so wordy!
You can feel free to make a post about it on tumblr, as others can always benefit from a critique! But if you just reply here, I don’t mind either. :) Thanks so much love!
So you found me out, I’m actually a total perspective junkie! I don’t use it a ton in my own work, weirdly enough, but drawing things in perspective is one of my secret artsy happy places. This stuff is like candy. :)
So first things first, composition aside, you do have a nice handle on perspective- while the composition can definitely use some tweaking, there’s definitely nothing innately wrong about your sketch! It’s just a matter of shaking up the camera angle a little bit and being less tied to that idea of “placing the horizon line.”
If you look at your current composition, it’s actually (almost!) a vertical 2-point perspective- if you rotate the image 90 degrees you’ll notice that one of the perspective planes is straight-on! Totally valid composition, but it also lacks the dynamism/imbalance that’s usually associated with full-on three-point perspective:
(Quick aside- props to you for taking the time to design/draw an actual clutch! I feel like a lot of people phone it in when they’re drawing environments, so the specificity and details you’re hinting at are really compelling. Makes the clutch a character in its own right.)
Let’s talk about designing three-point perspective in a small space.
So I find it immensely weird that a lot of perspective surveys stop at three-point perspective, or at least don’t touch on the fact that, once you bring the horizon into play, you have to take into account the fourth perspective point as objects start to diminish in the other direction. If you don’t, things look less like proper perspective and more like actual shape distortion:
…I’m not gonna go too deep into this right now but, suffice to say for our immediate purposes, forget the horizon line. Throw it out the window. INTO THE HORIZON you might say, hohohohoho.
In a (confined) indoor space, it takes tilting your head/camera pretty damn dramatically to get the vertical lines of a room to diminish á la three-point perspective. Because of this, you probably aren’t going to be able to see the horizon line from that camera angle- you’re either staring at the floor or the ceiling, so the horizon line becomes less of a tool and more of a crutch that’s limiting your options. That dude’s such an asshole.
So to make your life easier, worry less about horizon lines, and more about your individual vanishing points. When you’re thumbnailing, a great way to solidify your perspective (or come up with new ideas, honestly), is to do this:
If you want to push a vanishing point even further away you can just enlarge the pinwheel! pretty cut and dry.
Using compositional hierarchy to reflect narrative.
So now that we’ve covered the actual mechanics of three-point perspective, let’s talk about how to make it work for the story you’re trying to tell.
Option no. 1: (see above) My first instinct would be to consider shifting the camera angle so it’s looking down on her, as opposed to the other way around. It puts us, the viewer, in (or near) the position of the figure in the doorway, and has the added benefit of making her smaller and more vulnerable in the composition- it visually traps her in the space of the room by showing the surrounding walls.
Option no. 1b: never overestimate the value of tilting/canting a composition for a quick Dutch angle! Kinda cheating if you use it too much, but WHAM POW instant drama.
Option no. 2: There are an infinite number of variations on this idea- a sharper angle, cropping in closer on her, etc.- so my solution is by no means the PERFECT BEST COMPOSITION EVER, but it gives you some idea of a different direction you could take with this piece while maintaining your sense of drama/tension.
Option no. 3: Aaaaand of course, as I defiantly drew the previous angles, I started thinking about how it could work from her perspective, kinda closer to your original piece. I do agree with your concerns about a straightforward, “head-on” composition, so I’d imagine at that point you’d have to show the figure silhouetted in the door- your main character would be reacting either to his shadow, or turning to face him.
This methodology for finding narrative compositions is by no means an absolute rule of illustration, by the by- visually “choosing a side” is a great way to immediately interject some drama into an image, but it’s also entirely up to you! You want to end up with something you’re happy with.
Being a “fly in the room.”
One of the best pieces of advice I got from one of my professors, Mary Jane-Begin, was to be a fly in the room. We all tend to settle on certain camera angles, either out of convenience of experience, so letting your mind wander and just sketching out some absurd alternatives can help you stumble across something unexpectedly cool. :)
So tl;dr, it feels like you know what you want out of this piece- these might not be the exact solutions for your tastes, but they might be enough of a push in the right direction that you don’t feel like you’re stalling anymore. I hope all of this is helpful/relevant!
Best of luck, and I can’t wait to see the finished piece! CLAIRE OUT <3