Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Complexity starts with Simplicity

Over the last summer, one of my greatest realizations in drawing was that the overall flow of my pose (in memory drawings) was ignored, and that I have skipped it and moved on to place the many parts of the body in positions. Right then I had the feeling, "Ah, this is why. This is why my drawings looked weird back then, because I haven't even gotten the simplest thing, the biggest overall flow of the pose right in the first place." It was a hard feeling to describe, but an important one to record. Somehow it has something to do with the fact that, with most poses and actions that occur in nature, they have a very simple focus and/or intention - one look at it usually reveals some evident overall big flow and direction, and getting that simple thing is important/hard enough - that one should get that right, before he moves on to complexity. The overall idea of the realization is that, often, when something doesn't work out right, it's because the simpler and more fundamental ideas haven't been grasped yet. At that moment, it is necessary to take a step back, and work on that first.


Short-hands, such as that Disney and comic book artsists use, are not the truth itself.

The initiative behind them, however, are fundamental understandings of the truth.

Thus they can make very good pointers along the search for a good way to approach drawing in general.

Short-hands can be viewed as a double-edge blade. On one hand, they, being able to render certain things with much simpler strokes and structure, means they are the embodiment of certain essence of natural order. On the other hand, because they have often been simplified, looking at them for reference can involve the risk of memorizing flat impressions without further understanding of nature's true form.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


If it seems obvious to use references to help growth in drawing, then should we also use references to help writing stories? If so, what references, and in what ways the references are absorbed and interpreted, are some questions to think about.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Note to Self

Find your blind spot. Then tackle it. It if needs to be, tackle it in even less direct ways, such as looking at references and simplying copying them, or going back to study more of the perspective and anatomy that trips you when you try tackling the thing. Make an effort, close in on things.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Note to Self

Know what you are drawing. Simplify the information so you can organize it in a concrete fashion.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Making an Imaginary Drawing Believable through Breakdown of Its Meaning

Action and motion gives a pose meaning. Action and motion in a still pose, that is called gravity and weight.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Eye

The eye that appreciates drawings to their fullest extent, comes from past experiences of hunting for forms in nature in order to translate flat vision into meaningful forms on paper.

It also comes from correct knowledge of anatomy and structure of the human body.

With the developed eye, one can marvel at the succesful drawings and see mistakes of some drawings. It enables one to become inspired more easily by other artists' works.

The eye comes from more direct contact with what really exists in nature. In a sense, this is an example how 'foundation' built upon life drawings can help one further his imaginary drawings.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Blind Work

Say if there's someone you really want to be as good as.

A mode of thinking can be, Alright... every hour he spents drawing, I'll spend two hours.
Following that logic, say if you spent on drawing only 1/2 of the time that guy spents, and say he reaches a hypothetical mark in one year, you would at least have made the same progress in two years right?

That would be the case if devoting time is all that counts in improving your drawing skills.
What counts more than the amount of time spent, is the correct sequence of steps taken along the way. Say if you are building a pyramid with blocks, it would be obvious to build the foundation first. Thus the lack of foundation is the main reason why sometimes time devoted doesn't seem to correspond with the results.

Finding the best way to learn is alot more important than the time and effort spent.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

More Thoughts On Drawing

Trying to draw someone else's character from memory can be an efficient mode of learning for many reasons.

First, the varied nature is simplified into shorthands and generalized forms. This is more evident with Disney characters and Japanese comics. So the form you have to internalize is simplified.

Second, you'll always know, if you've mastered the character's form, by the resemblance of your drawings to the original character. Verification of knowledge is made much easier under this mode of learning.

Third, this is the best part... you'll get to copy the character's different actions, poses, forshortened views, without having to hunt for them in nature.

If the character's a fairly well-constructed one, chances are that when you've mastered drawing the character from memory, you'll have learned something that can be applied to the construction of many other things.

Friday, April 4, 2008

More Thoughts on Drawing

It is one thing to copy someone else's drawing.
Another thing to understand the drawing you are copying.
And yet another thing to be able to draw what you've copied from memory.

The same thing applies to observational drawings.

It is one thing to draw what's in front of you.
Another thing to understand what's in front of you when you are drawing.
And another thing to be able to apply the knowledge gained from the observational drawing to your imaginary drawings.

The last task is the hardest, and therefore makes it a good standard in terms of judging one's drawing skills.