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Postby tomboyhippyprincess » Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:32 pm

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Subject title: Using shapes for character design

I understand that for character design it's a good thing to utilize simple shapes, especially for people with less realistic styles. I've been trying to utilize this as I want to draw semi-realistically, but I've been having trouble with consistency and posing.

Take this character for example:
1.PNG

The mini sketch of her proportions aren't great (head too big etc.) but you get the idea. She's supposed to be a very muscular yet small girl. I've given her shapes that help represent her physical strength (a square face a thick neck, large arms and thighs, etc.) but I'm also trying not to make her look overly masculine. So I gave her a sloping but still thick neck and a smallish waist. I'm not well-versed on drawing noses from the front so bear with me on that! My main issue is that I know how her body and face is supposed to be broken down, but when I try to draw her in another pose other than just "standing" she'll tend to lose her shape very quickly.
I think that's because when I draw a pose my gesture usually looks like this:
2.PNG

I put out the line of action, then I draw where the ribs, waist, head, and bottom should be. As you can see the gesture doesn't really look like how that girl's body is broken down, yet it also looks more anatomically correct. I have a hard time putting my shapes into my gestures because it usually ends up looking very warped and wrong or it will just default back to this boring, slender body.

Are there any exercises I could do to help my gestures actually end up looking like the character they represent? Should I outright change the way I draw gestures? Or am I worrying too much about being anatomically correct when I should worry more about the pose? Thanks!
Last edited by tomboyhippyprincess on Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

 

Postby Josephcow » Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:00 pm

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Yeah I have the same issue with gesture drawing. It may be rhythmic, lively, and capture the pose, but it isn't accurate to a particular person, and you just can't build an accurate drawing on something with bad proportions.
This video explains my thoughts on it better than I do.
Gesture's just one of the elements you need.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzydK56 ... gs=pl%2Cwn

 

Postby tomboyhippyprincess » Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:36 pm

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Josephcow wrote:Yeah I have the same issue with gesture drawing. It may be rhythmic, lively, and capture the pose, but it isn't accurate to a particular person, and you just can't build an accurate drawing on something with bad proportions.
This video explains my thoughts on it better than I do.
Gesture's just one of the elements you need.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzydK56 ... gs=pl%2Cwn


Thanks for the video! Yeah it's much easier to capture a pose than it is to capture a person. Especially when that person is made up! (By the way I checked out your sketchbook, your drawings are amazing!)

 

Postby Audiazif » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:36 pm

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I think intentionally making a gesture look like the model/character is kind of counter to what gesture is supposed to be (or at least that is the case in my understand of things). Gesture is meant to capture movement. Once you start aiming for likeness or proportions you are no longer gesture drawing. Semantics aside, you might achieve a closer representation of a model or character in your gestures after you are more familiar with drawing them. Right now it sounds like you are not completely sure what your character looks like. It usually takes me at the most 5 drawings to get to the point where I am happy with the likeness when drawing someone/something I have not drawn before. I would maybe try to draw your character more, trying to shoot for the likeness but pushing through if it doesn't look like them. After each or after a few, look for things that you need to change in your next drawing to make it look more like how you want.
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Postby tomboyhippyprincess » Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:28 am

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Audiazif wrote:I think intentionally making a gesture look like the model/character is kind of counter to what gesture is supposed to be (or at least that is the case in my understand of things). Gesture is meant to capture movement. Once you start aiming for likeness or proportions you are no longer gesture drawing. Semantics aside, you might achieve a closer representation of a model or character in your gestures after you are more familiar with drawing them. Right now it sounds like you are not completely sure what your character looks like. It usually takes me at the most 5 drawings to get to the point where I am happy with the likeness when drawing someone/something I have not drawn before. I would maybe try to draw your character more, trying to shoot for the likeness but pushing through if it doesn't look like them. After each or after a few, look for things that you need to change in your next drawing to make it look more like how you want.


This is good advice! Luckily she's a character in a comic book I'm writing so I'll have plenty of opportunities to draw her over and over again. Thank you!

 

Postby Ambiguity » Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:59 am

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tomboyhippyprincess wrote: I've given her shapes that help represent her physical strength (a square face a thick neck, large arms and thighs, etc.) but I'm also trying not to make her look overly masculine.

It depends on what you mean by "overly masculine", but I think if you want her to be a strong woman who is still clearly a woman, then some of the stuff you're doing is at odds with that. Especially if you're going for a cartoony style, it gets harder and harder to differentiate the sexes because cartoons aren't subtle. I'd look for female weightlifters instead of bodybuilders, the latter mostly just builds for a muscly aesthetic so they tend to look more masculine than the former that builds for actual strength. It might also be helpful to see how some other artists handle muscular woman, like how Adam Hughes draws Wonder Woman and She-Hulk(though these women are meant to be tall since they are heroes).

Some general tips I can offer too keep characters looking feminine is too keep the rib cage slender and the chin width tiny(square jaws are still fine though as long as the chin is small, look at Olivia Wilde). Just because they are strong doesn't mean their bones suddenly become masculine. Also, female necks actually tend to stay pretty slender unless they are taking testosterone pills or steroids, their trapezius can get quite large if worked on a lot though. Jim Lee actually said once that keeping Wonder Woman's neck slender was a large part in how he kept her looking feminine despite how muscular she was.

As for your original questions about shape and gesture, you might have a look thru Griz and Norm's "Tuesday Tips" on their tumblr, they've talked about those subjects quite a bit:
http://grizandnorm.tumblr.com/search/tuesday+tips


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