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I can copy, but I can't draw HELP!

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Re: I can copy, but I can't draw HELP!

Postby spidertour02 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:12 pm

sinosleep wrote:I'm not talking about tracing, I mean setting a cover next to me and drawing it, usually larger, myself. Anytime I try to draw something on my own though I get nothing. I've bought books, but I wind up just copying those as well and not actually learning anything. Anyone else have this problem? Or have had it and have gotten past it?


Honestly, that's not unusual. Everybody that want to draw superheroes starts by copying the work of their 2-3 favorite artists. (The only weird part is that this usually happens when they're 12. :P)

I would suggest going out and getting a general overview book on drawing comics. How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way is pretty much the Bible in this regard. I would also check out Superheroes: Joe Kubert's Wonderful World of Comics by Joe Kubert (duh!) or Drawing Dynamic Comics by Andy Smith. Both of these books are a good way to start to develop a strategy and understand the process. Start sketching and drawing and see what happens. You should also experiment with different pencils, pens, brushes, and other tools to find what you're most comfortable with.

Then, move on to the technical stuff. Try drawing objects from reference. Learn how to draw in perspective. Start mixing that with characters and creating little scenarios and panels.

Then, move on to tightening up on anatomy. Comic-book anatomy operates by different "rules" than real-world anatomy, so I would check out Drawing Cutting Edge Anatomy by Christopher Hart. I still keep that book around for reference when I'm drawing. Draw a lot of pinups to put this to use.

All the while, you should observe as much as you can. Pay attention to how clothes hang on people's bodies, what styles they wear, etc. Drawing ordinary people is as important as drawing muscular supermen, so drawing convincing clothes is an important skill. Browse some clothing catalogs online.

Next, try to put it all together and draw a page. You will fail miserably. However, that failure is a key step in discovering what areas you need to improve. Doing it a few times, you'll start to discover your strengths as well.

From there, it's all about repetition and experimentation. I've been a serious hobbyist for years and I still try new things -- I just got back from the store, in fact, with a set of Warm Grey markers to play with. Keep your mind open, and the ideas will just come to you. But most of all, remember that this is a slow process. You'll get frustrated and want to give up, but don't let your initial failures stop you.
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Postby sinosleep » Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:23 pm

I actually own Drawing Dynamic Comics. :D

Would just like to give a general thanks to everyone that's replied as well.
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Postby Apache Chef » Tue Aug 03, 2010 3:01 pm

I'd try drawing from life. People, still lifes, etc.

Also, George Bridgman's drawing guides are great for anatomy. Buy the book for the reference material, not so much for his philosophy on drawing, though.

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Postby Timbales » Tue Aug 03, 2010 3:03 pm

Draw from life. Get some basic objects from around the house, assemble them and draw them as you see them. Keep doing it until you get a result you like.

When you break something down to it's basic shapes, it makes it a lot easier to wrap your head around.
However, Liefeld is an enigma wrapped in a pouch-filled, muscular, footless conundrum.
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Postby sdsichero » Tue Aug 03, 2010 3:51 pm

Benderbrau wrote:BTW: the wooden dummies suck. I have two. Never use them. They're anatomically inappropriate for most things except understand depth IMO. They do nothing to help with muscles, etc. For muscles you would need something akin to an action figure and even then that's only good for individual limbs. Neither option properly illustrates how muscles pull on each other at the joint.

The only good wooden mannequins are the ones for the hand IMO.

My best recommendation for guides to muscles are medical anatomy guides.


I fear what Bender actually uses the dummies for.

I do agree with the recent posters. Draw from life.

Also when doing your own drawings in a studio, try using a mirror or take photos of yourself and try drawing from that.

The more references you have to work from and the more you practice, the better off you'll be.

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Re: I can copy, but I can't draw HELP!

Postby MistaT » Tue Aug 03, 2010 4:21 pm

sinosleep wrote:I'm not talking about tracing, I mean setting a cover next to me and drawing it, usually larger, myself. Anytime I try to draw something on my own though I get nothing. I've bought books, but I wind up just copying those as well and not actually learning anything. Anyone else have this problem? Or have had it and have gotten past it?


I never could get past that. It would piss me off so much, cuz I wanted to draw my own stuff, but never could no matter how hard I tried. I eventually gave up. Even though I don't draw hardly at all anymore I can still pick up a pencil and copy the shit out of someone else's work. It's weird how easy it is for me to do. :smt102

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Postby Benderbrau » Tue Aug 03, 2010 4:24 pm

sdsichero wrote:I fear what Bender actually uses the dummies for.

I use them to hear wittier comments then what comes from you.
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Re: I can copy, but I can't draw HELP!

Postby KingPagla » Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:50 pm

MistaT wrote:I never could get past that. It would piss me off so much, cuz I wanted to draw my own stuff, but never could no matter how hard I tried. I eventually gave up. Even though I don't draw hardly at all anymore I can still pick up a pencil and copy the shit out of someone else's work. It's weird how easy it is for me to do. :smt102
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Postby Oni2030 » Thu Aug 26, 2010 1:29 am

There is a book that helped me out allot when I was learning to draw from my mind it's called "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain". It has exercises that will help you learn how to visualize objects in you mind.

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Postby Strict31 » Thu Aug 26, 2010 2:52 am

Oni2030 wrote:There is a book that helped me out allot when I was learning to draw from my mind it's called "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain". It has exercises that will help you learn how to visualize objects in you mind.


Interesting. My mother had that book. She was an art teacher and used it for her classes.

When I was in high school, taking art class, we had this crazy burn-out hippie chick of a teacher who got chopped in the head by an axe when she was a little girl. Bitch was crazy.

But she put us through this drawing exercise called Contour Drawing. Basically, you take a visual reference; an object or a person, and your put your pencil to page to draw. You don't stop or lift your pencil from the page until you're down. You don't look away from the reference until you're done.

That means you never look down at the page.

First few times we did this exercise, we got a lot of squiggles.

But over time, we started getting better at it.

The idea was to train our hands and our eyes to work together. To be confident with a line instead of half-assing it. It brought a focus on the object or figure we were drawing. And in a way, it's meditative. I think it was pretty helpful. Maybe it'll help you. But it's the kind of thing you'll have to stick with over time.

Nowadays, I use a tablet for part of my work, and drawing on the tablet while looking at the screen is a lot like Contour Drawing.
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Postby Timbales » Thu Aug 26, 2010 8:05 am

Strict31 wrote:Interesting. My mother had that book. She was an art teacher and used it for her classes.

When I was in high school, taking art class, we had this crazy burn-out hippie chick of a teacher who got chopped in the head by an axe when she was a little girl. Bitch was crazy.

But she put us through this drawing exercise called Contour Drawing. Basically, you take a visual reference; an object or a person, and your put your pencil to page to draw. You don't stop or lift your pencil from the page until you're down. You don't look away from the reference until you're done.

That means you never look down at the page.

First few times we did this exercise, we got a lot of squiggles.

But over time, we started getting better at it.

The idea was to train our hands and our eyes to work together. To be confident with a line instead of half-assing it. It brought a focus on the object or figure we were drawing. And in a way, it's meditative. I think it was pretty helpful. Maybe it'll help you. But it's the kind of thing you'll have to stick with over time.

Nowadays, I use a tablet for part of my work, and drawing on the tablet while looking at the screen is a lot like Contour Drawing.


that is a good and valid exercise
However, Liefeld is an enigma wrapped in a pouch-filled, muscular, footless conundrum.
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Postby Potter Who » Thu Aug 26, 2010 8:38 am

maybe buy one of those wooden figures you can buy in an art shop? Put it in weird poses and then try to draw them? I sorta wish I had one myself.

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Postby spidertour02 » Thu Aug 26, 2010 11:22 am

Potter Who wrote:maybe buy one of those wooden figures you can buy in an art shop? Put it in weird poses and then try to draw them? I sorta wish I had one myself.


Actually, I would say NOT to do that. I find those figures to be very restrictive -- that'll lead to some stiff poses.
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Re: I can copy, but I can't draw HELP!

Postby shannonh » Thu Aug 26, 2010 1:26 pm

sinosleep wrote:I'm not talking about tracing, I mean setting a cover next to me and drawing it, usually larger, myself. Anytime I try to draw something on my own though I get nothing. I've bought books, but I wind up just copying those as well and not actually learning anything. Anyone else have this problem? Or have had it and have gotten past it?



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