Friday, February 5, 2010

Hand Reference Sheet & Exercise Ideas

1. Draw basic proportions of a character (shapes)- front and side view, then draw two head views- 3/4 front and 3/4 back, then draw eight action poses head to feet of just the gestural character shapes (30-50 secs each), only after that, draw in the faces and hands on all eight poses. Ink (and maybe color) the poses. Now you have a character.


1 (a). As if your character is going to be made into an action figure, design a bunch of suitable props that would be packaged with it. In the action poses, have the character interact with the props.

1 (b). Draw a 3/4 diorama the character interacts in. (It helps to design a general sense of the four walls, a ground, and a ceiling beforehand).

Dot in where you'd put imaginary cameras in this diorama. Then thumbnail the shot the camera sees off to the side- include a downshot camera, an upshot cam, and a wide establishing shot cam. Draw the character in the environment in film-aspect ratio in the shots, using only black & white- no tone.

2. Practice sketching hands from memory, and then clean them up using this hand reference sheet. (I compiled a bunch of hands from artists I liked (mostly Bruce Timm, a bit of Glen Keane, and some Belgian BD artists) and photoshoped them into a convenient reference)

3. Draw in anatomy wireframes over nude photos. Start with buffer people, as you grow more advanced put them in less muscular people where the anatomy is not obvious.

4. Find a bad photo, and write why it's bad, and how to make it better compositionally. Then find a great photo, it must be exceptional, and write why it's exceptional. Attempt to use the ideas that the exceptional composition had in a thumbnail sketch.

Usually it all comes down to a composition using some kind of a contrast device to make a focal point stand out- the difficultly is being simple about it.


5. Draw from ballet, dancers, porn, wrestlers, MMA, people swimming underwater- anything that has contextually dynamic action/interaction poses.

6. Draw animals from memory and correct them with photos.

7. Buy RapidViz, go thru that book.
8. Just draw a lot of grids, and get really good at freehandedly giving the illusion of the grids receding/densening.
9. Get really good at drawing ellipses- make sure they are sharp.
10. Exaggerate the wrap on cylinders, and always bevel edges.

8. Draw two serious looking people arguing with a cartoony-looking person in a mall, catching the attention of a crowd of diverse people in the background.

9. Take an old Marvel Universe handbook and pick a few random heroes and villians- using post-its, thumbnail them fighting from the top of a ferris wheel, transition them to fighting on a tightrope using unicycles, and then transition them to playing chicken between a Porsche and an Astrovan on a crowded parking lot while it's raining hot dogs that can come alive and suck your blood.

Feet and leg shortcuts