Dragon Muscle Studies

Original: 12th Dec, 2010

I should have been spending the evening working on my game thing since I want to get that done as quickly as possible, but I wasn’t feeling particularly well, so I instead just procrastinated and played Golden Sun: Dark Dawn… But then I got tired of that and decided I should try to force some more anatomy knowledge into my head since I haven’t been drawing much (other than for my game) lately. I got out An Atlas of Animal Anatomy for Artists and looked up various muscle/skeleton diagrams for wings and arms so I could actually try to *learn* something this time instead of just drawing whatever random things come to mind (and generally don’t hold my attention for long).

It’s a little embarrassing for me to show these, actually, since I made mistakes I can see quite well and which probably could have been avoided had I approached the drawings (particularly the first one) differently or more similarly to how I would usually… Tsk…!

Anyway, this is the first one:

I’m very not fond of the positioning of the front legs, but if I draw that sort of pose again one day, I’ll be sure to approach the drawing uh… *better* from the start. I’m never really sure how to attach wings to a creature which already has forelimbs, so that always poses some trouble for me. And the front legs are just so embarrassing to look at! Ewwww!@!111 I had some diagram of a bird wing’s skeletal and muscular structure in the corner of the screen while I drew and I meant to also use the human arm and bat wing as reference, but uh… for some reason, that never happened. I based much of its anatomy on big cats and horses though. (Such embarrassing front legs! Get them away! Banish them to the fiery bowels of hell!!!1 o_O)

And then this is the second one, which isn’t as embarrassing:

This one was based more on dog anatomy, so it looks… sort of doggish. Apparently I can’t draw a straight line to save my life today and kept scribbling short little lines everywhere except where I wanted them. That’s probably a sign of rustiness. Pfft. Or hand tiredness. Or general tiredness. Or all of those things combined. This one probably turned out better than the other, but was probably also a less valuable learning experience since I’ve drawn that boring, generic from-the-side pose so many millions of times… It felt more like I was sort of slightly refining things I already knew rather than filling significant gaps in my knowledge or something. I also have a lot of difficulty trying to draw heads after I’ve done the neck and body and whatever else! It feels awkward and like I struggle to get the size of the head right and I always find it easier to just start with the head and then move down to the neck, body, limbs, etc.

I really need to do more muscle/skeleton studies, so maybe I should make it my goal to do one every few days, or at least once a week since I do tend to be busy working on that game and I don’t have time for *everything*! And I’d do studies of various different animals rather than dragons since I’m getting sort of tired of drawing dragons all the time and it would surely be better to learn to draw real existing animals and then apply the knowledge I got from that when I draw other, more fantastical creatures than it would be to learn to draw mutated fusions of various animals by drawing dragons and other fantasy creatures as my only source or learning.

So yes. I must study more living things. And then make fantasy creatures out of that knowledge.

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Not a lot of art lately.

Original: 25th Nov, 2010

It’s been a while since I’ve written in this art blog thing due to having been away in the UK and then getting back and mostly working on Flash-related things. I haven’t been able to draw much even when I’ve wanted to since I’m finding it hard to have the mental energy to focus on drawing things particularly well. I don’t like letting myself get out of practise though, so I tried to draw SOMETHING today. I’ve done many scribbly sketches and this is the best I’ve done:

I suppose I’m also tired though from spending many hours today trying to get things to work in that game thing I’m working on, so that seems to have taken a lot of energy out of me. I have a to-do list of things that need to be done on the game and I’m always scheduling certain tasks for certain days, but due to all the draining bug-fixing (and finding out that said bug was a really trivial thing to fix caused by something I overlooked…), I don’t think I have the energy to actually get the rest of today’s tasks done. Alas.

But art. Yes. I’m always wanting to improve my skills, yet actually practising properly is so daunting and draining for me that I don’t do it nearly often enough. I suppose right now I at least have the excuse that I’m working on another project thing which consumes much of my time, which is probably for the best since art seems to be a frustrating thing for me to do…

I never draw anything in interesting poses or at different angles and just seem to draw the same sorts of things again and again because I feel like I’m ‘no good’ at drawing more dynamic sorts of things… I try to occasionally, but when I see I’m doing a poor job of it, I just go back to drawing what I’m familiar with as an attempt to boost my confidence.

Spiky Dragon Thing

Original: 28th Aug, 2010

I’ve been having a lot of trouble thinking of image ideas that I can work on to make finished artworks out of, so I’ve instead been mostly just drawing animals like horses and dogs (probably mostly horses) to try and improve my anatomy skills/knowledge. Today though, I drew some dragon thing:

It started out enjoyable enough when I was working on the head and wing closest to us, but the limbs were a pain…! I positioned them poorly, so they look stiff and awkward. I intended to make it look like it was cautiously walking forward or something, but I probably would have had more success had I tried to find images of dogs or horses walking so I would have known how to better position the legs… That hind leg closest to us feels like somewhat of a ‘disaster’ since it probably shouldn’t be creeping forward while the foreleg on the same side is also moving forward. It probably would have been more successful had I made that hind leg stretch back behind it instead with the foot pointing straight down vertically to the ground. All things to keep in mind for next time, I suppose…!

I like where I was going with the design of the dragon, at least. I like its many spikes and the shape of its head and wing and stuff and how I did the spikes around its shoulder/thigh areas. I should draw more dynamic poses than just *in profile* though! Maybe I’d be a bit more inspired to do so if I drew some scenery for whatever creatures I draw to interact with.

Other than all that, I’m considering taking up the ol’ Draw Every Pokemon challenge that some artists set out to do, only to get tired of it after the first 20 or so. I’d want to do it in a sort of speed painting way so I’d be working on my colouring skills and not spending a lot of time trying to create some sort of tight drawing before just slopping colour all over the canvas… I don’t have confidence in my ability to draw all of them though (or even the first 150), but uh… who knows. It would at least be a good learning experience even if I didn’t get through them all AND I wouldn’t have to spend time trying to figure out what I should draw since I could just choose the next Pokemon on the list. Hmmm…!

Cotton Dragon and Giraffe Sketches

Original: 21st Aug, 2010

I really want to try to make a habit of practising more often. Daily, even. And when doing that, I want it to be a mix of drawing from photos and drawing from my imagination. So often, I just put off practising because I experience feelings of anxiety relating to drawing at all since I just assume I’ll ‘do badly’ and it will make me feel terrible about myself for not being at a higher skill level and it bothers me quite a bit thinking that I could probably be a lot better than I am right now if I’d spent all that procrastination time actually drawing.

So anyway, I forced myself to draw some stuff today and I seem to do okay enough after I get past the initial rusty, warm-up phase. Amongst a bunch of boring sketches that I didn’t save, I ended up drawing this (I used a new Photoshop brush I made last night too…!):

It’s silly, that, because the Cotton Dragon is supposed to be more energetic and mischievous, but that thing’s just… defeated and completely lacking any energy for life. I suppose it reflects how I was feeling when I started drawing it since I wasn’t feeling too well about the less-than-great sketches that preceded it. I think those arms might be a bit too scrawny though.

After that, I decided to try to draw an animal I’ve not attempted to draw seriously before, so I chose a giraffe:

It was referenced from this photo. It was difficult trying to draw the folds in the skin and I’ll admit that I was impatient with them and didn’t try very hard to get them right. It was difficult trying to draw the spots on the giraffe so they’d distort with the skin folds and wrinkles and so on. I also seem to have drawn the giraffe’s neck too long and big and there are some other inaccuracies with the body which probably could have been avoided better had I put a bit more energy into measuring body parts. Maybe next time…! I’ll probably continue to draw things into the night and hopefully gain DELICIOUS EXPERIENCE POINTS. If life were an RPG, I might be more motivated to level up my art skills if I could see how much experience I was getting from each thing I draw.

Dragon Styles

Original: 19th Aug, 2010

For a long while now, I’ve been wanting to adjust my style of drawing dragons to one that really appeals to me… It’s not like I dislike how I’ve been drawing dragons all this time, but I feel like I’m going in the same direction many others go when drawing dragons and doing that seems to cause me some level of emotional distress when I can more easily compare my own skill level to that of others just due to the similarity of style. It makes me more likely to think I’m ‘not very good’ and so on. That, and the sort of dragons that would appeal to me in games and things was different to the sorts of dragons I’ve been drawing. What I’d like to go for is a type of dragon that has noticeably large hands and feet, but thin forearms, a small chest, perhaps… A triangular head?

By which I don’t mean I’d draw every single dragon ever exactly like that, but it’s a style I’d like to be capable of. I made an attempt at trying to draw the sort of dragon I mean last night:

There are many ways in which I’m not satisfied with this, but at least it’s a step in the right direction. I should make some more sketches from different angles and such to work out the body type I want, since I was having a lot of trouble drawing the torso and didn’t really end up with what I wanted. It’s also surprisingly hard trying to draw big hands and feet! I really need to practise that! Perhaps drawing paws and human hands more will help me with that, but it can be difficult trying to make a human-hand-like structure, but then thickening the fingers and putting them in a pose that looks realistic and uh… difficult, yes! I’m impressed by, if a bit envious of, people who can pull off those anthro hand-paws really well!

Anyway, I think next I’ll make some sketches of dragons looking at them as if they were floating in the air with their bellies towards the viewer like uh… the leftmost dragon here, but with its head not pointing up like that. Yes! That’s what I should do.

Oh, I also liked things like this old dragon sketch since it has the sort of forearms I like. I should study that image so I can perhaps recreate what I did there! And I felt like I was going in the right direction with this slightly more refined drawing, though it still has some features in need of fixing. I was happy with its head though.

Moth Creature

Original: 7th Aug, 2010

Last night I’d been thinking about moths and as I was preparing for the ol’ nightly hibernation, an idea for this creature thing popped into mind:

It’s based on a MOTH. How surprising. Anyway, I’m not entirely satisfied with the shape of its wings and want to create something more appealing, but I don’t know what sort of shape I should go for… I’ll surely figure it out *one day*!1 And then I can create a coloured version of it to show or something.

A Firequillish Sketch

Original: 17th June, 2010

For days, I’ve mostly been drawing tigers and trying to improve at those, though most of the drawings I’ve done and kept are in my sketchbook, which I haven’t scanned or anything, so I can’t show those. Today though, I ended up drawing this thing since I sort of wanted to draw a more recent version of Firequill:

I’m satisfied with how the upper body turned out, but I’ve been having troubles with the positioning of the legs and I’m also unsure of how to make the individual feathers of the wings look good…! It’s unfortunate that I seem to find this discouraging rather than just thinking of it as a challenge to be overcome; it makes me want to run away from the image altogether. I’m hoping I’ll continue with it tomorrow rather than leaving it be, but uh… we shall see…!