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Submitted on
October 2, 2012


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Experiment Part 1: Training Your Eye

Journal Entry: Tue Oct 2, 2012, 8:36 PM

So my buddy karuvan is trying to learn how to draw properly. He's been on a roll as far as progressing. But he's stuck at a standstill. This is an experiment that I've done with him and that he's working on in order to train his eye. I decided to share the conversation and experiment with you guys for you all to apply to your study habits and advancement in drawing and art.

Read on!

Karuvan: I randomly drew over my old pic. Ain't gonna do it over, was just curious on how much I could have done better.
Robaato: Quick question... like... who's work at this point do you really want yours to be close to? I'm tryna gauge what level you're trying to achieve.
K: lol... Joel is becoming a huge influence.
R: Ok. I have a test for you.
K: Ok.
R: I want you to replicate this picture exactly as it is to the best of your ability:

Start off with lines first, and NO TRACING.
K: Colors and all? Or you just wanna see piece by piece?
R: Just the girl and the bars. I wanna see how well you can observe. And I will train you how to observe.
K: Okay. Lezdo diss.
R: When you get done with the lines, just show me.
K: Clean lines or just a sketch?
R: Clean sketch, accurate enough in comparison with that drawing. 

A little later on...

R: How you hangin'?
K: I was tackling it wrong at first, but I got it now.
R: Interesting. Can't wait to see it.
K: Here it goes:

R: Ok, Gimme a sec...
K: Well, I think I need a lot more work...
R: It's a good run, by the way. Let's see how well you did:

R: So now I have a sense of your current skill level with your eye and how much you've observed. You've done well on capturing the overall silhouette, but as you can see... it's a bit distorted. You made her more midget'y in appearance, as Joel drew her with a longer proportion. Also, note your face placement. That shows that you need to work on observation more with the proportions in the face. Your eyes are further apart, as Joel shows a simplified version of actual facial proportion. There's room for the side of her face on his; on yours, her right eye is a bit too close to her ear, showing little evidence of the plane that is the side of the face.

Also, look at the way he drew her right arm deeply and compare it with yours. Yours is missing her elbow, and her upper arm is a bit stunted as well. But that's where anatomy studies will prove valuable for you, and that's why I keep saying, anatomy practice is a must. But when you practice, you have to really look at what you're drawing and studying and observe it deeply; break it down, etc. 'Cuz his style looks simple, but in actuality, it isn't. But it's believable because he has a very well-grounded understanding of how anatomy works, even though it's simplified in some cases, like this pic.

K: So... lots of practice. It was driving me bonkers too. Because I saw some of the problems... noticed some things just didn't look right, but had no idea what the hell to do.
R: LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS, MAN. I think people underestimate how much you should practice. You have to be a madman. Not just a few lil' doodles here and there. But dissecting limbs, muscles, shapes, forms, putting them together, taking them apart, etc. That's why they always say, "learn the human figure first, THEN you can pretty much adjust your style to any kinda style you prefer afterwards".

But for now, you have to work on capturing an accurate silhouette and overall body proportion. 'Cuz it's no point learning anatomy if certain parts are shorter than they actually are and your eye distorts things. You have to get the overall shape down first. 

So now, your next try is to draw this again, BUT only draw the overall shape of her. No details, just different organic shapes that match her in proportion, then let's see how close you get. Try to get it as close as possible to her outline. This is all eye training. When I get done with you, you're going to start seeing things in a whole new light LOL.

K: So again, as a silhouette?
R: Yup, draw it again. But work on her shapes. Make up shapes. Doesn't have to be just an "outline drawing" or contour. The shapes you come up with should match her actual silhouette.
K: Okay, I understand. I'll dive in then. 
R: An no cheating, fam. LOL
K: Hahaha, nah. I'll be only hurting myself. 
R: Good mindset.

Another passage of time.

K: Feel like it went a little better...
R: Let's find out. 

R: Definitely better, as far as the torso is concerned. Check 'dat arm though, hahaha.
K: Arms killin me, lol.
R: The way you did this is more of an outline drawing almost though. It's almost like you're not letting yourself sculpt the form with your pencil; a bit too rigid, even. You're on the right track though, as you can see it's much better in proportion than the first run.
K: Can you give me an example of sorts on how I should be observing and drawing this. I think I understand you but it's still a tad fuzzy.
R: I just did this on the fly to show you: 

R: I never lifted my pen from the page, just lightly molding my figure and scribbling over edges to build confidence. I don't really follow the edges, my hand mainly moves freely about and my mind will subconsciously tell me what to focus and build upon or mold as I go along. 
K: I see. This looks like how you start your roughs. 
R: Yup, exactly. 
K: Well, aight Rob. I'll get into more later today, haha... Thanks and maybe talk to ya tomorrow. 
R: Sure thing dude. 


So the next post about this will be a continued guide as Karuvan learns to observe what he's drawing. I hope you guys got something out of this post, as I know a lot of people are wondering what they're missing when they're drawing or when they're stuck not knowing where to go next in drawing. Please feel free to ask me any questions here on my Tumblr.

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Add a Comment:
StreetKnights901 Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2012   General Artist
Thanks for the share! Looks helpful!
KidD0n Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2012   Traditional Artist
awesome & thank you will try this
darkspeeds Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Great stuff, thank you so kindly for sharing this. I'm going to try this approach and see how effectively I can improve on my drawing of anatomy Robaato! *thumbs up*
Leonidas666 Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I've tried to draw women for ages, but I never can. I think it's a mental block... I've been dumped and rejected toooooo many times. That must be why all I can draw is monters and angry guys.
AstroPulse Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2012  Student Digital Artist
You make so many good points! I dislike it when people say anatomy isn't important if you have style, but it is! Once you know how everything fits together it's far more believable and looks a whole lot better when you stylize it or simplify it. Each time I draw, it's one of the first things I try to work out. (And I know I have a lot more to learn)
But, I keep at it. Plus, drawing near naked people all day isn't a bad way to practice. ;)
AtomicF0x Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't think any of my watched have gone these sort of lengths in order to teach and enrich their fans. Its like you really care about other people and artists.
REFLEX76 Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2012
Good shit man.
Tsukubane Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2012  Student Filmographer
What is your tumblr?
Robaato Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
The link is right beneath the journal's title. :)
Tsukubane Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2012  Student Filmographer
I feel blind.
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