I was doing some drawing yesterday for my next MTV column. I'm not much of an illustrator, but I can make something generally recognizable. (Which gets to the point of my next column, and why you don't see more Sean Kleefeld originals around!) The "finished" art was a little sketchy by design, but it looks like a cartoon of two people talking. Mid-range shot, so you just see from the torso up. Most of it is serviceable, but I rather liked the hands.
Well, not the actual linework or anything, but the basic pose and composition of the hands looked decent, I thought. Especially given the size and level of detail I was aiming for. They looked like they were in a fairly natural pose.
I did enough copying that, when I was drawing yesterday, I didn't use a hand model but still got some decent poses. But -- and here's the critical bit -- it's essentially copied from other artists. Not copied verbatim; I didn't have any reference in front of me, but copied in the sense that my anatomy of hands is based on the works of others, not on actual hands.
I took some drawing classes in high school and college. I can recall that we spent a couple weeks on hands, in fact. Set our own hand down in front of us and draw it. When we finished, we'd change our position and draw it again. (Heh. I recall once contorting my hand in such a way that only three fingers were visible. I'd been on an ElfQuest kick at the time!) But that was two weeks of drawing hands from real life.
The same is generally true of most of my art. I learned to draw women's lips by copying Mort Walker. I studied John Byrne's faces. Musculature care of George Perez. Feet via Mike Zeck.
Which is why I'm not a very good artist. I'd spent time studying interpretations of anatomy instead of actual anatomy. I never really fully studied how joints and muscle and tendons connect together in real life. So anything I put down on paper is my interpretation of somebody else's interpretation of the human body. And that's why it will always remain, at best, serviceable.
It's all well and good to study other artists and writers to see how they handle certain things, but the closer you can get to actual source material -- the more you study anatomy or human interactions or whatever -- the better and more successful you can be as a creator.
- ► 2016 (306)
- ► 2015 (253)
- ► 2014 (259)
- ► 2013 (342)
- Today's Art Lesson: McFarlane's Spider-Man
- Links For How-Is-May-Not-Over-Yet Wednesday
- Tastes Like Sith
- Today's Frazz
- Is That Line Supposed To Be There?
- Gestalt: Always Room For Pleasant Surprises
- Jack Kirby's Julius Caesar
- Happy Towel Day!
- Getting To The Fun In Comics
- I'm Running Out Of Clever "Links" Titles
- Comics Philosophy & Practice Summation/Review
- There Are Too Many Comics
- Comics Philosophy & Practice Day 2
- Comics Philosophy & Practice Day 1
- Me & Crumb
- Visual Impact?
- Time For Some Wednesday Links
- Avengers Isn't Feminist
- Jack & Roz Candids
- A Variety Of Thoughts About The Avengers Movie
- Thoughts On Thoughts
- Shout-Out To Murray, Sanderson & Theakston
- Why Does Batman Carry Shark Repellent? Review
- Post-Pig Links
- Where Did My Heroes Go?
- Go Buy Snarked!
- So, This Happened
- FCBD Loot
- Make-Up Post
- No Gnus Is Bad Gnus
- Links, Pre- Free Comic Book Day Edition
- Hands Of Vision
- ▼ May (32)
- ► 2011 (367)
- ► 2010 (382)
- ► 2009 (365)
- ► 2008 (358)
- ► 2007 (382)