How big are your drawings pixel/resolution wise? I've been wanting to give line art another try (i found out you have big files so the detail of the lines aren't noticeable and you don't do all of them with one stroke!!) I do my things at 200 resolution pixels/inch
Well it’s not just the dpi that matters! You could have a 200 dpi image that’s only 400 x 400 pixels, and you’re still going to get some pretty shitty artifacting from your strokes. :)
I work at 8.5 x 11”, 300 dpi at the least, but most of my finished pieces are 11 x 17” and up. This is some of my lineart at 100%, par exemple:
high resolution is a must, even if you’re just downsizing it and posting it online- it allows you a sharpness and level of control that you can’t get at basic screen resolution. You can get away with 150-200 dpi, I’m sure, but I wholly suggest upgrading to 300 and up!
It’s also awesome if you ever need to resize your work for promotional purposes- if you’re working in the 300+ dpi range, you have a lot more leeway for what’s going to look good on a giant banner. :D
I’ve had people insist that I used 3d an photos, despite my assertion that I haven’t. You can see the thread here http://www.reddit.com/r/comicbooks/comments/2ag3ku/this_is_a_painting_iron_man_by_ryan_lang/ But this isn’t for them. This is for people that like to see the process of an illustration. I tried to break it down, but if there are any questions, please ask. I have no problem with artists using photos or 3d in their digital work, so when I say I didn’t use photos or 3d for this image, it was that I wanted to see what I could accomplish on my own (with a couple of filters at the end). And if after this process post people still refuse to believe that I didn’t use photos or 3d….. I will take that as a compliment.
These process shots are a precious gift. Super informative!
Okay, I’ve become rather irked by how much the boobs-n-butt pose is so harped on, as if it’s some hilarious, impossible thing. These were done on a whim, so I apologize for the small/crappy photos and sketchy outlines. Once I find my camera again, I’d like to take some shots that show the whole body and how this pose actually works.
These are all practical positions, and they were all relatively comfortable to do and stay in for a good period of time. Even though the boobs-n-butt pose looks a little funny, it’s entirely plausible and anatomically correct (although it can be taken too far). So, don’t be afraid to draw it. Hopefully these photos help a little with drawing such positions!
EDIT: (again) Oh my, these notes. Well, I’m glad at least some people find these useful. Figured I’d add some drawings that show BOTH male and females in such positions.
From a figure drawing perspective the boobs and butt pose gets harped on because too often it is taken too far or is drawn without regard for underlying anatomy. Most times the artist draws it with the butt and boobs both being fully visible. As is shown in the examples, the pose is possible, but the more you see of the butt the less you see of the boobs, and vice-versa. This is a good reference for how the pose actually looks, and how it can be pulled off.
Also, the curvature of the spine and abdominal muscles are very rarely depicted, which causes the pose to look even more unnatural. In the trace overs it is very easy to see where the hips are positioned relative to the ribs and where the spine fits into everything.
The most common error I see in the B&B is the lack of the spinal twist, it is almost as if the spine is stationary and the torso spins on it, instead of the rib cage being attached and requiring the spine to twist.
It is also important to note the line of action and how the arms are positioned in each of these poses. Often with the B&B the line of action is distorted and the arms are not positioned in a way that makes sense with the spinal twisting that is necessary to achieve this pose. As can be seen in the photos the left arm is out, because it follows the flow of the pose. If you try to do this pose with the left arm facing forward then then the pose feels very awkward and the body naturally wants to untwist. Many times the the spine is also bent in a Tetris block fashion to exaggerate the butt and stick out the chest more. I personally couldn’t really get the same amount of twist while trying to do so.
Another issue is that it is used in action poses and it makes it seem like the heroine’s feet are stuck in quicksand. I often see it when the heroine is aiming a gun or bow and arrow behind her. Realistically, if you are twisting around to aim at something you will be moving your feet to keep your balance. The B&B is an odd and unsteady pose to be shooting from and standing in. While it may be comfortable for some people to stand in for a long time, I personally tried it out and found it uncomfortably stretched my back muscles and I would much rather turn my whole body.
Most of the criticisms about this pose are because it is so overused, it has become the default female pose; even when it interferes with storytelling and characterization. There are numerous examples on comic covers and in sequential pages that have this pose. It is seen on scientists, assassins, burly fighters, in quiet exposition scenes and frenetic action scenes. This is not to say that the pose can never be used, but it is necessary to think about why it is being used. Is it really the best way to stand as the character explains something? Is the the best way to shoot behind you? Is that how you would stand at a bar? After getting out of the shower?
I think it is very important for an artist to try out the pose they are trying to draw. Act out the scene they are trying to depict as the character. How would this person shoot? How would they walk? How would they look behind them? When they are being coy, when they are frightened, angry, surprised? All of these poses should really be different, not just in facial expression but in body language as well. When you are forced to try out a pose you bring nuance and true characterization and storytelling to your art, instead of just interchanging the poses you have seen other artists draw.
I hope his helps someone! If you have any questions feel free to ask me on tumblr or twitter @jenmundy!
Some more advice that I have no right to give. I’m serious about the Stephen Silver advice though- he’s the man.
The Ear Reference and Resource by Tim Von Rueden
Another Facial structure reference for you guys to use as a resource in your own work. This is something I’ve seen to help me draw ears and I hope it helps you as well. Ears can be tricky but if you think of them as a hook, y, and bump, it made drawings ears much easier for me.
Follow the link for the free Ear Reference Sheet Resource download: