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The long promised step-by-step tutorial!
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ironbadger
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Location: anaheim, CA

PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 7:05 am    Post subject: The long promised step-by-step tutorial! Reply with quote

Greetings all.

This is posted as a sticky so it will be more easily found by anyone who needs it in future.

The following will be a step by step lesson in how I draw roughs for artwork.

The images were done in ball-point pen on inkjet paper for clarity, and I hope the scans will show up well enough for our purposes.


These will be presented in series, so please-
If you find these while I am posting them; no comments until I finish, okay? Smile
Just as a favor to those who want to follow the progression in sequence.
(I will indicate when I am done, and invite questions.)

This will be a rough only.
I will be finishing the piece shown in a few days, if all goes well.
Pencil and ink stage tutorials will follow if there is both interest, and when I find the time.
Color tutorials may take some time for me to manage.
(I work in marker and colored pencil- there are others on the boards here who can teach photoshop- I don't currently use it.)

There are 9 images in this first series, and I tried to show ALL the steps I used to achieve the finished rough illo.

A pet peeve of mine is that too many people doing art tutoring are too bored with the in-between stages and want to skip over them to get to the interesting stuff.
Thereby losing their students along the way, since the stuff the instructor knows so well is unknown to the novice.
And if you are like me, that gets damned annoying, damn fast.

The steps I am showing now are the way I do art for sale.
I create a rough ball point illo and then use a light table to trace the rough image onto good quality bristol paper for final refinement and inks.

I will attempt to point out all the things I did in each step, to help you all to understand what I did.


-Badger-

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ironbadger
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 7:15 am    Post subject: illo #1 Reply with quote

First up-
The initial head balloon and movement line.

It helps to put in a "Face X" for your own referrence, as to roughly where the character's head/face will be pointed in the final illo.

DO NOT assume the final face will point exactly where your "X" does-
You may get a better idea afterwards, and want to change where it goes.
Just use it for a basic guideline.
Don't get too obsessed with the final details at this point.


The movement line is the line you will use to determine motion in the character.


Preston Blaire describes this far better in his books on animation than I ever could- those books are available in nearly every art supply store in the US- and have been in continuous re-print for decades.


I will assume for the moment, rather than get bogged down in very basic stuff that everyone understands movement lines.


Note that I have added a tiny sketch of what I plan to do in the upper right corner.
This will be our referrence point, as it was what I used to refer to every time I started sketching again after making a scan of the pic.

On to the next step.

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ironbadger
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 7:23 am    Post subject: stage #2 Reply with quote

Okay, now we move on to some actual detail....

I'm adding some details here I normally skip- after over 10 years of drawing furry figures, I no longer use the shoulder and hip joint referrence point balls- but you may find it much easier to do so.

These represent the rough areas where the basic joints that define a human body will be based around.

Note that they are canted to show motion-
Static poses are less interesting for the viewer- but much easier to draw.
We will be concentrating on motion here.

Something that will help a LOT-

Always try to sketch the basic figure as fast as you can!

Don't worry about screwing it up-
You will get over that part in time.

Sketching as fast as you can will result in a more fluid, more realistically moving character.
Fast initial sketching is the best cure I know for getting away from static or awkwardly-posed character drawing.

It breathes life into your art.
Don't be afraid of messing things up-
Loosen up your drawing arm!


On to stage 3.....

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ironbadger
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 7:38 am    Post subject: Stage #3 Reply with quote

Next up..
Defining the torso.

The torso is an hourglass shape-

Its generally wider at the top for males, and wider at the bottom for females.
Not always of course-
But furries are often somewhat idealised, so for our purposes that concept will do.

Note that I have added a couple of lines that are roughly where the bottom of the feet will be.

Many artists neglect to do this, and sometimes run out of paper and have to start over. Wink

Using lines top and bottom to define the area the character will occupy is one of my little tricks to maintain proportion.

You can use a pair of bent-sided triangles to get an idea of where the upper and lower torso sections will be at this point.

Note that at this stage, I decided the hips would be outside where the balls initially showed me they would be.
You will see a lot of this kind of fudging as the drawing progresses.


A small note as well-
Most people are the same length from the top of the head to the crotch, as they are from the crotch to the bottom of the feet.
The crotch makes a convenient "halfway point" to help you work out body proportions.



Now on to stage 4

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ironbadger
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 7:47 am    Post subject: stage #4 Reply with quote

Now we start adding the interesting bits....

I have started putting in hip and thigh definition.

Note that the line of the outside hip and leg is one long, more or less smooth line.
The inner hip line is bent where the leg is bent.
Note also that the leg tapers smoothly from the body to the knee joint.

On some women there is more of an "indent" at the inside top of the thigh-
(Where the leg meets the crotch.)
But that is more visible in women who are a little or a lot underweight.
To me, it looks better to go with the more rounded look.
Of course, this is personal preferrence and others may disagree.

Just remember that limbs that are too thin in proportion stand out a LOT in artwork, where they might not be so obvious in real life.

On to 5.

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ironbadger
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 8:05 am    Post subject: stage #5 Reply with quote

And we get into more of the actual definition...

I have now added arms and hands.

Note also that I have now begun to define the shoulders and clavicle, and pay especial attention to the way the upper arms taper from the shoulder to the elbow joint- then widen again briefly for the muscles and joints of the elbow- before tapering again to the wrists.

This girl has fairly typical muscle definition in her arms for a woman-
Unless they lift weights, most females have essentially little or no visible bulge in the arms for the deltoid, (shoulder muscle,) or bicep. (Upper arm, or "Popeye" muscle.)
The upper arm will be wide at the top, and taper smoothly to the elbow joint.


The widening of the lower arm will start right at about where the elbow itself actually bends.

While we're at it-
The arm is about the same length from the elbow to the knuckles, as it is from the shoulder to the elbow.
The joint forms just about the halfway point in normal human proportions.
And the elbow joint is usually about the same level as the navel.

The hand is just about the same size as the face-
That should help you with the most common problem inexperienced artists usually have-
They draw the hands and arms too small, or too thin.


The hands are generally a funnel shape before you add fingers.
Narrow at the wrist, tapering out to where the fingers attach.


Notice also where I changed the left arm?
There is a base line for where I was going to draw it- and decided it looked better lower down.
This is an example of how your idea can change and evolve as you draw.
Don't be afraid to experiment with arm/hand/leg placements.

Almost anything can look better than the initial idea, if you are willing to play with it.


On to 6.

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ironbadger
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 8:16 am    Post subject: stage #6 Reply with quote

Next stage....

Lower legs have begun to appear, and notice how I am now beginning to widen some areas, like the hips and shoulders.

My drawings often start out thinner, and gain weight and solidity as I sketch.

The lower legs are also important-
Note the way the lower legs curve away from the center, before coming back in again at the ankle?

Real legs have this curve in the tibia- the shin bone- in order to keep your lower legs from knocking together as you walk.

The outer part of the lower leg has the lion's share of the muscle here.
There is an initial bulge in the upper part of the lower leg, for the calf muscles- but most of it is on the outside edge of the leg.

I tend to exagerate both the curve, and the muscle a little in my art.
Not much- just enough to get a little more definition down here because it helps the "eye" to recognise and define the lower leg a bit better.

There is also a bulge where the ankle protrudes.


God, I am SO starting to sound like one of Toivo's "Aht Fags"..... Laughing

Next stage...

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ironbadger
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 8:34 am    Post subject: stage #7 Reply with quote

Onwards, brave souls- if you have survived my bombast so far.... Laughing


Okay-

We have now added a tail, boobs, and the definition for the diaphragm, chest and belly.

The navel is now present, and toes have been sketched in.

Note the tail..

Normally, I don't have to put this much line in to show where the tail is coming from-
But a lot of folks don't understand how a tail works, so we will have a short dissertation on that.

The tail in animals that have them, is a continuation of the spine.
As such, it actually should come out of the lower back, right at the top of your butt crack.

A lot of furry artists show the tail as coming out anywhere from straight out the lower back, to emerging from where the anus should be.

Uh-uh.

I grew up in a taxedermy shop-
And I have seen pics of humans born with actual tails.
(Yes, it really does happen all the time- its rare, but it DOES happen.)

So I have a background in real-world anatomy of both humans and animals.

The tail will come initially straight down, before making a bend to whichever direction the furry is holding it at.

The lines I have shown are to give you a rough idea of where that should be from.
The bottom end of the pelvis.

Breasts-

Female breasts are basically bags of jelly-like fat with some muscle inside.
They are not shaped like a ball, and do not hang like a helium balloon from the chest.

They also come in all kinds of shapes and sizes- and can be shown in all kinds of ways.

Best quickie description I can think of, think a tapered bag shape.
It pushs away from the chest slightly, and it IS rounded.
It just isn't a perfect circle.

This girl has breasts maybe a little more "ball shaped" than I would use in a final drawing- but this is a rough and would be changed in the pencil stage, so don't clobber me on this.



The waist, hips and ribcage are getting more weight added at this point as well- you'll be able to see more lines growing and filling in the body as this goes on.

Next stage.

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ironbadger
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 8:40 am    Post subject: stage #8 Reply with quote

Almost done.....

The head is next.

I decided on a jackal or coyote girl for species.

Note that I have changed the angle of her head/face.
She is now looking in profile.

I will do seperate tutorials on faces and heads-
I figure most learning artists spend more time sketching faces than anything else- so that will be for later.


Note that her eye is right on or about hte centerline of the head.

The eyes generally form the middle line of the classic profile.

On to the next.

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ironbadger
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 8:54 am    Post subject: stage #9, and the last one. Reply with quote

Last part for now.

You can now see the complete head features-

The long muzzle and huge ears of a jackal, and long hair with bangs, which I like.

Note that final changes/additions were done at this stage.

The leading foot was too short, and was lengthened slightly.
The hips and upper rib cage are now more defined- the actual swell of the upper hip bone is now blocked in, as well as the lower corner of the ribs before the nip in for the pinch of the waist.


The back foot is actually too narrow at the base, and could stand a bit of widening- a detail visible to me now only after some time has passed.

The ears stand high, and notice how far back they are on the skull.

This rough is now just about ready to use for a trace onto bristol board.

At this stage, I normally leave the rough for at least a day before doing any more.

When I come back to it, I will notice things I missed before- and correct them before outlining the figure in a heavier black pen to "set" the outline prior to tracing.


This technique is not for everyone-
I find it works well for me because I am not tempted to spend a long time trying to fix things while I sketch, as I would do in pencil- and interrupt the energy of the drawing as I lay it down for the first time.

So for me, ball point sketching is a valid method for roughing out artwork.


I will be trying to get this into pencils over the next few weeks so that I can start another tutorial- then see about one on inking.

Inks aren't as easy to do-
A LOT of tricks have to be pretty much shown in person, because they are too hard to describe in text.

But I will try.


You may now ask questions, or ask for clarifications in this thread.

Thank you for your patience.

-Badger-

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Fishburne
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2003 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DEAR GOD!~

Thats amazing!

I learned a TON!

I will post my drawing based on your excellent lesson as soon as I get my scanner back...


Smile

THANKS!

I cant wait to see more!

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Shar
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2003 12:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fishburne wrote:
DEAR GOD!~

Thats amazing!

I learned a TON!

I will post my drawing based on your excellent lesson as soon as I get my scanner back...


Smile

THANKS!

I cant wait to see more!


I echo those sentiments.. well.. except for the scanner part.. don't own a scanner... Sad .. yet anyways.. but some how i'll post something Smile

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Mapper
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2003 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent tips and how to's. Very Happy
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Cirrel
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2003 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey... this stuff really works! (I've never had any art lessons before BTW.)

I did this one cuz I had 10 minutes free at work and said to hell with mistakes. Just do it. Took longer to scan and post than draw. Thanks IB!

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caspian
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2003 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a lot Badger! I learned a lot. I will try and practice some and see if your new insights help me out. I do not have a Scanner yet my self so you will have to live with a written report for a while.

Is it always the best for the tail to be fleshed out above the flow mark?

The shoulder and Hip cross points how do you know how wide to make them? Practice?

Does the Lower ribcage line always go the opposite of the hour glass? Is it tighter or flatter?

I think need some thing on Brest verses Pecks? More detail on breast and shoulders Please!

I am trying to draw muscular heroes like Hercules or Samson I know I keep getting the shoulders way to wide, but if they are not wide the pictures look like skinny whimps.

Thanks again Great lesson

Casp

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