Becoming a decent illustrator: Month one in review

So I’ve been drawing seriously (after work and family) again for 4 weeks now, I know because my deviant art profile told me. So I think it’s a good time to review how we’ve been doing with things.

I’ve tried to be more active on social media, I’ve been posting anything worthwhile to twitter and posting a batch of images on the lameframe facebook page every so often. If you feel like following me on any of these places that would be most welcome. I’ve also stepped up my creative streaming on twitch youtube and beam and my audience is steadily growing so yay. This month I want to start doing time lapse videos on Youtube. So with that plug filled section out of the way lets get onto arty type progress.

So these were the last 2 things I drew/painted

Did this just over a week ago

and this one about 2 weeks ago

and this is the monstrosity I produced a month ago

So definite progress there, the initial curve was massive, but I can chalk that up to remembering forgotten skills, so it’s not quite new knowledge just re-dredged I guess. I’ve obviously been experimenting with colour, when I was drawing about 2 years ago I was solely working in black and white, I’d convinced myself I was awful at colour and should master black and white value studies first, obviously I was correct but this is too fun.

2 years ago I was convinced that I needed to draw specific sections 100 times and then I’d be awesome, I think I got to 40 odd heads (the first focus) and got bored and went away for 2 years, though setting up a business probably had something to do with the time away. This time, as you can see I’m doing more pieces for fun as well as the life drawing/portrait pieces and I’m much happier. I’ve also been looking at a lot more learning resources and human muscle diagrams, I cannot overstate how much I should have looked at muscle structure before. helpfulfull aps I’ve found are these 3D models that you can investigate in detail. and the second one is poseable and you can adjust the lighting. I wouldn’t use it as a replacement for real life reference but it’s great if you can’t figure out where light should hit in specific conditions.

Exercises I’ve done

I do one of these every now and again and try to label the muscles I can remember, I think it’s helped

I’ve tried to do about half an hour of gesture drawing a day, this guy has a great channel and a really nice outlook so I’d reccomend checking out his stuff.

and then I do a few figure drawings with a little more time along this sort of line although I follow the reference more than Sycra because I haven’t found my style yet. I generally use the calss mode from this site

What Next

So planning for the next month, where am I going to focus my efforts? Speed is a big thing I want to improve on, with more speed comes more drawing and faster improvements. I want to be able to get more semi-finished pieces out, which means not getting precious and forcing myself to move on, particularly when shading faces. I’m really bad at mouths, they need focus, then I need to find my eyes groove at the minute I’d only consider them passable, noses I’ve got, they’re like my thing. I’ve not found my torso/pelvis construction groove yet, that will be my main focus bodies wise. I’m hoping following the advice in the video will help me


I’ve also realised my drawing tablet is 4:3 aspect ratio while my monitor is 16:9 so i’m compensating while drawing which can’t be good, so a new one of them is in order. I brought a large Intuos off eBay and received a medium, good start. So that’s a lot of things for one post hopefully future updates will be smaller and more frequent. For more regular updates follow me on twitter or drop in a stream.



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