Can you learn drawing by doing manga?
Question from Sabrina, Anatomy Master Class student
Please find enclosed some of my artwork – there is one finished inked piece and a page from my sketchbook. Now I’m more into a manga art style and drawing comics, but I’d like to master traditional anatomy to improve my work, since I often feel stuck on various poses or perspectives. Recently, I studied muscles and tried to keep this in mind while drawing, but I still have the feeling that my characters look stiff, especially their arms and legs.
Do you have some tips on what I could do, specifically, and do your courses contain parts where I should be extra careful, considering my weaknesses?
Thanks a lot for your time and with friendly greetings,
Many thanks for your drawings.
As a manga-style sketches, they look very good, well done.
However, if your goal is to master realistic classical figurative drawing, you have to start from basic things like learning human body proportions and anatomy. The Anatomy Master Class is the right place to get what you need.
Manga won’t help you in learning realistic drawing. Here’s an example. In your drawing in ink, one thighbone is almost twice as long as the other. This makes the legs a bit awkward. Also, because the figure is standing in contrapposto, the pelvis is tilted, but the tilt in your drawing is opposite to what it should naturally be. There are many other disproportions that are not obvious to an untrained eye. So, to many beginners your drawing would look awesome, but you need to learn fundamental principles of figurative drawing to avoid unnecessary mistakes.
The main challenge in drawing figures is that you don’t see (and therefore cannot draw correctly) what you don’t know. Unless you have the knowledge of leg bones together with muscles, you would end up with a side-view standing figure sketch that looks stiff. Even more so with arms and hands.
I would suggest starting with proportions and drawing from life. You don’t have to hire models to do that. Just watch the Anatomy Master Class video lessons one by one and take note of proportions. Then go outside and watch people passing by, sitting, standing, or walking. Do sketches from observation and memory. Annotate your drawings. You will remember better what you have written down.
Do multiple realistic sketches from memory and imagination using what you have learned from the video lessons. Rotate figures in your head and draw the same poses from different points of view.
I hope this gives you enough to get started.
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