Improving Anatomy and Portrait Drawing

Throughout the second semester, I have been working on a mini brief of improving my anatomy and facial expression skills. To do this I have been drawing myself in a mirror, as well as my friends a couple of times every few weeks. The main goal I was trying to achieve with this was to find a likeness. To be able to tell that the drawings of me were actually me. The way I did this was by practising with the facial shape as well as the shadowing that makes certain areas more visible, such as the cheek bones. I also did a fair few portraits of celebrities from a list. These celebrities had unique facial shapes and features which made them instantly recognisable, It was my goal to come make this happen with my drawings.

To experiment with a range of media I decided to try using different methods and see what the effect did on the final outcome. Some of the methods I used included charcoal and a brush pen. When doing this I found that the charcoal was best used to create the shadows on the portrait as it was easy to smudge and blur. The brush pen certainly made all the detail stand out more but it also gave the portrait a different style. The bold borders gave it that comic book character look that appears defined.

I decided to also have a go at drawing one of the celebrities from the list that we were given. I chose the actress Wai Ching Ho as she had an interesting face which would be easily recognisable. For her, I used a mixture of pencil and charcoal to create the shadows of her face. Once I was done I decided to show my family and friends the portrait and had them guess who it was. They were easily able to guess who it was which is good as it meant that I achieved my goal of gaining a likeness in the drawings.

To increase the detail on these portraits I also added colour to them in photoshop. The main reason was so that I could easily add highlights and shadows to certain areas of the face, for example, the nose, to make it look realistic and not flat. reflecting on this I realise that by doing this it also will benefit me in the future when I create character concepts as I will be able to create them to more realistic detail when in photoshop compares to my previous character attempts. My first attempt at this went away from the detail and refined outlines as I just wanted to experiment using the burn and dodge tool to try to create skin tones. I feel like this isn’t bad for a first attempt however the shading needs to be more consistent so that the features of the face such as the cheekbones and the nose appear more defined and not just flat on the face. The second attempt took this on board but also did the outlines as I felt like the first attempt looked sloppy and as if it was rushed. I wanted to spend a little more time on it, trying to make it look closer to a finished concept.


Improvement on Human Anatomy

After looking back on the previous sketches that I did on human anatomy I decided that I wanted to try and improve on this further by drawing some more using different techniques that would allow me to easily put the character into a pose. In my first attempt, the gender of the characters that I drew was unclear and I tried to make sure that I improved on this in this attempt. I also wanted to attempt drawing different body types. Since a lot of video games tend to use larger muscle characters I thought it would make sense for me to learn how to draw these style of character. Most games also go for the realism aspect which means that the characters have to be in the correct proportion so that they mimic the real life counterpart. Comparing these drawings to my previous ones I can already see an improvement however they are far from perfect. This is something I need to keep doing as I will improve the more that I do it.


Character Anatomy and Posture

To prepare for designing multiple characters I started to try to improve my skills at drawing human anatomy and different positions of a person. I did this by looking at different images online that show a good way to start. I practiced multiple different positions and could instantly see an improvement with my drawing. I still have a long way to go before I feel like I can freely draw a person without any reference images.

One of the major improvements that I need to make with this is where joints meet. At the moment the lines that meet at the joint are not correct and need to be more straight as if a new line is cutting between them. This is something that I will have to practice to improve upon.

As well as this I also looked at how to change the position of a head. This is done by changing where the features are on the head rather than the drawing of the head itself. It did this by drawing a line horizontally through the middle of the head and then a vertical line towards one side. The horizontal line would show where the eyes begin, and from there I can work out where the other facial features should be. The vertical line shows the centered position of all the features so that they properly appear in proportion and towards the designated side.