I’d like to ask you, guys, who draw… How long have you been drawing? How much time do you spend studying arts, drawing… Do you use books of anatomy? I’d like some clues to have a good drawing. (Sorry about my english, I’m not that good on languages…)

I learned that I had this talent when I was in 2nd grade. (15 years ago)

I don’t really care to draw really. It’s more of an option to pass time.
I don’t study arts, I don’t draw much at all. I just kinda know what looks right/cool and put it on paper. No anatomy books will help you unless your trying to perfect life drawing. Just learn how to transfer your imagination onto paper with your preferred medium.

Think about it this way. You see people everyday, so what would an anatomy book teach you? Just what you “should” already know.

If your drawing a picture and something doesn’t look right, thats the only time you should really “need” a refference i.e. books and stuff.

I’m no master nor do I want to be, this is just the answers that come to my mind when I read your post.

Think od this as “my 2 cents”. =)

Hmmmmm… Dunno about that. The translation of ideas to paper is a good call though.

I think reference and anatomy are very important. To me knowing all that stuff is like the blue prints I use of picture I’m trying to create. I’ve been drawing since I was 3 and have been a pavement artist for 8 years and I only started learning anatomy and structure when I was 15 and wished I learnt all that stuff alot sooner.

But I do think some people feel they don’t need to learn structure anatomy because they think it boxes in there style. And for some artists I think thats true.

I was drawing at an arts festival recently and a artist who had just started selling her prints saw me skecthing everything out in rough shapes etc… She told me she doesn’t use structure and said “If it isn’t clear in your head then you shouldn’t put it on paper.” I had what I wanted in clear my head but the layout and planning was helping me translate my idea from my head to the pavement (But I know never argure with someone that could put money in your hat :wink: ). She showed me her stuff too. It was really funky and “out there” and you could tell alot of these rules would mess with her style.

I think the artists path is a learning path. And that learning never really ends self taught or not.

This topic comes up quite alot maybe we should make a Beginners guide to Drawing thread or tips thread or something?

That chick is a moron. I can’t stand it when artsie fartsies try to give me their “advice”. 9 times out of 10 they spend more time on the title and story to their piece than actually putting it down on canvas/paper.

OP: Study anatomy from books, and life. (go to parks, malls, look out your window and sketch) Learn perspective from all points using whatever you need to. Grids, guides, throwing down 8 pieces of paper to get to the vanishing point. Reference everything, even if you think you know how to draw it.

You never stop learning. Ever. I’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember and not one day has gone by where I thought I’d “figured it all out”.

Look for any book by Andrew Loomis.
Don’t waste your money on the shit books like “cartooning for dummies” or “how to draw manga”.
Find any of the Horgarth(?)“Dynamic” books. Dynamic Shading, Wrinkles, Anatomy etc etc. How to Draw the Marvel Way is a very big help when you’re just starting out. Shows you how to construct figures and gives some “dos and don’ts” for poses, composition.

Also, look at your favorite artists. Anyone that inspires you.
Other than that, just do it, that’s the only way you’ll ever get better.

I started trying to do my own strips back in 5th grade.

I have 6+ anatomy books, and have lost a couple over the years.


Bar none, the best anatomy book on the planet. I’ve had 2 copies stolen from me. I practically idolized Netter (still do, actually).

Anatomy isn’t “something you should already know”. Knowing anatomy accurately is important. I’ve seen “professional” art that have muscles/bones where there shouldn’t be. Ugh.

Most how to draw books are utter shit, especially those written in English. However, there are those written by actual manga teachers such Hikaru Hayashi and Tadashi Ozawa.

Oddly, I ended up in 3D instead. But the basics still apply.

Anatomy books are a must. Thing is you might want to draw nude models from life for it to all piece in together. More sensible that way. Great books I’ve run across are Bridgeman and John Vanderpoel.

Are you looking to be a serious artist or a hobby artist? If you are serious then prepare to give up everything, like tv, cut back on gaming, etc… lastly compare your art to the pros. You will get better results that way. Don’t compete with your friends compete with the pros.

Cpmunta the advice the “chick” told you does not make sense at all. If the image is foggy in your head then what else are you supposed to do?

Overall everyone has given great advice so far.

I’ve never used an anatomy book. lol

I’m not gonna say they don’t help though, because they do. I just never used them. I just look around me and reference things I’ve seen and know.

I was just giving my 2 cents as far as what I do personally. For me learning on my own is easier than memorizing a book. Learing on your on allows you to do things naturaly rather than trying to copy what you learned from a book. Learning on your own gives (me) freedom. I don’t know how to explain.

CptMunta - The way I think/work is gonna be different than the way you think/work. Thats why I put “my 2 cents” at the end of my post. You may be a die-hard artist… I am not a die-hard artist at all, but I get told that I have the talent. I only draw to pass time. Thats really it. You could give the guy better advice than I could but since he asked and noone had responed, I just put in “my 2 cents”. =)

About talent… Do you think it is necessary or the most part of a good drawing is due to practicing? I mean, do you think that a guy like me, 20 years old, who knows how to draw cartoony faces only, will be able to draw something that looks like, for example, a SF artwork?

What ever you practice you will be good at. No matter what it is.

I’ve always believed that learning how to draw realistically is a basic that artists hasve to be able to do before trying to branch into cartooning (hence the need for proper anatomy)

Talent+training+practice. You need all three. Talent gives you a head start. Training give a foothold on basics. Practice refines both.

Just study the greats.

But if you’re like, REALLY a beginner, I guess I suggest you take baby steps, and build control over some artistic aspects first. Like anatomy for example, start by tracing, but don’t just memorize it, get a feel of where you should place your lines in the drawing. Get them from certain angles. I dunno… you just gotta give yourself time to develop and stuff too, I guess. =\

this looks like a fun discussion :slight_smile:

I’ve been doodling since I was a toddler (well, at least according to my mum), so I guess you could say I’ve been drawing for quite a while… with quite a few breaks in between.

SFMC raises an important question: Are you in it for fun or do you intend to make a living off your art? Because if you’re just in it for personal satisfaction, a lot of what we’re saying doesn’t really affect you unless you want to improve.

I agree with what SFMC, Bowie & Apathy are saying about anatomy & drawing from real life before drawing cartoon or anime style. It helps to ground your work in reality, you’ll find that your pics end up with better proportions & structure because you’ll have a better understanding of what you’re drawing.

There are art/design pieces that break from the strictures of anatomy, composition, design, etc, but these pieces are usually only successfully done by people who understand those rules inside and out, and are very aware of what they are trying to achieve by deviating from them.

Also, it’s harder to unlearn bad drawing habits than to learn them right the first time.

If you’re serious about starting to draw, frankly I don’t think anatomy should be the starting point. Start by drawing still life – pots, plants, household objects. Sure it’s not as fun a subject as other people, but human beings are rather complex things to draw for a beginner.

Well said.


I guess Im late for another discussion…LOL…yep Apathy, Rook SFMC has covered it all - there is a thread started with links to referances and Tutorials- Ielehiah, if you wish to start do you have access to anatomy classes? or an artschool that offers them?

20 years old? age has nothing to do with it man…after I spent 3 years finishing up a drafting course- drawing site plans to houses and buildings it wasnt what I truely desired…(its helped but-- my heart desired classical animation) I started “late” myself (age 22) I asked questions with the stronger artists and teachers in the school on what they did to improve and tried to apply it as well to my technique- I still see people who are older and such - 35 to 40 to 50…etc etc who "drop In on a life drawin’ Jam session in order to improve thier skills - there are SO many sketch artists out there who have yet to be discovered- Via website etc…then again most may not want to be noticed.oh well…

there is a thread that has been started that had some great references in here-
anyways- this Guy------- RYAN Woodward- is an inspiring source, one of the best when it comes to on the fly quick figure drawing… :tup:

RYAN WOODWARD art and animation


Hey, guys, I thank you all for the answers! Actually, I’m searching for some anatomy books. My girlfriend draws and she’s giving me some clues at all. That’s cool. I like all your pics, guys, I guess now that in a near future I’ll be able to do some drawings. Today I made one. Soon I’ll post it here, then you’ll tell me what do you think. About the age, I said it because the most of the talents appear when we are young, right? In fact, I don’t really think how a person can live without an eventual “talent”. I mean, I write very well (at least that’s what people say), poems, stories, chronicles. For sure, not in English, cause I’m from Brazil and I speak portuguese, then. English I speak a little and a little strange english it is, hehe. But I want to improve my talents, you know. Drawing is something I’ve always liked to do, but only now I’ve started to think about practicing it. (Besides, playing guitar is another thing I’d like to do!). That’s all, folks! That’s cool to have somebody (even internetically) that can help us in our wishes.

Thank you all.
(Hey, Kandoken, I’m waiting for your Remy’s pic, ;))!

Drawing is pretty mathematical when you look at it. I’ve been drawing before the Chief have been! I remember drawing a monk walking in the air in kindergarden and a pic of Goofy that i copied from a disney book in 2nd grade. And from that point on until a year or two ago, alot of my stuffs were very unscientific. I just drew what I wanted and it would, more often than not, come out far from what I had in mind. And I don’t know how to fix it. But after going studying more about the science of drawing, I’ve been getting alot better ( I think :sweat: ). I can look and see what’s wrong with my drawing and I can spend some time to figure out how to make it “right”, instead of just getting lucky.

Let me in on this.

I’ve been drawings since I was in the 3rd grade. I think Ninja turtles was the first thing I drew and got really good at. After that, my style turned towards the marvel age, then Spawn, then DBZ(Throws up) and now its a mix of some of everything. Not until recently, nobody taught me how to draw or I didnt use any books. I learned through Osmosis, lol.

As for good anatomy books, my fav is Burne Hogarth cant think of the names of his books right off the bat though. Another good book is the Atlas of Foreshortening.

But yea, I guess I was lucky since Im left handed. Im naturaly talented and Im gonna die early, those are the breaks.

My bad. Sorry for the hideousness. :tdown:

Thanks, Kandoken! I liked your pic too much!

Ooo Just got this book out today and am reading through it. Some nice tips in here:

The DC comics guide to Pencilling comics

Klaus Janson.

Ony started reading it today
I’m liking it cos’ it give a rough overview about where to point your study, with some helpful tips. The eye quote was classic:

“Whats he hardest thing to draw?” “the other eye”