I'm stuck... *sighs* again

Discussion in 'Tutorials and Critiques' started by SniperCoon2882, Jun 11, 2016.

  1. SniperCoon2882

    SniperCoon2882 The insomniatic marksman

    For some reason, I just can't get this dang character's head shape and ESPECIALLY muzzle right... and it's driving me NUTS again...

    This is the head I'm aiming for... www.furaffinity.net: New coon head by SniperCoon2882

    But so far, I can't seem to get the head at the right angle I want for a new pic I'm taking a couple of days to work on.

    This is what I have so far...
    Paratroop Coon pose.png

    I just can't get the dam head right! Would REALLY appreciate help getting the shape and stuff right.

    For additional info, the pic I'm eventually going for is my character as a WW2 US army 101st division paratrooper who's just landed in the steeple of a nazi-occupied church, and is looking down the barrel of an m1a1 carbine,

    scanning for nazis climbing up the stairs during the evening patrol.

    The shot is supposed to be a mostly front angle with a focus on the rifle, with a bit of foreshortening (I think I'm using the term correctly...) of the head and body, due to the camera being slightly lower than the top of the head.

    If anything about the pose I'm going for is unclear, please ask clarification questions.
    Appreciate any and all help!
  2. Saokymo

    Saokymo Art Cookie

    When I have trouble getting basic forms for a pose down, I turn to stock art to help reference the bits I'm having trouble with.

    Deviant Art has an excellent stock art section to look through. Here's a quick search of men holding rifles. It may take several photos cobbled together to get exactly the pose you're looking for (especially since you seem to have a very specific one in mind), but it's easy enough to fill in your own details once you get the basic shapes down.

    Aside from that, the only answer is lots of practice. Keep at it, even though you're not satisfied with your work. That you can see enough flaws to be unsatisfied means you've developed an eye for what looks right - now all you have to do is train your hands to draw it that way.
    SniperCoon2882 likes this.
  3. SniperCoon2882

    SniperCoon2882 The insomniatic marksman

    Appreciate it! but I am not sure how best to practice...

    Yeah, I know that it's different for everyone, but I can't figure out what works best for me to practice...

    There's a great website that I found that does "class" sessions where I can practice drawing anything from poses to anatomy to hands and feet to faces, but though I enjoy the quick "practice with 30 sec to draw a pose" then a longer "10 min for a pose, take time", I can't really see myself doing that EVERY day (as I'd get bored).

    I also don't necessarily practice when I feel uninspired, as I'm the kind of person who would much rather be inspired to draw-something-and-work-nonstop-'till-it's-as-good-as-it-can-be RATHER than (perfect)-practice-makes-perfect/repetition-is-key.

    Any suggestions for what kind of stuff I can do to practice while learning while not going outside of my "preferred" realm.

    You're the doc, doc! I need a prescription for practicin', or I'll die of my being pissed off at my not improving.

    P.S. If it helps, I can post a link to a very specific moment in a Band of Brothers episode on youtube with the pose that I'm looking for... would also like advice on how to improve basic outline i've made and ESPECIALLY the head (cause i still can't figure out where I'm messing up in drawing the dam thing) and the pose (though that might be solved after just a couple of the guys holding the rifles in ur helpful link!).
  4. Rydenan

    Rydenan Member

    Hello again! Glad to see you liked my sketch ;)
    I think what you have for the face is quite good. Where you went wrong is with the outline of the head. When the head is at a 3/4 angle like that, the face will be off to the side and will obscure some of the features on the far side. So the head "ball" would be more around here:
    The only other change I made was widening the eyes a bit, and tilt the whole head a little to the left (since he's looking down a rifle barrel). Otherwise, I didn't alter your face sketch at all here:
    For the body, I would take Saokymo's advice and look for some reference images. All I can say for certain is that the arms are too short ;)
    I'd say you're certainly improving, keep pluggin' away!
    SniperCoon2882 likes this.
  5. Saokymo

    Saokymo Art Cookie

    Nope! You'll have to leave that "preferred realm" eventually if you want to truly improve. Try something different to give yourself a new point of view. Landscapes can improve your sense of perspective and backgrounds. Still life compositions are excellent for studying form, light and shadow. How about firearms? Pick out your favorites and try drawing them in detail so you have a better feel for them in other compositions later. Animal studies are perfect for learning details about our favorite furry species, real or imagined.

    Feeling uninspired and don't want to practice? Tough cookies - do it anyway. Practice drawing lines and shapes if nothing else. Some of my go-to subjects for drawing when I can't think of anything else are Celtic knots and various line work doodles. I like to sketch with a pen as a way of forcing myself to not get caught up in perfectionism - once the lines go down they're down and I have to live with them no matter what. You don't have to draw every single day, of course; take a break every other day or so to give your drawing muscles a rest to avoid burnout.

    As an artist who's been drawing for over 18 years now (fuck I'm old), I'll let you in on a little secret: there has never been a day that I have been truly satisfied with my work. There's always something wrong with everything I do. Sometimes I get so fed up with a composition that just doesn't work that I abandon it and move on to the next. Other times I'll force myself to work through the awkwardness and get rewarded with an okay-but-still-kinda-awkward piece in the end. And every once in a while I'll get something I feel truly proud of, even if it's not quite perfect.

    And that's great! It means that I'm always trying to improve my skills and won't settle for complacency. Just keep with it, Sniper - you'll find a groove that works for you and your skills will dramatically improve before you even realize it. ^^
    BlackDracon likes this.
  6. SniperCoon2882

    SniperCoon2882 The insomniatic marksman

    Appreciate the sketch (again :p)

    FFS though, I can't figure out why I keep messing up the head!! I can't seem to get the construction (ESPECIALLY the muzzle) correct. Any suggestions?

    You also drew the angle that I put down, but it's actually not the angle that I want... but it's very similar... kind of hard to explain without finding a RL photo of the exact pose (Im sure theres one out there)... I guess I'd describe it as more of a frontal angle, like he's looking DOWN the sights of a rifle pointed at the camera, with a slight offset like a 3/4.

    Ur style is actually VERY close to the one that I'm shooting for, (though mine would have slightly smaller ears), how did ya practice drawing in the style? (Kind of vague question, might need clarification, ask if so).

    Get what u r saying, but the problem is that I'm not looking for material to practice (I can draw whatever and like practicing everything), I'm just looking for more of a METHOD for practice, like a dedicated portion of time where I practice drawing ____ for ____ amount of time, another ______ for _____ amount of time, and so forth...
    I have drawn firearms in the past (my profile pic for my personal gmail is an AK47 that I drew looking at a photo, and added in the USSR sickle, hammer, and star in background)
    And I've drawn vehicles before... I'll have to scan the Huey medivac helicopter that I drew...

    But my REAL issue is with drawing characters and anatomy, and I'm not sure HOW to practice (I know what to practice: everything :p)...
    Advice on HOW to practice?
  7. BlackDracon

    BlackDracon rawr!

  8. Saokymo

    Saokymo Art Cookie

    The best way to practice is... to just sit down and do it, man. Put pencil to paper or pen to tablet and just roll with the flow.

    It sounds like you're trying to make this a bigger deal than it is. You want to draw? Great! Sit down and do it. You want to set up a schedule to practice? Great! Find one that works for you and stick with it. You want to draw one specific type of subject? Great! Find references and draw it until you get tired of it. I could throw out suggestions and links all day long, but in the end you're the one who's gonna have to choose how you're going to go about it. There are no secret methods here. There are no hidden combinations of exercises or drills that will make you a professional artist overnight. There's no set style that's the absolute best for learning any one thing or another. Try everything to find what works best for yourself.
  9. Rydenan

    Rydenan Member

    Well, a few things:
    First, don't take my sketch as how you should draw this image. I was simply using your construction lines to make a drawing to show that I thought they were pretty good. But of course the real image should come from your own imagination. ;)
    Second, as for my style (though not too sure if these sketches are very accurate to my 'normal' style), I really didn't think about it or 'try' to arrive at this style. Rather, over the past year and a half (since I joined FA), my style has somehow gone from this:
    www.furaffinity.net: My First Furry Drawing by Rydenan
    to this:
    www.furaffinity.net: Ninja Saskia (SFW) by Rydenan
    and I really don't have any idea how or why! It's just something that came through practice. And I'd be willing to bet that in another year my art will look different still.
    Point being, just keep drawing. Don't worry about developing an arbitrary 'style'; that'll only hold you back.
  10. SniperCoon2882

    SniperCoon2882 The insomniatic marksman

    It's not that I'm taking your sketches of what I'm trying to go for as absolute truth, it's that it HAS the look and "style" that I'm really trying to go for, and ur sketches have been the best reference for me to look at to try to get "me" down in picture form, because it's DAM close to what I've been imagining.

    I guess that I'm trying to say that these sketches look a bit cartoony, though they have a distinctly NOT human head with human body... not sure what to call it. Though this may not reflect ur natural "style" what I've seen is what I'm going for...

    BTW: for pose, What I'm going for is more like this...
    Paratroop Coon ideas.png

    Trying to get muzzle to look more down the barrel, and I'm not sure how to show the angle correctly...
    Can make further clarifications still if necessary...
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016
  11. SniperCoon2882

    SniperCoon2882 The insomniatic marksman

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