rydain: (Lu Meng in the Mist)
[personal profile] rydain
I spent the second half of last year writing or researching or chasing my tail in novel-related frustration. I missed art, but had neither focus nor inspiration, so I included illustration study in my rotation of casual reading. I pored over pro illustrators' sketches to learn about capturing volume, form, and gesture in that crucial rough phase. I read Andrew Loomis' work for more examples in that vein. I found a fantastic gallery of muscle photography free to use for hobbyist work.

I referenced one of those pictures for a quick piece of fan art in response to a prompt. And shocked myself with that heady feeling of Wow, I Can Draw.

I did decent art in high school, but I was never much of a visual thinker. I also focused on still life and dreamscapes rather than the bodies and faces that I had to learn from scratch when the drawing itch hit me some four years ago. My sporadic art practice has been dragging myself out of rustiness while wrapping my head around the fundamentals that I'd never truly internalized, even when I could produce a reasonable representation of my hand or a leafy plant or a display of glass fruit. Human anatomy is a harmony of distinct lines and shadow shapes, of quirks and irregularities that must be maintained to preserve a sense of naturalness. Now that I've turned a corner with Getting It, I'm beginning to feel the blissful flow that I get from my best writing.

The following picture took about 12 days from initial sketch to completion. A year ago, I would have required double the time for half the nuance. Now to continue outdoing myself in the future.

deviantArt submission with photo reference credit
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August 2015

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