I've really been quite serious lately about progressing as an artist, and I've been putting in quite a lot of work in expanding my technical knowledge of the human figure. But to truly "master" the human figure takes decades...yet there are fantastic artists out there who are barely 20. Does this mean they are masters of the human figure/ perspective / light & color theories? Well of course NOT!
so..here we go, I think the secret to becoming a great artist is....
To draw from within. I think the technical knowledge is really just a reinforcement of you as an artist. But the artist is already there, you need to be able to trust yourself and draw from a place within you.
When I think about my own "career" as an animator, I don't have an extensive knowledge of the principles and tricks of animation. I really just animate to what "feels" right, "feeling" is not a science...but if you can tap into that, I think you'll get a response from people who watch your work. Because when the regular bypasser looks at your artwork, they didn't study anatomy either...but they can tell if something "feels" wrong.
So anyway, keeping that in mind I tried to "feel out" this evenings head drawings (without reference). I'm not going to say they are perfect, but they definitely feel a lot more natural to me. The big difference was the thinking process when putting down that first line.
If you start of from a technical idea, it could be something like this: "Ok, I have a piece of paper. I am going to construct a head using the loomis template." This will most likely end up being a stiff drawing, while if you trust yourself with that knowledge and just feel out a head....you get something like I did below.
While I still used the "loomis" template. I didn't "think" about it, I didn't measure distances. You can see it's more scribbly and organic than yesterdays' one for example.
Of course..there are no secrets to being an artist, I think most importantly..enjoy yourself, nothing is worth doing if you don't get any pleasure doing it.