Friday, August 1, 2014

STUDY: Jim Lee

One thing I'd like to point out is that you need to have an OBJECTIVE when doing a study. Copying a drawing or painting is pretty pointless unless you know what information you are looking to get out of the process.

I actually remember speaking to a (really talented) guy from London at a workshop who copied work for an entire year, and when he started to do work from memory/imagination it didn't help him one bit. And I can totally relate to that myself, since I was doing my life drawing and gesture drawings for a year or more. and when I then started to draw figures from imagination again they still sucked.

The reason for this is that when you are "copying" all you are potentially really doing is training your observation skills, or maybe your rendering. Somebody who doesn't know ANY ANATOMY, can draw a photo realistic representation of a person/figure by just 'looking'.

So anyway long story short, if you are studying an artist, you shouldn't just copy what you see. You need to know what you are looking to learn from the experience (linework, composition, tone, shape & design,etc..), in my case I want to improve my figures from imagination so I want to 'understand' how the figure can be posed. Understand how muscles  work and when they are visible on the figure. This leads me to one man: Jim Lee!

His poses and his anatomy are just fantastic, I haven't really come across many artists that can match him in that. When you look at the drawings below, they probably don't look anything like Jim Lee's drawings, because I'm not interested in copying his style, I'm interested in his dynamic posing.

The picture above is a drawing I did with a brush and ink of a pose by Jim Lee in one of his books. I only started working with a brush and ink since...euhm, last week! I don't know why I never tried it, but I love it. It's almost like drawing in Photoshop...but even better. I really love the energy that can be maintained by working with a brush, so definitely going to do this more often.

Here's a page of some applied anatomy, trying to take his figure poses and locate the muscles on the body. It's a good halfway point to practice drawing anatomy from memory with a base to start from.

And finally a page with some poses, notice how I pointed out that he draws the same pose for sexy ladies a lot of the time. Weight on one leg, with the other leg relaxed. You can tell his probably drew this pose as a kid a million times. Can't blame him for having a few go-to-poses, when you need to knock out 22 pages a month you need to have some shortcuts!

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