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Is it normal that I can't draw things from imagination for shit? Like, am I too uncreative or does my imagination suck or something? It really makes me sad.
Oh anon! Trust me, art can be challenging for everyone. It’s totally normal to feel like you can’t draw certain things (or everything). The important thing is to face the problem and figure out how to improve on it. With drawing from imagination, you have build a library of information first in order to do it from your head. This is why people life draw, so you learn how to draw bodies and when you want to draw them from imagination, you’ll remember. The same works for anything, studying the real versions of animals/objects/clothing/environments will help you cartoon them later when you have nothing but the images in your head.
Whenever I feel like I don’t know what to draw and the well is dry, so to speak, I do drawing exercises to help build my library of information. This is a good place to do that: http://artists.pixelovely.com/ It’s a free site of organized reference images that will help you practice things like anatomy, faces, hands, etc. That will help your accuracy. It’s also good to keep a library of photo reference material just in general. Pinterest is great for both finding and storing, unless you want it in private folders on your comp. I have folders like costumes, exterior photos, interior photos, photos of food, photos of models with good expressions/faces/poses. All of that. They’re great to pull out and practice, making thumbnails sketches of them when you’re idle and watching tv or something, it doesn’t have to be perfect. And when you’re doing that, you can make a mental note of the features of that particular thing (what you like about the pic, the shapes of the object/form when you draw it.) Then when you go to draw from imagination, you’ll have an idea of what it looks like without help. Personally, I want to focus more on environments and backgrounds, so here’s me practicing that.
An example of something else I like to save is pics of fashion shows, the whole line, and specifically ones that have a sort of theatrical flair or harken back to some era. You’ll have a huge amount of reference material that’s variations on a theme, so if you wanted to make a world where everyone dressed similarly but didn’t know how to change it up, you have something to look at that shows variety (or multiple outfit options for the same character.) An example of one of my fashion ref folders below:
Additionally I know that many people’s imaginations work differently. I was surprised to find that some of my friends tell me they have trouble picturing faces in their head, which I’m sure can prove a challenge if you’re an artist and have that issue. But when I have trouble figuring out exactly what I want because the image in my head isn’t quite clear, that’s when I break out the thumbnails, and make several scribbles for the same idea to see what I really am looking for. I’ll try variations of the pose or expression on tiny gestural drawings, and this can really help my confidence level going into the real drawing. If you do thumbnails beforehand, you won’t feel like you’re struggling to know what you want as you’re making the final drawing.
Now lastly I suppose is if you’re having trouble with thinking of an idea itself. Obviously what inspires you to make something differs per artist. I am someone who naturally prefers things that are silly most of the time, so often I’ll think of a joke or idea and I’ll write it down, and often it sits in my head, and on a memo, for months at a time until I feel up to drawing it. It’s not like as soon as I sit down on the train I’ve got some perfect new idea in my head that just popped up, I’ll struggle sometimes with drawing the same old facial expressions and angles because I have nothing new to contribute (or don’t feel like I’m ready to draw any of the ideas that I have already), and you just don’t end up seeing that side of me because I don’t upload what comes out then. But trust me it happens. It’s good to keep a list on your phone, or a mental list, of ideas and things that interest you so you have some things to pull from when you sit down to draw. It could be something really specific (I want to do a drawing of this character doing this), but it could also be phrases about things you like in general, like an era of history or a culture you’d like to learn about, books you’re reading, shows you’re watching, etc. And then you can gather some images of that particular thing and practice those and later when you want to draw similar imagery you already know what it looks like. As an example, I love Marie Antoinette era styles and fashions. I could gather a bunch of historical costuming references and pictures of Versailles, practice drawing from them, and later if I’m out and about with just a sketchbook, I could recall that and draw that because I remembered practicing that before. And perhaps it would be greatly simplified (that is the point of a cartoon after all) but it would be far more informed and detailed then if you tried to do without studying first.
I hope that helps. Bringing about the “art is like learning a language” metaphor again, speaking doesn’t come naturally until you study the vocabulary. You need a visual vocabulary to build upon, so find real world examples, and then later filter them through your imagination to create something new. Just practice a lot (and I know I certainly want to practice much more than I do, it’s something you have to remind yourself to do) and things will get better!
So I've been thinking this for a while now and I finally had to let you know that your Grantaire is my all time favorite representation of him and he's become my canon R. Every time he shows up on my dash it makes me unbearably happy :)
Oh my godddddddddddd this ask is everything! Thank you so much for telling me lol. It’s how I see him in my head although it’s not much of a stretch I promise.
Thoughts on the hogwarts au with Werewolf Grantaire?
I love werewolftaire since he’s such a scruffmuffin, and he’d be cute in Hogwarts, but he’s not a were in my AU. Howeverrr… I do really enjoy the image of wolftaire and Little Red Riding Enj, so here:
Bark bark bark.
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