November 22, 2011 1:28:50 PM PST
I could critique each of these individually, but what I think warrants more attention in this lifedrawing post is that I don't know what kind of artist you are by looking at these. From being on this site for a number of years, it's been a very common theme for people to ask others to "push" their work, which is a very difficult thing to accomplish if you don't know what they mean. "Colour!" they cry, "exaggeration!" they yell from the rafters, but what is honestly most important from an animation life drawing portfolio perspective is showing yourself to them through a very precise artistic medium that is Lifedrawing. For example, look at any of Glen Keane's lifedrawings-- especially the ones where everyone looks like pocahantus-- because you can clearly see A) that these are by Glen Keane and B) that he is using lifedrawing as a medium to push his understanding of form and pose, and to help him work out how he wants Pocahantus to look.
Or he just really enjoys turning all girls in to Pocahantus, who knows.
What I'm trying to say here is that lifedrawing needs to be full of LIFE and the easiest way to do it is to look at what you enjoy drawing and try to apply it to your work. EVEN WHEN you're just starting to learn. I know there is a lot of pressure to come up with portfolio worthy pieces, but it is too much pressure to look at a model for ten minutes, psyching yourself out because you desperately need portfolio pieces.
Relax, think about what you want to show, and just do it.
Animation, from storyboarding to character design to animation itself, is all about facilitating the desire to tell a story in 2D that evokes an emotion with your audience, even if what they are looking at is just simply pencil on paper. Lifedrawing for animation is not just simply about how well you can look at life and plunk it down on paper, but also about how to take someone's essence and make it live on paper. I know, it sounds kind of ridiculously lofty, and I'm sure you were probably just looking for some pointers, but a lot of the time I find people who are just beginning to grasp lifedrawing spend a lot of time fiddling with line quality and trying to get the form down correct, when more time should be spent trying to get life down. Next time you're in a lifedrawing class, take a moment to really look at your model, and try to work out their story by the lines on the faces, how they pose, what sort of expessions they tend to use, if there is something about them that lends itself to characature. Then, hold on to the thing that makes this lifedrawing model not just a moving sack of flesh, and put it on your paper. Even if you continue to just try to get them correctly on paper, really looking at them and trying to understand them should help you when drawing, because you're not just drawing "old man hunched over" but a silly old man, or a really decrepit old man, or a old wizard or something.
What I can see with your pieces right now is that you're leaping in to colour because people have probably told you to include colour, or you've read it so many times. I can honestly say that the colour is not helping you out here, because you're focusing a lot on the shape of the contour and depending on lines, which makes the orange and green look like construction lines, rather than playing with colour. Wait to use colour until you can get the whole person in the amount of time you have for lifedrawing. That means feet and hands, and MOST ESPECIALLY, faces; faces are your best way to convey emotion from lifedrawing, and adding them in is huge EVEN IF they are stylized/just a happy face/ a shadow on their nose, etc. I'm not here to say you're using colour incorrectly because that would be douchey, just that it's difficult to work on too many things at once, and I think that if you don't include colour in a calarts portfolio you are probably fine if the black and white or sepia toned, etc, pictures you are sending evoke something in them. Colour is one of those things that EASILY evokes a reaction, but plain old lifedrawing can do the same as well.
The moral of this excessively long story is to relax, and try to find a way to make lifedrawing fun for you every day. Feel like doing clothed lifedrawing? Draw some clothes on the naked model-- teaches you to critically examine a form, and where clothing would fall on their frame, characature a face; when I had lifedrawing in school, all of the models we had had their own quirks and way of modeling-- we had a big barrel chested guy that always did strong man poses, a guy who looked like superman knew he looked like superman, so he usually posed like he was a superhero (that was hilarious); one girl often smirked and did a lot of sassy poses, another girl tended to do a lot of fighting poses or really sultry poses-- each of these people, even when doing generic poses, had something to bring to the table. We just had to see it for ourselves, and try to get it on paper.