Hello! I'm Julie, 15 and I'm just in my freshman year of high school, but I would like to go to CalArts for character animation. I would like to start working on life drawings as soon as possible. I have NO experience whatsoever when drawing from models like this, and i have never taken a life drawing class. I used posemaniacs.com for all of the poses. These are bad, I know, but I've never done this before and I want to try and improve, and I'll know I'll get good criticism from here! I plan on taking a life drawing class over the summer (if they allow me to; the class is strictly 18 or older but I'll see if i can get around that) and I plan on taking life drawing in my sophomore year of high school (im lucky enough to be able to go to an art charter school). Please, tell me anything I can do to improve! at the moment I have no one who can give me some solid advice. I don't need anyone to sugar coat anything, be honest, and be mean! all of these poses are done in 30 seconds-1 minute. I plan on applying to CalArts for the year of 2015-2016 so I've still got a long way to go!
For one, stop doing 30 second poses. Really short poses (15 seconds to 3 minutes or so) are typically done for loosening up. As an actual tool for helping someone improve, it's incredibly ineffective and just puts in your brain a time crunch that takes a long time to get over. I use warm-up poses to loosen up and have fun. Still do them, but do not use them to learn.
You're not taking the time to observe and process, which is why your drawings look like shrunken action figures with circle heads and round feet. But don't worry, because ALL beginners of life drawing draw like this. You know as a human that your drawings don't look right, but you haven't gotten the experience to find out how to draw. It takes a long time. You need to put some time in, so spend at least 15 minutes on one drawing, if not 30 minutes. There really isn't any real advice to give you, sorry. Learning will just come naturally for you right now.
As a suggestion, do tons of blind contour drawings for about 5-7 minutes each. Blind contour drawings are line drawings where you do not look at your paper and try not to lift the material from the paper. Use ballpoint pen. The end results are so ridiculous that you will probably end up not caring what your drawings look like (since you're at such a handicap), and they actually train you to look since that's all you can do.
Thank you so much Josh. I was told that 30 second drawings would help beginners, but I guess they were wrong. I will definitely spend more time on this...
Thanks for the blind contour drawing suggestion too! I guess right now I really need to learn how to just look at things. I'm at a disadvantage since I'm using 3D models on a computer screen as opposed to live models at the moment, but I'll try harder to just take a moment and look.
Federico: Yeah, I have been looking around for anatomy books. are there any good ones you would recommend? I'm trying to find a place to take lessons that don't require you to be 18 or older... And thanks for the negative space drawing suggestion! they have some exercises for this on the website I use for models, but never really knew what they were for exactly.
Bobby: I do carry my sketchbook everywhere :) I have one sketchbook devoted to everyday doodles and one specifically for life drawing. I draw my classmates and get some of my friends to pose for me. Sometimes i draw the classroom too. I have been thinking about going to the zoo on weekends as well. Thanks for the tips! :)
The Walt Stanchfield Lectures were good for me to look through when I was still deciding what program to go into. There's a lot of good information about what to look for in movement, and many many many life drawings that express motion. I think it'd be a good help for you too, even if you only got the first volume.