Friday, June 08, 2007


Been going through one of my sporadic attempts at learning how to draw. Nothing fancy, just using photo reference to try and improve my abysmal grasp on human anatomy (apparently people are only supposed to have two arms).

The figures tend to look pretty stiff so the other day I spent a while sketching out copies of comic book poses. The theory was that if I drew some really exaggerated postures then some of that dynamism might carry over into my photo reference stuff, loosening the figures up a bit. Kind of worked, although most of the subjects of my sketches still look about as relaxed as someone who's about to receive a rectal exam.

Also spent a bit of time yesterday trying to figure how best to draw the female nose. Delineating the bridge of the nose tends to turn every sketch into Barbara Streisand but leaving out the bridge creates mutant women with these perfectly flat faces with a pair of nostrils burrowing straight into their skull.

The really worrying thing is that if anyone sees my sketchbook the content goes from pictures of glamorous women to a whole page of noses. This gives the impression that I have a rather strange fetish. I mean, these aren't the kind of hooters that most men go for.


Anonymous said...

I've never been able to draw noses properly, either. I usually end up making the little tip of the nose and leave it at that.

nomis said...

Drawings a weird thing. It's less about being able to reproduce what you see and more about reproduce what you feel. You might be better off developing "loose" figures by concentrating on those stick figures first. Try to understand the flow of the body. A good grasp of the muscle groups and how they work together helps to ... not just for over-muscled comicbook types, either. The body is a machine, and you need to understand how it works.

My own drawings have shifted away from realism (at least, comicbook realism) into a more cartoon exagerated style. I find more life in my drawings that way.

Women's noses, traditionally, are approached with the utmost delicacy. A tip, a nostril, maybe one side of the length. You're suggesting the nose more than anything.

Remember, though, that there's nothing wrong with a woman with a nose. If you've balanced the face properly, the nose doesn't always look as strange as you think.

The book that was most helpful to me, lo those many years ago, was "How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way". Otherwise, one must study study study the human body until one understands it.

Stuart Young said...

Yeah, I've got a couple of books on anatomy, plus How to Draw Comic the Marvel Way (Buscema's great). But I'm really just doing it for fun right now. I should really be writing or, at the very least, catching up on my reading but I needed to escape the writing treadmill for a while and find something to help me relax.

As for there being nothing wrong with drawing women with noses, well, you've never seen any of my pictures. It's not so bad with men as a dodgy nose can sometimes lend them a rugged air like an ex-boxer or something but with women a bad nose ruins the whole illusion of femininity. And my draftsmanship is so poor that I need to exaggerate every female aspect of my drawings to make it clear that it really is a woman and not some hideous drag act. Big hair. Big breasts. Big hips. And a big sign saying "This is a woman. No, seriously."