Sunday, 7 October 2012


Welcome to the first blog of this new term. Sorry it's taken 2 weeks for me to get started on this. This will be something of a bumper post so I will post links to previous blog posts to save on space.
Ok, to kick off, I will post a couple of links to previous blog posts and some links that may also prove useful.
Here are some links to the  art stores I use. Artifolk and Cult Pens are amazing  and my first port of call when restocking on materials
Artifolk is a great online store and almost unbeatable in price and quality of products
and here
I get most of my pens from Cult Pens. Because they specialise in pens they tend to stck more types of pen and marker than Artifolk. 
There are other online art stores but these two are my favourites. 
For those of you who prefer to visit a local store, I can recommend  Hobbicraft at Crown Point Center, Leeds,  and there is a new shop opened in the Merrion Cenre in Leeds,
If you can manage the track to Ilkley, The Art Shop, is another good store to visit. It's situated near the main car park by the main shopping area.
They also have a website

 Here is a link to an earlier post  on materials, detailing the materials discussed in class.

Studying other artist's work can often  inspire you to push yourself further and help develop your style and technique of drawing. We will be discussing examples of artist's work that I  have found to be inspirational and  that I believe  offer  sound examples of figure  drawing, composition and lighting. Feel free to bring in  books  or examples of art that have and continue inspire you.
Most of the exercises carried out during this course will  be of a similar style, that being my style. I encourage you to find develop your own style and not faithfully copy my style. Finding your style or technique is important  when trying to define your identity as an artist.
The  images below display various interpretations of  Conan   by five different artists.
Maybe some you will like and some you will  not be too keen on. That's ok.  Art is subjective and  not all art will inspire you. Notice how each artist uses their own unique style to create their own vision of Conan. It's all the same character and attitude   given five unique visual treatments.
Conan by Frank Frazetta

Conan by Barry Windsor Smith
Conan by Becky Cloonan

Conan by Michael Oeming

Conan by Bruce Timm

Before you can go on to draw all this cool stuff, you will need to familiarise yourself with the human form and  how it moves, and so, a basic grasp of anatomy is  required.
You don't have to learn all the names of each individual bone but  an understanding of the skeletal frame and the  main joints will come in very handy.
A basic grasp of the major muscle groups is also essential.

Frazetta's work (shown below) clearly shows that he was very knowledgeable regarding human antomy and muscle groups and this added to the power of his work.

Jack Kirby , on the other hand, probably did have an good understanding of anatomy but his style and technique did not rely on an accurate visualisation of muscle placement and proportion, yet it did not detract from the power of his work.  
Kirby's figure work is in proportion and  is well ballanced, so even though his muscle definition is slightly inaccurate, it still gives the appearance of being correct. What Kirby's work lacked in accuracy, it more than made up for in shear power, dynamics and layout.
Thor by Jack Kirby
 and the same could also be said of Mike Mignola's work. Both artists have a strong unique style and are giants in the comic book industry (For those who are new to Kirby's work, Jack Kirby died in 1994).
Conan by Mike Mignola

When setting out on your first steps to develop you skills at figure drawing, I recommend  documenting your progression in a sketch book.  Any size will do, A4, A3 or square. Use it to chart your development. Your first sketches are important to document even if you are not happy with them or even embarrassed by them, they will help to show how far  you have progressed every time you make a new breakthrough.

Try to capture the energy and  flow  of action. Keep the sketches loose and light to start with. Try to feel the action as you put it down on paper
Keep the figures simply and not too detailed. Go for shape and proportion.

Experiment with different shapes and sizes

Here are some more links to earlier posts on figure drawing

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