I used to worry about having beautiful drawings.
I've drawn cartoons and characters all my life, mostly for fun, sometimes for money. But always ending in frustration that what I drew never turned out the way I had it in my head. As a freelancer I often do storyboards and concept art for ad agencies, and more often than not end up with similar feelings of disappointment - even when the client loves them, the end results never look right to me.
So I decided to do something about it and recently enrolled in a series of life drawing classes.
The idea being that by attending a class like this regularly, I keep drawing all the time and therefore am constantly being reminded of all the elements of drawing. I've only had two sessions and already I'm beginning to realise how important a solid understanding of all the principles that are taught in good drawing is for advancing my cartoons and animation. A no-brainer really. Here's what I did in week 2:
We started with some warm-up poses (10 minutes each)
then a full hour on this:
and lastly some quick ones to go out on:
(5 minutes for Mr. Giant Head here)
My approach to these classes is more about the process and thinking that goes on while drawing, and less about the drawings themselves. The end result you see above is irrelevent right now because in doing them I feel I'm slowly obtaining a better understanding of how the forms work together, how to represent balance, methods of construction and organising masses in the design of a pose, the value of clarity in a silhouette and where the body compresses and stretches (i.e. squash and stretch in animation) - now that's where it's at!
It's exciting, because with every drawing you're learning something more that builds on a revelation from a previous drawing. It's so liberating to not worry about the drawing anymore! Now I just focus on interpreting what I see in front of me onto paper, trying to learn something while doing each drawing, knowing that in time it'll all trickle down into my animation, cartoon and/or storyboard work.
Just enjoy the process, the rest will follow.