First and foremost I want to wish everyone reading this a HAPPY 4TH OF JULY.
I had the privelege of seeing some of the world during my Navy days and it made me appreciate our country all the more.
One of the many pitfalls of being a self taught artist is the amount of time I've spent going down blind alleys. It's like exploring a new world without a map or a guide who's familiar with the lay of the land. I've read just about every "how to draw" book I could find, read interviews with artists, scanned blogs, watched videos and I've spent countless hours studying the work of artists whose work both inspires and humbles me. I was searching for some sort of a magic key that would unlock the mysteries of drawing. As time went on I found that I began to lose my fascination with certain artists and began to study the work of men that I'd ignored when I was younger. As I've gotten older I don't have all the answers but I think my questions are much better than they were. All of the time I invested in searching for that magic key wasn't in vain. I learned some valuable things along the way. But the biggest lesson of all is this: There is no magic key to be found anywhere. If you want to unlock the mysteries of drawing you have to draw, draw and draw some more. Frustration is your enemy, procrastination is your killer.
Like many an amateur I've fallen under the sway of certain artistic trends. For a time I worshipped at the altar of heavy rendering. I spent a lot of time trying to be cartoony and for a very long period everything I drew was a stylistic emulation of a certain artist's "how to" books. I'm still trying to unlearn a lot of bad habits. The drawings accompanying this entry were all done while watching movies at home.
If you're an amateur (or aspiring if you prefer) comic book artist I'd like to recommend the following books:
The Figure by Walt Reed, Anatomy for the artist by Sarah Simblet, How to draw the Human Figure by the Famous Artists School, Posefile Reference by Antartic Press, Perspective for comic book artists by David Chelsea, People and Poses, Women and Girls and Men and Boys by Impact Books, Facial Expressions by Mark Simon, The Human Figure in Motion by Eadward Muybridge, International Gymnast Magazine and Drawing magazine.
I almost forgot to include Comic Book Artist number 11, the Alex Toth issue. It's available from twomorrows.com and Mr. Toth's insights on the craft of comics make it a must read. Until next time stay encouraged and keep drawing.