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heysawbones's avatar



Part two of my Understanding Your Style: Symbols, Design Pattern, and Anti-Pattern guide/essay-thing.

If you're seeing this first because it came up stacked first in your messages, please, go read part one first! It might be a bit confusing otherwise!

If you like what you see here, please, share it with your friends. I literally put over a week's worth of work into writing, formatting, and illustrating this. If you like it, please support it! This message is extremely important to me, and I've been thinking about making a guide on it for a long time.
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thisisaNORMALname's avatar
The westernization thing at the end made me die laughing.
kittenz77's avatar
The nose thing just blew my mind...
kaiserqueen's avatar
shark235's avatar
No offence but you do realize that western eyes can be large and that western world started the whole big eye thing. However I have to say this is a pretty good tutorial.
DaveBarrack's avatar
I definitely have this problem. I mean, I have a problem with proportions in general, but I definitely have long mid-face-itis, and it's something I've been fighting for years.
mincyy's avatar
That Natalie Portman, i just fucking love. I really, really love that Natalie Portman.
God that is the best thing.
DarkRageTM's avatar
This is really nice, pretty cool tutorial. However, I don't have any plans to stop drawing anime.
Zekehimberry95's avatar
The goal of this tutorial wasn't to get people to stop drawing anime. They mention specifically that anime isn't a bad thing. Its about improving what you want to do by understanding how real life eyes, noses, ect look first.
DarkRageTM's avatar
Oh no, I know, I was just sharing a thought. The tutorial is really cool.
C-Puff's avatar
This tutorial is very good.... but it doesn't solve the problem you stated at the beginning of the first part which is this; "Learning to draw from life is only one step".
Basically, the real question I was looking for was "How to go about simplifying" which is my biggest problem. So, although interesting and helpful, the entire argument just looped back on itself; "Study from life".

Which is good advice.... but then what? How does one learn how and what to simplify and how to do so? I know, I know. "You learn to do so innately with practice" but to find some DIRECTION to start in would also be nice.

Nevertheless, good advice anyway. Just sad to find it's not what I was looking for as I thought it was when I read part 1.
Penny-Dragon's avatar
Go back to studying from different artists. Once you know the basics of how anatomy works (studying from life) go out and look at other artists and see how they've translated life into symbols. They've already simplified the form. Look at a wide variety of art and take inspiration from your favourites, combine that inspiration with your own knowledge of the form. Practice practice practice until your comfortable with how it all looks. By that time you'll probably have your own 'style', i.e your own set of symbols you use to represent a form. 

Hope it helps :)
Spudfuzz's avatar
Omg this tutorial is great. I had a good laugh. I'm kinda in this boat, though not nessecarily transitioning to 'western', just adding a little more realism here and there. I have been borrowing directly from real life but nose length is actually one thing I kinda struggle with now and again. I notice in real life models, it can go either way. Some people seem to have short noses or long ones (not nearly as long as your example, though). I'm trying find a balance between natural variations vs 'proper proportions' when it seems like half the time most people's bodies don't like to follow the "Average Human Look 1.0" so it makes tough work trying to pick apart technical corrections vs personal preference in people's critiques.  I just don't want to fall into that category where you can only tell the characters apart by their hair and eye colours. :crying:
IamMonday78's avatar
Good Lord I really needed this!! As luck would have it TF2 is something I have really been trying to draw for the longest!! This will defnitely help me and oddly encouraged me even more.
usernamesarefornerds's avatar
guilty as charged. will definately keep this in mind. was just drawing and noticed i drew someone and they had a weird nose Confused 
CorvoPls's avatar
I've been stuck in this rut for a few years now, thanks a lot for this! It's really helpful c:
Okasen's avatar
This was a really great read (as was part one) and now I'm gonna go check for long noses.
BugzAttack's avatar
Oh my gosh, This explains so much.  Wow! 
CeberusTwice's avatar
In terms of the "updated" drawing of that woman, she doesn't just have too long of a nose; she doesn't have enough chin.
Just observing, if it helps anyone.
who-the-moon-is's avatar
:clap: Thank you for saying this. All of it. It's great.
Hopfield's avatar
This is so true! But it works the other way round as well.  I'm happy with natural proportions in portraits but can't draw the more stylized faces at all, because my brain only sees the pattern of big eyes, small nose instead of the change in symbols used.  Drawing less stylized features at 'anime' sizes looks weird.  Really weird.  The appeal of moving away from realistic faces is being able to convey big expressions with fewer lines - economy of line is the goal.  I'm finding Disney animations are a nice middle ground to try and ease myself away from realism, with quite realistic proportions in the earlier cartoons (ignoring Snow White - she's a freak), then progressing to a much more cartoony and anime influenced look once you get to Aladdin or thereabouts.  There's a lot of habit breaking involved, but it's fun.  Sorry, babbling - this tutorial is awesome, going straight onto my favourites.

And Andrew Loomis is back in print! At least he is in the UK - got my hardcover 'Figure Drawing for all It's Worth' for Christmas, and it's amazing.
arhiee's avatar
CrimeanDoodler's avatar
This is really insightful.
Cow-Butt's avatar
I was just thinking about TF2 when I read that. I had to double check to see if I hallucinated it. 
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