Industrious Illustrating #34 – Life Drawing 3

Can you believe that the Winter 2023 semester is already almost over? I’m personally gearing up both for Sophomore Year Review and for the upcoming convention tabling season, which means that I’m running around like a headless chicken trying to delegate enough time to all of the projects I have going on (concept art portfolio for my sophomore year project, new prints and branding materials for my convention tabling business, applying for internships…). What has remained consistent is that I’ve been diligently practicing my figure drawing skills in ARTDES 269 twice a week for this whole semester. That means that I have more figure drawings to show of more masc-aligned bodies, both in charcoal and in ink, that show how I’ve further developed my sense of anatomy, value, and constructing 3D forms. I would definitely recommend this course to anyone interested in drawing humans or simply improving their draftsmanship skills, and I’m also interested in seeing how many UMich students would be interested in some kind of figure drawing club or weekly session that would make figure drawing more accessible and regular for both art students and non-art students!

Warning for depictions of artistic nudity under the cut:

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Industrious Illustrating #30 – Self Portraits

While most of what I post is related to freelance work, commercial art, illustration, etc., I do also enjoy drawing from observation to learn from and reinterpret what I see around myself. Just as I try to find visual solutions to questions and problems (what would a giant military robot engineered from a construction model look like?) through stylization, I also try to find ways to convey information about the real world in the most efficient and expressive ways possible. Which is to say, for the self-portraits I’ve made for class over the past few weeks, I’ve simplified my features and the shadows on my body down to express what I’m seeing and feeling in the moment, rather than committing a photorealistic representation to paper. The self-portraits are shown below, starting from the earliest to the most recent (drawn last week).


Out of all of these, I like the most recent one the most because it looks the most developed and thoughtfully realized. It also helps that it was at the largest scale (18×24″) and on the nicest drawing paper I own (Strathmore 400 series), whereas the others were at 9×12″ at the largest and drawn on mediocre drawing paper or mixed media sketch paper. The quality of materials really does matter for traditional art, which is both a major annoyance (supply costs add up very, very fast) and an interesting limiting factor (making the most of the given materials is immensely satisfying to me).

While I’ve been pretty busy with schoolwork and making game assets for “Flamechaser” lately (we’re releasing the 0.58 build soon with an expanded story and more complete visuals/animation/sound effects), I’m also going to try to find time to make watercolor and oil paintings again, either stylized or observed from life. Having to draw people from life on a regular basis has reawakened my interest in traditional art, and my improvement over a few weeks of study feels promising for what I could do if I practice my traditional painting skills more.

Industrious Illustrating #27 – Life Drawing 2

This semester I’m enrolled in ARTDES 269, aka Intro to Figure Drawing, meaning that I’m drawing regularly from live models to hone my skills at drawing human proportions and anatomy from observation. This is something I haven’t been practicing as much as I feel I should because I’ve been so caught up in the grind of making game assets and polished illustrations. But now that I have a mandatory biweekly opportunity to draw the human figure from life, I’m working with charcoal and gray pastels again and falling back in love with drawing humans.

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