BackReturn Home

Manga Materials YouTube Video Notes

Just to be clear, most of this material is quoted from each video, but some of it is also my interpretation of what is in the videos.

Video List

Click a title to jump to that section.

01. Three Tips On How To Draw Natural-Looking Movement [Whole Body]
02. Three Tips To Dramatically Improve Neck & Shoulder Drawings [Upper Body]
03. Six Tips For Learning Art Anatomy [Expertise]
04. Three Tips For Drawing Attractive Male Stomachs & Hips
05. Three Tips To Get Explosive Improvement In Your Face Drawings [Upper Body]
06. Enjoy Learning! Effective Ways To Study Art [Expertise]
Choosing A Plan: Differences Between Patreon and pixivFANBOX
07. Three Tips For Good Chest & Shoulder Drawings [Upper Body]
08. Six Secrets Of Drawing Full-Body Poses In Profile [Whole Body]
09. Figure Drawing With Posemaniacs [Expertise]
10. Seven Important Uses Of Perspective In Character Drawing [Expertise]
11. Five Strategies For Training Copying Skills [Expertise]
12. A Professional's Workflow: How To Draw Faces With Good Form [Upper Body]
13. Achieving Goals With Less Frustration [Expertise]
14. The Need For External Approval: Reasons & Solutions [Expertise]
15. Understanding How To Draw Attractive Hands [Arm To Hand]
16. Perspective For Beginners (1-Point) [Technique / Practice]
17. Improving Your Face Drawings (Part 2) [Upper Body]
18. Real-Time Demo: 10-90 Second Drawings [Technique / Practice]
19. Why High/Low Angle Views Of The Body Are Difficult To Draw [Expertise]
20. My Five Steps To Achieving More Consistent Drawings [Technique / Practice]
21. How To Draw A Bent Arm Better [Arm To Hand]
22. How NOT To Draw Faces [Upper Body]
23. Why Your Drawings Look Flat [Upper Body]
24. Neck Position In Profile View [Upper Body]
25. Waist Parts That Connect The Upper and Lower Body
26. Reasons Why Your Low-Angle Views Don't Look Right [Upper Body]
27. Basics Of Drawing Gentle Movement
28. The Structure Of The Hairline

Summaries

01. Three Tips On How To Draw Natural-Looking Movement [Whole Body]

[Video Link]

Tips:
1. Contrapposto
2. Rotational Movement
3. Pelvic Movement

Tip #1: The horizontal axes of the body (i.e.: face, hips, and shoulders) are almost never parallel to one another. When they are, such positions usually look stiff.

Try to do a pose in a mirror before attempting to draw it. Understand the range of motion, balance, etc.

Tip #2: When doing things like kicks, the head, upper body, and pelvis are all tilted in different directions. As the body rotates, other things can occur as well (e.g.: the arms might extend to keep balance and swing in the direction of the motion).

The spine is the axis of rotation for the torso. It has three parts:
1. The cervial spine supports the neck. It can rotate 40-50 degrees to either side.
2. The thoracic spine is behind the ribcage.
3. The lumbar spine is the lower back.

Where the thoracic and lumbar spine meet, only 35 degree rotation to either side is possible. Where the lumbar spine attaches to the pelvis, only 5 degree rotation to either side is possible (although, there may be slight variation depending upon the person).

In summary: The range of motion decreases as you go down the body. Since the rotation of the torso is controlled by the thoracic and lumbar regions, it can usually only reach a maximum of 40 degrees in either direction, so do not unintentionally over twist your character. It will look unnatural because the muscles cannot move that far!.

Tip #3: The pelvis is connected to the movement of the hip joint. If you lift your leg off the ground, your pelvis tilts backward. If your raise your leg, the pelvis tilts sideways as your body weight shifts to one side.

To create natural-looking poses, think about the structure and function of body parts as you create them.


02. Three Tips To Dramatically Improve Neck & Shoulder Drawings [Upper Body]

[Video Link]

Of all areas of the body, the shoulder has the widest range of motion. There are lots of muslces concentrated in this area that change position depending upon the pose.

Tips:
1. Learn bone structure.
2. Verify the structure with diagrams from three different views.
3. Think of the neck as the center of a mountain with three ridges.

Tip #1: The are four basic parts to the neck and shoulder skeleton. The cervical vertebrae, the clavicles (or collarbones), the scapula (or shoulder blade), and the humerus (upper arm bone). Even when drawing a view where not all of them are visible (e.g.: the scapula won't be seen from the front), it is important to keep all of them mind because they all work together!

You cannot draw what you do not fully understand.

Tip #2: Use draft views (front, side, top). Learn to think of objects from various angles. This understanding can affect how things are drawn. To give a couple of examples:

• From the front, the clavicle might look like a straight line, but from the top, it curves. In connection to the scapula, it makes a kind of elongated ring-shape. From the side, it stops at the shoulder. It does not poke into the neck or back. The clavicle does not angle backwards. The humerus is right below it.

• The cervical vertebrae connect to the skull at an angle so the neck looks tilted when viewed from the side. Therefore, the neck seems to taper slightly when viewed from the front. When viewed from the top, the spine, clavicle and scapula joints make a straight line. This can help us align things properly when looking at it in profile.

In short, if you draw something in a position more appropriate to another view, then the illusion of depth is dampened or destroyed.

Tip #3: The trapezius muscle is like a cape, extending from the base of the skull down the back, wrapping around the shoulder towards the front of the clavicle as it does so. It gives the shoulders a triangular looking form (hence, the "mountain"). If you don't know about it, you may be tempted to draw the shoulders as flat, almost rectangular in shape. This idea extends to clothes. From a size view, people sometimes draw collars as a horizontal line, but the existence of the trapezius, the effect of gravity on the clothes, and the tilt of the neck make it more appropriate to use an diagonal one.

While the silhouette is important, do not overly rely on it when trying to understand the underlying structure. Once the structure is understood, then you can use simplified forms instead of drawing out all of the anatomy.


03. Six Tips For Learning Art Anatomy [Expertise]

[Video Link]

Tip #1: Is it necessary to know anatomy for art?

It depends on what type of art you do.

Tip #2: Isn't a posing doll enough?

While posing dolls and 3-D posing apps are useful, they do not get all of the details of the human body and may lead to stiff looking poses. Sometimes people become overly dependent on these tools. 3-D posing apps can be very time consuming to use as well.

Tip #3: Is it difficult to start studying anatomy?

There are many easily available tools that can make it easy.

Tip #4: Will understanding anatomy improve my drawing?

It will help keep figures from looking "off", especially when drawn from different angles, because you know the structure, function, and connections between the body parts. It also helps to bring intutive knowledge into conscious awareness. By carefully building up a model in your mind, you can draw characters from any angle without reference.

Tip #5: Do I need to remember the names of muscles?

Since there are many muslces, knowing the names will help you to differentiate them from one another. The shape and location of a muslce is often easy to determine if you know its name.

For example, the bicep is attached to the front of the upper arm, while the tricep is attached to the back of the upper arm. The former contracts to bend the arm, while the latter contracts to stretch it. They work together! You can even personify the muscles to make this relationship easier to remember.

Tip #6: Do I need to know about bones?

Understanding the bones can keep the muscles from shifting around, especially on parts where lots of muscles gather (like the underarm). Bones have a fixed shape and size, while muscles do not. [Analogy: Bones are like streets and muslces are individual houses on those streets. Even if you have the address, you cannot get to place without knowing the streets that connect to it.]

Bony landmarks help us to find the locations of muslces and the proprotions of body parts.


04. Three Tips For Drawing Attractive Male Stomachs & Hips

[Video Link]

Tips:
1. The pelvis is a crucial part of the lower body.
2. Know the hip and waist muscles.
3. Know the muscles of the abdomen (stomach).

Tip #1: The pelvis is the base of the lower body. The upper part is connected to the spine and the lower part is connected to the legs (via the hip joints). However, out of all of the bones of the body, it also has one of the most complex shapes. Simplify it before trying to fully understand its form.

In the front view, the pelvis is often simplified into a heart-shape. The pubic bone is at the point of the heart and the iliac crests are the two curves.

Tip #2: The hips and waist are formed by the external oblique muscle (one on each side of the torso). It covers much of the side of the torso, but the bottom part sits neatly into the iliac crest. These muslces are usually more defined on men.

Tip #3: The rectus abdominis covers the abdomen. It is divided into two halves vertically, and into 5 parts horizontally. The top part is usually shorter. The middle three protrusions are what make up a "six-pack". The bottom part is usually longer and ends at the pubic bone.

In summary, the iliac crest and pubic bone are related to the muslces of the waist and abdomen.

Understand the basic forms so that you can tell what is happening if the pose changes. Some examples:

• The pelvis seems straight when standing, but tilts back when sitting and will point the crotch upward.

• Below the iliac crest are two thigh muscles, the tensor fascia latae and the sartorius. These bulge when sitting.

• When leaning forward, the upward tilt of the pelvis causes folds in the stomach area. This "belly fold" is near the belly button. On males with more defined ab muscles, it may form a cross-shape.

If you are going for anatomical accuracy, do not add parts that aren't there, remove parts that should be there, or modify their relationships too much.


05. Three Tips To Get Explosive Improvement In Your Face Drawings [Upper Body]

[Video Link]

Tips:
1. Know the correct shape of the head.
2. Keep in mind the bumps and indentations of the skull when drawing facial features.
3. Know the correct position of the ears on the skull.

There is some freedom when drawing things that are stylized, but it is helpful to start with a realistic form and modify it.

Tip #1: The width of the skull in side view is larger than its width in front/back view. [Ratio given is 1:0.7] However, skull shape varies a little between different races. For example, the "Mongoloid" skull has a tendency to be flatter on the back and rounder overall in side view. The "Caucasoid" skull is usually longer on the back giving it an elliptical-shape when viewed from the side.

The top and bottom views of the skull are also important. They make sure that we give the head a sense of curvature. Drawing facial features according to straight construction lines will make the face look flat!

Tip #2: The eye socket, cheekbone, area around the mouth, and a few other locations (like the brow ridge, nose bridge, chin) are important when using our understanding of the skull to draw the face.

The eye sockets are the largest indentations of the skull. Do not draw the eyes conforming to a flat surface (or even a curved one!). Instead, pay attention to the roundness of the eyeballs as they exist in the hollow of the eye socket. This will give the eyes more depth.

When the jaw is closed, the area around the mouth protrudes slightly. This might not be relevant in a front view, but is important to keep in mind when drawing the face at an angle. This is especially evident when looking up at the face (e.g.: instead of the mouth being a straight line, it forms a curve).

The cheekbones are located diagonally below the eye sockets. Note their location and symmetry when you draw them.

Tip #3: The zygomatic process (or cheekbone) extends towards the ear canal like the arms on a pair of glasses. The ear canal is in the middle of the ear, so if you know the position of the cheekbone, you can also locate the ear. Further, the ear is near the center of the skull in side view. We can estimate the shape of the skull with a cuboid to find its perspective, and then divide the side with diagonal lines to place the ear.


06. Enjoy Learning! Effective Ways To Study Art [Expertise]

[Video Link]

Do not get overwhelmed by all of the information out there. Begin with the part you want to master the most. Find enjoyment in it. Do not force yourself to learn. This will keep you motivated and allow you to absorb information better.

When you uncover why you are learning something, the thrill of understanding it will encourage you to learn more. If you get really good at drawing one thing, then your observation skills increase and make you want to get good at the other parts.

To increase your effectiveness, think of these four things:
1. Input (Study)
2. Output (Application)
3. Short-Term Memory
4. Long-Term Memory

There should be a balance between input and output. This helps to translate information from short-term to long-term memory.

It is not enough to look at things. What you can mentally understand and recall is different from what you can physically do. [Analogy: One can know and remember the rules of a sport without necessarily being able to play it well.]

Analyze while you copy in order to learn. Do not go on "autopilot".

Example: When studying a stationary object, find images of it from various angles (front, side, and top). Pay attention to the bumps and indentations along its surface. Visualize its internal structure. Write down the things that you notice using all five of your senses to imprint the information clearly into your memory.

Method used here: Look up body part in references. Then, draw it in a single pose from 35 different angles (with contour lines in the silhouette and color coding muscles).

Do not copy silhouettes as they are only 2-D representations. Consider the form within them.

Stay dilligent, review and repeat often.

Summary:

Start with what you want to improve on first. If you only read without applying, then it might be forgotten. Likewise, drawing blindly will not increase your knowledge and skill. Therefore, balance input with output. Continuously alternate between them.


Choosing A Plan: Differences Between Patreon and pixivFANBOX

[Video Link]

This video just talks a little bit about the differences between their Patreon and their pixivFANBOX...I'd love to sign up some day. It looks like a ton of useful information.


07. Three Tips For Good Chest & Shoulder Drawings [Upper Body]

[Video Link]

Tips:
1. Understand the chest skeleton and S-shaped curve of the spine.
2. Understand the deltoids and pectoralis major muscles.
3. Correctly position the breast and nipples.

Tip #1: While the S-curve of the spine might be obvious from a side-view, it also affects the front-view. The ribcage is ~30 degrees from the vertical. It tilts upward. Therefore, the sternum is not just a vertical line but a curve. If it is drawn as a vertical line, the character will look hunched over in an awkward manner.

Tip #2: The deltoid is the "shoulder muscle". It surrounds the clavicle (collarbone) and scapula (shoulder blade). It attaches to the middle of the humerus (upper arm bone).

Men tend to have more developed deltoids, so they are usually more prominent. The humerus can be used as a landmark for women with thinner deltoids. The line from the chest to each of the shoulders often looks different between the sexes too.

The pectoralis major is the "chest muscle". It moves from the sternum and clavicle in the center of the chest and inserts into the humerus. Therefore, the chest and shoulders are not separate parts. They are directly connected! The chest expands and contracts as the shoulder moves.

Tip #3: On women, the breasts do not hang straight from the clavicle. They are lower.

The chest is not the same thickness throughout. Below the pectoralis major is a deep muscle called the pectoralis minor, and below that is some fat. This fat is the thickest part of the chest. The upper-center part of the chest makes a sort of crescent-shape below the clavicles and above the pectoralis major muscles. This area is mostly bone (sternum and ribcage). It contains no deep muscles or fat. Sometimes people draw the chest muscles or breasts too high and cover up this section in a way that looks unnatural.

The nipples do not point straight out but angle outward about 45 degrees. On a man's chest, the nipples might seem low, but if you were to add the mammary gland and fat of a woman's breast, then the nipples would actually be around the same spot.


08. Six Secrets Of Drawing Full-Body Poses In Profile [Whole Body]

[Video Link]

"Secrets":
1. Lines of the body (flow)
2. Bones of the face
3. Bones around the neck area
4. Bones of the chest and shoulder area
5. Bones of the hips and waist
6. Bones forming the legs

"Secret" #1: The spine makes an S-curve. The leg bones are vertical, while the feet are horizontal. When we add muscles, the leg also becomes a gentle S-curve. S-curves are prevalent throughout the body. Do not think of limbs as straight lines, as that can lead to a stiff look.

The overall "flow" of the body is important to keep in mind as it gives us a general goal to aim for.

"Secret" #2: The skull is more wide in a side-view than in a front-view. However, the eye sockets are wider in a front-view than in a side-view.

Pay close attention to the forehead and how it curves back. Sometimes this area is drawn strangely, with a much smaller slope than it should have.

Make sure the ear is located in the center of the skull. Treat the side of the head as a square and divide it diagonally to find its center.

The angle of the jaw (the gonial angle of the mandible) is not a straight line from chin to ear. It has a bend in it. It also is usually less pronounced in women and children due to their rounder cheeks.

"Secret" #3: The cervical spine attaches to the skull, but is farther back. The front portion has room for the trachea. Also, remember to angle the neck diagonally.

Draw the hyoid bone connecting the jaw and clavicle. Note the sternocleidomastoid muscle that extends down the neck from behind the ear, as well as the trapezius muscle on the back that wraps around the shoulders from behind.

"Secret" #4: Draw the ribcage tilted up 30 degrees to show good posture.

The curve of the back means the shoulders tilt forward slightly (~20 degrees) when viewed from above. This can also be seen from the side, because when the shoulders are forward, the back is also visible behind them. This makes the S-curve of the spine noticable.

Take note of the pectoralis major and how it connects the chest to the humerus. Again, all of these things gently curve. They are not straight lines.

"Secret" #5: The spine is towards the back of the body. The ribcage houses the heart and lungs, so front part of the torso contains the stomach and intestines protected by the rectus abdominis muscles which stretch between the sternum and pubic bone.

Take note of the iliac crest of the pelvis and the external oblique muscles that sit on top of it. The shape of buttocks is formed by muslces that attach to the iliac crest. However, the crotch area is hidden by the muscles of the hips and thighs when viewed from the side. Understanding the skeleton can help us to pinpoint the location of areas that are hidden from view.

"Secret" #6: In side-view, the amount of flesh is mostly balanced on either side of the femur bone within the thighs. However, below the knee, the bones are near the front and the back is calf muscle. This is because it requires a lot of power to bend one's knees.

We can find the position of the foot in relation to the calf by drawing an imaginary line down from the knee to the foot. If it hits the center of the foot, the leg is properly balanced. Do not draw the foot too far forward or back.


09. Figure Drawing With Posemaniacs [Expertise]

[Video Link]

3-D posing apps, like Posemanics, can be used for doing croquis (or gesture) drawings.

Doing timed sketches (e.g.: 30 seconds) can help us learn how to quickly capture silhouettes.

Croquis (French for "sketch") are quick sketches that capture important general features of a figure. It is different from "copying", which attempts to replicate as much detail as possible. [Analogy: The former is like sprinting and the latter is like high-load strength training. They are both exercise, but each of them have different aims.]

Posemaniacs has different time limit settings. Try all of them for yourself.

Try to increase your accuracy within the time limit by focusing in on ways to simplify your drawings in useful ways. For example:

At 10 seconds, get down the contrapposto, the spine / midline of the torso, and the lines of the arms and legs. This is the "core" of the body. If the core is solid, anything added to it should work well.

If you have time, add the location of the main joints (such as knees and elbows), the gravity line, and the overall perspective of the character (e.g.: with a cross on the ground).

Try starting from different parts of the figure to see which leads to the best results. For example, drawing the pelvis first may result in a more "stable" looking character because it acts as the point of balance between the upper and lower body.

Some parts can naturally lead into the next as well. To continue the above example, the gravity line can be dropped down from the pelvis and then the perspective cross can be drawn.

Get used to doing this. When it becomes easy, slowly bump up the amount of time taken. Do not add more detail until you get a consistently solid core.

At 45 seconds, get down some of the 3-D forms of the body. Use cross-sections of the the shoulder, pelvis, and side of the torso ("figure-8"). Keep simplified shapes in mind.

At 60 seconds, get down some extra lines to explain the muscles. Use your anatomy knowledge to flesh out characters done from imagination.

Have clear goals. Keep aware of your process. Do not be afraid to "fail", just continue to learn.


10. Seven Important Uses Of Perspective In Character Drawing [Expertise]

[Video Link]

Perspective applies to everything within an image.

Uses:
1. Determine the perspective of the overall space
2. Determine lengths based on perspective
3. Determine symmetry using perspective
4. Find the center of gravity and ground surface using perspective
5. Find the center of a surface using diagonals
6. Using perspective to show depth and form
7. Using perspective to determine angles

Use #1: If two characters are interacting, they should be lined up properly (e.g.: looking into each other's eyes). This can be done through an understanding of the space that they are in. What is its perspective?

Sometimes a thing will be in one perspective while some part of it is in a different perspective (e.g.: clothes might be drawn seen from one direction, while the body is positioned in another). Understanding perspective can help us fix these kinds of issues.

We can and should learn to freehand perspective grids to check perspective, but it is okay to start out with premade ones.

Use #2 & #3: Be sure that the lengths and positioning of symmetrical items conforms to the proper perspective. Sometimes things on one side might be too long/short or too large/small. [Check if parallel guidelines converge to the same vanishing point.]

Much of the human form is symmetrical. Although it may change a bit when in motion, perspective can help us to keep it from getting distorted. Note the lengths of limbs (like the arms and legs) and positions of joints (like the elbows and knees) relative to one another. See that they are aligned with each other properly.

It is important to mesh the perspective that a character is drawn in to the perspective of the background. Think of them as a set.

Use #4 & #5: Drop a line from the center of gravity of a character to the floor to see if they are balanced.

We can test if both feet of a standing character are planted correctly on the ground by connecting the toes and heels with lines. It should make a rectangle in perspective. To correct it, make the rectangle match the perspective of the ground surface.

If we divide this rectangle diagonally to find its center, it can also help us to find a vertical line that touches the character's center of gravity.

Use #6: Understanding perspective is useful for more complicated poses too. The more extreme the angle, the more important it becomes for understanding depth. For example, find the location of the ear by treating the side of the head as a square in perspective and dividing it diagonally to find the center.

Use #7: It you pay close attention to proprotions and angles in draft views, you can replicate the same things from any angle with a knowledge of perspective!

Perspective grids make it easy to understand the proper lengths and locations of foreshortened objects. However, the better you understand it, the more you can estimate by eye rather than having to rely heavily on grids for accuracy.


11. Five Strategies For Training Copying Skills [Expertise]

[Video Link]

Copying is intended to train one's ability to carefully observe, not so much their mechanical ability.

Start with gesture drawing and copying with analysis. Establish relevant laws/theories and repeatedly put them into practice. Develop effective strategies and consistently apply them. Be aware of what you are doing and why.

Strategies:
1. Capture the rough general shape
2. Judge horizontal and vertical distances accurately
3. Utilize negative space
4. Use angles
5. Connect landmarks

Strategy #1: The accuracy of a silhouette is more important than fine details. It is what determines how "good" a drawing looks.

Once you've gotten the lines of the spine, shoulders, arms, and legs in proportion, adding flesh to this framework without distortion is easier. Place a block-in around the framework to find the amount of space that a pose is likely to take up. These two steps can be done in either order, but both of them help to break down a reference into manageable chunks of information.

Strategy #2: Contain a drawing within a grid and see what parts lie at grid intersections. Use these points as a reference for finding the position and proportion of other parts. The Muller-Lyer Illusion can make one think that things are longer/shorter than they actually are. A grid can keep us from being fooled.

Strategy #3: Negative space is the area around and between parts of a image. Posemaniacs has a negative space function that can be used to practice seeing it. We can use it to get a clearer understanding of silhouettes.

When we get used to it, we can switch between seeing form and seeing negative space at will.

Strategy #4: A grid, and the negative spaces made between it and the subject, can be used to find the angles of various parts. A couple of horizontal and vertical lines is enough to find some right triangles whose corner angles we can easily estimate.

A right angle is 90 degrees. Divide that angle in half once for 45 degrees, and half again for 22-23 degrees.

Draw lines on top of your reference several times in order to work the movement required to make the angle into your muscle memory. With practice, we can replicate lengths and curvature accurately too!

Strategy #5: Connect together landmarks on the body with straight lines and combine them with horizontal and vertical reference lines to find more angles. Again, this will help to make a silhouette undistorted and properly place forms inside of it.

The relative position of the joints within a figure is critical. This method is helpful for making sure they are accurate.

Try different things to discover what works. Do not get stuck in doing the same thing over and over.


12. A Professional's Workflow: How To Draw Faces With Good Form [Upper Body]

[Video Link]

Facial features from the top-down:
• Forehead
• Brow ridge
• Eye sockets
• Cheekbones
• Nose (root, nose bridge, nostrils)
• Lips (upper and lower)
• Chin (top and tip)

In a side view, note how each part points either upward or downward. The brow ridge, nose bridge, upper lip, and top of the chin point upward. The root, nostrils, bottom lip, and tip of the chin point downward.

The order in which you draw things is up to you. A common way of beginning the face is with a cross. This sets up different angles and landmarks of the face.

The eyebrow line is placed, and the position and size of the eyes is added. The height of the eye determines the appearance of age (i.e.: adult or child). They are shorter on an adult face.

The eyebrows are place on the line, and the eye sockets are below them. In three-quarter view, the line between the brows and eyes is a diagonal. This keeps one aware of the eyelid.

The root [or nasion] is in the middle of both eye sockets, just below the arch of the brows. A centerline can be added to check positioning. The nose should be placed carefully as it is the center of the face. If it is misaligned, it will throw everything else off.

Pay close attention to the forehead too. If it is ignored, it can create a strange flow from the brow arch to the top of the head.

While the bulges that make up the mouth might be obvious in a side view, they are sometimes overlooked in a front view. However, even just a small curved line can give it depth. Use the forms of the mouth as a guide for determining the position of the chin.

Keep the cheekbones in mind as you draw the jaw line on either side of the chin. Then, use the cheekbone to place the ear. Remember, the cheekbone extends towards the ear canal. The earhole is about halfway down the ear itself.

A good outline is vital and the result of much practice.

Build up your visual library with good mental models and knowledge of sturcture. Train your eyes to spot distortion. Flip the drawing to check if things are balanced.

Start from proper guidelines before trying to break the rules. Build up completed drawings from rough sketches. Do not ignore the overall feel and hyper-focus on individual facial features as it will most likely lead to something distorted and imbalanced. If the parts are not aligned with one another properly, then it will not look right, even if all the parts are rendered well. To prevent frustration from having to redraw everything, always try to get the overall balance right before moving on to details.

Trace over your rough sketch to clean it up. A thicker outline makes it look more like a 2-D character drawing.

Hair sits on top of the form of the head. Follow the roundness of the head, while paying attention to the hairline and parting. You can vary the light weight to distinguish each part of the face and hair from the other. Line weight should help make everything more clear and readable, but how it is done will depend on the impression that we are trying to give. Start with the outline first so that it does not end up too thick.

Using the nose as a point of reference makes it easier to position the eyes and the other features of the face. You can change your methods and workflow to suit your own needs.

How the eyelid looks when wrapping around the eyeball changes depending on the angle of our view.

The brow area is often more defined and the jawline a bit more angular in adult males. Children and female characters are usually more round and smooth. From a side view, male faces have a tendency to be almost straight with a slight slope; the slope is generally steeper in women.

Understanding the 3-D forms and structure of the face makes applying shadows much easier. Pay attention to what is point towards the light source and what is pointing away from it.

Recap:
1. Know the underlying anatomical sturctures - solid foundations are important.
2. Have a good base sketch. If you do it halfheartedly, you'll run into trouble later, so take your time!
3. Make a clean detailed sketch based on the rough sketch.
4. Adjust line weight to divide up the contours of each part.
5. Pick your light source and add shadow following the structure of your drawing.


13. Achieving Goals With Less Frustration [Expertise]

[Video Link]

Points to consider:
1. Decide what your core motivation is.
2. Work backwards to develop a plan.
3. Make a concrete list of actions to take.

Point #1: Dig deep into the "why". Explore it thoroughly. Then, think about how far you would go to achieve it. What would you sacrifice for it? How much of your life will you dedicate towards it? Take this seriously. Have clear motivations. Keep your goals in mind, and update them regularly as needed.

Point #2: Once our main goal is clear, we must work backwards to figure out the steps we need to take in order to get there. Our main goal could have many sub-goals that lead to its accomplishment. Keep refining it into smaller and easier to achieve goals. Keep in mind that some steps must be done before others.

Point #3: Once all of our goals are organized from the smallest short-term sub-goals to the largest long-term main goal, we need to make a bullet point list of concrete actions that we can take to achieve the smaller goals. What specific steps can we take? Organize this information into a mind map from smallest to largest goal.

In addition to our motive (the "why"), we need a concrete "what" and "how". If it is too broad, then we might give up because we do not have a clear direction. Likewise, the smaller goals must be achievable or we might get overwhelmed.

Even if an action seems small, we will eventually see results if we are consistent. Our progress will accumulate and the hurdles will dissipate until our main goal feels within reach. Do not force yourself to do the "hard" parts first, but find ways to make them easier. Enjoy what you are doing so that you will be encouraged to do it more. Small successes build up momentum.

Sometimes we have to distance ourselves from those who might undermine our constructive goals.

Book Recommendation: Succeed by Heidi Grant Halvorson


14. The Need For External Approval: Reasons & Solutions [Expertise]

[Video Link]

Points to consider:
1. What is the need for validation/approval?
2. Why does wanting validation from others end up making people unhappy?
3. Find what you really want to do.
4. Giving and contributing to others
5. Increasing what you can give

Point #1: Approval is a basic instinctive human need. People are social. They usually desire recognition, acceptance, and praise from others instead of being ignored or criticized.

Point #2: We cannot control other people, so do not struggle for external validation or set goals that depend upon the actions of others. What is your sense of identity? Do not be overly swayed by opinions and lose sight of who you are. Keep mentally-emotionally stable.

Point #3: Find constructive things that you personally enjoy doing. We cannot depend upon others to make us happy. Usually, the need external approval arises from low self-esteem. If you have a void inside of you, it can never be filled with things outside of you (like recognition and approval from others). Do not sacrifice yourself to try to meet the expectations and desires of other people, espeically to the point that you constantly bury the constructive things that you want to do.

Point #4: Fulfill your needs for acknowledgement and praise by giving to others. Share the things you love without becoming overly attached to the response.

Book Recommendation: Give and Take by Adam Grant

• "Givers": People who support others
• "Matchers": People who balance giving and taking
• "Takers": People who try to gain from others

Generally, most people tend to be "Matchers", but "Givers" often end up succeeding in life, even though it may sometimes seem that "Takers" do. Be cautious of "Takers" who attempt who try to manipulate or abuse others.

Point #5: Do not assume that other people know the same things as you. Further, experts in one subject might not know anything about the areas outside of their expertise. Therefore, there is always something that we can share and learn from. Likewise, as we acquire more knowledge and skill by achieving our goals, we increase what we are capable of giving. This applies not just to information, but sharing creative work is a form of giving too.

To be praised for things that aren't meaningful to you can feel empty. Do not put effort towards or chase things like popularity. Popularity can also sometimes lead to "Takers" showing up.

People have a tendency to focus in on the negative for reasons of survival (i.e.: spotting the dangers in the environment). However, do not fall into the trap where some criticism makes you forget all the complements you've been given [i.e.: Negativity Bias].


15. Understanding How To Draw Attractive Hands [Arm To Hand]

[Video Link]

Points to consider:
1. Basic hand structure and forms
2. Structure of the core of the hand
3. Learning the structure of the fingers

Point #1: Many people focus in on the fingers, but the most important aspect is the palm. Both hands and feet have a lot of moving parts and a high range of motion. For example, excluding limbs, there are more than a dozen joints in the human body. One hand alone has more than that! Therefore, people sometimes find them difficult to draw.

A way to simplify it is given...The palm and the fingers are squares. The middle finger and the palm are roughly 1:1 in length. The middle finger is the centerline of the hand. The lengths of each finger vary. The ring and index are slightly shorter than the middle finger. The pinky is around one phalange joint shorter than the ring finger. The thumb moves away from the palm and its second phalange joint (i.e.: where it connects to the hand) is around the middle of the palm. The fingers curve in an arc, while the thumb is independent.

While helpful for gaining an understanding of its proportions, this model is not enough to draw hands and we cannot simply give it thickness in order to fix it.

Point #2: Many people use cuboid shapes to represent the hands, but they are mostly curved. The wrist has an arch to it, so the hand is gently curved. It is not straight.

The back of the hand also slopes. The palm has pads of fat on it (e.g: the hypothenar eminence on the pinky finger side and the fleshy thenar eminence on the thumb side). The hypothenar eminence affects the silhouette of the back view of the hand, while the thenar eminence affects the silhouette of the side view of hand. Both make a slight bulge.

When you do not fully understand the structure of an object you cannot draw it from other angles.

Point #3: The base of the fingers forms a diagonal surface (e.g.: notice how the webbed spaces between the fingers slant downward when viewing the back of the hand). We see more of the finger when viewing the back of the hand than the palm side.

The knuckles are behind a pad of fat in the upper palm when viewed palm side.

The fingers have three joints each, while the thumb has two. The joints have ligaments which make them bulge. The backside of the fingers are bony, while the frontside is padded by ligaments and fat.

Draw male hands with thicker fingers and more emphasis on the first two finger joints, decreasing from the middle to the tip. Keep things soft and gentle for feminine hands, especially the middle joint. Make the fingertips thinner and make the nails pointier.


16. Perspective For Beginners (1-Point) [Technique / Practice]

[Video Link]

Points to consider:
1. Eye Level and Vanishing Points
2. Drawing cubes in space
3. Reproducing dimensions accurately
4. Field of view limitations
5. Judging distance to eliminate distortion
6. Using digital drawing functions

Point #1: The Eye Level is a horizontal line. Place a dot on this line to represent a Vanishing Point.

Point #2: Draw a square at Eye Level. Connect the Vanishing Point to the two corners of the square that are closest to it with lines. Cut off these lines verticially to form a simple cube shape.

The Eye Level is how high we are from the floor. Always try to envision its location wherever you look. Take a box-like object and move it up-and-down and from left-to-right in front of you to see how the sides that are visible to you change depending upon the position of the object relative to your Eye Level. Repeat Point #2 with squares of different sizes and different positions on the paper.

Point #3: Set your Vanishing Point to the left and make a large square to your right. Connect the corner of the square to the Vanishing Point. Make smaller squares that fit within those lines. Since we know the dimensions of the square closest to us, the smaller squares represent the same size in perspective. This can help us to gauge the size of distant objects.

Make the squares into cubes by cutting the lines off vertically and horizontally. The distance between the cuts and the sides of the squares should get progressively smaller as the squares themselves get smaller. The sides are NOT the same width for every cube. The closer we get to the Vanishing Point the more narrow the sides of the cube are.

Point #4: If you place a cube too far from the Vanishing Point, it may start to appear more rectangular. It is becoming distorted because it is outside of our field of vision.

Point #5: Place circles around the outside of the cubes. If they start to become ellipses, then they are too far from the Vanishing Point. Likewise, if you don't know where to cut off the Vanishing Point lines vertically and/or horizontally to form a cube, then surround it in a circle!

Point #6: Sketch the layout of a square room in top view. Then sketch the side view to determine the height of furniture and other objects.

You can use the Transform tool in Clip Studio Paint (or some other graphics program) to put the layout in perspective. Extend lines from its edges to find its Vanishing Point and draw the Eye Level. Extend vertical lines upwards from all four corners of the room. Measure the height to the ceiling, and then extend lines from these new corners to the Vanishing Point to form the ceiling and back wall.

Use Perspective Rulers (i.e.: a setting that aims all lines drawn to the Vanishing Point), Vector Layers (i.e.: a layer that turns lines into vectors so that they can be resized and edited easily), and the Straight Line Tool to make it easy.

If you want to make it realistic, use photo reference to add details.

Vector Layers can also be used to change line weight.


17. Improving Your Face Drawings (Part 2) [Upper Body]

[Video Link]

This is a continuation of Videos #5 and #12. Those videos focused in on the eye socket, cheekbone, and area around the mouth. This video focuses in on the areas from the eyebrows to the nose and from the jaw to the neck.

Points to consider:
1. The forehead and browbone
2. Structure of the nose
3. Tip of the chin and lower jaw (mandible)

Point #1: The browbone is located above the eye socket. Above it is the forehead. It is a common mistake to forget the browbone and/or forehead. While there is variation in style, to go directly from the eyes back towards the top of the head makes it seem deformed.

The browbone is prominent in men. The eyebrows are located on the browbone. Knowing this helps us to keep from unintentionally shifting them around. The eyebrows move up and down with the frontalis muscle.

Point #2: The nose has several parts (the nasal root, the nose bridge, the nose tip, the apex, the alar or wings, the nasal column, and the nostrils).

The nasal root is just below the browbone, in-between the eye sockets. Understanding the browbone and root make it easier to draw the eye socket area.

It is also easier to add detail to a simplified nose structure. Although, this is sometimes overlooked when people stylize their noses as a single line. The top surface of the nose has width. The start of the nasal root and nose bridge is not the midline. Paying attention to the width helps to keep it from looking deformed.

Adjusting the sizing and balance between the parts of the nose can lead to unique variations. Shortening the root and lengthening the bridge makes the nose look longer. Omitting the root and widening the bridge gives it a chunky look. Adult males usually have longer nose bridges, while a shorter nose bridge is often more feminine and/or youthful.

The larger the wings of the nose the larger the nostrils too. Think of the apex of the nose as a sphere, and add the nostrils and nasal column to it. The nasal column leads through the nasolabial folds to the center of the top lip. [I believe they are referring to the philtrum.] This helps make the nose look 3-dimensional.

Sometimes people think that the structure does not matter when it comes to extreme stylization. However, understanding the structure is helpful here too!

The connection between the eyes and the sides of the nose is clarified by seeing the eye sockets, nose bridge, and cheeks as distinct parts. Shadows can be added to them to differentiate them (depending upon the lighting).

Point #3: The bend in the chin is prominent in males. It is usually more round and soft in females and younger characters. The chin is easier to connect to the jaw if you think of it as a distinct form. Like the nose shape, the chin shape can give characters a unique look.

The base of the jaw leading from the chin to the neck is sometimes forgotten. It looks "off". To remedy this: Look at the jawbone from below. It looks like a triangle. Cutting of the tip of the triangle to form an elongated trapezoid gives the general shape of the jawbone. The hyoid bone forms a boundary between the jaw and neck. It is where we transition from between the two parts.

When drawing the bottom of the jaw, make sure that the curved space is correct. Drawing the entire lower jaw before adding the neck can help.

Awareness of the skeleton can help to reduce distortions. Even stylized and deform characters have a skeleton as a base. [Analogy: A house with a weak foundation cannot stand.]


18. Real-Time Demo: 10-90 Second Drawings [Technique / Practice]

[Video Link]

This is a continuation of Video #9.

If you make gesture drawings with overly round heads and straight limbs (i.e.: "stickmen"), then you won't get as much out of timed practice. Do not draw symbols. Draw what you actually see. Heads look closer to ovals and limbs look closer to curves. In actuality, they are forms with a front, side, and top surface, but it is fine to capture them as ovals and curves.

Observe your references carefully to plan out your approach before you start doing timed gesture drawing. This will help you to use that time effectively. Again, gesture drawings are good for training your observational skills, not so much for increasing your mechanical ability.

No output without correct input first. If all you see in a reference is a stickfigure, then you may get stuck just drawing stickfigures in your practice. Trace the reference and analyze the structure to get an idea of what to do. Then, try to capature the same sorts of shapes without tracing during timed gesture drawing. We are looking for the general length and orientation of bones, and the overall silhouette. No details. Muscles and other forms are for longer drawings.

Never copy on autopilot. Analyze carefully.


19. Why High/Low Angle Views Of The Body Are Difficult To Draw [Expertise]

[Video Link]

Points to consider:
1. Perspective knowledge
2. Knowledge of muscle structure
3. The "wrap-around" technique

Point #1: Dynamic poses can only be drawn with a strong understanding of perspective. We have to understand how things are arranged and move through space.

If you only understand how something looks at eye-level, then you might only draw it at eye-level, even when you intend to draw it at a different angle. How high or low a thing is relative to our eye determines what surfaces we can see and how much of them are visible. Cross-sections of a form can tell you how angled it is [because the degree of those ellipse-like shapes will change].

Sometimes people will compress the top of a figure to make it look like a high-angle view, but it just ends up looking distorted. Instead, the angles become steeper the lower you go.

Point #2: Muscles are 3-dimensional objects, not just circles or ovals. They might seem tricky because they have multiple intertwined layers and change shape with movement. From extreme angles, their form may be quite different from what one would expect. Understand the front, side, and top views thoroughly.

Point #3: Only focusing on the silhouette makes things look flat, and when things are viewed from an unfamilar angle, it may look squished. Always be aware of the hidden form ["draw through"]. Example: A collar may look quite angular if we do not give the neck and ribcage depth. "Wrap-around" the form! [Use cross-contours.]

Once we understand how these cross-contours work, we can combine this knowledge with perspective. For example, the inside of the collar may be visible from certain angles.

High and low angles require an understanding of 3-point perspective. The angle and curvature of lines gets steeper in these views.

The first step in learning anything is to acknowledge how much we do not yet know. Only then can we develop a concrete approach towards fixing it. Get into the habit of assessing your progress, planning out what needs to be done, and following through on it consistently. Do not get overwhelmed. Take it step-by-step and enjoy the process.


20. My Five Steps To Achieving More Consistent Drawings [Technique / Practice]

[Video Link]

If you have no experience with drawing from life or from reference, you might be tempted to simply do an outline without any plan. And if the silhouette looks wrong, adding more detail won't correct it. The following tools can help...

Steps:
1. Vertical and horizontal lines
2. Relative positioning of components
3. Line angles and triangles
4. Negative space
5. Ratios and proportions

We can start by building up the silhouette with individual shapes or by doing an outline and filling it in.

Step #1 & #2: Check if things line up using horizontal and vertical lines. This can help us to make sure that parts are in the right place relative to one another. For example, connect joints with horizontal lines.

Step #3: Form triangles by connecting different landmarks to one another with lines. This makes it easier to gauge the orientation of things according to the angles within the triangles.

Step #4: The areas around different parts can also tell us if they are the correct size and distance from one another. Contain the entire figure within a rectangle if necessary.

Step #5: Reference one part against another. If we know that two parts should be of a similar size from a particular view, we can use this knoweldge to our advantage. Check the overall proprotions as well (e.g.: the midpoint to the entire height).

Simplify as much as possible to minimize errors.

Try drawing an outline without any plan. Then, put the reference in a grid and mark off some landmarks. Do the same for the outline you just drew. Compare the two. You will be able to spot which points are misaligned. Try to correct it using the tools listed above.

It is ok to think through your drawing process and prepare in advance. If you know how to make corrections, then you can also get greater accuracy in real-time.

If someone seems to draw accurately with little effort, it is because they have made a habit out of constantly observing what is happening as they draw. They take cues from the positional relationships and surrounding guidelines [even if these guidelines only exist within their imagination and are not explicitly marked on the page!].

Do not just focus in on the outline and draw on autopilot using symbols that do not match up with what you intend. Build up useful mental models.

We can take a part (e.g.: the size of the head) and use it as a point of reference for all other lengths. Parts of the body that are symmetrically paired (like shoulders) can help us to understand how to line things up properly. Pay attention to connections (e.g.: the position of the pelvis can help us to determine the orientation of the legs). Learn anatomy and apply that knowledge. Everything is interconnected.

Optical illusions and assumptions can mislead us. Be patient and measure. Copying is to train our observation skill. No matter how good our motor skill, we cannot draw what we do not know.


21. How To Draw A Bent Arm Better [Arm To Hand]

[Video Link]

Points:
1. The width of the arms
2. Orientation of the elbow
3. Angles and cross-sections of arm parts

Point #1: The width and length of the arms should be relatively the same (depending upon the viewing angle), even if one of them is not visible. Do not make the arm that is farther away too small!

Point #2: The bone that makes up the elbow is actually part of the forearm. Therefore, when the arm bends, the elbow moves too. In a side view, pay close attention to how the elbow tilts up or down based on how much the arm is bent.

Point #3: Cross-sections of the arm are usually ellipses that become more circular near the elbow (when it is bent). Pay close attention to the crease of the elbow. Draw a straight line out from the crease to see what it aligns with. Use this guideline and cross-section ellipses to make sure that the forearm and upper arm are connected together correctly. If it is at an awkward or extreme angle, then it may look broken.

Always use yourself as a reference. Do the same pose and check it within a mirror to see if the drawing makes sense. For example, if your hand is resting on your head, then see where the elbow is relative to your face.

Use cross-section ellipses to understand the proportion and orientation of 3-D forms.


22. How NOT To Draw Faces [Upper Body]

[Video Link]

If a face drawing looks flat, it is usually because we are interpreting the head as flat. The curved (i.e.: spherical/cylindrical) surface of the head is more apparent at high and low angles. The cross-section ellipses are more pronounced in these views.

Try drawing these ellipses in to check it. Sometimes, when trying to draw something at a high or low angle, people still draw them as if they were at eye-level. This gives a misleading impression. For example, if the angle of the features doesn't change when viewing the head from below, then it looks as if the character's face has slid upward.

The angle of the facial features has to follow the curved surface of the head (while retaining their unique characteristics). This can be challenging with characters that have particular features (such as a slant to their brow). The different views may seem to be a different character if this change in angle is not done well. For example, when viewing a character with a slanted brow from below, we would change the angle of the brow (making it less steep than in front view), while keeping the appearance of the upper eyelid.

In high angle views, people often move only the nose and mouth downward. This gives the nose in particular, a stretched look. Move all of the facial features together as a unit.

Hair must also follow the curvature of the face and head, whether we are talking about bangs, the swirl of the hair on top of the head, or facial hair.

Mixing views (e.g.: by drawing each facial feature at a different angle) just makes the character look distorted. Prevent this distortion by getting a deeper understanding of the form.


23. Why Your Drawings Look Flat [Upper Body]

[Video Link]




24. Neck Position In Profile View [Upper Body]

[Video Link]




25. Waist Parts That Connect The Upper and Lower Body

[Video Link]




26. Reasons Why Your Low-Angle Views Don't Look Right [Upper Body]

[Video Link]




27. Basics Of Drawing Gentle Movement

[Video Link]




28. The Structure Of The Hairline

[Video Link]