More on folds today. I will eventually cover all types of folds but today is about simple folds on everyday clothes (t-shirt, jeans). The key is to know what to expect and then applying what you know to simplify what you see in front of you (when life drawing). A lot of the folds dynamics on shirts and jeans come from the “memory” of the fabric itself. Denim is thick and is likely to keep some form of wrinkles or folds around certain areas (knees). A lot of zig-zag patterns around the knee is very likely. When pushed down on the feet, the denim fabric will bunch up and combine with the zig-zag pattern. Shirts and t-shirts will react to the twist and pull of the arms and torso. Identify where the pull (or tension) is coming from and work from it. I tend to draw the seams because they clearly express the volumes underneath.
yes, it is that simple. Throughout the years, I learn to edit. It’s unnecessary to paint or render every single grain of hair and detail. It’s about communicating the idea across. A lot of it is about believability. I find this technique works for me. And as always, it is a good idea to practice it on a simple basic primitives. (I know, I know, it’s not the most exciting thing). But you will be surprise on how fast you can paint when you master your basic shapes.
Attached are gif I made to show you my steps on a sphere, and one of my shoe illustration I painted using the same technique.
I don’t often have to draw bare feet, unless I’m doing Life Drawing. When storyboarding, the focus is generally not on the feet. They also are usually covered (shoes, socks), or just not shown on screen that much. Nonetheless, it’s important to understand their functionality and general appeal. Keep details to a minimum, unless the character uses its bare feet to grasp things or do things with them most humans don’t. The best example of pushing feet to an extreme degree of functionality would be Disney’s Tarzan (one of my all time favorite). Other than that, don’t draw too much attention to them, but find appeal in its shapes.
As a story artist, I feel like one of the most important technical skill to develop is the ability to draw things things clearly and fast. Practicing gesturedrawing is, in my opinion, a good way to get better at it. I think it’s fun, too! Of course, you can draw from life and find unique things people and animals do, but I also think practicing gesturedrawing from imagination is truly helpful. For instance, I usually do some gesturedrawings of characters I’m about to work with in a sequence. It helps me find a short-hand to start building from. The simpler, the better. Especially early on a project, it really helps to find a quick way to draw a character over and over without repeating yourself all the time.
I remember Life Drawing teachers telling me to “draw from within” and to “feel the weight”. It’s absolutely true, but in terms of storyboarding, other elements came to be as important to the process. Silhouette and a sense of “cartooning” is tremendously helpful to communicate certain things clearly to an audience.
I’m only focusing on character posing right now (and this is just an introduction to the subject). Gesturedrawing is very close to thumb-nailing, another ultra-helpful skill. More on that later.
For those who want to spend some money on great books on the subject, I highly recommend you to pick up “Drawn To Life: 20 Golden Years of Master Classes of Disney Master Classes” (Vol. 1 and 2) , from Walt Stanchfield. Do it.