Learning the 3/4 View and Other Frustrations

I have the hardest time with the far side of a 3/4 view portrait.  My brain doesn't want to compute what is happening on that side.  I have been following along with the 3/4 view tutorial on How to Draw Comics and can reasonably get a head together, but when I take what I learn to a reference it all falls apart.  The solution is practice.  So I practice.. a lot.

Following Along with howtodrawcomics.net
So many of my heads look like they are a stroke victim.  (No offense to stroke victims intended.)  Proportion is an issue, but getting things in their proper perspective might fix that.  I think.

I am all for the practice, practice, practice philosophy, but mindless practice is just wasting time.  10,000 hours of wrong practice doesn't make a pro.  It makes a lot of ugly artwork.  So I had to figure this out.

Before I go any further, I want to talk about the tracing issue.  I trace.  I have traced in the past.  I will trace in the future.  I will do what I need to do to get the job done.  Is it cheating?  Maybe.  The glory of being my age is that I can blame it on horor-mones and say I don't care.  Do I want to be able to draw these things correctly?  Yes.  If this were a final piece and I could not get it right without tracing, I would trace.  Since it is not for a final piece, I just needed to figure things out, so I partially traced.

Sketches in my Morning Sketchbook dated 7/28/18
To explain what I mean, here is a sample I sketched this morning to see if I could apply the lessons I have been learning on Howtodrawcomics.net.  I used the landmarks I have been using in the tutorials to guide me through some images I found on Pinterest.  (If you would like to see my reference folder, click here.  You get 10 points if you can figure out which refs I used on this)

While this is not the worst thing I have ever drawn, I know that top right image is wrong.  The underlying structure seems ok when I take off the facial features, but as soon as I get it all in there, it blows up.

  • Problem 1:  The degree to which the head is turned is different than the sample I have been using in my studies.
  • Problem 2:  I have no idea how to fix that.
  • Problem 3:  I don't have access to anyone that can help me out.

Reference Photo from Pinterest
Tracing with Photo
Tracing without photo
The pictures above are what I traced on the lower half of the face.  I did it on the top of the face as well, but you get how it works, right?

Applying the correction
Now that I have an idea what this is supposed to look like, I went back to my sketchbook and drew that side of his face again. I would have just erased the side and fixed it, but I wanted to remind myself of this perpetual problem I have with making things too wide and too long.  I don't know why I do that, but I do.  I am just going to have to check myself on that every time I draw.  

Is this cheating?  Maybe?  Is this a bad habit?  I don't think so?  I think the ultimate goal is to draw until it becomes second nature to do it right.  By forcing myself to look at where I am getting this wrong instead of moving on to draw some more wrong stuff, I hope that I will start correctly seeing these consistent errors.

The guy on the lower left just deserves a redraw.  Sometimes it's better to just start over and do it again.  He is one of those.  It's a great reference.  He's not too young and not too old.  He's got amazing hair and the shadows in that reference are amazing.  It's in my Pinterest folder if you want to grab him.  Good luck muddling through that.  

Sketch after practicing tons of front face structures
So now let's talk about this guy.  This guy is my happy place.  This guy will seem like utter crap in a month if I have anything to do with it, but for now, he is my golden child. 

This guy is a payoff piece.  It is where I have taken all this practice on structure and applied it to a reference.  I started with the base Loomis style head form that I learned from Proko and Howtodrawcomics.  I located them on this head.  I drew and adjusted to get this.  This is a perfectly respectable sketch to take into Clip Studio and refine to make a portrait.  I am such a happy camper right now. 

A few studies on the facial features and I think I might just get somewhere. 

This is hard.  This is really hard.  I see all these artists on Instagram doing such great work and I want to be there.  I sometimes wonder if I have to put two miles in for every mile other people do.  Maybe.  If that is the case, I am just going to get up at 5 a.m. every day and do the mile of sketches it takes to get where I want to go, I guess. 

That's right Rocky!