Going Back to Basics

In art, sometimes you have to go back to the basics. You need to reavaluate how you draw because you don’t seem to be progressing or you’re struggling with the same things continually. Recently, I took a step back and decided to go back to some of the basics. I decided to practice drawing hands and feet, as I seem to continually have difficulty drawing them on my characters. For me, they’re awkward and tiresome (why must characters have limbs that must be drawn?).

Now, going back to the basics doesn’t mean that I’ve failed. Sometimes going backwards means you’re actually taking a step forward.

Let me get back to the main subject. So, how do you know if you need to go back to the basics in your drawing?

1. Do critics (AKA friends and family) point out the same wrong things in your drawings?  Examples include, “Her hand looks funny,” and “His head is way too big for his body.”

2. Do YOU notice the same mistakes in your drawings? If you do, then there definitely needs to be a change. Often, artists are blind to their own mistakes, so if you even notice them, then you know it’s true.

3. Do you shy away from drawing certain things? Examples include hands, feet, noses, etc. For me, hands and feet are the worst!

If you answer “yes!” to these, then you need to take a step back in your drawing.  Remember, there’s NOTHING wrong with that. It just means that you want to improve your weak spots.

I used Mark Crilley’s Mastering Manga and used his examples of hands and feet. I used a page for each and drew some different sketches:



Notice that I drew enlarged versions of these. Of course, most of the hands that I draw aren’t this big on the paper. That’s the problem, you see. It’s a lot harder (for me) to draw miniature versions of these. Remember, practice makes perfect. Doesn’t mean you have to just draw hands and feet all the time, but try to improve with exercises like these.

So, how do you go back to the basics? What do you struggle drawing? Together we’ll discover how to improve our basic skills and, along the way, look for clues that will aid us on our Quest for Publishment!

Until next time,



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