About those watermarks. Yes, they're necessary and no, they aren't going to go anywhere. I tried to keep them light enough for this to be useful to someone. ^^'
As for the anatomy, I'm aware I'm not perfect and there are things that I could--and should!--work on. This is just depicting how I'm doing things currently. I don't think this needs a content warning, but let me know if you disagree. D:
Full Size Final Panel:
Alright. Now that's all over with, this is the same deal with the realism one for portraits, including the crappy camera pictures. It'd be too time consuming to scan each and every panel. This time, I tackled a male half figure in my anime-esque style. It was devilishly good fun.
The poor soul--I mean subject--is an original character of mine that I use in some writing that I do from time to time. Recognize him in my avatar? Dreigo is 100% property of me and I ask that you respect that and do not use his design or character without my explicit permission
or claim him as your own.
I did use a photo reference for the pose and it can be found on Dreamstime.com. It's a great place for finding the perfect reference for pretty much any drawing or painting. Go check it out!
Okay, now we can get down to business. This little guide was started and inspired for a good friend of mine,
. Go see her gallery; it's wonderful.
Here's my brief explanation of each panel in case anyone needs it. Don't hesitate to ask if you have any other questions.
Panel 1: I'm just using a .5 mechanical pencil with regular HB lead and a standard no smudge block eraser. Use whatever kind of paper you want. I don't like a lot of tooth or kinds of texture to my papers, so I use printer paper or plain drawing paper that comes in bundles. Besides, it's less expensive.
Panel 2: I'm not usually one for really messy sketches, so I do these things that I call boundary lines. I basically just block in the overall height and width of things and any other "landmarks" I might need. I usually do the top of where I want the HAIR to be, the chin, the widest points on each side, and the hem of any pants or shorts. I don't always stick 100% to them, but it helps to keep my overall drawing size in check.
Panel 3: I always work from the head and neck to the shoulders, then the torso, and then I work back on the arms. I've seen some people start with the eyes of a head and go from there, I've seen people work from the hips up, and pretty much anything in between. Toy around and find where you like to start from. For me, it's the head and shoulders.
Panel 4: As I said previously, I'm not a very sketchy person. I like to just draw everything pretty much the way it would need to be. Of course, I don't shoot for perfection the first draft and all at once, but I don't like having to do a lot of damage control and assault my paper with an eraser. I hope that made some sort of sense. If you're using a photo reference, keep looking at it until you get the overall shapes and lines you're going for. There's little muscle definition at this point in time. Just a nice clean shape to hold all the details.
Panel 5: I filled in the muscles on Dreigo's stomach and also penciled in his arms. And I gave him his nipples too. Yes. I just said nipples.
Panel 6: Because you can't really see what I did in panel 5, Panel 6 is just a close up of the abdomen work.
Panel 7: Here's where I begin the face work. As always, I started with the eyes and put his nose in. (If you're doing anime, you don't have to define the nose like I did on the sides. That's just part of my stylization.) He got his ears as well. Now, this character is actually a half-elf, so he has slightly pointier ears than a human. Hence, why they look a bit taller than they should be. I also made sure to give him eye creases. It may or not be necessary depending on your style and the shape of it varies with expressions and from character to character. Have fun with them~
Panel 8: I thinned out the lines around his jaw and chin to give it a more even feel and also took this time to erase my guidelines along the face since everything but the mouth has been placed in. If you still need them to draw a mouth, feel free to keep them until you're done. Then, there's the matter of eyebrows. They're the most expressive thing on a human's face and can change the entire feel of a drawing. Knit them up, and they can be used for sadness and embarrassment. Knit them down and together--to whatever degree you please--and it darkens the feel or brings about a sort of obvious sensuality. Since this guy is an outright womanizer, he gets his eyebrows knitted down to keep him in character. Keep personality traits in mind when you're deciding what to do with the eyebrows, both in shape and placement. A shy character probably isn't going to furrow them enough to cause creases in the brow.
Panel 9: He's now got his mouth twisted into a suggestive smirk, lips, a tad more nose definition, as well as three rings in the shell of each of his ears. Remember to keep your creation in character with the mouth too. Evil characters probably aren't going to smile sweetly.
Panel 10: This is a shot of the full body now that the face is done. I added a bit of hair to his underarms and well, "below the belt" too. If your character shaves totally clean, then that's less work you have to do!
Dreigo's also got a tattoo on the outside of his upper arms and went ahead and sketched that in.
Panel 11: Time for the hair! As you already have heard from me on other deviations, I love
to draw hair, be it realistic, semi realistic, or anime. If the character has hair that hangs into or frames the face, I start there. (As I did.) Don't be too dark with your lines all at once because if you change your mind on lighting or gravity pull on the strands, it's a real pain to go back and fix things.
Panel 12: I sketched in the general shape I wanted for the hair. I erased the boundary line, but the tufts up top brushed against where it was. Keep in mind how much volume the hair will have. Someone at the age of 55 isn't going to have the same volume that someone at the age of 25 will have.
Panel 13: When you have the hair sketched to your liking, go ahead and darken things and erase what you don't need.
Panel 14: I erased the shape of the head and did simple strand details. For your sake, don't try and draw every strand of hair, even if you're doing realism. You will go insane with the effort and probably be left with a less than satisfactory result.
I speak from experience, here. My style is something between anime and semi realism, so I do the simple lines to show how the hair lays and falls against the face, neck, shoulders, etc etc. If you're doing anime, you probably don't need to do anything but block in cell shades to show shadow and depending on your style, highlights.
Panel 15: Done! This is the entire piece. Well, as much as would fit neatly in the box, anyway. Look for the full, better quality shot in my gallery.
Photo reference (c) Dreamstime.com