I mainly use reddit to keep up with whatever interests me at any given point. I know it has a bit of a bad rap, but I think it depends on which subreddits you visit. There are so many, it’s not difficult to find a sub for a topic you enjoy. I’ve been aware of /r/redditgetsdrawn for a bit, but only lately have I had any confidence to post there.
I’ve mentioned before that reference is invaluable to a beginner artist. I never understood why people were ashamed, or worse, shamed by others, for using reference. Without really seeing how things work in real life, how do we expect to mimic that in our drawings unless our imaginations are perfect. I’ve been using a lot of reference on all of my drawings, even to study things as simple as how indoor lighting behaves on clothing, and I can say my artwork has improved. Both of these drawings were done in about two hours.
That’s how I hope to use this /r/redditgetsdrawn, for learning, studying and improving. It also helps because I’m drawing for people, that I feel the need to be extra objective, even if these are just quick drawings. I feel a little more motivated.
This is coinciding a bit with my discovery of J.C. Leyendecker, an early-20th century American illustrator thanks to Ahmed Aldoori on Youtube. I love that I’m in my mid-forties and following art all my life, and I’ve only just become aware of Leyendecker. I’m sure I’ve seen his art before, but I haven’t given myself a chance to take a real look at him and his technique. You can really see why his art is studied so much.
It actually brought me back to lessons from the Classical Animation course I took at Sheridan College in the 90s. My teachers ingrained into me the importance of gesture, structure and defining movement lines. I feel like I’ve never perfected this as I favoured more static poses and stylized characters. It’s taken a while, but I’m starting to really break down my art and look at movement and structure a little more, particularly when it comes to lighting.
Watch Ahmed Aldoori’s Artist spotlight featuring Leyendecker: