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#1 Edited by gamejutsu (1838 posts) - - Show Bio

This is gonna be a lengthy post. just letting anyone who reads this know...

Quick backstory: So I draw stick figures. I started posting my stick figure sketches here ~ 2 years ago. I didn't keep at it for long though. Not gonna lie, looking back at that time, they weren't that great. So, seeing all these guys posting stuff that looks straight out of comic books, I decided I would try to convert my stick figures into humanoid figures. Again, looking back, the results weren't pretty (well... At least to me. If you really look at this I guess it's... Competent somewhat at least? I still don't like it much though). The original "earth master" conversion attempt I drew is below:

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What irks me about this is that even as I was drawing this, I knew it wasn't what I wanted it to be. But I guess I couldn't do any better. And another thing that grinds my gears, the proportions are weird. It almost looks inhuman.... You know, the exact opposite of the outcome I wanted to get with this.

Something I've wanted to do for almost a year now was to give this justice, redraw this so it looks at least a little more like what I want it to be, and then come back. So, recently I've finished my second attempt of converting this character in particular. So here it is, tada, before and after, all that stuff:

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I'm not saying this is perfect (it's not lol), but it's a HUUUGE step up from the original, in terms of just artistic skill in general, and what I want it to be (for example, now the hair is punny because a few parts of it spike twice, creating a mountain-like image). There are still some things I want to find space to include from the original (for example I want to incorporate that giant logo in the top right into her design), but this alone is a giant improvement for sure.

(before I go on any more, a side note. I use the naming scheme "_____ master" because I don't actually know what to call these characters :P Yes, the ones I've been drawing for years... Yeah... So far I've only come up with a name for 1 of them, and it was while I was still posting content here... So no progress on that part yet...)

I also made a drawing with a little more info on this character. A side view of the head/face, and an updated version of her mask that she can be seen wearing in my original:

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So, where's the original stick figure that all this started from? I dunno, that was a while ago :v But just yesterday I've converted this humanoid into a stick figure (full circle my dudes)! And it's a pretty decent adaptation too. This one has a new version of her scythe (I couldn't figure out a way to put her scythe into version 2), and she is also wearing the mask (which is what the thing at top right corner is supposed to mean).

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Another big reason I wanted to try drawing humanoids (as some of you may have noticed already) is because when I draw stick figures, their accessories blend in with the body sometimes, and you can't tell what's what, or exactly what you are seeing. Doesn't help that there's no color whatsoever either.

honestly, I wouldn't even be super sad if no one reads this, or even cares, or that this gets buried with only the default 2 or 3 views. For a while I've just waned to get it all out, and now I have. This is the bulk of this little entry I've done. But I feel like I want to put something new here too. Just to show some of the other things I've done. So this is some bonus content.

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I made the black fire character around the same time as the earth character. He was the second character I tried to convert over to humanoid. It... Also wasn't that great an attempt. But as with the earth master, I've recently re-drew him, and this one... Actually perfectly captures everything I wanted from his original stick figure, and more. So here's version 2 of this (I really don't want to show version 1 >_<):

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Of course almost nothing is without it's problems, but I'll really only need to do some tweaks here and there to the design and this is perfect. The only "big" negative is the way I actually drew him. Similar to the re-done Earth master, I think I have a problem with drawing legs or something...

So yeah, there he is, complete with a sweet hood, a subtle diamond aesthetic, and mouse-trap shoes. I think he's my most developed character. So here's a stick figure version of him (I had the stick figure design for him done prior to this renewal, unlike for Earth Master). Don't mind the other character in the picture, it's just something else I came up with, along the road:

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So there's a look at his hair without the hood, wearing his ownmask, and an attempt to show his black fire. The other person there is his ally/partner (their affinity is either "energy", kind of like Green Lantern's constructs, or illusions and magic). So yeah, that about wraps it all up.

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Here are the guys I tagged when I made these submissions. Would be cool if any of them stumbled upon this massive info-dump: @rocketraccoonthingy@kfhrfdu_89_76k, @quinnofthestoneage, @masterkungfu, @flumox56

I don't know if i'll be back here posting stuff, but who knows. I've warned up to Comicvine at least a little bit more. Maybe once I get a drawing pad and can make digital art, i'll get way more confident and excited to post what I've got here. Maybe even get known more widely for this. I dunno. I'm getting ahead of myself definitely XD So yeah, I just wanted to right this wrong of mine, and this isn't really directed at anyone really, aside from the guys I tagged.

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#2 Posted by Renny (3182 posts) - - Show Bio

You're definitely going places. Work on hands and feet (I need to myself). You have your own style which is good. I think your faces and hair are more than solid. Nice.

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#3 Edited by gamejutsu (1838 posts) - - Show Bio

@renny: Thanks, who knows, one day I might put this into application more than I expect

(also, I forgot to mention that the reason the very first picture is wearing a mask is because I didn't know how to draw a face so I just put that there... I'm not saying masks take no skill to draw, but that it was pretty damn lazy to just draw a shape over the face instead of actual facial features)

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#4 Posted by kfhrfdu_89_76k (5769 posts) - - Show Bio

@gamejutsu:

Cool seeing you back.

The stick figures have more dynamic movement than the, fleshed out, characters. Something to keep in mind, in my opinion.
Maybe it`s because drawing stick-bodies feels more relaxing to you, because they don`t look like "real humans"? I used to have a problem drawing humans realistically, because I was so stressed about getting them to look right, that drawing them was uncomfortable, and that`s why I "screwed up" the pictures. I don`t think anymore that I screwed them up, because my tastes have changed.

You don`t like that first pic you made of the Scythe-wielding character, but I do. And as for "not managing to achieve what you wanted" when you drew some of them, that`s fine too. New stuff is created from mistakes.
I look back at my drawings from my childhood and teen-years, and they`re charming and interesting. And I felt the same way back then, as you do now, I didn`t like my stuff.

I wish I could show them, but I don`t have a scanner yet.

Also, I like how you draw feet. And the hands look just fine.

"I use the naming scheme "_____ master" because I don't actually know what to call these characters :P Yes, the ones I've been drawing for years... Yeah..."

I have no names for my characters either. Nor any visual looks. I only have the core-ideas at this point.

Getting all the necessary details right takes time. The longer you have the characters inhabiting your mind, and the more stories you make of them, the clearer it becomes what they`re like.

Besides, a name isn`t necessarily important.

Also, I can`t find the exact quote, but Neil Gaiman (You know who Gaiman is, right? ) said in an interview "Names are hard.". So if you`re thinking that you don`t have the names yet `cause you`re inexperienced, it`s not true.
Besides, we all have our weaknesses. And some of them we can never overcome. That`s not a bad thing, it just adds to the charm of us as persons.

But here`s a Gaiman-quote.

"I loved the fact that I got to write a novel in which almost nobody has names. And, people tend not even to realize that while they're reading the book, it's only when they get to the end of the book. And I've seen a lot of people reviewing Ocean at the End of the Lane saying it wasn’t until they finished the book and went back to write about it that [they realized] we never know the narrator's name."

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#5 Edited by gamejutsu (1838 posts) - - Show Bio

@kfhrfdu_89_76k: Cool to see you here too, wish I could say the same to the other 4 people :(

Stick figures are definitely more relaxing to draw. It's way quicker of course, and I now notice that it also serves as a pretty decent template for if I want to make a human/not a stick figure. I don't think it's the fact that i'm drawing something "real" that makes me more nervous/angry about mistakes, making it look good, etc.

It's more like that with drawing a humanoid there's 100x more space, and in that space are body features. So more mistakes are to be made, and I feel like if I don't find the 1 millimeter "sweetspot" to put these features it dislocates the entire drawing, because the the first thing you look at is the facial features, not the design as a whole, like with stick figures (I just now realized this could be why people grasp at straws, when they try to tell what my stick figures are supposed to be). But I also think drawing humans is really satisfying too. Once you get the outline/"skeleton" of the thing down, I get to fill in the body with all of these accessories and clothing styles. It's like i'm creating a custom character in a game or something, and sometimes I go overboard on it and I don't even notice until i'm actually done :p

Maybe I'm being a little too hard on that first draft. There's still ideas in there that are strong, but it's just that if I look at it long enough, I notice this shortcut, then this ripoff, then this cover-up (both literally in the drawing, and a cover-up of required skill which I lacked), and so on. Also i'm looking at the paper and I now notice that I drew that in a composition book?? How? Seriously, so many things are going wrong in there it's like one of those "cursed image" posts...

Something I always think of is a "wave 2, 3, etc." of outfits. You know, like upgrades to a outfit, or a new outfit for a different need. Like Batman and Iron Man. Maybe I'll come back to the very first drawing and sharpen that up, because I can see things in there working out, and even serving as a "mark 2" for the character.

I always get excited to find an old notebook of mine with my old drawings, so I can see what I drew in there just for the surprise, and anticipation to see how skilled I was at the time as i'm flipping through the pages. And I sometimes also find really good designs in there that got lost to my memory, and seeing them again makes me want to save them ASAP. Also I never really thought of a functioning character with no name, in something very story intensive, for entire series at a time. That's really interesting, but I definitely want my characters to have names. Something that's associated with their affinity, personality, and compliments their design. But I think it's because I try to meet all those criteria, that I just some to a blank. Maybe I'll start with a "rough draft", like for drawings.

Also I wholly know what you mean, when you say you have these characters sitting in your mind, and the more they're there you get more ideas, stories, etc. for them. Like for my "main character" in this little world I've made, I envisioned him with purple hair, in a bowl cut style. I even know the exact shade of purple and everything. But whenever I try to make that happen in real life it just looks boring and uninteresting, but in my mind it's a great idea. I've thought about that design for at least three years, and just no less than two months ago, I simply threw out one shape in my notebook, trying to make hair, sitting in my economics college class. And then I looked at it and said "whoa hold on! This looks interesting actually!" and made that into a quick sketch, then improved on that, and now I have his hairstyle down pat. It looks unique and interesting, and i'm that much closer to making him real. It happened so fast. It was like I was sitting on a lakeside for years waiting for a catch, and then suddenly I got a huge bite.

It's really cool seeing you man. I remember when I posted that first pic in a "post your OC!" thread here, and you liked it and drew fan art of it. Hope this doesn't sound weird, but it would be so amazing if people all over liked my world and my characters too. It's a dream I sort of have no way of realizing, but i'm not gonna lie, it comes up in my mind every so often.

I'm still doing good with concepts and ideas. In fact i'm close to making a human ver. of a new character now. Posting more of this on Comicvine though? I dunno :v maybe so long as no one gets funny ideas and steals them, I guess

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#6 Edited by kfhrfdu_89_76k (5769 posts) - - Show Bio

@gamejutsu:

"Cool to see you here too, wish I could say the same to the other 4 people :("

Getting an audience takes time. Maybe they`ve quit CV. Or maybe they like stuff different from yours, and don`t want to give feedback your work, because they`re afraid you`d feel crushed by the criticism, and because somebody doesn`t like your stuff. Or it could be any other reasons.

"It's more like that with drawing a humanoid there's 100x more space, and in that space are body features. So more mistakes are to be made, and I feel like if I don't find the 1 millimeter "sweetspot" to put these features it dislocates the entire drawing"

Ok. But the problem is fundamentally the same that I had, you`re nervous about drawing, `cause you want them to look right.

BTW, I had problems with the proportions too. I still do maybe? But wonkiness is part of my style these days, so I`m not bothered if it`s so.

"but it's just that if I look at it long enough, I notice this shortcut, then this ripoff, then this cover-up (both literally in the drawing, and a cover-up of required skill which I lacked), and so on."

You`ve got a good point. The bright side is, that embarrassment is one way to stop yourself from doing that stuff.

"That's really interesting, but I definitely want my characters to have names."

You can start the story with character having no name, and the more you make the story the better you understand the character, and when you FIND OUT the characters name, you reveal it to the reader too.

"But I think it's because I try to meet all those criteria, that I just some to a blank. Maybe I'll start with a "rough draft", like for drawings."

Yeah, that`s how the good stories are made. Often times. First make the first draft, and then the second, and the third and the fourth maybe. Each draft, you get more understanding about the story. And you`re right, applies to character designs too.

"I remember when I posted that first pic in a "post your OC!" thread here, and you liked it and drew fan art of it."

Cool.

"Hope this doesn't sound weird, but it would be so amazing if people all over liked my world and my characters too. It's a dream I sort of have no way of realizing, but i'm not gonna lie, it comes up in my mind every so often."

Jack Kirby started out from (basically) the same position as you, or even lower, and eventually got millions of readers. Maybe you wont get so many, but 100 000 or 10 000 would be pretty swell too, eh? You just need to learn the tricks of the trade. A comic-school could help with that. I hope you`ll get to study in one some day.

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#7 Posted by kfhrfdu_89_76k (5769 posts) - - Show Bio

And there`s people who didn`t get famous till 50 years old, so you have your young years going in your favor too.

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#8 Posted by xNahtebx (949 posts) - - Show Bio

Cute ^_^