Anonymoushello! can i ask for a tutorail in hands/arms and legs/feet?
Hey! Sorry for the late reply, I haven’t really had time to do the tutorial for you! But, I did one today. It’s kinda messy and not 100% anatomically perfect (I do several flaws myself) but I think I made some good points!
Arms cannot be done without shoulders, so that’s why I will include them here. To know how one body part works, you need to understand the other parts too. I suggest drawing a stick figure, as shown above. Do it with shoulders and everything - don’t care about anatomy. Really, don’t - go mad! You can figure out how to deal with the anatomy AFTER you have figured how to draw the body freely.
I imagine most body parts to be shaped as tear drops, as shown above; especially the arms and legs. Draw them above the stick figure - don’t be afraid to overlap the teardrops. In fact, I suggest it! The best way to understand anatomy is to think of it as shapes and doll-parts.
After you’ve figured that out, do several, VERY tiny, small doodles like these. Go crazy - don’t bother with anatomy just yet. Do them also very quickly and so small you can’t think of the details. Just keep doing this until you sorta understand how arms work.
Here is a doodle of a “real” arm, and as you can see, how it’s shaped it resembles the teardrops above. A general rule is to constantly draw the body in curves - male AND female. NEVER draw a single line straight.
I mentioned before I thought it was important to include shoulders/other body parts to understand another. This is why. The body basically has a “flow” when you move. The red lines clearly shows the flow. This is also how you can create a dynamic pose: think of the flow. The muscles are formed that way to be able to function. Which reminds me, buy some good anatomy books. And I’m talking about more or less MEDICAL anatomy books - you think you won’t need it - but trust me, it’s more useful than you can imagine. I do NOT suggest buying “stylistic” anatomy books, like Christopher Hart (ugh NO), for example, as these can mislead you. Medical anatomy books CANNOT because they MUST be right.
And for the last part, here’s some “do’s” and “don’ts”. It’s important to remember the muscles between the neck and shoulders. Many, especially when drawing females, forget this. It’s true the most visible it is - the more muscular you will look. But even the most petite people have these. Your neck literally would not function if you didn’t have these supporters. Then, the arms below is just to show why it’s important to draw the body with curves. Many have probably heard “straight lines for males” which is a complete lie. They will look stiff and unnatural. Curves can both empathize muscles AND fat. Heck, even your bones aren’t straight.
Legs certainly are the hardest. There’s a good reason for this; because they’re one of our most strongest muscles, and they are more or less dominating when it comes to poses (together with the spine). However, just like with the arms, draw a stick figure. I won’t suggest drawing them completely straight, as you can see here, as it will add weight. Do teardrops shapes. As for the hips - think of them as panties or briefs. This is not a MUST; but it will help; I think!
And just like the arms, do small doodles. Don’t be serious, play around until you get the idea.
As you can see, these legs easily can be turned into teardrops even when they’re detailed like this.
Now, what makes legs/hips interesting is that the way fat gathers there. Although not a must, seeing as we’re all different, females tend to get more fat there than men. Usually, however, it’s not at the SIDE of the hops, but at the thighs, calves and the “love handles”. (Excuse my english, aaah…) Women also tend to have bigger hips, but again, it’s not a must. It’s not uncommon to have small hips, either; or big hips for men, etc.
Of course, the legs too follow the “flow”!
Something worth noting is the “Standing point” The standing point is basically a straight line, and the further away you are from the line; the more unbalanced you are. To create a dynamic pose you should avoid that line as much as possible. However, if you want to look balanced/realistic, have the one leg stand there for support. The leg to the left is balanced, as you can see one of the legs is taking all the weight; with other words, it’s the support leg-making it balanced. The legs to the right, however, are likely to fall over if she keeps standing like that!
Now for some more do’s and don’ts. I already mentioned the barbie legs, invisible heels and micro-mini crotch in my previous tutorial, but these two are different. I see this mistake a lot; when you sit down, your thighs will become wider because you’re pressing all the fat to the sides. Now, this also depends on how you’re positioning your legs. How much it widens depends on how much fat you have in the first place; but it will always be there.
And then there’s this awkward “thigh gap”. Before I get any haters telling me how I “thin shame”, please, take a seat and read this. Good? Good. How much space you actually have between your thighs depends fully on how you’re standing, bending, angle, body type and everything else. However, the one to the right? Not likely.
Okay, I’m getting really lazy now; so I’ll be quick. Draw a rectangle. Sorta like this; it doesn’t have to be exactly like this - since hands can be shaped VERY differently. Just compare to your friends.
Draw a little triangle attached to it.
Now, the fingers! How long they should be and etc doesn’t really matter either. But if you’re unsure, draw them as tear drops, too.
Now, draw the fingers! Starting to look like a hand, sort of.
Then draw the details and fix things you didn’t like. I really don’t like the way this is drawn but I’m just tired right now.
Just like the legs/arms, practice by doing that simple figure really quickly.
Guess what? Hands also follow “the flow”!
Okay, I’m getting really lazy. Plus, feet are SUPER HARD- I’m just going to say this: think of them as triangles. Overlap them; think of it as 3D!
Practice practice practice! And medical anatomy books. And photo references. And real-life references!
Hope this helped! \o/ As I said, I’m nowhere near perfect but, ahh, I tried.
KK, this is perfect
(David Hewson, author of the Nic Costa series)
Intellectual laziness is something all writers are prone to: as in writing the same type of book, and doing it annually. “I think you really have to fight against laziness and constantly keep challenging yourself.” Like great art, books aren’t ever finished—they’re abandoned. (In other words, don’t just finish writing a first draft and call it a day.)
2. Trying to be a good student
(Lisa Gardner, author of The Killing Hour)
Gardner said it’s a thrill to rope a lot of cool forensic facts in the research process. But the danger is in going home and regurgitating all of them in your novel—“When really thrillers are all about entertaining. …” Keep that story moving forward.
3. Marching down the outline
(John Sandford, author of Buried Prey)
This occurs when you sit down to write and follow your outline exactly. Sandford said some people use an outline like a frame, and merely embroider within it. Outlining is fine, but sticking too closely to it can stifle your story. “If you do outline, you have to be aware of the problems that that kind of thing can cause.”
4. Denying jealousy
(M.J. Rose, author of The Hypnotist)
“I try to not allow myself to be jealous of other writers and the books they’ve written,” Rose said—but in fact, she believes it’s a good thing to let some of that jealousy seep through. So don’t bottle it up. “I think it’s really healthy to let yourself have the full range of emotions.”
5. Focusing too heavily on the business
One of Sandford’s friends obsesses over the business end of writing—his friend writes a book, and then gets lost in all of the trappings of business and promotion … “to the exclusion of actually writing novels.”
6. Not reading books
Reading is essential for writers. Rose cited a study that said that 23 percent of people in the United States want to be writers. If all of them read 10 books a year, Rose said, “We’d all be doing a lot better.”
There is a difference between imitating a book, and being influenced by a book. Hewson added that it’s valuable to figure out why you think certain things work in the books you read, and why others don’t.
Confused. So confused. He was in pain. And she was not. The world shifted around him. The sudden change made her stomach reel.
Yes. Motherfucker, YES. Shoes and boots are such assholes to draw.
a massively extended version of ruthlesscalculus’ post
- Joss Whedon’s Top 10 Writing Tips
- Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone
- 34 Writing Tips that will make you a Better Writer
- 50 Free resources that will improve your writing skills
- 5 ways to get out of the comfort zone and become a stronger writer
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- The Writer’s Guide to Overcoming Insecurity
- The Difference Between Good Writers and Bad Writers
- You’re Not Hemingway - Developing Your Own Style
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- Aether’s Character Development Worksheet
- The 12 Common Archetypes
- Six Types of Courageous Characters
- Kazza’s List of Character Secrets - Part 1, Part 2
- Creating Believable Characters With Personality
- Body Language Cheat Sheet
- Creating Fictional Characters Series
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- Ari’s Archetype Series
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- Character Development: Virtues
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- List of Negative Personality Traits
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- Loon’s Character Development Series - Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
- Phobia List A-L (Part 1), M-Z (Part 2)
- 30 Day In Depth Character Development Meme
- Words for Emotions based on Severity
- Eight Bad Characters
- High Level Description of the Sixteen Personality Types
- How Not to Write Female Characters
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- Red Flags for Female Characters Written by Men
- Writing strong female characters
- The Female Character Flowchart
- Eight Heroine Archetypes
Tips for Specific Characters
- Writing A Vampire
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- Fiction Writing Exercises for Creating Villains
- Five Traits to Contribute to an Epic Villain
- Writing Villains that Rock
- Writing British Characters
- How To Write A Character With A Baby
- On Assassin Characters
- It’s Not What They Say…
- Top 8 Tips for Writing Dialogue
- Speaking of Dialogue
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- How to Write Dialogue Unique to Your Characters
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Point of View
Plot, Conflict, Structure and Outline
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- Plunge Right In…Into Your Story, That Is
- Tips for Creating a Compelling Plot
- 36 (plus one) Dramatic Situations
- The Evil Overlord Devises A Plot: Excerpt from Stupid Plot Tricks
- Conflict Test
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- The Hero’s Journey: Summary of Steps
- Outline Your Novel in Thirty Minutes
- Plotting Without Fears
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- One-Page Plotting
- The Great Swampy Middle
- How Can You Know What Belongs In Your Book?
- Create A Plot Outline in 8 Easy Steps
- How to Organize and Develop Ideas for Your Novel
- Create Structure in your novel using index cards
- Choosing the best outline method for you
- Hatch’s Plot Bank
Setting & Worldbuilding
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Creativity Boosters* denotes prompts
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Revision & Grammar
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- Writing 101: Revising A Novel
- 20 Common Grammar Mistakes That (Almost) Everyone Makes
- Synonyms for the Most Commonly Used Words of the English Language
- Grammar Urban Legends
Tools & Software
- Tip Of My Tongue - Find the word you’re looking for
- Write or Die - Stay motivated
- Stay Focused - Tool for Chrome, lock yourself out of distracting websites
- My Writing Nook - Online Text Editor, Free
- Bubbl.us - Online Mind Map Application, Free
- Family Echo - Online Family Tree Maker, Free
- Freemind - Mind Map Application; Free; Windows, Mac, Linux, Portable
- Xmind - Mind Map Application; Free; Windows, Mac, Linux, Portable
- Liquid Story Binder - Novel Organization and Writing Application; free trial, $45.95; Windows, Portable
- Scrivener - Novel Organization and Writing Application; free trial, $39.95; Mac
- SuperNotecard - Novel Organization and Writing Application; free trial, $29; Windows, Mac, Linux, portable
- yWriter - Novel Organization and Writing Application; free; Windows, Linux, portable
- JDarkRoom - Minimalist Text Editing Application; free; Windows, Mac, Linux, portable
- AutoRealm - Map Creation Application; free; Windows, Linux with Wine
I made a very small noise to express a very large amount of happiness.
For my writers.