Subjects to study
You need to build a large library of shapes and things in your head to be able to draw intuitively. This takes about a lifetime or more to do, so you better start now!
- One of the most important things you need to know. Even monsters have traces of human anatomy.
The whole body. Use photos, anatomy books, statues or real people.
The face is the thing we look at first. If you misplace a line just a bit the whole expression of the face will change. Make studies of photos, your friends or yourself.
The hands are also important (and hard) to learn.
The feet can be tricky too, not because of the shapes, but because you need to plant the character on the ground so it doesn't look like it's falling over or the ground is leaning.
Daily clothing. It's important to learn how cloth wrinkles, how different types of cloth looks and fits.
Gestures & styles
- You need to be diverse and get fresh ideas. Learning some different styles can be a good idea.
Draw from life using your friends or people at a cafe, a bus or somewhere. How does a person pose when he opens a door, reaches for his keys, and looks intimidated by an artist?
Marvel. How does the Marvel artists represent the human body with lines? What details are important and what is simplified?
Modesty Blaise, or some fairly realistic comic style. Drawing gradients with just blacks and whites isn't easy.
Manga or a style you like. Again, how does the artist convert the human anatomy into lines and color blobs? What parallels can you draw between the different styles?
- Putting your character in an environment really brings it alive. This is something I definitely need to learn myself.
Landscapes with fields, mountains or whatever.
A dense forest or a jungle.
An urban or industrial 'landscape'.
An indoor setting, like a room with furniture. Boring, I know. To be honest I haven't done this yet.
Fetch an animal book
- ...and draw some animals. A good way to design a monster is to morph different animals into one.
All living things. Mother nature have spent millions of years perfecting the designs, so you better study them.
Horses, Cats, Dogs, birds. These are especially important since they are more commonly seen.
- You also need to practice drawing machinery. It can be useful when designing robots and planet-smashing vengeance-crazed battle droids.
Cars of different models.
Digging and working machinery.
Classical still life objects
- Or basically anything. Good for learning how to draw and paint in general, because of the simple shapes. You won't have too struggle much the shapes and can concentrate more on the materials.
Flowers, fruit, skeletons, sculpts, chunks of wood, rusty metal parts.