Hi girls and guys
I've decided to join the forum after listening for a very long time to many of Will Terry's youtube videos and generally wanting to be a children's book illustrator. I'm trained as an architect and have been drawing since forever but because i've been working in architecture for many years i didn't have the time to focus on my illustration work and on studying and so on.
I've recently quit my job and will be moving to London and hopefully at some point will be able to freelance and live from what i draw.
But the reason i'm writing is really different. I've recently managed to get some illustration jobs and they are very satisfying but also extremely nervewreckign to me. I feel like because i didn't have the time in the last years i am so behind with pretty much everything. I feel terribly rusty and i try very much to work as much as i can to catch up to how and where i want to be. I am very aware of mistakes, shortcomings and so on and i have so much more to learn
At this moment i really want to get into drawing children and actually my question is how to start to tackle this. I want to develop a sort of routine to tackle all aspects. I want to have interesting, dynamic, human, diverse characters that are kids. I also need to develop my style and feel confident with anatomy (but not necessarily interested in drawing photorealistically) and gesture and have consistency. Quite a lot, no?
But how would you tackle this? Can you recommend anything?
I'm thinking about doing a lot of observational drawing, from life and from pictures or movies. To study how kids look, what they are dressed in, how they wear their hair etc, how they move. Quick observational drawing and gesture.
Breaking it down to elements - faces, heads, hands, feet and exercise this to develop anatomical understanding and what makes a face, hand, foot a child's face/hand/foot
Doing emotions drawings
I keep thinking that if i do this i will improve and really know how to draw kids. But i keep looking at my favorite illustrators and they don't draw necessarily anatomically realistic, they have a great style and very nice and interesting ways of abstrating. Or, the artists just draw like that naturally without going through a process of modifying their shapes to fit a certain style. Soof them
How did or do you do this? how do you do your kids and how did you learn to do it? What's the best way to do kids and develop style?
aaaand... i like a lot work like Beatrice Alemagna's, things that seem crooked, and "wrong".. and i can do that in space (i am comfortable with drawing environments and spatial things) but when it comes to characters i completely freeze without looking at reference photos and i get into this very constricted view that things need to be correct. And if i try to make them look wrong it's a struggle and it's not consistent. It's very hard to abstract whereas i think that people who draw like Beatrice or Maisie Shearing Paradise for example just don't do the whole "let's draw academically correct". In a sense perhaps they didn't focus on drawing correctly while i did in the beginning while a kid and a teen and even in architecture school and i can't just draw whatever and be conscious of the fact that i suck and somehow develop my suckiness into strength if that makes sense. I guess i want to know how to feel confident in doing work, how not to be completely blocked or how not to be completely crushed when i finish something and see that it's not at the level i want it to be. How to develop as an artist etc. (sorry, this is all over the place also because i am exhausted and quite down because of a drawing that came out bad. i did a series of illustrations for a book and redid the cover 5 times and it still looks like sh... whereas the inside looks better. It's like i completely f-ed it up at the cover which should be the most important and all because the cover has a kid on on... Anyway).
What would be the best way to draw better kids?
As for my own work here are some recent examples
you can also get a glimpse here of my older stuff
or on my instagram for newer things if you are interested