I like to say "I have never had any training" because it sounds cool. "Yeah, I'm this good by natural talent alone" (even I don't buy that.). Okay, so ego aside, this isn't entirely true. No, I haven't actually been in a classroom and studied under a teacher/professor/artist to refine my ability. But that isn't to say that I haven't had instruction. When I was young I fell in love with Michelangelo's work. I got a book that showed his sketches and realized that even he, a great master of art, spent time drawing rough images before refining it to a final product. I studied his styles and tried to simulate them as best as I could. Then I found art books and read them, studied them, and put some of their teachings to practice. And practice I did. I have drawn and drawn and drawn. I have studied the human form from a thousand angles, with/without clothing (stop snickering), different lighting, and different body types. I prefer to start with a nude form (I said stop snickering.) it helps to draw the base of the body and then simply add to it. Though, searching for the nude form (Okay, now I am going to call your mother!) without proper qualifiers in the search can produce some rather nasty results.
"How does this enhance the characters?" you might ask, (and even if you didn't I am going to answer). When I finish a drawing of a person, I know them better. I start to see things in their drawing that tell more of their story. One character was a feline man with dark spots all over his body. The spots gave me the idea to nick name him cowboy in the story (his fur looks like cowhide). Then I noticed that the model I used had stronger thighs and hips than most men in his body type. It gave me the idea that this cat likes to swim. After that idea came to me I started to consider the notion that swimming is not a common sport among his kind and that sets him apart in a way. Thus more story could be formed with the interaction between characters about this. So, you see how this helps me? If you don't, well, enjoy the art anyway.
For this little study I chose a picture from a modeling site online. I have no idea who the model is or what he was modeling for originally. But the image was a good balanced easy picture to draw and that would make for a good study.
The pictures were all taken with my phone camera. It was easier to keep it in hand rather than continually scanning. Besides, as you will see with the final addition, the scanner is an imprecise art when pencil drawings are concerned.
How do you get from this: - - - - to this
|2. I start shading in a corner of the body|
|1. First you have the rough sketch|
|3. I move across to the second corner|
|4. Start to add definition to the arms and shorts|
|5. Define the pants and legs more.|
|6. Now starts the character enhancements |
with the face.
|7. Add ears and start the chest mane.|
|8. Fill in the mane and shade in the face.|
|9. Add definition to the mane, face, |
and work in the details.
|10. Add tail and whiskers, and there he is.|
|This is what he looks like scanned in.|