Hello! Hey, thanks for reminding of Concept Art! I’ve left that place a little bit aside… but had been willing to go back… my problem is I don’t know what to post… perhaps sketches again? Anyways, hmm, exercises, well, let’s see.
I think what actually made a huge impact on my work is learning to observe; you really need to understand how to see with your eyes and not with what you think is correct. That is, being able to forget about random ideas or “easy steps to draw a figure”. I did a lot of observation drawing exercises, most of those described on books such as the famous Betty Edward’s one (learning to draw with the right side of the brain). Specially the first exercises help to make a difference, since you learn how to see, thus, being able to study from life at any time and with the true form in front of you. Those are called something like “contour drawing” or “blind contour drawing” (they are hard, but very useful)
Yeah, you learn a lot from nature; that said, I recommend that you take a lot of inspiration from nature and people around. I do enjoy drawing people around from time to time. in my case, as an animator student, I try to understand how people move, why, and such ideas. Another exercise that has to do with this is gesture drawing. You know, those drawn with ease and speed, but a lot of vitality.
Hmm, another thing that may help a lot is taking not just the observation drawing but also the other side of the coin: constructive drawing. I remember working a lot with the theories of drawing masters such as Andrew Loomis, George Bridgman, and all those guys that once put their ideas on that Artist League building. These guys have some great books to get you started with construction (which is quite different from observation, since you take a formula, some anatomy knowledge, and create stuff from imagination). What I learnt from them was to look for structure, simplicity and to seek for mass. Bridgman specially has a lot to do with it. Hogarth has some great ideas on muscles too ;)
Well, as for the color, that’s a mystery to me to be honest… in contrast with drawing, I haven’t read as many books that have to do with color at all.. just basic color theories and what teachers at school say. Yet, I do love to play with it, I guess it has to do with the amount of experiments I do and that I also like to paint with oils. But not sure XD
Specific artists! Haha, I love a lot! Really, each one of them have something that captivates me; being color, ideas, technique, figures, themes, etc. In any case, I remember being a huge fan of Michelangelo, Rafael, Degas, Caravaggio and William Turner.
I hope my huge answer helps you a bit! I’m heading to CA.org right away, haha, you just made me curious, got any sketchbook yourself there?