Fan Art: Recommend some robot/mecha/scifi/Transformers drawing guides?

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by Tyrannosaur, May 27, 2011.

  1. Tyrannosaur

    Tyrannosaur 100% Sarcastic Saurian

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    I can draw dinosaurs, animals and stuff of that nature pretty well but I absolutely suck when it comes to drawing transformers.
    I really want to learn to draw Transformers and come up with my own original design but when drawing, I don't know what kind of details to add to make it unique. Plus I have trouble drawing humanoid faces.
    I saw one guide on drawing anime/manga-style mecha in Newbury Comics once but I can't remember the exact name of it.

    I own one guide (Lets Draw Manga: Transforming Robots. Interesting how they never actually mention the "Transformers" brand ONCE in the entire book.) If you guys can give me some recommendations that would help. Drawing mecha (Any style) or just sci-fi stuff in general would be most helpful. :D 

    I'd imagine too that books on drawing vehicles would also come in handy when designing Transformers, as I also suck at that too.
     
  2. ZombieBalls

    ZombieBalls Drives fast

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    There was a book by Simon Furman and Guido Guidi that came out in '07 titled "You Can Draw Transformers" that seemed like a nice step by step guide (as far as I can tell, I'm no artist). I wanted to buy it, but never picked it up and forgot about it until now. I think it was mostly G1-ish tutorials if that makes a difference to you. See here for a little write up on TFWiki.

    You can find used or maybe new copies on Amazon's, Barnes & Noble's and Half.com's respective used marketplaces:

    Amazon.com: You Can Draw Transformers (9780756627461): Simon Furman
    B&N: You Can Draw Transformers, You Can Draw Series, Simon Furman, (9780756627461)
    Half.com: You Can Draw Transformers by Simon Furman (2007, Hardcover, Spiral)(9780756627461)

    If TF:Animated is your preference and you have more money to spend on used books, there's "Transformers Animated: How to Draw" available, which came out in '08.

    Amazon.com: Transformers Animated: How to Draw (9780060888206): Sadie Chesterfield, Carlo Loraso
    Half.com: Transformers Animated How to Draw by Sadie Chesterfield (2008, Paperback)(9780060888206)

    I think the book you saw may be the generic, similarly sounding to the one you own, probably non-licensed "You Can Draw Transforming Robots" by Sherard Jackson.

    Amazon.com: You Can Draw Transforming Robots (9781932453423): Sherard Jackson
    B&N: You Can Draw Transforming Robots by Sherard Jackson
    Half.com: You Can Draw Transforming Robots by Doug Dlin, Robert Acosta, Sherard Jackson (2004, Paperback)(9781932453423)

    In the 80's there was an obviously G1 themed, 4 part series of comic books by Blackthorne Publishing that was apparently the official "how to draw" of its day but that's probably impossible to find now.

    Great, now I've been reminded of something else I need to buy. :lol 
     
  3. Superquad7

    Superquad7 We're only human. Super Mod

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    Awesome. Keep posting, guys! I'll resource this when we get quite a few things up :) 

    This is a bit vague, but I'll often keep tabs on robots in magazines and such (Popular Mechanics, etc.).

    Also, I have a few 80's "robots" books as well. The sort of sci-fi fantasy books that are really generic, but have really cool airbrushed artwork.

    I also tend to get a few random Gundam books and Star Wars books, since things from those series can be heavy on tech details and designs.

    Google Images is always a good friend as well :) 
     
  4. ZombieBalls

    ZombieBalls Drives fast

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    I think I had some of those books too. With the exception of Transformers spanning the years, sometimes it seems like the 80's had more robots in popular culture promising us their everyday use was as close as Mr. Wizard's kitchen. You couldn't turn on the TV without someone having a robot doing something cool like it was no big deal.

    Anyway related to what you were saying, the January 2011 Popular Science did have that Ravage-like cover and at BN last week there was this $30 magazine that had another Ravage inspired CGI cover titled "3D Art & Design, Vol 2." It was almost more like a book. Here's the best I could find for a picture of it. Godziboy, I don't know if you're interested in trying digital art, but part of this magazine's price was an included CD of 3D tools, tutorials and sample work. The same image from the magazine cover was on the CD so I'm assuming, that content may be on the disc as well. I don't know how long this issue has been out or how long it will stay on the newsstand but you may want to check it out if there's a B&N or Borders near you.

    Again, if digital/3D art also interests you, you may also want to check out Blender.org for a free 3D software package.

    Try tfwiki.net and type in IDW in the search box for a list of all the TF comic lines & titles from the last six years. From there, maybe some of the titles stick out to you as something you like the look of and you can see who the artists were for a particular issue or TPB. Then you could look for those guy's personal websites or Deviant Art pages and get some more ideas. For example, I liked the look of the G1 characters in the late 1800's form they were going with in Evolutions: Hearts of Steel and the TFWiki page for that series says that Hearts of Steel was penciled by Guido Guidi (coincidence I already mentioned a book he's credited with helping on). From there I can see what other work he's done and in his case, his Deviant Art page for maybe some more ideas. Another idea would be searching for the movies' and video games' "concept art" and you can find people like Ben Procter's or Steve Jung's site. The Bad Flip Blog also has lots of TF related concept artwork buried in it from the movie based games and I think maybe the movies and other related content as well.

    There's no shortage of people making art of any given subject and posting it somewhere these days and I'm sure between here and like Superquad said, some decent Google Image queries, you can find something you like and maybe even that artist's tips.
     
  5. hXcpunk23

    hXcpunk23 The Chaos Bringer

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    I'd suggest "You Can Draw Transformers" also. It gives a lot of pointers on basic shapes, shading, working in transformations, etc. You can also do some searching on Google for characters and artwork and another great place to look is deviantART. Those will help you see mostly completed works, but they can also give you an idea on what to do or how to achieve that. I'd also suggest a few of the Transformers reference guides. I use the following with my kitbash & customs work for reference and I've even did a couple or rough sketches based on some of the artwork. The books I'd suggest are Visual Works, The Ark, The Ark II, and Vol 1 & 2 of the More than Meets the Eye Guidebooks (originally released by Dreamwave, but compiled into two volumes by IDW. If they can help me visualize different ways I'd like to build something, then they should certainly help you with sketching and drawing.

    And last but not least, hit this link to look over some great artwork tutorials. There's a LOT of great info in there that should help you out also:

    Radicons - Illustrations/Digital Models
     
  6. Fishdirt

    Fishdirt Tin Toy Transformer

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    All you need is to learn basic plane shapes and solid shapes.

    From there do life and not what others have done. Grab some figures and pose them. Look at them and draw the shapes out then go in with the detail.

    The only reason you should look at others people work as it applies to yours is line technique and render technique.

    There also isn't a magic book out there to make you draw better. Only you can do that by drawing and drawing and when your tired of drawing draw some more. It may not seem like it but it does start getting better. The more you teach your eye how to observe and dissect reality the better an artist you'll be for it and the easier it'll be to draw anything.
     
  7. Tyrannosaur

    Tyrannosaur 100% Sarcastic Saurian

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    I think the recommendations everyone in this thread gave me will help out. I have tried posing some figures and drawing it ("Still-life" I think it's called) and it came out alright.
    The problem I have with drawing Transformers is trying to map out where everything goes and getting proportions right. I'll start drawing and detailing the leg, then another part of the body, then I'll realize both parts are in very unnatural/innacurate positions and out of proportion too.

    I'm ordering the books that were recommended :)  thanks again, and I also obtained the book I was originally looking for. It was "You can draw Mecha".

    Would you guys also happen to know of any specific titles on drawing Sci-Fi scenery/environments? Or just books full of concept art from Sci-fi movies/games?
     
  8. Fishdirt

    Fishdirt Tin Toy Transformer

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    Try books on perspective mapping. That's the issue you seem to have. 2 point and 3 point. Pretty easy stuff. Laborious until you get an eye but easy.
     
  9. Tyrannosaur

    Tyrannosaur 100% Sarcastic Saurian

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    Perspective mapping! Thats the term I was looking for! :D 

    I have no problem when it comes to natural environments (Forests, deserts, beaches, mountains, tundra etc.) but when it comes to cities and artificial backgrounds I can't draw a straight line without a ruler.
     
  10. Fishdirt

    Fishdirt Tin Toy Transformer

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    I can't either and I'm a professional illustrator :D  BUT I can draw a smooth freehand circle.

    Actually there is a ruler that helps layout the lines too that I discovered while trying to speed up my work:

    EZ Angle - Combination Ruler/Protractor | eBay

    It's called an angle ruler (I'd check for others I just used this for a sample).

    Basically you need rulers for perspective plotting and the ability to draw dots. It's actually really simple stuff, just very time consuming.
     
  11. BumphGb

    BumphGb Active Member

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    Hi, I'm not normally one to condone piracy but as this book has now been dis-continued and I can't find it anywhere else, it is available to download from this guy Archive Scans: Shoji Kawamori's Design Works
    As Kawamori Shoji was one of the original creators of the Transformers you might find it interesting.

    If the mods don't allow this kind of thing I will remove it though.
     
  12. Superquad7

    Superquad7 We're only human. Super Mod

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    I'd also recommend creating your own notebook of photos and sketches of trips to the junkyard or just hanging out somewhere.

    Also, :useless 

    :lol 
     
  13. Fishdirt

    Fishdirt Tin Toy Transformer

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    This. I need to get to chicago and take some downtown pics before I move to europe. I can draw buildings but the designs are hard to come up with when you need a few.

    For instance I draw almost nothing but brick because I am not around block made tall buildings enough to really have a feel. Also this is an example of 3 point perspective:

    [​IMG]

    and here is a newer example of the brick building dilema:

    [​IMG]

    Once I started doing sketch card incentives professionally I really started digging perspective work and it did push my layout design more. BTW the top one is 4"x5" and the bottom is standard trading card sized
     
  14. Tyrannosaur

    Tyrannosaur 100% Sarcastic Saurian

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    I have two sketch pads. A small one we're I draw in ideas, come up with different concepts for what I draw (Dinosaurs, aliens, mecha etc.) rarely leave home without it.

    My larger sketchpad thats 12"x24" is where I draw the final product of what has been drawn in my smaller sketch pad. In this one are my scenery drawings. Usually dinosaurs in their natural habitats, cityscapes being torn up by giant monsters and/or robots etc. all my concepts I draw in the smaller pad get finalized in this one.


    D'oh how could I forget? :lol 

    Here are a few of my drawings.
    The one of Starscream was done two years ago in my art class. It's actually two drawings that were mounted on black foam core board. My teacher said I should draw a smaller picture focusing on Starscream's head so I ran with it. It came out pretty nice.

    The other is a Stegosaurus vs. a Ceratosaurus pair that was done last summer. (There was some other modifications done to this one after it was scanned, the shadow of the Ceratosaurus on the left and the shading/detailing on the Stegosaur too)

    I have quite a few more, I'll see if I can upload them.
     

    Attached Files:

  15. Superquad7

    Superquad7 We're only human. Super Mod

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    This thread is getting awesome. Jus' sayin' :rock 
     
  16. TGping

    TGping Well-Known Member

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    To really improve at a fast rate you gotta draw from life. Learn some rules on perspective and draw a building that you can actually see. Hell, set up a group of blocks on a table and you have your cityscape :D 
     
  17. Superquad7

    Superquad7 We're only human. Super Mod

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    :thumb 
     
  18. Slothboy

    Slothboy Nick

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    I completely agree with the idea that you should draw from life (using blocks, or drawing buildings etc).

    The vast majority of people take this stuff for granted and assume they already know how to draw cubes etc and overlooking that basic stage makes their skill level suffer until they put it right.

    For drawing perspective I'd recommend Andrew Loomis' 'Succesful Drawing' which is available for free online (no publishing rights to this specific book of his yet). He goes in to a lot of things people tend to wonder about but never know how to tackle, like spacing windows in perspective, drawing slopes in perspective and so on. Seriously, one of the best books you can get on the subject.

    Andrew Loomis - Successful Drawing

    Really, perspective is the foundation of all good draftsmanship. Everything can be broken up in to geometric solids, so if you know how to draw those then things will become a lot easier. Hope that helps. :) 
     

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