Featured artists (Archive)

Artist Feature: Danny Cruz - 1000 Hours of Gesture Drawing 17 / 03 / 2019

So Danny, you reached the insane milestone of 1000 hours of practice on Quickposes, that is totally astounding! Congrats! In this interview I want to talk about your journey over the last years on Quickposes and how your gesture drawing has evolved.

But first, for all the people who don't know you, give us a small backstory about you and how you got into art.

I grew up casually drawing on and off and intensely liking movies, cartoons, comics and games. Fast forward to now, I've been freelancing full time for the last 10 years, primarily creating artwork for tabletop miniature companies as well as some comics projects. It's been a great run so far...

Ok let's get into the real topic, your 1000 hours of practice! Do you remember the first time, or one of the first times you discovered Quickposes? What did you think of it? Did you know about gesture drawing before discovering Quickposes?

It's been a while but I believe I first became aware of Quickposes around 6 years ago. I had already been doing timed gesture drawing at a couple of other places at that time actually. QP appealed to me for a few reasons: Firstly, the images used were mostly different than the other sites I had been using. Secondly, I really liked the easy to use interface and customization. And, lastly, I liked the concept of 'leveling up' to the next level. I think that kind of dangling carrot approach makes the process more fun. 

Did you start getting into full force or did the habit gradually build up?

As far as drawing habits, Early on, I pretty much started full on and have maintained that approach since.

What is your routine like for practicing gesture drawing? Do you supplement with real live model drawings, practicing from imagination?

I typically do 20 minutes of 1 minute poses and between 10 to 20 minutes of 2 minute poses. I've been trying to do a full hour lately so now it's 40 minutes of 2 minute poses. But I have to admit, that after about 30 minutes in, the eye/mind/hand connection isn't as sharp as when I start off and a lot of my gestures from then on are heavy handed and aren't very good.

I supplement that with a lot of drawing from life via photos and models, reading and studying from figure drawing and anatomy books. I haven't been to a life drawing class for a few years now, I've just been too busy plus the regular place I was going to changed locations and raised their rates so I haven't looked into any alternatives yet. I don't do much specific practice with drawing from imagination but during the course of a typical week, I produce quite a few rough sketches for client work and those are always done from imagination.

Obviously not everyone is going to do 1000 hours of practice, but is there a certain point when you start seeing definite improvement, do you know maybe at which hour / stage?

I know for sure that thanks to all those hours of gesture drawing, I can pretty easily draw my way through an entire figure in no time. I couldn't say specifically at what point I started seeing an improvement though. Also, aside from skill, I'd imagine doing it day in and day out builds up confidence as well.

How do you feel personally feel about 1000 hours of gesture drawing practice? Do you feel like you have developed a certain flow, style and understanding of human figures? and 

I think it's awesome and I like the fact that there's actual tangible proof of that as well. To me gesture drawing has that dichotomy of being an extremely important stage yet at the same time just a means to an end. Using the analogy of constructing a house, you want your foundations to be rock solid before you go on and build something grand on top of that. Same concept here.

I actually do think it has helped me develop flow, style and understanding...specifically in the early stages of a drawing. Where I'm kind of skating around the paper with some sense of purpose instead of wandering around the paper in a kind of nebulous way hoping something sticks. Both approaches are totally valid btw, I just prefer the former for myself.

Does your approach to gesture drawing differ from when you started to where you are now?

I altered my approach drastically a few years back actually. Early on, I was using an overhand grip, immediately breaking down the figure with a centerline and a secondary line and building everything out from the torso. These days, using a regular writing/drawing grip, I'll start off with the head or torso and work my way through the figure...basically leading the eye from one point to another cascading through the figure using rhythms. Also, I think my gesture drawings these days don't look as nice as they used to because I think I was adding my anatomy knowledge into the figures early on and these days I have the confidence (that word again) to not be concerned with anatomy when I'm doing these gesture drawings. I can always add structure and build my anatomy on a gesture afterwards.

Has this practicing spilled over into your art or other areas of your artistic abilities. if so how?

Specifically, I've noticed all this practice has carried over into my compositions. I'm constantly trying to lead the eye throughout the overall image using rhythms. It's the same basic concept as with the 1 minute poses but with just more going on.

Do you have any practice tips for the people out there who are also doing the grind?

I'd say this: Try to be consistent with the time of day you do gesture drawing also keep in mind, since everything starts as gesture, that you're always doing gesture drawing even when you're not doing dedicated practice for it. Do it even when you aren't feeling it and aren't really drawing well for that session (that happens frequently for me). Don't worry too much about a bad drawing session and/or a figure that gives you trouble. There's always another figure to draw and/or another day to do gesture drawing. So there really isn't any reason to stress about it or let it get you down.

Also, I have to add, doing gestures online is great and everything but keep in mind it doesn't beat doing gestures of actual living people in the real world. I can say with 100% certainty that my gestures of real people in the real world always seem more fluid and alive than the ones I do from online. Although, in this day and age, I feel that a lot of times my gesture work outside tends to be endless variations of people looking at their phones but, that's besides the point lol.

I hope you liked this guys. You can check out more of Danny's art on his DeviantArt page

Much love <3




Artist Feature: Mickael Lelièvre 29 / 09 / 2018

Hey guys!

It's been a very long time but I have decided to resurrect the featured artists! It's been way too long and from now I will do my best to have regular artist features because it's cool to be exposed to new artists and styles! I have also decided to focus outside of Quickposes or drawing community in general because there are a ton of artists out there that deserve the spotlight.

Today one of those artists is Mickael Lelièvre. He is a 3D sculptor from France and he has an absolutely amazing style and work ethic. We spoke a while ago about his art and life and whatnot. Enjoy!

So let's begin with providing the people with a small backstory about your life so they get know you a bit. Where are you from, what do you do now and where are currently located.

I'm from Nantes, North West of France, and now I'm Senior Modeler at TAT Production in Toulouse in the South West of France.

How did you get first get into art, or what inspired you? Was it something you discovered early on as a child or it came later?

When I was a little boy I wanted to be a Car Designer and because of that I started to draw at a young age. I finished the first year of my master in Art and Design and then changed to 3d. I thought it was more creative in 3d, there was more character and creature work and I could use my imagination a lot more. I would say that I had always this creativity and I was looking for the best way to express it.

When did you develop your skills and end up transition into a professional artist and how did that go?

After school I tried to be a freelancer but it was really hard and I did a lot of architecture work, nothing really creative, but I found work at TAT Production in 2012 and started as a junior modeler. From then on I learned a lot of new skills using 3dsmax and Zbrush...and step by step I became a professionnal but I still learn every day.

What are some things you underestimated about becoming a professional artists, or some things you didn’t expect?

I didn't expect that my personal work would become so popular and have a lot of people following me and asking me advices and tips. So yeah, I didn't expect so much feedback and love ... ahah

Let’s get into your style, process and creativity now. Where do you find the inspiration for your art pieces?

Mother nature!! Everything is there I mean, by observing your garden, or what you eat or even looking at some documentary about animals or space. I think curiosity is a thing to practice at the same level as your knowledge in your software...and I have to say other artists are also a source of inspiration.

After you get inspired, how do you start developing your idea? How is your creation process like?

I get some ideas here and there poping in my head, and write them down, sculpt it or sketch it. My problem is that I need to have a reminder to finish these ideas later. Also, when I'm sculpting the idea evolves during the process, I always play with the silhouette. Most of all I try to stop and go back to a different project after a while, that's why I am always doing multiple sculpts at the same time.

Your redesigns of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Pokémon are becoming quite famous. How did those ideas start? How did you decide for the style you choose, what was the inspiration for that?

For the TMNT I was, like anyone of my age, a huge fan during my childhood...I thought about doing a fan art and by searching some species of turtle I found a sea turtle and thought that it would be great to see the TMNT in new shapes. Each one could be a different species, it's intresting because they mutated in a lab so it could be justified...anyway I started by doing a Leonardo inspired by a sea turtle and a leatherback. After a year I thought, ok let's do the rest. And as I said before, nature is awesome, each species of turtle has something different.

For pokemon it was a similar process, I thought about doing pokemon in my style and by looking at animal species and how I could make it "realistic" and a little "demonic", because after all we are talking about creatures fighting each other. It's a great exercise because sometime you need to look at mammals to make a reptile standing up, and sometimes you need to look at vegetation to complete an amphibian...etc Most importantly is that it's my vision that matters, my vision I had as a child and the one I remember now and how I can sculpt this feeling.

It’s maybe too early but are you planning any other redesigns of franchises? Or are there franchises you would really love and try your own redesign once?

I'm thinking about a lot of things to redesign, it could be video games like Mario, final fantasy (chimera most of all), Metroid, shovel knight or it could be movies/animes like naruto, Dragon ball, Disney characters, some of these would be really interesting to redesign. I like to make my own concepts and create something from an idea so yeah I'll do more redesigns in the future for sure.

And as a parting gift for students, Do you have some wisdom to share with aspiring artists/students who want to get into the same field as you?

The most important thing to have is curiosity and patience. If you like what you do, If you like that feeling when you have something in your head, an idea, a creature, a scene...and you want to draw it, sculpt it, you just need to practice, being patient and practice your skills by love. I mean it's not an exercise, it's an excuse to produce what you like and what you feel. The thing is that you'll learn every single time you'll produce an artwork, and that's what is interesting. So yeah, patience because it doesn't come in few days but only after a while, and curiosity, because curiosity is the engine of your imagination, read, observe, invent, invent stories and characters...anything that could bring a universe in your hand and under your finger.

Alright that's it for now. be sure to check out Miackael on ArtStation!

Much love <3

~ Verx

Artist Feature: Divine Kataroshie 19 / 12 / 2016

Hey guys,

Recently Divine Kataroshie was one of the first to achieve the Master Certificate (500h). For this remarkeable achievement I wanted to take the time and do another Artist Feature. Divine Kataroshie is a polish artist who has been practicing for years on Quickposes. She sent me one of her earliest gesture drawing drawing and more recent ones. You will clearly see how her style and technique evolved over the years and see that practice does make perfection.

So let's start with telling us where you are from and how you got into art?

I was born and raised in Poland. I started drawing in 2011, when I was around 13 years old, so relatively late in life. It was because of one of my close friends who is 7 years older than me. While I was still in high school he was already finished and started working. However each time when he got back from his work he still had energy to draw for hours while talking on Skype with me. His persistence and attitude was so inspiring that one day I finally brought myself to start drawing and I fell in love with it.

Are you working as a professional artist right now or is it more as a hobby?

I'm basically someone between a hobbyist and professional artist. I occasionally get some commissions but it's really inconsistent and I can't really call it "my job" or "source of income".

What were a few things you underestimated before you started drawing?

I underestimated how big world of painting is and, especially at the beginning, the need to focus on certain areas because you can't become great at everything at once. There are so many areas in drawing like: proportions, anatomy, composition, shapes, color, values, edges, or painting technique in general. Unfortunately because I wanted to be a "jack of all trades" I ended up not becoming really good at any of those. I split my attention and exercises too much between different areas.

Ok let's now talk about practicing the art of art!

How did you discover Quickposes and have you been acquainted with gesture drawing before?

Because I focus mostly on character designs it was only natural that I will need to learn anatomy and proportions of the human body. When searching for tutorials I  came across a video from some gesture drawing tutorials. Unfortunately in my town I didn't have access to life drawing classes so I looked online and that's how I discovered Quickposes.

How long have you been doing gestures & have you started noticing improvement in your gesture poses since you started?

I started doing gesture drawings at the end of 2013, and since then my comprehension of the human figure and anatomy improved a lot. It's pretty difficult to not see any difference or improvement after dedicating so much time on one subject(gesture drawing for example). Sometimes I still make mistakes when defining a gesture for my character drawings, but it's still much much better than my earlier work.

So how do you feel now after 500 hours of practicing gesture drawing?

I'm leaps and bounds from where I started from, and I feel much more comfortable with drawing poses, even from imagination, but I know that the journey will never end. I know, no matter how long I practice, that I will learn something new about the human body after each session. But that is also what I think it's really about, an endless journey.

When you look back on the first time you started this practice and now much later what is the difference you see?

Line quality, proportions, anatomy, perspective, speed, memorizing human body better and better, you name it. I improved slower in perspective and form, but it's pretty difficult after so many hours to not see at least a little bit of improvement everywhere.

A lot of people mention after a while when they are in a certain 'flow' that they start 'feeling' the poses. Have you encountered something like that?

A lot of people say that because I think it's true, but if you don't pay attention this feeling can also come from doing too many repetitive types of practice and poses. That's why my sessions are more deliberate. One time I focus specifically on form with 2/5 min poses, next time I do only 30s poses for pure gesture practice, and some times I do longer sessions of 10/30 min per pose and play with silhouette, edges and shading. It breaks my routines and and keeps me focused.

Next to gesture drawing. do you have other types of exercises/practices that you do regularly to improve your skills. If so, can you share it with us?

I have some specific types of exercises that I like to do:

- taking some 3d models from sketchfab and doing sketches from them from different angles.
- stylizing portraits/figures into my favourite style
- imagining pose from different angles, or trying to recreate pose from my own memory.
- simplifying poses into 3d objects(simple forms), and rotating them.

Do you have any tips for people who are practicing gesture drawing ?

DO NOT, and I repeat DO NOT try to make it perfect. Avoid being distracted by the timer at all cost. If the timer ends before you are finished with the pose you need to accept it and move on. After your session you can safely take 10/15 min to look at all of your poses and reflect on your mistakes. The human body consist out of many layers. You can't possibly draw all of it in one minute or 2 min pose. That's why I recommend to pick 1 or 2 subjects, for example gesture and proportions, and do 20 x 1 min gesture to focus on it.

And lastly, Have FUN! I's only drawing after all ;) If it comes out "badly", don't get angry, nothing bad will happen!

Much love to Divine Kataroshie for taking the time to do this interview and provide us with a glimpse of her way of approaching gesture drawing. You can check more of her work at ArtStation.

~ Verx

Artist Feature: Swendly Benilia 29 / 09 / 2015

I know it has been more than a year since I featured any artists but recently I contacted Swendly Benilia for a small Q&A. He is a Freelance Concept Artist & Illustrator based in The Netherlands. You might have seen his tutorials pass by in The Official Quickposes Thread on conceptart.org.

Let's get started.  

Where are you from and how did you get into art?

I was born in the beautiful tropical island called Curacao. My love and passion for art became evident at a very young age. I was always drawing my favorite cartoon characters and inventing new ones. At first I wanted to become a comic book artist, but then I discovered concept art and decided to pursue a career in that area as a specialized character designer.

Are you a professional artist and/or how long have you been working/drawing as professional artist? 

I´ve been working as a professional artist for about four years now. The assignment that really launched my career was some character design I did for the 'Iron & Honor' miniature wargame by Red Turban Press. I Got a lot of work after putting those in my portfolio.

What were a few things you underestimated before becoming a professional artist or started drawing?

At first I did not realize the amount of knowledge required to succeed as a professional. Just being able to draw and paint well is not enough. You also need to know how to do business, communicate effectively with clients, marketing, negotiating etc. This all comes down to knowing how to deal with people. So I had to grow a lot in this area.

Ok let's talk about practicing the art of art :) 

How did you discover quickposes and have you been acquainted with gesture drawing before ? 

Yes, I've been practicing gesture drawing for quite some time now. I learned about the importance of gesture while studying Glenn Vilppu's dvd's and drawing manual. At first I was using another website. When that site went offline I googled for other resources and came across quickposes.

How long have you been doing gestures & have you started noticing improvement in your gesture poses since you started?

I've been consistently doing gesture drawings daily for around three years now. I've improved a lot but more because of reading a lot of books on the subject than just drawing. Once I acquired the right knowledge the process became quite easy and straightforward.

A lot of people mention after a while when they are in a certain 'flow' that they start 'feeling' the poses. Have you encountered something like that?

For sure! After a while experiencing the gesture that I'm drawing became second nature. I think your mind develops a sensibility for gesture.

Have you seen benefit in other areas of your work from doing gesture poses frequently?

The speed at which I can draw believable characters has increased tremendously. I used to have a very hard time posing my characters in a believable way. This is the reason I started doing gesture drawing. Now that problem is gone forever.

Next to gesture drawing. do you have other types of exercises/practices that you do regurlaly to improve your skills. If so, can you share it with us?

Yes, I do a lot of reading on drawing, painting and design. Like I mentioned before, I noticed more progress from reading than from just mindlessly drawing. Often the advice given to improve your skills is to 'draw, draw, draw!'. Personally I've found this to be only half true. Improvement comes first by knowledge. You have to know better to do better. Good drawing starts in the mind. Your arm is merely the output. You have to know what you should be thinking about and looking for once you sit down to draw. Otherwise you will not be using your time effectively.

So first you have to pursue knowledge of the basic principles, or fundamentals as they're often called in art. Then you have to spend time practicing to train your mind to automatically observe and think about these principles when you're drawing. Once application of the principles become second nature, you will be able to work faster. So basically I exercise my mind more than my arm and hand.

Do you have any tips for people who are practicing gesture drawing ?

These are three important aspects to consider while practicing:

1. Keep in mind that the purpose of gesture drawing is first of all to capture the gesture, not drawing details. So keep it very simple and straightforward to start with. Once you have captured a good pose you will have a strong basis to build details on. 

2. To get a good sense of weight and balance, remember that the human figure exists in a 3D space. So think about perspective and avoid figures that are just floating on the page (unless they are actually floating of course). 

3. To effectively capture the gesture of a figure, think about verbs and not body parts. Verbs describe action. Let the verbs dictate your lines and watch your gestures really come to live!


Ok that's it!

Much love to Swendly for taking the time to provide us which such great information about his practice and art!

Check out his work on his website.

Artist Feature: Razvan Barbulescu 13 / 01 / 2014

Welcome to another artist feature ! This time I interviewed aspiring artist Razvan Barbulescu from Romania. You might have seen some of his work on conceptart.org and his gestures in the offical gesture drawing thread on ca.org.

Hey Razvan, thanks for taking the time to get in touch. Let's first talk about you :)

Where are you from and how did you get into art?

I'm from Caracal, Romania, and I got into art by attending classes in college for economics, not being interested in them and sketching out of boredom mostly. After that I wanted to see if I really enjoyed drawing so I decided to draw every day for a year to see how it pans out and I've been drawing and trying to improve my skills ever since.

I've seen on conceptart.org that you are practicing alot. Do you have a career in art or are you a student / something else?

I don't have a career in art. I am still trying to learn a lot and eventualy build a good portfolio. For the moment I have a part time job that allows me to invest my time into art :)

Let's talk about the art of practicing art :)

How did you get inspired to start gesture drawing ?

I saw Alex Negrea post a lot of gesture drawings on facebook and I was looking at them and they looked like figure drawings but were done in 60 seconds so I decided to try and do some every day.

Do you have a certain routine for practice ?

I mostly try to do them before anything else to warm up, but I've also been doing them before bed. At first I was doing about 60 poses for 60 seconds, but now I do 20 poses for 60 seconds and then 2 or 3 figure studies for about 10 minutes each and after that I try and do 1 or 2 figures from imagination.

You have accumulated an amazing amount of drawn gesture poses over the last few months using quickposes. Have you started noticing improvement in your gesture poses?

Yes, my line work has improved as well as the motion in my figures. I finish the gestures more quickly now so I have time to work on the anatomy and proportions.

Have you seen benefit in other areas of your work by doing gesture poses frequently?

It definitely helps with figure drawing and drawing in general as it makes everything seem less stiff.

A lot of people mention after a while when they are in a certain 'flow' that they start 'feeling' the poses. Do you have the same feeling?

I think so, after a few poses I start to get the feel for the form a bit better.

I noticed you mostly practice gesture drawing on paper. Is that a preference or something deliberate? Do you use other types of medium's as well?

I did a lot of digital ones too, but if I spend most of the time painting on the tablet, so doing gestures on paper is a nice change and I like the feel of it too.

Do you have types of exercise that you do regurlaly to improve your skills?

I do studies of different stuff, like anatomy, perspective, color and value study, faces, enviroment etc. I mix them up from one week to another so these are the only ones that I do regularly.

Do you have any tips for the people out there practicing gesture drawing?

Start simple, like the "bean" technique to get a feel for what the torso is doing in different poses and angles, also try and do some figure and anatomy studies so you understand what's going on with the gesture.

That was it for this artist feature. You can get in touch if you want to be featured, or you want to suggest someone.

You can check out Razvan's sketchbook and work on conceptart.org.

Much love <3

Artist Feature: Danny Cruz 13 / 10 / 2013

This is the start of my new ongoing coverage of some of the artists that use quickposes to improve their drawing skills.

The first artist to be featured is Danny Cruz. He is a character/creature designer from the United States. His clients include IDW, Valiant Entertainment, Kingdom Death, TBC Films, Mierce Miniatures & more.

So Danny, let's begin with providing the people with a small backstory about your life so they get know you a bit. Where are you from and how did you get into art?

I'm from New York and art has always been something that I seemed to have an innate ability for. However, I did not grow up wanting to be an artist...it was just something I did, pretty much drawing whatever my interests were at the time. The urge to want to do that for a living came a little bit later on in my life.

And how long have you been a professional artist for?

At this point, I've been freelancing for a living for almost 5 years.

When did have your big break in art professionally? You know, like maybe an assignment that might have launched your career.

I don't think I've had one breakout assignment yet. It's been more a series of small but steady projects throughout the years. Probably the closest thing remotely considered a big break might be the visibility from the Kingdom Death Kickstarter campaign. That had garnered quite a bit of attention and during that time I was literally getting contacted by people every day wanting me to be involved with their games projects.

When you start becoming a professional in any field some things change or you have unexpected experiences. What was one of the things you underestimated before becoming a professional artist?

Probably the surprisingly quick rate I go through art supplies lol. Creating artwork 6-7 days a week, all day long tends to have me going through traditional art supplies, particularly pencils and sharpeners, quite quickly.

Let's start talking about practicing the art of art ! How did you discover quickposes and have you been acquainted with gesture drawing before ?

I discovered quickposes through a google search. I had been using a couple of gesture sites at the time and was just casually looking to see if there was anything else out there. Since then, quickposes has been the primary place I go to practice my gesture drawings. I had been acquainted with gesture drawing through the numerous drawing and art books I have read throughout the years. I suppose it was all those books that instilled in me how crucial gesture is to the drawing process hierarchy. I always make it a point to start everything, no matter how detailed or complex it may end up being, with a solid gesture that conveys my intent with whatever it is that I am drawing.

Do you have a certain routine for practice using quickposes?

I use quickposes for about an hour each day. It's how I start off my day actually. I do a half hour of 1 minute poses and a half hour or 2 minute poses.

You have accumulated an amazing amount of drawn gesture poses over the last few months using quickposes. Have you started noticing improvement in your gesture poses?

Sure! I'd say it's made me more nimble and less rigid when it comes to roughing out a quick gesture with or without having reference.

Have you seen benefit in other areas of your work from doing gesture poses frequently?

Yes, primarily with being more conscious of how rhythm flows throughout things: a figure, drapery, composition, etc...

Next to gesture drawing. do you have types of exercise that you do regularly to improve your skills.

I'm always working on my figure drawing. Pretty much working out figures from gesture to construction to specific anatomy. With those types of exercises I'm primarily working on accuracy, proportion and just trying to get a strong feeling of form...as well as trying to maintain the integrity of the initial gesture throughout all that. I also work on specific aspects of the figure like hands, heads and drapery.

Any things you would like to see improved on quickposes ?

Probably the only thing that comes to mind at the moment is that I think it'd be great if pics from different sports were included as well.

Ok, thats it for now :) thanks for taking time to talk and share a bit of info about yourself, your work and how you practice in becoming a better artist.

For more of Danny's work visit his deviantArt page.