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.