BJD and drawing

Dec 20, 2016

    1. Hello everyone!

      Back when I first got interested in BJD, I was trying to find another way to help me draw and visualize poses and anatomy for drawing characters. The use of a BJD, or any doll really has always intrigued me. I have been an artist for as long as I can remember, I know the best way to study anatomy especially is to draw it from life and real people. I have read the books, I have had the drawing mannequins. But still I find drawing the humanoid figure to be very difficult. My problem that I had with the drawing mannequins was the level of detail. I have no problems getting the basic shapes down, but to jump from that into a fully fleshed character, is near impossible for me. That is where I find that dolls helps. Now I know every sculpt is different and you can't copy the image exactly of course. But just to see the figure in a 3D space and being able to pose and move them into a pose is so helpful. I don't yet have my own BJD. I hope to have one soon. But I am looking for a good sculpt that fits my idea of the figure I would like to draw. (If that makes sense) In the end I'm curious to know if any of you use your dolls for the same? Also I'd like to know how you feel it has improved your art?
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    2. Hi. I also had the same thinking when decide to own my first BJD, to improve my art desire. After decide the perfect sculpt as my first boy, when he on his way home, I had draw his image several time in my drawing book, to find his perfect image like I want. But truthfully I can only find his perfect image after weeks bonding with him and try several wig along with that. And he really turn into character that I want and I can feel him really have his own emotion and it make me easier to draw his character.

      And having BJD also help me not only draw them on paper, since I start building their image by faceup him by myself. Well, that is only happen for my second and next doll, since my first BJD is default company faceup.

      Hope you will have your first BJD soon and having fun with them. Since drawing BJD is very different than drawing using other figure model, since u can feel the emotion of your own doll, well that is what I feel. lol
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    3. I know what you mean about a character that seems to take on their own personality and emotions. I used to write a lot when I was younger. I used to be able to come up with them off the top of my head. But now days I think I need something to help me focus on the character. Thats where I think the BJD will help a whole lot.
    4. I will bring home my first male SD boy this thursday.
      When I read your post I was laghing because I bought a BJD for that same reason.

      I love to draw male persons/characteres. I love the esthetic of the male body a lot.
      Normaly I search for poses in the internet but there are poses where you need a model.
      Some times I am searching hours for the perfect pose that I like to draw..... So I decidet I like a BJD for that purpose. This BJD will be my model.

      I think if you like a doll/ sculpt realy much and you think that it is your estetic, you should go for it.
      Dont look at the price in that case. Save your money for the estetic that you like the most and that fits your drwaing style.

      For example : I draw mostly very masculine man/boys, so it makes no sence if I would have bought a slender BJD and honestly they are not my taste.

      Sorry this post is quite long .... :sweat
      And sorry for the bad english.
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    5. I think that is so wonderful! I'm so excited for you!

      I have a number of male characters, but I still haven't found the right sculpt for them yet. I agree with what you said about price too..In this case I have to be pretty specific with the sculpt and look of the doll. So I will just save up my money and get one eventually. I will more then likely get a female doll to start with first. I don't really have any characters that come to mind, and it would be a good base for ideas. I struggle a bit with folds and clothing too. So I think having a doll that I can dress in the type of clothing I want to draw will really help me in that area. Then of course I get to write about the character too. So that is always a plus. Over all just the time I would save from endlessly searching for the right reference pose or stock photo would be worth it. What SD male did you get by the way?
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    6. I think what you should do is look throu the companys.
      I waited one year before I decidet to get my first doll.
      There are so many nice companys out there with diferent prizes.
      And only because a doll is "cheap" it doesend mean that she is ugly or less lovely than other dolls.
      I also like for example the Mirodoll Lili doll a lot. and she is at the moment 90$.
      Dont let you tell from anyone that the sculpt that you choose is not good ok? :whee:

      The boy that I will get is a legit Fifth Motif Venitu.
      I ordered him when he got rereleased in July.
    7. I actually never used my dolls for that reason... until now! I'm getting the smaller YOSDs partly because they look like little children. I find children hard to draw, as I'm used to drawing older characters, and I'm rarely in a place I can see how children look, aside from the net... but 3D is defiantly better for capturing that life. So I'm hoping it will help me to improve that, as I am focusing on children's illustration now.

      I think even my old dolls helped me understand the human body better, not just how it looks but how it moves as well, and that was before the better joints that dolls have these days!
    8. Oh yes I have been. I've been waiting for about two years now. I'm still researching and searching, but in the end things are just tight right now. But I am hoping in the near future to be able to get one. I havn't heard of the Fifth Motif Venitu but I will go check it out.

      I never thought of using the YOSD's for that. I was shying away from the child looking dolls for something on the mature side. But I have problems drawing children too ha ha. So might be a good excuse. I have been working to try and improve my anatomy, and have done a lot of research but sometimes just having that doll there to get an better visualization of the 3D space is helpful. I found even my MH dolls do the same but their sculpt is so different. With the BJD there is more control on the proportions and look your trying to get.
      #8 artistgayle, Dec 20, 2016
      Last edited by a moderator: Jan 8, 2017
    9. I definitely find that BJDs are still nice as a casual reference even for just basic ideas for lighting and colours. If the body has a good range of poseability, I can use it as a reference for some basic gestures and poses, and I find BJDs can be useful especailly for drawing consistent volumes and and drawing things in proper perspective. Knowing how hard it is for many artists to draw hands, finding well-sculpted hands and being able to move them around is great for a reference, since it's hard to find good references of hands in the pose and perspective and lighting that you want.
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    10. Excellent points about the lighting, color, and hands. I totally agree with you! With all the wonderful hand sculpts out there and how easy it is to change them around. They would make a good reference. Honestly I always wondered why they never made those drawing mannequins more realistic anyhow. I mean I get the need to understand the basic skeletal shape of the human body. But once you get into fleshing it out it can get kind of tricky.
    11. Yeah, I can see MH dolls helping in the start, just like the normal drawing mannequins you can get a better idea of poses, but with a bit more detail. Though like you say, their sculpt, while awesome in it's own way, is very different, so it's not the best for more realistic proportions. BJDs are actually getting more and more diverse too, so whether you want something more on the anime side, ultra realistic, or something completely new, there is the perfect doll out there somewhere!
    12. Hi there! I'm an artist too and I really wanted a bjd to use it as a model. I had the chance to get one with a very realistic body and face, and I thought it was going to be awesome. Then I discovered that if you want a doll to pose for you, it should be a good poser, or else you won't be able to make her keep the poses you need, that's the problem I have with my girl, and maybe I would have done more research before buying her if I had known that. However, it's true that it's really helpful when I have to draw the shadows of a body and I can place her and the lamp where I need and see what the lights and shadows exacty look like.
      For poses I have an offtopic action figure ordered (Synthetic Human, by 1000toys), he can do any pose you imagine. However, he looks like a "robot", so it's not useful to see how the muscles look like. Eventually I'll get the SFBT artist mannequin (offtopic as well), which has the same problem as the SynHu, she can pose like heaven but her body looks robotic. That's why I think if you only want one doll to use as a model, it's a good idea to balance between poseability and aesthetics.
    13. I use mine occasionally for drawing. They're handy for strange perspective shots. For expressions, however, I just grab a mirror. I do agree with @Naisha that not all BJD are created equal in the posing department. If your primary desire is to have a drawing model, you'll probably want to research posing capabilities. But, if you're just using them to study the human figure, or lighting, it might not matter as much.

      I bought a Granado Chaka because I thought he looked like one of my ocs, Anthony. I ended up using him a bit in one of my short comics. It was useful to have him around as a 3D muse. He sat near my drafting table a lot. :D
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    14. I also agree with other that not all BJD is craeted for great posing for drawing. Mine is not that great for posing, but he had such a realistic body that I found appeal to draw anatomy.

      @BlitheFool love your boy and drawing ;) its a great idea to put your boy on the comic
    15. The idea did definitely cross my mind when I first started looking into bjd, but I haven't done so yet. Mostly because of the lack of time during this holiday season and partially because I'm just lazy. However, I have the same problems that you encounter while drawing and I hope that when I do finally get around to using my bjd to help with drawing it's as helpful as I think it'll be :)
    16. I bought my first doll with the main intention of using it for drawing and posing purposes. I've kind of gotten away from that due to lack of time and a desire to use the dolls for other purposes.
    17. For me, it's like what a lot of others have been saying. Mine are going to be composite models for my characters for the purpose of using them for posing and anatomy in a graphic novel I am developing. That was one of the biggest reasons why I got back into the bjd hobby actually.

      I've taken some life drawing classes, and own a lot of drawing and anatomy books, but having a 3D model is very beneficial for me. You can only derive so much from books and online sources, and my memory can only hold so much information, so having a visual resource has been incredibly crucial.

      I haven't had much of an opportunity to develop my characters completely and use them for my work yet, as real life stuff like moving and school (and the holidays) have forced me to put it on the back burner for now. I'm hoping to get a chance to change that since things are starting to settle down now.:kitty2
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    18. Oddly enough i got my first doll for that reason but once i got her home and dove into customizing, i stopped drawing all together. I don't think i've touched my tablet in over nearly 3 years. O.O
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