Cutting Edge Drawing

Cutting Edge seems to be the magic description in all varieties of professions. The funny thing is that not many people I ask can explain what it means, though they understand immediately what is meant when they see a cutting edge drawing.

Here is what Wikipedia says when you search for ‘Cutting Edge Drawing’:

Nothing at all. There is no explanation on Wikipedia what would make it easier to understand when a drawing is a cutting edge drawing. The term cutting edge art will occasionally be used but not described.

If this isn’t your first visit to this blog you saw the results of my first try-outs with Manga Studio.

None of this images was cutting edge. Simply because of the fact that they don’t have that WOW-factor (let’s agree that this is the jaw dropping experience when you look at a unbelievable cool drawing).

As we understand by now, the WOW-factor is not just very important but also very subjective. So we could say that the cutting edge lays in the eyes of the beholder and thus it is subjective as well.

In my opinion there is a little difference here. I would say that if there is not much room for criticism and everyone agrees that the drawing is unbelievable beautiful, cool or however you want to name it, the cutting edge is reached.

It’s always good to lay your work aside for a while and come back to study it later. The enthusiasm you first had has vanished a little and you look at it with a fresh eye. So let’s take a brief look at my first try with the mentioned software.

I don’t have the hope that you come back and say Yes Mario, this is a cutting edge drawing! Honestly, I would be surprised if you said so. It’s a nice first try. I think the proportions are well done. The line work of the inking is a little awkward and the shadowing and high lighting is screaming: FIRST TRY!

When we go then to take a glance at the second result we will see that the line work has been improved. Even the shadowing of the body is slightly better. When I take a critical look at the face I have to admit that the facial shadowing is terrible. The cutting edge isn’t found in this drawing either.

The third image makes one thing clear: the focus was on the motorcycle and not on the girl. Let’s face it: the girl is flat and should have been drawn with more passion. It looks kind of sterile as it were still the joint doll I used to create her.

By the way, when criticizing yourself you shouldn’t forget that it’s important to go ahead. You’ll learn much more from your mistakes (especially if you recognize them) than from the things you are doing right.

Maybe you heard of the 10.000 hours theory that says that you have to practice this amount of time to develop professional skills. I don’t agree completely with this because I think that it is important what you are practicing in this 10.000 hours. If you are just good at drawing eyes and the only thing you do is drawing eyes in this amount of time you will not learn to draw hands, legs or noses. Am I right? Give it a thought.

Did you know that while you are practicing there is stuff in your brain created, called myeline, that will harness your skills in a physical way. My friend Jonnie over at Ultimate Paper Mache recommended the book The Talent Code to me and it’s a very interesting read.

In the first place I wanted to embed one or more cutting edge drawings by Jim Lee here, but due to copyright restrictions I decided otherwise. Thanks for your understanding.

You will also understand why I find the image below a cutting edge drawing. There are different reasons for that. The smoothness of the shadowing and coloring is superb. The pose and the anatomy is great. OK, it’s sexy, though I think I can learn a lot about drawing hair when I study images like this.


Thank you very much for your time and for you re-tweet, subscription to my RSS-feed or my newsletter (whatever comes first). You are also welcome at every time if you are not doing one of the above.

I wish you a lot of fun drawing!

Related articles:
First Result With Manga Studio EX 4
Second Result With Manga Studio EX 4
Third Result With Manga Studio EX 4

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