okay so here is a tip
i have seen in my life many artists who proclaimed they want to develop their skills, and kept bashing on everyone and everything on the way....and for some reason those guys never got anywhere...
here is why..
there is a value to different approaches, different styles. realism, manga , cartooney disney, my little pony, furries....don't waste your time tryint to bash any of the stuff you don't personally like
you are missing out, bigtime!
see there is a reason why that stuff is popular. and by that i mean on the visual side. so instead of flaming , trolling and bashing, try understanding the inner workings of it.
here are some specific examples
realism- it is a wonderfully complex base , reflects one's skill in capturing reality, but in it there are differences between photo referenced, real life work and no reference. ALL HAVE THEIR VALUE AND IMPORTANCE! from photos you can learn alot, gain analytic skills, develop an attention to details, so dont bash those who work from photos, ask yourself can you do it as good!
from real life you include the speed aspect to it. nature is fleeting, changing, and you are trying to capture the moment, so when looking at a piocture you know was drawn from real life, look at it as such, understand it's challenges
from mind-no reference. learn to recognize the skills behind this approack and be aware the people who are capable of this are actually well versed in both from photo and from real life artwork
manga- a very popular style that is unfairly summarized. there are different approaches. to some manga summarizes gestures and expressions to facial emoticons but let's take a very popular naruto as an example. artist of it is a master of facial expressions and gesture. same can be said for genshiken. on a different side there are people like ken akamatsu who use a more polished stylized approach and uses facial emoticons to a greater extent. you can learn from all of these approaches
look for what is useful, not for what you can hate
disney influenced general style is perhaps the best aid to learning gesticulation and facial expressions, as it generally translates well into drawing and makes expressiveness pop by making every motion just a little bit overly done
my little pony... oh yea im goiing there! never saw the series, but i appreciate the expressive nature or what i like to call gesture mapping. it presents creativity on a different level where you are taking and partially anthropomorphizing horses in this case. the masterfullness there is the disneylike approach to selling the character's quality through emotiveness in animation
furries in any shape or form they also are a creative approach. you will see people mixing different styles and influences , from disney to manga to cinematic to realism. you may dislike the fetishization of the genre. but have no illusions they are the basis of many of the movie and videogame and comic monsters.
my point here is a simple one. LOOK FOR WHAT IS GOOD, SEARCH FOR USEFUL, DONT WASTE YOUR DAMN TIME ON FLAMING AND HATING IF YOU TAKE YOUR PROGRESS IN ANY WAY SERIOUSLY!
Listening to: rhapsody of fire nightwish
Reading: scripts by my writer
Eating: much less