So…I want to learn how to draw. I just recently have had the desire to start drawing and I'm not honestly sure why. Maybe I've been viewing more visual mediums like manga. Maybe I'm less impatient and can appreciate pictures and the work that went into them more. The thing is, I feel pretty late in life compared to everyone I know who draws, as I'm about halfway through high school and have never done anything remotely artistic other than occasionally drawing simple stick people.
I realize that this is something I would have to work on for years to get anywhere at all, so I haven't set any super big goals for myself right now. I have a desire to really try to do this, but I don't have a dream to create some super grand, amazing story like OP or anything, I just want to draw as a hobby for fun, maybe create a few characters. So right now I'm trying to get basic human anatomy and eventually get to the point where I can draw a humanoid figure that actually looks like a humanoid figure, ehenhen. I checked out a book from my school library (Freaks, by Steve Miller) about how to draw anthropomorphic animals, and haven't actually looked at it past the first dozens pages that discuss basic anatomy.
It was a decent starting point for me, and now that I've actually started trying to draw people, the main thing I wanted to ask is how do I give my drawings a...3D look, I guess. I mean, when I try to draw a person (or anything, really), they just look flat, like the spider-sun of a little kid does. I mean, technically, everything on a piece of paper is flat, but when I look at a picture of Luffy, or the anatomy drawings in the book, they just...don't look flat. (I have such a way with words XP). I really want to know what to do to generally develop that depth in my draws. Also, the style I kinda want to develop would be...what's it called... Animesque, I think? Like, not as cartoony as OP but not as precise as Marvel/DC comics seem to be (I admitted don't read much of those). To be clear, I'm not expecting this to be as easy as flipping a switch. If the answer is that I must meditate under a waterfall for five hours, well, then so be it, I better start practicing in the shower.
Lastly, thank you for reading through this my disorganized cry for help. I realize this is kinda a petty thing compared to a lot of the topics talked about here, so I completely understand if this post don't get a lot of attention. Still, I would really appreciate any advice that anyone would be willing to share.
Welcome to the art world! Don't worry about being late, there's people who don't start until they're in their sixties. And as ONE (One Punch Man, Mob Psycho 100) showed, you don't need to be an amazing artist to create something interesting. The important thing is having fun.
I have no idea if I can help, but I'll try.
It's great that you're starting with anatomy! The most important thing here is learning the proportions of the body. Don't worry about how realistic or detailed is, focus on getting all the joints and parts lined up right. Once you got the gist of that you can start exaggerating and having fun.
As for the flatness of your drawings, there's two ways to combat this. The first is learning. A great way is drawing geometric shapes, trying to put those in perspective and then basing the body parts on those. The second is learning to draw "energy/life". The best way is to grab a sketchbook and draw things from real life. Forget everything about details, accuracy and beauty - these drawings are supposed to be fast and ugly. The point is to throw away all your preconceptions about "what something should look like" and instead focus on the movement and general shape. In the professional world this is called gesture drawing and figure drawing.
And of course, references. Never be afraid to use references.
Here's a variety of sites that can help with random stuff. Posemaniacs has fully rotatable poses of humans. Line of Action and Quickpose are great for gesture and figure drawing. Paletton, Coolors and Colourlovers can help you with picking colors. Sycra is an all-around good youtube channel with lots of tutorials. There's this lovely tutorial on expressive faces. And while this isn't a tutorial or art site, Creative Uncut has loads of game artwork to inspire you.
Other general tips is to not be afraid to go outside your comfort zone. Look at a variety of things for inspiration, even things you don't think you'll like.
Lastly, remember that there's no right or wrong way to do something, and that all artists learn their life out. I know there's some Japanese guy who wasn't satisfied with drawing a line until he was like 87. A lot of the sources above have their own ideas about "what's wrong and what's right" but you don't need to agree with them. For example I hate drawing geometrical shapes and detailed anatomy charts, so unless it's absolutely necessary I always skip those steps or do something else. It's good to know but I won't let it bind me. Learn the rules so you can break them, so to speak.
Hope that helped