I've seem to have hit a wall in my drawings.While my still life's continue to improve a little and so do my copy's. I find myself unable to draw almost anything from my imagination. I think I have the line part down but I just cant seem to wrap my head around form or shading.
For the past few days I've been doing some anatomy studies of some of Bridgman's books. It was while I was drawing them that I noticed I was copying the lines and shading,but I didn't fully grasp the form of what I was drawing. I had a hard time seeing the actual volume/form of the object. I mean I saw the volumes in Bridgman's drawings but didn't fully see them in my own till the end.
I think this also has to do with my other problem of not being able to visualize my drawings on the paper before I actually put down the lines(which leads to a lot of erasing).I mean I can see it in my head ,but I just can't seem to plan the lines as they should be on the paper.Is this just case of keep drawing and it will hit me sooner or later, Or is there something I should try to help me better understand it?
(I think this is the right section to put this in, If not sorry mods please move )
Practice... Everything is a practice... Drawing from life/ref' and drawing out of the mind's eye are related yet at the same time, very different things and experiences.
While you get used to practicing by drawing from observation before you, so is it drawing from the mind, in a way you're observing from the mind.
Many growing up artists (from childhood) usually practice by drawing from imagination and usually are not great skill. But eventually many do become better and much neater looking. But that's because many of them draw off from other artists' works. So in a way, they are also drawing from what they happen to see.
But, again. Practice.
- Maybe the problem is neglecting perspective? It's necessary if you want to draw something volumetric.I've seem to have hit a wall in my drawings.While my still life's continue to improve a little and so do my copy's. I find myself unable to draw almost anything from my imagination. I think I have the line part down but I just cant seem to wrap my head around form or shading.
- To me it never work this way. What you see in your head is usually impression rather than form. It's never perfect. Focus on what you have in front of you. First draw some shape and you will instantly know if it's what you want or not. If it's not then adjust it. Make it longer, shorter, more organic, angular or anything else. After some time you will know which shapes are better and which are worse before you put pencil on paper. It's all about trial and seeing these errors.I think this also has to do with my other problem of not being able to visualize my drawings on the paper before I actually put down the lines(which leads to a lot of erasing).I mean I can see it in my head ,but I just can't seem to plan the lines as they should be on the paper.
I looked into your sketchbook:
1. When drawing from imagination, try to build everything from basic forms. It's at the beginning of Loomis book.
2. When drawing basic construction visualise it on paper as object made of "glass". For example when you draw cube you need to include the lines that are on the other side which is not visible. This will help you see the form better. For spherical shape draw lightly ellipses that are on the surface of it. You don't see them in real life. They are there just to help you see the surface. Basicly treat lines as guidelines for your shading, not the drawing itself. You will go even further if you treat those outside contours as EQUAL in importance to those inside contours wrapping around form.
That's my 2 cents. I hope it's easy to understand. English is not my first language.
Farvus you just made a lot of things click in my head =P
For some reason I had used Loomis idea of using simple objects when doing his studies but never used it for anything else. I remember using a triangle to build his more complex skeleton model(the chest anyways). It really helped me in constructing it, so ill try to use it a lot more in my other studies.
"Maybe the problem is neglecting perspective? It's necessary if you want to draw something volumetric."
Heh i was already dedicating all of tonights studies to perspective \o/
Oh yes...perspective, most definite.
Although, you gotta consider the times that uses hardly any perspective such as profilic drawings (side, front); very flat-like, no angle persay.
Even there, you must keep in mind your figure subject's 3D form all around AND how that deals with the surface you/the viewer are looking at. Otherwise it can turn out flat, lifelike, "uber 2D"...
I think you didn't fully understand it. This method is even more essential for drawing from imagination than for doing studies. I will try to explain it with pictures.It really helped me in constructing it, so ill try to use it a lot more in my other studies.
Let's say you have some vase that looks like this one.
As you see it has two handles. Closer one is all visible and further partially sticks out from behind the vase.
From life - When drawing from life you already have all the guidelines in front of you. You just need to put all the proportion and angle measurements on the paper (those red marks on the left vase below this text). The "glass" method is not needed but drawing with it from life sometimes helps too.
From imagination - I sketched some slightly different vase from imagination. This time I used ellipses as my base for constructing outside contours. The angle of ellipses was determined by central axis of vase which I sketched first.
On the front handle there was some further contour line (red color) that suddeny comes out from behind the front contour line. In order to figure out where it comes out I sketched lightly green ellipse.
To figure out where the further handle comes out behind vase I sketched this blue ellipse. Otherwise I would have to guess. Of course all these guidelines destroy the quality of your drawing but:
a) after gaining skill you can estimate these things without even drawing them. It becomes intuitive thing.
b) you need to go through heavily constructed drawing stage and understand form before you proceed to doing clean easthetic illustrations.
c) usually badly constructed clean drawing looks much worse than well constructed messy drawing
It's all completely basic stuff but sometimes hard to understand. Hope it helps.
Yea sorry meant to say in my drawings =P
I think I'm going to spend a sometime just studying things in "glass mode".To try and get the feel for volume/form. But I'm sure I get what you mean.
Thanks for all the help btw
Do some sculpture. Once you have experience actually building up forms from simpler ones it becomes much easier to do it mentally.
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bust out those old ass number 2, muddy old pencils.
working with a small tipped pencil makes you focus on line a little bit, and it's harder to "feel" the forms, at least for me.
"feeling" form is like...feeling the 3d-ness of it, it's bulk, weight, it's "protrusion". Dunno if that helps or anything.
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The understanding of perspective and Cross sectional drawing can vastly help in understanding what a form looks like from imaginative views. Smart practice is key. Study what your refence is "doing" and look for reasons why. Those rules that you'll uncover are can be applied to any form.
I tried some stuff earlier tonight its becoming clearer.
Would it be bad if I cut out a triangle and circle(circle to represent most ellipses) to help me out from time to time?
At least Icarus tried!
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No not so I could trace around it. mostly to be able to sight the shapes in front of me.
Sorta like looking at life to help out with my imagination I guess.