azalin excellent job! i think you've got enough of an understanding now to interpret these kinds of drawings on your own and start making bigger decisions. your edges are very good here, you lose them in the wrinkle pattern in the shirt and find them in other places...excellent.
an excellent drawing, but the value range is very limited compared to the original photo. again, that's an organizational decision that comes with the kind of mood you're trying to convey, etc. (but i'm sure you can see what a pain in the ass hatching a large dark area is, right?)
keep it up!
Sigit (i'm using right left with respect to the picture, not the model...) the right side of his mouth and the right triangular light shape on his cheek need to be much darker. i know the "pure" shadows are black in the photo, but some of those dark dark gray areas need to be kind of merged with the shadows just to make the picture read clearly. also notice how dark you made the pupil in the left eye--it's darker than any shadow in the drawing which makes it a little distracting. overall, you're coming along, but it really is all about value organization.
in Azalin's drawing, he didn't match the exact values in the reference photo (his drawing is much too light in value). But, he matched the relative values and organized and grouped them correctly according to the information in the reference photo.
p.s. The pen and ink thing is getting a little tired for me right now. if anyone wants to suggest another lesson topic, i'm all ears...
Hey Ccsears, thanx again for the guidelines, donīt think i would have been able to pull it off on my own, and like you say i still have to start making bigger decisions (btw that sound scary). Iīm going to keep practicing on my own now, and do some studies from J. C. Coll Legacy of line (just got the book last friday and looks amazing btw).
About the value range your right, turned out very dulled, gotta confess the pens ink was runing out and it was hard to control to lines, that got me tired of the hatching at the end thatīs why i didnīt push more the values, gotta learn to have patience as well... and have more pens around for the next time.
so another topic then... hmmm... there are so many itīs hard to decide, for me what iīm interested more is starting to work with color, or getting better with digital painting, composition... canīt really tell, thereīs so much stuff to learn still and when doing it on my own its hard to know in which direction to go. My updated SB is http://www.tsofa.com/viewtopic.php?t=2152 if you wanna take a look...
officially, yes, but unofficially, no. i post a lot of my step-by-step and mentoring type stuff on my SB thread.
i could probably resume doing stuff here, but circumstances hasn't really cooperated so far. if there's something in particular you would like to see, leave a message here or look through my SB and leave something there. i've answered a lot of questions.
Hi Chris, thank you for suggesting getting into the Reilly's method over your mentoring subspace.
I am not sure if we are supposed to drop our questions in here ( in the Ink and Pen thread) or if you were to create a new thread. I will start here, and feel free to delete my post if a more elaborated thread on Reilly's construction is about to see light ( I hope so)
The problem you suggested ( run the lines over a photograph, Megan Fox here) is very interesting. I will upload my two trials. I feel like I see more planes than what I outlined, but her face started to disappear ...
I guess my first question is : how to you put this into practice, on a regular week day, at your local Art school, for a live head drawing class. See the thing, is that we usually see those lines on a face with features already drawn, so I am wondering whether you usually draw these lines on an empty oval, and THEN the features come into place or if you draw a feature ( say the nose) and from there you run a few lines ( muzzle, etc ) to see how things will fit together.
Question 2 : how about when the model has a rather round and chubby face with no clear visible planes. Do you still use Reilly's method? And are these planes always the same or should we adjust depending on the person we are drawing?
Question 3 : Now that you reached an excellent level, I was wondering what was your approach when you draw a face from life. Do you start with a empty oval and draw the planes ? Do you measure things to get the proportions down? Do you use triangulation? Do you squint ( I hate squinting...)? Do you draw the lines where great difference in lighting appear (such as the cast shadow under the nose)? Do you focus on a pure constructional drawing and then move on to shading ... I am very curious about your technique
you'll need to look at both pictures simultaneously. maybe open another browser window so you can look back and forth while reading this.
1. look at the yellow/orange and the blue lines. these more or less define part of the "top/front" plane of the cheek. if you look at the region bounded there and compare the value of her skin compared to, say, the value in the region to the left of it, you will see it is relatively light in value. why? basically because it's the front plane and her face is lit from the front.
2. these lines are somewhat variable. exactly where you put them is somewhat subjective--it is not like bargue drawing where you're trying to precisely determine a silhouette.
3. the blue line starts its rhythm from the top of the ear, it passes close to downward and inward, tangential to the "outer corner" of the eye socket, tangent to the larger ball of the eye/eye pouch/eye bulge, down along the highlight catching parts of the muzzle until it brushes the nostril. then it spirals down over the mouth-ball along the path of the canine tooth (purple) and forms a tight little whirl at the outer corner of the mouth (red) .
4. the usefulness of the blue part of this line is that it KIND OF shows you where to start to look for the highlights on the cheek. in any case, the highlight in many lighting situations will fall somewhere between the blue line and the yellow-ish line. this highlight will not be very linear. it will be rounded and diffuse because the cheek/muzzle is a very rounded form. Especially on female faces, you should treat this very, very softly. emphasizing the cheeks in the wrong way will give her a chiseled masculine look.
5. the usefulness of the purple part of the line is that it shows, more or less, the fuzzy boundary between the "top" and the "side" planes of the ball of the mouth (which is that circle from the outside corners of the mouth around "through" the nostrils" and down to mid-chin. in certain lighting conditions or 3/4 views, the highlight might fall along that boundary--again, in a very rounded, soft way.
6. the usefulness of that little red loop is that it serves as a very useful reminder that the outer corner of the mouth--where the upper lip meets the lower has a particular kind of indentation. it's a little bit advanced, so i'm not going to go into that too much tonight.
--Let's take a break to begin talking about rendering.
some of the usefulness of the reilly abstraction when it comes to rendering has to be explained using certain words. don't get hung up on these words. the words are evocative and not to be taken too literally.
mark explained rendering the "lights" on forms using three different kinds of "lights" (here, lights means the light part of a form, not the actual light shining on it). from here on out, we're using vocabulary that i picked up from Mark Westermoe. Again, don't be a bitch, these words will make sense gradually if we keep this thread going for a while.
1) highlights are where 3 planes meet. say, for example, the dot on the tip of the nose, or the tiny sharp light on a sphere. it happens where the top, front, and side planes meet. these are what you typically think of as highlights when you draw. i know, i know, a sphere is round and doesn't have "planes"... get over it. there is a relative top, front, side plane. but they are curved and their boundaries are not sharp, hard lines. (like on the asaro head, for example).
2) crest lights are where two planes meet. think of, for example, a cylinder. the long highlight on a cylinder happens at the boundary between "front" and "side"
so, so far, this is kind of like geometry. quite literally, the intersection of two (non-parallel) flat planes is a line. the intersection of three (non-parallel) planes is a point.
3) overlap lights these happen on the OVERLAPPED form, not on the form that is OVERLAPPING. in other words, on the form "behind." overlap lights are hard to explain to beginners. it took me a while to get over the terminology mark used and to appreciate the genius in this concept. if you want to get technical about it, "overlap" lights happen where you have a halftone next to a plane that faces the light more. this probably doesn't make any sense.
so look at the megan fox photo. look at the side of her nostril. and then look at her cheek/upper lip (moustache) area. see how the halftone looks dark and the upper mouth area "pops" bright? this is a subtle case of an overlap light. the way Mark (and now I) would describe this is "the nose OVERLAPS the cheek/mouth, so there should be an overlap light there"
overlap lights are the subtleties to rendering. we can talk more about them when i post a bunch more photos for us to analyze. until then, just let this stuff sit in the back of your head. it will eventually make sense..
look at megan's eyes. (stare into her eyes.....) anyway, you can see the subtle halftone on her lower lid--it kind of describes the form of the eyeball. in a very soft way, this eyeball OVERLAPS the front plane of the cheek. so you get a "soft" overlap light there.
look at her lips. on the upper lip, there is a tiny linear crest light--this happens because 1) she's wearing some kind of lip gloss and 2) there are two planes meeting one facing "up" and one facing "down.
same thing goes on the bottom lip. there is a wider "bar" of crest-light. it's cut across by the wrinkles in her lips.
overlap lights occasionally happen at parts of the edges of cast shadows. for example, depending on what's going on, you might consider the left part of her neck right next to the cast shadow of her jaw/chin to be a kind of overlap light. depends....
reilly's abstraction is very, very useful for rendering when you use this kind of mental framework. there are a lot of subtleties and nuances that come into play as you rack up drawing mileage, but be patient. this is a lot to absorb. i did pick it up very quickly, but there were reasons for that... it helped to study under mark 60 hours a week for a month, and he and i have similarly analytical minds about some things. (i have the engineering and math background, he's got a history/philosophy background).
so... i'm not going to go back and re-edit any of this. it's too much f'ing work. read this. reread it. stare at this photo. find another one and see what's similar and what's not. try to understand the principles i'm talking about rather than just where to draw these lines..
Question 1) You can put Reilly's concept into practice in any number of ways. If you look at Nathan Fowkes' blog http://nathanfowkes.blogspot.com you'll see a couple of step-by-step demo's where he applies this in charcoal. When the abstraction is usually drawn, it looks like a generic diagram. when you start tracing it over photographs regularly, you will become comfortable with the parts of it that vary from person to person. what stays the same and what varies. look at nathan's drawings to start. he applies these lines on a very unique individual face.
Question 2) Round and chubby is no different than Megan Fox's face. Do NOT interpret "plane" to mean a literally flat surface. just like you shouldn't interpret "highlight of the cheek" to mean a tight shiny dot. planes can be rounded, edges can be blurred, etc. A heavyset person mostly has the muzzle oval sagging and some extra flesh on the neck. Again, find some pictures of heavyset people and see exactly what lines you can and can't find, what you have to modify to make this useful.
and again, just to be sure everyone reads this and remembers... these lines have multiple functions. sometimes they really are useful for plane breaks, sometimes they show where the core shadows might go, sometimes they show where to look for highlights, etc. not all of them are simply "planes".
Question 3) Reilly's method is a concept for me. I don't rely on it per se. For me, it's useful in remembering certain rhythms and more for rendering than it is for "construction." My linear style comes from me--it's how I grew up drawing. I understood form from sculpting. But I learned most everything about value and rendering from Mark.
My gut feeling is that the "better" you get, the more dynamic range you have. You can be super loose and still capture the essential likeness, or you can be super tight and render something to death. it's up to you. "getting better" to me just means more freedom. but, again, that's just me. some people will disagree.
I don't start my drawings in a reilly way. maybe i do draw some kind of oval just to figure out where the head is on the page, but i don't take it literally. for me, i like finding the brow line, and what i call the bottom of the eye socket. for 3/4 views, i like looking for the corner of the head--what i call the line showing the break between front and side plane. (you can see a post of mine about that in my sb thread a few pages back.)
if i'm drawing from observation, i look for shadows to help me find contours. if there's strong lighting, it's helpful for me to look for tonal shapes and then adjust the edges of those shapes so that there's good rhythm.
anyway, i don't know how to write it all down. if you watch me draw, you could stop me at any point and i could tell you what i'm doing, but i don't have a kind of mental checklist of numbered steps that i follow. i do tend to start by finding a center line and placing the eye sockets. but that's just my preference. Mark tended to start by drawing the nose and brow and proceeding off of that.
someday, if i get a good job, i'll post a video or two and you can see what i do. so wish me luck on the job hunt.
I was asking about your approach because I was amazed with your 5-minutes quick poses .... you can tell that you are getting the likeness down because under all various angles, your drawings look like the same person ... that is where I am struggling ... three different poses will give me ... well three cousins, or sisters on a good day :p
Very goood luck on the job search, and to answer the initial question "Yes! definitely I would take a class with you in the L.A area!!"
Thanks so much again for the break-up of Reilly's construction, I especially loved the explanation for the tiny loop at the corner of the mouth ! I remember wondering why would Nathan Fowkes draw these little curls , it all makes sense now!
I did the Megan exercise the other night. Took a while to figure it all out!
Your new posts help a lot.
In your sketch thread on pg 10 post 238 (?) you put up a nice colour version showing how this stuff comes together that was quite helpfull as well.
Good luck with the job hunt.
I don't know whether this post is dead, but I wanted t let you know that here you've got another student. The problem is that I did these with graphite, I thought it applied to this medium too XD The good thing is that I've learnt the fundamentals so that when I get a pen I'll be kind of ready.
I'm finding it hard to apply these rules to, let's say, a whole face or a big drawing (not because of the scale problem). I mean, do we always have to hatch in the direction of form? I am sorry, I am such a beginner. I am just learning figure drawing and wanted to start trying to shade my drawings with pencil or graphite.