Alrighties, I'm starting this thread now to give myself more motivation to sketch and post for everybody here to look at. I've done a few sketches today at work, which I'll scan and post when I get home in a few hours.
I'm finding it difficult to sketch at work though, I think it's because I'm in an office that is filled with fluorescent lights, makes it hard to see shading properly because it's too faint and the shadows are washed out.
I need to get some more materials too, all I have at the moment is a HB pencil and a sketchpad. At the very least I need a pencil sharpener
So, I'm going to go for a walk to buy a sharpener, a darker pencil and perhaps a thin eraser, though one of those kneadable ones would be funky. Come back and check this thread in a few hours, when I'll actually have some images up
Last edited by bslinger; March 14th, 2004 at 10:43 PM.
Yeah. These threads are really great to motivate you to sketch and such.. I have my own sketchbook here that I sketch into daily.
I recommend you buy one of those "artists" sets that some art stores sell.. They typically come with a few shades of pencils, brilliant pencil sharpeners, kneadable eraser (a must have), some chalks, some graphite sticks and so on... I have experimented alot with different things I wouldnt even have looked at if they hadnt been in the set and liked them.. So, try new things.. might surprise ya.
I usually just sit by the window and draw, or by the wash of a computer screen and cheap lamp.. both work for me.. But fluoresence sucks.. Ever notice that every little defect on your face is painfully obvious when in such a light.. things that you havent noticed before? Fuck it, going off track here..
Sketching at work is not really a good idea.. if you want to go serious I recommend at least taking an hour pr. evening for sketching.. Then you can focus on it without worrying about some boss noticing you and giving you more chores.
Lookin forward to pictures.. I'll be back (as the governator once said)
Thanks for the encouragement Talmir, I've checked out your sketch book and you've made some great progress, congratulations
Yeh, I plan to sit down to some serious sketching when I get home tonight, I was just using the slow days between Xmas and New Years as an opportunity to start myself off, hehe. I also tend to sketch a bit on the train on the way home, lots of different types of people to look at (discreetly) and try to capture on paper.
So, I look forward to comments on my images tonight, I'll put up some stuff from the past few days, and anything I get done tonight. I get to leave work early, so that'll give me a bit of extra time
OK, here we go. I'm going to do this as links, otherwise the page will get too big. Let me know if you'd prefer them inline, the biggest is 800 pixels wide.
Some pen drawings from a couple of weeks ago:
Sketches done over the past two days, with a HB pencil (getting blunter by the minute, at least I've bought a sharpener now):
I'm going to attempt a self portrait now, and maybe some still life. If I get them done in the next hour or so, I'll scan and post them, otherwise they'll be up tomorrow.
Critics and comments welcome
(Hrmm, I just realised the scans came out a bit light, i might mess with the contrast on the images)
OK, here's my first self portrait (ever? I think so). Didn't take me too long, done with a HB pencil first to try to get the outlines and proportions right, and then with a 2B to do the shading and detail.
Take a look :
Things I've noticed wrong with it:
- Head is a bit squashed vertically
- Glasses are not right, left frame is smaller than right
- eyes are a bit weird
- lack of detail
- hair is really difficult to draw
All in all though, I'm pretty proud of it as a first self portrait. I really need to learn some pencilling techniques, how on earth do you draw highlights? I guess it's a lack of shading, but then do you have to shade everywhere first? I guess i'll learn these things in time.
Crits and comments welcome, as usual, help me improve
Last edited by bslinger; December 31st, 2003 at 07:04 PM.
Happy New Year, everybody! 2004 is going to be the year I learn to draw!
So, I'm following the Starting Out exercise from the Middle Class, and here is my still life and portrait from memory.
This came out fairly well, i think I messed up the top of the candle, but I started getting the hang of it and I like the way the stand came out.
Portrait From Memory
This one is very rough, it's kind of meant to be my girl friend, but I didn't actually study her properly to see how the shading and everything is on her face. So basically, it's a waste of time, but I thought I'd just try it out quickly.
So, critics and comments welcome, have a happy new year everybody, hope you didn't get too drunk
I like that candle still life you did. I'm just starting out and doing this from memory is very hard. I would suggest to just keep drawing from life and maybe picking up a drawing book like Keys to Drawing
Keep up the good work.
Here's my latest self portrait, also up in my Middle Class member thread.
Self Portrait Number 2
So, I think I got the general proportions of the head a bit better, though they might be a bit messed up because I'm pretty sure the position of my head changed during the session.
I tried to get a bit more detail into the eyes and hair... oh my god, I just realised I didn't do my ears. Haha.
Anyway, yes, more detail in the eyes and hair, I don't think the eyes came out too bad but the hair isn't great; better than my last one though.
Oh, and the nose is still pretty bad. Just can't get that shading right.
You'll notice I don't have my glasses on like in the last picture. I took them off because they were getting in the way, unfortunately this made it quite a bit harder for me to work, seeing as the mirror was fairly far away (and anything further than half a metre in front of my nose starts to get blurry).
So, I'll stop babbling about it and hand it over to you all, the very helpful critics. All comments welcomed.
(I won't be cross posting everything into both my threads, just the bigger things like self portraits. My day to day sketching will be only in this thread)
AHHH!! Noses are killing me, I just can't get the hang of them. Too many varying shades in small areas. Can anybody point me to any nose studies that might enlighten me?
I'm at work currently, I'll post up my aborted attempts at noses when I get home.
OK, I attempted some nose practise today; some came out alright, some came out really bad, I just can't quite get the hang of the shading. I'm going to try to draw some more tonight though, from still photos, so I'll see how they come out.
Comments welcome, especially on sketching technique, because I think that's partly what's letting me down.
Great to see your work here, you certainly seem determined to learn, very cool!
I like your second self portrait, your mouth has a good likeness, and your hair definitely has more volume. Im liking your style too, it kinda looks good when your pencils blunt, all chunky-like.
Highlights I think are partly absence of dark, as in controlling where you draw, and also pulling away what you've already put there with an eraser. Some highlights only work well the latter way. Others, brighter ones are better off when there's no pencil on the paper at all, leaves a better effect.
Hmm noses, practice. Cos some of those on your 'Noses' page were great. It's a matter of finding the gradual tone change to give it that depth. Im trying to remember the really good tutorial site that i know...
nuff from me... ill go look around at people i don't know
sketcher: funny you should reply right at the exact time I come into this thread to have a look at some other people's sketches, to see how they're doing their noses
(Edit: I noticed you didn't reply just as I came into the thread, but this thread was at the top of the page)
Thanks for the encouragement, it's good to be able to validate the improvement I feel I'm making, heh.
I'm trying to keep up with the practise, for sure; I get de-motivated at times, but I'm usually able to find something to pick me up again. Posts like this help
Cool, I have a style!
I think the 'controlling where I draw' part is where I have difficulty, I've tried using the eraser to create highlights, which works sometimes, but it's hard to get that hard edge to it; I'm sure just not drawing there in the first place looks a lot better.
I want to draw lots of noses, but it's hard to find them in life, people don't sit still. Where do people get all these face studies that they do? Is there somewhere I can go that has lots of drawings of faces, so I can look at how other people tackle it? (other than going through people's sketch pads on here, which is what I'm about to try, hehe)
Anyway, back to it, thanks so much for your comments
Edit #2 : Don't you hate it when your sister posts a reply to your thread without telling you it's her?
Last edited by bslinger; January 7th, 2004 at 11:49 PM.
So, I got married, and had a honeymoon, and didn't get any drawing done whatsoever. I'm back at work now though, so I've managed to get some more sketching done. Crits welcome.
More noses, as well as some miscellaneous stuff:
And here are some aborted attempts at taking part of today's Daily Sketch Group. The first bit was some kind of rock crushing-eating machine, and the second was just some guy inexplicably eating rocks.
I'll get some more done tomorrow, most likely.
Stuff from the past week, only really did a few days on the train, I really have to force myself to do some proper drawing sessions at home.
First is just some usual studies from life:
Second is an attempt at a study from Loomis's book, 'Figure Drawing For All It's Worth'. Some serious proportion issues here, perhaps next time I should try to sketch out the basic shape before I start, I kind of just started at one point and starting filling in the colours I saw.
I'm taking a 7 session drawing lesson in mid February, so I'll be posting a lot more stuff then.
You definitely have the right idea with shadows and proportions and all of that.
Keep it up =D
lavhoes: Thankyou! It's great to hear that I'm somewhat on the right track
Here's another try at that Loomis study, I did a bit better this time, since I actually sketched the outline as a guide before I started shading. Even still, I messed it up a fair bit, proportion wise: head is far too big, yesterday's head was better too, more feminine; legs are too small.
Anyway, here it is, let me know how I can improve on my techniques:
Weekend! Hopefully I'll get some sketching done Saturday night and Sunday morning.
OK, I finally made myself sit down and do a good session of drawing; an hour and a half later, and here's a few pages for you all to check out.
I'm reading through Loomis's 'Figure Drawing For All It's Worth', so I was mostly playing with proportions and some mannikin actions.
(The erased bits on the pictures are just where it overlapped with the other scans, ignore them)
Trying to draw a well proportioned male and female form:
Male & Female Proportions
Second was me trying to get the form of Loomis's mannikin down, messed it up the first time but I liked the proportions in the second:
A few movements, I liked the last one, attempted it from the side first, then tried to do a perspective view of it:
And a bunch more attempted movements, some came out alright, and some... didn't:
More Mannikins Moving
Even More Mannikins Moving
So, let me know how you think I can improve, I quite enjoyed tonight's session, it taught me quite a lot. I'm going to keep going through Loomis's book tomorrow.
Still practising poses, trying to get perspective right but finding it difficult.. I like how most of these came out though.
I might get some more done this afternoon.
Uh, yeh, I've been naughty. Haven't done much drawing in quite a while. I started a drawing class on Wednesday though, so my motivation has come back up a bit.
Anyway, here's the latest page in my sketchbook, mostly just trying to get the feel for some shading, perspective and posture, plus some messing around.
I definitely see an improvement from your earlier stuff.
I meant to reply to your nose studies earlier, but it slipped my mind completely when I reliped. Let's just blame that on my absentmindedness =D
Anyway, the best advice I can offer you is to try and get you to alter your perception of things. There are two really great ways to improve quickly: draw from magazines, and draw from life. These both could exercise the same art muscles, as long as you keep a few things in mind.
The biggest mistake many artists, myself included, make when drawing from a 2d source like a photograph is to never attempt to see things beyond lines and tone. While it's important to learn how to disregard what your brain thinks of an object and simply focus on what you see, unfortunately the way that 2d reference works prohibits you from really exercising the proper muscles. If all you do is copy the photograph, while you will be able to recognize lines and tones, there's so much more to be gained from 2d reference. I'm not saying to completely disregard practicing with photographs in this way; I am saying that you could really advance in other skills as well by applying a different mindset when you do a study based on 2d reference.
I used to do celebrity portraits from photographs for the longest time. I've done maybe 50 or 60 of them in the past 4 years or so, but I haven't done one in at least a year and a half (until recently). When I tried to do another just a couple of weeks ago, I realized that the way I was tackling the problem was completely wrong. I was trying to look at the photograph and then copy it, hoping that by doing so I'll increase my knowledge in drawing faces. This is not so. While I learned a thing or two about the shape of the nose, how the eyes tilt, etc., what I completely disregarded, to my detriment, was the 3d aspect of the 2d photograph. Photographs are an illusion, meant to fool the eye into seeing depth in a 2d surface. We could benefit from this illusion by thinking about what causes us to see this depth in the photograph. Why are the objects shaded the way they are? What causes the light to bend around the object like that? What is at work beneath the surface that causes the shapes we see? By thinking about the 2d photograph, and then taking those thoughts and applying them to the studies we do based on the photographs, we can exercise and increase our knowledge of anything we care to draw, to the point where it becomes so ingrained into our process that we don't have to actively think about it again.
So, my point is, when you take a photograph or an illustration and wish to draw it to increase your knowledge, kick your brain into overdrive and really think about what you're drawing. Take a picture of your favorite celebrity, and really study the face. Think about the face as a 3d object, not just a 2d surface mimicing depth. Disregard what your rational, associative side is trying to tell you. Your brain's pre-conceived notions will try to get you to draw what you've memorized as a nose, or a mouth, or an eye. Ignore that, and think about why things are the way they are in the picture. Think about the muscles and the bones, how the eyes and nose are shaped, why the wrinkles appear where they are, stuff like that. Really study your subject and try to understand its inner workings. Break things down into planes, and observe how light plays off the different surfaces. I guarantee you that if you really put some effort into it and think about everything you draw, you will improve so fast you'll be stunned just thinking about where all this sudden talent came from.
Ack, this turned into a long-winded speech. Didn't mean to sit here and rattle on about 2d reference but, well, there you go. I don't know if any of this makes sense, but hopefully you can see what I was talking about. When I was just starting out a good number of people said these exact words to me, based on the celebrity portraits I was doing, and unfortunately it's taken me this long (4 years!) to realize that I could be so much further along in my knowledge of art had I simply thought about the 2d objects I was studying as 3d objects with inner workings and mechanisms that I would need to understand in order to really grasp the concept of converting a 3d shape into a 2d illustration.
Not to say this is the end-all be-all secret key to drawing, or that it's right for your methods. Just some friendly advice for you to try if you feel you've hit a wall.
Good luck to you, and I hope to see more sketches in the future =D
Edit: I just wanted to add that all of this rattling of mine only really applies to drawing from 2d reference. An extended study with a model will require much of the same way of thinking, but when you're out with your sketchbook doing gesture drawings of various people walking around, the last thing you need to be doing is thinking too hard about the how and why of it. When you're drawing from life, it's usually best to just draw what you see (lines and tones), keeping in mind that this is a 3d object your drawing. If you start thinking about why that girl's cheeks puff out when she's jogging, she'll be long gone before you can get a mark down on the page =D
Last edited by lavhoes; February 21st, 2004 at 06:54 AM.
Wow, lavhoes, thanks heaps for the time you spent on giving that advice, and for the advice itself of course, heh, it's very helpful.
I kind of know what you mean when you say I need to alter my perception when drawing; I've been attempting to do this to some degree, breaking things up into simpler geometry and such.
My main problem at the moment is that I'm just not spending enough time doing proper practise, the only time I'm drawing is when I'm on the train and, although it helps, it doesn't give as much practise as sitting down for an hour and doing a self portrait or a still life.
Anyway, thanks heaps for your interest, I'll try to get some more done soon, and I might put up the preliminary sketches I did for a digital piece; it's a bit ambitious though, I don't expect to complete it until I've skilled up a bit more in my basics
I have no excuse.
The only drawing I've done over the past few weeks has been during my drawing class every Wednesday, and I've finally been able to use my parent's digital camcorder to take some snaps of them.
I apologise for the quality, they're too big to scan and the camcorder doesn't take very good quality pictures.
Still Life - Various - Pencil
Still Life - Chair - Pencil
Still Life - Various - Charcoal
Still Life - Mannikin - Charcoal
Crits very welcome. More to come this week, as well as some actual work, hopefully.
OK, I've recently had a burst of motivation to take control of myself and force myself to do the things I know I should be doing, so this is going to include my drawing practise.
As of tonight, I'm going to dive back into Loomis' Figure Drawing For All Your Worth, starting with Chapter 2, Bones and Muscles. I figure I need to get a much better understanding of how this body of mine fits together, so I'm going to study this chapter as hard as I can.
I've also been having a bit of trouble with perspective, so I'll go over the earlier chapter again, though it frustrates me too much currently, so I'm not going to dwell on it. I figure people on this forum can probably give me better hints on better perspective than I would get trying to do it myself.
So expect some anatomy studies by tomorrow.
Oh, and lavhoes, I noticed you posted on the Penny Arcade: Artist Corner the other day; it was nice to see a familiar face, heh. I'm not game to post any of my art there yet, but I love the tight community feeling they have there.