Recent studies from life. I've been working with ink in an effort to improve my lines, but sometimes (as in the second drawing) this works against me... In these drawings I've been trying to focus mostly on construction and analyzing structure. Any critiques regarding construction, gesture, anatomy, or anything else you think needs improvement (and that means pretty much everything!) are much welcome. The second is a 5 min. pose, the last one 10 min, and the rest 20 min poses.
Anatomy study, color coded. Trying to think of the skeleton, and to draw each muscle from their origin to their insertion points, overlapping one over the other. Learned quite a bit doing this -- and would have learned twice as much if I had actually drawn both sides, instead of flipping the image... It was too late when I realized I'd run short of room on the sketchbook's page.. Won't happen again.
Last edited by bkkm; September 28th, 2009 at 04:58 AM.
Some gestures and a quick study from Leonardo. I think I am finally beginning to understand the idea behind the gesture, and the importance of starting lightly (even though that doesn't show yet in my drawings...). Hope to post more elaborate studies soon.
Some life drawings from tonight's session. The first one is a five minute pose; the others are twenties. I'm not happy with them at all; I feel as if I were struggling with the medium/rendering/technique in the finishing stage of the drawing (i.e. after the gesture and the construction stages)... Despite that, tonight I felt I was able to blindly copy the model a bit less, and work a bit more on construction... Any critiques/ suggestions?
Quick studies after Guercino and Signorelli. Trying a different medium other than ink, to see if I can tame my scratchy lines... Pastel pencils are also unforgiving though, as can be seen in the hand I messed up and was not able to fix...
My purpose has been to analyze and understand, rather than copy and bring to a more finished stage, the masters I've been studying from... Comments, critiques and suggestions are really appreciated...
Inspiring thread. Keep doing those life drawings and master studies and you'll keep improving. Great books along the way are Hamm's "Drawing head and figure", Loomis "Figure Drawing FAIW" and Bridgman. Best of luck with your drawing.
Mindbendermind: Thanks for visiting! I will keep drawing. And you're right: Loomis and Bridgman are great. Bridgman in particular: each time I go back to him, I see something I hadn't seen before; a glimpse of a very rich order beneath what appeared to be simply chaotic exuberance and expressiveness.
Here is an attempt at understanding the structure and analysing the forms of a skeleton, playing with it in space.Will try to attach some muscles to it later.
Last edited by bkkm; October 17th, 2009 at 03:27 AM.
Spent the last few days studying muscles origins and insertions...and finally decided to attach them on the skeleton above. It was then that I realized all the problems with proportion, the impossible bends of arm,legs, and foot... I've tried to fix a few things here and there, learned a lot during the process, even though much of it was beyond any hope. I also was completely unable to make that left arm rotate in that position.... :/ Please critique and make suggestions.
From life, five and ten minutes. Not happy at all with them... I've tried to vary the approach this time (mostly because of time), but the figures seem even flatter than in my previous attempts... Any suggestions on how to improve? I'd really appreciate critiques and suggestions.
The other two are a very quick (2-3 minutes) sketch done at the life drawing workshop and a quick anatomy study from memory.
I really like the first 8 or 9 posts. They seem a bit more...dynamic than the rest. Maybe you shouldnt concentrate on copying the model, but exaggerate it a bit. By this I dont mean just the pose, but also the rhythm of the anatomy. You do know smth about anatomy, so try and play with it a bit.
Especially in your 19th post, I dont see much rhythm or weight there. The characteristics may not be so obvious on the model, thats true, but you'll find them if you look and think about the pose. Whats making this pose interesting, whats the model doing, how could I push the rhythm a bit, etc.
When drawing, most humans(including me) have the tendency to straighten things up. I can see that clearly in post#19. The neck, the back, the head etc, almost one line. One direction.
You could easily make that a bit more interesting by, maybe, pushing the torso to the left a little, get the head and neck a bit more to the right, and get the pelvis to the right as well, so that the feminine forms may be more obvious. This is just a suggestion, however.
I really like the construction drawings in some upper posts, where you draw basic shapes and stuff. Thats a great way to learn anatomy, and to really understand whats going on with the muscles there Also, you really work around the form of what youre drawing, I like that a lot and it gives them a lot of volume.
So, I think youre definitely on the right track (from what i can say, being a bloody student myself), and all you have to do is to take the next step
KingElvis: Thanks a lot for the critiques and suggestions. Capturing the gesture dynamically and with rhythm is one of my goals -- the other one is giving solidity to my drawings --, and I really agree with everything you said. Sometimes,when sitting in front of the model, I find it hard not to copy it -- and poorly at that! --, and when that happens, the very process of drawing feels different to me; I do not feel as immersed in it as when, for example, I am trying to draw something from imagination or when I am sketching from life casually as it were, without the weight or obligation of getting things "right". I have to find a way to start looser, to observe while at the same time freeing myself from what I am observing.... so far this has been a hard balance to find.
Here are this week's life drawings. The first two are 2 minute gestures, then one 10 and two 20's.
I'm also including some quick (2-3 minutes) sketches of people at the life-drawing sessions done in the intervals between poses. I know they're messy and riddled with problems, but while doing some of these, I felt that "immersion" I talked about above -- the immersion I cannot quite feel when drawing from the model-- and because of that the whole process was much more pleasant; it was as if I could feel the creative effort as I jotted down my lines, and each decision, each choice -- even the unfortunate ones -- was in its own way rewarding. I'll be trying to transfer this attitude to drawing from the model next time.
As always, suggestions and critiques are much more than welcome. Feel free to be as honest as possible -- I see no better way to learn
Quick feet studies from imagination. Apologies for the slightly bizarre result -- I decided to try my hand at some perspective and foreshortening as I went...
I have the feeling I am beginning to understand how to use overlaps and how to place forms in space... but I am still having great difficulty with the "technique" part of it -- that is, how to use the medium (in this case a ballpoint pen), how to improve my markings on the paper. I am not sure if I should be more careful with my lines next time, because what they seem to be lacking is a sense of fluidity, of rhythm, and there seems to be something in being "more careful" that goes against this fluidity I want to achieve.... :/ any suggestions on how to overcome this impasse?
Last edited by bkkm; October 18th, 2009 at 03:45 AM.
hey man great stuff going on here you've got a pretty good thing going on here you should keep up with it. What i would suggest is that you get to some more of the scientific parts of the anatomy to understand all the deep layers as well, so you know which muscles show when, and which ones will be flexed, et cetera.
for that i would recommend
Artistic Anatomy by Dr. Paul Richer and Robert Beverly Hale
SweetPea: I have Leonardo's notebooks, and I should indeed give more attention to it than I have so far. Richer and Hale are great too. Hale in particular has been of great help to me (even though it doesn't show that much in my drawings yet!). Thanks for the suggestions!
Here is a 15-min portrait study after Rubens. It's full of errors -- the eyes and the nostril (which was drawn with a horribly over-emphasized edge and completely out of perspective in relation both to the face and the nose) are only the most glaring ones, I think --, which I could not fix since it was all done directly with a ballpoint pen.
Here is a close-up of the previous drawing to show how I handled the lines and markings. I made a conscious effort to put down more rhytmical lines this time, though I'm still far from happy with it... the lines seem always too messy, too chaotic, and I don't think blaming the medium would be most constructive way to go about it. Any suggestions on how to improve those would be very, very welcome!
Last edited by bkkm; October 25th, 2009 at 11:35 AM.
I have a pretty messy line myself, but Id suggest, that, maybe try to go about drawing the way you did with those gestures in post 9...but i dont really know where you wanna go with your line. What do you wanna change?
As far as im concerned, Id worry about the right knee (the patella should be more to the outside!).
The left arm looks a bit strange too. I didnt notice it at first, but if you look closely, you see that the outer side of the forearm is a bit too "heavy"., (damnit, i dont know the name of that muscle..^^). but the overall drawing isnt bad and theres no "straightening up" in there, which is good!
Stick to it man, itll pay off!
hope i could help a bit.
Definitely on the right track. Agree. Push gesture when possible. Here's another excellent book for you. I push this alot in my class: The Figure by Walt Reed. This is a thorough explanation of using a mannequin type idea to construct the figure. You are already doing this by thinking of the big shapes. The book will help you to apply this concept to understand how the parts fit in a body without the distraction of muscles. This is the 1st step. Anatomy, which is 2nd, will enhance your understanding of the basic figure construction.
Esmeralda: I have Walt Reed's book, but I have to confess I haven't given it the attention it deserves yet. So far I've been roughly working (still in a very unsatisfactory and problematic way, I know!) with Vilppu's simplified manikin figure. I will take a better look at Reed's, now that you mention it. Thanks for visiting!
jt4470 I've had Vilppu's simplified figure in mind in some of my studies, and I've indeed been going back to his drawing manual quite consistently, so I think you're right in noticing some influence there. I've also been trying to show form by drawing across the form, as he (and Hale) suggests... it's a great way to show (and understand) volumes. Apart from Vilppu, I've also been checking some Bridgman and, to a least extent, Bammes. As for creating dynamic gestures, jt4470, I am afraid I'm not the best person to give you suggestions, since I've been struggling hard with that myself... I believe starting loose and pushing the pose might be a step in achieving that (as opposed to starting with analysis and constructive anatomy...which, as Esmeralda pointed above, should be a later stage only), but that's precisely what many of my drawings lack. Vilppu is a great source for that, I think. You might also want to take a look at Karl Gnass's The Spirit of the Pose and Walt Stanchfield's Drawn to Life, which, among many other things (all related to animation) emphasizes the importance of pushing the gesture. But again, to repeat, these are all aspects I have yet to achieve in my drawings, and I feel bad for giving recommendations on something I haven't quite figured out yet, so please take my suggestions for what they're worth.
Here are some more quick, loose studies after Pontormo. Critiques and suggestions are much welcome!
So it has started! I am finally in LA and have started my very first formal drawing classes. After the first classes, I can see that there are going to be quite a few challenges on the way (starting from learning to properly hold and sharpen the pencil!) as well as rewards... I am looking forward to both!
Here are some drawings done both in class and at home on my own, trying to absorb and understand what I have seen so far. They focus mostly on gesture and construction. Some are from life, some from imagination, one or two from reference.
A ~30 minutes attempt at a tonal study (took a better picture of it). I am trying to understand how to control value and edges (including playing --very clumsily, I know-- with lost edges). I am having a particular hard time noticing and expressing halftones, as well as understanding how the transition that leads to it from the core shadow takes place.
As always, suggestions and critiques are more than welcome.
Last edited by bkkm; January 18th, 2010 at 04:55 PM.
Reason: updated with a better picture of the drawing