More sketches of waterbirds at the bird reserve. This time round they didn't politely sit still, and I found capturing them almost impossible, but I have this feeling things will greatly improve with a bit of practice.
A piece of broken bottle, that I picked up on a sidewalk and that made for an unexpectedly interesting and challenging subject for a sketch.
A dry perspective exercise. Dry perhaps, but useful and necessary. I have never bothered with perspective before, so I guess it is just about time. It was absolutely freezing cold here today, so I sat in bed with a clipboard doing this thing. Not ideal, but better than nothing. ;-)
A corkscrew. I'll need much more practice to learn how to get metallic objects to really shine. Drawn with HB mechanical pencil on printer paper. Perhaps a softer pencil, to get deeper darks, might help, although with soft pencils I find it difficult to get those very sharp boundaries between light and dark, which I suspect are what gives a drawing of metal its metallic look.
Hey BlogMatrix, may I know how old are you?
After looking at some of your posts and your SB recent updates, I'm starting to find you a real inspiration!
Decidedly not one of my better efforts. It's clear: I can't draw metal! Something new to make a study of then.
LOL, well, for metal, they sure are a PITA to draw.
Maybe next time you try them, try to make the highlights brighter and simplify the details on the metal, otherwise it will kinda destroy the look.
I should perhaps try some in ballpoint pen and see what happens. Will stick to a simpler subject anyway, for the moment.
I run into a different problem though: with metal, you often need a very sharp dividing line between light and dark, and with soft pencils, being all powdery, I have a mighty struggle to achieve that. Almost inevitably, I end up with a fuzzy border between light and dark, which completely spoils the effect.
But I'm learning quite a lot in the process, I think. I am increasingly of the opinion that I could spend a lifetime drawing still life and not scratch the surface of its possibilities.
Pear and pocket knife. Once again did not quite manage to capture the shiny, metallic bits on the knife, but I think I am beginning to learn the trick. It was just a bit difficult to do on such a small drawing (about 20cm in length.) HB mechanical pencil on printer paper.
Finally feeling a bit better after one hell of a cold/flu, so on the spur of the moment I made sketch from a photo found somewhere on the web while engaged in searching for something completely unrelated. It neatly illustrates why I hate working from photos: I simply cannot get any drawing done from a reference photo to look either remotely like the reference, or like anything worth looking at in itself. Dunno why this is so, but it is what it is. Back to still life setups for me!
I'm lovin' that you're doing traditional still lives and they look great but you do need to push them a bit darker. Especially the egg carton - most of, if not all of the values are the same. They're separated really well, but you need darker!
--edit-- Sorry didn't go to the last page before commenting - glad you did go darker. Looks better and I'm lovin' the knife and the pear!
Doctors heal you, Artists immortalize you.
"Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach" - bullshit.
The usual staples for anatomy:
A slightly surreal still life of an egg and 3D movie glasses. I didn't quite get the symmetry of the glasses right, I think, and messed up on the ever so slightly shining black plastic. As usual, HB mechanical pencil on printer paper, about size A5.
I saw on the previous page that you play tin whistle as well. Is that a Generation D? Judging from the head, it looks like one. My current favorite tin whistle is my Generation D that I tweaked to take some of the edge off. I have an untweaked Generation D for those times I want an edgier sound, though my unpainted Clarkes come a close second. My Generation F is cool, too, but a bit shrill, making the neighbors' dogs cry something dreadful.
Actually, lately I've taken to Irish flute, which has a whole other set of issues, but has a similar rush to playing the whistle.
I like your still lifes and perspective studies!
I especially liked your egg carton; it displays attention to detail that is both accurate and subordinate to a unifying design.
I'm not certain that the advice about going darker is correct, though. Given that this is graphite pencil, going darker would give the drawing an ugly glare to it; graphite pencil is supposed to be subtle and delicate, like silverpoint.
For example, look at Mr. Harold Speed's drawing
Notice how using delicately the face is modeled, all without high contrast; too much contrast and the portrait would lose that feminine charm of the mode
For your drawings your issue is not that there is a lack of contrasts and darks. Rather, I think your drawings would benefit from better planning of the lighting pattern.
We can only see anything because of light, and form can only be revealed through light.
Remember, the light and shadow pattern is a compositional element as much as anything else, and ideally should have a sort of unity to it.
Once you have established the light and dark pattern, utilize the light to model and describe the form, using your basic knowledge of rendering form (ie highlight, light, halftone, shadow core, reflected light, cast shadow)
For example, a rather obscure Dutch artist known as Rembrandt van Rijn:
Notice how although most of the painting, including the figure, is in shadow, the majority of the face is illuminated by light. Notice even more how the light shape is almost a single shape, as is the shadow; this is not a patchwork quilt of values.
Also notice how Rembrandt not only paints more detail in the light, but models the light more; the shadows he left rather thin and flat. This is is a compositional choice that maintains the focus in the light areas and away from the shadows.
And do NOT draw portraits from photo reference unless you have to; always draw from life if possible. (anatomical studies from reference is fine, for obvious reasons ;-))
I hope that helped. This turned out to be a longer post than I was expecting. Just wanted to clarify some of the responses a bit.
I like your still lifes and studies; they display skill with the pencil.
Keep up the good work!
My site: http://AaronFungArt.blogspot.com
Conceptart Sketchbook: http://conceptart.org/forums/showthr...40#post3191040
My Portfolio as Conceptart.org Albums: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/album.php?u=310252
I love your work, but I love your dedication even more. It is very inspiring!
click and crit
Yes, I am still trying to work out where I stand on the whole issue. The Speed drawing looks to me like it is in charcoal mind you, and the hair is rendered quite darkly. But it is true that with portraits of women and children, it can very easily look terribly overworked if done too heavily. One has to try to keep a light, lyrical touch.I'm not certain that the advice about going darker is correct, though. Given that this is graphite pencil, going darker would give the drawing an ugly glare to it; graphite pencil is supposed to be subtle and delicate, like silverpoint.
For example, look at Mr. Harold Speed's drawing
Notice how using delicately the face is modeled, all without high contrast; too much contrast and the portrait would lose that feminine charm of the model
Your comparison to silverpoint is indeed meaningful: many silverpoint drawings are extremely light, with perhaps just here and there a deeply dark passage to provide a focus point, and such drawings are very beautiful. I find it difficult to achieve if I have a setup which includes both light and very dark objects: how do I keep something like an egg and black-framed pair of glasses in one drawing without drawing the glasses dark? If I use light or mid tones for the glasses, the egg will have to virtually disappear and there will be no highlights.
I ran into the same problem with metal, because I found that the shine on metal looks most realistic when there are very sharp contrasts between light and quite dark tones.
My current theory is that I should not worry too much about it and simply keep on drawing more. I have a feeling it is one of those problems that only lots of practice can sort out.
Yes, probably. I should perhaps take more care with the setup itself, especially the lighting. Though if truth be told, at this point I have such a battle to get the proportions even marginally correct that I find it difficult to focus on anything else.For your drawings your issue is not that there is a lack of contrasts and darks. Rather, I think your drawings would benefit from better planning of the lighting pattern.
Yes, I nowadays mostly avoid photo references like the plague. But I get tired of drawing my own face, so now and then I pick one at random from a magazine or photo on the web and try it out. It is a good exercise in achieving some accuracy, because portraiture is the one thing where you have to draw accurately or your portrait will not remotely resemble the model. Thus I now and then do a portrait from photo reference as a sort of test to see whether I can do it, and then I tend to choose as models women, children or young males, because their faces are all soft curves and therefore make capturing a likeness even more difficult.And do NOT draw portraits from photo reference unless you have to; always draw from life if possible. (anatomical studies from reference is fine, for obvious reasons ;-))
I noticed something, mind you: now that I draw lots of still life from direct observation, I am looking with new eyes at everything around me, including even reference photos. It seems to me there are very few exercises quite as generally useful as drawing simple still life setups of everyday objects. I also enjoy it a lot: no hassles with finding models or having people look over my shoulder or anything like that. Everything I need I already have in my kitchen and cupboards, and by drawing these things, I have discovered that they are all far more intricately beautiful than I ever realized before! ;-)
Anyway, thanks for the input; I appreciate it.
I decided to try my hand at making a sketch with charcoal. Conclusion: the stuff is frickin' impossible to work with. I like the rich, velvety darks, and I noted that it is a "fast" medium too: a sketch that would take an hour in pencil takes twenty minutes in charcoal. But what an uncontrollable, powdery mess. I am astonished that people can produce refined, classical art and Bargue drawings and stuff with this!
Haven't had time in ages to draw anything. Today, while on the phone at work with a boring person, I started idly doodling on a scrap of paper. The doodles themselves are not much to look at, but they made me realize two things: I should now and then work from imagination, and ballpoint is a pretty cool medium. ;-)
Hey there! I think you're doing well with your still life drawings. There's the occasional bit where you didn't quite measure the angle accurately but for the most part everything seems good. A couple other things I've noticed: you seem to rely on lines as edges too much, and there are parts where the marks in one area (usually a bigger area to fill) seem different from the others. Experiment more with lost edges, in real life things don't have a line around them. This will be helpful in drawing portraits.
(One thing I've learned about portraits is that value is very important. Leaving the majority of the face white is often not the right thing to do. Pick photos with some nice shading to practice from and you might find some improvement in the likeness. Another thing I eventually tried my hand at was caricatures. Exaggerating facial features so that you can still tell who the person is is terribly difficult but if you don't mind abominations infesting your sketchbook it's an interesting thing to play with.)
Although I mostly draw in a Betty Edwards-like way, I did spend a lot of idle time in lectures drawing 3D shapes and breaking things down into 3D shapes. You might want to do some of that.
Anyway. Good luck!
Thanks for the comments. ;-)
[quote] A couple other things I've noticed: you seem to rely on lines as edges too much, and there are parts where the marks in one area (usually a bigger area to fill) seem different from the others. Experiment more with lost edges, in real life things don't have a line around them. This will be helpful in drawing portraits.[/quite]
Yes, I rather like lines, and force them in there even when they don't exist in reality. Just an aesthetic preference, I suppose. I want to play around with charcoal a bit, and make a point of NOT finely sharpening the sticks or put them in charcoal holders, precisely so that I will not be able to achieve very fine lines and will be forced to work more in masses. As soon as I have time I'll experiment with it a bit and see what I can achieve.
Haven't had time in ages for as much as a quick sketch. So just about time to do something again, even if just a fairly quick and rough drawing from a reference photo.
Haven't had time to draw in ages. Well, here are two sketches, both done from reference photos, which is of course not a good idea, but my life is a bit unsettled at the moment so working from photos is convenient.
One is a portrait of a student of mine (and not to worry, it isn't art that I teach!); the other a pigeon.