Haven't been doing much since I got back to school. Tried running some of my museum sketches through Photoshop. I don't think I'm any good at conveying form using value, so I think it might be back to the still lifes for quite a while longer. Both are WIPS, but I think I might drop the dunkleosteus skull entirely.
Here's some other random stuff from before break ended.
I was told I have trouble conveying form with value because I rely too much on line rather than shape. I tried drawing this focusing as much as I could on shapes instead of line. Don't know how well it worked out.
try different pencil grips, see which one have better results or use tip of your pencil more and see if that works for you .
Hello, keeptime, and Happy New Year!
Thank you for stopping by and commenting on my sketchbook a few weeks ago!
Looking through yours, I'm really enjoying all the variety. I can see a marked improvement in only, what, half a year? That's really inspiring! It looks like you are taking full advantage of school. Keep up the great work!
The main thing I see you doing is rushing at your drawing - slow down. Take the teaspoon you've drawn a number of times, do it again and this time don't settle for "that'll do". Sure you've improved, but you'll improve faster if you take more care with how you draw. I've done studies 5 or 6 times before I feel I can move on, so can you (I only post the last one). And sharpen your pencil.
Aaah! Where'd all these comments suddenly come from? Definitely not used to that. Thanks everyone for the critiques/compliments. I really need to start moving away from using a plain BIC mechanical pencil - it seems most of the critiques I get on every website are some variation of "use softer pencils" or "vary your grip". It's such a bad habit I need to start becoming more aware of or I'm never going to get out of that rut.
I was really inspired by angieb's sketchbook and wanted to give ink/marker a shot. I've already been told a few times to do drawings in pen to force myself to pay more attention to the subject, so it was an interesting experiment. It made me realize how poor I am with facial proportions and planes, particularly noses. Definitely going to have to go back and study Loomis at some point.
Did a touch of Loomis tonight. The right side of the page is from last Saturday when I was watching Rocky Horror Picture Show on the plane back home.
Did some Hampton tonight. I don't know why I don't work through his book more often - it makes so much more sense to me than Loomis. Also started drawing Henry Rollins two nights ago to practice getting out of the midtones more. Unfortunately it doesn't resemble him all too well.
Some more work on Rollins, and some Hampton from this afternoon.
Oh my god - I just saw that you mentioned my thread in your post #186! I am so touched! I'm seeing I need to do more of what you did - not shy away from faces! It's just so much easier to draw the backs of people's heads, you know?!! Drawing faces in marker is a great challenge for me. One little line wrong, and someone has an extra eye or a 20-year old looks like she's 75 years of age! And it's amazing to realize how animated people are while they talk, or laugh, or whatever. I could stand to do some home-studies on faces, so that when people turn away or whatever, I can just make up the rest... I have pages and pages of scribbles and disembodied arms and what not that were going to be something before someone moved, or stood in the way. I guess some times you get lucky, sometimes you don't.
Did you draw these on-site, from life? They're wonderful!
Thank you again for mentioning me... you continue to inspire!
Haha, I totally get what you mean with disembodied parts abandoned because someone moved. I cheated and used pencil beforehand this time around. Pencil + ink + marker creates kind of a neat effect though (in my humble opinion). And yes! I do these from life. My university's centre has sort of an overhanging balcony overlooking a food court, and last time I managed to snag a seat right against the edge so I was able to draw people from above without their knowledge. This time I didn't get so lucky and had to sit amongst the plebs.
A bit more Hampton and a quickish night doodle with reference. Still got a long way to go.
Tried spending some time on a still life, experimenting some more with different pencils. I found the 8B almost impossible to work with because it kept sticking to the page. Anyone have any tips for that?
Anyways, it's supposed to be two cereal bowls, one inside the other. It's not very good, haha.
Some more Hampton tonight. Wanted to do more but my hand started to get sore, probably some form of RSI from doing little else besides writing, typing, and drawing the last few days. I tried to expand on the examples and combine with them a few other facial features. Still need to do a lot of perspective work.
Late night drawing again (hand was feeling better). Loosely inspired by "Screamin' Demon Martians Ridin' Go-Karts in my Head" by Boris the Sprinkler. Couldn't figure out what to do with the back of his skull or how to attach the body, so I'm leaving it for another day.
I fall asleep while standing and I lie awake in bed/I got these screamin' demon martians ridin' go-karts in my head.
Some more work on Mr. Demon Warthog. I really need to brush up on my arm anatomy. I had a bunch of muscular guy photos out, plus took my own reference, and still found it really difficult to get even remotely close to what I wanted to do. I know there's still a ton of errors with it, but I don't know enough to know what exactly is wrong with it.
Some doodles from lectures. Mostly of other classmates, though there was a guide-dog-in-training in my Apiculture class today that I couldn't resist drawing even though I could only see his butt.
Some more Hampton and a digital version of a thumbnail I made back over winter break. Did some gestures too but couldn't be bothered to upload them.
The good: You're putting on some serious mileage and you get all the points for that.
The bad: Ayaiyai, I think you need to slow down too -- try breaking down all you need to learn into categories, such as:
- basic drawing (meaning proportions, angles, measuring -- if you can't do this the rest will just be that much harder): please do get out a few bargue plates or set up some still-lifes and try and work your way through them. Your proportions need a lot of work. You need to go through a period of OCD compulsion to get every line as perfect and accurate as possible. it'll teach you loads.
- anatomy: don't just focus on the outer contours of the muscles you see on reference, take some time to study the internal skeletal structure and where things connect. Hampton is a great start as he also teaches you about form and simplification at the same time, but a more thorough anatomy book like Richer or Bammes or Goldfinger will take your knowledge of anatomy from a very generalized form (Hampton) to something that's more believable. You need both.
- composition: never too early to start thinking about composition, here's a good exercise, take your favorite movies and a few markers in gradations (10%, 30%, 60%, and black), and pause when you get to a scene that really strikes you. In 1 minute using the markers jot down the composition. Do 300 a week, more if possible.
- pencil control: looks like you're using blunt pencils. practice sharpening your pencils to a good point and practice drawing from your shoulder not your wrist. You only need to draw from your wrist when doing details. Everything else is from your shoulder. Draw faster and draw your circles in continuous lines instead of broken up lines. Do pages of ellipses, circles, straight lines, boxes, and cubes every day, preferably with ink or marker so you can't erase.
- Value control: this topic itself would take a solid year to explain but some quick starting tips: always be aware of the darkest mark you can make with your medium. Using pencil on graphite, that absolute darkest mark you can make it not going to be 100% (absolute) black. However, using black oil paint on a white canvas, the darkest mark you can make with that medium is going to be much darker than your graphite mark. Hence, you have a wider range of values. Now, once you know how dark you can go with your tools, you have established a range from 100% (relative to your medium) to 0% (the white of your canvas or paper). Every bit of value you see must fit within that range. Do some value scales, breaking up 9-10 squares into a gradation of darkest to lightest. If you have a black cup and a white cup in the same picture, that means the lightest part of the black cup can almost never be as light as the darkest part on the white cup -- because you only have so many steps to work with. The ONLY exception to this rule is the shiny highlight on the black cup, which can indeed be as white as the light cup because it is a direct reflection of the light source. BUT this shiny highlight will not exist on a matte cup, as a matte surface cannot produce such strong highlights.
I would start with the very basic drawing skills of getting your proportions and sensitivity right then move on to the rest.
Oh wow, thank you for taking the time to write all of that out. I copied it down (along with advice some others have given in this thread) on paper so I can refer back to it when I need to. I didn't realize I was rushing things that badly. I think I jump around a lot because I'll get bored of doing the same thing all the time.
Both you and Blackspot have pointed out I'm using blunt pencils. I'm a bit confused by this because I almost always use mechanical pencils, which I assumed stay sharp all the time. Is there a reason they're giving off the blunt look? Maybe the way I'm holding them?
Thanks again for the huge critique/advice. I really appreciate it.
Ah, no problem keeptime, I'm glad you found that helpful. For the pencils, if you use a 0.7 lead, there's a possibility that it can lead to a 'blunt' look because the width of the tip is quite big enough. However I suspect it is the way you are holding the pencil. I feel like it's better to use wooden pencils while learning. Because they give you a wider range of strokes and can give you as sharp a point than mechanical pencils, with more control. For really light and fine linework, such as constructing a still life or bargue, use a slightly harder pencil (F or H is nice) and sharpen it like this:
Exposed wood should be about 1 to 1.5 inches, the lead part can be even longer than what I've shown. Hold it towards the back end and use your whole arm not just your wrist to draw lightly. A point like this has the added effect of making sure you can't develop a heavy hand when you're practising, since that will snap the tip easily. And a point like this also insures you can't draw using your wrist because it'll feel weird. This kind of tip can stay sharp for quite a while because you're not supposed to be pressing down straight on the tip. You're using the sides of the tip to draw and it will develop throughout your drawing session into a sort of bullet shape at which point you can re-sharpen it or use it for softer lines.
Edit: I'd like to add you don't have to draw lightly forever, but do it for a while until you can actively control the strength of the line weight. Control is the keyword, since once you are more sensitive to what the pencil can do you will naturally stop making 'blunt' looking lines. This is why I advocate wooden pencils because mechanical pencils stunt the understanding of what your hand really can do, at least in the beginning. Later on, once you know what your hand is capable of and how to control pressure, then going back to mechanical pencils you'll find it suddenly appears that it can do a vast variety of things.
Last edited by Cadaure; January 28th, 2013 at 09:16 PM.
Aahh, yeah, I'm using .7 lead on mechanical pencils. They're just cheap BIC pencils from the dollar store. I do have a few proper wooden Staedler pencils that I'm starting to use because I can get a wider range of values. I just liked mechanical pencils because they hooked into the spirals of my sketchbooks and didn't require me to carry a pencil sharpener around. Anyways, that picture is pretty crazy. I had no idea people sharpened their pencils that much. I'll give it a shot next time I draw using my wooden pencils. Thanks again for all the help! I found Yoitisi's Island on CA and I think it'll cover a lot of the stuff you told to practice.
Something completely different from my usual stuff, this is a project I have to hand in tomorrow. The assignment was to draw/measure a bunch of cabinets set up in our studio, create blueprints from them, and then reconstruct the set-up in 4:1 scale. For a sense of size, the biggest box is 18.5".
This is probably the first project I've ever done where I have no sense of satisfaction from completing it. It was originally supposed to be handed in seven days after assigned. I busted my butt to finish it in four, because the last three days I would have been too busy to work on it. 36 hours before it's supposed to be handed in, we get an extra week extension and told that neatness will be a factor. Mine was a bit sloppy because I was trying to get it done in time for the original deadline, and after the extension I had to destroy/rebuild some parts (obvious by the tape) in the hopes of salvaging some marks. There's still some boxes that will probably make me lose a lot of marks, but I can't be bothered to fix it now. I'm mostly bitter that I made a point of getting it finished early while other classmates who took their time were then told they get DOUBLE the time to work on it. Seems incredibly unfair, but I guess that's life.
Those things will happen in school, unfortunately. Just take it in stride and move on. As for your drawings, one way that will help you slow down and convey form better is to always wrap your mark making around the form. It will make you pay closer attention to how the forms are turning and will make your drawings more volumetric as a whole. Looking forward to updates!
"A drawing is not necessarily academic because it is thorough, but only because it is dead. Neither is a drawing necessarily academic because it is done in what is called a conventional style, any more than it is good because it is done in an unconventional style. The test is whether it has life and conveys genuine feeling."- Harold Speed
Thanks Pariano! I'll keep it in mind. It's definitely something I miss because I rush.
Some practices from last night/today, as well as some perspective stuff I did in studio class this morning. It amazed me how many people struggled with two and three point perspective of boxes. I guess practicing it occasionally really does make a difference.
My TA wanted us to keep the stupid orthogonal lines in, presumably to irritate anyone who likes cleaning up their artwork. Wasn't sure if I was supposed to embellish the sectional drawing with rafters and animals, but I did it anyways. Should have been more careful with the ink. Accidently made the fox too dark.
I'm not dead, just stressed from falling through bureaucratic cracks. Haven't been working too much on my art the last two days, all I have are a few figure drawings from university. I'm not very fond of my art history TA.
In other news, I think I've temporarily figured out what kind of art I'd like to make. Not sure what it's called, but I suppose it's a form of illustration. I'm very much interested in "slice-of-life" sort of paintings, such as Matthew Laskowski and Sylvain Sarrailh's work, as well as this Jessica C. Luong painting. I like a lot of work by Manet and Caillebotte too. I love the combination of colourful urban environments and people. I know I'm still far away from making work this complex, but I'm glad I've found something to aim towards. I think it'll help give me some direction.
Thanks for sharing, Medelo. I hadn't heard of the Ashcan school before, so it was neat to see some similar artwork.
I finished two university assignments a week in advance and didn't know what to do with my new found freedom, so I worked on my art. How do I have fun?
I think I might buy a white pencil just so I can do highlights without having to do crazy precision erasing.
From the health clinic waiting room. Tried to ink/colour the girl on the right from memory since she got up right as I finished drawing her with pencil.
Not pictured: An unfinished still life I did at 2am when I couldn't sleep, a page of ellipses/circles, a page of cubes.
Now I guess I'm going to do some German homework that isn't due until Monday. FRIDAY NIGHT PARTY WHOOO.
Edit: Oh! I had a eureka moment this morning. I caught my forearm in my mirror as I was picking up a cracker and suddenly all I could see was one big rectangle on top of my arm (the extensors, I believe). I played around for a few minutes and tried to see how the shape changed based on how I twisted my arm. It was really neat!
Last edited by keeptime; February 1st, 2013 at 11:02 PM.
A bit of stuff from yesterday and today, not including a page of six minute figure drawings. First page is from life.
Feeling kind of depressed past week. I'm having a lot of trouble just motivating myself to draw, so sorry if I haven't really been following the advice you guys have been giving. I try to when I remember. Anyways, here's a half-assed painting of a cat I found on google.
Running on about eight hours of sleep for the last two days, but I bought some melatonin so hopefully I'll get back on track this week. I realized yesterday that I have a public art show at a cafe coming up and absolutely no new work from the last year. I know I'm not good enough to have one of these shows, but somehow I got roped into it back in September and I can't bail out now. Started another self-portrait in the hopes I'll be able to turn it in as a newer piece. The lack of sleep lately meant I spent all of yesterday and most of today just trying to get the sketch to look right. I know it's still not very good, but I'm going to try and make this more of a painterly piece and not focus so much on linework.