I'm here as well, plaguing yet another forum with my efforts to improve as an artist.
I'm 32 years old, have drawn during my entire life, but haven't really done what you're supposed to do to develop as an artist. This means I lack in many basic areas and I realized this quite recently, after getting frustrated for the umpteenth time when trying to paint something, and decided to do something about it. I've almost always been unsatisfied with my drawing skills, and I hate my style, which has resulted in me having stopped drawing during periods in my life. Only to pick it up again, because to draw is to be ME.
I'm trying to relearn how to draw again, not from the basic basics, but from a pretty basic level. What I'm focusing on now are to practice copying pictures, to learn proportions, angles, to understand what I'm looking at really. At the moment, I can't do any live studies, but as soon as I can afford to, I will.
I'm trying to stay away from colour for now and am just focusing on shape/form and values.
Forgot to add, I've suffered from a two year long depression which I topped of with some burnout, so I haven't drawn for over a year and I still feel the aftermath of the burnout (it's friggin frightening how your own body can turn upon itself). Also, I've never really studied art so all this fancy terminology many of you use, means squat to me (something I expect will change the more I hang out in "artsy" circles). I appreciate all your input, and if I don't understand what you're talking about, I'll ask you to clarify.
Um... What else? I'm making a living as a cleaning lady (yay) and have just returned to work after a looong sick leave, so there won't be any cool updates (mostly 'cause I haven't learned "cool" yet), instead there'll mostly be basic stuff. I'm too tired to draw/paint for any longer periods of time, and I'm SLOW, so please be patient with me.
My goal is not to become a professional artist, but to become satisfied with my art. This, however, means I need to get as good as the professionals, because I won't settle for less.
Things that I need to practice the most:
- How to make my pictures not appear; dead, flat, boring, and just "meh"
- Drawing humans, basic anatomy, faces, etc.
- How to use colours (values among other things)
- Adding interesting backgrounds
You get the gist right?
I have several sketches to show, but I need to add links and stuff to the references of the other sketches, so you'll have to do with the two images I don't need to add any links, since I haven't used any references for them. I'll start with my selfportrait I did recently (just a sketch), which I did after reading several tutorials and How To's, where it was recommended that one do several self portraits. I realized when I drew it, the the last and only other self portrait I've done, was back when I was 17, so it was about time to make another one! XD I plan on doing more, of course, the next one in gray scale I think.
And here's a sketch of a horse head.
My attempt to add colour to it (I won't finish this version, but probably remake it later on):
I'll spam this thread tomorrow with all the other sketches I've done.
Forgot to add: Any form of constructive criticism is welcome! I aim to improve and develop as an artist, and without any criticism, that's kind of hard to do. ^^
Last edited by PollyBoffin; December 18th, 2012 at 04:09 PM.
I really like your self portrait, especially the angle you chose to draw it from, it's got a lot of drama to it! not meh at all!
If you want to practice drawing figures and can't afford figure drawing sessions, i suggest starting at places like these!
Oh I really like them! I'm not too great with advice but I think it could help a lot to do many gestures and quick sketches. I find doing a lot of practice with movement studies and messy sketches help bring them to life. You can find a ton of 'one minute gesture' tutorials on google. The trick with drawing is to be quick and confident in your lines. Make it seem natural and easy. I hope this helps a bit
Hi, and thanks for your reply. Doing quick sketches are on the agenda, I just need to get my butt out there on the web and do it. And I think your advice was most helpful since you're right. I feel I'm at the point where it's time to start doing these kind of exercises, to help improve, and it's yet another one of those things that I've never done except for a few times. I'm a lazy artist wannabe. ^^
I'm happy I could help! I know exactly what you mean xD I get pretty lazy too, but once you start and get into the habit of drawing a lot it gets easier. Or if you want just 'doodle' a lot... my dad says the more contact you make with paper and drawing the better you'll get, even if its just doodles and having fun xD I tend to draw a lot while watching tv or something so it doesn't seem like such a big deal. Like I tend to get an art block if Im pressured into doing some really nice full blown piece but if im doodling eventually I just continue it until it becomes a legit full piece anyway. So i guess it just depends on your mindset and stuff
Recognize that performing under pressure issue, it can happen when I care too much about a character I'm drawing, or a scene. One stroke wrong and artistic tantrum ensues. lol One of the good reasons of drawing on the computer, it's expensive and hard to toss out of the window... God, I'm immature.
And now, time to spam.
Here are the first sketches I did after starting on my quest to improvement. They're all done in CS3 and with the aid of a grid. All stock photos are from DeviantArt and I'll provide links to the galleries as well as the pictures I've used.
First sketch is of a pitbull mix, from Jaded-Night, and here's the ref, Beauty:
Next is a finished picture of a sheltie, also from Jaded-Night (but her stock gallery, Jaded-Night Stock ) and here's the ref, Dog Stock 242.
After doing those skteches, I decided to try and capture the beautiful eyes of the pitbull mix. and I used the right eye as my avatar. This time I didn't use a grid, but I flipped the canvas 180 degrees to try and get away from my usual seeing/thinking.
Here's the finished version, which I'm quite satisfied with.
After that, I went for a value practice, still using stock photos from Jaded-Night, but this time a very cute hunting dog. I also think this one was a pretty good anatomy practice, since she's rather skinny, but muscular at the same time. The lineart was done using a grid, but the value practice was done without. Here's the reference, Dog Stock 203:
And the finished image, which I'm DARN proud of. There are things I could've worked more on (like the black areas), and things I actually forgot to add in the process, but on a whole, this is the best picture I've ever done so far.
Did you say no reference, as in you drew that horse from memory? If so I'm impressed, I did a couple with reference recently and found them quite hard, but I'm pretty sure that I couldn't pull off anything like this from my head, even after doing those studies.
Like the self portrait, too. I really need to do one, I once had to do it in school (so I was probably 17 as well) and didn't attempt it since. I'm assuming that you used a mirror for this, rather than a photo?
Very interesting that my second post is being checked before it appears, feels like it should've been the first.
Oh, well, I'll keep spamming my thread with some more sketches, but this time of ladies. I didn't start drawing humans until I was 17. Before then, I only drew animals, mostly horses (the only creature where I've actually done a bit of my homework), cats, and dogs, but humans? Not if I could help it. So, at 17, I decided that enough was enough and I started drawing guys, and that's what I usually draw when I draw people; men, guys, male, as long as there are muscles involved, I'm happy. XD
This means that my ability to draw women are a bit behind. I HAVE drawn them, not that often though and they always go through a phase of "Wow, where did her brother come from?" before they look remotely female. And now, since I've gotten a commission requested by a friend, a portraying of a powerful demon lady (sort of succubusish), I really need to get better at humans in general, and women in particular. So I've started sketching women, still using references from DeviantArt, in my efforts to make my friend's commission look decent at least. Or indecent, but in a good way, if you know what I mean.
First, are a series of portrait sketches, some better than others. I've tried to stay away from the grid and only used to guidelines instead (which is why there are more differences between the originals and my pictures).
First stock photo is from Reine-Haru, and here's the reference, Rowena Braids:
Second is from A68Stock, and here's the ref used, Laura spring stock 3:
Third's from kkjeanne, and here's the ref, Stock 09:
Fourth portrait's from Asilwen-stock, and here's the ref, http://asilwen-stock.deviantart.com/...uary-129885687 (I'm not really satisfied with this sketch):
I'll upload the other pictures in a new post, to create some sort of order.
Last edited by PollyBoffin; December 17th, 2012 at 11:30 AM.
I used a mirror, which is why I glare as I do. XD You can't tell that I actually had a blast doing it, since my two cats were crawling all over said mirror and being very cute, and very much in the way (it's hard to draw your face when all you see is a cat butt).
And here's my final spamming of CA for now (my two other posts are awaiting to be approved, so I hope the order won't get weird). I moved up to more full body portraits of women and have, so far, only done two, one sketch/lineart, and another one in gray scale as a value practice.
Here's the first one and stock photo's from Faestock, and here's the ref, Snow3. I'm actually very satisfied with this sketch, and I plan on doing either a value practice of it or colour it, or maybe both. Depends on my inspiration. The thing I'm not satisfied with, is that I had to use three guidelines to get it approximately correct, but I do need to practice more (and not only copying photos). Anyway, here she is (and whatever I decide to do, that dress is going to be simplified):
On the second picture, I decided to forgo the drawing and jump directly to the value practice. I thought that since I have such problems with getting proportions correct when drawing, maybe doing it in gray scale is easier? Since there are larger areas that relate to one another, instead of just a single brush stroke in the middle of nowhere. I think I might be on to something, that this way of "drawing" helps me break down the image into different areas, without getting caught up in the details.
Stock photo's from NastiaOsipovaStock , and here's the ref used, 78 (it's a gorgeous photo I think):
A little update on my lady in the pond. I still think it's fun to paint it, despite having started refining the details. Some wonkyness has snuck in, which will be dealt with tomorrow.
I noticed when browsing through some other sketchbooks, that you guys make some random sketches/doodles from time to time, and I realized I never did that after starting to draw again. So here are just some random doodles, and now it's back to the "serious" stuff:
cool animales painting , post more
Gah! Today I've done some figure drawing, something I've never done before. What they showed me, is that I suck even more on human proportions than I thought I did. So here's a bunch of Loomis studies.
I thought I was on a more advanced level than these first, very basic studies, but MAN was I wrong! The trouble I had doing these tells me that I definitely need to spend hours and hours on figure drawing, and, also the perspective drawing.
Some minor updates on my value practice, too:
Yay! More noob poop! !
First out are some Loomis exercises. I've only been copying so far, so it's time to start doing some mannikins of my own. Really need to practice on drawing them to get a feeling fore motion and proportion.
And here's my horrible attempt at some life study. I'm a bit of an orchid nut and I read somewhere that flowers are good real life/still life objects, so I thought I should try. Said and done, I went and picked up one of my favourites that is blooming at the moment, my Dtps. Tzu Chiang Orange C#1 (oooh, it has a pedigree), did some half-assed light arrangement and started. Let's just say that If I had done it in traditional media, I would've stabbed the sketch pad. Luckily, I do it on the computer, and those are too expensive to break with an artistic tantrum.
I suck. And need to work on the basic stuff for a couple of years more before attempting any real life studies again. I hate colour, and colour hates me!
(the word written on it is "poop" in Swedish, BTW)
*Whistles* You're doing exceptionally well with your studies. I even like the recent gestures, they look well balanced, it helps make them "feel" heavy. Keep it coming .
Thanks, that's sweet of you. It's too bad I didn't do this when I was younger and actually had the opportunity. I was enrolled in an art school when I was 16-17, but it killed my inspiration completely then. Now, on the other hand, I understand the necessity of all those exercises they tried make me do, but which I refused to. Oh, well. *shrugs* It's not like I can jump into a time machine and give myself a bit fat kick in the butt, I just have to make up for lost time.
Oh, BTW, I really like playing with the Loomis manikins, and I'll work more on them before moving on.
Your value studies are really lovely, and so are your animals. =) (For what it's worth - I like your style! Those dog images in particular are beautiful.) Your line quality needs work, though - it does come with time, but putting a real effort into not petting your lines can help, as does working smaller and/or with larger brushes for a while.
Ohh, you have some nice studies here! Your drawing of that sheltie looks exactly like my dog! I'd suggest that you look into doing quick gesture drawings and loosen up a bit. If you could attend some figure drawing workshop or something to work with live models, that would help immensely. Your Loomis mannequin has a nice rhythm to them, but try using less lines to capture each limb/motion.
What?! You mean that twenty million lines in approximately the same place isn't the way to go? I know, it's a wee bit better when I use a pencil, but with a tablet my lines get wobbly and in the wrong place, so I end up using too much pressure and then my hand cramps... I need to loosen my hold on the pen for starters I think.
Thanks for stopping by and giving me some much needed critique!
Last edited by PollyBoffin; December 18th, 2012 at 02:50 AM.
Some more Loomis, from Figure Drawing for All It's Worth, and Fun With a Pencil. I'm working on getting some control of my lines, so I've tried to make as few as possible on these exercises, with some loss of quality of course, but that's only to be expected.
So here are some mannikins from my own imagination (need to work on those proportions, on the balance etc. etc.). How can something that looks so simple be so hard to do? I had a really difficult time coming up with my own poses/gestures, and it seems as if my little trip into the land of burnouts have affected my mind more than I thought. Hopefully, I'll get better though. ^^
So here are the mannikins:
Here are some very pretty, and very round circles:
And here's a closeup of the faces on the bottom of the page. I tried using this method of constructing a, admittedly not that realistic looking, face and they're supposed to be some of the main characters of a manga I started a couple of years ago. I quit doing the manga, as per usual when it comes to anything more major I try to do, but I still love my characters. They grew up quite rapidly in these versions though, since they are about 16-25 in the manga (except the guy on the top, I think I got the age pretty much correct there). I'll try using this method of constructing different faces on my future characters, so they all don't look the same. )Oh, and something's seriously off with the bottom most guy... What is it? Perspective and/or just some anatomic mishap? And I like the top one the most, feels less stiff than the others.
One major issue when I draw; I get pains in my hand due to cramp. Anyone have any tips on either how to hold the pen or the position of the arm/wrist?
Last edited by PollyBoffin; December 18th, 2012 at 06:27 PM.
The left is my change, the right is how you had it, and the red lines represent the divisions of thirds heads generally have. That's more realistic though, you were probably purposefully playing with proportions since they are based on manga characters.
Last edited by Ambiguity; December 19th, 2012 at 02:22 PM.
Yeah, I know that and I know what those lines will do, and STILL I add them. It's like a compulsive disorder or something. XD
That was one thing I didn't even notice, thanks for pointing it out. There's still something off though. I'll see if I can do some character sheets for these guys and keep to the more realistic approach. I don't want to lose the ability to draw from imagination, so I'll start doing more pictures like that.
Thanks for the link. There's definitely a posture thing in combination with over-flexible joints, manual labor, and a much too tight hold on the pen. I'll have to do something about it, your link will provide me with ideas I hope.
More Loomis based mannikins! I like doing them, and I believe they are good practice, but I think it's time to start doing the slightly more advanced ones now. I'm working on my lines, and made them a bit bolder on the second sheet, I think they look better than the previous ones, line-wise that is. I've added some mannikins based on some rather famous...hmm...don't know what to call it, happenings? Tell me if you can spot them and what they're supposed to be.
And I added a still-life study of my toilet paper holder. Let's just say that was my longest session on the toilet ever, with its two and a half hours.
This one I did in pencils, and man was it a long time ago I held a pencil! It's okay I think, I was more interested in trying to finish it, than make a great picture. Of course I did my best, but instead of getting frustrated and mad 'cause it looks flat and not as detailed as the real thing, I had a more relaxed approach. I think it's healthier for me to take a more relaxed attitude towards my drawing exercises. ^^
I'm actually pleased with it, 'cause I really tried working on my lines and made some really nice ones. Unfortunately, you can't tell so I might just be lying to ya!
Oh, and toilet lids extremely slippery, and it's impossible to draw with a cat on your lap when you try to draw something, sitting on mentioned toilet.
Awesome sketchbook so far You seem to have a really good grasp of value and your sketches are looking great. Keep it up!!
Please drop by my sketchbook and help me improve!
Other than that I don't know what could be wrong, your eyes probably see mistakes better than mine right now though.
You have a lot of good stuff here. Depending on your goals, using a grid can be a real hindrance once you need to draw without one. Your toilet paper holder suggests that you don't need the grid, though. I think your dog studies are as good or better than a girl I watch on facebook who gets over $4k a piece for acrylic paintings done straight from photos using the grid method.
It took me like three hours to finish the shading on your upper lip. It's probably the best drawing I've ever done.
My sketchbook (it'll get good near the end)