View Full Version : Guidelines...
February 8th, 2008, 03:31 PM
this is going to be my mentoring thread...
I don't know the "rules" of the mentoring forums. Maybe i should've looked for the Tutorials forums, but anyway I'm using this as a kind of classroom for things I get asked over and over.
So here are my rules/guidelines:
1. Please do not post your artwork here unless i give some kind of an assignment or experiment. If I don't ask for a character design of a bunny, don't post one here.
2.I will try to keep a theme for each lesson or group of lessons. Please stay on topic. (i.e. don't ask about oil painting if we're going to work on cross hatching.) Based on the natural progression of things we'll decide future topics together. Maybe I'll figure out how to set-up the vote/poll feature. If you have a question for a different topic, hold on to it for the time being. maybe i'll have to start a thread for suggestions...
3. By all means, share info with whoever you want. But please don't print this stuff out and try to pass it off as your own. I could easily go teach a class and charge money, but I want people who don't have access to a teacher due to where they live to have free access to what I know. At some point in the future maybe I'll want to make a book or something, you know... Don't be a dick or the karma police will come and get you.
4. don't be a jackass. you know what i mean. ...yes... you know what i mean. no shit-talking, no threats, no whining, no favoritism, none of that.
5. you don't have to enroll or sign up or ask me permission or anything like that. i help as my time and circumstances permit. you're free to come and go as you please.
February 8th, 2008, 03:33 PM
Anyway, you guys know how prone i am to rambling motivational speeches. Someone asked me the following question online the other day, and I tried to write a helpful, but honest response. There's a bunch of anectdotal rambling in there as well.
"I have only one question this time (expect more later ) and its probably very frequently asked one: Do you know any magic trick that would help me with my discipline (I feel shitty asking this)? I mean, without teachers I need a lot of self discipline and I kinda lack there. I set myself a goal on a new year that I would do at least a self portrait or a master study a day but it lasted about 20 days... so I'm trying now with schedule (with minimaly 2h of drawing a day) and hoping it will last."
It's a good question, but a difficult one to answer. A while back, I took a short seminar with Nathan Fowkes called "From Student to Professional" that was based on more or less the same question. He made several concrete suggestions. I'm including some of them here with my own thoughts.
Drawing or painting regularly is just as difficult as starting an exercise program or losing weight on a diet. In order to make it work, you have to make drawing/painting so convenient and enjoyable that you can't come up with an excuse not to do it. This is more or less what led Nathan to start painting those small landscapes with his portable watercolor/gouache kit. (If you haven't looked at his page, you really need to--http://nathanfowkes.blogspot.com) He miniaturized his paintings and tools so that he could take them everywhere. By concentrating on smaller bite-sized chunks of art, he made it possible to get a painting study done in 30 minutes during lunch, or in his car on the drive to or from work. He made it so easy and fun to put in mileage that it became impossible to not do it. And look at his work--it obviously paid off!
Nathan has a natural grasp on watercolor and gouache. Personally, i found it too frustrating to get much work done the same way. So, one lesson to keep in mind is that solutions to these problems can be very different from person to person, but the underlying problem remains the same.
One significant problem I have experienced is that I sometimes find it very difficult to concentrate if there are people I know around me. This doesn't apply for group life drawing sessions or whatever where a decent number of people makes it more comfortable, but more for personal work. Psychologically, it's just a sense of confinement--not enough space. And when you're not rich, maybe living at home, maybe renting a tiny, tiny room, it just makes you feel that much worse. When I was growing up, I used to skateboard a lot. At the time, I was living at a residential high school in a dorm, and I was a bit of a weird, shy, outcast kid on antidepressants. So I left every night at about 8pm and walked through the fields until I found some flat pavement I could skate on, and that was my personal space until 10pm curfew every night. It was close to a 2-3 mile walk/skate, so none of the other kids would bother following me. Skateboarding in general is a lot like that--you don't literally own the curb, the parking lot, the sidewalk, etc., but you make it your own when people aren't looking. Doing that at a young age taught me a lot about self-sufficiency, determination, and a healthy way to spend time by yourself without worrying about a lot of extra bullshit.
In college, I used to have certain "friends" and "acquaintances" who would bug me to help them write their essays and med school applications, etc. English wasn't their native language, so I helped them a lot, but eventually it turned into a situation where I wouldn't correct their English. On the contrary, I would end up doing it for them while they chatted on the phone to their girlfriends or whatever. I couldn't stay in my own apartment because they would come and bang on the fucking door if I didn't pick up the phone. So my solution was the same skateboarding one--I'd study or draw at a far-off, run-down McDonalds from 8pm till midnight. All it cost me was the price of a Coke. Not many people eat there after 8pm--mostly they go through the drive-thru. So you have a whole booth to yourself. A personal art studio. Granted, you've gotta make sure it's in a safe neighborhood and people won't steal your stuff if you go to the bathroom, but other than that it's yours for a buck a day. I did the same thing in Japan when I needed to study for my kanji character exam. I still do the same thing now.
In other words, feeling like you're trying to do a personal thing in someone else's space is going to fuck up your artwork. Do whatever it takes to find a way to make your space your own.
Understand that the stuff I'm talking about here doesn't work for large-scale oil paintings or whatever. But that's all polish and finish anyway. What's more important is getting your ideas down correctly and consistently. When you have 30 finished sketches that you can compose into a finished painting, then it's time to switch gears and paint at home. At that point, I kind of zone out anyway and run on auto-pilot. Most of the hard decisions come at the early stages of a drawing.
Another problem to think about is your materials. They have to work properly for what you want to do, but they have to be cheap and portable, easy-to-find if you move from city to city. For sketching out ideas and practicing, think about using typing paper. Get in the habit of using tracing paper or vellum to bring rough ideas in a sketch to a medium-level of finish. For drawing tools try ballpoint pen, pencil, mechanical pencil, drafting lead holders, sharpie markers, etc. Anything that's portable and not delicate. Charcoal doesn't work well on the road. For paints, acrylic and watercolor work best. I lean towards acrylic, but that's just me. If your materials are bulky, find a way to make them more compact. buy smaller tubes of paint, break your pencils in half and sharpen both ends. INVEST IN A GOOD ELECTRIC PORTABLE PENCIL SHARPENER--(that's very important in the long run).
Yet another problem is, quite frankly, ideas and the size of those ideas. People change their moods at different time scales. some things change from hour-to-hour, some things change from day-to-day, some things from month-to-month, etc. You might not always be in the mood to start working on a 200-hour painting, right? My general advice is to always start out with small ideas until you keep repeating yourself and you settle on something that you like. then take it to a medium-level. then finish it. usually, you will find that even more ideas pop into your head while you're working at that medium and larger level--it's a good habit to jot those down in a sketchbook so they don't clog up your brain. Usually they're pretty good ideas too. Understand that motivation comes in all kinds of sizes and shapes. As far as that goes--never compare yourself to other people. They might be at one part of their cycle while you're in an entirely different part of your own. Learn by watching them, of course, but don't let it frustrate you.
When you're working from imagination, realize that at least half of the time you're working from memory. If you don't draw regularly and consistently, your visual drawing memory will be weak at first. It works like a computer's RAM. you might have a ton of stuff stored in your head on the hard drive, but the drawing tools are stored in the RAM part of your head. needs to be instantly accessible. If you draw 100 heads, you can mix and match and exaggerate parts to come up with 1000 more. etc. etc. etc.
Psychologically, the worst thing about working from imagination is "writer's block." Staring at a blank piece of paper can drive you nuts. I had a friend in college who was doing graphic design work. She would get an assignment to do something she didn't really care about. "design a menu" or "design a logo" type stuff. she had trouble getting started even with thumbnails. As the deadline for her homework got closer and closer, she always wound up having to do last-minute stuff that she wasn't happy with. I used to tell her to look at the clock, and make a decision to spend 10 minutes drawing out ideas. If nothing worked, then stop. Look at the clock and come back in an hour and do another ten minutes. Only keep working if the "magic" is there. If you do that at work or at school daily, you might get a good 90 minutes of ideas over the course of the day, and you won't feel empty-handed at the end of it.
Whatever you decide to do, don't reinforce negative thinking about your artwork. It's better to stop drawing when you're just beating yourself up, and come back to it later. If you make a habit out of staring at a blank page, feeling confined about your drawing space or living situation, feeling poor because you don't have the cool art materials, etc. you're going to do some heavy damage to your motivation and it will take a lot more work to fix it.
As far as themes go... it's the same with the scale of your ideas. if you feel like you can take on the whole world, do something from imagination. if you want to just zone out and relax, pick a picture to copy. if you feel like seriously studying, pick an area to concentrate on. In the end, as long as you're making progress on mastering the fundamentals of composition, line, value, shape, form, color...you're doing the right thing. if you feel good about it, you'll do that much better at it.
As far as classes go... BE A GOOD STUDENT. If you were learning to play the piano, you would take lessons maybe once per week. But you would practice at home, memorize the pieces or scales and then get the teacher to correct them the next week. You would not ask the teacher to come home with you and spend 40 hours watching you practice, ignoring all of your other students. Teachers teach, students practice. You wouldn't believe how many rich kids and rich adults I've seen who still can't paint after being taught by the same teachers who taught me, some of them are truly legendary illustrators. You are supposed to show the results of your practice to the teacher. The teacher should then adjust your practice to correct your mistakes. That's the basics of forward progress as far as that goes. It's an easy, fundamental, human relationship. And it's one that should be respected and valued more. It's tragic that so many people fuck it up.
As far as long-term motivation goes... the rule of thumb that i've stated before is 10,000 hours before you're ready to start working professionally every day. some kids get that because they've been drawing non-stop since they were six years old. some people do that later. some people graduate college and still have to put in several years more work. but if you make it to that point where you're free to draw anything you want, however you want, in whatever style you want, then it's all worth it.
in a good way, 10,000 hours is a long time. there's more than enough time to spend some on thumbnails, and some on finished studies. Don't get in the habit of saying you're going to spend the next 10,000 hours doing 20 500-hour-long paintings. and don't defeat yourself by saying you're going to do 600,000 1-minute sketches either. you will eventually find the right mixture of practice and experimentation, quickness and deliberation to suit your needs and succeed.
Anyway, back to the beginning... it's a lot like exercise or dieting or learning a musical instrument. It's difficult because some aspects of it can be very lonely and private. It's difficult because many people have misconceptions that you have to be born an artistic "genius" to know how to do it. And it's difficult because so many people worry about making a living at it, worry about rankings in last man standing, worry about what some technical anatomist jerks off about, worry about uncovering the master techniques of 18th century France, etc. But in reality, it's the same as any other part of your life. You want to enjoy it, you want to express yourself in it, you want to be free in it.
That's the touchy-feely, feel-good, happy side of it.
The other side of it is. you're not meant to be a permanent prisoner of Art with a capital "A." Hey, kid. here's the same spoon i stole from the prison cafeteria. i dug a hole and broke out. now you dig a hole through that wall and break free. that pencil or that brush you're holding is your fucking spoon, man. that's all you've got, and you gotta break out using that. you can borrow a spoon from someone, but you've gotta dig that hole yourself.
February 8th, 2008, 03:33 PM
Number777uknothing complicated. i just meant that you should use either a lightbox or tracing paper or vellum over your rough compositional ideas to clean them up as opposed to trying to re-do them completely. it's faster, and it keeps the spontanaeity of your original idea.
it's more for a medium-stage of work, although there are ways to make finished work from it. if you can find Seth Cole Dura-lene drafting acetate or the Graphix(?) Dura-lar stuff you can do finished black prismacolor tracings/sketches of your originals, and they will be pretty damn archival. those two surfaces have the advantage that they are incredibly erasable with no ghosting. you can literally erase black colored pencil right off the surface. sketching in prismacolor is very good for some kinds of artwork where you just want to scan in an image and pop some highlights in PS.
look at Mike Butkus' stuff. http://www.mikebutkus.net he's a very famous movie poster and DVD/game box illustrator. almost all of his finished black and white sketches are done like that. back in the 90's and 80's he used tracing paper and vellum. there are some other techniques you can use involving turpenoid to dissolve the prismacolor and blend it, etc.
basically, all i meant to say is that if you have to start over again from scratch every time you want to refine an idea, you're wasting a lot of time. sure, there's something to be said for persistence and practice making perfect, but once you reach a certain level of proficiency, it's just a waste of time.
Also, you should get in the habit of correcting your mistakes. A lot of teachers I've known have used tracing paper over students' drawings to show them how to correct their own work. If you feel like you've done a good job on something except for a mistake or two that would be difficult to repair--fix it on a sheet of tracing paper.
cheap tracing paper is usually shit. beware of generic stuff because it's meant for little kids to use. buy the medium grade stuff at least.
also, getting access to a cheap 24-hr xerox machine is a great resource. in the US we've got a bunch of Kinko's places everywhere. if you have a good thumbnail, blow it up to the size you want to work at and trace it to a finished state.
this gets back to the issue of being portable. you never know what crazy bullshit life may bring, so you want to be able to find basic drawing supplies wherever you wind up. it's a kind of survivalist approach. the more ability you have to get more finished work done under non-ideal circumstances, the better.
i deal with it when i fly back home to my parents' house for x-mas and holidays. i can't take my drafting table with me, and i usually forget to pack one thing or another. being able to walk into an office supply store and pick up 500 sheets of typing paper, ballpoint pens, tracing paper and some sharpie markers is a great comfort. with just that stuff you can get through the planning and prep stages for a finished 30x40 inch painting or more. and you can do as much quick sketching as you want. either way, no matter where you go, you can start from scratch for about 20$ US. That's pretty badass when you think about it.
if you rely on art stores for everything, you'll fall victim to certain luxuries. yeah, there are some things you can only get there--like oil paint. and unless you have a cool store near you, you're more or less just feeding a huge corporate outlet. and even in the good ones, you can easily spend more money on stuff you don't even have time to use. ordering stuff online is always cheaper, but it might take 2 weeks for the stuff to show up.
but the bottom line is that you should never let the absence of a good art supply store or lack of spending money prevent you from getting work done.
i learned all of this the hard way. i spent two and a half years bouncing around in a different hotel every two weeks for my job. you never know where life will take you, but you better know how to get some drawing done wherever you go.
February 8th, 2008, 04:18 PM
The first topic I'm going to take up is pen and ink (i.e. hatching) stuff. If you have any questions you want to ask about that in particular before i get going, please post them here:
February 8th, 2008, 05:43 PM
hey ccesars, i love your work, yours was the first sb i saw upon joining ca, im 16 yrs old, studying art in the uk, and im just looking for new ideas, and id like it if i could join your mentoring group, i preffer pencil/ink and you can see some of my work in my sb, thanks :)
February 8th, 2008, 06:24 PM
hi ccsears, after looking through your sketch book and your previous post in this thread you seem to have alot of wisdom and apparent skill, so i was wondering if you had chosen the mentorees already, if not is there any space for me? :donk:
February 8th, 2008, 06:31 PM
ccsears will you be setting us tasks? if so im eager lol
February 8th, 2008, 08:46 PM
pen/ink: let's say using any given pen (bic ballpoint. or finepoint sharpie) different techniques to render different materials. heck you were probably going to go over this anyway. but i'm thinking specific recognizable materials, i.e.: skin, chrome, glass, ... fiberous stuff (i.e. wool, jackets, jeans, etc). Tied into this is, i guess, generating the -right- level of details w/out going overboard and generating too much work for yourself to convey the idea/form/surface properly. (i guess that second one applies to every type of drawing medium.)
also i'm thinking techniques/strategies to improve line control. which, considering we're using pens this time would be important given in most cases you cannot just erase and try again.
pick and choose what you like. don't feel pressured to answer everything.
February 9th, 2008, 06:49 AM
Thanx a lot for your time and effort mate, count me in in your mentoring group
iīm looking foward for the assigments
I would be very happy learning also the techniques to improving my line control.
Also some stuff that you mentioned in your sb thread like:
"getting to learn from the limitations on pen. like:
--how to make a soft edge with a "hard" media.
--how to commit to making a mark when you can't easily adjust it
--how to be comfortable leaving your construction lines as part of a piece.
--how to vary your hatching to suggest different planes
--how to indicate texture.
--how to lay in an even tone or a gradation"
think this is a very good starting point, imo.
February 9th, 2008, 07:06 AM
Nice thread Chris. You've moved some thoughts in my head, made me really think about alot of stuff. You give excellent insight on the struggle some of us have wth creative muscles.
February 10th, 2008, 02:19 AM
Lesson 1. Pen and Ink--Line and Edge
I. Considerations About Materials
Here's a huge understatement: pens vary greatly. With a ballpoint pen, I can get a faint scratching, printmaking kind of fine line or a smoothly varying line from light to dark. Speed across the paper and pressure on the paper control these things. But either way, the width doesn't change much. In other words, I can't use the side of the pen to get a big blur the same way I can use the side of a pencil. With other technical pens, there is no light-to-dark variation and no width variation. It's pretty much a static medium. At the other extreme is the old-fashioned nib pens that vary greatly. Beyond that, you can find a lot of examples where brush and ink are mixed in with pen workbut that's a bit outside the scope of what I'm talking about here.
Inks vary a lot too. You should always be "careful" in mixing different brand pens and inks in the same piece of work. Black is not always black. Ballpoint pen black ink is not the same as India ink or sumi-e style ink or Sharpie marker ink. Some are warm and look almost purplish, some are black as death. If you're just going to scan or Xerox your work anyway, it doesn't matter. But if you want to display something finished, you better be aware of that fact and know your materials well beforehand.
Paper plays a big role too. A rule for almost any type of paper drawing though is that you should draw on "stacks" of paper, probably at least 15-20 sheets thick. You want to have a little bit of "cushion" or "give" in the surface you work on. Some papers have more grain than othersthat can affect how your pen performs on it. A few papers are actually abrasivethey will eat up a felt tip or plastic-nibbed pen. You should also check how stable the ink is on the paper, whether it smudges, if it takes time for the ink to dry on it, whether it bleeds, etc. It's a good habit for any medium to keep a scrap of the surface you're working on to test out marksdon't experiment on your finished work unless you can handle the risk of messing it up.
Exercise 1.1) Go to the art store or the office supply store and choose a pen you want to work with. Choose something cheap enough you can get a lot of and easy to find in case you want to buy moreat least a dozen pens. Buy more if you lose them easily or leave them in coat pockets like me.
Exercise 1.2) Go buy a pack of typing paper or a sketchbook. Avoid getting something expensive. Make sure it's compatible with the pen you want to use. Get a lot of it, get a stack of it, keep it on your desk, and keep more in a folder or sketchbook that you take with you.
II. Big Picture--"The Big Four" and how they relate to pen and ink
According to my past teachers, there are four general technical aspects to all drawing, regardless of whether it's abstract or photorealistic, stylized or academic: 1)Line, 2)Shape, 3)Value, 4)Edges. These four parts more or less make up the language of drawingjust like you have the parts of speech in Englishnouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, etc. When I learn a new medium, I try to figure out a kind of translation of these four ideas. The only difference between drawing and painting is that you have to add 5) Color to the list.
that's a whole other subject completely.
III. Line is King
The first thing you have to realize is that Line is King in pen and ink. You can't do a watercolor wash, you can't do a controlled smudge, you can't do a lot of things. What you can do well is obviousyou can draw lines. So you're first priority, before wondering how to do detailed shading and rendering is how to translate "The Big Four" into a world where all you've got is line.
For simplicity, I'm going to assume the most difficult situation: you've got a pen that isn't too responsive to pressure or speed and pretty much lays down even lines consistently. It's somewhat boring compared to other pens. It has a thin, brittle line and it would take all day to hatch a large picture.
Exercise 3.1) Lines & More Lines
This is the generic touchy-feely art school exercise. Make a bunch of different types of lines using your pen. Here is a non-exhaustive list of questions and experiments:
How easy is it to make a long (10") line with your pen? Can you move your hand smoothly to get a long line out of it? How about short lines? How fast do you have to move your hand to get a good line? If you move your hand quickly, can you get a lighter, thinner line out of it? What do the ends of the lines look like when you deliberately start and stop? Does ink pool up and bleed at the ends when you do? When you draw a sharp corner does the same thing happen? Is there a difference in your lines when you hold your pen at different angles? How easy is it to make a broken line, dashed line, dot, etc.?
(No need to save these doodle sheets or post 3.1 in this mentoring thread. I'm pretty sure most people can doodle. But if you're ever feeling bored or uninspired and can't think of something to draw, you can always experiment with your mark-making. Sometimes you'll come up with the inspiration for a whole piece of work just based on what you enjoy about making certain marks.)
IV. Edges Come Next.
When my teachers talked about painting, the most important of the big four were shape and value because that's how paint brushes work. For pen and ink, it's line and edges. If you've got a decent amount of experience and you read the CA.org forums a lot, you'll eventually pick up certain ideas about edges. Basically, the hardeness/softness ranges from non-existent to soft to medium to hard to knife-sharp; and the width varies from ultra thin to wide. Each edge has a use in a drawing or a painting. In painting, you usually don't use lines for this, you use the edges of the brush marks you make. For pen and ink, you use different types of lines.
The easiest thing to make with a pen is a solid line. It's probably relatively hard for an edge. You can make it sharper sometimes by retracing it over and over and trying to clean it up or make it very crisp. Anyway, that part is not what's difficult. Before you get too much deeper into a serious drawing, you need to find out what it takes to make a soft edge, a thin edge, a light edge and a dark edge. If you were drawing with pencil or charcoal, this wouldn't be too difficult because those marks can be made naturally. What you're doing here is reinterpreting and translating those ideas into linear pen marks.
Exercise IV.1) Find the range of edges your pen can produce. See the image below. It is even more helpful if you find two pens to compare and contrast. (Please DO NOT post your experiments here for the time being.)
Exercise IV.2) Copy any of these simple geometric forms and these heads and features, paying attention to the lines and edges I'm using. How you use line to lay in your shapes and how you organize your edges and linework is the framework that you're going to build your shapes and values. I know there are many ways to do thiswhat I've done is just a small sample of what's actually possible. But concentrate on organizing and thinking in your head "soft edge, hard edge, thin edge, thick edge." Being conscious of what you see in these drawings is the first step. Then you will be able to make your own conscious decisions in your own artwork.
Note: There are a few hatching and rendering examples in here. You guys know the drill. Copy these or invent your own. If you're nervous about "getting it right the first time", lightly sketch in the placement with a pencil.
Note: When using a pen like the one I am here, a big wide blurry edge gets lost and turns into a kind of hatched tone. It'll make more sense later.
Exercise IV.3) this is for fun... Invent the enigmatic floating elipsoid from outer space. These four photos show the process...
Step 1. Sketch something out in pencil, ink it with the pen, erase the pencil.
Step 2. This is what I'm thinking about form and lighting in my head. I map out the size of the core shadows--where it is really important to understand edges. Notice how wide some of these core shadows are compared to my pen line thickness. It would be impossible to use just a simple broken set of lines to map out something that wide...
Step 3. Map out the core shadows. When the edge becomes too wide and blurry, lose it and leave it blank. You can't do a gradation in an edge, just let the edge fade out into nothing for the time being.
Step 4. Fill in the shadow side with an even tone. Since the area I'm filling in is so big and my pen is thin, I can't use uniform parallel lines to fill it in. So I just pick any regular random pattern and fill it in. Since there aren't any competing details at the same size scale as the hatching (e.g. leaves or grass), I can get away with using this pattern as just a stylistic decision. Next. reinforce some of the drawn contour lines where needed for visibility. Finally, handle the big blurry lost edge.
I hatch the core shadows on large objects like this using a kind of cross-contour direction for the lines. How much you use and how dense depends on the value of the object and strength of the light. Even if you wind up doing washes of hatching over these, there will still be the feel of the cross contour showing through it, which can be important sometimes.
If you have any questions about this stuff, ask 'em here. The only pictures I'd like to see posted are the objects or the blob exercise.
February 10th, 2008, 08:07 AM
wow, so much info, thatīs exactly what iīve been looking for.
iīll start working on it right away.
Unfortunately didnīt have much time today, so i couldn'tīt finish the whole tutorial, but made a some of the shapes and faces. Tried to keep in mind what kind of Edge i was doing while copying your exercises. but was hard because of my bad line control. Anyhow iīll do the rest tomorrow, now iīm off to bed, very tired.
February 10th, 2008, 07:48 PM
Before I get into shapes and hatching for value, I wanted to share the resources, books, and artists that I look to for this type of pen and ink work.
1. Franklin Booth: Painter with a Pen (http://www.amazon.com/Franklin-Booth-Painter-John-Fleskes/dp/0972375805/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1202686063&sr=8-1)
2. Franklin Booth: American Illustrator (http://www.amazon.com/Franklin-Booth-American-Illustrator-Manuel/dp/B000Q0U2BQ/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1202686063&sr=8-2)
3. Joseph Clement Coll: A Legacy in Line (http://www.amazon.com/Joseph-Clement-Coll-Legacy-Line/dp/097237583X/ref=pd_bbs_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1202686063&sr=8-3)
4. Joseph Clement Coll: The Art of Adventure (http://www.amazon.com/Joseph-Clement-Coll-Art-Adventure/dp/0972375813/ref=pd_bbs_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1202686063&sr=8-4)
5. Rendering in Pen and Ink:The Classic Book on Pen and Ink Techniques for Artists, Illustrators, Architects, and Designers (http://www.amazon.com/Rendering-Pen-Ink-Techniques-Illustrators/dp/0823045293/ref=pd_bbs_8?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1202686063&sr=8-8)
6. Look at all the books about Gustave Dore available from Dover publishing (most of these are cheap, around 10$)
7. The Gibson Girl and Her America (http://www.amazon.com/Gibson-Girl-Her-America/dp/0486219860/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1202686520&sr=1-1) Look for other books by Dover Publishing about Charles Dana Gibson too--they're very affordable.
8. Website of Noli Novak (http://www.nolinovak.com/)--the artist who currently does all those little portraits for the Wall Street Journal
9. Website of Kevin Sprouls (http://www.sprouls.com/)--the first illustrator to do those portraits for the Wall Street Journal
10, 11.Hollywood Glamor Portraits (http://www.amazon.com/Hollywood-Glamor-Portraits-John-Kobal/dp/0486233529/ref=pd_sim_b_img_1) &
Film Star Portraits of the Fifties (http://www.amazon.com/Film-Star-Portraits-Fifties-Glamor-Photos/dp/0486240088/ref=pd_sim_b_title_1)--two excellent books of black and white portrait photographs. great material to practice from.
(They recently had an exhibit of those portraits. I saw about 30 of them up close...)
If you have trouble finding these, check Dover Publishing's website for the Dore and Charles Dana Gibson books. You can also look at www.budplant.com (http://www.budplant.com)--a great resource for all kinds of illustration books.
February 10th, 2008, 08:04 PM
arkos78 Very good work! Some people have a tendency to get pretty uptight and nervous just because ink doesn't erase, but you've done a good job here. I like how loosely you're using the pen. You're ready to start doing some of the value and shape stuff now too, but I'm going to wait a little while to write all that up. (I've got my own work I've gotta finish for some deadlines)
Also, notice that most people don't have a lot of hard edges. After all, human bodies don't have too many sharp corners. When I start roughing in figures, i mainly use broken lines. When I "do the right thing," I don't put in marks for shadow edges until I'm pretty sure I've gotten the necessary contour line information and construction correctly.
Don't feel like you have to copy everything that I put up here. It's a lot of work, even for me. And always feel free to go off on your own and explore other things too.
February 11th, 2008, 06:57 PM
thanx for the compliment, although i still find my lines somehow a bit stiff, and they donīt go always where theyīre suppose to, anyway nothing that some more practice wonīt improve, i hope.
Canīt wait for the values and shape stuff. Take your time mate, deadlines first.
I got me today some Copic multiliners today, and all i can say is i love them, itīs very fun to draw with them, i know they're not cheap but iīm kind of an addict when it gets to buying art stuff Specially when its good quality stuff.
Also took your advice and did some Eyes Studies and faces, -hope you donīt mind me posting them in this thread, promise iīll make a SB soon- I did them from what iīve learned in this tutorial and what has inspired me from your SB, iīll buy me some of the books your recommended once my bank account is stable again. Also did the floating ellipsoid from outer space, and had a great deal of fun doing it. Its helping me lot improve my lines and iīm finally understanding the hatching process.
February 13th, 2008, 05:05 AM
Cool!! Wouldn't have known your mentoring thread if I didn't see your signature:P. Just want say thanks for these useful information, especially the assignment. People always understand thing better only when they are doing it by themselves, well, I am:^^;:.
February 14th, 2008, 11:42 AM
I have made some of the object in the exercise, here it is
February 18th, 2008, 09:24 PM
Thank you for making this thread!
I've chosen to work with a Hunt 102 nib pen, with Indian ink.
A bit disappointed with the outcome my ellipsoid.
The core shadow hatching is all over the place. I hope the shadow placements are at least somewhat correct. :S
February 18th, 2008, 09:56 PM
Hi there, my best mate and roommate had his 31th Birthday so today i made him a kind of portrait based on what iīve learned from this thread, hope when you have some time you can give me some crits. took me about 5 hours (want it to get it right for him... and iīm also a slow one at drawing...
thanks in advance
February 20th, 2008, 04:30 AM
arkos78, HunterKiller, Sigit, UnSharpened Thanks for the work you guys. I apologize for the late reply, but I've been super-busy organizing a portfolio, buying ink and paper for my cheap printer, and getting a cover letter and resume straightened out for an opening at Dreamworks Animation.
(not to mention that a close friend of mine is now in jail...)
it's been kicking my ass and i'd much rather be drawing...but it's a necessary evil if i want to change careers. the job openings are pretty sudden. if you're not ready to jump on them when they pop up, you miss out.
I see some good things in here, and I see some really important items to correct and point out--mostly with Value organization and hatching. stuff that is very different in pen and ink than it is with pencil or charcoal, or any "easier" medium.
I don't want to write them out just yet because they are part of the next lesson. Rest assured, we will definitely cover them. And don't worry, once I point out what they are they will be very easy for you guys to fix, and I think they will help your drawings in other mediums too. I'm excited about it and seeing what you guys think...
Thanks for your patience.
February 20th, 2008, 04:52 AM
Just dropping in to say I like what you're doing in here ccsears :) The introductionstory is a good read. It might help to decrease the size of your examples a bit as they are quite huge and would probably read better if they're smaller :P
February 20th, 2008, 05:21 AM
Hi ccsears, donīt worry about not having time for the thread, canīt deny that i can hardly wait for the next assignment thou. in the mean time we can only practice, practice & practice...
Good luck with your Job application.
Dreamworks Animation sound like a dreamjob :)
February 22nd, 2008, 10:44 PM
Thanks for this thread ccsears, it's great already! Just thought I'd jump in here with my unworthy scribbles and see what happens. I'm using a bic ballpoint pen, been using them or some other brand ballpoint for pretty much 90% or more of anything I draw for quite a while now. I love using them, just felt like I haven't been advancing in technique with them at all. You (or anyone else too) can also check out my sketchbook thread to see what I mean.
Sorry about these images, no scanner here, all I have is a cheapo camera and a shaky grip apparently. I'll try to up the quality in the future, as for now hopefully these are acceptable.
March 3rd, 2008, 06:01 PM
Sorry for the delay. And sorry for the lack of feedback too. And THANKS to everybody for doing these exercises and trying to take it even further.
But before I go ahead and crit any of your work, I want to show you guys this stuff and give you the chance to look at your own work again. I don't think there were any huge technical mistakes that can't be fixed with this (and with a lot more drawing mileage). I'm not here to tell you, the nose is too big or whatever. with time, you will develop an eye for that stuff.
HATCHING AND VALUE
Painful Lesson 1.
There are two major gaps in the black-white spectrum when you're using a thin, hard line pen. On the light hand side, it is hard to get a very light gray over a large region. On the dark side, it will take all day for you to hatch a perfect black with a tiny pen. (I cheated here and used a sharpie marker--for beginners, I don't recommend mixing pen types like this...)
Exercise 1. I know it's boring as hell, but I strongly recommend you copy this value scale at least once. Do it big too, at least 1.5 inches tall by 8 wide. This will teach you a painful, but important lesson about value with pen and ink. If you want extra credit, try doing it the really hard way with parallel line hatching instead of the random patches i use here. Neatness counts, right?
Painful Lesson 2.
This painful lesson brings up another point. The possible values you can hatch with a pen are STRONGLY DEPENDENT ON THE SIZE OF THE SHAPE YOU ARE TRYING TO FILL!!! If you draw a tiny shape, the outline you use is already forming a kind of hatching value on its own. to make it lighter you can try to break up the outline a little, but not much. To make it darker, you can maybe get one or two values with hatching, and then a completely dark one.
ALSO IMPORTANT--the values of tiny shapes are RELATIVE to the values of the areas around them. i.e. if you take that tiny shape and put it on pure black, it will look very bright. if you put it on pure white, it might look kind of dark. Pen and ink uses values RELATIVELY. Never forget that. It is the most painful uber-lesson of them all.
As the shapes get bigger, you will find a "comfort zone." Shapes that are maybe 3/4" in size are pretty easy to hatch with parallel lines.
As you make bigger shapes, you run into that black and white spectrum issue. It is impossible to fill a big shape with a very light gray. And it is a royal pain in the ass to fill in something with pure black with a tiny pen.
Exercise 2. Painful again, but repeat what i've drawn here at a few different scales. Learn this painful lesson and understand it.
Slightly less painful Lesson 3.
Now we'll talk briefly about actually drawing something. In this case, I'm drawing a typical eye shape for a head that's roughly 1.5-2" tall. This is a pretty typical task in drawing, so we might as well learn about it.
Sometimes you have a head that's lilt from the front, and all the shadows kind of group together into dark. And sometimes you have a head that's lit from behind and to the side so you can see a rim of bright light on the side of the head. in that case all your detail is technically in the shadow, or the shadowy ambient light. You can't have your cake and eat it too. ESPECIALLY when you're using pen and ink. It is just too difficult most of the time. Keep your detail either in the shadow or in the light. group and simplify the side that doesn't have detail.
Notice what happens when your "background" hatching competes with the size of your details. it looks like crap! and notice what happens when you don't go dark enough with your detail compared to your background hatching--it disappears and gets lost. Besides basic drawing (proportion, shape, placement, etc.) this and not understanding the gaps in the value scale are the number one killers of a good pen and ink drawing.
(I see this in a lot of places on you guys' homework. You should be able to look at it and see it yourself.)
Exercise 3. Copy this. Try it again with an entire head. Use the same head under different lighting conditions.
Lesson 4. Good Habits
This is what i was talking about earlier. Your hand has a natural scale that it likes to hatch. This is different than in large scale figure drawing where you're making a single line with your entire hand, wrist, elbow, shoulder. This is making lots of parallel lines. Your fingers and thumb are good at this. Your wrist, elbow and shoulder are bad at it. This is what limits you from doing a perfectly "+-shaped" perpendicularly cross-hatched huge drawing. you are at a mechanical disadvantage.
When you do use cross-hatching, be thoughtful about it. Not every drawing has to be in a carefully controlled style. Loose is a cool feel sometimes. But be aware that loose does not mean thoughtless. Pick good directions for hatching, don't leave unnecessary gaps and don't leave overlaps that create distracting patterns. The key to having a loose style is not letting the randomness compete with what you are trying to say. That goes for painting, drawing and everything else in between.
some final parting thoughts...
1. like i said a few times before. the key to organizing value is keeping light and shadow separate. because value is strongly limited with pen and ink, you either need to use most of your scale in the light OR the shadow to create detail. That means you need to simplify the side that doesn't have detail. I've seen a lot of people screw up good linework by not understanding this.
2. the linework and shapes are the framework of your drawing. don't think you can be all touchy-feely and atmospheric with your values. yes, you sometimes can, but only if you've already drawn the lines in your mind's eye. unless you have very highly-developed drawing skills (way better than mine) it is not a good idea to be sloppy or half-assed with your lines. this isn't oil painting or charcoal, there is no ctrl-z.
3. if you're upset that your construction lines are "ruining" your work, start doing them in pencil. make sure you're using a pen that can handle it though. ALSO use your pencil and eraser LIGHTLY. if you dent your paper by using your pencil to roughly, or have to rub the hell out of it to erase, you will screw up your ink work. you can't see it in anything that i scan here or in my sketchbook thread, but black ink does not look the same after you rub an eraser to hell all over it.
So those are your exercises, they suck, but you need to do them. trust me.
I also want you to look at your own work and evaluate what i've said here. the most important thing for you guys to get out of anything that i say is the ability to self-teach, self-critique, and self-organize. if i look at your drawing and list 100 problems you need to fix, it won't change your awareness while you're actually drawing. what you really need is that ability to evaluate and make decisions real-time, not a list of things to worry about.
thanks, feedback is appreciated.
March 4th, 2008, 06:14 AM
Thanx mate, ill take this to work and practice there (working as security for 1 week at the cebit Fair)
March 8th, 2008, 11:08 AM
Here's my horrible quality pictures for the next exercise, sorry again about the lack of scanner. I'll get some full heads up soon as well. Working also on evaluating my work. It's not tough to see when something looks off, but understanding why can be a different matter.
March 8th, 2008, 02:01 PM
Hey, this is actually my first time in the mentor board (I'm pretty new to conceptart.org in general). This is the first thread I stumbled upon. The introduction you have is superb. I'm generally new to the writing scene (only been "seriously" drawing the past couple of months. I've greatly improved by drawing skill from that of an eight year old to about a twelve year old (and I'm 16...). I can vouch that it is difficult to get started. Often times at night, I'm tempted to look away from my sketchbook or tablet and go straight to the computer games; shunning out the thought of seeing my poor writing ability and frustration of not being able to shade worth a damn. All I can say is persistence. For me, whenever I feel these bad thoughts being triggered by the wanting to draw, I instantly force myself to be optimistic and positive about it. I think "This is what I want to do for a living, and with patience and time I will be able to draw the way I want."
If you spend any amount of time drawing a day, that's just that much more you've improved. You will always learn something drawing no matter how little you do it, be it on the conscious or sub-conscious level - just do it. It also reinforces what you've already learned. My dad told me once concerning guitar: For every day you're not playing guitar, you lose two hours worth of learning. But if you just play for a half hour a day, you'll retain everything you have learned and learn more. Obviously, this carries over to drawing (as well as writing, as I have the same problem with writing stories). The half hour a day thing is irrelevant as really anytime would suffice; but of course, the more the better. These are the approaches I follow.
while I have no pen (in the whole apartment, I believe), I just used a pencil, and it was a great exercise. I wasn't planning to draw, furthermore upload what I did... But I figured I'd contribute a little. Did not do everything obviously, I just drew what I wanted for a little bit.
March 10th, 2008, 11:16 AM
here are some of the hatching exercises, iīm still having trouble organizing my values, and also understanding lesson 3, not sure if i got it right. Also having hard time analysing my work. iīll post more heads later.
March 11th, 2008, 04:17 AM
post #12 (above) Excellent work. Nice job with the shapes. Take a little more time when you're hatching--how fast you move the pen can affect your line quality.
post #15 (above)
in the bottom head, notice how much darker the eyes look than everything else in the picture. this is a problem in value organization. My guess is that you were concentrating on getting the likeness of the eyes more than anything else. Also notice how much work it would take to hatch everything darker on his head--thousands and thousands of lines. Also notice how hard it is to fill in a large area evenly. And finally, notice what happens if you use too few lines--it looks too much like a stripey-pattern.
very nicely done. I think a few of the outlines are a little heavy in some places but this is good.
here, i think the problems are mostly drawing and not pen and ink specifically. When you draw the whites of the eyes, they are never as bright or as white as you might think. if you look closely at most photographs, you can even see a shadow on them from the upper lid and eyelashes. Also, you're using too much outline on these and not enough form-thinking. Finally, be very careful about what kind of outline you use for the eyebrows. try to use a broken (dashed) line more than a hard edge.
(Don't worry about this stuff too much, we'll talk about head drawing in an upcoming lesson)
here is the opposite problem from going too dark--going too light. The most impossible thing to do with a pen is to get an even, light gray over a large area. notice what happens when the spaces between your hatching lines are much, much bigger than the spaces--the hatching looks less like a tone and more like stripes or pattern. this is fine for some things, but i don't think it's what you're intending to do here.
remember what i said a few lines before. the whites of eyes are never completely white. (unless you're trying to go for a "surprised" look in certain conditions)
***Keep practicing these eye studies though. for right now, i would work on trying to draw the entire eye socket using one complex shape (with a hole or two cut out of it). When you get the hang of grouping things correctly, a lot of your value mistakes will clear up because you will have your values automatically grouped correctly. look at post #285 in my sketchbook thread and try copying it a few times. (my drawing was sloppy and messier than what you should aim for though)
post#19 Nice. But here you can really see the value "jump" i was talking about. look at how much darker his eyes are than everything else in the picture. it's good for having a focus in the picture because the viewer will immediately look at his eyes, but it's bad because there's nothing else in the picture to balance it out. (the contrast is so intense that it's hard to get the viewer to look at any of the other parts of the picture) It looks like you did a good job at getting a likeness though, which is important in doing pictures of people you know well. (artists beat themselves up when they mess up the likeness of someone they know, but they're easier on themselves when they do random, anonymous model drawings)
we haven't talked about it yet, but the bird-body is a perfect opportunity to use pen for texture. instead of using a random pattern, you could easily use some kind of cleverly designed feather-shaped hatching pattern.
But i think you see one of the big disadvantages of pen and ink. doing a large drawing can take an eternity. that is why it is all the more important to get a lot of experience on a small scale first. There are strategies for doing larger pen and ink drawings, but we can talk about them later. For right now, I definitely would not recommend drawing a head bigger than 5" in pen and ink--at least not with that pen.
I'm skipping feedback on the last post for right now. not enough time at the moment.
HunterKiller, Sigit, Dman, Lennybird
I'll try to tackle feedback one-by-one for you guys next. Still, you should look at what I've written for arkos78 here and re-examine your own drawings. Take every opportunity to learn from each other's work.
it's 1am and i've gotta get to work early tomorrow....
March 11th, 2008, 05:33 AM
thanx for your critics, they have really helped me to see things i hadnīt notice before, well some i did but only after your painful lessons.
Your right about taking more time to do the hatching, sometimes i just loose my patience and want to finish it as fast a possible... big mistake eh! gotta work on some yoga or some other self control activity like boxing :P
That friend piece i did it took me an eternity, almost 7 hours of hatching were invested there, the extreme dark in the eyes was a product of overdoing my drawing, i should have stop 1 hour before or so, saw more balanced before that, but at least i learned a lot about hatching on larger areas that day ;) i also was very happy that i actually nailed his likeness.
looking forward for some more crits...
March 16th, 2008, 08:10 PM
Good mentoring thread. I have been following along with my own attempts. Need more exercises now! :D
March 18th, 2008, 11:10 AM
My work for the second assignment. My line always shaky, any tips??
March 18th, 2008, 03:40 PM
quick question, is it ok to turn the paper to do the hatching? iīve read somewhere it wasnīt recommended...
hey sigit i find your lines pretty good, nice face also :)
March 19th, 2008, 10:13 AM
thanks arkos. But I think my line still shaky and not smooth enough.
March 19th, 2008, 12:08 PM
thanks arkos. But I think my line still shaky and not smooth enough.
ccsear' will probably have the answer. The way I do it is have the side of my hand planted firmly on the page; make sure the ink is dry underneath though! I use the natural curve of turn of my wrist to make my lines; from left to right with a right hand, just so that I can see the line I made while I make it. Also I hold my pen like I sketch, with the tube inbetween the forefinger and the middle finger; this allows my brain to turn off the logical side of writing and turns on the artistic side of drawing, but more important is it feels natural.
ccsears could I post my results? I do not known if you have mentees or just helping anyone who joins in.
March 19th, 2008, 01:52 PM
Hey Rist, thanx for your tip. iīll try to hold my hand like you say it might help me loosen up my lines. About posting, please do join, this is an open thread for anyone who is interested in it.
March 19th, 2008, 04:34 PM
Sorry about not keeping up guys, but work is very busy right now.
Rist Feel free to post your results here.
Arkos78 Sure, turn the paper if you need to. Do whatever's natural. When you learned to write in kindergarten or whatever, they didn't force you to keep your paper perpendicular to the sides of the table, did they?
Sigit If you're drawing the same size I suggested, your work is shaky because you're hitting the physical limit of your ability to hatch. This is very important to understand... when you are drawing construction lines, large rhythms, or anything that is using line as an outline or a shape, use whatever part of your body comes naturally. that generally means you move your elbow shoulder and wrist to make a big line, and your wrist and fingers to make a short line. BUT when you are hatching you more or less need to keep your wrist still on the paper and use your fingers to draw many repeating parallel lines. the physical limit of your ability to do this is somewhere between 1.5 to 2 cm (0.5 to 1.0 inches).
think of it this way... it is difficult to draw a 10" long straight line. it will be next to f'ing impossible for you to get 50 straight lines and maintain an even space in between them so you can use them as hatching.
therefore, it is incredibly important that you come up with a strategy for covering a large shape with an even tone. This is very difficult, but there are many strategies you can choose from. If you are not using ballpoint pen, you need to realize that you will be hatching in small patches roughly 3/4 inch big. you can choose to make these patches follow the contours and planes of the form, you can choose a random pattern (like i did in most of these exercises) or you can choose to keep them as parallel as possible. But you need to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the strategy you choose, and adapt to them.
In Sigit's last post, you see a very parallel type approach--different than what I chose to do in many of the beginning exercises. When you use this approach, be very careful with the beginnings and endings of your lines--if they cross other hatching lines you've already laid down, they may inadvertantly cause dark splotches to creep into your work. the bottom line is to use your own eyes and see if the overall tone is even. if you think it is splocthy or irregular, then you need to adjust your technique or strategy.
To do that, turning your paper may be necessary. BUT, i suggest turning your paper for hatching only--AFTER you've done your correct line drawing.
please notice what i said on Sigit's value scale. when you go towards the light side of the scale, it starts to look more like stripes and less like an even tone. when the gap between your line is 20 times the thickness of your line, YOU CAN NOT USE THAT LINE IN THAT SITUATION TO MEAN TONE. it will automatically read as OUTLINE or DETAIL.
that is the underlying reason pen and ink work is difficult. either you learn to leave certain areas blank, or you learn that your lightest tone (besides blank paper) is somewhere around 50% black line and 50% white gap. THIS IS SUPER IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND AND IT AFFECTS EVERYTHING YOU WANT TO HATCH. if you don't understand this point, please ask me a question here before we go on to new exercises.
March 20th, 2008, 09:19 PM
Thanks again for your time, Sir.
Made a big mess of the face. Hard to decide exactly which style of hatching to use in which areas.
Not mention I made the forbidden error of spacing too widely the hatching on the cheek. :^^;:
March 21st, 2008, 10:33 AM
ccsears can you give me example in hatching 2 values before light?
April 19th, 2008, 01:09 PM
Cool thread! :)
I did some of the exercises, but - I clearly don't have a clue what Im doing when Im trying to hatch these goddamned faces... :nohope:
I tried different tools for the faces. It seems that my sharpie (last pic) is way too wide, while ballpoint pen and gel pen "break" a line a lot, and make splotches...
Maybe I should go buy something better...
Any crits&comments are welcome!
June 15th, 2008, 01:03 PM
Man, wish i found d tread earlier.. Struggling with hatching n stuffs.. Thanks for this thread.. Could i post my exercises that i've done here?
June 15th, 2008, 03:16 PM
sorry i haven't been able to keep up with this thread for a while. i've had major life changes to deal with--quitting a job, moving into a new apartment, getting new jobs, painting portraits, etc. i think i will be able to start replying to your posts soon--probably in a week or two. i have one family gathering i need to attend out of state.
anyway, everyone is free to post what they've done for the exercises. the guidelines are up there on the first page and it's all common sense. i.e. don't put oil paintings in with the pen and ink work.
will write more soon, i hope.
June 17th, 2008, 05:11 PM
Cool to hear your coming back! looking forward for the next painful assignment :P
July 4th, 2008, 02:23 AM
So here are a few ideas/principles to think about. Maybe it's best if we just start back up by having you guys ask a few questions about what I've drawn on this page and what it means. Then I can pick up and figure out a good direction to proceed.
July 4th, 2008, 05:35 AM
Here comes my contribution to the first exercise
I used a Pilot VBall Grip 05
Conclusions of pen: High flow of ink, very hard to do pressure and thin lines, pretty expencive pen 4 euros, i tried a
b-7 Uchida tokyo/japan ballpointpen aswell and it had a lower flow of ink which made shading and line width easier but a little less quality on the ink.
July 4th, 2008, 05:44 PM
First of all, thank you for your effort to put all these together, it's really helpful for me to figure out my own problem of drawing.
In principle 1&2 of your latest post, I think I can understand how it work. Yet I wonder which one of the two demonstrations of principle1 is against principle 2. Both of them look fine actually, though the first one obviously needs more control of strokes. I am asking this because I feel confused when I hatch faces such as the section from cheek to jaw, following the direction of jaw? or go vertical? Thing like this is always bugging me.
Hope what I said makes sense:P, and thanks again for your time.
July 4th, 2008, 08:29 PM
Thanks for continuing with this thread, Sir.
After trying out both techniques, I think they both have their merits.
There are situations where hatching against the contour just looks bad and is confusing.
I can't think of any good questions, but I think I would like to further explore the different techniques of hatching and where they should be applied for the best effect.
July 6th, 2008, 05:31 PM
Here's a reference photo of marilyn monroe...
here's my pen and ink version
here's a reference photo of ava gardner
here are some pen and ink versions of it.
NOTE: keep in mind these show up on the computer monitor at approximately DOUBLE the size that i drew them!!! Notice the 1" scale on the right of my second drawing.
Here, I used a sakura pigmaliner 005 pen on some translucent drafting mylar. I "traced" (which really isn't the right word here) these all in under an hour. Notice what's going on though.
In the MM drawing, I've clearly separated light and shadow. Since I'm drawing a head that's roughly 4-5" tall, I really can't go to pure black with hatching or it will take all day to finish. I've simplified the edges greatly, but notice what direction I drew them. From the beginning, I knew that I wanted to capture the shadow shapes, and I took the most direct route possible.
Also notice what I chose to leave out: almost all the modeling in the light. In the reference photo, notice the space between her upper lip and the bottom of her nose... it gradually turns in value, like a ball or cylinder from light to halftone. And it's beautiful, no question about it. In charcoal or pencil, I could pull it off no problem, but it would most likely look like absolute crap if I tried to capture that in pen and ink.
"Well," you might say, "Why don't you just darken everything a bit and give yourself room in the value-scale to pull it off?" it's a judgment call, that's for sure. But I decided early on that given these lighting conditions in the photograph, the most important thing I wanted to capture was beautiful shapes of light and shadow--NOT the halftones. Anyone who says that the first thing they noticed about this photograph is the beautiful halftones is full of shit.
So, to make a long story short, 1) it is technically super difficult to capture halftones in this situation, 2) the halftones are not what i want to emphasize, 3) halftones would interfere with the more beautiful eye/eyelash and lip/lipstick/mouth shapes, 4) it's a glamorous female subject--less is more when it comes to the face, We could argue all day about whether and what we could technically do in pen and ink...so there's number 5, I've got my own shit to draw and can't spend all day rendering this one just to prove it could be done.
Now, look at the one on the bottom. Here are a couple of problems and mistakes, and one solution. This is a different lighting situation--here we have 2 light sources--a very strong rim light that turns everything pure white, and a weaker bounce light that lets us see her face.
The one in the top left... too much modelling, not enough simplicity...
The one in the top right... could work, but it's going to be rough.
The bottom one, yes it works. why? again because i've trapped the values into easily understood shapes.
This is a female subject, obviously. If I took the time to render everything in the shadow side of her face--the turning of the top and side planes of her cheek, the darker halftones on her nostril, all of that stuff-- it would get confused and "overworked" like the one on the top left. Also, notice the scale that I'm drawing at; this head is only about 1.5 inches tall.
Remember my lecture about how SCALE influences the range of values? This is a perfect example. Remember also how I lectured about not letting your hatching interfere with your linework? Also a perfect example. If I went into modeling the forms here, I would get something overworked, dirty/fuzzy, and chances are that I would lose my lines by trying to capture everything. Since the subject is female, I would also probably lose a lot of her femininity in the process. My solution was to break this into three values--core shadow/black, rim light white, and fill light gray. In order to keep her face smooth, I decided that I was going to half to fill it with uniform, even parallel hatching, and since the face was only 1.5 inches tall I thought I could pull that off.
So let's backtrack a second and go through this step by step:
(I) I drew in the shadow shapes and darkened them. Even at this small scale, notice how I suggested edges on the forehead--some parallel strokes indicate a soft edge gradation. There's a hint of the same in the shape between her eye and eyebrow.
(II) I also indicated, with a somewhat broken line, the outline of the rim light (the pure white spots). Here you have to achieve a balance between capturing a graphic shape and outlining it too darkly. When it goes too dark, you lose the suggestion of a "glow". Keep in mind my lecture about the value of a line. since you can't draw with "half-black" ink (at least with this pen) the only way to make a line lighter is to use a broken/dashed/dotted line.
(III) Very f*cking carefully, I filled in the side of her face with a uniform parallel line pattern. This keeps her femininity. Also notice that I chose to do this hatching vertically. In the back of my mind, I was worried about interfering with the more horizontal features like her mouth and eyes and eyebrows. Also notice that I didn't literally fill everything in and draw the lines straight through all of the features. Even when I'm doing something "monotonous" and "boring" like this, I pay attention and judge the spacing to avoid "fuzzing out" the linework and darks. This is very important! The easiest example to see is the white of her eye...I didn't continue my hatching through there. Also remember what I said about scale and value...the white of her eye is about the same size as the width between my hatching lines. so her eye already has the same gray as her cheek--which is what we want here. also notice what i did on the side of her nostril, i tried to keep that little c-curve in there.
Another reason I chose to use vertical lines is to subliminally suggest a vertical cylinder. In my mind her head is more like a vertical cylinder than a horizontal one, so this psychologically suggests that. (It's complicated, and comes with experience. if you get this great, if not, don't worry)
(IV) So now that i think about it, I realize Imight have been able to pull off a hint of her cheek... i'll think about it and get back to you guys...
so here it is...
Notice that I've added what amounts to some soft shading on her temple and cheek and chin and I've extended the gradation across her forehead. Gives a more rendered feeling.
Summary Besides accuracy in drawing, proportion, and all of that, I'm always fighting a battle of two ideas in my head when I draw this way.
1) get good shapes with the right edges in the right places, organize the values of these shapes
2) don't f*ck up your organization! in other words, always double-check to make sure your hatching doesn't interfere with your line work, your hatching doesn't interfere with your shapes, your linework doesn't affect your value, etc.
This double-checking comes automatically with a lot of experience and mileage. And even then you will occasionally screw up if you're not careful. Because ink is more or less permanent and hatching has all those limitations I lectured on and on about, it really demands an organized approach.
a bonus for you guys, another little inspirational piece of crap...
When I first started drawing with the big boys in junior high and high school, rendering was a big deal--look at how softly i can turn a form, look at how subtly i can smooth an edge, look at the highlights i can pop. With enough practice and enough time, any jackass can do that. you can train a monkey to do it.
What sets you apart is your ability to organize and simplify, to deal with limitations of your medium and your deadlines. That is what will make you a successful artist in the long run. Don't get me wrong, there is a lot of spontaneity in art...everything is not boring and predetermined. The fun you will find is that balance between what you know, the principles you understand, and what you don't know, the challenge of a new piece of art. think about it like hunting a tiger... you're not going to chase it without knowing how to shoot a bow and arrow or throw a spear. and you're not going to chase it without an understanding of how tigers act and what they can do.
...and you better not go chasing tigers unless you're both brave and you understand how dangerous they are.
art is hard, art takes practice. but art is exciting, art is challenging, and art could make a fearless person out of you.
July 6th, 2008, 05:35 PM
If you can, get some tracing paper that will work with whatever pen you're using. Then do the same thing I did here with a black and white photograph. Repeat until you "get it right" Ask questions when you post them.
If you can't find tracing paper that works for you, try lightboxing or using the sun on a window.
If that doesn't work, do a very light pencil LINE drawing (not value!!!) and do your inking over that.
Faces, people. I want to see some head studies. Various sizes too, from 1-4"
July 8th, 2008, 05:55 AM
Wow really great tutorials mate, too bad i cant do them atm cause im on vacations, but cant bearly wait to get home to start working on them... ok not that eager to get home, just eager to start practicing :P
July 11th, 2008, 06:04 AM
My first try. I think mine looks bad. The second picture is the reference that I get from the internet since I can't find any black and white picture. And then I draw by looking at that picture in my computer
July 16th, 2008, 01:36 PM
Sigit You picked a super-hard picture to work from the first time. There are kinds of exceptions to the rules and subtle things going on in this picture. Rather than give you a bunch of detailed critique on it, I think you should do another one first.
Well, a couple of pointers...
1) you've outlined all the shadow shapes with a single, thin line. whenever you completely enclose a shape with a line, it turns into a flat shape instead of a form.
2) I can tell by how you're drawing that you're concetrating very hard on likeness. If you can, draw some or most of it in pencil first and use a pen that can handle being erased. Ballpoint is kind of halfway between pencil and true pen and ink since you can get varying degrees of shading out of it. The downside is that it will smudge if you try to erase pencil from undrneath/around it. If you've only got ballpoint, then it might help to find a way to print out your reference photo and trace or use a lightbox/window.
3) If you're having trouble finding b/w reference, use color reference and turn it into b/w in photoshop. (In photoshop, the shortcut is Shift-Apple-U to desaturate). If you don't have Photoshop, then most image viewing programs have some kind of adjustment for saturation--Preview in Mac and probably some kind of generic MS Windows picture viewer will do it. Or, you could print a bunch out in color and run them through a copy machine. Also, check newspapers. there are usually a decent number of black and white pictures in newspapers. The xerox machine is the easiest though if you have one nearby. I go to Kinko's all the time.
July 21st, 2008, 10:05 AM
My second attempt
August 12th, 2008, 04:34 PM
Itīs been quite a few days since i wanted to work on this exercises, unfortunately didnīt have much spare time to work on it, until now!!!
so hereīs my first try, 8 cm big, done with a copic multiliner 0.05, i think at the end i overdid it a bit, but not sure thou, you might be a better judge to that, anyway it was a fun thing to do, and didnīt take me that much time 1 1/2 hour more or less since in a little format, not like the chicken post i did before (A4 format took me 6 hours). At the beginning i only wanted to do the darks and lights but somehow i started working on the mid tones as well, was this a good decision? anyway i post some more on the days to come...
did i mentioned what a good tutorial this is?
August 13th, 2008, 10:34 AM
In this one i didnīt want to do to much hatching, since its a woman i thought i could ruin here femininity (like you mentioned b4), could work more on the right part of the hair but decided not to, since i didnīt find it that interesting... hope this one is ok.
August 14th, 2008, 01:44 PM
hereīs are my next ones, 2 versions of the same, not sure which is better thou, the one i like the most hasnīt got that much contrast in it, and if i push the values i think it going to look the same as the other one at the end, not that itīs bad or is it?
August 14th, 2008, 03:17 PM
Azalin Wow! There's a lot of improvement in these! Well done.
as far as crits go, there are a few things, but they're more like adjustments than "do-over" type crits.
1) on the first guy, i think the "far" side (on the left of the picture) needs to be knocked down in value slightly. the rendering on the near side looks great, but to match that lighting the far side needs to go just a little bit darker. not too dark or it will get distracting, but right now the inside of that hat flap is almost as light as his cheek on the light side. still, this is a second-read crit. on first-read, the image is great.
2) only thing to work on with the female head is your edges. very difficult to get that kind of rapid transition from super dark to very light, but if you noodle with it a little, it will soften up.
3) very good. i think the eye on the right side of the picture is a little large, but overall very good. next time, think about ways you could use different textures to capture the "feel" of a beard. right now, you have great shapes and edges with it, but you might be able to add in some texture to push it even further.
4) overall, the value is right for how you've scaled it, and the drawing is very good. the only thing that bothers me with this one is the hatching on the dark side. right now, when the little "patches" of hatching meet, their intersections get kind of dark and it distracts the eye a little. it's not the texture or the fact that you used lots of little patches to do it, it's just that those seams are too noticeable. still, great job on the drawing of this one.
Sigit There's good and bad going on here. The good thing is that you've become very aware of shapes, where the light shapes, highlight shapes, etc. are. and you're starting to design them well. The bad thing is that the value organization is getting a little out of control. keep in mind that a face is generally a pretty round form--there aren't many lines on the surface of it. When you use line to separate light and shadow, you should draw a somewhat soft, blurry line to represent the core shadow. but you should not use line to separate light from highlight from halftone, etc. line is a very decisive tool and, in general, you can only use that tool for two things in a drawing like this--1) contour/outline and 2) separating light from dark tonally. even for 2) it's a bit strong to use line to separate light and shadow on this model's face. (compare how close the values are on her cheeks on each side--not too much contrast compared to how dark her hair is)
August 15th, 2008, 05:46 AM
glad you liked them, means a lot to me, being one of your fans :asskisser:
On the first one your right, i didnīt noticed i put too much dark value on the hat flap, and on the far side iīll do some more hatching so that it doesnīt look lighter than the near side.
About the girl, itīs pretty hard to make that transition all right, guess the edges are are too hard, you think i should soften it like i did with the chin? or would that be too much? ...ill have to experiment.
3) textures? didnīt you want to make a tutorial about it? J.K.
4) i think i should do those little patches with another pen, like a ballpoint, cause with the copic fine liner it always comes out like that, at the begining & end of a line itīs always a little thicker , thatīs what makes it intersections so noticeable.
again mate cheers for your comments & crits, iīll keep practicing and posting them here if you donīt mind ;) btw i just ordered J. C. Coll: A Legacy in Line today, canīt wait to do study from him :teeth:, iīll wait till next month for the art of adventure cause here it goes for about 50 Euros.
August 19th, 2008, 07:11 PM
so hereīs one from Sean Connery, i think i overworked it a bit, repeated the same mistake as in the last post with those darks forming from the intesection of the "patches" iīll use another pen next time, also the white from the eyes didnīt came out good, not happy with this one overall, but i least i think i nailed the soft edges... kind of :)
I also tried to do the same exercise with a black prismacolor but it got all messy and uneven, so i left it out, maybe next time... in the mean time iīll stick to hatching, thatīs why this thread is for anyway.
August 24th, 2008, 12:47 PM
Another of my attempt
Azalin your drawings and the hatching looks good . Can you share any tips
August 24th, 2008, 06:55 PM
azalin excellent job! i think you've got enough of an understanding now to interpret these kinds of drawings on your own and start making bigger decisions. your edges are very good here, you lose them in the wrinkle pattern in the shirt and find them in other places...excellent.
an excellent drawing, but the value range is very limited compared to the original photo. again, that's an organizational decision that comes with the kind of mood you're trying to convey, etc. (but i'm sure you can see what a pain in the ass hatching a large dark area is, right?)
keep it up!
Sigit (i'm using right left with respect to the picture, not the model...) the right side of his mouth and the right triangular light shape on his cheek need to be much darker. i know the "pure" shadows are black in the photo, but some of those dark dark gray areas need to be kind of merged with the shadows just to make the picture read clearly. also notice how dark you made the pupil in the left eye--it's darker than any shadow in the drawing which makes it a little distracting. overall, you're coming along, but it really is all about value organization.
in Azalin's drawing, he didn't match the exact values in the reference photo (his drawing is much too light in value). But, he matched the relative values and organized and grouped them correctly according to the information in the reference photo.
p.s. The pen and ink thing is getting a little tired for me right now. if anyone wants to suggest another lesson topic, i'm all ears...
August 31st, 2008, 03:13 PM
Hey Ccsears, thanx again for the guidelines, donīt think i would have been able to pull it off on my own, and like you say i still have to start making bigger decisions (btw that sound scary). Iīm going to keep practicing on my own now, and do some studies from J. C. Coll Legacy of line (just got the book last friday and looks amazing btw).
About the value range your right, turned out very dulled, gotta confess the pens ink was runing out and it was hard to control to lines, that got me tired of the hatching at the end thatīs why i didnīt push more the values, gotta learn to have patience as well... and have more pens around for the next time.
so another topic then... hmmm... there are so many itīs hard to decide, for me what iīm interested more is starting to work with color, or getting better with digital painting, composition... canīt really tell, thereīs so much stuff to learn still and when doing it on my own its hard to know in which direction to go. My updated SB is http://www.tsofa.com/viewtopic.php?t=2152 if you wanna take a look...
January 26th, 2009, 01:00 PM
thanks a lot
January 10th, 2010, 07:21 PM
Is this thread still alive ? :S
January 10th, 2010, 08:37 PM
officially, yes, but unofficially, no. i post a lot of my step-by-step and mentoring type stuff on my SB thread.
i could probably resume doing stuff here, but circumstances hasn't really cooperated so far. if there's something in particular you would like to see, leave a message here or look through my SB and leave something there. i've answered a lot of questions.
February 1st, 2010, 02:46 AM
Hi Chris, thank you for suggesting getting into the Reilly's method over your mentoring subspace.
I am not sure if we are supposed to drop our questions in here ( in the Ink and Pen thread) or if you were to create a new thread. I will start here, and feel free to delete my post if a more elaborated thread on Reilly's construction is about to see light ( I hope so)
The problem you suggested ( run the lines over a photograph, Megan Fox here) is very interesting. I will upload my two trials. I feel like I see more planes than what I outlined, but her face started to disappear ...
I guess my first question is : how to you put this into practice, on a regular week day, at your local Art school, for a live head drawing class. See the thing, is that we usually see those lines on a face with features already drawn, so I am wondering whether you usually draw these lines on an empty oval, and THEN the features come into place or if you draw a feature ( say the nose) and from there you run a few lines ( muzzle, etc ) to see how things will fit together.
Question 2 : how about when the model has a rather round and chubby face with no clear visible planes. Do you still use Reilly's method? And are these planes always the same or should we adjust depending on the person we are drawing?
Question 3 : Now that you reached an excellent level, I was wondering what was your approach when you draw a face from life. Do you start with a empty oval and draw the planes ? Do you measure things to get the proportions down? Do you use triangulation? Do you squint ( I hate squinting...)? Do you draw the lines where great difference in lighting appear (such as the cast shadow under the nose)? Do you focus on a pure constructional drawing and then move on to shading ... I am very curious about your technique
Thank you again for your generosity,
February 1st, 2010, 04:10 AM
alright here we go. here's the megan fox picture.
here's the paintover i'm going to discuss.
you'll need to look at both pictures simultaneously. maybe open another browser window so you can look back and forth while reading this.
1. look at the yellow/orange and the blue lines. these more or less define part of the "top/front" plane of the cheek. if you look at the region bounded there and compare the value of her skin compared to, say, the value in the region to the left of it, you will see it is relatively light in value. why? basically because it's the front plane and her face is lit from the front.
2. these lines are somewhat variable. exactly where you put them is somewhat subjective--it is not like bargue drawing where you're trying to precisely determine a silhouette.
3. the blue line starts its rhythm from the top of the ear, it passes close to downward and inward, tangential to the "outer corner" of the eye socket, tangent to the larger ball of the eye/eye pouch/eye bulge, down along the highlight catching parts of the muzzle until it brushes the nostril. then it spirals down over the mouth-ball along the path of the canine tooth (purple) and forms a tight little whirl at the outer corner of the mouth (red) .
4. the usefulness of the blue part of this line is that it KIND OF shows you where to start to look for the highlights on the cheek. in any case, the highlight in many lighting situations will fall somewhere between the blue line and the yellow-ish line. this highlight will not be very linear. it will be rounded and diffuse because the cheek/muzzle is a very rounded form. Especially on female faces, you should treat this very, very softly. emphasizing the cheeks in the wrong way will give her a chiseled masculine look.
5. the usefulness of the purple part of the line is that it shows, more or less, the fuzzy boundary between the "top" and the "side" planes of the ball of the mouth (which is that circle from the outside corners of the mouth around "through" the nostrils" and down to mid-chin. in certain lighting conditions or 3/4 views, the highlight might fall along that boundary--again, in a very rounded, soft way.
6. the usefulness of that little red loop is that it serves as a very useful reminder that the outer corner of the mouth--where the upper lip meets the lower has a particular kind of indentation. it's a little bit advanced, so i'm not going to go into that too much tonight.
--Let's take a break to begin talking about rendering.
some of the usefulness of the reilly abstraction when it comes to rendering has to be explained using certain words. don't get hung up on these words. the words are evocative and not to be taken too literally.
mark explained rendering the "lights" on forms using three different kinds of "lights" (here, lights means the light part of a form, not the actual light shining on it). from here on out, we're using vocabulary that i picked up from Mark Westermoe. Again, don't be a bitch, these words will make sense gradually if we keep this thread going for a while.
1) highlights are where 3 planes meet. say, for example, the dot on the tip of the nose, or the tiny sharp light on a sphere. it happens where the top, front, and side planes meet. these are what you typically think of as highlights when you draw. i know, i know, a sphere is round and doesn't have "planes"... get over it. there is a relative top, front, side plane. but they are curved and their boundaries are not sharp, hard lines. (like on the asaro head, for example).
2) crest lights are where two planes meet. think of, for example, a cylinder. the long highlight on a cylinder happens at the boundary between "front" and "side"
so, so far, this is kind of like geometry. quite literally, the intersection of two (non-parallel) flat planes is a line. the intersection of three (non-parallel) planes is a point.
3) overlap lights these happen on the OVERLAPPED form, not on the form that is OVERLAPPING. in other words, on the form "behind." overlap lights are hard to explain to beginners. it took me a while to get over the terminology mark used and to appreciate the genius in this concept. if you want to get technical about it, "overlap" lights happen where you have a halftone next to a plane that faces the light more. this probably doesn't make any sense.
so look at the megan fox photo. look at the side of her nostril. and then look at her cheek/upper lip (moustache) area. see how the halftone looks dark and the upper mouth area "pops" bright? this is a subtle case of an overlap light. the way Mark (and now I) would describe this is "the nose OVERLAPS the cheek/mouth, so there should be an overlap light there"
overlap lights are the subtleties to rendering. we can talk more about them when i post a bunch more photos for us to analyze. until then, just let this stuff sit in the back of your head. it will eventually make sense..
look at megan's eyes. (stare into her eyes.....) anyway, you can see the subtle halftone on her lower lid--it kind of describes the form of the eyeball. in a very soft way, this eyeball OVERLAPS the front plane of the cheek. so you get a "soft" overlap light there.
look at her lips. on the upper lip, there is a tiny linear crest light--this happens because 1) she's wearing some kind of lip gloss and 2) there are two planes meeting one facing "up" and one facing "down.
same thing goes on the bottom lip. there is a wider "bar" of crest-light. it's cut across by the wrinkles in her lips.
overlap lights occasionally happen at parts of the edges of cast shadows. for example, depending on what's going on, you might consider the left part of her neck right next to the cast shadow of her jaw/chin to be a kind of overlap light. depends....
reilly's abstraction is very, very useful for rendering when you use this kind of mental framework. there are a lot of subtleties and nuances that come into play as you rack up drawing mileage, but be patient. this is a lot to absorb. i did pick it up very quickly, but there were reasons for that... it helped to study under mark 60 hours a week for a month, and he and i have similarly analytical minds about some things. (i have the engineering and math background, he's got a history/philosophy background).
so... i'm not going to go back and re-edit any of this. it's too much f'ing work. read this. reread it. stare at this photo. find another one and see what's similar and what's not. try to understand the principles i'm talking about rather than just where to draw these lines..
February 1st, 2010, 05:34 AM
Question 1) You can put Reilly's concept into practice in any number of ways. If you look at Nathan Fowkes' blog http://nathanfowkes.blogspot.com you'll see a couple of step-by-step demo's where he applies this in charcoal. When the abstraction is usually drawn, it looks like a generic diagram. when you start tracing it over photographs regularly, you will become comfortable with the parts of it that vary from person to person. what stays the same and what varies. look at nathan's drawings to start. he applies these lines on a very unique individual face.
Question 2) Round and chubby is no different than Megan Fox's face. Do NOT interpret "plane" to mean a literally flat surface. just like you shouldn't interpret "highlight of the cheek" to mean a tight shiny dot. planes can be rounded, edges can be blurred, etc. A heavyset person mostly has the muzzle oval sagging and some extra flesh on the neck. Again, find some pictures of heavyset people and see exactly what lines you can and can't find, what you have to modify to make this useful.
and again, just to be sure everyone reads this and remembers... these lines have multiple functions. sometimes they really are useful for plane breaks, sometimes they show where the core shadows might go, sometimes they show where to look for highlights, etc. not all of them are simply "planes".
Question 3) Reilly's method is a concept for me. I don't rely on it per se. For me, it's useful in remembering certain rhythms and more for rendering than it is for "construction." My linear style comes from me--it's how I grew up drawing. I understood form from sculpting. But I learned most everything about value and rendering from Mark.
My gut feeling is that the "better" you get, the more dynamic range you have. You can be super loose and still capture the essential likeness, or you can be super tight and render something to death. it's up to you. "getting better" to me just means more freedom. but, again, that's just me. some people will disagree.
I don't start my drawings in a reilly way. maybe i do draw some kind of oval just to figure out where the head is on the page, but i don't take it literally. for me, i like finding the brow line, and what i call the bottom of the eye socket. for 3/4 views, i like looking for the corner of the head--what i call the line showing the break between front and side plane. (you can see a post of mine about that in my sb thread a few pages back.)
if i'm drawing from observation, i look for shadows to help me find contours. if there's strong lighting, it's helpful for me to look for tonal shapes and then adjust the edges of those shapes so that there's good rhythm.
anyway, i don't know how to write it all down. if you watch me draw, you could stop me at any point and i could tell you what i'm doing, but i don't have a kind of mental checklist of numbered steps that i follow. i do tend to start by finding a center line and placing the eye sockets. but that's just my preference. Mark tended to start by drawing the nose and brow and proceeding off of that.
someday, if i get a good job, i'll post a video or two and you can see what i do. so wish me luck on the job hunt. :)
February 1st, 2010, 01:04 PM
Many many thanks for these posts !
I was asking about your approach because I was amazed with your 5-minutes quick poses .... you can tell that you are getting the likeness down because under all various angles, your drawings look like the same person ... that is where I am struggling ... three different poses will give me ... well three cousins, or sisters on a good day :p
Very goood luck on the job search, and to answer the initial question "Yes! definitely I would take a class with you in the L.A area!!"
Thanks so much again for the break-up of Reilly's construction, I especially loved the explanation for the tiny loop at the corner of the mouth ! I remember wondering why would Nathan Fowkes draw these little curls , it all makes sense now!
February 1st, 2010, 01:13 PM
I did the Megan exercise the other night. Took a while to figure it all out!
Your new posts help a lot.
In your sketch thread on pg 10 post 238 (?) you put up a nice colour version showing how this stuff comes together that was quite helpfull as well.
Good luck with the job hunt.
Here 's the one I did.
May 4th, 2010, 10:44 PM
hey, your tutorial is really great! seems like you have a solid standardized method of doing things -- the results in your sketchbook are awesome
i might try and do some of the exercises once finals are over if it's okay!
November 23rd, 2010, 09:11 PM
Amazing tutorial, many thanks!
January 26th, 2012, 09:06 AM
I don't know whether this post is dead, but I wanted t let you know that here you've got another student. The problem is that I did these with graphite, I thought it applied to this medium too XD The good thing is that I've learnt the fundamentals so that when I get a pen I'll be kind of ready.
I'm finding it hard to apply these rules to, let's say, a whole face or a big drawing (not because of the scale problem). I mean, do we always have to hatch in the direction of form? I am sorry, I am such a beginner. I am just learning figure drawing and wanted to start trying to shade my drawings with pencil or graphite.
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