Sketchbook: The "Re-learning how to draw" Sketchbook while I'm stuck in Iraq
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  1. #1
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    The "Re-learning how to draw" Sketchbook while I'm stuck in Iraq

    A couple months ago, I accepted a job as a civilian contractor in Iraq. I'm a network administrator, which means that back in the states I had almost no free time. The fact that this job offered a dedicated day off with dedicated hours (no overtime) and nothing to do but draw, hit the gym and take college courses online made it perfect for me.

    I haven't drawn regularly in years - at least five years...more like seven. I used to draw constantly - you'd never see me without a sketchbook and pencils. Because of the work schedule at my old job, I burned out - I had no energy or creativity left, and no free time to draw.

    That's changed, and now I have all the time in the world (minus running to bunkers when mortars and rockets start flying into my base) to hone my skills and seek the critique of the vast ConceptArt.org hive mind.

    So, without further adieu, here's a few!

    I don't have a scanner, so I have to take pics with my Nikon D70 and upload them to Flickr. They are attached as per the sketchbook guidelines.

    The two sketches of my friend Jenner were done from photo reference about 25 - 30 minutes apiece. The third is a concept from a series of semi-futuristic military fetish pinup posters I want to do - I'm looking for critiques on the facial structure, perspective, etc. Any and all critiques are greatly appreciated!

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  2. #2
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    Good start Visi, maybe some more life drawing. Other things I'd love to see are looser lines and more work with values.

    She looks like she's interesting to know!




    *Tres Cute Sketch Group*
    ---no added monosodiumglutamate!!!---

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  3. #3
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    i like the second in particular. its rare to see such a well rendered tounge. something doesnt sit right with me on the first one i think probably just cause its unfinished, is she leaning her face on something? the third is coming on, very good expression

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  4. #4
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    I already critted the second Jenner piece on Irc. What i do noticed then was that you did get a similarity with the original photo, but that wasn't cos your lines are 'right'. Her browline was a li'l more different, jaw/chin was longer, same for the neck etc etc. So watch out for the similarity/correctness. Maybe look out for a grid or something. I think you can push these drawings more, render it more, make it more finished.

    These are cool, so keep drawing and watch your butt there!

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  5. #5
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    Like cwn said, good start. I know you're under fire day in and day out, but there's gotta be someone there with about 1-5 minutes of spare time for you to quickly sketch..or even use 30 seconds.

    The pin up girl needs more to it...right now it's a hovering face and that's not working for me. Maybe upload again in higher res so I can check out the rest. Lines are crisp and hard, though I'd like to see some scribbles and general looseness that comes with the creative process...don't worry about doing finished pieces right off the back, start small and get some of the old stuff out by doing quick scribbles/sketches of anything around...

    Keep at it an DUCK BITCH DUCK!

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  6. #6
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    Very nice. ^.^ I think their pretty good!
    be careful over there, and good luck man.

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  7. #7
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    I could use some help with this one.

    I've drawn, redrawn and drawn again over her face and I can't figure out why she looks "weird".

    I mean, her face looks weird, and I can't place why. Any and all advice is welcome. Thanks!

    Updated version attached.

    EDIT:

    Updated again. I think I fixed many of the problems with the face, but I still need input!

    Some notes:
    Tank driver girl is sitting in the cockpit of a futuristic tank. The photographer is standing almost directly over her with a somewhat wide-angle lens. She is looking almost directly at the photographer. I am trying to emulate the perspective and distortion such a lens would make. Finding photo reference for this pose/angle is pretty much impossible. :p

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    Last edited by Visigothan; June 30th, 2007 at 02:22 PM.
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  8. #8
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    heya, you pinged out from irc and didnt come back, so i thought i'd post here the paintover's not perfect, but just a suggestion for some of the perspective issues with her face, tho the collarbone i'm not sure about.

    image: http://img184.imageshack.us/img184/3...pinuppoqa0.jpg

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  9. #9
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    Its a good re-start. As people have said some anatomy studies would help with your facial structure and foreshortening.

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  10. #10
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    Of the two portraits of your friend, I like the one where she's looking over the back of the chair. You've captured her expression well; you can almost tell her personality just by the look in her eyes.

    Anything else I can think to say has already been mentioned by the posters above, so just take their advice to heart, and keep practicing!

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  11. #11
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    Thanks for the feedback, everyone!

    Since I'm stuck out here with no opportunity to take life drawing classes, I'm just going to do my best to re-train my eyes/hands/brain by going through my books - I brought Loomis, Hogarth and Hamm's books in PDF form. Here's a quick 20-minute anatomical study done while reading "Drawing the Head and Hands" by Andrew Loomis.

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  12. #12
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    your obviously a very good artist and it shows. I like the detail that your putting into the furturistic tank driver, its very good. I guess I cant give many tips, im still learning so sorry. Really all I can say is keep up the good work, and keep it coming... The bit about running to the bunkers is funny also.

    P.S. How do you get a picture beside your sketchbook?

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  13. #13
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    A quick flat-shaded toon, inspired by a line from my friend Kathy's journal:

    "I'm like a wind-up toy: Give me a Starbuck's Iced Latte and I can power-walk anywhere."

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    10 minute anatomical study. Source: Pose Maniacs

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  15. #15
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    Visigoth, more of gothic drawings !

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    Another 10 minute quickie. Source: Pose Maniacs

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    A quickie. Punk girl. No photo ref. Mostly practice on head-on facial structure which I have a real hard time with.

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  18. #18
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    Quick pinup doodle. 20 minutes. No photo reference.

    I think I need to get a scanner.

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  19. #19
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    You're very much like me in your approach. You draw with solid lineart. However, this can come out to be really flatlooking, if you're not careful. Try to build up your characters in values and form and shape, rather than with lines. Think of things as 3-d objects.

    When are you gonna do some war oriented-art, btw? You're in the ideal location now with plenty of refs near.

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  20. #20
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    Thanks! Stay tuned for the military girl pinups. They'll be older style pinups (think Vargas) but in futuristic military settings.

    Re: Solid line-art - yeah, I don't know why I do that. I went for a more cartoony look with this particular piece. I guess I'll try doing a more realistic looking one in a bit.

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  21. #21
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    Good work! Yes, what Cookie said. The line values give much depth to the eye than one would think. I myself sketch all over and make a mess of things. It is nice to see some discipline. :]

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  22. #22
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    Some quick (gesture?) drawings.

    I really suck at these. X_x

    ~3 minutes apiece, no photo ref.

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  23. #23
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    I decided to try Bridgeman's approach rather than Loomis'.

    I'm liking this one better.

    I took Bridgeman's advice about holding the pencil by the end instead of by the foregrip and making as loose strokes as possible. I've always had a real problem trying to loosen up. I can never "sketch" - I've always felt the need to fuss over my lines until they're precise and perfect (see the previous drawings, like the one of Kathy).

    I think loosening up like this will be good for me.

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  24. #24
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    Hey man! Great job! Nothing happens over night so keep at it- you're doing all thet right things. I'll reiterate: keep your lines loose. Right now you're doing that broken line "sketchy" thing and breaks the flow of your images. Making good marks is all about confidence and decisiveness. Make one line and if once you draw it its not the correct line redraw using only one line. Again, it takes time. Patience is what its all about.

    STAY SAFE! And keep up the sketchbook!

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  25. #25
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    A few more.

    EDIT:

    Thanks bbassir, I will try that next and see how it goes!

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  26. #26
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    Hey good stuff you got going on here. You have strong line work in your pinups. Your gestures need to be more fluid. That is, for gestures you are trying to "capture" the movement and fluidity of the figure, so you should place your "gesture line" down first and build up on that, especially with gestures that are under 5 mins. A good way to stop the "sketchy" line, or furry line as my teacher would call it, is to use a pen instead of pencils. Making sketches with a pen helps build your line confidence, and forces you to accept your line decisions. Also making strokes with your entire arm as opposed to using your wrist will help as well.

    Be safe out there.

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  27. #27
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    Thanks for the tips! I will grab some cheap pens from the PX here on base tomorrow and start trying it with pen. I think maybe I need to get a larger pad of paper, but it's going to be very difficult to try and get that here. Big packages are almost impossible to receive.

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  28. #28
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    I'd say there's very clean drawings. I like that

    sujak nx
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  29. #29
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    nice line work. definately something i need to take into consideration. keep posting though id love to see your progress

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  30. #30
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    I took the above advice and tried doing these with single, direct strokes.

    60 seconds apiece, no photo or other reference. Imagination only. Ballpoint pen.

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