Sketchbook: I want to get better ( Back from 2 years in the wilderness )

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  1. #1
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    Aardvarkphil is offline Stepping into the darkness and finding the next step isn't there
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    I want to get better ( Back from 2 years in the wilderness )

    Time to lose the intro story. Everyone knows who am now. If you don't then all you need to know I started drawing in April 07 and I love art and I want to improve.

    So the first posts here are what I did 2 hours a week for 10 weeks (starting April 2007). Since then I started a sketchbook and have been going to museums and gallerys to checkout as much other work as possible. Art is now pretty much permeating all aspects of my life. Slowly more and more of my time is being spent trying to learn about drawing. Then I came across this fabulous site and thought this i just what i need. I have no real direction apart from wanting to improve. So hopefully some good critique will give me some structure and direction. Sorry to anyone who has already read this when it was first posted on the Critiques forum. Someone suggested I post here instead so here I am.
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    Last edited by Aardvarkphil; November 29th, 2012 at 02:54 AM. Reason: changing title
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  3. #2
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    Week 1

    2H pencil on A1. Not sure where all the time went but this was all I managed in 2 hours

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    Last edited by Aardvarkphil; July 21st, 2007 at 11:28 AM.
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  4. #3
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    Week 2

    2H pencil on A1. Felt like I was going backwards after I was done. Lots of conflict in my mind.

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  5. #4
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    Week 3

    2H on A1. First try with charcoal. I liked charcoal.

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  6. #5
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    Week 4

    Charcoal on A1.

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  7. #6
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    Week 5

    First: Acrylic on pva'd A1. I used sponges and cotton balls. I all dried to quick to undo things and to layer.
    Second: Oil on pva'd A1. Again sponges and cotton balls. This was more interesting as you could take away with turpentine to high light and erase.
    Although I feel the face in the first has more about it than the second.

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  8. #7
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    Week 6

    Charcoal and white chalk pastel on A1. Lots of conflict about the forshortened legs.

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    Last edited by Aardvarkphil; July 21st, 2007 at 10:39 AM.
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  9. #8
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    Week 7

    First: Charcoal, with a bit of chalk pastel and oil pastel for the arm study, on A1. I liked the quick study top left.
    Second: Charcoal on A1. Strong pose. Twisted body muscles on the side of the neck

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  10. #9
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    Week 8

    Charcoal on A1. Same pose as week 7. Again lots of conflict with forshortened legs.

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  11. #10
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    Week 9

    Charcoal on A1. A load of studies.
    First: Trying to capture quick poses
    Second: Again trying to capture quick poses
    Third: Long pose. Quick sketch and leg study with charcoal and chalk pastel

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  12. #11
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    Week 10

    The time had flown 10 weeks gone in a flash.
    First: Tried to start a long study bit it wasn't going well
    Second: Finally getting to grips with the weeks pose. Charcoal and chalk pastel.

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  13. #12
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    28/06/07

    Ok pretty boring i know but I found it quite challenging couldn't get any further because of rain.

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    Last edited by Aardvarkphil; July 21st, 2007 at 12:14 PM.
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  14. #13
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    29/06/07

    St. Davids Hotel, Cardiff Bay. This seemed to take ages but the tones don't seem right.

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    Last edited by Aardvarkphil; July 21st, 2007 at 12:13 PM.
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  15. #14
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    There's already some great improvement here! Art is a particularly good activity for situations like this, because it is almost fully a mental activity, so almost no physical handicap can hold you back. And even if you're clumsy, signing you're name takes far more dexterity than you'll ever need to draw or paint (I sort of stole that last part from Richard Schmid, though.)
    To help supplement your life drawings, I suggest you find some Loomis books, particularly "Figure drawing for all it's worth", and maybe even Bridgman's "Life Drawing" if you don't like Loomis. You'll be able to find the Bridgman books quite easily, but don't even try for a physical copy of Loomis. A quick search on the forums should get you a link to a free pdf file. Loomis in particular has some great chapters on proportion and foreshortening.
    Oh, and one more tip. If you want to add an extra dimnsion of depth, draw the shadow the figure is casting.

    Well, I hope this can help you somewhat. Good luck, and keep it up!

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  17. #15
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    03/07/07

    Cup of Joe : Thanks I've just got some Hogarth and Bridgeman books so I'll start there.

    Next pictures The top of a church and the top floors of a new apartment block. I just liked the shape of building and the pattern of the windows.

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  18. #16
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    07/07/07

    St. Davids Hotel again. Tried playing with some colour for the glass and water.

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  19. #17
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    12/07/07

    Don't really know what I was trying do hear more doodling and trying out different colours.

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  20. #18
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    17/07/07

    I think this is one of my best pieces so far. The outline took ages to get right and I really enjoyed the shading!

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  21. #19
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Nice thread man, I'm glad you got back to art... sad to hear about the other though :/

Keep the studies up! They will serve you a lot later ; )

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  • #20
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    Its great to see that you have taken up a creative hobby and bad luck about the guitar (I play too though I'm not that good). These are looking good, keep practing and you will improve rapdly. Good luck.

    Miles.

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  • #21
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    Glad to see more stuff from you! Your pretty good for someone just getting into it. you dont have MAJOR proportion issues in most of your work, so i think youll catch on and advace realy fast with this. Ill write you a bigger crit later. Keep with it!

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  • #22
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    The biggest thing that helped me when learning was understanding the difference between right brain and left brain thinking.

    Most people think and draw first with their left brain. It is a descriptive form of drawing, and uses gineric iconic shapes to imply recognisable features and objects. Stick figures are, i think, the ultimate form of left brain thinking.

    Right brain thinking is abstract. The eye see's only shapes of contrast. Abstract shapes that do not hold any meaning to what they belong to, but when you place them together, in proper relationship to each other, they read as a rendered object. Its a lot like the Matrix, "There is no spoon". When you draw an eye, there is no eye. There is a blob of dark shaped like this... and a blob of light shaped like this... and another blob here....

    when you back away from it, it looks like an eye.


    thats the simplest way I can think to describe the two. But of course there is a lot of exploring to do with it. as far as 'one over the other' They are both usefull and I find should be used together. The left side is much better at working out distances, measurements, proportions, etc, but the right side of the brain is better at applying proper shadow shapes, values, composition, etc...

    You draw mostly on your left, which you are good at. Most of your figures are fairly accurate in proportion, and I have no problem Identifying whats going on. You have started to move a little into the right brain abstract, but I think you rely on the line work to carry your image.

    Just remember, the only reason you can see someones nose is because there is a shadow shape being cast by it. Describe that shape, and you will describe the nose. There is no need to outline a nostril, or to draw a long line down the ridge. just the shadows it casts, as accurate as you can.

    Heres some eye's showing the difference between left and right. again not one is better that the other, but left is descriptive and flat. Graphic. This can be usefull. The right is abstract shapes, rounded, realistic. This can be usefull as well. Notice if you took just part of that abstract shape out of context, you'd have no idea what it was. It's just wierd odd shaped blobs of black. But with all its neighbor blobs in proper relation to it, we read it as an eye.

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  • #23
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    You've got some good stuff going phil for someone who has just started. One thing that I can suggest is that before you start rendering, that you check your proportions. When you get your line art correct, the rest is easy. Keep Drawing! Good stuff.

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  • #24
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    24/07/07

    Dile : Thanks for popping by and the words of encouragement

    Spazazo : Thanks for the encouragement too

    Codenothing : Thanks for the time and effort. I can see exactly what you mean. But it still seems very alien to try and draw it that way. I find myself doing the lines then trying to render them away. I'm sure this will get easier with practice.

    Sburto20 : Thanks I'll try to pay more attention to that

    Arkos78 : Thanks for that link to gesture drawing tutorial http://www.art.net/studios/visual/Re...eDrawing1.html

    The next for drawings were exercises in capturing things quickly. Not so much gesture as who/clothing/situation. The quotes had nothing to do with the situations.
    The first drawing was done over ten minutes stood on a street corner. Stare watch then draw. Done in pencil first then pen to tidy them up and a water colour wash.
    Name:  070724a.jpg
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    The second pretty much the same idea while having a cuppa in a local church tea room.
    Name:  070724b.jpg
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    The third some images drawn quickly with pen during lunch in a local arcade.
    Name:  070724c.jpg
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    The final again pen drawing. Draw a lot of different squares then draw random images of things around you. About 30s per drawing max.
    Name:  070724d.jpg
Views: 1465
Size:  90.1 KB


    This was a very strange experience that seemed to cause constant conflict as to what I should represent, how to draw it and without too much detail. I seem to be using my left brain sybolism rather than analysing and drawing what is there. Again I think something to practice for capturing situations and moods which can be later expanded upon.

    Last edited by Aardvarkphil; July 25th, 2007 at 05:14 PM. Reason: correcting syntax
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  • #25
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    True! drawing things in the abstract way is VERY alien to most people when they are learning it. and its tough to get comfortable with it. But once you do you'll notice a huge difference in your work.

    Though being drawn to line work is not a bad thing at all! there are tons of awsome artists who work almost exclusively with expressive line work. But having that abstract 'block in' ability mindset to access will round out your skill set.

    onward cap'n! keep postin!


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  • #26
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    Aardvarkphil is offline Stepping into the darkness and finding the next step isn't there
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    27/07/07

    Codenothing : I've taken what you said on board and tried a drawing using a square stick of graphite. Hopefully forcing me to work in tones rather than lines. It may not look like much and the textured paper probably doesn't help but I was quite pleased with how it turned out.

    Name:  070727.JPG
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    Off doing some life drawing next week and am really looking forward to it. I've got a few ideas to try out after the advice I was given.. If I get some time to myself I'll try to do a few before. If not I will have a batch of drawings to post by monday evening.

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  • #27
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    Interesting story, I got to say. You said you had some Hogarth books, his stuff are brilliant. Especially Dynamic Figure Drawing, building up figures with blocks and cylinders... it's great. Not sure what constrictive words I can offer you apart from keep on drawing, it's strong of you. Also keep practising the guitar!

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  • #28
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    keep it up. Progress comes with practice i'm sure of this.

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  • #29
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    Sarcophphagus and Robz : Thanks for popping by guys it'a always nice nice to have some support.

    Sorry I haven't posted anything from life drawing, my camera is on the fritz and too busy to get it fixed at the mo. Hopefully get it sorted by early next week.

    Last edited by Aardvarkphil; August 12th, 2007 at 10:31 AM.
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  • #30
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    4 Day Life Drawing 30/07/07 to 2/08/07

    Ok folks final got my camera and laptop speaking. I was really looking forward to the life drawing, had loads of ideas for new ways to look at and draw things. But when it came down to it my brain still seems to be overwhelmed by what to do first. I guess this will ease the more I do. So here are Day 1's attempts.

    First one charcoal and pastel on newspaper roughly A2
    Name:  Day1A.JPG
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    Second graphite on A2. Just lost where I was going with this one
    Name:  Day 1B.JPG
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    Day 2's attempts.
    First charcoal and pastel on A2
    Name:  Day 2A.JPG
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    Second Oil(raw Umber) on Pva sealed A1. Was going to be an Ebauche style with light colour added when raw umber was dry but model was unable to do next day so unfinished.
    Name:  Day 2B.JPG
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    Day 3's doings
    First charcoal on A2 layout sketch
    Name:  Day 3A.JPG
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    Second charcoal and pastel on A2
    Name:  Day 3B.JPG
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    Day 4 Bonus day
    The course was only supposed to be 3 days but the guy in charge managed to get us another day if we split the cost for the model between us. Charcoal on A1 kinda got lost towards the end of the day.
    Name:  Day 4.JPG
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