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September 3rd, 2007 #1
Dueling Sketchbooks: John F and Jason C-M
Wanting to pump some drawing iron and hone those sketching skills, every week, John and Jason will post assignments for each other to complete. Within the week, assignments need to be completed and posted, and we'll critique each other's work. Of course, anyone else is welcome to come in and comment or chat.
So . . . on to the first art chores!
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September 3rd, 2007 #3
Hi Daniel! -- I disappeared for a good long while there, largely because time to work on my perspective book (which is now off to the printers and due on the shelves mid-late December) didn't leave me time to do anything else, really. But I've been painting, and my jam thread here with John is just going to be my first foray back into the world of conceptart -- I'll be opening up a new thread for my own stuff pretty soon here. I'm delighted to run into you so soon, though! I'll have to check out what you've been up to.
The Wolvie thing up there is a little Jam john and I did while we were out for coffee one day -- I spent some time in his neck of the woods over the summer. His layout, my finish.
September 3rd, 2007 #4
Assignment One -- for John
A. Do a bunch of those dexterity exercises Ron Lemen showed -- arcs, straight lines, circles, squares. Get back from the page and hold the pencil the way he shows. (http://training.xtrain.com/course/show/10)
B. No ref. -- draw a fat guy. Try to make it as natural-looking as possible. Just hanging out, sitting/standing/whatever. Probably naked. Nothing dynamic, but weighty and nuanced. Just enough of a sketch to mass in the forms, don't worry about details like fingers and facial features.
You've got a week. Now, hit me with what you've got.
September 4th, 2007 #5
Looking forward to sharpening the skills with you . . .
Kind of new at this so please excuse any incorrect formatting.
Your first assignment:
A. Practice the same dexterity exercise you prescribed from the XTrain series (nice stuff)!
B. Let's stick to figures:
No ref - a one year old baby boy (in diaper or whatever you find tasteful). Looking more for proportions here.
Let's have at it!
September 6th, 2007 #6
Assignment 1A -- black aqua pencil and red conte crayon on bond paper (where the hell did my big pad of newsprint go!?)
This is a great exercise and I'm going to keep it up -- also going to try it out in other media -- brush and ink, nib pens, cartridge pens, whatever. Big paper on an easel or whatever to keep it out of your lap is vital!
September 11th, 2007 #7
I did another couple dexterity exercises, the first in compressed charcoal, the second in ink with a #2 round sable that wouldn't come to a point no matter what I did.
And the 1-year-old figure is also compressed charcoal.
September 11th, 2007 #8
September 12th, 2007 #9
That Compressed Charcoal Piece is striking. All the Lemen exercises are looking great - nice use of several media.
Nice figures (I agree with Daniel - weight is cool on the guy).
What time was spent on the child?
September 12th, 2007 #10
Deadline monster looming . . .must get sketching done . .
Exercises are charcoal pencil (with maybe 3 or 4 line compressed charcoal) on 18 X 24 Newsprint. Jason, I blew an entire pencil trying to get that thing to a point (Like Lemen's). Anyone have any advice!?
I love the feel of the medium - never tried it.
Sketches are col-erase blue pencil (made grayscale). I need to go look at some heavy folks now and figure out what's going on.
September 12th, 2007 #11
The thing that strikes me really funny is your page of circles, I immediately recognize as your work. I wouldn't have thought there would be enough room for recognizeable personality in that exercise.
1A -- dexterity exercise -- good job -- I don't know about you, but I'm going to do more of these.
1B -- Fat guy -- Good chunk of fat and muscle. Good weight, though the balance of the gesture seems a bit off and topple-y. Also his jawline seems a little un-fat (though some of that is certainly the high angle of view). Overall, though, I'm quite fond of this drawing.
Last edited by Jason C-M; September 12th, 2007 at 01:08 PM.
September 12th, 2007 #12
Daniel -- I used one of those china ink pens years ago, but honestly don't remember a thing about it. I've got a couple cartridge and disposable pens I'm pretty happy with right now, but want to describe the china pen to me?
John -- on sharpening the pencil -- what kind of pencil are you using, and what kind of razor blade? In my experience some pencils are so brittle you can only carve the wood, and all shaping of the charcoal has to be done with sandpaper. But most if you've got a good, sharp razor, it'll sharpen just fine as long as you keep your tactile awareness up as you're going, and sometimes steady the tip against something.
The child drawing is under fifteen minutes, maybe under ten. The fat guy, probably under two minutes.
September 12th, 2007 #13
John's Assignments -- Week 002
A- find good ref for a fat person, and use it to re-draw your invented fat guy. I've got a couple photos I can e-mail you to get you started.
B- Find a good photo ref, something full figure. Get a BIIIG sheet of paper (11x17 is too small) and do a light gesture of the figure, then take some measurements and get the placement right, and just map out the figure however you need, as light as possible, as little information as possible.
Now draw the skeleton into the figure. You can fudge the spine, the carpuls and tarsuls, but be as accurate as you can on the other stuff. Where's the head of the radius? Where's the Ulna? Do they twist across each other? Etc.
September 12th, 2007 #14
nice stuff. Personally i enjoyed this style you used in the first post, me would like to see more =)
Viele Wege führen nach Rom
September 12th, 2007 #15
Mmm- John! Forgot to mention, on your assignment for next week, hold your charcoal/pencil the same way you're doing it for the lemen exercise! Not like you're writing/illustrating but like you're drawing/painting.
Even if it means your drawings are worse than they would be if you held it the normal way. Do it!
Saskia -- Thanks for the comment. The style in the first post is mainly John's work. John's already a really cool cartoonist and caricaturist, and I don't have much to offer him in that direction. I'm pushing him (at his request) in a more traditional realist style in these first few exercises (with the ultimate goal being to make his more cartoony style more authoritative and nuanced).
Last edited by Jason C-M; September 12th, 2007 at 11:42 PM.
September 13th, 2007 #16
While we HAVE to do the assignments we give each other, it's okay for us to do the assignments we gave the other guy, too.
I couldn't paint this afternoon when I had planned on, so I drew this exercise instead.
September 13th, 2007 #17
Any reference on the skeleton? I recognize the ref figure. great job.
September 13th, 2007 #18
Thanks for the comments and reference photos for the new assignment, JCM
I realized later I had drawn some kind of "Kingpin"
A wise man once said "if you want to really learn something try drawing it out of your head first THEN go back and reference the tough parts" . . . or something like that.
It does work.
Yeah, those Lemen exercises are great and I'll continue on them as well.
September 13th, 2007 #19
Jason's Assignment -- week 002
1. Revisit your 1 year old this time with reference. Your proportions are good - pay closer attention to the face.
It's funny how tough capturing a very young child's face can be. It's very easy to make babies look like tiny 6 year olds (or even old men). I've seen some pretty accomplished comic book artists blow it with babies as well.
2A. Female character (mid 20s) full shot - fully clothed and soaked, having been caught in the rain.
2B Head shot - focus on hair (running makeup)?
Let me know if that's cool (or if we should be sticking with the unclothed human form at this point).
September 13th, 2007 #20
September 17th, 2007 #21
Here's my homework, teach.
Both compressed charcoal and charcoal pencil on newsprint.
I pulled together some photo ref for this, but just looked at it for proportions, shapes, etc. This isn't a drawing of any of the ref I found, it's my own pose (though I stole the idea of the foot facing the wrong way from one of the photos)
Girl in the rain
well, there she is . . .
September 20th, 2007 #22
Nice one year old, Jason. The proportions look great and the pose is really indicative of one trying to find his feet/balance.
The girl is cool as well - Great clothes and folds. Cool shadow under her (our right) left foot. Her head/hair looks a bit big on the top as if we're looking at two poses of her head (straight on for the face/looking a bit down for the hair.
great contrast too
September 20th, 2007 #23
Jason's Assignments -- Week 003 Silhouettes
A. Silhouette - Character:
Create 4 figures - each is sitting, standing, jumping, etc. – in COMPLETE SHADOW. The goal is for the viewer to get an idea about each character type based on silhouette alone
Draw 4 poses in complete shadow – each is to describe an emotion that we get from body language only. It’s a subject thing – however, it might be cool to ‘caricature’/push the silhouettes in your description (curled fingers/arched back, etc).
Anger,Fear,Sadness,Joy,Stubborness,Confident . . . .
September 20th, 2007 #24
JF's week 002 note from his mom
I have to be man enough to publicly call out my tardiness with week 002. I am in the deadline abyss and will post tomorrow. If you want to add assignment 003 please feel free.
Don't send me to the principal’s office this time, Teach. I'll be back on track and make you proud.
September 20th, 2007 #25
Awesome assignments, John -- they're good challenges and I'm looking forward to them.
Week 003 A -- Take your skeleton drawing, and in two stages, add muscles to it. Use your anatomy books to get the origin and insertion of the muscles correct. Try to draw one layer of muscles in the first stage (e.g. biceps and triceps), and then the muscles that overlap those (e.g. deltoid and brachioradialis) in the second. I'll post my example of this exercise. Once you post your skeleton, I'll list my suggestion for what muscles you do in each layer.
Week 003 B -- Hands -- fill up a sketchbook page (or better yet, a bigger sheet of paper) with drawings of your own hand. Use charcoal if possible.
September 20th, 2007 #26
assignment 003 A sample -- just in case my explanation wasn't very clear -- These are photos of the same drawing at different times, I'm erasing and working in, not doing overlays.
extensor carpi ulnaris
September 20th, 2007 #27
September 20th, 2007 #28
Great assignments, J.
Your anatomy drawings look fantastic.
October 2nd, 2007 #29
Week 002 Submission
Heavy guy and figure skeleton.
Sorry for the horrible photo - will correct in future posts (the paper's large and I have to figure out photographing images).
I had an EXTREMELY difficult time with the latter, Jason. You're right in that it will be a project over the next couple of weeks
It was eye-opening as I've been able to pass by faking surface anatonmy when cartooning until it felt correct.
I spent a ton of time (and learned a bunch about) the relationship between the radius and ulna. Funny that it was the one point on this drawing that I felt truly stuck - trying to extrapolate the angle of the bones inside the model.
Will coninue to work with Peck and a couple of other texts in addition to trying to find a model skeleton.
October 3rd, 2007 #30
Alright, amigo, we're moving again. Remember, an on-time drawing is better than a good one.
The fat guy's definitely got gravity pulling on him. Hooray for that -- his feeling of weight is a huge improvement over the no-ref dude (and that's the idea, right?) The head doesn't sit quite right for me, but I don't really care, that's not the important part of the exercise.
Skeleton -- it's a bitch, ain't it? And it looks like the hard work has paid off. Nice clavicle/scapula action, the trochanter's great, and the elbows and knees work. I think your sternum is rather short, but maybe the model's really built that way.
All in all, good work.
now on a side note -- I remember Bill Whittaker saying in a class that of course everyone's painting is sucking. They're coming in, and trying to paint something difficult. But they're not painting it with their method for painting, they've got use the method Bill uses. And they're having a rough time. If they'd tried the same painting in their own studio, with their own approach, they'd rock. But stepping out of the comfort zone, trying new approaches, and busting your ass even if the result sucks, that's where the major learning happens.