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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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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 12:08 PM.
nice stuff. Personally i enjoyed this style you used in the first post, me would like to see more =)
Viele Wege führen nach Rom
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 10:42 PM.
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.
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).
Any reference on the skeleton? I recognize the ref figure. great job.
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.
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
Great assignments, J.
Your anatomy drawings look fantastic.
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.
The types are great. Knowing you I was looking for a nina shadow (swords hanging out, etc). Props are very helpful in defining a character (and I didn't think to mention them in the assignment). You did throw one in at the bar . .yes, and the hat.
Maybe I see a gun midway down the right side of page two? Great poses.
The attitudes are working. I'm always amazed by the amount of emotion one can convey with a splat of ink.
Were these carved out in Photoshop or ink on paper?
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.
You've got a few assignments to catch up on (on account of you're all so busy doing cool paying work and all -- believe me I'm pretty jealous) I thought I'd distill stuff into one post that pulls together your catchup work and adds a bit more.
004 A -- hands -- a sketchbook page of hands. Make note (mental or written) of the radius and ulna in the wrist attachment.
004 B -- the biiiig figure project in many stages -- you've already started this one with the skeleton. Depending on the state of the paper you may want to redraw the skeleton to start your layering, it's your call. You're going to have four illos at the end of it all (or four photos of the same illo at different stages, really.
stage 1 -- the skeleton
stage 2 -- core muscles
stage 3 -- overlapping muscles
stage 4 -- skin
I've posted my stages 1, 2, and 3, and here's my 4:
Here's the first part of my latest homework (thanks for consolidating).
004 A: Hands.
I tried to map out the Ulna and radius relationship
004 A: Camera
Create a figure in a fairly easy pose and draw from 4 angles making sure we see top, bottom and sides among your choices. Keep camera close enough for some cool foreshortening.
1. Create a character - exaggerate face and figure to sell the type. Leinil Yu's background characters are a good example (his 'old folks' or big bodyguards, etc). Eduardo Risso's bg characters are a great example in 100 Bullets as well - you feel like you've seen these people somewhere (in spite of the wacky proportions).
2. Draw the same character without the exaggeration - as if you were using a photo for reference/drawing in a more realistic style.
The radius rotation action you've introduced to the hand sketches is fantastic.
I feel your back-of-the-hand drawings are quite successful. The ones showing the palm somewhat less so. I know hands are something you really want to nail, so maybe focusing in on those semi-open palms would be good for you.
As for my fourth in the series, yeah, it's all one sheet of paper. After the last muscle group photo, I took a napkin and rubbed the hell out of it, smoothing things up and making that gray tone that surrounds the figure. Then I went in with my eraser, and finished up with some back and forth between eraser and charcoal pencil.
The new assignments look great. The camera one is funny, because I'm currently drawing a scene where people are talking standing in front of a tv store, and their in front of a camera hooked to a big tv. So in each panel I've got to draw them exactly the same, but from different angles.
You're right - it's TOTALLY out of the comfort zone . . . and (after dealing with the discomfort) very eye-opening.
In another life I was a rock bass player for years and had the opportunity to study with 'THE' East coast jazz guru (had to wait 2 years on a waiting list to see him).
Anyway, when the opportunity came to learn from him - with HIS method (not mine, as with your Whitaker students) I found myself is a sort of music limbo, uncomfortable with his and my own stuff.
It works out though, and that's where I'll head.
Okay - 'nuff chatter
Ahh, that's ninJa shadow, right.
These are ink on paper. I tried not to go overboard on props, as I really wanted to push how much of a character can be conveyed in just the way he holds his head, etc. I was kinda thinking about Joe Kubert talking about drawing war books, and every character is wearing the same clothes, but they wear them differently, and stand differently.