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Thread: Arish in the Mirror
September 8th, 2007 #1
Arish in the Mirror
Ok so I thought I'd try to do my self-portrait as often as possible, starting with ink pen to get used to drawing from sight & then gradually moving on to other mediums (charcoal, pastel, etc) to see what works best. Farvus, Bhrazz and MidgardSerpent, and of course Android, inspired me to do this with their great work and dedication...
Anyways here is attempt #1, from Sept. 5:
I don't have a handheld mirror at my place yet (just put it on my shopping list) so I drew this standing up at my bathroom mirror... was having trouble holding up the sketchbook which is probably why I look so grumpy. Also hated not being able to erase my mistakes.
Attempt #2, from today:
Drew this when I just woke up, I didn't brush my hair because it looked so cute this way I also became about 10 years younger in the last 3 days... The funny thing is, I drew this one with a shitty 15 cent Bic pen I grabbed from my desk and I like the results much better than with the nice pen I used on Day One. The jaw is a bit too big and I made my face slightly larger than it's supposed to be on the right, but for some reason this pose makes me think of Daniel Radcliffe in the Harry Potter movie poster... minus the scar of course.
Both sketches took about 15 - 20 mins.
C & C appreciated, I already spot many mistakes with these two but I'm wondering which ones are obvious to everyone else. Obviously these were done very quickly, I'm planning to be more polished with future entries...
Here is a photo of myself for reference:
I will post one in pencil next in a few days.
[ Edit : Thumbnail (June 25, 2010)]
Last edited by Arish; June 26th, 2010 at 12:38 AM.
Hide this ad by registering as a memberSeptember 8th, 2007 #2
Hey. That's a good start.
I like the second self portrait. Maybe beacause this simple shading shows the structure of the face well.
I'm not sure about the lenght of your eyebrows. They could be a bit longer but maybe the glasses slightly changed some proportions of your eyes and it looks right.
Keep it up
September 8th, 2007 #3Registered User
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Good start, as said there are some little inaccuracies (the glasses seem to be put upsidedown in the 2nd sp) but in general really nice start.
September 10th, 2007 #4
Very good start, I'm not sure if you speak french but I'll keep in english for this one. I'm not sure how many you will be drawing your self portrait, but if you are look to improve, is a very good way, ask Farvus
And listen what Farvus saif, he is a wise man
I personally think 15-20 minute is more than enough to do this exercise everyday but you should also try to add some color as well. Not only you will practice your eyes but color are something you also want to practice, and so far it helped me a ton.
Just enjoy it, hope to see some more of this from you
September 11th, 2007 #5
Hey all, thanks for the nice comments, seriously, gives me inspiration to continue.
Farvus - Don't get me started on the eyebrows - they're one of the hardest things for me to draw, because whenever I flick my eyes upwards to look in the mirror, the 'brows shoot way up over my forehead while the rest of my face stays neutral, so if I actually drew them like that I'd look like a very cynical observer of a car crash or something. So I tried to readjust the eyebrows to normal in my mind and that's the result. I do agree they could be a bit longer, though.
Nick - I have clear glasses (no frames around the lenses), so they're tricky to draw in pen... but that's no excuse not to do a good job, so I'll try harder tomorrow. 8)
Bhrazz - oui je parle un peu français, mais je me demande si c'est mieux de continuer en anglais pour que tout le monde peut comprendre ce que nous disons... que penses-tu? (excuse la mauvaise qualité de mon français, ça fait longtemps que ne l'ai pas écrit ni parlé...)
In any case, you're right I should practice in colours too... I will soon... promise
I'll hopefully put up a new SP tomorrow evening, but first I need my beauty sleep, so goodnight!
September 11th, 2007 #6
I was feeling a bit blue today so...
Not too happy with this scan, it missed a lot of the smaller lines (I drew this in coloured pencil) and I really had to ramp up the contrast to get the rest of the drawing to show clearly. Anyways it's not the greatest portrait in the world (I look really stoned for some reason) so it's not worth complaining too much.
Took about 25 mins.
Last edited by Arish; September 11th, 2007 at 10:08 PM.
September 12th, 2007 #7
It aint bad at all, my only crits will be about varying the position of your head. One other thing you want to try is to follow the muscle of the faces with your strokes, it helped me a lot to feel the form/bump of the faces.
September 12th, 2007 #8
September 12th, 2007 #9Registered User
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hey, your "blue" portrait is looking good. Imo better than the other ones.
As you wrote there are some lost lines, especially in the hair. Maybe try to avoid that fine details and get the look at the whole right.
September 14th, 2007 #10
b & w
Bhrazz - Thanks, I tried following the muscles somewhat on this one, but then I lost patience and just shaded my usual way, heh. But I did turn my head.
N1ck - You have a point, but details add so much to a picture... I'm wondering if there's a way to avoid getting them lost in the scanning?
Anyways, on to today's...
Usually I love drawing people in 3/4ths view but ironically it doesn't work so well on my own face, because when I look out of the corners of my eyes the edge of my glasses gets in the way and I have trouble seeing. Maybe it's time to invest in contacts... hmm.
September 14th, 2007 #11
By Looking at your drawing I'm realizing how different everyone is. I mean, just by your stroke I ''don't understand'' why you did it this way and this way, but that is what all the fun of drawing is about. I really like how you draw the lips on that one.
And if you really want to add contrast, shade your head, you left quite some white spot. Anyways, you draw very well, nothing to say about it, my only crits will be about not doing it so often
September 18th, 2007 #12
Thanks for the nice comments Bhrazz, but what do you mean "not do it so often?" If you mean "not draw so often," not a chance muahaha
Anyway yeah, it's cool how all of us have our own different styles, I also don't understand a lot of times what goes into someone else's artwork. It would be fun to watch you & Farvus draw, just to see how you do the things you do...
I was tired today so it's a quick pencil sketch, nothing new... Feels wierd drawing myself with my hair up though.
September 18th, 2007 #13
September 24th, 2007 #14
In my experience glasses also deform how your eyes look, but that mostly depends on the description of your glasses.
I think the perspective of your glasses (the one glass on your right eye) on the 3/4 selfportrait doesn't follow the rest of your face. It's almost on an angle that's straight towards the viewer. And it extends a bit too far outside your face.
Your last one is my favorite, it's simple and sincere.
"Work for your self first. You can paint best the things you like or the things you hate. You cannot paint well when indifferent.
Express a mental opinion about something you are sensitive to in life around you. There is a profound difference between sensitivity and sentimentality."
~ John Sloan Gist of Art
September 25th, 2007 #15
Farvus - very wise advice, I should follow it more often...
MidgardSerpent - Thanks for your kind words and crits. "I want to draw my self-portrait properly" has to be one of the more unusual reasons to get contacts, but it's also pretty convincing, lol. Plus I hate drawing glasses. 8)
...which brings me to today's portrait, a quickie sans glasses or a background, because it's my first SP ever on Photoshop and I was more focussed on testing out the colours and slapping down shapes than worrying about layers or lenses or whether the person on the canvas looked like me. Ah well, it's a start, and I'm looking forward to doing a nice digital portrait once I have more energy and time.
Last edited by Arish; September 25th, 2007 at 01:47 AM.
September 25th, 2007 #16
Hey. What I see here. You started some digital self portraits. If it's just testing the colours then I'll leave that one without much critique. The basic thing is to start blocking main shapes with big brush. With next steps progressively paint with smaller ones. Just like in oil painting
September 25th, 2007 #17
my favs are the first and the last(keeping in mind that it wast a test sp) =) i think they're really nice, especially the first one. not only because ink pen is one of my favourite paper registering mediums but also due to the way you resolved the representation of a real subject. nice shading, very contrasted. you only suggested some shadows in your face.. i think that one is the better. yes =) also the whole structure of the drawing fits nice with a general humans head proportions, wich i don't think that happens with your second selfportrait made with a blue pen for example.
but yeah! keep on submitting more and more! that's what we all want to see =)
October 2nd, 2007 #18
Farvus - Thanks for the advice, I haven't painted on canvas in about 6 years so it's a worthwhile reminder.
Arbu - I was a bit surprised that you liked the first and the last portraits, for me they're my least favourites, hehe. But that's why I love hearing people's feedback, it helps to get another perspective than my own. Thanks for the kind words and crits.
Worked about 45 mins on this one and I'm pretty pleased with the results, except for the eyes being slightly off and of course *sigh* the glasses... I tried drawing myself without glasses but I'm so nearsighted that there's no point, unless you'd like to see a close-up of my left pupil or something.
Anyways - since I actually made an effort with this one, I could definitely use some crits.
October 6th, 2007 #19
I like the last one.
I'm not good enough in english but I'll try to explain some minor thing. I think what could look better are those dark touches on nose and eyes. You progressively builded tones on your face from very bright gray to middle gray while those dark contours are kind of the opposite. Beacause of that they jump out too much rather than blend with volumetric shading. I hope that sounds understandable .
Keep it up .
October 9th, 2007 #20
Farvus - No prob, I understand what you're saying, I've got to make sure the dark spots don't jump out too much like that.
Anyway I was going to go to sleep but then Bhrazz gave me a kick in the pants, so here's today's...
I tried doing another digital SP purely by painting in lights and shadows, no linework and GAH.... I'm sure wishing I paid more attention back in my college painting class even if the teacher sucked. I am fully aware of the freakishly large man-jaw and the misplaced eye, so maybe you guys can help me understand how I'm supposed to get everything in proportion without drawing an outline first and then painting it in? (my usual technique up to now.) (not that there's anything wrong with that technique, just that I don't want it to be my only one.)
Last edited by Arish; October 10th, 2007 at 12:16 AM.
October 11th, 2007 #21
October 11th, 2007 #22
Ok Farvus, I'll take a look at some skulls... it's the good time of year for that anyway, what with halloween just around the corner.
Here's today's... I wanted to experiment with pure b&w shading.
Last edited by Arish; October 12th, 2007 at 12:20 AM.
October 12th, 2007 #23
''chaud au coeur''.
Anyways, I understand your problem with lines and outlines etc... I'm not sure if you have a wacom but if you do, you are definetly loosing money because you don't use it enough!(Another kick!)
The way I usually draw, is to build up masses. I draw circles and then start filling in a couple of guide. Now, I know I don't do it often when drawing my self becasue I'm starting to know my face very well but this is how you should try it. It is really easier to do it when ''painting'', so photoshop is your best shot.
Is hard to understand, you really have to give it a shot to get the idea.
This is how drawing masses work:
and when you draw with a pen, is more like a Carlos Huante way, not sure if you seen how he draw. There is a dude on CA who posted some sort of this, i'll try to find it.
Anyways, good job on those last portrait, you should definetly draw with more color.
October 12th, 2007 #24
Really nice studies. Your graceful with a pen and it shows through. September 14th is my favourite. Try mixing different pens together and structuring them into what represent light and shadow ect. Would be interesting. Nice work.
2 try is to fail but 2 fail is not to try.
October 12th, 2007 #25
The last one is good exercise.
I agree with Bhrazz and I'd like to expand that. You're aware of this outlining problem so this is your first step. It's always hard for me to explain those things even im my native language but I'll try (it's also to everyone )
When you draw any volumetric object, you should try to notice many smaller masses that it's constructed of. When painting for example someone's head there is this rough block like this one http://fineart.sk/photos/figure/064.JPG. You establish the basic information about this block like it's height, width and basic edge angles. You add to it (or carve away) some imaginary clay where cheekbones, forehead, front teeth, eyeballs stick out and it gets more personality. Actually the sum of outside contours of those clay masses are your final outline. They also have edges but some of them could be stronger or lighter. Those stronger ones could be on the shadow side and you might notice that the bright side don't even need any edge (the ball drawn with such method could have it's contour defined by an crescent shaped line). With more skill you would be able to just suggest all that with just few strokes and those masses will perfectly blend into one form. Or when painting you don't even suggest those lines. You see it all and just go straigth into big strokes of light and shadow that's on those masses. I think the essence of what I'm talking about you could see in Kevin Chen studies.
Look for example at this one - http://www.characterdesigns.com/band...l_000_0056.jpg. At this stage it's still rough. First there is simple volumetric form of an eye and later you wrap the eyelid and eyelash around it.
Like he finished it here - http://www.characterdesigns.com/band...tudies_033.jpg.
Here are all of his head studies - http://www.characterdesigns.com/inde...page=tutorials. Check them out.
I took your photo and tried to paint it with exactly the same method as he does it. I hope you don't mind . It doesn't have perfect likeness beacause I would need something more than flat reference. I increased contrast to better see the shadows and highlights. Based on this information I sketched the main masses. You wouldn't normally see those lines on your face. They are information for me to see where I can put light and shadow. I established strong light from top right and used those masses as a guide to see where it hits the surface. Later it was all easy. Adding subtle dark accents, subtle highlights and wrapping tiny face features around form.
I'm always shooting for this specific "mode" but it's really hard and it's easy to forget about it. Of course later you don't think about it and it all becomes intuitive.
Keep it up!
Last edited by Farvus; October 12th, 2007 at 10:48 PM.
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October 19th, 2007 #26
I haven't updated in a good long while so here's a half-finished portrait I've been working on all evening, with the help of Farvus and Bhrazz's awesome tutorials. It's funny, I swear I used to know how to draw with masses, and forgot somewhere along the line... and now all of a sudden it's coming back. It's really a fun and satisfying way to work.
I also used layers for this one (duh... about time I did, lol) so when it's 100% done I'll probably post the step-by-step just in case anyone is interested, or has advice on a better technique.
Farvus - You rock! You can draw my portrait anytime you want. I'm just blown away by the trouble you took to make this student "get" what to do.
Bhrazz - You too! Thanks so much for your help. You're right I should start drawing more digitally, but in my defense I already use a wacom all day (I work as an illustrator for a children's book company... thankfully my cartoon drawing / colouring skills are much better than my painting, heheh), so by the time i get home the last thing I wanna do is plunk myself in front of the computer again. But it's not a good excuse if I wanna improve.
Kazart - Thanks for the nice comments & suggestions.
Now I know, you're probably wondering "when is she going to start drawing in colour????" Truth is, I started off this thing in colour but the results were so hideous I got scared and ran away... So maybe next time. I also need a lamp or something, the lighting in my apartment is not good for colours.
Finished portrait coming soon!
Last edited by Arish; October 20th, 2007 at 01:36 AM.
October 20th, 2007 #27
Your last one will be my favorite. I understand your problem for not using the wacom now
But yea, color will be awesome.
October 20th, 2007 #28
You painted it very well considering that you used solid blocks of single value. Try painting with "Other dynamics" turned on in your brush settings. This way you will have different opacities in one stroke (according to the pressure of your pen) and it will help in blending values.
Keep it up.
November 1st, 2007 #29
Farvus - Thank you so much for that tip about other dynamics!! It's been a huge huge help not just for myself but at work too.
Bhrazz - Ok, I used colour in this one. I hate it. I tried all kinds of ways to draw with colour and this was (believe or not) the least bad. I was going for an abstracted approach, to look like paper cutouts, but I don't think it worked. The hair and the clothes look ok but something is really screwy with the face!
It didn't help that my computer is right next to the window and I don't have good drapes, so I couldn't see my monitor half the time. Oh well...
But it's done for Nov. 1!
I will try painting for real, with the 'other dynamics' setting, next time. Sure wish I could watch you guys draw / paint in real life... tutorials sometimes just don't cut it.
November 2nd, 2007 #30