Let me explain the rationale and define the purpose of this thread.
The long story (Skip below for the short version):
Once upon a time, on the Megatokyo forums, Kristen Perry aka Merekat, decided to host a character development class in which artist would go through nine weeks of intensive character development. Hundreds signed up. Kristen Perry, who has to be one of the nicest people on the planet, actually accepted the first hundred. Each user that completed the given assignment of the week received grades and actual critique from Merekat herself.
When the class started, a kind user, known as danthr, posted a thread ambiguously titled, "The Rogue Thread." This was a place where people who could no longer participate in the original project could work along with them. This thread was eventually sabotaged by a malevolent artist, but the criminal was destroyed by Merekat's awesome mod powers and the rogue thread was reposted and stickied. At the end of the official Character Developement class, only a dozen finished, but the Rogue thread survives to this very day.
The Short Version: This is done in the spirit of the Rogue Thread on the Megatokyo forums. The idea is to have a place where everyone can do the work of the mentor threads without actually having a mentor. I'll see if I can post the assignments here. If I do, I'll update the list of assignments when I feel like it. I like the idea of critique being part of your grade, as was done in the megatokyo forums. I don't have the energy to enforce this, but if you participate in the thread and don't give critique, you are officially a horrible person.
I'm posting the assignments now. I'm skipping all the warm, fuzzy "getting to know you" crap. Post it somewhere else (perhaps the searching for a mentor thread?) if you want to. I'm deleting a lot of other stuff from their posts too, If this bothers any mentors, I will change it.
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _
4. draw a portrait on paper from reference, and post the reference as well. don't spend more than 90 minutes on it. you can spend less time but not more please! reference should be high resolution, well lit, no over/under exposure, no wonky wide-angle stuff, and preferably color. why should color matter in a black and white drawing? well it does but i'll get into that later. approach this how you would approach any drawing. it's basically a baseline with which i'll compare and measure your performance. this way i am accountable somewhat. scan and post the finished drawing and reference in an adequate resolution, say about 800 px tall or wide.
5. feel free to comment on other people's homework in their respective threads, so long as your own work is done!
1. do a finished work in the style, format, medium, subject, ref or no ref, etc. representative of what you want to do as an artist. this will be your 'personal work', outside of academic interests. no time limit, no restrictions. just do your best.
remember to label the post containing your homework with 'week2 homework' in bold.
p.s. for the people on the more noobular scale this might be difficult since you are probably in a 'i need to learn to draw first before i do cool stuff' mode. the best advice i got on this topic was from a teacher who said 'you should never wait, never ask for permission' to do the things that interest you. remember the academic stuff is really the easier part. creative decision making is where the real work is and that part will never get better unless you do that stuff!
UPDATE: OCT 1
2. also do a 30 min portrait. parameters much like the first weeks.
3. also please post all homework in the following format: (also repost 1st weeks homework in this format if you want it critted)
make ref and drawing fit in 1280x800 pixels, as that's going to be the video crit size. put the ref on the left and the drawing on the right. if there is no ref for that week's homework then obviously you don't need to worry about that. put your name on the bottom in 18 point Ariel 50% grey.
here's an example:
this assignment is a gut check basically. this is your chance to impress me with a lot of hard work.
#1. finish all previous assignments if not done already in the proper format. (a digital painting for a traditional drawing assignment is not the proper format :/)
if and only if the previous homework is done:
#2a. decide on something you want to improve on (it can be anything you feel strongly about). do at least two good, thorough, finished as best you can studies. if you want to improve on your anatomy maybe it's anatomy copies, or master copies, or something totally different.
#2b. state how what you are doing, why you're doing it, and why you think it will be an effective way of learning/improving.
#2c. post any extra research or supplementary work/images/etc.
#2d. if you have lots of stuff in the end, specify which TWO items you want critiqued.
#2e. again, in terms of the amount of work expected... do what you would consider to be a 'lot', what you would consider to be a 'big effort'.
#2f. feel free to post in-progress things, questions about your approach in your respective threads. i'll guide people as best as i can.
ASSIGNMENT: Get an animal anatomy book and do some studies of skeletons! Make sure it is about animal anatomy, not "how to draw animals." There is a difference. Please stick to bones and skeletons. Muscles will wait, for now.
Here are some books to point you in the right direction. Probably any library you go to will have at least one of these. Most of these books focus on the horse, dog, lion, and cow far more than any other type of animal. That is good enough for us now, but when you want to learn about other types of animals it can get annoying.
Gottfried Bammes, The Artist's Guide to Animal Anatomy. This is a very good book. The illustrations are clean, clear, and simple. Bammes is a master at seeing and depicting planes. He treats animal structure like an engineer, and has some very useful information if you bother to read the text as well as look at the pictures. Cons: A bit of horse worship going on here. The section on the hind leg is almost exclusively about the horse. Other sections, though, give the other animals a more fair treatment.
W. Ellennberger and Dittrich H. Baum, An Atlas of Animal Anatomy- The illustrations here are exhaustive and extremely detailed, to a fault. This book can be somewhat overwhelming, because the anatomical plates are not simplified or artistified in the least. You will have to do your own simplifying when studying these images, which can be very difficult if you're just beginning to learn about animal anatomy. Also, there is no text except to name the bones and muscles. A very good reference book, but not really a how-to for beginners. Worth checking out, anyway.
Yvonne Francoise Jossic, Anatomy of Animals- The same illustrations as the previous book, only smaller and not labeled (WTF??).
W. Frank Calderon, Animal Painting and Anatomy- An older but still very good book. The illustrations are very nice, clear little pencil drawings. The way he draws the bones has a way of clarifying things for me more than other books do. I highly recommend this one, if you can get it.
Eliot Goldfinger, Animal Anatomy for Artists: The Elements of Form- This is an excellent book, though I'd recommend it more for learning muscle anatomy than skeletal anatomy. It should be adequate, though. It is probably the most complete animal anatomy book out there, at least when it comes to musculature. Highly recommended.
That's all I have. If you can't find these books but the library or bookstore has other books, assess the quality of the book before getting it. Are the illustrations good, or amateurish? Are things drawn many times, from many angles, or just once? In short, I recommend getting only good, complete books, if at all possible. If, for some reason, you can't get your hands on a book, message me and I will email you some images. These images are scanned from some of the above books and probably copyrighted, so I want to send them out only as a last resort.
So, grab some books, do some studies, and post what you draw, and the critiquing will commence!
Mike Corriero, feel free to add some more books, if you have any to recommend.
Oh yeah, about searching for references to study on the internet: I find that any images I can find on the internet are of a much lower quality than those in books. If you can find good, clear images, though, by all means do some studies!
I suggest that you do multiple studies of the pelvis from several angles. I'll post some animal anatomy book reviews to help you.
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ______
I want you to do 3 Self portraits. Read the following, and DO THEM IN ORDER!!
For this exercise, I want you to sit in a dark room with 1 lightsource, make sure you are not near any walls or light colored objects that will reflect onto your skin. It doesn't matter how you place the light. Once you have it in a secure position, I want you to draw only the lines between shadow and light. You can do construction lines, but don't draw the outline of the head dark or boldly.
The point of this exercise is for you to observe the form of your face. The dips and bumps and curves. It isn't about knowing YOUR FACE, it's about being able to read form well. Unless you feel like drawing sharpie lines down your face, this is a pretty good way to practice seeing form. Do not shade the areas in shadow, I want only a line drawing.
Self-Portrait#2: Blind Contour
If you have ever had an art class, chances are you know what this is. However, read on. Most art teachers have learned the technique itself from their teachers or other good or accomplished artists. HERE IS THE PROBLEM: So often, the purpose behind this exercise is implied that you want to draw your face as accurately as possible without looking at the paper. THIS IS FALSE! It does VERY little to help you get better at ANYTHING art related. In fact it doesn't even help hand-eye coordination as much as you think.
The REAL purpose of this activity is to help you concentrate and focus on seeing form and planes and their movement. Do NOT FOCUS ON YOUR HAND! That is not the point. ALL of your energy should be put toward your eyes; just keep your hand on the paper. You can do this in any lighting situation;
Here is the catch: I want you to MOVE YOUR HEAD slowly while drawing. Remember, it ISN'T ABOUT YOUR HAND, it ISN'T ABOUT HOW THE DRAWING LOOKS! This is a practice for your BRAIN, not your eyes!!! Remember, focus on FORM! Break the face into imaginary planes and draw along the creases of those planes. If you did it properly, you should end up with a large mass of lines, and that's it. Also, DO NOT PICK UP YOUR HAND WHILE DOING THIS EXERCISE!!
This one is going to be tricky; It's a basic self portrait. However, I want you to do this; Spend ONE HOUR drawing ONLY the lines, and make sure they are accurate. SPEND 1 HOUR, there is always something to correct. Do not say "good enough!" Spend an HOUR! After that First hour, I want you to scan it and post it up. The next 20-30 minutes, I want you to draw the lines of where the most shadow and the most light meet, alot like #1. Remember to follow the forms! Then, after that, I want you to draw lines between the mid-shadows and the dark shadows, and the mid-lights and the highlights. Draw these lines lightly. THEN, I want you to shade each area FLATLY! When you are done, you should have 4 Very even values. Dark, Medium Dark, Mid-gray, and light gray. Do not leave the eyes out either! I want them rendered as well. This will get you started on value.
Go get The Complete guide to Drawing from Life, by George Bridgeman. The paper back costs 17 bucks and it's a HUGE book and will serve you for years to come. Post in this thread once you get the book.
Working in black and white you will do 10 environment thumbnails. These are composition sketches, you will focus on capturing the viewers attention. Doing thumbs you will focus on shapes and how they control the eye and doing so in black and white you will focus on how value does the same. It is my hope that this will help you form the "strong and simple process of doing environments, and a general, critical, thought process" you are after as well as more complex compositions (everything starts basic) as well as value composing and color composing (value is the most important part of color).
I would like to see:
a variety of canvas sizes, both portrait and landscape.
a variety of environments.
in at least 4 I want to see you place a simple silhouette figure.
Notes about your thoughts are REQUIRED.(Is there anything that is troubling you? Did you make any breakthroughs? Any questions?) Taking notes will not only help you learn, but will help me help you learn
1. Identify your two strongest thumbnails. Analyze why they are your strongest.
2. Identify your two weakest thumbnails. Analyze why they are your weakest.
I have to rework Idiot Apathy's because of his sneaky ways.
Rework your strongest and weakest composition into a full black and white sketch. Do the same for a fellow ninja's thumbnails, or, go over to Idiot Apathy's thread and rework Ben and/or Franks strongest and weakest composition.
Now... GO FORTH MY NINJAS!
EDIT: Posted Steve Kim's suff. Chiecking formatting.
Last edited by Zaxser; October 16th, 2007 at 12:07 AM. Reason: Add Stuff
Steve Kim Assignment 1.4
I am still my scanners bitch. Still, it's been a long time since I've done studies from photo reference. Forgot how useful it could be.
By the way, maybe I wasn't clear before, but every one is allowed to post their work in this thread, as long as it is an assignment given by a mentor. Repeat: EVERY ONE, FEEL FREE TO POST YOUR ASSIGNMENTS IN THIS THREAD.
Great idea man, keep at it!
one question though, ..who is that girl and where can I get some moar!
"Be who you are and say what you feel,because those that mind don't matter and those that matter don't mind."-Dr. Seuss
She's a J Idol from the photo collection "Hot Bust." I forget her name, but I found her on Model Project before the site was taken down for construction. There are 34 pictures of her in that collection alone. If you want the pics, just drop me an email.
By the way, I'm working on Justin's asignment, but it's taking me forever to finish the last one.
Seemed too easy. Did two.
These seemed a little to easy. I think I go too fast, so I did three just to make sure I got it right.
Upside Down. Forgot to flip in Gimp.
Tried to make as gradientless as possible. I still think you can see the hatching gradient. I would have filled the shirt in black, but it would have taken forever and I don't think that was the point of the exercise. Also, the hour for the line work includes four different starts that I ended up giving up on and starting over. I'll post them if you want me to.
EDIT: Isn't anybody else doing the mentor's homework? I feel so lonely...
Last edited by Zaxser; October 21st, 2007 at 01:22 AM.
zaxster and who ever else is following the zinja thread, I am moving it to the Sketchbook forum
feel free to follow the lessons
To see the world in a grain of sand, and a heaven in a wildflower, hold infinity in the palm of your hand, and eternity in an hour.