Hey, this is actually my first time in the mentor board (I'm pretty new to conceptart.org in general). This is the first thread I stumbled upon. The introduction you have is superb. I'm generally new to the writing scene (only been "seriously" drawing the past couple of months. I've greatly improved by drawing skill from that of an eight year old to about a twelve year old (and I'm 16...). I can vouch that it is difficult to get started. Often times at night, I'm tempted to look away from my sketchbook or tablet and go straight to the computer games; shunning out the thought of seeing my poor writing ability and frustration of not being able to shade worth a damn. All I can say is persistence. For me, whenever I feel these bad thoughts being triggered by the wanting to draw, I instantly force myself to be optimistic and positive about it. I think "This is what I want to do for a living, and with patience and time I will be able to draw the way I want."
If you spend any amount of time drawing a day, that's just that much more you've improved. You will always learn something drawing no matter how little you do it, be it on the conscious or sub-conscious level - just do it. It also reinforces what you've already learned. My dad told me once concerning guitar: For every day you're not playing guitar, you lose two hours worth of learning. But if you just play for a half hour a day, you'll retain everything you have learned and learn more. Obviously, this carries over to drawing (as well as writing, as I have the same problem with writing stories). The half hour a day thing is irrelevant as really anytime would suffice; but of course, the more the better. These are the approaches I follow.
while I have no pen (in the whole apartment, I believe), I just used a pencil, and it was a great exercise. I wasn't planning to draw, furthermore upload what I did... But I figured I'd contribute a little. Did not do everything obviously, I just drew what I wanted for a little bit.
here are some of the hatching exercises, i´m still having trouble organizing my values, and also understanding lesson 3, not sure if i got it right. Also having hard time analysing my work. i´ll post more heads later.
arkos78 post #12 (above) Excellent work. Nice job with the shapes. Take a little more time when you're hatching--how fast you move the pen can affect your line quality.
post #15 (above) image 1.
in the bottom head, notice how much darker the eyes look than everything else in the picture. this is a problem in value organization. My guess is that you were concentrating on getting the likeness of the eyes more than anything else. Also notice how much work it would take to hatch everything darker on his head--thousands and thousands of lines. Also notice how hard it is to fill in a large area evenly. And finally, notice what happens if you use too few lines--it looks too much like a stripey-pattern. image 2
very nicely done. I think a few of the outlines are a little heavy in some places but this is good. image3
here, i think the problems are mostly drawing and not pen and ink specifically. When you draw the whites of the eyes, they are never as bright or as white as you might think. if you look closely at most photographs, you can even see a shadow on them from the upper lid and eyelashes. Also, you're using too much outline on these and not enough form-thinking. Finally, be very careful about what kind of outline you use for the eyebrows. try to use a broken (dashed) line more than a hard edge.
(Don't worry about this stuff too much, we'll talk about head drawing in an upcoming lesson) image4
here is the opposite problem from going too dark--going too light. The most impossible thing to do with a pen is to get an even, light gray over a large area. notice what happens when the spaces between your hatching lines are much, much bigger than the spaces--the hatching looks less like a tone and more like stripes or pattern. this is fine for some things, but i don't think it's what you're intending to do here. image5
remember what i said a few lines before. the whites of eyes are never completely white. (unless you're trying to go for a "surprised" look in certain conditions)
***Keep practicing these eye studies though. for right now, i would work on trying to draw the entire eye socket using one complex shape (with a hole or two cut out of it). When you get the hang of grouping things correctly, a lot of your value mistakes will clear up because you will have your values automatically grouped correctly. look at post #285 in my sketchbook thread and try copying it a few times. (my drawing was sloppy and messier than what you should aim for though)
post#19 Nice. But here you can really see the value "jump" i was talking about. look at how much darker his eyes are than everything else in the picture. it's good for having a focus in the picture because the viewer will immediately look at his eyes, but it's bad because there's nothing else in the picture to balance it out. (the contrast is so intense that it's hard to get the viewer to look at any of the other parts of the picture) It looks like you did a good job at getting a likeness though, which is important in doing pictures of people you know well. (artists beat themselves up when they mess up the likeness of someone they know, but they're easier on themselves when they do random, anonymous model drawings)
we haven't talked about it yet, but the bird-body is a perfect opportunity to use pen for texture. instead of using a random pattern, you could easily use some kind of cleverly designed feather-shaped hatching pattern.
But i think you see one of the big disadvantages of pen and ink. doing a large drawing can take an eternity. that is why it is all the more important to get a lot of experience on a small scale first. There are strategies for doing larger pen and ink drawings, but we can talk about them later. For right now, I definitely would not recommend drawing a head bigger than 5" in pen and ink--at least not with that pen.
I'm skipping feedback on the last post for right now. not enough time at the moment.
HunterKiller, Sigit, Dman, Lennybird
I'll try to tackle feedback one-by-one for you guys next. Still, you should look at what I've written for arkos78 here and re-examine your own drawings. Take every opportunity to learn from each other's work.
it's 1am and i've gotta get to work early tomorrow....
thanx for your critics, they have really helped me to see things i hadn´t notice before, well some i did but only after your painful lessons.
Your right about taking more time to do the hatching, sometimes i just loose my patience and want to finish it as fast a possible... big mistake eh! gotta work on some yoga or some other self control activity like boxing
That friend piece i did it took me an eternity, almost 7 hours of hatching were invested there, the extreme dark in the eyes was a product of overdoing my drawing, i should have stop 1 hour before or so, saw more balanced before that, but at least i learned a lot about hatching on larger areas that day i also was very happy that i actually nailed his likeness.
looking forward for some more crits...
thanks arkos. But I think my line still shaky and not smooth enough.
ccsear' will probably have the answer. The way I do it is have the side of my hand planted firmly on the page; make sure the ink is dry underneath though! I use the natural curve of turn of my wrist to make my lines; from left to right with a right hand, just so that I can see the line I made while I make it. Also I hold my pen like I sketch, with the tube inbetween the forefinger and the middle finger; this allows my brain to turn off the logical side of writing and turns on the artistic side of drawing, but more important is it feels natural.
ccsears could I post my results? I do not known if you have mentees or just helping anyone who joins in.
Sorry about not keeping up guys, but work is very busy right now.
Rist Feel free to post your results here.
Arkos78 Sure, turn the paper if you need to. Do whatever's natural. When you learned to write in kindergarten or whatever, they didn't force you to keep your paper perpendicular to the sides of the table, did they?
Sigit If you're drawing the same size I suggested, your work is shaky because you're hitting the physical limit of your ability to hatch. This is very important to understand... when you are drawing construction lines, large rhythms, or anything that is using line as an outline or a shape, use whatever part of your body comes naturally. that generally means you move your elbow shoulder and wrist to make a big line, and your wrist and fingers to make a short line. BUT when you are hatching you more or less need to keep your wrist still on the paper and use your fingers to draw many repeating parallel lines. the physical limit of your ability to do this is somewhere between 1.5 to 2 cm (0.5 to 1.0 inches).
think of it this way... it is difficult to draw a 10" long straight line. it will be next to f'ing impossible for you to get 50 straight lines and maintain an even space in between them so you can use them as hatching.
therefore, it is incredibly important that you come up with a strategy for covering a large shape with an even tone. This is very difficult, but there are many strategies you can choose from. If you are not using ballpoint pen, you need to realize that you will be hatching in small patches roughly 3/4 inch big. you can choose to make these patches follow the contours and planes of the form, you can choose a random pattern (like i did in most of these exercises) or you can choose to keep them as parallel as possible. But you need to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the strategy you choose, and adapt to them.
In Sigit's last post, you see a very parallel type approach--different than what I chose to do in many of the beginning exercises. When you use this approach, be very careful with the beginnings and endings of your lines--if they cross other hatching lines you've already laid down, they may inadvertantly cause dark splotches to creep into your work. the bottom line is to use your own eyes and see if the overall tone is even. if you think it is splocthy or irregular, then you need to adjust your technique or strategy.
To do that, turning your paper may be necessary. BUT, i suggest turning your paper for hatching only--AFTER you've done your correct line drawing.
please notice what i said on Sigit's value scale. when you go towards the light side of the scale, it starts to look more like stripes and less like an even tone. when the gap between your line is 20 times the thickness of your line, YOU CAN NOT USE THAT LINE IN THAT SITUATION TO MEAN TONE. it will automatically read as OUTLINE or DETAIL.
that is the underlying reason pen and ink work is difficult. either you learn to leave certain areas blank, or you learn that your lightest tone (besides blank paper) is somewhere around 50% black line and 50% white gap. THIS IS SUPER IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND AND IT AFFECTS EVERYTHING YOU WANT TO HATCH. if you don't understand this point, please ask me a question here before we go on to new exercises.