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  1. #1
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    The Nezumi Works Sketchbook (Can I take it to the Bridge, man?)

    Well, I've been lurking for a few weeks now, so I might as well do something a bit more concrete and start a sketchbook. All the cool kids are jumping off that bridge, so I'd better hop to it.

    Not much background to share, really. Been drawing for just shy of two years (my "anniversary" of picking up the pencil is next month, actually), and my preference is real media. I've had no luck at all drawing with a mouse, and i've never so much as seen a tablet in use let alone used one. I have a longstanding love for black and white, having spent entirely too much time reading independent comics in the early 90's.

    In any case, I'm finding myself more and more drawn to getting serious with my art. I had a short-lived webcomic that I might want to get back to someday, and I've done some work that's probably not bad although hardly up to the standards here. What I've been lacking in though, has been a really solid grounding in the basics. Which leads me here, haunting the forums to soak up knowledge and inspiration.

    As to current efforts, I've been going though Burne Hogarth's Dynamic Figure Drawing book, as well as picking away at the courses over at Wet Canvas. I've also been studying Seedling's great perspective tutorial here, and playing with three dimensional forms more. I've signed up for a life drawing class that starts at the end of April at the local art school, and I'm hoping to get myself enough grounding between now and then to really get as much as I can out of it.

    Ignore the thumb, start with the next post for actual work in order.

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  3. #2
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    One of the things I really need to work on is shading and three dimensional forms. Nothing like going to the basics to really make you realize just how much you suck at the basics. Only one way to fix it, though, so off we go!

    One of the little assignments of the art lessons I'm picking away at is drawing a set of spheres using only lines and the most basic of tools: 2B pencil, eraser and paper, in this case newsprint. These are the first four of those, not sure if I'll post all of them, but it's a start. Not so bad in terms of improvement from the first one, which was way too tentative and light to be really worth anything. All four use the same point on the upper right of the paper as the light source, although depth of the light source from the viewer and horizon line varies from piece to piece. I've got a lot more I want to do with these, especially as i get more comfortable working with them.

    Again, comments, suggestions and such are welcome.

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  4. #3
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    And more:

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  5. #4
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    Hand studies this time. I haven't got a lot of experience drawing hands, and I've always been very bad at them. But these didn't turn out so bad. Now to do it about a million more times...

    Oh, primarily from imagination, with some reference off my own hands. 2B pencil on newsprint.

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    "Skill is the result of trying again and again, applying our ability and proving our knowledge as we gain it. Let us get used to throwing away the unsuccessful effort and doing the job over. Let us consider obstacles as something to be expected in any endeavor; then they won't seem quite so insurmountable or so defeating." - Andrew Loomis
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  6. #5
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    Keep going on these studies. Get an egg or something and draw it in different lighting.

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    Aye, keep going. Your sense of light isn't bad at all, but I like the first bunch of spheres more than the second.

    With your hand studies, try to get the whole hand in the page whenever you can, it helps when you come to think of proportions.

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  8. #7
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    Thanks very much. As to the egg, I was looking at a marble egg that my roommate has (the sort they used to use for darning socks) but it was too shiny to really get a good feel for the light. What i'd really prefer would be something more spherical, and I've been looking around for something appropriate.

    Good advice on the hands. I ended up drawing a lot larger than I'd originally intended there, I'm still getting used to holding the pencil differently when I'm blocking in initial shapes so the actions are fairly sweeping. I'm going to try to get that more under control from here on.

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    "Skill is the result of trying again and again, applying our ability and proving our knowledge as we gain it. Let us get used to throwing away the unsuccessful effort and doing the job over. Let us consider obstacles as something to be expected in any endeavor; then they won't seem quite so insurmountable or so defeating." - Andrew Loomis
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    You have a nice sense of lighting, I liked the first set of spheres better than the second though.
    The hands look good, but as Smokey186 said, try to get the whole hand to get a better sense of proportion.
    Keep it up.

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  10. #9
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    That first set of spheres seems to be pretty popular. Now I just need to see what I did right there, and develop that more. Thanks for mentioning it.

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    I think its because in the second one you've exagerated a bit on the black, losing the gradient that you had in the 1st one. Also, in the second one the shadows are too big and dark.
    But that may be just me.

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  12. #11
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    Hmm, very good point. I was a bit concerned about that as well. I started with the darkest bits and tried to blend back to the lighter, but that wasn't such a good approach in the end. Next set, I'll try more for an overall and work up to the darks.

    Hmm...maybe a few value bars wouldn't be a bad thought either.

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    "Skill is the result of trying again and again, applying our ability and proving our knowledge as we gain it. Let us get used to throwing away the unsuccessful effort and doing the job over. Let us consider obstacles as something to be expected in any endeavor; then they won't seem quite so insurmountable or so defeating." - Andrew Loomis
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  13. #12
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    More hands tonight, first was a page unto itself, prompted largely by my friend saying she wanted to see what I could do with a little more attention to shading. The second was to try to get myself used to drawing a bit smaller so I could get everything on the page as suggested.

    Lots of things I need to work on, especially where fingernails are concerned. Comments welcome, of course, maybe you'll see something I didn't.

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    Keep on practicing. I should follow your example and drawing my own hands more often.

    You might want to check Bridgmans Book of a Hundred Hands. It doesn't replace drawing hands from life, but Bridgman has a nice way of laying out shapes and forms that really makes them easier to understand.

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    Just keep on practicing, you might want to check the Andrew Loomis book, "drawing the head and hand", it has some cool stuff on drawing hands.

    Try to do the hands a bit smaller so more of them can fit in the same page and you can get a better overall image.

    Keep it up.

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    More spheres, trying different things with the cast shadows, trying to figure out more about direction of light, trying to get a more three dimensional look, plus more subtle shadows. Trying to avoid that whole exaggerated terminator effect I had on the last set and going with a lighter touch.

    Still working with solely 2B pencil on newsprint.

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    It looks a bit too scratchy, maybe you should try using more the side of the pencil and less the tip, but the drawings are a bit less "agressive", more smooth.
    Keep it up.

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  18. #17
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    Oh, that's intentional. The exercise that prompted me to work on spheres in the first place demands 20 spheres drawn only with lines, not with shading. Once I get these 20 done (probably tonight), I might do another set with the side of the pencil, and perhaps a stump in order to get a nice effect.

    Aside from that, one thing I really want to do is work with ink, so becoming comfortable with lines is a must.

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    i like your studies, especially shading cause i'm too afraid of studying shading yet keep it up.

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    Well, this is a really good way to learn shading without being afraid. After all, if you mess it up, what have you lost? A circle, nothing much. I'd recommend it, I'm learning quite a lot.

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  22. #20
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    Okay, here's the next set, bringing me up to 20. I really should do another set of 20, concentrating on shading this time instead of lines and really get an idea how the light works. I'm getting there, but there's work to be done still. A lot of work.

    2B pencil, newsprint, and a scanner to make it look crappier.

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    balls hands balls and more balls i admire your balls keep up the foundation work!

    Just draw your ass off. Whatever you do, don't -- stop -- drawing...


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    Keep going! They are getting better and better!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maerrick View Post
    balls hands balls and more balls i admire your balls keep up the foundation work!
    Haha, I really should do more hands, just to shake things up. Or feet or ears or something.

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  26. #24
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    Well, here's the latest page of sketches, and I guess I'm entering "warts and all" territory with the top left. Don't ask what that was all about, I don't even know, but I do know that I'm finding it very difficult to scale myself down to making smaller, simpler sketches when doing hands. I got so damn frustrated the other night when I tried to do it and failed at every turn, it's just pathetic. the one on the right turned out better, I think.

    On the other hand I'm pretty proud of the pile of balls on the lower left. Not the least because it was drawn in three-point perspective, which is surprisingly helpful, although I need more practice to really get things to come together better. Also, unlike my other balls, these were blended with a stump, which seems to have had a good effect.

    2B pencil on newsprint

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  27. #25
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    Okay, these are way better. Taking a few cues from Loomis for the ones on the right (the top is based on one of his examples). The other two are more or less off of my own hand. Foreshortening isn't necessarily as "there" as it should be on the bottom, but it's a start.

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    "Skill is the result of trying again and again, applying our ability and proving our knowledge as we gain it. Let us get used to throwing away the unsuccessful effort and doing the job over. Let us consider obstacles as something to be expected in any endeavor; then they won't seem quite so insurmountable or so defeating." - Andrew Loomis
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    those hands are good. it's really good to place down those most basic shapes like the squares and rectangles that you did on that last one to give you some direction, plus i find something really appealing about that one very boxy squareish hand in the bottom right on your latest one. don't be afraid to experiment.

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  29. #27
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    Whew, been a few days. I got a bit stuck, deciding to go back to the assignment from the online course I've been picking at. Now that I've learned a bit about form, how light works, and perspective, it was time to challenge myself and see how far I've come in the past couple of weeks.

    So at the start of the course, I had to do a drawing of something that intimidated me. Something that I felt enough above my level that I'd be able to see a significant difference as I progressed. Well, this was my choice. Complex subject, prespective, inorganic forms, light play, water, yuck. All tough stuff.

    My initial attempt can be found here. Both that and today's attempt, below, are done entirely freehand, using only HB pencil and eraser on standard sketchbook paper. The one below is done using only lines, no smudging or other sorts of shading.

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    I'll be returning to this image again, but for now I'm going to continue working on other studies, to develop myself before I try again. Hopefully I'll be able to stick with it, and see other attempts.

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  30. #28
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    I think you need to relax, and have fun with your art. Right now it seems as if you are taking a robotic approach to drawing, and I don't think that suits you.

    Try to hang loose, and just have fun with it. If something goes wrong, so what? It's just a piece of dumbass paper, and I trust you have plenty more. The important thing is to get the idea down, no matter how good or bad you think it looks. Then, you can always come back to it later.

    However, if you really are stuck in the domo-arigato approach for now, why not do some perspective studies? Here's a great resource on the forums for such a thing - http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=108180

    Relax! Enjoy your art!

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    The problem is, I've been doing the "hang loose" approach for two years now, and getting nowhere with it because I don't have any kind of grounding in the basics. Without a foundation I've got no visual language to work from, so I hit a wall very quickly. Which is why I'm working on foundation work right now, so I can go fast and loose down the road without ending up trying to build on nothing. If I don't do that, it doesn't matter if I come back to something later, I still can't do anything with a piece because I don't have the grounding to know what to do with it.

    I'll be honest, I have no idea what you're talking about with "domo-arigato" approach, but I've already gone through Seedling's tutorial and gotten some basic idea of perspective, and in fact applied some of it to at least two of the pieces above. My plan was to go back to perspective next in any case, so it works out.

    Thanks for the comment, although I don't know it it's actually all that applicable here.

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    There is a method of shading that I was taught that does not use smudging, yet it is very smooth and transitional. Keeping a very sharp point on your pencil at all times, layer your darks and glaze over the whole thing as you go to fill in. I know there is an example here on CA. I just can't remember what threads off the top of my head. It looks like you are pressing really hard with a dull pencil. That is fine, if that is the result you are looking for. I don't want to assume you are trying to get the affect I am talking about. If you are interested, I can hunt down some info on this and post back.

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