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This is my first post here, and I'm just beginning.
I'm going through the book "The Complete Book of Drawing" by Barrington Barber, at least until I get into more complicated areas, then I'll branch out. For now, all I really need is this book, so don't expect anything too challenging from me. For now, I'll be posting mainly practicing different things like eye-hand coordination and shading for 3-D objects. If I post something else up here, like an actual drawing, I'll welcome crits, but keep in mind that I won't be using the crits until I actually get to that level of drawing in actual practice; things I draw right now that aren't practice are just things that come to mind at the time, not necessarily practice to me, though I understand they fall under "Practice" in a broad sense.
Right now, I'm good for about thirty minutes to an hour of drawing at a time; after that, I start losing focus, unless it's an atempt at drawing something that's got me "inspired."
Sorry for the size of this first one. *sigh* But you can see it's a practice page of hand-eye coordination and shading. I'll be working on this for a bit and try to figure out how to really get this down to a more managable size.
Last edited by AShelton; July 17th, 2008 at 11:43 PM. Reason: need to apologize for the size
Thanks for the encouragement and welcome!
Thanks for the welcome and encouragement, Jeff.
Be sure to slow down and take your time, try to actually watch what you're doing while you're looking at it in your head before you transfer those movements to your hand. If they don't look as good on paper as they did in your mind, try it again. :]
Welcome to CA. Keep it comin', dude.
Thanks, Ian. I have to say, though, I disagree with your broccoli statement, though.
I did it for my own comparison, HN. I wanted to know if I could see any progress between them. Besides, I'm just anal-retentive that way.
The forms are looking good. Would suggest slowing down, though, and really thinking about your lines and shading.
Sketches: When Darkness Falls
Thanks, Snitch. I'll be sure and slow down.
Hopefully, this will come out to fit the screen, not extend past it. I hate having to scroll side-to-side myself, so that first post of mine bugs the crap out of me.
This time, I was a little neater. I spent more time concentrating on each image I drew. A friend (who is not an artist) pointed out to me that I should try blending the shading, and I like the effect better; it looks more natrual. I numbered them once again, but that's mostly for my benefit.
I do notice that I need to work on my cubes more; they're all messy in the lines. I think the best is #1.
On the spheres, I noticed some improvement; I think the best would have been #4, except for the two big fingerprint-like blotches in the darkest area; I could not get those to blend adequately. I had the most trouble on #2, because of its size. #5 looks to be the worst, and after doing it, I went on to practicing hand-eye coordination exercises after that, as you can see.
With the hand-eye coorodination, I'm doing passably--in some rare cases. The first #1 is almost perfect, but it's small. I did a slightly larger version of it on the right side of the page, above Spiral #2, and it didn't turn out as well; I'll be practicing that more later on today. On the first Left-to-Right diagonal square, I made a rectangle. Not as bad as the second Right-to-Left diagonal, but not as good as the second Left-to-Right diagonal--and even that could use more work. As you can see, I don't erase my hand-eye coordination exercises; I need to keep a record of my mistakes so I can improve upon them. I also need to improve on my horizontal and vertical line-squares.
I did, I think, better on the first spiral than the second. Mind you, I'm holding the mechanical pencil like a pen, drawing on my desk; I don't have the money for an easel or all the proper drawing equipment, so I'm drawing with what I've got here. The spiral's spaces get wider the same time I raise my arm off the desk to move the pencil in wider circles, which is also probably why my spiral is more elliptical than circular. On the second spiral, I started with my arm not on my desk, and managed to stay pretty consistent near the center, then things got wonky toward the outer edge.
As for the stars, both could use some improvement, but I think I did slightly better on the first one.
In all, I'm pretty pleased with my spheres. I recognize that I need a lot more work on them--and the cubes, too--but I took my time with them. I spent an average of ten minutes on each sphere, an average of seven with each cube, and I rubbed the shading with tissue. I'll practice more on the hand-eye coordination exercises later and probably post that page, too.
Improving already. Always a good sign. I'd suggest letting the lines flow, too. Seems like you're too rigid. And if you want to prop the drawing pad up, use a tray or a chopping board or similar leaned against the wall, or some other immovable object.
Sketches: When Darkness Falls
LOL Snitch, if I let my wrist control things, I'd leave lines like those on an EKG reading when the heart's erratic. It'll take me some time to learn how to relax and still draw. Thanks for the prop advice; I'll have to find something, but I have no idea what right now. (no trays or large enough chopping board)
And, in this one, you get to see that I'm still at the outline-and-color stage, when I add color. I must have gotten the suckiest package of colored pencils, because they just wouldn't color dark enough. I got cramps from pressing down with them. Now I know why I hadn't used them in so long.
As for the skill . . . yeah. It sucks. I know this, but the idea came to me in two parts; the mirror comes from a dream I had, and the monster behind the glass . . . well, I always wondered what would have happened to Snow White's stepmother if she'd asked the wrong question of the mirror. I really wanted to be more gruesome, but I don't think I've got that skill; this is definitely one I'll be reworking once I have it.
Feel free to crit. This being a definite work-in-progress means I have a lot of room for improvement, and I know it and look forward to your comments.
Once again, this page will exceed the width of the screen. I'm really sorry about this, but this is as shrunken as I can get the page wihtout cutting half my work into pieces. Believe me, this problem bothers me much more than it bothers you, as I make a habit of avoiding sites where I have to scroll across horizontally. It's a pet peeve of mine, and I'm forces to subject myself -- and everyone here -- to it. It does not make me happy at all.
Well, looking at my work I can point out my favorites and my worsts. I think I did maybe one vertical-line square(5) satisfactorily, and my "best" cube(6) has a curvy shadow.
It's a tie for best horizontal-line square--almost. 3 has second place, but I think 6 is the best. As for my diagonal r-l line squares, I'd say 2 is probably the best, despite the curvy edge it has. I was too inconsistent on 1 and 3, the latter of which looks more like a rectangle. In l-r line squares, 3 would have to be the best right after 2. I wasn't paying attention on 1 and 4, and they both look like it.
My favorites are Cube 3, Vertial-line square 5, and horizontal-line square 6. As for my squares? I just wasn't focused and I think I've subconsciously (or maybe consciously) labelled them as "boring." I think that mentality followed me into some of my cubes, even the teeny-tiny cube 7.
Last edited by AShelton; July 18th, 2008 at 07:31 PM. Reason: Need to ad pic.
Hi, here are a few resources for you:
Andrew loomis books, start with succesfull drawing since there it explains how to light spheres and boxes correctly: www.fineart.sk
Some software to maake those pictures smaller (google them), please do so:
Good luck!, keep it up!.
Last edited by Christian223; July 18th, 2008 at 08:25 PM. Reason: oops
Thanks, Christian. I appreciate the advice and will follow it as soon as possible.
Your shading's improving already! Keep it up! Repetition is the key, as people have already said--well they're proving my point on repetition aren't they? It's a good thing. If you're worried about the width, but want to keep the size of your drawings constant, try cropping your scanned paper in two or three halves and giving each half its own file name, then upload. But you could reduce the image size too and we wouldn't lose any detail with these exercises.
Thanks, Mari. I intend to keep up with the practice. Expect to see at least one practice sheet each day.
I think I'm geting better on my straight lines; I have to do a page of 'em, though, and some spiral practice. Maybe I'll do more tonight; I don't know, it was like pulling teeth to get my concentration focused on completing this--it was started around 1530 today.
And, yes, I know cube 4 is really wonky, but I hurried on it too much. Looks like the one corner's been pushed down. I think I came out best with 1 and 5.
All my spheres, however, didn't start out as cicrles. I'm trying to work on the shading better, but I need either models or some better example sketches--but I can't afford the latter (in the Loomis books) yet.
This time, I've halved the pages, so i hope they come out without the screen extension. Unfortunately, I'm afraid I may have halved them at the wrong save-point.
You are improving. You seem to have the basic idea of shading down, but what strikes me is that you could improve that basically by having a more gradual gradation from light to dark. Notice how the spheres, for example, look a bit like overexposed photos because of all the white. If you build up the darkness gradually you will get a smooth transition. As well, pay attention to reflected light!
Good start, awaiting more.
I'm doing my best here, Blendit. I don't have models, OR a way to set up light from different directions. Not yet, anyway. And the examples I have from the book I'm using are one drawing of a sphere and one of a cube with shading. Right now, I can't afford to get some of the things I need. As for shading, I'm still learning how to do that.
Thanks for your comments, though. I do find that, when I can actually get into what I'm doing, I enjoy it a lot.
I really need to work on my spirals, especially when my concentration goes after doing the first one really well.
As for the line squares, I think I did a few of them pretty well. R-L 4 is almost perfect, but for a little extension on the lower right hand corner, but 1 might be the best, despite the light tilt it has--that's from the way my hand was positioned, and I was so focused on drawing the lines correctly that I didn't notice the square would be tilted. By best L-R doesn't exist on this page, unless you count #4. For horizontals, I think 2 ofr squareness, 4 for space between lines, and 3 for all around perfection; I had a lot of fun doing that one. For Verticals, I think 1 is the best; 3 has too few lines to really count.
I've done some finagling with the page where I scanned it in whole, reduced it in paint, cropped each half, then reduced each half separately in paint again. Hopefully, this will herald a new era in my sb--that of posts where the screen doesn't have to be horizontally scrolled.
Hey, I am also wanting to start drawing and was wondering how long you practice every day? Do you even practice every day?
Already made some boxes and shadows and will put them up once I get my scanner working again.
That varies. It takes me about an hour or so to do one practice page. I try to do at least one a day, more if possible.
The more time you put in, the faster you'll improve.
Basically, as with any new pursuit, put in as much time as you're comfortable with, keep it flexible as some days you'll feel like working more than others, and make sure you take time for family and friends and general vegging activities like reading, watching TV or movies, and getting out and exercising.
Practice every day, and don't rush, and be patient with yourself, no matter what anyone else says. Go forward only when you are comfortable; if you rush, you won't learn as well. Remember, you'll have days when everything you do sucks, everyone does. Don't let those days discourage you.
Also, it's a good idea to get out on the site and start looking at others' art. Comment whereever you can, and critique when you genuinely believe you have something to say. It's a good idea to practice the courtesy of thanking those who comment on your work, by clicking the "Thanks" button at the bottom right of their posts, in your thread, or go to their thread and leave a thank you, or at least a comment or critique on some of their work. We're here to help each other, remember. The more critiques you give, the more you'll learn about your own skills and where you need to practice.
Hope this helps. And welcome to CA.
Last edited by AShelton; July 20th, 2008 at 06:46 PM. Reason: Left out some things.
great idea to start from the very beginning. i highly appreciate that.
but try not to smear with your fingers. the best way (but also one of the hardest) to achieve value shading with pencil is placing one line next to each other so that they create a plain gray surface. it can be lighter or darker depending on the pencil softness, hand pressure, and how close the lines are to each other. try to experiment with that technique too and avoid smearing. if you cannot do this with a pencil, try charcoal, but still don't smear, even though it's more tempting the result will be much cleaner and effective in more difficult forms.
MONKEY SHOOTZ CRAP
Thanks, Malpanka. I'll try that.
I did fair in my vertical line squares; 1 & 2 seem to be the best. As for l-r diagonals, the best seems to be 2, but overall, most of them seemed to have been drawn on a slant. What it is, is that I'm trying to not slant the paper, but that throws my drawing off. I just cannot seem to draw (or write) without turning the paper almost perpendicular to my view to accommodate my right hand, which writes and draws sideways, apparently.
When I adjusted the paper to my hand's direction, I did fairly good, as you can see from the r-l diagonals and horizontal lines. Almost ever horizontal line square is near perfect; 4 comes the closest. Same for the diagonal lines, though none come near perfect quite as well as the horizontal lines do.
As for my spirals, my concentration was much better on all of them, at least at the beginnings of them. 1 has to be the best, with 5 second and 3 third--if only because I was drawing it from outside in and still managed to make it somewhat okay. The larger spirals 2 and 4 were more difficult, as I haven't quite got control of my hand when it's not firmly on the table. I'm trying to train myself out of that for preparation working with an easel, but I need a lot of practice with it, and I haven't been doing it in my other practices as much.
Overall, I see improvement--when i have the paper properly aligned to my hand. Boy, is this turning out to be interesting for me.
Thanks AShelton for your answer, I'll try to practice one hour a day at least.