Sepulvertures Studies Thread UPDATED November 15th 2009 ::::Now with acrylics::::
I really don't know how I should be going about this. I've been doing a lot of thinking lately, and I'm trying to condition myself into the habit of drawing daily again. For a while I was drawing daily and really concentrating on it and made a ton of improvement. Then I just stopped, and I don't know why.
I really do want to be an artist by trade, it fills my head day and night and It's time I start acting like it's what I really want.
This is the first of a series of drapery studies that I intend to do. All from photo ref. Once I'm confident enough in my basic understanding of the nature of drapery I will move onto still life setups with different lighting. As I stand now my confidence in many aspects of art is a big fat zero, so you won't see me posting up any paintings (digital or otherwise) until I feel that I've obtained a sufficient understanding of light and form among other things like composition.
Any help that all of you can offer me would be greatly appreciated.
A quick introduction about myself before the image: I'm 22 years old, I'm a U.S. citizen who has spent the past few years living abroad in Japan and now in Beijing, China. I have played guitar for almost 8 years, and have a strong passion for music (but because of degenerating hearing I don't see a future for myself in music). I have been a member of CA for a few years, and have received unbelievable help and encouragement but I've come to the conclusion that I've been approaching this whole thing from too many random angles and none of the paths I have taken have quite converged in the way I'd like them to, so I am here to ask you all to help me onto the tried and tested path of traditional study and discipline.
First two images. The first is my "Journeyman" sketch that I have posted in the Critique Center ( http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=133201 ). The second is a drapery study I did which I was inspired to do because of problems I've been having with the garb of the journeyman.
Edit: I don't know why the journeyman picture looks the way it does. It's not that grainy in my sketchbook, and the sky and some parts of the inside are smooth in my sketchbook, but not that color. Don't know what went wrong with the scanning.
Last edited by Sepulverture; November 14th, 2009 at 12:30 PM.
If you really want to be adept at this drapery stuff, I have the perfect setup for you.
The thing about drapery is that every piece of cloth follows the same physics as any other. So instead of focusing hours and hours on one or two drape setups, spend hours and hours on 30 or 50. To do that many so quickly you need to transfer over to charcoal or a huge slab of graphite for large strokes with flowing motion just like what a piece of cloth does. Nit picking with a little pencil on a tiny sheet of paper limits you to just that frame capture of flow in the drape. Like learning japanese or chinese, you must take thousands of sentences through your head to grasp the underlying grammer which with time will only come naturally. Do that with the drapes, send thousands of different fold positions through your sketchbook, and you will understand the grammer of it eventually.
Tash9 - Thanks a lot for the advice there. I understand the logic behind your comment, and in truth have had something like that in mind for a long time for my anatomy studies. Quick gestural pieces rather than drawn out renders. I think it's a good piece of advice and I will apply it more in my next round of studies than I did with this one.
For this study I did take Tash9's advice into consideration. The first study lasted for a total number of 5 working hours to complete (not counting all the little breaks I took to play guitar, eat, walk around outside). This one took a total drawing time of 1 and a half hours, but I'm fairly pleased with the results (even knowing that it's still extremely rough, the idea wasn't to get a perfect render).
Any criticism or advice will be most appreciated, and I will consider every bit of it. I plan to make this a daily journal of my fine art studies, focusing on drapery for the time being.
also study how other artists draw and design folds..I particularly like Andrea del Sarto treatment of them..including the way he colors them..learning classical drapery will make easier to draw the other capes and the like..
Also study and copy some drawings of masters here..lord leightons approach:
I've got the Complete Guide to Drawing from Life by Bridgman, and I think it includes a section on drapery although I'm not sure. I like that book you referred, it's simple and informative. Thanks a lot!
Here are some updates for you all. One of them (the arm) is a study that I intend to make a long sitting study, photo ref, and the others are all from Bridgman. I hope I'm doing these quick studies right. Crits and comments are most welcome, as well as any other suggestions for master artists I can study.
I decided to put my recently acquired tidbits of knowledge about drapery to the test and did a drawing of Sun Wu Kong (the monkey king). Almost all of the drapery is my own creation, but some bits especially around the tops of the shoulders had me stumped so I did find some reference.
Please give some feedback, I'd much appreciate it.
I had a great opportunity today and I could NOT pass it up. I had the chance to observe something of a kung fu legend in his element today. My friends' master was the teacher of one of Jet Li's teachers and he let me sit in on his lessons this morning and do gesture drawings and some photography. I got some great shots of him, as well as the members of an elderly class that he teaches so if anyone would like some really great action shots (none posed, I took them with a highspeed SLR camera). Really great man, funny, great students too. They were full of questions when I was sketching their peers.
Here are the studies I did, 24 in all, plus some of the photos I took.
I'm enjoying this thread! I really like to see somebody who cares about the fundamentals. Because the fundamentals are like planting acorns. The seeds are small but the tree ends up huge.
You're getting a good grasp of the weight of fabric, very believable. Good flow too.
I have some crits for ya...
One thing about drapery that REALLY helps is knowing the form underneath. I don't know if you've "done your Bridgman" yet, but I'd highly recommend it. It just entails reading Bridgman's anatomy books and copying the drawings into your notebooks. This is a good method for "data entry."
Also remember that every fabric has a particular thickness that is consistent. That means that when a fold happens, that fold can not be less thick than two "thicknesses" of the cloth (one fold on top of another) Boatloads of drapery errors relate to making folds too thin where they taper.
Another small thing, about your drawing. You are doing a lot "fishing" with your lines, essentially trying a blizzard of variations out on paper. I would recommend that you try the "one line, correct the first time" approach. This means slowing down. But 1 slow line probably takes as much time as 30 fast ones. And by slow I don't mean draw the line slow. I mean spend some time thinking about the line. Design the lines and the shapes in your head first. If you can see the image in your head first, it will be much easier to "place it" on the paper by using your imagination.
And you really don't need to press so hard with your sketch lines, if you still persist in fishing for your outlines. Make em soft. Once you pick the right line out of your random assortment, then darken it in. Make everything you work on beautiful, true and designed. Even studies (I don't care what anybody says to the contrary - oh its just studies. Every time you put pencil to paper you are training yourself.)
Practice making bolder strokes with a softer pencil, like an 8B. So when you've imagined the way you want your line to look, you can draw it in with some verve. Verve matters because it gives energy and life to a drawing. And confidence/authority. Painters often say it is better to draw a confident incorrect line than a fearful correct one. Authority "beams" off the canvas. Timidity hides in the corner. Nobody listens to a timid storyteller.
Anyhow, I'm really pumped up that you're doing this thread. Please keep going.
Thanks Kev for the great crit, every word is understood.
To answer your question, I have been doing bridgman studies, although admittedly not as many as I should. I am doing more this morning and I will post them later this evening, or afternoon.
One thing that's making trouble for me is just a general lack of drawing experience still, at least when drawing living people. I had a lot of fun drawing the people at the park, but It was difficult drawing fast enough to capture their poses.
Thanks for the compliment about my thread, by the way, it's a real confidence booster to see people like what I'm doing here.
On a side note: I didn't mention this before but if you look closely the big white guy with the shaved head on the left side of the first image is yours truly fumbling with a giant stick of graphite