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Thread: Documenting my learning [295h]

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    Documenting my learning [295h]

    Edit 05/03/2015: Ever since I started this thread (and taking drawing serious for the first time) I've been keeping track of how much time I spend studying and practicing. I thought it'd be a fun way to see where my time goes and how much time it took to improve certain skills. A really nice side effect is that I can go back to pretty much any drawing and see where along the journey I drew it.

    From now on I'm going to include the current hours with all the drawings I post.

    ------------------------

    Hi all!

    I've always wanted to be able to draw and paint. I'm now 29 years old and so far never took the time to pursue that passion in my life. Due to my work/life circumstances changing I started sketching and drawing somewhat regularly a couple months back. I fell in love with the idea of being able to express my imagination on paper and being able to communicate it effectively with others. However I also got really frustrated with my inability to execute drawings well. I realised that I'd have to go back to the very beginning and start learning the fundamentals properly if I wanted to succeed. That's also when I decided that I wanted to take on a long-term view and make the pursue of art a core part of my life.

    So .. To keep myself motivated and accountable I decided to open up a sketchbook here on conceptart. There are so many fantastic artists on here that it's very hard not to get inspired. I'm of course also hoping that some of you will help me on this journey with critiques and comments to push me further. I will certainly try and do the same.

    I've started on the Watt's Atelier online curriculum (https://www.wattsatelier.com), which from my research is pretty unique in it's approach. It doesn't just give you videos and leave you to it, but also comes with proper workbooks and exercises to work on. I felt really intimated by the task of learning to draw and needed something well structured to guide me. Watts' course gives me exactly that. Besides, I'm a huge fan of Jeffrey Watt's approach to teaching and art in general. It "clicks" with me on so many levels.

    I'm really excited to start on this journey Looking forward to being a part of the community here!

    stefan | farbstrom
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    Last edited by Farbstrom; May 12th, 2015 at 07:59 AM.
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    My current focus is on the absolute basics of drawing. It's still a pretty frustrating experience, since I feel like I can't even do the most basic things well. Practicing lots of lines, basic shapes and pencil control..

    One thing I realised yesterday, is how much of difference materials can make. I've seen lots of people saying to just "get going" with whatever you can find, but from my (albeit tiny) experience it's worth seeking out some good quality tools and materials, it makes the process of learning much more enjoyable. I swapped out the paper I was using and I could feel an immediate difference in how it felt drawing. The other paper was rough in texture and I felt like I was fighting the paper most of the time. Funnily enough, the new paper is actually super cheap.

    Jeff Watts spends an entire 20 minutes teaching how to sharpen a pencil properly. It's this kind of thing I really really appreciate about his courses. Nowhere else have I seen someone explain the idea behind sharpening a pencil one way or another. By creating long pointy tips, you're creating a tool which allows a large variety of line thicknesses - which just blows my mind. I'm so used to a pencil being used in one way for thin, precise lines.
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    "Repetition is the mother of all skill"

    Some more basic shape drawings from today. Much happier with these - feels like I'm getting the handle on some of the basic concepts and the pencil doesn't feel completely awkward to control. Struggled with the cylinder - ellipses are hard to draw
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    Here's an arm study I did from reference.. I traced the arm with cross-contours first to get a feeling for the form and then tried drawing it. I think I'm trynig to hard to render details, seems my eye/hand/brain just isn't experienced enough yet to draw this cleanly. But it was a good challenge and I guess you never know until you try..

    Sorry for the smudgy trace
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    Last edited by Farbstrom; November 15th, 2014 at 11:56 PM.
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    Some negative shape exercise from Watt's atelier. Starting to see negative shapes everywhere now

    Terrible lines on this one though
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    Some more from today's sketching:

    An attempt at a self-portrait, which worked out "ok". The ear is super funny and the nose is totally screwed up. But I think I achieved a little bit of resemblence overall.

    Second page is some detail sketches from Michaelangelo's "Creation of Adam". Been watching documentaries on him and been absolutely engrossed with his stuff. I showed the sketch of the two arms to my wife and she immediately recognised it, which tells me two things: I captured the gesture of that detail and secondly how absolutely powerful this composition is. I mean, this must be the most recognisable interaction between two arms in history? Absolutely brilliant.

    Not particularly happy with the angel's faces though Faces are hard.
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    Hey there,you're starting out really well!I noticed that your lines on the shape studies are a bit wobbly though,so i'd recommend watching Peter Han's dynamic sketching video ( it's a 30min class on youtube), it has some tips and excercises to help you learn to control your pencil.Keep up the hard work
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saylt View Post
    Hey there,you're starting out really well!I noticed that your lines on the shape studies are a bit wobbly though,so i'd recommend watching Peter Han's dynamic sketching video ( it's a 30min class on youtube), it has some tips and excercises to help you learn to control your pencil.Keep up the hard work
    Thanks Saylt. I totally agree, my lines need work I'll check out that video!

    Stefan
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    I tried drawing this little buddha statue for one of the watt's atelier exercises on values / light / edges. Oh boy, I really really struggled with this. I think more so than anything I realise how much I need to train myself to stay focused on a task for extended periods of time. I tend to get frustrated if I can't get something looking ok on paper right away, but this exercise took me a good 45 minutes to get down so I had to fight the urge of giving up (which was a great exercise in itself!).

    I decided to also post my first attempt at the buddha statue, which was a disaster. I had spent about 20 minutes on that already and it just wasn't working.. Everything about it felt off. I came back to it today and tried drawing it again and it came out much better this time. Still lots and lots of potential for improvement, but I'm glad I gave it another go instead of giving up. Not my proudest moment, but I guess I made the commitment to share my journey... so here is my failure in all it's glory

    I also did some more detail sketches from the Sistine chapel paintings. I really enjoy doing these! Still very early days though .. Still working hard at getting comfortable with the pencil and feeling confident with my lines. Practice, practice, practice

    Btw, does anyone know why my thread doesn't have a thumbnail? I thought it'd pick up the image in the first post?
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    Last edited by Farbstrom; November 18th, 2014 at 07:09 AM.
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    You're doing great! You will keep on doing what you're doing. Watts Atelier sounds like it's ideal. I'm going to look into it myself! As you already can see from the other CA sketchbooks, the secret is to keep practicing and studying, and that looks to be exactly what you're doing!

    I like your charcoal technique and it seems like you have a good grasp of values. Your work doesn't look too fussy or agonized over. These are all good things. Keep working and updating your sketchbook! We look forward to seeing your progress.
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    Quote Originally Posted by celadon View Post
    You're doing great! You will keep on doing what you're doing. Watts Atelier sounds like it's ideal. I'm going to look into it myself! As you already can see from the other CA sketchbooks, the secret is to keep practicing and studying, and that looks to be exactly what you're doing!

    I like your charcoal technique and it seems like you have a good grasp of values. Your work doesn't look too fussy or agonized over. These are all good things. Keep working and updating your sketchbook! We look forward to seeing your progress.
    Thank you celadon! Super encouraging hearing that from you
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    A couple more studies from the sistine chapel. Quite happy with how the old man turned out

    Thinking about taking some classes in a local atelier next year - It'd be fantastic to have a few people around me with more experience and a better eye.
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    I did a master study over the weekend. Spent about a total of two hours on this. The original is by Jacques Callot. For comparison, I've attached a figure drawing I did a bit over a month ago (06/10) and at that time this was the absolute best I could do. I remember being quite happy with it when I drew that. Comparing it to the Callot study now, it's pretty obvious that I've learnt a lot in a month and a half. Somewhere between those 2 drawings, a lot of things clicked into place.

    I realise I'm still very much at the beginning of my journey, but it feels good to look back and see some actual progress
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