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Thread: Francisck starting his sketchbook - Quest for improvement!

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    Francisck starting his sketchbook - Quest for improvement!

    Hello all,

    On my foundation year in A&D atm. I come in search of inspiration, enthusiasm, advancement, constructive criticism, contact, ideas and encouragement, while enjoying the journey! While not asking for too much ;S... and hopefully learning and returning the favour.

    Feel a bit unsure about posting stuff, but I feel I should approach it with a 'no time like the present mood', and I really want to improve and can see that this forum is a fantastic resource.

    I look forward to what people have to say, how much I have to learn, and understand I have a long (or endless) way to go!

    If I want to get into the creative arts professionally, or even get close to satisfying myself or producing something others can enjoy, I know I need to draw daily. Not having time isn't an excuse I know! So why can't I find it sometimes... hopefully this will spur me on !

    Anyway, sorry for long intro, ignore it by all means, some pics:

    Stuff from the last couple of days from my A3 sketchbook. I'm not really happy with it, I must churn out more, and keep remembering it's all experience. Let me know if images are too dark/light/big/small, afraid camera is all I've got:

    3H pencil and then biro (I hope I uploaded and input the copyright stuff correctly ). Thanks for looking

    EDIT: New Sketchbook: http://conceptart.org/forums/showthr...64#post2487964

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    Last edited by Meaisín; December 18th, 2009 at 08:20 PM. Reason: New Sketchbook
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    2nd Upload

    Didn't feel too great about these sketches today, but I think it's a good exercise. The quality of what I do varies quite a lot atm, but that's normal I'd say. Need to focus/improve! Hopefully exercises like these quick-ish figure poses are helpful. Know it will be important to be able to get down moving figures, or quick character development in future. I can see so many problems and issues of course, but at least I drew today, hope to do more and hopefully it's all adding experience and I appreciate any views or comments or exercise suggestions.

    Berol Handwriting pen

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    Last edited by Meaisín; December 18th, 2009 at 08:20 PM.
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    3rd Upload

    Sketchbook work from today. Once again worry about uploading this stuff... but the idea is just to get it done, upload, hopefully do more, and learn/progress/improve/improve/improve... right?! At least I'm aiming to upload each day.
    Anyway, some colour today, as I need far more mixed media in this book I think. Need to lose any fear of materials. As a tutor said, have to be free to approach a piece with any means, have no fear of the tools. I agree with him. Must learn to 'control' them to produce what I want/need from them, and not let them control my output, if that makes sense.
    Anyway, calm, light pencil lines, and the psychedelic colour pouring from the room! 3H pencil, no ruler (shouldn't be in a sketchbook, should be improving naturally), trying not to repeat a single line again, then inks and brush. Hopefully lighting and picture is better/adequate here, please do let me know. Want/need to free/loosen up a bit as well and treat a sketchbook for what it should be...
    Thanks

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    Last edited by Meaisín; December 18th, 2009 at 08:21 PM.
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    Hi Francisck, welcome to CA!
    Don't be too worried about what you upload. Upload everything u make, that way you can go back at one point, and see how much you have improved.

    I see that you have made drawings of people from life. Keep doing that, it is a great exercise!
    My sketchbook:
    Fumble

    My brothers sketchbook:
    Braintree
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    Hey Francisk! The first drawing is really great. You should do more observational drawings like these. All the information is there in simple linework. You dont need to get bogged down in details with the shadings and hatching. I used to love that bit and do it mindlessly but you have to know when and where to use them and how to make it work sometimes. So use the hatchings to follow the contours of the drawing for example, and you dont need to shade in every bit of the drawing. Be selective about it.
    With some of the still life... watch the ellipses that goes round the jars. When you draw round edges like the base and top of a cylinder, imagine the ellipse going all the way round and back from the object. This will help you from getting some squared corners. Careful about keeping the perspective of these ellipses constant in the top and bottom of the cylinder.
    With the figures, again dont get too bogged down in details like drawing the features first. Try some gestural drawings... fast loose sketches that gets the whole pose and position of the figure without many details. This will help you get a feel for a more dynamic pose that is less stiff and more alive and how helps your measuring to position proportions. When you get the hang of it, the detailing is much easier.
    Keep it up dude. Looking forward to the growth
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    Draw more and more from life. All the time, every chance you get just draw. If you get tired just look back on here of people's sketchbooks and see the improvements of doing so and you will become refilled with that drive. Try to not have so many sketchy marks, they are unneeded and a distraction. Try to keep it as simple as you can and work from there. Block in shapes and start from large to small. Good luck on your quest and always put everything you have on here to get the help you need.
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    Gratitude // 4th Upload

    Fumble - Hello to you too! Thanks for the welcome. It's a nice inspirational message you give, I will keep uploading, regardless of what I think. Hopefully I'll stay honest to that, as I agree that one of the most exciting things is progress and development. The 'from life' message is so so true I am realising. Before this foundation year it was shocking really how little I drew compared to how much I need to. I used to make careful half-decent copies of pictures, and be kind of satisfied, but it took this course to really hammer home the message that I must learn from life. To develop that bond with a subject, render it in a fashion that the viewer can feel 'present' in the piece, to progress towards actually achieving a feeling of 'life' in a piece... I think they're all vital ideas I've picked up so far. There is more in this current sketchbook, but it's from before February and I felt I should start uploading in tandem with the thread, rather than backtrack... In a hope to keep moving forwards! I'll keep viewing life, and look forward to that improvement.

    Bendragon - Thanks for the crit. I'm hoping my observational work really steps up during the current 'location' project I'm on. Important points for me to take on board regarding tone there. That first drawing was meant to be quicker, but because it ended up being so slow and careful, I was then afraid to add tone and depth in case I 'spoilt' it somehow, but I know that isn't what a 'sketch'book should be about. So you're saying shade selectively, to add that lifelike/3D feel where it would be necessary on objects, right? Rather than trying to tackle a lightly toned white ceiling with a 4B ? My tutor even suggested that I could try starting with the tone, and then bring in the fine work/lines/details afterwards... If it helped to free me up.
    Good points on the still life and figures too. I need to learn to work in shapes and basic forms first! I wasn't 'taught' to draw as such, so like I said, I copied before, so that meant getting a line or form 'right' the first time the pencil hit paper, which will almost always risk 'proportion' I think. From life I think I need to work in these real shapes, like you suggest, as there are no 'real' hard lines. Gesture drawings, gotcha. I enjoy getting an eye or nose 'right' sometimes, but you're right, those lunch-eaters have long since moved by the time I've done it, and making it up is no good. I'll try to get the forms, capture some more life/proportion before 'sweating the small stuff'.

    Samuel Gray - You make the same life point, and I appreciate it . Have to do it more, musn't be afraid of what I look at - draw 'what I see, not what I know'... I think that's right? I'll try to increase that confidence in my mark, less repetition. Thanks for the good luck, I hope you'll revisit my quest to see I stay on course.

    Inspiring to have some comments guys, but also did another sketchbook page tonight. Camera makes it look too bit bright, but I wanted to step out of my comfort zone again. So black collage paper, and charcoal varying from white-grey-black, 30 mins. Saw a nice view from my window. There are major issues, but I actually really enjoyed just going for this one, capturing highlights and a bit of an eerie feel. (Once again, lemme know if size/capture quality of photographs etc isn't adequate) :

    All the best!

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    Last edited by Meaisín; December 18th, 2009 at 08:21 PM.
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    5th Upload

    7th Feb - Tried some gestural and figure pose practice with posemaniacs for the first time. Can be a difficult exercise, especially when starting, but I guess that's why it's a good warm-up. I need to learn 'in shapes' I think. Is this good practice for improving mark confidence and general 'mark-making ability'? Trying not to get caught up on details. Is it best to build a wireframe, or go straight for shapes? Not sure of everything I should be bearing in mind, but I'm trying to avoid going for outlines, but sometimes hard when under time pressure.

    HB pencil, 4x60 secs, 6x90 secs

    7th/8th Feb - Wanted to try experimenting going straight in with colour to render a window view with Copic Markers. Haven't got much experience with these pens, can be pretty tough with their bleaching too, but lovely colours. Perhaps I worked a little 'heavy', trying to 'colour in' all the gaps - makes the result a little infantile-looking perhaps. Should one aim to work more like they were using a brush/paint? Was really trying to capture light or tone here - can be tough especially when I don't think I was layering or colouring them 'properly'. (I've never used Photoshop before but I presume the colour-layering is similar?) Is not good, but had to stop on the first day as the sun came round into my eyes and changed everything , then it was cloudy and grey today instead of blue-skied like yesterday. But luckily I had only done frames/curtains yesteday, so I kept marking 'what I saw'. I make myself sick with how long this took in the end, couldn't believe it, was almost dizzy with the pen fumes . Scale is pretty 'off', got eager to finish, but I hope even with all the pen marks it looks alright. Wasn't aiming for anything close to 'measured' rendition, so that's ok...

    Copic Marker Pens. 210 mins

    Anyway, too verbose again... pictures, not words are what counts . Sorry about that, but I appreciate all comments/views/reads

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    6th Upload

    9th + 10th February - Went on a trip to a beach. Was a day of horrible weather, very wet, very cold, but aim was to collect 'visual information' on site, perhaps capturing some of the ideas/mood/atmosphere/thoughts present, using the conditions and various media to propel us. 'Reportage' to a degree I guess. Layout - Twenty 10cms x 10cms boxes - snapshots to keep us working; to work quite quickly within the boundaries of the conditions, and work more freely. Guiltily admit - Some I had to do from photos today, but still from life (my perspectives).

    Mixed Times/Medias - HB Pencil, 0.3 Drawing Fineliner, Ink + Stick, Graphite Stick, White Chalk, Tip-ex, Biro, White Gel Pen, Washable Pens/Markers and Brushes/Wash, Colour Fineliners, Permanent Pens, Charcoal Pencil, Coloured Pencils, Willow Charcoal

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    Last edited by Meaisín; December 18th, 2009 at 08:22 PM.
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    7th Upload

    February 12th - Tried some studies of my hand today. Various timescales, was experimenting with different techniques. For example, one I used outline (clearly the worst), one I went by knuckles or bone lines, one I did with sausages/shapes etc. What would be the 'best' way, or is it just good to experiment like this? Is there something I should be aiming for/bearing in mind?
    Was hoping to work quickly, I think these hand studies are useful and would like to do more in future - So I ask: What is the best way to add tone/3D'ness'(bring them to life ); sensitively and delicate shading looks good, but can take too long. A bright lamp better? I want to use the hands for the great tools they are for learning weight/shapes/roundness... I think, and was curious if a kind of cross-hatching looked alright. (Too 'furry'?) My favourite is the one with no tone... just wrinkles... serious 'old-man-hands' going on there . Anyway, any views/thoughts?

    Many thanks

    A3 Sketchbook, HB Pencil, Eraser, around 90 mins, sitting chatting a bit too

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    Last edited by Meaisín; December 18th, 2009 at 08:23 PM.
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    8th Upload

    February 13th - Busy day today; another trip to a beach/town/cathedral. Tried to get as much done as I could, so some mixed media/timescale/perspective pieces. Good to challenge self; space on a coach, strong winds, good stuff

    Coach Trip. A sort of continuous line piece, charcoal for tone, some lights coloured and attempted to capture the mood early in the day on the coach/motorway.

    2xA3, 75 mins, Berol Handwriting Pen, Charcoal, Pastels, Coloured Pens

    Meant to work on one detail as wasn't there for long, but decided I didn't want to leave any white gaps. Cliff view, nice perspective with stairs/descent/change in scale I thought. Fixative made some lines from next page show :s

    A3, 15 mins, HB Pencil

    Beach View. Pastels with finger smudging.

    2xA3, 45 mins, Coloured Soft Pastels

    Trying to capture a mood/location/a feeling/the sights - 'The journey'. Left page is outside the moving coach, and right side is inside. Due to nature of moving landscape, sketches here were obviously pretty fast... maybe it's good training for memory drawing. Trying to capture the bird was cool.

    2xA3, Quick Sketches, 4B pencil, Minimal Eraser

    Thanks for views/comments!

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    Last edited by Meaisín; December 18th, 2009 at 08:24 PM.
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    Welcome to CA

    I also suggest that you post everything because you can look back and see the progress. I watched and read through your sb and I wish you the time to draw every day. In my opinion your coulor work with the window is your best.
    It really pointed out when I compared your work.

    But enough words. Keep up your stuff and post as much as you can.
    I wish you the best.
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  18. #13
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    Warforce17 - Thanks a lot for taking a look and for the kind words. I hope I can keep the drawing regular as well, I'm glad the window study stood out.

    I wish you all the best with your practice and sketchbook as well ^_^
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