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Thread: the_jos shows that everyone can learn to draw

  1. #1
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    the_jos shows that everyone can learn to draw

    Around september 2008 I started drawing again. The last time I spend some time on it (besides doodles during dull meetings) was about twenty years ago.
    I don't work in the graphics industry and don't have any education in this field. Drawing is just something that makes me happy.

    I've lost the very early drawings, the earliest drawing I have is from early October 2008. I've attached it to show how great an artist I was back then
    The other drawing attached was made about a month ago.

    All time I have for drawing is in the evenings and weekends, I can't spend hours a day on drawing because I have a fulltime job and a household to run.
    Most of the time it's a lost hour somewhere in the evening.

    I think I made some progress in the past 6 months and hope I can inspire people who think they can't draw to rethink that.
    I don't have any special talent or something. If I can get better anyone can. Even with limited time.

    Let's start the journey with an obvious observation. You need to get moving to get somewhere.
    That's what the early attachment is about. My (re)start on my journey.
    I was back in newbie-village with very little skill and not much inspiration.
    The later picture is somewhere along the road. I've made more recent drawings which I will post someday.
    The end of the journey? I don't know, but I hope I meet a lot of interesting people while travelling.

    Along the way I will tell you something on the stuff that inspired me or somewhat helped me to pass some hurdles.

    On the drawings.
    The early one is close to the doodles I usually made when having a boring meeting. It's A4 regular 80g paper with HB pencil. Imaginary.
    The later one is made with a reference photo I found in some thread on this site. I just kept it on screen far away so I could not see the details, only the forms. Also A4 80g paper, 2B or 4B pencil.
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  3. #2
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    So I started my journey.
    I was not sure what to draw, still making some random tiny drawings.

    Then I decided to draw something I could see.
    My whisky glass that was still on the table.

    It turned out to be hard, with every movement of my head the light and reflections would change. And I tried to capture every single detail.

    A couple of days later I redrew the glass but focussed more on big shapes.
    This turned out to be easier and also made a less messy picture.

    Still I was not reading art books or websites, just trying to figure things out myself.

    All drawings are A4 80g paper with HB pencils.

    I made some smaller pictures in my small sketchbook, in this time but I lost those.
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    My journey didn't go the way I wanted it, so I decided to get some inspiration at the local book store.
    Got myself a book on fantacy vehicles by Keith Thompson and far more important a book on fantacy landscapes by Ros Alexander.
    That last book had some nice basic information in it, specially on value, composition, light and shade, color, perspective and things like atmosphere.

    I didn't use this information back then, but at least it gave me some understanding of how things work.
    And I was looking for some inspiration, so I made some rough sketches based on a Beatles song.
    I will probably work on those later, I'm still thinking how to picture things the best.

    I also decided to draw some random stuff, partly unreferenced, part from a Keith Thompson book (the standing figure). Not the best reference, but at least I was getting the message that a human is mass and muscles.
    I also tried some poses for some picture I have in my mind, but I can't get it drawn the way I want. Need to study much more anatomy before I can get it right, specially since I plan to draw it on A3 format.


    Drawings on A5 paper, HB pencil.


    Around this time I discovered this book on the internet, Figure drawing for all it's worth by Andrew Loomis. Reading it from screen is horrible and I don't really want to print all those pages. It gave my drawing skills a boost but I've lost a lot of those drawings when I was helping my ex pack her stuff for her movement to the UK. Think I was a little too easy throwing stuff away.

    Next time: here be dragons....
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    These drawings were made around half/end Oktober 2008.
    Two studies of muscles and a portrait of Nelson, my cat.
    He lives in the UK now with my ex, we decided she could have the cats.
    I didn't draw much in this time up to half/end November.
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    For some reason I thought dragons would be nice to draw.
    So I started to draw and very soon came to realise that I don't know how dragons look. I can't walk outside and observe them.
    So I tried to rework some lizards and other reptiles to dragons.

    I read in one of my books that a good composition should also work on a small drawing. So I divided my paper into small segments and tried filling them with random stuff.

    I made a one-point perspective study of a throne for some website idea I had, but decided afterwards that I could not get it to work in a website.

    At last, I made a study of a hand which turned out a bit ok. Then I decided the thumb was a little off and started to redraw it, completely ruining the drawing.

    These drawings were made in December 2008.

    All A4 with 2B pensil except the hand, that one is A5 with HB.
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    The last dragons, I decided to start drawing from what I can see, not from imagination.
    I can't get pictures in my head, I used to years ago but it's gone.
    I never really realised this till I worked on those dragons.
    Well, dragons told me one thing, it's hard to draw them without knowledge of anatomy. So I got a book on it a couple of weeks ago (early March '09).

    Drawings early '09, composition is 2B on A4, the eyes 2 and 4B on A4
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    Remember the birds from my first drawing? Early February I drew these.

    Lessons learned:
    When drawing the foreshortened bird heads they looked like nothing till the moment they were finished. Stick to what you see and have your mind make comments when entirely done with the picture.

    The flying bird introduced a completely different problem, one I will encounter more in the future. Value and tone. I didn't get it right, at least not the way I wanted it.

    I also made a picture of a pose. Same problem as the flying bird, couldn't get the values and tones right.

    Studies mainly based on pictures, 2B on A4 paper.
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    Two drawings I made early March '09.

    I used a reference photo for the face but decided to give it somewhat of my own twitch.
    The bird is also made from a reference photo.

    A4 paper, 2B pencils.
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    My latest drawing, still work in progress.
    2B pencil on 80g A4 paper, used reference photo, about 2.5 hours of drawing.

    Started with two huge shapes, head and body and divided this into smaller shapes (arms, legs, mouth, ears, eyes, hair, nose) which I divided into even smaller shapes.
    Applied some of my still limited anatomy knowledge when trying to get the values right and understanding why some shapes are the way they are.

    I have very mixed feelings about this one.
    First of all didn't get the size of the head right compared to the body.
    I didn't really notice at first.
    Then I messed up with the eyes, which are too large. After a lot of erasing I decided to keep them that way, things were getting messy.
    The right hand turned out too small, I might be able to correct that but I'm not sure.

    What I'm struggling with now is the value of the face. The cheeks are too dark at the moment compared to the rest of the body.
    Not sure how to fix it.

    I might rework this drawing in my large unused sketchbook (A3) when I find the courage.
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  11. #10
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    I’m in a similar position to you and can only draw on an evening and weekend, but you know what it’s going to take to get where you want to be. I can see your improvement over the last few posts. Keep it up.
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    Babies heads are proportionally bigger than adults. Don't worry about the cheeks being dark; you can fix that by making values on the body darker.


    Have you ever tried using a grid when you're working from photo ref? It can help with proportions while you're still unsure of them. If you don't know how to use a grid, PM me, and I'll explain it. You won't want to use a grid for every drawing, and if and when you start drawing from imagination you simply won't be able to. Check around the site and you'll also find useful info on anatomy/proportions.

    I can see that you're already feeling your way towards rendering. Keep going, and don't let it scare you.
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  13. #12
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    Yesterday I made a study of the human hand.
    Mainly how the bones fit in the hand and how they influence the way the hand grabs a round object (bones don't bend...).

    Today I did a 15 min sketch of a plant from observation and two studies of how perspective influences how simple objects are observed.
    I did both with a high horizon.

    @[ste]: thanks
    @alesoun I know baby heads are bigger, but this one is just too big when looking at the reference photo.
    I know about using grids, just not sure I want to use it right away. I should have done a little more measuring instead of drawing straight from the eye.
    And yes, the rendering part is still somewhat scary, I think I will draw a couple of circles and render those first to get a better feeling for it.
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  14. #13
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    Two studies of poses, one < 1 min poses and one 2-5 min poses.
    Just trying to capture the pose and angle of shoulders and pelves.
    Various references, 2H pencil on A4 paper
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