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(edited to get the little image on my sketchbook thread...)
Well, I decided I need to go back to drawing kindergarten; here's what I wrote on my blog:
After a very long period of unhappiness about the quality of my work, and most of all the paralyzing panic that grips me and keeps me from going forward, I have decided to go right back to square one.
When I look at my art, and the works of the masters I admire, it seems clear to me I have never really worked on my art (or, at least, not for a very long time). Just long, aimless shuffling & confusion. Sure, I got out my Muybridge almost every single day, and usually a little bit from an anatomy book; but both of these exercises were done in the most lackluster, half-assed way. Afterward I sat staring at my sketchbook thinking, "What now?" Then, I'd fritter my time away with panic, and follow it with a chaser of guilt at the end of the day. (And repeat.)
Where were the finished pieces? Any real commitment?
So, I'm starting all over, as if I know nothing (it seems I really don't, which is why I'm here). I am reminding myself to pay attention, to measure, to really look at things. To stop coasting with acceptable drawings I'm not really happy with. To get out my paint and do simple value exercises. And to commit to finishing new work. I even downloaded a free timeclock program so I am actually having to punch in; stopping to read email, get another cup of tea (or post on this blog), I have to punch out. It's shocking how little of the day real work takes place...
I've not been posting, or publicly accountable for anything. So, I take myself on a humbling (and likely embarrassing) public journey. But, it's well worth it because I'm serious about improving. And I need that improvement not as an end in itself, but to inspire & carry me on to the next level.
I'm here at CA for crits, encouragement & accountability, chatting with artists and to be open with my journey. Therefore, my first sketchbook entry is my Muybridge from this morning, ranging from a timed 30 seconds to something around 2 min, done with a fat dark pencil to help avoid fussing & trying to make the drawing too pretty (I can't think of anything more honest than that). I am back to trying to break to habit of getting lost in the details, the stuff they tell you from day one.
Nothing sexy or impressive, and I don't know how long before I post anything that's not an exercise or a copy from a book. This is more or less just a (rambling) intro.
Anyway, hello to all. And here's hoping I look back at this thread 30 pages from now and feel good about my progress!
Last edited by rikkiniehaus; July 12th, 2009 at 12:50 PM.
Well, here's what I have so far today; just more Muybridge for now, but will probably be updating this post with something else later. These are timed 30 sec & 1 min, plus some 1-3 minutes sketches.
I just finished an anatomy class, so I'm really looking for specific things now (but trying not to lose the gesture in the process). I'm also reviewing things one part at a time, and I'm just going to keep cycling through the body.
Ok, back with anatomy studies from a couple different books. I am working my way up (I started reviewing the lower legs a couple days ago, my plan is to just keep the cycle going). I'm going to try to do still more tonight, plus some head studies wouldn't hurt...
LATER THAT NIGHT...
So, a last little batch. So far, being on CA & posting stuff publicly has made me feel way more accountable. I want to just draw like a fiend & keep trying! From books, except the last couple.
Last edited by rikkiniehaus; July 12th, 2009 at 03:29 AM. Reason: adding new pics
Nothing special, just more exercises. I never got to taking on anything new today, but I tried to be more focused with the stuff I am doing. Unfortunately, I made a hash of the scanning.
I am trying to get better with gestures, especially restrained ones. There was a guy lifting weights with tremendous strain, but no grand movements. I did that one about five times & never managed to capture that compact struggle he's got going on. I'm still cycling through the anatomy stuff, and hoping to get something different on tomorrow.
Your small gestural and figure studies are good. Well proportioned, perspective is good and there's a believable center of gravity. Your linework is pretty good too. Let's just see where this goes now. =)
nice stuff. really like studies of the leg. keep it up
ParinGallite: Thank you! I'm working on trying to get a solid feel, and using a timer on the short poses is helping somewhat. I hope to get really disciplined about it so I'm not fussing with details too early!
no87: Thanks! I'm definitely going to be studying as much as I can. Working my way up from the feet & back down again!
Well, here is my stuff from today. I found the Muybridge a struggle; thinking I was maybe in a rut, I did fewer & I traded out the anatomy book for some drawings of my little plastic skull from different angles. I find that pretty difficult (obviously)... I usually think I'm up for a challenge, but I ashamed to say that's one thing I did avoid because it was hard. So, I repent *publicly* and *embarrassingly*.
I finished up with a couple sketches from that Facial Expressions book. I haven't drawn many heads lately, and I definitely want more practice, (especially the head tilted).
FourTonMantis: Thanks! I still need to do a lot of work on the skulls, but that's very encouraging!
I just got back after being out of town visiting mom for a few days. I took all my stuff with me, but shamefully I couldn't bring myself to draw. I felt guilty but just couldn't get into it; I don't know if I was just being lazy or if the different environment just got to me. I know I have to get going so I can draw anywhere, anytime, no excuses.
Anyway, today wasn't a great day, but I did finally get back on the horse. I did my Muybridge for a little bit, but I was going a bit nuts so I decided to do something very random; I put on Thick of It, and paused it to draw the characters. I wanted something that wasn't in the same old books, and some faces that were 'ordinary' yet interesting and expressive. Also, drawing from across the room feels more like life drawing (though I know it isn't really the same, but it's some variety at least). I'm happier with some more than others, but at least I got something down today. I need to get a whole lot more down tomorrow!
cool idea pausing the movie.. I like that. Your anatomy studies are really good.. Keep at it man!
Been meaning to drop by for a while now, cool stuff you've got in here!!
You've got an fantastic line quality that comes across in all your drawings, nice work.
Really diggin the skull and head studies, really convey a great 3D feel, good expressions as well!
Great stuff mate, looking forward to seeing more.
All the best,
nice portraits! got some interesting character to some of those faces. really liking the pencil stuff but quick thought maybe have ago at some pen drawings. it might help develop that line work further. anyway keep it up!
biggjoee5790: Thanks, I have to carry through on my pledge to do more anatomy studies, it's been a couple days...
Grandmassa Mr. Spect: Thanks, I should do it more often & keep things interesting!
Sunseaker: Thank you! I've got to try some more variety (I love all the different stuff you tried in your sketchbook).
JailHouseRock2: Thanks for coming by & for the encouragement! I'm glad you like the skulls, wasn't too sure about those but definitely ready to try more.
no87: Thanks for the suggestion! I love the look of pen & ink, and I've seen some great stuff with ballpoint around here. I think the 'commitment' of it would be a big help, I'll give it a try!
Ack, I've been neglecting the posting; I have done some drawing the last couple days, but no scanning. These are a couple quick sketches of statues from my trip to the Huntington today (and a couple flowers - but too impatient to do a proper job *sigh*). Need to get more next time for sure!
Damn nice statues sketches man, dig the flower drawings too, but like you say spend a bit more time on them next time!
Sunseaker: Thanks for the tip on trying these larger, I hadn't thought of that! I think if I did them bigger, I'd be less likely to rush.
Grandmassa Mr. Spect: Thanks! I usually work from observation, but as jackpot_anjr90 suggests I need to try some imagination as well.
JailHouseRock2: Thanks, I definitely need to get back in the habit of making longer drawings (the pen is helping, though!)
jackpot_anjr90: That's a good idea! I do need to make sure this is sinking in, and I hadn't really thought about getting the practice there (I usually only draw from my imagination when I'm doing just personal stuff, and no reference is available)
Well, I decided to take no87's advice & give the ballpoint pen a try; I had tried pen & ink before, but not really done much with ballpoint (I only had the pen because I was forced to use one for a class). I am still feeling pretty hesitant with it, but I *did* like how it slowed me down & made me really concentrate. I'm going to give it another go today.
(All from photos)
nice update man... I think the pen is a great idea. I use ballpoints and fineliners all the time.. and they really force you to think before you put down marks. Great practice
Sunseaker: Thanks for the nudge, I have been pretty bad about posting this past week!
laxon: Thanks, but I haven't been at it much this past week... I'm not sure how much I've forgotten since!
Ok, have been really bad about posting. I *have* been drawing, but not posting, and not drawing as much as I should. (And I got depressed at the idea of posting more Muybridge.) I think I'm back on the horse, we'll see.
I had been going with the pen for a while, but not being able to erase left me too traumatized. So, back to pencil, but I plan to keep chipping away with the pen in the background.
So, for variety I did some drawings off Carnival of Souls. No drawings of Saltair yet, but I might do some more later. (Well, all are from the film except the Haitian woman, she was from a Centron short on the disc.) Not the greatest likenesses of Candace Hilligoss, but hopefully better on the next batch. I think Herk Harvery would look better in paint?
you seem really comfortable with facial proportions.. very nice
Its neat watching your lines become more and more confident with each and every study you do. Your gestures and mini-bust studies especially. I love the amount of character you put into the faces you draw. They all show a very distinct emotion or feeling.
So far, the only advice I could give is to keep at it, and really start to get confident with your lines... maybe use ink for your facial sketches, try and let go of the security an eraser gives you. You'll notice your lines and sketches will become more confident very quickly
Wow I really love the faces you have drawn, please moar!
"I wish to paint in such a manner as if I were photographing dreams" - Zdzislaw BeksinskiMy Happy Little Sketchbook, please check it out and help me get better!