Finally checked out your SB, you draw very nicely and your still-lifes and studies are great! One thing I'm noticing though is a stiffness in your drawings of people. If you haven't tried gesture drawing yet, I recommend it... basically in a 30 or 60-second pose, you draw the model in a quick, fluid motion without lifting your pencil (or charcoal) from the paper. It's important to look mostly at the model and just glance at your drawing every now & then. I usually start with a 'line of action' down the spine but there are other ways that work too. this is a pretty good example of gesture drawing. Once you've warmed up with that, your longer poses will start to look more fluid too.
Can I encourage you to get a copy of Anthony Ryder's book on figure drawing, as this will show you a great way of doing good observational long-pose life-drawing; And Richard Williams' "Animators Survival Guide" as this will explain things you need to know about dynamic poses, gait, and weight-balance.
While life-drawing is an important thing to do, I think a lot of UK life-drawing classes are run very poorly, with lots of short poses just leading to people struggling to get figures down very rapidly, with poor proportions, balance, etc. Accuracy is better taught in the first instance from cast-drawing and from very long-poses; and then short poses can be used for gestural drawing and understanding of weight-distribution and dynamic poses - rather than being used (as they often are in UK life-classes run by people who have no idea what life-classes are actually for, other than that they are "artistic") to try to get down lots of very quick (and rushed, bad) versions of what should be long-pose drawings.
A group of us meet up informally at the V&A on friday afternoons and evenings from 2pm through to about 9pm to draw from sculptures there (and discuss art). If you could get up from Farnborough, you would be very welcome to join us.
Hey Marian i am alive but only just! been really ill then my partner got it and finally little Oliver came down with it so its been a horrid time really but im back on track now! Wow you have been busy in here i love the posemaniacs stuff do you find they help you at all? My favourite has to be the short mark figure in post#58 i think its quite beautiful and your life drawings are improving in leaps and bounds keep cracking at it. Oh and congrats on reaching page 3 see ya soon
Arish: Thanks so much for stopping by I really do appreciate it. Your observations are spot on about the stiffness in my figure drawing. I do actually even feel stiff and awkward when I am drawing sometimes so your tips and link are great thanks.
dcorc: Hi Dave you can indeed encourage me to get Anthony Ryder's book as I do have it on my wish list already. I brought Richard Williams book many years ago as I am an Animation fan. I had no idea though that it could help with my life drawing studies. In the past I just enjoyed looking at the drawings. Maybe I should get it of the shelf and draw from it.
Thanks for your comments on Life drawing classes the one I attend is only a night school class. So its only a 2 hour lesson once a week. My teacher is always emphasising the importance of first observing and often says 'if you only get two accurate lines down its better than a complete inaccurate drawing'. I try to start by marking the top and bottom and then progress to break that down to find shoulder, hip, knee, elbow and hand position, observing and comparing as I measure. However I still don't think my measuring is accurate and my figures will end up getting shorter and shorter!! It is the very first marks that i find the hardest. When I am uncertain on how to start and proceed the drawing doesn't go well and just gets more confused. I did look into buying a cast however I can't find any UK suppliers so I brought the Charles Bargue book instead. I'm currently copying the first plate of eyes from the book.
I would love to meet and draw with you and the others. Sadly the train ticket is expensive and not something I can afford at the moment. I have it on my wish list though so hopefully in the not to distant future I will be able to join you and maybe even convince latigid to come as well. Thanks once again Dave for taking the time to help and support me I really do appreciate it.
latigid: Phew Glenn am I glad to hear from you. I was worrying so I'm glad you're alive but so sorry to hear you've all been really ill. In answer to your question about posemaniacs I did find doing them was a lot of fun and I found it quite addictive doing page after page after page. I did them in an effort to loosen myself up and to try and capture that joy you have when you draw as a young child. Do you remember just drawing because you enjoyed it and proudly handing your scribbles to your parents to display on the fridge without the fear that it didn't look good! I've lead a very regimented and routine life, which I think shows in the stiff lines and awkwardness of my drawings. So I think just letting myself go occasionally may help in the long run.....or am I just going barking mad.
I think the short mark pose in post #58 is my best result to date. Its strange though because I can't repeat what I did. I'm hoping its a glimmer of what's to come. So good to have you back Glenn. Don't forget you promised to do a self portrait in a silly hat.....I'll be checking up on you to see it.
Life Drawing class - Week 11 (9.12.09)
I have signed up for the next term of life drawing class as next week will be our last class.
1. Quick warm up sketches. I just really try to feel the pose with these.
2. Long pose - 30 mins. I messed up my measuring again with the right leg and I think the head looks big again. Another stiff, awkward drawing.
3. Long pose - 45 mins. I think sensing I was struggling this week my teacher covered the paper with charcoal for me and instructed me to use my putty rubber to draw with first, then going back in with the charcoal after, but only use the side, no lines. My first attempts were bad but I kept trying and then got quite into it. I was quite pleased with the way the straight leg and foot tucked behind came out. I felt I had captured some form although overall I felt the drawing lacked contrast. I enjoyed doing this though as it felt more like painting would and I got very hands on with it.
Hey! Thank you, for the encouragement. Made my evening
I love your more technical work (something I wish I could make myself sit down and do more often. ) Your studies show a high understanding of the concepts being explained. Thank you for sharing.
I saw some nice boxes and cylinders there You are doing well so just keep it going and draw more!
A little thing for figure drawing, maybe you are already doing it. It can be good to ask yourself 'What is this guy doing?', 'Where is the weight?', 'What is important to show?', 'What is the motivator?', ... before starting drawing.
Hey Marian how are you? The updates are looking good i really like the long pose charcoal drawing! I dont go to life drawing as you know but i have to agree with dcorc up there about the pose times the more time you get to observe the subject the more you can understand it i suppose with your longer pose you can kinda see that you were more relaxed if you know what i mean? Anyway im off on a tangent here dont stop drawing!!
Ephelea: Hey glad to hear I helped. That has made my day . Thanks so much for your kind comments.
DiR3kt: Thanks for your continued support and help, and yes still focusing on trying to see and feel the form. I will also start asking questions before I begin to draw as I think its a good idea.
latigid: Hey Glenn nice to have you back. Yes I totally understand what dcorc is saying. As you know yourself though access to that type of training isn't available for all us. I do find I take a while to warm up at class and that my last drawing is often my best attempt. I still recommend a life drawing class, even if its short like mine as having access to a real model is the best and really makes you think.
krel: Wow, thanks so much.
Life Drawing class - Week 12 (16.12.09)
So this was the last class of this term. I found it difficult to get started this week and my brain didn't seem to be working at all. However, as usual, I just kept trying and I was pleased with my last drawing of the term. I felt the size was good and the proportions were getting there and it had a feeling of form. I've only clocked up 24 hours of life drawing but I do feel I have progressed. I'm really looking forward to next term.
1. Quick sketches which are not good at all.
2. Long pose 40mins. I was really feeling the form on the top half. I struggled with the bottom half though and just couldn't figure it out. In the end my teacher came and showed me what I should be looking at. (His are the marks you see on the bottom half)
3. Long pose 40mins. Feeling festive our model donned a santa hat which made us all smile. I was happy with how this went.
As it's Christmas Eve I would like to finish by wishing you all a Merry Christmas.
Hey Marian me again these last drawings are showing definite improvement the last one is lovely and i really like the seated guy too. I think maybe its starting to sink in the old noggin! I have been trying to find a life drawing class near me but cant seem to find anything through the tinternet in the new year i am going to contact some of the adult learning people near me and see what i can dig up. Have a great christmas and see ya soon
latigid: Thanks for you continued support. I am still trying and drawing everyday even if it's not for long I do whatever I can.
Ephelea: Yes painting with a daisy taught me that you can basically draw with anything and by doing it made approach the drawing in a much more fluid and bolder way. I've never really painted but that was what it felt like using the daisy. Weird I know . Thanks for your kind comments they are appreciated.
midknight523: Thanks so much for taking the time to visit and post. I really admire your work so its great to have your feedback.
DiR3Kt: hehehe.........well I have been drawing just not so good at posting regularly. Your discipline puts me to shame Thanks for the nudge and the support.
I have continued drawing everyday but not got round to posting as the work mounts up quite quickly. Here is the most recent stuff.
1. Bridgman and Anthony Ryder study.
2. David K. Rubins study.
3. Practising a different pencil grip whilst trying to see and feel form using cross contours.
4. Bridgman study.
5. David k. Rubins study.
1. Quick gestures; I thought the top two are the best. The interlaced hands confused me on the bottom one.
2. 40 min pose; Not a great looking drawing but the proportions are close I think.
3. 40 min pose; Really pleased with how this was going. I did a small block in first, top right hand corner, this helped me to understand the space the pose occupied and the basic shapes.
latigid: Thanks Glenn. The eye studies from the Vandepoel book turned out to be real eye openers! I have to admit I was a bit disappointed when I first flicked through the book. It's a small format with not many full page illustrations. Most of the illustrations are very small in the margins. Not what I expected at all. However what a surprise I got when I started to draw them. They really show how to render form without really using line. Which just goes to show that you can't really judge a book's worth by just reading it.
Turbosnail: Thanks so much for your feedback and words of encouragement. Your support it really appreciated.
1. Form and line practice from imagination
2. Still life and form study
3. Anthony Ryder study
4. More form and line practice from imagination.
5. Ellipse practice from Barrington Bardber book.
6. More still lifes
7. Still of my feet in slippers.
Last edited by Marian Rowling; January 29th, 2010 at 01:31 PM.
Reason: Forgot to post image of slippers
I'm sure that I can see some nice improvement in here.. you are studying hard, and I can see that it's working.. For life drawing, maybe you should also check out Vilppu's dvd's.. I found them to be quite useful to me, he talks about gesture drawing, quick sketching, gives and understanding about drapery, and there are also lots of lessons about anatomy and the procedures he uses for life drawings etc. Maybe you are interested, For me they seemed to be quite helpful, but you might have those areas already covered that are taught there, and maybe you'll have your own more comfortable procedures etc. I don't know..
Keep up the good work.
latigid: Thanks Glenn my staunch supporter! I hope you're right and that with each tiny step my path becomes clearer.
spark_zero: Thanks so much for your kind comments and advice. I am really interested to hear how other people study so your suggestions are great. I have done a little bit of Vilppu and I do like him so I have him on my list to revisit. Thankyou again for your support.
70th Birthday Card
I took on a big challenge for me during the end of last year to design and make a card for my Dad's 70th Birthday. I wanted part of it to be a drawing of him in the form of a joke. This meant I spent a lot of time staring at different photo's of my Dad trying to capture his personality. Which is why my sketch posts stopped for a while. I was quite pleased with my results although its not an exact likeness I do feel I captured his personality. I had to put off posting this for obvious reasons so here is a little photo journal of the project.
Hey Marian what a lovely gesture with the card and i can see it obviously meant alot with the studies you put in. It turned out real nice too captured him well i believe. Now i have seen a photo of him i know i was right about him being an intelligent guy. Really nice job!
latigid: Thanks Glenn for your feedback and your kind comments. It was a great project to do.
Life Drawing class - Term 2: Week 2
1. Quick gestures - These are not good I just couldn't feel the gesture at all.
2. 35 min Pose - The lower leg and foot look to thin and small.
3. 40 min pose - Was just starting to get into this one when time ran out.
Hey Marian how goes it? The 35 and 40 min poses look real good i like the fact that you are doing a little thumbnail up in top right its obviously helping you to see the overall shape before detailing! Those quick gestures are far better than i can do also i think i am destined to be one of those slow workers that takes 2 years to finish anything keep on trucking!
I like where u are heading towards. Good exercises that is going to pay off later. Keep at them. One thing abt life drawing i feel is the capture of the pose, especially for short poses. First few lines should really be for the direction and thrust of the pose. Then feel for the shoulder line and hip line. (this is for standing pose. Sitting and lying pose is whole new ballgame ) the angle of the shoulder and hip line is very important as it determine the gesture and the balance of the pose. Then draw the torso first, then the four limbs. You can try initially totally disregarding the contour and just drawing geometric volumes, like cylinders for the arms and so on. Just to let you better visualize the pose.
"Choose only one master.. Nature. " Rembrandt
"The only time I feel alive is when I'm painting." Van Gogh
latigid: It's going well thanks Glenn. I'm quite happy to absorb and try as many different methods as I can to find my own process. My gestures are awful as I don't really understand what I am doing yet. I started to do the quick thumbnails because I was so slow at the longer life poses that I was only getting a few lines down. I don't want to rush so the thumbnail allows me to at least capture the whole pose so that when I get home I can better remember the poses. Sometimes it helps, sometimes not.
Mydrako: Thanks so much for visiting I really appreciate your comments. I was just saying how I didn't know how to approach my short poses, especially standing poses, so your suggestions are great. I will try to remember what you say and give it a go at my next Life Drawing class. Thanks so much for helping and encouraging me.
Life Drawing: Term 2 - Week 3
1. Quick sketches: or that's what I thought. Except this week the teacher liked what some of the other students were drawing so he didn't change the pose. Hence I ended up trying to capture the gesture four times and failing.
2. 20 min pose: I think doing all those bad gestures helped me warm up as I think this was the best drawing of the night.
3. 35 min pose: This one was going well and then I got up to the shoulder area and I lost my focus. I could see it was wrong and I kept trying and measuring but I just couldn't get it.
4. Did this sketch the next day to try to understand that last pose.
Janos: Glad to hear you think the thumbnails are a good idea. I'm very slow so they help me get a feel for the whole pose. Did manage to get a little shading done on one pose this week. It is an area I need to get into though. I really admired your SB so thanks so much for visiting mine.
Life Drawing class - Term 2: Week 4
1. Quick gestures. As suggested I tried to look for the overall direction then the angle of shoulders and hips. Moved on to the torso then the limbs. I do think this helped although the poses this week were really hard.
2. 30 min pose: Really struggled with this and the chair confused me. I have a forearm that looks to long and I couldn't work out the back leg and foot.
3. 35 min pose: I felt this was my best drawing. Straight away I could see the pose occupied a space which was roughly two squares and I was able to work out the pose without doing a thumbnail.
Keep going in the same direction in your life drawing. Some times when the pose is tough and you cannot really gauge the shoulder or hip direction, I would approach it in a different way. I would go more optical and flatten the whole pose and draw it in a graphical way, measuring body parts off other body parts. Kinda like what i see u doing in the second last picture in your second last post I believe it is what anthony ryder called enveloping method. it is basically a subdivision method where u start with the big shape (the envelope) and then carve out the shape from general to specific. Really helps me when the figure is like lying down or curled up.
"Choose only one master.. Nature. " Rembrandt
"The only time I feel alive is when I'm painting." Van Gogh