I am not sure drawing with someone else hand is useful but i think the point of drawing practice is to improve the hand-eye coordination. So if u are considering getting a third arm... well....
anyway, i think ur eyeing is improving alot. Your rough proportion is almost there. Now u probably need to improve ur line work. Your lines are abit too rough and scratchy? Quote from jeffery watts... there are 3 kinds of lines in a drawing.. straight, slightly curve and very curve... Kinda simple suonding but thats precisely what we should aim at.. If u see a straight line, draw it straight from start to the end point. Dont try to draw it by segment. If u miss the end point, draw again from start to end. This will really improve ur line work and ur overall drawing.
"Choose only one master.. Nature. " Rembrandt
"The only time I feel alive is when I'm painting." Van Gogh
Zazerzs: Hey Zazerzs thought my "drawing with someone else's hand
" might raise an eyebrow or two.
You are right I have put aside my studies of 'Structure of Man'. Just got caught up I guess with all the other books and study materials. So thanks for giving me a friendly nudge to pick it up again.
Mydrako: Hey Mydrako your spot on about my line work it needs a lot of work. I was only saying to one of the other students about it this week. She is going to bring in some exercises that I can do to help. So your help is very timely. Many thanks.
Life Drawing: Term 3 - Week 2
Really enjoyed myself at class this week.
1. Quick gestures
2+3. 35-45 min pose.
Thanks for dropping a word in my sketchbook. Your eyes are definitely improving when it comes to getting proportion, and that's a great thing.
Now, looking at your latest drawing, I'd think it would be safe to say you're focusing mostly on outside contour. That is, you are approaching the model in front of you as if he/she were a 2-dimensional shape. Thinking in terms of shapes is a valid approach. There are, however, opposing schools of thought on this; I myself prefer to see things in term of form -- i.e., 3D instead of 2D, and that's why I favour drawing through the form rather than sticking to contour only (for an analogy to drawing through, think of computer wire-frames). Drawing through the form, wrapping (light!) lines around it helps to actually visualize volumes on a 2d surface, and moving from one side of the form to the other helps you relate volumes, keeping them consistent and rhythmical. If you look at your earlier studies of Bridgman, in the beginning of your sketchbook, you will notice that he (and you, as you copied from him) was actually doing that, though in a subtler way: look closely at all the lines that actually appear *inside* the outside contour. They help describe form, and they follow perspective as they so do.
Thinking in terms of form rather than shape is, as I said, just one among many schools of thought. If it is easier or more intuitive for you to think in terms of shapes (i.e., 2D, rather than 3D), I'd suggest that you try to think also of the shapes within the biggest, outside shape. Think also of the smaller shapes that help define and clarify the biggest sillhouette. For instance, instead of thinking of the "cylinder" of the ribcage, and how the chest muscles wrap around it (i.e., instead of thinking in terms of form), you can think of the shapes that the muscles make, almost in an abstract way, and draw it. What's important, in my view, is to see beyond the outer contours (contours which, strictly speaking, don't exist: we are not surrounded by lines; there are no lines around us -- there are either forms (real volumes) or shapes (the images we see of these real volumes); lines are ideas -- i.e. useful fictions -- which indicate when one form or shape ends and another begins. Thinking in terms of outside contours only won't give your drawings solidity. Just think of those "scene of the crime" chalk outlines on the floor, and you will understand what I am talking about. For a good example of someone thinking in terms of both outside shape (silhouette) and inside shapes, take a look at this video by Charles Hu: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tYX6RyjfnM . He is also thinking of form, to be sure, but in this particular video I think his emphasis is above all on shape, on the 2-D, visual aspect of what constitutes the image (rather than form, the 3D, sculptural aspect of it).
bkkm: Wow thanks. I really appreciate your lengthy post as it's great to know what process and approach you take. I'm still trying to work out my own, although I know I do admire artists work who draw through the form, such as yourself. I'm not sure yet what my natural way will be but you have given me much to think about and it is very helpful. The link to the Charles Hu video is great, I wish there was more.
Life Drawing: Term 3 - Week 3
1. 5 min gestures
2. 35 min pose. I was quite happy with the bottom half of this drawing. However I really struggled trying to understand the foreshortening on the shoulders and arms. Also couldn't get any form into the back. I realised that I was a bit lost drawing the back as all my usual points of reference weren't there.
3. 40 min pose. Thought I try something different with this and crush the charcoal between my fingers so I could lightly smudge my measurements onto the paper. This may well have worked, had my inner child not taken over with the sheer delight of crushing charcoal and smudging it with my fingers with little regard for actually looking and measuring the model. My teacher walked past, looked, and said 'well that's a different approach'. Which translates to 'oh my God what is she doing!'. Result; a rather smudgy, blurry mess.
Zazerzs: I can't thank you guys enough for coming and supporting me. It's so great to have fellow artists you admire helping you out. I totally get what you are saying about my lack of form. I think bkkm's "scene of the crime" is spot on and I keep seeing that now when I look at my drawings. So this week I did try really hard to look and see the interior marks and think about getting that 3d look. I've watched the Charles Hu video a lot of times in the hope I will get a better understanding, but I think this stage may take me some time.
Life Drawing: Term 3 - Week 4
So my focus was back on measuring and looking at the interior forms as well as the whole. Our model had very long thin legs compared to the roundness and weight of his torso that I found difficult to draw. I am also still struggling with how to hold my charcoal and work without smudging what I have already drawn. Another student kindly brought in some mark making exercises for me to try. So I'm hoping that my help. I struggled with the perspective of the stool on my last pose and my teacher kindly showed me the way with a draw over. You can still see all the faint lines which were my attempt.
1. 5 min gestures
2 & 3 35-40 min poses.
Last edited by Marian Rowling; May 13th, 2010 at 11:19 AM.
Reason: Forgot to add about the perspective.
Ah better I think keep at it. I did a draw over just cause I liked that one with the table.Hope you don't mind., i just traced over you shapes that were already there but could use some emphasizing.
Strengthen your line a little and work those 3d forms
sorry but I don't use charcoal so I can't suggest anything there, what kind are you using? It seems like you are doing mostly line work and certain types of charcoals just are difficult to get good line results with.
I would suggest some drawing tool that you can sharpen to a point but still have a long enough tip so that it can be used for shading as well when turn to its side.
are you doing the longer poses on newsprint?
Last edited by Zazerzs; May 14th, 2010 at 05:31 PM.
Zazerzs: The draw over is brilliant. It quite literally speaks volumes to me. Can't thank you enough for your help. I think the charcoal we use is vine. I find sometimes it seem scratchy. I'll have ago at sharpening it. I'm not to sure what the paper is. It seems to have a bit of a tooth like cartridge paper. Is newsprint quite thin and smooth? I'm not sure what our UK equivalent is.
Studies from photos and artists Sergio Sanchez, Kevin Chen, Euan Uglow. The really beautiful photo is by photographer Jamie Ibarra. Also I've been watching some Riven Phoenix videos.
I could tell your improvement right away. You definitely got the idea Studying from Kevin Chen is a great way to reinforce that as well. I find that another artist who really pushes this point (giving volume to your drawing) home is Glenn Vilppu. Personally, I'd recommend his drawing manual and his videos. The problem is he has MANY videos, which gets expensive after a few. I'd say a nice and not so expensive combination would be his manual plus his Figure Drawing Video number 6 (Basic Procedure), which together would go for about 60 dollars. Or, if spending thirty dollars more were an option, add to it his video on using cylinders (number 5), which is my personal favorite (though not as basic and thorough as the other I mentioned), because there he shows you in a brilliant way how to really think through and relate forms as you draw.
papervampire: Thanks so much for your kind words and help. You are quite right I am timid when drawing due to a lack of confidence. I'm hoping the more I try the more confident and bolder I will get.
bkkm: Hi Brenno thanks so much for your post. I did visit Glenn's website a while back and didn't know where to start. I am trying to always think about volume now so your personal recommendations are so helpful. I really appreciate you doing that for me. The link to the blog is also super useful and will aid my progress no end.
jigje: Thanks so much for dropping by. I've been trying to do as much as I can. Have to say your progress is really inspiring and always makes me want to try harder.
Life Drawing: Term 3 - Week 5
I was completely thrown this week by the teacher placing the model on the opposite side of the room. This took me right out of my comfort zone which I think is a good thing. The quick gestures really show how much I struggled. Still trying, on the longer poses, to get down the overall proportions first and also look for the interior areas that show volume.
Just like last week the model was on the opposite side of the room. I felt used to it this week and continued focusing on my usual areas. I did become aware of what little control I have of the charcoal and how much I smudge my work with my hand as I draw. This is a bit of a problem as I often smudge out my measuring marks and then get lost in my own drawing! An area in which I intend to improve.
1. 5 min gestures.
2. 35 min pose.
3. 45 min pose.
Kenny Callicutt: Hey Kenny thanks so much for your words of encouragement it means a lot to me, coming from you. Thanks also for your personal recommendation of Glenn Vilppu's teachings. I have just starting to watch some of his videos, thanks to Brenno's (bkkm) suggestions and I think they are great.
I'm glad Zazerzs reminded me about Riven Phoenix vids as I've been enjoying watching and drawing them. I've continued to do further studies from photo refs and also from my own life drawings. It's half term this week so there won't be a life class update. I miss it when I don't go.
Lusaka, Zambia. Willing to relocate to anywhere in the world.
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wow, that's a massive amount studies they're all very well planned & drawn, though there's a slight smudging in the pencil works you need to watch out for & in your latest post i like the second drawing you did her neck's a bit too wide though. keep up the good work
Hey Marian, lots and lots of improvement in here. I'm very glad you are working hard, it pays off. Few things are still a little bit off regarding anatomy (5th drawing in your last post, the guy on right, his head is too small and left arm too long). But overall, you are showing a lot of progress. Keep up the hard work!
miycko: Thanks for the support and help. I'm trying to build up some arm muscle so I don't keep smudging my hand through what I've drawn.
Ivan Turcin: Thanks Ivan for pointing out the errors. I'm at that stage when I can see the drawing isn't correct but I can't yet tell what exactly is wrong. Its good when someone else tells me as I can then go back and see. In this case I can now see if he straightened his arm he could touch his knee!!
Janos: Hey Janos thanks for stopping in and congrats to you again on getting into Art School in Stuttgart. Your very inspiring so your words of encouragement are great. Thanks for pointing out the hairline.
The photo is me outside the exhibition of the British Museum's Italian Renaissance Drawings. This was great and I got to see a hundred drawings including some by Raphael, Leonardo and Michelanglo. It was awe inspiring and I feel so fortunate to be able to have gone.
1. Still trying to work on this study from a photo. My proportions are way off I think.
2-6. Studies after Glenn Vilppu.
7. Study after Raphael.
8. Trying very hard to draw pine cones. Not easy!
The pine cones look very challenging to master! I love that your studying with Glen Vilppu, it definately shows by the way you construct your figures. I'm very inspired at the attention you pay to your line. Would love if you could share the wisdom to other inspiring artists .
redpandafire: haha yes I'll be really happy when I can master the pine cones! Thanks so much for your kind words and support. I'm only to happy to share what I know but I'm not sure I have much wisdom yet. If it helps I use a very hard pencil to draw with like 3H. Mainly because I have a habit of pressing to hard with a HB pencil. So I have been training myself to draw lightly. I will often go through the movement I want to make with the pencil just above the paper to get a feel for the line. I then try to make the lightest mark I can and when I'm happy I go over the lines to make them bolder. I hope this is what you meant and is of some help.
andres333: Hi andres333 thanks for your recommendation of Vilppu. It's great to meet fellow artists who are following the same path. I appreciate your feedback and support.
Life Drawing: Term 3 - Week 7
Well after having a week off I really enjoyed myself at class. My gestures are still awkward although I do now thing I know what it is I'm trying to do. I think it's just a matter of time and practice for it come through into the drawings. I was really happy with both my longer poses and I seemed to choose good measurements to start with, which I think may be the key at the beginning to whether my drawings go well or fail.
Looks like you've been keeping busy over the last 30 days! All of those studies and figure drawings are looking great. I see that you really take your time to peg the figure's proportions which seems to be a good tactic that I need to use more. I tend to want to start doing detail, then I discover that the proportions are all off. Without decent proportions, a figured drawing will never look right, even to the untrained eye.
purplegoat: Hey PG thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your kind words and support. You are spot on about trying to get the measurement right first. It's not easy and requires a lot of patience and a strong resolve. In the beginning it can seem that you get hardly any lines on the paper which can be frustrating. However I think if we stick at it our drawings will be so much better for it.
Life Drawing: Term 3 - Week 8
Drawing from the opposite side of the room again. I've got use to standing the other way round now.
1. 5 min gestures
2. 10 min pose; a strange pose from my position. I felt sorry for the model as it looked painful.
3. 30 min pose. I think the arm is too long, the head too big and the feet too small. Got stuck with the foreshortened arm and hand.
4. 40 min pose. Managed to confuse myself with this and my initial measuring. I tried to correct what I could but I now think the feet are too small. I found the foreshortening of the arm difficult.
It's nice to return here to see that your studies have been paying off well. Especially your Vilppu studies. You will soon see (in fact, I think you already have , judging by the drawings you selected to study from), that there are two main ideas behind Vilppu's drawings, two fundamental aspects of drawing you can learn from him: gesture and structure. Some of the gesture studies on post #139 are looking superb. Your structure studies, such as those on post #135, are not looking bad either. As you keep drawing you will begin to realize that of the two ideas, gesture is perhaps the most important, since it lies at the beginning of the drawing (capturing the "pose"), and, as you work on the structure more and more, it is again gesture (or rhythm, if you prefer) that will help tie all the "bumps" together into a pleasing whole.
One thing that Vilppu does not stress too much, however, is proportion. He believes (and I tend to agree with him), that proportion comes with mileage, that you will gradually begin to develop a "sense" for the right proportion, a sense which is more important (and less stiffening) than measuring every single bit of the model as you go. As I said, I tend to agree with this, but I think that "acquiring mileage" is a more active process than it may sound. It needs, so to speak, our collaboration: it is not only about "practicing", but about practice with a purpose, with a goal (or a set of goals), focusing on specific problems. I see in some of your drawings a few proportional problems here and there (such as the size of legs/feet on the last drawings on post #144, which appear too small). My suggestion, in order to give the accumulation of mileage the help it needs, and assuming you don't want to spend all your time measuring the model (if you do it's perfectly fine, I know many great artists who rely on that, and it seems to work fine for them), would be to use a kind of comparative, or relational, gaging of proportion as you go. Let's take that last drawing of yours as an example.
When you are about to draw that lower leg, look at the model and compare (no need to use a measuring device; though of course you can use one if it helps) its angle and length to that, say, of the thigh. How big is the foot relative to the leg to which is attached, or the knee, or any other landmark that you might find useful? The key word here is "relationships": a "big" foot is only big in relation to (or in proportion to) all the other parts in the drawing. This kind of comparative measurement is useful, I think, to determine both size and placement of things. Measure one part, with a glance that with time will become almost instinctive, against all the other surrounding parts. Check angles to find placement: if you draw an imaginary line from the bottom of the model (say, the right foot), to the bottom of the buttocks, what angle would that line make? Does it match with what you were about to put down on your paper? Or have you discovered that the left foot should have been, instead (for example) placed higher in relation to it? The same reasoning goes for all the other parts of the figure. Where does that left knee end in relation, say, to the end (which is nearest to it, and therefore easiest to compare), or to the other knee? What angle does an imaginary line from one to the other make? Perhaps you'll find out that the angle from one knee to the other is more vertical than you had thought at first, and therefore the left knee should not extend as far, and the left upper leg be not as long... and so on and so forth. The advantage I see that this comparative method of measuring possesses over other methods is that even if the model moves, since you've been basing your measurement on the RELATION of one part to the other, you can still go back to your drawing to make sure the relations of one part to the other hold true, that it is, in other word, internally coherent (even if not matching exactly what is out there on the model stand). Well, once again I wrote too much. I hope it helps a bit more than it confuses Keep up the good work!
It will pay off! I agree with bkkm that Glen V has much valuable information! I see the bridgman studies and am a huge fan ( along with Andrew Loomis for rhythm and construction, Vanderpoel for anatomy of the figure ( basics) and I would suggest something that might help you understand heads a bit better ( I wish there was a good version of this for the body but I have never seen it. This is the planes of the head and for it to work, you have to really memorize it ( copying it, tracing it over photos and then employing it in your life drawing/painting work.. give it a shot! I got it from Glen Orbik who studied with Fred Fixler who was a student of Frank Reilly ( studied with Bridgman)..
Thanks for stopping by my sb and thank you for the kind thoughts! I started back to school 3 years ago full time..
Hey there, you've definitely improved a lot! Your drawings are showing so much more life and form, and the proportions are looking more accurate too...
Other people have already weighed in with really awesome comments so I'll just say this - I'd really like to see you relax and just let the pencil (or charcoal) flow through the page. When you do the 30-second and one-minute poses, don't lift your pencil tip from the paper, just keep tracing the gesture of the body in very loose strokes, from the elbow & shoulder rather than from the wrist. (The elbow pivots on a much wider axis and helps you get the larger forms right away - drawing from the wrist & fingertips is better for details and close-ups later on. Also, because you're not letting the flat of your hand touch the page, you won't smudge the lines as easily.) I think that technique of gesture drawing will help your drawings "come alive" and take shape almost right away.
I am touched by all the replies and want to thank you all for posting. I hope you know I admire you all and find your sketchbooks very inspiring. Your words are invaluable and truly appreciated.
bkkm: Hey Brenno, you can never write too much in my opinion. Your post is timely as I have started to feel a bit conflicted in what direction I should go with gesture, structure and measuring. Yet again your words of wisdom have helped clarify what I should do. Your observations are right as I do want to study form at the moment. Eventually I would like to do oil painting as well which from the little I have studied requires you to look for 2D shapes. Yet again I thank you for all the help and support you are giving me. You are great.
krel: Hey krel thanks so much.
Ivan Turcin: Thanks for keeping an eye on me Ivan. Its good to know you and bkkm agree. You are both great guys in my opinion.
kevinwueste: Hi Kevin thank you so much for your kind words and support. Its great to know what you suggest for study and I appreciate it and the planes of the head advice and study sheet. Thank you for introducing me to this area of study. I have to say it does look complicated but I'm sure with study the pictures will become clear. It's great to see what you have achieved in 3 years and I think you are a fine example for both younger and older students. I thought your small head study paintings were beautiful and something I would like to achieve for myself one day.
Arish: Hey Arish I'm pleased you can see some improvement. You are right about me being tight in my drawing. I do need to relax so thank you I will try to do what you suggest. Especially as, an added advantage, I won't smudge my lines!! It really is kind of you to encourage me and I truly appreciate your support.
I've been studying the side and front of the skull from Riven Phoenix videos. Still studying Vilppu and trying what I learn on photo poses. I'm trying to find the lines that capture the pose and as Arish noted be more relaxed and loose with my lines.