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August 25th, 2009 #1
Long Road Ahead - Advice Appreciated
After being inspired by other people's sketchbooks and the improvement over time that can be seen in them, I have decided to start my own. I am pretty much a beginner, but I really want to improve my skills. I first started drawing about two years ago. I felt as if I was progressing quickly, but for some reason I stopped after about a month. I started again about two months ago and now I regret having stopped. Two years of consistent work would have helped tremendously. I am posting what I have done so far in chronological order starting with the sketches from my first attempt to learn to draw. Then I will post the sketches from my current attempt.
I am very serious about learning to draw well. When I have reached a decent level I plan to move onto painting while continuing to develop my drawing skills. For the next while I plan to focus on the following:
Still life drawings
Old Master copies
After I have done a few studies of the facial features, the skull and the muscles of the face I will start trying to draw portraits. I will start with a self portrait in a week or two. I will also try to construct the figure or parts of the figure from the imagination in order to put the anatomy I learn into practice. Vilppu's videos will be my guide in this. I will try to attend life drawing sessions as soon and as often as I can.
Please don't hesitate to offer advice or criticism.
Last edited by evandempsey; August 26th, 2009 at 06:55 AM.
Hide this ad by registering as a memberAugust 25th, 2009 #2
The Older Stuff
Five older drawings
Last edited by evandempsey; August 25th, 2009 at 07:16 AM.
August 25th, 2009 #3
The Older Stuff
The rest of the older drawings
August 25th, 2009 #4
The Newer Stuff
This is when I started to draw again.
August 25th, 2009 #5
More Newer Sketches
As you can see I have found Loomis.
August 25th, 2009 #6
Still pretty much line drawings.
August 25th, 2009 #7
Nice studies so far, keep up the good work
August 25th, 2009 #8
Trying to learn how to handle shadows.
August 25th, 2009 #9
The Last of the Old Sketches
Two value studies and a careful copy of a da Vinci drawing. I will post new work as I complete it.
The man with no name: Thanks, I'm gonna check out your sketchbook.
August 26th, 2009 #10
Wine Bottle and Milk Carton
A fairly dreadful sketch I did this morning. Oh well. I will upload everything for the sake of having a complete document of my progress.
August 26th, 2009 #11
A version of one of Michelangelo's drawings.
August 28th, 2009 #12
An attempt to learn the anatomy of the skull, as promised.
August 29th, 2009 #13
I bought an artist's mannequin yesterday. Just making a few line drawings of it. I've noticed an increase in my ability to judge proportions already. Lots of work still to do.
August 30th, 2009 #14
Two quick shoulder studies from Loomis.
August 30th, 2009 #15
Great man keep tackling the foundations. Don't worry about anatomy, that's for later. For now focus on developing your eyes so you can actually copy very accurately the studies you're doing, that way you're not committing incorrect principles to your memory That being said don't stop the studies of all the basics, it'll pay off
August 30th, 2009 #16
AmbientChroma: Thanks for the advice. Those last two are 5 minute things which are purely for the purpose of learning the bones, but I am working on copying other anatomical drawings as accurately as I can. I can feel that this is developing my eyes and teaching me anatomy at the same time, so it's like hitting two birds with one stone. Next week I will be going to life drawing sessions for the first time, so I want to have at least a basic idea of what I'm looking at. If you think I'm jumping the gun, please say so.
August 30th, 2009 #17
If you want my advice just study a lot of perspective. Learn to think in 3 dimensions.
When drawing objects, it is more important to think about ideal perspective than it is to copy what you see. Just one small movement of the head and the whole object changes - that's why a constructed perspective will create miracles.
Shade where the form is changing. Where the planes bend. Get the "Drawing manual" by Glenn Vilppu, he explains it well.
August 31st, 2009 #18
Thanks for dropping by my sketchbook. You are right, we are in the same situation. I will keep an eye on your progress, maybe we can learn a thing or two from each other.
Take care and good luck to you
August 31st, 2009 #19
Today I got my hands on a copy of Rex Vicat Cole's "Perspective for Artists." At first glance it's an amazingly thorough book. It will take a long time to digest all the information in it.
September 1st, 2009 #20
A study of the muscles of the face and ideal proportions from Loomis. I am working from a portrait drawing book by Giovanni Civardi and I'm learning loads. An attempt at a self portrait will come after I complete the studies of facial features in that book.
Using information that I have found on this forum and elsewhere on the internet, as well as in Juliette Aristide's book and Darren Rousar's book on cast drawing, I am going to make a start on Bargue's "Cours de dessin." Plate 1 is taped to my drawing board and I am getting ready to attack it.
Thanks to everyone who has offered advice so far.
September 1st, 2009 #21
Evan! Thanks for dropping by my sketchbook!
I think you have a good goal and a good set of studies. I like the loomis in there, and the number of other books you have mentioned. You have to have good resources!
I will give you the spiel that is really pushed at the academy I study at. Proportions are number ONE. You should work in a linear sequence of objectives. Once you have one you continue to two, and three. But a drawing wont make sense if you start with 2 go to 1 and then to 3. Its like building a tower with a crumbly foundation-the drawing will be weak with out the proportions.
The school embraces the training of the eye. The best way of doing that is to practice accurate drawing from life. Thats what I recommend you work on more. Life drawing. You see, learning to draw is like training your body. You must balance activities to maximize your potential- but most of all you must practice! You can understand all the theory, history, and read the books- but if you dont have the practice then all that information does very little.
Dont worry about the look of the drawing-but worry about the accuracy. They are studies not works of art. So work at learning as much as you can and training your eye as much as you can. You will be alright!
Keep posting! Im watchin' you!
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September 1st, 2009 #22
Hey thanks so much for dropping by my sketchbook---you're doing really great with the studies. I'll be keeping my eye on you ^_^
September 4th, 2009 #23
Ok. This is the first half of Plate 1. I only have an A4 printer so I am going to split up these first plates and copy them piecemeal. I did it on cheap a4 sketchbook paper using cheap 2h, 4h and 2b pencils. It took me about six hours.
The line quality is dreadful. I don't think I can do anything about this except keep drawing and make an effort to lay down lines in a single sweep, keeping my arm loose. I noticed that the line gets wavy when my shoulder or wrist is tense or when the palm of my hand is pressing down on the paper.
There are lots of minor proportional errors. I outlined everything with a 4h pencil first and most of these errors were not apparent then. I introduced quite a few when I was going over the lines with the 2b pencil. I was pretty much committed to those lines then, because with my shitty pencils, eraser, paper and tendency to press too hard I would have left a big mess on the page if I had started erasing lots then. Part of the problem was that the lines on the original are so much thicker than the lines I was getting with the pencil.
On the plus side, I find that the sight-size technique is quite intuitive. I don't want to become reliant on it, but it will be a good thing to have in my arsenal, and it's definitely helping me to train my eyes at the moment. I have already made massive gains in my ability to judge proportions compared with when I started a few weeks ago.
Things to focus on as I continue with this Bargue plate:
Line quality: make it smoother
Proportions: make an extra big effort to catch all errors and correct them at the early stages. This will be easier if I resist the temptation to press too hard with the pencil, damaging the surface of the paper and making it hard to erase.
Criticism and advice is welcome, as always.
September 6th, 2009 #24
Very clean lines. You are concentrating on the right things. You could do self portraits too. Though very frustrating at first, there's a lot to learn from them. If you aren't too shy, go outside and draw people there. I've found it to be great fun! Dunno... just draw whatever you want and don't stop again.