Sketchbook: Love Tank: Spreadin the Love
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Thread: Love Tank: Spreadin the Love

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    Love Tank: Spreadin the Love

    EDIT: New philosophy on art and life
    So it's been well over six months since I've updated this sketchbook. Shame on me. It doesn't mean I haven't been drawing! But I also haven't been improving like I wanted to, and I couldn't understand why. It's been really frusterating, until about two weeks ago I realized - The essence of art is form and structure not anatomy and lines alone! All this time I thought that anatomy would make pretty drawings for me, but I learn all the parts of a skull, and go to draw a face... my knowledge of a skull dissapears, because I face isn't a skull!

    So I decided the entire way I approach art has to be different, and it's been tough. I am going to go back to basics instead of spending another 20 years biting off more than I can chew and not improving.

    And no more self loathing! Every art piece I will ever do will be a failure, because it wont be the best that I can make it. There will ALWAYS be something I can improve on or do better on. However that doesn't mean my drawings and renderings can't be successes, because they will be successful if I actually DO improve on those things. So if I look at art this way, nothing is a failure and it all is steps towards finally making an artist out of me.

    So my new focus has been form, form, form.

    What I need from you guys-

    Please tell me where I'm having trouble, show me the problems, encourage me where I'm succeeding, but most importantly - tear this stuff to shreds.



    Okay, so here's a background-

    I haven't drawn in years. I was a digital animation major, but found out - I don't like spending 12 hours a day staring a computer screen. But I do enjoy drawing, and I miss it, so I've started back again.

    I've already posted this sketch in the critique thread, but I think I'll post it here too. Please critique anatomy, form... and pose. His name is edward. He's something of a bisexual, very slight effeminate thief. The sword is meant to be a bit of a phallic symbol, showing his bravado. I want to do more with this image, eventually turning it into a painting. Think the phallic imagery is oevr the top? I've never tried using any kind of sexual symbolism before .

    Also, is his pose effeminate?



    And... I also drew some grafiti today, because I've never tried that. It was actually a lot of fun -

    The perspective on the nose, and other features is meant to be off in kind of an avante-garde way. Does it work, or does it look like I'm bad at what I'm doing?

    I wanted to draw graffiti, and couldn't really think of any symbolism to use, but this is what I came up with off hand- the word is ROME, and... I dunno... something about a fallen city as it relates to Rome? Meh... whatev it's graffiti.

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    Last edited by love tank; January 13th, 2011 at 01:09 PM. Reason: wanted to attatch image for thumbnail
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    Hey guys, so for the next little while I'm going to be pushing hard core my drawing from life skills... which completely suck. I may for good measure throw in something else every now and then, but mainly - life and facial drawings.

    I need to improve, and I need to see my improvement, and dare I admit it - I really want you guys to see my improvement too.

    Here goes, today I've been trying to sketch a likeness from a face using different methods, all of my attempts have similar issues (the photos in this post are copyright of Mark Edward Smith, from his book "The Nude Figure - A Visual Reference for the Artist.")




    attempt 1 -

    attempt 2... that I gave up on -

    final attempt -




    and here's a sketch I did the other night, from this photograph-



    This is an example of me using a photo as a reference only, not trying to draw the actual photo (though I followed the pose pretty closely... or tried to).



    Drawing from life and references is the toughest thing for me in art, but I feel like I need to get over that if I'm going to improve in any other areas.

    So if anyone could help me out, I would love you forever.

    P.S. Sorry about the horrible scans, my scanner was built in the 1800s and I used an h4 pencil, which in the future I'll use a much darker pencil.

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    I saw your topic in Critique Center and came here - because I can't give any useful advice I fear, I just wished to tell you I know your pain...
    I started drawing a few years ago, mostly faces, sometimes figures... and I still can't draw anything decent by myself. Maybe a profile view face, but 3/4 view - I ALWAYS mess it up. I practice too little but I try and learned A LOT and still I'm very bad. Something is missing.
    Drawing is a mysterious thing, it's insanely difficult to me. I always learned quickly but I tend to forgot my anatomy knowledge with an incredible speed...

    {Well, I usually can _copy_. Except delicate expressions and other harder stuff. But I want to be able to _draw_ by myself.}

    In my case, my very strict inner critic makes my life harder too and it seems your standards are high too and you too have an eye for flaws... I've seen many with less skills than you and they were confident and had no idea they have HUGE problems.
    I'm glad I'm not some brave and confident but really bad artist-wannabe... still, it's tough in the beginning. We need to draw a lot, no matter what insults the inner critic shouts...
    Well I just assume things, I don't know enough about you. I may write too much blurb but I really want to help even if I can't...

    Don't give up, of course! Practice, study from different sources and show us the results. I want to see your improvement too

    Drawing faces. I've read a few books and tutorials about it... There are no easy way, at least for me. One must try again and again, without loosing heart...
    I don't believe one CAN'T learn to draw decent pictures if he/she really desire for it and put efforts into it for a long time.
    I'm stubborn and I need that.

    Best wishes!

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    Cheers shinn! That was a really thoughtful response, and in a lot of ways it's true. Damn inner critic, I have a love/hate relationship with that douche bag. The thing is, I get it in my head that "I can't improve on this" and then I don't. But I also don't practice drawing from life, so there you go.

    So this morning's sketches should prove that if I can do it, anyone can. I'm kinda proud of them to be honest, not because they are "good," but because they have solid improvements from my last post.

    Thank you deviant art for the completely random face pics.



    Sketch 2-



    More to come!

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    I don't know if you wish to draw digitally, I just talk about my own experience...
    I always had difficulties with lines (somehow I can't control them as much as I wish - except in paper but there I fill everything with dark strokes ), my value stuies seem to be more successful - and more realistic, of course. There are no such thing as line in real life, after all
    Just an idea, but the most important thing that you should keep practice and post (even if your scanner isn't great )

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    You seems to dive in straight to human forms and figures, which can be a daunting exercise, for its’ complex forms and shapes. Suggestions, study anatomy, especially those that illustrate how to break down complex forms and shapes into simpler ones. by doing those exercises and hopefully a better grasp of forms then you'll see amazing improvement (as oppose to your incrimental improvement) in your photo reference exercises, as you'll be better equipped, observation ability wise, to decipher the complex forms shown in 2D, process it within yourself and representing it the way you "know it" again. Hope all these make sense...


    btw, thnx for stoping by my sketchbook. hav fun

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    Shin Yea, I'd love to get into digital art. I don't have any of the equipment for it though .

    Zenichi Thanks for the reply , I'll definitely listen to your advice, given that I respect your work a great deal. It's been a looooooong time since I've done real anatomy studies, so it never hurts to do them again.

    And my update for the night -

    ^ took a break from facial studies for the night and went for a 70s themed cigarette chick. Hey, Girl's gotta smoke right?

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    No, smoking is unhealthy! And it doesn't make her happy, look at her expression!
    I like it, good job, maybe the hand could be a bit better (I think she had more delicate fingers in the ad), I don't know the original though.
    Keep it up

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    I would say don't draw only from photo, you can draw also from life and from mind, you'll learn a lot also in this way. The stuff is to don't do the same type of work two time, it'll be useless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shiNIN View Post
    No, smoking is unhealthy! And it doesn't make her happy, look at her expression!
    I like it, good job, maybe the hand could be a bit better (I think she had more delicate fingers in the ad), I don't know the original though.
    Keep it up
    Careful, she'll cut a bitch! haha.

    And I really only used one old 70s advertisement as reference for this, primarily the hand. It was just a photograph, nothing abstract about it, but it was helpful in drawing African features. I'll try and scan it on my next update.

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    k, today's update. I tried to do some studies mostly today, and I feel like they are paying off already.





    and my face study today-






    Still not a decent likeness, but learning to construct these heads from the ground up certainly took me farther with this head than the others I thought. I also didn't feel lost while doing this as I did the others.

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    FourTonMantis is offline Without vision we will die Level 11 Gladiator: Essedarii
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    Keep hammering those studies. Your line weight is nice and confident.

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    Thanks fourton!

    Update for the night -

    Some cyberpunk thing I had a brainflash of. Prolly wont do anything with it, but here ya go. It was fun to draw either way.



    and my face study... gotta find more time to do more studies... I spend a flippin hour doing searches through deviant art for a good face, only to find out I have to leave for work.





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    hey you look like rambo! good drawing, i like the afro girl
    keep it up!

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    Hey guys , been a long while since I updated but I didn't stop drawing!

    So this is what I've been up to, I'm trying to get some designs done for some screen printing, here is what I have so far, it needs some re-working but whatev.

    Also, concerning anatomy - so I'm getting into nursing. I have to take anatomy and physiology. HOLY crap it's a hard class... BUT, there is this HUGE perk of getting to handle bones. Apparently my school will let me do this whenever I like. The other perk is, I have to memorize not just the bones, but every bump and groove in those bones. This is also going to be so helpful, because it's going to show me EXACTLY how the muscles are going to attach to those bones (since each groove and bump is purposefully designed).

    So I've taking each bone and drawing is a billion times from different directions, and labeling each thing. It's so great to be able to handle the bone and draw it, I can literally see and feel the bone in my head. I'll post you guys my work with that soon .

    I'm going back tomorrow for some more bone studies.



    Last edited by love tank; August 26th, 2010 at 09:34 PM. Reason: forgot the picture :)
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    forgot this picture -



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    Wow so you drew the design that is on that shirt? That's really cool. And congrats on getting into a nursing program.

    "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."
    Lao-tzu, Chinese philosopher (604 BC - 531 BC)

    My SketchBook.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reutte View Post
    Wow so you drew the design that is on that shirt? That's really cool. And congrats on getting into a nursing program.
    Actually I should have explained about this piece, I have NO clue why I didn't (it's been a while). I photoshopped it onto that shirt, so it's not a real shirt. Me and a friend were going to try making and selling shirts, and that was a concept I had for it. Nothing came out of the idea though :/ . And thanks for the congrats

    OKAY, so major updates and a new philosophy on art-

    New philosophy on art and life
    So it's been well over six months since I've updated this sketchbook. Shame on me. It doesn't mean I haven't been drawing! But I also haven't been improving like I wanted to, and I couldn't understand why. It's been really frusterating, until about two weeks ago I realized - The essence of art is form and structure not anatomy and lines alone! All this time I thought that anatomy would make pretty drawings for me, but I learn all the parts of a skull, and go to draw a face... my knowledge of a skull dissapears, because I face isn't a skull!

    So I decided the entire way I approach art has to be different, and it's been tough. I am going to go back to basics instead of spending another 20 years biting off more than I can chew and not improving.

    And no more self loathing! Every art piece I will ever do will be a failure, because it wont be the best that I can make it. There will ALWAYS be something I can improve on or do better on. However that doesn't mean my drawings and renderings can't be successes, because they will be successful if I actually DO improve on those things. So if I look at art this way, nothing is a failure and it all is steps towards finally making an artist out of me.

    So my new focus has been form, form, form.

    What I need from you guys-

    Please tell me where I'm having trouble, show me the problems, encourage me where I'm succeeding, but most importantly - tear this stuff to shreds.



    I have not updated my sketchbook in a long while but that doesn't mean I haven't been drawing. I'll post the mile stone images and things I've been building on over the past few months.

    Getting a likeness in this image finally clicked with me, though the shading and form at kind of hap hazzard, this was before my new lease on art.




    Then I decided to see how I could draw a face quickly, I keep squashing faces... it's a problem in almost all of my portraits. I realized this yesterday




    And then about three weeks ago I did this study from a photograph. I actually think it does show a LOT of improvements with form, anatomy, weight, and likeness. Still a long ways to go!




    And then a few weeks ago I got acrylic pain and a paint pad for the first time. I knew NOTHING about color theory, mixing, values... anything as it deals with paint. Apparently the best way to paint dead flesh is to not add any red to the mix! (I was working with only primary colors, white, black, and burnt umber).


    based off of -

    So these are all the major images leading up to me deciding to learn about form. I'll post those next

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    FORM FORM FORM!

    I read on these forums that eggs take light much like skin, and that they are great for value studies. I decided to give it a shot with paint. Here they are!

    Try 1 - ... ... meh


    Try 2 - at least it's a lighter background


    Try 3 - I decided "wait... I'm learning form not color at the moment" so I did a black and white paint job, much better I thought. Still needs more studies and improvements, but I'll get there.


    So then I decided to try some other surfaces. Next up - GLASS!

    Try 1

    Try 2, glass is full (the top is gray because I started out with values only, and then something distracted me... by the time I got back my brown paint was already dried and I was too lazy to get it out. But it was coke for the win that was in this glass).



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    Built this up, starting with just the nose, no outlining, all forms (until I got past the eye to the outerlining of the cheek).



    Facial study focusing on forms, not outline. I realized if I'm focusing on form, I have to use a softer pencil than an H3, the next study is a bit better for this. I'm not happy with the likeness... but it's better to of done it than not.




    And then this one. The face is uber squashed (I'm realizing all my mistakes as I'm looking through these again to post them. I make my eyes to big and squash my faces, definitely need to work on that).



    Original -

    And then I decided to re-draw the face without any reference to see what I could remember about the form. It's kind of an interesting result, and I feel like some stuff clicked after that about how shadows fall and different face shapes and such -

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    Almost forgot. I'm going back to basics so I'm trying to follow this thread pretty closely - http://www.conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=64711

    Here's my first exersize. I tried to remember what i learned with those eggs above, about how light reflects back and values and such. I feel like it's been a great exersize but please comment and critique it as much as you see fit. I'll do more of em



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    Welcome back

    Form is really very important, we shouldn't forget about it

    The first face in #18 is really nice, cute and very similar to the original, good job. The angle of the mouth is a tiny bit different - and the eyes are bigger but I personally don't think it's a problem, I can accept slightly oversized eyes happily, she just became cuter - but I pointed it out because it's good to know where you didn't follow the original.

    The second one isn't really similar to the face on the photo. I think the main culprit is her eyes. Watch your eyes, they are the most expressive in the whole face and their shape can differ a lot. I think some eyes studies would be good, it's hard to draw eyes, even if you use a reference, if you don't know eye anatomy very well. I think I start to get some idea about eyes but there's so much more to learn about them...

    Glass: tricky material but I love it, especially when I happen to draw it well
    Yours don't look like glass. Maybe I have some idea why, at least in the first case... There's too much white there so the shiny spots so typical in glass, they just can't get enough attention. You should use highlights sparingly. Some darker parts wouldn't hurt either but I don't know if your glass had them, it depends on the circumstances, environment, lighting... The shadow seems be wrong.
    The second one is more glass like but has a serious perspective issue. We see it from above, right? The bottom part should be more curvy then...

    Basic shape study You do the right thing I think. I couldn't do this, I'm too lazy to draw them and I can't even draw a circle so they would frustrate me much. but i shouldn't talk about me and my bad example... sorry!

    Best wishes Keep practicing! I think the softer pencil is a good idea You need shade your faces more.

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    Shinnin thanks a lot for the feedback . It's good to be back! And thanks for pointing out the large eye thing, it's something I've been noticing too. Large eyes and face squashing = bad (this isn't anime!). This face sketch I did yesterday I kept repeating in my head "I will not squash this face... she will not have overly large eyes." I'll check out your sketchbook soon, probably tomorrow.

    Oh and I think you're right, an in depth eye study is definitely in order.



    So working on another painting, I think my skin tone in general is better this time but I definitely think some of it is way too yellow. And don't worry I'll fix the big glob of dark brown that is the side of his face.


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    Oh telling is my opinion is the only way I can live and I subscribed on your SB back then so it wasn't a big deal I honestly think it's good to me to criticize stuff, mostly due to the research I do to be sure I say the right things, my critic skills are too good withour practice, I'm never pleased with my drawings... (but I don't think all are fail, I appreciate my improvement and effort)

    Pencil sketch: her right eye is closer to her nose than the other one. The mouth is too tiny. And I personally think a covered eye doesn't help, it's okay but I hope you draw faces with both eyes as well

    I can't say much about the other one at this point... The colors seems to be strange to each other... I mean, I would mix blush and shadow into the base skin color to help to get the face together... It's late, I don't know if I'm understandable... And I don't say it's the only way but his face looks like he has paint on his cheeks, it's not natural. but maybe you shouldn't worry about skin colors yet, it's not an easy topic...

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    And a new day equals a new face study. They really are getting easier, wonky lips but meh...



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    Decided to jump on into the world of digital and ... ... I kinda like it.

    Here's the girl above this in the starting phases of being digitized. Gawd her right (our left) eye is funky... and I've got to learn to render lips.



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    There are more basic issues with it. The size and placement of features are wrong. The whole face is skewed, the nose is tiny and its bottom is too high in the digital version (the original was much better), the eyes are huge and assymmetrical, the irises aren't round.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shiNIN View Post
    There are more basic issues with it. The size and placement of features are wrong. The whole face is skewed, the nose is tiny and its bottom is too high in the digital version (the original was much better), the eyes are huge and assymmetrical, the irises aren't round.
    Thanks for the crit. I already mentioned the eyes, but I don't see how the whole face is skewed (unless you are just meaning the size and shape of each part)? The nose isn't a big deal, that's a 5 second fix. And the iris on the good eye looks round to me (our right eye, her left), I'm not sure I'm seeing what you are seeing. The bad eye just needs to be re-rendered out to match her good.

    But what about skin tone and depth/form?

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    Skewedness:

    Her left eye is rounder, that's true, not perfect though and I wouldn't mentioned it if the other would be good, probably... It's the smallest thing of all.

    Skin tone... you know, I started to learned about it but I rarely criticize such thing, I don't have enough confidence for that, skintones can be so very different. _I_ would do it otherwise, more orange-ish base color and more saturated shadows to give a warmer look BUT there are somewhat pink skinned people (though your pink seem a bit too much to me) and as far as I know the "more darker, more desaturated" approach is valid as well. I didn't find anything I could give a useful crit even if it looks muddy to me but I checked the colors last time and it seems you didn't use black... It's sketchy and unfinished, I don't know how would it look when ready and I targeted the more important because more basic issues anyway.
    But if you ask, lighting and shading... something is very off. The light comes a bit from above and from the left, right...? The bottom of the chin needs more shadow then, the part above the mouth should be more lit than the one below... But I think I can't say how to color a face properly if you don't know it. And it's not like I know that, I just started to learn it. To me, face planes and of course, studying photos helped a lot. Many photos don't help much though, too much diffuse light and too many light sources to see what's going on.

    Oh one more thing. Maybe you know it but the mouth has no shadows, structure at this point. The corners should have a massive shadow where the lips curl into the inside of the mouth or how should I call that... And the outside of the corners is pretty interesting too and many people don't put enough attention to it.

    I can give you or overpaint or size and position change pic if you want but maybe I'm not good for your confidence... I'm a critic, not a nice one and I do everything for my own benefit I think... Though I really want to help (because that feels good to me ofcoz *shrug*).

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    Quote Originally Posted by shiNIN View Post
    Skewedness:

    Her left eye is rounder, that's true, not perfect though and I wouldn't mentioned it if the other would be good, probably... It's the smallest thing of all.

    Skin tone... you know, I started to learned about it but I rarely criticize such thing, I don't have enough confidence for that, skintones can be so very different. _I_ would do it otherwise, more orange-ish base color and more saturated shadows to give a warmer look BUT there are somewhat pink skinned people (though your pink seem a bit too much to me) and as far as I know the "more darker, more desaturated" approach is valid as well. I didn't find anything I could give a useful crit even if it looks muddy to me but I checked the colors last time and it seems you didn't use black... It's sketchy and unfinished, I don't know how would it look when ready and I targeted the more important because more basic issues anyway.
    But if you ask, lighting and shading... something is very off. The light comes a bit from above and from the left, right...? The bottom of the chin needs more shadow then, the part above the mouth should be more lit than the one below... But I think I can't say how to color a face properly if you don't know it. And it's not like I know that, I just started to learn it. To me, face planes and of course, studying photos helped a lot. Many photos don't help much though, too much diffuse light and too many light sources to see what's going on.

    Oh one more thing. Maybe you know it but the mouth has no shadows, structure at this point. The corners should have a massive shadow where the lips curl into the inside of the mouth or how should I call that... And the outside of the corners is pretty interesting too and many people don't put enough attention to it.

    I can give you or overpaint or size and position change pic if you want but maybe I'm not good for your confidence... I'm a critic, not a nice one and I do everything for my own benefit I think... Though I really want to help (because that feels good to me ofcoz *shrug*).
    Haha dude thanks a lot, this was really helpful! I see exactly what you are saying now about the skewedness. Still easy fixes, but I don't think I would have seen it without your help. And I agree with the lighting issues, I'll also work on that .

    And no worries man, you're not a "mean" critic, because you aren't doing it mean spiritedly. And it's been helpful. I've been conciously thinking about some of the things you have pointed out in my work and it's been helpful (too large of eyes for instance).

    So don't stop being a critic . It's too valuable.

    While I'm at the nose... I think that curve inward on the right side is too extreme, I'll fix that too. Hopefully I can get an update by tonight or tomorrow

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