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Thread: Lulie's theory-laden Sketchbook

  1. #1
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    Lulie's theory-laden Sketchbook

    [Updated for 2013]

    Goal is to get good enough to monetize, and to learn everything.

    Description from 2009:
    Favourite part of drawing: The theory side. The actual drawing part is okay, but only because it helps with theory. I like the technical stuff.

    I originally found this site.. actually, through Encyclopedia Dramatica. I've always thought DeviantArt was a bit naff, and was delighted to discover that there exists a high-criticism art site. Just what I've always wanted!

    These days, I mostly hang out in the Critique Center. It's a great way to train one's eye. But, putting the stuff one learns into practise is also pretty vital (not to mention getting direct crits on my own stuff!), so I decided to start a sketchbook.

    Here are some studies. I welcome any suggestions on how to learn better, or how do studies in a more efficient way. Crit away.

    PS: I realise that the split bodies have a bit cut off in the middle. I was focussing more on making each side look right in themselves and didn't notice I wasn't giving the guy enough space until it was too late. Ah well, you live and learn.

    Attachment 778168Attachment 778171
    Updated/representative stuff:
    Name:  05-04-2012-Salamander-small.jpg
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    Last edited by Lulie; August 1st, 2013 at 12:54 PM. Reason: Updated
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  3. #2
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    things look a bit solid ,lines was a bit too thick
    but i think you get the very basic quite right and some part to sharp up on(body shape)
    if you love realistic hero stuff i suggest you take a muscle mazagine and book home and draw them or use some poser software draw on fat and skin.W.

    ^^keep it up
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    Yes, I do have a problem with 'petting' my lines sometimes. I'll work on that. Thanks!
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    Some of the drawings look like you may not be using enough guidelines and planning? Can't be sure of this tho.
    The hard lines on the profile view torso (top pic) look nice and deliberate. Were as most others are quite sketchy and looks like you're less sure about where they should go.


    Also, the guy in the top right of the bottom picture has a torso too small for the size of his arms and head. The head also looks quite large on the bottom left guy too.
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  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ockeroid View Post
    Some of the drawings look like you may not be using enough guidelines and planning? Can't be sure of this tho.
    Which? And how does it make it look bad? And what should I do instead?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ockeroid View Post
    Also, the guy in the top right of the bottom picture has a torso too small for the size of his arms and head. The head also looks quite large on the bottom left guy too.
    Ah yes, I see that. Care to do a redline for the top-right guy?
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    Learn with Lulie

    I've decided to take a different turn with my sketchbook. There are loads of sketchbooks that have pictures of people's progression, but not many that actually explain how they got there and what to avoid.

    With that, the following images are attempts to explain what I've been learning about recently. The reference picture is taken from a Leonardo da Vinci picture found here, on Wikipedia.

    As always, if I've got anything wrong, or if you know a better way to do anything, do let me know and crit away!
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    Shapes and eye structure studies

    I figured that once one has a good understanding of basic shapes, it'll be a lot easier to draw everything else, because everything is made of basic shapes.

    When light falls on something, it can only do a limited variety of things (illuminate a flat plane entirely, e.g. a cube; illuminate part of a curved plane with a gradient to darkness, e.g. a sphere; or a combination of these two, e.g. a cylinder). Though these studies aren't of light, that's what I'm aiming to get a good understanding of.


    The second image consists of my notes of what I've been learning from Gary Faigin's fantastic book the Artist's Complete Guide to Facial Expression. These doodles are extremely small in real life; I might make blown-up readable versions once I have a better grasp on it.


    The reason for the anime eyes at the bottom left is: I thought the way to 'dreamy' manga eyes (calm, collected) was something to do with the shape of the iris and the highlight. Now I understand it's entirely to do with how close to (or covering!) the pupil the upper eyelid is.
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    Just work some more with pencils until your hand feel more confident.
    Line weight is mostly too thick and line quality too shaky , nevertheless , studies you do will benefit you.
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    Just work some more with pencils until your hand feel more confident.
    Line weight is mostly too thick and line quality too shaky , nevertheless , studies you do will benefit you.
    Deceive me out of my emptiness
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  11. #10
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    Trying to learn to get likeness in portraits.

    Attachment 1281889

    Attachment 1281890

    Attachment 1281891

    Attachment 1281893

    Attachment 1281894

    Any books or tutorials to recommend? Seems like I mostly need to work on details of face anatomy, plus practising photorealism (instead of just 'likeness') couldn't hurt.
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    Here's a few tips. Maybe someone else has better ideas.
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    Self portrait

    Leonor that's awesome. Tried copying your suggestion and it came out much better. I still don't understand how to do it from scratch well enough (need to practice some plane heads I s'pose), but I look forward to trying it again in future.

    ---

    First attempt at self portrait. Decided to just use a photo for now to get used to drawing faces, proportions etc. before moving on to the complication of 3D with mirrors.

    Chose a silly ref for fun/interesting eye angle:

    Attachment 1408041

    First I measured with my pencil the height and width of the head and the hair. Then I pencilled in some guidelines, and guessed where things should go, all the while looking at the ref:

    Attachment 1408042

    I think I also measured the mouth and nose from the bottom at this point.

    Then I checked the eyes against measuring and found they were way too high. Once I pencilled in the new position, it felt like it made a lot more sense fitting-in-the-skull wise:

    Attachment 1408043

    Drew in an eye...

    Attachment 1408044

    Finally held it up to the light to reverse the image and noticed it was lop-sided, so I added a lot more on the right of the jaw. Drew in the other features, cleaned it up a bit, started shading:

    Attachment 1408045

    Remains unfinished, but good learning experience.

    I drew the outline of the lips because it seemed like the easiest thing to do, and I wanted to focus on proportions, drawing larger (filling most of the A4 page instead of a small part of it like I would usually do), and generally what it feels like to draw more closely from reference. I figure if I want to practice forms, it'll be easier to use a tablet with a thick brush. (Or at least tone paper.)

    I look forward to being able to measure more accurately with my eyes without always needing a pencil.
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  15. #13
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    There was definite improvement between the sketches before and your self-portrait, in my opinion. The features are aligned better and it has the proper expression.

    That said, I don't think that you aren't really thinking in terms of the "planes" of the face yet. My suggestion would be to look into perspective drawing a bit more, or at least trying to understand the basic concepts. Particularly when you're trying to learn how to draw a face, it's a good idea to know how it's being set up in space.

    For me, the Loomis books helped (particularly when he gets into how to construct the face)... but the other BIG help was just learning to work from real life. If you don't have access to a group of people to draw, you could try doing still-lifes. You'd probably also have some luck if you picked up one of those plaster faces or found a statue to work from. It could be good practice. The key idea is to just practice drawing angles and translating 3D shapes onto paper. The face is full of subtle planes and picking up on those (or learning how to construct them) is gonna be key to your understanding. Learning from a photograph just makes the process a lot slower and more difficult.

    Speaking from experience, I used to work only from photographs and other people's drawings and it took me a really long time to realize that that was part of my problem. Photographs are, let's face it, flat. Your job as an artist is to turn that flat image into something that has dimensions. It's much easier to flatten an image than it is to add depth. Once you learn how to draw things with dimensions (from real life), though, it becomes a lot easier to learn how to construct a convincing face. So then, when you do your photo drawings, they are likely to come out looking much better and have more depth to boot.

    It's a long road to real understanding and I'm certainly not where I want to be yet either, but hopefully my advice will help save you some time. Oh, and let me know if I'm not making sense. It's clear in my head, but I don't always convey my ideas clearly. Haha.

    Anyhow, good luck with your sketchbook!
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