Portfolio Piece - Define "finished drawing"
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    Portfolio Piece - Define "finished drawing"

    I'm starting on my portfolio. I want to get into an illustration program (ringling, artcenter, scad, etc.)

    The question: For the figure drawings... what constitutes a finished piece? I've looked at the accepted portfolio thread and I've seen anything from 1) fully rendered figures w/ backgrounds to 2) figures with the basic proportions and shadow/light blocked in, to 3) figures that are highly detailed in some areas with the rest blocked in... What is the common ingredient that admissions are looking for?

    The problem is I am enrolled in a figure drawing class and the longest pose is 40 minutes. It takes me 25-35 minutes just getting the shapes blocked in. I'm a pretty slow drawer. That leaves me 10 minutes to render it. Any suggestions? Or is the time constraint just part of the screening process?

    You can click on my sketchbook and see my figure drawings from class (the last two images). I wouldn't consider these for my portfolio because they are so incomplete, but can someone give me a percentage of how close I am to a "finished piece"?

    thanks.

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    You have to learn to work faster.
    Also, I don't think that putting sketches in a portfolio is necessarily a bad thing.

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    It doesn't matter.
    The work just needs to be good. If you search long enough you'll find that there is no real answer anyway.

    For example, SCAD had a portfolio review in Houston a couple years ago, and out of all of my work they said my best piece was a page of 2 minute gestures.
    Later on, when I visited SCAD, they had a presentation on how to put together a portfolio. The speaker was adamant that SCAD wanted fully rendered works of art. She specifically emphasized that they did not want to see any sketchbook material.

    Two SCAD representatives giving directly contradictory information.

    Again, it's not hard to get into most any art school. Just pick your best 10 drawings and submit it.

    Patience is a virtue, but who wants to be virtuous?
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    lowercase has got it.

    If you want to do a highly rendered life drawing, though, you always have the option of using a full length mirror to draw yourself. Then you've got all the time in the world.

    P.S. Your stuff looks good. You shouldn't have any trouble getting in.

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    ah the mirror is a great idea. thanks for the answers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noah Bradley View Post
    P.S. Your stuff looks good. You shouldn't have any trouble getting in.
    Agreed. Stop worrying. Art school admissions departments aren't looking for excuses NOT to accept people. It's really not that hard to tell how good someone is from a few random samples of their work. This isn't to say you should show anything but your best pieces, or that you should ignore specific instructions or assignments (RISD's infamous bicycle, for example), just that if you care enough about this sort of thing to actually be worried about it, then you probably don't have to be.

    Last edited by Elwell; October 10th, 2009 at 08:36 PM.

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    btw on the note of your figure drawing technique, you said that it takes a long time for you to do those poses/drawings.... you should consider trying a different technique or studying the techniques of other artists to see if you can absorb a faster way of getting down information.

    just a random tip

    Ringling 2013
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    You're right. I am definitely need to speed up the initial drawing process. I think the problem is that I am not blocking in the largest possible shapes at the start. Usually I establish a base unit (chin to forehead) I lay down an angle, measure, angle, measure, etc. It's just how I've always done things and I'm comfortable with it even though I know it's not efficient. I feel that my drawings are not loose. THey're stiff. But I'm thinking that I want accuracy FIRST and once I get the hand-eye coordination down I can be as loose as I want.

    The accuracy thing is, frankly, killing me. Often times I trace my drawings onto a transparency and then hold it up to the object and compare my angles, proportions, etc. For some things, you can get away with an 80% - 90% likeness. For other things, however, especially mechanical objects, my drawings look like trash and it really bugs me that I can't get the accuracy down even when I concentrate.

    Ah well. Practice i suppose.

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    study study study.

    figure study anatomical references, muscles, bones, do it often... even when you think you have it all mastered, try it all over again, then do it from imagination

    dont try to get the line right on the first time with all the fine details, break it down to simple forms first, come back later and rehash out details

    try starting off at the hip and working from there, starting out at the head a lot of times will immediately ground you in terms of having that "loose" drawing that we look for in sketches and movement

    Ringling 2013
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    i just got accepted for illustration at the artcenter for spring 2010 and it doesn't matter how finish the piece looks as long as it shows your drawing skills, i have a newsprint pad (you know the big ones) full of contour drawings and silhouettes and i thought since they were just a bunch of line but my counselor love it and told my to throw the whole pad inside my portfolio so i did, also sketches are always welcome as they show your quick thinking and ideas.

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    Congrats. Art Center would be a dream school for me. Any reason you're going going in the spring? Is fall 2010 already filled up?

    Also, you literally send them your drawings? I thought you took pictures and sent a CD of jpegs. :0

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    Quote Originally Posted by starshptroopr View Post
    Congrats. Art Center would be a dream school for me. Any reason you're going going in the spring? Is fall 2010 already filled up?

    Also, you literally send them your drawings? I thought you took pictures and sent a CD of jpegs. :0
    originally i applied for ent design for winter 09 but there was a problem with my application, the problem could have been fix but unfortunately i turn in my portfolio on the last day of the deadline, so i didn't have time to fix it.
    then i didn't want to waste time so i applied for illustration and the earliest term was spring 2010 so i apply for that.

    as for the portfolio, they required the work itself for all major except ent design, where you can send copies (hard copies, they don't allow cd's nor files, only hard copies).

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    when you say "your counselor" you mean the art center counselor right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by starshptroopr View Post
    when you say "your counselor" you mean the art center counselor right?
    yes, go see one they will answer all your question and give yo advise and go continuously as you update your portfolio so they can help you along the way.
    btw my counselor's name is cory radcke, he's cool.

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    Knowing when to finish a piece of art is just one of the key components to being a sound illustrator. It's as integral to the entire process- and like with any piece of art, only YOU know when it's done. You have to develop the confidence to know whether a sketch is done or when a three hour study is complete. In essence, no piece is ever complete until you say it is; there's no magic time frame to it.

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    done usually means i'm tired of working on it. but i do get what you're saying. thanks.

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