Sketchbook: 99 Thousand Bad Drawings

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  1. #1
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    99 Thousand Bad Drawings

    In Chuck Amuck, an autobiography by Chuck Jones, the famed Warner Brothers animator, Jones recalls that his first instructor at Chouinard Art Institute greeted the class with a grim edict: "All of you here have one hundred thousand bad drawings in you. The sooner you get rid of them, the better it will be for everyone."
    Slacker that I am, I estimate I have done less than a thousand drawings in 29 years, despite loving both the process and the product. I'm starting this sketchbook to share the process of working through my remaining bad drawings and, with your critiques/encouragement, maybe stop sucking a little ahead of schedule.

    If you see studies of your art (or even yourself from a camwhore thread) here, I assure you it is for my own scholarship and will not be used without permission. I hope you'll take it as a compliment! If you want me to take them down, just send me a PM.

    Last edited by Triffin; November 14th, 2009 at 10:52 PM.
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  3. #2
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    I really want to be one of those artists who shows such improvement from the first to last page of his sketchbook that it seems like it could not have been done by the same person. I'm going to cheat a little bit by starting with some sketches that are several years old. My rationalization is that I only recently finished the sketchbook they're from. That's how little drawing I have done in the past few years. Forgive me, for I have sinned.

    Those of you who have gone through "tiny heads suspended in the middle of the page" and anime phases should be able to relate to some of these, although I still have a lot of love for Hellsing.

    Can any PSO vets identify the class of my beloved character or two of the most notorious hacked rare weapons she's holding?

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  4. #3
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    At long last, we're getting to stuff I've done this year. It would be more valuable if you started critiquing with these, but, hey, beggars can't be choosers.

    Some of these represent a conscious effort to draw quickly instead of slaving over endlessly redrawn details on top of bad bases.

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    Despite the awesome subject matter, this feels a little "uptight" and more concerned with details than overall form.

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    Some Loomis heads. I forced myself to draw the weird little cartoon heads despite hating them, figuring "Loomis knows best," but by the time I got to the end, I actually liked the little guys.

    I'd upload more Loomis stuff, but the attachment manager and my scanner combine to make it a somewhat laborious process.

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  7. #6
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    Welcome to CA.org somehow you've acquired the sense of structure, but not completely, I can see a great level in the drawing of "Leonidas". So my friend I suggest you to work completely in gesture and structure, right now you should avoid rendering, and try to get full of life drawings, this has worked for me.
    Take Care and Keep it up!!!

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  9. #7
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    Morbo on Futurama combined with the edict to use the whole page resulted in something surprising.

    The brain is also Futurama inspired. I got some great PITT pens in 6 of my least favorite colors and really tried to make the best of it. Between my amateur scanning abilities and less-than-pro 13" MacBook screen, the colors look even worse.

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    Thanks for being my first reply, andres! I took a life drawing class today and will get some of the drawings up here ASAP.

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    A few pages of manikins.

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  12. #10
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    Good to see the Loomis studies . They're going to go a long way, specially when combined with life drawing (if you cant get a model, draw people on the train). Keep it up.

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  14. #11
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    I always struggled with traditional painting (or just avoided it) and found doing it in PS to be even more frustrating. Nothing made sense until I did a study (the girl below) based on a quick Prometheus|ANJ painting that showed his process. It's a million times better than what I was doing before, but still lacks any blending.

    It wasn't until I followed a couple of Randis' tutorials that blending made any sense to me at all. That bean might not look like much, but I treasure it for the "ah-ha" moment it represents.

    Using some of those ideas, I did an anatomical study of this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidharth Chaturvedi View Post
    Good to see the Loomis studies . They're going to go a long way, specially when combined with life drawing (if you cant get a model, draw people on the train). Keep it up.
    Thanks, man. Your PA Elton John avatar always makes me chuckle! Loomis' books are a pleasure to read, so I should have no problem keeping up and doing what he says. I know I should take a pocket sketchbook with me to crowded places but I have yet to do it. I'm a little worried people will think I'm a creep, even though I always admire artists I see sketching like that.

    Check out my Sketchbook and I promise I'll return the favor.
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  16. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triffin View Post
    Thanks, man. Your PA Elton John avatar always makes me chuckle! Loomis' books are a pleasure to read, so I should have no problem keeping up and doing what he says. I know I should take a pocket sketchbook with me to crowded places but I have yet to do it. I'm a little worried people will think I'm a creep, even though I always admire artists I see sketching like that.
    That's the beauty of it- teaches you to draw fast and get the gesture down. The Loomis stuff will really feed into it too, it's hard to draw the head or figure that quickly without having some underlying knowledge. All in all though it's a lot of fun, once you get into the habit you'll curse yourself whenever you forget your sketchbook at home .

    Incidentally, there's something I forgot to add earlier- you should get an 18X24 pad of newsprint (they're dirt cheap), some charcoal, and start drawing BIG! It'll train you to make longer, more confident lines with your whole arm. Hard to learn, since we're trained to hold a pencil a certain way (you need to hold it between thumb and forefinger, pointed outward for this), but when it starts to pay off it REALLY pays off.

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    I'm so much more comfortable working small (pocket sketchbook, medium Wacom tablet), but it's a comfort zone I should probably work harder to break out of.

    I got a Biggie newsprint pad and some charcoal before an uninstructed life drawing class (like 5 minutes before) and actually tried holding the charcoal properly. It felt weird enough that I retreated back into my old habits as soon as I got home, but I'm gonna give it another shot. Maybe I can get my cats to model for me.

    My camera needs batteries, so here's some terrible cellphone pictures of newsprint sketches from that class. The second figure is pretty elongated, but the others don't look so bad. If you can see it at all in the quality, you can tell how much more comfortable I am drawing her face with a pencil on the last one.

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  19. #15
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    Skulls from imagination, hand from observation. Got a little eraser happy and turned it into a bit of a smudgy nightmare.

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  20. #16
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    I took a free intro class at LAAFA on Saturday to check it out and think it might be worth taking a real class or two next term. Here's three of the 5 minute poses (drawn holding a pencil between thumb and pointer, no less). I felt like I started out strong and got progressively worse with these. Maybe I was loose at first and started to micromanage the figure in the later sketches (not pictured).

    The head sketch was a 17 minute pose, also drawn with proper pencil holding technique. I liked the result (especially for the time), even though it looks a little like Lulu from FFX and nothing like the model. Is her left eye too high or her right eye too low?

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  21. #17
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    I acted on my man Sidharth's advice and did some quick charcoal sketches on 18x24 newsprint. My cats did some modeling for me, although they didn't really want to be too close to the big arm movements I was making. Both portraits are from photos. If nothing else, working fast and big on cheap paper kept me from being too fastidious, so I'll keep it up as an exercise. I just might not bother posting them all since there's a whole lot of camera and computer wrangling involved in posting such quick sketches.

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  22. #18
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    If I learned nothing else from drawing myself in the mirror, it's that being a figure model is hard. Never again will I grumble when a model shifts ever so slightly in a drawing class.

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  23. #19
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    Here's some studies of Bill Sienkiewicz and Francisco Herrera artwork, with some bonus Vilppu/Posemaniacs gestures.

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  24. #20
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    first of your drawings arent bad.. thats a bad atitude
    Stick with it, draw aaaaaaloooot from life, people on trains bla bla bla.. and dont get stuck copying things from books all the time. use it as refs if you are unshure.

    Tim

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  25. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by DStraX View Post
    first of your drawings arent bad.. thats a bad atitude
    Stick with it, draw aaaaaaloooot from life, people on trains bla bla bla.. and dont get stuck copying things from books all the time. use it as refs if you are unshure.

    Tim
    Thanks, Tim. I don't think my drawings are bad (or I would have stopped a long time ago), but I my attitude is that this stuff is all very early in my development, a long ways off from the awesome stuff I'll be doing years from now!

    I'm really trying to get used to drawing people who don't stand still- capturing their pose quickly and then filling in the details. I did it the other day at a food court and plan to exercise those muscles more. It's a whole different game than drawing a professional model posing for a class.

    Check out my Sketchbook and I promise I'll return the favor.
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  26. #22
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    lovely studies, keep it up! i love the muscle studie in post #11 (: do more
    thanks for visiting my sketchbook, be sure to look back for more sketchs
    (i feel like im selling myself )

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  28. #23
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    Hey man, how're ya? That self portrait is very nice, man. And i like the exercise of drawing your cats. This may be a good challenge for you, as it is for me. When drawing from life, obviously whatever you're drawing is going to move unless it's a model. So, get down the gesture very quickly, clues to where the head is, the arm, the leg, etc.. Then go back and try to complete the structure with your imagination. If it doesn't look right then fix it and fix it again. Erasers are big for a reason xD Don't be ashamed to erase, man. Keep it up, bro, you're doing great! PEACE.

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    Here's my Secret Santa picture for Inkwash, who asked for something based on her username. Lacking the time to teach myself inkwash, I fell back on my love of Batman villains and bad puns.

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