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    drawntz

    New sketchbook and a fresh start. These are studies completed today. Any feedback is appreciated.

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    Last edited by jonmorris; April 7th, 2010 at 03:41 AM.
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    Looks good, a great start. The details and shading on the top guy's face is good but it looks like the proportions are off a little. His left eye looks too close to his nose compared to the right eye, and it looks too low as well. His head is tilted so it should be slighly lower, but i think its just a TAD bit too low. The nose, right eye, and mouth all look great though. Hope this was helpful! Keep up the good work! (the other stone guy on the bottom looks fine, I couldnt think of any critiques for it)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChristianWeeks View Post
    Looks good, a great start. The details and shading on the top guy's face is good but it looks like the proportions are off a little. His left eye looks too close to his nose compared to the right eye, and it looks too low as well. His head is tilted so it should be slighly lower, but i think its just a TAD bit too low. The nose, right eye, and mouth all look great though. Hope this was helpful! Keep up the good work! (the other stone guy on the bottom looks fine, I couldnt think of any critiques for it)
    You're right the slant of the eyes doesn't match the nose and mouth. I should have seen that before I started finishing the drawing. Still working on my proportioning. That's a portrait of Francis Bacon if anyone is interested. Struggled with it quite a bit.

    The bust was drawn much more quickly, and I think was an easier subject. Everything was simply laid out as opposed to doing a real human face.

    Thank you Christian.

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    np, and welcome to the forums!

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    Don't be shy, post some more. The bust that was drawn, does look like the lines are fluid and have a variety of line sensitivity. And the wings too. It's really a good thing that when you start your drawings you draw lightly and then transition to more darks. The portrait there is a good start, just be aware of your values. As there isn't much range from dark to lights. Otherwise great job man and keep it up.

    I'm out to conquer the world equipped with a pencil, digital paint and a Sketchbook
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    "When you draw nervously you end up with a nervous drawing, so drawing strongly produces lines filled with vitality"- Nightow Yasuhiro

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    Quote Originally Posted by sanakris View Post
    Don't be shy, post some more. The bust that was drawn, does look like the lines are fluid and have a variety of line sensitivity. And the wings too. It's really a good thing that when you start your drawings you draw lightly and then transition to more darks. The portrait there is a good start, just be aware of your values. As there isn't much range from dark to lights. Otherwise great job man and keep it up.
    Thank you Sanakris. No worries, I'm not shy nor sensitive to critique. The entire point of the sketchbook is to improve my drawing skills and get what help this website can provide. I did the portrait on smooth paper with a mechanical pencil. May have been a mistake. I like the way it smudges but found shading with any sort of gradation difficult. Not that my shading is normally flawless. I'd like to improve it along with everything else.

    And thanks Christian. I'm actually not new to the forums, just decided to start over and hold myself to a higher standard. This is my second sketchbook.

    I had some more time today so did another study. This took about an hour and a half I believe. The foreshortening in the right leg gave me the most trouble. Overall I had allot of difficulty. I need to practice figure drawing more often.

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    Just one thing I saw about your latest figure right away is that her right arm and leg (viewer's left) look kind of short and spindly compared to the rest of the body. But I think it looks pretty good besides that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Gray View Post
    Just one thing I saw about your latest figure right away is that her right arm and leg (viewer's left) look kind of short and spindly compared to the rest of the body. But I think it looks pretty good besides that.
    Wow you're right. That arm looks like it's about ready to snap off. I think I can fix that, but that leg is killing me.

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    You'll get better at it, for sure. If you work at it. Or you could be like me and laze around for year and a half...

    luckily we have leeway in childhood to slack; but im glad I got out of it. Best advice is to never stop; always do a drawing a day. And study what you suck at. No use studying for a test you can already pass.

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    Hi, Jon--

    I checked your skbook out *specifically* since I saw our pal, Francis Bacon, in the preview avatar...so it looks like him! (It is wonky, though, and you want to make sure that any Wonk you show is intentional.) But I definitely like the drawing.

    You're investigating the right things with your female life drawing. Keep an eye out for your proportions and your marks:

    Proportions: Measure, measure, measure. Her lower half feels small and jammed-in to fit the bottom edge of your paper. An amazingly useful, quick trick is this: Make little (erasable) lines, as your first marks, to mark the top and bottom of your figure. Next, make a mark exactly halfway between them. Now use a pencil or short dowel to measure the figure in real life, and notice where the halfway point is on the figure. Also using your measuring tool, check relative lengths, like: How many heads high?, The upper arm is the same length as?, etc. Then you can check angles from life to drawing using the measuring tool. You're going to find that, using those techniques and an unflinching willingness to erase, that proportions are just a matter of time and effort--and no big deal.

    Also, flip your paper as you work and keep a small mirror with you. Proportional problems will jump out at you, and you'll know where to focus your efforts.

    The female life drawing has some nice passages: Her left upper arm is good, as is her left torso and breast area. The head's pretty good too, but the eye is a little low and left and her nose-to-chin area is a bit compressed. I can tell you paid a lot of attention to her legs--just keep measuring.

    As for marks: think longer, planar/angular lines at first. When those structural underdrawing lines accurately reflect the proportions you can go over them with the approproate "line-quality" lines and you can avoid the Hairy Drawing Look. Also, keep practicing your shading/hatching. You might want to look into doing some charcoal Ground Drawings so you can think about areas of light and shadow (and how they relate to form, weight, and volume) without bringing hatching into it.

    Keep it up!

    Cheers,

    Nick

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    Quote Originally Posted by drd View Post
    You'll get better at it, for sure. If you work at it. Or you could be like me and laze around for year and a half...

    luckily we have leeway in childhood to slack; but im glad I got out of it. Best advice is to never stop; always do a drawing a day. And study what you suck at. No use studying for a test you can already pass.
    Absolutely. My intentions are to do just that. Unfortunately I've been slacking much more than a year and a half and my childhood is far behind me.

    But Francis Bacon was 35 when he blossomed and Beksiński was approaching his 50s when he first decided to become a painter. I'm out of excuses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rusko-berger View Post
    Hi, Jon--

    I checked your skbook out *specifically* since I saw our pal, Francis Bacon, in the preview avatar...so it looks like him! (It is wonky, though, and you want to make sure that any Wonk you show is intentional.) But I definitely like the drawing.

    You're investigating the right things with your female life drawing. Keep an eye out for your proportions and your marks:

    Proportions: Measure, measure, measure. Her lower half feels small and jammed-in to fit the bottom edge of your paper. An amazingly useful, quick trick is this: Make little (erasable) lines, as your first marks, to mark the top and bottom of your figure. Next, make a mark exactly halfway between them. Now use a pencil or short dowel to measure the figure in real life, and notice where the halfway point is on the figure. Also using your measuring tool, check relative lengths, like: How many heads high?, The upper arm is the same length as?, etc. Then you can check angles from life to drawing using the measuring tool. You're going to find that, using those techniques and an unflinching willingness to erase, that proportions are just a matter of time and effort--and no big deal.

    Also, flip your paper as you work and keep a small mirror with you. Proportional problems will jump out at you, and you'll know where to focus your efforts.

    The female life drawing has some nice passages: Her left upper arm is good, as is her left torso and breast area. The head's pretty good too, but the eye is a little low and left and her nose-to-chin area is a bit compressed. I can tell you paid a lot of attention to her legs--just keep measuring.

    As for marks: think longer, planar/angular lines at first. When those structural underdrawing lines accurately reflect the proportions you can go over them with the approproate "line-quality" lines and you can avoid the Hairy Drawing Look. Also, keep practicing your shading/hatching. You might want to look into doing some charcoal Ground Drawings so you can think about areas of light and shadow (and how they relate to form, weight, and volume) without bringing hatching into it.

    Keep it up!

    Cheers,

    Nick
    Thank you very much! I'll have to refer back to this tomorrow. I do the classic beginners mistake over and over jumping into the drawing before I know where everything going. I'll give these steps a shot. Really appreciate it.

    And Bacon's the man. Figured why not kick off the sketchbook with one of my favorite artists.

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    nice,,, do daily sketching...! goodluck.

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    First and foremost, good on ya for starting a new sketchbook.

    As mentioned, proportions proportions, and proportions. As a general rule of thumb, work on the whole first before getting into the bits. If the whole doesn't work, it doesn't matter how well you render the details. A portrait can have really beautifully rendered eyes, but unless they're at the correct places, its not gonna work.

    One of the things that help is to block in the overall shape of the subject first. Work lightly so it's easy to erase and make changes. Get a feel of the overall proportions first before committing to any lines. This can be blocked out either the edges between the background and the subject, or the edges of geometrical shapes you observe in the subject itself.

    Another thing is to not be reluctant to make changes. If you know something isn't right, fix it. The eye's too low? Make it higher. Another reason to work light first and solve the problems of proportions in the initial stages so it doesn't come back and slap you in the face after you spent time rendering. It really sucks when you spent so much time and effort rendering only to have a problem with proportions pop right up.

    These are just advice I picked up/got reminded of from reading around the forums the last couple of days. I've been trying to skip too many steps in my drawings, and I ended up suffering from frustration/disappointment and lack of confidence/motivation.

    Keep up the good work. Draw more. :
    @drd: "No use studying for a test you can already pass" I like that quote

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    Thank you bharat and Yang.

    Today's studies. A still life and line drawing from photo reference. The still life could have been better. I should probably go back and fix the bottle, or try the bottle again in the future. The ballet dancers I drew side by side with the reference doing plenty of measuring and erasing. Didn't even think I'd be able to draw it but line by line measuring, erasing, redrawing eventually it came together. Her legs are too long which wasn't initially intentional but left to add more of a sense of motion.

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    I haven't used charcoal sticks in some time. I'm not sure if I was ever any more accurate with them, but I found myself a little lost working on this. Came out looking pretty odd, certainly no likeness. Not completely unhappy with it however, just would like to improve my charcoal drawings and learn better control of the medium. Life drawing coming up in January should help.

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    Study of Diamanda Galas. I made some mistakes. The nose was too high. Just for the heck of it I tried lowering it a little in photoshop using the liquefy feature. Hair should have been fuller I think, but maybe it adds something to how narrow her face is. She's a very interesting looking woman with very harsh features. Beautiful but not in a conventional sense. Besides I'm a fan.

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    Hey, you managed to capture a pretty good likeness to her. One thing I noticed though is that how you shaded under her mouth looks a little odd, like she has a roll of fat right under it. I like the range of values on your charcoal piece.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Gray View Post
    Hey, you managed to capture a pretty good likeness to her. One thing I noticed though is that how you shaded under her mouth looks a little odd, like she has a roll of fat right under it. I like the range of values on your charcoal piece.
    Thanks Lady Gray. We'll say that's her chewing tobacco.

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    Rasputin. Value drawing in pencil. Lost some accuracy focusing on areas of shadow but did start with a rough line sketch. Might be worthwhile to try the technique again.

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    Tried to breathe some life into the ballet drawing, still think it looks flat, and did some studies of eyes. My eyes are often off especially when the head is turned slightly. I need to keep working on that.

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    WIP from an old Time magazine photo of Mussolini. Probably going to work on something else and go back to it. I'm getting bored with it.

    Need to step it up and do some more studies, motivation is lacking. Was declined to a surrealists group and it was a bit of a kick in the pants to my confidence, but I should keep my concentration on the goal of developing my skills.

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    Good start,your shading is definitely very good!
    I think some anatomy studies would go a long way in improving your art!
    Keep it up!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DSmith View Post
    Good start,your shading is definitely very good!
    I think some anatomy studies would go a long way in improving your art!
    Keep it up!
    Thank you!

    Agreed. I've done some anatomy study from photo reference but it's probably not a good as having a real life model. In a few weeks I'll be in a life drawing class which I'm sure will be beneficial. For now I'm restricted to photo reference, still life, and a mirror.

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    Went ahead and finished it. May go back and do the entire scene.

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    Self portrait from a mirror. The drawing isn't super strong but it does look like me. I'm happy that I'm able to get likeness more easily recently.

    I didn't intentionally make myself look angry, I just look like that. No wonder girls were afraid of me in highschool.

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    Haven't updated in awhile. I've started colored pencil and life drawing. Here's the first 2 resulting from my colored pencil class. There's an apple as well I was happy with but it's on display.

    Placement of the highlight on the spheres is off a little and they're a bit flat. Not terribly happy with how that assignment came out so I've done some other geometric shapes on my own. Much happier with the squid.

    Got allot more stuff I might upload later, or might not.

    EDIT: Turns out what I was drawing was a cuttlefish not a squid. I should have researched what I was drawing. It needs 8 tentacles with another thick one on the other side and the background brought behind them to bring them out. Teach seems to think I might be able to sell it to an aquarium or something. A series of technically sound drawings of aquarium animals may have a market of some sort and sea life is something I'd be interested in doing. Worth a shot.

    Last edited by jonmorris; February 26th, 2010 at 12:13 AM.
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    Study from a plaster cast. Charcoal, in progress.

    I'll be completing it from photo reference which is unfortunate. Out of class time, but after the amount of time already invested in the study I don't want to leave it half finished. It's been challenging but I'm learning from it.

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    Some recent life drawings. All charcoal.

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