Sketchbook: Kelp's Garden - It's Sowing Time!

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  1. #1
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    Kelp's Garden - It's Sowing Time!

    Hello CA, my name is Ronald, I'm 26 and I live in Amsterdam. I started drawing at a very late age, the first time I picked up a pencil was at age 18. I've been doodling a bit since then and doing an occasional study or bigger piece and really enjoying myself while doing so. But what's been bugging me is that I often have really nice ideas for things to draw, but not having the skill of making it happen (and doing it well). So I want to change that, and a sketchbook sounded like an excellent way to begin. Feel free to leave a comment or a crit!

    So here goes! Let us embark....on brave adventures!

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  3. #2
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    Yess, here goes! I heard about these posemaniacs and that they're good exercise for pose and anatomy, so I started with some of those. First some 5 minute poses, then 90 seconds, then 30 seconds. Then studies of my left hand, since I have lots of trouble drawing hands. Finally a self-portrait. It didn't turn out very well, lots of things wrong with it (I don't really look like that). But it was a nice way to practice shadows and value, and it showed that I need to pay more attention to proportion when I'm sketching the lay-out of a face.

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  4. #3
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    More brave adventures! Posemaniacs, hands, feet and my brother's dog which was kinda sleepy and stayed still for 15 minutes. And fat penguin. God I love fat penguin.

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  5. #4
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    Your dog is so beautiful! I wanna run my hands through his (or her) fur! Your shading skills are great for the most part, and you aren't afraid of light and shadow. That's nice to see!!!

    Since you haven't posted much and had the opportunity to show us more of your artwork, I'll pose a question: Do you ever work outside of pencil/graphite? I'd like to see some media exploration with chalks, paints, all the works, different bases, all that good stuff! I'm a huge fan of traditional media...

    Unfortunately I lack the critical eye that some other members of CA have developed, so you'll have to wait for them for the real technical critiques, but I hope I've atleast given you something to work with.

    Media exploration! Good luck Kelp! I'll subscribe to your thread and look at your updates. Oh and Merry whatever holiday you celebrate!

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  7. #5
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    Thanks for the comment and supportive words! To awnser your question: No, I almost never go outside pencil. I have a small wacom and occasionally do something digital, but even then I mostly stick to a pencil-sized brush. I think it's a very good thing you're suggesting, to work with other media. I have a set of acrylics back home, I'll make it a goal for myself to learn how to use them!

    And Happy Holidays to you too!

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  8. #6
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    Yesss these were some brave adventures! Unfortunately I couldn't get my own scanner to work, so these are photographs instead. 1 hour on the flower, more like 2 on the cloth. The flower is from a photo and the cloth from life. Color is hard to do! But at least you can recognize it's a flower.

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    Woooo more brave adventures! First up are some quick sketches of the goats at the petting zoo and my friends (neither of which would stand still) which was like doing posemaniacs, then some 15 to 20 minute sketches of my friends reading, but after that: my brave adventures into color! First one is acrylic, one of the first I've ever made and the second is chalk and charcoal, the first ever. About 1h 15m on each one.

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    hi, looks like you are on your way.

    The pepper, carrot still life has a nice painterly quality about it. Good handling of acrylic there.

    the second the horizon line takes away from the balance. Also the crystal would need a ton of investigation to make it look convincing.

    The choose of objects are important. Try to pick things you will be capable of doing.

    A teacher said to me you can do a crappy drawing and a great painting but it will still be a crappy painting. There is a lot to say.

    But from my experience so far it is seeing ability not drawing ability. So keep it up and keep the faith .

    also thank you for the encouraging comments on my sketchbook.

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    Msegal: Thank you for the supportive words, and yes, I am indeed on my way! I also agree with what your teacher said, every good painting should be constructed on top of a good drawing. And yes, the pineapple lamp does need a ton of investigation to make it look good. But I don't quite agree with your suggestion to pick only subjects I'll be able to do. In a final piece which is designed to look nice yes, but in everything else I'm following someone else's advice: "You must have a complete disregard for your own disabilities. Do the things that you're incapable of doing." The end result of an exercise like that won't look nice, but you'll be pushing your own limits. And you either learn something, or the picture shows you what you should learn before progressing further. And I just happen to have such an example of a wonderfully failed painting, in my latest brave adventures!

    And here they are! Some 60 sec posemaniacs and Loomis proportion studies of the ideal male and female. Below those I have included some quick figures from imagination as I draw them now (without Loomis' help) which I figure would be fun to compare with what I'll draw when I've learned some about Loomis. Next is a 30 minute painting from photo, which I did because I really wanted to put a huge contour around something that doesn't need it. Don't ask me why, I just have weird urges like that from time to time. And finally is my wonderfully failed painting of EOW 130: The Well At the World's End, 1 hour. I say it is wonderful, because it shows what I need to do before I can paint nice environments. I think that I need to paint a lot from reference first, like trees, forests, skies, stone, rock and water. Of course that's the kind of default advice that a 5-year old could give, but learning it in this way rubs it really in my face.

    Oh, and why do I keep calling these drawings 'brave adventures'? Because I have World of Goo - Brave Adventures on loop when I'm drawing. Makes me feel like I'm setting of in the Santa Maria in search of the New World! We're all brave explorers here!

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    Your figure studies are looking really nice especially the ones from posemaniacs. I would continue to draw more people, and maybe pick up an andrew loomis book.
    Keep drawing!!

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    "The Imagination, the inside of our heads, truly is the most vast frontier" - Terence Mckenna

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  13. #11
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    These latest figure drawing sketches are great. I suggest doing some 15 and 30 second sketches. This'll force you to focus on gesture and contour rather than detailed volumes, which really gives your pieces a nice touch of excitement. Anyways, that's my two cents.

    In a helpful tone, I admit that your foreshortening seems a bit jankity, particularly in your last 2 updates. That's one of those things that's just so difficult without practice. I still struggle with it. Just keep that in mind when your working on your sketches: conquer foreshortening.

    Also, I'm getting a sense that the size of your paper is dictating your artwork rather than you consciously controlling composition and scale. It looks like your brain is begging to go bigger. Have you ever thought about working with pastel or charcoal on paper that's 18"x24" or bigger? I really think; in fact I KNOW that you'll benefit from you. I see this same thing in my older sketches (and still now every now and then)... Anyways, everytime I get this feeling about my own artwork, I know that I have to get out of my sketchbook and go bigger. Of course you shouldn't force it, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to get more comfortable and draw bigger.

    Anyways, goodluck! I like seeing your drawings

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  14. #12
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    Ohhh I have neglected poor fat penguin! He's staaaarving :'( But hey, nothing to do about that but have more brave adventures!

    Frittzell(Image): Thanks! And yes, Loomis would be a very nice thing to study. I've been looking at 'Figure drawing for all it's worth', and it's a great read!

    Nutella: I the update below I did some posemaniacs after I saw a video about the 'gesture'-thing you suggested, and they were really nice to do! Gave a nice effect, the simple flowing lines instead of volumes. For the foreshortening, I hope mr. Loomis can help me some there. And the paper size: I used an A3-size for some of the posemaniacs and an A2-size (which is 18"x24" (roughly? or exactly? mmmdunno...) ) for the life drawing sessions, but I kept cramming in more poses just to fill the page...I guess I just like filling the pages :3
    Though it was really nice to work on an A2 for the life drawing sessions. A somewhat different feel than just making a small figure in the corner of a page.

    So, an update! We have some drunken posemaniacs, some posemaniacs done with a pen held down on the page (to keep me from padding my lines) and some posemaniacs which focused on gesture. Then some hands, which gave me the sensation I leveled: I was suddenly able to draw convincing cartoon hands (which I couldn't do before), by drawing only 3 fingers. Much easier to draw, and perfect for cartoons. After those are charcoal drawings from life drawing class which just started (and it is awesome!). They range between 10 and 30 minutes, and I had a lot of trouble with them, I was constantly slacking and basically not putting in any usefull lines, which left me with no time to do any shading. I really wanted to change that cause well, I don't want to waste life drawing sessions.
    But that succeeded, because today I had the second class, and I finished my painting way on time! I was constantly keeping my brush busy, just like Mr. Loomis says you should! (It's drying right now, I can show it next week)

    And finally we have a birthday card I made for a friend of mine. The text isn't that clear, but it reads: "Higher and higher the 'Bloon' flew, granting the explorers vista's of new, distant horizons. ...but they still didn't know what these so-called 'miles' were."

    I hope this strengthens poor underfed fat penguin somewhat...

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    Hardworking fellow, aren't we? That's good!
    If you keep this up you'll level up in pronto to no time!

    When using colours though, try to avoid just using a darker version of the main colour as shadows. It flattens the image a lot. See how you did the still lives? Keep what you learned from those in mind when drawing on the computer.
    A computer still-life would be awesome. And give us some more portraits!

    Your gestures are wonderful though, and you seem to be doing an awesome job. Keep it up! You'll be great!

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  17. #14
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    Hmmm I'm not particularly hardworking, I just update in bunches, makes it seem that way. But that's a good thing you're saying about not using a darker version of the main colour as shadow, because I always just assumed that's the way to go! Actually, I never really thought about it. So what do you do instead, do you use a darker, cooler (and thus more blueish) color? Anyway, thanks for the kind words and the support!

    So, I wasn't really drawing any exercises lately, I was instead making a comic. And I figured, what the hell, why not post it here? It's something I'm drawing after all, so it should be part of my sketchbook!
    I'm making it for the paper of our small weird student society, and it's me through and through. I love making weird things and I had a lot of fun drawing these pages. Really, in drawing them I had to reread all the dialogue and jokes a hundred times over, and I was laughing out loud each time. I just loved making that world :')
    Anyhow, the original is in Dutch, which is why some of the speech bubbles and fonts are a bit weirdly sized. Also, some things were kinda lost in translation, but I think most of it got through.
    So it's called 'Snow White and the drag queens', named after the board of our society (they're called exactly that). The name...well, who cares about the name. Let's just dive straight into it!

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    Looking good here. I must admit I really really love Fat Peguin. More of him please! hahaa

    Oh a more helpful note, I agree with another poster who recommended Loomis' books to you if you haven't started reading him already. You should be able to find his books online as a .pdf file. They're wonderfully helpful.

    Your posemaniac poses look good, nice loose and gestural. Your fabric study surprised me because it seems a whole skill level above your other stuff. Very nice. You tend to fall a little short on your faces/figures when you start rendering them which isn't necessary. You can render fabric folds! And that shit is hard. Just stop thinking of the figure as a person and start thinking of it like you thought of the fabric, areas and plains of light and dark. You'll be shocked at how much better your figure looks right away if you can just shift your mindset on that. Drawing from The Right Side of the Brain is a book that addresses this and how it's the tendency to draw symbols of an object rather than the actual object. Good book to pick up and read if you can.
    If you are able to, more dramatic light source on the model can be a big help in seeing the plain changes of the body as well.

    "This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy." -Douglas Adams

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  20. #16
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    Hey man, thanks for the supportive words and comments! Yes, Loomis would be a good idea, I have his 'figure drawing for all it's worth' but I haven't really been studying it yet =/. As for the rendering of the folds, well, that only worked so nice because I was drawing from life. When trying to draw them from the top of my head they don't turn out so great at all. That book you're suggesting does sound nice though, it seems like it would be a good thing to study. However, I have a pile of 25 books lying all across my room which I still have to read (Loomis among them) =/

    Anyhow, more brave adventures! From life drawing class this time, 15 minute charcoal poses, final one in charcoal is 45 minutes. And then there's a 2 hour acrylic one.

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    Braaaaave Adventures! I got a moleskin! And I've drawn some of the houses at the canals in the centre of Amsterdam in it, which was really cool to do! Also, 15 minute poses from life drawing class.

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    More pages form the moleskin. I loved making that windmill, I always cycle past it on my way to my parents. What I didn't realize when I was drawing it is that I was sitting in the same spot Rembrandt often sat, along the Amstel river (near Amsterdam). That river used to be a favorite subject of his, and I can tell why. It's a cool place.
    The turtle was kind enough to pose for me for half an hour. He was keeping perfectly still, standing atop two other turtles, basking beneath a lamp. It's as if he knew what I was doing, cause the moment I closed my moleskin he dove back into the pond.
    And then there're 5 minute portrets of my friends playing guitar hero! They're all in the same pose, cause they were all intently staring at the tv. But that was just perfect! I had to do things quick though, cause I only had time for as long as a song would last. Worked out fine most of the time (except when someone chose Blur - Song 2 )

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    MyOrangeHat: This past month whenever I was drawing, I kept thinking about what you said about our tendency to draw symbols of an object rather than the object itself. It just made so much sense! And by just thinking about it, I kept trying to focus on planes and values rather than the symbols of the object I was drawing. I think I learned something from you! So thanks for that, man

    Anyway, more things from life drawing class! Two 20-minute watered-down acrylics (which were meant to mimic aquarel), and yes, that second one is also meant to be a person . She's lying on her side.
    Then some 20-minute drawings and finally a 2 hour painting.

    Keep on rolling by!

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    Updates from live drawing class! Quick drawings with easti-indian ink and lots of water, mostly body parts (the second is an arm, the third a leg + torso), 10 minute poses in pencil and two half-hour drawings in something called siberian chalk. Cool to do!

    keep on rolling by!

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    Pages from the moleskine! Shoes, buildings, crocuses, portrets...it's got everything!

    Edit:
    Oh and yes, that hyacinth (in the colored one) is the same as I drew a while ago.

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    Life drawing class. 15 minute portrets, a 1-hour pastel portrait and two 1-hour acrylics.

    Edit: Maybe if I actually attached something =/

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    Pages from the moleskine. Some portraits from photo's, some things from life and a few ideas from imagination. We had a sketchmeet this afternoon, and it was very cool! I drew Benzo while he was drawing, and it turned out really well!
    And then there's a T-rex.

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    hey good work, you sure draw a lot (so you got the most important thing down, which is practice practice practice)

    most of your drawings look quite flat to me though, like you're tracing outlines. try instead to think of everything you draw as 3-dimensional masses, that'll not only make it look a lot better, it'll actually also make it easier! there's some great drawing books by loomis, hogarth, bridgman, etc that all focus on correct construction - it's one of the foundations of drawing i reckon you should focus on.

    hope this helps

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  30. #25
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    Thanks man, though I don't really think I draw that much, I try to check in some regular time behind the moleskine. But you're right about me just tracing outlines, I do that. I was noticing it myself the past couple of weeks during life drawing class and some other sketching, that I spend a looot of time tracing outlines and often not having any time left to shade planes. I do the following: In the first step I sketch the figure roughly, in the second step I draw every outline there is (for too long) and in the third step (which I then omit) I shade planes. I've made a few slight beginnings to break that habit, I've done a few sketches in which I skipped that second step nearly completely. But I should do a lot more of those to get rid of the habit.

    Anyhow, small update, this is the flower pinecone I dreamed of. I sketched it roughly in my moleskine to remember it (some pages back), but here I rendered it some more(for about an hour I think?). God I hope that in a few years I have some sweet skills and turn this thing into something that grows on wondrous trees in a far-away land beyond the horizon.

    Keep on rolling by!

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    And the daffodils look lovely today - look lovely (look lovely) look lovely!
    (there's no music note emoticon so I used a heart cuz that's also just right for daffodillies!)

    So I noticed that this page is getting way long, maybe I should start doing smaller updates. Hm. I might start doing just that.
    So there's daffodillies from the moleskine! They're everywhere now, and they just started to wilt. They look awesome when they do!
    Aaaaand lessee...we have some quick 10 min sketches from my friends who were watching 24 or playing guitar hero,
    and there's another portrait of Benzo from our sketchmeet. Which, btw, if you live near Amsterdam, are welcome to join!
    Maybe I should put a link to it in my signature...hang on I'll do it right now.

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    Hey kids, Benzo and I have been doing sketchmeets in Amsterdam, and today we went to the zoo. Animals are kinda hard when they won't stand still but apart from that it's a really cool experience! So here are moleskine pages with animals!

    Edit: Oh maybe I should translate that small comic on the second page. It reads:
    'The ladybugs are constantly trying to steal my sheet music'
    'They pick up the musical notes from the pages and walk away with them'
    'To their ladybug nests. Where they cover their eggs with notes.'
    'They only take the warm ones (to keep their eggs warm)'
    'Which means that, when I now play the piano, I can only produce dark, sad notes. It's really annoying.'
    'But I've found something for that. Since two weeks I'm rubbing honey on my back, and now hives are growing on it'
    'The bees are a formidable defense against vermin, including praying mantisses.'

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  33. #28
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    looking good there!
    I always loved to draw those pinguins to XD

    Yah, ur lifedrawings from peeps and animals are getting better.
    Keep working hard!
    Good luck!

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    Thanks man, and yeah, the penguins were fun to make :3

    So, we're gonna do smaller updates then. We have here a 2-hour pastel drawing from life drawing class:

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    We had another sketchmeet today, and there were four of us! Things really are beginning to get going, which is great! We spend the afternoon just drawing and playing drawing games, for instance a DSG-like game where everyone takes their own approach in drawing the same subject and a 'draw 1/3 of an image, give to person on right, continue until all drawings are done.' You get some weird and awesome drawings that way!

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    Wir sind Helden

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    Do you live near AMSTERDAM? Then join our SKETCHMEETS!
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