Hell yeah son!
you suck. go die in a ditch.
You seem like a guy genuinely wanting some critique, and you have a lot of dedication and so potential! So here goes:
First of all: I wouldn't flaunt your age so readily. At the end of the day, it shouldn't matter and all it leads to is for people to fill up your sketchbook with comments of "For your age, you're really good!", which isn't going to help your progress. "You're almost as good as Miles" wasn't a great comment either, compare yourself to Michelangelo and Rembrandt and see where that takes you instead.
Copying: Now that's out of the way, the biggest area you need to work on that I can see as a fundamental is your copying ability. Draw more from life and try and use less lines, just have them much more considered. Have you tried drawing in a ballpoint pen? Don't use it all the time, but try it out - anything that is unerasable will get you thinking more, just don't rush your strokes or go over the same line a lot. Try not to jump into values, especially on still lifes until you are sure the proportions are perfect.
Anatomy: Bridgman was fantastic but the studies in his books were just supplements to his life drawing classes, they can be very complicated at times and are often very stylised and simplified to his own means, so you really need to be asking yourself "What am I learning from this? If you took this away and a week later can I draw what he was trying to teach?". The way I like to work on this, usually better with photo references of the nude but also applies to good anatomy material is: Glancing at the reference, loosely sketch the gesture or a ghost of the image, then hide the ref. Try and build up on the sketch from your head, then reveal the reference, copy it exactly (making notes on differences) and repeat - it's too easy to just go through a book like Bridgman's copying diagrams without realising you haven't taken much in, there is a wealth to learn from all his work.
Check out Vilppu's drawing manual too, and Loomis' - both invaluable resources.
What OmertA said that you didn't understand was important, construction is everything. Most figure drawing teachers and books go into their own methods of deconstruction and construction - deconstruction is looking at the head and seeing a sphere with the sides chopped off, the nose is a block, the neck is a cylinder etc, and construction would be drawing the head by drawing or just "seeing" a sphere with the sides chopped off, etc.
Like he mentioned, you are jumping ahead when you try and add value/shade to some of the stuff, try and work on your construction and get it really "solid", this applies to everything you see and everything from your head, that you don't want to look flat. You really want to find a life drawing class at your school or anywhere, that is where you will really level up with your figure drawing.
I see a lot of posemaniacs, be really careful with those - the way you are drawing the outside contour is a good exercise in copying but if you really want to work on the figure your best bet with those is by looking at the gesture of the figure, don't just outline but construct the figures from simple spheres and blocks and cylinders, don't be fooled by their "2 minute drawing" etc, a good gesture might take 10 minutes to draw so slow down and look carefully.
Light: I see a lot of paintings on a white background, from your head and from reference. I can tell from that lizard that you realised simply changing the white "background" or context to a darker grey means all the lighting on the lizard changes and he looks out of place until you change him too. Consider the context always! You don't have pencil & papers limits, you can with the click of a button make the canvas grey at the beginning if you believe the background will be grey at the end. Painting on white means that object is surrounded by white bounce light and will have very bright values, not the easiest to do.
It would really help to read up on how light works, this page is a fantastic resource about it, and here are some more technical pages, they are hard to follow so there's always this if not, which is my favourite. Learning the theory only takes you so far though, painting from life will really boost your understanding of light and colour, and I can't recommend it enough.
You asked if you are ready for work yet, but you should be able to ask yourself this. Look at the artists that are getting jobs and compare your work to theirs. Is yours as good yet? If not, spot the differences, maybe it's just because they have consistency in finished paintings, or good colour, or anything that you know you can then work on. Be wary of the "artists looking for work" section as anyone can post, but look at the "jobs" sections, do you have those necessary skills yet? I see you entering the COW, keep that up and try the other challenges of the week, the teen challenge of the week is very open ended but the others will be really helpful.
tehmeh Wow, there are no words to describe how much you've just helped me. I'll take every word you said to heart so that I can improve. When I read your reply earlier today I immediately went to draw this self portrait. Now I'm going to work on a life drawing like you suggested. Anyway, I thank you very much for your critique
I really tried to work with the colors in this portrait. It was really hard
Last edited by Forrest_I; November 23rd, 2010 at 08:08 PM.
Wow, excellent work! Keep it up!
Amateur Artist. Professional Asshole.
Lookit the Pretty!
Rule #1 of depicting soldiers: KEEP THE DAMN FINGER OFF THE DAMN TRIGGER.
Good stuff, the colours will come naturally after a few tries, it's a whole lot easier if you try still life with a constant light source like a lamp, sunlight changes colour, value and shadows constantly so it's a really tough challenge.
Make sure you blur your eyes to look for patches of value and colour. I see a lot of small brush strokes, try and be as efficient as possible, if you're not really confident with putting down a mark leave it out. Sticking to a minimum brush size and trying not to zoom in (especially on still lifes) will be rewarding. And make sure you flip often, even if it's a still life it will help you see skewing, setting a keyboard shortcut to flip canvas is really handy.
Falcion Thanks, I will
tehmeh I did what you said and tried using a minimum brush size of 7 on this still life. I haven't really ever flipped my images, it's really wierd, but I suppose I'll just have to get used to it.
Here's a 1 hr still life. Minimum brush size 7. The next one I do I'll put more color in cause this looks kinda bland.
do some value studies, you need moar darks, like in that sci fi dude (which turned out realy nice and dynamic! nice job on that)
really make your eyes see how dark things are and draw them that dark, from life.
keep at it bro!, thanks for stopping by mine
Again, with those figure studies you aren't constructing and you're jumping to shading before proportions are there, maybe this has some good examples for you on explaining how the body can be constructed from blocks when learning figure drawing - you need to avoid just drawing the outline contours of the body, there's more on that in Vilppu and Loomis.
The life studies are much better, try finding sphere and cube shaped objects to draw that you can later understand how light behaves with them if you try and construct things.
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