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August 11th, 2010 #1
My art quest, starting at the beginning.
Hi everyone! I'm interested in art and would like to be able to do some passable drawings of people, perhaps draw some fantasy-themed art, portraits, or just cartoons for fun. Maybe a web comic. Who knows?
I'm starting at the beginning and I've never considered myself an artistic type. It's been a real challenge so far. I hope you can provide some helpful criticism and some encouragement.
My plan is to draw every day, analyze my approach, and to feel competent in the hopefully not too distant future
Hide this ad by registering as a memberAugust 11th, 2010 #2
Okay, here's day number one. The picture of my hand has the lines on it because I was doing it for an exercise in "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain". The Xbox 360 controller was on the table and I thought I'd give it a go.
I can tell the controller is off because the right thumbstick didn't have enough space at the base. I made the controller too squished vertically. Given my lack of skill so far I'm actually pretty pleased with it, while simultaneously feeling a bit daunted with how far there is for me to go!
I feel like the toughest thing for me right now is to get the outlines of things done in correct proportion. Does anyone have some insight on what would help me out with that other than to just keep drawing?
August 11th, 2010 #3
Hey man, good start. Haha if you're only going to settle for passable drawings of people then you won't have to work much.. or as Michaelangelo is said to have said (ohh, pun )
'The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark'
So why be realistic, hell, aim for the stars, you might not reach them but then you'd just fall down on the moon
I like the way you analyze your work, it will bring you very far. As for having the outlines in correct proportions, I am sad to inform you that it is all about drawing, a lot. With some thought behind it as well. You're already reflecting over what 'went wrong' and that will lead you to find new approaches.
Observe the world around you and think about what you see. Once you begin to pick up the fundamentals a whole new world will open up. Ugh, I could go on rambling... so in other words:
Have fun, Draw more, don't worry, have fun, draw some more, have fun.. oh, did I say have fun? have fun! haha, see you around
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August 11th, 2010 #4
I realized I needed a user portrait image, so I grabbed my wife's tablet and tried a self-portrait in Photoshop.
This was very tricky to do since I know nothing about shading and have a lot of trouble with proportion but it eventually started to look like me a bit! That was exciting
I'm going to keep at this one and I really enjoyed the exercise of trying to draw a face from an image.
EDIT: Just looking at this now is a real eye-opener! Bottom left jaw comes out too much to the left. Ride side of smile goes too far. Left eye too big, right eye too goofy. *laugh* Pikachu's mouth is too wide. I dare say I'm getting the hang of this!
Last edited by Retrothomas; August 11th, 2010 at 11:19 PM.
August 11th, 2010 #5
@DefiledVisions: Thank you very much for your comment! I think I'm setting an attainable goal on purpose. I have a lot of ideas of where I'd like to go, art wise, but I tend to be a person that changes my mind on things a lot and switches interests. I feel like if I *really* commit, mentally, that I'm afraid I'll switch to something else. Crazy, I know...
I had a ton of fun doing the self-portrait earlier. Doing exercises from 'Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain' was pretty boring.
"Have fun, draw some more" will be my new motto!
August 12th, 2010 #6
So far today I tried out Pose Maniacs. Using a 30 second interval was a disaster. These came from 90 seconds, which gave me enough time to get through a figure.
Anyone have an opinion on whether I'm better off running through a lot of these, or if it's better to focus on one figure until it looks accurate? I want to do what's going to help me internalize figures the best way possible.
I find it difficult to draw the contours of the figure accurately, but I guess that's what practice is for and that it'll come in time. Are you looking at your paper at all, or are you looking at the figure all of the time? I find that, in order to get proportions right, I'm kind of re-evaluating as I draw and thinking "okay, the forearm is in line with the chin" or "the breast is two head-lengths straight down". That sort of thing.
Please let me know if anyone has any tips to help! There's so much to learn that it's a bit overwhelming!
August 12th, 2010 #7
Nice start! Gotta keep on your structure, maybe do less pose maniacs(theyre not very accurate with their poses). Heres all the ref sites I use - cliiiick. Aside from anatomy you gotta do a shiiit load of life drawing/painting. Not really much else you can do other than to keep on fuuuckin killin and working. Soon you'll be the man you were meant to be.
'If you don't make mistakes, you're not working on hard enough problems.And that's a big mistake.'
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August 13th, 2010 #8
Keep practicing man! If you just practice and keep analyzing your work objectively (like you have been), you'll experience waves of progress.
With your figure work, I'd recommend taking it a bit slow if you're focusing on structure/anatomy and instead, focus on gesture and the pose of the figure specifically when that is what you are focusing on. As Dave just mentioned, there are tons of great references you can draw from online (which aren't timed ) I'd also recommend taking a life drawing class. They're fun and you can learn a lot from the others you meet there.
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August 13th, 2010 #9
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August 13th, 2010 #10
Nice start and kudos for noticing when you make mistakes. I use posemaniacs when I want to do some gesture drawings but there are no people around me at the time. Now, when you do gesture drawings, don't think quite so much. Plus you haven't developed an eye for proportions yet and it would take you forever to get anything accurate which defeats the purpose of a 90 second drawing.
When you are doing a 30 or 90 second drawing, you are capturing the bare basics of the pose, the flow of movement, and you are establishing weight. Those are the things that alot of newbies miss. If you don't get that, later on, you'll find yourself drawing decent anatomy but the weight looks off and your poses look stiff. You'll want to draw a character swinging a sword or leaning against something and you'll notice that something is missing.
So next time, instead of trying to go for a full developed figure at first, start with simple shapes/lines: The head, the curve of the spine, arms, and legs. THEN build up from there.
August 13th, 2010 #11
Mr. Delicious: Thanks so much! You're the best. You're like my favorite artist now. It meant a lot to get a comment from you. Very motivational. I'll keep at it and work from life and from pictures.
PNate: I think you're right on about slowing down. I got a lot more benefit out of doing the exercise I did today (below). Your work is amazing. Thank you very much for commenting and I hope to keep hearing from you!
DonovanGonzalez: Thanks, man. I appreciate it! Encouragement helps a lot when learning this stuff and seeing how, uh, humble my abilities are so far. Haha.
Disciplette: Thanks for the ideas. I'm going to go slow for now on figures and save the quick sketches for when I have a better grasp on things. So much to learn!
So for today and last night, I discovered the Loomis book on figure drawing and did the first exercise, which is to basically copy the figures he has laid out so that you can see basic proportion. I'm pleased with how they came out!
I need to get a scanner. I've been taking pictures of these sketches and they come out light and I have to adjust them so that you can see what's up. Makes them look even worse! Haha.
I noticed as I was working on these that I was "getting it" in bits and pieces. I'd have to redraw a part a few times until I got it mostly right, and committed a lot of little details to memory that I didn't already know.
There's so much to the body that I never noticed in fine detail before. I think this kind of practice is valuable because it just gets me used to how things are supposed to look and I'm really internalizing it. Know what I mean?
Anyway, I'm happy today. These are the best things I've drawn yet! I'm already noticing improvements and I'm beginning to see things and notice more details in life and in pictures and such. Any progress at this stage feels terrific! Haha.
Keep the crits and encouragement coming!
August 14th, 2010 #12
Brought the cats into the vet for their shots and I had a big wait. The page below is the better of the sketches (the cream of the crap? Heh.)
The guys on the left were a cowboy in a picture. Legs are out of proportion on the top one, especially. The big drawing is my wife who was reading a magazine for a few minutes.
As I've been doing, I made note of some obvious problems. I try to immediately analyze the weakest parts for improvement as best I can.
Drawing is hard! I feel like I'm progressing every time I draw, but it's painfully slow. It's fun, but at the same time I'd like to get to the point where things are looking more correct and I can be a bit more proud of what I've done! Heh. I'm trying to do at least an hour each day.
Last edited by Retrothomas; August 14th, 2010 at 04:17 PM. Reason: grammar error
August 15th, 2010 #13Registered User
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Some tips for the figures is to try and pull out more curvy lines to loosen yourself up. Also for form defining imagine a string wrapping around the surface (draw it as well!). Once you get a feeling for the simplified push the shapes even more by defining some twist you see or edges.
Small goals done sequentially get you to big goals later on .
August 15th, 2010 #14
hey i saw your sketch from pose maniac i tried myself today and it was awfull haha but i guess i should keep trying too, about understanding the figure i've seen that many artist recomend to studie books, such as andrew loomis and bridgman to give you an idea of the construction of the anatomy, also having some live draw session with a model, because it is one thing drawing from references and another from a real person, and lots of old fashion practice! im new at this so i hope i could help
Draw until your fingers bleed!
August 15th, 2010 #15
Blondebeard: Thanks! I do notice myself drawing segmented lines, which causes problems when I get to a curve and end up with a sharp angle rather than having done it in a smooth motion. It's just taking time to get used to doing! I'm also setting little goals for each day. I try to do at least 1 hour of drawing. Now my goal for tomorrow/tonight is to focus on faces.
Arepa I have looked at some books (and continue to do so) but I'm skimming a bit lightly. I have a tendency to get too technical about things and I'm making sure to avoid reading too often rather than drawing, which feels more like going sideways than forward. If that makes sense I'm also trying to draw from life when I get a chance, though at this point it takes me a long time so I'm mostly using pictures rather than models. I don't think that it's hurting much since I'm struggling my way through basic proportion and all. Heh.
Daily report! My hero Dave Rapoza had a link to mmaphotography.com which I used for some male references. I also discovered domai.com which, so far, is an awesome site for female refs. I'm getting more confident and familiar with proportion each time I draw and apparently some basic shading is appearing in my work. Sweet
Next up is FACES. I can deal with my figures being a bit off. I mean, that'll get better as I go, but as of right now my faces are disturbing and grotesque! Haha. I'm going to read some books a little bit and keep practicing faces for a little bit so that when I draw everything meshes a bit more. It's just... my ability to capture faces is kind of bothering me at the moment. Haha.
I also need to slow down and observe a bit more before putting down a line, and to do more of a rough sketch so that things line up and I don't get screwed later on when I find that things don't line up.
Thanks for commenting, guys! I'm really enjoying myself still. I feel like picking up art is more than just a new skill, but it's redefining myself in some way since I've never been artistic but kind of wanted to be. Does that make sense? Anyway, keep on rockin'!