I had a go at this weeks Illustration of the week; The whe of Babylon. I ran out of time yesterday but was pretty happy with my image. It's poorly rendered and detailed but I think I can get better at that with more practice in photoshop (and more time to do a proper background). I need to invest more time in these exercises as they are so useful for development, gathering references and learning... before last week I didn't know what a whe of Babylon was!
Good on you for doing Illustration of the Week! The weekly challenges are great, if for nothing else than handing you a topic and a deadline. The biggest crit I have to offer on your effort is to back off from using the airbrush so much. While soft transitions are nice, you're losing any sense of bigger shadow shapes, so it just comes off looking blobby and mushy. Make sure you've got a clear separation of planes before you start softening it up. =)
Thanks Revidescent. I ran out of time with that one, but yes, too soft and fuzzy! I think my process / rendering needs alot of developing (I have books and links to videos such as FZD school of design), just need to keep practicing.
Here is last weeks character of the week entry, the Changeling. I really enjoyed it and look forward to improving on my next one.
Hey Gibi, thanks for the comments, my friend liked the Carlito portrait too!
I'm really glad to be back regularly at my life drawing sessions. Here is a collection of my sketches, I'm having fun and pleased with my progress, although some major foreshortning issues with the pose with the knee in the air... just a few more years of hard work, lol! Some are bigger than a4 and have been stitched together, not trying to manipulate them in any way!
I've not updated for awhile. Moving house (again!?!), hopefully now I can start to get into a positive routine again. I've been doing lots of observational drawings, mainly quick gestures and life drawing classes.
Here are some sketches from February, I will try and post more stuff once I've scanned and formatted them. :-)
Also I tried another portrait study. I am struggling with symmetry, especially with eyes I think, although it's something I've noticed with arms and legs too. Will pay more attention next time.
A couple of weeks ago I attended an all day life drawing workshop. It was a long day but really interesting. It was broken down into three specific techniques, with an explaination, demonstration and then application, on a few short poses. At the end of the day there was two long poses, giving us time to practice what we'd learnt.
The first technique was to use simple shapes to create forms and volumes. This is useful to help give a sense of weight and volume to the drawing, not just an object floating in mid air.
The second one was using negative space. I found this particularly difficult (hence no examples!) to use as a technique for drawing, but, it has recently become a really valuable tool to help measure and check my drawings. By looking at the space around the subject I can see weather or not the angles and positions of what I have drawn is accurate.
The third technique was using strong directional lines, and is very useful for overall construction and proportions. The main emphasis was to establish techniques for quickly setting up a drawing without getting sucked into details or focusing on particular areas before the whole image had been accurately defined. That way mistakes can be quickly corrected before significant time has been spent on the drawing.
After the Easter break (2 weeks) I was back at life drawing tonight. Here is what I did, trying to take on board the above experiences and techniques. 2 x 20 minute poses and 1 x 40 minute pose.
Looking through yours, there is some great improvement from page one through now! Nice job!
Keep up with the studies doing all your studies, they're definitely working -- I think you should try doing a digital master study. (You'll be able to work on your figures and also bump ahead your painting skills, too. Pick a simple one and try to match your painting up to the original as close as you can get it -- Doing master studies has been the most helpful thing in teaching me how to paint and how use colors. Seriously, you learn so much from doing them.)
Side note for your digital stuff: never paint with either black or white, always use lighter or darker shades of colors to get your different values. Using either black or white will suck the life right out of whatever you're painting and make it look far less real. (Because you'll never see true black or white in real life - things that are those colors locally are always either absorbing or reflecting the colors around them, so they're always tinted based off of their surroundings/lighting. That kind of blew my mind when someone first pointed that out to me because I had never thought much about it before, but once it sunk in I was able to see it all the time in the world around me. Totally changed how I thought about colors.)
Here's a 40 minute pose from life drawing. I'll spend the next few days working on my illustration of the week piece, and then do a digital master study as suggested by Riley Stark, he has some great examples in his sketchbook!
Hey man, those life drawing sessions are looking great. Personally, I'd like to see more stuff from imagination (with reference), since it uses and trains a different set of skills than just life drawing alone would.
Your architecture sketches are really fun! They have great potential.