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Thread: JohnyTex's Everyday Sketchbook

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    JohnyTex's Everyday Sketchbook

    Hello everybody! I've been doodling for as long as I can remember, but recently I decided I wanted to step up my game and learn how to draw "for real". Hopefully there will be a lot of progress in this thread eventually!

    Since I'm a beginner I'd deeply appreciate any and all advice you could give me, both critiques and advice on what to practice. And english isn't my first language, so don't hesitate to correct my grammar as well

    Thanks in advance! It's exciting being a part of a commmunity with so many talented members, I hope one day I can master the craft as well as some of you guys have!

    Finally, I'll just drop this quote from Geoffrey Chaucer here, as a reminder to myself and to others:
    "The lyf so short, the craft so longe to lerne."

    You heard the man, it's time to get cracking!
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    My first pencil drawing

    Wow, this gave me a lot of trouble - I'm not used to using pencil at all, especially not for shading. I tried getting down the main contours first (the whole head, the face framed by the hair and bandana), but it looked really awkward.

    I almost gave up right there, but then I decided I would try some shading. When I got to that step it felt like something "clicked" and it finally started to bear some resemblance to the reference photo.

    I ended up making lots of corrections in the shading stage, because I couldn't spot what the errors were before. It didn't feel like the best way to go - my eraser got a real workout! Any advice on how to get better at getting the "right" lines down sooner?

    All in all I was quite pleased with the result, even though there's still errors everywhere. Maybe they cancel each other out?
    Anyway, comments and feedback would be much appreciated!
    Last edited by JohnyTex; March 3rd, 2011 at 03:29 AM.
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    The drawing looks nice, Johny! I'd love to see more doodles. : It might be easier if you try and draw the forms that make up the head, hair, nose, etc, rather than trying to get the contour down. (Contour is HARD - especially when working from a picture where it's more about masses and areas of tone, rather than line.)

    There are a variety of ways you can break the head down, so it will probably just depend on what works for you. Some people start with a circle, others a sideways egg (for the skull, which is not a perfect sphere) and some a box.

    What they have in common is a line down the center (from top of the brow to chin, bisecting the face) and usually horizontal lines as indicators for where the mouth, nose, eyes, and brows are. (It can get even more in depth depending on the style and personal preference.) The idea is to build a complex shape from a simple shape - like a table is really a rectangle, and so forth.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rabbit run View Post
    The drawing looks nice, Johny! I'd love to see more doodles. : It might be easier if you try and draw the forms that make up the head, hair, nose, etc, rather than trying to get the contour down. (Contour is HARD - especially when working from a picture where it's more about masses and areas of tone, rather than line.)
    Thanks for the feedback!

    I was drawing on the subway today and tried to apply what you said about forms, and it turned out pretty nice. Unfortunately I got to my stop before I could finish the drawing and so I lost my reference

    I've also noticed that, like you said, it's easier to work with tone areas - when I have been doing digital painting I pretty much just copy "value areas" from a reference, working from light to dark. Is that a good way to do it? I'm thinking maybe I'll miss out on learning about form since I'm just copying patches of values? :|

    Edit: I'm trying to draw every day, but I was too tired from running to do something proper. So, this is what I came up with instead:

    Edit2: Argh, the perspective is all over the place; the chin looks like it's too far in front, the eyes don't line up with the rest of the face. I guess I need to work on my construction
    Last edited by JohnyTex; March 4th, 2011 at 06:12 PM.
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    Did another exercise from the book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. The assignment was to:
    * Copy the contours of your left hand onto a viewfinder. This is done by putting your hand directly under the viewfinder and tracing the contour (with one eye closed)
    * Transfer the contours drawn on the viewfinder to paper, using the crosshairs as a guide
    * Fill in the details by looking at the hand.

    Turned out quite nice!

    The book recommended to do more drawings using this viewfinder technique and I definitely will... tomorrow - I'm exhausted now!
    Last edited by JohnyTex; March 4th, 2011 at 06:44 PM.
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    Another hand... Wish I had time for more studies, but it's 11:30 and I have to go to work tomorrow -_-'

    EDIT: Couldn't get the attachment to work, for some reason CA is being really slow for me at the moment. Could be because I'm in Sweden?
    Last edited by JohnyTex; March 7th, 2011 at 05:24 AM.
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    thats a nice hand, the last hand on post #6 didnt load for me though, and jonny dep (spellcheck) is a funny looking character in pirates haha, good actor anyways that bloke.
    anyways i guess repetition would help to identify the right lines, maybe draw 50 crap faces in like 1-2 hours, and then try refining them, looking at what isnt right..
    and just simple observation, how big is his mouth, how long is his beard. ect.
    im not good at faces myself, people bore me, but i will try learning too and hope u progress aswell. Post as much as u can!
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    "I almost gave up right there, but then I decided I would try some shading. When I got to that step it felt like something "clicked" and it finally started to bear some resemblance to the reference photo. "

    I reckon thats an important lesson/confidence booster to learn; often things look shite at first and you want to stop, but if you trust the reference and dont give up after a while your brain sees Johnny Depp where before there was a mess.
    Its the same mechanism that sees amazingly detailed faces in clouds; your mind wants to see a face, you just have to give it enough hints in the right places.
    Really helps build confidence when that happens a few times I found..
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    OMG, THIS DRAWING!

    Took me like 90 minutes to complete, and I'm still not satisfied with it - only kind of looks like the girl in the reference.

    And I was planning to try following my own advice and do more quick studies instead of putting so much time into these huge projects. I'm thinking that might be a better way to learn basic anatomy, etc., since I'm spending so much time rendering - does that make sense?

    I just rage-ate an orange and some pieces of chocolate because I was so frustrated with this drawing!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velocity Kendall View Post
    "I almost gave up right there, but then I decided I would try some shading. When I got to that step it felt like something "clicked" and it finally started to bear some resemblance to the reference photo. "

    I reckon thats an important lesson/confidence booster to learn; often things look shite at first and you want to stop, but if you trust the reference and dont give up after a while your brain sees Johnny Depp where before there was a mess.
    Its the same mechanism that sees amazingly detailed faces in clouds; your mind wants to see a face, you just have to give it enough hints in the right places.
    Really helps build confidence when that happens a few times I found..
    Thanks, those are encouraging words

    It feels almost as if you get some parts right more and more stuff starts falling into place, sort of like a jigsaw puzzle... it's interesting, but quite frustrating at times! -_-'
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    You'll get faster with more practice, and try not to spend too much time on that book, as long as you understand the point of the exercises there's no need to complete them or even do them. Keep it up

    Oh and don't worry if you're not very good at all in the beginning, you're not drawing to make pretty pictures but to get better
    Last edited by Roboko; March 9th, 2011 at 04:40 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roboko View Post
    You'll get faster with more practice, and try not to spend too much time on that book, as long as you understand the point of the exercises there's no need to complete them or even do them. Keep it up
    Thanks - it's kind of what this little voice in my head has been saying for some time now I think I'll keep it up until the exercises start to become tedious. Did you read it as well? It seems to be quite popular, all of my friends who are into drawing have either bought it or heard of it ;D

    Now for some sketches!

    I just scanned my sketchbook; I bring it everywhere I go, and I try to keep doodling whenever I have to sit down some place. I try to draw people on the subway if I can, but they have a tendency to walk away after a while or spot me while I'm drawing. Oops!

    Quote Originally Posted by Roboko View Post
    Oh and don't worry if you're not very good at all in the beginning, you're not drawing to make pretty pictures but to get better
    Thanks, I'll keep that in mind I think I'm too much of a perfectionist sometimes!
    Last edited by JohnyTex; March 9th, 2011 at 05:11 PM.
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    This one was painful... another exercise from Drawing, the point was to draw a chair using negative space. Much harder and more frustrating than I could've imagined! Hopefully I learned something from this. (Other than "chairs are hard to draw!" )
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