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  1. #1
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    Mason's Sketchbook

    Right to kick off this Sketchbook i'm going to show some of the highlights of the last three months, stuff that's been kicking around my sketchbook without criticism, some of this stuff is just rough sketches, like the Poe and Clint drawings. I don't really need feedback on these, unless it's relevant to my overall drawing skills, because I weren't really 'trying' as it were with these and some of the others.

    To start with I have some drawings of Poe, that I was copying from a book I read. The hatchings I was trying to emulate, and I still don't know how to hatch properly as you'll see in my other drawings.

    Santana and Annie Lennox are on the next page, again this was just because I had their cds lying around and wanted someone else to draw.

    Clint turned out ok, the shapes on the left of his face show how i'm unable to render a three dimensional image properly at this stage, so I draw these expressive shapes over certain parts to try and show what i'm seeing, even if I don't know how to render it properly.

    The last one is just a landscape from my bedroom window, this was just a rough sketch that I used as a sighting exercise.

    MORE TO COME! I have photo's on my computer, and i'll be uploading more over the coming days...

    Edit: I switched the images around to bring a cover image.

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  3. #2
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    Great start! can't really judge much just based on sketches, but those are some real nice studies of faces. Great stuff looking to see more!

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    Second batch

    Quote Originally Posted by Little-Maiden View Post
    Great start! can't really judge much just based on sketches, but those are some real nice studies of faces. Great stuff looking to see more!
    Thanks, yes I only have sketches and drawings at the moment, nothing involving colour or paint yet.

    Ok, four more...

    The first has a SP of me over old sketches that I attempted. Sometimes I go over old sketches and end up drawing something half decent, I was also starting to experiment with different poses here.

    The second one is just to show that sometimes it takes me three drawings to get one decent one, the first two were just warm ups. I have yet to develop a state of skill where I can make something great in one sitting.

    The third one has some random sketches from a Waterhouse picture and some quick SPs (none of which turned out well that day, some days I have, some days I don't), the highlight of this is the sketch of our dog here, that I managed to do without her moving!

    The last one is just another experimental pose, though you'll see that eyes, noses and cheeks are three of my weaknesses at the moment. I'm after anything that will help me improve faces. The nose is also very flat in this.

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    Third lot of sketches

    The first one here reminds me of something Rembrandt ish, the way the eyes are rendered, overall i'm pleased with it.

    The next one I drew over a nose, for some reason when I'm drawing an object, like practicing noses, I can see a self portrait or something, so I sit front of the mirror and finish it off. At this stage in my development i'm less concerned with presentation and style, only focusing on the fundamentals and getting my ability to it's best.

    Afterwards it gets a bit odd, this one is me sat close to a hand mirror and an angle. The picture is very flat, though proportions seem to be in place. I've learnt recently though that it takes everything to make a realistic three dimensional image, proportion, depth, the whole shebang, so i'll just keep going until I get it.

    The last one was me attempting hatching again, any tips on hatching or appropriate threads will be much appreciated, it's no so much how to create them (just flick little lines on the page! ), I don't know how to use the lines to create three dimensional images.

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    04

    Ok, number four.

    The first one here I called 'The Artist drawing with increased patience and confidence resulting in a crooked neck'. Haha, in case you are interested in what the text says. I was starting to try new poses, and afterwards found that sitting in one spot drawing for ages can hurt! There is a little sweetness in this self portrait that I like, there is something feminine in the way that i've rendered the cheeks and/or eyes. I don't know how I did it, or what it is exactly, though I hope as I get better at drawing and learn how to render more effectively, i'll be able to do this without fluke.

    The next one is just me sitting in my dressing gown (bath robe) and having a go at drawing the whole of my figure in the mirror, again messed up the eyes and still do not know how to render necks or clothing accurately, though i'm sure i'll get there eventually.

    The third one is just here for variation, the whole face is messed up I don't even know where to start! Haha, though the overall gesture of the pose is there, which is what I wanted to capture.

    The last one was an experiment with emotion and facial expressions because I realised that the art that I like tends to have people in who express emotion clearly, for example there is a Van Gogh sketch with a man who has his head in his hands, and clearly he is in depression, anger, confusion, or some other negative emotion. I've forgotten the name of this sketch, though it's one of the carpenter or farmer sketches Gogh drew. All the great artists have been masters at rendering the emotion so clearly on their subjects, rather than just having a blank expression all the time, which I have been doing on my self portraits, because of lack of skill more than anything. So although I look annoyed and slightly disgusted in this last self portrait in this post, it's because I was putting it on for the drawing. Overall i'm happy with the results.

    I'll keep posting up the set of sketches I have here, and I will post drawings of my Bargue copy when I've reached a clear jump as it were, so far i've been spending days on getting the outline correct. I don't know if everyone does this, or whether some people jump in rendering other things, and then worry about precision later, though I'm sure there aren't any hard and fast rules to Bargue drawing. I attempted it without a plumbline and was thinking, wow this is going to take a long time, so I double checked other folks' sketchbooks, and was like 'oh so that's what i'm meant to do' Haha.

    I hope my lack of drawing skill and expertise shows here, because I really do not want to presume that I am in no way above anything else in this process, seeing as that what drawing and art appear to be, a process, just people get through the process at different speeds. I'm going to view Jonathan's sketchbook at some point, and see how inspiring that was / is, if one guy can go from rookie to pro, then I can most certainly reach a level of decent skill. Time and patience, that's all it is. I'm looking forward to a time, when I can look back through this thread and see how far I came. I'm sure many people feel that way coming on here.

    James

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    Fifth

    I may have cut the forehead off on the first one here, and hair also is very difficult for me at this stage.

    The eyes are also far too close together on the third one. Some exercises in sight will definitely help me when it comes to drawing people, so I may consider stopping my self portraits for now, and focus on my Bargue drawing. I'm doing the self portraits merely for practice.

    The sketch of me with headphones is one of my recent faves!

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    Sixth

    I love the boat one here, I went to the coast and drew this to see if I could 'see' and 'draw' properly inanimate objects, and it paid off, it's a lovely little sketch, and with the boys it adds a little life to it. I may develop this into a painting in the future, especially if I can show a story to the boys, as they were throwing stones into the sea.

    Also two portraits here are two of the best i've done in terms of rendering a three dimensional image.

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    Seventh

    Travelling back from Lon DON has rendered my body deplete, lol. Tomorrow I'll get back in the drawing bandwagon. Here are some older sketches in the mean time.

    Anyone have any tips on foreshortening fingers? Sometimes I see them, others not.

    The first portrait here I drew by having a board in front of me, and I gazed over to the mirror, normally I work looking up as opposed to the side, which in some ways helped.

    The second portrait here as terrifying eyes!

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    Well, it was about time I had a look through your sketchbook and I'd say you're onto a good start. The studies are looking good, just try to keep the lineart a little more clean and up the contrast and you'll be awesome in no time.
    Anyways, keep up the good work, mate.

    Take a look? - Sketchbook - Tumblr -
    Also, why not check these guys too?

    Krysjez - Clur
    Cheers
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naidy View Post
    Well, it was about time I had a look through your sketchbook and I'd say you're onto a good start. The studies are looking good, just try to keep the lineart a little more clean and up the contrast and you'll be awesome in no time.
    Anyways, keep up the good work, mate.
    Coolio, what do you mean by line art and contrast? Do you mean more solid line and a larger value contrast?

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    Lo again.
    And by contrast I mean most of your pictures tend to be the same value, know what I mean?
    Try to make your darks darker and your lights lighter, mess around with some dramatic lighting.

    And yes, more solid lines could definitely improve your stuff. Obviously, I go a bit overboard with clean lines myself, but it's good to get into the practice of using them.
    I'm only a begginer myself so take my advice with a grain of salt. Either way just keep up the good work. C:

    Take a look? - Sketchbook - Tumblr -
    Also, why not check these guys too?

    Krysjez - Clur
    Cheers
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    Eighth

    I've posted up the face on one here so people can easily critique what's going on there.

    The last one a friend looked at and said it was better than the other self portrait here, which surprised me as I can see many things wrong with it, though according to my friend it captured something more about me even though it's not a realistic depiction. Hmm.

    I have some other drawings, though i'm ill lately so they may not be up to standard, i'll post them after the week is out.

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    Ninth

    The first one here was a practice of eyes, because I am trying to get out the habit of drawing rugby/football eyes, as i've heard this is a beginner skill. I'm expecting that drawing is much about learning a whole framework to approach drawing with, rather than learning how to draw separate parts as it were.

    The second one I like, no special reason for being here.

    Thirdly, i've ran out of space in my sketchbook, so i've been drawing on the back of receipts some odd things. The hands were just roughly drawn, I know there are things wrong with them.

    The last portrait I've tried to apply my drawings of spheres to my forehead, to try and 'round the form' as it were, though I haven't gotten the hang of it yet. The lines on the cheeks is me trying to show the shape of the cheeks, again there is obviously a knack to all this that I haven't quite grasped yet. Also necks, how the hell are they drawn? haha. It's hard to see from these pictures that I have been pressing harder in some places to get darker values, particularly on the smaller SP here (note to self - harder next time!).

    I've got some old pictures of sketches from two years ago, which are many master copies, I'll upload some of them at some point for you all to look at. Cool. A lot of them have flukes in them, such as cool shadows and values that I've forgotten how to do. I seem to find drawing like going up a mountain range, I go up a bit, then down, then up some more, than down further, haha... I'm hoping that things will fall into place at some point, like learning to drive.

    The last one is my current Bargue progress. I'm mainly working slowly on the outline and i've nearly finished the left hand side, the piece of tissue is just to remind me how far i've gotten. By the way all these drawings are just things for me to do whilst I work on my main thing, the Bargue drawing recommended by Mr Whitaker. Haha, it was funny when I started working on it, Mr Whitaker said that i'd find my growth during the last five percent of the drawing, I feel like i'm growing everytime I work on it! I haven't even finished the outline yet! It's all good. So looking forward to the finish product, because I know it will push me. I have no idea how to render form and values properly, so it's going to be fun.

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    First of all thanks for commenting on my sketchbook.

    Secondly, great stuff here. I am only starting to draw so my advice is probably not as good as many other people here, but I agree that you should try to make some stronger lines. Right now you're doing awesome stuff regarding value and your shading suggests form very well, however I believe some strong, dark lines could help your art even more. Maybe try using a pen and ink to force yourself to draw bold lines.

    Hope this helps,

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    Dracken - Thanks! Yeah I've given biro a go, and that's really nice to draw with, though I don't know enough about values and the fundamentals to really pull it off. I imagine in expert hands it would look great. As for pen and ink as in dipping an instrument in and putting it on the page, haven't tried that. I'll be pressing harder in my drawings from now on just to give it that edge because the camera doesn't always show hard edges, it's really down to me to make that aspect show through on these drawings.

    Does my shading suggest form? I still don't understand how to render form properly, so anything that happens is just a fluke, lol.

    Here are some of the back pages of an old sketchbook featuring master copies.

    I like this SP despite it being an oldie, and this last one is a copy of some Da Vinci faces I drew out of this pretty cool collection of old drawings.

    I still don't know how to render simple shapes so this is a picture of me drawing a container that's a cylinder (spelling?), yes it's one of the tubs a doctor asks you to pee in, I cleaned it and keep it as a handy small pencil travelling device, you know when they are so used up they are practically a cigarette butt.

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    Some oldies out of the last sketchbook...

    Back then I knew nothing about wrapping lines around the form, so as you can see in the arm, I just blocked in the shapes to represent the cloth.

    I'm making more of a conscious effort now to wrap around the forms of faces, particularly in cheek bones and noses, you'll see how I am getting on at some point.

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    hey nice sketches mann! I like how your sketching style is. I like the thickness and faintness of your lines. I would like to see more complete works of yours and maybe some in color. Your faces are looking pretty good but you could tweak them a little to make it look even better. Your noses need working. they seem to give a sense of flat feeling. also work on the skull area where the eyes concave inward. If you havent already, Do some skull studies and and some face anatomy studies. Refine in these areas and you will see a dramatic change. You do got a good hand on your line's quality and emphasis. keep going at it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by yogeshj25 View Post
    hey nice sketches mann! I like how your sketching style is. I like the thickness and faintness of your lines. I would like to see more complete works of yours and maybe some in color. Your faces are looking pretty good but you could tweak them a little to make it look even better. Your noses need working. they seem to give a sense of flat feeling. also work on the skull area where the eyes concave inward. If you havent already, Do some skull studies and and some face anatomy studies. Refine in these areas and you will see a dramatic change. You do got a good hand on your line's quality and emphasis. keep going at it!
    Thanks!

    I don't really know how to draw properly yet, so I haven't attempted colour, only dabbled with it, though I won't go into it yet until my drawing skills are up to a decent level and I know what i'm doing a bit more.

    As for a complete work, I wouldn't know where to start. I've got an idea for a painting, though it may be a bit beyond my scope and will have to wait until i've gotten better with drawing and of course, colour. I figured I would get really good at the basics and then give more thought to advanced things like conveying emotion, composition, feeling of pieces etc. In the meantime i'm working on a Bargue drawing, a suggested project by Mr Whitaker. I'm loving how it's going at the moment, slowly and carefully.

    I definitely need to work on noses, and faces. Anatomy and Bones have crossed my mind, and i'll be keeping an eye out for reference material from my library. I'm sure anatomy has it's benefits though I still care more about my ability to 'see' properly at this stage, because if I do that then surely the subject will look 'correct'? Although having that knowledge would be handy to know in case any touch ups need to be done or something.

    Update -

    More Sketch book oldies

    1 Old study of an Albrecht Durer arm (man this guy was a drawing king)
    2 A drawing of the Boss, Polanski and a very poor Barack Obama (which ended up looking nothing like Obama and the head was out, not even sure where the image came from. I remember when I did it the eyes were out so I didn't bother to make it better)
    3 Foot by a guy named Domenichino

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    Lovely sketchbook, thanks for commenting on mine! I love the expressive mark making in your drawing style, however I would suggest doing some anatomical studies in a less dramatic style, using thinner, cleaner lines, to concentrate on form and basic line. I think the latest drawings you have uploaded are really nice though

    I use an awesome website, posemaniacs.com, which has hundreds of images to draw from, and some great exercises. I personally love the 30 second drawing tool (you can adjust the amount of time per drawing) and the negative space tool, as they make you think outside the box and block in shapes rather than draw what you think should be there!

    I think you're off to a brilliant start though, so keep at it

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    thanks for the tips, I will mos def keep it in mind and also put it into practice. Yes I feel like drawing from life is the toughest thing. As for you, I understand that you are at a phase right now that you are trying to see correctly and your practicing great compositional skills (which i still need to work on alot). You seem to be too focused on mastering your "eye-seeing" skills. I dont know if your drawing solely by being dependent on what you see, i.e. contour and negative space. I cant tell if your thinking about volume in your sketches, for I dont see any lines that suggest your thinking volumetrically. Now you may not be jotting down this dimensional sense through your sketch lines, but make sure you are thinking about the figure not in terms of 2D but instead in terms of volumes. Dont see it as a flat figure but instead feel around the form. If you are already aware of this aspect then just spit it out through the other ear or let it just be a reminder. Also you should never hold back in learning anatomy, at least in my opinion. The more you know about ur subject the better understanding youll have of your drawings. Drawing is not a process of replicating what your eyes see, but it is a process of analyzing and understanding the subject that you see and then marking your thought process down on paper with given thought. We want to get at a level where our work is not guess work but precision work. So I feel like anatomy helps eliminate a lot of guess work with the face and figure. Ontop of that, dont hold back on trying other media. Use paint, crayons, pens, markers, digital media, sauce, or whatever. You dont have to go in a chronological order by sticking just with graphite and charcoal at this point. Your mind will automatically pull stuff you learn from left and right and mash it up together and give it meaning to you. For example, you may learn something while you are painting that will help you with your drawing, and vice versa. One day my teacher noticed that I was too attached with graphite, so he gave me his Japanese style ink brush but he never told me why until it clicked in my head. Using another media like ink, cause me to think with more concentration because it could not be erased once it was down. Whereas in drawing you have the aid of an eraser. Using ink also helped me get more expressive lines in my drawing. So the point is You want to gain as much experience by trying different medias.
    So in conclusion I feel like eye-training is important but one can not depend on it solely. Do what your doing right now, but also consider trying new things. As for me, I will continue to follow my own path but I will also make time now to practice more life drawings and brush up on my composition.
    Remember, things dont have to be in a straight forward direction. Let yourself drive down a windy road.

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    A-May: That's a great idea because I have found that I rely too much on the 'expressive-ness' of my strokes. Doing some anatomy and really honing my line into something more crisp could pay off dividends. Great, yeah i'll really give this a shot.

    The blocking in shapes idea is something i'd like to try, just to see what happens.

    Yogesh - Cool. Yeah we do have follow our own paths with this and 'winding road' is spot on. That's a good idea that your teacher had. I do experiment with other things occasionally, though I don't see it as a 'main thing' if you like. Once I have the fundamentals down then i'll be a lot more experimental, because a lot of the experiments I try now look pretty messy. I'll keep my eyes on drawing and then painting with little 'sidetracks' just for variation. Learning really does require an ELEMENT of structure, the key is balance really. Not too chaotic, not too structured.

    I will be doing more anatomy studies in the future because i'm learning this 'getting around the form' business. I can grasp it in terms of value, in a 'painterly' style as someone said in another sketchbook, though conveying volume through the use of line WITHOUT tone I find challenging. Noses I can convey to a level i'm happy with by using lights and darks, just a single line though and i'm stumped. Yesterday I was messing about with noses using lines only, and cheeks are difficult for me to render with tone. My latest drawings all have lines over the cheeks where i'm using tone to render the shape of the cheeks because the look of white space where the cheeks are looks ... well... bad to me, haha. Just one of those learning curves on the windy road.

    UPDATE-

    More Oldies

    Prud'hon Nude
    Rembrandt Naked Man
    Rembrandt Female Nude (This drawing of Rembrandt's is really angular and jagged compared to his others..)

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    I've been sketching away in a new pad and I have started drawing hands again to just kick off anatomy, though I'll have to get into it properly after the Bargue drawing. There may even be a whole section on my Bargue that I measured incorrectly... gah...

    I've got other self portraits to pop up and I'm working on seeing 'volume'. I had a realisation a couple of days ago that I could be drawing 'in layers', ie using value to think about space a bit more. I've also been thinking and experimenting with 'shadow shapes' to help get dimension more effectively, a concept i've adapted from what I know about 'the block in'.

    More oldies -

    Micheangelo - Torso of seated man
    Raphael - Don't know the name, this is where I realised what value could do. The right arm has a real 'muscular' quality that happened by accident.
    Lebrun - Promethus Bound. Despite looking very flat, I love this one.

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    Hey MasonJames!

    Thanks for commenting my sketchbook.
    The line economical is definitely getting better with time limited gestures!
    You just need to stop sometimes and think where cou could make your lines more clear and then try it out.
    Simple, try -> progress -> smile

    Your drawings are also looking nice.
    Try to keep your pencil more sharp or draw bigger.
    Sometimes your lines are looking really thick.

    Keep it up!

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    Thanks Valoo! A Bigger drawing size eh? Hmm... Good idea, that will really push me in some areas because I have trouble 'scaling up' as it were, so that will help to see better, for me and for the viewers of this sketchbook. I've been preventing myself from erasing in some of my most recent drawings, so i'm forced to think before hand where I want things to go.

    Yogesh - I've had a little bit of jump regarding volume and how to draw 'around the form' as it were. I was looking at the landscapes on the train and something clicked in a way that I handed considered before. I'm still in this development and you can see if it's on the right lines when I post up some of the drawings.

    1. Bottom of a woman's face - This is a nose and mouth part taken from a Da Vinci drawing, part from imagination. Here I discovered how to create depth via value, which isn't the same as volume through line as I recently discovered. My next jump will come when I link this technique to the 'volume/line' technique i'm working on now

    2. Picasso Masks - Still don't know how Picasso did these type of drawings with a simple line in them. In some ways this type of drawing seems harder than the realism i'm aiming for.
    3. Small Picasso portrait
    4. Copy of a Van Eyck

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  34. #25
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    I've got a watercolour pad that i'm drawing on and i'm finding the textured surface difficult to draw on, it's as though my whole sense of perception goes out the window when I draw on it. Do other novices have this problem? I often turn the paper over when it's full and then draw better on a smoother surface.

    This hand i've drawn here is not the best hand i've drawn lately, it's just the one that looks best in a photo. I've been working on drawing with 'volume' as Yogesh suggested. I had a bit of an epithany when I realised that i've got to be 'bringing things out' as it were, like hair strokes over and around the head. My brain is a little ahead of my hand on this one. Thinking this way also is helping with foreshortening because I have to put the relevant strokes in a place that conveys form. A major insight thanks to Yogesh. On the hand i've tried to draw around the fingers and bringing the form 'out' a bit.

    Valoo - I'm aiming to get drawings bigger with a thicker line, I hope that shows in the drawings from now on.

    One of these drawings is inspired by the Rembrandt self portrait, haha. The penultimate one was drawn on a train with a little hand mirror. The last one is drawn on the back of watercolour paper and I intently pressed harder to get a better value range.

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  35. #26
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    really nice start to your sb you can see improvement from top of the page to the bottom some stuff to work on would be the construction of the face sometimes your features fall out of alignment, for example on eye ends up being higher than the other sounds like your learning alot from studying the masters so keep it up

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  37. #27
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    I think post 21 and 22 are your best work.
    It's weird I'm not used to seeing this approach when learning to draw. Usually I see people relying heavily on contour and
    starting off cartoony but here its the opposite it seems focusing less on the contours and more on the rendering I guess I'd call it.

    Not sure what criticism to give, you seem to be making progress with this method. Although I would be curious
    to see a contour drawing to see what level your at in those. Post 22 seems to combine them nicely and its making me curious haha.

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  39. #28
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    There is some good stuff here, but we need more updates. Ten days without a post... tsc tsc, not good

    I like the number of self-portraits. I think these will help you the most. Life drawing helps enormously and while post 21 and 22, are very good I think life studies will help more in the long run.

    Hope this helps. Keep pushing!

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SpringOfSea's Sketchbook