Good works. The lines are looking very good. Although I agree with Ris that the lineweight can be varied a bit more, even with mechanical pencil. Lineweight is affected by both darkness and thickness afterall.
On the last post, the boy's arm is getting a bit too sausage-like. The muscle that's affecting the left side of the contour actually starts on the elbow, even though the bone would break it up just a bit. Good drawing otherwise though. I can feel the character.
Tried to follow the advice of varying the lines a bit, but found myself in such a battle to get the shapes even approximately right that there wasn't much question of expressive lines!
Been ages since I did anything in this thread because I recently got promoted at work, and had so much to do there was little time for anything else. I named this thread "doodles and disasters," seeing as that seems to be what most of my work consists of. Now I notice that while I have posted plenty of disasters here, there is very little in the way of doodles. So here's one from last evening, that sort of unconsciously took shape while I was chatting to friends and getting slightly sozzled on good wine. Clearly, I have much to learn about drawing figures from the imagination... :-)
Edit: Hmm, Aerosmith, you say? It's beginning to ring a bell now, but not a very loud one.
I think your lines are a defining aspect of your work. They're beautiful, literally I'm just sitting staring at them. I don't care if your figures aren't anatomically correct some of them are just breathtaking. You capture shapes that make your work great art, seriously I would pay big bucks for your stuff X) I'm totally subscribing to this.
As I reported elsewhere on the board, it has been ages since I posted anything here. Some time before the current upgrade, my computer developed some weird incompatibility problem with CA, and pages would simply not open, or open only partially. I couldn't post anymore and could indeed not even try to PM any of the powers that be. Then I got a promotion at work that kept me so busy I had no time for drawing for several months. Even now I cannot do much more than the weekend hobbyist thing, but I find that this is sort of what I prefer, at least at the moment, and doing humble still life is about the extent of my current ambition. But I guess it wouldn't hurt to post a few things in the old sketchbook thread again...
Some of my latest adventures in attempting to draw simple still life arrangement of everyday objects. Another hundred or so, and I may just get semi-decent at it.
Last edited by blogmatix; September 23rd, 2012 at 05:42 AM.
A quick sketch of one of the pupils at the school where I teach (not to worry, it isn't art that I teach!) He complained that I made him look "too chubby." The sad truth is that the kid is grossly, monstrously, grotesquely, obscenely obese, and if anything I made him lose half a ton or so. He pointed at his cheek area and said, "This bit! It looks like blubber!" No shit, Sherlock. Alas, there is not a thing I can do for him: saving him from premature death of diabetes or heart disease is something he and his mother will have to work on...
And another one. I couldn't quite capture the texture of plastic, and as usual I got the proportions all wrong. But bit by bit, I am learning. I hope.
The CA forums were down for a long long time.
The pencil work are looking good; only thing I would say is to draw the lines lighter (I'm a heavy hander myself) or to erase the lines with a kneaded eraser after you've done your shading to make it look more realistic and natural.
As Lance Richlin says, "Lines are the enemies of realism!"
Try to pull the values more if you do draw from reference though
Indeed, but I kind of LIKE lines. I have yet to decide whether I want to achieve realism or go with a more linear approach. I usually can't quite decide, which is partly why my drawings tend to be a bit tentative. I think I'm aiming for something one might call "linear realism," in which things would be quite shamelessly outlined but still contain more or less representational tones and shadows. I'll see where it goes; my feeling is that only lots more practice will resolve it.The pencil work are looking good; only thing I would say is to draw the lines lighter (I'm a heavy hander myself) or to erase the lines with a kneaded eraser after you've done your shading to make it look more realistic and natural.
As Lance Richlin says, "Lines are the enemies of realism!"
A similar thing applies when it comes to my use of tone. At the moment I only use HB pencil, with makes for a limited range of tones. That will inevitably also make drawings less realistic, but on the other hand, I rather LIKE such light, silverpoint-like drawings. So once again I am in two minds about what to do, and I'l simply keep on hammering away at it and see where it takes me.
Here's an example of the kind of thing I like; a sketch by Georgia O'Keeffe:
At least in places, there are quite blatant outlines, but the overall effect is still one of realism, although not quite photographic realism. She is rather better than I at "lost and found" outlines, mind you. :-)
And to you: I must quickly go see how things are going in your sketchbook, which is an inspiration to me even though we nowadays have different aims. But what amazing progress you have made over the past few years.Good day!
Working from reference has been the bane of my existence: I simply can't do it. Not sure why. But I detest working from photos, which is why I nowadays focus so heavily on still life, and have largely given up on figurative art. Apples and bottles are endlessly patient! :-)
As for pulling the values, as I note above, I am at the moment working entirely in HB pencil, which has a limited range, and I'll still have to see whether I'm going to stick with it and see what I can achieve within that limited range, or whether I'll use softer grade pencils. I have played around with softer pencils before and didn't much like it because they tend to smudge all over the place, and you need really good (i.e. unaffordably expensive) paper to make them work. On the common old printer paper I usually use I don't get good results.
Oh well, the whole thing's a work in progress. Thanks for the input. :-)
I understand what you mean by combining line with tone; the sketch by Keeffe looks great.
For the HB pencil, it's hard to get a proper value range via HB alone (IMHO), try a 4B and/or a 8B into the mix sometime.
If you're scared of smudging, you can use the Cretacolor Charcoal Oil Pencils instead. They don't smudge and don't have that graphite glare under the light.
Comes in a range of extra hard to extra soft too.
(Brian, is it?)
If I had any suggestions it would be to break free from thinking with lines of lead instead of the light in your eyes. (No that isn't a gay thing, either) By that I mean you have the gift of seeing highlights, also penumbra. I would like to ask what medium you used for the mango. Watercolor pencils?
By breakng free from lines of lead, I'm passing on a critique given to me by a high school art teacher (she got fired for banging aJunior while her hubby was pounding the birm in VN) who had the accompanying harsh critique of saying I was a draftsman, not an artist. I suppose that's not so bad. DaVinci's statue defines him as a draftsman. What a bite! You'd think they'd have at least honored him as an engineer. Because he is a teacher today, we should have defined him as Doctor DaVinci. Same for Dali and Picasso, Renoir, Wyeth, Rockwell, etcetera.
I saw one work where you were breaking free by diminishing the lines by adding background. You might try this: Using a chiselpoint, or the side of the pencil or the smudge of a stub or your finger, start with the darkness of the background, then use an eraser to take the light from your eyes and effectively ray-trace it onto the work plane.
When I paint, I gesso, then use Mars black over the whole canvas. I do what I can to think like the camera. paint with light and imagine where the light will bounce. That's pretty much how ray tracers work.
Just some food for thought. I like your work. Never stop.
Also (I'll pm you to answer those questions about acronyms in that disgusting "little" thread )
This should allow for the largest I have of these images at the moment without re-scanning or even re-photographing them. I'll keep adding more.
Dr Charbonneau: Thanks for the comments. I get the same advice from everyone: try to reduce the lines. That would indeed lead to more realism. But I LIKE the lines! :-)
Oh, that mango from a few years ago was done in oil (albeit cheap student grade oils). I'l eventually return to painting, but I first want to complete a series of still life drawings. or rather, sketches. I never seem to have the time, or for that matter the patience, to make actual drawings.
Anyway, on to the latest:
I messed up the ellipse on the rim of the glass a bit.
Oh, and way off topic, a photo I took today in Dinokeng nature reserve, north of Pretoria:
A friend of mine is fabulously rich and has a quite luxurious lodge there. :-)
Something I will try at some point: coffee. Some time ago I saw some quite attractive wash drawings made with humble instant coffee! Now there's a fun idea. :-)
A humble stapler. I keep on struggling to get my head around complex patterns, and the metal of the business end of the machine did not really work out all that well either. I am beginning to manage better with getting the shapes and proportions at least more or less correct, so perhaps there is light at the end of the tunnel, and it's just possible that it isn't the light of an oncoming train...
Awesome work. I didn't know we at all had artists of your skills in South Africa - our art scene seems to be heavily influenced by the post-modernist "anything goes" philosophy.
Are you self-trained? I have long wished to undergo proper classical training, but it seems not to be available anywhere in South Africa, and without it (and lacking any hint of actual talent) I have not been able to make much progress, not even in twenty years of fairly dedicated practice.
The site you refer to seems neat, but I'm not sure I remotely have the kind of skills or creativity to participate in any of the projects there! I am elated if I can manage to get a coffee mug more or less in proportion and looking somewhat three-dimensional; human anatomy and transforming household objects into robots is quite beyond me. I wouldn't know where to even start! :-)
Thx for the reply, I did study fine art after leaving high school but was really in the right frame of mind to learn much from it! For the most part I have been training myself. Got really inspired by this here site when i 1st found it.
As for training yourself, it's really about time and effort more than anything else, I work all day and into the night on my art. That's how I have improved at least. But dont be shy or intimated by legionink, the site has users from all levels and much like here we are helpful and supportive. It's also a great place to meet other local artists, they organize sketch meets and such too.
Here in South Africa, self-training seems to be the only way for most of us. As far as I can gather, the university fine arts programs don't teach technique (many of them probably actually frown upon it!). A year or two ago I visited the fine arts department at University of Pretoria and asked them where I could get hold of plaster casts for drawing. They had not the vaguest clue what I was talking about. They had never even heard of cast drawing. I had a glimpse into their art workshop, where students were working on pieces of, er, "art." Looked like the Mad Hatter's motorcycle repair shop. It put me right off the idea of studying art at university. I got the same impression from Unisa's fine arts department's brochures.
I suppose time is really the problem. I have a job and I try to juggle several other hobbies at the same time. Which is why I nowadays focus mostly on the humble still life. I'm not sure I have enough time to do justice to figure drawing, though every now and then, I very much want to.
Doodles from a boring meeting at work. Yikes! I have absolutely no ability to draw even the most cartoonish things from imagination. Perhaps I need to lighten up, and not always be dependent on observation...
Aargh, the uploader doesn't seem to work, so I'll just host the horror somewhere else...
U gotta prioritize pal. Get rid of those hobbies that ain't as important as art. :pI suppose time is really the problem. I have a job and I try to juggle several other hobbies at the same time. Which is why I nowadays focus mostly on the humble still life. I'm not sure I have enough time to do justice to figure drawing, though every now and then, I very much want to.
Alas, alas, they are all important. I have to say though that I am very bad at time management. I'm sure I could get much more done if I procrastinated less, and didn't allow myself to get distracted by pointless internet debates (for some reason, online creationists are like magnets to me, and I simply cannot stay away from them or let it pass without pausing to tell them they are full of shit.)U gotta prioritize pal. Get rid of those hobbies that ain't as important as art. :p
Anyway, my shocking performance in cartoon figures served as wake-up call: I am determined to learn to do at least that much. Will hopefully have some time again next week, at which time I'll start posting silly cartoon figures here. Not very dignified, I know, and hardly fitting for a serious art forum. But it occurred to me the other day that I have thus far tended to be absolutely deadly serious about art. I never allowed myself to have any fun with it. It's perhaps because I only took it up seriously as adult. Most artists start as kids, and in their first years of drawing they mostly do nothing BUT have fun with it. I had some of that as kid, but I think I can do with some more. I think I often fail to use available time for drawing simply because yet another absolutely serious drawing, that will leave me exhausted and dissatisfied, awaits. Jeez, it's a HOBBY for me - it's supposed to be at least a little bit fun.
Thus, prepare for some utter silliness here for a while. :-)
What really helped me break into drawing using my imagination was drawing what I have always been drawing from life at the beginning which was portraits. I later discovered that it was where my confidence was that got me from drawing from imagination, I later started to read books by Andrew Loomis and George Bridgman and that really started to help me drawing figures from imagination. If you are looking into cartooning, I suggest read Michael Mattessi "Force Dynamic Life Drawing For Animators" it will teach you to create more appealing designs using the principles of asymmetry but I first suggest you read Loomis books along with Bridgman.
My first cartoons will be utterly silly, that's what. :-)
The more I think about it, the more I realize that I have been too hard on myself, and in the process I have lost all the joy I used to derive from drawing. More and more, it began to look like an unpleasant chore rather than a meaningful activity. Thus I am determined to regain some of the magic that it used to hold for me as a kid. I remember how it was when I was in primary school: I was drawing all the time, on every bit of scrap paper I could lay my hands on. My best friend was also the best draftsman in the school, so he served as both inspiration and to make me feel quite thoroughly hopeless. For both of us, our main inspiration was Hergé, creator of the Tintin comics, and to some extent also Uderzo, who illustrated the Asterix comics. Those two remain among my favourite artists to this day, hence perhaps my habit of outlining everything!
We went through these phases that kids go through, and our drawings would reflect it: spacecraft, superheroes, war and mayhem, and so on and so forth. My drawings sucked, and it now and then frustrated me, but on the whole I thoroughly enjoyed doing them.
Because of my inability to achieve much with it, frustration eventually won out so by high school I didn't draw much anymore (I turned to music instead, because unlike with visual art I actually have a bit of an ear for it. But by high school I was also rather lazy and made little progress in music.)
In early adulthood I happened upon Betty Edwards' books in a bookshop, and tried them out. Initially made huge progress, but as many others on this board have noted, those books have serious limitations (the biggest perhaps being simply the fact that Edwards doesn't TELL her readers that her books are very limited introductions). I almost completely unlearned the habit of trying to work from imagination, and acquired some bad habits when working from reference or life, such as trying too hard to simply record the image on my retina instead of understanding what I was looking at. I soon hit a ceiling and never really broke through it in twenty years of quite regular practice. I was bumping my head against the same wall, and got ever more and more serious about it.
Thus I have now reached the point where I can hardly even remember anymore why I bothered in the first place. I'm a bit fed up. But not ready to give up. What I want is to have some goddamn fun, and having some goddamn fun is what I am now going to do, and I will not do a single serious piece again until such time as I have learned to relax, go with the flow and stop trying to be frickin' Bouguereau. I don't even like his damn paintings in the first place!
For many years now my drawings, even the fairly good ones, have been terribly, monstrously cramped - competent perhaps, but uninspired and lacking all spark. Now they are going to loosen up to point of ridiculousness. The important thing now will be not so much the result as the process. I have to regain some of the magic or I am going to end up giving up completely on a hobby that has much potential for bringing joy and meaning.
Not to worry. I will keep at it with the still lifes drawn from direct observation too (they seem to be teaching me quite a bit), and I'll get to Loomis and more formal anatomy as well. I have this feeling one needs to first try it out before one begins to know which questions to ask from such books in the first place.
Anyway, thanks for all the feedback and watch this space! Utterly silly stuff, makes Adam Sandler look like Liam Neeson, coming soon to a sketchbook near you...
Last edited by blogmatix; October 25th, 2012 at 08:38 AM.
That's a nice resolution you have for yourself, man. Drawing from imagination is fun. You have good observational skills, and you can put that to use in your imaginative drawings. I think the most important thing to take from observational drawings is the understanding of form. Taking that understanding and applying it to imagination has made noticeable changes in my work, I believe. This http://conceptart.org/forums/showthr...d-head-anatomy might help you, it did a lot for me at least.