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  1. #1
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    Doodles and disasters

    I have been drawing and painting on and off for years. Not sure if I really made any progress. But perhaps this thread will motivate me to draw more, and perhaps it will serve as a useful record to me or someone else, of one amateur's progress. Or lack thereof: sometimes it seems to me my work is getting worse and worse rather than better.

    Now and then a sketch works out nicely, but for this thread I intend to post all or at least many of the horrid ones as well. I have a feeling it will be more of a learning experience that way. So here goes.

    A weathered leaf from earlier this year:

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  3. #2
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    Sketches done from the TV. I attempted a caricature-style sketch of a character from the film "The king's speech," which I was watching with friends. It ended up not really resembling the character much, but that's hardly a surprise, considering I struggle to capture a likeness even when the model keeps still.

    The other page contains some sketches done of musicians, and once again I found it very challenging, because the TV camera focuses on any one for just a few seconds. I'm not sure if this is a great exercise to force my eye to learn to see, or perhaps precisely what one should NOT be doing! Perhaps I'll learn in due course...

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  4. #3
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    A sketch done from a reference photo, something which I dislike doing, but I get tired of my own ugly face in a mirror. Somehow, everything I try to draw from photos end up looking absolutely horrible, which is why I nowadays try to avoid reference photos.

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  5. #4
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    Hey there!

    Doing really well with your TV exercises, I could definitely see the character in your drawing! Love that film, isn't it amazing? One idea I have for you is pausing the image for, say 30 or 60 seconds. The you can spend a little more time on observation, my dad used to do that. Still have to move quick, mind, but you will improve very quickly, I promise.

    Aand don't dislike reference photos too much. After all, can't draw from life all the time. Try to pull the values more if you do draw from reference though, as you have more time to play with your greyscale.

    Best wishes,

    Ana

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  7. #5
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    And some still life setups, some from a year or two ago, illustrating neatly how I lost my touch through lack of practice and working too much from reference photos - the old ones seem to me better than the more recent ones!

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  8. #6
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    Your still lives look really good, but I think your portraits could use a bit more work. The form is in there, but I'm missing some volume and realness that you do have in your still life. Consider it a challenge

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  10. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrownLullaby View Post
    Your still lives look really good, but I think your portraits could use a bit more work. The form is in there, but I'm missing some volume and realness that you do have in your still life. Consider it a challenge
    Hehe, with the still lifes I can of course get away with errors in proportion and so on, that immediately show in a portrait, which is partly why portraits are such a challenge. I know what you mean: my drawings have a sort of flat, two dimensional quality to them, and when I try to deepen shadows I end up with a portrait that looks like the person has mud on his face rather than shadows!

    I should perhaps do some more self-portraits, perhaps in candlelight, so that there are very sharp contrasts between light and dark. I am reluctant to work from photographs. As I mentioned, I find it extremely unsatisfactory. Perhaps I should go look for old master works on the web, that have a lot of shadows. I have learned much in the past from copying old masters, such as the one I attach, but I haven't really tried to explore deep shadow yet.

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  11. #8
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    Some recent sketches. A vampire girl based on a character in an absolutely awful made-for-TV movie, but drawn mostly from imagination. Clearly I have much to learn about drawing people!

    Also some sketches done at a local bird reserve; some Egyptian geese politely kept fairly still for a while, giving me an opportunity to get down some details.

    The tree came out rather flat and amateurish; I'll have to go think about it a bit and try again.

    All except the vampire girl done in ballpoint pen, and all quite small sketches, about size A5.

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  12. #9
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    I really like the michelangelo drawing and the colored mango (is it?)
    nice work! keep posting

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  14. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarkuzy View Post
    I really like the michelangelo drawing and the colored mango (is it?)
    nice work! keep posting
    Yup, a mango: wonderful fruit. Apart from blue, you can often see every colour of the rainbow in a single fruit.

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  15. #11
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    Nice mango. Also your stuff is definitely coming along nicely, keep up the hard work!

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  17. #12
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    These aren't disastrous at all. The still lives are really good.

    I think an issue you're running into, especially with the drawings from photos and imagination, is that you're thinking in shapes rather than forms. Shapes are 2-d, forms are 3-d. Instead of envisioning your subject as interlocking shapes, try 'seeing through' what you're drawing, and breaking it down into cubes, spheres, cylinders, etc., and then constructing it on the page from these. It would solve the flatness issue that you mentioned, I think.

    Have you read Andrew Loomis' books? They're free all over the Internet, and he goes into this at length.

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  19. #13
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    I have decided to practice drawing from observation a bit, because my abilities there leave a lot to be desired, and I think it is really the first step towards anything else. So here's another still life arrangement:

    Doodles and disasters

    Struggled a bit with the complex whirls of the light bulb, and the shiny white of the mug: I think I should have put the objects against a dark background. That way they might have looked like white objects.

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