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Here's where I work.
For the most part, those drawings in that stack are what are called gestures or structural gestures. They're a first step toward doing what Nicolaides called "gestures", referring to drawing the human figure. (Of course, Alberto Giacometti was doing them years before Nicolaides knew what a pencil was)
Mostly it's 3D spheres. I do about 12-15 of these sheets per day, trying to work on many things: line economy, measurement, line weight, atmospheric perspective, angles, etc... they're excellent exercises.
But more complex shapes are done too, like Perrier bottles
Perrier bottles are easier to draw than the human body, but they have anatomy all the same. For that reason, you can do gestures of them. You can also easily memorize the "anatomy" of a bottle...
Gestures can also be done from observation. These aren't great...
but these are getting better. It's important to do these exercises, because that's how you'll be able to quickly get a gesture from a live scene/model.
Did a little Brigdman last week, but failed. Need to think about big shapes more (and measure some)
I also do what are termed "measured" drawings... like how you do life drawings from the model (measure, draw, measure, draw more). I failed earlier in the week on this measured drawing of the Asaro Head... it took me an hour to get this far...
The next day... I did a relatively failed life drawing
... but at the end realized something. I was going about it wrong.
The next day I did an improved attempt at the Asaro Head
, where I do the "pencil hop" technique... that is... go from one measured point to another... taking off and landing from points instead of drawing lines. The next day (yesterday)... I did a much better life drawing, once I remembered not only to do the pencil hop technique... but that I must always start at a point... a particular point on the body somewhere, and work my way from there.
I keep getting caught up in the blocking out of the composition... the "notional space", or the rectangle that the figure sits in... that I forget to pick a point and start drawing and measuring.
Another thing I realized while doing so was that once you have a certain part of the body measured out and you're confident, just start drawing.... you can start to eyeball things if you want... you don't have to measure every little angle once you have a good start.
This isn't fantastic, but it's what came out. It would have been nice to have more time to render it.
And finally... being inspired a lot by the work that Austen F.M. does... and the work of some choice others... I decided to keep a little, personal sketchbook of doodles just for my own amusement. I decided not to post drawings from it; but that it should just be whatever came out of my head.
No reference, nothing... just run off of pure (or impure?) brain cells... whatever came to mind.
It was a lot of fun to do this. In fact, it rekindled my love of drawing... the love I had at 18 when I thought I wanted to draw forever. I would advise folks to keep your own private doodle book.
Anyhow... there wouldn't be a reason for this ramble if I didn't change my mind about posting. That said, here's some of the goofy stuff from my mind.
In addition to doing about 50 pages of sphere and bottle gestures this week (which you've already seen before...)
Starting a master copy
Two life drawing sessions this week; in one, drew Jason (two quick ones and the final pose... not happy with final pose only because I drew like "a blind man" (only got the outline blocked in)...
Also doing some serious pen & ink exercises from Guptill's book
And this morning's life drawing session
Got 'er blocked in and rendered for at least half the session; need work on rendering... but I'm relatively pleased with it. The snapshot of it disappoints me, though.
More goofy crap
Loving the goofy stuff - also am intrigued by the gesture drawings - it's something that I'm trying to learn and get down myself..Real inspiring.
Thanks, the points you bring up in my sketchbook are food for thought - also that article is pretty interesting regarding Edward's methods. Also, wasn't a rude question at all, keep asking the questions, it's how we grow..Don't worry, the interest and fun won't stop .
Looking good! Keep up the intensity!
Its been a while!
Man, you are a machine! I respect your commitment to the cause.
You are my freaking idol! Your drawing is so much better now. I do remember your first ones, and dude, it is such an improvement!
I'd like to see some more original work. You already have more than enough skill. You should start pushing your own style. Your random doodles are great!
You have some keep the studies as half the practice. You will realize that there are lots of new problems when you are trying to create a whole scene out of nowhere.
Nice practice drawings! Do you know a good book/website about hatching and crosshatching with inks / pencils?
Nice! Just noticed your new sketchbook.... Thought I'd drop a line, since you've dropped, like, fifty in mine . Good to see your stack growing.. I'm wondering what the hell I'm gonna' do with all this newsprint I'm accumulating! lol.. Those ellipse/ line exercises are great for learning control, and they seem pretty cleanly done... I'd like to see you take that control into your other drawings which seem a bit heavy-handed and smudgy..(I'm a lefty, we have terrible problems with that sort of thing ) Speed drawing has really helped me to loosen up, you might give it a try.. or even set up on an easel and force yourself to not touch the paper with your hand. It's good to see you working from your head too, your drawings have a Robert Crumb feel to them . My best suggestion for you is to just loosen up a bit, and let a few failed drawings go.. just move on to the next one and find your pace. Cheers!
MY DAILY SKETCHES
If you can read this, I gave you 5 stars
Hey P sage Thanks for stopping by my sb. Tons of great drawing and exploration here. Seems like you have a great sense of humor that comes across in your sketches which is fun to see. My only crit is to make sure you are double checking your proportions and foreshortening before headed into the shading stage. Most recent figure study looks more on target though. Keep going man you are headed in the right direction.
Are you doing the Asaro Head from life? Some where on the tutorial section someone uploaded 360 degree pictures of it that I downloaded, but haven't been able to find again. I tried building it in sketch-up, but my skills are not up to it.
Your life drawing has a nice feel to them. I hate Perrier water, but the bottles are a nice shape. Fun doodles.
Of course, doing sphere gestures... the best exercise in the world IMO for ingraining proportion, line weight, line economy, 3D, all of it... 70 pages of them (18 x 24 newsprint) this week.
Here's Friday's 15:
And the whole week's work:
Did two sheets of those Perrier bottles a day, too. Kept up with the pen & ink daily exercise... just doing up to down strokes for now until the stroke is automatic
Did observational gestures all week. Here's from one of the days
Update on the master study... ditched it after the second photograph, because the measurements around the mouth/chin were off. Things I learned: Block in big shapes FIRST ... don't render at all until the big shapes are there.
Next master study will probably be something from Todd Schorr.
Wednesday night's figure session... three decent quick drawings
Then the final...
somehow he looks fatter in the drawing... though the measurement checks out... oh, and he was a white guy .
Thursday night I audited a small academy here in town to see if they could offer me new perspectives on figure drawing. Not much new, but they had a drop dead gorgeous model there... somehow I got her legs too small... I wanted the head that size... and the legs bigger to suit. Need to be more careful.
On the plus side, she asked if she could take a snapshot of the drawing
Here's this morning's session
What I learned: Don't block in the entire silhouette... just measure something, and go to work. Start drawing. Block in stuff as you move to it... because if you block it in ahead of time, you won't get time to render and you may have an acceptable drawing with only half the figure.
Studies from the week (Bridgman/Bammes)
I try to re-interpret the studies in my own hand... in my own way... which is why the Bammes interpretation is so different. But I learned something from it... the extended lines show what I learned. Lines converge from triangles.
And a drawing I'm kind of proud of
Wednesday... I did everything to plan... measured quickly, got to a landmark (the eye)... and just started drawing. It was a blast. Only measured when I was sure something was going to look off. It went very quickly, and looks great.
And for Black Spot:
My Asaro head, with lens cap chapeau.
Cheers! Comments coming to all responders very soon.
This sketchbook is a great fine keep at it!
BTW the update is two posts up
Dudes/Dudinas... drawing is becoming more and more fun all the time. I'm discovering exciting things every week. The exercises and hard work I'm putting in is paying off. Can't wait to get back in there and draw more!!
Thank you all for visiting and commenting.
Steveland Thanks. Observational gesture and structural gesture will help your drawings 1000 percent. Slam 'em. Get some cheap newsprint and go nuts with a cheap charcoal pencil.
CKLamb Thank you! Artists of your caliber are an honor to have here in my closet of goofiness.
Hellfire Bro, my head is swelling up Thank you; the original stuff is fun as hell, for sure. Probably will push into some side projects... maybe hit a CoW or something. And that's a good point about creating something from nothing...
surus There's a response in your thread about hatching. Thanks man!
Metal Fingers The diagonal lines relate one part of the figure to another. For instance, if a diagonal line touches the head, and then further down, the leg... now the head and leg are related and the figure holds together better.
Diagonal lines can radiate from points, too... sort of similar to one-point perspective... it's a great way to strengthen your construction and make the figures look tighter. One of the things I picked up at Barnstone.
Hey Colin! No worries on the 50 (actually it's 37 ) (just had to count)
Yeah, storing drawings. WTH to do with them? I looked into those flat file type things architects use... thousands of bux! They do have blueprint hangers (cheaper)... then again, there's always the recycle pile :/
The ellipses form three planes of a sphere... which helps with a lot of things... visualization of 3 dimensions simultaneously... you can also work on line economy, line weight, aerial perspective (notice how the center circle is lighter than the arcs in front of each sphere)?, proportion, rhythm, etc... a ton of stuff. I love the exercise.
The smudges you saw were from a graphite piece (the life drawing)... I don't actually rest my hand on the paper... they smudge because I set stuff on top of them. I use an underhand grip, which keeps my hands completely off the paper--except in my goofy book... which gets smudged because the pages rub together.
Cheers on the R. Crumb comment... the Crumb documentary is in my Netflix queue. Thanks a ton Colin. Appreciate your thoughts and support.
NiaLain Hey there! Thank you!
TheDirtSyndicate Thank you. Arthur Guptill's book. Amazon.
Ninjac Cheers dude. Proportion is 80% of the battle (and it's getting easier)... and I'm focusing of foreshortening as you say.
Black Spot I could get you some more turn-around snapshots of my Asaro head (taken at eye height) if you like. Will put them in my next update.
Cheers for the comment.
Just missed you Nuestro Capitan... thanks for your visit!
Last edited by p sage; July 3rd, 2011 at 12:14 AM.
I was thinking for those shape and line quality exercise have you thought of using mechanical pencil or blue pencil. There are other fun industrial design too you might be interested in.
Make a sketchbook happy, feed it a tip to improve!
Great work! Keep up the studies. It's always beneficial to go back to the fundamentals, I think I'll take a leaf out of your book!
That's some beautiful hatching you're doing my friend.
Damn bro, so many sphere gestures! they sound really interesting...I mite havta try them. Your life drawings are very solid, im impressed, and i love your imagination that you have in your sketchbook.
Thanks for visiting my sketchbook too, sir! Keep up the grinnnd!
thanks for the reply...you're pencil work is great.. i like to draw like that one day..feel free to check out my sketch book any time.. i need all the help i can get lol.
Always impressed with the studies. That head really highlights the point that there are no edges and it's all down to the values.
Howdy. Construction is coming along nicely. I'd rethink focusing so much on the faces during your life drawing sessions. Really nail the proportions and try to tie in some anatomy studies that you can observe while you're working from the model. Good momentum in here.
Awesome studies, man. I wish I were as loose as you. You got something good going on here.
I'm going to steal your sphere practice, btw.
Sketchbook: There and Back again Updated- 7/04/12
You want to focus on the value of those lines. Darken the most accurate lines, but vary the darkness and thickness according to the direction of the light. The lighted side will have lighter lines and thinner lines. Try to begin your figure drawing with gestures made up of basic forms, this helps to establish the proportions maintains the harmony of the figure. You also don't want the final product to contain sketchy and broken lines that are very dark, and you eliminate this by sketching lightly and then darken the most accurate line. The darkest line will pop and overpower the lighter lines, so the viewer tends to see the darkest line.
Twinkle, twinkle little star
I don't wonder what you are
For by spectroscopic ken
I know that you are hydrogen - Ian D.