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Thread: I can't be bad at something if I do it every day, right?

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    I can't be bad at something if I do it every day, right?

    Hello visitors. My name is Adam. I'm 22 years old, living in Washington DC, and going to school for Opera Performance. By day, I am unemployed. By night, I am an ARTIST! I've been interested in the visual arts my whole life, and it started when all of my (online) friends wanted to do webcomics and I wanted to fit in. After drawing furries, puttering around, and realizing I sucked I sort of lost interest. I wanted to become a better artist, but I didn't know "the way" so to speak. My friends practiced and drew awesome things. I practiced and drew crap. That covers me from ages 12-22.

    Anyway, it's time for me to prove something to 12 year old me. That I can draw awesome things too. So while I would say I've been drawing for about 10 years, I've only been "practicing" for around 6 months now. These past few months have been...quit intensive. I've forced myself to practice as a habit, and I haven't missed two days in a row. I'm hoping to do near daily uploads to this thread, but I'll work out a system as I trod along.

    Enough said. Let's draw.
    Last edited by Strato; August 9th, 2011 at 02:41 PM.
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  3. #2
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    YAY SKETCHBOOOOK!
    Waiting to see more of you when less exhausted
    Well, you know all about the learning basics stuff anyway so not much to recommend here huh?
    I like the lying head though- mine always look squished.

    Will lurk around.
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  5. #3
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    Okay, let's get this train a-rolling. For 100% context, you'll have to visit Spartan Camp #192 (http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=225776)

    Long story short: I did 50 gestures, saw some slight improvement, got some delicious feedback from samming, and then did another 22.

    Attachment 1297306
    Attachment 1297308

    I've not been getting enough sleep lately, so my linework is suffering. On the other hand, I'm making a breakthrough. I've begun to understand rhythm and flow. My biggest obstacle was that while I felt like I was doing gestural strokes, I wasn't. I was doing short little jabs at individual muscle groups. As you can see here, I'm starting to go after something I like to call "the long line." The line that connects the muscle groups together. Finally, after hundreds of gestures (most of which unposted ;P) I'm starting to get it.

    In addition, I was annoyed at my avoidance of feet in my gestures. So I started to include them, and I'm going full hog on feet studies. I pulled out my Bridgman, and as usual I stared at it and thought "How am I ever going to draw like this. This is insane." I put it back, pulled out Vanderpoel, looked at his feet and was like "...guess I'm going back to Bridgman." Bridgman isn't like Loomis. You don't get smiling faces and happy little construction sketches. No, you get a picture of a foot and THAT'S IT. Well, I figured I've done enough Loomis to know what to do, and I had to make my peace with Bridgman eventually.

    Attachment 1297310

    And you know what, it wasn't so bad. My usual process of drawing out each little line perfectly? Yeah, no way that was going to work. So I did it gesture style, going after the long, flowing lines. It worked...incredibly well. Not going to lie, I had a pretty profound moment working on these feet. Also, my instincts tell me that the heel of the foot should be visible at this angle. Thoughts?

    Last but not least, the bisected sphere method of head construction feels woefully crappy. So I pulled out my Loomis and began to look at his ball and plane method.

    Time spent drawing: 1.5 hours.

    ------------

    @LordLouis(e) ;P
    Thanks for stopping by. The head isn't lying. When I do stuff that I want to scan, I have to do it on A5 printer paper. BLAAAAAAAAAAGH! Anyway, I have to do lots of rotating, because I run out of room with 1 sketch. See you around the forum! =)
    Last edited by Strato; August 9th, 2011 at 02:42 PM.
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    I see some fundamentals here, such as the line of action, which is a good place to start. However, you're focusing too much on the outline of the figure - focus on what's inside. I see some lines of a circle here and there, but they look like either after-thoughts or 'here's the first step - now on to the fun stuff!'.

    Focus on where/what makes the body turn (our mid drift and the overlapping of muscles), look for that one line that makes it obvious the foot's in front of the leg, etc. If what I'm saying doesn't make much sense, I'd suggest just doing away with specific contours right now, and just getting the basic shapes down. Draw tubes in place of arms/legs and boxes in place of torso/pelvis, and try to figure out what side of the tube/box would show and what would be hidden. Notice I said tubes and boxes, not squares and circles, which is what I see right now. aka no flat stuff.

    It might not feel as cool or artistic to draw simple shapes, but soon enough you'll find it natural to build off the shapes. That's when you can start worrying about the outlines.

    I imagine your foot study was studied from Burne Hogarth. He has a very distinct style, some might say -too- distinct, but for right now I think that's a great idea. You can learn a lot about form with him.
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    @ZombieGrub
    YES. You know how to speak my language man! Thank you so much for your great feedback. I start with a continuous line that represents the whole figure, then move onto doing contours. I think going for volume in between will be a great step. The foot is a Bridgman foot. I have Hogarth books, but they're uhh...well, Hogarth is Hogarth. In my opinion, he's far too stylized for a beginner like myself.
    Last edited by Strato; August 9th, 2011 at 02:39 PM.
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    It's great that you turned practicing into a daily habit! I can see you're developing some good poses while paying attention to anatomy! I personally think that's a very great way to start. Keep up the great work!
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  11. #7
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    Sheesh, you seem very serious about getting better AND FAST! That's the noblest cause I can think of, one that I worship fervently.
    I knelt with laughter when I read "I put it back, pulled out Vanderpoel, looked at his feet and was like "...guess I'm going back to Bridgman.""
    This is a promising sketchbook with an entertaining read, I'll stay a while (and listen)

    Cheers! Sparta!
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    I dunno why, but it makes me happy that you are 22 too! It's so cool to read how big your passion towards drawings is and that you're practising every day.
    I don't know if I can give good advices now. I see you already use books from Bridgman and Loomis. Maybe you can use Loomis or something similar to start focusing on some anatomical issues. In "figure drawing for all it's worth" you can see the mannekin Loomis is using. Look at it. Understand it. Try to use more 3dimensional forms to develop your gestures. Bridgman has some drawings about that too. Divide your bodies into the three big masses (head, ripcage, pelvis) and draw them with forms like cylinders and boxes. That helps a lot to get things into perspective. Even draw some page just with the basic shapes and forms to get a feeling for them.
    So, keep up the good work and have fun!
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    @garnetfenghuang
    Thank you. I'd like to think that I'm on the right track too. ;D

    @Kerah
    Sparta! I'm going to deliver on my promising sketchbook too. Glad I'm at least a little entertaining!

    @Valyavande
    I was a little worried about starting when I was 22. Then I realized that in the world of artists, 20-somethings are still basically babies. I'm currently cutting through "Fun with a Pencil" but I feel like I might get more out of "Figure Drawing for All It's Worth." What do you think? As for the rest of what you said, it's an issue of theory v. practice for me. I'm aware of what I should do, on a general level, but I haven't spent enough time actually doing it. Blah. That just means I need to put in more time on the practice part of that equation. Thanks for your comments!
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    I must say, I never worked with "Fun with a pencil". But I think, it can't be bad if you start to use Loomis' anatomy book. There are many things in the beginning that are interesting for develop your drawings =) And maybe it makes working with Bridgman easier too.
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  18. #11
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    Hey Strato,

    I don't have anything new to add as such but as you are asking for Loomis experience I thought I'd drop my two cents.
    I only work with "Fun with a Pencil" and "Drawing the Head and Hands" because those two cover human anatomy to the greatest extent. I found it useful for the understanding of form and some basics of the skull, but "from skull to face" Loomis is just crap. It tells you in 35 steps how to draw the outline of a head, and drawing the entire face apparently only takes one further step.
    Successful Drawing and Eye of the Painter are nice, but I prefer specific books on perspective, as well as the books by James Gurney, who covers "Creative Illustration" quite well with his "Imaginative Realism". Gurney makes the illustration real, believable and authentic- Loomis is a school book in comparison.
    I'm not saying it is bad as such, but I don't see the reason to stick to Loomis religiously when they are other books or authors you'd prefer on the same topics. Plus, Loomis doesn't touch the topic of colour, light, shade in-depth (obviously).

    I personally have great difficulties with Bridgman, and Hogarth makes more sense in my head- everything is round and flowing, Bridgman is square and sharp- both perfectly acceptable, I am just personally drawn to the curvy lines. But then again, my lines are messy as ****.

    Hope I could help you a little.
    See you around!
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    @Valyavande
    Well, thanks anyway. =) Yeah, Loomis's construction and observation methods make Bridgman seem so much more manageable. I would have been lost without Loomis's help.

    @LordLouis
    Thanks for the book reviews. I've given his other books a few reads, and it seems like Loomis is great for big concepts and technical skills but a little weaker for specific areas. I agree that there are better texts out there, and I'll definitely check them out. "Imaginative Realism" is name-dropped all over the forums, especially by Jeff so it's probably something fiercely good.

    You like Hogarth, huh? Neat! I'm the opposite. I like the angular forms. Much easier to tell angles and proportions with solid lines than Hogarths smooth "Everyone is made of bubbles" approach. Bridgman is otherworldly though. Way past my technical levels, but he's the only guy I've got on hand.
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    Hello friends. Once again, dumping then off to bed. It had to be an early night for me. Write up and analysis tomorrow.

    ------

    Good morning! So, last night was an busy night for me. I'm moving from Albuquerque to Washington DC, and I had a little going away get together with my best friends of 8+ years. Anyway, drinks were had, then drawings were made. I wasn't very intoxicated at all, but for some reason alcohol just wrecks my ability to do anything well. At any rate, drawings.

    Attachment 1297766
    darker
    Attachment 1297770

    Afraid to say that given events of the evening, these drawings are a little boring and uninteresting. I tried to catch some of the volumes a little better, as per the advice I received. How do you rapidly construct the figure, but maintain accuracy? I'm default to marking out the volumes with spheres (Ovals, really) I'm pretty sure I should be doing boxes and cylinders instead, but it costs me valuable seconds. Also, I still feel like I'm focusing on the contours too much still, but another night, another stab at it. I began trying to catch some of the twists and overlaps like I was told to, and I feel like I just defaulted to contour. Also, I tried to apply what I'm learning from Bridgman's feet to my gestures, and I can already see that I'm learning something from ol' Bridgy. In addition, samming gave me some more great advice here: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...1&postcount=31

    Tonight will be fun. Lots of new things to try =). I'm already nearly done with my 50 gestures for Sparta, which is great because I'll be really busy moving over the next few days. (38/50)

    Attachment 1297767

    Continuation of my foot studies and the divided sphere and plane method from Loomis. On the foot, I lightly marked out the planes that I could see. I'm starting to feel a little more comfortable with Bridgman. I feel like I can begin to breakdown and construct more with Bridgman too instead of relying so much on contours. With Loomis, you learn techniques. With Bridgman, you learn form. Powerful stuff! The Loomis head was a failure. I'm going to have to redo it tonight before I can move on.

    Time spent drawing: 1 hour

    Way under what I'd like to be doing. Life gets busier, I guess. I'll have to redistribute how I use my time to get back into my 3 hour days.
    Last edited by Strato; August 10th, 2011 at 01:21 PM.
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