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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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)
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!
Thank you. I'd like to think that I'm on the right track too. ;D
Sparta! I'm going to deliver on my promising sketchbook too. Glad I'm at least a little entertaining!
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!
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.
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 ****.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
How you doing buddy? I just thought that I would swing by and say thanks for the input in my book, its all good and very welcome and don't you ever worry about my feelings okay.
The illustration business is a hard business with hard people in it and thats where I want to be! I didnt come to this forum for ass-pats I came here and indeed do come here for valid opinions and comments that will point out all the stuff I do wrong so that I can re-double my efforts in the areas that are weak (lots of them by the way LOL).
all the best and please keep the comments coming mate, thanks again.
Hey, fellow 22-year-old-who-started-off-drawing-crap-and-not-practicing-the-right-way-so-you-gave-up-and-now-you-want-to-take-it-seriously-for-real-this-time! I'm going to follow your thread for the simple similarities in our backgrounds alone! Let's become awesome!
Missed updating last night out of sheer sleep deprivation. A shame. Tonight will be twice as big to compensate.
Thanks for visiting my humble little thread. My goal is to practice every day for 10 years straight and see where I end up. I think it's pretty doable ;P I'll be moved by this time next week, and I'll do my best to draw and update in hotels on the road until then.
Haha. I came here to make art, not friends, but it looks like I found both. =) I'll subscribe to your s'book and try to help you out wherever I can.
Hello to you too, and welcome to our little 22 year old club. ;P Start a thread, so we can race to awesome, shall we?
Edit: Oh, you did. See you over there!
Last edited by Strato; August 11th, 2011 at 03:35 PM.
First up, by St. Samming's suggestion, I did a blind contour for the first time in a while. *sigh* Another blind contour, another beautiful woman I've ruined. At any rate, this is the best blind contour I've produced to date. I should upload my first one that I can find and put them up for you all (and myself) to see and compare to. =) Although I'm not doing it 100% right, because I'm occasionally catching outline instead of contour. I'll do another one and avoid that. These gestures are quite the uphill battle. I'm seeing hints and traces of greatness in them, but the consistency will be weeks or months away. I suppose that's why we do so many of them. Still, there are some bits and pieces that I really like from this batch.
The majority of the night was spent preparing for the optional study for Spartan Camp #193 (http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=226350) Choosing a scale, ruling out all of the measurements, etc. took too long and I lost valuable time on things that would have been more fun. But I'm valuing accuracy very highly for this study. Anyway, since I had to pack up my books I couldn't do my Bridgman or Loomis. So I did a hand-eye co-ordination exercise that I haven't done in a while, and I've slid back a little on my freehand circles and straight horizontal lines, but not as bad as I expected.
I can't say I'm very happy with tonight. I see progress but very slow progress. I guess that's better than nothing. Gestures seem like they should be natural, but are eluding me. I see glimmering bits, like the arms, that are very "gesture-like" for lack of a better way of putting it. I can't wait for this move to be over with. Then I'll have more time and energies. Tomorrow? I drive.
Time spent drawing: 1.75 hours.
Last edited by Strato; August 12th, 2011 at 04:55 AM.
Wow, already starting to see a lot of improvement. I wondered what was making it look better withint a few days and noticed those boxes - REALLY helping you. Your proportions are still off, as you elongate the torso and shorten the arms/legs. Start looking for relationships between extremities - does the knee line up with the elbow? Does the hand line up with the foot? I'm really seeing the line of action in a lot of those, so just practice practice practice to get better at this point.
I'm looking for how long those gestures take you, but I can't find any hint. You say some stuff is taking off valuable seconds, so I'm expecting thirty to one-minute gestures? Trust me when I say you have the right idea, even if your stuff doesn't look ohmigod amazing. There's really no shortcut, but with practice your mind will start seeing relationships faster without you noticing it, and that's the whole point of the gestures. Keep at it.
Ah, their stuff looks slightly similar. The breakdown of the foot, at least, was very similar to Hogarth's own. While Hogarth is really stylized, he teaches form very well, but it seems Bridgeman has similar teachings. Either way it's good stuff.
nice structured approach you're taking. Following Loomis I take it. Well you certainly can't go wrong with his approach. try looking at some of the Gnomon workshop vids, especially the foundation ones. The Ron Lemen ones are brilliant for portrait groundwork.
I wish I was 22 again - too - wait - actually I was a MESS at 22 -- I'm happy being old except when I want to bike race.. not so happy! I wanted to respond to your original premise - that if you do something every day you can't be "bad".. And - well probably not! But how does one get good ? Practice is part of it, and I think, as important is having a plan: what should you learn first ? and by learn I mean do everything in your power to master it. Then what ? This can all be done on your own but good teachers will accelerate your learning cycles absolutely. Loomis, Bridgman, Vanderpoel, Frank Reilly, Bargue plates - all are great near the beginning of drawing people well. But before people - how does value work ? how to a measure a shape - like a sphere or a tube ? getting to these basics first will help. They seem boring but drawing a beautiful, well-lit egg will be an eye-opening experience. Just some thoughts for you. I am from Washington DC as well. It's so beautiful there now ( not when I was growing up!).
I had a teacher who had this saying: "Does practice make perfect ? NO! PERFECT practice makes perfect!" - what I think he meant was - you have to direct your practice - if you practice bad drawing or painting things - you will not improve as easily ( it sounds obvious but I have seen it SO much at art school!).
Ha ha ha being 22 was so long ago for me I cant remember it!! so it must have been a blast!!
I like those rough poses you have done mate, I am working through the Walt Stanchfield lectures at the moment and trying to sell the action more in my drawings they are pretty good books if you want to check em out. They dont teach you to draw any better but rather they change your thinking process and help you understand how the body works etc. They could help in your quest for fame and greatness buddy
I've been fighting the urge to comment on my sketchbook, because I promised I wouldn't post unless I had more drawings to show but I gave in to the temptation. I couldn't resist! I've been on a road trip for the past bunch of days, and it's really cut into my drawing time and totally eliminated my ability to scan things for now. I'll show what I've been doing on Thursday though. Anyway, onto replies:
ZombieGrub Any improvement I owe to you and samming. Your advice has really gone straight to heart and helped me in leaps and bounds. Thank you so much again. As far as elongating the torso and stuff I don't really see it myself, but I'll take your word for it and I'll try to see what you're seeing. I'll try to watch my proportions more in the future since I haven't been doing that enough I'm sure. =) 60 seconds, by the way. Thanks for reassuring me that I'm improving, and I hope you swing by again after my next round of gestures to give even more guidance! Practice practice practice!
darxx That's the plan my man. So far it's been working out pretty well. ;P
Little-Maiden Haha, no structured approach here, sir. I tend to go with the wind on a pretty wild path. If I see something I'm bad at, I work at it tirelessly. If somebody tells me I'm bad at something or what to do, then they might as well be the word of God for all I care. I tend to work with books up until I get too bored with them to continue, which is about 40-50 pages in. It's a problem, I think. I'm currently about 40 pages into Fun with a Pencil, and I'm going to do my best to really push through to the end of this one. It'll be quite an accomplishment. Ron Lemon and Gnomon workshop you say? Hmm, they're pricier, but I've heard such great things. Worth investigating!
kevinwueste Hmmm, something about your post made me a little defensive. But I choked it down and accepted that you're making good points. My approach is a little unstructured and wild, but I feel like there isn't really a set path-way to improving artistic skills because it's so broad. Fun with a Pencil is for the more or less total beginner, and you won't see eggs in there. You'll see people. I don't think there's anything wrong with working in a way where you're covering a lot of skills at once.
However, you're right that I haven't done value studies, so guess what. I pulled out an egg from the fridge and gave it a shot. =) The results? They look like crap, but if you say value studies then value studies it is. I'll post them on Thursday, and I would love to get some feedback. I did them with a mechanical pencil, a medium which I don't really like. They're great at being wholly average at everything, but they're so easy to use... When I unpack, I'll switch to doing my value studies in charcoal, and we'll all be a lot happier.
As far as perfect practice makes perfect, I'll agree that it's true. But what may be a perfect practice methodology for some people doesn't apply to everyone. My eclectic approach could work out, or it could wind up holding me back. If that's the case, then at the very least I've learned how not to practice. I'll consider everything you've said here though, as you're making very good points. Thanks for your insightful reply. =)
Edit: P.S. I think I based the title of this sketchbook on an old XKCD quotation. Something like "Tell _____ to do it every day. You can't be bad at something if you do it every day." I'm curious now where I got that from, but I haven't a clue anymore.
Lightship69 Interesting! Where are these lectures? The more information I can get about...well, anything, the happier Strato you'll have. Also, fame and greatness? Not for me. Drawing is about the only thing I can claim that I do 100% out of pure selfish indulgence. Acting and music I do for an audience and for the stage. Drawing will be my secret fetish that you guys can be a part of, mostly cause you'll tell me how to do it better. ;P
Last edited by Strato; August 17th, 2011 at 02:01 AM.
Hey Strato! Me coming here to comment on your sketchbook is long overdue. Sorry it took so long.
I'm looking over your stuff and it's promising. I see you are working on gestures which are pretty challenging. What I would recommend is to really study how the spine works. Draw it a few times (simplified, of course) in relation to the major masses - head, rib cage, and pelvis. Then get some reference pics and/or go to this site http://www.pixelovely.com/gesture/figuredrawing.php and visualize where the spine is and how it's angled to accommodate the body's position. Everything else follows its lead.
I read that you have no structured path, and looking at your post (where you have a foot with some heads), I see that's true, haha. However, I would definitely start planning out what you do session to session. Doing this will make what you draw stick. For example, spend a few hours getting down the correct proportions of the head in front view, profile, and three-quarters view. Then turn the head every which way (preferably the positions you have trouble with) and draw those. Keep doing it until it becomes second nature. Kevinwueste is right, don't so much worry about how much you draw over quality. Always shoot for quality.
Also, remember to break down your drawings- this is important. You'll see in my sketchbook, even recently, I had only copied contours. Get comfortable drawing the foundational shapes that make up any object - the cube, cone, sphere, cylinder, pyramid, etc. Get comfortable drawing a shit ton of ellipses and circles until it's easy for you. It takes time; you don't want to see the circles I made when I first started trying to get them down (even worse than what's in my sketchbook).
Well, I hope I helped and didn't just rattle off what is already known to you. Keep at it and put in those hours and you'll improve in no time.
"By day, I am unemployed. By night, I am an ARTIST! "
Best. introduction. ever. xD
I'm feeling this story so much! It's uncannily similar to my own. I've been drawing on and off for about two years and I've practiced a lot, but my work doesn't necessarily reflect it. I mostly drew furries and I was riiiight about to make a webcomic, too.
It's great to hear you've gotten serious these past few months! I can see you're getting some gesture sketches in. The only thing I'd recommend is focus on learning. One of the biggest problems I used to have when I did gesture sketches is that my mind would often be elsewhere (TV, games, etc) and I'd gain much less than if I'd have focused on drawing the entire time I drew.
But yeah, I'll be sure to check up and see how you're doing. Good luck man! :3
Yeah the Stanchfield lectures are Two books that "JavierP" put me on to when I was doing that gollum image a while back they are called "The Walt Stanchfield Lectures: Volumes one and two" the big tag line across the middle of the book reads "Drawn to life, 20 Golden years of Disney master classes.
The price on the back of my copy of volume 1 is $29:95 but its some of the best money I spent in a while.
The ISBN number is as follows ISBN:978-0-240-81096-6 if you want to order it or get it from a Library
Like I said it doesnt really show you classy images but it goes into how to construct an image mentally so that it sells or presents the action to the viewer in a beleivable way.
Keep posting mate and I'll see you around the forum
Hi everyone. Very tired. Reeling from the big road trip and unpacking today. Had to use my laptop and photoshop to scan these instead of my usual process, so it'll look a little funkier. The 5 days off wrecked havoc on my gestures. Very out of practice. This space reserved for a better write-up tomorrow.
Edit: Forgot to scan my blind contours. You won't miss them.
First up, I did a quick warm up and some basic shape studies. Surprisingly shaky! D= Gonna have to try a little harder tonight to tighten these up. Perhaps I should do some perspective studies on simple shapes too. Constructing a cube without throwing down vanishing points is very hard. I also should have constructed the sphere from a cube. Things to do tonight!
Then came part whatever of my infinite part series : Gestures by Strato. 5 days off set me back a ways, but I can see what ZombieGrub meant about proportions. I do in fact elongate the torso and shorten the limbs! I'll start checking more diligently.
I busted out the charcoal and started transitioning to doing simple constructions and drawing from life. I feel like this is a good step in the right direction. I constructed the cup from a cylinder and the handle from boxes like a boss. I'm not so good at rendering values yet. Tips on that regard would be nice.
Matthew said look at the spine, so I looked at the spine. Nothing much to say. Gonna look at it the side view and stuff. Can't wait until my Bridgman and Loomis are unpacked so I can go back to a more structured approach.
Last edited by Strato; August 19th, 2011 at 03:44 PM.
Haven't had much time to come up with responses to people. I've been busy drawing. Tonight I took a break to watch a movie on the couch and do some scans from the past few days. Dump, sleep, write-up. The usual.
One-point perspective study, a-la Carl Dobsky. I tried applying some shadow construction, but I forgot how to do it. Guess that means another try tonight.
I haven't been doing as much gestures lately. I need to kick it up a notch, because I'm starting to check my proportions better and it's showing. Keep on chugging, I guess, since I'm seeing more and more improvement each day.
Hmm. Yes. You're on to something. Tracing anatomy over photographs is something I've heard that really helps. I'll give it a shot! I'll add your books to my growing list, but right now I'm swamped with books and out of money, so it'll be a while.
I'll try to keep to a stricter structure in my studies. Tackling a variety of specific things at once without following through isn't really good form, yeah. The current things I'm working on (Gestures, still life, skeleton, basic geometry) seems to be working REALLY well so far, so I'll stick with it and follow through in greater depth.
"Also, remember to break down your drawings- this is important" Grr, you're so right with this that it hurts. =P That's why I'm doing still lifes. It's forcing me to go through with simple objects and construction. Thanks for making me feel bad about my weaknesses. I mean it.
"Well, I hope I helped and didn't just rattle off what is already known to you. Keep at it and put in those hours and you'll improve in no time." I know a lot of things, but they're not second nature to me. Constant reminders of my weaknesses are exactly what I need.
I'm glad I'm entertaining. =P That unemployment thing is starting to bite me, since I was planning on having a student loan by now! How long can I live on $30....
Yeah, I think that the webcomic thing has really turned a lot of people onto art. It's a great medium in my opinion. Horrible business, but great medium. I've got myself a distraction free drawing corner set-up in my house now, so I'm not worried about that anymore. Sometimes I get a little annoyed about doing less exciting exercises, especially stuff I've done a hundred times before, but after a few minutes of work I get past that.
I'll do my best to get a copy of that from a library. Might require one of those fancy inter-library loans. We'll see!