Ok, I was asked by a few members to maybe give them something to work with that can be critiqued. So this is what I am thinking for this thread:
I will give a form assignment of some kind once a week, you guys have the week to post and make corrections. During that week, when I can, I will make comments on the work, and give instructions as to what to fix, etc. and post them that same week for crit.
The next week I will post a new assignment.
1. This weeks assignment is to draw 5 heads from photo
reference, attach the photos to the art...
---For the drawing, I want only form. No details. Do not look for the eye lids, highlights, nostrils, lips, ear holes, etc. Look for form. The Form of the head, the form of the nose, the form of the tooth cylinder, the eye socket and ball in the socket...and the values that are rolling across that form. Keep it simple.
---Lets see if 1. you know what I am talking about, and 2. if you can see it correctly.
Good luck and have fun. Become explorers, not frutrated students, and seek out the answers, it will make the experience that much more rewarding.
Good luck and hurry...1 week is not that long.
And dogone it all, sign up for AUSTIN TEXAS...I will be out there with the big list of great pros, and will demo figure stuff, portrait stuff, etc. for the cost of the event. I will talk with ya 4 days in a row all day on this stuff...a one time chance..unless we do it again...heh GO TO AUSTIN.... CHECK THE LOUNGE FOR DETAILS>
Last edited by fredflickstone; May 8th, 2004 at 12:47 PM.
Welver, small village with cows and all that. near Dortmund, Germany.
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For the drawing, I want only form. No details. Do not look for the eye lids, highlights, nostrils, lips, ear holes, etc. Look for form. The Form of the head, the form of the nose, the form of the tooth cylinder, the eye socket and ball in the socket...and the values that are rolling across that form. Keep it simple.
ups... i think i read too fast... and me very bad english only...! :bash:
Sounds fun, let's see if I got the concept of this task correct. Is this the right amount of details or is it to detailed?
I don't really understand why my drawing lookes so much thinner, because it seems to me that they are the same size, if one messure :confused:
This is, btw, the swedish prime minister, before he changed his glasses
THis is more along the lines of what you want to be doing first. Get the general size of the head, and then get the values of the volumes correct, in short, simplifying the forms and looking for the values. Details in the face are the eyes, pupils, irises, highlights, lids, nose, the nostrils are details, the mouth, everything about the mouth except the tooth cylinder is a detail.
In short, details are bad. Get them second. FInd the form first, and make it volumetric. THis is the way to see the big and simple which is sooooo important....
uh, this was an hour's work. i was focusing on forms but, i got lost in mindless staring :p i forgot what i was doing. i broke a few of your restrictions, sorry about that, i know it doesnt help me any - my mind got lost. with your response i see more of what you are looking for, and will aim for that.
the foreshortening on the forehead always gets me. i planned to draw the glasses on the right and the eye on the left and it was proving to be very difficult. i am tired, had to stop
Ok, this is probably more detail than you wanted, right? I tried to do it faster and looser, but it wasn't working, and I went into slow detail mode. Do the dark lines count against me? I'll start on the next one, and try to get it looser.
(Damn... I wanted them side by side!)
Funny how we all seem to be picking faces with glasses! I'm gonna finish this drawing now.
"Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts
Darkstrider-that is the concept sorta...if you look at Rogers down below, that is more along the lines of what to aim for first. What you have works, but its too cartoony. THe idea of modelling in form first is for the volumes and values, which you have achieved very well here. The other objective is to have a good close rendition of a likeness with no details, so that once those volumes are convincing, all that is left are the details, icing on the cake.
You have found a strong likeness, in the vain of a characature, which you could depart into if that is what you have chosen once the generic, form finding has been achieved. This also usually has less curvature to it in the very beginning so that the understructure can be found first, which is why form first; it sets up a strong scaffolding for an even stronger finish. We get so caught up in the lines of teh eyes, lips, etc, we forget the surrounding tones that create the additional character volumes that make up the rest of the likeness. That is what this exercise helps achieve.
Roger, those are fantastic. THat is the point of this. Now, one additional comment for your work, think of the direction of the lines. THat is, make sure all your lines count in the drawings, and not count against you. The tones on the third picture down, the actor with the gold cross on a chain, the lines describing his forms are breaking apart too much, some of the lines are going against the structure you set up in the middle of the cface that works so well. But, you have achieved the right goal in this exercise, the lines of your drawings are additional information that was not originally called for exactness.
Great work you guys, we will make great artists of all of you yet!
Great thread Ron. I hope there is more of these.
Here are my three poor attempts. I wanted to get some feedback on these so I can apply my corrections to the next 2. I must of done 20 different ones and these were the only ones that seem to resemble anything at all.
Ron, I want to say thank you SO much for this... for putting your valuable time and energy into helping us so much. This is really incredible!
Ok, I think I understand better now... I realize the importance of getting the shapes and values down quickly and correctly. I think these are a lot better than my first attempt, but I definitely need to keep working at it. The first 2 are in pencil, the last 2 in vine charcoal.
"Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts
Is the goal to do these fast, like you would in a quick pose life drawing session, or should we be taking our time and really trying to develop the values and forms, or something in between? I tried to do my last 4 pretty fast and loose, and I know they suffered for it. I just noticed that I did the eyes as if they're hollowed out sockets rather than bringing out the rounded form of them, and I think it's because I wanted to do them fast.
Also, is there a difference between using pure value, like the way you did in your example, and using lines, the way some of us (myself included) are doing? I guess what I'm trying to get at is, since I'm using lines, is the goal to get as much mileage as possible from just a few lines, or should I go ahead and develop a good solid degree of value (I promise I won't go as overboard as I did on my first one!! )
Also, I think one problem I'm having is because I chose these artsy black and white portraits that have strong lighting with some solid black shadow that completely obliterates the form in places. Maybe that's working against me. My question is... if I'm working from one of these pictures, should I go with the black shadow the way I see it, or go ahead and draw the forms I know are there? I'm starting to understand that this exercise is about developing our own "mental mannikins" in our heads and learning to shade them and see them from different angles.
Last edited by Darkstrider; May 10th, 2004 at 06:52 AM.
"Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts
Ok, now I need to keep up. This is great to see all the enthusiasm for real learning. Gawddang this is cool...ok, where to begin...
Burton your number three is getting better, but yes, you are right, you are still seeing too much. Volumes and values...make sure if you outline a form, its to constrain it, that is, where the cast shadows are, they create edges. Where form shadows bump into other forms, they create harder outlines. Use them only in those areas if you gotta use em...but you are getting closer...
sone_one-nice job. You are getting the idea, but no nostrils. Just like the mouth is a lump of clay to begin with, so is the nose. Think of flat planes with no holes bored into them yet...now do a few more and get better contrast lighting, not so flat this time...
Number 2 is better, except for that dark cast shadow edge under his chin on the left side. It is out of value, needs to be a bit lighter...another thing to try in the artwork, find the side of the form that stops, and find the side of the form that rolls into light, and better define each side as a difference in the way their edges look. One side of the forms should feel soft, rolling with light, the other side should feel like it is coming to and end, or one of the other shapes has abruptly halted another smooth blend. This will help explain better, the forms you are finding. You have them started well, but literally think of this phase as sculpting, and your edges are going to be a bit sharper than they will in the finish, that way you can scultpurally see what is right and what is out of place, or not conforming to the rest of the dimensions described.
kgb-they are all good attempts, close to the likenesses in the outlines, but they all feel rushed. Slow down and thoughtfully sculpt out the forms, give yourself the chance to really find out what form is, or what form really means by developing better design into the shapes you create, and look for the receding planes, or the 3rd dimension and really thoughtfully explain that too. These feel flat because of the rush job, but the ability to see shapes and realize them quickly is strong with you. If we can slow you down so you can work things through a little more thoroughly, just think what you could be creating....cant wait to see round 2
sone one-number 3 is better yet. But resolve those eyes also. Think of them just as orbs...no details, and sew those shapes up....nice work....oh, also double check ur value range, I think you could push your darks a bit further, they are getting a bit too light, not by much, but enough to lose the value contrast the photos have...
Kasap-working in painter eh? well, make sure you switch to a smaller brush size and get into those corners of the brush strokes and lock all the shapes together you have painted. There are too many gaps in the brushwork to see the shapes realized completely...good values, good brush direction, now also think through the nose and the eyes. The eye is a socket with a ball in it. This is a combination shape. You may not see the volumes in the eye balls because the light source on the camera blew them out, but your pictures will have a greater depth to them if you remember these simple volumes first. ANd it will help you finish the eyes generically also...same with the nose mouth and ears, no holes, or details, just simple shapes thoroughly realized from edge to edge, and corner to corner...keep em going...
Sir ron,- nice break downs. Try to make the heads feel a bit stronger in construction by starting with straighter lines. Look at the curves in the photos and try to figure out where they chnge curvature, and straighten the forms out. This way the curves dont cause your image to get too cartoony or characatured too soon. If characature is what you are after, start simple, then figure out how to distort. The top two images, the two female heads are very nicely handled in their volumes, and I like those more than the volumes realized on the bottom image because you dont have any hard out lines cutting the form akwardly in them. That bottom image of the same head is a bit too "scarred" by the hard out lines that counter oppose all the delicate shading. Does that make sense.? IF not, write back and ask questions. I will help you through this one, you are so close, I want you to get this one thoroughly.
Burton, number 4 is getting better still, but dont shade so loose ans sketchy. Try and tighten those planes up with better volumes of value. And dont worry about finding the eybrows...
arghmisfit. Need to complete the head. Just a face is not enough to realize a head. This is broken thinking. If you want to command drawing good head drawings, portraits, chartoons, etc. Think through the forms all the way, dont stop where the details stop, the picture is made better by thinking about the whole first, and not the parts. Give it another shot and resubmit, I think you can pull it off...and if you do, dont worry about eyelids either. Just make eyeballs, the ball shape is the most important.
Darkstrider-nice attempts. Some are better than others, and a big reason are the photo references. The top one, the older gent with the glasses, its too contrasty, not the way our eye sees light and dark, a photo effect. SO as a result, you cant put anything meaningful into the shadows, there is no reference point to work with. Try and find better contrasty images, digital phot galleries will provide you with this more than not. Go to Getyone.com and type in portraits, you will get a heap load of great ones.
The second image down I think is the most successful. The volumes are well designed. the details from left to right are well balanced, and you retained her head tilit. The volumes are well resolved simply. I think you can find a bit more depth in your forms, and resolve what the shapes dimensionally are she creates. I.E. her arm is a cylinder, head is a cube with conical chin, etc.
I would also suggest a center line in the forms to help tilts and axis. As in the third image down, the female head. She is not tipped correctly in space and as a result, she flattens out and looks a bit deformed in her outside contour, just because the features are out of alignment. THe last one is not so well resolved in forms. The values are right, but everything feels flat and graphic, no harder edges, rolling edges...again, realize the forms more thoroughly, and the drawings will sing volumes without need of details.
sone_one, number four is good. Now maybe a little less big linear. Make those lines whispier, thinner, and more of them to create solid tones rather than broken tones...good work on the form finding, that is the goal...
Paperslayer-stronger forms. The drawing is well designed, looks just like the contour in the photo, but the photo has stronger values, clearer shapes realized by light and shadow. Get in there and strengthen those forms. Also, draw bigger so you can get into them and work the forms out.
Styledavis-nice drawings. Now hook those forms together. Dont let the mouth/tooth cylinder feel detached from the whole, connect it. Find even better dimension around the forehead and cheeks. Connect the dots. Your details are good, but the bigger shapes still need some glue to get em to stick together...
Pencilfarmer-nice reference with strong lighting, but the duel lightsource is throwing you off a bit. There is anatomy in the shoulder, and you are designing both anatomy and shadow into one shape. Make sure you define what is what so that shadows fall over forms rather than blend into them and make new anatomy that doesnt really exist. Also, your front light source is not strong enough on the front planes of the head yet...brightne them up. Otherwise, this is nicely crafted. You have drawn the lines in conforming to the direction of the forms well, and the values are close to resolving the form well. Now clean up the shapes, define form from shadow, and get the light source on the front of that head better lit and this one is golden.
Great work everyone, this week is hellish since I teach a lot, so it will be sporratic when I answer, but I will get to em...
Darkstrider-your questions answered-take your time and develop well defined forms. The objective is this, form finding is the hardest thing for most artists, they like details. Form is the primary basis for any type of visual illusions(art). take your time finding the forms, and the drawings will develop more rapidly when you do them from life, or just through time and experience, since you develop good intuitive basic skills that solidify what you should be really looking for first...speed comes with experience...
Lines equal value. You can get lines to become value by spacing them apart appropriately so they dont create rifts in the planes you create. I draw in line, go look at a lot of my life drawings, line is movement, and enough movement creates excitement. Pure tone alone cant quite drive that statement home, just learn how to develop tones with your line design and its all good. TRy drawing with ball point pen for a while, that will teach you a thing or two about tone in line...
Dont get artsy photos. TRy gettting well lit images so even your shadows have good depth in them too. Artsy is what we become when we know how to handle reality first.
Great job everyone. Read through Darkstriders questions answered here at the bottom, they will help many of you out.