Sketchbook: benny nihil's sketchbook (NSFW)

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    benny nihil's sketchbook (NSFW)

    Hi all,

    been meaning to for quite some time and I finally got around to begin. Basically, I do graphic work/illustrations here and there, and without solid fundamentals (no formal training) I sometimes feel like I'm running circles working on a drawing, often ending up with that feeling "something's not quite right, but I don't know what", which most amateur artists are familiar with. That, and shaky fundamentals result in shaky confidence, which in turn leads to subpar performance.

    So yeah, enough about my problems. This sketchbook is meant to document my road to improvement, so I can't promise you anything but rather basic stuff... at least for now. Critique is very much welcome.

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    thursday

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    You're off to a good start, but I would suggest, for anatomy studies, beginning with work that is more loose and gestural. So much of figure drawing is capturing the fluidity of the human form. I would recommend doing some quick, sketchy life drawings and trying to capture the posturing of a figure and the way it occupies the 3d space, instead of slaving over the line work. Granted, I am guilty of this as well. If you want to render further, just break it down into basic shapes first. It makes it much less...overwhelming. I would also recommend routinely flipping your drawings to give you a fresh perspective. Anyways, keep it up, and keep updating!

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    tatianaq - thanks! Good points, I actually do gesture drawings of random people/Posemaniacs poses, it's just I'm doing these on paper and I post only digital stuff (no working scanner atm). While I feel gesture drawing is more convenient with traditional media, I guess I should get used to doing it with a tablet - should also help the line quality in the longer run.

    Weekend away from home and it shows, sadly. Oh well, back to the usual schedule.

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    Sean McClain - thanks!

    Monday

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    thursday & friday - busy days

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    10 posts later, time for some Reflections and Resolutions:
    - human figure, even in an ideal front view, is not a cardboard cutout and this is relevant not only for how the light interacts with it, but also for how the form actually looks. For example, women's upper torso will be rounded on the front side (because of breasts), but rather angular when viewed from the back (because of shoulder blades). Women's hip area will be rather angular up front (because of pelvis?), but round on the back (because of buttocks). Men's figure tends to be represented as rather angular all the way, but similar principles could be applied.
    - when drawing figure from observation (esp. gesture drawing) DON'T begin with the head. Head is in fact not so relevant to the overall gesture and doesn't tell you, or the viewer, much about the rest of the body. Focus on other parts of the body like hips, upper torso, even collar bone - generally, each gesture has an important arc (or several) that conveys the most information about what's going on and this is what you should focus upon. The idea is to be able to spot this arc immediately (do not get distracted by the natural tendency to look at the head) and translate it convincingly to a drawing.
    - it is, however, a good idea to begin with the head when drawing from imagination. Head helps to measure the rest of the figure, so just mark off the shape (an oval or a cube) and go from there.
    - when drawing a figure from imagination and in a view that requires heavy perspective distortion, think about various landmarks of a figure as planes that recede towards a particular vanishing point - it helps with foreshortening. Also, knowledge of negative space might help. For example, sometimes it's easier to translate the negative space between two legs into a desired perspective than to try and draw both legs one after another - if you think of negative edge, you have only two edges to translate, and then, having those two, it's easier to put down the other two. Basically, with legs, start with the inner edges.
    - work on more detailed anatomy now: how does each bodypart work, what can it do and what it can't do. Study arms, hands, fingers, feet and head.

    Monday and tuesday - Bridgman/various references/imagination

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    solid! keep working.

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    Wow, you really rock those studies. Now I feel guilty that I'm not doing more of them myself. Your progress looks great, though I'd like to see something from imagination

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    FourTonMantis - thanks! I will.

    B_h_bloomer - there's a few done w/o any reference whatsoever, but yeah, the majority of those is based on posemaniacs, anatomy books and photos. Everytime I feel confident with what I just learned I try to go creative, hopefully I'll churn something out in the next few days.

    thursday

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    trying to incorporate this into my schedule to bring some variety

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    Wow really loving your sketchbook! I can see improvement. Keep up the studies.

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    zathraya - thanks!

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    Congrats on opening up a sketchbook. Its nice to see you are so motivated. Keep that motivation.

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    KONM - thanks!

    I headdesk'd several times since sunday working on hand studies. I mean, sure enough, when you need a hand, you can always use your own. But when you want to rely on your imagination, prepare for large amounts of fail before you make it work. Don't know if it's just me, or the hand is one of the hardest object to draw. There's no large masses save for one, and it's not quite symmetrical. Foreshortening is crucial for, like, most hand gestures. So after hours of pissing about in front of a computer (artist's rendition attached), I've decided to make a crude mesh w/ makeshift rigging. It helped. Still a long way to go, but at least I feel like going in the right direction.

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    woo! your pounding in these studies real hard! your effort is really paying off. Good work here!

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    yogeshj25 - thanks!

    friday

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    Partying, flu, and a rather demanding project mess up my schedule, but I'm sorting it out.

    tuesday

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    Last edited by benny nihil; March 23rd, 2012 at 10:45 PM. Reason: uploaded fixed version
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  38. #30
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    dude those hands rule. seriously.

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