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Thread: My journey to becoming a better artist

  1. #151
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    Thanks for stopping by my SB.

    You've got some really nice work in here and you're off to a great start. I love that last oil study of the Christmas bauble. Really precise edges and nice colour and light effects.

    I noticed like others have that your figure work seems to be more about outlines than shading/light and it could use some structured measuring and proportion work.

    I studied proportions of the ideal figure when I started out with bones and muscle construction so it got drummed into me early on. A couple of good books for that are Joseph Sheppard and Andrew Loomis. The first guys great for anatomy and proportion and the second guy is good for construction of the figure and also goes into proportions.

    Measuring is different. When I'm studying a figure, whether it's from a book, photo or life, I'll measure everything and how each element relates to another in the picture, rather than using standard proportions, because there are always things like perspective and foreshortening etc that get in the way of those when working from a model or photograph. To do it, I hold up my pencil between me and the subject and use it as a kind of ruler.

    Anyway, sorry to prattle on. I hope some of it is useful but if I sound like I'm talking nonsense or talking about stuff you already know, apologies, and feel free to ignore me.

    Good luck with everything and keep going!

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  2. #152
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    SwedishMichaleangelo I agree Villpu is great for gesture. Have watched his dvd lecture on gesture and I am still trying to get my head around the concepts and apply them. I think I need to start doing longer gestures no just 30-60 second ones, where I can really analyis the rhythms ect.

    Nouge thank for leaving a comment again and I am glad you are noticing progress I really am trying to work hard.

    Eyecager glad you have noticed improvement in my lines but I am correcting a lot before i get to that point but think is better to take the time to be accurate then rush through.

    Candra H thanks for the detailed advice and it all makes sense and I agree with it. You were far from prattling on I really appreciate this level of advice. Glad you like my painting I still have so much to work on but iív seen some of the stuff your doing in oils, so its great to get a compliment from you.

    And a big thank you to all you guys for hammering on about the need for more construction and gesture and not just contour copying. I really had a long sit down and thought I need to start working on this. Got out my Hampton book started to read, look and think and its starting to make sense.

    Did some gesture and construction studies using a couple of poses from quickposes to base my studies on, trying to think about Hamptonís concepts.

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  3. #153
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    So after accepting the need to learn construction techniques ect I decide it was time to stop making excuses and attend life drawing. Went to my first ever session this eve..what a blast canít believe I have never been before, time just flew by.
    I realize I tend to just end up copying from photos and donít really think through the forms, shapes anatomy ect and felt it was time to address this. As soon as I started I realized my brain kicked in and I was think about the body as a 3d object and looking at the shapes and thinking about the anatomy under the skin not just the contour and actually started using construction and gesture techniques. Things i have been reading over the past few months started to make sense and click.

    We started with some one minuet drawings, then 3 mins, 5 mins then 10 mins and finished with two 30 minuet poses.

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  4. #154
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    Just a quick up date a mixture of some 30 and 60 second gestures. Also did some studies of gestures from The Artist's Guide To Human Anatomy by Bammes, to see how others are thinking through these with out trying to slavishly copy them.

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  5. #155
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    Whoah, your improvement is amazing !
    I loved how in the first few pages of this sketchbook your gesture drawings were made up of mostly circles put together and after 5 pages your gestures are more geometrical and have much more variety in terms of putting shapes together.

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  6. #156
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    Nice gestures and drawings in the latest postings! Much better than the ones in the beginning of this page. It's really a good start for your first life drawing session. Would be great if you do it on regular basis now, I'm sure you can learn even more from it =)
    Maybe you can accompany your gesture drawings with drawings of simple geometric forms like cylinders, cubes and so on. Draw them in all perspectives. That makes it easier to use them in figure drawing. They're crucial fundamental elements. It may not be the fun to draw them, but it will pay off.
    Well, keep it up and never forget about the fun =)

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    This one is VERY good! Very good line weight and use of shadows. Nice gestures too!

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  8. #158
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    Selixe Thanks man doing my best. Yes been trying to think about my gestures more in terms of construction and 3D forms rather then a loose contour drawing. Still need to identify more rhythm.

    Valyavande Thanks for the compliments and yes thats a great tip about drawing shapes in perspective. Makes total sense. I actually was thinking about that last night at life drawing when I was trying to break down my figure. Do not worry I have no intention of stopping life drawing any time soon so much that can be learned there I can tell. No need to limit myself to photo ref will only shortchange me in the long term

    Nouge glad you like it, I was fairly pleased with that one on some levels, helped that it was a 40 min pose and I did not feel in a rush.

    Here is more life drawing from last night. We start off with a 10 min pose, then five 1 min poses. Then some 3 min poses another 10, a 20 and ended with a 40.

    I am not sure how to get the most out of the shorter poses so some tips would be appreciated. I try and get as much down of the figure that I can in 10 mins of the 3 min poses but not sure this is the most sensible approach??

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  9. #159
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    nice studies, keep up!

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  10. #160
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    Hi, thanks for commenting in my sketchbook.

    You've worked very hard, you can see the improvement across the sketchbook. I really like your constructive approach to gesture and the life drawings, the 40 minute drawing nouge pointed out is a winner, great sense of weight with some simple lines. It's nice to see your studies effecting your life drawings, you can see that you're thinking about the form of the figure, not just outlines.

    I find 3 minute poses too long for true gesture drawings, unless you're doing an extended gesture and including tone. If you wanted to do shorter gesture drawings, try to capture the whole of the figure as quickly as possible- during a 3 minute pose possibly move around the figure to get different views and draw many gestures from one pose.

    If you want to stick with a 3 minute pose, again, attempt to capture the whole of the figure, look carefully and find the dominant lines of the figure, try to do a block in of sorts in the time you've got, don't focus on details but the larger relationships.

    I wish you all the best

    art blog: http://hrartwork.blogspot.co.uk/


    "Don't worry about your originality. You could not get rid of it even if you wanted to. It will stick to you and show you up for better or worse in spite of all you or anyone else can do" Robert Henri
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    black-swan thanks for dropping by man and the positive feedback. Glad that it shows that I am beginning to implement construction. I agree 3 mins is too long for a quick gesture. Thanks for the heads up about breaking it down into three 1 min gestures and blocking in the relationships. Will give me something new to try out on Monday.


    Here are this morning gestures 60 sec poses. Also some Hampton gesture studies thrown in. Like his constructive approach to his gestures whilst still capturing rhythm. Trying to learn from this. Going to discipline myself to do gestures daily.

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  12. #162
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    Seeing all your anatomy studies makes me angry, not studying anatomy anymore. I got lazy. Need to go work on this more! Great output

    "It's a time machine, Napoleon. We bought it online."

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    A lot of these torso studies looks real good.
    Like Qikalain said its encouraging to see hard work pay off.

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    Massive improvement over the last 3 pages from the beginning. It boils down to the still lives you are doing. Do more, but vary what you draw as at the moment they're all round objects. And then bring that knowledge into your figures.

    If you think 10 years was a long break - I had one of 25 years.


    I didn't think it was possible to be called an artist when you have nothing to say. It's like being a writer who publishes individual words as books and expects to be praised for it.
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    Your accuracy is pretty amazing. Great improvement.

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    Hey there, you have some cool stuff here man!
    Thanks for the comment, i also hope we will be in touch in future and give each other some critiques or just to talk! ^^

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    Nice gesture and anatomy studies! Keep it up !

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    Hey man thanks for the constructive crit, always appreciated.

    You've been hammering those anatomy studies, and its definitely paid off! Loads of improvement since page one. Perhaps study some more on facial construction/proportion, you have a tendency to draw the eyes too large. Other than that I don't have much to crit, you're studying all the right stuff, just keep working hard!

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    Qikalain no need to get angry just get busy with the pencil LOL. I have found you donít need to do a tone to learn a lot as long as you really think about what your seeing and just donít copy but thats easier said then done. But thanks for the positive comment means a lot as always.

    Saurabhinator Cheers buddy yeah I have been focusing on the torso realised I did not know much of what was going on. Now I need to attack the back. Thanks for the positive feedback.

    Balckspot to be honest you have been a little source of inspiration when I feel bad about taking 10 years off. Now I donít really see it as much and itís about what I do from now on that counts. Love the way you have thrown yourself back into your art hope you donít stop. Yeah I need to up the still lifes and yes you are right I do need to vary objects. I realized I could not render spherical forms so thats why I really tried to focus on those for a while. But its time to mix it up.

    Karmazon thanks buddy I think its getting better slowly. Well I am noticing mistakes a lot more now so means my eyes must be improving, still a long way to go though.

    ChocolateCookie damn your name makes me hungry. No worries thanks for returning the favor. Always willing and happy to leave feedback and be of help. Hope we can all reach our ultimate goals. So iíll def be stopping by your sketchbook again.

    razvanb08 cheers man I intend to keep them up as much as possible.

    JoeS no worries man your turning out some great work and have some great ideas so always happy to help out. Yeah construction of the had is actually on my list for today :-). Thanks for pointing out the eye thing. I tend to exaggerate body parts I am really interested in and eyes are def one of those so thanks for drawing it to my attention.

    Ok so here are some life drawings from last night was not the greatest session for me. 1-30 min poses. Think I am going to find a class where I can do a longer pose so I can work on rendering the figure to and not feel so rushed.

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    Been doing drawings of house hold objects to improve my observational skills and work on proportions and construction. Here is an example of what I have been doing will post more. Decided not to do any rendering but just focus on the structure.

    Also started my first Bargue. This is my initial block in will update progress as it unfolds.

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  21. #171
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    The lines on the household objects are nice, but the ellipses are a bit wonky. I did a little write-up of how I "construct" ellipses/cylindrical objects, hope it helps.
    http://imgur.com/2N5YW

    E: excuse my bad digital handwriting, I'm not very good with the wacom.

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    Hey Nouge thanks for the crit. You are right they are very wonky I can not draw e;lipses for shit thats why I am trying to draw objects that force me to draw them. I still suck badly. Thanks for the write up thats very kind of you to give to me. I am def going to read through and if i see some improvements i'll owe you a big thank you.

    Anyway some more house hold objects exciting stuff I know. Still some major wonky issues going on I know slow process I guess. I officially hate curved lines.

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    Great working spirit here! I really like the form and shapes of the body studies. I see now what you meant with the advice in my sb! Thank you very much for that good info!
    The body gestures give me a lot of inspiration! I think Iím going to try doing those Hampton studies as well. Itís good that youíve put the studies to test and used them in the gesture studies. Itís what itís all about, learning the technique and using it in real life.
    The still life is looking good, those lines are improving. Tough thereís still work to do with the perspectives in some of them.
    Keep up the good work in here!

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  24. #174
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    Keep drawing the household objects, maybe add a simple background or cast shadow to ground the objects in space. And keep practicing ellipses, remember that no pointed edge should exist on an ellipse, and if you view the same size ellipse from different perspective the horizontal axis doesn't change position, only the vertical one does (if that makes sense, sorry if it doesn't).

    The bargue is looking good, you haven't gone in too complicated at the start. I think your version is shorter in length than the original, the height is slightly out too. Best of luck with it.

    Keep up the good work

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    Greenhouse I agree I am bad with perspective thats due to spending months copying from photos so its all done for ypou your eye does not have to translate. So just drawing these objects is showing me a lot of areas where i need to step up. Perspective is def somthing I am going to work on.

    black-swan yeah I could do with some cast shadow to ground the objects but really wanted to try an avoid any rendering. Going to do lots of seperate elipises studies in perspective ect. So hope that will help. But thanks for the tips all this is useful advice and I am taking it all on board. With regardsto the bargue my top point and the top of the print out line up it may be a camera distortion, or I am just not as accurate as I think. Think mine is actually a bit longer, will wait to hear what my tutor says. But thanks for taking the time to check it buddy.

    llex_paul thanks for passing by doing my best to keep crancking it lots of wasted time to make up for and shit hot artists to chase.

    Keep the crits coming its the only way I will learn.


    Some more house hold objects study. A iron boring but everyone one needs an iron.

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    Where in London are you? There's a session at Crystal Palace that does the same pose for 3 to 4 weeks, 2 hours each time.

    I quite enjoyed doing Brague studies to help me in looking at what I was actually drawing, but I didn't go OTT on them.


    I didn't think it was possible to be called an artist when you have nothing to say. It's like being a writer who publishes individual words as books and expects to be praised for it.
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    Hey Black Spot I am actually near London Brdige so crystal palace is quite easy for me to get to. Thanks for the heads up about the class. I shall def go think a much longer pose will be super benificial.

    Think I am about to go OTT on my bargue is part of my new online training. Already learning a bit in terms of observing more and realting angles ect, even if its not showing immediatley.

    Some Hampton studies really really like his approach it makes a lot of sense after reading through it a few times. I really think its going to help me get more out of life drawing. Looking at how he is constructing the rib cage and pelvis and also his landamrks. Will be somthing extra to look out for and use as a visual guide. Will also apply these techniques to photo ref studies from quickposes ect over he next few days and start decostructing poses into basic shapes.

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    I like the fact that you are tryn to keep clean lines but i think at this point hold help you a lot a more constructive way of working(construction lines and measurement lines, tryn to understand more) and working on the quantity of the images a little and then after a time also the quality of lines and all of that. Hope it helps, good luck man!

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    llex_paul If I understand corrcetly think you are saying I need to stop focusing so much time and energy turmning out perfect lines and use that time to do more studies. I agree. I have become a bit fixated on having ultra smooth lines and spend too long trying to achieve that look. In terms of construction lines ect I do use a bit but very lightly and tend to earse them so they dont show up so much on my final drawings. But will keep all this in mind as it all will make me better in the long riun. So thanks fr the crit.

    Some studies. Working my way throygh Vilppus lecture on box forms and how they relate to the figure, tried to apply the principals to a couple of studies from quickposes to cement the concepts. Also drew some objects that forced me to use ellipses and tried to be more methodical in my apparoach and less precious with my lines.

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