Well, I've finally gotten around to making a CA sketchbook like I've been meaning to forever!
A little background on me: I'm 21, almost done with a BFA in studio art and I'm probably going to SCAD for animation in the fall. My figure drawing skills are not up to the level I want them to be, so I ask you, the wonderfully knowledgeable CA users, for critiques on my life drawings, which is what this sketchbook will mostly be (maybe with a few WIPs thrown in for good measure). My uni is tiny, so I was only able to take two life drawing courses in the fall semesters - but I sketch from life when I can.
I attached images in order dating from January up to this past Tuesday, and hopefully I'll be able to post at least once a week. I recently found online life drawing books so I'll be looking through that too. But hey, any input you have for an aspiring animator is truly appreciated. If you're interested, here's my tumblr where I post more contemporary art stuff. I am not so much a concept artist, but that's alright!
Last edited by bodied; May 25th, 2012 at 02:01 AM.
I like these sketches. They all have very nice gestures. But right now, they're really lacking in construction. Well, to grossly oversimplify it, construction is simply to think of the egg form of the ribcage, box form of the pelvis, cylinder forms of the arms and legs while you're drawing, and try to express these ideas with your marks.
Anyway, I highly recommend Michale Hampton's figure drawing to learn about it. I've copied every drawing in there a couple times, and it's just incredible for what you're trying to do.
Wow, thanks for the advice! The 'construction' ideas are actually really good tips, I'll have to remember that when I go out people-drawing next. In particular, I always forget about the box shape of the pelvis. I always seem to straddle the line between being really loose and trying to be accurate.
Lately I've been doing gestures because I think I really need to work on "storytelling" with figures since that's a key job of animators, but I sure could use a refresher in basic construction too. Proportion can be difficult to remember when you are drawing fast but I'm sure it'll happen eventually
Unfortunately, the book you suggested is not in my local library but I'll keep my eyes peeled for a used copy somewhere. Thanks a lot!!
Another concert last night. I wish I could have drawn more than just the backs of people, but it was an opportunity to try and draw the weight of the body while leaning forwards or backwards. There was a standing man and I tried to get the arcs of the shoulder and pelvis as well.
Tried out the construction guidelines suggested earlier, and I think it's working out! I'll definitely be using it more often. Proportions seem to be more naturally occurring as well, what do you guys think?
Gesture drawings from a live dance performance. This really took me out of my comfort level because I always want to pay more attention to the drawing, rather than the person I'm drawing from. Their positions changed constantly so it was a challenge to get the drawings down in time.
This upload has a few different things in it. I've been studying Loomis' Figure Drawing for All It's Worth, so there are a couple proportion studies here. It has been so helpful, I love it! I also went to an art museum and sketched a few of the sculptures. A group of friends and I went bar-hopping, so naturally I took a sketchbook with me and drew some of the patrons - I've never seen so many drunk hipsters in my life
I have been reading Loomis and tried out some gesture drawings based on some of the construction techniques. Unfortunately I don't have access to models, but used Pixelovely. These were done very quickly, about a minute or less. Still trying to keep proportions correct, and I had a little bit of trouble with foreshortening, but maybe that's because I had trouble seeing foreshortened stick figures.
Also, they seem a little floaty to me. Do you guys have any tips for making figures seem really weighty?
Aw, thank you! I am in the same boat: constantly wanting to improve! I've been reading Figure Drawing for All It's Worth by Loomis and even though I have barely gotten into the book, it has already tremendously helped. I recommend it!
I thought I would try something a little different and did a still life in pastel. I have to say, it was a challenge working in pastel and making the fruit seem solid. It may just have been because of the tooth and the texture the pastel left behind. I was also trying some different ways of mixing color and found that using cotton swabs just took the color off. Getting a good picture of the paper with accurate colors was difficult too. But overall, I'm fairly happy with how this came out and it was a fun way to test my observational color skill. I wish I had done something with the background beyond the table though :/
Working on the male form this time. I had a tough time figuring out how the muscles on the sides and backs "worked" - that and foreshortening were my issues this time. Since I have no models, these poses are all from Pixelovely again, done in the space of about five minutes each. I learned a lot, but I also learned I have a lot left to work through! If you can read my handwriting, I tried to make notes to myself on where I messed up, but if you see anything else please point it out! Thanks guys.
Like you I could greatly benefit from some figure life drawing classes. Despite this i think you still have a good grasp on proportions and really like your gestural studies. Think your sensible to be drawing quick sketches of people in public at least i think they are in public.
your drawings have a good energy to them but I think you should do some where you slow down with the pen or pencil and try and be more deliberate as your lines are a bit scratchy at the mo.
Thanks for mentioning my line quality, one of the things tat really has helped me since march has been do practice exercise like drawing circles and ellipses and straight lines. i do an hour of this per day and you really can see an improvement in your line work even within one practice session.
Another great exercise is to draw a line it can be straight, zig zagged or wavy and trace over it a few time and tray and not break the line. this forces you to slow down and be more controlled in your mark making and has really helped me.
I got all this from a video tutorial by Peter Han on CGMW its called dynamic sketching. you have to pay to stream it and I think you have it for 48 hours but its really great for foundational stuff with regards to line quality and basics of rendering. all done in pen but watching it has really helped me a lot.
Thanks for the comments ja1307! I do tend to be really sketchy when I work quickly, since I use a ballpoint pen and don't erase at all. I will definitely try to economize my linework - maybe I can get a few 'finished' sketches done when I understand more about how muscles are put together. That, more than anything, is the hurdle I have to jump over now! I will try to do some pencil studies later so I can get cleaner drawings.
I want to get into some perspective studies too - I think that will be where clean mark making really comes in handy. I will definitely try out the exercises you suggested, I had never even thought of doing that! Thanks so much!
Just a small update - I've been working on still life practice and perspective drawing (which I hate!). I like the way the pencil still life turned out since I haven't taken the time to render pencil in a long time, but I think I could have pushed values more. I got burned out on it though :/ and my mom wanted her new coffee back! I think it's definitely a step forward though. Thoughts?
Ugh, I think I have gotten to a point where I feel a little burned out. I decided to switch gears and try reading Bridgman, which seems too technical for me to really utilize properly. I had trouble with male torsos, tried to study up on it, then sort of sputtered. Need to get back on that train soon. I don't like my marker drawing very much anymore either, thinking about redoing it when I can replace my markers. I hate the face of the woman in the foreground, messed it up very bad. Ugh! A very frustrating couple of weeks, studies-wise.
Sketch dump! Lots of studies here, I have really been trying to focus on muscle groups and get a good handle on it. There are also some life sketches in there too.
If anyone's out there and reading this, I'd really appreciate some critiques, especially on torsos. I've been studying torso muscles lately and have found it to be quite a challenge. My trouble spots are the sides, underneath the armpits (where the arms join) and the back. It's difficult to find live models and while pictures are great, many are lit in a way that makes it difficult to really see the muscle structure. If anyone's got some good resources on torso muscles and how to understand them, lay it on me! Cheers guys.
In addition to doing a little bit of muscle studies, I've been trying to do more gesture studies. As a future animation student, I want to make sure I can understand the acting figure as well as the anatomically correct one. I've been reading Force by Michael Mattesi, which has been hugely helpful - especially with my gesture drawings, which usually lack weight! Most of these are done from Pixelovely but the last eight or so are from a life drawing session at my teacher's house. I definitely think there is an improvement in quality when I sit in front of a model and I can't wait to do more.
Another set with a live model. It was fun drawing someone who didn't have an "idealized" body type that is used in most life drawing studies. I feel like I am definitely improving with regards to the shape of general muscle areas and really getting the masses down. What do you think?
Nice figure studies!
There are lots and lots and lots of them in this here sketchbook. Perhaps try doing more of the same character, as in different angles.
Or perhaps concentrate on a finished peace for a change. Try more variation
Sketchbook - I really appreciate comments and critique, please visit!
I would love to do more finished pieces! Now that I've been invited to some life drawing sessions with a live model, I'll take your advice and try going in some different parts of the room. I don't have any characters per se, but I could see how I do with setting up a figure without any references. Thanks for the advice!
I've been meaning to do more digital painting, so here's a quick exercise I did using a photo from Pixelovely. I gave myself a time limit of 30 minutes - for me, it's a challenge drawing with a tablet, so I think I'll do more studies in the coming days.
Wow, it's been a while since I updated last. I have been spending some more time on fine art sketches, but here's a few figure studies and such. Sorry for the poor picture quality
I have noted the mistakes I made on the nude figures, but if you see any more let me know! I must have been in too much of a hurry to slow down and measure. I am also trying to improve my speed sketching but so far they look like messy scribbles. Finally... I am always confounded by feet! So I'm going to try to study them. Feet, along with backs and the side of torsos, I have yet to really understand. Any advice or critiques are welcome. I'm taking the advice of some earlier comments and trying to do more..not finished pieces, but some that utilize some mass. Thanks guys!
Thank you! It's all about practice and studying. Admittedly I still have a lot of studying to do, but I'm glad it seems to be paying off. Soon I start classes so maybe I can rub elbows with other talented students
Here are a bunch of old sketches that I had forgotten about. I started school at SCAD and it's been fantastic so far - I can really feel myself improving. I do tons of sketches for homework, so in the next few days I'll post some (better!) sketches up!