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  1. #1
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    Dec 2004
    Tempe, AZ and Chapel Hill Represent!
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    Life Drawings and Studies

    Hi everyone! For lack of any discreet place to post my figure drawings, I致e decided to create a thread here to keep track of my progress and to gain feedback. Mostly there will be figure drawings, studies and maybe a painting or other assignment. I知 going try and post most of what I create, whether or not I like it.

    First off, I知 book/self-taught. Second, I知 not happy with the level I知 at and my figures need a ton of work. I知 currently in college (but I知 certainly not as young as most of my classmates!), and between figure drawing class, uninstructed figure drawing sessions and local sessions, usually I can rake in a significant amount of figure drawing a week. However, all the feedback I receive in class is usually a: 斗ooks good or 電arken that shadow. I致e been very frustrated by the lack of constructive criticism given to me by my teacher so I thought that it wouldn稚 hurt to post my stuff here and see what you guys have to say. As of a few weeks ago I have started taking private lessons from a local artist (and also a fellow member ) and he has been giving me some excellent critiques and I知 hoping that will help my progress as well.

    I知 going attempt to post once every week this summer and frequently next semester, provided I don稚 get too busy during school.

    Some of my first images will be a little dark, so I do apologize. Anyway, on with the art!

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    Last edited by Analoxe; April 21st, 2014 at 10:05 PM.

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  4. #2
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    Dec 2004
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    This is graphite done on white canson drawing paper. ~1.5 hrs.
    Attachment 1479192
    Also graphite on white canson. ~1-2 hrs.
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    Charcoal on rough newsprint.

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    Graphite on white Canson ~2 hrs.

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    Below are two minute gestures. Charcoal on rough newsprint and some pencil on newsprint.

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    Some 5 minute pencil gestures on canson and some 2 min. charcoal gestures on rough newsprint.

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    Graphite on newsprint from various 2 min. gestures.

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    More to come later.

  5. #3
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    Dec 2004
    Tempe, AZ and Chapel Hill Represent!
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    As always, I'm excited to post my stuff this week!

    Attachment 1482919

    Graphite on Canson drawing paper. ~2 hrs.
    I was deeply influenced by Anthony Ryder痴 Figure Drawing book and when I attempted this pose I tried to replicate his pencil shading. Probably not a bad try given the amount of time I had, but I was kind of bummed I didn稚 finish the head. My teacher has been telling me about the mistakes that students make and one of them is 鍍he broken arm. Now that I look at this picture, it痴 pretty obvious that I知 guilty as charged because the forearm appears to be completely bent and its shape is incorrect.

    Attachment 1482921

    Graphite on Canson drawing paper ~2 hrs.
    This is all crosshatching and I think it turned out okay as far as the surface of her skin goes. I did however make her body too small, and I知 probably in need of a better way to render her hair.

    Attachment 1482922

    Graphite on Canson drawing paper and charcoal on the same. Both ~20 min. ea.
    In the right hand picture you can see I made another beginner mistake, squishing a foot into the picture. I don稚 think I was aware of the smallness of her leg and foot while I was drawing it. I really should have stepped back from the easel before I went that far so that I could judge my space.

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    This was one of my first attempts at drawing a portrait. It is charcoal on rough newsprint, ~2 hrs.
    Her neck is really long, and I faced some doubt about how to approach the shading of her chest.

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    Charcoal on rough newsprint ~10 mins.
    I rather like the way that this picture turned out.

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    Attempt at a profile in graphite on drawing paper. ~30 min.

    Now Gestures! From 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Charcoal on rough newsprint.

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  6. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Gestures 膨harcoal on rough newsprint and as usual, 2 min. each.
    I wonder if maybe I should focus more on just the lines of action rather than the form of the model when I do my gestures. Also, I知 wondering if maybe I致e been exaggerating the models curves too much.

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    Long pose, about 3 hours and pencil on regular Canson drawing paper. There are all kinds of problems with this picture that I can see clearly now. I don稚 really think I was doing my best that night. Her neck looks like a disjointed tube and her arm is looking furry.

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    I spent maybe 45 minutes or so on this closeup of the models face. I really like portraits, and I壇 like to become better at them. Neither of these ended up looking much like the model.

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    Charcoal drawing done in class, about an hour and 30 minutes on rough newsprint. I remember really liking how this turned out although she does look a little possessed and her skin kind of looks like crinkled paper.

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    Here are some studies that were homework for my private drawing class. The apple and lightbulb were doctored by my teacher a little bit. These studies are charcoal on smooth newsprint. Each one took about 30 minutes each. My teacher told me that I don稚 make my halftones dark enough, I make my ellipses look kind of like footballs, and I outline everything waaay too much. It痴 true, I love outlines even though I know that there is no place for them in realistic drawing. It痴 just another bad habit of mine! The last picture is of a small quickly drawn cast study (my very first). I知 now working on a longer drawing of the same cast and it痴 incredibly difficult!

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  8. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Tempe, AZ and Chapel Hill Represent!
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    Hello everyone, thanks for the 鍍hanks!
    For the next few weeks I値l be posting mostly gestures. I知 on an extended summer break visiting my family and I won稚 be returning to my private classes for about a month and a half. However, my teacher has given me plenty of study material and I致e brought along Juliet Aristides book, Lessons in Classical Drawing.

    All of these gestures are charcoal on rough newsprint. These are all quick, 2-5 min.

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    This laying pose was probably about 45 minutes. I was nervous when we started on it, because a pose where the model is laying down on a flat surface always seems like the most difficult to capture correctly. But I think it turned out okay and I like the way the light on the model gets darker as she recedes. Looking at it now though, I should have gone darker with the values and she seems to be floating. I didn't focus very much on the background.

    Attachment 1493214

  9. #6
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    Dec 2004
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    Okay so I kind of took a long break from posting, but I didn't mean to! Visiting my family brought on a lot of responsibilities and some unexpected events that I got caught up in. Not only that, but while I was there I was looking at some of the life drawings that I did many years ago and I started to become overwhelmed by the feeling of how little I have progressed. Some of the drawings I completed years ago seem to look better than what I've been doing now, so that was rather discouraging. Maybe some time I will post a few of those old drawings, but not now. School starts this month as do my private classes, so all I can do is keep on practicing and brush aside feelings of discouragement.

    Newsprint and charcoal gestures, a few doodles:

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    Some class experimentation with mass gestures:

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    We did a few exercises where we had to continuously draw gestures of the model where they moved from one location to another.

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    This is pencil on drawing paper, probably about 2 hours or so. We had to draw the models and use crosshatching. I absolutely love crosshatching but it takes a long time to do properly. And yes, one of the models head was behind this big scrunched up piece of paper, so it looks like she's been cut off!

    Attachment 1531569

    This is Brown chalk on drawing paper. I've learned that chalk is super messy and if you don't fix it immediately, the stuff just gets everywhere!

    Attachment 1531570

    This too is chalk in shades of greys, black and white on toned pastel paper. It's a little cartoony looking, but overall I think I did an okay job.

    Attachment 1531571

    Ink on watercolor paper. I'd like to use ink in a drawing on my own, but in class it was hard to make stuff look good with it because you had to wait a long time for it to dry.

    Attachment 1531572

  10. #7
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    Dec 2004
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    Today I have lots of gestures to post. Did I ever mention how I'm hoping that our teacher this semester doesn't make us do so many gestures?
    I know they are important but at the same time, I really do love the longer poses.

    Charcoal on rough newsprint, each pose 30 sec - 2 min.

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    This one is a longer pose, maybe 15 min.

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    An exercise involving a skeleton and a model posing on the base of the platform. ~1.5 hrs.

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    This was an exercise where we had to get the measurements of the skeleton on paper as close as we could to the real thing.
    We used string for sighting and measuring. This was ~1hr.

    Attachment 1538104

    And finally we got to do some close-up portraits! My favorite thing. I did one of my teacher and it was horrible so I'm not going to post it.
    But I really liked the way this portrait of one of the female models came out. Took about an hour I think. I should start writing down how long it takes me to do these,
    but I often forget to.

    Attachment 1538105

  11. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Belgium, Antwerp
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    Very nice.
    Only thing i can come up with is your figures are enclosed in heavy line work. Maybe try and be more expressive in your lines & interruptions.

    Challenge yourself with different medium.
    The approach of the figure can be different - working with values and planes instead of lines.
    Check out this video of G. Pratt.

  12. #9
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    Dec 2004
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    Hi Guys! Posting early this week because I'll be going out of town tomorrow. School begins next week and I am excited, nervous and of course really wish that I had accomplished during this summer.

    Uziel - Thanks for the comment and the link! Yes, it's true that I do focus a lot on lines. This has been noticed by several of my teachers and my current one told me pretty bluntly that while lines are fun, there's really no place for them in the realm of academic drawing. I agree with him, although it's been hard to let them go when I've relied on them for so long. He's helping me to focus more on the way the light turns on a form and different values on planes.
    My other problem is that I tend to not use a full value scale.

    And now the art:

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    I did this portrait at the uninstructed college life drawing session. It probably took about the whole time- about 3 hours or so (and it's in charcoal). After listening to my private teacher tell me about how light drops off the farther down it is from the source, I think I realize that at the time I did this then I wasn't paying attention to how her bust should have been darker (because it was farther away from the light).

    Attachment 1540345

    The bottom of the portrait should be a lot darker than what it is and that is why I prefer a cropped version of it. In fact, I probably should have just stopped at her shoulders and not gone farther down, like so:

    Attachment 1540346

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  14. #10
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    I like a lot of your figures. I think the most one I like the most was the cross-hatched one that took you a while. To me, I think that you did an excellent job in identifying the planes of the figure. I would continue to simply the shapes and forms of the figure so you have your most basic structure establish first. Once that seems right, work on developing the details.

    I'm sure you know that already and have a very wise mentor. Keep up the good work!

  15. #11
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    Dec 2003
    Jet City Suburbs
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    Hey, you've got a lot of quality work. It's great that you are practicing so much.

    One thing I have noticed is sometimes in quick gestures, you draw a lot more details before you get the lower legs/feet in the gesture. It may help you to practice on some leg/feet anatomy to solidify your understanding and confidence.

    I was also going to mention the lines, and lines are not a bad thing, but you just have to understand when and how to use them. If you heavily outline everything, it gives it a cartoony look. Some people can make beautiful drawings like this. Mucha used a lot of lines, and his drawings are lovely. But if you want more depth, and more atmosphere, you've got to see the outlines as edges just like you see the internal form as edges. You're looking for the edges of the shadows, but also look for the edges of one form into the next one. I am light skinned, if I hold up my hand against a light object, the edges are soft. My light hand against the light background. If I hold my hand against a dark background, the edges are harder, because there is more contrast.

    Keep up the good work!
    I self-published a book on the fundamentals of drawing from life.

  16. #12
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    Dec 2004
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    Hi everyone!

    The Enlightened One- Thanks for the kind words! I知 glad you like that one, I love crosshatching so maybe that helped me to be more attuned to the planes of the models.

    jetpack42- I知 thrilled that you致e posted on my thread! I really enjoy your work and it痴 a great inspiration to me. Looking back on my stuff, I think you池e right about the feet. I will try to give more attention to them and study them like you suggest. Same goes for the outlines. I don稚 know what it is about outlining stuff, I think it must be leftover from the things I used to draw as a teenager. It痴 probably been the number one most difficult bad habit for me to break since I致e started studying realistic & academic drawing. I think I might do it a lot because unconsciously I view outlines as a 賭uick-fix to giving a character defining characteristics (like quickly drawing on a nose, eyes, mouth, etc.) Whatever my problem may be, I値l work on ditching the lines in future drawings. Thanks!

    tharindhu018- Thanks for the compliment on my work!

    So I should probably entitle this post as 吐utile attempts. I had planned on posting these drawings, then didn稚 want to, but decided to anyway because I figure that they might be useful in analyzing the mistakes that I致e made and continue to make.

    First though, are my weekly gestures. Charcoal on rough newsprint, you know the deal!

    Attachment 1547097
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    The tough thing is that while you are working on a picture, you may not realize the mistake you are making until days or months later when you look back and analyze it. In the first picture, I realize now that I should have lightened the background and darkened her skin. I知 not particularly proud of the other two, either.

    Attachment 1547100

    Now for these. I think I may have done these at the beginning of the semester and I can see some of the mistakes that I致e made. When you practice a lot and then look back at your old work and see the mistakes- that is one of my most favorite feelings in the world! Sure you may feel a little dumb that you made such a hideous picture that once you were so proud of. However, just knowing that you can now spot those mistakes means that you are growing and starting to truly see things and it is that growth that excites me.

    Okay, enough talk! So I messed up all 3 of these pictures. The woman痴 body is completely out of proportion and her anatomy is quite off. Same goes for the guy next to her. I did the charcoal drawing on toned paper during a long pose and completely worked myself into a problem by mishandling the white and ditching the halftones. Working with white charcoal on toned paper is something that I need to work at more. (Among everything else, ha!)

    Attachment 1547102

    I remember being quite proud of this portrait. Eager to repeat the success of my charcoal portrait in my last post, the next week I tried to follow the same formula. Once again I ended up completely ruining her bust just like the first time! Plus I put some strange eraser marks into the space above her head. So once again, it looks better cropped. I think that I would be able to handle this portrait much better with the knowledge I have now about how dark shadows really are and the way light dissipates the further the form gets from the light source.

    Attachment 1547103
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    Since I feel a little down about posting images that are rather embarrassing, I値l post a picture that I actually kind of like. I did this during a 4 hour pose. When I arrived at the studio I was late and it was crowded. I ended up with the least wanted spot, where I could barely see the models body and it looked as if she was emerging from some abyss. So I decided that I would just go for the arms and head. She was rather androgynous, and I wasn稚 really sure if I would be able to capture her likeness very well. Well it turns out I really like this picture. I知 not sure exactly why, but I think I just executed the shadows on her face pretty well. My roommate told me that she thinks it looks kind of strange, so maybe I知 the only one who likes it. Oh well! It痴 charcoal on toned paper.

    Attachment 1547106

    I might stop posting for a little while after next week, only because school has begun and I need a little bit of time to build up stuff to post here. The great thing about having this thread is receiving everyone痴 feedback so I can start using it the advice immediately.

  17. #13
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    Your portraits are the strongest and this is where most of your attention seems to go to which is great since you have already mentioned that you want to do portraiture. Your recent gestures are a bit looser, the most recent batch of them are a bit stiff but getting more flow (or flowy i dunno )

    keep the thread alive is all I ask!
    Last edited by dirtywhirl; September 24th, 2012 at 05:09 PM.

  18. #14
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    Dec 2004
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    Pwwka- Thanks for the compliment! Yeah I've always felt like my gestures aren't very animated. I really need to go back to the basics and probably study the lines of action in bodies, if that makes sense.

    Hey everyone, I thought I would post some of the drawings that I meant to a while back. I’ll resume posting drawings at winter break, after the school semester is over. Some bad news though! This semester my school was not able to have their usual weekly open studio life drawing sessions and not only that, but a local studio I frequent also had to reschedule their sessions to a time when I have to work. So I’m afraid I won’t have much stuff to post. The next closest place to go is the Scottsdale artist’s school, but sadly I haven’t been able to make it there yet.

    The other thing that frustrates me is that my current lifedrawing teacher at campus said we are only allowed to construct our figures with crosshatching and outlining. Which stinks because I was hoping to focus on value using my rag. Everyone already says I outline everything to death. The funny thing is even though he claims to hate “smudged drawings,” sometimes I still sneak in a little smudging and he ends up liking it. I was really hoping to make use of the freedom to draw the way I like at the uninstructed sessions, but so much for that idea!

    Enough complaining and on to the work:

    All charcoal on newsprint. These about 10 min:
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    Block-ins about 20 min:
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    Hands and foot studies. One is a little wrinkly, sorry about that!
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    Gestures, 2 min ea:
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    From a 3 hour session, charcoal on newsprint:
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    From a four hour session, charcoal on toned paper. The model was rather androgynous and I ended up having to sit in a strange location in the studio, but I actually like how this turned out.
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    Four hour sessions, charcoal on newsprint. My private instructor helped me a little w/both of these so I can't take all the credit!
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    Lastly, as a tip I want to suggest a piece of equipment for others who use charcoal pencils a lot. A fellow student showed us a new pencil sharpener he had bought, the Uni KH-20 Hand Crank pencil sharpener made by Mitsubishi. He took a class with David Kassan and said that he uses it as well. I can see why! This sharpener does wonders for keeping charcoal pencils sharp. After you’ve cut the wood of your pencil down by about an inch, you put it in the sharpener and it gives it an extremely sharp point.

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    I’m by no means here to sell the product, but in terms of being efficient, I no longer have to devote half an hour to just sharpening all of my charcoal pencils. So far it works perfect with all grades of the Generals charcoal pencils, and it worked well with my Pitt Zeichenkohle’s except for Soft (although others say it works well for theirs). Anyway, I bought mine off of Jet-Pens. The only downside is that there are no English instructions, but it’s not too hard to figure out how to use. I saw knock-offs made by Creative Mark for sale at Jerry’s, but I’ve never had good luck with any of their products, so I don’t know that I would trust their quality. Hope this helps others not go crazy sharpening pencils for hours! Well, see y'all in december if not earlier.


    03/2014 - I just want to give a little update on my sharpener. First of all, I've found that indeed soft and extra soft charcoal pencils should not be used in this because they brake pretty easily and it can be a pain to unclog the sharpener. There is also a metal clip inside that will stop the tip from going as far as it's supposed to if it's not in the right position. I use a small piece of tape to stop the metal clip from going in the wrong place. Also, I noticed firsthand that while Kassan uses a charcoal pencil sharpener it is not this exact one. In fact, his was made specifically for children and he found it in a brooklyn shop. It looks similar to mine but has an animal on the front of it and I think it's yellow. Anyway I think I found one similar to his when I did a google search for 'korean pencil sharpener' --no joke-- I still use my pencil sharpener for my Generals hard and medium charcoals and I find it's quick and easy. My teacher gave the sharpener a try though and didn't like it. He's still sticking to sanding blocks.
    Last edited by Analoxe; March 16th, 2014 at 02:08 AM. Reason: added an update

  19. #15
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    I like your style with the gesture drawings, especially the ones where you used some value to show the separation between dark and light. To my eye (self taught newb) they look nice, I actually kind of prefer them to the more scribbly traditional gesture drawing.

    Your long drawings and portraits are coming along nice. I tend to like the more finished figure drawings and think you are well on the way to making really beautiful ones. Really liked the block-in drawing on post #15 for the 20 minute drawing of the three figures seated at boxes. Is this how you would normally progress into a longer drawing? Reading Tony Ryder's book and Juliette Aristedes latest now so was curious.

    On line, maybe varying the thickness and darkness of your line to lose/gain and edge in your quick gestures would have a nice look. You mention it a lot is the only reason I comment on that. Could be fun to experiment.

    Keep it up!

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