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Hi everyone! For lack of any discreet place to post my figure drawings, Iíve 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. Iím going try and post most of what I create, whether or not I like it.
First off, Iím book/self-taught. Second, Iím not happy with the level Iím at and my figures need a ton of work. Iím currently in college (but Iím 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: ďlooks goodĒ or ďdarken that shadow.Ē Iíve been very frustrated by the lack of constructive criticism given to me by my teacher so I thought that it wouldnít 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 CA.org member ) and he has been giving me some excellent critiques and Iím hoping that will help my progress as well.
Iím going attempt to post once every week this summer and frequently next semester, provided I donít get too busy during school.
Some of my first images will be a little dark, so I do apologize. Anyway, on with the art!
Last edited by Analoxe; April 21st, 2014 at 10:05 PM.
This is graphite done on white canson drawing paper. ~1.5 hrs.
Also graphite on white canson. ~1-2 hrs.
Charcoal on rough newsprint.
Graphite on white Canson ~2 hrs.
Below are two minute gestures. Charcoal on rough newsprint and some pencil on newsprint.
Some 5 minute pencil gestures on canson and some 2 min. charcoal gestures on rough newsprint.
Graphite on newsprint from various 2 min. gestures.
More to come later.
As always, I'm excited to post my stuff this week!
Graphite on Canson drawing paper. ~2 hrs.
I was deeply influenced by Anthony Ryderís 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 didnít finish the head. My teacher has been telling me about the mistakes that students make and one of them is ďthe broken arm.Ē Now that I look at this picture, itís pretty obvious that Iím guilty as charged because the forearm appears to be completely bent and its shape is incorrect.
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 Iím probably in need of a better way to render her hair.
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 donít 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.
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.
Charcoal on rough newsprint ~10 mins.
I rather like the way that this picture turned out.
Attempt at a profile in graphite on drawing paper. ~30 min.
Now Gestures! From 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Charcoal on rough newsprint.
Gestures Ėcharcoal 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, Iím wondering if maybe Iíve been exaggerating the models curves too much.
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 donít really think I was doing my best that night. Her neck looks like a disjointed tube and her arm is looking furry.
I spent maybe 45 minutes or so on this closeup of the models face. I really like portraits, and Iíd like to become better at them. Neither of these ended up looking much like the model.
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.
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 donít make my halftones dark enough, I make my ellipses look kind of like footballs, and I outline everything waaay too much. Itís true, I love outlines even though I know that there is no place for them in realistic drawing. Itís just another bad habit of mine! The last picture is of a small quickly drawn cast study (my very first). Iím now working on a longer drawing of the same cast and itís incredibly difficult!
Hello everyone, thanks for the ďthanks!Ē
For the next few weeks Iíll be posting mostly gestures. Iím on an extended summer break visiting my family and I wonít be returning to my private classes for about a month and a half. However, my teacher has given me plenty of study material and Iíve brought along Juliet Aristidesí book, Lessons in Classical Drawing.
All of these gestures are charcoal on rough newsprint. These are all quick, 2-5 min.
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.
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:
Some class experimentation with mass gestures:
We did a few exercises where we had to continuously draw gestures of the model where they moved from one location to another.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
This one is a longer pose, maybe 15 min.
An exercise involving a skeleton and a model posing on the base of the platform. ~1.5 hrs.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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).
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:
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!
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.
The Enlightened One- Thanks for the kind words! Iím glad you like that one, I love crosshatching so maybe that helped me to be more attuned to the planes of the models.
jetpack42- Iím thrilled that youíve posted on my thread! I really enjoy your work and itís a great inspiration to me. Looking back on my stuff, I think youíre 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 donít know what it is about outlining stuff, I think it must be leftover from the things I used to draw as a teenager. Itís probably been the number one most difficult bad habit for me to break since Iíve started studying realistic & academic drawing. I think I might do it a lot because unconsciously I view outlines as a ďquick-fixĒ to giving a character defining characteristics (like quickly drawing on a nose, eyes, mouth, etc.) Whatever my problem may be, Iíll 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 ďfutile attempts.Ē I had planned on posting these drawings, then didnít want to, but decided to anyway because I figure that they might be useful in analyzing the mistakes that Iíve made and continue to make.
First though, are my weekly gestures. Charcoal on rough newsprint, you know the deal!
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. Iím not particularly proud of the other two, either.
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 Iíve 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 womanís 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!)
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.
Since I feel a little down about posting images that are rather embarrassing, Iíll 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 wasnít really sure if I would be able to capture her likeness very well. Well it turns out I really like this picture. Iím 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 Iím the only one who likes it. Oh well! Itís charcoal on toned paper.
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 everyoneís feedback so I can start using it the advice immediately.
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.
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:
Block-ins about 20 min:
Hands and foot studies. One is a little wrinkly, sorry about that!
Gestures, 2 min ea:
From a 3 hour session, charcoal on newsprint:
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.
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!
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.
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 01:08 AM. Reason: added an update
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!
Kolbenito- Thanks for leaving the comment! Yes, one thing I forget about is line weight when I draw. I really need to work on not only drawing what I see, but also making style choices at the same time. I'm glad you like the longer poses, those are my favorite too. As for how I construct figures, yes I am very much influenced by Anthony Ryder's book and I have one of Aristide's books as well. I discovered Ryder's book at the library a few years ago and the methods he teaches in it like the envelope, angles and negative space were immensely helpful to me. It was like no other instructional drawing book I had seen before! His book opened me up to classical drawing, before that my drawing style was a lot different. So yes, I start with the envelope technique and then refine the shape as quickly as possible. I've been looking into faster ways of figure construction but haven't thoroughly tried any others yet.
And because I can't reply without posting a picture, this is from a 4 hour pose, charcoal on newsprint:
the blog will not leave me be: http://www.kevinwuesteart.blogspot.com
Very nice drawings, there is definitely improvement from the beginning, especially in the proportions of your figures, keep up the good work
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
Nice sketches! I hope to see more soon?
Well I bet you guys thought I had given up the ghost, didnít you? Oh no, Iím still here! A few times Iíve visited but the place always seems to be in flux with ever-changing layouts and it began to be unrecognizable to me, turning me off a little because I had no idea what was going on and it was all so unfamiliar. And then I heard that the site was hackedÖ.and well here we are now.
Kevin- Thanks man! Iíd love to go and visit Ryder if I could, and Iíd like to visit Taos as well. I recently got one of his DVDís: ďDrawing the PortraitĒ and I canít wait to watch it. Iím really honored that youíve visited my thread! I absolutely love your lifedrawing thread as well, Itís a huge inspiration to me!
Black-Swan and Surus- Glad you both could stop by and thanks for the kind words! I really appreciate it.
You guys may have been wondering where Iíve been. I wanted to post last summer, however I didnít have a lot of material. Unfortunately I couldnít find as many opportunities to draw from the model and so I didnít have much of any decent stuff from that semester. Fall of 2013 got a little better but now once again one of the most affordable places in the area closed up their weekly figure sessions, which is going to make it hard (again) to get a lot of drawing in.
Also, I graduated in December so things are going to be a bit different. Iím going to have to work on my art on the side and start working fulltime. So hopefully I can stay inspired enough to continue my art at a steady pace. My grad BFA show was pretty good and a real encouraging boost for me, but you guys can read about that on my blog if you want to. Iíve also been trying to get more active at the Scottsdale Artists School. Iíve had the opportunity now to meet some fantastic artists there and see some terrific art firsthand. Thereís a real positive aspect to this, but at the same time coming out of my shell, I can really see how behind I am in comparison to some of the younger SAS students!
Iím still taking private art classes and Iíve moved on now from charcoal drawings to oil paint. And boy do I feel like a fish out of water using it! I donít think Iím going to post my oil studies here in this thread unless they are figure paintings. Most of my oil studies are still lifes so Iíll make a separate thread for them. In fact, I might start doing far more oil studies than life drawings, since life drawing sessions are getting harder to come by.
Okay enough of the chitchat! I apologize if I accidently include something I have posted before, itís hard to get all these drawings straight. Starting from where I left offÖ
excuse bad 'shopping on this one.
Longer studies in ink:
Charcoal on toned brown ingres mi-tientes paper:
I'll be back next week for another post.
Its a good thread about to learn and share your experience of life drawing.
Thanks for visiting, artencounter!
This weeks studies, gesture heavy.
Very quick gestures:
These ones about 1-2 minutes each maybe.
We had to do several ten minute gestures on the same paper:
Some blocked figures and other things:
This last one was done outside of my college class. Like I stated before, in college we were only allowed to crosshatch. I never really felt like I had enough time to do a good enough job hatching, though. Crosshatching takes way more time (in my experience) than using a rag and all that, so I hardly ever had the chance to finish any figures this way. It's interesting how the crosshatching studies in class look so different to what I can do on my own when left to use whatever technique I prefer. Even so her lower half came out pretty bad so I've cropped it. =P
Well, you do a pretty good job at crosshatching. I particularly like the "mannequin on a bean bag" piece. The way the outline plays with the areas of shade makes for a really beautiful effect. And I like the pose, too. It looks both awkward and spontaneous.
Priestley- haha Thanks! She really does look like a mannequin, doesn't she? Yeah I'm sure that was a longer pose and that's all I could finish of her when doing crosshatching. I've got a few more pictures like that to post. Thanks for saying my crosshatching looks good.
For this weeks post I'm going to include my figure paintings. I also had a hard time in figure painting class- like really hard. I would do the entire underpainting in burnt sienna and then glaze color on top of that. Usually, I'd hate what color I put down so I would wipe it out and then put another color down and wipe it again- over and over. I think I was so scared of color and paint that I just froze in fear every class. I loathed it! We worked on many of those paintings for much longer than a few 3 hour class poses, too.
requisite gestures in charcoal and pen:
Ink, charcoal and pencil stuff:
My paintings. I actually like this one but as you can see, very little color:
I like this one a lot. I completed it with Russian sauce on canvas.
Little watercolor portrait:
That's it for tonight!
So everything in this post pretty much wraps up my last semester of life drawing at my university. All this dates to about spring of 2013. Some of the drawings below and the rest I'll post later were done outside of the university at other local places.
This one was a toughie because there was a light shining on his body but his leg was in shadow:
I like the way you use different mediums and styles and I think it's great that you practice a lot. Keep up the fine work Analoxe.
Thanks ArtHound! Yeah I love to try all different kinds of materials, it's always fun to mess around with new stuff all the time. =)
Okay so most of these are on my website, but whatev. I'll post them here anyway. These are now all drawings I've done outside of school at other lifedrawing venues.
3 hrs each, charcoal:
These were longer, first one was about 5 hours (I don't remember if I drew for the whole pose, though.) The second one was longer than five hours- I think 6 or 7. I remember that I got to the point where I was sooo tired of drawing this pose that day. I realized that the longest I can work on one pose in one day is probably 5 hours, but it's better if you do smaller poses over a few weeks. (at least for me, anyway) Otherwise you just get drained and you lose your clarity. Also, I bought a roll of gray-toned strathmore paper which I planned on using for a 6 foot tall figure drawing- but before I started on it, I tried it out for this pose. You can see the vine charcoal ended up going on to the paper all cloudy-like. I didn't like that, plus that strathmore paper is really thin. So I ended up using a large roll of white canson paper for my project instead. I love canson and fyi, apparently you can order custom sizes of colored/toned canson paper but you have to order at least one metric ton. I asked them because I wanted a toned gray roll which they don't sell. Funny fact. Sadly I don't have any place to put a ton of paper.
Hi guys! Okay this might be my last entry for a while because I'm out of life drawings to post. In my private class I'm working on painting the figure and in the future I might post some of those studies. But for now, here is my most recent stuff...
All charcoal, give or take 3hrs.
(^I forgot her bellybutton in that one, lol.)
^This last one is pencil in my moleskine, done at a dr. sketchy's type of get together.
Okay, peace out for now!