Inspired by some topics where I could follow the progress of some folks that were in the same situation as me, I decided to start my own sketchbook topic hoping that it helps me not give up.
I've been trying to draw for some time already (3 years), but I always gave up after a few sketches.
But since 1/May I'm drawing from 1 to 3 hours/daily. So far, I already feel the progress on terms of anatomy/proportions, but on the pencil side and most of the time I feel like giving up forever for this. My lines are still very very bad, I can't barely draw from one point to another without blurriness/fuzziness/etc. But I like drawing and I have thousands of ideas (I'm a game programmer), and giving up is not my best option... I'm hoping to get better
- Andrew Loomis - Figure Drawing for All It's Worth
- Christopher Hart - Drawing Cutting Edge Anatomy
- Michael Hampton - Figure drawing: Design and Invention
- Vilppu - Drawing Manual
- Drawing on the Right Side of The Brain
- Jack Hamm - Cartooning the Head & Figure
- Bruce Blitz - Big Book of Cartooning
- Draw Cartoons... Today!
Drawings from 01/May - 13/May
Last edited by alfredbaudisch; May 29th, 2012 at 05:45 PM.
Welcome to CA! I like your attitude.
Michael Hamptons's book might be a helpful one to add to your resources too. He teaches about gesture as a foundation for drawing the figure. I just started reading the book but he makes a lot of sense.
Loomis' "Successful Drawing" was just reprinted too and although not as popular as the figure drawing one, he starts off with perspective which is another fundamental you need to understand.
If you feel like giving up, don't. Ignore the feeling. It means nothing. There's no reason to quit, we can all learn this, we can improve. Go back to MindCandyMan's thread for inspiration.
You're dedicated. I look forward seeing your progress.
Thanks for the words and book suggestions!
I have Loomis "Successful Drawing" here but never opened the PDF, I'll give a look.
As for quitting: I've been quitting art for the last few years, but this year I'm inspired by Thomas Edison: “We now know a thousand ways not to build a light bulb” & “I haven't failed, I've found 10,000 ways that don't work”.
Dude your attitude is awesome ! I'm coming back everytime I lurk on CA to check you out !
For motivational quotations, I also have Nikola Tesla's "I can only reach succes in my life with self-disciplin. And I apply it until my wish and my will are one same thing." (I translated it from french so sorry if it's not the real thing :/)
And two anonymous from people over the internet : "Every effort is worth being done" and "I didn't knew it was impossible, so I made it !"
Keep rockin those studies !
Great start! That's a heap of studies. Keep at it man. Once you get more comfortable with figure drawing (Loomis is great) try out posemanics.com. Just focus on capturing the action and movement with few lines. It'll really help.
Keep drawing cartoons but never neglect realistic studies. Draw from life, find references on Google, etc. The more you know from real things/people, the better your imagination will be for cartooning.
Last edited by Mistle; May 15th, 2012 at 03:01 AM.
@Shad-: whoa, thanks! It's great to hear that you will be coming back
I loved this: "I didn't knew it was impossible, so I made it!"
@Mistle thanks At the moment I have all these Cartoon books but I'm touching them just sometimes, I'm afraid that if I focus too much on cartoon I may never be able to draw realistic. So I'm following what you said: realistic with some cartoon here and there.
14/May studies. The first one is from observation, the other from memory. (Forgive me the bad quality, taken with a Webcam. I'll be getting a scanner sometime).
Last edited by alfredbaudisch; May 15th, 2012 at 02:57 AM.
A good thing to remember- the legs are half of the whole body. The last drawing you did there, the legs only take up about a third.
Instead of the stick figure frame you used, you should really try and lock the Loomis frame (you drew it in the first post) into your brain haha. It's really not that complicated. You don't have to draw it perfectly, but it'll make sure proportions are always correct. I'd focus mainly on learning that frame now. You can work on bulk/muscles later.
I agree with Mistle. Loomis is a great way to start and spending time studying from him will always pay off !
Keep going : )
Thanks again Shad and Mistle On the last two days I sticked to Loomis and I'm seeing improvement. Too bad I still didn't get a scanner.
Meanwhile this is one the best videos I watched so far regarding drawing. It may be stupid, but the way he teaches to hold the pencil solved my frustations. With it I'm managing to do organic forms more naturally than with the tripod grip.
My problem is that my hands hurt when I'm holding a pencil/drawing (all those years programming – could I say that I needed to handwrite less than minutes per day in all those years?).
Also if I start a line and go to the left, it's fine. But at the moment I have to go to the right, doesn't matter where the starting point is, I can't move the pencil without flickering/blurring (I don't know the right word – English is 2nd language).
Last edited by alfredbaudisch; May 17th, 2012 at 10:24 PM.
When I was taught how to draw, I was told to work on mark making before anything else. It makes sense because marks are like the alphabet of drawings. (much like knowing which programming language you have to use for that project)
I highly recommend some mark making exercises.
The look of the line is important and you have to train your hand to be able to draw different variations of them. Soft/ hard, thick and thin control of the line makes a huge difference. When you can express marks/lines/strokes that are accurate then you can work on using them to make pictures that look like what you want them to look like. At least it will be easier.
Have you seen this? http://chiseledrocks.com/main/musing...old_the_pencil
If your hand hurts, maybe it's because of tendon strain from keyboard use. Have you ever seen a physiotherapist about that? Do you do the health and safety stretches that they sometimes tell people to do while on the job?
I think drawing is like debugging in programming, you need to find that bug and sometimes it's the simple things that cause errors.
As others have pointed out, your attitude towards learning the basics is great!
Here's my advice. A lot of the studies you have been doing are straight from the books. That's great and those are essential, but I'd like to see you try out some of the things you learned on people in front of you. Could you find a friend to sit for 10 minutes and draw them? It's a different beast using the proportions and landmarks you are studying on an actual person, but it really helps turn those abstract concepts into real practice. Heck, get a couple of full length mirrors and try it on yourself!
I really like the way you are going with gestures, but they have a certain stiffness to them. Don't worry, it's natural to use straight stick figures when first starting out. I recommend using curves to get the flow of the body down. After all, hardly anything in nature is perfectly straight! If you don't have people willing to sit for you, I recommend using Pixelovely (http://www.pixelovely.com/gesture/figuredrawing.php) and setting the timer to one minute per photo. It really forces you to look at what the figure is doing very quickly.
Good luck and nice work!
I'm posting anything I find helpful in my new Tumblr: http://drawingjourney.tumblr.com/. Also I don't have anything to show here, not much have changed since the first posts. I'm keeping drawing everyday tho.
Also thanks for the comments!
This is my first post on CA after stopping by occasionally over the last several weeks. I am a rookie, probably more so than you. Excellent start, keep it up and you should improve. Whatever time you find to draw and share your experiences with us is gold. So keep posting as much as you can!
I am experiencing similar challenges getting the pencil to behave how I want. From my teenage years I always had a fascination and awe with drawing and felt "I wish I could draw like that". My confidence among a multitude of other things let me down each time I became motivated to draw and it never lasted long. I thought I don't have the "natural talent" required to draw. Yet the desire to draw always finds me again eventually.
A few months ago I became re-motivated and since have become absorbed searching through all the drawing information and resources that are available online; what is art, drawing fundamentals, the various of areas and mediums of art - figure, landscape, photo realism, digital painting etc. Searching for a way to get from point A - someone who can barely control a pencil - to point B - reaching a degree of control and mastery to be able to express myself through a pencil (or other drawing medium). At the moment one of the things frustrating me the most is my pencil control. The quality of my lines. The fluidity of my drawing and my hesitation before putting down lines. In the beginning (ie a few months ago when I restarted drawing) I was focusing on learning to see, as drawing is seeing. I feel I made allot of progress and gained much confidence with that but my pencil control is discouraging.
Thank you for sharing your journey. Most of the work on CA is at a really high level and its refreshing to see someone on a closer level to me. Keep up your attitude because that is most likely what will get you where you want to be. Enjoy the journey's process.
EDIT: So far this video tutorial has helped me the most with pencil control http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1MSipj56IE, I improved allot from it but it wasn't conclusive (in my case). A tattoo artist and painter teaches various pencil control techniques.
If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful at all.
Last edited by Grey Astute; May 27th, 2012 at 11:43 PM.
Post it up man, don't be shy. Also, don't grip the pencil very hard, actually try to hold it as loose as possible. Don't use your wrist, either use your elbow to move for long lines, or I use my fingers for short ones.
I know how it is to start after a (big) break..relax and you will improve
If you already draw every day ... I will watch you progress, so keep it up ;D
What you expressed about the pencil: "At the moment one of the things frustrating me the most is my pencil control. The quality of my lines." – is exactly what keep bugging me.
And I'm glad to find someone close to me. I'm always somewhat down when I see someone posting "My Sketchbook, but I'm a noob" and then I see that his "noob" drawings are already amazing pencil lines – and then I think, "if is him a noob, then I'm garbage".
Also this video is amazing, the kind of info I needed.
As per recommendations, I ended up buying two books about gestures:
- Michael Hampton: Figure drawing - design and invention
- Vilppu - Drawing Manual
... and they just turned out to be AMAZING. I'm getting a huge improvement thanks to them.
To be honest I'm still not confident with the pencil/lines, but I'm getting better in seeing things. Way easier to see by gestures than the Loomis way.
Also the way Hampton decomposes the body's structures is very noob-friendly.
You're going very well with your studies here! If you're feeling confident, try looking at doing a study from a photo here or there. It'll mix things up nicely and it's something different. It's also an opportunity for you to play with landmark measurements, forms, anatomy, and a lot of other good stuff too. Keep at it for the time being though - you'll get where you want to be!
I also tried: http://www.pixelovely.com/gesture/figuredrawing.php
I think I have to try Hampton a little more.
the result WILL BE awfull for a lot of time but if you take Anime/manga/cartoon drawing seriously you will keep practicing until you get the proper skill...
Great studies so far, that's great that you're throwing yourself in there and tackling the basics. I personally would like to suggest that you try drawing everyday objects from life and focus on accuracy and control. The thing is, you're trying to learn several things at once right now - you're learning to draw, you're learning to control your medium (pencil), you're learning perspective, and you're learning human anatomy. A lot of beginners start with human anatomy not realizing how complicated the subject is and how difficult it is, even for an experienced draftsman, to master. Training yourself to draw on simpler objects from life will really help you when it comes to tackling more complex objects, like humans, since even the most complex subjects can be broken down into simpler shapes that are easier to understand in terms of perspective, lighting, color, texture, etc. In any case, keep up the good work, and good luck!
something i recommend to everyone is to practice drawing basic 3d shapes
cubes, spheres, cones, etc. i guess this follows from dietrats advice.
dont do them too quick or too slow, but try and make them accurate, and do a page everyday
theyll really help in thinking about drawing and getting things right, and are a crucial foundation
the shape/perspective section on this page is good
you have a great attitude, keep practicing! (even if that attitude disappears sometimes)
Hey dude, I found you from this thread. It got a bit eaten by in-fighting about whether that guy knew what he was taking about (I think he did but it's not the best thing to be focusing on this early), so I thought I'd comment here.
(Forgive me if you already know everything I say below. It kinda became a tutorial..)
You are totally right that you should be seeing improvement and continuing to practice in a way that doesn't seem to be working is a waste of time. So here's the 'secret' I think you're looking for:
I believe the thing you're lacking is accuracy. You're finding all these studies super hard because you can't copy what you see.
There's a way of seeing that artists use that normal people don't use. People call it "learning to see" or "right brain thinking". Discussion about this is often vague or mystical -- but there is nothing magic about it, it's just a limited set of skills that lots of people pick up (and teach) intuitively, nothing more. These skills are:
1. Recognising whether something is an edge.
2. Judging angle.
3. Judging size.
4. Judging placement.
5. Judging proportion.
6. Judging value.
I'm pretty sure that's all there is to it (for pencil drawing). Okay, so what do these mean, and more importantly, how do you learn these skills?
What: A boundary between shapes. Edges can be hard or soft (soft edges are harder to see). An edge is where you might draw a line if you're doing a line drawing.
How: Most people have a 'good enough' intuition about the location of edges, but it's easier when you know what to look for explicitly. Here are all the things that can cause an edge:
- Where something meets the background, is the contour edge.
- Cast shadows, ditto.
- Inside a subject, there might be little lines of shadow called crevice shadows or ambient occlusion (you may know from 3D game stuff).
- Where a form shadow (aka the shading caused by the form turning away from the light) 'terminates' (aka the boundary where it turns to face away from the light and is in complete shadow).
- Change of colour (like a striped cardigan).
To see better where soft edges are, squint or blur your vision. This'll make terminator shadows and other soft edges way more obvious.
What: The angle which a line/edge is at, compared to an imagined picture plane (aka compared to the horizontals and verticals of your canvas).
How: First, it's easier to see what you're doing when you make the horizontals and verticals of what you're looking at in the scene the same as the horizontals and verticals of the edges of your paper. (This gets more complicated when you factor in perspective, but this rule of thumb should be fine for now.)
... Unless it's a photo, in which case it's easiest to copy when use the boarders of the photo. This is actually not trivial, because if you have a photo of someone tilting their head, we naturally want to straighten it out. Resist the urge. Draw it as it is, as you artist-see it, not as you think you see it or think it should be.
To practice seeing angles, hold up your pencil to the thing you're trying to judge. Compare it to vertical, horizontal, and try tilting your pencil in the same angle. Feel free to check it multiple times as you're drawing it.
What: How big something is. (See 5: Proportion.)
How: First, decide your unit of measurement, and whether you're going to resize it on the page. Usually this means doing the pencil trick: fully extend your arm, use your pencil as a ruler and use your thumb to mark how big the model's head is (or the cup's width, or whatever landmark makes sense for the thing you're drawing). Then note how big other stuff is using this pencil-ruler, marking it out on the paper.
Alternatively, you could work at sight-size (size you draw = size you see the thing, which is what most beginners do naturally), positioning your canvas right next to the thing you're drawing and marking out its boundaries.
See also the General Ways to See section below.
What: Where something is in relation to other stuff; position. Related to size, angle, proportion. ('Cause if you get those right, you automatically have correct positioning.)
How: Work on angle and proportion -- placement is just an emergent property. (I can't think of anything off the top of my head that trains this specifically. I'm including it in this list at all just for completeness.)
What: Ratio between dimensions. Height vs width (vs breadth, if you get into perspective -- but perspective is construction, not copying). Often when people talk about proportion, they mean a mix of the things above. So, they'll talk about face proportions: the eyes compared to the nose and both of these compared to the outer edge of the face.
How: Same as size and angles: measure with your pencil. And to increase your seeing skill, try to eyeball it first and then measure with pencil. (Optionally just try to eyeball it with the below general methods of seeing.)
What: The lightness or darkness of a thing.
How: Squint or blur vision. It's hard to tell the value of something when it's a really saturated colour, and there are ways to learn that, but it's better to focus on one thing at a time.
Actually first just focus on the first 5 and ignore value for a while. (The below ways of seeing in general will help with value, though.)
GENERAL WAYS TO 'SEE'
* Hold up your drawing to the thing and try to see them at the same time. Flick your eyes back and forth trying to 'catch' what's different. (I say 'catch' because sometimes you see the difference for a split second, and then it melts away and looks the same again. Takes practice.)
Great for: spotting any differences between your drawing and the thing you're trying to draw.
* Flip the canvas. If using paper, hold up your drawing to a light and look through the back, or up to a mirror.
Great for: noticing symmetry and proportion mistakes.
* Squint or blur your vision to abstract away pesky small details and make large shapes more obvious.
Great for: values, soft edges, proportions, not getting lost in local contrast.
* Hold up pencil to the subject -- measure, compare.
Great for: proportions, angles, bypassing the 3D thing your brain is doing so you can draw it on the flat page.
* Sight-size method. This is a pretty involved method (usually it needs an easel and stuff), but here's a link to a comparatively simple set-up.
Great for: accuracy. (I still haven't tried it yet, but it was recommended to me and it looks awesome.)
For training the seeing skill in general, do the exercises in Betty Edwards' Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. She has stuff like drawing an upside-down photo, negative space drawing, blind contour drawing, and other things that are all designed to help you see accurately.
The last thing I recommend for training this skill is to lurk in the Critique Center. Read the threads there, try to critique stuff in your mind and then see what the other commenters said. Then look back at the picture and try to 'see' what they mean. Often it will be like "oh, of course, that arm is way too long! It would be twice the length of the other one if they were extended!" Sometimes it will be harder to 'see' and you'll have to look at the picture for a while and think about it. The skill of seeing errors in others' work is the same thing as the skill of seeing errors in your work, it's just you've been staring at your work for a while so you get used to its flaws.
Back to that original thread and the overall issue: Most people who have been commenting on your stuff, and most of the tutorials you've been looking at, have been focusing on construction instead of copying.
Construction is more important for imaginative work (like game art), but learning construction is effing hard/discouraging when you can't draw accurately. Stuff begins to warp, lines clash into each other or don't fit together right, it becomes hard to see what's going on.
At very least, drawing more accurately will make you feel accomplished and less frustrated while you're learning constructing drawing for imagination.
(Incidentally, your stuff reminds me a lot of a games programmer friend of mine, whom I'm helping learn to draw. He's going through the exercises in Betty Edwards' book and finding them helpful.)
Good to see someone learning how to draw more or less from scratch
Learning to draw figures first is a VERY hard way to learn to draw in general. Sure, you'll end up mastering figure drawing but it is also important to learn to draw from 3D, as it is useful for giving your figures context in a 3D space.
Simple still life compositions are a really good way to tackle the translation from 3D to 2D, even just one still life a day will help you become more confident in drawing generally, help you find your own style and enhance your progress with figures drawing.
Hey mate, this is a nice start, I like the motivational power
that you shared with us, but you shouldn’t stop drawing and
posting now, we are all expecting some new studies from you.