Life got busy yesterday and today, but I refuse to make any excuses-sketching extra hard today! So far all I have are some boring 15 second gestures, but I feel like I learned A LOT this morning from rereading Walt Stanchfield's Gesture Drawing for Animation. I feel like it gets more useful every time I read it. I did these gestures then read up on them some more, and now i see the flaws in these. So I am going to go back right now and focus on "fixing" them...getting more of a sense of motion, adjusting the balance, working on getting my lines looser, etc.
This last image of the girl was my attempt at sfumato rendering. I love Leonardo da Vinci more than I probably should. He's everything I hope to be...master of science and art, a literal Renaissance man, passionately curious about life, a fantastic communicator. Completely ideal human being. He's just infinitely inspiring. And sfumato itself is beautiful and simple, dreamy and mysterious. I love how the goal of sfumato is to diffuse and soften the light and make the image appear as if smoke is drifting around it in a fuzzy haze, blurring the edges of where light meets the shadows. I see it as the opposite of chiaroscuro (another favorite--one I try to keep in mind while rendering in pen and ink). I hope to improve with both. This was my first attempt like I said, and it was also extremely rushed because it got late and I got tired. I like the softness of the cheek, but I need to get rid of the outlines and the harsh dark values of the eye.
I also received Bridgman's complete guide to drawing from life this morning in the post. It's a beautiful book! I've worked out of it before, but not since I was a kid back when I'd spend hours a week at the library after school in the art section. I'm going to get started with it today.
How do you guys approach art how-to books? Do you begin at the beginning or jump around? Just curious...I've always been a jumper myself. I wonder if that's good or bad.
More to come later!