Sketchbook: To Be Humbled, Helped, and Shown The Way of The Artist

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  1. #1
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    To Be Humbled, Helped, and Shown The Way of The Artist

    Here we are, my second attempt at starting a sketchbook. My first try was pretty lame, we'll shoot for another. My name is Alex, I mostly lurk around here, but I want to get involved, I am away from home right now but I can show you what I have with me, and do some work while I'm away. I don't feel like coming up with any more excuses. I really do want to learn and I require lots of guidance. Critique me and tell me how you feel please.



    ---SQUID CREATURE



    -Detail





    ---BEGINNER SELF PORTRAIT





    ---LOBSTER DEMON MONSTROSITY













    --- MUSHROOM MAN (My favorite )









    --- FOREST KEEPER HEAD





    -- STRANGE DEFORMED MAN







    --- TURN OF THE CENTURY WESTERN STYLE FUNGUS BARBER MAN







    --- UNDEAD GUNSLINGER









    --- SPIDER TAILOR MAN











    ----------- And that's it for today everyone, please provide me with some feedback and perhaps some advice as to where to look around here, resources, etc. and I will post some more work soon, been feeling a little discouraged lately, but I'm sure it's just a funk.

    Thanks for your time!
    - Alex

    Last edited by ObscureMechanism; June 14th, 2012 at 01:33 PM.
    -Alex Lee Davis

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  3. #2
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    Hey there! It's cool that you're giving CA another shot, seems like you're determined. : )

    Sooo critique. Well, your soft shading and attention to detail is pretty impressive, no problems there. But your anatomy is kind of lacking, especially in terms of bone structure and proportion. Your figures have really big heads and shoulders, but comparatively tiny arms and torsos, and your undead gunslinger (awesome concept, btw) has no collarbone.

    Some good online books to see about those sorts of things would be the ever popular Loomis: http://www.scribd.com/nik0la/d/25581...Figure-Drawing, or Bridgman (lost my link, sorry : S). Personally, I find Victor Perard's Drawing and Anatomy (http://www.scribd.com/doc/2893686/Dr...-Victor-Perard) the most useful.

    Maybe try some quick figure studies to try and get the hang of things instead of putting all your eggs in one basket in the form of an intensive drawing?

    That's my advice, I hope some of it's useful to you!

    Oh also, don't worry too much about getting in a discouraging funk, I have one of those approximately every other day. It'll pass!

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  5. #3
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    Thank you, Clur, I will def. check into those links. Three of these drawings were used for my Drawing 1 Final at the end of this semester, those included were the gunslinger, barber, and tailor, though points were deducted for incompletion. I am going to complete them over the summer, or maybe even redo them soon as I develop my skills as an artist. They will go toward my AP portfolio for the end of my senior year. I will officially begin working on my anatomy, as you've said my shading is good, and my anatomy is lacking with the drawings I have presented. I will steer toward anatomy and tackle that instead of worrying about everything like I have been. I'll take small steps. I will do some studies and post them soon.




    -Alex Lee Davis

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    Hey Alex,
    Great and wierd works in here you got. Keep up the monstrocity for now, will drop by a few days later to give more precise critique, right now I am in the countryside, so the connection to interwebs aint great. In the meanwhile, keep up the great work.

    Best,
    Bhanu.

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  8. #5
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    Bhanu, thanks for dropping by man.




    My artistic vision surpasses my skill. IT IS SO FRUSTRATING! GAAAAAHHHHHHHH I feel like exploding. I have all of these wondrous images in my head, but I do not have the skill to JUST TAKE THEM OUT! Soooo... Frustrated. Will do more soon, though... Dreams are elusive bastards.

    -Alex Lee Davis

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  9. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ObscureMechanism View Post
    Bhanu, thanks for dropping by man.




    My artistic vision surpasses my skill. IT IS SO FRUSTRATING! GAAAAAHHHHHHHH I feel like exploding. I have all of these wondrous images in my head, but I do not have the skill to JUST TAKE THEM OUT! Soooo... Frustrated. Will do more soon, though... Dreams are elusive bastards.
    EVERYONE'S vision surpasses their skill. Always. Just one of the truths in art. You're doing fine...just keep at it. Spend a little more time working from life - simple still lifes under a single light source. Try to understand form and construction - not just surface rendering and detail.

    Pick up a couple of the newly reprinted Loomis books to start to understand construction and simplification. Keep it up!

    What would Caravaggio do?
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  11. #7
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    Love the Detail on the Squid. I swear to god , I'd never be able to be that patient ... I'd give up after like 5 mins xD.

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  13. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SugarPudding View Post
    Love the Detail on the Squid. I swear to god , I'd never be able to be that patient ... I'd give up after like 5 mins xD.
    Thanks a bunch, it took a few days to draw all of those tiny circles on it's tentacles because I was drawing mostly in class and I can only draw in so many classes, and at home after school here and there. I lost patience a few times and started doing them sloppier. It's noticeable in a few parts. Also I never really thought about it before, but my drawings ARE in fact, flat shapes with rendered detail on them, hahaha. I need to work on a bunch of things...

    And thanks so much JeffX99. It's good to hear encouraging things come from someone who produces quality work!

    I'm not at home really right now, but I'll try to work on some still life drawings and work on constructing 3-dimensional forms and lighting, building an understanding for those things before I go crazy on the details and such. Sorry I haven't posted work since my first post, but I promise I'm still drawing. Thank you all so much for all your help so far!

    -Alex Lee Davis

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  14. #9
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    I've been drawing about every day. I have done some still life stuff, it sucked, I actually enjoyed it though, put on some cool music and just did it, I had to tell myself it was good, because really it was. It's good because I am putting in the effort that isn't required of me. Though, it is required to do what I enjoy, drawing cool stuff. I have also been drawing my hands, and have done some little things here and there from imagination. I will post them soon.

    -Alex Lee Davis

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  15. #10
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    I'm loving the creativity of these pieces. Your range of values look really good too, but I wish you had a scanner so we could really get in there.

    I hope we get to see that self portrait come back too.

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  17. #11
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    Great start man. I am no master artist so I don't want to over-extend my critique but I think you have the problem that is also apparent in my sketchbook as well and that is contrast. I notice you tend to like to stay in the mid tone range and not really branch out too much in terms of going high-key and low-key in your drawings.

    Try your next drawing with the full spectrum of the white of the paper and the darkest pencil you have.

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  19. #12
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    Very nice graphite rendering; that patience will get you far! I used to be patient until I learned how much information a brush stroke can carry... I miss patient rendering sometimes.

    Your work is also pretty imaginative, I can't wait to see what you come up with as your artistic mind grows.

    The most common thing to say at any beginning sketchbook ( but still very applicable) is to work on the fundamentals ( anatomy, perspective, form etc). Often your work has trouble with depicting 3 dimensional forms and this is being hidden by your rendering.

    Good luck and keep up the great work :]

    "A drawing is not necessarily academic because it is thorough, but only because it is dead. Neither is a drawing necessarily academic because it is done in what is called a conventional style, any more than it is good because it is done in an unconventional style. The test is whether it has life and conveys genuine feeling."- Harold Speed
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  21. #13
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    .: Thank you very much for your comments on my creativity! I'm at my sister's home right now visiting my mom and brother in-law along with her. This is the longest I have stayed here and just let me say It has been hard leveling up my art in this new environment with strange spaces. Ask and you shall receive, I'll do another self-portrait pretty soon, I'm not giving up.
    Tagachi : Thanks so much, yes I CAN be shy with contrast at times also, I try so hard to make my work look realistic when I do final pieces, maybe I should save the hyperrealism for when I have a strong understanding of how to use all of these powerful tools. Don't be shy with your critique on what is present on this page as of now! I'll check your SB out, too!
    The Pariano: Thanks for the compliment on my rendering, I didn't really know that's what I was doing until I looked up the definition of rendering in art. Yes I want to try my hand at painting again, but perhaps in black and white to help master smaller things like shading and contrast before I dive right into color, but I am without proper materials at the moment. Yes I have noticed that the forms in some of the pictures are shrouded in blankets of flesh and textures to the point that they are ill-defined. Thanks for complimenting my imagination, I'm working to catch my hands up with what's within my head. I have also seen your work, I am very envious of how far you are at your age and I am 17, I felt so far behind, but it only hurts to compare myself so much. I can only get better than myself by working, not worrying to get where I want to be. I admire what I have seen of your work, it's beautiful!

    -Alex Lee Davis

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  22. #14
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    Woah, I love your imagination! It's so cool! And your shading is amazing, it's obvious you put a lot of work and practice into developing it. Keep it up man, it's awesome!

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  24. #15
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    dylanj70: Thanks so much, man. All the comments mean a lot. I am still developing fast and learning a lot, I have been drawing a good bit, been drawing at least every day, working on something even if it's a little. I'll be able to really get down and work and post stuff soon.

    -Alex Lee Davis

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  25. #16
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    Not uploading work as of right now, but when I do, it will be a big sketch-dump. I have set a goal for myself, starting next week, I will produce one still life drawing and one self-portrait a week. I've also noticed a pretty decent improvement in my drawings, so far so good...

    Last edited by ObscureMechanism; June 26th, 2012 at 03:54 PM.
    -Alex Lee Davis

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  26. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ObscureMechanism View Post
    Not uploading work as of right now, but when I do, it will be a big sketch-dump. I have set a goal for myself, starting next week, I will produce one still life drawing and one self-portrait a week. I've also noticed a pretty decent improvement in my drawings, so far so good...
    I guess what I'm about to say depends on the quality and depth of each of those items (the still life and the self portrait), but why not push for more? Put some pressure on yourself. Even if you set a very challenging goal and slipping up from time to time, as long as you stick to it, you'll improve even quicker. Just turn up the heat and get it done!

    With that said, nice start to your sketchbook here! I love to see people's pencil/pen/traditional work because it gives a lot of insight as to who they are as a draftsman and where they're at fundamentally. Your drawings are pretty cool and have a nice volume to them. Some of them could use a wider value range to help get them to "turn" even more. So keep it up!

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  28. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pierce. View Post
    I guess what I'm about to say depends on the quality and depth of each of those items (the still life and the self portrait), but why not push for more? Put some pressure on yourself. Even if you set a very challenging goal and slipping up from time to time, as long as you stick to it, you'll improve even quicker. Just turn up the heat and get it done!... So keep it up!
    Thanks, Pierce! Pushing sounds good for the betterment of my work. I just have a hard time allowing myself to "slip up". It is fear working against me. I feel like everything I do should be the best. I have heard that quantity is often better than quality when you are trying to improve. I have been practicing different approaches to my shading, using tortillions a bit less, and simply working in my values. I have noticed a good improvement in the depth and construction of forms in my sketches, I have also improved upon my anatomy. I didn't draw yesterday and I kinda feel bad for not doing it. Improving is pretty hard! I have to keep re-assuring myself that this is good for me, and it will get better as I move forward.

    -Alex Lee Davis

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  29. #19
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    1) I see blending tools - If I were you, I'd concentrate on pencil control - that's where it's at. Blending tools like tortillians should be used sparingly.

    2) More range of values - your work seems to have only a few values going on. Need more contrast too.

    3) Realism and outlines don't mix. I saw one sketch that looked good value wise, and it has big heavy outlines *slap yourself on the wrist for that one*.

    4) Keep practicing. Getting good at drawing takes a lot of time.

    Doctors heal you, Artists immortalize you.

    "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach" - bullshit.

    The usual staples for anatomy:
    George Bridgman
    Joseph Sheppard
    Andrew Loomis
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  31. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by hitnrun View Post
    1) I see blending tools - If I were you, I'd concentrate on pencil control - that's where it's at. Blending tools like tortillians should be used sparingly.

    2) More range of values - your work seems to have only a few values going on. Need more contrast too.

    3) Realism and outlines don't mix. I saw one sketch that looked good value wise, and it has big heavy outlines *slap yourself on the wrist for that one*.

    4) Keep practicing. Getting good at drawing takes a lot of time.
    Thanks a bunch for your critique, I have been working more on pencil control recently, I have been using blending tools, but as you said, only sparingly. Been working on my values too, slapped myself on the wrist, and I have been drawing just about every day. Thanks again!

    -Alex Lee Davis

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  32. #21
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    I know exactly what you mean by being afraid of slipping up. That's something I'm battling as well. I'm not so sure about quantity over quality. I guess I get it but it just is hard for me to say it like that. Just be less afraid of making mistakes and realize that each mistake is an opportunity for growth. But yeah, post up some stuff sir!

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