Non-ref work & inability to use "methods"

Join 500,000+ Artists

Its' free and it takes less than 10 seconds!

Join the #1 Art Workshop - LevelUpJoin Premium Art Workshop

Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    8
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0

    Non-ref work & inability to use "methods"

    So a couple of days ago I started a new (physical) sketchbook for just studies and "stuff that's meant to make your art better".. You know the stuff.

    First thing I did was a skull study because I want to improve my ability to draw faces without reference. I used refs for the skull and that study went pretty well aside from a couple things (still got the 3/4 view to do though!).

    Non-ref work & inability to use "methods"

    So next up I thought, hey, doing some studies of Loomis and his head/face construction stuff will probably be pretty useful here. So I read through the method, I find it pretty genius, and then I go to construct some heads/faces in my sketchbook using his method and my drawing ability seems to disappear entirely. I've had similar experiences with other construction-based methods of drawing things without ref.. I just can't seem to do them right and it's kinda annoying because I feel like I have a massive gap between my referenced and non-referenced work, at least when it comes to drawing people.

    It's like when I'm trying to use step by step "methods" I end up with my head in a totally non-artistic mode where I can barely draw right because I'm thinking about the method instead of being in my drawing mindset.

    So I was wondering, has anyone else had any experience like this and does anybody have any advice on how to improve at drawing people and faces at least semi-realistically and to a decent standard without reference?

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  


  2. Hide this ad by registering as a member
  3. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    2,001
    Thanks
    891
    Thanked 1,009 Times in 538 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    How many heads have you drawn from life or in the mirror?
    Construction methods nice but you still need to study the source to grasp it properly.
    (Which you can't say you have no access, everyone has a mirror)
    Anatomy and steps to construct are more supplemental.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  4. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to JFierce For This Useful Post:


  5. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Hudson River valley, NY
    Posts
    16,212
    Thanks
    4,879
    Thanked 16,670 Times in 5,020 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    To properly use construction, you HAVE TO HAVE TO HAVE TO include working from life in your training. Working from life teaches you how to conceive of things in three dimensions and translate them to two. When you use construction to draw from your imagination, you're doing the same thing. If you can't think in 3D, you'll never be able to do it.


    Tristan Elwell
    **Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial

    Crash Course for Artists, Illustrators, and Cartoonists, NYC, the 2013 Edition!

    "Work is more fun than fun."
    -John Cale

    "Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
    -Marc Maron
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  6. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Elwell For This Useful Post:


  7. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    8
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Oh I guess I got my answer then. I didn't even consider that to be honest, I've only drawn a person from life once actually and that was in high school art class (a self portrait). Guess I'd better get the mirror out. Thanks guys.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  8. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Haifa, Israel
    Posts
    4,106
    Thanks
    2,350
    Thanked 2,317 Times in 1,425 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by NoxPopuli View Post
    So I read through the method, I find it pretty genius, and then I go to construct some heads/faces in my sketchbook using his method and my drawing ability seems to disappear entirely. I've had similar experiences with other construction-based methods of drawing things without ref.
    That's because you are used to copying, not drawing. When you use reference, you think you can draw because you more or less get an image that looks like the original. But take the reference away, and your approach is useless.

    You have to switch your way of thinking to get anywhere. Forget copying; forget using photos; forget little details; learn to think of the drawing as a 3-D scene in 3-D space that you have to construct.

    I suppose you could start with learning to build formal perspective of a cube.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  9. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to arenhaus For This Useful Post:


  10. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    1,008
    Thanks
    175
    Thanked 696 Times in 292 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    To properly use construction, you HAVE TO HAVE TO HAVE TO include working from life in your training. Working from life teaches you how to conceive of things in three dimensions and translate them to two. When you use construction to draw from your imagination, you're doing the same thing. If you can't think in 3D, you'll never be able to do it.
    This- plus perspective, which is also HAVE TO HAVE TO HAVE TO for constructive drawing.

    I'm willing to be where things fall down is the inability to make simple actions on geometric solids, like drawing a line around them on a certain axis, or chopping parts off and understanding what results and being able to draw that. Loomis's method assumes you can do this with relative ease, when these days most people can't.

    Disclaimer: this is not about putting a zillion vanishing points on everything. It's just understanding things in a 3D way and, like Elwell said, how that translates to 2D if you rotate them around in space. Without balancing this with life drawing, it will end up stiff and terrible.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  11. The Following User Says Thank You to dose For This Useful Post:


  12. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    2,001
    Thanks
    891
    Thanked 1,009 Times in 538 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    I can agree to the above, simply because I mess around with comics and there's the obvious issue of having to do a lot from memory and twisting things and the angle around in space is the hardest obstacle for me. Drawing a face from memory and experience is fine. Twisting that in space is where you really test your knowledge of perspective. Need much more experience of life drawing and things in space to know how things look at all angles and to manipulate it in your head.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  13. The Following User Says Thank You to JFierce For This Useful Post:


Members who have read this thread: 0

There are no members to list at the moment.

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Register

Developed Actively by vBSocial.com
The Art Department
SpringOfSea's Sketchbook