I went to a figure drawing session at the Sketch Club. The model was really awesome and there were a lot of nice people and art there. I started out trying to get the proportions and a general pencil sketch in, and then tried to use shading to create a more detailed sense of dimension, but again, my inability to shade in a visually convincing way wins out again.
I spoke to an old guy who was really good at constructional drawing after the session and he said that when he draws, he imagines the shape in his head and draws that instead of trying to draw the model directly. He also mentioned something about a vocabulary of mark making and I feel like that's something that might help me with my derpy shades.
One thing that he said that I totally do not understand was that rendering and constructional drawing were separate; I either don't understand that reasoning or I don't agree. My thinking is that rendering can lend details to construction that pure line drawing can't...Maybe I'll understand his perspective more another day...it takes a while some times. >.>
Here are some more eyes and some people and things I saw on my way to get my computer fixed (I really hope I can get it back soon!). I'm not always sure how to break things into planes when they're really squishy, like the bottom lid on an eye. I think doing a rough outline of the socket makes drawing the eye a bit easier, so even though the drawings still aren't that nice, they make a little more sense to me now.
The eye studies are great indeed!
But since you haven't posted a whole lot else it's hard to critique. Eyes are important but they're not everything a face has to offer^^
I'm looking forward to seeing full portraits etc!
I'm tired very tired so these might be weird post but I want you guys so much for stopping by and the kind words.
I'm lad you were able to make use of the link, Mortiroth. I'm really paranoid about losing references so hopefully there will be many more helpful links to come.
Xelar- right! So I am definitely gonna be studying the other stuff too. I feel like I learned a lot of interesting things about heads just today...regrettably everything else- like landscapes and compositions still seems really intimidating, so maybe I need to focus on that next.
Royzy- As to that old guy, it's kind of difficult for me to recall everything of what he was saying. He was super verbose, and rather than just stating things outright, he kind of talked around them through metaphors and vague examples. So he would say 30 different things just to make one statement. It's been such a while since I spoke to him too, but I think what he might have been trying to get at was that the underlying structure of an object is different from the surface treatment that you apply to it. So, constructing and rendering (making sure everything is the right color, how the paint blends, etc.) are separate skills. If I see him again, I can ask for further clarification.
Other than that, he mentioned not wanting to take longer than 20 minutes or so with a drawing, because he didn't want to get bogged down with unnecessary details. He talked about incorporating shapes and objects into visual vocabulary- if you want to draw a baby, draw 500 real babies, look at how they're made and then you can start to make them up on your own.
Stuff like that.
Here are some random sketches that I have for today-some cars, my cat, and a sleeping dude I saw on the bus. His determination to stay asleep during the noise and commotion of the ride was really impressive.
There's also some leg construction drawings that I copied from another thread here on Conceptart. But I lost the link so I can't tell exactly where I got it from.
These are probably the ugliest notes ever, but putting them here any way.
A lot of what I did this week was read this book called The Perspective Drawing Handbook by Joseph D'Amelio and he talks about this method of drawing objects or places in perspective where you:
Draw an overhead of what you want to make
Determine the viewer's position and the picture plane.
Determine the vanishing points on this picture plane. Only planes parallel to one another share the same vanishing point. As the viewer's line of site parallel to these planes runs through the picture plane, it marks the || plane's vanishing point.
Determine the size of the objects by linking them across the picture plane to the viewer. The further away objects are from the viewer the smaller they will appear in relation to their actual size.
Transpose this picture plane with vanishing points and object widths into the horizon line of what will become the scene in perspective.
Okay, so here are some heads I did using the timed/gesture drawing tool at lovecastle.org/draw.
Thanks to this (pdf) I learned about the Reilly method. Also learned that the same thing exists for heads as well as figures. The information that I was able to collect on that basically boils down to the information in thispost.
I can barely retain the Loomis method of drawing heads, but seeing the planes of the head broken down like that was really helpful.
Also tried experimenting with different mark-making methods. Shading in a circular motion as opposed to applying straight strokes to everything all the time helps. Obvious and small, but it makes a difference. The objective here was to make a bunch of really quick drawings, so I didn't mess with it to a noticeable extent, but still.
On a couple of these heads, I missed the bottom 1/4th of the face. The head without the jaw is kind of freaky looking. Reminds me a bit of one of those pro life images with the aborted fetuses. Very unpleasant.
Oh yeah, another note- I feel like I have trouble drawing the shape of a mouth when it smiles.
Studying more perspective and trying to come up with a way to break down the torso in a way that's easy for me. I always have trouble placing the arms on the shoulders. I think part of my problem is that in the past I always treated them as one object, grouping the shoulders and the torso as one mass when blocking the figure. However, the shoulders and arms are quite mobile so it doesn't really make sense (to me) to think of them as so closely linked of a unit.
There's a lot of muscle, bone and sometimes fat action happening in the region of that body, so another part of my blocking troubles came from the fact that I wasn't treating that part of the body as properly elastic. The flesh on the top of the shoulder goes from being kind of a square shape when the arms are resting to more of a triangular one as the arms raise.
I also wasn't fully cognizant of the fact that the distance between the start of the neck and the top of the shoulders is basically none. Uhh...
So the perspective drawings. I still have a lot of trouble with...everything. But what I'm noticing the most right now are the distortions. The further the vanishing points, the less distortion there will be.
I lost a lot of the perspective studies that I was doing, because they were on loose-leaf paper and I threw them away by accident. These are some of the ones I did in illustrator. It's easier to do a lot of them and try lots of different things drawing them in illustrator, but I feel like drawing on paper forces me to analyze what I'm doing more.
Last edited by snacks ex machina; July 10th, 2012 at 07:34 PM.
Haha he sounds like a pretty interesting guy. Thanks for the feedback on that
Great to see all these different techniques and studies. Hadn't come across the lovecastle.org tool before, I'd only been familiar with Posemaniacs and Pixelovely.
Would be cool to see some more 'completed' heads. Good shape and rendering on those two you put some detail into. Pretty sure Loomis says something about smiles being particularly tricky to execute, in his heads book. A page of expressions, showing the muscles, could be a good exercise.
I'm curious as to why the mix of perspective and anatomy... the two things are defintiely both fundamentals, and both important to learn... but from my own personal experience I found it easier to flood my brain with just one subject at a time (so I'm slightly envious if you can handle both!). My suggestions for improving would be to consider the planes when you're sketching faces and try to get your pencil lines to follow the natural flow of what you're drawing. As an example, take the guys' forehead on the bottom left of your last head study page - there's some odd 45 degree cross hatching there, that would be much more effective if it had followed the curve of the forehead. Shading at those kind of angles isn't a bad thing, but it's usually best to do all your shading at a similar angle, or follow the form... in this case, you've done a bit of both, so I'm not sure to see it as just a patch of shadow, or whether to see it as lines describing the form of the object. The upper left profile head of the same page is much more expressive as you've followed the forms of the head and the flow of the hair much more nicely. Hope that's of some help, and hope you perservere, you've got a nice start going here.