I think You're doing very well, your newest painting is a big milestone. Wip from #10 looks pretty decent, don't be afraid to go for it. But I don't think blind contours are teaching You anything, especially half of a hour long?! Speed painting or sketch instead would be more profitable. Anyway, the most important - have fun, don't worry about too slow progress, if you work it will pay off. Also some anatomy studies will help You too, there are lots of recommendations of anatomy books on this site - Bridgman, Peck, Loomis, Bammes, Hampton - use whatever you liked most, but there's no rush.
hu-ha: Thank you. I felt as though I learnt a lot about colour mixing and intensity from that last painting, in that sense it was certainly a step forward. As for the WIP, I've got some grease-proof paper (like tracing paper but cheaper and easier to find) and I'm going to try to establish the mountain of moving skeletons (bottom layer) first, then build the picture up from there.
The blind contour exercises in the book are actually an hour long, but thats a bit on the excessive side. Doing blind contours isn't necessarily about learning a technique, it's about intensely studying the subject and has certainly helped me to concentrate on other things (at times ). But it is low on the priority list at the moment.
Thanks for the encouragement. You're right about the anatomy studies, I just wish I had a life drawing class I could go to (studying yourself in the mirror is all fine and good, but it isn't the same). There are some good books out there, but is copying out of them helpful? Wouldn't it be better to read them and then apply the authors principles to life and memory studies? It's something I will get round to, but again it's a matter of having enough time in the day . I am very tempted to buy a full size model skeleton though, I'd be a better way of studying bones than diagrams.
On to today. I finally got around to fleshing out the rest of the comic, writing the script and finishing the thumbnails. I fleshed out page 2 and started on page 3. Tomorrow I want to finish the rough page 3,4, and 5. I enjoyed this a bit more today,
Sometimes I feel as though I'm getting too self conscious because I'm posting stuff and I want to reach a high standard. I need to pull myself back, remind myself this is a sketchbook thread and pretty much i'm one of thousands. Experiment, experiment, experiment. Push yourself and try new things, don't play it safe!
I have a day off tomorrow! I'm getting tired out by work, I recently got a job in a cafe, but I'm not getting along well with the staff there (they've known each other for years, most of them speak welsh etc.) I don't feel as though I can discuss this with them as they went straight to the head of the place to complain about my lack of friendliness and arrogance (I was, in the beginning, trying hard to get along with everyone, totally unaware I'd caused offense but I've lost heart after the complaint). I also feel completely out of my depth, I keep making mistakes on the till, when I have to cook food sometimes multiple orders get the best of me. It's really not working out well.
Sorry about that rant, but I don't really have anyone to talk to about it...
Onto art. I did some comic page roughs this morning, my heart wasn't in it though. I am determined to finish this project in spite of this, I want to see it through. Therefore from tomorrow I'll complete 2 pages a day, it should take about a week to finish. I don't know what it is about it, but I didn't give my best effort to this this morning (i'm going to redo some of these pages, I seriously need to start doing figure studies!),
Some drawings of my grandparents, I'm not 100% happy with the drawing of my nan, I don't draw her as much as my granddad as she tends to move more and spots me in the act (I like drawing people unawares, their expressions are more natural) but I can't figure out what it is,
I also did some drawings of cubes from life, to try to improve my accuracy and composition skills. These were done on A5 paper and I did some thumbnails before committing to the larger drawings. Drawing the cubes from further away and at a different eye level to usual was interesting. I'm going to do some more experiments from odd angles and explore different sources of light,
Started the day with a 30 minute cross contour drawing of my hand, just a bunch of lines basically, so not worth scanning and posting.
I managed to complete one comic page today, it was more difficult to do than I thought, I first did some experiments with different types of pen and decided on using fine liners, brushes and traditional fountain pens and indian ink. I finished the page in photoshop, as using a lot of ink on the paper caused wrinkling,. I've decided to go down to doing one page a day, I have no deadline, it's more realistic and I can do a better job this way,
I took 5 hours to finish a comic page, is that too long? How long does it take you to finish a page? That was including drawing a perspective grid, 2 pencil underdrawings, 2-3 ink drawings and then some editing in photoshop. I'm learning to redo things if i'm not happy with them, you do tend to get better results by pushing yourself this way. This project is a real eye opener, you have to put a lot of effort, time and energy into the layout and making of just one page! (Unless i'm over doing it), I've got a lot more respect for comic book artists now, it's a lot more work than it seems. Well, here is the page, all done by hand (excluding the text bubbles and text), tell me if i'm barking up the wrong tree here,
Some watercolour sketches from memory, I went for a walk with the dog near the beach, the clouds were a spectacular mix of yellow and purple against an egg-shell blue sky, the water was rough, reflecting purples, greys and yellows. I know i've not done it justice, but it was a good exercise to test how much of the scene stuck,
This is yesterdays work, I was just too tired to upload it last night. Sigh, I think my stuff is regressing.
page 3 of the chess comic, took me 2 1/2 hours this time, knocked it right down. Got some new markers for the black squares. The problem i'm having is the backgrounds tend to overwhelm the pages, some of the action is missed. The structure of black and white isn't helpful in directing the eye. The next pages I'll make simpler. I don't enjoy the process of making pages that much, it has nothing to do with the outcome. I prefer drawing and painting from life. Also, my figure work could do with a lot of improvement, I haven't studied anatomy in detail,
Its going to be a long weekend, I've got two nine hour shifts at the cafe, am not looking forward to it. So that means I'm going to upload saturdays and sundays work on sunday, as I'll most likely be very tired saturday night. Sigh, the things we do for money...
A drawing from life this evening, I use the erase too much, I should ban myself from using it,
Page 6 of the comic, please let me know what you think, is the explanation clear enough? I'm really starting to enjoy doing these, it will be great to do a proper finished piece, I haven't done that for over three years! Finally braving it and giving it a shot, getting lost in the process, hating it all at first- it's all worth it. The only way is up from here,
A composition exercise using card, I found it in 'picture this' by Molly Bang (an excellent book on simple compositions, I really recommend it!) . Took me around 2 hours of faffing about, trying out different ideas, I finally landed on these two. I put a lot of effort into the shapes and the flow of the images, hopefully you guys can tell what they are about,
Totally killing me with the hard work here!! I'm too tired to completely eye everything up at the moment but it seems you are doing everything to improve at the moment, I would probably say with your 30 second gesture drawings try and draw form using as minimal lines as possible. will subscribe and crawl through your sketchbook tomorrow!
also a pleasure having a uk citizen up in here but in wales!!! Here's a bomb for you *fires cannon*
best of luck
If I happen to comment on your sketchbook, please don't feel obliged to comment on mine. use that time instead to get back to work.
luthertaylor: Thanks mate, it's nice to get some encouragement and meet a fellow Brit. With the 30 second gestures I did them in a scribbly style because they are exercises that are part of 'The Natural Way to Draw' by Kimon Nicolaides, and he suggests using a scribbling, fluid motion to draw gesture drawings. I think they worked quite well when I draw objects and animals, but I do question whether this is the best method or approach to gesture drawing. Trouble is i'm struggling to draw gestures in other ways now. But I do appreciate the feedback.
I haven't been able to do as much as I would have liked this weekend, had two ten hour stints at the cafe, as the head chef is away. Gods I'm tired now, thank God it's over!
Here is yesterdays effort, one chess page,
A quick water colour study of the sunset and clouds (tube watercolours I find better to use than tablet ones, more opaque!),
Something is bugging me about both drawings, though I can't exactly put my finger on it. Vertical skew? Not correct perspective? Something along those lines.
The general plan is to finish my comic. Then i'm going to really concentrate on learning how to see. I think my sight, art-wise, has become very distorted. I need to work on accuracy. I'm also planning on continuing my study of composition through cut outs and master copies.
I've been reading Robert Henri's book, 'The Art Spirit', whilst I may not agree with everything he puts down, the book is excellent, inspiring and full of insights, I'd recommend it to anyone interested in drawing and painting.
The book has also got me looking at masterworks again in detail, something I haven't done in a long time. I've started with Rembrandt, his historical paintings are fascinating to look at, he has such a sense of design and uses lights and darks powerfully to direct the eye. I really recommend looking at his paintings, you can get lost in them. His portrait work is also amazing, there is an undercurrent of life to them!