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  1. #1
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    Biting the bullet- daily drawings

    MOST RECENT WORK ON LAST PAGE

    Hello. After posting my drawings in the critique section of this website I've decided to follow the advice i've been given and start a sketchbook thread here. I am interested in illustration, traditional painting and drawing as well as comics. Everything I post here will be more or less drawn on the day it's posted, longer pieces notwithstanding.

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    Last edited by Mana16; May 15th, 2013 at 05:21 PM.
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  3. #2
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    9th August

    I did some more exercises from 'The Natural Way to Draw' here is a half hour contour drawing of a flower(I find it easier to do this exercises in half hour slots so my concentration doesn't lapse, I don't think doing a hour long contour drawing is better than this approach, shorter time- less likely to wander),

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    I also did twenty six thirty second gesture drawings, here are some of the more coherent ones, in ball point,

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    I did a little bit of research for my chess characters, but I was flagging at this point, I intend to do more work on this tomorrow,

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    I spent most of my day drawing from a still life set up, this is attempt number three. I found this to be quite difficult to get right, sometimes I got frustrated because the measurements didn't add up. The problem in the beginning was that I used the cubes as a unit of measure, but then found it difficult to get the angles and the proportions of the skull right. On my third attempt I began with the skull and the table angle, it was much easier to make corrections, block in the skull and then draw the cubes afterwards. I feel that I have learnt a lot from this drawing, in future I want to be lighter with the pencil in the initial stages, start with the bigger shapes in a composition and work my way down and start with a unit of measure and stick to that unit. It's also strange that the further away I stand from something the larger I make it on paper, any thoughts?

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    Also, I really need to practice drawing straight lines, I found this difficult to do using an easel.

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    Last edited by Mana16; May 15th, 2013 at 05:24 PM.
    art blog: http://hrartwork.blogspot.co.uk/


    "Don't worry about your originality. You could not get rid of it even if you wanted to. It will stick to you and show you up for better or worse in spite of all you or anyone else can do" Robert Henri
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  4. #3
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    10th August

    I feel quite tired now, been working my day job all day, went horse riding and then came back and did a painting. I feel happy though that I managed to do something today.

    I drew some wooden cubes, lit from the side by a lamp. I used an easel, canvas paper and charcoal to do the under drawing. Cubes are much more challenging than you'd realize, an excellent lesson in measuring (although I can now see in my images I was way off in places!) So started off with some thumbnails to get a basic idea of where everything would go, choice of view and framing.

    I then proceeded to draw out the cubes as accurately as I could. With hindsight and looking at the drawing now, the bottom right hand cube is too small compared to the rest and is not positioned correctly (serves me right for rushing this stage!) The cube directly above that one is also not positioned correctly in relation to the stack of cubes next to it. In future I need to have more patience, observe more and be more careful at this stage. Again, my initial unit of measure was not accurate enough,

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    blocked in the shadow shapes,

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    After this, using titanium white and burnt umber (oil paints), with flats and linseed oil, I scrubbed in the mid tone and then tried to paint in the highest lights. Pretty soon my initial drawing was lost, and everything got really muddy because I mixed my lights and darks. After an hour of pushing paint around I used some turps and wiped over the whole painting and restarted. I then tried again to paint in the highest lights, darkest darks and then adjust the mid tone for changes and graduations. I found a big problem was that I sort of lost myself in it, abandoning method for trying to make it look right. My main criticisms are,

    1. Mixed lights and darks, painting became quite muddy
    2. lost original scaling and framing, changed composition as I was going
    3. too many brush strokes, loss of power and definition
    4. looking at the painting and not at the scene too much
    5. Inaccurate assessment of tonal values
    6. Fear of making mistakes
    7. Difficult to paint straight lines

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    And oils are damned messy, I spent around 20 mins cleaning up after!

    But it was fun :p

    Last edited by Mana16; August 16th, 2012 at 07:33 PM. Reason: adding more, moar!
    art blog: http://hrartwork.blogspot.co.uk/


    "Don't worry about your originality. You could not get rid of it even if you wanted to. It will stick to you and show you up for better or worse in spite of all you or anyone else can do" Robert Henri
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  5. #4
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    11th August

    Nicolaides exercises, Chapter 2 Section D, 1/2 hr cross contour drawing, yeah, I know it's a load of scribbled lines, but the outcome doesn't reflect the reward of the exercise,

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    1/4hr gesture drawings, 16 in total, scanned some of them (I prefer 30 second ones over 1 minute, the impulse is better),

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    Some planning for my comic,

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    Some character drawing practice for the comic, I used photo reference and tried to simplify the features and exaggerate, it was harder than I thought it would be, i'm going to need more practice,

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    Another area requiring more practice is perspective drawing. I wanted to draw some grids for my chess theme comic, ones that I could use in the final work, but I couldn't quite get the angles I wanted. I also lost sense of what I was doing at times, particularly with the three point. Well, there you have it, one, two and three point perspectives. I spent two hours drawing these, next time i'm going to read a book first, i'm feeling rusty .

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    art blog: http://hrartwork.blogspot.co.uk/


    "Don't worry about your originality. You could not get rid of it even if you wanted to. It will stick to you and show you up for better or worse in spite of all you or anyone else can do" Robert Henri
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  6. #5
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    12th August

    It's unfortunate that I feel quite tired by the time I upload here, I wish I could write more eloquently. Been at work for 8 hours, so I came home and did some drawing.

    'The Natural Way to Draw' Chapter 2, Section D, 30 30 second gesture drawings, in pen, (sometimes I wonder if this is the best method or should I take a more Walt Stanchfield approach?). I use QuickPoses.com, a nice variety of photographs and speeds on there,

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    A 1/2hr contour drawing of my eye, eye brow and nose, very interesting, but I lost my patience around 27 minutes, couldn't resist a look at the clock!

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    Some more playing around with perspective today, changing the distance of the SVP in one point perspective,

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    Also experimenting with scaling, I read more of Deborah Rockman's Drawing Essentials, the section on scaling is very interesting and has improved my ideas about perspective a lot, here I tried to draw cubes of the same height at different distances along a corridor of convergence,

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    I also worked more on my comic idea (instructional comic about chess), some drawings of clothes and a man from reference (main character), some different proportions ala the Andrew Loomis way. Sometimes I feel as though I'm in a great hurry, I am rushing things too much. Tomorrow I am going to focus on gathering a bit more visual research and looking at how other people design characters, to gain a sense of perspective and to do the best job I can,

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    Last edited by Mana16; August 12th, 2012 at 06:12 PM. Reason: stuff was the wrong way round
    art blog: http://hrartwork.blogspot.co.uk/


    "Don't worry about your originality. You could not get rid of it even if you wanted to. It will stick to you and show you up for better or worse in spite of all you or anyone else can do" Robert Henri
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  7. #6
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    Good stuff.

    You asked about why you couldn't get the skull to line up...

    You can use vertical and horizontal lines to make things line up. You'll see the edge of a feature... and you run that line up and down as an imaginary line and look at where it hits. Maybe it hits one of those blocks at a specific point.

    Same thing with horizontals. Run your lines all the way through the sheet and sight with a stick (pencil is OK, a longer thinner stick is better... knitting needle, skewer, etc).

    RE: Nicolaides... I have yet to meet a single artist whose entire art education was done through Nicolaides who can draw worth a darn. Maybe they're out there. A little philosophizing on Nicolaides--IMO anything that makes your mind blank while a pencil is moving is not drawing. Drawing is thinking; drawing is design. You need the rational side of your mind when drawing. Art is much like music in that there's a structure to it; you put notes on a staff... each note has a duration... all the notes relate to one another in some way... you create harmony, etc. These can't be done with an arbitrary mindset.

    Same with drawing. So... yeah... IMO ditch Nicolaides ... off soapbox...

    Keep working... the work is good

    Thinking connects desire with creation.
    How good are you?

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  9. #7
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    13th August

    Thanks for the advice and encouragement p sage, I've left a longer response in your sketchbook, thanks again.

    Had a day off today, so much more time for some drawing. First thing I did was to do a measured drawing of a sink from life, third attempt, two hours in. It was very difficult to get right, especially the angle of the tiles behind the sink. In the end I used a corner of the sink as my first unit and built it up from there, everything is somewhat in line where it should be,

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    After such a controlled exercise I wanted to loosen up, so here is a quick portrait of my dad,

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    I managed to settle myself down today and did some more drawings for the chess project, plus some proper research and planning. Whilst doing the character drawings I started to loosen up and have fun, it's been a long time since I felt this way about it. In the past I kept saying to myself 'you can't draw' 'go back to basics first' 'when you're better you can draw what you want'. But it doesn't work like that, to get better at drawing characters, comics, from the imagination etc. you have to draw characters, comics and from the imagination. Life drawing will help you, but don't make it all you do if your heart is set elsewhere.
    I can improve on several things though. One, costume designs (do more of them, experiment with different silhouettes, more focus on theme), Two, figure drawing (gestures, drawing from life, drawing yourself in the mirror, learning anatomy, loomis), Three, Emotions (practice faces, hands, and body language in books, life and photos). I'm sure there are more! I also enjoyed doing the research, it's been a while since I've delved into art history, looking at the fineness and beauty of Holbiens and Van Dycks works was truly inspiring and humbling,

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    Some more experimenting with scaling, ground levels, SVPs etc. I feel as though I'm understanding perspective more and more, apologies for the quality, had to take photos cause the paper is A3,

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    Finally a charcoal drawing/ mass drawing of cubes, from life, getting there, found the measuring a bit easier tonight,

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    art blog: http://hrartwork.blogspot.co.uk/


    "Don't worry about your originality. You could not get rid of it even if you wanted to. It will stick to you and show you up for better or worse in spite of all you or anyone else can do" Robert Henri
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  10. #8
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    14th August

    Upon further reflection I have decided not to give up Nicolaides, I'm going to continue doing the exercises at my own pace, as well as still leaving time for other forms of study. Nicolaides exercises may not be much use in design terms, but they do make you look at subjects in different ways and in more depth. On that note, I did a 1/2 hr contour drawing today, but since it's just a bunch of lines, it's not worth the bother to scan.

    I did some more designs for my chess project, this time, black king ideas,

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    I decided to be brave today, so I did two colour paintings in acrylic, on canvas paper. On a sheet of A5 I did some thumbnail sketches first to get an idea of where to place the figure/ objects within a frame,

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    Here are the three colours I used, plus white,

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    Then I blocked out the major forms/ tonal changes of my self portrait in charcoal, I didn't bother with a needle to measure (which is probably why the framing is off),

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    Then I proceed to try to block in the tones one section at a time, a bit like cell shading I suppose. I can't remember the name of this method, but it's something I learnt in life drawing classes many years ago. Things got a bit awry around the face, I started to blur edges and use too many colours, things have gotten a bit muddy and the colours are all over the place. However, it was a fun exercise to do, and a good learning experience. I'd forgotten what it is like to use colour and how fun acrylics can be, the painting and drawing took around 2-3 hours in all,

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    After doing that, this evening I felt like doing another painting. I'm starting to find measuring a little bit easier and it was very helpful to have a mirror around to spot mistakes, Same procedure as far as the charcoal drawing is concerned, the whole painting took around 3-3 1/2 hours,

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    When I started with the paint, I laid down a middle tone first, then painted in the lightest lights and darkest darks. After that, method sort of flew out the window and I started mixing tones and putting paint down where it felt right to do so. I didn't like how the teapot was looking, it wasn't right and didn't fit into the composition well, so I decided to ditch that aspect. Again, what a learning curve! I have a long way to go in paint,

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    "Don't worry about your originality. You could not get rid of it even if you wanted to. It will stick to you and show you up for better or worse in spite of all you or anyone else can do" Robert Henri
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  11. #9
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    Hey black-swan, loving the studies in your other thread so I just had to come check out
    your sketchbook! It's great that you're braving the paint, the last one of the skull is looking really nice.

    I'm just wondering what the boxes you draw are made of? I'd love some myself
    but I don't really know where to get any.

    Keep up the studies!

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  13. #10
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    Kode: thanks for the encouragement, I hope you buy some cubes as they can be really useful in practicing basic perspective principles, drawing straight lines and learning to think in terms of planes.

    I am going to do a part time course in September at my local college, basically drawing and painting for a 3 hour session once a week, I thought it would be a good way to see if the college has good facilities (in case I want to study a full time course there) and also to get back into a classroom environment, it's been a few years

    Today I finished my basic designs of the kings for my chess comics, after this I need to design their scepters and the black queen who shows up. After that I can pretty much begin on the comic proper. I'm not very good at doing this design work, I think it is lack of experience that is the problem, which is only ever solved by practice. I need to find a way to study the figure, anatomy and gesture, come up with a system or procedure to design characters of variable dimensions and start thinking in more 3 dimensional terms about everything (If you want to design stuff from imagination, being able to rotate something or see it from any angle in your head may come in handy I reckon),

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    I also got a vision in my head of a person struggling to get to the top of a pile of moving skeletons, who are trying to tear her down. Maybe a flashback to Berserk, who knows, or maybe it's just the way I'm feeling about everything. The skeletons are my crappy diet, uncertain relationships at work, procrastination, doubt, fear, envy, uncertainty, tiredness, dread etc. I like the concept, but there are several issues with the drawing proper (still a WIP by the way),

    1. Messy drawing, a bit confused (I'm thinking of using layers of tracing paper to draw the different parts of the drawing and transferring them to a clean sheet at the end- old school)
    2. Not sure about the anatomy of the girl, the skeletons will have to be scaled to this
    3. Make sure to use references for the skeletons and draw them properly (slowly and not rushed, I felt in an awful rush this evening, as I often do about imaginative pieces. I need to slow down more and concentrate on the task at hand)
    4. What is she pushing off of (a mountain of bones, with moving skeletons), draw this part first
    5. Perspective is a bit confused, consider laying in a ground line and eye level
    6. choose a light source, decide on the final medium

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    I find drawing from life much easier than drawing from imagination well, which is why i very much need the practice. I still feel afraid to make mistakes, which is a problem. It's difficult to live up to your own expectations and ideas.

    Here are some notes on composition (going through Rockman's drawing essentials)

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    A bit of outdoor sketching and notes, another weakness- environments,

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    Some observational drawings waiting at the doctors surgery,

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    A little portrait of my brother, third attempt I think (glasses can be a bit of a nightmare),

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    And a line drawing of my Granddad, at rest,

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    Lessons learnt- a little bit about formal composition, I need to practice figure drawing more from life, memory and imagination, do more drawings and paintings from imagination, do more observational studies of landscapes (and tones), let me know if i've missed anything out

    art blog: http://hrartwork.blogspot.co.uk/


    "Don't worry about your originality. You could not get rid of it even if you wanted to. It will stick to you and show you up for better or worse in spite of all you or anyone else can do" Robert Henri
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  14. #11
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    Amazing amount of work you're putting down, and you're already at a great level. I especially like your shading with pencil, it's very clean, natural and precise.

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  16. #12
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    nouge: Thanks for the comments, I appreciate it.

    Couldn't get as much in as I'd like today, I was working my day job. Started on my comic pages, I'm not keen on the first page, I rushed it a bit and don't like the look of it- I might redo it and pay more attention to the typography.

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    Some gesture drawings of objects and animals around the house, in ball-point, (I did about 30 in all, this is the pick of them), thanks to Nicolaides I can't seem to escape this scribbly style of gesture drawing,

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    I felt like doing something in colour and in oils, so I did a value scale mixing white and black first, then took tube colours and tried my best to match them to the right part of the scale, it was quite fun. I've included a grayscale version here, I think I was fairly accurate with the lighter colours, the darker ones, not so,

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    I also did an exercise out of a oil painting book, the first set of cubes is just white and black mixed, the second set are colours darkened by black and lightened by white and the third set is minimal use of white and black (to explore colour intensity). I seriously need to get better at drawing cubes, and drawing repetitions,

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    Last edited by Mana16; August 29th, 2012 at 05:37 PM.
    art blog: http://hrartwork.blogspot.co.uk/


    "Don't worry about your originality. You could not get rid of it even if you wanted to. It will stick to you and show you up for better or worse in spite of all you or anyone else can do" Robert Henri
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  17. #13
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    This is turning into daily paintings...

    Had a rubbish day at work, I served burnt food to a customer without noticing, charged the wrong amounts on the till, dialed the wrong codes and was possibly rude to a customer by asking for them to pay just before they were leaving. I have very poor social skills unfortunately, even my co-workers have been offended by me and have gone to the boss. I'm tired of all of it, of people in general to tell the truth. Another 2 days of work and a day off! Can't wait!

    At least I got in some solid time this evening, oil painting. Started with colour cubes again, this time all the primaries and secondaries made from primaries. with these cubes the aim is to paint a light tone cube, a middle tone cube and a dark tone cube. Basically seeing colours as tones. What is amazing is the amount of variation you can get in hue and temperature by small adjustments, I'll have to experiment with temperatures in the future,

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    I ended up spending around 5 hours on this painting tonight, a study of colour intensity. Ambient light overhead, full palette of colours, some filberts, flats and rounds, some homemade medium and thinners to clean the brushes. This was hard work, especially the wooden fish and sunflower head (which i'm not 100% happy with, I'm going to do some more studies of these),

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    Apologies for the picture quality, I had to take them with a flash camera, can't use a flatbed scanner with wet oils!

    I really enjoy this sort of thing, a lot more than trying to draw comic books or conceptual ideas. Maybe because those things are that much harder to do... I dunno, it would be really difficult to earn a living as a gallery artist, it would still be difficult to go into a design field- but there are more stable positions and a wider variety of jobs for that....

    Last edited by Mana16; August 29th, 2012 at 05:34 PM.
    art blog: http://hrartwork.blogspot.co.uk/


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    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.

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  20. #15
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    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,

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    As I wasn't satisfied with my painting of a sunflower, a did an hour long life drawing of two heads, in pencil, A3, this is where blind contour drawing helps,

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    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!

    art blog: http://hrartwork.blogspot.co.uk/


    "Don't worry about your originality. You could not get rid of it even if you wanted to. It will stick to you and show you up for better or worse in spite of all you or anyone else can do" Robert Henri
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  21. #16
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    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!),

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    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,

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    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,

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    art blog: http://hrartwork.blogspot.co.uk/


    "Don't worry about your originality. You could not get rid of it even if you wanted to. It will stick to you and show you up for better or worse in spite of all you or anyone else can do" Robert Henri
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  22. #17
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    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,

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    Spent the rest of the day at a friends house, brought my sketchbook along and did some gestures of cats, they were so mobile at times, a lot of fun to draw, cats have very nice contours,

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    I also did some drawings of objects and the space around me, I didn't have a knitting needle with me today so I had to do most of the measurements from my head, it didn't turn out so bad,


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    art blog: http://hrartwork.blogspot.co.uk/


    "Don't worry about your originality. You could not get rid of it even if you wanted to. It will stick to you and show you up for better or worse in spite of all you or anyone else can do" Robert Henri
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  23. #18
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    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,

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    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,

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    This last one is also a memory drawing. It was dark when I left my Nans house, and there were swans out on the water. They looked really pale and eerie against the black sea,

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    art blog: http://hrartwork.blogspot.co.uk/


    "Don't worry about your originality. You could not get rid of it even if you wanted to. It will stick to you and show you up for better or worse in spite of all you or anyone else can do" Robert Henri
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  24. #19
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    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,

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    Some studies of hands from life,

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    Some gestures,

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    Two portraits of my grandad, in wax crayon, these came out really weird,

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    art blog: http://hrartwork.blogspot.co.uk/


    "Don't worry about your originality. You could not get rid of it even if you wanted to. It will stick to you and show you up for better or worse in spite of all you or anyone else can do" Robert Henri
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  25. #20
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    A fellow chess player! Nice!

    A lot of great stuff, as usual. Out of your latest ones the teacup and teapot under it are my favorites. Also: you're not regressing, you're getting better. So keep at it!

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  27. #21
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    Nice work so far, the chess project is coming along well.

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  29. #22
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    nouge: I wish I had the chance to play chess more, but whenever I play with my brother pieces end up flying. thanks for the encouragement

    Psychobuddy: thanks, it's my first proper comic, so it's great to get some feedback.

    Today i've just been working in the comic, here are some chess symbols I designed in photoshop cs2 using the pen tool, this took a surprising amount of work to do,

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    Page 4, I copied and pasted the photoshop symbols into this, the main drawings were done with a dip pen and ink, speech bubbles added in photoshop with pen tool,

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    page 5, we're a third of the way through, it's shading in the squares that takes the time!

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    art blog: http://hrartwork.blogspot.co.uk/


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  30. #23
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    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,

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    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,

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    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,

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    art blog: http://hrartwork.blogspot.co.uk/


    "Don't worry about your originality. You could not get rid of it even if you wanted to. It will stick to you and show you up for better or worse in spite of all you or anyone else can do" Robert Henri
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  31. #24
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    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.

    CA sketchbook: http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=245741

    Deviantart: http://luthertaylor.deviantart.com/
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  33. #25
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    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,

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    A quick water colour study of the sunset and clouds (tube watercolours I find better to use than tablet ones, more opaque!),

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    Visited my nans today, two pencil drawings,

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    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!

    art blog: http://hrartwork.blogspot.co.uk/


    "Don't worry about your originality. You could not get rid of it even if you wanted to. It will stick to you and show you up for better or worse in spite of all you or anyone else can do" Robert Henri
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    cool, stuff in this thread for sure.

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  36. #27
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    wow your doing really great. It's prity refreshing to see someone whos hammering the traditionals and not purely digital. Also great job on hammering the perspective nice and early, it's usually something people miss because its prity boring, i know i'm included ;p
    The line quality in that drawing of the flowers in the pot and the gestures is really great. Keep up the hardwork, its paying off and great to watch. Thanks

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  38. #28
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    hanshotfirst: Thanks

    warburton: thanks for the encouragement and positive feedback. I'm still not 100% there on the perspective, especially three point. But I do intend on studying it much further, when it comes to that point :p
    thanks for the comment on the line quality, I actually thought I erased too much on that one, but the flowers did come out quite well, I feel as though I got a bit of their quality through the lines. thanks

    Another chess page, this is one is quite busy. I ended up redoing the white king as I wasn't satisfied with the original. I've said this before, but lately I have been trying harder to produce pictures more satisfying to myself, I try to work on them until they look right. The editing on the computer actually took longer than the drawing, it's quite frustrating, so in the end I drew the grid on paper, it's just the speech bubbles, text and arrows in photoshop, took about 3 hours in total,

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    As I said before, i've started to look at art history again. I decided to do a composition study of one of Rembrandts paintings. I learnt from this that having a few large masses, beautifully shaped and limited in tones can be interesting to look at and difficult to achieve in it's own way. Faces are more defined by shadows than by features alone, if that makes sense. A lot of elements echo each other in pieces like this. Negative shape is just as important as positive shape, in this painting the face is very much defined by it's shared contours. strong contrasts bring your attention to her face, whilst the background stays as a background. The face is quite complex, but the shadow shapes can be broken down into simpler masses. I felt as though I learnt a bit. including the original,

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    art blog: http://hrartwork.blogspot.co.uk/


    "Don't worry about your originality. You could not get rid of it even if you wanted to. It will stick to you and show you up for better or worse in spite of all you or anyone else can do" Robert Henri
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  39. #29
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    Spent five hours tonight doing a master copy of a William Bouguereau painting. I feel really tired now. Damn it, after I finished I overlaid the pictures and saw that some of my measurements were way out, but I couldn't see them at the time I was drawing. I was checking measurements all the time whilst doing the drawing... Is this a big problem? Can inaccuracy be overcome? I want to be more accurate!

    in a B pencil, A4, with the original alongside it,

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    I started really lightly and generally, trying to see the dominant patterns in the picture, trying to find repeating lines of gesture. I gradually refined the under drawing until I thought it looked reasonably accurate, or as accurate as I could make it. I did rush this stage a little and guessed at some of the measurements, which is where I could have gone wrong.

    After that, just studied the form and kept refining. I don't think I looked at the original enough, I spent too much time looking at mine. What was helpful was to sit back and compare the two from a distance, it helped to spot the odd inaccuracy. But still, i'm mad at myself for being lazy with the measurements. About 3 1/2 hours in I got tired, and things got a little sloppy. The only thing I can do is keep trying, and maybe go for a simpler drawing to study next time

    art blog: http://hrartwork.blogspot.co.uk/


    "Don't worry about your originality. You could not get rid of it even if you wanted to. It will stick to you and show you up for better or worse in spite of all you or anyone else can do" Robert Henri
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  40. #30
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    This is the work from yesterday, I scanned it in last night, but just felt too tired to write a decent post about everything. It was nice to have a day off so I could do more, though at times free time can be overwhelming, the drive to get something done on work days is stronger, it's a little strange.

    Another page of the comic, I'm not too far off the end of it now. It was a struggle to begin with but I'm really pleased I kept at it, at least I can then say to myself I've drawn and written a comic, I've finished something,

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    Some drawings from life and imagination (girl with the horns) in pencil, i need a lot more practice with the stuff from imagination. The drawing of my nan (full body) doesn't look right either, I like the legs but not the rest... I just need to keep going, keep observing, observe more closely.

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    Some gestures from quickposes.com (The Natural Way to Draw), 30 30 second drawings, these were the pick, in biro,

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    I spent some time yesterday doing master-copies. This time I tried to not go into details but look at the overall structures of the compositions. I did three still life studies, two figure studies (again, I've placed the originals alongside the drawings). I started to use cross hairs as I kept getting the placement wrong, is this a bad habit to get into?

    The first, Van goghs Sunflowers,

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    First of all, there is a harmonious colour scheme and not strong contrasts between the background and the subject. The horizontal line at the bottom of the page has somewhat of a flattening effect. The picture is well-balanced, the four areas of negative space around the flowers are roughly the same size. All the flowers have a balancing flower opposite them, cover up any of the flowers in the painting, and the painting becomes unbalanced. The circular form of the pot and the sunflower heads are unifying elements, The stems lead to the centre of the painting, but the variety in the petals and heads keeps the viewers eyes moving.

    Another still life, I can't remember the artists name but I think it was by one of the impressionists,

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    The is a contrast between the vertical of the vase and the more organic shapes of the flowers. The centre of interest is in the upper half of the painting, the eye tends to travel upwards, especially up lines. The centre of interest is also brighter than the rest of the painting. Flower forms are echoed within the vase, the background is kept simple, it doesn't compete with the subject. The specks at the base of the painting suggest depth, unity and keep the eye busy.

    The last still life, again, I cannot remember the name of the artist, i just liked the painting ,

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    There is a strong triangle formed by the top of the vase and secondary objects, this leads your eye around and within that area. Dark masses are balanced by bright hues and tones. A series of ellipses formed by the bowl, vase and glass lead your eye in steps up and diagonally across the painting. The vase may be central, but the painting is roughly split into three horizontally and vertically, which balances the painting. There is a lot of variety in the forms too. The background is neutral in comparison to the subject.

    Next is a Rembrandt study,

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    The diagonals or triangle shape formed by his body lead your eyes to his face. His face is also the area of highest contrast and interest, placed at the top of the page. There is an area of counterpoint in his hands, which balances the composition and leads your eye to travel between the two. I can also see evidence of the golden rectangle in his face, the relation of his head to his body, the relation of the hands to the lower body. Try blocking the hands and see how it effect the composition.

    Lastly, a study of a Sargent painting,

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    What's amazing is the amount of colour variation he can get in his creams and whites. A large area of the painting is taken up by lighter colour, the darker colour of the rugs at her feet balance this. The figure is slightly off centre, but the direction of her gaze is towards the object of interest at the centre. She is also built up out of a series of triangles formed by her face and clothing, contrasting the verticals of the pillars. All quite high key and again, you can split the painting into thirds, from her head up, her head to her feet, from her feet to the base of the painting. This time the centre of interest is at the bottom of the painting, the top is free, open space.

    let me know if you can spot anything else, :p

    I then went and did a charcoal and chalk self portrait on toned paper. I had intended to work on the composition and generalities more, but again I got lost in details almost effective immediately, only thing to do is to try again. Maybe a still life would be simpler to compose?

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    art blog: http://hrartwork.blogspot.co.uk/


    "Don't worry about your originality. You could not get rid of it even if you wanted to. It will stick to you and show you up for better or worse in spite of all you or anyone else can do" Robert Henri
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