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Thread: Economy Of Line

  1. #1
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    Economy Of Line

    Typical story here, recently got back into art after a long hiatus and looking to take it further.

    I plan on following a classical approach so I'll be doing some Bargue plates, life drawing and lots of quick figure studies to keep my hand loose. Ultimate goal is learning to paint in oils.

    I'm a perfectionist by nature so expect lots of overly critical comments! Hopefully looking back on this sketchbook in the months to come I'll see some progress.

    Here are a few recent sketches, I've been working in pen to try and improve the quality of my lines:

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  3. #2
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    Some more sketches after Sargent and Guptill (rendering in pen and ink) one after Harold Speed and a few of my own. Absolutely hate the Loomis method of constructing heads but I keep going back to it - I'm a glutton for punishment.

    Going to visit Lavender Hill Studios in London tomorrow. Would love to go there next April for a year but can't really afford it, will be interesting to see though. Hoping someone there can give me a few pointers on using vine charcoal as its driving me nuts



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  4. #3
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    Here are a few more sketches that will bring me up to date:

    Bargue plates - I don't get carried away with these so I would guess the longest I spent on one page was 4 hours (the profiles.) I think my time is better spent producing multiple less finished bits for now, I used to spend hours doing pencil portraits so I don't really feel like going down that road! I will do a more complex one soon and see how far I can take it

    Figure drawings - I have literally been using charcoal for a week so I have a long way to go with it. One of the below is a copy of a drawing by an artist called luca Indraccolo, I'm trying to learn from his approach. I think I am struggling most with edges so I have spent today practising those. The two last ones are from life drawing class. Managed to destroy one by putting a harsh black line round it then went the other way at the next class - too light! I'll get there...The portrait took 45 mins with grayscale markers. Sneaked a couple of Bargue figures in and tried to quickly render them.
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    Last edited by Skill3ss; November 6th, 2012 at 04:30 PM.

  5. #4
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    These are the drawings from today (so far) practising with charcoal. Trying to take care with edges and really look at what im drawing. Feel like I learned a bit just from doing these. I did the pencil sketches this morning before walking the dog. Probably about 20 - 30 mins each.

    One of the images scanned strangely.


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  6. #5
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    Your story is familiar to me! I took a long hiatus too. But, it doesn't seem to me that your skills suffered much for it! You have beautiful work here and I look forward to seeing more I have to say the line drawings in your first post are my favourite so far.

  7. #6
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    Thanks very much anivy - I like doing continuous line drawings, they always seems to loosen me up. Feel like I have a loooong way to go - especially with rendering and drawing from imagination.

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    Nightshift for me the last couple of days. Managed to squeeze in some real work despite my hectic work schedule /sarcasm.

    Few heads, majority from imagination but some are photo studies (page with eye patch woman). I can only draw two types - pouty and pensive or Smirking. Need to work on facial expressions. The Bridgman type ones are non referenced - making sure that I retain all this information.

    Tried one of the Hogarth style multi limbed figures. Can see the value in this but need to work on the hands!

    Couple of perspective photo studies - weak point for me.

    A regular feature of this sketchbook will be drawings going off on a tangent when they aren't going well. I also like to smash my pencil through the paper in rage. Record is 7 pages at 150 gsm. I'm sure with the right attitude and hard work I'll better this



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    Last edited by Skill3ss; November 9th, 2012 at 04:38 PM.

  9. #8
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    Your shading is excellent -the only reocurring issue I see is that the eyes are often a bit too far apart, otherwise it's really an amzing start!
    Visit my Sketchbook!
    Comments appreciated and will be returned! c:

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  11. #9
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    Been busy the last week but managed to squeeze in quite a bit of work. Apologies for the massive upload...

    Charcoal value studies - about 45mins each. Enjoy doing these, feel like im getting somewhere with the charcoal now but it's a slow process. The weird ball thing is a dog toy on a rope.

    Bargue plate - about 8 hours over the last few days. Rushed in there at the start and probably spent two hours fixing the huge mistakes I had made. Must approach these with the right mindset (which is half the point anyway) and keep my lines confident. It hasn't scanned very well and looks much better irl.

    Sketchbook pages from last two days, all in pen.

    I'm on a massive hands fest soon to be followed by feet. Some from imagination, some from photo reference and a few from "Drawing Dynamic Hands" by Burne Hogarth. I like the book but his illustrations are very busy and idealised. I wish my hands looked like that!

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  12. #10
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    Another big update from the last few days. Would have been even more but I've left about 8 sheets of A4 hand studies on the desk at work

    You'll just have to take my word for it!

    I'm in a bit of a quandary at the moment as to how much time I should spend on my stuff. Quantity or quality? I'm starting to think I should be focussing on the latter, I'm maybe in a little bit too much of a rush to improve - I know I can produce refined work when I set my mind to it. Anyway, spent four hours on the following Bargue plate. Feel much better about it than the last one which was a mess.

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    Following are various figure drawings and studies on A1 newsprint. Some are from a book called Figure drawing in Charcoal by Douglas R Graves. He suggests using vine charcoal and I used willow which is a bit more difficult but I'm enjoying it as vine feels really "scratchy." Again I think I need to slow down and take these further. Sorry these are a bit big. Still getting used to scan and upload.

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    And here are a bunch of Bridgman studies for your delectation. Any crits or comments welcome..

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  13. #11
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    those bridgeman studies help soooo much they look really solid too, if you have the time check out michael hamptons work its similar to bridgeman in the sense they both take the gestural-placement-volume in anatomy, your charcoals skills are good too im so jealous hahaha, it feels you are already back on the horse just keep drawing and posting so we can see C: wish you the best

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  15. #12
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    Thanks for the kind words. i think i still have a long way to go with charcoal but at least I'm enjoying it : )
    I just had a quick look at Michael Hamptons stuff, looks really helpful. Will have to do some studies from that now...

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    Really great sketchbook! Exactly the kind that has me burning with envy Btw i think you're right: quality over quantity, i think you can only get good when you really stick with a drawing until it's the best it can be. Also a good way to see your flaws as some - maddeningly - only show up at the last stages!

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  18. #14
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    Thanks KP. Doing these Bargue plates certainly encourages me to invest more time into a drawing - now I have to apply that to some charcoal pieces.

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    Really good work buddy its great to see how you have thrown yourself back into your art. I am bit of a perfectionist too and very self critical and I think with art that's no bad thing as long as it does not stop you working. But by the looks of it you have enough fire to just keep churning it out. Like the classical approach you are taking I can see that this is going to develop into a very interesting thread. Great start, amazing to see how quickly you have got a handle on charcoal the studies are really looking good. I really like the way you pay attention to the form of the object as you render. Keep it up you can go really far. I really admire your work ethic.

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