Sketchbook: Wanana's one year project
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    Wanana's one year project

    Hi there.
    I started drawing in mid-july this year and have been taking it very slowly until now. This will be the first time i'll be displaying my drawings to anyone and i hope it will push me in the right direction.
    I will try to post something new at least five times a week, any criticism and/or comment is very welcome. Don't be afraid to say what's on your mind.

    Things i want to improve on:


    -Anatomy: Know the rules before breaking them.
    -Gestures: I want everything to flow and be as natural as possible.
    -Color: Try to make everything sharp and vibrant instead of the muddy usual stuff.
    -Composition: Try to make it work with the gestures in a way that every drawing have some kind of harmony.
    -Control:. My technique and approach should be improved to a level where i'm drawing what i want and not just finding patterns in doodles and turning it into something else.

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    Let's get to work.

    Last edited by wanana; November 8th, 2012 at 07:19 AM.
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    Something from Vilppu's head leasson 1 and a skull from reference.

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    More Vilppu and a painting to get an idea of where i'm at.

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    More Vilppu's heads.

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    More Vilppu and some quick gestures.

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    Some gestures from Vilppu. Could really use some help with these.

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    Almost no time today, so just a quick one.

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    Barely managed to find some time today, but here it is.
    More Vilppu. Will probably keep doing his lessons for the 2 following weeks. Struggling a lot with foreshortening, but i'll get it somehow.

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    Hey there! You're doing really well so far, and it's good to see you so dedicated. I know CA can be pretty intimidating to newbies. So welcome!

    I hope you don't mind me taking one of your more recent studies and scribbling all over it. Uh, I am far from perfect, just letting you know. One of the things someone taught me a couple of years ago was how to see -- you know, "Draw what you see, not what you know." I thought it might help for me to point out how to better see your reference. All the practice in the world won't help you improve unless you truly see what's in front of you.

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    Here I put some red lines on both the ref and your piece so as to better point out the subtle differences between both. The head on the left is rounder. The values near the chin and fist are darker, and the fist isn't held so close to the mouth.

    I also put in a shape on both hands -- have a look at the difference between them. One thing people have been telling me a lot lately is to focus more on the *shape*, and not the outline. In this case, the red lines are the shape. The shape on the reference is much shorter, fatter, than the one on the right. The corner most to the right is the top right corner -- it sticks out more -- but in the pic to the right, the corner that sticks out most to the right is the bottom corner.

    I also drew a line down each face. The reference has the face tilted back more, so the line's more horizontal than the one on the right. What I often do to try and see a line is to picture a clock face; on the left it's about 1.30/2 o'clock, give or take, but on the right it's more like 12.30.

    Also, be careful of symbols! When we first start out drawing we focus less on what we see and what we know, and tend to draw things as looking like symbols instead of what's in front of us. Take a look at the eyes at the bottom -- when we're new we tend to draw eyes as almonds or oblongs, but they're a bit more complicated than that. You have the tiny triangle-like piece at the corner of the eye where you can see the muscle beside the eyeball. The upper eyelid and lower eyelid stick out. (Ha, yeah, mine's not perfect, sorry. I know a decent amount of theory but haven't practiced enough for my skill to catch up yet.)

    A couple of suggestions --

    - Try using the grid tool to help you better draw your lines. When certain parts of the drawing are framed by squares it's much easier to see how proportion works, and what lines truly look like when they're isolated like that.

    - Use the colour picker to get a better sense of how dark or light values are.

    Of course, you really don't want to rely on those suggestions -- do them for a few studies, then go without, to better train your eyes to see -- but since you're new, using the grid/colour picker will give you a much better idea of what something looks like. When you're getting better and you're stuck, too, it can help to dip back into that to get your bearings.

    Hope that helped, do post more soon! You're doing great, especially for someone who's only been drawing for a few months. It's great you're doing studies so early, it'll save you so much time. I spent years faffing about with my art, not doing studies, not drawing from observation, and if I'd been doing studies from the beginning I'd be leaps and bounds ahead of where I am now. So it's great you're doing that. Don't be afraid to take a break and do something for fun, though!

    Post again soon!

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    @Umbravita
    Thank you very much for taking the time to write your post, it was very helpful. I'm aware i have a problem of drawing everything very symbolized and i'm already trying to fix it. The red line you did was very helpful too. I did notice that the hand was not quite right, but i missed the head tilt. I will pay more attention to it from now on. As for the values, i'm still getting familiar with photoshop and painting in general, but i will put more effort on it in the near future.
    Once again, thank you very much.

    -

    For today i did some thumbnails and began Vilppu's box forms.

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    Vilppu and his boxes.

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    Bunch of random doodles with no reference to blow out some steam. Gonna get back to it tomorrow.

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    Oh boy.

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    Spent the day trying to figure out how to work with brushes and layers on photoshop. I think it'll make things a bit easier.
    Here's something just for the sake of saying i posted today.

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    Heya ! This is really good work, keep it up. In the beggining most of your drawings will not come up to your expectations but just keep doing them and the result will eventually show up. Don't mind people telling you that your drawings are "bad" or anything, every professional artist has gone through that proces. I started drawing 5 months ago and i've been drawing up to 3-4 hours a day i also started noticing my improvement after 3-4 months of hard work. So just keep doing your work and don't stop. At this stage the quality of your work is not so important. You should focus more on getting those proportions in your head and improving your technique. After half an year you can go back and check some of the sketches you did back then and compare them to your recent work. You will be amazed by how much you've improved.
    I noticed that reading books helps a lot. I found Bammes' anatomy quite helpful. It is not necessary to read the whole book, just read the rules about the basic proportions. And while you're doing studies do some work without referance. Also when drawing from reference don't just "copy" the artwork, but "study" it.

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    Hi Wanana, thnx for stopping by. Draw as much from life as you can that's my tip. When I ride the train I draw everyone around me. Defiantly watch your proportions, it took me a long time to improve them but slowly slowly it's happening.

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    @ivan4oto
    Thanks man, i'll be following your advice. You should start a sketchbook.

    @Samurai_Nik
    I've been trying to draw from life more often, but every time i'm in public i'm always moving, so i don't really have the time to sketch people out. I've been drawing some still lifes on my pen-and-paper sketchbook while i can't make the time to draw something else. I'm struggling with proportions. Most of the time i notice it but get too lazy to fix it. Yeah, i know. I'm working on it.
    Thanks for the tips, really appreciate it.

    -

    Here's a quick one i did today. No reference, just tried to find my way using the things i learned from the past studies. Bad idea. I really have to check whats that anatomy thing is all about.
    I will (hopefully) get back to Vilppu tomorrow.

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    Some guy and some Vilppu.

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    Proportions, man...

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    Messin' around on PS, trying to figure things out.

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    Hey there! I'm very impressed with your non-stopping work - keep it up!
    I am learning myself now, so don't take my words too seriously - this is what I figured out for myself and came to share with you ^^
    Can I ask you something about drawing from photos? Are you just trying to copy what you see as it is? Or are you trying to understand the form first? Because if you just try to copy - things wont work, or even if they do - you'll not learn much from it.
    Try to apply the base forms you've learned in your anatomy studies on the figure, try to see first how the forms interact, and - very important! - try to figure out the balance!
    To make your figure "flow" and not look somewhat stuck in unnatural position you need to figure out the balance. It's like the movement of a still body. What does it mean? Almost every pose can be represented with nothing but a few curved lines! These lines represent the way the body is bend/turned etc. and sometimes the contras. For example:

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    The main line is usually the one at the torso-head. Then there can be another line if the legs or the hands are in some interesting position, which requires the body to adjust itself to gain balance. Find first these lines and their interaction with each other, then build the figure based on these line, check the connections between the parts - "the knee is on the same line as the left ear", "if I draw a line from the elbow to the knee and continue it farther down, I'll get to the toes" etc. - then try flipping the image and see if it works - if it doesn't - do it again, so you'll feel the difference.
    Photos can be a great tool for figure study if you do it in a way that allows you to learn.

    Hope my explanations were somewhat understandable... Waiting to see more of your improvement!

    Last edited by Caturtle; November 28th, 2012 at 07:34 AM.
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    @Caturtle

    Thank you very much for taking the time to write me. Right know, when i use photos as references i try to understand the form, usually by turning what i see into simple shapes. I'm still struggling with this, most of the time i get myself distracted and end up drawing what i (think i) see and only realize it after i'm done. This concerns your comment about guide lines also. Although i plan on doing them when i start the drawing, i aways end up forgetting and getting too immersed in the drawing to remember them. I'm working on it right know, little by little.
    Do you see anything terribly wrong in the image you used as example?

    -

    Experimenting with some heads today. Still don't quite get it.

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    The example I used is a good one =) You can see how the body goes right with the main curve and the leg continues the line. If you try and focus on not to loose the "building" part when you draw from photo - you'll rapidly improve in my opinion.

    About the last face drawings - I tried to make some over lines for explanation, but since I only have "paint" on this PC it's not the best. I'll try to explain..
    Oh' and don't mind the purple ball XD
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    First of all - judging from the base "ball" and it's cut off side - the face is not looking straight, yet the center line is vertical... In other words you've missed the tilt. Try dividing the "small oval" (the cut off part) in to quarters and you'll see the tilt for the face.
    It appears we see the head slightly from the top. Therefore all the facial features should be seen from the same angle. In your case you make every feature more or less in the right place, but in different angles - eyes and nose are 3/4 and the mouth is up front view, the nose is from bottom view etc.Try to break the face into simple cubes in perspective first - find the right angle and turn.
    That is more or less what I have to say. Ask if something is not clearly explained - I'll try my best ^^
    BTW, on what are you basing your face study? I mean what books, tutorials etc.?

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    Kudos to you for having such a well focused start, it took me years to realize all that stuff is important, haha
    Your gestures have a nice flow to them, just keep pushing those anatomy studies, you're doing great! Can't wait to see how you progress further and further~

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    I really liked your cartoon sketch at the beginning of this thread.
    Any thoughts on developing this character? I also like the progress
    and work you are putting in as I am doing so myself (not digitally yet).

    I dabble a bit with the digi stuff, but more focusing on pencils right now.
    So keep posting as I am really like where you are going...I'll be looking
    for updates...

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    @Caturtle
    Your explanation was very helpful, i get what was wrong now, thank you very much. For the face studies i'm using the Michael Hampton book. I tried using Loomis, but i don't quite get his approach yet, i will give it another try soon.

    @DizzySun
    Thank you very much. I figured that if i have to do the studies anyway it's better to do it sooner than later. I really liked your drawings also, i wish i could let loose like that.

    @wannabeanimator
    Thanks for the comment. The thread cover drawing is not mine, it's from a show called Nichijou, you should check it out, there's some crazy good animation there.

    -

    Some 120 seconds gestures (not really happy with them, i still have to take my time) and more heads.

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    Lazy weekend.

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    Won't have much time to stay on the computer until the end o the year. Still going strong on the pen and paper sketchbook, but i don't own a camera/scanner.
    Will try to updade to help me keep track of what i was doing when i go back to review it. Right now i'm working on heads and a tiny bit of composition.
    Here are some doodles.

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