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The last time I was semi-active on this site was around 2009. Since then I've fallen in and out of drawing and my latest hiatus lasted around a year(with doodles and whatnot in between). Currently I'm employed as a designer and I've recently gotten "serious" about drawing again after realizing that design isn't my passion at all. Going forward I'll commit to a productive practice regimen starting with the fundamentals again. As for my goals, illustration is a skill I'm developing for the sake of developing it, and maybe someday I'll be lucky enough to make a living off of it.
For now here's some scans from my sketchbook this month:
Earlier this month, at a mammoth/mastodon exhibit at a local science museum. Pencil.
Mammoth skull, part of a huge full body replica. Really hurt my neck constantly looking up. Pencil.
Still life of petrified wood. Pen.
Still life of knife on ash tray. Pen. Unfortunately near the end I had reached the limits of my willpower and ended up half-assing the bottom of the ashtray. Would have been a great place for a break to revisit it later but I've now learned my lesson about that.
I'm going through seedling's great exercises outlined in this thread: http://www.conceptart.org/showthread.php?t=81332
The assignment above was to draw a landscape or an interior scene and add an imaginative element to it. Some anatomy work on the top too.
From seedling's thread, the assignment was to draw an object from life, and then based off of that drawing, do a new rendition of it changing it in some way. Pen.
Still lifes used to be fairly daunting to me so I'm glad I can approach them with confidence now and plow through them without giving up half way through. I should really slow down and spend more time observing and lightly building up my under-drawings though. My form is still questionable and drawing ornate textures really challenges me so I'm thinking I should work on some simpler objects under more controlled lighting.
How to even begin learning anatomy still eludes me, but for now I'll memorize some of the major muscles part by part and do equal amounts of drawing from anatomical illustrations, photographs, life, and imagination. If you know of a good approach to beginning anatomy I'd greatly appreciate you sharing it!
The weather in Colorado keeps on getting better these days so I'll be out and sketching in the sun soon here! Woo!
Last edited by yoshikee; April 1st, 2013 at 08:58 PM.
hey! great start!
i think your design background shows, in how you divide up everything you do into big form blocks, which i think is a good thing.
great work on those elephants on the first post
just two things,
i think taking breaks and working on pieces over multiple sessions is a great thing to do whenever you have the opportunity to. i working on a single piece over 5 sessions means you might learn more and end up with as near a perfect as a pic as you can get, then go for it!
and a suggestion for ornamentation, its good to mentally subdivide the ornamentation into larger shapes and block those in first (light/pencil etc) and then progressively block in smaller details. if you can actually understand and memorise the actual pattern then recreating it on paper will be easier too. compare that approach to trying to copy each detail, bit at a time, from left to right, without any consideration for the whole, you probably get what i mean.
beginning anatomy: i floundered with this for over a year. my initial approach was to do what you just said, try to memorize major muscle groups and copy from photos. personally i think a wiser approach would be to focus on understanding the core, laaaarge, maaaain proportions of the body: head to torso, torso, hips, arms and legs. if you can draw a figure with these in proportion, even without any muscles or detail, its going to look way better than the other way around, if you draw a figure with all these muscles placed in the right places but no overall proportion or harmony.
either way, i think it takes a lot of thinking and personal investigation into how the hell to learn to draw it.
and personally, i think the best way to really get a glimpse of what is essential in order to start figure drawing, is to draw figures from life in the street. when i did this, i was immediately confronted with how unable i was to capture any information at all, or how to improvise with whatever i had seen once the figure had moved or left. this forced me to consider what is foundational and necessary in order to capture a figure in the least amount of time, to consider the minimal lines that would give me the maximum results. im by no means good at this, but what im trying to say is that the fact of trying to capture from life will make you ask yourself those questions, and that is where you need to be. hint: muscle groups won't help at this stage, but putting a few quick blocks as head/torso together, or doing gestures, certainly will
anyway i hope this drivel helps, these days im dropping suggestions everywhere and not yet sure if im helpful or spamming
i've diffidently been there, spending long periods with not drawing. you have my support.
about your reflections on those still still lives, i agree with building up your drawing. drawing is really procedural. building shapes, cutting away, building onto them. simple to complex.
texture is gonna be challenging, but keep in mind that your just drawing light reacting differently to objects. the more you understand the better you can apply it.
about anatomy, it really starts in the gesture, the action, after that you can start building up. working to larger masses box forms and spheres adding anatomy as the forms develop. its probably better to draw a figure and have an anatomy chart at hand to see what muscles you are seeing, learning from that instead of drawing muscle charts from a book or trying to learn them outside their relation to the action
Crows should always wear disturbingly tall top hats.
Some machine photo studies. Working on perspective as well. Very challenging and mentally taxing stuff.
Raptor skull from observation of a replica, and some cars I drew while waiting in a parking lot.
I've found drawing people in action poses from imagination to be quite fun and motivating so I'll be working on those more and will upload them later.
Aks9 and Deputyballer, thanks for the advice. I'll go to the park this week and draw some people in motion, and definitely shift my anatomy focus from micro->macro to macro->micro. It really makes sense that I have to build a working knowledge of the human body as a whole and then add details to that, now that I think about it. Thanks for elucidating that matter.
For now my main focus is in perspective so I can polish my form building skills on structures, machinery, and the like, while still working on humans/animals. From there, once I have a more solid grasp on basic form/perspective, I'd like to add more organic subjects to my drawing material. I think this is a sound strategy. I'd also like to do more work on action poses and character designs for motivation and flexing my imagination.
Then again, I might be trying too hard to think strategically. Putting the necessary work in is what really matters.