Good studies, I really like the idea of movement in your figure drawings. If you're accepting book recommendations for studying sessions, Force: Dynamic Life Drawing for Animators has some great lessons overall. Basically, it teaches about drawing pure force/movement instead of focosing on separate body parts that need to be assembled.
Hey, welcome and thanks for the SB comment. Don't worry about being intimidated. We all start somewhere, and everyone here is here to learn from one another.
As far as your sketchbook, so far so good. It's great that you're learning to draw the ol' fashioned way - paper and pencil. Stick with that for a while; it'll serve you well.
As you're first learning to draw, the most important thing to get down is your construction/perspective. The dvd series I always recommend to beginners is Scott Robertson's Basic Perspective Drawing. If you do everything on that disc and practice it consistently, you'll leap far ahead in your abilities. Keep working hard and I'll check your stuff out again after you've updated.
oops, I missed your reply in my SB. You posted right as I was working on my own post. Rather than bump my thread, I'll bump yours. Anyway, your story sounds rough. I feel for you, and I can relate in a few ways. Not sure I can give much in the way of practical advice (you're at the right place to learn, though: tons of resources around here), but I hope drawing ends up being something that brings you some needed self-esteem and gives you a sense of purpose, as it has for me the past couple of months.
It's not easy. It's very hard, by nature, and it can get to be a slow, grueling, boring grind. It's good that you're already used to that sort of thing, and know that slow progress and endless repetition yield results. BTW, I'll bet there are drugs for getting better at drawing too, and they're different from steroids. The colors! You probably shouldn't do those either, though.
I'm sure you've already seen some of the years-long sketchbook threads where people start off as relative newbs and end up being epic. I linked to it in my own thread, but Algenpfleger's is one of my favorites. There's also Miles Johnston. There's tons more, can't think of any right now. But, it can be done, if you stick to it and stay disciplined. That's something I have trouble with, haha. But the others who have done it always serve as a reminder. Good luck.
Yeah I've spent a lot of time being inspired so now its time to work lol. My story sounds rough but I think everyone has their own story with certain struggles. I was just being a little dramatic. I recently quit smoking cigarettes so the withdrawals have been smacking me around like a 2-dollar hooker. I didn't draw for a good 3 or 4 days but I think the most grueling part of the phase is over with because I finally started drawing again and will be making an update pretty soon.
So I took a short break for a few days but I'm back at it. Recently started studying Bridgman, but I'm still mostly studying perspective. You can probably guess which drawings are from imagination and which are studies. I do my self portraits by looking in the mirror so they are pretty challenging. I got frustrated with this particular portrait, I always struggle with the eyes. I really just don't enjoy doing portraits at all, they're not fun for me.
Hey man. I found your sketchbook from your post in diamandis' thread. I've gone a different path but I can relate.
Keep on drawing and don't pressure yourself, and don't compare yourself. A happy mind is an inspired mind.
You've got a nice feel for gestures and lines in your work, you just need practice to get more control over it. You can really see you're putting yourself into it, which is great. That last mountain piece and the warthog are really cool
I think a really good place to start is to practice drawing free-hand cubes, spheres, and long straight lines (the entire width of a sheet of paper. It's the most basic exercise, and one that almost everyone thinks they can skip over, but its actually surprisingly hard and anyone can learn a lot from doing it. I did 20minutes of cubes, spheres and lines to start my day everyday for weeks, those 20 minutes would sometimes go up to an entire hour because I wanted to get those spheres and cubes right and I noticed how I wasn't really managing it. This teaches you to have more control over your pencil, and develops patience/discipline, which in turns is helpful for any type of drawing.
There is a tutorial here which I recommend to everyone because it helps you think about *how* to think about the different aspects of drawing, how to divide different areas of study, etc. http://www.autodestruct.com/thumbwar.htm
Check out the "drawing fundamentals" and really try and practice drawing 3d shapes of all types, not just with perspective grids but also with your mind.
My final piece of advice is: pay attention to any tension in your wrist or forearm. If you're frustrated, your arm can lock up and drawing can be quite a painful frustrating experience. In order to have good control you need to be able to move your pencil over the paper with your arm being totally relaxed and free. Best to start practicing this as soon as possible, there are people who have been drawing for years and still have tense arms while they draw. If you've ever tried playing a musical instrument you'll know what i mean, it's really the same concept. Breathing consciously and keeping your arm totally relaxed is really important to having control over it, and to not get frustrated while drawing. Sometimes when I'm drawing it just doesn't seem to come out right, and it's nearly always because my arm tensed up without me realising it, or my breathing became very short.
anyway i hope this was helpful, keep drawing everyday!
Finally an update. Had to mentally beat myself up and mope around for a few days, lol. It was quite sad really, that I was thinking so negatively of myself. Then I started reading this book and it seriously snapped me out of it. It was like a slap to the face. Mastery by Robert Greene. Its working for me so far, maybe it will help you.
So I got out of my funk and I started drawing again. Started doing a lot of anatomy studies from Hogarth and Bridgeman. The android dude and the alien looking landscape were done from imagination. Recently saw Prometheus and it inspired me to draw an alien type of environment. Struggling a lot with pretty much everything but just working through it and trying to gain a better understanding.
There you go, aks9 gave you the kind of solid beginner-level advice I couldn't, hah. I pretty much just drew a lot as a kid growing up, didn't take lessons or read drawing books or anything, so it just kinda ... happened, and I never know what to tell newbies. But there are plenty of gaps in my own knowledge and abilities, and I've actually been looking for some good exercises like those to try (so thanks, aks).
Is that Mastery book you mentioned easy to condense to a short summary, or do you really need to read it to get anything useful out of it? I guess I could listen to the audiobook...
Hey thanks for the response guys! Glad this site is back. I'm going to be making a big sketchbook dump pretty soon I have 20+ images I need to upload. Right now my biggest challenge is learning Scott Robertsons techniques, I've spent many sleepless nights trying to figure it out like some kind of mad scientist, but its proving to be a bit of a bitch to learn. I ordered one of his books called How to Draw Cars the Hotwheels Way, so I'm hoping the book will clear some things up. I think you can only learn so much from videos, study the fundamentals through books, and then maybe watch some videos just to see how its done, but the videos alone aren't giving me what I need. This is unrelated but I also have been reading James Gurneys blog and his book Imaginative Realism, GREAT BOOK, one of the best I've ever read.
As for the audiobooks, you can get audio books off amazon, itunes, and some other sites with audiobook subscriptions. And then of course theres other methods.
Dude, that is an insane amount of work. I like the variety of subjects, too. It's easy to get fixated on faces and figures (cough, I'm guilty of this too), but I like that you include lots of other stuff too. Also, I just realized you're probably already plenty familiar with human muscles / anatomy, since you were a bodybuilder for so long.
btw, THANKS for that book recommendation. I really like it. It's starting to drag later on IMO, but the first couple chapters had me nodding in agreement, because they were confirming suspicions and realizations I'd come up with on my own over the past couple of months of learning this stuff. It's good stuff. I'll probably finish soon.
I agree with the panicked "DON'T GIVE UP" scan above. Here's another inspirational long-term improvement thread to show it can be done: Sam Carr. Like the book says, develop resilience and competence. It's not talent that separates masters from others, it's an emotional quality. (I took notes. I have a terrible memory, haha.)
Lots of stuff from imagination on this update. Always appreciate the feedback guys, I have trouble getting an honest critique on my work so I am always extremely grateful for any tips. Had some bad days, got over it, time to keep moving.
Umm also recommend seeing Deadsnow for any zombie fans out there, just watched it last night, very much enjoyed it. However don't watch a movie called Creature, it had promise in the beginning, but unfortunately fell into category of really cheesy/poorly done sci fi movie, which still good for entertainment purpose but all sense of coolness is lost. I also recommend seeing Escape from New York, awesome soundtrack.
Again, I'm not much for giving advice, but one thing I notice is that your heads seem a little long, so watch out for that. Dunno if you're using Hampton's method to construct them, but it wasn't that useful to me personally, and kinda confusing. There are too many question marks and guesstimates when drawing heads from imagination using his method. But I dunno, maybe that's just me, and maybe it works well for others.
Great sketchbook so far man. It's clear you're very passionate about pushing forward and developing yourself. You seem to throw yourself into your studies with energy. It's exciting and inspiring to see.
For a crit, I feel like the weakest aspect of your work right now is a lack of focus within the piece. Everything kind of has the same level of contrast and detail. And when you use color, it's in a disconnected, discordant kind of way. I know most of these drawings are structural studies, but it's also present in your landscape sketches as well. So my advice is to work in small thumbnail studies that focus on using value and color to create a composition with both unity and emphasis. Keep atmospheric perspective in mind and try to create an image that is readable despite being small and generalized.
It would also be nice to see more still life studies with an emphasis on accuracy. That will really test your ability to control your drawing and create believable forms with correct perspective, which will in turn improve your ability to draw human anatomy with believable forms in correct perspective.
diamandis - thanks for the tip, i really just havent spent alot of time drawing heads so it definitely shows. I think the best method is just to draw a shit load of em and then eventually something clicks lol (i hope?!?!). I'm starting to figure out proportions the more i draw them. if you know any better methods let me know though, i have hogarth and loomis just havent studied their head drawings too much yet
dierat - wow thanks for the crit, that is very helpful. ill try out some value thumbnails, and ill be sure to work in some life studies
Great variety so far , yet it's too early to say something about what direction you're taking. But you do look like you enjoy to draw mostly everything and that's good.
I'd suggesting concetrating a bit more on some of the aspects of detailing , and establishing the forms better and how the elements interact with each other. Some of the faces are very distorted and It'd be great if you drew some faces from real life , especially if you'd do some self portraits.
You'd improve much faster if you did some self-portraits and visualising your own self is a way to clearly see the form and how it works.
Until then , practice is king.
P.S : I'd suggest placing a drawing or image on your first post , because I believe whichever comment comes last , it becomes your thread's avatar. At least that's how it appears for me.
Officially burnt out from anatomy. These sketches are pretty crappy, Bridgmans stuff is kind of difficult for me to grasp. Anyway going to be doing a lot of Frazetta studies so my next update should be more interesting.
You already have visible improvement, and you're not even off the first page! Amazing volume of work, great variety. You're definitely going to go far at this rate. the only possible thing I could suggest is maybe doing more finished illustrations, but you're studying so well there's no way i could fault you for spending your time that way. Keep it up.
Dayumn, good hustle. Yeah, re: your earlier question about methods for drawing the head, I kinda just figured out my own crappy guesstimatey way, but it sucks and I need to find something better. I'll probably end up w/ a mishmash of different techniques. I'll probably get to Loomis soon, like you are. Or I'll take a break and study something else. I'm burned out on anatomy too, haha.