Sketchbook: Batzarro's Sketchbook
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    Batzarro's Sketchbook

    I'm possibly an unusual person, in that I know more art theory than having actual experience drawing. Looking back, I now see that I got really into reading and collecting 'How to Draw' books, but barely ever actually practiced the theories they held. This is probably due to that fact that I'm lazy, and procrastinate like it's a professional sport.

    Starting a Sketchbook thread is a big deal to me, I totally suck at drawing, but I want to get better. I've drawn on and off through my life for many years, but overall haven't done enough, or been consistent. It's difficult for me to show anyone my stuff, because it's so bad. But because I've read so much, I do in fact mostly know what my weaknesses are, and what I need to learn. So my reason for making this Sketchbook isn't to get creative criticism, it's more of a personal thing, I don't like any kinds of pressure, but I've got to start fighting it. In other words, making this Sketchbook will hopefully push me to get better, because I need to post my progress. It is a kind of responsibility.

    You can of course give me criticism, but I'm already very much aware that my drawings are messy scribbles, they lack direction, imagination, and are never made to be final pieces. Which reminds me, I feel I should explain the reasons why some of that is the case; I can barely remember last time I started a drawing with the intent to finish it. I think the reason is that I'm very critical of my work, so started reading guide books, but never got anywhere, so I kind of got stuck in this limbo where I couldn't have fun anymore just drawing. It always had to an exercise of some sort. Now, that's kind of bad, but that's just the way I am now. But it's OK, because even though I'm going to be sticking to that system, this time I'm going to actually taking in the guide books properly. As in, read a section, and practice what it says until I thoroughly understand it. Another reason I want to start drawing again, is because I want to find out if I'm creative or not. When I was young, I used to think I was creative, but maybe I was just fooling myself.

    I feel the need to explain my current tastes, so that you know what I'm going for; The first thing is that I like to draw figures, male and female humans, my main goal is to get good at this. I mostly like cartoony stuff, I love most of DC Comics animated TV shows, especially Bruce Timms stuff. I like character designs that are fairly simple, constructed in a way so that they could be animated. I prefer 2D animation, but when I think of characters, I'd like to think they could be modeled in 3D as well. Bruce Timms style is quite angular and blocky, I like it that way. I feel I have a good grasp on perspective, this has led me to liking drawings that have a solid, three dimensional feel to them. I'm currently reading 'Figure Drawing - Design and Invention' (Michael Hampton), which is excellent. My trail of thought at the moment, when it comes to drawing, is to gradually construct the figure through 3D objects like cubes.

    I like to draw cubes, I know it's simple stuff, but I have been learning quite a bit from them. This probably all started years ago when I discovered a channel on YouTube called 'Ten Minute Drawing Techniques'. It introduced me to Mark Chong (aka moatdd), his tutorials really opened my eyes to a lot of things, he's the first one to explain perspective to me properly. I'm still not great at his exercises, but I plan to go back to them soon.

    Oh also, by the way, I probably won't be working in colour any time soon. I feel like that is step 2, while I'm still not good at step 1. I've done almost nothing in colour, it doesn't interested me at the moment. I may go into simple grey scale shading a some point, to learn lighting, but no colour for now. Sorry for the massive amount of text, but I may actually post quite a lot of text in the future. I want to lay out my thoughts, almost like a diary. I hope that's OK, and not against some forum rules or something.

    Scans of some drawings coming soon, having problems uploading images.

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    Last edited by Batzarro; June 16th, 2013 at 05:00 PM.
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    Unhappy

    Again, I will say, I am a complete novice. I'm posting these pictures here just to give people an idea of my skill level, they were originally not intended to be seen by anyone. Sorry for the image bleed (from the other sides of the paper), this happened when I darkened the scans to make my pencil lines more visible. Images in the future won't look this bad. Also I will normalize the sizes in the future too. These images are kinda in the wrong order, the older ones are at the bottom, FYI.

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    \^_^/ Keep it coming man!

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    Hey Bat, welcome and kewl start. Yeah we don't mind a heavy text as long as you have a heavier work load. Also watch your cubes, the lines seem to converge at different vanishing points, really think about where those lines would vanish instead of just plotting them out without much thought. Hey good luck man.

    If you have a moment, Help me improve with critiques. thank you Sketchbook

    Awesome Sketchbooks
    nim Mechanical Man King Kostas
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    Great start to the sketchbook, a much better start than mine was. You seem to have a fairly good grasp on the construction methods for the human body which is always a great start (and something I still really struggle with. As for the perspective work, as TNiznet pointed out some of the lines seem to be just arbitrarily drawn in without thinking about where exactly the vanishing point is. I've spent a lot of time working with perspective recently, and have been reading through 'this' book. It's a little hard to follow at times but it's helped me a lot so far. I'll try and dig out some more links to resources I've found useful in the past if you think it'll be helpful.

    Other than that, keep it up.

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    Thanks Ancient Drake, TNiznet. And thanks Chachava, that book looks interesting, and cheap! The last book I read solely on perspective was good, I must look it out again, it's been years. It had a little guy in it which had a cup for a head, if I recall, lol.

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    I had problems getting to the CA website for quite some time, but it's working now.

    Here's some drawings, it's all terrible, but I figured I'd upload just to show I'm still trying. I'm going to try to concentrate on more specific things after this, because I feel I'm all over the place. I know it's all total garbage at the moment, but I'll try to improve. I need to get some goals clearer in my head. Just so you know, the dark areas on the skull image are not shadows or shading, it was just me drawing over the skulls shape a little, to get a feel for it.

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    As stated in my past post, I've decided to try to focus on something, I've chosen the head and face. Not really because I have a desire for the head, it could have been anything really. Though there are reasons why I chose it, namely it's main parts are just the skull and the jaw, so bone wise, not many moving parts. Yes there are the complicated facial muscles, but I won't be getting into them yet.

    I did these drawings yesterday, from top left to bottom right, chronologically. My first hurdle was the nose; I had this real issue with understanding the planes of the nose which join with the face. Not the nose itself, exactly, but where it fits inbetween the eye sockets. It's hard to explain. Theres the brow, which then dips and cuts into the skull, then comes back out again to form the cheek bones. The nose sits on the face, but also partly goes into that cut in the skull as well. It's confusing. I started to understand it and got better at it, but it's still something I have issues with. I think the main reason is this - When I start to draw anything that is more complicated than a cube, I begin to lose my way, I lose my way on that 3D object. I do understand curves in 3D space fairly well, but when an object gets complicated and overlaps itself, I get lost. Yeah, actually overlapping stuff is an issue for me.

    The second issue I had started near the end of yesterday, so I haven't figured it out yet. It's the jaw. Really the teeth area, actually. But it's not because of any great mystery or anything like that, I'm sure if I study it some more, I will gain a better understanding. It's just the teeth area didn't seem to fit well into the rest of the skull that I'd been learning so far.

    Another issue I have might sound a little odd, but I will explain; I actually don't want to draw like this at all, lol! I am not that interested in drawing super detailed, rendered, or life-like stuff. I much prefer cartoony, simplified stuff, like one of my favorite artists is Bruce Timm. I am also more interested in animation styles, like Bugs. But I am trying to learn all the details and muscles of humans, because when you ask pros and read guides, they say that you've got to learn to draw real life first. And then when you know how everything works, you can deform it, and simplify it. So yeah, I guess that's what I'm doing, and I understand what they mean, but sometimes.... I dunno, it all seems a little pointless. I look at some great artists work and I think, umm, I don't think they know all those many many muscles in an arm, they have just drawn a tube! And it looks great! A couple of weeks ago, I spent time on buses trying to memorise muscle names from a book. It started to feel pointless, I'd forgot why I was doing it in the first place. I remember when I was a kid, I drew this great pic of Ren and Stimpy. I kinda wish I never started to read guide books back then, coz they told me to learn all this complicated stuff, and perspective. I tried, and it scared me off for many years. I eventually went back to it, and I now have a basic understanding of perspective. That's one good thing that came of it, but I've also never done a nicer drawing than that Ren and Stimpy one. In fact I don't think I've made a single 'finished' peace of work since then. It's just a thought, though.

    Cheers.

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    Yo, so here I am, giving advice/opinion that I'm not sure of myself and its validity. I think, for the parts of the face, it's proportions and their actual shape and positioning, for example the last 3. The perspective seems to be running off and you seem to be prolonging things more than you actually need to and it becomes skewered, I think I have the same problem, the one to the bottom left on the face area seems to be going in the right way, maybe you need to approach it like a lego, just see it all in blocks and then just shape them more and more. Get a skull if you can, touch it and feel it, then draw it while looking at it and feeling what you felt before when touching it, feel how it curves around, study it.

    That kind of relates to what you said about forms and that you get lost. You need to do more still life, get basic shapes, like a can/bottle of coke/pepsi/beer/vodka. Or just your mobile phone, and then draw and construct the shapes. See how they go into each other, you have the luxury of coming up to it closer and examining it. As a whole it looks complicated, but when you start to simplify it and let go of the top most level of detail and start at the bottom level zero, it'll be a more bearable bite to swallow. With time, those shapes will be easier to understand, because you've already studied them. Don't they say that a human being is one of the most complicated things to draw, let alone construct?

    About the learning part, you basically answered yourself. Of course you could draw Ren and Stimpy perfectly, but maybe those would be the only ones you could draw like that, unless you'd learn how things work from it. Easier to just draw what you see without understanding it completely in the beginning I think, you just look for relatives and contours etc. but don't understand the construction side, as in, why it is like that. Take for example architecture, you could draw up a cool looking house, but would it work? How would you construct it and make it work without at least some basic knowledge of what can do what.

    Might be all babble but that's my 2 cents.

    Keep it UP!

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    Yeah as I figured, I just gotta learn more about how everything is built. I guess I've got to pay more attention to the small differences in the details of the skull, like where exactly the muzzle is placed.

    Thanks for the advice, AncientDrake.

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    Hello, Batzarro. If I may, some thoughts on what you write and draw.

    My impression is like you're drawing out of duty, like it's some sort of obligation. You're saying that you 'don't want to draw like this at all' yet you're doing it cause 'pros and guides' say you gotta do lots and lots of work like that. It seems like you think you have to do this sort of boring stuff a lot and then, someday in the future then you're finally knowledgeable and skillful, you can at last have fun drawing that you actually like. You yourself wrote that it seems kinda pointless to you.

    Also I noticed you're pretty hard on yourself calling that you do 'terrible' and 'garbage'. Be wary of that. We tend to think that this sort of 'negative motivation' will help us to strive for the better, yet it more often helps us to feel miserable.

    Maybe try to study the art and artists you like? If you like Bruce Timm, do some studies of him. Like cartoon and comic stuff? Do some studies of cartoon drawings you like.

    Maybe it doesn't have to be turned into some grueling work in hope that you'll have fun later. Why not have some of that fun right now?

    All the best to you man. Keep figuring it out.

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    Thanks Mihail, you have good points! I'm not sure if I can have fun anymore, but I will try. Unfortunetly I'm like that when it comes to a lot of things in life, nowadays.

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    These are mostly quick sketches from a life drawing class I just joined.

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    Here's some stuff I've done recently, mostly in life drawing class.

    What is the reason for study?; It is a means to an end, it is so that you can produce a finished peace of work, or make a design for something. I think I have forgotten this simple fact, even before I started drawing again a couple of months ago, in the long times between now and then, when I had given up drawing. So I'm going to try to make some finished work. I know that most people here will think I am ill-equipped for doing this, but our minds all work differently, some can study till the cows come home, and even end up loving it and perhaps only ever doing that alone. But I feel I am possibly not absorbing that much from my studies anymore anyway, perhaps making some finished work will give me some clear signs of what I need to learn, and perhaps some signs of what I want to do in general (because that is also a problem of mine). I can already tell that my imagination is rusty, perhaps it's gone all together and this new idea will fail, but it's worth a try. Though I'm still struggling to live by it, I constantly remind myself that I agree with the line - It's not how you draw, it's what you draw. I haven't known what to draw, of late, but I think that's the most important thing for me to work on, at the moment. FYI - I still won't be doing any colour or [probably not] any lighted stuff, though.

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