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  1. #151
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    It is now official - I LOVE drawing with charcoal pencils on smooth newsprint!!!

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    3 min & 5 min

    Croquis Cafe
    Last edited by Darkstrider; February 8th, 2014 at 11:06 PM.
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  3. #152
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    Tried today's study in alkyd paint on canvas - gahh!!!

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    What an insane roller coaster of frustration and elation! Sometimes the paint is a terrible goopy mess that you can't do anything with, sometimes you manage to push it around and make it look real nice (for a little while). Guess I'll get better if I stick with it. Anyway, I'm happy I discovered walnut oil brush cleaner and painting medium - no solvents to breathe in the studio now!
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  4. #153
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    Name:  2-10-14-gestures-3.jpg
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    5 min

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    Croquis Cafe
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  5. #154
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    Set up a little still life and tried a wash-in in burnt umber. Was having a fairly hard time, until after I thought I was done and I grabbed a little torn-off and folded-up piece of rag and started scrubbing the paint around. That's when I started to understand -- this is when you get control. At first you're just putting the paint down in generally the right places. After it's been sitting for a little while you can move it around beautifully - scrub it out, refine edges..

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    Not much to look at now, but it represents a quantum breakthrough for me, and if I keep doing it I'll oily get better. Lol, nice typo there! Oh, and I used walnut medium in the paint.

    The last thing I did was to scrub out all the brush-heads and re-paint them a good deal higher, which they needed. It's now the best part, and I did it differently fro the rest - by that point I understood you can make a rough brush stroke, dark all over, to represent a brush-head, then scrub part of it out to make it light and give it form. So THAT'S how you do that!! Haha - it's so awesome, it almost feels like a cheat!!
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  6. #155
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    Went back to work on it, knowing what I now know.

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    Still working it..

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    Last edited by Darkstrider; February 11th, 2014 at 01:32 AM.
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  7. #156
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    Last night's final progress

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    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  8. #157
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    Glazing today. Had to scrub out my initial efforts and try again, with a lot more medium/oil, and after mixing up some more neutralized versions of my colors.

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    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  9. #158
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    Name:  2-12-14-gestures-4.jpg
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    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  10. #159
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    You've been busy, nice work!

  11. #160
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    keep up the great work--especially the figure studies!
    and applying them to imaginative work =D

  12. #161
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    Pindurski & Muttdreams - thanks!! You're right Muttdreams, it's been a while since I did anything from imagination - it's been a lot of studies lately. Need to remedy that soon! Meanwhile - more studies

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    Reilly basic structure of the figure. Oops - forgot to add the sloping shoulder lines in the rear view. Drawing like tis is gonna take some getting used to..
    Last edited by Darkstrider; February 16th, 2014 at 12:12 AM.
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  13. #162
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    Cracking sketchbook Mike. Love the charcoal figures on newsprint and the still life is coming along great. A traditional Frazetta study what can I say, respect my man! Keep it up and if I can help with anything, don't hesitate to ask.

  14. #163
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    Hey Bri, thanks!! I definitely will ask if I get stuck on some point. So far I'm progressing in oil painting using books by Harold Speed, Solomon J Solomon, and The Reilly Method, which are all basically the same approach, a distillation of certain traditional oil painting methods long taught to students. Forget that vase painting, I went straight from an underpainting to glazing - taking too long!! I'm switching to direct painting with solid color like they recommend in the books, and I'm adding a drop of clove oil to the colors on my palette, which is supposed to keep them wet for up to a week, maybe more. Stinks like a dentist's office though.

    Here's the sketch for the painting exercise I'm about to start:

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    I really like this one - working more with tone than line, and after a pretty lopsided 1st attempt I switched to drawing structurally rather than trying to put down the contour. Being on this site is really making me start to think like a painter.
    Last edited by Darkstrider; February 17th, 2014 at 09:08 PM.
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  15. #164
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    Name:  Memento Mori-1.jpg
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    At this point I thought my lightest color was waaay too dark..

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    Until I got some actual dark around it!
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  16. #165
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    Final progress for today:

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    (replaced with better photo next day)

    I'm definitely doing something wrong - the paint shouldn't act this way. I think it's because I used some really old oil paint that was stiff as hell and thinned it with nothing but walnut oil. It ended up like a thick gel, and whenever I'd put some on I'd have to spend 10 minutes carefully lifting off most of it because it was too - I don't know - wet, thick, something. It was leaving thick ridges from the brush bristles. I probably did a lot more work scrubbing with rags and brushes than actually painting. And even though halfway through I realized the light values are too light and put in some darker paint over it, they're STILL way too light.

    And my shoulders are sore as hell from holding the brush out in front of me all day - somehow it hurts both shoulders even though I only used one.

    But I consider it a good day spent painting. More mistakes down, closer to knowing how to do this right. And I really do like the way it's starting to look.
    Last edited by Darkstrider; February 19th, 2014 at 04:19 PM.
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  17. #166
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    Name:  Memento Mori-6.jpg
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    I can't even tell you how freakin' DONE I am with this one!! What a nightmare - today when I'd put paint down over yesterday's paint and then try to blend, it would behave totally unpredictably - sometimes it would work fairly well, sometimes yesterday's paint would lift up instead, sometimes unexplainable dark areas would appear around the area.

    I'm pretty sure it's because yesterday's paint is still wet - must be too dry to work into (tacky stage) but not dry enough to work OVER yet. That's it - Im scraping this damn paint off my palette and throwing it away - next time I go back to my more familiar alkyds that dry overnight. I suspect you can't really do an alla prima that stays workable for several days (at least not with the weird viscosity of paint I'm using).
    Last edited by Darkstrider; February 19th, 2014 at 10:29 PM.
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  18. #167
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    Name:  Karate-Hottie-06.jpg
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    Last edited by Darkstrider; February 22nd, 2014 at 10:44 PM.
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  19. #168
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    Name:  Leftie03.jpg
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    2 hrs.
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  20. #169
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    Hi Darkstrider, thanks for passing by my SB. You have a great sketchbook here, really cool that you do traditional too. I'd like to follow your progress so I'm subscribed now.

    Cheers
    Sketchbook .....critique appreciated

  21. #170
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    The Modern Venus

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    2 hrs.
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  22. #171
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    Comp 1.1 exercises

    My Level Up stuff so far:

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    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  23. #172
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    Hey Darkstrider, this a pretty amazing sketchbook and your progress is really evident.

    You commented on my sketchbook and I thought I would check yours out, and having looked it over I thought I might share some advice. This is from someone who has struggled with gesture to the point of absolutely hating it. The problem I think was that no one could give me a solid definition of what gesture was and because everyone approaches it differently you can't really get a sense of what it is from looking at their work, but you do know the difference between good gesture and bad almost immediately.

    The best definition I found was by Vilppu, I think in one of the free preview videos off his site, and that is "gesture is the essence or character of the subject". In other words, what is the bare essential information, those lines that make that subject unique. In figure drawing when the character of the model is their pose, the gesture is about movement (not the contour), but it applies to all drawing, or at least I think it does. In a still life the gesture might be the arrangement of the shapes/forms, and in a landscape it might be the continuity of the composition. Realizing this made my life so much easier, and eventually a lot more fun.

    The other thing that helped me was rhythms. When it comes to organic forms, rhythm is everything, again only my opinion. And one of the best ways to get that to come across is to not lift you pencil of the paper while you are sketching. And keep it quick. You hand should constantly be moving. I think this is basically designed to keep your brain out of the drawing process, ironically. And I think that with approach, you will find yourself getting quicker anyway. When you use single lines, one after the other, your brain has to think about where to place each one (we also get stressed about if that one line is the right line), which can get a little disjointed, but if it is one continuous line, there is less thinking...I think. Just keep it light, then go back over those lines you can be confident about. If you are worried about getting to messy, you could also try ghosting the continuous line, as long as you are moving your hand continuously.

    Anyway, this just some thoughts to try. I have found they have really helped me, and not just in figure gesture drawing, but all my drawing. When you get a handle on rhythms and gesture, it sort of invades all your other types of drawings, which is kind of cool. So, take it on board or not, either way, good luck.

  24. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Kaidok For This Useful Post:


  25. #173
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    Thanks Kaidok, those sound like some excellent methods. I don't really do gesture, though I've tried - mine are really just figure drawings done super fast - trying to capture the contour with anatomy intact. Must ponder what you've written (or better yet, just stop thinking and do it!)
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  26. #174
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    Paintovers... ??

    Here's a couple of so-called paintovers I did recently on the boards. I say so-called because I didn't really solve the OP's issues so much as just do my own renditions of their concepts and play around with them. Not good as paint overs, but I did have fun with them and I like the way they came out. Somehow it's just so much easier and more fun to tear apart somebody else's art than your own!

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    .. And another more finished version of the 1st one (with clothes):

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    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  27. #175
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    1st form study

    I'm now a convert to drawing/painting from life (even if it's still). Got myself a set of high-density foam basic forms and tonight did my first study of them - charcoal pencil aided and abetted by photoshop (because damn - drawing in smooth tone with charcoal pencil is impossible!!)

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    1st thing I learned, before I even started drawing, is that there's no such thing as a right or wrong way for a core shadow or reflected light to look. It depends entirely on surroundings. I held up 2 of the forms in the light and moved them around in relation to each other so one was reflecting into the shadow side of the other, and found I could completely change or utterly destroy the core shadow and change the bounce light drastically. Good to know!!
    Last edited by Darkstrider; March 3rd, 2014 at 12:21 AM.
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  28. #176
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    Jones and Rossetti studies

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    My most recent lvl up work.
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  29. #177
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    Dwng Xrcz

    If I want to have any hope of developing the kind of accuracy Jason wants us to display, I need to develop my drawing skills on the tablet. Having seen control+paint before and perusing some of the tutorials, I do understand how it's basically done. But today I just discovered something really cool - pen pressure brushes! I though adjusting pen pressure meant going into the prefs for th tablet and re-setting things there - cumbersome and un-fun. But there's a whole big pallet of brushes that are set up to use pen pressure for different things. Now this is getting fun!!

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    Discovered the secret to drawing curves and circles too - don't move your fingers at all, hold them pretty well locked, lay the edge of your hand on the tablet, and slide the entire hand around. Oh, and turn so your elbow doesn't hit the arm of the chair partway through!
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  30. #178
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    Attempt to construct a head

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    Well it's a start anyway..
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  31. #179
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    Profile Portrait Progression

    Working out my approach from drawing through painting...

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    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  32. #180
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    Great job with the structure on this last one. It looks much better than a few of your other faces I've seen. Keep it up.

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