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  1. #181
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    Thanks Grumpy! Yeah, having an accurate drawing makes a huge difference, Though this one was still just a skosh off - I had to squash the eye down a bit.
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  3. #182
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    Name:  Comp006-2hrs.jpg
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    Full color version of tonight's comp 101 study. Forgot it had to be in B&W!
    Last edited by Darkstrider; March 4th, 2014 at 04:51 AM.
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  4. #183
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    I like your LevelUp studies, they seem quite accurate. If at all, how do you measure shapes?
    Sketchbook .....critique appreciated

  5. #184
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    I start by using guides to quarter off the image and my workspace. Usually that's as far as I go - I don't grid or anything. I always draw lines along the guides and then clear them because otherwise when you're drawing near the guides they exert a magnetic influence that pulls your line in against it. Then, since the images is beside my workspace I'll draw horizontals for the major points. Then as I stat striking in the verticals to sort of box in the figure or whatever shapes, I eyeball that but pay a close attention to where in the quadrant it is - halfway, a quarter, whatever. This gives me a sort of box that limits the figure or whatever it is. Then I start to carefully draw the shapes inside, little by little, always checking what other lines align with the one I'm drawing, or anything else that can help get it positioned right, Check the negative shapes a lot, and keep flipping the image vertically and horizontally.

    Then a lot of time I'll go so far as to paste the drawing on top of the picture and see how far off it is and where. Then I'll usually use a combination of liquify filter, transform tools, and just good old erase/redraw to get it closer. Carful though - it's really tempting to cheat and just fix it all while it's still on top of the picture! I keep fixing and then laying it back on top to check. Hopefully eventually my accuracy will improve and I'll have to do less and less of the checking.

    If you get the Solomon J Solomon book The Practice of Painting and Drawing (I think that's the name - something close anyway) he has a really excellent section on accurate drawing techniques. Really look at the negative shapes a lot - think about them more than the positive shapes, because then you're really seeing a shape, but when you look at a positive shape you're thinking about a hand or an eye, and you tend to fall back on what you already think you know about those things and draw simplified symbols rather than accurate shapes. Oh, there's a free online pdf of the book floating around somewhere too - if you search the Gurney Journey blog he has a link to it. But the paperback is pretty cheap and an excellent investment (along with the Harold Speed book on painting too. Gurney got a publisher to reprint them both because they have great instruction on technique).

    I spent probably the 1st hour just doing the drawing for this last one, then the painting went really quick (until I started getting all fiddly over details… ). It's kind of funny, because when you get the drawing done well then at first the painting is like doing a coloring book or a paint by numbers kit lol! It feels like a hack or a cheat. But then I guess this is part of what Michelangelo meant when he said "If you knew what I've gone through to attain my skills then my work would no longer seem so remarkable" (paraphrased)

    Here are some amazing tutorials that also demonstrate really good accurate measuring techniques (pretty much the same stuff really, but Solomon goes into greater detail about negative shapes):

    Kchen
    Ron Lemen (Fred Flickstone)
    E M Gist (of Watts Atelier)
    Last edited by Darkstrider; March 4th, 2014 at 02:28 PM.
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  7. #185
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    Thanks, I'm going to checkout those resources too (...I think nowadays I spent more than half a day reading and then painting when time permits )

    Thanks for sharing your insights Darkstrider, much appreciated.
    Sketchbook .....critique appreciated

  8. #186
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kono View Post
    (...I think nowadays I spent more than half a day reading and then painting when time permits )
    That's the way to do it! I try to get in a some research and reading lots of lvl up threads and also doing whatever kinds of studies I think might help me with the assignments. I really want to try to develop accurate measuring skills - it's such an important part of the process, and an area where I've always been really weak. I shake my head now looking back at my first few studies - I thought we were supposed to be going for speed and accuracy wasn't important lol!!

    And speaking of studies…

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    I learned another relevant fact about light and shadow tonight - notice the way the top disc on the cylinder is shaded more on the light side and gets lighter on the dark side, the lightest part being directly above the core shadow? It's all an optical illusion. Actually the top disc is uniformly lit all across - I scrunched my fingers up into a weird shape and covered the sides of the cylinder and it was just a flat disc, no shading at all on it!! It literally just looks darker or lighter in places relative to the values against it. That was a mind blower - like something off of Brain Games. I'm immensely glad I bought these little doohickeys!!
    Last edited by Darkstrider; March 5th, 2014 at 05:19 AM.
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  9. #187
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    Interesting phenomenon it is. One day I thought I could see aura's but then noticed it was just an optical illusion.....no career as a spiritual healer for me.

    I recently managed to grab a hard copy of 'Sketching The Basics' on the cheap.... another one for the library.
    Sketchbook .....critique appreciated

  10. #188
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    Looks like an excellent book. Looking at the page flip-through video on Amazon, I see this is the kind of drawing most many concept artists do. Industrial design eh? Interesting..

    Anywho -

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    The blocks don't quite seem to be sitting on the same plane, do they?
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  11. #189
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    The vanishing points of the two cubes are not on the same horizon, that's why its looks skewed.
    Sketchbook .....critique appreciated

  12. #190
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    Yeah, there's that - plus I don't think my vertical lines are all parallel either. Derp!

    Lol, here's today's 1st comp 101 study from Lautrec:

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

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  13. #191
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    Awesome looking studies

  14. #192
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    Thank ya kindly!! And here's another..

    I've been using calipers laid right on the monitor and locating a few important key points of construction, then I find from there I can sketch in the major forms and be pretty close, only requiring a few fixes. I check accuracy by pasting the drawing right on the pic...
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    Constructive drawing (pretty proud of the way this came out).
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    And the painting after 3 hours' work. Needs a bit more but this is looking really good to me. It's clear I'm developing much better accuracy and painting skills.
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    Done entirely with the good old hard round/soft round brushes, except right at the end I used chalk and dry brush for some special effects. Man, after doing a couple of thumbnails for Comp 101 using almost exclusively pastel and chalk brushes, I really appreciate the control the default brushes give.
    Last edited by Darkstrider; March 6th, 2014 at 04:04 AM.
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  15. #193
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    Here's a study of a plastic foot I just bought…

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    And I finished the face study from last time:

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    Last edited by Darkstrider; March 8th, 2014 at 03:08 AM.
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  16. #194
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    Just playing today

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    Last edited by Darkstrider; March 13th, 2014 at 05:41 AM.
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  17. #195
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    Independent studies from last couple of days plus latest Comp 1.1 thumb:

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    I really hit the jackpot with the plaster head I ordered - especially considering I was afraid it might break in shipping, but it didn't. It's called Head of a Roman Youth (I could swear I've also seen it called Augustus Caesar somewhere too) and has apparently been used in ateliers forever. Makes me feel connected with the whole history of art. Plus you can clearly see most of the planes of the head (face anyway) in all their varied edge qualities.

    I was struggling to get used to drawing with a flat carpenter's pencil to get those broad chisel-edge strokes that can look so good, what has worked best so far is a woodless 6b pencil (broken piece of) in a pencil extender. That's what I used tonight for the head.
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  18. #196
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    What a fantastic idea, using the bust -- and the broken pencil. Love your studies.

  19. #197
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    Wow, I'm honored to have your first post here on my sketchbook! And what a great name you have! Yeah, it's a problem, those woodless pencils do like to break a lot (guess that's why they started using wood in the 1st place.. ). But the extender fixes it right up and lets you draw with the pieces again.
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  21. #198
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    Got one more in tonight..

    Name:  2-16-14-head2.gif
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    This time done with a Staedtler 8b pencil, which consists of a mix of graphite and carbon, no shine and smooth. Sharpened to a chisel point, light construction lines first laid down with a standard 2b. Very nice until I try to go a little dark, and it suddenly goes from smooth and light to grabby, gummy and too dark, with nothing in between. I like the thickness of the lead, but I think Ill switch to standard 6B pencils - my scanner seems able to handle it without picking up graphite shine unless I really burnish the darks. Love the way this pencil does lines though!

    EDIT - cleaned up version (PS)

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    Last edited by Darkstrider; March 17th, 2014 at 02:25 AM.
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  22. #199
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    Very nice master studies. Those should pay off nicely for you.

  23. #200
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    Thanks Pindurski, I think they're already starting to.
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  24. #201
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    I neglected to add last time that I love your BAMF women.

  25. #202
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    Wow, you went all the way back! Much appreciated!

    And meanwhile, back in River City..

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    Last edited by Darkstrider; March 19th, 2014 at 04:45 AM.
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  26. #203
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    Head study from slightly low angle

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    Trying out the General's Layout pencils that just came in. I like them, but starting to think I should draw with a 2B or HB. Tired of stuff getting so dark so fast - I want to work up gradually and control values better. Though these pencils are great for loose sketching, which is really what I bought them for.
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  27. #204
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    Torso study from the rear

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    Decided to go back to the way I used to draw before I started all this academic art-school stuff where you draw from the shoulder and use an overhand grip. That stuff is fine for rapid sketches, but it affects accuracy like shooting from the hip on horseback. I also switched to a 2B pencil, it has a bit of translucency to it unlike the dark ones I've been using. And I actually put a point on it (Gasp!) using a (Shudder!!) pencil sharpener!! But I did end up using mostly the edge of the lead anyway, though I used something midway between a writing grip and the overhand one. Can't get real accuracy like this anyway though, with the sketchbook laying on my lap - need a big table for that. Oh, I did the background and the darkest shading on the figure with the General's Layout pencil. Good combo!!

    I also broke the pencil in half. Deliberately. I was using an overhand grip but with my wrist down against the pad, sometimes lifting it up so just my forearm was against it. It gets real hard to draw at certain angles, because the pencil hits your hand. I remembered how nice it used to be drawing with a little stub - that problem doesn't exist - so I snapped it. Now I have 2 pencils! Though one isn't marked for hardness - I oughta write that on it.

    I don't think her ass is really that big…
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  28. #205
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    Bridgman

    Busted out an 8.5 x 5 Moleskine and my nifty new Staedtler 2mm lead holder with 4B lead (which makes drawing really fun!) and cracked open Bridgman. From what I understand, the way to really use his books is to copy out every drawing… not sure I'll go to quite THAT extent (but I have already learned his name doesn't include an E like I did here.. )

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    Still rebelling against drawfromtheshoulder - even used full writing grip here (ya kinda have to in such a small journal). Feels good, though now I dislike the slick airbrushy look of today's torso study (last post). I greatly prefer the more open, linear quality of the head studies, with lines wrapping around the form rather than smudged smooth tone. I think I'll gravitate to a hybrid approach. I just dislike the sloppy inaccuracy of using my entire arm. It's fine for big loose sketches though.
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  29. #206
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    The saga of the pencils and graphite continue. . .

    I'm enjoying your studies and observations. I find graphite hard to work with. Soon you will be pro at it. I think you were a little heavy handed with the line work at the top hair in #203

  30. #207
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    Yep - not only heavy handed, but the shape is wrong too - should bulge up a bit more. I still find too often I'm drawing what I think it should look like rather than really observing - maybe I need to start taking careful measurements? The 3 head studies all look like different sculptures.

    Oh, and I was completely messing up the shoulders/base… look at where the pit of his neck is. The head is turned a bit, so it can't be aligned with both the shoulders and the base. But somehow it is. I just sort of rotated the pit of the neck around to the side. I need to take another look, but I think the base and head both face forward and the shoulders are turned a bit. Sad that I've done 3 drawings of it now and I haven't figured that out yet.
    Last edited by Darkstrider; March 21st, 2014 at 02:44 AM.
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  31. #208
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    Moar Brdgmn

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    Not only can you see through the thin pages, but when I'm drawing on the front, wherever there's graphite on the back it acts like transfer paper and transfers the drawing onto the opposite page. Really looks messed up. I'm going to try fixative or even matte finish spray if needed. Might help to use a harder graphite. Considering leaving empty spreads of pages spaced between. Dammit, I really want to fill this journal with Bridgman!!
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  32. #209
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    Inkage

    Playing with ink - goofing around and getting comfortable with it, trying some material tests and stuff.

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

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  33. #210
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    Last edited by Darkstrider; March 22nd, 2014 at 10:28 PM.
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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