Sketchbook: Sucking at something is the first step to being kinda good at something...

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  1. #1
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    Sucking at something is the first step to being kinda good at something...

    Hey guys, Taylor here...
    I don't really want to explain myself too deeply here just yet, maybe show you some of my (poor) work first. I will say that I am 21 years old. Full time work and school, about 40 hours of work and 12 hours of school per week. I hope to suck at art, suck less, then suck more, then suck less, then suck more again, and then one day be kinda okay. We will have to see

    Below I will post some arts that I have been doing in the last two weeks. Prepare yourself for a few good laughs, *its okay because I laugh at it too* and hopefully... the adventure of a lifetime!

    These first few uploads will be my attempt at a self portrait.. sadly I spent many hours on it and some charcoal still life I set up in my room.
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  3. #2
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    hey dude, and welcome to the .org. don't despair, just keep posting work. the more work you put up, the more helpful people will be able to be in directing you to better help, or better techniques, etc. great that you started a sketchbook, that's step 1. keep posting. i'll be back with a crit sometime soon. be sure to comment in other people's sketchbooks as well, and you'll see more action along with your posts. take care, and welcome!

    post.

    -A

    more than (but i'm getting there)

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  5. #3
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    Hi, I just joined this group. I just started drawing again. I'd offer this advice to anyone, beginner or pro: Keep your work or give it to someone who will keep it for you. Look back at your work from time to time. Toss it and you'll wish you still had it. I promise you that. You will see your progress. You will see where you're improving. If you draw a picture of yourself, or anything else, 10 times, the 5th will be better than the 1st. The 10th will be better than the 5th. It works. Oh, and put a date on the back of each sheet of paper you draw on. Final thing: Stop putting yourself and/or your work down. With respect, IdahoBaird

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  7. #4
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    Nice setup. As your title stated, all you have to do is keep practicing. Keep posting your progress, I'm interested to see how you improve.

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  9. #5
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    Hi Taylor and welcome to CA

    I hope you'll fill this with tons of updates. I suggest you focus on one thing at a time by studying it and then doing it from memory.
    If you want critic for the pieces you've posted:

    -for the portrait, be sure to draw structure and proportions very well (see andrew loomis or asaro heads), overall is ok but you'll aim for more precise drawing and more confident strokes.
    -Focusing on drawing lines is the foundation of anything, rendering is the next step.

    Train to draw perfect circles, square and ellipes ; do tons of them (really)

    be sure to comment on other sb to get other members come and comment your own sb. Even if you feel having nothing to say !

    good luck with your nexts

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  11. #6
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    Sucking at something is the first step to being kinda good at something... cont.

    @purb36 - Thanks for the kind words! I'll keep posting stuff up. Also I took a look at your sketchbook.. and I can't help but grin at the coincidence. Believe it or not, yours was the first sketchbook I happened upon at CA !! Crazy that you would be the first comment in mine!

    @IdahoBaird - What a great idea to keep all of my work :o ! I'll have to do that. I've already started to date everything to be archived more easily. Also I'll be sure to try not to put my work down! I have a long way to go, but that is exciting to me!

    @YellowCanary - I also cannot wait to see your stuff Post soon friend!

    @Zou - Thanks for the critique! There are going to be hella circles coming soon! Also good advice on commenting on other people sketchbooks.. I've been silently lurking these last few days.. time to go out there and say hello!

    Well here are some drawings I did over my weekend (sunday-thursday workweek). First one is from when I went to the beach... I was pretty embarrassed to draw in public because of my skill *well lack thereof*. It was fun to try out brush pens tho..

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    This next one.. well another from over the weekend
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    And this last one is a project for school. Mostly to practice contours I think.. and next week perhaps we work on values? I'm in a beginning drawing class for university
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    Last edited by taylorqt; March 16th, 2014 at 11:20 PM.
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  12. #7
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    hey, you have some nice work here. but if i were to critique your work i would say you need focus on perspective. your line should be converging toward the horizon. the head has good details in it, for help with proportions look up loomis head chart. you probably could find pdf of his books online.
    to improve really quickly look for the pdf drawing the figure of all its worth by andrew loomis and put as many drawing as you can from that pdf/book into a sketch book and take notes.if put five pages of a day of the loomis drawings into your sketchbook, when you hit page 50 you will be impressed with your progress.
    my teacher always tell me "if you are looking down more at your paper then then subject you are doing it wrong."

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  14. #8
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    Please do not download the pdf - the books are still in copyright and are easily found on Amazon at a very reasonable price.

    You may find it easier to learn if you're sitting up in a decent posture. That position with the bottle will only distort the drawing.

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    Hey there. I think you are off to a very nice start. Drawing from life is one of the best ways to learn quickly. Continue doing it like this and you will improve quick and alot. You seem to have a feeling for form. You know what they say... practice alot, and eventually you will feel more comfortable with it. Looking forward to see more studies.. cheers!

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    Hi, I really like the school project, looks very interesting and neat! I always get scared when using a marker (can't erase xD) lol.
    I'm sooo envious of the cube and sphere models - I'm sure they will help you a lot.
    So yeah, nice start! Good luck.

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  20. #11
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    Sucking at something is the first step to being kinda good at something... Cont.

    @greedymonkey - I think your teacher was on to something! Also I'll be sure to take more time to study perspective. I kinda enjoy the structure of perspective. Also I took your advice and picked up the Loomis book...
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    @Black Spot - AND I DIDN'T EVEN DOWNLOAD IT I'll be sure to sit upright

    @Talis - Thanks so much! Great advice. We have a project for my class to keep a sketchbook and draw something for each letter of the alphabet.. I have a statue of an angel in my library to draw for 'A'. I'll be sure to post each one I draw... Hopefully there will be improvement from Angel to Zipper

    @Alicja - Thanks the class project took a really long time.. but it was really fun too! Your sketchbook was the second one I ever saw on this site, so in a way your post is also coincidentally special to me! Good luck with getting into the class~ and don't be afraid to sell your ps3... its a waste of time anyways MOAR DRAWING and we can both me heros of art someday!

    Okay guys, here are the "Hella Stuff" drawings I was talking about. These are my circles, squares, and ellipses. I did many more at work, but I think its kinda pointless to upload tens of pages of this...
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    Next are some notes I took on a youtube video talking about light and shadow..
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    And some sketches.. and a sloth for my sister (She LOVES Sloths for some reason.. )
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    And Finally... some motivation
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  22. #12
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    You're off to a good start it looks like! I don't see any figure drawing yet, if you haven't started it yet you really owe it to yourself to go to sessions - it's kind of a trial by fire, I think figure drawing sessions improved my own ability more than any other exercise. Your college might offer sessions for free, but also check around your city for figure drawing groups\cooperatives.

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  24. #13
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    Keep up the good work! Do you have the 'Heads and Hands' Loomis book too?

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  26. #14
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    I was going to say that you should try to draw everyday but seem to have already figured that out! lol
    Well anyway make sure you're not too tough on yourself if you miss a day or two! it can be good to give yourself a break every so often!



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  28. #15
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    My First "AHA" Moment!!!

    @world - Noooo! I missed a day~ That means I'm tapping out... NOT! It takes me about half an hour to write out a post (maybe I'm slow or something)... so I decided it was better to do one post every 2 days during the workweek.

    @humboldt squid - Thanks for the advice! I took it! Kinda... I don't really have the time to attend a figure drawing class currently... but I do have a deaf student in one of my classes. It's a 3 hour class with 2 sign interpreters so I've been using it as a mini life drawing class~ I know I should pay attention.. but so far I have an A from following the book! HAHA.

    @TheFlyingPlatypus - Thanks friend! I totally don't! Is it good? Shall I put it on my next Amazon order?

    @JamesSimmons - I took your advice and took a break from posting.. Not drawing tho! Its too fun for me to break from at the moment. Since I only get about 5 hours of sleep.. the meditative effects of sketching throughout the day are really helping my mind stay somewhat rested.

    OKAY!!! Today I had my first ever "AHA!" moment when it comes to drawing. I doodled a few caricatures of some friends at work (sadly I gave them away before I took a picture), and afterwords during a slow time at work I drew this picture of my coworker's iphone (on a cardboard box... at work you do what you can right? ).
    I know its not perfect by any means, but after practicing many straight lines, curves, and ellipse shapes, it was really easy to make the shapes! And I got lost looking at the phone. It was like magical! I also caught myself using the negative space to draw the awkwardly half-plugged-in charger. Sadly I had no time to try to add values.
    I think the most exciting thing was that it was very closely proportioned! like the cord is the same size as the cord on the phone, and when we put his phone on the drawing in the same position... IT FIT PERFECTLY! I don't know why this made me really happy, but it was nice.
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    Then on the way to school I started to notice how things fit, and realized that if I look closely at the negative space between objects that are off in the distance to objects that are close, I can imagine them on a 2-D plane in proportion... It was an "AHA" moment and I am still super hyped about this!

    Next is the start of our "Values" project for my art class. I didn't notice until I took the picture, but the bottles are pretty poorly proportioned. The angle of the left side of the upright one is pretty bad, and neck of the laying down one is funny looking. I think its because I moved my head some when drawing.. When you draw from life are you supposed to keep your head perfectly still? :o idk...
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    Here is an example of the "life drawings" I did in my C++ class last week...
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    And here are today's. After my epiphany I started drawing some negative spaces between people and stuff, then it got to the point where I couldn't stop drawing everything. My teacher thought I was furiously taking notes and complimented me on how studious I am... LOL~
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    I think I may have improve some tiny bit over these last few days.. but more importantly, I found a new love in drawing. I don't know what happened to me today, but its a very euphoric feeling. Anyways gotta keep fighting! Well.. back to the drawing board for me!

    Then some sleep \(Z.z)/

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  29. #16
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    You're working hard!!! Keep going dude! By the way, I don't know if you're aiming for creating things on your own or just getting better on drawing portraits or whatever, but people here have told me to practice on drawing from my imagination. So try to post up your doodles and your fun stuff, not just studies.

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  31. #17
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    These last two days were tough!

    @Carro - Thanks I'll take your advice and post some doodles. However studying is the fun stuff to me (I know I'm totally a weirdo). I just love whenever something clicks in my head~
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    I'm not a big fan of the Anime-Manga style personally, but I really liked this picture I found, so I copied it from reference image. I don't remember the original artist or the link to the image, if I find it I'll be sure to post it Thanks original guy!~!
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    Well yesterday was really tough... It was late and I was tired by the time I got out of class. I did add some to the value study.. but I left before I took a picture. I'll be sure to take one next time. Well when I did get home I started to study from an old book we have in our library. Everything was cool until they went to explaining squares. For some reason it just gave me a headache. I spent a good hour and a half studying, and when I finally felt I understood what the heck it was trying to teach me... I went to sleep Z.z
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    So today was much better. I went back to the book and studied measurements. Then I drew my coffee mug on my drafting table. It was more challenging than I thought because the mug was very close to me, and tilted forwards about 15 degrees. I think I learned a lot from this.
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    I noticed how nice it was outside, and so I went to draw from life out there. This was way more fun and I actually stayed outside a little longer than I intended. In fact I barely have time to post this before class !
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    Well that's all I have time for before class. I'll be sure and try to get more posted over the weekend! Always fighting, slowly improving. Thanks again everyone for all the critique, tips, and suggestions. It's made this so much more fun than it would have been without you~

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  32. #18
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    You are practising a lot of important factors from the looks of things, you already look to be getting better. You could be destined for great things

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  34. #19
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    So this weekend................

    @Stephen H - Thanks bud! You should start a sketchbook so we can progress together!

    @World - So... I didn't draw half as much as I should have this weekend (well my weekend). Not even 1/4 as much as I should have. Instead I had some friends over, drinking. Still a nice break from work and school. Then there were some complications with my day job so I had to take care of business. Still.. I got to draw some in class on Thursday.
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    I'm starting to feel much better about drawing in this public environment. Mostly because nobody is looking at me (too busy doing class ). Still its becoming more and more fun for me. I'm starting to notice correlations between peoples body type, stature/posture, and the shape of their body parts. It's very interesting and maybe one day it will help me when creating people of my own.

    I'm sure I drew something yesterday... but I have no idea what it was or where I put it. I don't know... I was quite hungover. Maybe I did some circle exercises? I can't for the life of me remember what I did yesterday :L ...

    Well today I finished up the value studies for school. I still have to take a picture of the other sheet that I left in class.
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    On this one I'm not too fond of the ink wash. I didn't really know what to do and I mucked it up pretty bad. It's actually the same shape in both images... yea. I accidentally used the darker ink in the "lit" part of the wash, and I couldn't make it lighter. I think if I was serious about correcting it, maybe I would go over the darker areas again and make them darker? That would create more difference between the midtone and the shadow? Meh.

    Then I filled a page of the ol sketchbook. Went outside and got some sun while drawing my favorite tree. That big tree is the largest tree in a gulch that was once a river! All the other trees washed away when it flooded, now its dried up and that tree is twice as tall as any other trees out there! Then I drew my desk with all its clutter. I didn't draw big enough to fit everything on there... Plus the proportions/placements are off on some things. I didn't measure properly, really should have but I was feeling lazy I guess. Finally there's a drawing of Elsa from frozen. Dunno why I try to draw her. Guess I really just like Disney character style recently? It was okay I thought... until I went over it in pen. Should have just started in pen... When I started inking in the face I was using my wrist and making really bad strokes... Well... lessons learned ;P
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    Well time to get back in the grind. I have to be sure to fight even harder now~ because I feel much time was lost this weekend. Next time I may have to tell my friends no...

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  35. #20
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    hmm maybe I should actually, how does it work, just literally post up all your work/doodles and let people see and give criticism?
    I will be following this thread, enjoying seeing what you are working on

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  36. #21
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    Well done on picking up the negative space thing - a painting or drawing is just as much about the relation between subjects and objects as the subjects/objects themselves, so *everything* within your frame has its place, including the "space"! It's good you got this right away, it will help you with your compositions and studies from life or references.
    Good start to your SB so far, keep filling up those pages!

    Insanity is the key!
    Also, studies are a key. And passion is a key. Also, so are inspiration, motivation and dedication. Talent can be a key. Insomnia can also be a key, depression is a sad rusty little key. Damn, artists need one hell of a keyring.

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  37. #22
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    I was almost lazy

    @Stephen H - Yup! You just post whatever it is you are working on, and this friendly community will help critique, praise, and motivate you to continue pursuing whatever goals you may have ! It's GREAT!

    @Aila - Thank you so much~ I really notice that I look at things much differently since that realization! It's helped so much. When I have time tomorrow I'll be sure to check through your works! Always great to have another buddy in the art grind!

    Well today I was almost lazy. Almost. HA! I got home from work very late.. and I was super tired. Then I went to sit with my Pa in the hottub (ye we have a hottub here) because I only get to see him maybe once every week or two. Then I realized its already 9:30pm! I have to be at work at 5 tomorrow

    So I was just gonna go to bed.... but no, my watch is ever vigilant. I did something different today. I didn't do any study, just drew for fun from my imagination. Usually I can't do this, but today I had good inspiration This is a character from a graphic novel that one of my friends is working on. She is still in the idea stage, and this is one of the "good guys", but I decided to make him evil. I started with some of those little thumbnails you see concept artists use all the time. I know I probably did it wrong, but it was a fun way to try some ideas
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    I'm not sure if I like the schizophrenic chicken lines that I used to draw this... but I'm starting to notice its kind of my style, because I always use it whenever I'm frantically getting ideas out/in the zone. Maybe its just because I'm a bit impatient Oh well, another day another drawing~ If you are always fighting you can never lose right?

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  38. #23
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    Done cheers for the advice

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  40. #24
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    @Stephen H - Sadly the link to your sketchbook is not working for me

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  41. #25
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    Damn, cant get it working if this doesn't work this time... how did you link yours please buddy?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh wait I think it's working now, can anyone confirm for me ? thanks

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  42. #26
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    @Stephen H - Wooohooo it works now Congratulations! I'm gonna hold you accountable now~

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  43. #27
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    cheers for checking, looking forward to seeing more of your work, I am finally trying to study more from life like you do.

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  44. #28
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    I like that last sketch you have there - I think it's important to "scribble" from time to time as well as the more technical, concentrated linework. It's good for getting ideas out and also for developing an expressive style, loose lines etc. Plus, I find it helpful for studying or drawing things like flow, gestures and movement!

    Insanity is the key!
    Also, studies are a key. And passion is a key. Also, so are inspiration, motivation and dedication. Talent can be a key. Insomnia can also be a key, depression is a sad rusty little key. Damn, artists need one hell of a keyring.

    Current Sketchbook

    My little webspace

    My Old CA Sketchbook
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  45. #29
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    Years from now, today will be the first step of my success story...

    @Aila - Thanks I like it too. It was a fun change to draw from imagination. But now its back to observation~

    @World - Prepare for massive long post.

    So these last few days I've been really busy with work and school. It has been tough to keep up with my drawing, but I've managed. On Monday I had class, but it was right at sunset. We were supposed to work on a still life composition on campus and I was unable to finish before dark. Here are the thumbnails (hard to see I know) and the mistake of a drawing I made
    I got waaaaay to focused on the house, so it ended up being the only thing I fit on the page and I didn't like the way it looked.
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    Tuesday I had my other class. So I tried to draw as much as I could but we had a lab for the second 2 hours of class. Here are the scribbles I managed to get out. I wanted to draw more at home, but work has been kicking my butt recently and I really needed my 5 hours of sleep
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    Wednesday.. I get off work early - and thank goodness because I was really really realllyyyy tired by now. I went up to the school to finish the drawing I started for my art class, because it was due that evening. Well I really didn't like how it was turning out so I drew a different part of campus. It isn't great, but its much better than the original that I had started, and I'm quite proud of it.
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    Well I finish just in time for class... only... class is cancelled So I sat on the stairs... and drew them (bottom). On my way home it was still light outside, and I stopped on the sidewalk to draw a boy and girl sitting on a ledge across the street having a cigarette break (top). I don't know what possessed me to stop and draw them, but I'm glad I did. The girl really seemed to like the attention of my quick sketch, she even lit another smoke so I could finish. Thank goodness they were across the street and could not see the finished piece. Probably would have cried ;P
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    Like I said I am really glad I made that terrible quick sketch, and that the subjects seemed happy to be drawn. It gave me the confidence to do what I did today. After getting very drunk on honeywine last night, I made a promise to go back to the campus today and draw all day long. At first I was nervous, and it took me almost 30 minutes to find a good place start.
    First I drew a garden with a stone trashcan and some benches.
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    And then a sign. And a trashcan from the fourth story of a building.
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    And the library from the same vantage point. (which if you have an answer to my palm trees question I'd love to hear it)
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    And a girl sitting against the wall with her bag. And an interesting looking light post.
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    And the city from atop the library.
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    And a TON of people.
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    So I was really warned up when it was time for class (I spent almost 4 hours at the school drawing stuff). I got to try out the brush pen again, and I am really happy with the results. I know I will look at these sketches tomorrow and hate them, but tonight I feel like there is improvement. If you go back in my sketchbook I drew many of the same people in the same positions before, (everyone sits in the same seats every class ) but this time I feel like I really caught their likeness.
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    Well as you know, I must continue drawing as much as I can. I wish that I could work on some more time consuming projects, but with my work and school schedule I'm finding it difficult... in fact I'm even starting to perform poorly at work due to lack of sleep. Its okay... You the harder the struggle the sweeter the success right?

    Sorry if this post is poorly written. I'm so tired, I don't even think I could revise it if I wanted to right now. Z.z

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  46. #30
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    I love to look at your life drawings and read your comments about them. Haha and I wear hoodies ALL the time.
    Anyway, I agree that you've improved! I also like that you used fewer strokes with that brush pen.

    Last edited by Carro; March 28th, 2014 at 12:21 PM.
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