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I've never been a great artist and I've always thought that art was something that you either had or you didn't. And so, in the tradition of MindCandyMan and Soja, I will embark on a ridiculously long journey to become a better artist by drawing every day, studying, and hopefully receiving advice from all of you.
Well, I might as well post some stuff.
Also: if anyone has tips on scanning artwork, I would appreciate it. My scanning didn't go so well for my first pieces and I don't have photoshop to correct the contrast with. Anyway, I would love any feedback/suggestions.
I'll start with stuff I've done in the past month or so. Just to warn you, some of it will be very bad. I plan on re-posting these after I darken them but at the moment I don't have the means to darken them. Sorry about how light they are!
Wish me luck!
Drawn from a picture of my friend Matt
First drawing of Vezzini from The Princess Bride
Vezzini ref is here
Just screwing around
Drew the woman from a magazine
Random drawing of Bruce Lee from the internet
Bruce Lee ref is here
Some guy from google image search
Random-ass dude ref is here
My favorite scratch DJ: DJ Qbert... not sure it really looks that much like him
Ref is here
Last edited by Nealo; February 28th, 2005 at 04:15 PM. Reason: Adding update alert to sketchbook title
Great start! I see talent and potential in your sketches. It's brave of you to plunge headfirst into portraits, as they are tough to master at first. I suggest checking out a few figure drawing books from the library, especially those that highlight drawing the head from a geometric standpoint (starting w/ a circle/oval and building with 3 dimensional shapes).
Just a few words of advice, keep drawing!
Thanks for your feedback Bennett! I've been told to check out Bridgeman's Figure Drawing. I tried to find it today but it was out of stock so I might have to buy it online. Another friend of mine who's on CA forums as Kinokuniya told me that Burne Hogarth's books are worth checking out. I looked at his book on the human head today and it seemed like good stuff.
Thanks again for the encouragement!
I'm about to turn in but here's some quickies:
Make sure to focus - when your drawing - on likeness instead of symbolism. What i mean by this is most of grow up unkowlingly baraged with symbolic representations of objects. In example - Football shaped eyes. We subconciously associate the eye with the shape of a football and thus that form leaks out when we try to recreate the eye through artwork. In reality eyes are very rarely football shaped (though those of asian ethinicity tend to come close). Look closely at the shape of the eye lid and double lid ( if present ) then at the lower portion. I like to break the upper lid into three sections shaped much more like a hexagon half (crude representation : /---\ but you'll get the idea). The bottom varies from circular to ovular to almond. Also the pupils in matts pic are very dialated making them look flat ( b/c the iris is missing ). But you showed better reps. in the magazine woman pic.
Secondly - dont be afraid to show some forehead. Remember eyes are actually placed in the middle of the face (vertically) if you're looking straight on. That means most of the area above them should be forehead - ( assuming they dont have an abnormal hairline ) Not only will it help propotionally but it will give the head more dimension. Keep in mind the volume that a head takes up in space .
oh and it would be good if you posted ur refs with the pics - even if you feel its the worst peice of art you have ever brought into the world . It will definitely help us crit your work more accurately - especially if your going for photorealism. If your not going solely for photorealism, i advise you definitely grab a bridgeman or continue working loomis and practice those as well. Keep drawing from photos / life as much as possible.
Keep up the good work !
Thanks for the input! I posted the refs for the pictures I had scanned. Thanks for the advice. I am not necessarily going for photo realism in the long-run, but I think I need to work on being as realistic as possible before trying anything especially stylistic. I just picked up Bridgman's Life Drawing today from my library and have already started working through it. I will post work tomorrow evening. Thanks for all of the encouraging remarks!Originally Posted by kinokuniya
Did these studies from Bridgman's Life Drawing this morning. I also drew a few of my keys just for fun. I'm trying to improve proportions by drawing proportionate models. Any suggestions? Thanks for your time!
Some heads from Loomis, a random drawing of some kind of dog-thing, a key, and some Bridgman models
Bridgman studies and a key
Welcome to CA!
You're off to a wonderful start. Far ahead of me when I started! It's very good that you already draw facial features with shading not lines.
Loomis and Bridgman are very good artists to study, you'll learn so much from them!
Your first 3 drawings and the portrait of DJ Qbert are your best, I think. Are they posted in random order, or in chronological order? Anyway, be sure to keep your eye out for the proportions and anatomy! Some of your portrait's eyes are too small. Remember that the head is 5 eye widths wide! You'll learn all that good stuff from Bridgman.
For right now you've shown a lot of potential and talent as the others have said. Keep drawing for sure as much as possible and you'll see a huge improvement in 3 months for sure. MCM and Soja are great inspirations! MCM was my inspiration to start drawing!
Looking forward to seeing more work from you and seeing how you progress along with the rest of us!
Thanks so much for the feedback and kind words! I posted the pictures in chronological order. Everything you've said is very good advice and I plan to follow it. I just looked at your sketchbook, and you've made a lot of improvement! It's nice to hear advice from someone who's been on the same path as I have.
I've tried this same thing, but I found it didn't matter how much or what I did I never improved. So don't get your hopes up, you may just be wasting your time....the dissapointment was absolutely crushing for me.
I must say, that is some of the worst advice I've ever heard. If you can't do something, it doesn't matter how bad you are at it, you can improve. You have to know how to improve though. If you try every day and every night to do something better and it just won't work, try improving in some other area. For example, if you can't learn proportion, practice shading, lighting, line, shape, drawing animals, drawing objects, whatever. There's something out there that you can get better at. Some things you might have to learn a little later.Originally Posted by NobodyYouWouldKnow
I have learned this lesson again and again. I am a scratch DJ, so I practice all the time. It's the same thing: you just have to practice everything and in time, you will get better.
I once decided I wanted to learn how to solved a Rubik's cube in under a minute. I thought it would be impossible, since I'd never had any luck with a cube. So I found some instructions, worked through them, and after a week, I solved the cube. Then, I spent time solving it over and over again until I was faster. Next, I found other strategies that would improve my solving time. Finally, I solved the cube in 57 seconds and my goal was achieved. It took two years, but I did it. Now I can solve a rubik's cube with no problems whether it's the standard 3x3x3 cube, the 4x4x4 cube, or even the massive 5x5x5 cube. It's all about practicing, knowing what to practice, and devotion. I would suggest giving art a second try. Keep watching this sketchbook. I gaurantee you'll see improvement in it.
My critique was undermined by your facial studies later on in the thread. Keep them coming. For me, I find that different angles viewing the face can be DAMN hard. I'd like to see more complete pieces, but you have started well, so keep posting!
He who asks is a fool for five minutes,
but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.
I have uploaded many more sketches on this fine Thursday morning. Sorry again about the scanner. I shall scan them all again when I own one. Until then, I'm still trying to figure out how best to use the one at my college's library.
Anyway, for the most part these are just Bridgman studies. I also drew my hand and a friend of my brothers. Enjoy!
Also, as usual, any tips or suggestions would be EXTREMELY helpful.
Some more Bridgman studies
Some more more Bridgman studies
Started doing Bridgman studies, then decided "HEY! I'm gonna draw my freaking hand!" so I did
Bridgman studies on balance- had a lot of trouble conveying good balance
Picture of my brother's friend Danny!
Danny ref is here
Last edited by Nealo; February 17th, 2005 at 03:32 PM. Reason: Sorry for all the editing! Adding reference photo
Newest portrait shows lots of improvement along with the hand pictures. Your shading is comming along and but more importantly the proportions in the portrait are a lot better than those before.
Every bit of feedback is so helpful. I appreciate it. Also I got some new non-crappy, non-bumpy paper as you suggested. I think it will help my shading.
Damn bumpy paper!
Very nice progress !
I'm not too familiar with Bridgman, but the lower legs seem too short ... maybe it's just a matter of putting the knee a bit higher on the leg ?
Keep working on those proportions, they are very important ... but you're getting close !
I like those little remarks ... way funny ... and good self-crits . Not much more to say, you seem to tackle a few more trouble spots with each post, so keep 'em coming, and I'll be watching.
NightVision, thank you much!Originally Posted by NightVision
Such words are enough to keep me going for years! I appreciate your comments immensely! I get bored sometimes and I just have to write a few little notes. Hehe! I think you're right about the legs. I've been considerring going back through the sketches I've done to see which ones are correctly proportioned. That way I can reference back to ones that are close to correct human anatomy.
Thanks so much!
Last edited by Nealo; February 17th, 2005 at 08:54 PM. Reason: tag problem
One more update for today. I'm going to take a break from lifedrawing tomorrow to work through more of Bridgman's Life Drawing... so I guess I'm not really taking a break from it. Anyway, I drew this photo of my brother. Trying to work more on shading. Any suggestions? Thanks!
This is a picture of my brother eating a lamp. Also a really quick hand sketch for some reason.
Reference photo: my brother enjoying a lamp. It's an acquired taste.
Until next time! (tomorrow)
Last edited by Nealo; February 17th, 2005 at 11:04 PM. Reason: adding reference photo
Nice improvement here-
The shading looks a lot better and the realism is very apparent. The crits are minimal - your major mistakes are pretty much eradicated so ill have to be picky.
First thing i thought of was - well hes got shading down but what about texture? Remember shadows are crafty and morph when they fall on differently trextured objects. I saw that in mims' fingers. They are shaded as though they are round and soft - when in reality they are neither. The skin is being stretched and wrinkled which means there is tension. - the shading should reflect that.
Also the nose is much too light if you compare its shadow with that of the hair and general bg they are about the same but in your pic they very greatly. Good job paying attention to the subtleties of the face - (eyes and eye bags well done). Lastly dont be afraid of black. Its just as important to have as white. So all that hair and stuff can be black.
oh and also i see you didn't shade the lamp but if you look closely it should have some shadow.
Nice job on that hand - its the best one ive seen from you so far.
All good advice Jascha!
You're right about the lamp, it isn't white and should have some light shading. Also after I placed the ref next to the finished photo I noticed that the nose was too light.
I'll try to work on the textures. I'm not sure how to convey that but previously I wasn't really thinking about the textures. I think that if I am conscious of them I should be able to find a successful way to render them.
Thanks for the comments man!
Well, I haven't drawn anything new since Feb 17 but I forgot to update a couple of things. Thanks to everyone who checks this sketchbook. I love the comments I've been getting so far. It's very encouraging! On to the drawings:
Two failed attempt at drawing a pear!
FINALLY! Success! Or is it? You be the judge.
And that's all for today. Later!
Neal - stuff looks pretty good. Bottom pear is well rendered though lacking in a wide range of values ( grayscale ) the textures are very nice. The attempt with pen and prismas? shows some potential but you just have to work it more.
3rd time's a charm. nice pear
Thanks for the kind words you guys!
Jascha: What do you mean by lacking in a wide variety of values? I'm guessing you mean that it might not have dark enough darks and light enough lights or something of that sort.
Also, as far as the prisma thing goes I didn't really have a finished picture in mind when I began that. I think the best way to learn how to use that medium would just be to experiment with it. I plan on trying out some new medias and experimenting with tecniques. If you, or anyone else for that matter, have any suggestions, let me know. I was thinking that maybe what I should have done is hatched the various values and used the markers for color or maybe blended the markers to try to create a realistic looking pear color. I'm also thinking that Prismas might not be the best medium to draw from life unless you have a lot of them and they work really well. Neither of which is true for me.
Anyway, thanks again all around!
Hello anyone who's reading this!
Forgive me for the delay in updating. I've been working through Bridgman a bit more. I've being going through the book in a linear fashion but I'm thinking about skipping around a bit to the parts that I need to learn first. The anatomy and proportions section is at the end of the book so I'm having a lot of trouble drawing some of the figures without any knowledge of anatomy. If anyone here has gone through Bridgman's Life Drawing, could you tell me what you think about my idea? I can't tell if it would be better to just keep going through from start to finish or to go through in a way that suits me.
Here are some sketches! Please give me suggestions or criticism if you see something that I could work on. It would really help me out! Thanks!
That's all folks! Comments and Criticism are greatly, fantastically, deliciously appreciated!
Some balance studies. I'm finding it hard to draw these figures proportionally because I don't know very much anatomy yet.
A couple more balance studies from Bridgman
More studies plus just a sketch of some guy
I decided to skip ahead to some skulls since skulls are freaking awesome and because I want to learn some more anatomy. Also a weird quick sketch of Humphrey Bogart.
Just some various sketches for fun from my brain and a couple of hands. I think I need to start sketching without reference a little more often. If for no other reason: it's fun!
Last edited by Nealo; February 28th, 2005 at 02:56 AM. Reason: Centering sketches
yo yo what up blaze face-
mm so heres the dealio id say keep on going with the forms and dont worry too much bout anatomy/proportions because balance and flow are pretty key. One thing i notice is your lower legs, calf area, is consistently too short and unbalanced. The feet seem to also be unbalanced in that they are almost always flat on the ground. Anyways keep on working mang.
I agree that balance is very important, but with more knowledge about proportions/basic anatomy, these forms, and how the body keeps it balance, could make more sense.
So you could work on both ... a few hours or so on one, and then practice what you learned there, while working on the other and so on.
I always tell myself, to study what I think I'll learn the most from at that moment (which sometimes means, doing one section before another ... or doing boring exercises ... and sometimes I'm also wrong on it, and keep doing smt too long or wait too long with smt else ... but then again that's mistakes I learn from too ).
If you think you'd make the most out of your practice when doing some anatomy, I think you should go with your guts. As long as you ask yourself 'how can I get the most out of this exercise ?' it's no crime to not follow the book rigorously, I guess.
By the way, I've read around here that the compilation Bridgeman book is poorly composed & the chapters in a different order than he meant it to be ... so if you're using that one ...
Bridgman rules. The skulls you did look very accurate. Some of the figures look off... but just detail wise, proportions look right, some placement of parts are meh... but that comes with practice!
Bridgman is a hard guy to study from sin ehis images and drawings are such bad quality and coarse looking, old paper I suppose! You're doing very good and you'll get a lot out of him if you put what you draw to use!
Keep it up, progress is here!
Hello everyone/anyone who's reading this!
Kinokuniya: While I agree that I don't really need to learn anatomy to work through the beginnings of the book, I think I'm going to follow Nightvisions advice and do a little of both. Also, I would love it if you would draw over my figures to show me the proper proportions for the lower leg. That would be a great help! Thanks for the comments!
Nightvision: I think working on both is a good idea! Thanks for the suggestions. Also I just have Bridgman's Life Drawing so I think the sections are in order. I appreciate the feedback!
IanE: Thanks for your encouraging words! Yes, I agree that sometimes Bridgman's figures are a bit difficult to study form, but overall I feel like his book is teaching me a good deal. Thanks so much, these comments really do encourage me to keep going!
I finished going through the balance section for now and skipped ahead to the head section for a while. Next I think I'll be moving on to the rhythm section. Here are some drawings from the skull/head section. If there are any major errors please let me know. Also any suggestions you might have to help me with this section would be awesome!
Some faces/face studies.
A balance study, some faces, and a random doodle.
Another balance study (sorry about the lack of feet, it was accidental) and some skulls.
Faces from different perspectives.
The four masses of the face according to Bridgman and some more perspective faces.
Also I've reverted back to the 800 pixel scans instead because they load much faster.
here i gave it a quick try -
(sorry for the poor lines but i think you'll get the point, im not really that used to my wacom yet)
my image is a little off - his left arm probably too short the torso also a little short and legs too heh but i wanted it to fit so you could see the position of the foot
oh also - goodjob on that face in the second to last picture - it looks like your coming closer to realism in it.
That's so weird, I was just reading those Bridgman studies last night!
Are you using his Complete Guide to Drawing from Life? The studies look good, keep at em!