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Thread: The Rome Tome
August 29th, 2005 #1
The Rome Tome
First post here. Hello! Finally getting back into regular sketching after a long hiatus, about 14 years.
Battling the proportions a little in these, I also mostly avoided the head, wanted to concentrate on form. I washed the paper ahead of time with acrylic paint (14 yrs ago!), then I used black and white charcoal pencils. I like to work from a medium tone, can push in and out quickly so it's kind of like sculpting.
These come from a great life drawing session at blankslatejoe's place last Friday. Thanks again Joe. Good meeting the guys too: Tarwater, Brian, & Britt.
Jax, you were absolutely a great model, good poses and good company. Nothing like trash-talking frog AI, eh? Looking forward to the next meet.
Going to start scanning the choice bits from the rest of this book too, it's a thick one. More about that later.
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August 29th, 2005 #3
welcome to conceptart eric!
it was awesome meeting you and those sketches are downright beautiful. 14 years? Dang, that's a long haitus.
Jax actually posts on here sometimes, she's got a sketchbook on here somewhere
looking forward to the next drawing meetup!
heh, frog ai.
August 29th, 2005 #4
August 29th, 2005 #5
Hey, thanks folks, nice words.
That last one really bugs me though, the legs seem a different scale than the torso, like I need to scale the torso down a bit. But yeah, I guess they came out ok.
Hasn't really been 14 yrs, I do do some concepting at work (game software development), but I haven't been sketching regularly at all, for way too long.
August 29th, 2005 #6
August 29th, 2005 #7
When is it best to use a majority of white chalk when working on toned surfaces? Like the 3rd and 4th drawings in your sketchbook. How would you also develop the mid-tones? Do you also use the white chalk for that? My questions are refferring only to the case where you just use most of the white chalk.
August 29th, 2005 #8
I'm no expert, so take my advice with a large grain of salt!
I do try to leave the paper blank in the midtone areas, let the color show through. I start with dark tones, then bring in the whites for highlights or broad washes of light. If I over-darkended or over-lightened an area, I pull the paper color back in with a kneadable eraser (love those things!).
I try to avoid mixing the white and black together as it makes a muddy cold gray color I don't like. You can see that happening in the face and shoulders of the lying-down pose. Yuck.
Also, I use a white charcoal pencil, it lets me sharpen the point. I've tried Prismacolor for the white, but that's oil- or wax-based so it doesn't play fair, it won't erase like charcoal will.
Here's a piece from 1991 when I was fresh out of school. Same media. Spent about 4 hours on this one...
Again, damn proportions... the length of that left bicep bugs me to this day. Overall I like the piece though, fun crosshatching.
Does that answer your question? Thanks again for the feedback.
August 29th, 2005 #9
August 29th, 2005 #10
Do you mean the seated/reclining pose that's on purple? The legs are only defined by a black outline and some white on the tops. Yes, only the white defines the light. Midtones are nearly empty.
The middle areas running down the length of the legs... those are purely the color of the paper showing through. Her right leg has a subtle bit of dark charcoal to define the inner area, while the her left leg uses a little soft white charcoal in the middle of the thigh. Other than that, it's just blank. Especially her left calf... really not much there.
I took a look at your sketches, good stuff! The 4th one down in your first post, the really dark guy's back... looks like you smudged the paper with a soft layer of charcoal, then drew the darks in, then erased to get the highlights. I like that one a lot. Same technique as mine really, except I used paint for my bkg color. I think I can see your charcoal "wash" showing through in those midtones.
August 29th, 2005 #11
August 29th, 2005 #12
Don't mind at all. Yeah, for her legs I defined the outlines with black, but did the shading (lighting) mostly with white. On the other hand with her torso I tried to add in some black along the shadow terminus to make that stand out from the backlighting along her side. Didn't work out so well, ran out of time, only 20-30 minute poses, I think.
August 29th, 2005 #13
August 29th, 2005 #14
I thought I recognized that model Great looking sketches! After your long break you didn't lose much at all Sorry I missed you guys, hope to meet you at the next one.
August 29th, 2005 #15
August 29th, 2005 #16
Hehe, thanks. I couldn't help it. What an inspiration though, he's amazing.
I had the amazing opportunity to spend my final school year at RISD's extension in Rome Italy. A couple other students gave a crash course on book-making, so I made this sketchbook.
sketchbooks/1991sketchbook.jpg" border="0" alt="The Rome Tome" title="The Rome Tome" />
It's about 25x35cm and pretty heavy. Filled it with thick watercolor paper, so I could do anything without the pages wrinkling or bleeding on me. I love this thing, but I've made a point to not be too precious with it, let myself put anything in it, regardless of how it looks. I wonder if there are others around here who make their own books? Going to have to make another one when this one's full.
These sketches are from January to October 1991, more or less in chronological order...
Sketching a couple Raphael paintings in the Vatican. Charcoal pencil, graphite pencil.
Another Raphael study. Charcoal pencil and watercolor.
Some columns in the Roman forum. Charcoal pencil.
A crumbling ruin outside Paestum, near Naples if I recall correctly. Charcoal stick on acrylic-washed paper.
I loved those Kinder Sorpresa chocolate eggs, the ones with the little toys inside.
A study of a Bernini bust, done with an old quill pen.
The ruins of the Roman Baths next to the Circus Maximus. Charcoal pencil.
A doorway in the archaeological site Iplonti. Pencil.
Ostia Antica had these heavy stone wheat mills, about chest-height. The weird colored thing on the right is an ancient glass shard that shimmers with rainbow colors [I should have left it on the ground but it was so amazing]. Black and white Prismacolor pencils on dark-painted paper.
Bernini's Triton fountain in Rome. White and brown Prismacolor pencils.
A square in Venice, quickie watercolor.
Charcoal of the Tiber Island at night.
I love Mort Drucker's line work, had to do a couple studies. Messed up the Mel Brooks one by trying to blend it.
Pencil study of a painting in Berkeley California.
White prismacolor pencil on black-painted paper. I like this one a lot.
Pencil of my brother sleeping.
[edit: fixed incorrect materials for some of them]
Last edited by EricChadwick; August 29th, 2005 at 11:58 PM.
August 30th, 2005 #17
talk about a sketchbook catching attention quick... man.. there's whole conversations going on in here.
For all you local guys, be sure to check out Eric's book next time we meet up.. that thing is DANG heavy. it's also chock full of good stuff. I still like that orange double page spread a lot, though I like the vertical black and white spread even more... I must have missed that when I flipped through that monster.
There's another drawing session possibly in the works for sunday. I'll keep you updated!
August 31st, 2005 #18
Hey, thanks Joe. Yeah it's a fun book, and I'm happy to share. I want to look through yours at some point.
One thing that's been a curse as well as a blessing is that I am constantly trying new things, but rarely sit down and focus on a series of similar studies. So my work ends up a hodge-podge of many different methods.
This is good for my line of work, since game dev software and methods are always evolving. But for artistic development I think it kind of bites me.
So I'm pushing myself now to narrow my focus and concentrate on a particular method, to perfect it as best I can. Then I can take what I've learned from this and move on to a different series. Well anyhow that's the idea!
September 12th, 2005 #19
A couple sketches from the Harvard Museum of Natural History.
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September 12th, 2005 #20
September 12th, 2005 #21
Wow, thanks man. Not feeling so polished when I look at these. I look at BoBo's or Jason Snair's stuff and I see a lot more polish, fine handling of line. Always room to improve right?
I think you'll like it, it's more immediate, a lot faster for me than regular black on white.
September 12th, 2005 #22
Very nice work Eric.
I really enjoy the style you've been using and carrying across... the more recent ones have a very nice gritty and deep feel.
I was in Rome with my family last week, but I didn't really have time for sketching, we were always on the move and only visiting the city itself for a day. I'd really love to go back with more time to spare and draw all the nice stuff around there...
Your home-made book is very cool
I may have to try that myself! Any ideas of where to start with something like that?
September 12th, 2005 #23
Yo MoP! Good to hear from you. Rome was a series of life-changing events, what a place. Gritty is right, charcoal pencils are pretty coarse. I think I might move back to mechanical pencil for a bit.
Recently I wrote down my old bookmaking notes.
It isn't as involved as it sounds though. Well worth the effort.
September 14th, 2005 #24
Thanks for the posts in my sketchbook thread....thought I'd see what you were up to in yours.
Nice figures man. really good work. I'm really digging that old quill pen drawing of the Bernini bust. nice. i like the color you chose there.
I also spent some time in Italy for art as well. It was only for two weeks, but it was amazing. I think every artist at some point in their lives needs to get over there. Looks like it influenced you quite a bit too.
April 12th, 2010 #25