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Thread: Why does my stuff like it was drawn by a highschool student?

  1. #1
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    Why does my stuff like it was drawn by a highschool student?

    Done from a photo ref. I'm kinda happy with how it came out, in that it's accurate to the photo. But why does it look so sloppy? It looks just like something that would come out of a highschool art class. How can I make my work look more professional?

    I was thinking maybe it's that I outline everything in dark instead of blocking in values. Maybe?

    Any critique is appreciated.

    Why does my stuff like it was drawn by a highschool student?
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  3. #2
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    I have the exact same problem with 'slopiness.' Even though my forms are good, everything always ends up more messy than I want it. Maybe it's just a case of time/patience?

    One thing I see wrong with your pic is line weight, something I also haven't mastered. There's thick outlines where I don't think there should be - her fingers are probably the most obvious example.
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  4. #3
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    Not a case of time and patience. I spent a few hours on this.

    I'm going to conciously remind myself to watch my line weight next time I draw, that's probably the case, like you say. The fingers certainly stick out like a sore thumb, so to speak.

    Thanks.
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  5. #4
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    Ok heres your main problem. In the real world lines dont exist, just the play of light and values. You need to stop using lines as a crutch for defining forms, they are a useful tool no doubt but in terms of portraiture and rendering from life you want to concentrate on values. Ok here might be a better way of going about the same image above. First very lightly rough in the womans features, head, hands, etc. Lines are great for gettin an idea of where things should go and what the piece might look like upon completion. Ok next start loosely blocking in some values, if youre not working on the computer then of course dont go too dark or youve screwed yourself. Just look at the general shapes of the larger shadows and highlights. These are what will define a persons face. By this point you should have a rough drawing with some resemblance to the portrait. From here you gradually work things darker and darker building up the values, dont be afraid of darks its ok to be tenative in the beginning but if there arent any very dark areas the piece will often look flat. This is something I noticed in your piece to really look out for. If there is a place where theres a bright highlight, DONT PUT A LINE THERE. The highlight will act as a line, it doesnt need extra lines around it, just flattens things out. If the highlight doesnt seem bright enough it means you havent worked up the darkness of the values around it enough. Once again its all about the interaction of lights and darks. Use lines when they actually are present within the image not to define forms. Do that and youll be on the right track, I know its tough and portraiture isnt easy at all but keep pluggin away. I may be doin some portraits this summer and if I have time Ill do a tutorial, might explain better if you can see it. Until then good effort and keep practicing.
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  6. #5
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    ALOT more time. If this is indicative of the work that you normally produce, then take more time. A few hours is sometimes not enough time. I have seen times that I have spent 25+ hrs on a drawing such as this. SOmetimes more, sometimes less, just depending on what I am really trying to do, ie., am I trying to be photorealistic? Impressionistic? Gestural? It all depends on whether I want/need a tight rendering, or a looser drawing......depending on the mood I want/need to convey. I remember when I was in college and would spend hours doing nothing but stare at the still life I needed to draw for a project untill I had the right feel about it, then I would begin, I still do this at times as long as it IS something I CAN take time on, ie., no hectic deadline.

    A drawing CAN be true to a photo refference, however still not be TOTALLY true to it. Also, the line wieghts are a HUGE part of the drawing, implied lines FTW! Keep it up, your style (that is shown in this piece) is very nice, not all proffessional images have to be highly polished renderings that are hyper-realized..............GOOD drawings/portraits/illustrations convey emotion.
    Honest, I don't try to be an asshole, it just happens!

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    Alright, great! Thanks a lot for the feedback, guys. I know exactly what to work on and what to keep in mind next time I go to tackle a drawing. I'm going to buy some charcoal to practicing lumping in values in just black and white before I go into multiple values. Going to take baby steps.

    Thanks a lot, guys!
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  8. #7
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    I agree w EDF and V. I think I might add that your pic looks like you are trying too hard. I dont feel the woman, I feel you (not really a bad thing). But here I feel a struggle. Drawing is like cooking, martial arts, dancing, and everything else. When you try, things get harder. Just relax your hand and draw. Try applying the above skills with a loose application and a relaxed attitude.
    Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons because, to them, you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.
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    Hey, its a good drawing! I wouldn't get too glum about it.

    Sorry to wax 'artsy' but the biggest advice I can give you is to remember that even though you're working from a real world photo (is that an oxymoron?) also think of your drawing as a *world unto itself*. At some point, let yourself break away from the source and focus on the narrative on your page.

    Its got heart, tho, dude.
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    to add to Isos comment, now that you have a piece of work layed out, look at the photo one more time, thinking of what this woman means to you. What is her emotion, where would she rather be, what is causing her anguish. Now, hide the photo and never look at it again. Now make your PERCEPTION of her real.
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  11. #10
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    Stupidity'sUnglyHead, that's deep yo, Another suggestion or way of saying it would be rather than thinking of it as just a photoreference, realize that somewhere it is real, and in three dimensions, what does she look like from the side ,immerse yourself a bit into your work. This may assist you a bit in adding depth to you peices.Also, shadings tools work well with graphite as well. you could also add a dark background this will highlight the subject without the need for too many lines. and again, shading tools work well for the softening of lines.
    ~"With a little hope, and alot of try, anything is possible."~
    ~"The harder You work, the better life gets."~
    ~"The pain doesn't last, but the gain will last forever."~
    ~"Fear is my courage." ~Mr_S_14
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  12. #11
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    I love you guys.

    I took every bit of information in here, and it's all right (and appreciated). Especially the bit about my trying too hard. You cut me to the core, perineum. I worry way too much about getting better and don't let myself have fun with it. It makes drawing a chore.

    I set out with a different mindset today. I tried drawing for fun; I knew I'd get better by the practice, even if my picture wasn't great. The hours flew by. I usually watch the minutes like a hawk, trying to fit in boring studies that I hate. I spent 3 hours on this and looked at the clock twice the whole time, mostly because I didn't believe it had become night so soon.

    Drawing had become fun again. It's so nice to feel that.

    So I let myself go. I stopped caring about accuracy, and surprisingly, this has been my most accurate sp yet. It's still a little 'liney' but it's a start. I'm happy with it, and I had fun.

    http://img175.imageshack.us/img175/2...ril25035ym.jpg

    I don't feel I can state my appreciation with text. So thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I've found what I've lost, and life seems brighter for it. You're a wonderful group of people. Thank you.
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  13. #12
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    Now THAT is nice

    It is a little liney still, however, there is such a nice mood there, it makes me want to be sitting next to her.............HEHE
    Honest, I don't try to be an asshole, it just happens!

    http://evildragonfire.blogspot.com
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  14. #13
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    That is a big improvement and yes like Evildragonfire said still a bit liney. The line on the top of the arm doesnt need to be there just make the area around it a little darker next time instead of putting a line. However shes not outlined completely in a thick dark line and that makes a huge improvement. Good job and keep practicing at it.
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