Sketchbook: Xylene Fumes - updated - 01.09 - Page 9
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Thread: Xylene Fumes - updated - 01.09

  1. #241
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    Tons of dedication and nice sharp sketches here. Though I don't see the point of doing supersharp base linework for digital stuff if you end up blocking large forms and get not worse results. this one turned out nice, I envy those skinshades, but the lips and eyes (irises) have a bit pasted look and don't blend into the oweall image. Same here. Skintones are okay (I love the limited value range), but the eyes are asymmetrical and also have a pasted look. I'd suggest that you should work on eyes with bigger brushes to define the basic structure and look and assure that they blend into the piece and use smaller ones only if necessary. (You can also try to check the real color and shade of the eyes and irises with a color picker on the ref and compare it with the ones you used. I guess youll find much more contrast in your rendering than in the original)
    Generally work on eyes some more. The ability to draw convincing eyes is the very basis of any portrait rendering.

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  2. #242
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    Peetaer - Not enough, for sure. More free with myself? Its true that being quite so rigorous in construction is really not an effective process, for the most part. I'm trying to apply what I've gleaned as far as proportion and form for the head, in a less laborious fashion. In fact, I think thats why some of my heads are looking a bit 'narrow', because I'm being lazy with my proportions.

    Definitely be trying to apply more life studies and Loomis...Maybe I can be that creepy guy at the coffee shop who is always sketching people when he thinks they're not looking...

    Chance-Chance - Yes clearly the weirdly abstract look is showing my lack of life drawing. Also I need more life studies to pick up on key details.

    HunterKiller - Yeah, I should. Need more knowledge of rendering and materials, its on the list...lol. You'll get your moar soon enough...how about moar crits?

    Helaine - Thank you.

    Novbert - The under-drawing is to nail down the proportions and structure, to keep from getting lost once I start rendering. I guess maybe I over-did it in terms of detail, certainly I should have had better indications of structure.

    The eyes look that way, I think, primarily because I left them to the very last step of the process...plus I rather over-rendered. And yeah they are somewhat messed-up in shape.

    Eyes certainly have been giving me trouble...there's so much subtlety that the viewer picks up on. I haven't given it much priority yet, I guess I will have to pretty soon.

    ---

    So I finally got to some life drawing sessions. Looks like there are a few not *too* far from me on a weekly basis. I'm planning to go once a week, maybe twice a week, for a while. I see Baltimore has a Dr. Sketchy's, much to my surprise, so I'll probably hit that up when its around (once a month).

    ---

    Painter exercises...trying to find a brush that suits me (from Ref)


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    Form analysis, from Ref. The spine is screwed up on this one.

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    From Life. Never really got her face right. Need to work on being able to quickly abstract the form and main values of the head/face.

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    Working on trying to develop a process for figure construction, as well as nailing down my anatomical details. Soon I need to have a better grasp of the basic 3d forms.

    I wrestled for a while with trying to be more gestural and intuitive and I just didn't feel like it made much sense for me right now. Especially since my anatomy and proportions are still not strong enough.

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    From Ref (Live Model Books). I plan to use these to practice some value rendering on. Also need to do some from analysis.

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    Well, hope that wasn't too boring. Likely to be mostly studies this month...blah. Keep cracking the whip folks, let me know what needs work. KKTHANXBAI...

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  3. #243
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    wowwww lookin good!

    i think i would work on neck/face connections and head structure.



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  4. #244
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    Hello mate.Lovely lines and figures with nice construction.Some of them have proportions problems but that can be solved as you keep going.The first portrait in 246# is great while the other one seems to be a little rough.
    Very interesting work.Keep up the anatomy and thnx for stopping by my sketchbook .I appreciate the critique

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  5. #245
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    I like your studies, especially the skeleton with the red-lined forms on top. I really wanted to give you tips on your studies from life though. Be very loose with your gestural lines, forget about getting it right the first time and don't think...at all. Keep your lines real light too, use the weight of the medium you're using to do drawing at your earlier stages and don't be concerned about finishing a drawing either. It's all practice and you want to build the drawing up. Finishing your drawings will come later (I'm still working on that one). Capturing that gesture in the beginning is crucial!

    Keep em coming!

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  6. #246
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    Good stuff man. I only have a problem with the big ole hips on the guys with skeletons. I think your giving too much mass for the iliac crest of hip bone and trochanter tip of femur bone there. Good stuff though

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  8. #247
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    Moar critiques huh? Well, I'll give it a shot.

    Personally, I find a common problem in life drawing where the artist tries to render stuff out when they actually don't have the time to do so, so they end up dividing their effort on two things, rather than focus on one.
    I think this is what you maybe doing, because it's obvious that the pure line drawings here are stronger than the ones with shading.

    Remind yourself of your goal in life drawing - are you trying to study the solid anatomy? Are you practicing your line work? Practicing gesture? etc. If you have a short time limit and want to practice rendering, then pick a body part and draw that.

    When you are going all out with rendering, remember what you said to me about the organization of values.

    Hmm, I think that's all I got for now, lol.

    Peace!

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  10. #248
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    HP - thanks. OK, will do...I know necks are still a big problem. The struggle goes on!

    kingkostas - Thank you and welcome. Hmm, feel free to point out proportional problems in specific terms, if you care to. Even if I happen to notice it myself I can use the push, or even some correctional advice.

    Peetaer - Hmm, yes, I'm not sure, maybe not thinking is hurting me more than helping, I'm certainly *trying* to not to be caught on any one thing. Yes trying to finish the drawing in time is frustrating and probably pointless in a 20 minute life drawing...at the gestural stage, on the longer poses, I'm striving to place the form on the page and nail the proportions correctly. The part that gives me trouble is often the second stage of blocking in the forms...

    liquidjack - D'oh! I didn't notice that. I was studying the pelvis and its muscular attachments at that time...clearly I got a bit fixated. Thanks.

    HunterKiller - Nom nom. That's the stuff! Yes, I'm quite aware that I'm screwing up by not having a focus in my life drawing...I feel like I need to improve everything, but doing it all at once is clearly not helpful. Excellent advice, I definitely don't want to go into autopilot.

    Heh heh...values. Yeah I suck at rendering, and I haven't been alotting enough time for it. I think maybe I should be doing daily exercises on that.

    What I really need is to get a better grasp of the relationship of values to form...too easy to just copy from life.

    ---

    Phew, I need to get backon more inventive stuff soon. But I've got so many areas that need work, study-wise. Hopefully the hollerdays can help me catch up...lol

    Photoshop (elements ), reffed, about an hour

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    From life, 11-18

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    From life, 11-25

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    Heads and stuff, riffing off (ripping off?) of Loomis

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    Painter, reffed, about an hour and a half, maybe two hours (in two sittings)

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    Got to focus better during life sessions, clearly. Need to be some gestures and figure construction from memory, a couple times a week...maybe daily. Pretty sure daily rendering exercises are a good idea, since that's kinda holding me back ATM.

    Thanks for your attention and your help, guys.

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  11. #249
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    Those cross-contours studies are pretty intense(at least for me) Your vessels and vehicles look pretty solid in form.

    I kind want to see your figures worked into a background with full range of values. Sometimes shapes and shadows around the figure can just as interesting as the subject. Many of the forms are just be quickly suggested.

    Last edited by Pigeonkill; November 30th, 2009 at 12:16 AM.
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  12. #250
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    i already love the lines.About proportions i think its a part that can be fixed when you want to fix it(that means if you have time to work it in the end, or when you doing an illustartion etc.All this errors are solved under the "work it more")
    I like how you do a lot of these figures and i dont care about minor proportional errors as long as you keep up the training.Lol it sounds abstract but i think thats real.
    Now in the rendering the bloblike brushtrokes seem to break the form here and there.Try changing the tip of the brush in the brush settings or rework the areas that the blobs are more obvious .
    In overall you are doing great and the stuff are well worked
    Keep up the good work

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  13. #251
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    Studies are looking good man, especially gestural work on those life drawings. Something you might want to try is using a blunt pencil or a medium that doesn't make such fine lines (really helps with shading stage). Use the thicker points first and then come in with a finer point. Maybe you could have 2 identical charcoal pencils with one being sharp, the other not so. The sharper one you'd use for nice line work later in the production of your drawing. Try using something like charcoal or conte (woooaahh, big bad conte). While I find conte extremely frustrating, it has helped my drawing skills more than any other medium. They say if you can draw well with conte then you can draw well with anything. When using conte you must to be patient for the medium demands control.

    Hope this helps

    Rock on brother man

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  14. #252
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    Looks like doing drawings from life on 11/25 loosened you up so you can put down a really nice quick study from the model.

    Loomis stuff is good....creating heads partially turned up can be tricky. Not sure how to correct it.....I just know its tricky

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  15. #253
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    Hey pal, good to see you are working on anatomy again. Reminds me of something I took a break from for too long already. But the wacom keeps me excited Seems like there are too many constructions sites for me, but I try to do it step by step.
    A lot of motivation to you, man!
    Cheers!

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  16. #254
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    Pigeonkill - welcome! Hmm...yes, I guess thats more of a focus on composition, right no I'm trying to improve my grasp of form with an eye to 1. figure inventions and 2. keeping my construction from being to 'abstract'.

    kingkostas - d'oh! Blobby brushes are pet peeve of mine...thanks for mentioning that, I looked at my brush and for some reason Painter was making circular dabs instead of 'flat' dabs. Fixed now, I think...some weird bug I guess.

    Peetaer - Good advice. I actually like the consistency of conte better than charcoal...now if only I can remember where I left my crayons...

    I tried doing the flattened tip and my 'lead' kept breaking. Too fine I think, I need to get a big lead-holder I think. Too bad we got hit by a freak ice storm this weekend or I would have gone to the art shop.

    I hear and obey

    liquidjack - Yeah it is...mostly the neck-chin I think. However, I think the form is much better revealed when the head is not right at eye level.

    Pascallo - yeah, the monkey is on my back again By 'constructio sites'you mean to may projects going at once? I feel you...thats probably the most frustrating thing about the figure...so many interlocking aspects to study, proportion, anatomy, form, gesture, from ife, from memory...I'm doing my berst not to drown in it though. I guess so long as you learn something every day, and RETAIN it, its all for the good.

    ---

    Hmm...i'm sensing a disturbing lack of criticality this round...come on, people, crack that whip, give me what for!

    Just this for now, got pages of figure crap, I'll glean some of it later.

    Its from ref, in Painter, about 2 hours so far. I know I need to block in the background yet, at least.

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    Please anybody, everybody, crit this real hardcore, its for my Mom's geneology book that she's doing for Christmas and I'm going to be doing like half a dozen or so of these, so any help I can get early on is much appreciated.

    EDIT reference

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    EDIT progress (about 3.5 hours)

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    Last edited by BludHund; December 15th, 2009 at 05:59 PM.
    sketchbook...a kitten dies every time you don't comment

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  17. #255
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    Really dig the latest ref painting. I can feel myself wanting to dive into painter more and more as time wears on. Painting digitally will definitely help your rendering skills especially if you spend a lot of time and one and try to nail all the values as best as possible (especially the subtle ones, the mid tones n such). I've been working on one for days now and my rendering skills have definitely shot up. But yeah, if you are concerned with your rendering skills then definitely paint from black n white refs for a really long before and take your time on them. If you want to improve vis-a-vi traditional materials then definitely work with charcoal. And work large!

    Cheers

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  18. #256
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    Looks fine bradda'
    Way too early to crit but things look good enough to keep moving ahead

    I would imagine if thou want-es harsh crits thou must show reference

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  19. #257
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    In the photo the main thing I respond to is the huge mustache, I've never seen anyone in life with a mustache like that. Next I notice his slightly raised right eyebrow, I think that's kind of funny. It's fun to compare the tiny bow tie with that huge mustache. He's got a cartoony sophistication, he could be the bad guy in a Bugs Bunny cartoon, and I keep thinking Paul Sr. from American Chopper and Santa Claus.
    Expression. I don't know how you respond to this image, but if I were to do it I would try to express those things I just said, along with a lot of others which are impossible to explain in words, but they can be expressed in the picture:
    huge mustache contrasted with tiny bow tie
    raised eyebrow
    Looney Tunes...
    I would figure out ways to get those things across. I like how bright you made that raised eyebrow. Look at how close together his eyes are in the photo, look at how big his ears are in comparison. You made that white shirt way too bright, it takes away the specialness/expressiveness of the white of that eyebrow, and I can't see the funny bowtie.
    Open a file and trace over this photo in line, then put some quick values over the lines, use the eye dropper tool. That will help you appreciate what is there, all the time stay aware of your feelings towards these facts. When you're done throw it away and start working on the portrait again.

    Last edited by armando; December 15th, 2009 at 09:34 PM.
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  21. #258
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    Hay there BludHund,
    I never got the chance to thank you for the amazing crit you gave me a while ago.
    Such a great wake up call man, I could thank you more, so really appreciate it man, THANKS!

    I wish I could do the same, but I think your doing everything right here, real cool work.

    But just as a quick crit, on the last study I think the neck/chin is a little to broad, and the eye lids are a bit too shallow (especially the right one). But apart from that it looks good.

    Thanks again man,
    matt

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  22. #259
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    Peetaer - Yeah I really don't work on the huge sheet of newsprint like most people, maybe I should start, once the life drawing venue opens again (its closed for the winter). Yeah, I'd say I really do need to spend more time on rendering to get all those subtleties. However, right now I seem to be having a lot of difficulty just getting the likeness and proportions correct, so I'll probably concentrate more on that.

    liquidjack - *shamefaced* yeah, you right.

    armando- thank you for the detailed and earnest criticism. I'm getting really frustrated with the repeated failure of my initial sketches, I keep finding that my proportions and placements of features are wrong wrong wrong every time. Either I over-emphasize some features or I over-genralize or idealize others. I just can't seem to find a happy medium.

    JailHouseRock2 - Yeah I make a lot of noise and sometimes it makes sense, sometimes a it doesn't. I think you know the truth when it echoes what you see for yourself, even if you don't consciously admit it.

    Thanks for the crit, I see that now. I seem to judge people as being fatter than they are at the first pass

    ---

    Well folks, I realized pretty quickly that I wasn't going to have enough time to develop these fully and still have *something* to deliver for Christmas, so I just plowed through as best I could.

    Its amazing how you get such complete tunnel vision when you're working, then, when you come back later all the errors glare out at you. I really need to start seeing better. My first and second and third attempts still seem to yield all kinds of exaggerations and generalizations.

    Well at least I feel like I'm not fighting painter tooth and nail so much anymore. Last weekend I just wanted to scream and break things, nothing seemed to be working out.

    I should make some corrections to these as I go forward. Definitely need to work on observation though.

    Blah enough negativity, I'm going back to drawing now.

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    sketchbook...a kitten dies every time you don't comment

    “When forced to work within a strict framework,
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    produce its richest ideas. Given total freedom,
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    Thanks for stopping by my sketchbook, man!
    About your portrait stuff - some general remarks:
    - About structure: I guess you should work on it some more in advance, before you jump into shading. And I'm not just talking about general structure, but about characteristic shapes of a face. When you draw portraits you should first identify how that face is different from every other ones, and then focus on those features and emphasize, exaggerate them. Like you would draw caricatures. Actually drawing caricatures is a good way to learn how to see those characteristics.

    For example: The trapezoid-shaped, large, mouth-covering mustache of that first old man is one of the most important things that identifies his face. You should have emphasized it on the portrait, but you have painted it smaller and even changed it's shape. The head is oval-shaped on the reference (the contour doesn't even break at the eye-socket) and only broken by hair, but in a very subtle way. The contour on your rendering is broken everywhere you've exaggerated the contour break on the top of the head (though it should have been overlooked) and also emphasized the breaks created by hair by putting much more contrast there than on the reference. The nose of the ref is triangular-shaped and really wide at the bottom - you painted it kinda narrow. His ear is large and oval shaped - on your piece one couldn't even tell if that's an ear or not.
    I found it very useful to analize the face first and even write small notes, like: oval face, small flooting hairstrands on the side above the ear, large oval ear, nose - wide at the bottom, large trapezoid mustache, small eyes - close to eachother - eyelids visible; then drawing a face of this kind WITHOUT even glancing at the ref, THEN do the rendering based on the shading of the ref and the structure already laid down. I found it much more effective than the 'trial and error' approach.

    - About shading and values: I know it's hard to recreate the original values, but you should or else your pic wouldn't look real. some examples: You put really dark values on the eye socket though on the ref they aren't darker than the side of the neck. You have made the right eyebrow almost white though its rather grey on the ref and it's inner part even blends into the skin of the forehead. I could go on. I don't suggest that you should totally replicate the values of the original, but you should stick to value relations (what parts are brighter than what other parts, which parts have the same value). It can be helpful to separate shaded and lit parts of the pic at the very beginning and than deepening the shadows and adding highlights consequently on the whole pic.

    - And last but not least: About the eyes: You just can't work too much on them. Sometimes the eyes you paint look more vivid, sometimes less. Definitely something you should practice some more.

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    man...im very embarrased at how long it has been since I've dropped in here...you're making great progress dude!

    I think that portrait is very successful due to the value and edgework:



    for your recent updates i suggest pushing the contrast more (darken the coreshadow to separate the highlight and shadow from the midtones). and soften some edges to push back and bring out the facial structures. keep it up man!

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    The last patch of portraits come out nice.

    Make a sketchbook happy, feed it a tip to improve!

    http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=85628
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    Hey there, it's been a while.

    You gotta let the negativity go...or, better yet, channel that drive further into your commitment to becoming a better artist. Your frustrations with not getting it to look "perfect" is a reflection of internal drive and the high standards you set for yourself, which is a really good thing. You've just got to own that negative energy and reclaim it as a force for positivity. It's really all the same thing, it all comes from the same source. Positivity and negativity are just inversions of one another. So, don't be so hard on yourself.

    Just get up and keep going! And remember, you can always return to your old drawings and revamp them. This is the digital age, we can practically do whatever we want to our artwork :-)

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    Novbert - Thanks for the in-depth analysis. I agree with each of the points you made about errors in the portrait. I just don't know about the process right now...I've been trying to follow the advice of the experts as much as possible. I think perhaps much of my problem is a mental one, as well as just not taking my time enough.

    paperX - That means you'll be dropping by more often, right . I screwed up the eyes, but I think it was a good exercise.

    Pigeonkill - Thanks.

    Peetaer - Thanks for the encouragement. I realize that it is good to have rigorous standards, but I also know that I sometimes take that too far. Its just that with likenesses right now I'm quite frustrated at the lack of improvement.

    ---

    Happy 2010 everybody!

    Well I guess 2009 was a bit of a rough year, what with the economy and everything else, but I feel like it was a tremendous year of growth for me, personally. Its been one of those times when you feel like you've been sleep-walking for years and you suddenly just woke up.

    Thanks to everybody who gave me support and criticism along the way. I hope everyone had as much a sense of accomplishment and that we all have a great year going forward.

    ---

    Enough Hallmark crap then...here's some arts:

    some digital gestures. There are some nice poses in there, although I think the technique is crap.

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    Still working on head construction...realizing that I have a total lack of consistancy which is related to just working willy-nilly without any intent or purpose. I think that this may be my single greatest bad habit right now, aside from general impatience and timidity.

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    Working on drapery a bit, haven't really sunk my teeth into it yet. I think I just need to exercise some patience.

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    The bulk of my efforts over the past two months have been in trying to work out my process for figure drawing. Trying to apply my gains in 3d form construction, to the figure, and trying to understand the step-by-step of the "general to specific" approach. A key point has been to get familiar with rules of thumb to gauge and measure foreshortening...things really began to click when I could visualize depth-wise proportions better.

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    More life drawing...blizzards here on the east coast cost me a week

    12-16-09

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    12-23-09

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    01-20-10 - starting to apply construction process...utilizing a pair of lead holders has helped a lot, thanks to Peetaer for his advice on 12-06.

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    01-27-10 - use of simple curves to block in is finally starting to make sense.

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    more stuff soon hopefully, thanks for checking up on me, guys!

    sketchbook...a kitten dies every time you don't comment

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    Ah some work done while you were away from CA. Good stuff. The digital gestures look very linear in comparison to your pencil work. I would say the gestures were done fine just the line work makes it look less human. Really like the face work even without purpose it seems to have come through well.

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    A critique just for you, bud.
    Definite improvement on that last batch of life drawings!
    The tonal portraits are looking nice too, especially Carter Royston. Good shapes going on there.

    I think it wouldn't hurt for you to do more figure studies from photos.
    The trick though, is that you should keep in mind the same techniques and process you would use for life drawing.
    I did this for awhile and I found it really helpful to ingrain techniques and I wouldn't fumble around so much when it came to drawing from life.

    Peace

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    What part of P.A. are you in, BludHund?

    If it's Eastern PA, come check out Barnstone (www.barnstonestudios.com)

    This is right up your alley. It looks like you've been really searching hard for some answers. Check out some of Myron's video vignettes at the website and see if this place will fit the bill for you.

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    I agree that last batch of figure drawing is improving. I notice you got the land marks better established. I like the clothing studies and the break down. My only suggestion is to go easy on the wrinkles in drawing, even though in real life they do look that way. Simplify like wrinkles on faces. But I also need to study up on folds too.

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    liquidjack - *ashamed* yes I still have to work on being more involved and updating more frequently. Yeah the hardness of the lines is a factor..but also I think just the general approach...I need to be thinking in terms of the 'essence of motion and mass' rather than just outlines. Its really hard for me. Thanks...I know some of the faces look decent, I just want to be more consistent.

    HunterKiller - thanks, man. I've been thinking the same thing about the life drawing...I'm guessing also that I need to strike a closer balance between 'from life' and 'from memory'

    p sage - Thanks for the suggestion. I checked out the 'vignettes' on Barnstone's site. To be honest, despite his compelling declamatory style of speaking, a lot of what he's talking about is not strictly new to me. Plus I'm kinda resistant to a classroom environment nowadays. However, I may purchase his DVD set and see where that leads me...

    Pigeonkill - Yeah...I need to up my tempo and get beyond the landmark stage, but I do think the whole exercise is paying off. On the drapery: yes of course, really it seems that drapery is mostly a means to express posture and form *through* wrinkles...the wrinkles are the trees that make up the forest of the pose, so to speak. In these cases I was being so detail-obsessed because I was not create a composition, but rather trying to drill the vocabulary into my memory.

    ---

    So, after this last batch I've definitely decided that its just not healthy for me to update monthly anymore. For one thing, its too much scanning, for another thing, I don't get enough interaction/involvement with y'all. I think I'm going to shoot for weekly updates...just got to budget the time. I think I'm making regular enough progress that it won't feel like I'm sacrificing so much precious precious drawing time...

    ...and hopefully I won't be so damn wordy, either

    ---

    drapery studies...barely starting to make sense..this stuff is hard

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    from life

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    from memory/imagination

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    ---

    sorry its so much boring graphite figure studies, guys. Believe, me, I feel the need to do something more interesting. Should at least have some clothed figures for the next update.

    Thanks for everything.

    Last edited by BludHund; April 4th, 2010 at 09:51 PM.
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    Things seem pretty weird on CA these days, technically speaking. I seem to have a hard time logging in to my account (could be firefox?). That last post didn't seem to work at all, so lets try again.

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    There we go...took about 12 hours, but it seems to be working now.

    Last edited by BludHund; March 28th, 2010 at 08:43 AM.
    sketchbook...a kitten dies every time you don't comment

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