Welcome to the world of pain!
This thread will test your art dedication limits, and will require your own preserverance and effort, which I have determined you are ready and willing to accept. This is more than just an "activity", this is a responsibility, and as such I expect it to be treated like one. I will be giving grades and (try to learn excel so I can) keep gradesheets, along with critique and general lecture assignments.
I want you to do 3 Self portraits. Read the following, and DO THEM IN ORDER!!
Self-Portrait#1: Shadows GRADE: A
For this exercise, I want you to sit in a dark room with 1 lightsource, make sure you are not near any walls or light colored objects that will reflect onto your skin. It doesn't matter how you place the light. Once you have it in a secure position, I want you to draw only the lines between shadow and light. You can do construction lines, but don't draw the outline of the head dark or boldly.
The point of this exercise is for you to observe the form of your face. The dips and bumps and curves. It isn't about knowing YOUR FACE, it's about being able to read form well. Unless you feel like drawing sharpie lines down your face, this is a pretty good way to practice seeing form. Do not shade the areas in shadow, I want only a line drawing.
Self-Portrait#2: Blind Contour GRADE: A*
If you have ever had an art class, chances are you know what this is. However, read on. Most art teachers have learned the technique itself from their teachers or other good or accomplished artists. HERE IS THE PROBLEM: So often, the purpose behind this exercise is implied that you want to draw your face as accurately as possible without looking at the paper. THIS IS FALSE! It does VERY little to help you get better at ANYTHING art related. In fact it doesn't even help hand-eye coordination as much as you think.
The REAL purpose of this activity is to help you concentrate and focus on seeing form and planes and their movement. Do NOT FOCUS ON YOUR HAND! That is not the point. ALL of your energy should be put toward your eyes; just keep your hand on the paper. You can do this in any lighting situation;
Here is the catch: I want you to MOVE YOUR HEAD slowly while drawing. Remember, it ISN'T ABOUT YOUR HAND, it ISN'T ABOUT HOW THE DRAWING LOOKS! This is a practice for your BRAIN, not your eyes!!! Remember, focus on FORM! Break the face into imaginary planes and draw along the creases of those planes. If you did it properly, you should end up with a large mass of lines, and that's it. Also, DO NOT PICK UP YOUR HAND WHILE DOING THIS EXERCISE!!
Self-Portrait#3: Rendered GRADE:B
This one is going to be tricky; It's a basic self portrait. However, I want you to do this; Spend ONE HOUR drawing ONLY the lines, and make sure they are accurate. SPEND 1 HOUR, there is always something to correct. Do not say "good enough!" Spend an HOUR! After that First hour, I want you to scan it and post it up. The next 20-30 minutes, I want you to draw the lines of where the most shadow and the most light meet, alot like #1. Remember to follow the forms! Then, after that, I want you to draw lines between the mid-shadows and the dark shadows, and the mid-lights and the highlights. Draw these lines lightly. THEN, I want you to shade each area FLATLY! When you are done, you should have 4 Very even values. Dark, Medium Dark, Mid-gray, and light gray. Do not leave the eyes out either! I want them rendered as well. This will get you started on value.
Go get The Complete guide to Drawing from Life, by George Bridgeman. The paper back costs 17 bucks and it's a HUGE book and will serve you for years to come. Post in this thread once you get the book.
BONUS ASSIGNMENT 2:COMPLETE
Complete 3 pages of the bridgman book to go along with assignment number 3!!