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Hi. I'm pretty much a beginner. Would appreciate any critique/help I can get! Here are some of my sketches...
Update May 11th: Do skip to the later pages which are much better
Last edited by SketchyPages; May 11th, 2010 at 08:24 AM.
I definitely agree about the improvement. You can really see it, especially in comparing the still lives. I really like the second last image, with the beads. I hope you do keep updating. I keep saying I will. The one thing I think when I look through the images here is that you could do with being a whole lot bolder with your strokes. The images all feel sort of greyish to me - how about some really pushing the values with some mega dark bits? If you don't think your set up goes with that, you could always mess around with the lighting - have a lamp instead of a ceiling light, or something. I always think a drawing comes alive when you push the shadows beyond a mid-grey. How about trying some drawings in pen, as well, if you fancy it? That will force you to be a bit bolder in your mark making, I think. That said, I really like the hand drawings too. This isn't the right word, I'm sure, but they feel like they have a lot of 'character' - sort of a force behind the movement. The two fingers on the right bother me a bit, though - try dividing the fingers into a two/three cylinders. I like the lines generally though. They look confident.
Hope to see more soon. Update.
The first still life in the second post is awesome! The dragon is pretty cool too. You could work a bit on your anatomy though, such as the legs in the drawing of the man with the cane, but it takes a long time to study anatomy so you're doing fine. I would recommend searching for anatomy and figure drawing books such as Loomis or Bridgman if you haven't heard of them before. They help a lot with understanding how to draw the figure using a constructive meathod. Anyway just keep drawing and you'll always improve, good luck.
Great start! Really like the still lifes you're doing. I need to get on some figure studies myself!
Keep it up!
Have to say, I really like the still life with the vase and beads - I love the subtle pattern on the fabric and the vase/beads are really well done.
I also like your last one with the book. Nice colors!
Keep it up!
Nice studies! I can't tell if you're doing this in your figure drawings, but it helps to think of the limbs as three dimensional objects (like cubes or cylinders) connected to central masses (pelvis and rib cage). Also remember perspective effects everything, including figures. Your cast drawing is nice, it looks 3D and the values on the digital painting study are good. Keep pushing the studies!
The digital stuff is really coming along. I seriously need to get going on Photoshop myself someday. I think in your next one you should have a few different objects so you can paint different textures within the same piece. Or not, er. I will echo RickyS though on the figure drawings, though I do think it's okay to start off with some purely observational studies of the figure. It has taken me forever to begin to see the body as a composite of 3D shapes (and I still fail at it). Maybe you could check out posemaniacs 30 second thing, as well; I think it's quite useful for getting you to capture the whole form quickly, without worrying about the details that might not make sense yet.
Love the cast drawing. Your line quality is fab.
Nice work on the figure drawings. I'd try to loosen up a bit on your figure drawing...do you know www.posemaniacs.com? They have a tool that lets you do 30 second gesture drawings, which will help your sense of energy and posing.
Thanks a lot guys! Yeah I just checked out posemaniacs. I'll post my attempts during the next update.
Here are some 5-10 minute hand/foot studies.
Yeah, I ought to think more in terms of 3d shapes. Though when I do that, I completely lose the proportions . Gotta practice more.
I'm setting aside the weekends for traditional stuff(pastel and watercolor). Here is my first pastel still life as well as a figure study.
I don't think the coconut sucks.. I do feel like I'd like to see you push the detailing on it a little more (Mostly on the brownish front area that's facing out. It feels kind of wishy-washy compared to the hard edges you have on the glass next to it.) Otherwise, not too shabby.
One thing I did notice is that you painted right on a white canvas - I find I get better colors when I lay down a tone first for a BG. I sort of squint my eyes and pick the most dominant color of my subject (mostly the ambient/over all tint) and lay it down. It gives me a better judge for comparison colors that I'm putting down and it gives a nice under-layer of color to whatever I'm putting down. It helps the colors sit better together.
I know, I'm pretty bad with proportions too. I end up just eyeballing it, but the more you do it the more accurate you become. There's also techniques to determine foreshortened proportion, but I haven't looked into that stuff yet...
Your hands are looking good, but on one of them I noticed the tip of the middle finger which is hidden behind the thumb is disconnected from the other half of the finger. To fix this overlap problem it helps to "draw through" which means you pretend the overlapping form (in this case the thumb) is transparent so you will be able to draw the form behind it (the middle finger) accurately. Hopefully you understand what I'm saying.
I like how you did on the fruit thing.
I haven't done a lot of painting lately, but mimicking what intrinsik said, I used to start with a gradient of light to dark to show how the lighting was, and then paint on top of that. Helps get rid of the "white canvas of death" syndrome.
I just looked at your coconut =) maybe you could set up a still life with intense lighting to help with figuring out shapes. Also, in my oil painting class, my teacher told me sometimes starting out with a blank canvas is intimidating so it's good to start out with a middle tone with a slight warm or cool hue depending on what your doing. Let's say your light source is warm u might want to start with a cooler tone for contrast. When I'm painting digitally I take this concept and use it so I always start out with a toned grey and it really helps and gets you going.
The hands and feet look awesome. I quite like the apples as well. I think you'll improve massively by setting aside the weekends for traditional work, especially considering the rate you've picked up digital painting. The most recent still life also looks good. I particularly like the glass of water. I can't really comment on the cocounut, though, as I've, er, never actually seen one. It does look sort of greenish to me, though it might be my monitor? Generally, I think I'd like to see more full figure drawings going on here, like the pastel (?) one and the pencil ones a while back. Do you have any life drawing classes in your area, do you think? I actually asked at my local art college and they're allowing me to attend a full day one this week. Maybe you could see if there's anything similiar around you.
Looking forward to more.
Thanks! Great tip about removing the white of the canvas. I'm not sure if I got it right in this still life but I tried to push it a little further and work a little slower.
I think the spoon requires a little more work.Reflective metallic surfaces are so hard!
Last edited by SketchyPages; March 3rd, 2010 at 02:58 AM.
Ok, Gestures take me out of my comfort zone.Do you guys work small or big when working with posemaniacs? I find it a little easier working big but I don't want to waste a lot of papers! Foreshortened poses on posemaniacs were so crazy. I guess I should work a little slower? and making every line count..
Here are some of my efforts. I did more, but I can't upload all of them.
@RickyS: Yeah, I need to overcome my reluctance to draw "through something", especially when working with a pencil.
@justjean: Do you mean to say that if I have an orange color light, I ought to start out with middle tone blue? That's interesting..
@ ceriously: I think completing 30-40 min figure drawings will help with my gestures. There aren't any figure drawing classes here as far I know. I'll have to keep looking. I could draw more at public places, I suppose.
Whoa your paintings are improving fast! Good job on the latest still life.
Yeah gestures are meant to be evil. I used to draw large when doing pose maniacs exercises because the point of gesture drawing is to use your whole arm and feel the pose, but now I draw gestures small because I do everything on 8.5 by 11 paper. I think it's good to get used to working at different sizes because in a real drawing characters could be different sizes depending on their position in perspective, so it's good practice to do anything you can, but generally with gestures, the bigger the better. If you really want to work big I would recommend 18 by 24 inch newspint or bigger because that's what we used in life drawing sessions.
As far as speed goes, Vilppu and Walt Stanchfield say to draw fast (like 5-30 seconds), but I think this is unreasonable for a beginner, so it's better to slow down now and do it right. I remember when I used to crank out 50-100 gesture drawings in a day, but I didn't learn anything because I was doing them too fast and wasn't paying attention to the weight, balence, curves, etc - all the important stuff. So the best thing to do is work at your own pace for now and gradually work your way up. Of course keep in mind you shouldn't spend more than 3 mins on a gesture because that's probably a waste of time too.. after all gestures aren't meant to look nice or be detailed.
I personally don't like pose maniacs though because the poses are too awquard and unnatural, so photo reference is better. Of course I'm a hypocrite because I haven't done 30 second gesture drawing in a long time, haha. I have to start doing this again...
One thing I notice about your gestures which I should warn you is you're doing contour drawing on the outside of the figures. This is a common beginner mistake everyone makes, but it is better if you draw the interior of the figure too. Unfortunately you can't really do this without knowledge of anatomy or construction (and "drawing through") which is why I recommend to practice gesture, anatomy and construction all at once so you can apply them to each other. If you're lacking in one of the areas it will make everything else harder.
The best one is in the lower left because you drew the spinal cord which makes it look more 3D. It's also good you are trying cross contour on some of the limbs.
Okay I know this comment is too long, but I really need to work on my gestures too, so I was getting excited and I ranted a bit, sorry! In the end it's up to you to decide how you want to approach the studies, so take my advice with a grain of salt because you'll eventually learn everything on your own just from practicing.
Love the rant! Yeah, posemaniacs has a lot of awkward poses. I'm collecting photos so that I can set up a slideshow sort of a thing. I think I'll start with 2 or 3 minutes and work my way up. I draw mostly on 8.5 by 11 as well.
Yeah, anatomy is bit overwhelming. I guess I shouldn't do everything at once and try to breaking it down from the top. I have to set aside time for that.
That still life came out pretty darn good! I especially like the onion - the skin has a nice texture to it and the lighting came out great. Your colors also look like they're working together a lot better in this piece, too.
I agree with you that highly-reflective surfaces can be a bit of a headache to capture, but I don't think you did too badly at all. The spoon definitely looks reflective - if I had to nitpick at all, I think it would only be that I can't tell on first glance where the edge of the spoon is before it dips into the bowl of the spoon.
Nice figure studies. I think they're all a little too short, though. Most of them are only about 5 heads tall. Try to stretch them out a bit to at least 7 or 8 heads. (I tend to make my figures on the slightly short side, too. It definitely takes practice.)
The studies of the eyes/heads are nice. I definitely think you captured different 'expressions' with the eyes, which can be difficult to do well. Good job!
If you aren't into posemaniacs, then try: http://www.characterdesign.com/ and go to the photosets link. I like posemaniacs BECAUSE the poses are so foreshortened and crazy, really helps you learn what the body does instead of just memorizing common poses.