Hey people, Not sure how to word this but I will give it my best go
Alright so when I do constructive drawings from life and photos I seem to run in to a problem **I don't know if it called "constructive Drawing" but starting with basic shapes**
Ok so I will start with breaking what ever I am drawing into basic shapes. So then After I've set that up and I've gotten proportions to what I think they should be or as close as possible, But then I go into more "advanced" detail, but it seem like I just get a outline of the object, and I can not for the life of me get it to be more then a outline, Should I be looking for places that should be overlapping or something? lol I am lost so if you could help thanks
And would a #2 pencil be better then a mechanical pencil for light sketch (loose sketched before more more refining) Hope that made sense
or maybe I'm just a little special lol
Level 16 Gladiator: Spartacus' Retiarii
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Look at Doug Higgins (dougs is online) or Jack Faragasso's books they cover this with the Reilly method using the idea of a string of pearls. The line of action or direction is the string and the pearls are the secondary forms that sit on that line.
When you add detail to the initial construction of your figure you follow the same principle. So the primary cylinder of the forearm becomes refined into a collection of spheres and cylinders that follow the initial direction and angle of the first cylinder.
To help with light and shadow visualization you draw through all the forms to better understand the total mass of the arm and all its contours. After awhile you can draw starting with a more advance stage of visualization and only go through the steps in your mind instead of on the page much like a musician would do when playing a piece of music. At some point you know the music well enough to stop thinking about dorian or ionian scales and just play with feeling.
Going from the examples in your sketchbook thread (which are a bit old, so maybe some updated pictures might help us help you more), I'd say you really just need more practice drawing from life. Books are great, and there is a ton of great information to learn in them, but it needs to be reinforced by lots of drawing from life (or at least from photos) for it to sink in and make sense.
Drawing the basic forms isn't something most people get right away. It takes some practice and putting it into use drawing from reference for it to click. Many (most?) people start drawing with outlines when they are young. Details inside the outline are almost decorative rather than truly descriptive of the form they are meant to portray. It takes time to change your approach to drawing.
Running Up That Hill
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The first question seems to have been dealt with pretty well. In essence, you need to get those shapes down as 3D forms, rather than flat shapes. Drawing through helps a lot with this, and will keep things on track. Judging by your sketchbook, I'd say more practice with those transparent, three dimensional forms would help a lot. Look at the last couple of pages of my sketchbook, you'll see what I'm getting at. Believe me, it helps a lot with visualization.
As to your second question, I'd say definitely. Mechanical pencil is pretty static, in that you don't have much variance for line width, you can't tilt it on its side to shade with, etc., which are very useful things in the sketching stage. I swear by traditional pencils (or, similarly, Prismacolor Col-Erase pencils), although it does come down to simple preference to some degree.
"Skill is the result of trying again and again, applying our ability and proving our knowledge as we gain it. Let us get used to throwing away the unsuccessful effort and doing the job over. Let us consider obstacles as something to be expected in any endeavor; then they won't seem quite so insurmountable or so defeating." - Andrew Loomis
Drawing Lessons from the Great Masters is a good book to check out as well as Vilppu's videos and drawing manual. Form is the key, so just learn to describe form well as basic shapes first, and then learn to build figures up with simple forms and feel the forms in the figure to know how to describe them with your markmaking; also be sure to vary your line weight accordingly with the form. Try doing a couple master studies too to see how they handle it; most of the old masters' figures could be broken down into very simple forms also.
1) What Nezumi and JWilson said is totally true. Drawing through to the other side of the object and drawing the object as if it's made of glass helps a lot. In every thing you draw, try to get rid of all the details and curves and break them down into the 4 geometric forms (+ 1 more, which is the wedge). Start simple with a thumbdrive, waterbottle, TV, shoerack, squarish chair using nothing but the 4 solids. In your next SB update, you gotta post at least some drawings that have been drawn through and also have been broken down into the geometric solids. Also, I think a good knowledge of perspective will really help make the process of construction much easier. As Loomis said, "Be able to draw the unseen ear".
2) Throw away the crappy mechanical pencil. Remember, "The HB pencil is the most beautiful object in the world.".
When starting out I think it's best to keep the construction lines in your sketches, and eventually you'll probably start drawing less of them and drawing them lighter, and eventually you might not even really need them at all. Also it depends on what the drawing is; if you're doing a clean line art then of course you'll want to erase construction lines, but if it's just a sketch then your light construction lines don't really need to be erased I think.