Hello, I made this account some time ago, never really considered posting or anything. But now I'm gonna go ahead and change that. I also have an account on DeviantArt, but the few times I actually get comments on the stuff I do, it's not even criticism. I am desperate to improve, I feel like I've hit a stand still. And it's been going on for yeeeaaars.
I'm currently studying Computer Science, but drawing has always been something that I felt was for me. I briefly considered going to some sort of art school, but I didn't feel like there were that many options here. And I think my dad talked me into going the CS route, because he wanted me to have some job security. I still draw. But I feel like it mostly dissolves to doodling, and that's when I even find time to sit down and draw. And there's so much I could do better; composition, light/shadows, depth, colors, motion, faces, anatomy, landscapes... I look at everything I do, and it seems so flat, so repetitive. But I'm done fretting. I've never been too fond of showing other people my drawings, but it's useless for me to rely on myself for critique if I want to improve.
So, I hope this post isn't too sappy or oddly worded(English is not my first language). I'll try my best to upload stuff periodically so this thing doesn't die.
Worked on some anatomy today, mostly upper body muscle groups. Drew some more animals and tried drawing a fantasy deer with wings. Realised wings sucked, moved on. Also some drawings from a few days ago included.
You're right about value drawing, I'll try to focus on it in my next sketches. I think the reason my other sketches lack that depth, is because I stop working on them when I feel like I've got the shape down.
Drew my hand while waiting at the doctor's. Finished drawing some stuff from imagination a few minutes ago. I tried spending a bit more time on adding depth, but I think I'll go practise drawing some apples or something now.
Thanks for your crazy comment on my sketchbook. Your drawings here are really great, I really like the animals in the first post especially, they're really full of charm and character and their forms read super-well. I think that you might be better at drawing than you think you are.
Don't get discouraged, so much of what drawing skill is, is just a natural extension of the amount of time and effort put into the craft. You've been studying other things and not focused on drawing these past years, so there is no need to compare your skill level to the people who are focused on this path or who want to make a living at it. I guess I'm saying this because I think it can be much easier to improve without feeling burdened or ashamed at the being where you're at. And you have the added benefit of not being under the pressure that lots of those of us are, who want to end up being able to make a living out of this
You seem to have a good idea about what it is you want to practice, so I can only really offer the suggestion that you get some pencils dark enough to really dive into doing value and tone, to not be afraid of making super-dark marks and tone-areas, and try your best to compare the relative value levels of the stuff on your paper to the thing you're drawing. Questions such as "Is the shadow on my paper really as dark as the one I'm looking at?" can be helpful to ask yourself while drawing. It might sound silly but I'm sure that loads of people (myself included) sometimes feel inhibited at first, when thinking about putting down dark marks and tones, since they are hard to correct and can change the drawing so much. So an analytical approach can help a lot, and you've got nothing to lose, the worst that can happen is you get a messy sketch and learn something in the process.
And the best way in my opinion to get a hang of depth/value stuff is through life drawing. to set up a light, an object, and copy something so you can compare your results and see how the transition from light to dark actually shows up in real life, so you get an idea of how to do it in your own drawings. compare the darkest dark on your picture to the one in real life. compare the mid-tone on your paper to the one in real life, etc. this means that in almost all cases, the entirety of the drawn object will be shaded in some form of gray, unless the object youre drawing is as bright as the paper you are drawing on. squint your eyes, the reason your pictures don't seem to have depth is because you need darkness to contrast against light to create that illusion.
i just tried a paintover in the hopes of illustrating my point:
youve defined shadow areas in all your drawings, you just havn't darkened them enough. in the first image, i just dragged the value sliders down to darker, and it already has more form. in the 2nd one, i painted in some shadows in the areas you had drawn them. i guess what i'm trying to say is, you're already halfway there in terms of getting your shading!
Last edited by aks9; March 19th, 2013 at 06:58 PM.
You are so right! I am so so afraid of adding too much to my drawings, so my stuff ends up so pale! I've been trying to draw stuff and focus more on the actual values, but I think I keep unconsciously thinking that this won't end well, and so I give up before even trying. I think I'll try by going back to simple things, like fruit, so I don't have the distraction of form and details at first.
In your paintover you really illustrate my problem, because I just let all white parts be defined as not-shadow, while it should only be highlights. Till next time, I'll really really try to force myself to limit the white areas to the actual highlights of the subject I'm drawing. And I also need to get some other pencils. At the moment I've only got two, and they're both hb. I'll try getting some softer ones.
Though I find CS interesting and I love to program, I still feel like drawing is what makes me feel happy. When I was younger, I was always drawing. People would always say that one day I'd become an artist. I'd often like to think, that even if I never did go to an art school, I'll damn well try my hardest to work towards doing pieces that could be good enough to be used as illustrations/concept art/etc. So while there is no pressure on me to truly commit to drawing, I still want to have this as something I can feel proud of, something I can always go back to, and feel joy. Just for me
So far I'm happy I started this sketchbook. I really feel like I'm putting more work into my stuff, now that I feel certain people won't just say "That's nice". And there's also so many other people's awesome sketchbooks to get inspired by! I got working on a portrait to get some practise in skin tone and painting because I visited your sketchbook and thought "I should be practising, why am I not practising????"
EDIT: The last pic is from 2012, I'm editing it in so I don't bump this thread. For that I used these as reference: 1(nsfw) & 2(sfw)
Last edited by Aves; March 19th, 2013 at 08:44 PM.
Reason: Add pic
Drew some apples. Then a rose. I already hate drawing roses, and adding the challenge of paying attention to values didn't help any. Then I drew a dog/squirrel guy. I think I'll do some portraits next.
nice work on all this stuff
the figure on the rock is really well done, the rock itself is still a bit pale i think, value wise. it looks way too white to be a rock (and is also simply far brighter than the reference). but otherwise, still really nice job on the painting.
nice pencil stuff with the fruits too! great great work shading and defining the areas. really getting the form reading and round in there. i hope i'm not annoying with this, but maybe its helpful:
i just uniformly darkened the whole thing with the value slider in Photoshop. there were basically no pixels in the dark half of the value range:
in my opinion the darker ones look more present and strong/real. so its like, you're already getting the "shading" and form right, its just within a quite narrow value range.
Nope, nope, nope, not annoying at all. You are pushing me in the right direction! I'll try my best to really capture the darker shades, it's a bad habit to overcome, sadly. It's a bad case of the animes. Right now I'm working on all the stuff I hate doing and usually just skip, so it might take a while for me to truly grasp it. But I can already see improvements in my stuff, because I really want to do my best and post as much as possible. All your criticism is helping me a lot, I promise! :p
I worked on some male poses again using references. The past few years I've mostly drawn female bodies, so I think it's a good idea for me to focus a little bit on something else. I also tried doing some more value work, and I didn't like doing it, but it'll get better. And then I tried to draw some characters, a young elf warrior and a muscly lady. The legs of the elf warrior look a big off, the left leg should probably be a bit higher.
I've got to do more complete stuff, like characters, instead of just doing studies. I haven't really utilized any of the stuff I've been practising, seeing as I've mostly just been doodling. I'm currently working on this:
Not stopping! Just been sick the last few days. I also have to turn in an assignment on concurrent programming. It's not difficult, it's just about pulling myself together and getting it done. Drew some stuff over the days too:
Drew some ladies from imagination. I used more time planning out one bikini lady than I used on planning out the first image. I feel it gets easier to draw dynamic poses, much easier than, what, a month ago. Just goes to show that I should practise drawing poses more often! I need to work on angles and foreshadowing next, I still struggle with those when trying to draw something "powerful".
nice sketches, looks like you could work on the values a bit more to give it more form. anyways cool stuff!
Hells yeah I gotta work on my values ALOT. I keep drawing the same thing, over and over, never gaining anything from it. When I'm done with my exams, next item on the list will be doing digital paintings and many value drawings.
Especially when I look at you guys' sketchbooks, it just itches, I want to practise so badly...! Just sit down and not care about anything than making it look right, that is the good life.
just wanna say: if you want to improve in values, you gotta start actually doing values! start shading, and take out those 4B pencils and actually start making dark marks and shading in large dark areas...
you can't really learn values just from imagination though, you need to try drawing something from life, and just block in big areas of highlight, middle and very dark areas..
most the sketchbook is still just 1 or 2 values! you just gotta jump in and add the darks. i posted the apple tutorial before, dunno if thats helpful or not. if you got questions i'll help you out!