View Full Version : "My Levelling up" Art Journal

06-05-2012, 04:42 PM
Whats up,this is an Art Journal for exercises that I do in order to help me understand drawing better. I would really appreciate feedback and constructive criticism from the images posted as I strive to improve after all. Bear with me some looks quite ghastly.
These are ink and watercolor exercise from Kimon Nicolaides book "The Natural Way To Draw". (The watercolor exercise is still an ongoing work)
I learned the pros and cons of this book: the pros which are it is in depth and "awakens your senses" needed for drawing ; the cons would be that it requires patience- a lot of it. I've toiled through the first 10 sections of this book and has really helped me so going to continue this. I've realized that exercises from this book alone would not help me improve so I will try other drawing books such as Andrew Loomis and Bridgman stuff ,advice of what books are good especially for figure drawing are very much appreciated.

06-05-2012, 04:43 PM
(used white color pencil as an experiment)

06-05-2012, 04:47 PM

06-07-2012, 04:27 PM
Now that I've done these "revision" exercises I'm going to see what other stuff I could do to improve. Any suggestions/ advice are very appreciated.

06-07-2012, 04:59 PM
Looking good :)

I think it's important that, alongside these exercises, you work from life. Sketch people around you. The knowledge you gain from one will feed into the other.

Remember too, that drawing in someone elses 'style' is like trying to walk in someone elses shoes and may not 'fit'. Ok for learning but let your mark making develop in your own way, without forcing it.

Personally I find drawing people really interesting but have never been particularly interested in painting them. Landscape is my first love.

There are a some blogs by people you might find helpful - try looking at the blog of Lynn Chapman an English illustrator. She sketches on the many train journeys she makes and is also a very active member of urban sketchers. Also the blog of Adebanje Alade, a London artist who paints landscapes but sketches people on public transport and has done a series on the homeless.

I hope this is helpful.

06-07-2012, 05:25 PM
Really good practice going on here. Vivien had the right advice. Draw people from life for more practice. I'm not good with the human figure either. I do more still life type stuff or flowers (things that hold still for me. :lol:)

06-07-2012, 06:17 PM
Lead, you have lots of good stuff going on in those pictures. You capture a good sense of volume and space, your line is loose and descriptive. I haven't worked with the Nicolaides book, but my drawing teacher had us do warm-ups from the book (continuous contour and gesture drawings) every time we had a live model for class. But I don't know the watercolor exercises you refer to. Can you describe what they're about? It's hard to give feedback when I'm not sure what the technical goal was.

As for other books -- I'd recommend Danny Gregory's "Creative License" as a nice contrast to the Nicolaides. It's not a technical book, there are no "how to" lessons. But I found it really juicy because he pushes people to simply draw whatever they see in front of them, whenever they have a spare moment to put pen to paper. There is no sense in waiting for the "mood to strike" -- just do it now. If it doesn't look right -- so what? It was practice. Do it again. In fact, do it again right now. What matters is that you are putting in the time doing the brainwork needed to translate 3-dimensional objects into a collection of 2-dimensional lines and shapes. The more times you do it, the more skill you build. He likened it to learning to drive a car. More than anything, you just have to put in the road time to get good at it. Talent is a secondary consideration. I found this attitude really liberating.

As for other books, I have a pile here on my bookshelf next to the desk, but I have recently found that there's such a thing as reading too much when you're trying to learn to draw. My drawing class ended about six weeks ago and I tried to replace it with drawing books people had recommended to me. Unfortunately, trying to digest so many different approaches at once just ended up making me feel rather bewildered and discouraged. So I've put the reading on hold. I am simply drawing every day, and attending figure drawing sessions once a week at a local artists studio. I have found that keeping that pencil moving on paper has been the most instructive thing I can do at the moment.

06-08-2012, 09:07 AM
very good advice there from urbanspinner

Joan T
06-09-2012, 12:05 PM
It is great to do the lessons in the book, but there is nothing like drawing from life. As with anything practice, practice, practice. These sketches you posted are really nice.

06-10-2012, 06:39 AM
The first pair of sketches startled me, it's like your model suddenly blinked. I like that effect and the watchful look in the eyes.

06-10-2012, 08:48 AM
I'm impressed that you've managed to get through 10 sections of the Nicolaides book. You must have a lot of self-discipline! For figure drawing, I like the Vilpuu book. http://www.amazon.com/Vilppu-Drawing-Manual-Glenn/dp/1892053039/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
It's not an anatomy book though, so I'd pick up an anatomy book as well.