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-   -   Prismatoid's sketches - watch me grow (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1465614)

Prismatoid 05-06-2019 08:45 PM

Prismatoid's sketches - watch me grow
In sixteen years I have barely progressed as an artist. All I've drawn for the last seven or eight years in particular is digital cartoons and I am really in a horrible rut. I found a digital image from 2003 which isn't much worse than what I can do now. (cry)

My observational drawing stinks. My traditional media stinks. I also have never been able to keep a sketchbook going which is a crippling flaw.

I want to be able to paint convincing fantastical creatures and alien worlds digitally, and I want to be able to paint realistic landscapes and expressive portraits traditionally. I want to be the person who goes on a two week trip and fills up a sketchbook! So I need to go right back to the start and learn the fundamentals of drawing.

At the end of April I began a discipline where I draw at least 3 sketchbook pages a day on a subject relevant to my speculative ecology passion project. I made the first 2 pages of the book a table of contents so that I will be encouraged to keep on and fill up the rest. To develop accuracy and control I am drawing in pen only, eraseable media is FORBIDDEN in this book. :)

some tree studies from a local area

Today I began a secondary discipline where I will draw a self-portrait every day. This is to work on accuracy/control, construction, value and anatomy. I should like to assemble a year's worth and see improvement from start to finish! My first attempt using the bathroom mirror was not successful, not entirely due to incompetence but also a bad physical situation. I bought a sizeable piece of mirror glass today, hopefully that will work better than a tiny mirror fixed high up in a poorly lit room!

this is bad... tomorrow's will be less bad

Critiques: YES roast me.

I don't have much money so I probably won't be able to buy fancy books and materials but suggestions for free or low cost resources will be gratefully received. I own
"Bridgman's Complete Guide to Drawing From Life"
"Artist's Complete Problem And Solution Handbook" Trudy Friend
Walt Disney "Stanchfield Lectures" vol.1 and 2

Prismatoid 05-06-2019 08:58 PM

Re: Prismatoid's sketches - watch me grow
The nose in the self portrait was so terribad that I looked at some photos of random people and Bridgman to try to understand them better. You can tell which nose is Mr Bridgman's, it's the one that has some proper structure!

(I'm sorry for lined paper, I need to be frugal so I use everything I have before I go and buy new things. This only for rough/quick studies and notes and such, invested drawings will get good paper)

I still don't understand noses but I will figure them out.

tuscanny 05-07-2019 01:23 AM

Re: Prismatoid's sketches - watch me grow
Great going Prismatoid. For freehand sketches, practice is needed. For detailed drawings you can measuring tools like ruler, parallel lines when placing ref next to your drawing, grid method, plum line method, etc.
My suggestion is that you could post your drawing with your reference and any questions relating to it.
Looking forward to seeing your next work.

Prismatoid 05-07-2019 04:19 AM

Re: Prismatoid's sketches - watch me grow
Here is this morning's self portrait

I started out looking like Kryten from Red Dwarf with all the guidelines looking for the face planes, and ended up with a nasty case of Habsburg!

It was definitely a better experience to draw from the mirror glass but I still have bad ergonomics problems with this set-up. I am sitting on the floor and things start hurting pretty fast. The book is also awkward to hold, it flips open "the long way" if that makes sense, and the other half of it gets in the way. It's a strange shape for a sketchbook.

I'll find a way to fix the ergonomics issues. Maybe I can put the mirror glass up on something and sit on a low chair.

Prismatoid 05-07-2019 04:35 AM

Re: Prismatoid's sketches - watch me grow
Ok tuscanny I have something already for that, yesterday's sketchbook session was fungi and I used images from the reference image library

The round mushroom is there

You can see a correction clearly, it should be one circle all round but I went around again because the first turned out not to be large enough. My observational drawing process is a mess. I have to try hard to slow down and LOOK. In pen the screw-ups are permanent which should be a good motivation to stop screwing up :)

Humburger 05-07-2019 08:53 AM

Re: Prismatoid's sketches - watch me grow
You are doing just fine. I would never have noticed the correction, if you had not pointed it out. 😜. Keep all your sketches. You will get better quickly. 😊

Prismatoid 05-07-2019 11:50 AM

Re: Prismatoid's sketches - watch me grow
Life drawing birds at the museum today!
...Except they're technically dead, but "dead/stuffed drawing" doesn't have the same ring.

I do NOT LIKE drawing in public. I particularly do NOT LIKE drawing in a crowded room while being shoved around by school-groups of rowdy children and I particularly DO NOT LIKE the way you become part of the entertainment. People sticking their heads in my face to see my drawing, people creeping behind me with their phones to snap sneaky pics over my shoulder, and for some reason Chinese tourists specifically think they're allowed to grab the book right out of my hands! I HATE ALL THOSE PEOPLE AAAARRRR.

Last week I drew insects here. I did only 3 pages and they weren't very good. I was freaked out by the people who kept pushing me and getting in my face to see what I was doing, I stopped drawing and hid the book against me every time someone got near me and I was just too distracted and anxious. This time I went in with an irritated attitude before I even started and I think my simmering rage gave me the strength to persevere through the rudeness.

But there are SO MANY BIRDS IN THERE. I did 4 pages of drawings and that was only 2 of the display cases. 4 pages on a "field trip" is a new personal record. Next time I must try for 5 pages.

RIP Dodo, whose only crime was being delicious. :(

tuscanny 05-07-2019 12:35 PM

Re: Prismatoid's sketches - watch me grow
You are doing very well, Prismatoid. I drew in public once and 2 kids came and watched me. That was fun because it made them talk about their own drawing ambitions.

Prismatoid 05-08-2019 04:51 AM

Re: Prismatoid's sketches - watch me grow
Good morning. Here is today's self portrait

So... I'm taking it right back to fundamentals. I don't want any more Habsburgs in my nice paper book! Do correct me if you feel differently but I think that it's a bad idea to go on with rendering these drawings if I can't even put the lines in the right place. That's just turd polishing. So for a while I'll just concentrate on learning the shapes of the face and get that really rock solid in my mind. I can always do still lifes of simpler objects for form and value.

Prismatoid 05-09-2019 05:15 AM

Re: Prismatoid's sketches - watch me grow
Good morning Drawing & Sketching.

I did a thing yesterday. I won't post it here because it's digital media but you can go and see it here if you like. These are the sketchbook pages I used for reference

Here is today's self portrait. I feel like I'm getting more accurate although it is still more error than drawing hah. Notice the correction on the forehead. I have done this twice now, yesterday and today. I make my original circle and start filling everything in and at a late stage of the drawing I realize everything else has crept up in size and the features are now too big for the circle. I don't know where this sighting error is creeping in every time but I want to find it and kill it.

Prismatoid 05-09-2019 08:51 AM

Re: Prismatoid's sketches - watch me grow
This is Miss Pony

She's going to help me with accuracy and values!

Focused first on getting the drawing really accurate (it still isn't LOL) then tried blocking in some shadows. I had to redraw Miss Pony's head partway through because it was half the size it should have been, still don't know how I messed up that badly.

I got awfully smudgy because I'm used to digital painting where you just dive in anywhere you like and if you do that on a traditional pencil drawing your hand picks up the graphite and moves it around. I think I should try to put a piece of paper under my hand for this but it will be awkward since I had my book propped up at an angle to draw a more accurate representation of the picture-plane.

I am spraying my pencil drawings with hairspray to fix them but it's an old old old can and doesn't spray very well. As you can see I put too much on and it dribbled. Sorry Miss Pony :(

Prismatoid 05-10-2019 05:41 AM

Re: Prismatoid's sketches - watch me grow
Good morning D&S here is today's self portrait.

Today, I discovered that I have eyeballs. Man that's weird.

On the less bright side I have come down with a case of Habsburg again. Messed up the chin (it was right the first time but I thought it was too short and lengthened it). I think things are getting better as regards awareness of the planes of the face though. A few more days of this discipline and I'll start trying for values again.

floblue 05-10-2019 10:10 AM

Re: Prismatoid's sketches - watch me grow
Iíve enjoyed looking at this thread and your progress and comments. You have inspired me to follow your lead. Iím taking my sketchbook and a pen with me today. Day 1.

Prismatoid 05-10-2019 01:27 PM

Re: Prismatoid's sketches - watch me grow
flobue that's awesome, post them in a thread! I wanna see what you do :D

So I've got a big post to make now with a lot of DEEP THOUGHTS, sorry in advance for the wall o' text

I bought another pen a couple of days ago and I feel guilty because it was way too expensive. It's a Tombow Dual Brush Pen, the color is a warm gray. I think it was described as "avocado" color which makes no sense because it's GRAY but let's just go with it.

Today I went on another field trip to the country park area for my 3 pages of sketches. I did the usual cruddy doodles of dandelions and sticky weed but also had a go at something longer and more involved.

This is with 3 pens now: sepia fineliner, black brush fineliner and Tombow.

Holy cow! I'm sure that in a few days I'll hate this but right now I feel pretty proud of myself. I am far too lazy to do proper hatching with the fineliners and as for stippling it is my belief that life is simply too short (though let me say I have the UTMOST respect for the weirdos who stipple). The tombow pen has a big squishy brush nib which lets me block in chunks of shadow within seconds.

So this afternoon I unintentionally did an experiment with the Tombow

Facial expressions are on my study list, so I decided to have a go with photos out of the Reference Image Library. I did 2 pages. Bad page first, are you ready?


I feel so sorry for this person in particular look what I did to her :(

Taking a good hard look at my page of fail I was pretty sure of the problem: too many lines. The old lady face is the best of them in my opinion and that's because she's got a lot of lines on her in real life. She's suited to detailed line drawing. The younger softer-faced people are not.

I had another go but this time I did a completely different technique. I started with the Tombow brush pen and blocked in shadows like paint. Lines ABSOLUTELY FORBIDDEN with the Tombow! When I had the face as blocks of light and shadow, only THEN did I pick up the other pens and start drawing lines.

Then because I already had it all SUGGESTED, I was able to refrain from putting in anything except the NECESSARY lines. And because I was able to let go from consciously trying to draw faces, I was able to start capturing the characters for real.

I am so so SO in favor of this technique for sketching people now. It's like I just found the secret menu to switch to easy mode.

(I'll learn the ink techniques to draw properly with pure line later though. I promise)

Prismatoid 05-11-2019 07:59 AM

Re: Prismatoid's sketches - watch me grow
Good morning Drawing & Sketching. Here is today's self portrait.

There was a lot of correcting going on throughout the process today. I try to avoid erasing but it could not be helped in the situations where I ended up with 3-4 lines and needed to ensure that only the (most) correct one would be read.

I tried something a bit different with the construction. I've always started out with a circle/sphere before but this time I just did a cross of two straight lines and from there measured for the extremities of the head treating it like a rectangle/cuboid instead. Referencing Mr Bridgman now it seems this is (coincidentally) closer to what he does, the example drawings have boxes outlined around the "movable masses" of skull and ribcage and pelvis.

I also tried to make the lines more communicative by strengthening them where there was a stronger change in value (i.e. a shadow). You can see particularly around the hair/ear interactions and the jawline.

I have a slight problem. I always turn my head slightly to one side, which I think is because my vision is very poor without glasses--particularly in the right eye which is unfortunately the dominant one. I must be turning my head unconsciously to prioritize the better eye. This makes for a more difficult drawing because it's not a pure front view and since my drawing ability isn't sensitive enough to convey a subtle turn it just always looks like my nose is sliding to one side. I think it explains the weird Habsburg issues earlier! Unfortunately right now I don't know how to fix this other than drawing with glasses on (which I don't want to do for other practical reasons) or putting my head in a vice... :D

I also did another still life of the toys. Again pushing hard for absolute accuracy of basic shapes before going into detail. I erased a lot of the construction marks while I was clearing up smears but some can still be seen.

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