Originally posted by madster
these sketches really are not of a quality really deserving an in-depth critique.
Hhhmmmm....."deserving?" Well...obviously anyone who takes time to provide a critique to something undeserving must be themselves unworthy, for what worthy person would waste time on something undeserving. Alas...though I only have winning Wisconsin's Wildlife Artist of the Year, our state's inland trout stamp competition, been a finalist 23 of 33 competitions entered around the country to my credit. Though my plein airs are selling and are gaining demand in only a few high end galleries, and I have a show coming up in New York National Art's gallery in 2005.
Though I have raised a son that is a WC artist member gaining reputation as one of the finest caricaturists living and working today with some irrefutable drawing skills...though, he might be too busy at the moment to offer help...(check out his drawings here for some inspiration. A more recent drawing of his baby daughter where he went for more realism simply blew me away)-
Therefore perhaps while I am yet only existing on a garment's hem of worthiness having yet much to attain yet before I am considered a good artist, I will try humbly if you will allow me in the spirit of what Wetcanvas as a community tries to be here in nurturing and encouraging artists to offer my pittance of a critique here....
I have noticed here in your effort, that you have emphasized character and weight of line where gravity would require strength to hold up form. You have done so by increasing thickness and value of line, which I point out by circling one such area of your second drawing-
...this is a good observation on your part, and I hope you realize the importance that Raphael placed in using such lines rather than having copied it?
I teach high school art in addition to my own art work direction, and what I am sensing is lacking some real solidity of form. This is a common beginner's issue and struggle...and comes by placing emphasis on what is happening on the contours of a subject with not enough understanding of what is happening within.
There is anatomically bone structure, muscle mass...muscles that will in anyone pose be contracted while others are relaxed and so forth.
Such is easier to see with a live model, which no doubt Raphael had the good fortune to have.
My suggestion would be to do a series of smaller sketches and looking again at Raphael's drawing, construct the form with shapes. Look for geometric shapes such as rectangles, squares, ovals, and such and draw them out lightly, connecting.
Note if you drew a line straight down from the shoulder where it would hit the hip, if a line went across from the elbow what would line up with that and so forth.
Then, over this infrastructure that you have built up, develop the contour lines of the outer form.
See...Raphael had much experience and knowledge of all this infrastructure going on first. Like riding a bicycle, he was no longer trying to get balance and beginner things down, so he could focus on the ride. Were Raphael at a more beginning stage, his drawings would have a much different look and you'd detect his concerns for the mass and forms developing from the inside out.
Another suggestion I'd make is to apply your shading differently. You already have line for form, perhaps use a charcoal vine stick to apply a bit of shading and a finger or q-tip to smudge and blend it all out.
Do more of these...as its more a matter of accumulating experiences till you begin to get it. Draw at every opportunity, and try to draw a thing from the inside out. Sketch light, develop form and then build strength of line.
Engage...embrace, strive and carry on. Sorry...wish I could offer more but my undeserving ill wife would like an unworthy offering of my time to make some brunch for the two of us.