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Working Smart

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Conte Pencil: 30 and 60 second gesture poses

Yesterday marked my 120th day of consecutive art and blogging! One of those is difficult to manage let alone getting both to line up and for me personally to stay on task. I’m working on my commercial projects today so I figured I’d get some gestures done and if I can come back with a bigger piece later that would be cool, but not necessary.

My followers and fellow bloggers are one of the main reasons I’ve really been able to stick to this daily regimen. I just want to say thank you to all who have shared their support and encouragement.

I’d like to hear from you: 

Please share your thoughts on how I’m progressing, if there are any areas you feel I need to address in these earlier stages and/or if you feel like my blog is of value to you?

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Sanguine Art – Style Study (Raphael) PT. 2

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2 Hour Pencil Study: Sanguine (Conté á Paris), Strathmore Tan Toned Paper

I’m still just working on understanding the hatching system that Raphael employed, I note particularly small point areas and some amazing shifts in pressure as the media is applied. While I may not yet possess that kind of control, it’s important that I’m seeing those subtle nuances. Today is day 120 of my blog out of 365 and I am just humbled at looking back and seeing all that I’ve been through in just 4 short months. It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long but I am 1/3 of the way through my goal! Wooohooo! Yipppeeeee! Yeeeeeeehaaaaaw!

 

 

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Sanguine Art – Style Study (Raphael)

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2 Hour Pencil Study: Sanguine & White (Conté á Paris), Strathmore Tan Toned Paper

I’ve really been dying to understand how Raphael and his contemporaries were able to achieve such amazing hatching techniques so I pulled up a few of his pieces and just sat and stared at them for what seemed like hours. His subtlety moves me in such a profound way. While I may not have captured it in my first attempt here, I am certain that with more practice I can get better results and will develop a really good habit for discerning value.

Your turn: Is there an artist’s style that you’re really amazed by that you just cant get out of your head? Have you done a study after them and if so, how has it affected your own art?

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Today’s Warm-ups and Exercises:

  1. 25 mins of 2 minute gesture poses (quickposes.com)
  2. 1.5 hour study – Raphael drawing technique
  3. 2 hour pencil study after style of Raphael
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Sanguine Art – Sketches 3

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 1 Hour 30  Pencil Study: Sanguine & White (Conté á Paris), Strathmore Tan Toned Paper

Today was an exercise in letting go. I had to stop trying to be too rigid, stop trying to force the anatomical lines, feel the pose of the gesture and let my lines flow with my arm. I really love the way the figure on the top right came out. It screams to me from some unknown depth of my soul. It’s saying that somewhere inside me is an artist dying to be freed and every day that I practice, I’m closer to freeing that creative force. You may notice also a darker toned red in this grouping, This is the Venetian Red 6300 pencil I was telling you about yesterday. I tried only to add it where it made absolute sense and as a means of conveying a darker valued area. Perhaps some more practice with all of these and I’ll really be getting in the zone.

Your turn: Do you feel compelled  to be as accurate or lifelike as possible when drawing or are you comfortable letting go and letting your lines flow where they may? Share your thoughts.

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Sanguine Art – Sketches 2

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 1 Hour Pencil Study: Sanguine & White (Conté á Paris), Strathmore Tan Toned Paper

I’m starting to gain confidence in my ability to render without using a blending tool but I’m not sure if I’m near the look that I’m going for. Also, I’m noticing that I’m using the white pencil a bit more judiciously and not coating thick areas with pure white. In artist material related news: I went back to Plaza Art and had intended to trade 2 of of Sanguine pencils for 2 of the Sepia pencils. Sadly, they did not have anymore so the guy that helped me out suggested the Venetian Red 6300 pencils from Derwent Drawing. It was a stupendously busy day but, my wife encouraged me to do my artwork for the day first before going out and that made for a relatively stress-free day since I didn’t feel the need to rush home and get my art done before going to our regularly scheduled gaming night.

Your turn: Do you feel rushed to complete your artwork? What do you do to alleviate stress on busy days? Share your answer in the comments section.

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Sanguine Art – Sketches

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1 Hour Pencil Study: Sanguine & White (Conté á Paris), Strathmore Tan Toned Paper

Got new Sanguine pencils today and decided it was time to try them out again. I meant to get Sepia toned pencils as well, and thought I had them in my hand but when I got home I realized that I’d had 4 of the Sanguine tone instead of 2 and 2. Oh well, looks like it’s back to the art store tomorrow. I picked up some skin toned Prismacolor markers and now that I have the cool grey set as well, I’ll be starting to mess around with those a bit more. I think for the moment however, I’ll keep the blog on the Sanguine style, unless there are any objections. I found tonight as I drew that I didn’t want to lay down a ton of value and just let the paper and the figures breath a bit more. It felt nice, and I felt like a craftsman instead of a kid at a crayon table in kindergarten.

Your turn: Are you comfortable leaving areas of your drawing blank and letting the paper act as it’s own tone or are you more like me and feel compelled to lay down value everywhere because it somehow seems more complete?

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Slow Down There, Sparky!

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I have a tendency to get going quickly when working on things sometimes to a fault. Today, I took sometime and went back and watched Proko’s videos on gesture drawing again for about the third time. The message I caught this time was: slow down and take things slowly. I noticed, that by slowing down and considering the pose for about 15 seconds of a 2 minute pose, I could lock the pose in memory and notice rhythms that I was otherwise missing. I moved the pencil more considerately and made significantly less marks than I had in gestures past. Now, armed with a new approach, I can’t wait to do more gestures!

Finally, I have recently picked up the Conté pencils Proko recommends, so I spent a bit of time getting those sharpened the correct way. I found that by following his advice on  sharpening the pencils with a blade and then smoothing out the tip of the lead, I could really get some good lines that varied in thickness and and I wasn’t holding the pencil in a standard handwriting style either. It made the whole day of drawing enjoyable and even relaxing. 

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Your Turn: Have you ever been so stuck on a way of doing something and then gone and learned a new way to approach doing the same thing? What were the results and were you compelled to stick with the change? Share your answers in the comments. 

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Subtle is not my Specialty (Yet)

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Graphite (HB) Over Prismacolor Cool Grey 10%

I’ve often been told one of the issues I have when drawing human figures is that I over shade or line the wrong areas. I found today that I could use a 10% Cool Grey Prismacolor marker to sketch out a piece and then do line work over top of it. Not sure why I like it but it definitely felt comfortable and it provides a subtle hint of shading but lets the linework stand out a bit. The weird cartoon rooster with the mohawk was just something that popped in my head. Also, I know this work is really light but it looks really sharp when I am looking at it in my sketchbook. Perhaps I’ll bump it up to a 2B for the line work. 

Your Turn: Do you have a technique that you use or a way that you approach subtle shading to describe form better? If you are newer to art, what are some things that cause you to struggle with being more subtle?

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Broke my Pencil, but not my Spirit.

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My sanguine pencil shattered all the way through, I couldn’t even get a portion of it sharpened enough to draw some smudgy outlines. I ended up shaving all of the pencil casing off, throwing it into a cup mashing it into powder and brushing it on with a dry brush. It’s neat to work with, if a bit difficult. Starting off with the dry brush to establish base value was interesting and forced me to think about the overall value map. All told the studies above took 2 hours to get through (aside from the time to mash up the powder. I’ll be getting new sanguine pencils on Thursday, and hopefully I can start working into a rhythm with this media soon. 

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Sanguine Art 2nd Attempt. (NSFW)

ImagePencil: Sanguine, HB, 2B, White (Conté á Paris)

I am loving the red white and black and the contrast variations they are capable of producing. Sadly, I dropped my sanguine pencil and shattered the core, so now I need to get a new pencil. However, I was able to shave the pencil down and get a little bit of a point to it to finish the last drawing. Total, these drawings took about 3 hours. (give or take about 15 minutes where I blew all of the pencil shavings out of my shavings cup straight onto the drawings xD) I am learning a lot about how these three pencils can be used to gain a wide range of value and how to use the tone of the paper itself as an additional midtone. I am excited to see how this whole sketchbook turns out.

As always, if you are reading my blog, I highly appreciate any feedback and critique as it will only serve to speed me along my journey.