Day 2 of the all female challenge between myself and Cousin Keith. Today I sat down and watched some of Sycra’s videos on Proportions of Females and some of his other videos in succession. I did a few sketches of proportions and his approach on laying out female bodies. Then went and did some warm ups and finally executed a unique character concept as seen above. It’s not finished and I’m not sure that I will finish it, but it was fun to work on and now I must be off the interwebs and go spend time with my beautiful wife.
Delayed Posting From 4/21/14
Cousin Keith and I have decided to do a female only drawing challenge after a conversation we had about how difficult it is to shade female characters and not overdo the shading, thus making them look mannish. So for the next 10 days, we’ll both be posting female only studies and characters. The goal being to render one unique character per day. So far we both have been able to knock out gestures easily but not a full on unique character (mainly due to time). In the coming days, we anticipate more time and more ability to focus on the task at hand.
As always, we both love feedback and if you see something you’d like to point out that will help us grow, we’d be more than happy to hear from you.
Delayed Posting From 4/20/14
A young fellow by the name of Dylan has been messaging me a bit lately and asking all kinds of questions about where to start with art. Having no background in teaching the subject, I am relying on general experience and my own inexperience to lead him in the right direction. By focusing on some of the things that I know I missed, and working with him from basics he’s growing steadily and continuing to explore art on his own. Well, I started him off with line, specifically taking him back to my post about how I went through learning to draw a straight line. He worked through that a bit and started messaging me for other things to work on.
After a bit, he started shooting me pictures of cardboard boxes he’d been drawing in his off time, then he mentioned to me my post about where I’d learned to hold the pencil, this was very recent, so I sent him to that post and to Proko’s video about “How to Hold and Control Your Pencil”. So he keeps checking in periodically and today, Cousin Keith and I decided we’d have a little drawing session. I thought, “Perfect! We’ll invite Dylan and let him hang out and draw and ask questions.” Well, Dylan was all too excited and Keith and I were working on gestures, which he’d seen me work on before. So we figured we’d encourage him to learn a little about gesture, but suggested he stick with stick figures for the moment and just try to get the poses.
When asked what emotions he was feeling while trying to capture the poses he responded “Dude, I’m feeling pretty good about getting some of these poses.” I couldn’t be more happy, helping another young person find their way toward art and encouraging them to have fun whilst doing so.
Dylan, I know you’ll be reading this post. I’m really proud of you man, keep up the practice and keep exploring. I can’t wait to see what it yields for your future buddy.
Delayed Posting from 4/19/14
I took the dogs to the lake near our place today, it was a pretty neat experience because I brought my sketching materials along with me and sat on one of the nearby benches. There was so much motion and action everywhere. I felt nervous just trying to capture any of it without people realizing I was drawing them. I think my favorite is the little kids at play on the bottom of the picture below. The second favorite (more for the irony) is the guy sitting on the bank feeding bread to geese, whilst he’s literally about a foot away from a sign that says not to feed the geese. My observation skills really started to make themselves known in the last page I worked on. (Shown at top of post) Little subtle things about people’s behavior stuck out to me. Even though I may not have been able to capture it, it was there and I recognized it. It’s only a matter of time before I’ll be able to illustrate those little details and I can’t wait!
Your Turn: Have you gone out and drawn in a park or other public place? What was your experience? Did you find that you could get much of the pose down or barely any at all? Were you nervous about people catching you drawing them? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
Today I learned a crazy technique for blocking in arms in gestures and sketches. I was watching several videos from Sycra on how to practice drawing, how to draw arms, and how to draw in proportion. Well he kept using this crazy way to block in the arms that he refers to as “the Lightning Bolt”. He goes into it more in dept in this video about female proportions (go to 8:12). Anyway, so I busted out a lined notebook that was near me and just started practicing the lightning bolt and I noticed the benefit immediately. You still need to know anatomy to know why it works and what to do with it after you’ve blocked it in, but damn! it sped up my gesture pose rendering so much.
On Top of that, I started trying to be more painterly and carefree with my gesture rendering thanks to inspiration from Ryan Woodward, who is featured on the Quickposes.com website. I’ve seen that damn video at the bottom of Quickposes.com for weeks now, and never bothered to click it. Well, I wish I had sooner, but I am trying to be less about the line and more about the feel and using the side of the pencil to block quick portions of the pose and then go back in with linework on top. It gives a nice organic feel and definitely appears more painterly and creative than analytic.
Question: Have you done research and found a completely different method than you were taught and decided to try it? What were the results? What is a method that you really want to try but haven’t because you are unsure of how to use the method?
Today’s Warm-Ups and Exercises:
- 20 minutes of 60 second gesture poses (quickposes.com)
- 25 minsutes of 120 second gesture poses (quickposes.com)
- 1 hour arm study (various sources)
- Method study (lightning bolt)
Notice a difference in my gesture poses from this post and the last post? Well, after I sat down and completed my commercial work for the day, I went back to my sketch journal and felt like I was regressing more than progressing with my gestures. So i went back to Proko’s channel on Youtube and watched the video about how he sharpens his pencil thinking I was missing something about how I was handling the pencil. Well at the end Proko talks about setting up your paper on a 45 degree angle and then sitting straight up and holding the pencil like a paintbrush and then begin to draw. I thought to myself, well, that’s not something I’ve been doing; I’ve been drawing hunched over my desk with the sketchbook flat and holding the pencil like a draftsman.
Your Turn: Do you find it easier to draw with your paper at a certain angle direction? What is your favorite way to hold your pencil for drawing?
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?
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!
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?
- 25 mins of 2 minute gesture poses (quickposes.com)
- 1.5 hour study – Raphael drawing technique
- 2 hour pencil study after style of Raphael
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.