Pax's Progress
Great sketchbook here Pax :)

I like your work ethic here - even on page 1 - I could see a marked improvement in your figures - good effort mate.

If I may I just had a few thoughts for you.

You look like you're spreading yourself out over a wide range of areas at the moment but when you next get back to the human figure, I think you're doing the right thing working on construction - if you're not aware of them Andrew Loomis' books are highly recommended for human figure drawing. Also check out Proko's YouTube channel - one of my favourite places to study human figure drawing.

And then I'd second Jyonny's advice on practicing gestures. If you combine gestures with the more structural studies you will be well on the way to delivering some real kick-ass figures.

Keep going dude - looking forward to more from you :)

“Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.” -- H. Jackson Brown Jr.

CD Sketchbook

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Artloader, you're completely right. I'm spreading myself way too thin. Right now I need to tackle the most basic of fundamentals of drawing, then work my way to stuff like the figure. I believe that a strong sense of 2d accuracy will make my studies much easier for me to comprehend. which I believe will make the study process a lot stronger and easier. I thought I might as well kill two birds with one stone and try to gain a little bit of visual library for How To Draw. The system I devised after the flower and stealth fighter (?) was to do the vertical proportions, check, do the basic forms, check, and then do some of the complex forms. I zoomed in and out of the canvas in between each so I wasn't training the shoulder to find the proper height for this one instance, and I basically ripped blind contouring for short bursts for this.
Listened to one of Feng Zhu's podcasts and I really like the project idea. My goal for September 1st is to create a comic version of Araby, by James Joyce. I did planning but I don't see the point in uploading.

Today was studies focusing on finding commonalities in how animators tackle creating and constructing characters. While I didn't take notes literally, I noticed quite a bit moving from geometrics and organic forms to what was on screen. I used Aladdin, as I've noticed Sheridan really likes the Disney art direction in portfolio work. Tomorrow I would like to get an idea of Irish clothing during the early 20th century and start taking a look at Irish 20th century common architecture. 

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Was feeling for some figure drawing. As always, it humbles me. 
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Aced math, so I don't really have to worry about exams anymore. Got enough points to get into what I need to, until my work improves enough to justify trying art out for a year or two. As such, I think it would be a good idea to try something a la Crackedskull's reward/punishment scheme. Aiming for 5 hours a day, spread over 20 days. 

Day 1:
 4/5 hours

Schedule is aimed towards churning out portfolio pieces for Sheridan in Feburary; 
Saturday is solely work on the Araby project
Sunday is character design for animation
Monday is Figure Drawing
Tuesday is Animal + Hand Drawing
Wednesday is Visual Library and Accuracy drilling
Thursday is Still Life and Perspective study
Don't know what to do with Friday yet.
Good progress dude! Nice Loomis mannequin studies. Might also be worth checking out Proko's mannequins as well if you can fit it in - he really helped me think in terms of simple 3D forms for figure construction.

That is a jam packed schedule you have there - hope it goes well for you.

“Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.” -- H. Jackson Brown Jr.

CD Sketchbook

Day 2; 5/5 hours; 9/10 hours total
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Day 3; 4/5 hours; 13/15 hours total
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Crazy how little I'm actually drawing when you actually time yourself and pause it during distractions. Easy fix hopefully.
Busy day, not much art done. 
Day 4: 3/5 hours, 15/20 hours total
Conceptually thinking about how a grid could be used and changed for different viewpoints was interesting but nothing came of it. How do you design a grid with drawing from life? 
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Finally back home.
Day 5: 3/5 hours; 18/25 hours...
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Going through Sheldon Borenstein's construction lessons on NMA. Doing a 10:1 lecture to practice, watching at 2x. (20 min lecture at 2x == 100 min application)
I was doing cs50x on EdX for the past few weeks, and something that really stuck out to me about how the course was taught is that there was a MASSIVE emphasis on chunking. Honestly even as an introductory course I was expecting way more roadblocks and struggles, but there was always a massive emphasis on breaking concepts down as small as possible. Almost always, the stuff that was learned in the lectures was immediately applied to an open ended problem in the problem sets, rather than a more typical worksheet-esque problem set. Coming from doing a little bit of code monkey work when I was younger and struggling with it, I was expecting it to be really difficult and for me to really struggle, but it was chunked enough so that if I did not understand a concept that was being taught I could almost always source it back to some flawed understanding of an earlier concept, and the most fundamental concepts are stressed enough so that a "mastery" of them occurs rather easily.

Maybe this is how art should be taught. What I've noticed drawing for the past year or so is that I more or less attempt learning some facet of art, fail enough to get discouraged, give up for a couple days, and then come back with either a different facet or a different source of information like that's going to magically fix my problems. I am so used to how education is done in schools, where there is always a tried and true answer to the problems given.

So, ironically, I guess, once again I'm going to change my methodology for studying and this time really try to stick to it. I've found that priming myself mentally like what Crackedskull talked about in his guide really helped me get through cs50x rather quickly, and hopefully I can translate that into art gains.

I guess, the most fundamental aspect of studying art is accuracy. Accuracy leads the way to confidence, and accurate (2d) studies allow for a confident and accurate placement of construction and forms that works. It would make proportions a hell of a lot easier.

The question is, how  do you properly study accuarcy? Whenever I try studying something I feel like a fish in the desert, I'm so confused about what I'm actually supposed to be getting out of it. Especially for understanding design, I have no clue how to properly study it. And, maybe there is no proper way per se but there's got to be a more efficient way. Right now, this is what I have for accuracy:
From lowest difficulty to highest:
1. Dense (8x8) Grid Copying
2. Medium (4x4) Grid Copying
3. Sparse (2x2) Grid Copying
4. Sight Sized Subject, all 2d
5. From life

The question now is, how do you check for accuracy in life? For all of the others, I'm just comparing via photoshop. 

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Lastly, I gotta stop being a little bitch and just do it. Really, I psych myself up so much about how it's gonna be so hard and bad and awful, and how everything I make is gonna be awful, but then the experience is never as bad as I make it out to be (sometimes even really enjoyable) and because of Dunning-Kruger effect (?) the majority of my work is viewed as mediocre (not good, not bad).
This article as well really helped me power through cs50x, and was quite the eye opener. Problem sets while watching sitcoms or listening to podcasts were way easier to get into, and oftentimes I'd end up turning off the distraction once I got far enough into flow that it just became a nuisance. Viewing doing problem sets as watching a sitcom on netflix and doing problem sets to keep my hands occupied was way easier to swallow as opposed to putting sitcoms in on the background while I do this problem set, even though I knew I was lying to myself. Definitely another device I hope to bring to my future art study.
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Using accuracy as a long term goal that can be achieved via daily practice seems a lot more viable to me; I was listening to Sheldon Borenstein's lessons about the construction of the human body and I noticed how much he deviated from the model in his demos. Obviously, he's a master, so he has more than enough mileage and ability to tilt and rotate the human body rather easily without considering it. Also, all of his figures look very design heavy and he places a lot of emphasis on design via a combination of C, S, and I shaped curves. Accuracy seems to be more of a tool and an aid for good studying that's unhindered by getting incorrect proportion, rather than a be all end all.

In terms of work done I believe I had some good moments and bad moments, but I think there's something other than accuracy that's really hindering my work when I have good moments. My line quality, maybe? Sloppy structure? Lack of cross contours actually showing the form? Or maybe it is accuracy. Obviously, a lot of it just woefully inaccurate but when I do have moments of somewhat accuracy I'm unsure of what my primary fault is.

Or, maybe I'm just worrying about all of this too much and I need to draw more before I even consider my faults and weaknesses.
Hey dude, I think you're doing really great! there are some nice shapes going on in the work above! The faces don't have that stiff / sterile look that often happens when someone does full constructions, it shows you are not being a slave to the construction, which is great, it took me ages to do that.

I think you don't need to worry too much about the weaknesses you mentioned. It's so hard when you have to think about construction, proportion, design, anatomy, line quality all at once! As you progress you will become comfortable in say, construction, and then the lines or proportions will have more 'space in your head' to be thought about.

One thing that it is important to watch for are bad habits, since those things creep in without you realising and are a nightmare to unlearn. It's really hard to spot them yourself, much better if you can show your work to someone regularly but that's not always possible! Examples of bad habits are things like, always drawing the eyes too big, for me I always construct the brow in a bad way that makes me always place the eyes too big and too low, but it is such an ingrained thing I always do it even when consciously trying not too!

A good way to try and catch things is to look at your work a few days after you've done it and physically make notes on the page about things you do that are consistently wrong or that you want to improve on - the act of writing it down puts it more firmly in your head and it becomes a conscious decision to work on whatever it is.

Hope that's useful! Your stuff is coming along really great!

Comic book creator
Abandoned Hideout Discord Server
Discord: JonR#4453
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should probably learn how to draw simple shit in real life well before I try anything hard
reading a lot up on cognitive psychology and learning (albeit from a very armchair perspective mostly) and learning makes a lot more sense now
gotta solve the most basic and fundamental problems first before building up to anything else
makes sense, looking back on this sb esp in last few pages idk what i was doing; the majority of my successes and gains came from focusing on fundamental stuff such as accuracy whereas doing shit like anatomy when I don't understand form gets me nothing

now that I have a working plan and methodology I think I got this now

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kinda weird how the majority of the image is not that difficult but there's problem spots that take so much effort to properly see and fix

the armchair psychologist in me wants to say that this is evidence of some lack of understanding of how to properly replicate angles of certain intensity (meaning sharper angles | softer angles => harder time transcribing).

I have quite a bit of trouble with clean linework on a tablet (obviously) but I assume that's just because I'm not used to the medium, therefore I see no need to drill it on it's own.

My choice of image is completely arbitrary, but as I take notice of what I find hard and what I find easy I will probably end up searching for "hard" (being that I lack skill most in transcribing angles included primarily in this image) images.

In this image in particular I found the legs of the drooping frog hard in that I kept making the leg slanted too much inward, the placement of the bar relative to the frog on top in the rightmost sections, and I screwed up the hind leg of the frog. I frequently made the frog leg too thin, but I way more often than not achieved the proper length. What this likely means for me overall is that while I have good vertical proportion perception, my horizontal perception is lacking and therefore a tackling of a symmetrical pattern of some sort that is dependent on horizontal proportion would be beneficial, as it would be considerably easier to see where I am going wrong and therefore easier to fix those mistakes in my perception in a very time efficient manner.


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