AlCo's Sketchbook
#1
Hello again everyone, decided to open up a thread and share with you what I've been doing (please give me some constructive critiques if you can, that would be much appreciated!)

Here are some studies (I don't even know if those can be called like that) I've been doing in the past weeks from George Bridgman's book "Drawing from Life". I apologise for the lack of quality, halfway through scanning the sketchbook I didn't figure out a better way to improve the quality, therefore I went on to take some with my crappy phone.

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At this point, I don't really know what I'm doing. Looks like I'm just trying to draw the reference (that why I refrain from call those studies). I'm also struggling with the concept of values, I'd really like to grasp it. Not totally confident about my lines too. Does this will come eventually with a lot of practice of course?

I also pretended to be able to study one of Rapoza's work, I didn't use a graphic tablet for a while but:

[Image: iJ3QAyy.jpg]


I really didn't get how he managed to get that solid lineart, mine looks blurry and meh.

Here I have a knee study based on Sinix's tutorial:

[Image: H53xXwV.jpg]


I watched him and tried to do mine (with reference, of course).

One last thing, I'm following Draw-a-Box online course about Dynamic Sketch on /reddit. Here is a collection of Lesson 1: http://imgur.com/a/ze4SG


Sooooo, a lot of things going on, I'm confused about my routine (unfortunately I can't focus all day on practicing, since I have a full-time job, but I draw whenever I get back home) and I feel everything is a mess with no purpose at all.
One of the main reason I decided to join this community is to be able to understand what kind of daily practice I need or on what I should pay more attention, i don't know, I'm feeling overwhelmed even in just thinking about it XD

Well, thanks a lot if you read everything and had the patience to scroll all the way down here. I'm looking forward to hear by you, thanks peeps!

A.
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#2
ciao! scrivo in inglese cosi' ci capiamo tutti :)

most of the drawings look like you've been copying from a drawing manual...am i right? if so, i suggest you not to do so if you are a beginner, it's good to develop a synthesis but this way it might be confusing also you don't have a clear idea of what you're drawing, expecially concerning volume of things.

what do you like to draw aside from studies?

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#3
(12-10-2015, 08:18 AM)MasamuneDS Wrote: ciao! scrivo in inglese cosi' ci capiamo tutti :)

most of the drawings look like you've been copying from a drawing manual...am i right? if so, i suggest you not to do so if you are a beginner, it's good to develop a synthesis but this way it might be confusing also you don't have a clear idea of what you're drawing, expecially concerning volume of things.

what do you like to draw aside from studies?

Nessun problema ;)

Yeah, I tried to reproduce Bridgman's drawings on my sketchbook (i'm not even halfway in the book). It has been confusing in fact, because it was like "Ok, I'm trying to draw a drawing, what kind of information does it give to me?" This may link to what you said about volumes. I never took any drawing classes, I've seen others (successful) artists' method and most of them used to draw and study from manuals (Loomis, Bridgman, Vilppu, ..) But what do you suggest to do instead?

That's a good question though, I like the overall human figure (I don't know if it can be summed up as 'gestures'). Perhaps I like to draw skulls!
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#4
what i can suggest is to alternate some anatomy study with some freehand drawing, just to check if you memorized!
also do some lines warmup before you start :)

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#5
(12-11-2015, 07:20 AM)MasamuneDS Wrote: what i can suggest is to alternate some anatomy study with some freehand drawing, just to check if you memorized!
also do some lines warmup before you start :)

What do you mean with freehand is drawing without reference?

What kind of lines?

I'm doing this kind of exercises at the moment: http://imgur.com/a/ze4SG
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#6
(12-11-2015, 08:18 AM)AlCo Wrote:
(12-11-2015, 07:20 AM)MasamuneDS Wrote: what i can suggest is to alternate some anatomy study with some freehand drawing, just to check if you memorized!
also do some lines warmup before you start :)

What do you mean with freehand is drawing without reference?

What kind of lines?

I'm doing this kind of exercises at the moment: http://imgur.com/a/ze4SG

exactly what i was talking about!

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#7
(12-11-2015, 09:04 AM)MasamuneDS Wrote:
(12-11-2015, 08:18 AM)AlCo Wrote:
(12-11-2015, 07:20 AM)MasamuneDS Wrote: what i can suggest is to alternate some anatomy study with some freehand drawing, just to check if you memorized!
also do some lines warmup before you start :)

What do you mean with freehand is drawing without reference?

What kind of lines?

I'm doing this kind of exercises at the moment: http://imgur.com/a/ze4SG

exactly what i was talking about!

Yay! I feel I'm gaining a bit more confidence doing that, but it still does not really apply when drawing some other complicated things xD

I'm following the course on Reddit by Uncomfortable (aka Draw-a-Box). He attended Concept Art Academy under Peter Han, he's "teaching" what he learnt from that experience! (Dynamic Sketching by the late Norman Schureman, check him out if you don't know who he is, amazing artist)
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#8
What I usually do when trying to learn something new is to look up references and study material. Proko, Loomis and Hampton have been a huge help for me. I try to combine the comments with the illustrations they made and try to understand what they drew, especially Proko is good for this. Then I try to copy what they made, just like your previous studies. And then try to apply that new knowledge by drawing from references. I find that  quickposes have a nice library of images to learn from.
Next step is to remember everything and draw from imagination, but I'm not there yet :P.

Maybe this helps you a bit :)

[url=http://www.quickposes.com/][/url]

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#9
Thanks for stopping by, Eyliana, I appreciate it a lot :)

I remember when I was more consistent several months ago, I quite remembered how to draw the figure with no reference after all the drawings I did from Bridgman's book.

I think I'll spend more time on Quick Poses, I just do every once in a while a 30min-1hr session, but I should make that happen more often.

I definitely have to lay out a drawing routine (got a full-time job so I unfortunately just draw in the evening).
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#10
Hey man, thanks for the comments in my sketchbook. I really feel you, it's quite a struggle trying to learn how to draw with a job on the go ^^; I went through the same thing. Most important is consistency in your practice, which it sounds like you are - even if it's just an hour a day, as long as you maintain that you will improve.

With regards what / how to practice and study plans and stuff. Look at what you want to get better at, and figure out what you need to do to get better at it and steadily go through obtaining that knowledge (a lot of this stuff is learning how all the specific bits and pieces look and fit together, which is a visual memory and problem solving thing).

For drawing the human figure you need to learn: gesture, body masses (head, pelvis, ribcage + arms + legs), skeleton (just a simplified one) and the superficial muscles. So I'd say do around 10 minutes of your line exercises, 10 - 20 minutes of gestures, then spend the rest of your drawing time focusing on something specific (e.g. the skeleton, muscles of the torso, posing a simplified figure with good proportions etc.). Be clear in your mind what you want to get out of any practice / drawing session, have a goal what you want to learn from it.

What I do, is I have a doodling sketchbook that I keep around for whenever I have some short, free time and doodle around in it drawing stuff from memory, posing characters from imagination and practising anything I've recently studied. It helps consolidate what you've learned, and more importantly, exposes the weak areas you need to look at more. You can carry that with you in the day and doodle in it whenever you get free time at lunch or on the bus or whenever.

Hope that helps! Any more specific questions please ask anytime.

Aspiring comic book creator
Sketchbook
Instagram
Abandoned Hideout Discord Group, contact: ''Jon Roydon#4453"
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#11
Hey guys, nothing much to show, I just completed the 250 Box Challenge by Draw-A-Box. Clumsy, silly hand-drawn boxes, nothing fancy I know xD Anyway, I'm glad I achieved it, I'm following the lessons he provides on his website drawabox.com, hopefully it'll make my lines more confident.

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Now I have some major issue about my workspace, aaaaaand it's about...

[Image: Yq4lVG5.jpg]


...that light bulb hanging nowhere XD that direct light just fries my eyes! I already bought an LED spotlight (see the box on the right), so I need to mount it, hope it'll be better then, unfortunately I don't have a lot of natural light coming from the windows :(

Anyway, I think I'll be doing some gesture drawing on pixelovely right after lunch! I'll post the result later tonight :)

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#12
(12-11-2015, 10:41 PM)JyonnyNovice Wrote: Hey man, thanks for the comments in my sketchbook. I really feel you, it's quite a struggle trying to learn how to draw with a job on the go ^^; I went through the same thing. Most important is consistency in your practice, which it sounds like you are - even if it's just an hour a day, as long as you maintain that you will improve.

With regards what / how to practice and study plans and stuff. Look at what you want to get better at, and figure out what you need to do to get better at it and steadily go through obtaining that knowledge (a lot of this stuff is learning how all the specific bits and pieces look and fit together, which is a visual memory and problem solving thing).

For drawing the human figure you need to learn: gesture, body masses (head, pelvis, ribcage + arms + legs), skeleton (just a simplified one) and the superficial muscles. So I'd say do around 10 minutes of your line exercises, 10 - 20 minutes of gestures, then spend the rest of your drawing time focusing on something specific (e.g. the skeleton, muscles of the torso, posing a simplified figure with good proportions etc.). Be clear in your mind what you want to get out of any practice / drawing session, have a goal what you want to learn from it.

What I do, is I have a doodling sketchbook that I keep around for whenever I have some short, free time and doodle around in it drawing stuff from memory, posing characters from imagination and practising anything I've recently studied. It helps consolidate what you've learned, and more importantly, exposes the weak areas you need to look at more. You can carry that with you in the day and doodle in it whenever you get free time at lunch or on the bus or whenever.

Hope that helps! Any more specific questions please ask anytime.

Wow, thanks for the time you took to write this, I appreciate it a lot! You practically wrote me the sort of drawing routine I was looking for :) you made one for yourself am I wrong? 

I think I need to break down things in small argument and focus on that for X period of time; like you said, tackling for example one part of the human body and really try to discern it and understand how it works!

A brute force will is required, I'll try and do:

1 - Warm ups (ellipses, boxes, lines, circles) for about 10 minutes as you suggested
2 - Gesture drawings for about 20-30 minutes (with reference)
3 - Head? Should I focus on the overall shape of the head before thinking about every single element? (nose, eyes, mouth, chin, forehead, ecc). 
4 - Drawing from imagination the things I just drew? In order to solidify and check if I understood, drawing without any references? Does it help me? I fear it will be a hell of a mess xD

Wow, that's overwhelming but I feel kinda excited! Hope this isn't some sort of initial sprint that will transform into frustration right when I start xD

Thanks again though man, I really needed a group people to confront with, I want to improve, I want it!

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#13
No problem at all, if I can help out the community then I feel good : )

I have a routine for myself, I can show you it if you like but it's very specific for my needs so I wouldn't recommend using it directly. I've written myself drawing programmes lots of times in the past but have had trouble sticking to them - it's a process and needs refining and changing when things don't work out. In general what I do now is 3 stages: 1 some kind of warm up that gets me into drawing but also sharpens skills (like your lines and boxes and stuff, or can be circles / ellipses, rendering geometric forms - anything really) 2 spend some time tackling my weaknesses (right now it's hands / forearms) 3 spend the bulk of the time doing some study (each day is different but I do anatomy, perspective, rendering, heads, style - disney / manga / etc, and comics). Then in the evening time I do sketching from imagination. On weekends I work on little projects I set myself - to give me a reason to do all this work.

About head drawing - I think you should do that too for sure and yes work on the overall shape / simplified features before getting into details. A good place to start is Andrew Loomis's 'Fun with a Pencil' (can download for free online). It starts off in a fun cartoony way and gets more serious as the book goes on. Really good place to start. A common approach with heads is to learn the basic head construction (can check Proko on youtube for that) then work on getting the skull and planes of the head down. It's quite a grind but really worthwhile - do the Loomis fun stuff alongside it so you don't get too frustrated (it really is a grind, but so rewarding).

About drawing from imagination: You should definitely do this but I'd say don't set out with the intention of drawing something good. That's why I keep my doodle sketchbook; I draw in it in the evening time when my daughter is watching cartoons; whenever I draw in that book I am doing it to relax at the end of the day with no preconception about drawing anything good. Sometimes stuff looks good, which makes me feel great, sometimes it's awful, which doesn't bother me at all since I kind of 'gave myself permission' to just relax and have fun and not worry about it. What drawing from imagination does - as well as engaging and developing your creativity - is it exposes your weaknesses. Like you could be really great at drawing portraits from photo's but not actually understand how the nostrils connect to the face, or how the lips wrap around. You might just have a really good eye for copying. Drawing faces from imagination, you will get stuck at those parts and your drawing will show it. Instead of getting frustrated, you can take note of the gaps in knowledge and make a point of studying them some other time. Sometime this week I'll post up some of the things I draw in mine on my sketchbook thread and explain my thought process.

Lastly, about initial sprints / bursts of motivation - those things are short lived, but are very important. It is good to seize upon those feelings and act, since they make us want to act but be aware that they will drop off (sometimes very quickly). Establishing a consistent effort that isn't too gruelling to make us burn out is what will keep us going through the dips in motivation (but we need that initial motivation to push us to establish those in the first place!). If you establish this, even on off days you will be so used to drawing at whatever time of the day it is, it will feel weird not to.

Your workspace looks really nice, lot of space and everything organised nicely! maybe you could just get a lamp shade for the light? It's nice to have light from above. Also, everyone does it different, but I find drawing on a completely flat surface makes me strain my back after a while, also drawings can become warped as the top of the page is further from your eye than the bottom. I angle my drawing surface (sometimes just rest the sketchpad on the edge of my desk and my knees, and sometimes put it on tabletop easel). You can better train your arm to draw mostly from the shoulder like this. That's just me though, thought I'd drop in my thoughts on that!

Sorry for another wall of text! Good luck!

Aspiring comic book creator
Sketchbook
Instagram
Abandoned Hideout Discord Group, contact: ''Jon Roydon#4453"
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#14
Yeah I'd definitely check what your day's like, just to get an idea! I remember I had a .psd file downloaded from the LevelUp guys, where you had all this different blocks, each one for a different argument. However that would've been useful for a full-time drawing person, which i was 'till two months ago but I did not make good use of all that free time :| because I'm stupid, I started again now to draw seriously when I have less free time haha xD

Anyway, I've got 2 Loomis' books (I really hate reading books on computer, that's one my thing xD), but i'll check that one out, I downloaded all of them some time ago.

My burst of motivation ends every time I have to face with my drawing weaknesses; until I just fantasize about how awesome would be to draw some cool shit, I feel excited—when I realize I can't do that, I start to feel frustrated... guess that's a common pitfall.

About my workstation, thank you! All the mess is on the desk on the left which you can't see XD and fuuuuuck, yes! My back always hurts after a while! I find also very hard to mantain proportion since you really can't have that much control over the paper :| I always wanted a reclinable table, but then I will need to move everything but the drawing material. Tabletop easel you say? Can you show me something? Drawing from the shoulder is a must, in my case I rarely do that, mostly from the elbow!

Thanks again mate for the time you put every time in your answers, they are always helpful!

Well, going to post some old and new gesture drawings I just did (may I say a complete disaster? Yeah)
Old ones (from a month ago I guess, last time I did gestures before today):

[Image: ObO3PX8.jpg]

And the ones done today:
[Image: BHwaYjT.jpg]

I do apologize for the ever-lacking of quality :| hope to get a new phone asap!
Anyway, the first batch were done with pen, the latter with pencil. What kind of medium do you recommend for gesture drawing? I'm a huge fan of Ryan Woodward's gestures, he uses a Contè stick (looks like charcoal), he makes wide big strokes for the masses—well, I don't know, the only thing I know is that mine sucks xD

Cheers guys!

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#15
Quote:My burst of motivation ends every time I have to face with my drawing weaknesses; until I just fantasize about how awesome would be to draw some cool shit, I feel excited—when I realize I can't do that, I start to feel frustrated... guess that's a common pitfall.

Yea that's a common thing, at least I feel like that at times - less so nowadays but I still feel it. Don't look at other peoples drawing too much after you've drawn something, and at the end of a session try to puzzle out what you've learned. It's all the mini, tiny little breakthroughs that carry you forward. Even just getting one solid gesture is good.

This is my table easel:

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That's A3 paper, so you can get an idea of the size. You can find that one online for around £12 (like 15 euro's or something). It's by winsor and newtown but don't by from their online shop as they charge about 70 euros for it. I recently discovered that it's actually a bit too high for good drawing, so I need to have my chair on the highest setting or stand up - or recently I just rest the paper on the edge of the desk and my knees to draw, so I am really looking down at the paper.

Gestures are looking nice, I am a fan of Ryan Woodward too - I bought conte and tried to replicate his stuff but failed, I got tired of having to use sandpaper to sharpen the conte crayon all the time and went back to pencil.

For your gestures, the poses where they are on the floor are looking nice. You have some nice shape going on (looking at the overall figure as a single shape, helps you be specific about the pose). The standing up ones - try to think about 'what is the point of the pose?' and think about a single line that could represent that. The rest of the body should support that single line. Here's some notes I made for someone else that might explain what I mean:

[Image: gbIIIKL.jpg]

Aspiring comic book creator
Sketchbook
Instagram
Abandoned Hideout Discord Group, contact: ''Jon Roydon#4453"
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#16
hey man, nice to see you tackling your problems!

You have some nice Bridgman studies, or copie, whatver you wanna call it and I totally understand what you are going through, drawing a lot and feeling you're not retaining enough information about what you just did?

If I may, let me give you 2 advices.

First is watch Alex Negrea's gumroad "how to build your visual library" and second, write the shit of everything you notice when you draw. (that's what he says on the video, but its better to see it) and don't limit yourself to what the books say you can learn, go forth and boldly into the unknown and do a still life and write down everything about it! the angles, the colors, why the light looks like that, reflections, shadows, everything!

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#17
Hey man, nice start there. Renato is right. Writing helps organizing thought. As for feeling like you are studying, I have it from time to time, that I really feel like I learned something. Usually it is when I do couple a sketch of a thing with different approaches (2d/3d) and then do a copy from memory. Copying is good, you learn to judge values, colors, angles and stuff. To retain it better, I think (not a master on the subject) copying isn't enough, but you have to think about it and just draw it, until it is stuck in your head. And take notes. But as long as you draw, everything will be fine :)


Please help me getting better by checking out my sketchbook

HOMEPAGE http://floart.weebly.com
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#18
JyonnyNovice Thanks a lot for that gesture drawing breakdown, I think it has helped me a bit, looking for line of action is something I forgot about even though I read it so many times! Your drawing easel looks nice, but is really comfortable to draw? That base where you rest the paper looks obstructive to me! Maybe it's just an impression, I would more likely go for a rigid drawing board with a clip to get the paper stuck! I should definitely get one, that will make me draw from the shoulder I guess.

Renato thanks man! I appreciate a lot that you stopped by! I checked Negrea's gumroad, and looks interesting! I'd definitely buck that 3$ to get more insights about character design! Anyway, writing things down is something I usually do, but since often there are lot of informations, I end up with something I don't really understand. Even Bridgman's book it's not that clear to me (I don't know if maybe it's because English is not my main language, but I go well with it, it's just how he describes things that makes me kinda confused).

Flo thanks for stopping by! I should definitely write things down more constantly, I'm just not very used it even it happens. I don't really know what I'm doing right now when I'm copying, I just try to make things look nice and proportioned. I think I need to start asking myself questions, answer them, then try to draw from imagination what I just learned. Even now I should draw a pose from memory, or a skull, ora a head, I end up with something really horrible. I have to practice more I guess!


Well, here you are yesterday and today's gestures sessions (and one page with some Bridgman's head).
60s for each pose, about 30min per session.
They went shit, but I'll get it. I don't know if maybe I should increase the time, but maybe I won't learn how to capture the essence of the pose? What a mess XD

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Well, doing gestures traditionally surely helps a lot, but when it comes to scan everything is a hell of a time consuming XD I need to start doing them digitally, but I don't feel quite ready to do the shift.

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#19
take time for your gestures if you need to.
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#20
Hey fellas! It's been a while, I know. Got sick during the holidays and did not draw much, I know there are no excuses, it was just me procrastinating, but when I feel shitty meeeh highs and lows make me depressed, but here you are some more gestures!

Getting somewhere? Meh, don't feel so, but won't give up!

[Image: 9V2jnCh.jpg]


[Image: Zq4GIaZ.jpg]

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Going to do some more tomorrow, but I noticed I can't really keep up with updating daily (as you can see xD), so I'll stick to upload weekly. I'm starting some new things (online course/mentorship), so stay tuned and let me know! Draw till you crawl ^_^

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