Joseph's shiny new sketchbook
#61
Thought I'd upload some of my sketches from the past couple days. I found that painting by Pedro Americo really interesting and decided to do a value study of it. It kind of reminds me of a baroque painting because of the diagonal, billowing cape. But the manner of the vegetation and background feels pretty typical of nineteenth century naturalism. 

I liked how the contour of the subject is never really lost, but it gets accentuated by little patches of lighter value behind it. There's a lot of variety in how things meet the background.  It kind of gives solidity to the whole outline without needing to silhouette the whole thing in stark contrast, like is usual in modern illustration where you might have a uniform contrast around a subject, or even a rim light to pop it out.

With the figure drawing I tried to draw the contours related to each other through their flow, while still maintaining the right proportions, and thinking more in mass than just optically copying the blocky shapes. I've run into issues drawing figures from life, where you start blocking it in like a still life, but then the angles will shift a bit when they move, throwing the whole thing off. I also always struggle with moving a gesture drawing forward because loose gesture lines tend to not be very accurate, so further construction on top of them more disregards the gesture than uses it, and then things feel awkward and not related to each other. I think this approach is making a lot more sense, especially if I think of it as the flow of the contour, not gesture in the usual sense of it being an abstract idea of the weight or movement of the figure. 


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#62
a couple more today


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#63
Made a little drawing/painting of a small bust today. I went into it intending to do a constructive drawing exercise but then kind of got carried away painting an impression of it instead. Which is fine, still good practice. But as a result I didn't really hit the best values for light effect. It's high key and a little weak. I might work on it more later and refine the form.


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#64
spent a bit tightening it up. I feel like this study is not my best, I'm still kind of figuring out how I want to do hatching and things in general


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#65
Nice take on that bust drawing/painting. I like those shadows and hatching, it has a nice grain effect.
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#66
Thanks onetwo. I ended up filling in most of the hatching, transitioning it to more painting than drawing. The sculpture it has some really interesting subtle temperature shifts.

I'll probably just stop it here because I feel like it reads well at a small size


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#67
I really love the rendering ! really looking like pastel stuff and it's great ! The volume is well rendered but i think you can push the contrast a little bit more to make it more readable ! I just played with the levels adjustment to show you how close you are to make it really better ! It's a bad habit i have too, to be quite afraid to push the contrast, i think when you do it you see how your previous work looks muddy and kinda lacking some life ! Anyway keep it up Joe !


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#68
(12-11-2020, 05:27 AM)wld.89 Wrote: I really love the rendering ! really looking like pastel stuff and it's great ! The volume is well rendered but i think you can push the contrast a little bit more to make it more readable ! I just played with the levels adjustment to show you how close you are to make it really better ! It's a bad habit i have too, to be quite afraid to push the contrast, i think when you do it you see how your previous work looks muddy and kinda lacking some life ! Anyway keep it up Joe !

Thanks, yeah I kind of agree, and I thought someone might say that. I messed with the levels a bunch and was on the fence about how much contrast I wanted to make it look strong, but not wanting to depend on always using high contrast to make things work. Things should be able to work at a high key or a low key, I think in this case you're right though, it just looks better with the black behind it.

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#69
Nice bust study man - I'm loving the warm reflected light - works well with the subtle cooler tones you've placed in the background by the back of his neck.

Keep it up dude!

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

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#70
Did a few sketches today. I've been feeling kind of frustrated. I have a lot of trouble getting things started, don't know what to draw first, and what I do draw is often wildly wrong and I end up just redoing it maybe 5 times. And I go back and forth between trying to construct things, or mannequinize the structure, but then it doesn't correspond with the actual appearance of things. I tend to defer to the natural appearance of things if possible.


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#71
Remember not to be to hard on yourself try to put your finger on what frustrate you.

For how to start i advise to start with the larger mass the torso and the head those are in most case your largest form which will creately help other thing be measured against.The limb are secondary but still important to bring balance to your figure.It understanble to feel overwhelm by a full figure.If you don't know where yo go it probably that you work all over the place will you are putting the finer detail.Just try to have a process as they say.Here and example gesture,Large Mass,Connecting the large mass,Overlap,Large Shadow,Medium Shadow,Small shadow,Edge work.

I think the hardest part is probably dealing with how you can group shadow and also estimating what size they are compare to each other it isn't always straight foward.

Construction are nothing but scafold for realism to succeed they are there to support your knowledge of anatomy they are use to simplify what you see so that you don't feel overwhelm by the complexity of the figure once you can visualize them they become secondary.

If i might suggest something it would be to lose your contour if you want even more realism and use your background to create the separation between the subject and the background.You can lay value behind the figure to do so.This post by proko should explain what i mean better

https://www.proko.com/top-5-shading-mistakes/

I would argue that you suffer from the 3# and 2# mention in that post.But maybe your also using bad reference so be careful.

Good luck
-Darktiste

My Sketchbook
The journey of an artist truly begin when he can learn from everyone error.
Teamwork make your dream work.
Asking help is the key to growth.
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#72
(12-13-2020, 04:53 PM)darktiste Wrote: Remember not to be to hard on yourself try to put your finger on what frustrate you.

For how to start i advise to start with the larger mass the torso and the head those are in most case your largest form which will creately help other thing be measured against.The limb are secondary but still important to bring balance to your figure.It understanble to feel overwhelm by a full figure.If you don't know where yo go it probably that you work all over the place will you are putting the finer detail.Just try to have a process as they say.Here and example gesture,Large Mass,Connecting the large mass,Overlap,Large Shadow,Medium Shadow,Small shadow,Edge work.

I think the hardest part is probably dealing with how you can group shadow and also estimating what size they are compare to each other it isn't always straight foward.

Construction are nothing but scafold for realism to succeed they are there to support your knowledge of anatomy they are use to simplify what you see so that you don't feel overwhelm by the complexity of the figure once you can visualize them they become secondary.

If i might suggest something it would be to lose your contour if you want even more realism and use your background to create the separation between the subject and the background.You can lay value behind the figure to do so.This post by proko should explain what i mean better

https://www.proko.com/top-5-shading-mistakes/

I would argue that you suffer from the 3# and 2# mention in that post.But maybe your also using bad reference so be careful.

Good luck
-Darktiste
The figure to the right was a study of this drawing. But I've worked on it a little more since posting. The two to the left are sketched from a painting by Velasquez called The Forge of Vulcan.

I'm not totally sure what you mean, though. Feel free to draw over to show more clearly the issue you are seeing.


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#73
Hi did you read the post by proko?Specially the point i mentioned?

Well if it was clearly let me try again with example this time.

So for the point about your value what i was trying to point out is that when you study something with a background remember that your eye also capture the value around it.By leaving your background unresolved you will probably end up with value issue.

So that what i demonstrated in one of the two picture.The other is simply there to demonstrate the difference between your study and the original.See how brighter it is?

If you have anything specific you want me to elaborate on please just quote the passage and i will do my best to explain as best as i can.


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My Sketchbook
The journey of an artist truly begin when he can learn from everyone error.
Teamwork make your dream work.
Asking help is the key to growth.
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#74
Well, I do see that the reference is darker. But I think that's just a matter of this being just a sketch, not a fully fleshed out drawing. I'm just trying to suggest to myself the shape of the shadows and the form. The real issue I see is that the figure is too short and the feet are far too big. It's pretty easy to fix at this stage. I can just move things around or redraw them and don't really have to worry about the background. I also think values can be correct even if they are lighter, as long as they remain relative to each other.

I read the proko article. Pretty good article, but I confess I don't really see those things being big problems in my work. But maybe i just don't see it. If you'd like to show how you would do it differently, by simply drawing it yourself, that would be fine with me.


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#75
Hey Joseph, I'm loving your figure studies too - nice work!

Just my two pence worth on constructing vs drawing from observation (please ignore as you see fit) - in my own journey I have considered this and come to the conclusion that if I want to draw stuff from my imagination, it is better to practice constructing - but if I want to just draw from observation then I can just carefully place my marks and not worry so much about construction.  I will caveat this with the statement that I believe it is better to know how a thing is constructed even if we don't actually do the construction work.

For me I want to draw figures from my imagination so I have a heavy construction bias in my approach - I will start with a stick figure to get my proportions right and then construct boxes and cylinders and then overlay these with more organic forms.

Hope this helps but if not please ignore - either way - good luck with your journey :).

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

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#76
(12-14-2020, 05:21 AM)Artloader Wrote: Hey Joseph, I'm loving your figure studies too - nice work!

Just my two pence worth on constructing vs drawing from observation (please ignore as you see fit) - in my own journey I have considered this and come to the conclusion that if I want to draw stuff from my imagination, it is better to practice constructing - but if I want to just draw from observation then I can just carefully place my marks and not worry so much about construction.  I will caveat this with the statement that I believe it is better to know how a thing is constructed even if we don't actually do the construction work.

For me I want to draw figures from my imagination so I have a heavy construction bias in my approach - I will start with a stick figure to get my proportions right and then construct boxes and cylinders and then overlay these with more organic forms.

Hope this helps but if not please ignore - either way - good luck with your journey :).
 Yeah it does help I think. The observation way, which is how we draw almost exclusively at my school, also considers the form and structure,  but it kind of approaches it from the opposite direction. Like you first consider the 2D space the figure occupies, and then hone in on the form as you refine it optically. Whereas the constructive method kind of makes a form first, by using a simple structure, and then approaches the correct outline by refining that form, making it more organic. 
I want to be better at the construction method as it's better for imaginative work. But I'm still working through kind of balancing the two ideas.

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#77
Thought i'd do a little update of just a mix of stuff I've done over the past week or two.

I'm finishing up a pretty quick painting I'm just doing on my own in my room, not at school. I'm not really supposed to be painting, or doing stuff in color, but I wanted to see if I could apply some of the things I've been learning to paint instead of drawing. There's not really a huge change in the result from some of my similar paintings before, to be honest. But I think the biggest change is just that I'm really aware of and in control of the subtleties of edges and value. I see a lot more how it should be, and what the right standard is, whereas before I was kind of in the dark. I just threw things out there and hoped for the best. Now I can see how I could take this a lot further if I wanted to spend the time.

I was pretty happy with this little pencil portrait of one of my classmates. It's not perfect, but the fact that those shapes of tone bear resemblance to him is encouraging,. Maybe the mouth is a little low.

I'm not overly pleased with how my figure drawing is going. I have trouble with proportion, and maintaining a natural gesture when trying to refine it. This is probably one of my better ones from life, and I think it's a little awkward. I don't know. I'm very hard on myself, but it does matter to me. 

I'm almost done with my cast drawing, the drawing of the top of it looks a little wrong in the photo, but it might just be the photo. It's really more of an academic worksheet though, and I'm learning a lot from doing it so I'm glad about that.


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#78
A few more pieces from school. The female portrait is definitely one of my better sketches. I still have some troubles with proportion, but the portraits definitely show an improvement in general drawing level. They are starting to be consistent likenesses.


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#79
You've learned to block out the figure and add shadow really nicely. Can't wait to see you develop this. I would love to something similar myself. It's pretty much only ateliers that teach these techniques isn't it, not art schools?
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#80
(01-30-2021, 06:54 PM)Dominicque Wrote: You've learned to block out the figure and add shadow really nicely. Can't wait to see you develop this. I would love to something similar myself. It's pretty much only ateliers that teach these techniques isn't it, not art schools?
Well most art schools do have figure drawing. But even if they do it's mostly short poses between 10 minutes and an hour. So you'd never have nearly enough time to do anything besides sloppy work, even if the instruction were decent.

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