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JyonnyNovice - from Novice to Master! - Printable Version

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RE: JyonnyNovice - from Novice to Master! - JyonnyNovice - 07-22-2014

Thanks Alexey : )

Some figures from imagination:

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Trying to shade using planes of the body, the process was pretty successful but I screwed up the image with too many fancy adjustment layers.

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I went to life drawing today but it wasn't on - some band was playing a gig in the room they use; the guy running it was quite excited to have me stay and draw the band, in hindsight I should've waited the 2 hours til they started and done it but I didn't, oh well! Must be more open to spontaneous opportunities in the future! Went to the city centre and did some street sketching then went home.

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I've got a good process for these now; I start super super loose with graphite, just going for gesture then building the form around it, then when I need a break I go back over the good ones with a fine liner, defining the lines better and adding minor details then I continue new sketches - I think I captured some good poses in these; the second page were super quick - some of them I only saw for about 5 seconds like the lady with the pram and the fat guy bottom right (he's jogging, although it's not obvious), I really liked the inward curving back, big belly and sticking out bum), he had an incredibly upright overall posture, despite the curves and bulges, and he had a great running technique for someone overweight (nothing against overweight people, just you don't expect them to be good runners!).

Next started a sketch of St Mary Redcliffe's Church but was tired and rushing it and got a phone call and had to stop. Architecture is a real struggle for me - you have to be so careful with measuring and proportions and perspective. I need to challenge myself to draw architecture more so I can get over it.

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RE: JyonnyNovice - from Novice to Master! - clockodile - 07-22-2014

Wow, I can see improvement since I last looked in here! Great progress with these perspective exercises, they're coming along well. Much more solid linework and construction. The latest one shows off more curves and general variety too, which is good for practise. Really all I can suggest is to keep with what you are doing with the gradual ramp up of the complexity and variety, you're already coming along well with this.

Nice work with the Hampton gestures too. You seem to be getting the hang of showing the direction of the body masses with those wrap around lines. I think Hampton is a pretty good one to work on with perspective studies actually, he overlaps with that perspective-form type of drawing pretty heavily. Don't feel bummed about trying multiple anatomy books either! They all take different approaches, so you are basically just filling up a toolbox - and some are better in some areas than others. Not to mention the difficulty level pitch varies. (I checked out Faragasso's book recently and jesus, I fear it.)

Also I totally understand the sleep thing, it used to be a terrible habit for me.

Edit: Aha, you posted whilst I was typing. I really like where you are going on the people sketching - nice to see those individual subtleties in the poses and read the thought process. It takes a bit of adjusting to it, but with practise you'll probably find the lines become cleaner/more efficient. (Especially if you are working on those Peter Han exercises I saw mentioned on the last page.)

RE: JyonnyNovice - from Novice to Master! - JyonnyNovice - 07-22-2014

@Clockodile Cheers mate! Everything is feeling a lot smoother now - kind of like I've got past the 'learning how to manipulate a pencil' part and can now let the creativity out, knowing that my hands are looking after themselves. I've still got a long way to go with technique but if I just keep drawing and doing exercises that'll take care of itself. I seem to be getting into a bad habit though - where I was doing nice, long, smooth lines previously, now, after doing Hampton's gesture method; where he uses a lot of tightly placed curves to create movement through a piece, I kind of do that but without the precision and thought he uses, and when I'm drawing fast my lines are reverting to the chicken scratch, pecking style that I worked so hard to get out of! I need to watch that!

Anyway, the perspective stuff is clicking little by little - I found it so so helpful to draw on A3 paper, so I can have the vanishing points on the page but still get a nice big area to work in. I recommend anyone who's studying perspective to use A3 paper, it's really made such a difference (plus it's forced me to learn how to draw long, straight lines between two far away points).

I wasn't sleepy, so did a few more figures today:

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Drawn in graphite on A4 then coloured in photoshop.

RE: JyonnyNovice - from Novice to Master! - JyonnyNovice - 07-23-2014

Studied heads today, did tons of practice trying Loomis's method then Hampton's. Made a lot of progress, will work on it more tomorrow and post an update then.

Started watching Shaddy Safari's tutorials on digital landscape painting too and started blocking out the shapes for a painting:

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RE: JyonnyNovice - from Novice to Master! - JyonnyNovice - 07-25-2014

Grandparents are gone now, I'm back to baby duty so drawing time has taken a hit. Still feel like I'm making loads of progress though; just not meeting my 'study goals' (which is cool, will keep working using my study plan, as long as I cover the different areas regularly enough it's all good).

Been studying heads the last couple of days, feel like I've come on a huge amount. Switched to Hampton and studied his approach - it's basically the same as Loomis but there's more explanation with it. Hampton's way is also conducive to drawing from reference as well as imagination. I found with Loomis, since you start with the ball and side plane, it was really hard to place them correctly when using reference. Hampton uses basically the same method of simplification but after drawing the circle, you find the hair brow and nose line, then draw the side plane using those - for me it's easier when using reference to accurately mark those lines before doing the elipse side plane.

Anyway, tl;dr, if you struggle with Loomis try Hampton!

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Some street sketching from today:

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Some gestures and 10 minute figures from today, which I'm really very very happy about. It feels like something's clicked and my gestures have 'leveled up'. Drawing with conte crayon, getting more confident with this medium too which no doubt helps my drawings.

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Finally some stuff from imagination, playing around with building figures and faces from basic shapes.

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RE: JyonnyNovice - from Novice to Master! - Adam Lina - 07-25-2014

The proportions are looking tighter, man. Keep it up with the construction drawings. The more you do careful construction the more it will become automatic for you. Then you wont have to spend as much time doing boring measurements. The gestures are equally important as careful construction too, dont get me wrong. They'll keep your figures from looking too stiff, while the construction drawing keeps you accurate.

RE: JyonnyNovice - from Novice to Master! - JyonnyNovice - 07-26-2014

@Adam cheers dude, things are definitely starting to click after all the careful consistent practice! I took your advice too and got the James Gurney book, started my first studies from it today.

Some direct sunlight studies:

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The middle photo is from Cartagena in Colombia, the architecture and colours of the buildings is really special. The last photo is a Torii gate from Kyoto in Japan - they are relics of the Shinto religion and there are not too many left I don't think, since (like most of Japan's historical buildings / monuments) they're made of wood and most burned down in various wars / tragedies.

Practice applying it from imagination; concentrating on the direct sunlight, diffuse blue light from the sky and reflected light:

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I did tweak the levels at the end but only very slightly; usually I yank them around in my colour stuff, so it's much improved already. After doing these studies I can't help looking at the colours and shadows of just about everything around me, judging whether stuff is warm / cool / reflected light / dark or light value. It's really opened my eyes after just one study session. I'll continue with the colour stuff tomorrow.

Tried to replicate the Torii gate photo with conte crayon - it looks pretty nice on paper, the photo really flattens it out and highlights the small mistakes but it's a good challenge trying to do this kind of colour stuff with just a small selection of crayons:

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RE: JyonnyNovice - from Novice to Master! - Heliux - 07-26-2014

improvement is clear! keep hammering out those studies man! way to be industrious! XD

RE: JyonnyNovice - from Novice to Master! - JyonnyNovice - 07-27-2014

@Heliux Thanks so much man! I'll keep going ^_^

More painting today, still with direct sunlight. One study and one application from imagination:

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This is the beautiful Shiva Temple in Mauritius. I did a really careful silhouette then rushed through the painting, should've taken a break - digital painting really sucks up the time and I don't realise how tired it makes me...

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Pretty happy with this one - I used a reference image just to capture the gesture, had it on screen for 3 mins max; then I closed the window and did everything else from imagination. His face is a bit screwy, and no hands since I didn't want to ruin it! He should have a cast shadow from his left arm across his face, but I couldn't picture how to do it exactly, so I left it out. Colours seem pretty ok to me, that was the main focus after all.

Trying to find a good brush and approach to doing gestures in photoshop still, I think the last 3 of these are the nicest to look at (using a hard, angled brush)

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Still prefer to do these on paper though.

RE: JyonnyNovice - from Novice to Master! - Jaik - 07-27-2014

Nice job so far. This page is full of some nice variation. If you want to really focus on some perspective, check out Isra's perspective mentoring in the mentoring thread on this forum. I hope his vids are still active, but that was a seriously good basis in perspective.

Keep up the nice figure work. You will get there eventually :)

RE: JyonnyNovice - from Novice to Master! - JyonnyNovice - 07-28-2014

@Jaik Thanks for the comment and support! I'll make sure to check out that thread!

Today and tomorrow I'm having a 'day off' from studying properly, just messing about drawing stuff of personal interest. Today some manga stuff, trying to get the hand of inking and marker colouring, it's not looking too bad, and really fun to do. Might finish off my clothing folds studies tomorrow or might continue with the markers.

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Didn't realise you could blend the markers and create gradients til I was almost finished (I would've done Haruhi's hair like that if I'd realised, only blending is on her face and eyes).

It's a really fun medium to use and supports my colour studies. The test with most of my traditional stuff, to check whether it really looks any good, is how it looks after it's been scanned and is standing alone on the screen. This marker stuff passes the test I think! I'm gonna learn this medium more, and try out a brush pen for the line work.

RE: JyonnyNovice - from Novice to Master! - JyonnyNovice - 07-29-2014

More manga style stuff today, 90% from imagination; just looked at a couple of 'How to Draw Manga' PDF's to get some proportions and measurements.

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Just warming up.

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Trying out some hair blending; successful in some parts, messy in others. The hair shines don't have much pop, I think the gradation from white to dark is too spaced out.

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Scanned this one at each stage since I was worried my hand would slip and I'd screw it up.

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Turned out ok for a first attempt at a full manga figure from imagination.

Life drawing class today:

2 minute poses:

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5 minute poses:

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10 minute poses:

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20 minute pose:

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45 minutes pose:

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I felt strangely melancholic after the life drawing session, wasn't that happy with my drawings but usually that doesn't bother me - maybe I'm a bit burnt out, over tired or something. I'm pretty happy with how my pen and marker stuff is going though; can only get better from here!

RE: JyonnyNovice - from Novice to Master! - JyonnyNovice - 07-30-2014

No time to study today but managed to get in some quick gestures / marker & line work practice - did this on proper marker paper, it is much easier and nicer on this.

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RE: JyonnyNovice - from Novice to Master! - clockodile - 07-31-2014

See, even though they're very similar, I hugely preferred Hampton's method for heads too! It just works well - the way he handles the nose and gap between the eyes solved a huge problem I had when learning. Also I totally second Jaik on Isra's thread - the videos are a long, but he left some really good assignments and the lessons are a thorough intro. It is over here if you haven't found it. I tried a couple of videos and they seem to be up still!

Your life drawing is coming along, the shapes you are using seem to generally show better clarity and understanding of the larger 3D forms you are working with. Watch out for that habit of neglecting the hands though - even just putting in a gestural one like in this gesture you did further up the page is better than nothing.

Keep experimenting with the markers too - they're great fun to use. (There are tonnes of videos on youtube too - Scott Robertson has some interesting sketch techniques for a start.) I've totally fallen for brushpens too, they are brutal and unforgiving, and make me slow down to think very hard about what I am doing. Love the lines they make too.

RE: JyonnyNovice - from Novice to Master! - JyonnyNovice - 07-31-2014

@Clockodile Yes, definitely the nose - eye area is covered very well by Hampton. With Loomis I was always just kind of 'faking it' and hoping it'd look good, now I understand what's going on. Loomis is still the man though, if only for his inspiring yet humble outlook. Thanks for the encouragement too, been at a bit of a low point with my life drawing so it's great to get comments like this, and you're right about the hands - I keep telling myself that "I'll get to them eventually, for now just ignore them" but I should at least put something there instead of just a shovel type block! Probably it's about time I sat down and studied them a bit, just to get something basic to work with.

Studied anatomy today, working through Hampton still. It's been a day of great frustration - You know when you draw something that feels really great, and looks really cool, but when you try to replicate the method you used you just come up with trash? That's what I've been feeling with my gestures and timed figures - sometimes I just hit something right but when I try to do it again I get ugly drawings.

So, I decided, no more messing about! I need to get to the bottom of my sometimes cool / sometimes broken gestures and figures. I've gone back to good old graphite, which isn't the prettiest medium but it's the one I am most comfortable with, made some notes, a step by step approach for myself to do figures; following Hampton for the main part. I've been practising it with untimed poses - they probably take between 5 and 10 minutes for me to do now, but I'm being really strict with myself, if things aren't right I'm adjusting, even erasing and drawing again - focusing mainly on proportions, since that's the area that kills most of my gestures.

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It kinda feels like I'm back doing basic Loomis Mannikin's again, but I am going to stick with this approach only, until I can get some more consistency - I'm getting serious now!

RE: JyonnyNovice - from Novice to Master! - JyonnyNovice - 08-01-2014

Had a great day today, feel like I'm making progress with my figures; more study and practice from Hampton:

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And then messing around with coloured pencil and markers (the alcohol in the markers melts the wax from the crayon and you can blend it, it's really fun)

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The pose is broken, but I really rushed this, had about 15 minutes so just sped through it all, then noticed the broken bits at the end. No worries!

RE: JyonnyNovice - from Novice to Master! - JyonnyNovice - 08-02-2014

My brush pen arrived today, so some experiments with that, then some perspective practice.

First attempt with brush pen, bit shaky on the lines:
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Some doodles to loosen up:
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Trying again, getting better control of it:
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More practice:
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Some street sketching:
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Looking at Isra's perspective classes, tried to draw the Bristol Museum in perspective, from life. Kind of failed because of doing it all in freehand:
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More brush pen / marker practice, brush lines are getting smoother and more confident I think:
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Repeated the perspective exercise from a photo at home, using a ruler, just to kind of prove to myself that I can do it. I'll persevere with freehand though, since I think I learn a lot of skills doing it that way.
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RE: JyonnyNovice - from Novice to Master! - JyonnyNovice - 08-03-2014

Studying heads today, lot of drawing and studying done, mainly noses - haven't got all the shapes and planes in my head yet but getting there.

Quick sketches to warm up then nose studies:

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The nose is coming together, but my main problem with drawing portraits right now is getting the keystone (glabella) at the top of the nose placed correctly on the head in the right perspective. At the moment I am just judging it by eye and sometimes it's placed right and sometimes it's not. If I get it wrong then the rest of the nose is knocked out of perspective - any tips on getting that rhombus shape placed correctly would be much appreciated!

RE: JyonnyNovice - from Novice to Master! - JyonnyNovice - 08-04-2014

More heads today, trying to get a better understanding of the planes of the nose with photographs.

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Didn't know why I was doing these at the start but it proved really useful for memorising the planes and getting an idea of how they fit on real noses.

Made a start on the planes of the whole head next:

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I'm going to continue with heads and portraits for the next few days, I feel I'm on the edge of some kind of breakthrough so I'll stick with it for now.

RE: JyonnyNovice - from Novice to Master! - JyonnyNovice - 08-05-2014

More portrait / head practice, decided to just draw today instead of doing careful studying. My portraits turned out much better than ones I did in the past but they still look sooo dodgy.

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Was rushing this one so I abandoned it instead of wasting time rendering a wonky face.

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What's the best way to get better at these?

I'm doing head planes / skull / facial anatomy work - on top of that should I just keep drawing portraits? I can do that no problem, but want to find the best way to improve.

Right now what I find hardest is putting in accurate construction lines and guides to build the features from - my faces look all skewed because my construction guidelines are skewed - I wonder how I can get better at that..?

Life drawing class this evening, it felt really good. Using brush pen for the short poses helped to keep me going slow, so I was more careful and precise when using pencil.

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The last one was 45 mins - it's probably the best figure drawing I've ever done. There's mistakes but on the whole the figure looks nicely proportioned, the twist of the torso is clear (I believe!) and I think the shading looks nice. Managed to keep hands and feet off the page too : )