Must draw better

Post your sketches, doodles and studies.

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Must draw better

Postby flyingfigment » Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:40 pm

Hi guys, sort of new here. I had a sketchbook thread way back in February, but darned if I can find it now. Anyway, I started a thread in the Life Drawing section but nobody seems to go there so I figure I'll just post stuff here? I'm a student with tons to learn, so any feedback is helpful and very very welcome! So here's a smattering of stuff I've done in the past week, some life drawing, some studies, and some doodles from my head.
Attachments
wife1.jpg
5 minute poses
wife2.jpg
5 minutes
forestsqui.jpg
I love forests, but I need to learn how to draw them! Also, the woods here are full of squirrels so here's some crummy ones
angha1.jpg
Studies for a project I'm giving myself this week, a mythical creature called an Angha or Simurgh.
angha2.jpg
More Angha studies. The Wikipedia description said it was "unambiguously female", so excuse the dogboobs!
angha3.jpg
Angha again.
cattrees.jpg
An outside, and some kitties.
angha4.jpg
More Angha stuff. Somehow my family members managed to work their way in there too, if my mom knew I'd drawn her she'd freak.
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Postby Tisnaderas! » Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:46 pm

i really dig the whole dog with wings, and humans (sort of like Harpies?)
your muscles are great, and the figure poses even better. keep it up man.

-nando
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Postby faroukbaaaaa » Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:51 am

marvellous sketching
keep going, you are certainly headed in the right direction
Image

Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons
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Postby flyingfigment » Sat Oct 30, 2010 1:43 pm

Thanks guys, is there anything I should practice more of? Finished the Angha thing, I would have liked to make it soo much cooler but in the interest of time (gotta get back to homework!) this'll do.It's for a bi-monthly aert challenge, so next one will have a background!
Attachments
absk1.jpg
Concept sketch, figuring stuff out
abbru.jpg
Brushpen fail...
absk2.jpg
Sketch for the final
abfin.jpg
Arthur Rackham I am not. The pencil scanned badly, I should have known! D:<
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Postby Sirspamdalot » Sat Oct 30, 2010 5:43 pm

Great drawings, flyingfigment. I found your previous Sketchbook thread here:
http://www.drawingboard.org/viewtopic.php?t=70821

Some tips:

*Your work is full of organic curves, but for stronger designs, try using more pronounced straight lines in opposition to those curves. This approach is mentioned in The Illusion of Life, but here's another good description of it. This guy really pushes his 'straights' for powerful designs.

Others to look at for their use of straight lines are Milt Kahl and Alex Toth. Some of the best examples of this sort of thing are Robert Fawcett's life sketches, which are collected in the book "Drawing The Nude."

*Your characters' emotions are often hard to discern. For instance, in the first sketch of the winged dog, it's hard to tell if he's pleased or surprised. Further down, the reclining lion could be feeling tired, annoyed, or regal. Look for ways to increase emotional clarity with more definite facial expressions and posture.

*Some of your characters appear to be leaning awkwardly, or standing on a slope, maybe due to the way your sketchbook changes angles as you draw. This is fine in a sketchbook, but it's something to guard against in straightforward illustrations or animation. Practice establishing a consistent ground plane, with a perspective grid to show where the ground is, and some vertical guidelines to position your characters against. This will help you accurately place and follow the characters' centers of gravity, as well as ensure that the characters all seem to occupy the same physical space. Ernest Shepard and John Tenniel are good artists to look at for the way they establish a consistent ground plane.

*There isn't much use of shadow or dark areas in your drawings, and when it does appear (in the drawing of the winged dog and baby), it's ill composed: the strongest contrasts are out among the feathers, while the center of interest (at the characters' heads) looks murky. Strong composition of shadows/values won't be necessary if your exclusive focus is animation, but it will be important if you intend to work as an illustrator or gallery artist. The book "The Simple Secret to Better Painting" has an excellent chapter on composing values/shadows. Also check out the black and white drawings of Frank Frazetta or Mike Mignola.
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Very fine sketches

Postby treedonkey » Mon Nov 08, 2010 11:59 am

Your sketchbook looks excellent, especially for student work, so it looks like you are off to a fine start as an artist. Keep it up!

My guess is that your main interest is in animation, correct? That's good, especially if you seek to become gainfully employed after college, since there is more work now than ever in that field. But to make inroads in that profession, you will have to distinguish yourself among many other young artists who also have much talent for drawing. The best way to do that is to put a sense of motion into your sketches whenever possible and to give each one of them a clear, emotive expression - e.g. angry, sad, happy, or better yet... confounded, melancholy and ecstatic! (or, if it's a something like a building or a landscape, what is the feeling? How is the weather? ...etc) Also, seek to develop your own style of line and subject matter rather than just imitating the likes of Frank Frazetta, Ken Hultgren, Ollie Johnson and others we all know and love (do I see some 1951 Hultgren cats in there?). Don't get me wrong, those artists, and many others, are great for inspiration and for studying their technique (you will see plenty of similarly influenced drawing in my own sketchbook samples), but as you prepare to go out into the world of animation or other arts, you will need to bring something relatively fresh to the table if you want more than just another schooling in your first job interviews -- Trust me, I know, because I made the same mistake when I first graduated college many years ago and it really discouraged me pursuing that sort of work.
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Postby flyingfigment » Tue Nov 16, 2010 5:40 pm

Wow, thanks so much for all the insightful feedback! You guys definitely hit my problem areas on the head, and I'm trying to keep those things in mind more now when I draw. Treedonkey, while I love and admire all the artists you mentioned I don't know if I see the influence so much in my drawings. Also, shouldn't I be focusing on developing my hard skills and technique and letting a style come naturally? How does one go about establishing a personal style?

Anyway, I've got a bunch more drawings to post. Last week we had a class trip to the Royal Winter Fair, so I went and ODed on animals.
Attachments
rwf3sm.png
rwf1.jpg
rwfchix.jpg
rwfbirgs.jpg
rwf-oldguys.png
rwfhorsessm.png
rwfdogssm.png
Gestures from the Superdogs show, and some people I entertained myself with while I was freezing my ass off waiting for the train.
rwfass.png
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Postby flyingfigment » Tue Nov 16, 2010 5:52 pm

One more

These were done afterwards from memory, based on real people and animals I saw at the Fair.Image
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Postby treedonkey » Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:31 am

flyingfigment wrote:Treedonkey, while I love and admire all the artists you mentioned I don't know if I see the influence so much in my drawings. Also, shouldn't I be focusing on developing my hard skills and technique and letting a style come naturally? How does one go about establishing a personal style?.


I was just guessing at some names, but the point was that that previous batch looked to me like standard animation-course practice drawings. Although your execution is top notch, the subject matter just seemed a bit stale to me. HOWEVER, this latest batch seems much more lively and interesting. There are several pieces with some real character, and a good sense of story and feeling (the two old dudes leaning against chicken crates stand out as particularly compelling to me). So be sure to keep pursuing that! I see no reason why you could not get work in the animation field with the portfolio you already have, and it will only improve with time.

Its not so much about having you own individual style. In fact, more often than not, highly-stylized artwork usually comes off as a bit contrived... Kind of like Eddie VanHalen and his famous five-finger guitar tapping... it seems really impressive at first, but if you're not the first to bring it public or the absolute master of it, then it just comes off as, 'oh, that old deal again...' Know what I mean?

Rather, our goal as artists should be to infuse a bit of ourselves into whatever we draw through our use of technique, media and subject matter. That will begin to happen naturally when your highly-skilled craftsmanship is guided by the free, childlike imagination which lives inside of you already.

There is a very excellent new book by Bert Dodson 'Keys to Drawing from the Imagination' that can help you develop that more creative side of your artwork. It will then be up to you to meld the two sides together as you see fit. Perhaps then you primary training will be complete (I know, that sounded like Yoda), but of course it does not end there. >> Realize, that I say all of this as a note to myself as much as anything, as I continue to work on all the same sorts of things myself.

-James
Cows are outstanding in their field
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