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Discovered charcoal - NSFW

LeggraphicsLeggraphics Registered User
edited March 2009 in Artist's Corner
Hey guys. Went to the art shop the other day and bought some new supplies, different mediums and got a discounted pack that had everything in it including oil paint, water colours, brushes, pencils and Charcoal.

Ive never used charcoal before and I love using it. its very unforgiving in the erasing I find that once a line is down it really cant be moved. I didnt mind that to much because I love the dark lines and I have been using it to do anatomy drawings.

So yeah- I have been trying to get the flow of the pencil/charcoal smooth and keep form of the figures to help me learn how the human body curves and bends.

Here are a few drawings I have done so far. None of them took more than 10 minutes and most were done with reference photos. I still have issues with noses and hands. I'm finding that less lines is better when it comes to them. Especially the nose, I'm finding its best to keep the nose to a few simple lines.
charcoal_sketch_9_by_Leggraphics.jpg
charcoal_sketch_1_by_Leggraphics.jpg
charcoal_sketch_2_by_Leggraphics.jpg
charcoal_sketch_3_by_Leggraphics.jpg
charcoal_sketch_4_by_Leggraphics.jpg
charcoal_sketch_5_by_Leggraphics.jpg
charcoal_sketch_6_by_Leggraphics.jpg
charcoal_sketch_7_by_Leggraphics.jpg
charcoal_sketch_8_by_Leggraphics.jpg

Leggraphics on

Posts

  • popfishpopfish Registered User
    edited March 2009
    My two bottle caps:
    A good way to learn anatomy on a conceptual basis is to start with the skeletal and flesh it out with muscle as you go along. Graphically study how joints work and how they roll (sry) and how the muscles creates rhythm. For medical anatomy literature I recommend Sobotta's Anatomy 1.

    One of my former teachers used to say that everything is rocks. ROCKS! Cylindrical, cubical and spherical.

    Another take on it is to depict everything in values. Don't think on what you're drawing e.g. nose, eyes, fingers etc. instead concentrate on what's the darkest vs lightest part of the image and then the mid tones.

    Hope some of this helps!

  • SublimusSublimus AustinRegistered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I forget where the saying comes from but it goes something like 'everyone has at least a thousand bad drawings they need to get through before they can draw well.'

    So at this point, I would just draw draw draw! The MORE you do the better. Every drawing will probably show improvement, so just keep doing them in rapid succession.

  • BetelgeuseBetelgeuse Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I honestly think you are going about this "learn anatomy" thing the wrong way.

    What you are doing right now is just a thick outline and scribbling in some shadows, all while not really taking the time to carefully observe what you are seeing. Instead of drawing what you really see, you are putting in symbols that represent what you think you see (football eyes, identical lips and nipples on everyone, et cetera). This technique is really not doing you any favors. For now, just put aside the idea of drawing outlines and focus on indicating mass, volume and movement. Hopefully you have sticks of compressed charcoal and a big pad of newsprint because that makes it easier. Take a look at this thread to get an idea of what I am talking about. You'll notice that the figures (especially the full-body ones) are not simply outlined and colored in. Instead they use the range of tones that charcoal has to offer to show mass along with the way light and shadow play on the subtle topography of human anatomy. Do some quick (30 seconds or so) gesture studies and some longer studies where you rely on outlines as little as possible.

    And if possible, try using references that don't include hot young ladies in porny poses.

  • crawdaddiocrawdaddio Tacoma, WARegistered User, ClubPA
    edited March 2009
    Yeah, I gotta say, scarcely have I seen a NSFW tag so appropriately given to a thread. I would heartily second what Betelgeuse said, though also include that personally, anyway, I like vine charcoal for that sort of drawing style a bit better; the way it usually works there is that you take a stick if vine charcoal, and break off a piece about 2 or 3 cm long, so that you can comfortably use both the side and the tip. Personally, I would recommend doing some eye studies, starting with your own eye; I've got nothing against photo references, but I think in this case, going with real life observation to the extent that it's possible will help you get a better sense of the volume you're suppose to be conveying.

    Try putting your donger in a dishwasher and see how that comes out.
  • BetelgeuseBetelgeuse Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Yeah I didn't mention anything about vine charcoal because people usually hate it with a passion. Personally, I love it but I use it in a totally different way. I cover the entire sheet with a layer of vine charcoal and then use a reduction method with erasers (mostly kneaded) to get to the final image.

  • crawdaddiocrawdaddio Tacoma, WARegistered User, ClubPA
    edited March 2009
    I use it as a sketch medium because it's usually pretty cheap, and because its softness makes for better and more easily-applied masses of tone, in my opinion, than the compressed stuff. I'll also say that from the piece you've got on DA, vine charcoal is an underappreciated medium which is capable of quite good stuff. That one's also directed at you, Leggraphics; I'd recommend you get some and figure out whether or not it's something you'd want to work with.

    Try putting your donger in a dishwasher and see how that comes out.
  • LeggraphicsLeggraphics Registered User
    edited March 2009
    Betelgeuse wrote: »
    I honestly think you are going about this "learn anatomy" thing the wrong way.

    What you are doing right now is just a thick outline and scribbling in some shadows, all while not really taking the time to carefully observe what you are seeing. Instead of drawing what you really see, you are putting in symbols that represent what you think you see (football eyes, identical lips and nipples on everyone, et cetera). This technique is really not doing you any favors. For now, just put aside the idea of drawing outlines and focus on indicating mass, volume and movement. Hopefully you have sticks of compressed charcoal and a big pad of newsprint because that makes it easier. Take a look at this thread to get an idea of what I am talking about. You'll notice that the figures (especially the full-body ones) are not simply outlined and colored in. Instead they use the range of tones that charcoal has to offer to show mass along with the way light and shadow play on the subtle topography of human anatomy. Do some quick (30 seconds or so) gesture studies and some longer studies where you rely on outlines as little as possible.

    And if possible, try using references that don't include hot young ladies in porny poses.

    Hey- Thanks very much for your response as well as Craw. I 'THINK' I understand some of what you have said about drawing without the use of outlines. My head was telling me to 'make the lines solid' because I've been told my drawings are to fuzzy.

    As for the type of charcoal.. well... Im using these charcoal pencils wrapped in paper. They are called 'peel and sketch'. I found it hard to draw eyes with much detail as the charcoal I find isn't the most 'accurate' of tools when drawing small drawings. I'll try drawing some bigger pictures so I can get more precision. I dont like not having a sharp end on my tool because then I dont know where it will make the mark if that make sense. Ill try to create a few drawings from shading in areas and bulk rather than lines. i think that will help give the weight and the mass of the people.

    As for the pornographic sort of references I have to say its not easy to find good references on the internet I have to say. I was looking for nude pictures so I can get the human form, as cloth makes things allot harder and I have read previously that the body must be understood before cloth can be put and 'hung' ontop of it. So yeah.... Search for nude photo references on google and you pritty-much get porn.

    Does anybody know of good photo reference sites for this?

  • ScosglenScosglen Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Deviantart is a good resource for finding figure photography if you can wade through all the crap and people posting pictures of their dongs.

    Search for artistic nudes and check out the galleries of the owners of any pictures that would make a good study.

    Betel is spot on that you're still not observing and need to look more carefully at your reference. I usually prescribe doing a grid study to help understand what observation really means but nobody ever does them <img class=" title=":cry:" class="bbcode_smiley" />

  • crawdaddiocrawdaddio Tacoma, WARegistered User, ClubPA
    edited March 2009
    So, the kind on the left, eh? Try looking for the ones on the right, if you're looking for sharp lines. Seriously, though, look into vine charcoal, or at least compressed stuff. The nice bit about drawing that way (rather than shading in the way you do with a pencil) is that it's more fluid, so you're doing the same thing you do with gesture, only you're laying down a whole mass. As for the details, work on the big picture, first; or if you're going to work on facial features, do them big so that you can get the concept of their forms down before you miniaturize.

    And as for poses, I'd try hard as I can to find open figure drawing sessions at a nearby art school or university, if I were you. I may be wrong, but I just feel like it'd be easier to grasp a sense of volume when you're seeing it in front of you, truly taking up space. But that's just my opinion; others may have better advice when it comes to pose references.

    Try putting your donger in a dishwasher and see how that comes out.
  • surrealitychecksurrealitycheck you must go on i cant go on ill go onRegistered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Does anybody know of good photo reference sites for this?

    I'd second deviantart, although there's a lot of bad stuff on there there are a few specific guys/girls who have "sets" of pictures from various different angles which help!

    About eyes - I've honestly found that the less I think about eyes when I draw them the better they look... sort of. It often seems to me that the most effective pictures often don't have very eye-looking eyes!

    obF2Wuw.png
  • LeggraphicsLeggraphics Registered User
    edited March 2009
    Thanks for responces again.

    Craw- Yes the kind on the left. The idea of them is kinda cool I dont think they sold the type on the right but its getting closer to a dark soft black pencil. Ill have a look for them.

    Thanks for the advice, I think it would be easier to see the mass 'person' infront of me rather than just basing everything off photos as its like trying to make something flat not flat. Something you see in 3D I think would be easier to portray in 3D.

    I am finding that I draw with the action lines and then bulk up on them. Add the curves to the action lines which I think works well for me. Ill try doing a few drawings without them forcing me to see more bulk.

    Scos- I havnt done a grid drawing for years. Ill do one when i get home. I dont really have the resources at work to print something out, grid it up and copy. Ill post it up to. Just to make sure you know I have done it:D

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited March 2009
    Another good resource. http://www.characterdesigns.com/index.php?sitepage=photosets

    Look at the sets called core shadows and work with those. Life drawing sessions are the way to go, though, I hope you can find some.

    lma_iphone_icon.pngAA_iphone_icon.pngtwittersolid.pngtumbrsolid.png
  • winter_combat_knightwinter_combat_knight Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Hello fellow Adelaide resident!

  • LeggraphicsLeggraphics Registered User
    edited March 2009
    Hello fellow Adelaide resident!

    Hey mate - Yeah im from Adelaide :)


    Iruka- Thanks very much very useful site :)

    Here are some more drawings I have done today at work with charcoal. Trying to do some eye studies as well as nose and a few drawings of ironman.

    I have been trying to think of eyes as a few differnt circles and then draw in the eyelids ontop of that. Trying to get shape and work in my head how they are actually made rather than what they look like. Im going to go through more body parts like that as I think it might work for me :)

    charcoal_studie_ironman_by_Leggraphics.jpg

    Scanner bumped during the scan, hence the weird middle
    charcoal_studies_eyes_by_Leggraphics.jpg

    charcoal_study_faces_by_Leggraphics.jpg

  • winter_combat_knightwinter_combat_knight Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    eyes are looking good

  • LeggraphicsLeggraphics Registered User
    edited March 2009
    eyes are looking good

    Yah the bottom nose is F*ked lol

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