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Gunther's "art" slog

Gunther HermannGunther Hermann Registered User regular
Hello everyone. I thought I'd post my own thread so as not to rubbish up the doodle thread. To cut a long story short I gave up drawing years ago and want to get back into it. Mainly to improve, since a career is not an option anymore. I started up again a month or so ago, and its not been going well so far. I do want to improve but I'd like some advice on whether or not I'm heading in the right direction.

Here's some of the 1st pages that I started with last month.

Most of these are in pen/biro and are from references.

There's a lot more to show, but I thought I'd get started with this to see if it's worth continuing. I apologise in advance if I've broken any rules.


  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    You clearly have some skills, and these drawings are pretty nice!

    Even if career in art isn't the goal post, I think looking ahead and deciding where you want go is really important. What would you like a "finished" work of yours to look like? Who are your favorite artists? What are some projects, if any, would you like to complete?

    You have to start asking yourself questions so that you can go from pages of sketches to some actual, completed images. You'll probably feel more satisfied if you are working towards that.

  • Gunther HermannGunther Hermann Registered User regular
    Thanks for the kind words. There's too many artists for me to name, but I'd love to be able to get to just a general professional standard (pretty far fetched). In all honesty there's a lot of artists who frequent this site that I'd like my work to look like, but nothing specific. I guess that's too broad.

    As for projects, I'm definitely nowhere near doing anything of that level. Wait until you see my pencil sketches and idea of anatomy and perspective and you'll see why. I've got more pages to post from last month, so I can show that side of things.

  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    Your hatching and line control are actually really good - but it seems like sometimes, the underlying drawing is a little skewed, or the individual features of the faces are skewed.

    I'm not sure how often you do a sketch underneath beforehand (rather than just jumping into the drawing) but I think if you spent a little extra time working on accuracy, and THEN did some final linework and hatching...these would look waaaay better - and they already look nice!

  • Gunther HermannGunther Hermann Registered User regular
    Thanks very much. All those were drawn straight in pen/biro. I got into a habit of doing that before I quit my graphic design course several years ago, as one of the tutors said it would help with confidence in laying down lines. Or something like that.

    The problem is that I stopped using pencil, so what little skill I had with that dropped and I also never properly learnt to lay out the guidelines for drawing anatomy. So facial features and such would always look slightly skewed.

  • Gunther HermannGunther Hermann Registered User regular
    I'm just going to post a couple of photos of drawings I did before I gave up entirely. I was going to post more but there's not enough light in the house.

    Small drawing is in biro, the other pencil

    You'll see a pattern with what I post in that a lot of it is unfinished.
    I'll post the rest tomorrow and then carry on showing what I've been trying to do to improve.

  • Gunther HermannGunther Hermann Registered User regular
    Most of these pencil sketches I'm really not happy with, but I need to show what I've been doing. I'd like to know whether or not what I've been doing is a waste of time and what can I do to improve and so on.

    Sorry for the quality. I had a look at some proko videos on the loomis method of drawing faces.

    Here's where I moved onto sketches from references. I also started using a loomis book on figure drawing. Which if I'm honest I find a bit daunting.

    Some more references. I got the man in the hat completely wrong. The large face I'm actually happy with, but I used no guidelines to mark the features, so it looks slightly off like NightDragon said.

    I had a go at trying out the shading on fabric and I just couldn't get it right. I need to improve in all areas dramatically, but shading really bugs me.

  • Gunther HermannGunther Hermann Registered User regular
    edited October 2013
    Here I attempted to draw on some features after using the loomis method. I also started trying to shade with the side of the pencil.
    Tried sketching my mannequin which in the past I found difficult, and still no different.
    I've also been having a go at sketching poses to try and get the form right.

    Before I go on, one of my main questions to the experts out there is, should I draw pages and pages of the same thing. For example, pages of the loomis head guides, then pages of them with features added and at different angles. Will doing that help me improve? because I really don't have many ideas for drawing things from my imagination. The ones I do would end up looking terrible because I can't get the basics of drawing right yet.

    I've read comments from the pro's on this site and it seems like a lot of you really recommend getting the fundamentals right first before you go into drawing from imagination. Otherwise you can end up learning to draw badly, that can be hard to unlearn. Is that right or have I got it wrong?

    Gunther Hermann on
  • Gunther HermannGunther Hermann Registered User regular
    If anyone who happens to be reading this thinks I'm posting too much crap, let me know and I'll stop.

    Here's some more quickish sketches. I've been trying shading by drawing the outline of the shadow using the side of the pencil (as I've seen a lot of professionals use) and then filling it in, but it never looks right.

    I got hold of a copy of the anatomy workshop DVD with Charles Hu and had a go with that. I started out using A4 paper which was to small.
    All of these so far are on A4. The arms are way to big in comparison.
    I think these were more 10 minute or so sketches.

    I know there's not much to go on, but am I doing the right thing to improve?

  • Gunther HermannGunther Hermann Registered User regular
    I want to finish posting everything I did over the month as I'm taking too long.

  • Gunther HermannGunther Hermann Registered User regular
    Some of what's on this page was from reference, some I tried to draw from my imagination. Not that any of its particularly creative, just trying to see if I can get the basics right (I can't).

    Any specific critiques so far? Should I keep going with what I'm doing? I have been thinking of maybe one project I'd like to try Iruka, but I'm finding it hard to get motivated as well as honestly being scared to actually try. Mainly because I don't actually think its a good idea.
    When I have started to try things like that I get despondent, not really sure what I'm doing and just stop.

  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited October 2013
    I think you should keep doing what you're doing (I assume you're using reference for a lot of these?) but don't rely too heavily on shading. I think these are generally in the right direction, but maybe try to get the structure of the face down in lines before moving on to shading. I noticed that when you draw faces in the 3/4 view, a lot of the features are still being drawn as if they were from more straight-on angles. Also, when you're drawing people that have their faces pointing downward a little more. It seems like in a lot of these cases, the noses would overlap more of the face, the brows would overlap the eyes, the lips would look different, etc. The bridges of the noses also seem really really thick in a few of these faces. I think you may want to try drawing heads at angles a bit more - I found some reference that you might find useful:

    (and this one I'm just linking because it's HUGE...but it's a giant number of photos of an Asaro-like head at different angles, and it's great)
    Head Angles Reference Image

    NightDragon on
  • Gunther HermannGunther Hermann Registered User regular
    Ah thanks for replying NightDragon, I was worried I was heading in the wrong direction. A lot of those drawings of faces I tried to draw from my imagination. I'd been trying to use the Loomis method that's been simplified by proko's videos. But getting the proportions right can be frustrating. I had a go at drawing faces from reference using Loomis and the results were bad. I thought it would help get all the proportions correct and in place but they were worse than when I tried it from memory. Like the nose or forehead would be way too long.

  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    Hmm, that's interesting. Could you maybe show us an example of a drawing you did from reference, along with the reference you used? I think that would help us nail down some of the problem areas you're talking about. Generally working from reference is going to help you build a "mental library" of reference/skill, so when you do actually draw from your head, you can pull all that information down and make something look really nice. I think that some of your drawings suffered from "thinking" too much, rather than I was probably looking at the drawings you did from your head. :) You might be trying to pay attention to too much information at once if you're struggling with drawing from reference...but if you can post an example (or even a few), I imagine we can help you figure out what's happening and where to go from there.

  • Gunther HermannGunther Hermann Registered User regular
    When I do draw from reference I tend to do very basic guides as to where the nose and eyes are and then go from there. Those drawings of Miles Davis and the actor from Oldboy near the top of the thread were from reference. When I did the Miles Davis ones I remember just getting the basic shape of the head, then drawing a straight line where the eyes should be. As for the Oldboy ones I just drew them straight in pen, so that's why they look a bit off. Both equally poor form and I should try to force myself to draw with better framework.
    As for the drawing I did do with guides from a reference, I'm afraid I may have thrown it away in frustration. Very immature I know, its something I shouldn't be doing as I should probably keep everything.

  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited October 2013
    Hmm...maybe, rather than defining a "line" where the eyes are...try just drawing the eyes. Sketch in a really rough shape for each, check against the reference, and then tweak it. Do the same with the nose, brow, mouth, etc. I think that trying to create a guide first may be messing you up a little, because you might be paying attention more to the guide than to the face itself...and the guide may not be entirely accurate. I honestly imagine it would be a little harder to get the line down perfectly and then follow it, than it would be to just try getting the eyes in the right place. That might just be my preference in how I lay things out, but I think the "skewed" look some of your pieces are getting may be because you're focusing too heavily on the guidelines, and not the underlying structures/"landmarks" of the face, and how those align with eachother. Might be something to try out, at least?

    NightDragon on
  • Gunther HermannGunther Hermann Registered User regular
    I'm going to post the last of the drawings, so it'll be another fairly large amount of images.
    Ink sketches some ref some not

  • Gunther HermannGunther Hermann Registered User regular
    These are from one page, but I thought I'd show them close up rather than the whole page. From ref

  • Gunther HermannGunther Hermann Registered User regular
    More drawings from ref
    This was from a 15 minute or so life drawing at home

  • Gunther HermannGunther Hermann Registered User regular
    Apart from the hand these were a series of drawings without refs, so that's why they look weird

  • Gunther HermannGunther Hermann Registered User regular
    Here I had a go at a tutorial I saw Iruka posted using boxes to draw figures. I think the results look bad.
    Had another go at the Gnomon anatomy on a larger scale. The figure from behind, I made a mistake and elongated the torso.

  • Gunther HermannGunther Hermann Registered User regular
    some more referenced drawings
    These ones look terrible, the shading looks all wrong.
    The head is way too big on this one, and although the shading looks better than some of the others, it still looks wrong.

  • Gunther HermannGunther Hermann Registered User regular
    A couple of life drawings before I stopped again after becoming frustrated with my lack of progress.
    Lastly I thought I'd include my attempt at the Noahs art camp thumbnail exercise. I'm not part of the course, just thought I'd try it. Most of the sketches are from the free video and they're much larger than thumbnails, so that kind of defeats the object I suppose. Also I hate them.

    Well that's everything over the coarse of a month, thanks to Iruka and NightDragon for your advice. This felt like a good at the start, now I'm not so sure.

  • Gunther HermannGunther Hermann Registered User regular
    Had a go at drawing from some more references today. I tried to use a more structured method this time. It was hard for me to do.

    Seeing this now side by side, it isn't much of a good likeness.

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