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gavindel stARTs from the very beginning



  • gavindelgavindel Pew PewRegistered User regular
    Here's my first month submission for the Watts challenge. I have no idea what I'm doing. Watts really doesn't cover rendering much, and the forum submissions are very inconsistent in their approach, reference and rendering. Not particularly impressed by the result on this one, but I've got to start working on rendering eventually.

    Other than that, working on the second half of Head 1. Stuff like this:

    I remember trying a few of the classic asaro shots in December 2015 and being just completely unable to manage them. So, progress. And in the vein of artists everywhere, progress means higher standards. Definitely a bit of a skew on that last head.

  • gavindelgavindel Pew PewRegistered User regular
    I should update. I'm working on Watts' course Figure 1. I tried a few assignments and had a lot of difficulty, so I decided to do the assignments without turning in at first. When I know a picture is "for" something, I tense up like a vice. So I'll put in some practice runs. Slow down, breathe, focus on basic shapes and proportions.

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Its really fun to watch you progress, and to see watts be effective even when its all online. It seems like you are getting better at self correcting, which I think is fairly difficult/slow without a teacher and direct feedback in a pretty constant stream.

    The heads are starting to come around! I can be pretty bad at proportions myself after years of anime, so I have a tendency to stretch people out.

    Kickstarter Im in! I did the cover of this rad, fake zoobook. check it out
  • gavindelgavindel Pew PewRegistered User regular
    Yeah, its probably a whole other world doing this in the actual atelier with the instructors correcting on a regular basis. Still, I'm out here doing this on my own. Nobody I know does art in any capacity. The AC is the closest I have to an art community, and you guys can't sit over my shoulder all day. I have to give myself more time do this than a dedicated art student. Something something patience, something something meditation.

    I even got a complement from a friend a few weeks back. "Yeah, I'm amazed at how long you've been doing this. I figured you'd have quit by now!"

  • gavindelgavindel Pew PewRegistered User regular
    Part of my assignment for the ovoid mannequin. Work has been an ass kicker these last few months, and my practice time has suffered.

  • Angel_of_BaconAngel_of_Bacon Moderator mod
    I feel like the legs are a little short on most of these- it may be helpful to keep in mind the general proportional guideline that the distance from the top of the head to the base of the crotch, is generally equal to the distance from the base of the crotch to the bottom of the feet.

  • gavindelgavindel Pew PewRegistered User regular
    Really? Bah. Last I got a critique, they said my legs were too long. Suppose I overcompensated the other direction...

  • Angel_of_BaconAngel_of_Bacon Moderator mod
    gavindel wrote: »
    Really? Bah. Last I got a critique, they said my legs were too long. Suppose I overcompensated the other direction...

    Yeah, that sorta thing does happen- all I can say is try not to get overly worried about it.
    There's always going to be a period of 'this porridge is too hot, this porridge is too cold' with any concept, before you hit the porridge that's just right, and can hit it consistently.

  • gavindelgavindel Pew PewRegistered User regular
    Mini update just to keep things fresh. I stopped explicitly working on the Watts program and took a week's vacation from drawing. I'll still be effectively using Watts as my primary source, but everybody needs a bit of variety in their program.
    A warmup head that I thought turned out alright for what it was.
    I lied. This update is actually cats.
    But you can see the corner of my art 'studio', so this totally counts.

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    nice cats, effectively rendered napping.

    Mixing in some non watts drawing will help fight a slow burnout, for sure. Variety is good, and you never know what advice will work better for rooting you with good principals.

    Kickstarter Im in! I did the cover of this rad, fake zoobook. check it out
  • gavindelgavindel Pew PewRegistered User regular
    Perspective studying. Brutalist evil buildings seem to fit the mold.

    A couple measurement errors, a couple unforeseen tangents. Otherwise, as far as I understand, the perspective is correct.

  • gavindelgavindel Pew PewRegistered User regular
    Nothing exciting. Trying to do a round of every major topic as I prepare for the boot camp in September. It won't be a cheap thrill - my $400 in art supplies attests to that. Tried some painting at home, and it looks pretty terrible. Mixing paints in correct shades is a bigger bottleneck than skill. Hopefully I can figure it out before I get to the workshop.

    Staring with the head once more...
    Trying to pay more attention to proportions.

    A skull study. Yep.

    Need to practice shading a ton more. I still can't figure out how Watts does his crazy detailed shading patterns.

    Facial features are a bottleneck for believable faces.

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    It might feel like a slough, but every time you post I see a little improvement and it's very exciting! I hope the boot camp goes well for you, I can't wait to see the results. Keep at it, man!

    Kickstarter Im in! I did the cover of this rad, fake zoobook. check it out
  • gavindelgavindel Pew PewRegistered User regular
    I admit to avoiding posting. Looking at my bootcamp art a week later is an exercise in frustration. Most of what I did was below par even compared to my average. Well, I can post some of the stand outs.

    I've been looking at formalizing a training program based on the bootcamp. Really, it boils down to rotating a series of subjects on a weekly or monthly basis. A day doing figure layin, a day doing head layin, a day doing facial features and expressions...There are a lot of different areas that I need to improve together. In terms of priority, its probably more important to work on the rhythm and flow of my gesture and layin than to do renderings. Final renderings don't do much if the underlying drawing is stiff.

  • gavindelgavindel Pew PewRegistered User regular
    This one came out okay. Head is a bit squared off, and there's too much space between corner of the eye and the bottom corner of the jaw, but lips and eyes are better.

  • gavindelgavindel Pew PewRegistered User regular
    Latest study: hands. They are very difficult, as basically every artist will attest to. I'm aware that I focus too heavily on the bumps and undulations of anatomy. To compensate, I want to focus on gesture and cartooned hands to build up a feel for an aesthetic representation of a hand and then build anatomy on top of that.

  • gavindelgavindel Pew PewRegistered User regular
    Continuing my figure study. If we consider a figure study as stages: Gesture, structure, anatomy, rendering, then my priority right now remains gesture and structure. I want to improve proportions and pose. For these, I'm only using shadow to demarcate the line between line and shadow groups.

  • gavindelgavindel Pew PewRegistered User regular
    The last month has not been kind. I worked most of December straight, and January probably won't be much better.

    I wish there was more to say, but frankly I'm just drawing when I can find the energy right now.

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Drawing when you can find the energy is no small accomplishment.

    Give some more thought and time to your feet structure and placement. Its super hard, and feet are annoying, but solidly placing them can really sell a pose. Some of yours feel small, and you might want to describe the bend in them with a bit more confidence.

    Kickstarter Im in! I did the cover of this rad, fake zoobook. check it out
  • gavindelgavindel Pew PewRegistered User regular
    I'm doing the livestream Watts classes this spring quarter: head drawing and head quick sketch. Presentation is minimal, but the critique sessions are pretty sharp. I'm probably the worst person in the class.

    As the critique pointed out, her head is too narrow. Another half inch of cranium would have done a lot to balance out the rest. The eyes and nose are starting to resolve into proper features.


    Honestly, this one feels like just complete shit.


    Turns out that I have very poor rendering skills. Suppose that's not surprising given most of my practice has been with line, not tone.

    Whining about how hard it is aside, I feel like individual features are becoming less of a stumbling block. My drawings feel like they look worse, but its because they're starting to look like ugly people.

  • rcwalledrcwalled Registered User new member
    Hey I think these are looking good, as you said they are looking like specific people. I wouldn't worry about feeling like the worst or making ugly pictures but instead think if what you need to do to make it look how you want it too look. You know you need to make some changes in placement and proportions of features so be sure to measure before comitting hard and divorce the negative cannotions from it.

    As for rendering it always seems reliant on taking the time to build it up anf make it look good. Rarely do you find a well rendered peice quickly done. At some point if you want to improve that you're just going to have to sit down and dig into it. I would recomend maybe picking a small area say a couple of inches by a couple of inches on one of these where you have the ref and really dig into it.

    Finally what paper are you using. It looks like newsprint in some of the photos. If it is it might be time to jump it up to a little better quality. Keep up the work

  • gavindelgavindel Pew PewRegistered User regular
    Thanks, rcwalled. Yeah, I'm using smooth newsprint and Conte pencils. A super cheap setup that has served pretty well for three years. However, the smooth newsprint gives up the ghost pretty quickly under multiple erasures.

  • SublimusSublimus AustinRegistered User regular
    Nice stuff dude! Hope you're learning a ton in the watts class!

  • gavindelgavindel Pew PewRegistered User regular
    Classes continue. We're in week six now.

    The model for this second one is not, in fact, bald, but I was already 35 minutes into what is supposed to be a 20 minute head quicksketch, so bald he is.

  • SublimusSublimus AustinRegistered User regular
    Nice! Do you feel like you're learning there?? What has been your biggest take away so far?

  • gavindelgavindel Pew PewRegistered User regular
    Sublimus wrote: »
    Nice! Do you feel like you're learning there?? What has been your biggest take away so far?

    My largest take away this semester has probably been the need for really solid basic construction. Every stage of the drawing needs to look "good" in the sense of reading as the basic object. Shading or shadow won't save me if the eye is too high in the socket or whatever. If the construction is solid, even simple value mappings will read well.

  • SublimusSublimus AustinRegistered User regular
    Mmmmm interesting... I'll make sure to nitpick your construction then lol!!

  • gavindelgavindel Pew PewRegistered User regular
    Week 8, I think? The semester's almost over.

    This one came out kind of lumpy. It looked better before I tried to add rendering. I'm still working on getting my tones to go down smooth.


    20 minute quicksketch class. Except this one took 55 minutes. Watts tells us not to take the 20 minute time limit too literally, but I may have cheated even with that...

  • gavindelgavindel Pew PewRegistered User regular
    Final week of the semester.

    The sign up for next semester was very unclear. It looks like the three livestreaming classes have filled up in ~1 day. Does that mean for in-person seats or the livestream critiques too? I don't know.

    Maybe next I should spend a few weeks experimenting with landscapes or something. Take a break from the human form.

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