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My life drawing efforts [nsfw]

Highlander_77Highlander_77 Registered User regular
So, some quick backstory first (this feels like a repeat of a thread I made several years ago). Used to draw a lot in my younger days. Life happened, kinda stopped drawing for a long time. Tried to get back into it for a little while back in 2007 or so, but life happened again and it didn't stick. Now I'm taking another shot at it, trying to really take it seriously and stick with it this time. My situation is very different now than it was previously, so I'm hoping this time life won't rear its ugly head and get in the way again.

Anyway, as part of this new, more "serious" attempt at improving my drawing skills, I decided to start going to some life drawing sessions, as I would always read comments from people who seemed to know what they were talking about saying that there was just no substitute for drawing from live models. So, I figured I'd post a bunch of my attempts to date. These span a period of the last few months, and I've tried to arrange the images into more-or-less chronological order so that whatever progression I've made might show more clearly. A few are just quick gesture drawings (2 minute poses) or short 10 minute sketches. Most are either 20 or 40 minute drawings. Some of these were drawn on paper too large for any scanner I have access to, so I had to simply take pictures of them (thus the crappy image quality on many of them). Please let me know what you think, all opinions and critiques welcome (well...I guess that's the whole point of posting here, after all). There's a lot more of these than I realized when I started uploading them, so uh...sorry about that, lol.


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This next one was a long pose. 3 hours, broken up into 20 minute sessions with breaks in between (so maybe two hours of actual drawing). This is the only long pose I've drawn so far.

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El_Pollo_Diablo.jpg"Madre de Dios! Es el Pollo Diablo!"

Posts

  • FlayFlay Registered User regular
    edited September 2015
    Seems like you have a good attitude, life drawing is definitely the way to go. Several of your drawings are starting to feel pretty well proportioned, and it's great to see you have enough self control to stick with only one value for most of your shading. Your lines are still quite scratchy, try to use your whole arm to draw, especially for the longer strokes (this is much easier if you're drawing at a easel, but you might not have that option). How you hold your pencil can affect this too. Some of your limbs are starting to feel like sticks or balls stacked on top of each other. It's difficult to explain, but limbs tend to have a sense of rhythm (for example), where curves flow into one another.

    You should improve with time, so long as you keep practising regularly, but there are things you can do to help yourself learn faster.

    Try to make observations from your drawings. It can difficult to do this while you're drawing; I find a useful exercise is to draw a pose, then try and draw the same pose again from memory. It doesn't matter if you don't do a good job on the memory drawing, the important thing is that you'll realise where your weaknesses are. If you're referencing a photo or video, try drawing the pose again from observation, this time making special note of things that you were confused about or got wrong during your memory drawing.

    Also seek out resources. You can't learn to draw from books and videos alone, but as a supplement to drawing practice they will help you immensely. I highly recommend Proko's video series, and anything by Vilppu. If you want to practice life drawing outside of classes, Croquis Cafe's videos are pretty decent.

    Hope that helps!

    Flay on
    Irukatynic
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Flays got really good advice, so I wont echo it. I just want to say that for a person whos just getting back into it, you seem to have a relatively natural knack for seeing form, which can be really hard to train into people.

    Really looking forward to seeing you around. Do you know what you want to do with your work? Get really good at observational drawing? Paint? Illustrations? Portraits? Knowing what you maybe interested in might help us point you in a particular directions.

    Flay
  • Highlander_77Highlander_77 Registered User regular

    Flay wrote: »
    Seems like you have a good attitude, life drawing is definitely the way to go. Several of your drawings are starting to feel pretty well proportioned, and it's great to see you have enough self control to stick with only one value for most of your shading. Your lines are still quite scratchy, try to use your whole arm to draw, especially for the longer strokes (this is much easier if you're drawing at a easel, but you might not have that option). How you hold your pencil can affect this too. Some of your limbs are starting to feel like sticks or balls stacked on top of each other. It's difficult to explain, but limbs tend to have a sense of rhythm (for example), where curves flow into one another.

    You should improve with time, so long as you keep practising regularly, but there are things you can do to help yourself learn faster.

    Try to make observations from your drawings. It can difficult to do this while you're drawing; I find a useful exercise is to draw a pose, then try and draw the same pose again from memory. It doesn't matter if you don't do a good job on the memory drawing, the important thing is that you'll realise where your weaknesses are. If you're referencing a photo or video, try drawing the pose again from observation, this time making special note of things that you were confused about or got wrong during your memory drawing.

    Also seek out resources. You can't learn to draw from books and videos alone, but as a supplement to drawing practice they will help you immensely. I highly recommend Proko's video series, and anything by Vilppu. If you want to practice life drawing outside of classes, Croquis Cafe's videos are pretty decent.

    Hope that helps!

    Thanks for the reply and the advice! :-)

    As it turns out, I've watched many of Stan Prokopenko's videos on Youtube, and have strongly considered actually purchasing his figure drawing and anatomy courses, as well as the material from New Master's Academy. I think I wanted to convince myself I was really going to stick with it this time and get serious about it before I spent any money on instructional material like that. As for the pencil holding thing, I've so far had no success trying to hold my pencil the way Proko does, but I do get the value of using my entire arm. I'll have to work on that.

    I get what you're saying about the rhythm thing with the limbs. I like the idea of trying to replicate the poses again from memory. After all, the point of all this is to learn how to draw from my mind better, not just how to draw what I'm currently looking at.

    El_Pollo_Diablo.jpg"Madre de Dios! Es el Pollo Diablo!"
  • Highlander_77Highlander_77 Registered User regular
    Iruka wrote: »
    Flays got really good advice, so I wont echo it. I just want to say that for a person whos just getting back into it, you seem to have a relatively natural knack for seeing form, which can be really hard to train into people.

    Really looking forward to seeing you around. Do you know what you want to do with your work? Get really good at observational drawing? Paint? Illustrations? Portraits? Knowing what you maybe interested in might help us point you in a particular directions.

    Thanks for the reply. What I'd like to do with my work...well, aside from just improve my general skills, I guess if I had a goal it would be to do some illustration/comic book type work. Not so much to go and "find a job" in those fields, but maybe to do them on my own and perhaps someday produce something worthy of attempting to self-publish (or something). I do enjoy doing observational drawing as well, and I wouldn't mind maybe doing some portraits. Painting would be nice, but is much farther down my list of priorities. I wish I had unlimited time to practice all of these things, but sadly I haven't figured out how to freeze time just yet.

    I'll try to throw together some example of other stuff (outside of observational/life drawings) that I've been working on and post those at some point. My typical drawing style is quite different what I've been trying to do with the life drawings (which is one of the reasons I've been doing them, to kind of force me outside of my comfort zone).

    El_Pollo_Diablo.jpg"Madre de Dios! Es el Pollo Diablo!"
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Awesome dude!

    For sure post some of your other work too, it gives us a good idea of what you are motivated by, and in general its fun to see. I've always believed that studies are best when you are working with your goals in mind, and if it's a hobby you should balance what's fun with whats helping you grow.

    Flay
  • FlayFlay Registered User regular
    edited September 2015
    Yeah! Post your other work too!

    I'm a bit less strict about how you should hold a pencil. With a tiny sketchbook it's pretty hard to avoid using your wrist. What size paper are you using? Are you standing up or sitting down when you draw?

    Like Iruka said, you developing a good sense for form, and your drawings reflect that. Just keep at it!

    Flay on
  • Highlander_77Highlander_77 Registered User regular
    Flay wrote: »
    Yeah! Post your other work too!

    I'm a bit less strict about how you should hold a pencil. With a tiny sketchbook it's pretty hard to avoid using your wrist. What size paper are you using? Are you standing up or sitting down when you draw?

    Like Iruka said, you developing a good sense for form, and your drawings reflect that. Just keep at it!


    The size that these were drawn on ranges from 11x14 to like 24x36 (or somewhere around there). Most recently I've been using a 14x17 (I think) size pad (or maybe it's 12x18...I don't have it in front of me right now). That size seems to work the best for these sessions, as I found myself frequently running out of time when trying to draw on the really large pads (plus they're kind of a pain to carry around), but it's still large enough to give me some room to work with.

    I generally sit on a regular metal folding chair to do these, with the paper held up almost vertically on my easel. For some of the earlier sketches I just had the paper on a big drawing board (the kind with a cutout handle and clip to hold the paper) which I held with my hand, bracing it against my stomach. That was fairly comfortable, but I also found it resulted in my reverting to my typical drawing technique as if I were sitting at my desk at home drawing comic book characters, which was not the style I wanted to use here.


    Should I make a separate thread for other types of drawings, or just throw it all in here even though the name of this thread suggests it's all life drawings?

    El_Pollo_Diablo.jpg"Madre de Dios! Es el Pollo Diablo!"
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Throw it in here. You can edit the title if you'd like (just edit the first post of the thread)

  • Highlander_77Highlander_77 Registered User regular
    Wow, been awhile since I made this thread. I had intended to update it a lot sooner than this. Time flies when you're having fun, or something.

    I'll post some of my more recent life drawings, then I'll have to sort through some of other, non-life drawings and figure out what's worth posting in this thread.


    The first few are from maybe a month and half ago or so (the ones with less detail were probably shorter poses).

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    This was a shorter pose, and I completely butchered her face but didn't have time to fix it. In spite of how it may look, this model is NOT actually an 80 year old woman, lol.

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    I took a few weeks off from the life drawing sessions, but have made it back there the last two weeks. These are from those recent sessions.

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    For the record, that last one is the same model as the one who I gave the old-woman face to up above, so this is probably a much fairer representation of what she actually looks like.

    El_Pollo_Diablo.jpg"Madre de Dios! Es el Pollo Diablo!"
    ProjeckEnc
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Hey @Highlander_77

    It seems like you have a lot of good things going on. You are observing the shapes well, and you have a good eye for things like shadow and form.

    It looks like where things are falling apart is in your ability to measure out proportions, you've got some big heads in a few of those, for instance. This is something you will probably continue to wrestle as you draw, but I suggest trying to concentrate on your structure.

    Are you supplementing the life drawing with any additional instruction? Combining life drawing with in depth anatomy study is generally a winning combination, you'll be gaining knowledge of the mechanics of the figure and see it in practice when you try to draw. Learning measurement tricks can also help you check things in real time, you can feel that the head you are drawing maybe too big, measure the proportions against your general anatomy knowledge, and then compare to what you are actually seeing.

    If you dont have any resources, this is a good place to start: https://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/196617/anatomy-resource-masterpost

  • Highlander_77Highlander_77 Registered User regular
    Iruka wrote: »
    Hey @Highlander_77

    It seems like you have a lot of good things going on. You are observing the shapes well, and you have a good eye for things like shadow and form.

    It looks like where things are falling apart is in your ability to measure out proportions, you've got some big heads in a few of those, for instance. This is something you will probably continue to wrestle as you draw, but I suggest trying to concentrate on your structure.

    Are you supplementing the life drawing with any additional instruction? Combining life drawing with in depth anatomy study is generally a winning combination, you'll be gaining knowledge of the mechanics of the figure and see it in practice when you try to draw. Learning measurement tricks can also help you check things in real time, you can feel that the head you are drawing maybe too big, measure the proportions against your general anatomy knowledge, and then compare to what you are actually seeing.

    If you dont have any resources, this is a good place to start: https://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/196617/anatomy-resource-masterpost


    I'm not taking part in any formal instruction, no. I'd like to, but it's easier said than done . Now, as for resources for self-instruction, I have plenty of those. Almost too many. Between Youtube, Google and various books that I own, I have plenty of material for study and reference. I think I struggle more with proportions in life-drawing than I do drawing from my imagination (or working from things like photo references where I have all the time I want). I think it's partly due to rushing because of the time constraints, and just not having mastered things like measuring techniques. I know the proper proportions for the human figure, but I tend to get a bit of tunnel vision with some of the life drawings.

    Honestly my biggest problem is just motivating myself to draw as much as possible. Need to really get into the habit of spending a good chunk of time every day practicing.

    El_Pollo_Diablo.jpg"Madre de Dios! Es el Pollo Diablo!"
  • Highlander_77Highlander_77 Registered User regular
    edited December 2015
    Did this last night. 3 hour pose.

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    Highlander_77 on
    El_Pollo_Diablo.jpg"Madre de Dios! Es el Pollo Diablo!"
  • Highlander_77Highlander_77 Registered User regular
    Wish this place saw more traffic these days, surprised this thread just barely fell back to the 2nd page considering how long it's been since it was updated. Anyway, here are some more figure drawings. The last two were both 3 hour poses (same model, same pose, but two separate sessions). The last one is in charcoal, my first real attempt at drawing in charcoal in many years. I had some issues trying to figure out how to control the charcoal and get it to do what I wanted at first, so I'm going to blame some of the problems with that drawing on that, lol.

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    El_Pollo_Diablo.jpg"Madre de Dios! Es el Pollo Diablo!"
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Hey man, feel free to comment on others peoples threads and chat with us in the chat thread. It does a lot to activate the forum when people do more than only post to their own threads.

    The charcoal drawing is the weakest of the bunch, it does not look like its carefully measured. Perhaps wrestling with the media itself was a distraction. Unfortunately I've never been great with charcoal myself, so I don't have much to say in terms of technique.

    You want to think about hair as more of a solid shape and block out the forms accordingly, I know I have a tutorial about that somewhere, I'll have to dig it up.

  • Highlander_77Highlander_77 Registered User regular
    "Not carefully measured" is one way you could put it, lol. Working with charcoal is different. It's kinda fun and a change of pace. But it's also not particularly relevant to my ultimate artistic goals, so I don't know how much time I'll really spend trying to improve with it. But I felt since I had already done one drawing of that pose in a medium I was fairly comfortable working with, it seemed like a good opportunity to force myself to step out of my comfort zone. Maybe next time we do another long pose I'll give it another shot. And yeah, I had no idea how to do the hair with the charcoal.

    El_Pollo_Diablo.jpg"Madre de Dios! Es el Pollo Diablo!"
  • SublimusSublimus Registered User regular
    I can see some good improvement from the first post! Lots of good advice in here, too. Keep up the hard work!

  • Highlander_77Highlander_77 Registered User regular
    Wow, didn't realize how long it had been since I last posted in this thread. Here's bunch of more recent ones (these actually span probably the last 6-8 months or so. I tried to get them in more-or-less chronological order).

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    El_Pollo_Diablo.jpg"Madre de Dios! Es el Pollo Diablo!"
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Did you ever check out prokos extended courses?

    I feel like you should try giving those structural resources some more time and actually do some excercises. Proportions are still probably the most glaring issue, with some of them have small heads, some have large ones. Working on that tunnel vision, and solidifying your observation with underlying technical knowledge would be my suggestions for how to move forward. If you combine regular figure drawing with regular anatomical drawing, you are going to see results quicker. If you are just watching videos but not attempting to apply them, you are going to spin your wheels a bit before it clicks.

  • Highlander_77Highlander_77 Registered User regular
    Iruka wrote: »
    Did you ever check out prokos extended courses?

    I feel like you should try giving those structural resources some more time and actually do some excercises. Proportions are still probably the most glaring issue, with some of them have small heads, some have large ones. Working on that tunnel vision, and solidifying your observation with underlying technical knowledge would be my suggestions for how to move forward. If you combine regular figure drawing with regular anatomical drawing, you are going to see results quicker. If you are just watching videos but not attempting to apply them, you are going to spin your wheels a bit before it clicks.


    I haven't. I have thought about buying the extended courses a few times, but that's as far as it's ever gone. I don't generally do so well with "formal instruction", as far as actually finding and taking the time to sit down and watch/read it and put it into practice. Something I need to try and work on.

    Any chance you could point out where you're seeing issues with the proportions? Because I looked over the most recent drawings I posted, and I'm not really seeing them (and I'm usually the first person to spot when I screw up the size of a head or hands or something like that). And that's an area that I've been trying to pay more attention to with these drawings. Not saying that you're wrong, just saying that I'm not seeing it.

    El_Pollo_Diablo.jpg"Madre de Dios! Es el Pollo Diablo!"
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