Sorry for the retarded title, but I couldn't think of anything better to put there. First things first, a little backstory for you guys:
I started to pick up the way of the pencil almost two years ago out of sheer boredum during one fateful night while evacuating from a hurricaine. They were nothing more than horrible scribbles, but I liked it and decided to keep trucking till I figure out just what I wanted to do with my life (I was halfway through my junior year at the time you see). Since then, i've decided to take art seriously AS my profession in life, so as to how long i've been seriously drawing would be a little over a year ago.
Sometime during my senior year a friend and I got the bright idea to attend Full Sail after school let out. He is a very
dedicated worker (currently working 40-hour weeks interning at UT for $14 an hour), so I trusted his opinion and rolled with it. So for the longest time, our college plans were set; we knew that the school was going to be expensive, but we were willing to save up and attend no matter what. I guess the selling factor of that school was the fact that it only focused on your major (digital art degree for him, the animation one for me), and they treated it like a job of sorts so you'd be prepared for what's in store for in the real world.
Little problem though. We found out the week after graduation that Full Sail was actually a crock of shit to begin with. It's not like we didn't do the research on the school before, it's just that somehow after we graduate high school, everybody and their mom seems to be slamming the school, stating everything from the school only interested in taking your money to the staggering fact that most of the teachers there are arrogant pricks (most of which are prior students themselves who couldn't make it in the real world). Turns out that Full Sail attracts a buttload of spoiled rich kids who are only interested in attending so they can mix a phat beat or buy their way into becoming a high-profile record producer/movie director/etc.
So against the security that we'd actually be attending a college this fall, we decided to go against attending Full Sail. Don't get me wrong here; you can still learn alot there, but in order to do it you have to be the one to really go out there and teach yourself these things, and I for one do not need to be shelling out sixty-five grand to do it. So as of yet, I have no idea just what the hell that i'm gonna do with my life regarding college.
However, one thing I don't intend to do is puss out of this art thing just because i'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. I've worked too hard to get to where I am today (despite how low my skills are), and something's telling me that this is the period in my life that'll really show whether i'm cut out for this whole art and animation deal.
If it's all right with you guys, i've decided to keep an online journal regarding my art on this forum. The goal of this is to record just what i've done each day, whether it's reading up on art books, practice drills, classes i've been taking during this sabbatical period, you name it. Long story short, i'm trying to construct a custom-fit Bruce Lee work ethic that will (hopefully) help me improve at a slightly faster rate. I know that it takes years to build one's crafts, and you can't really blitz through things like this, but the idea here is that if I can figure out what works for me and filter out what doesn't, i'd be able to improve much more efficiently.
Anyways, one of the first steps I took to improving is to start reading all of these books that i've accumilated. I got quite a bit of graduation money, and decided to spend some of it on some of these books. Overall, these are books that I either purchased, got as a gift, or worked for.
Here's the current list of titles that I have:
Dynamic Figure Drawing
by Burne HogarthDynamic Anatomy
by Burne HogarthDrawing Dynamic Hands
by Burne HogarthDrawing the Human Head
by Burne HogarthDynamic Wrinkles and Drapery
by Burne HogarthDrawing People: How to portray the clothed figure
by Barbara BradleyThe Artist's Complete Guide to Facial Expressions
by Gary FaiginDrawing Realistic Textures in Pencil
by J.D. HillberryFast Sketching Techniques
by David RankinThe Anatomy Coloring Book
from by Wynn Kapit/Lawrence M. ElsonHuman Anatomy For Artists
by Dr. Gyorgy FeherAnatomy Drawing School
by Dr. Gyorgy FeherThe Watson Drawing Book
by Ernest W. Watson/Aldren A. WatsonMastering the Art of Drawing
by Ian Sidaway and Sarah HoggettAnatomy for the Artist
by Sarah Simblet
(GREAT source for anatomy photo references)How to Draw What You See
by Rudy De ReynaExploring Life Drawing
by Harold B. StoneDrawing on the Right Side of the Brain
by Betty Edwards50 Fantasy Vehicles to Draw and Paint
by Keith Thompson
(this is more of a fun read than something to take seriously, but it does help)
*Whew!* That was a lot more to type than I thought. Just for the record, these aren't all the books that I have, just the ones that I think are important.
I started reading some of these books starting at the tail end of May, and sadly this is as far as i've gotten:
Fast Sketching Techniques
- p.38Drawing Realistic Textures in Pencil
- p.14The Artist's Complete Guide to Facial Expressions
- p.17Drawing People: How to portray the clothed figure
- p.58Dynamic Anatomy: Revised and Expanded
- p.21Drawing Dynamic Hands
- p.33Drawing the Human Head
- p.61Dynamic Figure Drawing
- p.39Dynamic Wrinkles and Drapery
- p.51Exploring Life Drawing
(forgot I had this one)50 Fantasy Vehicles to Draw and Paint
I know for a fact that there's no way in hell that i'm gonna figure all this stuff out on a single read-through. Right now i'm just trying to absorb whatever I can the first time through any of these books, so that I know where to reference or which book to re-read when I start crunching down on a certain aspect of figure/life/whatever drawing. As you can see, I tend to skim around a lot regarding my reading, and personally that's how I like it; keeps me interested in reading all of these books, and that's the most important thing to me right now.
Reading about art is one thing, but actually DOING the art is just as important, if not more, so i've decided to take a Bruce Lee work ethic to all of the elements of art/anatomy that i've always shyed away from and just beat the hell out of them. Since i'm just starting this, i'm gonna have to determine what is my biggest weakness, but so far i'm confident that it's hands, feet, and heads (facial expressions, correct proportion placement of the features, the features themselves, etc). I mean, i've gotta get to this stuff sooner or later, and i'd rather start hitting it hard now to beat the ugly out of my art and get a better foundation on the material.
I also thought i'd do something a bit unorthodox as well. A friend of mine told me that while drawing the human figure is a good way to grasp anatomy, a great way to do it is to get an understanding as to HOW and WHY the muscles/body look and function the way that they do. So i've decided to try two things; First off, i'd like to take a few introductory classes at a massage institute, or at least study under someone who was (and still is) a professional masseus-turned-artist. Secondly (and this one is really out there), i'd like to start getting into better shape, get more involved into more outdoor activites. The idea behind this is that if I can experience what is feasible through human limitations, then i'll be able to transfer that through my drawings, and have a much better grasp of anatomy.
I'm not gonna lie to you guys; I think this might be the hardest shit i've ever put myself through yet. However, there's a strong difference between forcing yourself through this and coming to it willingly, and the latter is much more prevailent than the former.
So i'm gonna take a chance with this. I'll be recording my results every few days just to see if it's actually gonna make a difference. Sometimes i'll only be posting an update on my reading process, other days it might be a handful of doodles, but the goal here is to get something
done artistically. It's time for me to get crackin' on these basics.
Anyways, since this is an art thread, it needs art, and though I don't really have anything new to post, I can post something to fill the void. That, and it would help document where i'm currently at.
I don't expect you to know just what the hell is going on in that second one. Also, that first one was just me screwing around, but they're both fair game to critique.
If you actually sat through and read all of that, I tip my hat to you. Take care everyone.
I have a bunch of those as well, i've also found that i buy lots of the time magazine books, or national geographic books. they're on discount all the time at barns and noble and boarders. the books are usually hardcover, huge, and great quality photos. the subjects range from war to sports to cars. between ref books and art books i have filled a whole bookcase.
First off, I think you're very skilled, and I have a great appreciation for your obvious hours upon hours of practice. That being said...
Not sure if you'd appreciate the critique, but I got the same one not that long back. I used to draw for this girl once in a while, and she pointed out something interesting. Lady boobs tend to hang much lower than guys are used to seeing. If you're going for realistic ones, you could probably see a rib or two before the breast actually begins. Typically we're fooled by what I call 'fakies' -- implanted breasts that start way too high, then nipple is in the top third of the breast, and the rest of the flesh is below that.
With real ones, the nipple is almost always below the halfway mark. If you were going for the fakie look, that's cool. Just looks like she's being choked by two watermelons.
Again, I draw like crap, but damn if I don't boobies. I know them better than I know my.. ahem. Yeah. Keep up the great work.
Been meaning to reply to you about that Mr. Elliotto.
Unfortunately my parents are completely against me going to San Francisco on account of the cost of living there (which is wierd, since they were considering Full Sail). There really isn't anything I can do about it, since they control the money. I wasn't pleased with their decision, but hopefully i'll understand later in my life when I start getting an actual grasp on the value of a dollar.
Unless some sort of miracle happens, i'm probably going to be attending a community college for a bit, which really is a shame considering I wanted to get the full college experience (freedom, figuring out stuff on my own when moms/dad isn't around, etc). I'm still looking around mind you, but I feel like i'm just too darn late in making it into a decent art college come this august/september.
This is why i'm trying to build up this Bruce Lee work ethic to narrow down and pinpoint my weaknesses so I can proceed to beat the hell out of them. For example, I got out one of my smaller sketchbooks (the one that I purposely fuck up on in order to improve) and started doing a buttload of hand contour drawings. Now I really like to draw hands, and I practically just started taking them seriously as an artist.
I'm also doing this to build somewhat of a portfolio, but currently I don't know exactly what I should put in it. The only medium that I know of is pencils and conte crayon, I don't have paints or any real books on color theory (much harder to find than I thought it would be), and I don't know if the universities would take sketchbook work (almost positive that they don't. If I can get some direction on this i'd be a hell of a lot more motivated to get on the ball with this thing, cause oh man do I need to.
EDIT: Thank you mr. rfilyah, I appreciate it man.
Now about your bewb comment..........when you say 2 ribs, do you mean that it's visible above or below where the actual curve of the breast shows up? To answer your question, yes, I was going for a superficial fakie look, but that little tidbit of info would be VERY helpful to know.
The boys at Conceptart told me to shade via crosshatching, but I have no idea on just what it is or how to do it. Since the point of this sabbatical is to take my weaknesses head on, I might as well get crackin' on this little issue.
Is there a tutorial out there that can help explain what this is?
Put simply, crosshatching is using series of lines (hatches) overlapped in varying intervals and angles to create fluxuations in value simply by virtue of there being more lines and less line. It's a common pen rendering technique, though certainly not the only one, and not really my favorite.
This explains more pen rendering techniques in a little more detail than I care to: http://drawsketch.about.com/library/blinktexture.htm
You can use these techniques just fine with pencils as well, but the soft, malleable nature of graphite makes it more suited to less line-oriented ways of achieving value.
What are you mostly stuck on, the techniques for mark-making or how shadow/light actually works (where to PUT the marks)?
I feel absolutely terrible for not posting any more art; for the past couple of days, it's been nothing but an assload of contour line practice on hands and face/skeletal structure in my 5.5" x 8.5" sketchbook. I'm doing my best with cracking down on these weaknesses, but I still feel like I need to post something new here.
I'll be sure to post another doodle to showcase if this contour practice has helped me any by the end of the week, or i'll just post this photo drawing i've been working on for the past day or two.
You'll get that grasp on the value of a dollar now by getting the most out of what you pay for an education. Yes, San Francisco is expensive but everything is reletive to the cost of living out here. Minimum wage is 9.14. Plus, the school provides housing and all of that other stuff... but that's not even the point really. The point is, there is no harm in just calling. I encourage you to do so, and have your parents do so. Talk to someone who actually lives in the city, talk to someone in the city that works for the school. There's no harm in just talking.
For those of you curious, I gave him the number of someone to call becuase I get a hundred-thousand-zennies off my tuition for every Texan I can convince to go to school out here. Don't ask me, I drew Texas out of a hat.
Now for a status report:
Talked to a personal trainer regarding my little endeavor, and he was pretty intrigued. Unfortunately, his rates are pretty steep; $188 a month for four sessions a month, $360 for eight sessions (2x a week), and $546 for twelve sessions (3x a week). There's a fifty dollar initial sign-up fee, and a three month minimum the customer has to sign up for (ouch). That adds up in a hurry guys, and seeing as how I still haven't started my new job yet, i'll have to A) put it on hold momentarily or scout around the area for cheaper deals.
On the bright side of things, a friend of mine who is a personal masseus gave me the website address of a woman who is an artist and is in the same profession as he. I gave her a call today, and it turns out that the program she teaches is built around Betty "Ironsides" Edwards' Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain (!). Not only that, but it's only thirty smackers for an hour and a half of lesson time (I don't follow her every step of the way with this book; she treats it more like a checkpoint system, where I read to such-and-such part and do all the projects until i've hit the stopping point, at which she reviews over the work, points out the flaws, and lines out more projects for me). What's even better however, is that taking some lesson under her could help me buff up my slim portfolio, something that I desperately need to do.
So yeah, very excited about taking advantage of this.
On another note, I was thinking of including this old graphite stick piece that I drew in my college Drawing 1 class (took it during my senior year for fun) as a portfolio piece. Hopefully it's not too large:
Can anyone tell me if this would be sufficient enough to include or not? (Sorry for the bad picture)
Man, I just took a look at that woman drawing and already I can see a whole mess of flaws. This can only be good news for me, but i'm still a long ways away.
1. Bridgman's Complete Guide to Drawing from Life - George B Bridgman
The illustrations in this book actually look like ass. Working from the book is really important though, if you copy the drawings don't render them the way he does. Study the planes and the basic mechanics of the human figure in this book, it will teach you to indicate very well.
2. The Human Figure - John H. Vanderpoel
This book is great because it can really help in learning to indicate features. Very few anatomy books cover the features as well as this one does.
All in all, you will not be disappointed with the purchase of either of these books. I have seen some dudes grow from being unable to draw anything resembling a person into spectacular artists just by taking life drawing classes and studying from these two books. Must haves I tell you.
On another note, I was looking through the many blind contour line doodles that I do on a daily basis and I found a couple of them that I actually liked:
I do so many blind contour drawings each day that it's hard to keep track of them, but these two just kind of worked. I don't really know what blind contour line drawing teaches you, but I keep doing them anyways.
EDIT: Ah man, the book I ordered "Do it! Let's get off our Buts: A guide to living your dreams" came in the mail today! I'm gonna add this to my required reading list.
It's basically a reminder to look at your model more than you look at your drawing.
Um, here are some brainstorm doodles that I did to see if I actually learned anything during week one:
I'd like to say that I could dedicate myself to continuing putting the same amount of effort into this week's practice as I did last week, but I just got a new job (today was my first day), and it's an eight/nine hour work day that starts at 6 in the morning and ends at 2-3ish. Means I have to get up at 4:50 on a regular basis, so by the time I get home i'm usually too tired to get those precious practice hours in :x.
I'll figure out a solution somehow, so i'm not too worried about it.
So recently i've kind of stumbled onto an impass of sorts regarding this whole art thing. Prior to my last post, I was trying to do everything that I could to become redicuously awesome in such a short amount of time. As a result, I was constantly worrying about everything that I was drawing, kept feeling extremely guilty for not putting in more drawing time, and felt like I needed to be fan-fucking-tastic before I hit college.
Then I turned 19, and all those prior self-obligation flew out of the window.
I don't know what the deal is, but after getting past that 18-year milestump I actually felt.........relieved. Call me crazy, but it suddenly felt like all of this mounting pressure that I had in my mind just dissapated into nothingness. I mean, I really sat down and thought about it for a sec; there are no more expectations on my plate anymore. I don't know who came up with this whole "you're a prodigy at something if you're 18 and under" concept, but it's actually quite rediculous, and I fell for it completely. Now that i'm past that part of my life (and still just the same as I ever was artistic-wise), I feel like I can make a fresh start of sorts.
Seriously fellas, it got real bad prior to my b-day; I came dangerously close to dropping this whole art pursuit entirely because I put myself in such a negative mindset with all of this unnecessary mental stress. I guess my willpower is stronger than my logic, because I was somehow able to drag my ass out of that danger zone where I hope to never revisit again.
But anyways, the point i'm trying to make here is that i'm going to be taking this whole process at my own pace rather than consistently posting updates. I'm still making a big effort to draw everyday, but the whole reason why I got into the above state of mind was because I burned myself out far beyond what I could take.
Anyways, just a few sketch pages from one of my sketchbooks:
This was just my own hand
From a photo in one of my art books
That thing at the bottom is my character Hyde. I drew him in order to keep me from burning out.
Right now my main focus is working, so anything else is set as a second priority. I'm no longer worried about becoming amazing by a certain age, and am more interested in improving on my own pace. The sad truth (as pointed out by a friend of mine) is that regardless of how little or how many life studies or drawings you do a day, progress will still be slow. There just isn't much you can really do about it, so i've come to accept it.
On another college-related note, I plan to be attending Austin Community College for a few years and build my portfolio up to (hopefully) be able to transfer to one of the better art schools. The main reason why i'm doing this is so that don't get caught up in debts via student loans. I do NOT want be like the hundred (maybe thousands) of art students who are slammed with an $60,000-$80,000 debt the minute they get out of school. Although it may take more time, I think that if I can play my cards right I may be able to attend a decent art school without getting sucked in to using student loans period via scholarships and saving up money.
That's all that I really have to say at this point, take care everyone.
If you want to pursue this as a career, then the only thing you can do is work towards it, everyday. Which i assume is what your trying to do now. As you said, don't worry about the pressure, and don't worry about making gorgeous art every time to put pencil to paper. As a friend once told me, you don't have to put 110% into everything you do; some days you just don't feel like it, but you should always try even if its just a little.
Besides, you can make it, you've got the potential, just keep it up.
And this half-assed doodle that i've put on hold because I need to finish something else art-related:
I left one unshaded for fun just to compare.
Just a small break before I hit the life studies again tonight.
This piece will have no light and shadow though; it's just gonna be straight-up linework.
Time to do my nightly art reading now!
EDIT: Just going to slide this one in today. I didn't like how it turned out, but practice makes perfect eh?