So I've lurked in the Artist's Corner for about as long as I've posted in other sub-forums, posted a few times in the photo and doodle threads, but I've mostly just been reading threads and looking at everyone's art. I've been drawing since I could remember but I've never taken any classes or done any self-study so my skills have progressed pretty slowly. I also like to write which I've found comes easier to me. One story I want to pursue, however, I decided would best be suited as a graphic novel. Right now I don't have the talent to execute something like that to my satisfaction so before I begin that I need to improve my art. Artist's Corner is full of many talented people but it's also full of many people who invest a lot of effort into helping others. Because of that, and because I decided I finally needed to take this seriously, I'm starting this thread to measure my progress.
My current plan starts with Betty Edward's book. A few years ago I read about half of it and the improvement in my art was very noticeable so I'm going to go through it from the beginning again with the exception of color which I'll tackle at a later time. After that I intend to go through Loomis's figure drawing book and then Bridgman's supplemented by Goldfinger's for anatomy.
My weak points are easily identified. What I need to work on is rendering shadow and forms (and light sources, of course), perspective, anatomy and line confidence. There are probably other things that some of you can identify. The first thing, though, is working on how well I see. I have a hard time identifying what information is most important and then figuring out how to translate that onto paper. This inevitably results in me rushing through something, even going as far as filling in a part of the drawing from my own imagination. I need to learn to slow down.
This is going to take a really long time and it is kind of terrifying but I'm very interested in being able to communicate what I see in my head to other people and I really want to implement my story idea.
With that said, below I'll post what exercises I've done from Drawing on the Right Side already and I'll also post a few things I've drawn from my imagination so you can get an idea of where I am. I have a tablet but I'm not going to use it for any of the serious work, only for fun, and I'll include some tablet work as examples.
tl;dr: like to draw, like to write, wanna eventually write a graphic novel, need to draw better, cue arduous adventure
First a page of doodles. Ordinarily these are not shown to anyone!
Then a few tablet doodles.
The doodles are bad. You can critique anything I show obviously but I want the doodles here just to show where I began. I almost never build up sketches from basic shapes so they all look pretty ridiculous. Utilizing shapes is something I need to work on. I'll do sketches from my imagination as I progress and we'll see how they turn out.
In Edwards's book I progressed as far as the modified contour drawing of the hand with tones. So I have a self-portrait, a hand drawing and the contour drawing.
The contour drawing is alright, I think. This exercise involved the use of a picture plane and a viewfinder. I'll also post hand drawings and other stills without using that tool as I progress. Anyway, for this drawing I'm not happy with some of the highlights and the rendering is pretty simplistic but I have to start somewhere. I'm going to move through the book and either practice each exercise multiple times or wait until I'm finished and then go back and do more of each exercise. Then I'll move onto Loomis.
If anyone has any thoughts on my plan, whether I ought to modify it, that would be great. Before I began writing this thread and doing the work to post here I thought there was no way I could do all of this work but now I feel more confident I'll put the time in. I'm pretty excited about improving.