Not so new, still scared and sketching. [Art dump] - NSFW. "Weekly" updates.

chidonachidona Registered User regular
edited August 2011 in Artist's Corner
UPDATE: I took a fairly hefty break whilst completing my degree, so there was a period of inactivity. Now that things are slightly less hectic, I'm aiming on updating with /something/ at least once a fortnight, aiming for once a week.

I used to do a fair bit of digital art a couple of years ago, as well as... uh, 'poetry', but then I sort of lost motivation and stopped for a couple of years. For reference, here's my old deviant art: , and as you can see, my attempts at drawing were, well, awful:

Drawing's always been something I've wanted to get good at. I really enjoy drawing, but I've never had the dedication/motivation to do so; I loved using a cheap graphics tablet I used to have, but - because it was cheap - it broke after a very short period of use. However, now I've got a wacom bamboo pen, and I'm determined to make it through to producing some decent art; I also sketch on paper of course, but for lack of a scanner, I won't really be able to show you that side of things.

So what I'm going to do is do at least 10mins - 30mins of sketching and practising a day. At the end of each week, I'll do a larger piece of work that tries to involve things I've learnt/refined over the past week. Then I'll pop on here and post a selection of stuff and the larger piece. It's pretty ambitious, but let's see how it goes! This stuff is the result of three days, just to show where I'm at right now: it's all going on my NEW deviant art:


Main work: Largely messing around with tablet and GIMP, getting used to brushes, palettes, pressure sensitivity, layers etc. Tried to make head and features in correct proportion, need more study on the skull and lumps and bumps of the face, especially the cheek.


chidona on


  • AumniAumni Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    The light studies are a great start, but I think you should definitely get some still life work down.

    Setup a bowl, some fruit and other common, simple objects and draw from them.

    If you can avoid it do this with a pencil or charcoal instead of digitally. A traditional approach will strengthen your digital work.

    Aumni on Battlenet: Aumni#1978 GW2: Aumni.1425 PSN: Aumnius
  • DirtyDirtyVagrantDirtyDirtyVagrant Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Also work on drawing basic shapes, which I know probably sounds dumb, but drawing cubes and basic shapes in perspective is something that nobody is beyond benefiting from.

    DirtyDirtyVagrant on
  • chidonachidona Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Yeah, I found I was having trouble with spheres (and even cubes!) when attempting the light study. I'll make that the focus of this week.

    @Alumni: thanks for the tip! I'll definitely do some still life work as well.

    chidona on
  • DirtyDirtyVagrantDirtyDirtyVagrant Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Make that the focus of this month, and then periodically revisit it from time to time.

    DirtyDirtyVagrant on
  • ninjaininjai Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    I'll have to agree with aumni. Traditional teaches you a lot of things that you won't otherwise learn digitally.

    Good luck chidona. Looking forward to seeing your progress! Keep it up!

    ninjai on
  • chidonachidona Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Okay, as promised a new batch of stuff: I've been working on basic shapes and perspective this week (and will continue to do so for a while methinks), and the spoiler has a selection of some of the sketches and rough work I've been doing (not hugely interesting and I apologise for the camera pictures but a scanner isn't really a possibility at the moment).

    And here's the big piece for the week, really combining perspective studies, using basic shapes and shading:


    Hope you like it, look forward to crits as well!

    chidona on
  • PukioPukio Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    The studies are all really great and I totally admire you for tackling perspective head on - serious perspective studies are something I've been avoiding for years, so it's inspiring to see someone gung ho about it.

    Personally speaking, I'd stay away from working in color for now - when I started working digitally, I trended toward coloring and I just wasn't educated enough to be thinking in terms of tone and value which are the things that ultimately do a lot toward making a colored piece work (my color picking was also really terrible, but that's a different story). Instead, I would suggest you focus on working a lot in greyscale. It'll really help you to think about the quality of your values.

    Another thing that might be good for you to practice is working in pen. This sounds ridiculous, but doing some basic drawings in sharpie - something you can't erase - is great for gaining confidence in your lines. Remember to make long strokes rather than lifting the pen up and continuing the line. Sometimes even if the mark isn't quite right, having one continuous flowing line is a lot more pleasing to the eye than a technically correct bunch of line segments.

    Good luck!

    Pukio on
  • ninjaininjai Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    A minor note, the hard outlines on the bottom of the floating objects seems out of place when you have soft edges on the top.

    I don't know if I articulated that very well, but anyhoser. The sign made me giggle. Keep up the good work m8.

    ninjai on
  • chidonachidona Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Thank you both! =D

    @Pukio: Both those are really good ideas; I do only work in grayscale most of the time, it's just for the big piece I wanted to have a little fun and branch out a bit - I do understand what you mean about getting the tones and values down, and I'm still working hard on that.

    @ninjai: Yeah, I see what you mean, will take into account when I do another piece!

    chidona on
  • chidonachidona Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    It's a really busy week this week + next, so it'll be touch and go whether I can get much in the way of art done (mainly just doing cubes and shapes etc. as last week), but I had a bit of free time last night and got this done:


    I know it's not clean lines like Pukio suggested (I'm working on that in the rest of my work though!), but it's a style I thought looked kinda neat, if nothing else. I also think everything's vaguely where it should be on the face, crits, as always, welcome =]

    chidona on
  • chidonachidona Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Forget a thread? Me? Never!


    I have been sketching and doing studies as well, but I've been crazy busy and have not had time to take a picture of my sketchbook and upload - things are being drawn, no worries on that front! Starting to run out of random stuff on my desk to draw though...

    Also, anyone got a good online resource for human body proportions? As you can probably see above, mine are out of whack.

    chidona on
  • RankenphileRankenphile Passersby were amazed by the unusually large amounts of blood.Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited February 2011
    go through some of the links in this thread:

    it's a trove of wonderful resources

    Rankenphile on
  • chidonachidona Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Yay, only 3 days late! Teehee:


    I've been drawing basic shapes for ages now (on paper), so I'm starting to consider strongly moving into heads. i really want to be able to draw the human body well, so heads seem to be a good place to start, right?

    chidona on
  • ninjaininjai Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    If you're looking at drawing the human body, you can't go wrong here. There is a book on drawing heads, as well as other anatomy type books.

    ninjai on
  • chidonachidona Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    First actual NSFW drawing (if I should've spoilered it, then do say!)


    I kinda like the crazy lines, but appreciate that cleaner lines are needed - I am working on those too! Sorry as to the slow rate of new stuff, I underestimated how swamped I would be with all my uni work.

    Also, anatomy needs serious work!

    chidona on
  • earthwormadamearthwormadam ancient crust Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Seems like the tablet isn't doing you many favors. Maybe more practice with pencil and paper?

    earthwormadam on
  • chidonachidona Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Seems like the tablet isn't doing you many favors. Maybe more practice with pencil and paper?

    All that stuff is going on, but I can't realistically upload it - no access to a scanner and it'd take far too long taking pictures, uploading + correcting. I don't draw like that on pencil and paper (I'm using smooth lines), it's just that I wanted to do something completely different to break away from the monotony of my usual technique.

    chidona on
  • chidonachidona Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Sorry for abandoning this thread! I've just finished my finals, and the last couple of months have been pretty intense (with dissertation/essays/exams) and I simply haven't been able to keep up with the thread like I originally planned. However, since I'm now killing time until my graduation and will have a decent period of time 'till my foray into the working World starts, I should be able to keep a decent stream of stuff going.

    In the interim I've outlined my goals:
    -Become proficient at drawing human figures in trad. media (largely pencil)
    -Grasp anatomy and proportions
    -Become confident at drawing still life
    -Become proficient at drawing human figures in digital media (largely females)

    I've also looked back over the thread and picked out useful pointers:
    -Stay on traditional media before seriously attempting digital works
    -Use confident lines
    -Give weight and volume to basic shapes
    -Be able to confidently reproduce basic shapes

    So, without further ado, here's the BIG PIECE I've been working on. I've spent a substantial amount of time on it over the past week (I would estimate 10 - 25 hours, including a redraw early on). It was hard and there are parts which aren't bang on (the teeth, for example, I had to guesstimate in parts), but I think it was a useful exercise overall - I learnt a lot about values and perspective, as well as showing form via shading as opposed to hard lines.


    Reference: (The download has a hi-res version of the one I was working on, which I used).

    In the spoiler you can see a couple of my working sheets - the first one is a sketch done on a different reference (which is tiny and difficult to make out), with the first attempt at the skull next to it. Unfortunately the proportions were just not adding up so I scrapped that. The second one is me working on skull proportions (which were challenged as the skull in my references is facing upwards not right at you):

    In addition, I've been stealing fruit from the canteen each day to draw as my 'warmup' sketch. My first try was with an orange, where I tried to mimic the texture but was way off. Will focus on textures next:





    Do note that all my images are slightly darker in real life - due to a lack of scanner (such is the transitory nature of my life currently), and I've already bumped the contrast up but was scared of distorting it too much.

    Thank you for reading, I look forward to seeing any comments you make, and will upload things on a (hopefully) somewhat regular basis =].

    chidona on
  • chidonachidona Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Hup, another update ahoy!

    This week, I have had a thing about eyes:



    Of course, this is because eyes are fairly easy to draw and build on the still life stuff - they're broadly spheres, so it's been useful to practice my shapes, shading and also try and get some different textures down. What follows are some pages from my sketchbook playing with spheres and eyes:



    I also wanted to have a stab at doing a self-portrait since I haven't done one since I was like, 14 years old. I received some comments about improving the process of my drawing by not doing it bit by bit, so I took some progress shots as well.



    Not my most glamorous photo! Still, plenty I picked up on when drawing - I'm having trouble drawing long and thin faces (as I think mine is), as they kind of contradict the method I use to draw faces (the same one as Loomis does). I'll put up some sketches later to illustrate my difficulty. As it stands, the right hand side of the face (as you look at it) is too big, and the mouth just feels kinda off, like it's too small? Will need to take a photo that isn't overexposed next time.

    Thank you for reading!

    chidona on
  • FlayFlay Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    It's amazing to see how far you've come since your first post in a short time. You've made a lot of great progress!

    With that last portrait, the main issue that I can see is that the eyes are much too large. We naturally tend to give more emphasis to things we're focused on, so it's a pretty easy thing to do, even experienced artists will do it a bit. Just make sure you conside the whole face, try and lay down a very simple sketch of where all the parts go before you start going in to detail. And keep drawing! You'll start to see it less and less.

    Good work!

    Flay on
  • RankenphileRankenphile Passersby were amazed by the unusually large amounts of blood.Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited June 2011
    You still seem to be having issue with basic shapes and proportion - your circles are still wobbly and uneven, and in your self portrait your eyes are far larger then they should be. Make sure you step back from your drawing on a constant basis, check that things look right before proceeding. Like, every 30 seconds or more.

    Rankenphile on
  • chidonachidona Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    @Flay - Thank you! =]
    @Rankenphile - thanks for the tip!

    I am having trouble drawing circles (I'm fairly confident with my cubes and cones though), although I feel I've been making progress. When I first started, not many of my circles connected (they were spirals), and they were wildly out. These days, they nearly all connect, and I am getting more decent circles, although more often than not it's a bit lopsided.

    I've found a decent technique for getting the arm used to drawing circles though, so I'll give that a shot. As for facial proportions, that's simply something that I'm going to have to spend a lot of time on. It'll get there eventually, I'm just hugely unused to drawing faces.

    I'll have an update up by Sunday though and you can see for yourself. I also manage to make Angelina Jolie look like a man in drag! So that is certainly something.

    chidona on
  • BroloBrolo Broseidon Lord of the BroceanRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    About half of your images aren't showing up for me, for some reason.

    You are showing marked progress with these pencil studies, but you definitely want to spend more time planning your drawing out and comparing the ratios of the shapes you're seeing - how far is the right edge of your eye from you right ear? How closely does the leftmost point of your nose align with the left corner of your mouth and the edge of your left eye? Keep on making comparisons between your photo and what you're putting down on paper as you build up your sketch.

    You'll likely also get much better results if you take a photo that isn't quite as over-exposed or out of focus as the one you're using for reference. If your camera has a self-timer and aperture control it shouldn't be too difficult to set up.

    Brolo on
  • chidonachidona Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Hmm, has anyone had any problems with images appearing? If so, get back to me with what images so I can try and fix it!

    This week, I've tried to do basic shapes and faces. In particular, Angelina Jolie's face (reference: ). My first pass at it wasn't great in terms of proportion:


    Also, an attempt at drawing a mug went rather wrong as well. So, I gave both another try; first, Jolie:

    (It looks a bit wonky because of camera issues - I'll scan it in asap).

    I think the second pass at the mug turned out pretty well, although I ran out of time before I could get any serious shading down.

    I also tried drawing a bottle of Bulmers Cider, which I'm still working on:

    And, of course, circles:

    This week is Graduation week, so my update may be a little sparse, but bare with me!

    chidona on
  • BroloBrolo Broseidon Lord of the BroceanRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Good to see you're keeping at it!

    I'll likely have more crits for you soon, but first thing:

    Buy yourself a sketchbook - preferably a big 18 X 24 pad, if you're just sketching at home, but you can go smaller with a normal 8.5 x 11" if you need something to take with you if you sketch on the road.

    You can pick them up at most local art stores for just a few bucks, but it's a really critical tool for keeping yourself organized and motivated, and the quality is better than using looseleaf.

    Brolo on
  • chidonachidona Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Thanks for the tip Rolo!

    Actually, sorry it's been a while guys, but I had my graduation and I've been busy with all the preparation/revelry/relaxation associated with it. I have still been sketching though! In fact, I went out and bought a brand new hardback sketchbook (my first proper one!) and a set of 12 or so pencils, which is a notable step up from my previous 3 (4B, HB, 4H). I now go from 6B - 6H, I think.

    So! What have I been doing?

    Well, for starters, I've finished off that bottle. I'm not that happy with it, but you need to make a lot of shit before you can be great:


    Then, when I first got my new equipment, I just messed around practising circles and whatnot - had a bit of fun with it and this was the result:


    Then I decided to do a serious piece, and used this reference:

    It took me about a week, all in all, although that's partially because I'm hugely slow at these things anyway. I'll post the outline in the spoiler:

    Finished product (got a bit tired at the neck, eh):


    Thank you for reading everyone =], see you soon!

    chidona on
  • lyriumlyrium Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Looks like you're improving, Chidona, keep at it. When drawing from a reference like that bust, remember to look back and forth from your drawing to the reference (especially early on), and make sure it is giving you the same impression in large, basic ways. In this one when I look at the reference the head is much more upright, with less bend between the head and neck also. In your drawing the head swoops off toward the right drastically. This also helps with basic shapes, as it also allows you to see what things are throwing off the likeness (like how her forehead is much larger in your drawing compared to the reference). Basically, just try to remember to look not only at the individual features, but the reference as a whole and how the different parts relate to each other.
    Also, don't be afraid to draw darker where you need to, to help get the fuller contrast.

    lyrium on
  • chidonachidona Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Hi Lyrium, thanks for the nice comment!

    I did realise it was too tilted, but only when I had started shading. Really, the main purpose of that exercise was getting my proportions correct - I thus decided to let the tilt slide. I will be more careful in future works though!

    The contrast thing is due to my scanner - in real life, it's actually much darker, and I should have bumped the contrast in photoimpact afterwards to reflect that. Again, will make sure I do it for future sketches =]

    chidona on
  • chidonachidona Registered User regular
    Oh man, I really am not great at sticking to self-made targets. Sorry for the massive gap! I got a new laptop and started making up for nearly a decade of games I'd missed (so many hours lost to the Mass Effect gods...), but I've still been sketching =]. I also purchased a book! I'll do a post below to talk about it, so that this post isn't too massive.

    First off, I decided to move onto HANDS, so here's a fair bit of hand sketches:

    Here are some HEAD sketches from the Bridgemann book (the one I purchased):

    Okay, onto the finished pieces. First up is, what I believe to be Katie Melua, but I just hit up google for 'face reference'. Reference


    It was an overexposed photo though, which made shading difficult (so there's not a lot of it. Still!

    Next image was a lot harder. For some reason I had a massive problem getting the shape of the face right - Here's the Ref - and the features were also difficult to place. My first attempt was a write off after about and hour and a half's work:

    I came back to it though, applying the Bridgemann technique of drawing faces instead of the Loomis method (again, talking about it below). I feel that the eyes are too wide apart and the lips didn't go to plan, but overall I'm pleased with the outcome, learnt a lot, and see an improvement! Small steps, but definitely steps.


    Thanks for reading, I hope to see any comments you may have =]

  • chidonachidona Registered User regular
    Regarding books:

    I bought this book: , and I think it's definitely going to prove useful as I carry on my studies. However, I'm not thrilled about the faces section; one of the areas in which I need help is proportions. Now, Loomis does a really fantastic job of proportions, but I always have trouble applying it when drawing references. The features just don't line up correctly, and it's difficult to know how the width of the head applies to the horizontal placing of features - see my picture above. A big problem with me, is that I often don't realise the eyes are too far apart until I've started shading, and that's problematic for a number of reasons.

    Currently, I'm treating Loomis as something to use when I move onto drawing non-referenced heads. Bridgman, however, has little to say on proportions; the entire section sort of just assumes you know how to draw a face and goes from there. The 'drawing a face' page basically just goes '1. draw the face', which isn't much help. However, there are really good tips on perspective drawing, and more general rules about construction, which I'm trying to integrate into my sketches. He does this really weird '4-line' technique though which I can't make heads or tails of, so there's evidently further study to be done here.

  • beavotronbeavotron Registered User regular
    Hey you're getting better!

    I can see from your most recent post that you're still doing something that's a pretty common habit in artists starting out and can be super hard to break... You're hyper focusing on details too soon.
    Try this exercise: (normally people won't recommend drawing from photos but its a great exercise to help you eliminate unnecessary info when trying to learn ) Take a photo of something you wanna draw, put it in photoshop and blur it by about 50 percent. Set it to grey scale
    You shouldn't be able to see features like the little dots in the eyes or anything you should just see shapes
    Draw the shapes! (use pencil on paper, not digital, you're doing good with pencil, digital will come later)
    Really pay attention to their placement in relation to each other, the tone etc.
    When drawing from life for the first time it can be so overwhelming. You're seeing too much and not focusing on the big picture. When you do the blurry grey picture exercise it forces you to see only what's important, the big shapes. When you can master drawing the important stuff, it'll make approaching drawing from life way less daunting. You'll already be looking for the big shapes, and ignoring the details till the end.

    Great work! Keep posting!

  • MustangMustang Registered User regular
    edited August 2011
    Beavo wrote:
    Draw the shapes!

    This is actually really good advise, this helped my drawing tremendously when I first picked up on it.

    Also well done on sticking with it, you've improved a whole heap since your first post. In fact I'd imagine you find it uncomfortable to look at your old drawings now.

    Mustang on
Sign In or Register to comment.