August 27, 2014

Before and after: comparing the drawings

I finally realized (thanks, Silamandarina) why it is good sometimes to date one's sketches, especially in the beginning of the way. It is so in the future one could compare the old and the new sketches and really see the progress.

I think that this might be just the reason for me not wanting to throw away my latest sketches but to keep them, at least for a while.

So it might be good to repeat the same subject every couple of years just to see whats and if really changes....

At this point I really have nothing to compare, but maybe in 2-3 years...

August 23, 2014

Drawing a circle: One point perspective

Several weeks ago I did a sketch on a Peace theme from IF. The idea was to draw a cannon with flowers growing out of its barrel. The one thing I struggled most with was drawing a barrel hole in a correct perspective. Simply said how the hell do you draw a circle in perspective? And since perspective is a subject I began exploring recently, the cannon-barrel challenge came right on time.

I started looking for simple explanations on the subject and here's what I found:

1. "The drawing of ellipses is controlled by rectangular perspective" (source). As I understand it the easiest way is to simply draw a rectangular or a square and then squeeze the ellipse/circle inside it (see here).

2. Also there is a more geometrical approach. Using a horizon line and many many center lines creating loads of little triangles and mid points one can create perfect circle-ellipse. But the summary of this method is almost the same: Draw a square/cube and create your circle/ellipse/tube using it.

I didn't use a ruler in any attempt; maybe that's the reason why everything is so uneven, even weird looking at times.

After browsing and checking some more sites I came to the conclusion: when in doubt - draw a rectangle and fit your circle/ellipse in it.

But I did find more interesting sites with some great explanation.

1. Mike Sibley talks about the importance of drawing an accurate ellipse: "The eye of the viewer can detect any irregularity in a shape that it fully understands". Thus, it must be perfect.

2. Automotive Illustrations says that to change the center of the ellipse one should simply move its center line.

3. Craftsy does a very nice job showing first how to NOT draw an ellipse.

So that's it, basically. I believe that in the beginning I will be using this method a lot. After that - I hope I will be experienced enough to do without.

August 20, 2014

Illustration Friday: Journey

So this week's IF topic is Journey and I immediately thought of Snails and Slugs. And since Snails are a bit cuter than Slugs I decided to concentrate on them.

I always watch snails and slugs during the rainy time of the year and in the evenings my main concern is not to step on them while walking in the dark. But I believe it happens from time to time. Slow creatures, it takes them a long time to cross a pavement, not to mention a road. And funny I rarely see them during daylight in the grass...

So there it is....

I guess I should have done the snail way way smaller...

August 16, 2014

Drawing on the right side of the brain: Negative and positive space.

Chapter 7 of the book touches the subject of the Negative/Positive space, something I wanted to explore for quite a while.

The first time I was introduced to the concept of positive/negative space was while doing the Drawspace art program. As you can see from my first experience here I understood near to nothing while doing this lesson.

First I did these two sketches of a soft toy plane.

Same plane, different perspective.

As you can see, I didn't erase any helping lines. Didn't see the need to. Also, I didn't do my measuring, that's why my lines got out of the marked drawing space.

Second came the Rubens study. Btw, this was the first time I ever copied from a master. And even though it was his study for an art piece, it still felt good.

I did get lost in lines several times but maybe it was good because I couldn't even guess whether was it a leg or an arm.

So while drawing the idea of the negative/positive space finally got clear to me. Ignore the subject and how you think it's supposed to look like. Draw what you see around this subject and keep it proportional.

At least now I understand the idea behind the Negative/Positive drawing. And that is goooood!!!

August 13, 2014

IF: Peace

A while ago IF suggested it's weekly subject: Peace. I loved it but for several reasons I couldn't submit the illustration on time. But I'll do it here.

As usual, I wrote my related keyword list. This time it included: dove, globe, heart, hands, rose, guns on the ground, demilitarization, flower, cannon - and then started thinking what could be done with it.

I actually loved the combination of the last two - Cannon and Flower - and this is what I came up with.

I started looking for some perspective references for flowers and cannons and I found this photograph, that on one hand fits my idea perfectly and on the other - it seems that I borrowed my idea from it. Weird...

Anyways, this is the finished illustration:

I tried as much as I could to create a believable perspective of the cannon; I know there's still some work to be done. But I like it in general.

Also there are many mistakes with the lighting thing, obviously, but that's not new to me.

And while giving this illustration another look, I can see that there is no shadow at all beneath the cannon. And that is not good. I'll have to keep those shades in mind for the next time.

August 10, 2014

Drawing on the right side of the brain: Drawing Palm lines and others.

I'm in my 6th chapter of the book and this part talks about importance of a contour drawing, something I really love to do. Just to draw the outline, no specific details.

There are several exercises in this part and the first one is to draw lines of one's palm. Without looking at the paper.

It took me 4 minutes on the clock.

Obviously, it doesn't seem like a palm at all. I wasn't thinking about the palm but about those lines constructing it. At some point I started looking for deeper lines of my palm and those that are less visible. It was a nice experience, thinking not of the whole but of it's component.

The second one was to draw an outline of a creased paper outlines. For some reason I set up the timer again, and by the time it went off I stop just to write these lines. And then went on drawing.

I worked for about half an hour and stopped when I totally lost myself in these lines. I have no idea what this thing looks like, definitely not like a paper. But on the other hand, who knows what it looks like? Every single piece of it looks differently. There is an idea of what it looks like, but no more than that.

And there is also a Hand in perspective.

I didn't do the task with the Viewfinder, as suggested, I just did a sketch of it.

I don't remember when was the last time I did a sketch of my hand; either while doing the Drawspace project or while my college studies. Either way - this one is by far the best one I ever did.

August 07, 2014

Drawing on the right side of the brain: The vase, the face and the upside down wine glass.

On with my reading - I am in the next exercise of the book and it is to draw a famous Face profile - a Vase silhouette sketch. So the idea was to draw one face and then complete the other. Simple. The task was to see if while drawing the second side of the vase one still thinks of it as of a face or as of a plain curvy line.

Well I must tell you, that's exactly what happened. After completing the first line of the second side - the forehead - I paused and thought, hmm, how large should the nose line be to make it proportional? How deep should the lip line go in? And that was exactly the expected process: to stop, think and switch the way of thinking.

So I guess the exerciser was successful.

The other exercise was to draw a familiar object upside down. I actually did this exercise a while ago prior to reading this book as a creativity development exercise. This time I had a bit of a problem, since I could find nothing that would stand as good turned upside down as it would in it's normal position. And I didn't want to use the same object again. So I took a simple wine glass and made a sketch of it

This is the proper position.

This is the upside down position.

Yeah, there is definitely some problem with perspective...

And then the exercise itself has appeared. Readers are supposed to take one of Picasso's artworks and copy it upside down. Funny since Picasso is difficult enough without rotating it... Oh, well, a task is a task.

I chose his Woman/Flower from 1946, saved it ad rotated 180 degrees.

I enjoyed it so much that I decided to do another one, a bit more complicated.

This one is after Acrobat, 1930.

One of the most interesting things in working on Acrobat was exploring its under-paint. It obviously is purple but when giving it a second look you can clearly see the blue in the bottom right corner and red in the upper left corner (Notice that I'm working with a rotated reproduction). And even though I used plain colored pencils that don't really mix, I couldn't ignore the blues and the reds and obviously included them in my background.

And just out of curiosity I decided to check how really the under-paint enriches the artwork and did this strip.

Well, it does. It is obvious that the right and the left section are way richer than the middle one, made with just one color and not two..

Am I learning to really see now?

August 04, 2014

Drawing on the right side of the brain: a read and an exercise - a hand, a self portrait and a human body.

I came upon this book in one of the many blogs I read and I decided to try it. The book is Drawing on the right side of the brain by Prof. Betty Edwards and it was first published about 30 years ago and republished several times since.

Since I'm not done reading yet I can't tell you exactly what this book is about but what I can tell you is that it gives you some exercises to practice your drawing while reading.

The book is based on a five days seminar that Prof. Edwards conducted for different groups of people, not necessarily artists of any level. One of its purposes, as I understand it, was to teach people to really see. After all, a drawing is what we see and how we translate it into 2d visual, if one could say so.

So, as I read, I will try to follow the exercises given in the book and publish them here.

Just like Brenda Hoddinott from Drawspace, the first set of exercises was to draw a self portrait, a human figure and a human hand. The hardest subjects ever!!! And date it too! The expectation of the seminar itself was to improve the participants' ability to see and translate what he/she sees into a better drawing.
I don't know what can I expect of myself after this read. I know I will definitely won't complete it in five days - neither the read itself nor the exercises, but it's an experience and I love those.

So these are my drawings.
The self portrait.

The Human figure.

The hand.

I tried to be as accurate as possible, although I didn't go into the details, even though I know that that's the secret to success.

I'm pretty pleased with all these sketches and it will be interesting to see the difference between these and those done by the end of the read.

August 01, 2014

Developing creativity: Illustraion friday weekly tasks

I remember writing about while being a freshmen in art school we were given a weekly exercise. Our teachers would give us a subject and we would try and create some original art. After the school was over this practice was obviously neglected, just like making art in general. Illustration Friday - and I know for sure I already wrote about this program - gives just this opportunity: to practice creativity.

So from now on I will be working on a weekly subject and show the results here. The goal is to learn how to develop an idea that could become an illustration in the future. By no means I intend - at least, at this point - to create perfect illustrations. I only intend to do my best and develop my creativity.

These are my recently done projects for IF:

This is not much, just some tryouts and stretchings for my brain, but like I said in the Repeat post: these are only baby steps, which I find so important for my progress.

I hope many will come in the future.