Currently browsing Posts Published January 2012

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Charcoal Pensive

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

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Here’s tomorrow’s homework, done in vine charcoal as usual. Took me about 3 tries before my perspective was anywhere in the ballpark; was hard to get my brain to accept that my knee should be about as big as my head, because it’s closer to the viewer.

Oh, and in case you think I’m a narcissist for always doing homework drawings of myself, the assignment is always to draw from life (no photos), and I’m the only person I’m willing to ask to sit for a portrait. (Even then, it’s awkward.) But hey, if you’re volunteering…

Bear With Me, Get It?

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

Here’s the latest incarnation of the cartoon bear I’ve been toying with; he’ll likely be the main character in a comic strip contest I’m entering. He’s still too generic-looking, but I think I’ll just have to settle for something like this for now, if I hope to make the deadline.

Let’s Get Plastered

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

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On impulse at the art store, I bought a little plaster head, one that depicts a dude with his face muscles exposed. Here’s today’s practice.

Plaster1-photo

Pumping Lead

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

Picked up a compass and started in on a new Bargue. Still made a few mistakes, but overall this is much closer than my first two attempts. I’ll continue working on this offline, but I’ll try to post something different here tomorrow, since I know these are a bit boring to look at.

My Mom Says I’m Spatial

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

So, somehow this turned out even worse than the first one. What’s interesting is that I plotted a lot more points on this one, triple-checked myself, etc. It was looking pretty good to me until I actually compared it directly.

As I drew this, I wondered if it would be kosher to use a compass instead of a string–seems logical, but I didn’t want to deviate too much from the first write-up I read. But today I came across another very helpful thread on the ConceptArt forums in which an instructor suggests a compass for one of the options, and walks a couple people through the entire process. So I’ll definitely be picking up a compass, so I can avoid the headache of trying to keep a thumbnail in the exact right spot on a slippery piece of thread.

In Which I Argue for Bargue

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

Yesterday I came across some info on a school in Florence for realist painters, and one of the first things their students do is follow a series of lessons devised by Charles Bargue, a 19th-century French artist. The idea is to copy the drawings exactly, using a piece of string to plot key landmarks, and letting your eyeballs do the rest. With enough practice, apparently, you can ditch the string, and apply your newly honed spatial abilities to draw more accurately from life. Here’s a copy of the lessons in PDF format if you’re interested.

Well, it’s the moment of truth. I’m green, and Bargue is pink.

Bargue1

Aaand, just like in tee-ball, I get the participation trophy. Sure, it seems pretty close, but the parts where I strayed definitely coincide with the parts I drew without consulting the string. I’ll keep plugging away.

 

Speaking of Which

 

I decided this weekend that I’d like to progress a little faster, and the only way to do that is to spend more time drawing and learning. I looked at all my distractingly cool gadgets and realized, hey, I can use technology to get me motivated instead. So, starting tomorrow, my computer will roust me out of bed at 7am, my iPhone will harass me to get in the shower, and then I’ll dive into 2-3 hours of drawing before work. I’ll come up with my assignments no later than the night before, so I have something definitive to accomplish. Tomorrow it’s more Bargue–I’ll probably start over on the foot and hopefully do well enough to move on to the shading.

After work, I’ll spend at least an hour reading offline; I have a lot of art-related books that I’ve failed to dive into.

I think it’s a pretty realistic and modest plan; certainly there have already been plenty of days where I spent 4 hours, or more, drawing. But more often than not, I’m sitting in front of Google and free-associating my way through the Internet.

Not that I expect anyone to keep me in line, but because I like to motivate myself with accountability, I’ll also be using Twitter a lot more, to post updates about what I’m doing art-wise.

That’s about it! Wish me luck.

Sketchy Poses

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

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My perpetual artists’ block means it’s time once again for a few scribble drawings. This time, I decided to do characters with full bodies.

So What If I’m Playing With Dolls?

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

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Picked up one o’ them there artists’ mannequins (yeah, they really exist!), and am using it in tandem with my picture frame to study light and perspective.

Too Tired to Sleep

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

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Sleepily watching an old movie, and doodling to meet my quota!