Practicing heads in art class today; I added some digital ink to one of them after the fact.
Page 1 of 4
Did I mention I bought the iPad Pro?! And the Pencil! I’ve had it for over a week, but after a busy Thanksgiving week in California I feel like I’ve barely put it through its paces.
Tonight I attended a figure drawing session and spent the entire 2 hours sketching in Procreate. For the final, 25-minute pose, I decided to turn off my pesky left brain and paint with colors that weren’t necessarily there. It’s something I should do more often; most of the rest of my sketches tonight looked pretty stiff by comparison. Here’s the condensed version:
So far I’m very happy with the way the iPad Pro and Pencil feel as drawing tools. When paired with an app as snappy as Procreate, the disconnect I sometimes feel when drawing digitally has been largely minimized. Downside: all the blame for clunky art now falls on the artist!
This sketch of a statue at the Met looks OK, right? Better than your dog could do? OK, I’ll give you that. Your dog’s a hack.
But compare it with a photo of the statue, taken from the same seated position from which I drew it.
OK, so a camera can add its own distortions, but not this much. I SUCK.
Don’t worry; I’m not actually beating myself up over this. There was a time in the past when I would have seen this as a sign to throw in the towel, but now it’s quite the opposite. It’s comforting to know that all the art books and teachers are right. If you want to get good, and stay good, at drawing what you see, you need to practice. All the time.
It’s timely that this fella Noah Bradley recently posted an article entitled “21 Days to Be a Better Artist.” It’s one of many such “challenges” on the Internet that makes a game out of something you should already be doing. I do like the fact that he restricts it to accurately recreating what you see.
Let me deconstruct art for you. Taking the 80/20 rule to art, the most important thing you can learn is being able to look at something and recreate it on paper. That’s the first and foremost skill you should learn in art.
Longtime readers (hi Mom) will remember I was pretty gung-ho about this for about a week in 2012, spending less time on cute sketches and more time learning how to see and measure.
The thing about measuring is, you can’t really half-ass it; it just ends up screwing you up more. As I set about drawing the statue above, I held up my pencil a few times and thought I made some accurate measurements. I made some marks on my paper and proceeded to shoehorn poor Dionysus here into those obviously wrong proportions.
I know better than to make these mistakes. A corollary to improving with practice is getting less shy about holding your pencil up in the air like some artist out of a Bugs Bunny cartoon. You just gotta do it.
Anyway, consider this day 1 of the challenge. I probably won’t post everything, but feel free to ask me about it and hold me to it. And, if it’s your kind of thing, try it out yourself!
You know it’s cold when all the figure models in town are posing in leotards, tights, and scarves!
This was drawn on my latest impulse purchase, the Toshiba Encore Write 2. It’s sort of a
poor cheap man’s Cintiq Companion. Or, to those that don’t geek out about this stuff, it’s a small tablet PC on which you can draw. it runs full-fledged software (such as Manga Studio, which I already bought for my Mac), and the pen is much more precise than anything I can buy for my iPad. On the minus side, it runs Windows, which, even when streamlined for use on a tablet, still feels like a chore compared to anything Apple.
For general tablet use, it’s pretty underwhelming. But if you’re looking for an art creation tool, the Encore Write 2’s combo of stylus hardware and desktop software works very well, and is surprisingly unique at this price point.
I know I need to learn more pop-culture references for my Improv classes, but I never knew I’d need them for figure drawing. I went to a drink-and-draw in Brooklyn, and my coworker decided that the 60-something male model resembled Ganondorf from the Legend of Zelda, and we should all draw him as such. Thanks, Google Images!
My mom loves these posts! (Sorry mom.) A’feared of getting rusty, I found a sketch group that meets twice a month. There’s no instructor, so it doesn’t quite provide the same level of feedback as my usual class, but it doesn’t hurt to take the training wheels off once in a while.
I made a cameo appearance at my Saturday art class, the last one of the Summer. It definitely felt weird to go back to short poses after working on a portrait for a week and a half. I was very rusty today, but I thought this one bore the closest resemblance to a human being.