Currently browsing Posts Tagged “life drawing”

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3D Glasses are Just a Fad

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

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Didn’t think there were any naked lady pics worth showing this week (sorry fellas…I know that kinda thing is hard to find on the Internet!). However, I got some good feedback on my self-portrait homework. The instructor was happy with it overall, but she noticed that I wasn’t really “wearing” my glasses; they’re basically a 2D shape slapped onto my 3D head. She’s right, of course; I lazily added them as an afterthought after sweating over the rest of the details.

The teacher told me to think of my glasses as “a box around your head.” In other words, if they have no perspective, and aren’t bigger than my head, then I’m doing it wrong.

So anyway, today I practiced drawing my glasses by themselves, and as you can see from my construction lines, I literally started out with a box and went from there. Better, no?

What I’m really starting to understand about drawing, and why it’s so difficult, is that you constantly need to switch between two modes: seeing and constructing.  By that, I mean you have to be able to draw exactly what you see, getting the angles and contours right.  But you also have to understand the internal structure of what you’re drawing–otherwise you might draw one perfect shoulder at a time, but find that one of them’s dislocated when you step back and look at the entire figure.

Conversely, if you spend all your time concentrating on structure, you’ll find that the likeness is off, and you’re drawing mostly from your head instead of what’s in front of you.

I’m sure with enough practice, this juggling act will become more transparent, but for now, it takes more concentration than I’ve mustered up in a long, long time.

Totally Figures

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook


Figure drawing class, day one. Although it’s definitely not obvious from today’s output, I think this class is going to help me a ton. Its most important feature is that it gets me drawing for three solid hours without distraction, something that my Internet addiction makes otherwise impossible. It’s also great to have immediate feedback from the teacher and the other students. Everyone is laid-back and encouraging, with varying skill levels, and range from a teenage boy to lady retirees. I was the only brand-new student.

The picture above was a 20-minute drawing, with a hitch: the instructor made me restart halfway through, when I got to the head (always draw the head last!) and it was partially off the top of the page. Even my re-do barely skirted it; my trouble keeping everything on the page has been well-documented on this site, and was definitely my biggest problem today. The teacher offered a helpful idea: Draw a little thumbnail in the corner to get a sense of where to place the features on the page.


This was a 5-minute drawing (in most of the timed drawings, I never got around to the head). The idea was to block out the major structure in colored chalk, then add charcoal.

I should add, we were drawing with something called “vine charcoal,” which is pretty cool, because it wipes off the paper fairly cleanly, allowing you to quickly correct mistakes or start over.


This was probably my favorite exercise, I guess because it’s essentially animation. 5 30-second poses of an action, scribbled out in ink. Once again I ran out of space and had to draw the fifth pic very tiny, under the second.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering (or considering a class like this): trust me, you immediately forget that you’re looking at a naked person. I think it’s a limitation of our brains; you can’t concentrate on a skilled task and be all “homina homina” STAMP STAMP *wolf whistle* at the same time. The model puts on a robe between poses, so there’s definitely no casual gawking.



Sarong Proportions

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook


Another attempt at figure drawing; hopefully this is just another example of something I can laugh at in a few months. My drawing class starts tomorrow.

The subject is formerly very hot, now very dead Dorothy Lamour. Forgive the poor facial likeness; sketching with a blunt piece of charcoal doesn’t really lend itself to details. Don’t forgive the fact that her legs are about half as long as they should be; one of my worst habits is compressing things as I get close to the edge of the paper. I do that with writing, too.

Go Figure

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

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Gearing up for my figure drawing class in a couple weeks, using virtual models from Apparently most life drawing sessions start out with a few very quick poses (gesture drawings), followed by progressively longer poses.

I hate posting lousy stuff like this, but my hope is that it will help to provide some contrast with future attempts, and illustrate my progress. In the meantime, feel free to let loose with the pointing and laughing.


Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook


My left hand is deformed, but not that deformed. Actually, this exercise turned out marginally better than expected, which encourages me to keep practicing. Hmm, too bad I wasn’t willing to work this hard in my 20s when I actually had something resembling energy.