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Topic: Charcoal Drawings  (Read 6383 times)
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« on: February 27, 2009 06:49:38 PM »

I'm a first year art student.  Grin I originally planned on being an English major, then switched to fashion design. I am in over my head. I guess I just imagined that art would be easier (not because it's less difficult, but because I like it more.), but I am learning that I know nothing. It's wonderful! Anyway, the fashion portfolio was due today, and I'm terribly nervous. I just wanted to show some drawings because I think that's my weakest point.

My example of a still life, my first charcoal drawing from drawing 1! We were learning additive/subtractive methods, I think.

And then, in drawing 2, I decided to stick with charcoal because it's very forgiving, and this was my example of two point perspective. I hate two point perspective, for the record. I cannot get those vanishing points right. And the shadows are wrong for the birdhouse because I left out several objects that made different shadows. We only had to have three objects in two point and one incline. Smiley

Any pointers? Tips? Tricks? Comments? Help the poor girl who only wants to sew!
« Last Edit: February 27, 2009 06:52:45 PM by SaccharineSunshine04 » THIS ROCKS   Logged

You were born an original. Don't die a copy.
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2009 07:32:51 PM »

I feel awful giving advice since i am certifiably sucky at charcoal, but I think you need more contrast. I like your use of white charcoal.
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2009 09:43:02 PM »

I think your first drawing is really great, you have a real knack for showing curves  - plus I'm drawn to the anamorphic shapes. I agree that the second could use a little more contrast - it's too "gray" and ends up a little flat. I'd also be careful with the lines along the edges of your cubes, let the shade differences be your delineation between the sides. But nice job so far!
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2009 01:21:13 AM »

Well before anything else, I have to say that jug(?) in your 1st pic is very well done!  the bottom edges surrounding it and that sphere/fruit are a bit blurry and might need to be sharpened...not by outlining the shapes, but by darkening that fuzzy area and blending it into the shadow that's in between the jug & sphere. (i hope that makes sense) >_<;

i agree with "schizo319" that you need to create more contrast in order for the image to look more realistic...

And so, a few pointers from me are:
~ dark outlines = cartoon.
it may be difficult at first...but if you focus on any object carefully, you'll realize that the edges aren't seperated by outlines, instead its the contrast created by different shades of gray that give that effect of having an edge....for ex. to improve the med.-sized cube in your 2nd drawing, you may want to 1) soften the outline and 2)make the side recieving the most light slightly brighter and slightly darken the sides not recieving direct light  **this drawing might help u visually: http://fineartamerica.com/featured/still-life-hierarchy-maia-oprea.html (not mine)

I've taken art classes for yrs, but never pursued the art field, you are very brave! I'm only telling you what I've learned from my teachers and professors. And yrs of classes mean nothing without *practice*... I actually don't enjoy still lifes much, so Idk if I helped you at all : / but I wish you the best in your future endeavors. I disagree that you know "nothing"  from what I see in your work...all you need is practice. English, Fashion or whatever you do...just believe in yourself ;c]

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« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2009 09:23:18 PM »

It's not just contrast. Like Deseree said you need to start putting areas of tone against one another. A great place to start would be the background plane in your second composition. It should be darker on the left side than the box in front of it. Even if you're working white on white areas of your composition which are farther from the light source should be darker, and those closer to the light should be lighter. It helps to figure out where your lightest light will be (like the hi-lights on the bottle in the first) where the darkest dark will be (the sit shadow under your objects) and  figuring out where the lightest part of your shadowed area fits in between the two. It's also a lot easier to work with only one primary light source when doing still lifes. In the second composition especially it looks like you were working with two or more which makes placing shadows and tonal patterns really confusing.

Here's another example of using tone (a much simpler one) Note the change in tone in the background so that the figure stands out against it, and also the difference in tone between the two sides of the face how the paper tone is being used as the shadow colour in the lit area and as the light colour in the shadowed area.

http://teddybearbones.deviantart.com/art/Self-Portrait-the-New-32482397 (yeah, it's mine, but I don't have anything better or more recent uploaded anywhere)

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