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Topic: Mid-Term Review  (Read 3669 times)
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« on: October 19, 2009 12:44:35 PM »

I had my mid-term review for figure drawing this morning, and although my drawings were horrible, I feel the need to share my progress with someone, preferably someone who actually appreciates art. I love my friends, but they just say it looks good, which is nice but not necessarily helpful. Anyway, we had to provide 3 gesture drawings and 10 sustained drawings. I didn't take pictures of all of them, but they pretty much look the same.

I like this gesture.

This was my very first day back drawing. I have major major proportion issues.

I didn't think this one was half bad until we had to critique these and my friend Victoria said, "Don't be afraid to draw nipples, Essence."

Then we started doing head studies. I have the issue of making the model look like Barbie. I forgot what my teacher called it.

We decided that this is my second strongest one. I ended up at an awkward angle, and I started my drawing too low. Then I moved it up, and it was way to high.

We put Post-its on these and walked around rating each other on a scale of 1-4. I had an average of a 2.5. I'm having another problem of not using a full range of values.

I officially gave up on pan pastel this day because I think it just adds to my problem with value by making everything middle gray. My teacher said to stop doing the dark halo thing and just fill up the page.

My favorite and my strongest drawing. I actually filled up the page! We also determined that I should just draw the model from awkward angles since those were my two strongest, but she said the arms were still wooden.

Comments? Criticism? I need to get better so I can get into the fashion design program!

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« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2009 02:09:41 PM »

as someone who whad to do all of this stuff in graphic design school, i know it's a pain. i mean … anatomicall studies in general. especally if one gets grades on the works, because every teacher is different.

like one WANTS somewhat detailed nipples, other ones get angry if one spends to much time on that… art and everything related is so hard to give grades.
grades in general were a pain at art school, no matter if the subject was art, painting, figure drawing, advertising, corporate design … simply because everyone sees life/beauty/aesthetics/everything else a little different.

i'm not the best at figure studies, but as i had to do it one afternoon every week for five years, i thought i would share the things i found out. i'm not bad either, i just don't like it that much

when did you start with that?

in your work, i see a few very good parts (in my opinion the head part of the last one, how the first woman sits (it seems as if it was possible to sit that way, and that's what you most certainly want), the "second strongest" in its composition and the person looks good …) and a few that are really wrong(the nude male's right leg, the reft leg of the nude female in the 3rd from the botton, the lower back of the 2nd sitting woman …)

i agree on the glow-thing.
this depends on the teacher, but we were taught by half of our teachers, that big fat black lines (like at your barbie-portrait) are not as great as finer, more "natural" lines.
it's important to find the balance between outlines and hatching (? sorry, i'm no native english speaker))
it's not good to do just outlines, but to much grey all over the paper is not good either. at least at my school, every teacher wanted that a little different. we had a few that just wanted lines …

i don't know if you already did some of these things, but i woud highly recommend to study anatomy. a little bit.
get a anatomy atlas-there's cheap ones for artists. everything became so much easier for me after spending some time with mine.
to make it more effective, look up the proportions of a human body in numbers. like … the head goes seven times into the height of a person (don't trust me on that, i can't remember if it's seven or eight times, but something like that)
that really makes things easier.
i think this would really help you to understand the whole shoulder girdle. it doesn't really look as if you would really know which bones/muscles are where. that's okay, it took me a long time to get into upper arms/shoulders/collarbones
and find out how "supporting leg/non-supporting leg" works.

the first thing we learned is, that it would be a good idea to draw the skeleton before even starting to do the outlines.
you might need some anatomical knowledge for that, but it is something i always found to be a very great idea, because:
1) it's so much easier to correct the posture if it's just simple lines
2) the shortenings of arms and stuff doesn't look as strange on a skeleton
3) it doesn't take long to draw a short sketch of the skeleton, then you can make a few steps back and look at your work from some distance
4) it's easy to see if the drawing sits good on the paper after a very short time

one of the more important things: go away for 2 or 3 metres and have a look at the drawing from there every few minutes. you will see big mistakes earlier.

i don't know the scale, but our studies have always been big. i maybe you already do this, but if you have to do longer(straight) lines, we were taught to stand like that: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3551/3535998306_1b5f87da1c.jpg
of course with something that draws lines (this example shows how we should have done horizontal lines)
it's kind of annoying, but somehow it becomes great after some time.

and the last thing: get one of these wooden dolls. i think you can even get them at ikea

so. enough blabla.
i hope you don't think i'm harsh or something, because that's the last thing i want :-)
i hope that's what you wanted to hear … in some way.
i think that's what the most important things were to me. i hope you understand everything, if not just ask.
if you hate me now (i hope you don't, but just in case …), just ignore my answer.


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« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2009 02:20:08 PM »

i think the odd angled drawings are your strongest because these are where you seem to draw what you see rather than a pre-conceived notion of what you are drawing.
we all have an idea of what 'eyes', 'arms', 'nipples' or 'toes' looks like and this can inform how we draw these things.
i think it's important to try to get these pre-conceived notions of what things look like out of our head and just draw what is there.
the odd angled drawings you are doing just this but the other ones you can see you are not.

i suggest to really try to draw what is before you, don't draw 'eyes', 'arms', 'nipples' or 'toes', these things are just shapes so just draw the shapes that you see.

a great way to practice drawing this way is to do 'blind contour' drawings- i don't know if you are familiar with this method of drawing- but basically you draw without looking at the page, so you concentrate fully on the actual shapes of the subject rather than use a pre-conceived notion of what the subject looks like.

« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2009 06:14:28 AM »

I am an art student myself so between high school and college,I've had my fair share of figure studies.

Something that I dont think the other two people pointed out ( I agree with everything they say, they gave you some great advice) is motion lines. You should try to make them your basis for every drawing ,If your going to do a quick 5 min drawing or even  a more lengthy 2 hour drawing.  But basically what you do is create one sweaping line to get the idea of the motion or the angle of the body.( this line should take you no more than 2 seconds draw, very quick , instictive and to the point)  then block in simple shapes,( oval for head, triangle for torso...etc) dont go straight for details, even if it doesnt quite share a likeness to your model , this will help you a lot.  I've always found that doing a few quick gestural sketches before I do a lengthy drawing helps me . If your having trouble blocking out simple shapes, sometimes squinting helps you not focus so much on .."ok thats the models head, thats their arm and thats what it should look like) You want to make sure you have correct proportions down before you get into details.

I cant stress proportions enough either. I think its 8 heads ( including the figures real head  Smiley ) equal their height. Also In one drawing I think you might have had issues with fore shortening. ( its the one that you said you had issues with tone) In your drawing the models head is much larger than their feet even though the feet are closer than you. The opposite should be true in this case. I have always found that the drawing horses/ easels that you work on are sloaped, so they will tend to skew everything your doing, just be aware of this and step back every so often like the commenter above me said. You'll spot mistakes so much easier.

Like everyone else , I dont mean this in a harsh way just some helpful constructive critisim. Your drawings have great potential!
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2009 12:22:23 AM »

Ill wright you something soon I'm just to lazy rightnow, keep a eye out! Shocked

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« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2009 05:13:37 AM »

I have some drawing tips for you that changed how I draw figures, actually everything. What I do to start off is draw lines at the angle of each main body part. Head, shoulders, arms, legs, torso. Do shapes as was said. You can always wipe them away. The next crucial step is lights and darks. Figure out the main shapes of darkness and light and fill it it. Don't even think about whether it will turn out looking like a human. Just try it. You can squint your eyes and it will enhance the darkness and make the shapes more pronounced. Try not to use your tools like charcoal or pastel or graphite like a pencil. Turn it on it's side and just rub. You can fill in more space faster and easier. Don't be afraid to mark where you think you don't want to. It could produce something you weren't expecting. Also, for proportions you can take a pencil, squint one eye, and hold the pencil straight out. Then use the top of the pencil as measuring the top of whatever it is you are looking at for proportion, move you thumb down and use that as a measuring device. That's the best way I can figure to explain it. Try it and you'll get the hang of it. One of the most memorable art school tips I ever received was to fill the negative space. It can really add some dimension to your drawing and add a finishing touch. I rarely erase anything so what I do if the shape is not correct is I cut in with more color from the negative space and that helps a lot of the time. I would love to hear if any of these tips are useful. Also, practice practice practice. I have always had a focus in art since middle school and I was always afraid of taking that darn figure drawing class for my degree in college which I should've done in highschool but once I actually took it, it changed my skill emmensely and I wish I had listened to everyone who told me that for years.
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