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Robert Scoble

5 Feb

If you follow online media, you will certainly have been stumbling upon the name Robert Scoble or his blog Scobelizer. He is a busy body and is present in all online media, it seems. My self-assignment for today, as an aspiring amateur artist, was to draw him from a photo taken by Thomas Hawk, which captures Scoble’s energy beautifully.

Robert Scoble Shooting in High Def

Unfortunately, the photo suffers a bit from blurriness, so there aren’t really any fine details I could get out of this picture. On the other hand, for someone who is new to drawing, it saves a lot of time drawing all these finer details and lets me concentrate on the “bigger picture”, the overall impression I want to convey with my drawing.

This will be an ongoing rewrite of this article until I have the final version. Perhaps it’s nice to see some intermediate stages. For me it is important to be able to learn from my mistakes and retrace my steps when my drawing goes amuck.

I was fortunate enough to have the size of the frame I drew on the drawing paper be exactly the same as the size of the full screen display of the photo on my 20 inch iMac computer, 270 x 180 mm. This let me mark some points in the margins, which helped me to get the initial proportions right (I still have problems with those).

Robert Scoble 1-a

After I’ve distanced myself for a few hours from my basic first sketch, I saw a lot wrong with it. This is supposed to be normal, because drawing is a lot about judging proportions, and you need a lot of practice to get it right in one go. Nevertheless it is a bit frustrating that you have to erase parts of your original drawing.

That’s why you shouldn’t attach yourself too much to your drawing, and step away from it now and then, to emotionally detach yourself from your work. It is all too easy to leave those lines and work around it, as if those earlier lines were somehow sacred. Belief me, they are not.

So what was so blatantly wrong about my first draft? Well, the chin was too weak (if that’s the correct word). Robert has a very pronounced chin, and my drawing wasn’t showing it. I only noticed when I was drawing the exact lines of the mouth. The mouth was somewhat wider than I drew earlier, and when I widened it, and had drawn the lower lip, that lower lip was much too close to the chin.

I’m sure there are a lot more things wrong with the drawing, but at some point you have to let go of the photo. If you wanted a replica of the photo, then that is easy to do on a computer. No, in the end, the photo is only a reference for your drawing, not the norm.

Robert Scoble 1-b

Now is was hard to put the final details in, because I’m so inexperienced. I decided not to overdo it, but rather leave it as much as I could in a sketching stage.

Robert Scoble 1-c

How did I do timewise? Well, for the initial setup I needed about 50 minutes, for the second draft another 50 minutes, and for the last details 45 minutes. That is 2 hours and 25 minutes in total. I belief that is by far the longest I spent on a single drawing.

Are there things to improve? No doubt. In fact, it is probably the sole thing that keep artists so focussed on their craft. There is always room for improvement, always a chance to go above and beyond what you thought was possible. I believe I have just done that.

I think I’m now ready to progress to the next key point in the bullet point list I made earlier this week.

That is all.