Archive | March, 2009

EDM # 1 – Draw a shoe

29 Mar

Every Day Matters has some weekly challenges. I decided to start at the bottom, with challenge number 1.

EDM # 1 - Draw a shoe

I hope you can see it represents a shoe. It was drawn in approximately 20 minutes.

That is all.


Loes Nuijten and Anna van Ruiten

29 Mar

(WIP – work in progress, to be continue at a later date)

Two students of a theater school had their exams lately. My free local newspaper had an article on them. You can see their photo here:

Anna van Ruiten (L) and Loes Nuijten (R)

I tried a few sketches, but I couldn’t get it right. This is the best sketch of the two ladies I have so far. Notice that the mouths are 1/3rd of the height of the face in the sketch, while in the photo it is clearly more like 1/4th.

Loes Nuijten and Anna van Ruiten, sketch 1

I guess this is going to take a while to get it just right. It is a difficult pose to draw.

At some point, I had enough of it. What was making this so hard to draw? So, I decided to trace the photo in Art Rage 2, and see how a trace differs from both the photo and what I have been drawing so far.

Loes Nuijten and Anna van Ruiten, sketch 2

As you can see, I had it almost right in sketch 1, but the poses are so subtle, that even the slightest deviation destroys the illusion of likeness. And even the traced drawing misses some of the likeness. It is clear to me that the drawing needs a much more subtle approach than I’m able to give with my current skills.

Anyway, I will use this and see if I can come up with a better sketch.

The best strategy to make these ladies look anything like on the photo I can come up with, is to learn to draw each girl separately, then next to each other. I guess that indeed means I have to draw a lot of sketches before I get that magical look-a-like. I also want to try drawing them in each other’s place, so Loes will be standing on the left of the drawing and Anna on the right. If I can do that, I know I have mastered the skill of making drawings resemble the original.

Here is Loes Nuijten. I still am having problems with her foreshortening. I’m not yet satisfied with it, but it’s much better than before. On the other hand, if I compare this drawing with the traced drawing, I can see I have still a long way to go before I can call this one good enough.

Loes Nuijten - sketch 3

I will first try to draw more human figures before I continue with this project.

That is all.

Ton Linssen

29 Mar

Ton Linssen is a local politician (local to me) who is said to use populism as a means of doing politics. Anyway, he’s often seen in local newspapers, both in those paid with subscriptions and those paid with ads only.

The article was published in Dutch language on March 11, 2009, and the photo taken during the interview is what inspired me to create a sketch. You can find the photo here:

Ton Linssen

I started by just sketching without any preparations. I know that is a bad method, but I just wanted to know what the deal was with this photo before I tried a serious sketch. Just something to warm up would be the correct expression, I guess.

Ton Linssen - first sketch

Once I saw what I had done wrong, I made a serious attempt at drawing. I started with the face, because that always gets me serious enough to stay concentrated on drawing and not to wander off into my imagination too much. Once the face more or less looks like the photo, I know I have to keep going in this way.

Ton Linssen - second sketch

I need to get my bearings each time I draw something from a photo (and I suppose also something from life). I need to know where the parts of the original are, so I know where to put them in my drawing. If I don’t do that, the drawing gets all mushy and my imagination starts to fill in the lack of likeness, so it gets even messier.

I know it’s a bad habit to have, trying to mask your mistakes, but it seems it is something I have to deal with. I have tried to get rid of it, but it keeps surprising me every time I don’t put enough concentration into my drawings. I lose overview and wander off into the land of fairies and lala.

That is all.

Drawing Leo Laporte, part 17

28 Mar

This week I have been listening to the Every Day Matters podcast, by Danny Gregory, promoting the book with the same title. Danny has interviewed artists and illustrators about their personal sketchbooks and drawing journals. I guess I have to give it a try and don’t let my preconceptions about what is good and what’s not guide me. I have been wrong so many times in my life, that I’m starting to doubt if using your intuition is really as great a survival strategy as some claim it is.

I will not publish everything I put in my drawing journals, because I want to keep some thoughts and ideas for myself, at least for the time being. Also, some drawings might not be suitable for publication.

Now to the subject at hand, drawing Leo Laporte. I have progressed so much this week, that the fuzzy screenshots of TWiT Live are becoming less useful. With that I mean that the details I can draw now are not available in the screenshots.

Drawing Leo Laporte - TTG 2009-03-28 A

The following is happens if you don’t shut down your inner critic. The drawing becomes all cramped up and doesn’t “look right”. Normally I take a break between drawings, but I decided to see what happens if I don’t clear my mind before a drawing.

Drawing Leo Laporte - TTG 2009-03-28 B

I’ve written: “It’s getting better!” In reality it got worse, as I have explained earlier.

I should have been paying better attention to the date, of course. It is one day later than is written under the drawings.

That is all.

Pretty lady with reading glasses

27 Mar

Someone suggested to draw reading glasses on the kitty cat, so I would look more learned. However, I drew a pretty young women with reading glasses instead.

Pretty lady with reading glasses

This rough sketch was made in circa 40 minutes, with HB pencil on 120 g/m2 drawing paper.

That is all.

Kitty cat

27 Mar

I was a bit frustrated because my own cats wouldn’t pose for me. So I grabbed Google Image search and found a cute kitty cat.

Kitty Cat

Drawing in 25 minutes with HB pencil on 120 g/m2 drawing paper. The proportions are a bit off, but I like the overall impression.

That is all.

My cats drawn and scanned

27 Mar

I’ve already established my cats just won’t sit still; they are constantly moving (even when they’re asleep). The best method I’ve found so far for drawing them (without copping out to photography) is to sketch them with pencil and trace the best lines with a micron pen.

My cats drawn and scanned

Another experiment I tried on this drawing is to scan the ink drawing with a 1-bit color depth, and use 1200 dpi instead of 300 dpi in gray scale. Now I have 3 GB on this Mac, but it couldn’t handle such a large file. It seems that on import, most image editors convert the image to a full color bitmap (3 bytes per pixel), which simply doesn’t fit inside the available RAM of an image that is in the order of 120,000 by 40,000 pixels (13 GB of RAM when expanded). So, while the 1-bit color space scanned image is 1/24th of that (1 bit per pixel, instead of 24 bits per pixel), you cannot load it into an image editor.

I guess that’s why you still need to scan with grayscale (8 bits per pixel) and don’t use as much dpi.

That is all.