Archive | 7:43 pm

Drawing Unknown Faces, part 41

13 Apr

You may call me naive, but drawing children from above is really hard. Still, it is the obvious way to take a snapshot of your child. Lowering your perspective isn’t want most people who use cameras think of. If the child is in the frame, all is well.

Drawing Unknown Faces, part 41

Only, why was this photo tagged Saxomaphone? I have no idea. Ah well, this post is also tagged with that neologism from the Simpsons. If I recall correctly, Homer says the word almost inaudible through his teeth, because he is mad about the instrument being so expensive.

I found the photo this sketch is based on via the Flickr photo search engine, on the keyword “Saxomaphone”.

That is all.


Drawing Unknown Faces, part 40

13 Apr

One thing I keep forgetting is that after a few minutes of using a wood-encased pencil, you need to sharpen its point. The lines slowly grow wider and fuzzier, and suddenly, when you need to, you can’t draw the finer details anymore.

Drawing Unknown Faces, part 40

That was the problem I had with this toddler girl. Besides that, I had drawn her eyes too small. After correcting that, the point had become to blunt. Sharpening was the best solution for that.

The sketch is based on a photo I grabbed from the Flickr public photo stream.

That is all.

Drawing Unknown Faces, part 39

13 Apr

I was wondering why a technical pencil –which really isn’t meant for artist’s drawings– for me gave so much better results than wood-encased artist’s pencils. Today I happened to see a diagram in “The Pencil” by Henry Petroski, which completely changed how I sharpen my pencil points from now on.

I don’t use a regular pencil sharpener, because it cuts away too much of the pencil wood, which I think is too wasteful. I rather cut away the wood, exposing the pencil lead, with a sharp hobby knife, and grind the lead to a point with some sanding paper stapled on a block (you can buy those blocks in an art supply shop).

However, not knowing better, I did my grinding left to right, relative to the length of the pencil, rolling it around its longitudinal axis. Petroski describes in his book with a diagram (I haven’t read the text yet), that the pencil lead becomes brittle if you do it like that. The proper procedure for grinding a point to a pencil lead is to move the pencil forwards and backwards, while rolling it around its longitudinal axis. I confirmed that the point now hasn’t any of the brittleness I experienced before, and remains sharp much longer than with the “wrong” procedure.

Enthused by this finding, I found a photo of a woman on Flickr, and started sketching her. Although I had to re-sketch some of it, and the sketch took me 60 minutes, I only had to sharpen the HB lead three times, roughly every 20 minutes.

Drawing Unknown Faces, part 39

So, now I have a renewed interest in the wood-encased pencil. Not that I’m getting rid of my mechanical pencil, because it has served me well and is very predictable. That is because, unlike wood-encased pencils, it has a fixed length. A specialized artist’s pencil, however, draws much smoother and gives finer control over the markings than a mechanical pencil.

The sketch is based on a photo I grabbed from the Flickr public photo stream.

That is all.

Drawing Unknown Faces, part 38

13 Apr

So another ballpoint pen drawing, where it isn’t possible to correct any huge mistakes. Of course, I made some of those mistakes, but the overall impression is not that bad. The likeness with the original photo is very low, though.

Drawing Unknown Faces, part 38

I guess I have to muddle through this frustrating phase where you know you can do so much better, if only your skills were just a little bit better. On to the next sketch, I guess. A point to remember, though, is to put somewhat more consideration in the drawing before putting your markings on the paper. I’ve done some of that thinking-before-drawing, but obviously not yet enough to get a passable likeness with the original.

This sketch was made using a photo I grabbed from the Flickr public photo stream.

That is all.

Drawing Unknown Faces, part 37

13 Apr

The photo I used to make this sketch was obviously part of a series of fashion photos. The pose wasn’t easy, but I managed somehow to get the expression right, although the proportions are still a bit off.

Drawing Unknown Faces, part 37

I guess once you get the impression of “right, I can do this easily, I’m done”, is when you either should start doing something else, or take another look at your drawings a few weeks later. There will always remain parts in your drawing you’re not satisfied with.

This is something what you need to get used to, I guess. Making mistakes is part of what makes it hard to create a drawing from life, and therefore so much more satisfactory (which is a deeper and longer lasting emotion than fun) if you get something that is enjoyable to watch, even though it isn’t an exact match of what you saw in front of you. I guess this is when copying becomes an artistic impression. It isn’t even something you do on purpose, it just happens, because your imagination kicks in and you make something that is stronger than verbatim copying.

I’m not yet at that point, unfortunately. I still need to get a little bit better to call what I’ve drawn somewhat good, and not  the “Kindergarten drawing”, which this drawing is to me right now.

The sketch is based on a photo I grabbed from the Flickr public photo stream.

That is all.

Drawing Unknown Faces, part 36

13 Apr

This was more an exercise in “how to save a drawing that was wrong from the start?” The expression in this young lady’s face was so alien to me, that it was giving me a hard time to get the proportions right. When I understood I had done it all wrong, I didn’t start all over (as I used to do), but instead continued to make a somewhat funny drawing.

Drawing Unknown Faces, part 36

I guess if you plan in making caricatures eventually, this is a skill you must have, to make unity in something that has no unity, at least, something that couldn’t exist in reality.

This sketch was loosely based on a photo I found through the Flickr public photo stream.

That is all.

Toy Lion, take 2

13 Apr

I decided to have another go at drawing a toy lion I have. I once bought it for my cats, but they hardly look at it, unless I spray some catnip on it.

Toy Lion, take 2

If I compare this with my drawing of the same toy lion two months ago (February 17, Toy lion), which also took 15 minutes to make, I can see what a huge progression I have made in those 8 weeks.

To think that in the book I’m using to learn how to draw I haven’t read more than 10 of the 200+ pages. It can only mean I will get so much better. I guess this also applies to other people. If you just keep drawing, eventually you will get better at it, even if you’re a slow and stubborn learner like myself.

Perhaps I should apologize for not having drawn yesterday. I was just so tired and needed some R&R to recover. Drawing should be fun, never become routine or something you have to do (e.g. to keep your blog stats up high). I have to remember this is my personal blog and I can post as often or as seldom as I feel is appropriate.

That is all.