Tag Archives: sketch

Faces on the iPad

15 Oct

I tried a few portraits from a book called “Facial Expressions” by Mark Simon. As you can see, the top left one is my first, while the bottom one is my third sketch.

Faces on iPad

It always take me some time to get accustomed to drawing faces, especially on a strange device like an iPad, using an app that’s a bit lagging on the original iPad.

It’s the usual “big shapes first, smaller shapes next.”

More figure drawing

12 Jun

Here is a figure sketch based on a fashion photo, in which I tried to draw in two steps, a design phase for the overall structure of the figure and a refinement phase, in which I concentrate more on the details.

Clothed figure sketch 15 2011/06/12

It’s still a rough sketch, made in 20 minutes, but I think you can see I’ve done a few dozen sketches (short, 7 minutes long each). The drawing looks more considered, more thought-through. There’s still room for improvement, quite a bit, actually, as there always is. Still, I think I captured the idea of the pose.

I will be doing more of these brief sketches, to develop a feel for proportions. Of course, the drawing above isn’t very well suited for that, because the figure isn’t standing upright, so it’s harder to check the proportions.

One could argue why not do unclothed figure sketches? I’m surely want to do those too, but good (non-pornographic) images are less frequent than good fashion photos on the Internet. Also, it’s much easier to ask someone to pose for me with her or his clothed on than without, in real life I mean. Typical clothed figure rates are 10 euros per hour (if I go by the rates my local community college uses). My guess is that nude models are much more expensive, but I could be wrong.

I’m still not confident enough to hire models, though, so for now I’m trying to improve my skills by using photos and short candid pose sketches (people in public spaces). Alas, the rates for the figure sketching course at my local community college has gone up this year (now 16 euros per 2 hour lesson, excluding modeling costs), so I’m unable to attend those, as I had planned.

Using the TV Guide as your guide (part 2)

2 Mar

I’ve been drawing more famous people from my local TV guide (print version). I’m doing this to improve my portrait drawing skills. The low quality of the print ensures that I need to add some of my own interpretation. Furthermore, after the two-week break of the portrait class in my local community college, I want to impress people with the progress I can do on my own.

Albert Verlinde7
7. I didn’t use an eraser for drawing this portrait of Albert Verlinde, so that I would force myself to look carefully before I draw, as well as learn how to correct mistakes without an eraser.

John Wayne (non eraser art)8
8. Another drawing done without an eraser, this time of Western movie star John Wayne.

Lee Van Cleef9
9. I wanted to try two things here: use a colored pencil for an underdrawing, and use a technique to check if your drawing is correct from Bridgman. The first one failed (I couldn’t get the pencil markings to cover the Pentel lead), but the second one succeeded.

Basically it’s like this:

  1. draw a straight line through the root and base of the nose
  2. draw a straight line perpendicular to line 1, going through the base of an ear
  3. draw a “line” from the widest point of the cheek bone to the highest part of the chin
  4. draw a straight line through the intersection point of lines 2 and 3, and the base of the nose

All features (mouth, nose, eyes, ears, etc.) should line up with line 4.

I could see I had made a mistake, and after checking the 4 lines on the original, I was able to correct the drawing.

The pipe is a mess, though. While I drew it, I saw how it was constructed. Sorry.

Drawing from my TV guide
10. The disadvantage of drawing from low quality photos is that you need to do a lot of interpretation. Even so, the human figure is the human figure and there is some logic to its shape. It is finding this logic which puzzles me. Sometimes I get it, most of the times I don’t.

I started the sketch by drawing a block as the forehead, a plane underneath it, representing the cheek area, the cylinder of the teeth, and a horse shaped lower jaw. This might seem basic to some of you experienced artist, but for me it still is a big mystery.

Cameron Diaz from my TV guide11
11. This is what can happen if you just start drawing. Well, I did some preparation, but I didn’t do enough. A portrait like this, with my current skill level should take at least 3 hours. I took less than 30 minutes. No wonder it is all wonky.

Even in portrait class I often need 30 to 45 minutes to get the basics right, while others do that in less than a minute. I want to be faster, be I guess I have to be patient.

For the moment I’m just slow.

12. This was a warm-up sketch and drawing from my TV guide, which had a special about Westerns. I think I have never seen this movie, but judging from the description I wouldn’t like it very much, because of the excessive violence.

When making the sketch, I first tried to carefully draw the contours, looking for landmarks, angles and basic anatomy. Even so, I got the left of the drawing completely wrong and had to redraw it while the rest of the drawing was already done. This meant the chin is much too big, although it doesn’t seem too noticeable. In fact, it makes it even stronger than the original photo. The 3D perspective is off as well.

So while there is a lot of things wrong with this drawing, it still is a strong image, because I did pay so close attention to making it look impressive.

13. In modern Westerns, women aren’t the passive and cute beings anymore, but bad behaving actors that can sling a gun as well as any male cowboy.

To be continued…

Laura Vandervoort in uncanny valley

1 Mar

I’m trying to make a piece that would be worthy to be added to the thread on The Drawing Board.org about Laura Vandervoort. So I’ve downloaded some images from Google Image Search and tried to copy them. The first two went kind of so-so, but the third has a pose which I don’t seem able to draw. Some would say to try something else, but I want to get to the bottom of this, because I’m having similar problems when I’m doing portrait drawing of models on my community college, once a week. Poses are tough to catch for me.

Below you can see what I’ve done so far, today and yesterday. The versions get somewhat better with each new attempt, but still no soup for me. It’s uncanny valley to the n-th degree, and I want out!

My guess is that it will take about 30 versions (10 days) before I’m able to draw something that doesn’t take you out of the drawing because it looks odd. Still 8 days to go. The drawings take anything between 30 minutes to 3 hours, depending on how much I’m in the zone. My guess is that the whole project will take 50 hours, at least.

And then I still have to make a drawing that is worthy to be put in the forum thread. That will probably mean I have to spend an equal amount of time on other photos, until I’m able to draw Supergirl from imagination, and use photos as reference instead of copying them.

To be continued…

laura vandervoort 3alaura vandervoort 3blaura vandervoort 3claura vandervoort 3dlaura vandervoort 3elaura vandervoort 3f

Portrait Course, lesson # 21

14 Feb

Since the beginning of the portrait course (well, actually earlier) I had trouble seeing at a distance and close by. I needed glasses to correct this, but never had the money saved up, until I had a lucky break recently. This was the first time I used my next spectacles for drawing class.

Portrait Course 2011-02-14 # 11
1. First initial sketch. Well, I already did some warm-up sketches.

Portrait Course 2011-02-14 # 22
2. Finished sketch, done with Conté pencil and charcoal sticks.

So how did it go? Well, it was somewhat easier to see everything, but my field of view has become very much narrower, which isn’t always helpful with a big sheet of paper to draw on (I needed to take some steps back a lot of times to get an overview). And of course, the subtleties of portrait drawing are very much the same as before. You really need to concentrate to get it right.