Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Figures, and a little narcissism

skulls and gestures

Life drawing I has been a great learning experience for me. My drawings have benefited in several ways: I've gotten better control of the structure and proportions of the human body, I've renewed a looser drawing technique, and I've gotten a better variation in line wheight and value. The biggest gain for me has been learning all the parts of the body. Knowing the actual anatomy makes it a lot easier to use landmarks on the body and therefore get a more proportionate drawing. It brings a lot more life into the drawing when the pose is very natural and not awkward. One thing that helped me in that department was gesture drawing. It loosened up my drawings so much, and helped give the more lively pose/gesture to the drawing. Using a good variety in line weight and value brings a lot of life to the drawing as well. I had been in the habit of doing dark outlines in many of my drawings, but once I started adding lighter tones, it pushed the depth of the drawing a lot more.

All in all, Life Drawing has been a very favorable experience. The level of my drawings has increased much more than I would have expected. I can't wait to take Life Drawing II.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Merry Christmahanaquanza

Well, it's that time of year again. The holiday seasons are upon us along with all the hustle and bustle. I did this Christmas card of my girlfriend and myself that'll be getting sent out pretty quick here. This was a pretty fun piece to do. I was hoping to get a Norman Rockwell, Christmas nostalgia feel. It's no Rockwell by any means, but I'm pretty happy with it. I haven't gotten a chance to do much coloring in photoshop this semester, which I dont mind too much. I normally prefer to color my drawings more traditionally with watercolors, but this drawing lent itself pretty well to the digital tools.

On a side note, after taking my first life drawing class, I have a much greater appreciation for the work of Norman Rockwell, and many other artists and illustrators. His ability to capture the candid moments, expressions, vitality, and life of his subjects was simply astounding. It comes as no surprise that Rockwell is by far the most successful and well respected illustrator in American history.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Sketch Dumperoo

For whatever reason, I haven't been doing much sketching lately. I think it's been close to two weeks since I even opened my sketchbook. Most likely due to schoolwork, and Thanksgiving break and the like. But today I finally got to sit down for a bit and do a few. Each of the above took around 10-20 minutes. The first is of my little brother, then a Jack Black, Ben Stiller(s), and a George Lucas. I was pretty happy with all the likenesses. One thing about sketching, at least for me, is that I need to constantly be drawing, otherwise it takes a bit more to warm up and get into it. At times, doing so might feel more like a chore, but I find that once I force myself to sit down and do a sketch, it's harder to put the pencil/pen down than it was to start.

I encourage everyone to listen to this podcast by Stephen Silver on his philosophies about sketchbooks. Stephen is an amazing character designer who is the lead character designer for Kim Possible, Clerks, and art director for Danny Phantom. He stresses the importance of sketching as a tool to better your drawing skills.