Since my last entry, I have been working away in fits and starts. Managed to get into the habit of daily sketching in February, and am continuing onwards. So I think it's about time I resumed posting in the good old digital journal. :)
Back in October, I enrolled in CGMA's eight week Intro to Perspective Class, taught by Derek Kosol and Robert Saint Pierre. When the completed assignments were uploaded to the student gallery for our first week of critiques, I saw that the other students were way more advanced than I was. This made me wonder if the class content itself would be too far beyond my skill level.
But as it turned out, I probably could have pushed myself harder than I did. Now don't get me wrong, the lessons were challenging, and I didn't even attempt nearly the level of detail or complex subject matter the advanced students did (not that I would've known how). However, there were times when I think I chose a safer building than I should have. The class ultimately did encourage me to be braver in my exploration and learning, though, because I never thought I would be able to learn as much as I did in those two months.
Before the class, my usual response to impressive art was overawe. I mean, I don't know how to draw a realistic looking castle. So when an artist has done so, I am rightly impressed by his or her efforts. I'd browse critique request threads on art forums and wonder what could possibly be wrong with, what I considered, a magnificent digital painting. Now, I could tell MY OWN work was off. There was no doubt there. But why was it off? And how exactly?
In hopes of figuring this out, I watched as many of the other students' critique videos as I had time for. (If your work was practically perfect, the critiques were a minute or two. The longest critiques were around ten minutes.) Having aspects of drawing such as value, and lighting, and perspective, and scale broken down and explained through critique, was enormously helpful. Now that my art vocabulary has grown, I can at least put into words what might be wrong with a piece, if I manage to recognize it.
And, furthermore, listening to the critiques of the students who were making professional quality work (or were already pros), reminded me that learning never stops, and that mistakes aren't to be feared. Speaking of mistakes...
The final assignment was a tricky three point perspective piece. Above, you can see my first attempt to block out the hotel I had decided to draw. Unfortunately, I had placed the building too close to the horizon line, and too far to the left of the center line, resulting in distortion.
Here's the corrected drawing:
I highly recommend CGMA to anyone interested. The teachers were excellent, and they covered more principles and techniques than I expected they would (we learned to draw symmetrical spaceships, and plot shadows). Just be sure you understand how to use Photoshop (or Manga Studio) efficiently, if you decide to take the perspective class, because it's essential you know how to manipulate ellipses and things.
Matching horizon lines and eye levels,
Haven't gotten into a rhythm of daily drawing yet, but I thought it was about time I post some of what I've done thus far. Been bouncing back and forth between Loomis's Fun with A Pencil exercises, and the assignments from Matt Kohr's Traditional Drawing Unplugged Series.
I think I'm finally starting to get why Loomis builds the face the way he does. When I first attempted these a few years ago, I'd just look at his final lines, and copy them, entirely missing the point. The shapes create a form, a guide over which to place the lines. It's making sense.
Boobface was my first attempt at adding weight to a face using this method. Should've probably referenced the man to the upper right of her, instead of going with cheek implants... >.<
Matt Kohr's video lessons are SO AWESOME. Even though I have only watched the first few visual measuring videos and done the assignments, I'm already seeing improvement in my approach to drawing. If you're a beginner, go watch them! They are expertly concise (catering to short attention spans, heh), and cover only one concept at a time. I find this helpful because I can go practice fhe assignments as long as I need to in order to grasp the lesson before moving on.
I found myself a little empty box to practice with (Kohr suggests a cell phone, I don't have one). I think I'll keep it around, and do these regularly. Haha, while I was focusing on measuring the angles, I was forgetting about thickness--so, ahem, varies a bit there. xD
In this video, he suggests using a blue pencil to put down your foundational measurements and construction, and then drawing the final lines on top with a micron or pencil or whatever. I like it a lot, because it allows me to draw messily and make mistakes freely, instead of erasing every second line in my perfectionism. So I've been using a blue layer in Manga Studio, too, as you can see throughout this post.
Decided to try some imaginary drawing. Turned out quite badly. xD (Those are supposed to be arms?) Thankfully, I happened to watch Mr. Kohr's video The Learning Curve the next morning. Was reassuring. Without a solid understanding of the basics, it's little wonder my work looks nothing like the version I see in my head. Me and my skipping ahead.Maybe it's like trying to write an epic fantasy novel without ever having studied grammar or history, and in possession of the vocabulary of a five-year-old? If so, then I ought to be patient with myself--and get to work studying the grammar of art.I really need to set aside a time to draw each day, and stick to it. Anyway, however slow the start, I'm excited I've begun. :DSunshine and pencil shavings,
P.S. I know I included Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain in my syllabus, but I don't think I'm really going to use it. I read it ages ago, as a young teenager. Jumpstarted my observational drawing, for sure. I completed a week-long class based on Edward's work when I was 20, so I think I'll just leave it there. I really ought to share my experience with her work, though, so I'll get that post up sometime soon.
P.P.S. I feel weird writing such a detailed diary-style post for the internet. xD Never done this before.
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