Friday, January 09, 2009

Daily Sketch 6: Baby kissing mirror

Original Image.

Analysis: There were two slight shifts in my sketching technique today that I'm going to try to incorporate in all further sketches. First, I noticed I'd been using a lot of short, stiff strokes to lay out the basic form. Second, I was randomly laying in shading all over the form, resulting in minimal shading over a large area. After watching a video of another illustrator sketching using very fluid, quick, loose strokes to lay in the form, he then went back and shaded only the focal point, leaving the rest of the sketch very loose. Over all, I think that is the best option for me. The loose, let-the-pencil-flow from the center out is something I learned in drawing class and I'm already pretty good at doing...if the subject is a child, like the one here. Children are all round with dynamic poses and I like their proportions better then adults. I think this sketch was fairly successful, although it looks more like she's kissing an older sibling with a flat nose then her own reflection. Also if you tilt my image slightly to the left (or your head to the right) the position of the head relative to the body is more accurate.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Daily Sketch 5: Hand holding flower

Original Image.

Analysis: As my first hand, I picked a fairly difficult one. It has a LOT of character but it is a relatively flat palm; not the most dynamic of hand shapes. Even still, I should have flowed the pencil across the page more, feeling out the overall shape and rhythm. I particularly like the graceful curve of the palm/first finger and the v it makes with the thumb. I erased and redrew the fingers just like I erased and redrew last night. I don't know if that made it better or worse. My proportions are a little wonky and the image is stiff. Need more practice.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Daily Sketch 4: Asian Profile

Original Image.

Analysis: Just. Plain. Bad.

So much so, in fact, that I chose to repeat the exercise and try again. The first image was going well until I thought that the chin was too long. Instead of doing the intelligent thing and fixing the chin, I chose to erase the completely drawn out ear and push the ear back. Wrong idea. After doing so, I had no drawn ear, no more neck, and the chin was STILL too long for the face. Overall, the face was too flat.

Attempt 2: Much better, even if I never did get to draw any hair. She actually looks like a decent looking human now rather than a badly proportioned alien masquerading as a human. I think the corner of the lips should be further left, and I only got to lay in rough shading. I will have to draw more asian faces. They have such subtle shapes that it really is a lot about shading (once you lay in the correct form, of course)

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Daily Sketch 3: Man in hat

Original image.

Analysis: This guy was a fun face to draw, he had character. I got to shade some today, and I actually got a little bit of the beard in this time! I think it's because his face is not my 'standard shaped face' that I always end up drawing without a photo reference. I think my drawing of him is also happier than the original image. Areas that need work: right side of face...the cheek is too concave, and the jaw juts out slightly to the right. Also the shading under the chin was laid in to harshly at first and I couldn't refine as well as I would have liked to. Need to get all the cast shadows darker, but particularly the ones under the brim of the hat, since that is practically the focal point of the image. Another random thing is that i don't like the shading on the background...should have shaded it out more or let it fade on the outer edge.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Daily Sketch 2: Glasses

Original image.


Spent more time working on the tangents much so that I didn't even start shading! Really, i started being too picky with the shape of the mouth and the nose (and yet the mouth still needs to shift right more. I also think that i'm making the edge 'curves' too deep, they're very soft and subtle in the picture. The eyes are also a bit off. I didn't fully get the sassy glance down, either. Did have fun with the messy hair, though.

The purple coloring was done after the timer to just lay in the hand briefly, and make adjustments I felt were needed.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Man with big nose

Original image.

Not bad for my first sketch. I need a sharper pencil (or to have my pencil sharpener handy. Totally missed the mustache, and the whole mouth/jaw area needs more detailing/wrinkles. He looks like he got a face lift in my sketch. Ear is too small, too high, and too close to other facial features. I need to work on placement of features by adding my tangents in more before I start shading. Overall, pretty happy with the nose and eye although the bridge should be slightly wider.

New Year's Resolution

Even though it is not New Year's eve/day, there's still time to make a resolution. I've been thinking about it and I decided that I wasn't going to make a whole list of fancy resolutions that would attempt for a few days/weeks and then the resolution dribbles away into nothing.

I only have one true resolution that I would really like to do: work on more artwork. I've seen many cases of an ok artist developing amazing drawing skills just by constantly drawing. Case in point: Megatokyo. Look at the artwork of Fred Gallagher's first volume and look at his skill now. Even he admits he wasn't the greatist at figure drawing when he started. With my own art, I have definitely seen a marked change in my skill level when I started college to what I work on today. However with my full-time job as a graphic designer, I have let my skills dribble down to the occasional illustration (maybe one every 3-4 months) and I rarely sketch anymore. And sketching is where you come up with some of the best ideas sometimes. Also, I continually laud the fact that I can't draw hands and faces as well as I should.

That being said, my resolution is to spend 15 minutes (timed) a day on a random sketch of hands or faces and post each sketch to my blog. To encourage that I stick with the project, if I fail to post for 3 days in a row (except in times when we're traveling for vacation) we will cancel our cable. So look forward to the sketches, and I will be looking forward to seeing the progression of my skill over a year's time.