Tuesday, January 27, 2015

LIFE DRAWING: Sol Art - Charcoal

Continuing my adventures with charcoal! You'll probably notice I spend much less time drawing figures..unfortunately my focus is shifting towards improving my animation skills, so my only hope really is to just stay level by doing weekly life drawing.

OH...One really IMPORTANT TIP! Doing warm ups before starting a life drawing session  is so useful!  Usually the one minute poses are meant to warm up, but for me the 1 minute poses are actually something I really enjoy doing, so just filling 1 or 2 pages with figures from memory really helps to zone in on drawing the figure.

The model today was also doing some warm ups by stretching so a good opportunity to put in some extra drawings!

And now some 1 minutes, didn't scan all of them this time but the ones I liked. Last week I tried using the side of the charcoal stick, but I didn't really like the results, so I opted for drawing with line. I also drew 2 or 3 figures on an A4 sheet, so it felt like I had more time because drawing small is actually easier and more time efficient.

Now some longer poses from 2 minutes and upwards:

I really like the drawing below...I actually started it 3 times, until I felt I captured the attitude in the initial lines..unfortunately ran out of time on the legs but a little charcoal smudge goes a long way!

The pose below is kind of interesting because I abandoned my first drawing for some reason and then rushed through a second (both A3) that actually looks worse :P

And this was the final pose. I also really like this drawing even though proportionally it's probably all kinds of messed up. Great model today!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

LIFE DRAWING: Sol Art Gallery - Charcoal

So last year I spent a good few months plating around with some new materials, and this year I want to select the ones I liked best and develop my technique with these. The one I see most potential in is charcoal. It allows for really loose drawings, but also has really nice texture and different ways to work tone into my drawings. Tone is something I haven't really explored much.

As usual I post up most or all of my drawings from the session, and I'll try to elaborate a bit on what I like/dislike about certain drawings.

First up a bunch of 1 minute warm ups:

I don't really use charcoal for quickies, so this were probably more focussed on playing with the medium instead of focussing on getting a gesture on the page. On a couple I started with the side of the charcoal stick and others I used the stick as a really clumsy pencil:

The following 3 were the ones I like the most, I really liked the tonal work on the drawing below. Leaving line out really works well to suggest light.

What I would do to get better results on 1 minute gestures with charcoal is to just do lots of experimentation at home working from photo reference or sites like posemaniacs that have a 1 minute timer.

Below 5 minute poses...I drew this A4 sized, which gave me a lot of time to get a finished look:

As we got more time on the poses I switched to A3, which I kind of regret doing, filling up double the size of an A4 kind of takes twice as long. So it might be better to just work small which allows you more time to get a good figure on the page and then have plenty of time to get the tonal work in there. The drawing below would've been completed in 10 minutes, but somebody's phone went off so the model quit the pose early...aarrrghhh :P

Okay...the drawing below is definitely one I would never put in a portfolio or even show to anybody. The figure work is just awkward as hell. BUT...I do really like this drawing because I tried to put some character in the figure, I also managed to get detail in that face using a stick with a  thickness that's half her head's size. The one next to that was also taking a bad turn, I didn't have an eraser so I just flipped the page and did a quick version (below that).

Funny that with more time, I have less information on a time. Two main reasons for that:
- I worked on A3
- In both drawings below I started with the head...which is always a bad idea...I keep doing it but I think you either draw the figure and put time into the face if you have time left OR just make a decision to focus on the head and do a portrait study.

And finally a pose where I put too much charcoal down on the drawing...reminder to myself to bring an eraser next week, so I did a quick 2 minute one at the end which is actually better than the long one(both A3).

Anyway, I probably won't put down as much text next time, but this is always my inner dialogue when reviewing my work. I then hang up the drawings where I did something new and fresh that I'd like to explore more. Next week, more charcoal!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

LIFE DRAWING: Sol Art : Letraset Markers + Charcoal

I've been trying to use a new tool every session, and today some letraset markers. I think I see potential to use it for tone but for line I'm not a big fan:

1 minute gestures (A4 size)

Longer poses worked better since I had the time to put in some mid-tones, I also had a few drawings where I started to push the proportions of the model a bit. She has pretty thick legs, and overall just very physical.

Also had a pose with a back....I just hate looking at a back with no dynamic lightning. So I tried some armstudies.

I had a bad time using charcoal on long poses, but for the arm studies I used the side of the brush on an A3 sheet, definitely like the markmaking.

Below is a 20 minute pose with charcoal I really dislike, upper torso has some good moments but I think I tried to use the charcoal stick as a pencil which is just not working because of the chunky end. I'd either need to do less detail and maybe come in with a charcoal pencil for detail, or euhmm..just go back to using pencil for slow drawings :P

I really like the 2 charcoal drawings below, first one was really quick followed by a 10 minute pose. Most drawings that end up really bad are drawings where I start to draw the face...that's he reason I'm doing headstudies lately, it's an area I am not confident in.

I might continue a bit with charcoal, but I'll also be going back to pencil drawings and maybe some long poses to study the figure instead of focussing on gesture.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Quick Heads

Whenever I have some spare time I try to fill a a page with heads from film or tv series..this is from House of cards. I really think that drawing daily can be that easy, a little doodle on the train, on the couch while watching tv, or even on the toilet..whatever works :D It's always better to do "something" than "nothing".

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Cafe Figure sketches

Sketches done in St. Stephens Green shopping centre, the cafe is on the third floor so when you sit at the window you can draw all the people on the street without them noticing you are drawing them :) Great spot!

I think I'm definitely getting better at these, I think  I need some more mileage but I feel I can start to take these one step further and start pushing personality...that might take another year though :P

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Digital Gesture warmups

Warm ups before doing some drawing:

5 minute pose (shaded in afterwards)

Bunch of 2 minutes, I'm not used to the time anymore. Gotta get back into doing these a bit more regularly.