I have been wanting to make something similar to James Gurney’s Taboret since when I first saw it. Last summer I finally got a small drawer from my carpenters, and last months I started renovating and modifying it. This is the end result, I am pretty satisfied with it.
Here is how it looked like before, and while working on it
It’s obviously not as fancy as Gurney’s, but I am planning to make it better as soon as I get more materials
I have been working on the asaro head recently, this time with an added complexity. This is actually the “Classic” model, while the previous one was simplified, and supposed to be memorized. I am actually trying to memorize this as well, although I admit the facets are a lot, and hard to remember.
P.S. I am not drunk, the head actually does have two different sides, one easier, the other more resembling a real face.
I started working on figures alongside the head. The skeleton mannequin is the first one examined at the Watts Atelier, and I admit it’s really interesting to use! It has enough flexibility to convey dynamism and movement, though I admit finding the landmarks is not so easy, nor it is to get the proportions right.
The above are all copied from photos, meaning I had to see “through” the figures, identify the meaningful areas, place and abstract the simplified versions of the bones.
Females are a lot harder to draw, since landmarks are harder to find, while men with a stronger musculature seem a lot easier.
The bottom right female mannequin was an attempt in finding the proportions out of Loomis’ book, Figure Drawing For All it’s Worth, though I admit it looks a bit funky! 😛
Working on heads at the Watts Atelier! I have done at least 2-3 dozens of these heads, and by now I believe I memorized them enough to draw them without having the reference.
I found it quite challenging actually, because of the lack of enough landmarks in the first place, but also because the head is not exactly following the rule of thirds (the muzzle part is a little taller than it should).
Overall I am pretty satisfied with it. I will spare you the first embarassing ones 😀 These are the last. Moving onto the Reilly Head Abstraction now!
Continuing on my skull studies, I am trying to grasp the structure so I made a few studies focusing on that, as well as trying to recall from memory:
And later continued with copies from the watts atelier
The key in these last ones was to get more of the shadow mapping, rather than real structure as in the first image. Pose number 3 (bottom left) was by far the hardest one to get, for some reason, together with number 2 (top, center)
Going through Head phase I at the Watts Atelier. I am dealing with nasty skulls, and so far I admit I am quite enjoying the lessons. I don’t really like having to copy Jeff’s shadow mapped versions of them, but rather prefer copying from photos or my own skull. Right, I do have a skull, apart from the one that makes up my head 😛
And no, I did not steal it from a grave, it’s a plastic cast! Readers, meet Murray:
Here are some copies from the photos given in the handouts:
In the front view, I later noticed the skull was too large, so I tried to shrink it while drawing Murray:
I skipped posting the wrong version of Murray, the two above are the same at two different stages of completion. After the three quarters view I will do next, I will move to the simple Asaro Head.
Last week I started what’s gonna be a long (no, really) journey at the Watts Atelier.
For those of you who don’t know it, it’s simply the best online school where to learn how to draw and paint in an academic, traditional way. It’s pretty expensive, but worth every single penny.
The method itself is hard to grasp since the very beginning, starting from how to sharpen a pencil:
Which is a lot more difficult than it seems, using a razor blade. Yes, a razor blade, that it. Phew! I didn’t break any so far, the shorty over there has just fallen from the desk.
The next step, which will last ages, is learning how to use it. It’s not so obvious as the crafty little tool can be used in a variety of ways, to produce a number of different strokes and broad shading:
These are full 12″ by 18″ sheets of smooth newsprint full of warmup strokes. The warmup consists in long line exercises, as well as ovals. And tryst me, drawing ovals IS difficult. Especially with this pencil. Apart from being necessary to get the necessary focus, these exercises are fundamental to get the handle of the oddly sharpened pencil.
I completed phase one, with the following assignments on simple shapes (the negative shapes one, bottom of the page, is actually from phase 2):
Wrapping it up: I am totally enthusiast of this course, I can’t wait to get to the real juice with head and figure drawing. I also started with Gouache Phase I, but I will post the complete first batch when I will be done with the first painting.
I have been thinking of making a painting out of this scene for the last… 9 years? I guess so.
I didn’t pay much attention to fine details, since everything will be covered with opaque oil painting soon, but still, I tried to be as precise as possible on the main shapes of both summons, as well as the town. I did modify a couple of things compared to the original, as I felt it was a bit too bulky on the rooftops and chimneys.
I’ve been using Artur Guptill’s Sketching and Rendering in Pencil recently. Quite an informative book, especially if you don’t have an academical art background, like me.
The first part deals with the importance of painstaking accuracy in line drawing. I feel I sometimes lack the speed I need to quickly measure and report big shapes of what I draw. Therefore, following his example, I took an old shoe of mine (though it’s not so worn out) and drew it. The full drawing took a lot, like 4 hours, to be completed.
I first blocked in the big masses, constantly taking my drawing near the subject to compare it. It’s useful to strive for precision just by eyeballing, as I noticed measuring too much with the thumb on the pencil is not only time consuming, but not precise enough to base the drawing on it.
Then I worked (really) slowly to getting more and more details in, till getting to this final result: The point of the final drawing would be to exploit the true “character” and “mood” of the object.