Sunday, December 19, 2010

Semester Review (Final Post)

   Well, ladies and gentlemen, here we are at last- the end of the Fall 2010 semester. Man oh man, these months went by quick. I'd like to try and pull something deep and philosophical out of my ass to make this post sound meaningful, but as is the nature of a procrastinator, I am on yet another all-nighter and can't seem to think quite as clearly as I want. Therefore, without further ado, let's skip the introductions and get this thing rollin'!

 Oh, where to start? Well, I guess a good place would be a comparison of me when I started this class to me now. I'll definitely admit that I have learned a considerable amount about human figure drawing, which is awesome on a personal level, since all throughout high school (and even somewhat before that), I've wanted to learn how to draw people better. I tried teaching myself and got okay at it, but I wanted more skill, skill that could only come from an actual life drawing class, and now here I am. My first life drawing class under my belt, and I can honestly say.... that I'm still nowhere near where I want to be, but hey, what did I expect, right? At the very least, I now feel more comfortable with new drawing techniques and am substantially more patient when it comes to longer drawings. I've learned how to better resist the temptation to make every line perfect and can appreciate what drawing simple gestures can teach me. I understand forms better than I ever have and now know the huge rewards of using subtle line variation to express those forms. I am a better artist overall for having taken Life Drawing I, but there's still a ridiculous amount of room for improvement. This has been a major and much wanted step in the right direction for me, and I don't see any reason whatsoever to stop now.

 On a side note, I'd like to show you my final drawing of the semester, Shell 4. Although, I think the name sHELL would be more appropriate. You see, after having been gypped out of my brick red ink during the last shell (thanks to some massive, idiotic packaging error) I was hell-bent this time around to get some red.... and create some fricking havoc with it. The gore fest of a drawing you see here is what happens when you mix carmine with just a tiny little bit of black and lay ink to page while recalling the bloodiest scenes of a number of slasher flicks. Beautiful, isn't it? (^  -  ^)

 By the way, here's the link to my Flickr account...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Week 14 (12/5/2010 - 12/11/2010)

   Wow, here we are- the second to last week of the whole semester. Man, this class went by fast! No time for good-byes yet, though. At the cost of a lot of good sleep (at least at night), I managed to get a number of things done this week, the coolest of which is Shell Drawing number 3! Woo hoo! Even as I write this I am reeling from another all-nighter, so how about we go ahead and wrap this thing up quick tonight, k?

   Ah, here we go- my favorite subject of drawing-study... hands. Annie and I were "modeling" for each other here, and as you can clearly see, I was paying full attention the whole time. This certainly isn't the worst set of hands I've ever drawn, I can tell you that right now, although, where hands are concerned, I doubt I will be satisfied for a very long time, regardless of how good they may end up. The sheet got flipped at some point, so you may have to do some rotation if you want to see each pose as it was originally drawn, since I know you won't be able to move any farther down this post without doing so...

   I walked into the classroom late this day and started hastily sketching out what everyone else was drawing- A SKULL!!! Because I went so fast, I distorted the upper jaw proportions a little bit and missed a number of other things as well, so I continued on another sheet...but didn't finish the other drawing, so here's what we have. At least you can tell its a skull, right? The cranium actually looks pretty good, in my opinion, even if it is probably the easiest part of the whole skull to draw. Definitely need to explore this a little more but some time later. Now, comes the post's coup de grĂ¢ce...

   Yea! That's what I'm talking about! This one's arguably better than even the first shell drawing, although since this one comes with its own ink wash, it's not exactly a fair comparison. I did my best to avoid going the same old grid-style that I did with the other two, instead opting for contour lines that look like actual cracks in the shell's surface. The ink itself is a funny story- I went to the art store get supplies and picked up a bottle of brick red ink. When I opened the vial later, the color that you see above is what came out. Although mildly disappointed, I soldiered on through the drawing and am actually very pleased with the ending results. I managed to pretend that the outline on the round part of the shell is a contour, since it dips occasionally to make it look like the shell's layers. The new line style and the combination of black and green inks turned out great. Let's hope number 4 is just as good!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Week 13 (11/28/2010 - 12/4/2010)

   This is a very special post. Although it is the 13th one, which should be taken as an ill-omen, this post marks the first time that I'm actually completely caught up with all of my blog posts! Woot! This week also marks the addition of shoulder blades to our figures. These are not easy to do, since there are two of them, they can change position independent of one another, and unless the pose causes them to protrude or the model is exceptionally bony, they are often difficult to locate. Here's how this experience went down for me...

   Right off the bat, you'll have to forgive me for the poor picture quality- I was using a shitty point and shoot camera that I didn't realize was so shitty at the time. Anyway, you see those triangles on the backs of some of the figures? There they are- the shoulder blades. These are about as hard, if not harder, to draw than the pelvis, which I still don't have down pat. Some of these aren't half bad, actually. Definitely going to need more practice, though.

   This one is special to me- it's one of the only times in class that I've drawn gestures straight from my head, which, as I've stated before, is my primary goal in drawing. Well, at least the top four poses are all imagined; the bottom-left is actually my attempt at drawing Annie while she was concentrating on the model. I wasn't ignoring the assignment at hand; I had already finished it. Take a peek below...

   Hell yes! I love how this turned out. While almost everyone else was drawing Katharina from the front, I got to continue the scapula lesson by staying behind her. Even though I think I did a great job with the contours and everything else on her back, my personal favorite has to be the head. The hair flows in the proper directions, the ear and jaw are in the right places, and the neck connects to the rest of it perfectly. All things considered, I am very proud of this work.

Week 3 (9/19/2010 - 9/25/2010)

    Well, here it is- the post to end all posts... in terms of the number of drawings that are in it. Herein lies a motherload of 10 drawings of whose exact dates of creation I am uncertain, but they need a place in the blog, so here they shall be posted for all to see throughout eternity. Let's get started!

   Wow. Come to think of it, this one might have actually been made during the first week. Notice the lack of spine? Yea, that wasn't really tolerated after, at most, the second week. I'm clearly focusing on the details too much despite the short time limits granted each pose, plus I remember, after a short while, I started fitting multiple poses into a single square to maximize space. It's interesting to see how far I've come in only a few months.

   And yet another early gesture drawing... This one's kind of strange, though- I recognize how primitive it is in terms of the technique I used to create it, but for some reason I can't bring myself to not like it. The amorphous forms seem less like mistakes and more like intentional stylization, even though they are, in reality, the former. My favorite has got to be the one in the top-left, I guess because it looks the most accurate. You'll notice the line through the bottom-right, which was a half-assed attempt at using a proportion aid.

   Here we go- now we start seeing the spine, but we're still not to the ribcage yet. I'm particularly drawn (pun possibly intended) to both poses on the right half of the paper. They're extremely exaggerated, like they should be, and just feel alive to me, capturing not necessarily the exact image of the flesh but the nature of the flesh.

   While mostly bereft of content, this piece contains, virtually, my first attempt at purposely creating variation in my lines, which you can see on the left side of the page. The incomplete figure is mostly accurate, too. The faceless head really feels like it's turning toward you, thanks to the creases in the neck and the edge of the jaw and ear.

   My only reason for even choosing to save this drawing in digital format might be the pose in the bottom-right. There's nothing else on the page that appeals to me, but it's obvious that this was me in my transition from no-base to spines.

   This is another "transition to spines" piece, in which I also started experimenting with stick limbs. I even tried using some pseudo rib cages. I'm not sure why I really like this one; probably something to do with the largest, center figure.

    Hmm... Ok, there's a small problem with these two- I didn't start doing contour drawings until the 4th week, and I'm almost positive that these were done on the same day, so I really have no idea where they came from. ...meh, s'all the same to me. I like the top one for the contours, but it doesn't have the size of the bottom one. They both have nice line variation and use of shape and form, too.

Week 2 (9/12/2010 - 9/18/2010)

   More make up! Since the week 3 post is going to cover all the drawings I've done from weeks 2 and 3, I'll use this post to show you fine ladies and gentlemen, yet again, what kinds of artistic skills I want to hone. If, after this post, you still haven't figured out that I like anime/manga and the drawing styles they entail, then please to go and earn yourself a nice, shiny Darwin Award. Thank you from all of us.


   This time around, I'm looking at the fine work of Japanese deviantARTist ALF874. The above work is titled "a half-beast girl" and wins my seal of approval on so many levels. I mean, come on- its a super strong, cat-like female whose holding a pile of what are probably tank scraps above her head with her right hand and carrying a monstrous Gatling gun, ammo drum included, in her left hand! This thing just drips cool! 
 What I want to talk about specifically, in relation to Life Drawing, is ALF874's knowledge of musculature. Almost every female he draws has significantly well-defined muscles like the half- beast girl here, and the best part is that they always feel appropriate, never to bulky or out of control, probably because a large number of the girls he draws are anthropomorphic beasts/demons like this one.

   Titled "waterfall", this is definitely one of my favorites of ALF874's works. The origin of the tail was placed a little high, in my opinion, but everything else works out great. Again we see extensive use of musculature, even on such a slender frame as hers (that's beast chicks for ya). My favorite part, though, has to be the tattooing. The designs have a wild, arcane feeling to them and perfectly accent the subject's obvious ferality. I've actually designed a character myself who has similar tattoos covering her entire body. After seeing these, however, I can tell there's quite a bit I still could afford to learn.

Week 1 (9/5/2010 - 9/11/2010)

   Make up time! Wow, bet you never thought you'd see a post for week 1 all the way after week 12, did ya? Diligence is obviously my strongest suit. In any case, as was the issue with weeks 8 and 9, so is it with weeks 1 to 3; I have a bunch of drawings sitting in a folder on my computer from those first 3 weeks but very little certainty as to which of those weeks I created them in. I actually have a pretty good idea about week 1, so this post will actually be accurate, but I will have to combine the drawings of weeks 2 and 3 like a sick, mutant lab experiment full of anguish and fail. Alright, let's take a peek back at what that first week was like...

   I might as well start with the most rudimentary, and most frustrating, works of the semester- the blind drawings. Yes indeed, we had to draw our new shells without ever looking at the paper. On the first one we could use multiple lines; the second one, we couldn't lift the pencil off the paper at all. Fun stuff. Although it was just an exercise to get our drawing styles more loosened up, it still sucked to do, and everyone hated it.

   Wow, take a look at this fine masterpiece. How did I ever manage to fit 3 whole lines into each of these squares? It's mind-boggling! Ok, I'll stop being retarded; of the many first times Amy had us concentrate solely on the the curvature of the spine, the foundation for every one our our drawings to come, this is my favorite example. They may just be lines, but hey, it's still technically art, right?


These are, bar none, the best things that came out of the first week. We did these right after the blind drawings, and I forget what the rules for these were, but they were obviously less restrictive. Drawing contours was almost just as frustrating, which made me finish it fairly quickly. Thank god I'd never have to do that again, right? ...oh wait.