September 30, 2013

Developing creativity: the 30 circles exercise

Hi all,

Some time ago I decided to look for some Creativity lectures on TED and I came upon this cool lecture presented by Mr. Tim Brown. He talked about several interesting subjects and I strongly urge you to listen to it, it is both funny and inspiring. But what really caught my attention was the 30 circles exercise he presented on min. 10:00. The idea is to fill 30 pre-made circles with anything in a limited time span. The reason for the time limit is to make the sketches intuitive; not to think about the sketch, just sketch.

So I decided to try this exercise myself and that's what I came up with:

I set up the timer for one minute and started the exercise. After a while I've realize that I've been drawing more than a minute ad looked at the watch. Apparently, I only thought that the timer was set. After setting the timer I managed to do only 4 sketches. So basically I filled the top three rows of the list. The rest of them are sketched by my spouse who decided to join the effort :)

I think I will make it a monthly routine, just for the fun of it. The cool thing is that you can do this exercise everywhere - as long as you have some paper and a writing tool, you're good to go.

Then if you want to try this exercise yourself you can download this 30 circles page you see below that I created and have some fun with it (I have no idea why is it so grey...). I myself already printed out several copies of it since I plan to do the exercise on a regular basis.

Have a great day,

September 28, 2013

Drawspace lesson H11: How to draw lips: front.

Hi all,

As we go from a human body to its parts, today we get to draw the lips. The main emphasis of Lesson H11 is not a lip drawing but rather a lip hatching.

This is the sketch.

Since the hatching is full, it took me longer to finish then I expected. It was a nice experience. I made a few mistakes regarding the direction of the hatching but it was easily fixed.

These are the sketches; I would even say studies of the lips given in the lesson.

I didn't do the full shading, since I was primarily interested in the form. I had to explore the perspective and the changes coming with the turn of the head.

I'm not sure I'm pretty happy with these but I can't say they're bad too.

Have a great day,

September 26, 2013

Drawspace lesson H06: How to draw from a Manikin

Hi all.

The following faze is another milestone in my development as an illustrator. Today I will be working on lesson H06 of a Drawspace art program and the subject is Manikin drawing, aka the drawing of a human body. I actually bought a manikin several years ago but I never really got to draw it. Today is the day.

There will be three sketches of a wooden manikin turning into a real boy human - one for an exercise and two for the challenge. So lucky I have the time to do that, as it's not gonna be a simple task.

Let's begin.

There are four stages for this sketch. First - the mapping of the figure. Second - the shaping of the figure. Third - the refining of the sketch. Forth - turning the wooden, mechanically drawn figure into a human one. Since there are so many steps in this drawing I decided to post only the final sketch of each step.

And here they are.
As suggested, I started out with a 2H pencil. First I created a framing rectangle and only then I began to draw.

Step one - 5 minutes!

Step 2 - another 10 minutes!

Step 3 - ten minutes!

And that's the final outline.

The challenge is to draw two more figures in different poses and since I like the challenge I will be using a real manikin and not from the two additional pictures given in the lesson.

And it was hell of a challenge!!!

You can see than none of my two sketches are really finished!!! That's because I simply didn't know at all how I should do the fourth step! Of course it was easy just to copy from the ready-made step-by-step chewed-and-spat sketch but at this point I just couldn't do it myself!
In the first sketch I did go as far as step 3 but in the second I hardly made it through step 2!!!

The conclusion was to leave this as is at this point but to get back to it sometimes later.

For the record, there's an amazing collection of photographs made especially for human body drawing sessions. Enjoy it.

I hope you were more successful than I am with drawing from a manikin.

Have a great day,

September 24, 2013

Drawspace lesson H05: How to draw a cartoon character with Princess Leia's hair

Hi all,

I'm not kidding. Princess Leia was the first thing that came into my mind when I saw the Kim character in Lesson H05. Because Kim's hair looks jist like Princess Leia's! The task in this lesson is to learn how to proportionally draw a head and how to draw hair with proper highlight. The lesson is pretty simple; you just sit and draw, using previously acquired skills.

As always, I first outlined the basic features, mapping some helping lines and dots. If I'm not mistaken, the bottom part of the head gets divided by three, so the ears go on the upper third.

This is the sketch.

Easily done, but did you notice? It seems I over enlarged the sketch and the left bun didn't fit in (yeah, I know, I could tell that's the scanner's fault...)

I really wanted to do something for the challenge so I did this sketch of Princess Leia's face.

I didn't really look for any facial resemblance, but I did try to remember and keep the proportions right: head divided in two; bottom half divided in three, eyes are exactly on the middle line, eye is the fifth of the line's length. Nose's wings are in the center of irises; bottom lip is on the bottom line of the face. Ears are in between the first and the third lines. I think. And the famous Buns, of course :).

It took me some time to complete the sketch, but I loved doing it. It was a real challenge, indeed! The weirdest thing happened in the morning. I left the sketch on my desk and this is where I found it the next day. Princess Leia was staring at me. Like one of the Futurama's heads in jars. Creepy...

Have a nice day,

September 22, 2013

Drawspace lesson H04: How to draw eye lashes

Hi all,

We continue with section H and today's lesson is H04. This is a very short lesson, it only shoes how to draw Eyelashes. As a matter of fact I didn't really want to do a whole post just for the eyelashes; it seemed to me it would be too much for such a minor subject. But as I sketched I've realized how little did I know about human, or my own, eyes. I don't use mascara (or any other makeup) so I never really got any attention to what's going on in my eyes. Through this lesson, however, I learned better about its structure and what should be considered while drawing.
Beside the sketch given in the lesson itself I decided to do some more eyes and here they are.

It was pretty easy to draw - the shape is simple, only few things to consider while drawing:
1. Eyelashes grow from the outer line of the eyelid.
2. There is a triangle in the inner corner of an eye.
3. Never forget to create a highlight of the Iris.
4. First draw a highlight and then the Iris itself; you'll avoid unnecessary erasing inside the little circle.

This is it. I hope you enjoyed this one, I know I have.

Have a great day,

September 20, 2013

Drawspace lesson H02: How to draw a human hand

Hi all.

Today I'll be working on a killer subject: a human hand. With Lesson H-02 I will learn how to proportionally draw one of the most expressive parts of a human body, which is also considered to be the most difficult body part to draw.

A human hand had always been something of special in the world of art. In his painting "Charles IV and his family" Francisco Goya charged the king also by counting the hands shown in the painting. Burne Hogarth dedicated a whole book to hand drawing (yes, I've read it). And a hand of Michelangelo's David says it all.

In the past I tried to draw hands, but without much success. So you can only imagine how exited ad scared I am now.

I was surprised how easily it went. It took me about 10 minutes to create a sketch and 10 minutes more to erase and outline. I know that it looks schematic, but at least it's the best hand I ever did!

The challenge of the lesson was to draw my own hand, which I happily did.

It came out nice, I think. I also think I should re-read the Burne Hogarth book again.

Have a great day,

September 16, 2013

Drawspace lesson H01: How to proportionally draw an adult face

Hello all!

It's a new post and a new Drawspace section: today we do Lesson H-01! Not only is the section new but also is a subject: we'll how to draw a human face!

The lesson is divided in two sections - the theory (but you still get to draw) and the practice (although there's a lot of theory).

The first part of the lesson is simple: you examine the given sketches of skulls and faces, 4 types of each (see illustration in the original lesson). Then you choose one of each and put them together. Then you create a face. The most important thing to remember is that eyes come in the exact middle of the human head. And I think the height of the head includes a hair line.

The exercise is to draw two heads using different types of skulls and faces. I decided to do some smaller scaled sketches. To do so I divided my paper in two and mapped some horizontal guiding lines. Also I added some guiding dots to mark the edges of the heads.

Then I created two head shapes and added some facial features.
What can I say - it was a difficult task. Before I added any hair both faces looked like police sketch of some serial killers!!!

This is the final result and I am pleased.

On the other hand there's so much that I don't like about this work but I try not to be too critical about it. These faces look almost proportional and nearly human. Something that looks much better that the first portrait I did in this program.

The second part of the lesson gives a very detailed explanation to wherever each facial part should be placed. It is really detailed so it must be hard to fail there. I'll try my best to do the sketch properly.

This is the sketch.

I decided not to bother you with the details of it, I'll just say that the outcome is not an exact copy of the on in the lesson. I guess that somehow made the face wider/shorter. But it's still proportional, so I don't mind.

To challenge myself I decided to draw a new self portrait.
Here's the result.

This is the outlined version. I didn't erase any of the helping lines and dots; there was no reason for this.

I'm not sure that the drawing necessarily looks like the original, but I'm happy that I could at least keep an almost proper proportion. I did the nose twice since at first it seemed to sit too high and was wider than it is. Also the chin should be a bit shorter, but I'll live with that.

Funny thing, but the most difficult part in this lesson was to divide the eye line into 5 equal sections. And since I gave up using a ruler it took me some time.

This is a great lesson and it's definitely the one to repeat in the future! Even if I'm not necessarily going to draw human faces in the future but who know what I will. I am convinced that these skills will be of necessity in the future so I must acquire them.

I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Have a great day,

September 14, 2013

Drawspace lesson G05 and G06: introduction to pencil shading

Hi all.

Today we'll be working on Lesson G05 of a Drawspace art program. This one is actually really weird, since the purpose of this lesson it to "introduce a beginner to several aspects of shading, from preparing and holding a pencil to creating and blending the shading". The question is, shouldn't it be at the very beginning of the very first shading section? Not necessarily section G? Maybe a little bit earlier?

Anyways, the exercise is to do some shading on two different kinds of paper and see how the paper affects a final shading. The top row shading was done on a simple printer paper (that's the paper I use at this point). Two bottom rows were done on a softer and thicker paper.

There's a slight difference, but maybe the paper was not different enough...

That's it. That's the lesson.

I allowed myself to skip lesson G06; it deals with graded shading and since I've been doing it for months now I decided not to bother you and me with this one.

Section H here I come!

See you soon,

September 12, 2013

Drawspace lesson G04: shading spheres 2

Hi hi.

Today we are working on lesson G04. It's about shading spheres again, which is good because it's an important subject which shouldn't be ignored. Circular shading is not easy.

It was a easy task in the terms of the sketch itself, so I won't even bother to post all the steps here.
This is the partly shading - just the face of the creature. Looks like four balls flying... :) (Hm.... I wonder if there are lessons that explain how to show movement of an item...).

This is the final work. Before shading I drew some circle helping lines to make my circular shading easier.

I don't really like the fact that the shading is not as smooth as it can be, so I guess I'll have to keep on practicing that.

Otherwise, the lesson was nice and easy.

Have a great day,

September 10, 2013

Drawspace lesson G03: shading spheres 1

Hello all!

Today we'll be doing lesson G03 of a Drawspace art program. This time we'll be drawing a nose of a cartoon character. The sketch itself is very simple - three spheres that indicate a nose and its nostrils, two eyes and a mouth. The main emphasis is on the shading. After all, that's what this section is all about.

Les's begin.

First I did one large and two small circles. I used a 2H pencil so I could easily erase lines I don't like.

This is the outlined of the form - I used a HB pencil first and only then I erased all the helping lines.

This is the shading sketch. Pencils suggested are HB to 4B, starting with the nose and then with the nostrils. But first I lightly outlined the circle for the highlight to be left white. Also I made some guiding lines to keep my circle direction correct - that was a lovely tip from lesson F08.

Despite the HB pencil suggestion I started shading with a 2H, just in case.

That's the result.

Since I made some mistakes while shading, so I decided to redo it. And because there's no challenge - let it be the one.

I can't really tell now weather the second try is better then the first, but the practice was definitely worth it. They are both not as smooth as I'd want them to be so I guess I have to keep on practicing.

Tip of the post: In one of the lessons Ms. Hoddinott, the author of the program, talked about the natural hand movement while drawing and shading. Remember that this not just one direction. So do change it when needed. Sometimes it's from the upper left don, sometimes its from right to left. It all depends on the form you're working with. And, by the way, don't afraid to use the un-natural hand movement: the more you use it, the more "natural" it will become.

I loved this lesson, did you? Share your thought in comments.

Have a great day,

September 08, 2013

Drawspace lesson G02: How to draw a three dimensional sphere using shading

Hi all.

Today I start working on a new Drawspace section, taking its G02 lesson. For some reason there's no lesson G01. Although I suspect that is because lesson G02 is combined of two parts. In part one you practice and in part two you actually draw. But what do you draw with? That is another question.

It seems that section G introduces another aspect of drawing. When one draws, one usually uses a white paper. Here the author introduces the method of drawing on a dark background using erasers (!!!). You erase the unnecessary part to bring the object out. Sounds complicated? Maybe. Let's see.

The tools in use are some soft pencils, tissue paper and two different erases - vinyl and kneaded. I am actually familiar with the concept of drawing on dark paper with white pencils but not with this method I'll be practicing now.

But enough talking, let's begin. The first exercise says to create a square, shade it with a softest pencil, smooth it with a tissue paper and then start erasing some of its areas.

My softest pencil is 8B so I'll be working with it.

Since I wanted my surface to be super smooth I filled my drawing area gradually. First I did a very light shading, no pressure at all, shading with a side of the pencil.

After that I gave it another coat, occasionally turning the pencil in my hand to make the best usage of the graphite. I also tried to keep my strokes a different size so that they blend well together.

Then I sharpened my pencils and gave it another coat.

And, lastly, the tissue blending stage.

So it happened that the blending stage was done several days after the previous one so this might be the reason the surface is not super smooth.

Now it's time to start working with erasers.
I tried first using a vinyl eraser, but since it didn't work - I took a kneaded one and tried to work with it.

And this is the result.

And I say that I don't like it. It's either I still don't know how to properly work with a kneaded eraser, which is possible. Mine is too soft to make such a strong white lines. Second, it might be, after all, that the graphite dust simply wore off after these 3 days when I laid down a last pencil coat. Because my outcome is soooooo much different from the one in the original lesson!

This is the challenge, 20 minutes of work. It's one shading coat of 8B pencil and kneaded eraser.

Not good. Don't like it!

Actually, I didn't like anything in this method beside the idea itself and the square shading. I hated the kneaded eraser; it was too soft and too unpredictable for me. So I guess no, I won't be working in this method at least not outside the program.

I hope you liked this lesson more than I did.

Wishing you a great day,

September 06, 2013

Drawspace lesson F15 - How to draw a furry creature

Hi all!

This post is another milestone of the Drawspace lessons - it's a last lesson of section F. And it is a fun one! The subject is a furry doll that lives in Ms. Hoddinott house - a Wooly made of wool!

The task is to practice hatching, drawing straight lines without a ruler and just enjoy the exercise. And that's exactly what I'm going to do, because I love cartoon characters and furry dolls.

This is the Wooly. It was a really fun project and I loved every minute of it.

I had some difficulties with the hair hatching but I absolutely loved doing the eyes! And I think they came out wonderfully and very much alive :)

The challenge here is to draw another different Wooly - different features, fur etc. In other words - it's a chance get creative!

So there he is - a different Wooly.
It took me some time to decide what kind of Wooly I wanted it to be. I knew right away about its form so the difficult part was the fur itself. At one point I looked at it and really wanted to redo it but after scanning and seeing it on the screen - I fell in love. So cute!

As a conclusion to section F I must admit that I got addicted to using different H pencils. All of my sketches, no exceptions, start now with pencil 2H or lower. How did I not use them before I don't know. But now all my sketches are way cleaner than before.


Tip of the post: Always use a 2H or lower pencil for your first draft.

I you also had fun doing this lesson, because I sure did.

Have a great day,

September 04, 2013

Shana Tova uMetuka

Hi all,

Today a Jewish calendar starts a new cycle. Rosh HaShana, Sukkot, Kippur and the rest are on their way again. 

And as we begin a new cycle a greeting is in order this is a first greeting card of the season.

Have a great year, everybody!

Best regards,

September 01, 2013

Drawspace Lesson F14: How to draw a Medieval spoon

Hi all,

We're taking Lesson F14 of a Drawspace art program today and we're going medieval this time. We're drawing a medieval spoon. Just a spoon this time, not the whole set. Since this lesson is all about drawing, almost no explanations, but visuals, all is left to do is sit and draw.

This is the first step - the basic drawing. I did a large oval, two smaller ones and a handle.

This is the second step - the outlining of the spoon.

This is the third step - the hatch shading. I tried to do the shading a bit different that the one in the lesson, but it was not such a good idea.

So since I didn't really like the outcome (am I becoming a perfectionist?) I decided to give it another try. It's looks so much better now, don't you think?

The process here was a bit different - I decided to draw a central guiding line that would go from one spoon edge to another. And it really made my life easier. I had a core I could build my item around and keep it proportional.

As for the challenge - this is my model and this is my drawing.

This is not exactly a real medieval spoon but a modern wood-carved-based-on, but I loved it and really enjoyed drawing it.

I hope you enjoyed this lesson and learned something important.

Have a great day,