March 27, 2014

Drawspace lesson Q05: How to draw a tree.

Lesson Q05 was pretty easy: draw a tree using Squirkling. I completed this sketch pretty fast, but as always, I am not completely satisfied with the outcome.
It does look like a tree to me, but a pretty flat one. I love the method, I will definitely use it in the future, but the lack of the third dimension bothers me a lot.

So I guess I'll have to work on that one too.

March 24, 2014

How to turn a curvy hand movement to a straight one?

I've been shading for a while now and one of the things I constantly struggle with is making a straight line while shading. I see all these shaded elements on other peoples sketches and I just don't understand how they do it. Even if I turn the paper to make a horizontal line it is still becomes curved.

What am I doing wrong here? Any advice?

March 21, 2014

Drawspace lesson Q04: How to draw a Rose

It's a Rose again!

If you follow this blog for a while you probably remember that in 2012 I dedicated a whole year to flower drawing. If you're new to my blog I invite you to visit this link.

I like drawing flowers so this one will be real fun for me.

It was a nice experience. The crosshatching as a shading technique seats nicely here and my only problem here is flat shading.

This is my reference for the Rose Challenge.

It was a cool and easy session. I was having fun although struggled a bit at first and had to go over my Rose tutorial list to find the best way to draw this one. So good I have this list :) But the flat shading repeats here too so I'll have to work on it.

But I really should start drawing from life flowers.

March 17, 2014

Learning to draw: why does one learn to draw and what does one want to draw?

Recently I've been experiencing a situation of weird uncertainty. I've realized that it's time to ask myself two of the very important questions: 1. why do I want to know how to draw and 2. what do I want to draw when I know how to.

As you remember, the task of lesson Q03 was to draw a jeans fabric!! My first thought was "Why would I want to draw jeans? I don't want to draw people!!!" And then I thought, and this is a real thing, what do I want to draw? I mean, really? And then I realized that I never asked myself this question... I know I want to illustrate children books, but in this case I better know how to draw absolutely ANYTHING!!!

But when I come to think about it, it might be another sign of my progress. The fact that I start asking questions which are beyond technical knowledge might be just that. I know that first of all I'd like to be able to express ideas that pop into my head. I know that it's all a matter of time, patience and practice. And then, maybe, just maybe start create something meaningful...

Wish me luck!

March 14, 2014

From drawing lessons to drawing workshops: taking a break and making some changes.

As you remember, I had some kind of drawing break-down two weeks ago. I skipped two Drawspace sections and took a break from drawing faces. It didn't end there. I was still down and had a little cheer-up talk with a friend. He said that I should be moving on from Drawspace. He said that I got stuck on the "learning" part and completely neglected the "creating" part of my process. He said that at this point I am good enough to stop copying and start creating. Although I disagree with him on the "good enough" part I do think he's right about everything else. I got so obsessed with finishing the Drawspace program and post about every single lesson I do that apparently it has become my real goal: to complete the next lesson and post about it every other day. After all, I am on schedule!

It would be stupid to deny my progress. I am proud to say that my strict diet schedule made me work/draw more than I ever did. But at this point I could simply say that I feel a bit exhausted from my own setting and it's time to make some changes.

First thing I did was to enroll in a free Strathmoreartist four-week-long "Back to the basic" workshop. These are short video sessions performed b Earnest Ward, an artist and a blogger. So for the next four weeks I will be posting about my experience with my first ever online art workshop.

The other change I am really willing to make is to start taking seriously various flashmobs run around the web. I wanted to start with these for months, but I never got the chance since I was obsessed with completing the Drawspace program.

I also feel that it's time to start reading art books again.

So from now on I will be hopefully posting twice a week, maybe more.
I hope you understand.

March 11, 2014

Drawspace lesson Q03: How to draw a Denim (Jeans fabrics)

Drawing jeans. Why and what for? I don't know. At least, yet. I might know after I complete the lesson.

This is my result.

Not great. Even bad, I'd say. But since I am not into drawing clothes, at least, not now, I see no reason to challenge myself and repeat the lesson.

See ya!

March 09, 2014

Drawspace lesson Q02: How to draw a smooth grape

In this lesson the subject is a Grape, so yes, it's a round shape all over again.

I did this grape pretty fast so I decided to draw some more grapes. This is the reference I worked from.

I don't like the result. The light on the reference was too even so I decided to Photoshop it into black and white to see the tones better but it didn't help either. It felt like I was drawing eggs all over again. I couldn't manage the shading so the grapes in the image could go for anything: eggs, brunch of dates or any other elliptic form.

This is another try with another reference.

This one was a bit easier to draw in the terms of light. It has more grapes so I had to decide first where to begin my sketch. At first I decided to start with the group on the right, the three grapes and then go left. But then I changed my mind and started with the bottom one on the left and build from there. I think it looks better than the previous, although I am not satisfied with the result.

I don't know. I guess next time, when I choose a reference to draw from, I should take into consideration not only it's composition but also the way it is shaded.

March 07, 2014

Drawspace lesson Q01: How to draw a Dragon egg.

So, after many doubts, after going through sections O and P over and over again, I understood that I'm not actually tired of shading (the goal is still on!!!) but of drawing human faces. Which means that I'll be skipping Sections O and P and move on straight to Section Q.

The task of this lesson was to draw a Dragon egg.

Simple enough so I decided to challenge myself and draw some more eggs.

Since egg shading is very edgy in the terms of the tone itself, I had to work simultaneously with several pencils on the same area. I switched my pencils frequently so I could reach the tone I was looking for. I always kept in mind that if I want to highlight a spot I should add more of the dark. It was challenging indeed. As simple as the form is, I guess that only now I fully understand the importance of a shape drawing/shading.

I guess I should draw eggs more often.

March 05, 2014

Taking a break from a goal: how do you deal with burnout?

Is that the term? Burnout? I guess that's what I'm going through at the moment.

You see, I started drawing seriously in 2012 when I began my Flower project. In 2013 I joined the Drawspace Art program and completed a half of it. This year I contunued the program when one of my goals for this year was to master different shading techniques. Well, lately Drawspace lessons were mainly based on shading or, to be more percise, creating with shading. And the more I shaded the more I became tired of it. Lately it came to the condition when I intentionally delayed drawing sessions because I had to shade again.

So I decided to take a break from it. I went thought the lessons I'm to do in the near future and realized that they are the same (or at least look like it). In all of them I'm supposed to draw a more or less realistic portrait using shading. And I can't take it anymore. At first I thought I might skip several sections and go straight to section R that deals with color basics and then move on to section S when sketches are made with colored pencils. But then I thought that maybe I should do the sketches outlines and then, when I'm "recovered", complete the shading. After all, I'm sick of shading, not of drawing.

So there it is. From this point on I will be outlining only.

March 03, 2014

Drawspace lesson N08: How to draw a cartoon boy.

I seriously don't know what to say about the experience of this lesson. Three cute and different faces. Two boys and a girl. Similar technique, different hair style. That's it basically. Obviously, the biggest challenge was the shading, but I'm getting there. Otherwise - nothing special.

That's the main sketch.

These are the given challenges.

P.S. On the other hand, maybe its good that it feels like "nothing special" to me. I might  be mastering my new skill at last!

March 01, 2014

Developing creativity: from simple note to character.

Today is the 1st of March and it means that it's time to do another Creativity exercises. I already mentioned this method here but, unfortunately, it never became a routine. The idea is to create piles of notes with single keywords written on and then, choosing one of each pile, put them together. I created piles with nouns, verbs and adjectives. Feelings and emotions, colors and moods. Anything. You can start with ten of each, but obviously, you can make more. The idea is to create original and funny illustrations.

I actually made such piles before but they are holiday related themes. Back then it didn't work well for me but I want to give it another try. My themes at this point will be: Objects, Looks, Emotions. Since I work with graphite pencil I decided to ignore color names. I will not do beautiful and polished sketches but rather something very very rough.

I started with 2 notes, but obviously you can include three or even more. The more notes there are the more descriptive your illustration is to become.

After choosing my two words I decided to start drawing. But then I looked at my notes and said, wait. A table? What kind of table? Is it heavy or is it light? Is it made of glass or wood? Is it square or round? How is it positioned? Is it standing on all 4 legs or only two? Back or front? Or is it top down? Hmm.... Similar question were asked about the nose itself. And this way I ended up with so many possible combinations of Table and Nose, it's both scary and wonderful.

After a while I made my first sketch.

It was very carefully made, but in the end I've realized that I can actually draw a human nose (front view) and that I have to work more on my perspective. Also I thought that a human nose outline makes a beautiful table handle :).

These some additional sketches.

It was interesting and pretty challenging. I failed to do a nonchalant sketches, they were drafted carefully and pretend to be beautiful. Too clean comparing to what I really wanted to do. But if I manage to make it a monthly exercise, I will get better.

P.S. This is my February 30 circles in a minute exercise.