Sketchy journal

89 posts in this topic

Yeah, it probably took me that long. I usually loose track of time so I can't tell you excatly. But your probably spot on :) I mostly draw in the mornings before work (cca. 30-40 min) and then fill up the rest on weekends. I do simple stuff like my digital studies or gestures when I have some free time in the evening.


I have a Wacom Bamboo ( that I bought a few years ago (let's say 5 :) ). I got it at half the price at the local discount :P


Here are two more studies (15-20min):






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I'm done with the portrait:



Drawing human faces is so damn hard... I never get it right...

The top right part of the hair is much durker in real life,the lighting makes it look really bright on the image. I tired to negate the effect with a closeup but failed.


Anyways I did some 30min portrait practice while I had some free time:




Digital is hard. :D



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Great idea working with digital and superimposing your drawing to the image to check your mistakes. You're doing really well, it's clear that your understand shapes and iteration.

What about the face was so difficult for you? For example, I can see that there a few things off with image, whereas your car and ladybug were very close to the original. Is it just the fact that it's a human face that trips you up? Try to remember what you thought about and struggled with while you were drawing.

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Great idea working with digital and superimposing your drawing to the image to check your mistakes. You're doing really well, it's clear that your understand shapes and iteration.


I like this idea. Once I get a little familiar with working with pencil and move to messing with my new tablet will definitely have to try this.


As to you OP, I'm really liking the progress of this sketchbook. Gives me hope. :D

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I think I just gave up before I actually started the drawing. There were a couple of problems that emerged in the process.


1. the portrait is very "squary" and it's hard to break down. I had the same problem while drawing the car but I managed to pull it off somehow. The ladybug was relatively easy as it has a lot of angles to work from.

2. I guess I went a little overboard with the loose and sketchy drawing exercises and got sloppy in the process.

3. Portraits scare me. :) All of the placements have to be perfect, otherwise it just doesn't look right. That's probably the reason I didn't put that much effort into it.


I know why I failed, that's why I switched my last two digital exercises to portraits. I hope it'll get better with some milage.


My next drawing (the bird from the worksheet) looks much better (porportion wise). :D I'll post everything when I'm done.


@Sabin2k: Thanks for the kind words. You can do it!

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1. Yes, there will be objects that don't have a lot of definable areas you can work from- the car might have been simpler because the parts that make it up are clear shapes. With organic subjects, like the man, things can get more complicated.

2. I suppose that you have to consciously determine to approach drawings differently, as in- "OK, now is loose drawing time" / "OK, now is finalized drawing time." I don't approach sketches the same that I would approach a final drawing. Sketches are practice and experimentation, but for a full drawing I take a lot of care and planning time.

3. Yep! Any little bit off and it's suddenly not that person anymore. Your fear is justified, but still a fear nonetheless. It can be overcome. And it's going to take more portraiture, just like you're doing. I think one of your strengths is that you're good at self-direction.


Before you continue, try the man again. This time around you know what could have gone better and where your pitfalls were- use that knowledge as a strength rather than a weakness. Think about it: you've already tried this drawing, you've been through the shapes... so take a bit of time to try again and really own it. Overcome the fear by showing yourself that you can do it better B).

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I was already in the middle of the next drawing when I read your suggestion so I decided I'd just finish it and then try the portrait again. Sadly, i't didn't work out that way.


I tried hard to keep on track and finish the drawing, but I just got more frustrated each day. After a few days I just stopped working on the piece (I rushed it already and it wasn't working...).


Here is the picture:



I guess I got burned out or something, I just don't have energy to tackle any longer drawings these days. I'm struggling to keep my daily drawing habit as my motivation is very low. Today is actually the first day in a long while I haven't drawn in the morning (I'll make up for it in the evening I hope :) ). I'm trying to do little fun sketches to get over this and get back on track.


Fun little sketches:


Not much but atleast its something.


I think I'll tackle the benchmark drawing when I feel more like it. Wish me luck :)



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The quail is a bit deceiving, because the shape is simple but the detail is not. Even though you got burned out, you did a great job. You started off very well, your iterations were really good and it's a good thing that you decided to map out the detail of the feathers in the third image rather than going one by one. I think that perhaps you're forgetting to reward yourself for the fact that you finished a piece! You took all the steps and saw it through to completion. That's something to be proud of, don't focus on the fact that it didn't come out perfectly.


From experience, focusing on what went wrong, what didn't come out right, etc... leads to not wanting to draw- which you're already feeling. It's a predictable, but vicious cycle and it happens to everyone all the time. I understand because sometimes I get frustrated with a drawing and just plain stop drawing it. I will either start over or do something easier as practice before tackling something complex again. I did nothing but line drawings for a long time before I did a complete piece. But for the worksheets, we wanted for our students to try it, not only to for them to see how long and how much effort it takes to complete a drawing, but also to have benchmarks.

I don't think you've done the flower or the elephant, why don't you do line drawings of those before tackling the benchmark?

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I wanted to do the elephant line drawing but then I had so much fun I decided to finish it. It isn't perfect but I love it. I think I just like drawing majestic animals. :)



I liked it so much I stole my girlfriends iphone and took a better photo of the drawing. This camera is awsome... :)



I think I'll do the flower now (linework only).

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Two things I like about this piece: one, the confidence with which you pushed the values, and two, your particular style of describing texture with line. You're definitely improving.


Long studies take a lot of energy... it's important to supplement with simple practice so you don't get burnt out.

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Just a quick update...

I think I'm finished with the flower line drawing.




I'm really looking forward to drawing the benchmark again. I haven't drawn from life for quite some time now.


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Finally done with the benchmark drawing.


I really love the line drawing and I think I did a good job with it. The "shaded" drawing didn't turn out so well. In my defense, I did run out of time :) I guess I need to learn to simplify things.




I can finally watch the last video now. Can't believe it's exactly 3 months since I started :D



I made some greyscales inspired by my value failure. :)


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:) Wonderful! How do you feel about the two drawings of your hand?

I think there is great improvement in the way you handle the pencil and your shape perception. In the second drawing your fingers are more defined.

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First benchmark:

I like how the values turned out. The porportions aren't as acurrate as they could be. The hand position also seems more natural :)


Second benchmark:

The linedrawing is awsome and I think the porportions turned out really well. The values aren't that good. I could probably make it better with more time. I only used 2B for this drawing and I would probably switch to 4B in the next iteration. I guess I became more methodical and I need more time to make everything work. :)


The main problem with these two drawings was I could only use one hand. :)

It breaks the flow when you have to switch between the pencil and the eraser constantly. The hand also gets tired after holding this pose for 1h.


I did a 1h portrait sketch yesterday. It's a little skewed but I hope it's recognisable. :) I should have spent more time shading this thing.


I still can't draw a decent portrait...


Do you guys have any problems with switching from the drawing board to your sketchbook? I feel very comfortable with my drawing board but I can't draw as good/accurate once I switch to the sketchbook. I guess papar size could be an issue. I usually use A4 on my drawing board and my sketchbook is A5.

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That's Jessica Lang in American Horror Story!



I have trouble when holding the sketchbook becomes an issue. I usually just put the sketchbook on a drawing board and clip it up top.


Why do you think you still have trouble with portraiture? I see that you made the lips too linear (you should leave the lip lines very faint, because for the final piece only use values to sculpt the shape of the lips). You also made the jawline too small, she has a pretty square jawline. There are a few distortions, but perhaps you'd like to try this portrait again and we can go through it step by step together? That should clear up some of the issues you're having.

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I think the main problem is I rushed it (total of 1h). I was/am on a really tight schedule for the last couple of weeks and I try to draw as much as I can in this limited timeframe. This means I usually cut corners and the results aren't all that great. It's kind of annoying I still can't make a quick sketch that actually looks ok.  I know I should just take it slow and steady but I just lack the energy to tackle anything larger (longer) for now. Excuses, excuses... :)


I'll try to do a longer study sometime in the near future and I'll post each step for your review/guidence.


Edit: After thinking about it for a while I realized it probably has something to do with all of the mixed advice you get on the web. Most people seem to suggest that you get better quicker if you draw a lot of "bad" images. Quantity vs quaility or something like that. I do realize that you get much better results with slow methodical approach but I guess I have all of that advice stored somewhere in my subconsciousness. Then, when the times get rough, I use it as a failsafe. Maybe I just read/overthink too much... :)

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Oh, that's simple. Just don't try to complete something in an hour! Especially not a portrait- that's asking too much. I take like 2 hours just for an envelope and maybe first iteration... just change your goal from finishing in an hour to drawing for an hour. You'd be surprised how much more appreciation you get for the craft and the finished piece if you just take your time and revisit a sketch to complete it.


Either that, or do more simple drawings, even rough sketches, until you have a day to devote more hours to your work. But, it's preferable to stick through an entire piece for a duration of time, since that's a better habit in my opinion. Is quantity better than quality? I think not, but if anyone says the opposite, ask yourself what is the better habit for your self and your craft.

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I took your advice to heart and focused on drawing instead of finishing. It's nice to have someone to get you back on the right track. :)


This one took me cca 4-5 hours and I find it turned out great. It's not perfect but it's better then anything I did before. I did have an "accident" with this drawing in the layout stage, my daughter decided to "help" me and went over the lines pressing like a madman. I'm still surprised I managed to save it :)




This is one of the most satisfying drawings I ever made. I really enjoyed it. I also realized women magazines are excellent for finding reference images. :)


It's funny a small drawing like this can take you 4h to complete...

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Hey guys... it's been a while.


The main reason I didn't post anything was I was busy making a drawing of my daughter. I spent around 15h on it and it came out amazing. I won't post it as I'd like to keep some stuff private, you'll just have to take my word for it. It was a birthday gift btw.


I also did some quick drawings while I was having lunch breaks during work.


I started experimenting with inking and lines. I think I'm slowly getting better. I tried varying my line weight for the last one and I think it didn't turn out that bad. (The heavy line at the bottom of the eye was a mistake, I need to work on my hand control.)


After I finished with the long drawing I started this one:


I decided not to take it all the way. I just got bored and I'd like to try something different next. I don't like repetitive stuff, it's probably why I became a programmer in the first place :)


That's all for now...



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Amazing, you're doing so well. If you want thicker/darker lines without adding pressure to the paper, use a darker grade pencil and go over your sketch lines. Do you have a pencil set or just a 2B?

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I was actually refering to the Plankton (spongebob) drawing. The inking was done with a pen and that's where the error occured. The pencil used is HB. I don't carry much stuff to work.


For longer drawings I have a full set ranging from 8B to 4H. I usually use HB, 2B and 4B. I think I even used 6B in the side portrait drawing. The only time I used the entire range was for my the last drawing (15h). Oh and I recently stumbled upon F and I really like it. Maybe it's just a better quality pencil then my old ones :). I have a lot of old pencils that came out of beginner sets and they aren't that good. I want to spend them and then buy some quality stuff (like Faber Castell 9000). Or I'll just give them to my daughter. :) I'm slowly learning what really metters. I made a lot of progress in the last couple of months. It really helps if you draw every day, no excuses. :) I think I only missed 2 days since august and none since I joined this forum (december).


I also started playing with charcoal pencils. They're really fun but I can't draw anything worthwile with them :). I'm doing a lot of hand control exercises with them and I'm slowly getting better.


It's a little hard for me to find quality supplies I need. There aren't many art stores where I come from and the ones that exist have very limited supplies. I can't even find newsprint :). I just use normal printing papar (A4) or my sketchbook (fabriano). I could order stuff from UK or Germany but the shipping cost are just too high.


What should you look for in a paper? The only thing I know is I really enjoy drawing on a really smooth paper (like my sketchbook). I have some sketchbooks with raugh paper but I never use them. It just feels unnatural/annoying.

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Just a quick update... Some stuff from the last couple of days.


Mostly getting used to charcoal pencils:



Playing with loomis heads:



A pencil drawing I really love ( didn't finish it :D ):



I also did a ton of gestures but I didn't take any photos.

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