Thursday, May 3, 2012

The huma body is complicated

...and I realize now that I know virtually nothing about it, structure-wise.  Eyelids, as seemingly simple-looking as they appear, have a very subtle form that is tough to capture.  The problem with the human body, faces, and expressions is that they are all very subtle.  If even the smallest thing is off, it botches everything, and your efforts are wasted. 

I've been drawing heads and faces and expressions like a crazy person for the past few weeks.  I'm finding it tough to wrap my head around some of the weird face shapes out there.  Faces differ person to person, and it can be pretty confusing to draw an unfamiliar face type. 

But yeah.  Just tracking my own progress.  As it would turn out, faces are very, very confusing.

Back to work for me.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Discord sure is looking evil-er than usual today.
Huzzah for unrefined sketches.  They make me un-stressed.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

An art-related rant

I know I promised art in my next post.

I lied.

Have some musings/a rant instead.

So, this isn't really in response to any specific instance.  Just some observations of artists copying things exactly as they are, and the response that that seems to evoke from people outside the art community.

Obviously, there are different reasons for copying something line for line, shadow for shadow, what have you.

  1. If you are a beginning artist, copying (even tracing) is a way to gain better control over your hands--pressure control, line weight, etc.  It's normal.  Most people who dabble in art seem to do this, too, and usually only to have an exact copy of something--nothing more.
  2. There is photo realism.  The artist's intention is to create a painting (most that I know of are taken directly from photographs, which I have mixed feelings about.) that is as real and terse as an actual photograph.  Nothing being done to 'touch up' things that may be unflattering to the subject.  This is an accepted artistic style and another perfectly good reason someone might try to copy something exactly.
  3. Then, there is drawing a subject in an attempt to understand its form.  Generally, the artist strives to create a likeness of the subject--perhaps not to the degree of photo realism, but, in general the more detail you put into one of these drawings, the more you learn about 3D form.  This carries over to more imaginative drawings and makes them more believable.
Now, you could probably make an argument to put categories 1 and 3 together, but I feel that many people who dabble in drawing do not pursue or study it extensively enough to get past the first stage:  drawing so that the end result looks exactly like the subject, be it a photograph or a cartoon character.  They are probably not drawing with the intention of understanding the form of whatever it is they are copying.  A drawing that looks like Invader Zim or Sonic is literally the only result they are aiming for.
Category 1's lack of experience and intention for understanding what it is they are drawing are what separates them from categories 2 and 3.

So, why am I bothering to type all this out?  Well, mainly because people don't seem to know that most artists draw what they see as a means to understand something.
That sketch that you see that resembles a lion or a person is not usually the end result.  Far from it, in fact.
Think of the sketches that an artist does in the way that you think of a pianist practicing scales.  The scales are not at all the final product--you likely won't find any master pianists playing them at a concert.
The same for sketches, or otherwise drawings that may resemble a thing exactly as it is.  These drawings are a way for an artist to understand a 3 dimensional surface.  They later take what they learn form these sketches (the scales) and incorporate them into a more groomed art piece (the concert).

TL;DR:  When I draw something from a photograph or copy something from life, my intention is to understand the form of my subject.  The sketch is not something that I really consider to be a work of art, and it is not a final product by any means.  It is literally an exercise.  (I know there are other artists who think differently, but I'm only speaking for myself here.)

Friday, March 16, 2012

just a realization

Heh.  I just realized that I originally made this blog to document my progress in digital painting/drawing.

Yeah, no.  More like all of the art.

The next update'll have pretty pictures, I promise.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


I've been on a sketching binge these past couple of days.  I think it came about after browsing Deviantart and noticing how much I suck and need to improve. 
I also came to the realization that I don't have that great of a grasp on drawing faces/emotions without a direct reference.  Changing that RIGHT now. 
So yeah, I've been dong rapid-fire drawings of people.  Some of the sketches don't come out looking very much like the photos I'm referencing, but I've just come to accept that.  A past me would have been too paralyzed by perfectionism to keep cranking out sketches, but that's something I'm slowly breaking. 

So yeah, that's been a small portion of my Spring Break.  I wish I'd spent more of it drawing in retrospect, but it also feels good just to do plain old nothing sometimes. 

Also, the rapid sketches I've been working on are in my current main sketchbook.  I've been meaning to scan those, as well as quite a few other sketches and studies so I can upload them here.  Later, perhaps.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


I've been focusing a lot on the human body lately.  I think that I've come a long way, too.  Most of my sketches are in a physical sketchbook, though, so I'll have to scan them before I can upload them here.

In the meantime, have some pogeymanz and a random head.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Taking on human anatomy

Another update--and yes, I have been sketching.  Albeit not as often as I should be, I plan on fitting in as much practice time as possible during the next week or so, or however long I find I have during my winter break.

Anyrate, I've set a new goal for myself.  It's a fairly lofty one, but we all need a good challenge now and again.  Stagnation is an alternative I don't feel like settling on.
By the end of this break, I'm going to gain a near-complete understanding of the human form.  The subtle yet complex curves of the muscles and spine that make up the torso as it twists, a better understanding of proportions, range of limb movement, etc.
I plan on understanding it all.  I'll also practice facial expressions and whatnot.  If I gain a better understanding of those than I do currently then that will an added bonus.

I feel that I have only a basic grasp of the human form and anatomy.  Yes, I know the 'proper' proportions for the human face and body--but even with that knowledge to back me up, without constant practice, I won't be able to go as far as I want as an artist.
I consider fully understanding (or even -almost- fully understanding) the human figure to be one of the greatest things an artist can aspire to do--by having that understanding, I believe an artist can better create work that evokes emotion.  Of course, that isn't to say work that does not include the human figure cannot do the same, however, I know how difficult it can be to tear my eyes away from a piece with human subjects that makes me feel something.

Anyway, I've been pussying away from practicing people, so hear are a few sketches of torsos and a random Medic head.
So, yeah.  I'm exhausted.  Not from drawing, by any means--it's just that it's two in the morning.  I have more stuff to upload, but that'll have to wait.