Added 1 new A* page:I have a huge backlog of neat science stuff to cover, like finishing the Tycho's Remnant coverage like I said I would, doing a big series about non-rocketfuel spaceflight like I told someone else I would (starting with their nifty illustration of a space elevator), and even recent stuff like the prototype Space Shuttle Enterprise being shipped up the Hudson by barge over the weekend, or that black-hole-seeking satellite NASA just launched yesterday. HRM.|
But I've also been itching to do some sketching--I ordered a huge box of these Faber-Castell "BIG BRUSH" India ink markers back when I thought I was going to do A* in pen, and they've just been burning a hole in my art supply closet of shame, for instance--AND tribulations I've been having with art in the past week or so--I felt like I was finally getting somewhere with the breezy yet sharp rendering of Thierry's face on page 82, but now I seem to be having trouble following that up...as I generally do when trying to duplicate my own previous drawing styles--got me to thinking. The best thing if you're trying to get better at realistic drawing of people is drawing from live models, of course, but if you're poor to hire models, or too antisocial to get friends to model for you, or too chicken to spy on people from the corner of a coffee shop or to set up a little portrait booth on a street corner or something, then you've got to come up with something else. Well it struck me that I could just practice drawing faces from photos, which is what a lot of artists do for their actual art anyway.
This is where I need a stack of trashy magazines or something, but I don't have that. I've got this ad for an invasive health club chain that came in the mail a while back and which I saved because their ridiculously tan model had some Selenic qualities (not the tan, though :P); after that I've got hmmm a book on the history of Italian fashion photography, which has a lot of people photos in it (although perhaps not the best variety as they're mostly you know slender 20-something models), and after that...uhh I guess I have some music CD jackets. After THAT, if I'm not sick of it yet, I might just have to go buy People magazine or something. ;P
Anyway so here's the first try (the gym model--there are three more photos of her in the brochure, so that might keep this blog busy through early next week...):
I realized after doing this one that some of the many distortions--the too-small nose and the too-large hair, for example--might have been due to my having my drawing surface at a nearly horizontal angle, which caused me to view it--and the photo I was working from--at an angle as I sat above them; in the past I've noticed that I sometimes overcompensate for that viewing angle by drawing the upper parts--the parts farther away from me--too large, since they seem smaller in the drawing from my angled point of view. I wonder if that's sort of neutralized if you're working from an image that is also at that same angle...well it doesn't seem like it was, since it happened here.
So anyway I spent some time wrestling my drawing table into a higher angle; I did have it at a higher angle for a while after getting it, although it was never *that* high, and I eventually gave that up because I was having trouble resting my arms firmly on the surface. I've discovered in the past week though that that arm resting problem was actually due to having my feet slightly elevated, which I guess had the effect of pushing me back in my seat, subtly making it difficult to lean my weight forward onto the drawing table in a meaningful way. Another ergonomic problem solved! Leaning forward onto an angled table is revealing a new crop of ergonomic challenges, of course. Never a dull moment! :P
Hm one other thing I have been noticing but not really doing anything meaningful about lately is that in reality, the primary facial features--eyes, nose, mouth--usually take up quite a tiny part of the face; they're sort of concentrated in the lower middle, really. I've been drawing those facial features too large, for the most part--I suppose out of a subconscious urge to make them more expressive, or maybe just because that's what I focus on when looking at a face. So maybe this type of exercise will help me get that under control a bit.