Robert Chang's Survivors Club Sketches

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  05 May 2010
Robert Chang's Survivors Club Sketches

Hey everyone

This here thread is for the survivors of Robert Chang's Becoming a Better Artist workshop.

If you're interested in taking his course then pop over to this thread to find out more -

Basically it's a 9 week course on art, running from everything to do with line art, colouring, lighting, and brush work, to more advanced topics like composition, narrative and style.

There is something for everyone, if you participate with Robert and the other students, and take an interest in the lecture notes and videos, then you are guaranteed to learn and improve your art.

This thread shows what work we produced whilst on Robert's course, as well as sketches and paintings we may do now that his workshop has finished.

We are of course very upset that Robert's workshop has finished for this part of the year, but we hope to keep in touch with one another through the forums.

To start off these sketches, here's my final assignment piece from Robert's workshop.

Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us Robert.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Lucy9a.jpg (95.3 KB, 144 views)
  05 May 2010
Hi Edward!

I think you need to show your first attempt at the Lucy Liu photo study to show the progress you made in the last few weeks. It was quite amazing to witness.
  05 May 2010
Hey Wes

Yeah, it was the best... sure thing, here are the process steps, see the images below.

The exercise was to replicate the photo as accurately as possible..
Started with a simple pencil sketch, trying to find basic shapes and then painted digitally.

The basic process is to use the sketch as a guide and paint in the big shapes first, with big brushes (preferably hard ones, but soft ones can sometimes do the trick). Keep refining the shapes of the face, gradually reducing your brush size, adding more and more detail to the face.

  05 May 2010
I should clarify that this particular assignment Edward did was sort of an extra credit assigned just to him, as he was having trouble with technical accuracy. It was not officially part of the workshop, but I felt he really needed to up his game in that area since it was affecting everything he did as an artist.

Early on in week one of the workshop, I pounded in the fact that before students even start to think about imagination, creativity, expressiveness, stylization, and all that other fun stuff, they need to first attain technical skills, and the technical skills are actually not nearly as hard as most beginners think, and take very little time to acquire, if you follow my guidelines on how to assess proportions, compare shapes, distances, sizes, angles, curves...etc.

I could literally take any person off the street who has never drawn a picture before in his life and then teach them to be able to do impressive looking copies of photo reference and probably still life too. It's purely a technical exercise and its only purpose is to train someone's observational and analytical skills, as well as learning how to use the the various brush settings appropriately. It is not artistic, not creative, and not something you could ever show in your portfolio because it has no reason for being other than as practice and training (well, still life is definitely harder than photo reference, so that you might want to show in your portfolio). Once you learn these technical skills, you no longer need to do these kinds of copies--you move on to harder challenges, such as working from real life--portraits, figures, landscapes, artistic and expressive executions and interpretations as opposed to just realism, or using your imagination.

Edward, do you mind if I showed the kind of drawings you were doing before you tackled this image? I think it would be much more meaningful if people could see what you were doing before, and how much you improved in such a short amount of time.
  05 May 2010
Hey Robert

Sure thing, I don't mind, you may show them my drawings. Apart from learning how to draw accurately, the week on lighting was such a revelation. Honestly, the course as a whole was well worth it. Thank you very much Robert.
  05 May 2010
Attached below are a few drawings that Edward showed at the beginning of the workshop, and as you guys can see, what he was doing by the end of the workshop (image he posted above) is night and day different in terms accuracy, attention to detail, aesthetics, and rendering technique. Those were the things I drilled him hard on and he really worked hard at it. And all of that weren't even the main focus of the workshop--it was just extra credit work.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 2010-05-09_222154.jpg (86.5 KB, 161 views)
File Type: jpg 2010-05-09_222237.jpg (77.1 KB, 153 views)
File Type: jpg 2010-05-09_222018.jpg (91.4 KB, 137 views)
  05 May 2010
Interesting. Quite a progress - congratulations.

I'd love to see more of these - it gives some hope.
  05 May 2010
The progress is amazing, massive improvement. What sort of thing's have you done since?

  05 May 2010
Really great progress!

Lunatique will there be this same workshop in the future?

  05 May 2010
Mostly working in 2D for the moment, here's Michelangelo's Study for Christ.
  05 May 2010
That looks like it's coming along well Edward, I like how you seem to do quite a lot of anatomy studies; I'm hoping to start learning anatomy on my summer holiday in June.

I'll start a sketchbook thread soon as well, as Robert has given me a technical assignment not unlike the one you did during the workshop.

  05 May 2010
I'd be interested to see some more works/progress images you did at the workshop. Or was Edward the sole survivor of the workshop?
  05 May 2010
The other survivors have posted in the official announcement thread, so you can find them there.

The assignments given in the workshop are not designed to "show" a student's progression of learning. They are specific challenging exercises that focus on each week's main topic, and forces the students to experiment and push their artistic thinking to solve different creative problems. A student might do well on one specific assignment but get his ass kicked hard by another assignment. It's not the kind of workshop where you "graduate" with some final image that "proves" you've improved--it's more like you meet a variety of different challenges and from each of them you learn valuable lessons, and they all add up to new knowledge and techniques in your creative arsenal.

In Edward's case, his technical skill was quite behind so I had him do this extra credit assignment to pull him up in his technical ability in the shortest amount of time possible, and once he understands how to gauge what "accuracy" and "correct proportions/values/edges...etc" really means and how to achieve it, he'll then be able to apply what he learned to everything else he does from that point on.

In general, it would be unrealistic to expect him to all of a sudden improve and grow at light speed--he's still going to have to learn the basic stuff like anatomy, figure, perspective...etc one step at a time just like every other beginner, and it'll take him some time to become competent at it; however, all the stuff he learned from the workshop will shave off years of confusion and wasted time/effort in everything else he'll encounter as an artist.
  05 May 2010
^ Thank you. Totally understand that and didn't expect complete "before-after" gallery. Just got an impression about the subject and orginal post of this thread that it would have some work done during the workshop. It would also be interestin to see the variety of participants and exactly those different stregths and weaknesses, something that could be done in that time while learning a lot.
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