Sketchbook Thread of DriftingEmber

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Old 07 July 2011   #31
-heozart, Hi Wes. Thanks for stopping by and the well wishes.

-redpanda, thank you for the response! It gives me some things to think about and try out.

Drawing my hand this time.

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Old 09 September 2011   #32
I was able to watch a Vilppu video on gesture a bit ago. These are the most prodigiously counterintuitive drawings I have ever tried. You can tell me to "feel" the pull and "experience" the pose, and my brain is obliged to respond with complete blankness.

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Old 09 September 2011   #33
Hey Heather,

I think your gesture drawings you did look great. The rest of your work is very well done, you have great talent. Keep up the good work!

I was wondering if I could ask you a couple of questions as well.

1. Do you have any book recommendations for anatomy?
2. How does one develop such awesome lines for drawing? I hate how my line work and shading still looks so rough.
Old 09 September 2011   #34
Hi Nate! Forgive me if this reply is too long. Here are a couple suggestions for figure drawing:

-Vilppu Drawing Manual by Glenn Vilppu

-Drawing the Head and Figure by Jack Hamm - This is a book I wish I had when I was a beginner. It seems like it would have been easy for me to digest at that level. It's easy but useful. The criticism I've seen for this book is that the people look "retro." The book is from the 60's.

Any Loomis books are common suggestions, but you're already getting that.

You may or may not like Dynamic Figure Drawing by Burne Hogarth. It's more advanced, so perhaps you can look it up at a later date. When I come across opinions on it, they are very polarised. If you get it, do not try learning realistic anatomy or proportions from it. It can be very exaggerated. I still mention it because I haven't come across anything else that helped me understand more advanced ideas like foreshortening, overlapping forms, and picturing the figure in perspective and space as well as it did.

Some common suggestions I've repeatedly seen that I unfortunately don't have experience with are the anatomy books by George Bridgman and Eliot Goldfinger.

I'm posting a link to a PDF of a ton of anatomy plates by a man named Dr. Paul Richer. They were published in 1890, so I believe the French version should be in the public domain by now (it lists a 70 year wait on Wikipedia...). So unfortunately... what I have here is in French. However, it's not too problematic figuring out what most the labels are despite not knowing the language thanks to Google. I'm under the impression that they are very accurate, and the images near the end depicting how muscles change as they work are particularly useful. There are English translations for purchase under the title Artistic Anatomy that contain more than just the images. There's also a PDF concerning his female anatomy, since it's imperative to learn that as well. I can't tell you what a single word means (again, it's in French), but there are images comparing the female and male bodies.

Anatomie Artistique images
Morphologie La Femme
This is the orginal source for the Richer images.

I can try to answer your question about lines, but realise I am highly untrained:

1. Practise. Your hand will not make the lines you have in your head until you train it to obey you.

2. Be aware of line weight. If the lines are the same value and thickness, it's very boring. Observe where the good artists place different thicknesses, light/dark lines, and tapering.

3. Try different pencil grips and types of arm control

I'm surprised you even asked me about lines, because I'm a chicken scratch artist that very timidly approaches lines and seems to form half of them by erasing. My shading can be too tight. When I try making smooth, sweeping strokes, they are far more wiggly and shaky than I intend. I recently found they will smooth out drastically when I try drawing as if I were playing the cello. When you move a cello bow across the strings, you don't do it by bending at the elbow and moving your forearm back and forth as if you were waving. Nor does your hand flop back and forth by bending at the wrist. You "push" the bow past the strings by using the muscles in your upper arm. You "push" and "pull" back, and the rest of your arm just follows after it.

In fact, I was surprised to learn that in academic drawing it's common to see the use of an "overhand grip." While it's not exactly the same, it still looks very similar to a cello or violin bow grip:

There are some other grips explained in that link as well if you would like to try them.

Try drawing from the shoulder (I read people making this suggestion a lot). Use your upper arm and let the rest just follow it. Then try it from the elbow. Then use just your wrist. They may have different feels and uses to you. Perhaps one is better at smoothness while another is better at control and tight spaces. Draw some pages of just lines and hatching/shading to experiment and learn what feels comfortable to you and your body.

There's also a tutorial on shading in this forum you can look at:

There's this site as well:
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Old 10 October 2011   #35
Hello Heather.

Not too long at all, I appreciate all of the great information you provided and will be diligently reviewing the links as well. I did order the book by Hamm, so I am looking forward to diving into that book along with the book by Loomis. Thanks again for the help.
Old 10 October 2011   #36
More gesture drawings. I also revisited the chest and made an attempt to visualise the muscles in a photograph of a male ballet dancer.

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Old 10 October 2011   #37
Trying to get faster at doing quick sketches.

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Old 10 October 2011   #38
well i just love that last drawing, lovely flow to it.....having seen your first drawings and now your last there has been a real improvement, excellent work all round, Heather......

Old 11 November 2011   #39
-Krispee, thanks for stopping by and for the encouragement.

My husband's work has been preventing him from sitting for me.

I chose to study a photograph with a highly unnatural pose and fabric preventing me from discerning the back leg very well mainly because the arm and front leg were situated in a way that I did not have any muscle diagrams that matched. I wanted to try figuring out where they would be located.

When I drew the gesture, I drew the overlaps in the upper arms backwards because I didn't understand how the deltoid insertion moves with the arm. I also noticed one of my previous studies looks like I connected the iliotibial band to the femur instead of the tibia. Lots to learn.

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Old 11 November 2011   #40
Couple photographs. My husband also sat for me and I drew his back. Too tired to fix his smudged shoulder. -.-

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Old 01 January 2012   #41
Studying the shoulder girdle and the muscles attached to the scapula.

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Old 01 January 2012   #42
That's good you learn the muscles. Try to learn one group for a week or so, and then repeat with increasing intervals for 7 times or so. Don't hurry learning many at once, you'll get there.
Old 09 September 2012   #43
Entire summer was shot due to family issues. Oh well.

Painted this back in May and wasn't too happy with it.

My sketchbook
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Old 12 December 2012   #44
Doing all of these out of my head except for my daughter sitting. I dislike doing gestures but I've been trying to do them for months now.

My sketchbook
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Old 12 December 2012   #45
Very awesome!
Keep up the good work! ;]
Now i really want to start my personal sketchbook thread!
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