Thursday, 18 July 2013

013 Level ups and downs...

While learning to draw, you sometimes get what I call a Level-up. There are certain points where you suddenly "get" things.
For instance, you study perspective and draw and draw, study and study and you have the feeling that nothing progresses. But suddenly out of the blue something clicks in your mind and your mind understands. You get euphoric and feel like the king of painting able to do anything.

The downside to this is, at least for me, it is usually followed by a down where you think, you are not good enough for anything. After getting over that, the cycle starts anew.

While annoying, this down is actually not so bad, as I have discovered. You get this down, because you look differently at your work, with a new skillevel, and of course you value things differently now. The "secret" is, keep drawing no matter what!

Here is an example of my recent levelup/down.

Regarding figure drawing, especially from imagination, I was doing so-so, nothing really great.

I started doing studies of pencil drawings watching lines, proportions,...(this here is a study from

More studies... (here from John Howes concepts for The Hobbit)

Jumping to these figure drawings done from imagination, applying what I learned through studies
My down this time was, I couldn`t do proper gesture drawings any more, especially with a fast timer (30 sec- 1 min) The outcome would always look unsatisfying. After a few days, it hit me why. In my gestures I never properly cared about proportions, just to get the motion somewhat down. So I had to "relearn" gesture with regards to never bothered me before my Level-up.

012 Back to Basics

In the last few weeks and months, I decided to strengthen my foundation skills. I studied perspective and mostly figure drawing, anatomy and proportions. It is good to go back to the basics once in a while, even if you´ve drawn for a long time, especially if you´re selftaught. I also concentrated on making my digital linework better.
So I went from:

to this:

The key is of course studies, studies, studies. Do not copy what you see, concentrate on the linework. Consciously draw your lines, be careful about lineweight (thicker lines on shadowed areas, thinner on light areas)
It is also important to make confident lines. The first images shows mostly scratchy lines, scribbling away, not thinking about the lines I made.
In the second image, I concentrated on the lines I wanted to make, ghosting over the areas where I intended to put them and when I was sure, I drew them. 

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

011 Graphic tablet painting quick tipp

Some beginning artists are really good with traditional media when they start out, but switching to a digital tablet is hard for them. I´ve been there. The tablet doesn´t respond like e.g. a pencil, where you can feel when marks are left on the paper. On a digital tablet it just is too smooth without much feedback.
Here is a quick tipp:
Tape a piece of paper to your tablet! It is a whole other feeling when drawing digitally. It won´t make you a better artist, but it sure helps.

You can even put a whole stack or a sketchbook on top, which gives you an even softer surface.