Saturday, May 31, 2014

Accurate Drawing Short and Simple

I was recently asked in Noah's class by another student to share some of the secrets to my line drawings that can be seen from the previous post here Art Camp 2 Week 1. The big secret is patience, going slowly and experience, time. Here is what I told him though:

As for how I get my lines the way they are, and by this I am assuming you mean accurate or deciding which ones to pick out, the short answer is experience. I have been doing this since high school back in the early 90's. But for a better answer consider this when doing these kind of things:

Every shadow, highlight and in-between tone is a shape. It is as simple as that and if you outline each one, and I usually try to do it according to value - darker outlines for darker shapes lighter outlines lighter shapes, then you get what I did for the studies. 

To make them more accurate look at the study of N.C. Wyeth or the 2nd Bargue copy. There you can see a pretty tight grid over each drawing. They all have it but these are the 2 that I left it on. For copying photo reference there's simply no better way, except possibly tracing it, but I used to suck at tracing so I would just redraw everything (again lots of practice). At a small level and with patience it is easier to make sure you are getting the lines set right. 

Now to do it from life there is probably no better way than the atelier way but it doesn't have to be size sight. I studied at the Safehouse in San Francisco for a little while which is where Karla Ortiz is from. She was a class ahead of me there. There we used plumb lines (anything that hangs straight on a line) and knitting needles to measure things by holding them out at arms length, taking a smaller measurement - say the width of the head because that fits into the height of the head and using that to lay in the outline of the form starting with straight lines boxing it in. So the head is about 1 1/2 head widths high. Easy enough. Now you know the basic size relation and box size of the head. From there start using smaller measurements with the more detail you put in and use the plumb line to check how things really line up vertically. You can also use the angles of the face like the triangle of the nose pretty much continues on to the corners of the mouth and to the start of the chin on each side. There is a good book on atelier drawing called "Lessons in Classical Drawing Essential Techniques From Inside the Atelier " by Juliette Aristides, check it out for a crash course on realistic drawing and how to measure out everything. 

So basically define an edge for every "shape". Start with big measurements and the outside proportions. If those are right everything else can easily be found. If they are wrong your insides will be way off and so will the whole drawing. Then get into smaller and smaller shapes and lines within the drawing. 

I did a quick walk through of the steps in another Frazetta study. I started with the black outline shapes. Then moved to the red reducing my grid by half then to the blue lines reducing that grid by half again to tighten up some details. It is still rough but basically what you will end up with is the final black line drawing. Then if you want to add tone just pick 3 or 4 tones from white to black and fill in the shapes accordingly. I go with 100% White, 100% Black, 50% Black and 20% Black for my tonal studies.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Art Camp 2 Week 1

So I started Art Camp 2 with Noah Bradley this week. For this week we are doing shape studies, Master studies in line and Bargue plate drawings. I studied at an atelier in San Francisco and this is just using the same technique we did there. We were doing cast drawings though. The second step usually in classical atelier drawing programs after Brague plate drawings. Now I have a week to do all this plus more. Glad I am more practiced at this now helps me be faster knowing what to do and how to get it accurate. We had a whole month of 4 hours a day for 4 days a week plus to do 1 drawing but they had to be precise and every little grain on the paper was filled in so it all looked smooth like a photograph. Sounds tedious and boring and it can be honestly. Some times you just wanted to say, yeah done, and move on but slowing down helped a lot in developing detail and I found that the biggest thing separating me from the pros was the amount of time spent on a project. So slow down, add more detail and really love what you are doing and you will improve quickly.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Update Morrigan Dragon Age

So, right after I posted the last one I made some changes in her face especially. I figured it would be more engaging to have her looking out at the viewer. I pulled a picture of Angelina Jolie as Maleficent due to her pronounced cheek bones and triangular face in that one being in line with the character Morrigan's face from some videos I watched of the game being played. Much to my surprise when Jon Schindehette did reviews today for Rebecca Guay's SmART class her mentioned the exact same things I had done 2 days before as being something that those who did the character needed to focus on to match her likeness even using Maleficent as an example and Olivia Wild whom I had not thought of at the time. So that was nice to know that my thinking is inline with what I need it to be to be successful with this project.

I wasn't able to get a review at the time from Jon as I am only monitoring the class right now but I will be sending this to him as soon as it is finished especially since he asked everyone to send him their finished projects for this and we'll see how things go from there. 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Since I don't post often enough even though I am working on stuff. Here's a 2nd work in progress shot. I still need to add more details especially to her and I have changed some things since the last one. I think with some more vibrant colours on her she'll pop as the main focus nicely. Hope Jon Schindehette likes it well enough. Can't wait to do another version of this with my own character and crows with skull type heads flying around as well.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Something I have been working on to follow along with a SmART school assignment from Jon Schindehette and his new company Treehouse Brand Stores. They do merchandising for games so the requests that I undertook was to create a art print for Morrigan from Dragon Age. This is just a work in progress shot so I'll post the final in awhile. enjoy until then.