Sunday, February 24, 2008

Altoids to share

Working now on getting into more details with my work and also proportion. What is the secret to lining up the bits and pieces so that the art imitates the reality, but doesn't copy it verbatim?

Not a bad likeness overall (although the "S" in Altoids had an overdose of Cheerios).


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Ann said...

I like this drawing! The fact that the proportion isn't exact is what gives it character, an expressive quality. Learning drawing is really learning to see. You will find the more you draw the easier things like proportion become.

Brian said...

Judged by the other drawings on your blog, you are not yet very experienced in drawing. You are taking on quite complex and tricky subjects, so are throwing yourself in at the deep end, so to speak. Hence I would not feel too bad at all about it. Drawing such complex things is a challenge even for professional artists.

The most basic thing to do to improve drawing is simply to practice, and it takes huge amounts to get anywhere with it. So one could say you are well on your way!

For more specific advice, I notice that you say you worked from left to right. This could be part of the problem: if you misjudge the size of the first tablet, the mistake will tend to perpetuate itself through the rest of the drawing. It can be useful to first try to identify and sketch out larger patterns before filling them in with the smaller elements.

Of course, in the beginning one makes huge mistakes in the proportions of the larger shapes as well, and once again there is little other remedy for that except lots of practice.

Some methods described in books such as Betty Edwards' "Drawing on the right side of the brain" can also help a lot.

Also, apart from the EDM challenges which can often be complex and tricky subjects, I suggest you also practice drawing simple shapes like eggs or simple cubes, cylinders, cones and so on. Draw them from 'life' i.e. get real objects, put them in front of you and draw them as well as you can, shadows and all.

Ideally one should use shapes fashioned out of wood and painted a neutral, greyish colour, (in the good old days, one could get sets of these from art supply shops, specifically for drawing training, but alas, nowadays it can be tricky to get hold of any such things).

But one can also use simple everyday things like, as I said above, eggs, or fruit like apples and bananas, or the inner cardboard core of a roll of tissue paper.

You might think these are too simple to waste time on, but they are surprisingly difficult to draw well, and they teach you a huge lot about shape, proportion, light and shadow.

Good luck, and keep up the good work!

-Brian (from EDM group)

Laurie said...

Good advice from everyone, but I agree with Ann, it's a cool sketch with character. Laurie

Just because said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone! The joy of just being consistent and doing something everyday is become a gratification in its own right. I'm enjoying the journey which is saying a lot from a "destination" guy.

juj said...

Whatever the secret is I think you've found it. Now perhaps you'll tell the rest of us!! Brain has some good advice, especially if you are interested in representing something in a more classical sense, but personally I am less interested in seeing the "reality" of an object than the character that you have captured. Keep practicing - eventually your work will reach a balance between the two. But along the way, try to embrace the advantage that you have in NOT being classically trained.

minim said...

i really like this drawing. in spite of its wonkiness it has real character and it doesn't look *unlike* what it is - you've done a great job!

andrea joseph's sketchblog said...

Oh I LOVE this drawing. Cool, cool beans.