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Merusk
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Reply #35 on: February 08, 2016, 01:58:13 PM

So you're looking more for the geometry of building things then? Something like this:
https://www.sibleyfineart.com/tutorial--draw-ellipses.htm

Other than that I'm just not getting it. It's not like music where there's a specific and explicit technique. Lots of it is just talent and practice with your own ability in my experience. A good reason I was a better technical draftsman than artist is because I don't have the raw talent for unaided lines, even though I totally grocked all the geometry instinctually.

Some people are good at seeing the geometry and proportion and just laying it out there. Others need lines and rules and sketch lines to build off of. Even in that detailed tutorial a lot of it is, "How does it look" and "copy the last thing you drew"

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Sky
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Reply #36 on: February 08, 2016, 03:27:01 PM

Right, I've got a book that lays it out like that; drawing cylinders as reductions of rectangles, etc. Just that the teacher never even mentioned that. Or perspective or horizons. The more independent study I do, the more she gets on my nerves. I need to practice it like that so I'm not in the habit of drawing squished ellipses with wonky left sides.

She has us doing vases with lips and curves and stuff. Just irritating, is all; she skipped a crucial thing I should be practicing. So I'm trying to find a good way to fill my sketchbook with basics to build a good foundation. I think setting up a still life in my basement is the best setup for now.

My oils teacher is awesome, so it balances out, I guess (even if she's more sight-size than anatomical). And the drawing class has been great for getting me going and learning to open up my arm for bigger gestures. And the oils teacher can give one or two concise suggestions and I can work for an hour just off that, the drawing teacher can't fix the simplest of my mistakes.

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Reply #37 on: February 09, 2016, 08:23:04 PM

If I draw 400 shitty ellipses without instruction, I'm habituated to drawing shitty ellipses and would have to work that much harder at correct it later.

My piano teacher waaaaaaaaaaaay back when would have agreed with you. She always said "Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect." Meaning if you practice doing it wrong you will indeed develop a habit of doing it wrong.  But you still have to practice, practice, practice! Which left me in quite the quandary as I sure as heck wasn't practicing perfect!  why so serious?

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Sky
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Reply #38 on: February 09, 2016, 11:25:16 PM

Might be an outgrowth of my decades of study on guitar and a lot of bad habits I developed as a kid, sure.

One of the better sketches from tonight, about 15 minutes including toning the background. Charcoal on newsprint, using an eraser for highlights. Value I'm somewhat comfortable with, but my linework continues to suck.


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Reply #39 on: February 10, 2016, 07:43:42 AM

Your linework leans towards the sketchy look, rather than having a single clean line.  I tend to do the same thing.  With charcoal, it can be hard to vary line thickness too.

Good looking sketch though, Sky.  My thought is that the darks need to be pushed more, but I don't know what the still life lighting was like, so this could probably be fine.  I know I have a problem with my values and I never push my darks far enough.  It's an issue that I have and I know I have it, but fixing it is hard.

This morning before leaving for work, I managed to get a layer of watercolor ground down on a small canvas.  I picked up two for the Art for the Paws charity event (I did it last year, too).  Instead of working on paper and adhering it to the canvas after, I'm trying out watercolor ground so I can paint directly on the canvas.  We shall see how it works out.  Have to cover the second canvas tonight so they can both dry well and be lightly sanded before I get to putting paint down.

Sky
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Reply #40 on: February 10, 2016, 08:41:57 AM

I've always had sketchy lines and I'm ok with that. It's pushed in this class because that's what the teacher wants. The lighting was terrible, I was kind of behind lamps on the right and left. She has a buddy in the class and tends to set things up for her (I was getting irritated because they spend almost the entire warm-up hour chatting rather than teaching). Also had overhead fluorescent lighting, so there were almost no strong shadows at all. Also also we weren't supposed to use anything but linework and the background toning.

She also complained that people were using too much linework, but didn't teach us how to properly remove it (and really, with two values it's almost impossible for beginners, anyway). With my shading, looking back on this drawing I see a lot of places I could have removed the outlines for a better drawing, but it was nothing she told me.

Love the class and the experience I'm getting, but the instructor is abysmal.

She also stepped on the third rail with me by talking about art schools she attended and the fine art/illustrator line and went on for a while backhanding illustrators. So tempted to point out that good illustrators can't skip fundamentals the way fine artists so often do, and some of the best fine artists get their technique in illustration so abstract is a choice :) But I was good and followed my rule of taking the positive away from the experience and making the most of my time. But I'll avoid her classes in the future...

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Reply #41 on: February 10, 2016, 03:48:22 PM

Oh, the illustrators v. fine artists argument.  Heard that one a lot back in college when the fourth floor folks (the fine artists) talked down at us second floor people as being sellouts because we did illustration.   swamp poop  One of our usual comebacks was that we couldn't just make up a bullshit explanation for what our piece "meant" when going through portfolio review. 

I knew it was all crap when one of my instructors gushed praise for a series I'd done for my semester review.  I'd been slacking and needed a set of five drawings for this series so in the span of about two hours at like 2am, I scrawled colored ink (straight from the dropper!) over blank paper with a line drawing underneath.  He fucking loved it, I was sleep deprived.


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Reply #42 on: February 10, 2016, 06:44:33 PM

My sister is an artist and an illustrator, not that being an illustrator isn't an artist but a lot of people seem to make that distinction.  Guess which one pays the bills?  She's had fine art shows, won many shows, both as a painter and a sculptor... but over the 20 years she was very competitive, she had to work as a full time librarian to make ends meet.  Now she's a full time artist... I wouldn't like to suggest to her that an illustrator is something less than that.  She'd give me that "I'm your older sister and I can kill you" look.

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Reply #43 on: February 12, 2016, 12:17:10 PM

Tough oils class last night, finally getting into mixing colors. Took too long learning and experimenting with that, didn't finish my color blocking :( Also looking pretty weird at this phase, teacher assured me this is cool (actually urged me to be messier and not worry about keeping it precise right now). And not being able to do the darker local flesh colors meant I could mix in areas where I lost some while putting in the lights, this may have screwed me pretty hard.



More details on the blog. TL;DR mixing paint is not easy but I still am surprised it's not a complete trainwreck yet.

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Reply #44 on: February 12, 2016, 03:15:22 PM

The great thing about oils is how the layers work. That looks fine, and the high contrast low detail layer will really add to the quality of light in the finished work.

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Reply #45 on: February 12, 2016, 10:43:23 PM

I'm pretty interested to see how her method pans out. I believe we'll be doing glazing and whatnot later, my main concern now (besides mixing colors properly and learning to apply paint properly and...) is dialing in the details from my drawing again. Still feel I got lucky with that, and it was a sloow process (I was one class behind all but one other student). But I'm hoping by the time we get to glazing in color I'll be comfortable enough with my technique to finally focus on painting primarily (I glaze a lot with miniatures, so building and blending that way is my normal method).

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Reply #46 on: February 14, 2016, 08:20:38 PM

The fun thing with oils is they take freaking years to completely dry, so you can go in and work details after the fact.

Sky
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Reply #47 on: February 14, 2016, 10:23:47 PM

Yeah, when I went to smooth over my base flesh tones some of the white started pulling up, so I left it rougher than I wanted :\

Also, I learned how to sharpen pencils today  awesome, for real

http://cashwiley.com/2016/02/15/pencils-pencils/
« Last Edit: February 15, 2016, 12:01:56 AM by Sky »

Pennilenko
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Reply #48 on: February 16, 2016, 10:38:09 AM

Forgive the ignorance, but what is wrong with a pencil sharpener?

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Sky
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Reply #49 on: February 16, 2016, 02:58:55 PM

This method allows for using the various widths of the side bevel for shading or soft lines. Works pretty darn good, combining the sharp tip of traditionally sharpened pencils with the shading of a charcoal stick.

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Reply #50 on: February 16, 2016, 10:00:19 PM

Tues night, drawing 101! Tonight we added a shadow tone for a 3 value drawing. More deets on ze blog: http://cashwiley.com/2016/02/16/3-value-drawing/


Sky
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Reply #51 on: February 18, 2016, 09:14:56 PM


Khaldun
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Reply #52 on: February 18, 2016, 09:34:26 PM

Feels like it's losing a bit of dimensionality? Is that a normal stage of working up the oils? Painting is something I'd love to try.
Sky
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Reply #53 on: February 18, 2016, 09:49:14 PM

Feels like it's losing a bit of dimensionality? Is that a normal stage of working up the oils? Painting is something I'd love to try.

No idea, it's all new to me. Just doing as I'm told each session. I think what you're seeing is because it's just flat color with no gradation, just lights and shade as monolithic blocks, more or less. Next week I'll start to put some variation into things. Which is when it gets super tough because my limited mixing skills come against having to approximate this week's mixes as a base and then accurately mixing changes in hue/chroma/value for the subtle changes around each area. Bleh!

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Reply #54 on: February 19, 2016, 11:16:52 AM

Feels like it's losing a bit of dimensionality? Is that a normal stage of working up the oils?

Yes and yes. The oils don't dry completely for a long time, so new paints will tend to blend with the previous layers whether you want them to or not. Simple, clear lower layers establish overall color and tone, and then later layers add contrast and detail. "Local color" allows for productive blending and establishes a firm base from which future layers can safely diverge.

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Reply #55 on: February 23, 2016, 09:57:09 PM


Sky
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Reply #56 on: February 25, 2016, 09:49:38 PM


RhyssaFireheart
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Reply #57 on: February 26, 2016, 11:28:49 AM

Looking good so far, Sky.  The left side of his nose seems to be lost in the shadows though.  I assume you'll add more definition as you keep working on it.

I'm procrastinating on writing to short artist statements for the charity canvases I did.  It's just.. I never know what to write beyond "I did this using watercolor on watercolor ground on canvas."  Ugh. 

Sky
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Reply #58 on: February 26, 2016, 12:36:06 PM

The left side of his nose seems to be lost in the shadows though.  I assume you'll add more definition as you keep working on it.
Thanks! I started to put some detail into the shadow side and she told me to leave that off for now and focus on blocking in the lighter tones, that too much definition in the shadows would render the portrait a bit unrealistic because the eye sees more detail in the light.

Gotta redo his nose tip (again), it's pointed up a bit more than I faked in there, I was mostly trying to get the right nostril defined a bit. So much left to do!

It would definitely be easier if I weren't limited to 3 hours (minus breaks and instruction time) once a week. At the very least not having to create my mixes from scratch every week! On the other hand, it's great practice for quickly making acceptable mixes...

Sky
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Reply #59 on: March 10, 2016, 10:18:01 PM

Oops, forgot to post last week! Anyway, here's how Vinny is coming along. http://cashwiley.com/2016/03/10/thursday-night-oils-2/


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Reply #60 on: March 11, 2016, 09:55:36 AM

It's interesting to scroll up and down comparing this latest pic with the one immediately previous.  You can really see the definition coming in on the eyes and his skin tone has gotten more rosy and has depth.

I hope you do a gif showing all the progress once you're finally finished, Sky.  It'll be really cool to see how the piece changes and comes together.

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Reply #61 on: March 11, 2016, 10:47:32 PM

The fiancee has been mashing together my current week and the previous as a way to bust my chops (see, you're awesome, etc; because I'm not the most confident artist).

But this week was really cool because it's the first time I feel I can do this. The paint is getting easier to manipulate and I reeeally like it. Still a lot of flaws, not sure I can fix them all in 4 weeks, I think at this point it's a race to the finish and anything I can tweak into shape along the way is a bonus :)

Painting minis was often the same way, many hours of meh and then when the details start to go in it really comes together and looks good. Except this is so much better, I think.

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Reply #62 on: March 22, 2016, 10:00:17 PM


Sky
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Reply #63 on: March 24, 2016, 11:03:19 PM


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Reply #64 on: March 25, 2016, 08:30:43 AM

Nice, Sky.  I went and opened the last 4 versions you've posted in the thread so I could really look at them to see the changes over time.  I'm sure some of the color is just from the photo, but I can see the changes in skin tone and more refinement in the jawline, especially on the left side of the image. There's more definition to the lips and under the nose, but the nose itself still looks blobby.  Not sure if the instructor is having you work on certain areas at a time or how that's going.

It might be the photo itself and not the painting, but going from pic 13 to pic 14, I can see a yellowish undertone around the eyes/upper cheek areas, and the shows on the side of the face are looking blotchy to me. 

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Reply #65 on: March 25, 2016, 08:48:54 AM

It's hard to get a good picture of a wet painting under general fluorescent lighting! Nose is just kinda sketched in, I'll refine that next week. I had hoped to get it done last night, but I wasn't really able to finish off the lips, because we all went out for drinks to celebrate the instructor getting her own studio (because we are trying to get her to open it up for a few of us as an atelier!).

Week after next should be shadows, I've really done almost nothing on that side, per the instructor.

It's far from perfect, but for my first try I'm pretty happy with how it's turning out. Planning on taking another portraiture class with her this summer.

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Reply #66 on: March 25, 2016, 11:13:32 AM

I keep seeing the same guy.

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Reply #67 on: March 31, 2016, 10:10:00 PM

The sad reality that I'm just not going to have enough time to fix everything. Two more sessions left. Blah.

http://cashwiley.com/2016/03/31/thursday-night-oils-4/


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Reply #68 on: April 01, 2016, 12:34:14 PM

But it's looking really good so far, Sky!  The details are coming in great.

Sky
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Reply #69 on: April 01, 2016, 10:06:29 PM

Yeah, I mean, I'm learning a ton and it doesn't suck. So that's a win in my book. Going to sign up for another portrait class with this instructor for summer session. She's convinced the school to buy some casts so she can run a head drawing class in the autumn.

If that falls through, I'll probably buy a couple casts and have her teach us anyway :)

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