Friday, December 3, 2010

Drawing Month


My last 2 posts were extremely word-heavy for a blog and I fear I have run dangerously close to my maximum tolerable word allowance for the year. I am told that several people nearly shot themselves in the face when they saw the sheer volume of words they would have to slog through in my last posts. So, this week, I have an image-heavy post to share.



December is Drawing Month. (Grab your pencils)
Apart from being the fundamental core of an illustration, drawing is also just excellent practice for the artist's mind. It is like cross-training for the olympics. Every now and then it is good to take some time and really push one's drawing ability further.


 
Also, it is important to remember space aliens. If space aliens ever come to earth and ask us what we've been doing with ourselves all these years, we won't be left looking quite so stupid if we can draw them a portrait of themselves while they are standing there. Food for thought.




Doing practice studies from life not only helps the artist gain a greater command of the tools available to him, it also helps in developing a visual vocabulary to pull from when developing ideas straight from his imagination.






18 comments:

  1. Nice post Justin - really fabulous drawing.

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  2. Thanks for punching me in the face with these cool images! :)

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  3. Wow Justin, these are absolutely incredible.

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  4. Thank you for stressing the importance of drawing by hand. My instructors really frown when I want to hand draw my images... and am getting rather peeved of instructors who tell me I am wasting my time with it. Love your sketch second up from the bottom....the expression capture is amazing!

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  5. OH WOW! So when approaching studies and drawings like these, what preparation is involved, what's the first thing that's on your mind and what are the first marks you make?

    I'm curious how different artists approach the blank page when it's not a stepping stone in a much longer process.

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  6. My teachers are fond of saying that "drawing is the one common language amongst all of the visual arts." Good post, Justin.

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  7. These are just delicious! Thanks for sharing.

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  8. yeah, without solid draughtsmanship you got nothing. do you use reference very much?

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  9. You are so right, and such a good draftsman!

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  10. Shawna, who are these teachers and where do they teach?

    And Scibotic, the only preparation is to find some good photos to work from. If I am at a complete loss I will occasionally just go to IMDB and pull actors at random and find interesting still shots to draw from.
    As this is purely for personal development I am not really worried about copying. (If it were for a client work I would find my own models)
    If I can afford the time I like to warm up with a few of these before beginning to paint for the day.

    As for where to start, I think I will post a larger post on this next time as it is easier to show than state. The short answer is: start with a basic light outline to get proportions right. Then refine these shapes into something more accurate to the actual shapes you see. Then detail the image. (I essentially use a rougher form of Charles Bargue's method)

    The detailing obviously takes the longest and that is when the drawing begins to really come together. Everything up to that is essentially building the structure. In this final rendering stage I start from the subject's eye that is closest to me as an anchor point and work outward from there.

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  11. You speak such truth. Although I do a lot in Illustrator, I find I just get better as I spend more time drawing.

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  12. One way to practice is to copy drawing out of instructional books. Anyone here familiar with Lee J. Ames' Draw 50 series? I have a few of them here (Draw 50 Cars, Draw 50 Famous Cartoons, Draw 50 Buildings, etc.) and it's not only good practice, it helps you learn to draw that particular subject. In fact, I like how these books show step-by-step construction of a 1932 Chevy Phaeton, the Empire State Building, or Moon Mullins.

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  13. Thank you Justin for your wonderful response! I'll definitely chalking up another point towards doing some Bargue studies. :P

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  14. Thanks man, I wont forget about the space aliens.

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  15. Beautiful animal sketches! Well, all of 'em are beautiful, but you've really put some weight into the two animals images. Nice!

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  16. muy hermoso, estoy estudiando el libro de Betty Andrews para aprender a dibujar con el lado derecho del cerebro y estos dibujos son muy buenos para practicar

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