Lab doors creak, and there’s dust everywhere. How long since since the last post? Who cares. Why now? Getting back the “mojo”, and that sort of thing.
The experiment is now ME. I have had not drawn much for some time, so the goal is to get the engines going again. The previous post is years old. There will be stories to tell, but I’ll bore you them with later. Re-training.
Slightly over a month ago, I started with warm up drawing exercises, doodles, and other drawings posted elsewhere. I chose direction following artist Salgood Sam’s “Making Comics” blog, specifically the post on Drawing Exercises. (Thank you Sam!). Turned out to be just the thing, hitting the right spots, and I got full value from it. It covers more than I think I can cover in just one post, but I’ll try my best to include everything. Topics visited for the exercises are drawing grips, hatching, line control, patterns, and other exercises. Some of the activities “bled over” others, so we will see how it goes.
It is a great workout, and has made me confident, and comfortable. I initially gave myself a week, but its been 5-6 weeks since, and I promised myself I’d share the progress. If you take these exercises on, please remember that whatever you draw does not have to be good at all. This is exercise, so you’ll see a “roughness” evident in the scanned images I will be sharing. Effort is what this is all about. Two notebook into it, I realize volume, and repetition is key for the warm up. I picked to use ruled paper in old notebooks, something I wouldn’t care much about, and that it wasn’t expensive. (My daughter’s old school notebooks did the trick. I think I still have a couple, and I am glad we didn’t throw them away. I’ll get real, blank page sketchbooks at some point, but burning through pages like this would be kind of wasteful for nicer blank pages).
So here we go. (NOTE: These are retouched scans from the ruled notebook, and I’m adjusting to make the drawing lines darker. There’s a lot of “show-through from other notebook pages worked on, and of course, some “indentation” that embosses the pages from previous pages on to of them. Yes… its a mess, but I’m just practicing, not being too neat and clean) .
Minding the “grip” recommendations, I started with hatching practice. Picked on some standard ones, and made some of them up. One always gets caught up with the resulting textures, and the temptation to “work them over” is always there, so you’ll see some attempts to shade, etc.
Next, I had some practice with patterns and a bit of shading (mixed pencil and pen/penbrush, nothing fancy, just exploring )…
Here are some that are more pen than anything else (I like ink).
Next, there were plenty of “line” based exercises. There’s the classic practice of drawing a straight line, over and over, but that’s like doing calligraphy, or learning to write long-hand… lots of repetitive stuff. I’ll just focus on the non-repetitive exercises, like the “single line” contour line drawing (blind or otherwise, you’ll see). That was fun to do, and it feels like you are solving a puzzle or maze. A friend of mine posted some “etch-a-sketch” pics the other day, and that’s exactly the “thinking” behind it, only that when it is free-hand, you go in any direction, and there’s little hints where the “connections” are made to keep the line going. The first one was a “blind” contour line of some “amazon device” you may recognize. That was horrible, but doing it blindly is still fun. The others were mostly carefully done, not lifting the pencil, except for some, at the end, where I “worked them up” a little, but not much… there are faces, plant doodads, and the corner of a piece of furniture… oh, and some doodling thrown in.
Following that, some “shape shading” with hatching exercises that were very entertaining.
And last, but not least, exercises with sort of “organic” shapes, and shading them. However, light and shadow became a focus here. Figuring out how light hits an object, and the shadows it casts was a separate trip on itself. I mean, one can guess, and have that guess be adequate, which you have leeway with in art, but I got all worried about it, and did some searching on one-point, two-point, and three-point perspective, on the side. I posted some of that work elsewhere, and even drew some buildings, corridors, etc, spurred by this part of Sam’s exercises (and with help from Sam’s guidelines and references). It turns out vision is a funny thing, and its all in the ever-changing perspective. Even found some optical illusion drawings I’ll be trying out later, but for this post, its all about how I started warming back up to my old drawing habits, and how Sam’s post and guidance helped so much. I can’t think him enough for sharing those exercise tips.
Back to the last part of this post (I thought it was going to be a multi-part thing, and it could be, but there’s not that much time when you want to draw the next thing, right? 🙂
Here are some organic shapes, based on Sam’s suggestions. Some of them are also “worked over” but they reflect the idea of how light hits an object. Don’t mind the “bleed through” images please (if you look close enough you’ll see my attempt at a little “Rick and Morty” 🙂 ). And of course, I know… cleanup lacking. I darkened lines/contrast to get as much of the pencil as possible. I will learn better imaging habits soon enough.
So, again, thanks to Salgood Sam… here’s the exercise link again – http://makingcomics.spiltink.org/drawing-exercises/
And that’s it for the re-opening post. I used to post about “experiments”, and will continue to do so (tools, process, etc)… of course, I’ll take suggestions, comments, etc. Happy to hear from you, don’t be shy!
Finally, for those still “subscribed” to this blog, and finding an unexpected notification in their email. Missed you! I hope life has been good to you. Chime in just to say hi.