Friday, 31 October 2008

Learning to draw

It may seem a bit odd for an artist but I have just bought a book on learning to draw. I've always said I have no natural talent and when I do a line drawing to do a cp picture I use either a grid method or a lightbox. If I draw freehand it's a disaster, doesn't even look like the animal it's meant to represent. It was with some trepidation that I ordered this book, which came highly recommended, it's called 'The new Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain' by Betty Edwards. I've only just started it but the results so far are remarkable and already I would recommend this book to anyone that thinks they can't draw but would like to. I'm going to post one of the drawings I've done from the first proper exercise in the book, which involves copying a line drawing taken from a 16th century drawing by an unknown german artist..........but upside down! Now if I'd tried to do this the right way up it would have looked dreadful. Ok, I know it isn't perfect but as this is the very early stages of the book I'm so impressed with the result.

My next coloured pencil project is nearly under way, I'm going to do one of the delightful foxes from the British Wildlife Centre, I got some great photos of them on the photography day back in May. Maybe one day I'll be drawing them from life!

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Scottish Wildcat ~ finished!

I can't believe how quickly I have finished this drawing. Ok, it's not anywhere near perfect - I really have to be more careful with my pencil strokes as I have tendency to work very fast - but on the whole I'm happy with it as my first piece after a long break. Drafting film is certainly interesting though I think it might work better for me on a subject with a smoother coat. I don't feel I've got the texture of her coat and without being able to layer I don't know how to achieve that. Anyway, enough waffle - here she is.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Taking shape

After today's work I feel that she is beginning to take shape, though I'll admit it's only an approximation of my reference photo. Today I made a direct comparison on the pc (overlaying the photo onto my drawing and shape wise it's pretty good, with just an error in the depth from under her nose to her mouth however the colours aren't good. Photo realism is something I would love to achieve but I'm a long way from there! Considering that this is my first drawing for about 9 months (and that I never finished the last one), I'm reasonably happy with my progress.

Monday, 20 October 2008

A wildcat evening

I wasn't very happy with this morning's scan, I knew there were bits that really weren't right. So here's an update with some changes and additions. It's a little better, I think. How I wish I had someone to stand over me and say what it is I do wrong when I am attempting to depict fur! Working on drafting film is certainly very fast, simply because I can't add many layers. I know from the work of other artists that this needn't be a disadvantage if you know what you're doing, trouble is I don't, lol.

Wildcat progress

As you can tell by two posts in two days, I am spending a lot of time at my drawing board. I wouldn't say I'm entirely pleased with how it's going, I'm already struggling with the fur both rendering and colour choice. I will keep going, this is after all a learning curve and I must expect difficulties after so long without practice. I am happy with her eyes and nose! Here is scan number two. There are bits that I will almost certainly have to change, one good thing, erasing is easy on this surface but it also smudges horribly if I get my hand on what I've already done.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

I'm back, with a wildcat!

Ok, I know it has been many months since I've posted and even longer since I've done any drawing. I finally decided to have another go, this time attempting a scottish wildcat, done from a photograph that I took back in May on a photography day at The British Wildlife Centre. I'm doing this drawing on drafting film, my first time using this surface. There's things i like about it and others I don't. The surface doesn't accept many layers and I'm used to adding loads of layers to give depth and definition. On the other hand the pencils (I'm using prismacolors) glide on effortlessly so it isn't as hard on my hands. Anyway, here is the first scan, I've done it with black paper behind though that may not be how I finally present it.