Forum posts by Aunt Herbert

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  • #27109

    Here are some poses from me. These are 5 min resp 10 min poses drawn at the end of 30 min classes. I am atm not 100% sure where I want to go with my drawings, I know I want to do more, but,... atm I am very much in love with black ink and pentel brushes. Extremely versatile, allow a lot of control... which in turn means that they also make any lack of control painfully visible.

    In the end I would love to

    #1 be able to draw quick and precise, without botching proportions... a few thousand more drawings should help..:)

    #2 find a good way to indicate volume and mass with a brush... maybe a combination of line weight and some form of hatching?

    #3 develop the discipline and courage to tackle bigger projects.


    My first idea would be: Use bigger paper. And more. Crunching all of a 30 minute class on one single page doesn't really help a lot in developing line quality and makes critiquing individual drawings a bit awkward.

    In some of your drawings I had the impression, that you are not 100% clear about position and function of the hips, others look more competently. The five-minute sitting female's front leg for example doesn't really connect to the hip.

    The gap between 1 minute and 5 minute drawings is a bit of a problem for me, too. I try to tackle it partially by taking a deep breath and concentrating more on placing the initial lines accurately.


    Maybe trying to mentally separate the construction of the face from the shading process will help. "Cartoons" usually try to capture an object with few and clear lines, and sacrifice subtle midtones to achieve this, to the extreme of accepting a very flat 2-D impression like in a typical child cartoon, while shading to achieve depths aims to capture exactly these midtones.

    You work almost exclusively with lines, so your technique for depicting midtones has to be hatching or cross-hatching. The challenge is to make a visible distinction between hatching lines, that mark the tone of an area, and contour lines, that mark the outline of a shape. Your lines seem to oscillate a bit between these two functions, which reduces the clarity of expression. Is that part of the face in shadow, or do these lines represent wrinkles?

    Warm-ups that concentrate purely on practicing a more regular hatching pattern might be a good idea, as will rendering geometric shapes like spheres under simple lighting conditions, so your hatching patterns don't inadvertently become more expressive than you want them to be.

    On the other hand you could try to focus on drawing from extremely dramatically lit images, with high contrast and few midtones, so you get used to capturing the shapes of a face with clear stylized lines, replacing all hatching with flat dark planes contrasting with flat white planes at first, as lights and shadows, without using any midtones at all. Then only start to separate midtones once you are comfortable to draw without them.

    I find that movies or series often use that kind of expressive lighting, hitting the pause button often produces great motives.

    And last but not least, be aware that "cartoonish" i.e. stylized drawing, and realistically rendering voluminous depth via shading, are somewhat separate goals. You will likely end up finding your own compromise somewhere between, but if you try to excel in both of these polar opposites at once you WILL accumulate quite a bit of frustration. There are few artists, who excel in both at once, and the result of a heavily stylized motive with 100% natural rendering will produce a distinct "canny valley" effect. Only artist that comes to mind for me is Gottfried Helmwein in some of his political caricatures.

    P.S: You are asking specifically for the placement of features. Normally I would point to the Loomis method to help with that, but from your results you don't seem to lack theoretical foundation for that task. I would guess, that at the point you are at, it's just a question of more practice, although revisiting more basic lessons again is never a bad idea. If you figured all that out purely on a trial and error basis and don't know Mr. Loomis, you might want to search his introductory works and try them out, but I got the feeling you are really beyond that by now. Refreshment is always good, but don't expect completely new insights.


    I have been training on until its recent demise, and I really learned to appreciate same length sessions. Say 10, 20 or 30 minutes of quick sketches.

    I don't like the time schedule you have on predefined lessons, so I started a "same length" sessions, and somehow naively assumed it would end after 20 or 30 minutes. I started drawing, then it turned into grinding and I kept thinking "This got to end sometimes, right?". I finally broke off, and counted 73 sketches I done. That's more than one hour of sketching, without any break, it get's really tiring after a while and at the end the quality started to visibly decline. And it seems for all that I don't even get the cheap endorphine kick of counting this time for practice time on my profile, as I had to break off the session manually.

    I would really appreciate that one extra button for the Same Length sessions, that lets me chose after how long a time it automatically ends and counts the time spent towards practice time.


    My idea for a next step would be to advance that sphere shape you use to represent the chest area towards a flattened egg shape, that is closer to the actual anatomy of the chest. You will have to reduce the distance between hip and chest quite a bit, to make that work.

    In the short exercise you always use quite a lot of lines to represent a single sphere. If you manage to draw fewer lines with more control the result will be clearer. Maybe spend some warm-up time just on practicing circles free-hand.