Saturday, December 31, 2011

Daily drawings day 5! I really did not want to do today's drawings.. wasn't feeling it. I was trying to convince myself to do them tonight or do double tomorrow... scramble all you want little brain but we're doing this:)

I got a little lost today doing some of these sketches.. I started out thinking about an exercise that Tom did when I was TAing in his Super Heroes class. He drew a fairly pedestrian figure of Captain America on the wall and challenged the class to draw a much more dynamic Cap by altering the pose. So I tried doing some dynamic powerful male poses... your standard superhero fare.. and I really struggled with it. Which then led to the usual internal monologue when things start going wrong "why can't I draw better than this... this is embarrassing... 7 years and untold thousands invested in an education in sequential art and I can't draw a simple dynamic heroic pose!" which I flagellated myself with for about 15 minutes as I got more and more frustrated.

And then I stopped doing it.
Because that is one of my patterns... this isn't perfect.. why isn't this perfect... what an awful artists I am and an awful person and blah blah blah..
Hyper self scrutiny leading to self doubt then self abuse. How tragically dorky.
But I know I do this... so once I caught myself I dropped the bullshit and went back to what the intention of these daily drawings is... quick, gestural dynamic drawings.
Structure first... specifics later.
And the next 20 drawings were super fast and energetic and really scribbley and loose...
and I dug myself out.
Knowing your stupid patterns and the means in which you will attempt to kick the shit out of yourself when you are down helps if you can catch yourself doing it. I am getting better at this. Better every day:)

These are from yesterday.
Using the Scalera "People and Poses". I like the pose of the crouching male with the arms crossed over his face. I am always trying to think about silhouette... how the drawing will read if blacked out so there is no internal information, only contour. Even though the limbs are kind of stacked I think this pose sill reads emotively as a nice silhouette.
I find more and more how important this is. The figure has to be an easily and quickly readable shape otherwise the viewer gets confused. As drawing is a visual language the letters in your visual alphabet have to be quickly identifiable otherwise your "reader" stops "reading" and starts thinking "what the hell is all of this?" The "reader" is taken out of the visceral experience of "reading". Whether it is comics or movies or music or a video game or a newspaper article maintaining the connection with the audience is imperative.
Otherwise the connection is lost and the story isn't heard.
Which is why we are doing this, right?
Making a connection and wanting to be heard.

And making dough....
... tons and tons of dough.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Daily Drawings Day 4

Well here we are at day 4 of Daily Drawings. I did my quick sketches using Buddy Scalera's People and Poses. I am finding that initially when I am using reference for my quick sketches that they stop being "quick". I get a little lost in the minutia of the surface anatomy as opposed to just sticking the gesture of the pose and the basic contour and proportions.

Good lesson for me...

The details are meaningless if the structure isn't right. The goal is to capture the energy and attitude of the pose before committing time to the finer details of the figure. Structure, structure, structure... you see how important this is in solid draftsmanship... people who can really draw understand structure... by this I mean an understanding of the physical construction of the object.. how it relates to it's individual parts. It is how an artists depicts a three dimensional object in a two dimensional format convincingly.

Wow... look at me.... learning stuff:)

Here's some sketches from day 3. Again going for gestural and energetic. I realize after doing some of these that there is something going on between the torso and pelvis that I don't quite get sometimes. It is the relationship between the plane of the back as it inserts into the external oblique and the front of the ribcage and the obliques connecting to the crest of the pelvis. It is where all the turning, twisting and bending happens in the human figure and how you capture dynamism as opposed to stiffness. This juxtaposition is what can really make a pose POP and one of the aspects of my sketches I am going to keep focusing on.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

I didn't get a champion night sleep last night (my awesome wife seared off some drumsticks for me and I ate all three of them (plus a blueberry yoghurt) before retiring...kind of a "dream of the rarebit fiend" thing) but I still managed to slog through 30 sketches... can you feel my excitement.. can ya!! They actually went pretty good... I did several relaxed poses and some of them were cool.

Day three down.

Go me:)

These are from yesterday using Buddy Scalera's "Girls and Women" as a reference. Again, trying to be quick and gestural but capture the energy of the pose. One of the things I keep trying to remember is how "wedge-like" the female pelvis is as it protrudes in the rear.. especially when arching the back. And all of the "b's"... the "b" of the torso and the "b" of the arms and legs.. it creates a very organic feel to the different forms and is a a great device for quickly capturing the structure of the figure.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Rollr Girl

Just a fun sketch I did over the holiday after I finished my commissions:) Sometimes it is fun to just do something that you want to do for fun. Woo Hoo!

Daily Drawings Day 1

Yesterday, I started doing my daily drawings and, man, did it feel clunky! But I still managed to sit down and pound out 30 fairly quick sketches. I think I missed my 20 minute time mark by about 15 minutes but I am sure it will go faster as I get past the uncomfortableness of doing them (I hope).

Thankfully, today's drawings went a little smoother. Just a few minor interruptions because of my duties as the kitty butler... "meow" means "I want in"... "meow" means "I want out"... "meow" means "hmmmm. 'out' isn't all that great... I think I would prefer to be 'in' again" and so on...

Here is one page of the sketches I did yesterday. Nothing earthshaking here... just a guy and a pencil trying desperately to figure something, anything out :-)

Quick gesture stuff trying to capture the energy of the pose with on eye on proportions and basic surface anatomy.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

the path of most resistance.

I think this will be my first blog post on "Sequential Ramblings" with no art attached. I have been wanting, for a while now, to write a series of blogs about my process. By my process I mean the manner in which I get things done, specifically, my art. The drive behind these blogs is not that I labor under the delusion that there is some teeming audience clamoring for insight into my little world (though it is a fascinating little world, with exploding birthday cakes and hamsters with handguns) but rather that I find, like many others, that sometimes committing my thoughts to the written word seems to help clarify and organize my focus and intent.

The heading for these blogs is entitled "The Path of Most Resistance." The reason being that I often find that my life is defined by how I deal with the things in my life which cause resistance. You know what I mean... that hot and uneasy feeling in your gut when a subject or issue is brought up or broached that is something you need to do, or have been meaning to do or want to do but have been avoiding or putting off. We all have this, I think, to varying degrees. Whether it is going to the gym, doing the dishes or relationship or family issues. We all eventually find ways to deal with it. We put our heads down and push through or at some point we get frustrated enough or fearful enough and get it done. But I find that still, at the ripe old age of 43,that resistance, specifically in the area of my art but not confined to it, is something that I still really struggle with.

Bleh! Barf Barf Barf! Yup, there it is gang, my big secret... I'm not perfect even though I said I was and I even sold bumper stickers and T-shirts that had "Ted's Perfect" printed on them. I will buy them back at a percentage to be later determined.

So my idea for the coming year is to try a new approach. Traditionally, I put off that which I resist until there is no other avenue but doing that thing or facing failure, or ridicule or jail time. My goal will be that when I feel that resistance I will instead immediately do that thing. Simple! Right when my gut says "No, we don't want to do that thing!", we do it!
This blog will document some of this stuff mostly those things that have to do with drawing, my career and art. I will be starting with something that I have struggled with for years though I know it is one of the best things for me but from which I run like a rabid dog.

Daily drawings.

By this I mean a structured, daily series of exercises that are geared toward continuing to develop my skill set as an artist.

Easy, right!

Wrong! I hate, hate, hate doing this and my gut churns at the thought! Why? I don't know and I don't think that the reason really matters. It is a damn good thing for me and it is something I know I should do.

So for the next year, every day, starting today (gasp) 30 sketches. Mostly figures but lots of other stuff, too. Quick, fast gesture drawings developing my drawing technique and skill. Every day..... for a year. Yikes! At the most 20 minutes a day.

I will be posting some of this stuff, mostly drawings that come from the daily drawings that I think might be of some interest or are fun.

I should be interesting how my little brain tries to escape from this but I intend to persevere... I think it will be very informative to see what could happen in a year.

Here goes...