New to drawing [Archive] - Artist Forum

: New to drawing


dickhutchings
10-06-2015, 08:28 AM
I have done some drawing when I was in my teens but never really went for anything realistic. Now 40 some years later, I've purchased a sketch book and some pencils and trying to take it a little more seriously. After a weeks worth of practice, I drew my grandson from a photo. Looks a little cartoonish but it's better than anything I've ever done.

I know I need a lot of practice and I have to overcome hand tremors while I work. I don't think it's impossible though and I'm really enjoying drawing again.

BTW, this is the only forum I found where other drawers actually make comments and offer help. This is what I'm looking for and I hope to become a recognized name here by commenting and interacting with you all. Anyway, here's my first drawing that I actually like.

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chanda95
10-06-2015, 09:59 AM
Well welcome! This is a good group of very talented artists and I hope you stick around.

You have a very nice start here. There are a couple of things I would suggest looking at first if your ultimate goal is realism. Shading is uber important. I would practice on that using everyday objects. We have a member here who often suggests using a pool ball and that is an excellent suggestion. Boxes..just day to day objects. Keep a sketchbook and draw daily the things you see and focus on your shapes and shading. That foundational work will go a long long way.

Also important in realism is to eliminate outlining. There are no true outlines when you look at something in real life. That is where learning to shade well comes into play. Your shading becomes how you define your subject matter.

I will say that (for me) portraits are difficult. You have to get the proportions just right. The eyes look a little too large in this particular piece however the fact that you were able to achieve what you did after only a weeks practice is very very good. I look forward to your future drawings.

Keep up with the sketchbook..draw daily and draw everyday things you see..don't get too ambitious to start off with..start small and try to master some basic skills and move up from there.

Nice job and once again..welcome!

dickhutchings
10-06-2015, 10:43 AM
Thanks very much for the input Chanda. I'll try to get back to basics as you suggest. Lot's of simple shading practice.

No outlines?? That's going to be difficult.

chanda95
10-06-2015, 11:11 AM
Thanks very much for the input Chanda. I'll try to get back to basics as you suggest. Lot's of simple shading practice.

No outlines?? That's going to be difficult.

In time you will find it's not as difficult as you may think. The trick is when you start drawing in your shapes..do it very very lightly..then use your shading to to do the work for you. If you draw your shapes in with a dark outline it becomes extremely difficult, if not impossible, to fix.

dickhutchings
10-06-2015, 12:14 PM
This is where my tremors give me trouble. The lighter I draw, the more squiggly the line. I really need an extremely light pencil for this. What is the lightest pencil made?

TerryCurley
10-06-2015, 12:24 PM
Welcome to the forum DickHutchings. I hope you enjoy our little community and I am very glad you joined us. I think your drawing is great for getting back to drawing after 40 years. Chanda95 is one of the best graphite artists I know and taking her advice will make you improve quickly.

chanda95
10-06-2015, 12:28 PM
This is where my tremors give me trouble. The lighter I draw, the more squiggly the line. I really need an extremely light pencil for this. What is the lightest pencil made?

Well ideally what you want to do, if you haven't done so already, is purchase yourself a set of graphite pencils and start experimenting. H pencils are going to have your harder leads and will generally be lighter when working with them and the B pencils have a softer lead and are typically used for darker shading.

9H is going to be about the lightest you can go..

http://drawing-and-coloring-blog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/pencils-for-product-sketching-pencil-hardness.jpg
image courtesy of http://drawing-and-coloring-blog.com/pencil-hardness/

dickhutchings
10-06-2015, 12:44 PM
OK, so I need 3H through 9H. Thanks.

chanda95
10-06-2015, 01:08 PM
Welcome to the forum DickHutchings. I hope you enjoy our little community and I am very glad you joined us. I think your drawing is great for getting back to drawing after 40 years. Chanda95 is one of the best graphite artists I know and taking her advice will make you improve quickly.

That's very kind of you Terry!

chanda95
10-06-2015, 01:14 PM
OK, so I need 3H through 9H. Thanks.

No problem. Good luck and like I said there are several graphite artists here who are more than willing to help out as you go along. I think one of the neatest things in the world is to watch someone start off and improve as they go. Terry is an incredible testament to that. She has just blossomed artistically and with your foundation I know you will as well.

The main advice I can give though is don't be afraid of values. It took me years to understand that going dark was nothing to be afraid of. I encourage experimentation and practice with the entire range from the H to the B. Get yourself comfortable with them all. You will find down the road that becoming comfortable and proficient with all the different pencils will be a huge help. It also helps you determine what you like best. Personally I hate the H pencils for the mere fact of how they feel on the paper. I use them when I have to but I have learned to use the HB pencils for my layout pencils..I just use a lighter pressure.

Lashdown91
10-06-2015, 08:30 PM
Keep it up!

All I can say is keep practicing! Draw as much as you can, whenever you can. You will improve.

I've taken my drawing seriously for over a year now, and I can see major improvements. I just look at drawings from the Old Masters and try and copy their style. It's been a year of just copying paintings and sculptures, with the occasional life model.

In regards to your shaky hand. Try and draw the basic shape of what you're sketching, quickly. Big strokes, but as lightly as you can. It doesn't have to be accurate, as you will go over it in more solid strokes as you start to shade.

dickhutchings
10-07-2015, 08:08 AM
As suggested, I tried a pool ball. I did not feel good about my efforts. It was pretty depressing. Maybe I need something simpler.

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chanda95
10-07-2015, 08:45 AM
As suggested, I tried a pool ball. I did not feel good about my efforts. It was pretty depressing. Maybe I need something simpler.

23665 23681

Now hold on a minute..before you get depressed about it...look at what you have done here. Are there any outllines? NO. Did you get a feel for darks and lights and where the shadows are supposed to be? Judging from what you have done here I would say..YES. Did you get the shape correct? YES.

Does it need a little work? of course..is it a success? absolutely.

good job!

Lashdown91
10-07-2015, 09:13 AM
Great progress!

One way I learned to grasp forms was by focusing on light and shadow.

Here's a quick example I drew, which I hope can help you. Just the step by step process of shading. Starting very lightly, then going into more detail.

You can start doing this on many shapes, and then go into more complex structures!

dickhutchings
10-07-2015, 09:53 AM
Now hold on a minute..before you get depressed about it...look at what you have done here. Are there any outllines? NO. Did you get a feel for darks and lights and where the shadows are supposed to be? Judging from what you have done here I would say..YES. Did you get the shape correct? YES.

Does it need a little work? of course..is it a success? absolutely.

good job!

Thanks, that's very encouraging.

dickhutchings
10-07-2015, 09:58 AM
Great progress!

One way I learned to grasp forms was by focusing on light and shadow.

Here's a quick example I drew, which I hope can help you. Just the step by step process of shading. Starting very lightly, then going into more detail.

You can start doing this on many shapes, and then go into more complex structures!

Thanks, I should keep it simple like you've shown until I get better at the more important aspect which is shading. Without copying a perfect pool ball, I can make a lot of balls quickly and work just on the shading. That's what I'm going to do.

dickhutchings
10-07-2015, 10:03 AM
One thing I noticed is it's hard to get a smooth shading on the paper I'm using. It's Strathmore Sketch paper fine tooth surface. 400 series. Should have something better?

Bushcraftonfire
10-07-2015, 12:02 PM
Dick.. first off.. welcome to the forum!

2ndly.. for a first attempt.. that pool ball is good! In fact.. here's a challenge.. take a QTip.. spend a few minutes VERY LIGHTLY blending your work. Work in curved lines that go from the left/right edges. This will emphasize the roundness of the ball. I think you will be surprised at how good it will look after just a few mins!

Asancta
10-07-2015, 01:20 PM
As suggested, I tried a pool ball. I did not feel good about my efforts. It was pretty depressing. Maybe I need something simpler.

23665 23681

There is no need to despair...no one is chaising you,there is no life/death contest so why the depression?You have plentyyyy of time to exercise over and over again.Look up some youtube videos(some are already here on the forum) and practice.I think you did a good job on your ball...you do need practice-yes I agree but other than that you are doing fine.:biggrin:

FanKi
10-08-2015, 10:44 PM
I have 2 things to say:

1st: I love your grandson's drawing! It's really cool :3

2nd: Depressed? Aaahh no, not in this forum! >.<
Comen, it's drawing! Even if you did something wrong, you can do it again, and again, and again! Until you're able to do it perfectly!
Do not hurry your skills or improvement, it will came alone with time and consistency ^^ (And by the way, I have seen a lot of that improvement we're talking about with your new shading practice, keep like that!)

dickhutchings
10-13-2015, 01:16 PM
Well, I found the answer to this problem. Pencil weights (https://www.therapyshoppe.com/category/P773-weights-for-pencil-pen-weighted-pencil-writing-tools). I tested it with my kneaded eraser stuck to the the non- drawing end of my pencil. I can actually draw a smooth line now.:biggrin: Woo hoo!

This is where my tremors give me trouble. The lighter I draw, the more squiggly the line. I really need an extremely light pencil for this. What is the lightest pencil made?

chanda95
10-13-2015, 01:28 PM
Well, I found the answer to this problem. Pencil weights (https://www.therapyshoppe.com/category/P773-weights-for-pencil-pen-weighted-pencil-writing-tools). I tested it with my kneaded eraser stuck to the the non- drawing end of my pencil. I can actually draw a smooth line now.:biggrin: Woo hoo!

Oh wow. This is a wonderful product! I had never thought of such a thing because at the moment I do not need them but I think it's a fantastic idea! I am glad it is helping out.

Rykal
10-14-2015, 06:59 AM
You do have a nice base to start from. My first suggestion is to print a black and white reference picture. As Chandra said start working on no outlines. Something that really helped me with shading is I really started paying attention to how the light hit things around me. I would study by just looking at a chair. We all start somewhere and this is a good start.

dickhutchings
10-14-2015, 08:06 AM
Thanks Rykal. A black and white reference is what I used to draw my dog Bailey. I'm not sure that was an improvement but it's a start.

I spent this morning drawing shaded spheres. I enjoyed this exercise quite a bit.

leighann
10-17-2015, 09:31 PM
I sketch on Strathmore all the time. I Know there are more expensive papers, but I'm drawing for pure enjoyment, so I don't see the need right now for the extra cost.

I also rarely use the B pencils...don't know why, just like the H's better. :biggrin: