Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Summer sketches

I'm back! And not quite empty-handed, even though there wasn't much time for drawing. The two weeks I was away were largely spent on the road, and in impromptu family gatherings. But I managed to get some stuff done.

I now think that I had a breakthrough of sorts, and it was right after seeing Katerina Chadoulou's work earlier this month. Katerina draws faces very deliberately, with attention to planes, building forms with bold cross hatching. I tried to work in a similar manner in last post's photo studies, and in the ones I did subsequently:

as well as in a couple studies of other artists:

(The figure on the left is from a painting by Jacec Malczewski; the others are from Dave McKean's Black Orchid).

And I think I'm slowly, very slowly, getting somewhere with all this. The more 3d-like approach is helping me a lot. I can see or visualise volume where I previously saw mostly flat light and shadow.

I still need a lot more work. It's funny how, the more I practice, my skill increases at a more or less steady rate, but at the same time my standards rise exponentially. So I'm never really very pleased with my work. (I'm pleased when I draw and when I finish stuff, but then soon afterwards I want to do better). So I hope I keep doing better, I guess!

The rest is much less focused, but here it is anyway.

Life drawing from the port of Kavala:

And all the rest is from imagination.

By the way, all the pencil sketches I post are digital assemblages: the drawings usually span a lot more pages (and even sketchbooks), but I cram them in together for convenience, chronologically or, as in this case, thematically.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Summer break (of sorts)

I've been slacking it since the second half of July. I kinda blame it on the heat, but the truth is I just haven't been motivated enough to draw much lately. I kept doing a few sketches on the metro up to a point, but I was dissatisfied with them; hardly worth the hassle of scanning them. Then I picked up some unread books that were gathering dust on the shelf (Oryx anf Crake by M.Atwood filled my transit time until the start of my summer leave last Monday), and I got hold of Civilization V (that one created a huge time sink), and well, you get the idea. :p

These are from early July:

The yard (second image) is from life, the rest is from imagination. The wrapped critter is supposed to be a tarsier. The fluffheap tree is intended for either a mural or a huge print for a friend's wall.

And these are from just this evening. Photo reference from a video by Paris Kain (upper row) and Suresh Natarayan (second row). I realised that all this time I've been drawing with a B pencil, which is great when I'm making sketches during transit as it doesn't smudge, but on the other hand it makes them a bit dull as I can't get much contrast out of it. I used a 2B for the faces, and it was almost a revelation! (I did spend a lot of time cleaning them up, though.)

I also tried a different technique for these, thinking about planes first, then use crosshatching to build up volume, instead of my usual pussyfooting around shadows.