It’s always been incredibly nervewracking, sharing the latest sketches from sketchpad or digital tablet, and never more so than this month.
That’s because this time around, in addition to my ongoing work to improve my fundamentals – focussing most recently on the human figure – I’ve also experimented with other drawing subjects and styles, and the results have been somewhat mixed.
The male and female figure
This sketch of the male figure (like all the sketches this month, done in pencil, pen and ink), has some issues – predominantly in the front-on view. Not only is the torso anatomy a bit off, but the proportions aren’t quite right, and the head is a bit crudely rendered. The side-on shot is considerably better, although the proportions are still not exactly on the money, leaving the arms a touch too long, and the arms a bit too short.
The female figure sketch suffers from the same issues as her male counterpart, again most prominently in the front-on view.
The first of the “experimental” sketches, this doodle was an exercise in playing around with shapes – in this case, the circle. The lightbulb is slightly off (in the absence of a compass, and not working digitally, I had to use the base of a sharpener to style it!), although the rendering is nice, I think. The cauldron/pot fares less well and looks flat and cartoonish, and there’s not much to the basket ball (it’s neither good nor bad, for mine).
The next little experiment was the first of several tonal studies, using the nose for a subject (because why not?). I’m pretty happy with this one, such as it is; there’s a nice roundness to the bridge of the nose, and the different light sources appear to case shadows of differing intensities, which is correct.
For the next tonal study, I chose a more challenging subject, something I’d never drawn before (at least, as an adult): a horse! I’m really please with how this turned out – I’m sure the anatomy isn’t quite spot-on and the hair could be better rendered, but there’s a convincing roundness to the forms (particularly around the horses jawline), and again, the varying intensities where the shadows are concerned works well.
I’m not thrilled with this one, a landscape sketch that was admittedly scribbled down very quickly in order to provide yet another tonal study (this time of the interplay between light and shadow upon the mountain range). As such, it’s not such an issue that the geography is a bit vague, the forest trees quite loosely rendered and the water only loosely suggested.
Yes, it’s another headshot! But this time, it’s an attempt to emulate the Japanese manga style (which mostly works), and yet again, to examine how shadows play out across surfaces. The end result is a mixed-bag, with the fringe-line and face/neck shadows fairly solid, but the remainder of the hair nothing to write home about.
Back to figure drawing, this time with a less “superheroic” subject and focussing once more on tone and shadow. It’s an admirable effort, although there are issues: the anatomy is off (the right arm doesn’t quite work) as is the perspective (the left arm, this time), and the creases in our subject’s shirt could be more convincingly rendered.
If the horse sketch was a challenge, then this car was virtually Mission: Impossible! I hadn’t drawn a car since I was a VERY young child before I sat down to pen this one, and even a cursory glance will reveal the issues with this one: the shape of the rear half of the car (from the windshield back) is a bit wonky compared to the front, and something is very wrong with the front tire. Still, at least the front half of the car looks ok, and I’m confident the next time around, the end result will be a lot closer to the real thing!
That’s all for this Easel Update – next time around, I’m hoping to feature more figurework, along with maybe a few more experiments (just to keep things interesting!).