Sketchbook Digest

Another slim sketchbook week due to classes. I kind of took a class on Sunday, too. Sat in on a figure painting class and did gesture drawings. Since there was only one pose, I ended up sketching the students a lot. Here’s a sample of that, I did a bunch of pages like this. Gestures ranging from 20 seconds to 2 minutes (but mostly 30 seconds to a minute), charcoal on newsprint 18×24. Also a head study at the end of the session, about 15 minutes (same media).

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In the sketchbooks, another page of study from Huston’s book, graphite on paper 9×12. Still working on my Simone Bianchi Ororo copy in the small sketchbook…getting bogged down in the hair details, blah.

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Sketchbook Digest

Sketchbook digest a bit slim this week due to classes starting up. Draw every day!

This week I got in a new book, Steve Huston’s Figure Drawing for Artists. Did some gesture studies, both practice from the book and overlay gestures of master works. Then a page of head construction studies.

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Only one comic book copy this week, took me two days to finish (4×15 minute breaks). Copy of an Alex Ross concept for Planet Hulk.

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Figure Drawing

Last night was my first figure drawing class. I last took figure drawing in 1984, and it felt like I was right back there…except that was a horrible experience that has lurked around in my brain ever since. So I took a step back, used the skills I acquired over the last year and pushed through the doubt and negativity, so I could begin to learn.

I was struggling with my linework as usual, and got a bad angle for the first 10 minute pose. I decided to play around with some tone, and struck on the way to navigate this difficult subject…I should fall back on my strengths, developing form with values.

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Things got a lot more enjoyable, though obviously this is just the beginning and I have a looooong way to go, and so much more to learn. But at least I found a way to make it fun!

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Sketchbook Digest

Here’s last week’s sketchbook digest. I took the weekend off to get a break before classes this week, so it’s a bit thinner than usual. Started with more anatomy from the Winslow book, the first two are graphite, Prismacolor and white Conte on toned paper, 5.5 x 8.5:

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And a few rectus abdominis studies, graphite on paper, 9×12:

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Only one comic book copy this week, a request by Matbar (who is the proud new owner of it already!), a Marc Silvestri copy. Graphite on paper, 5.5 x 8.5:

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Tonight…portraiture class, part III!

Sketchbook Digest

Started this week in the digital realm: my first digital painting, done in Corel Painter Mobile on my old tablet, so it’s relatively low res (2k x 2k, though this is a low res web version). And of course I already see a spot I didn’t finish…

Anyway, good learning experience. Meaningful painting, it’s where my family fished up lobsters going back to the revolution. That’s my great-grandpa’s buoy in the water.

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Still working on Valerie Winslow’s anatomy book. This week’s copies are in my new 5.5 x 8.5 toned sketchbook. Graphite, Prismacolors and white Conte.

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I received the luscious new Ralph McQuarrie book set and immediately did a copy of the 1st cover. 9 x 12 graphite on paper.

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And some J Scott Campbell copies I did during my breaks at work, trying to sneak in more sketching time. It’s working! 5.5 x 8.5 graphite on paper.

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Testing out Android apps

Testing out a few art apps on my tablet, prefacing this with a disclaimer that I just poked around informally for a few minutes on each. First up is my overall initial favorite, Art Rage. I love the sketch tools, coming from a charcoal sketch bias it is head and shoulders better than the other two. I didn’t even try painting with it, because the charcoal tools were so nice. I loaded up a toned ‘paper’ to replicate drawing on newsprint. Image is my normal anatomy work out of Patrick Jones’ book, so this app wins for ‘feeling like I’m drawing normally.’ BIG DOWNSIDE is that on my old samsung with only 3GB RAM and a pokey old mobile cpu, it’s super laggy. With informal sketching, the experience was so superior I could put up with it a bit, but for real work it would drive me bonkers. Makes me sad that the best sketch program has a slow 😦

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Next up is Corel Painter Mobile. The sketch experience was fairly mediocre. Didn’t feel much like real sketching, though not as digital as Sketchbook. Faster than Art Rage. Since this is a mobile version of Patrick’s favorite painting app, I loaded up the paint tool for a quick test and it felt better. I’ll have more testing on the painting aspect, as I feel that is where this app shines.

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Lastly is the preloaded Sketchbook app. I think it might be a gimped version of the full app. Lightning fast, no lag whatsoever; but at the cost of feeling ‘glassy’ and digital, no real drawing feel at all. Painting also feels very digital. Not totally a bad thing, though I’m an art luddite, so it loses points for that. But it does have that lightning speed, so might be the best for quick idea dumps or concepting out stuff for traditional work.

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I really wish Art Rage was zippier on the tablet (though this experience pushed me to buy it on the Steam sale!). It’s hands-down a good drawing experience other than the latency issues, and I think the quick tests show that. No fumbling to find tools that replicate the effect of charcoal, just used two charcoal presets and BAM, I think it looks like a real drawing!

Each app has a strength to explore, if only I could have the speed of Sketchbook, the paints of Corel Painter and the drawing of Art Rage!