The first drawing is one that I’d started outlining on the previous day; and then left to finish the next day because I had to leave early for work. It was based on this reference photo:
This is what I made:
I think I’m so spooked with drawing either human faces or anything where perspective is needed, that I use lighter, less confident pencil strokes. It’s not just scanner settings.
Here, too, the proportions / perspective are off from the photo. But I think I was more confident drawing the Buddha statue than the background.
I’ve now realised that when it comes to drawing faces, drawing the Buddha again and again is probably a great way to learn and get better. The Buddha’s face is serene, unlined, and symmetrical – and it’s a great way to build up to drawing more complicated, wrinkly, tilted faces. I think I’ll be drawing one Buddha face a week for the near future.
I also did another drawing completely from scratch, based on this photo:
This is what I did:
The depth I tried to show in the ears hasn’t really come through in the scan, but it could have been a little better even in the drawing. Overall, I’m really happy with what I’ve done here. There is room for improvement, but those feel like minor faults and not insurmountable ones.
Just like with the cat drawing from earlier in the week, I can’t quite get the whiskers right.
But I think that this shows that I’m best, and most confident, at drawing felines, regardless of species.
Wifi problems again. I went back to a really old favourite, from back in 2006 when I first started using flickr. This one:
This is what I drew:
I had tried to draw the full reflection, as it is in the photo. But trying to get it to the similar light, translucent image as in the reference image meant that despite my best attempts to tweak settings, the scanner just didn’t pick it up. And in the drawing of the model herself, the blacks have become much darker as a result.
There’s a smile in the eyes of the original photo that I haven’t been able to capture at all. But this is better than my recent drawings of human beings. And I think it’s crossed a threshold, and is now mediocre rather than awful.
For whatever reason, on the morning of the 5th, my wifi was acting up, so instead of go through the Flickr explore page, I picked an old favourite. This one:
And this is what I drew:
I’ve made the left eye a little higher than the right eye, and the whiskers are also off in a way I can’t quite understand. But I’m happy that I’ve got the depth right – even better than the previous day’s baboon. And I’m also proud of myself for using different pencil grades to show the cat’s eyes, the shadow on the left side of her face, and the mouth.
After the demoralising Sunday, I wanted to go back to drawing animals.
My not-yet-two year old nephew loves elephants, so I’d been thinking for a while that I should learn to draw them realistically. Happily, Flickr explore in the previous week had an elephant photo that I saved for later:
I was still demoralised, so I did only the elephant, and not the background buffalo or trees.
It still seems a little cartoony – I’m not too sure how to get the wrinkles just right.
After taking a break on Friday and Saturday, I wanted to use my Sunday to make up for the missing days and make up for the drawings from earlier in the week that I wasn’t happy with.
I decided to continue “Draw something you’ve been watching” with a Youtube video that’s been making me giggle – a live action reproduction of the “Busted” song from Phineas and Ferb:
I was pleased with my improvement on human figures after drawing the Twelfth Doctor, so I ambitiously decided I wanted to draw the split screen shot of Candace and Vanessa pointing out of the screen.
Turns out I was overambitious:
I was so unhappy with how the proportions were working out that I gave up in disgust and tried to do something else – rework my Twelfth Doctor drawing, where I was unhappy with the proportions of the hands.
That didn’t work out great either:
I think that this time around, his hands and face are in better proportion to his body (though still not a perfect reproduction), but I’ve lost all the detail of the face. In my first attempt I was grumbling that I’d made the Doctor look like Wolverine – now he looks like Constantine. Blech. This, too, I abandoned rather than spend time trying to erase and redo the face.
In despair, I did one last drawing, with a flickr reference. This had both human hands, which had been frustrating me all week, and a bird, which I felt would restore my confidence. Unfortunately, the flickr user removed the photo.
It’s not a perfect reproduction, but I’m happy that I’ve done a little better with the hands, and that the Sunday wasn’t a complete failure.
Continuing with ‘draw someone from TV I’m watching,’ I decided to draw Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor, and used this as the reference photo:
And this is what I drew:
The Good: I’m happy with the nose and the lines on his face. The bad: I think I’m way off on the proportions and didn’t realise that Capaldi is both tall and has an extra long face. I’ve squashed both his torso and his face, and now he looks like Wolverine.
Also, his hands. It looks like he’s got dwarfism. Groan.
And the eyebrows aren’t the exact raised eyebrows that the photo has, but Peter Capaldi’s eyebrows are so unique that I’m willing to give myself a pass on those.
I feel that my shading of shadows has become a little bit better in this.
Continuing with “Draw somebody from TV I’ve been watching” week, I drew Chihiro from Spirited Away, using this as the reference image:
This is my reproduction – only Chihiro, no background:
Today I don’t want to talk about my own drawing so much as express gushing admiration for the original. Reproducing it was easy because there aren’t that many elements in the original. But with such few elements, the Ghibli animators were able to bring across an entire face, its expressions, and make it look real enough that my brain completely accepted it as a real person going through horror. I hope I can become that skilled one day.
I got ambitious and tried to draw people from TV series and movies I’d been watching. First up, Malia Baker as Mary Anne Spier from The Babysitters Club, which works very well to calm you down in the middle of a pandemic. This is what I used as a reference image:
I’m foiled by eyes again! And I’m not sure that her neck is all that long. But I’m roughly satisfied, and feel that I’m at least on the path to getting better at eyes.