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.
It’s Sunday! I’ve completely given up on any plans of getting weekend chores done, and instead I decided to spend my time drawing an extra photo today.
The first photo I did was:
And this is what I made:
It isn’t perfect, but after a week of being absolutely frustrated at getting things so wrong, I’ve finally made a drawing where I’m more pleased with what I’ve got right than upset at what I got wrong.
Looking at it now, I do seem to have made her body larger than the head demands, but not appallingly so. I tried to get the feathers defined – I don’t think I’ve done it perfectly, and I think there’s a technique to it that I haven’t figured out yet – but I’m still pleased with what I did manage.
The poor eagle seems to have an eyebrow rather than an eye ridge – that’s what I’m most unhappy about. On the other hand, that might make this work as a comic rather than as a reproduction.
Next up, I tried a still life:
And… I think my skills went back to the poor level that had me so unhappy all this week:
Everything’s off in proportions and placement, the tomatoes aren’t recognisable as tomatoes, and the only thing I’m happy with in the whole drawing is the effort I put into showing the layers in the garlic and the onions.
On a personal level, I’m glad I spent time on drawing this morning, though, instead of just sketching as quickly as I could before starting chores or the work day. And maybe having a day where I do one drawing that comes out well and one drawing that comes out badly is the right balance between keeping my confidence up but also keeping me practicing things that are beyond my comfort level.
I wanted to do a street scene; and also to become ambitious and draw all the elements instead of only the people or things in the foreground. I found this one:
This is what I did:
I’m deeply frustrated with this – the car is completely off, and doing the storefronts in a rush has made the barely noticeable. Both the people are stick figures more than detailed drawings, and I just wasn’t able to show the chairs as three dimensional objects properly.
This is one of the drawings which has made me feel that I’ve worsened over the past week instead of improving.
On the 23rd, I decided to get back to portraits. And in Flickr explore, this portrait was especially captivating:
This is what I made of it:
I think I got the shape and proprtions of the head right, and I enjoyed shading the denim jacket – but that’s possibly the best thing I can say about it. Just a week of practicing less than earlier has pushed my skills back to the poor level they were at the beginning of July. I’ve ended up changing the model’s smile, which looks so heartfelt and happy in the original photo, to a suspicious side glance.
Trying to make sense of what I did wrong, I think I’ve got the eyes in a straight line, which I used to struggle with earlier. I tried really hard to get the depth across with shading. So the main problem is with the smile and my shaping and proportions in the lower half of the face; or, possibly, there are very tiny details in the eyes that have to be done right before the drawing looks realistic.
It also feels worse to draw a person wrong than a building wrong or an animal wrong; because bad skills can so easily be taken for a deliberate caricature or insult.
Aware of my difficulties with perspective and architectural drawings, I wanted to get back to practicing those as soon as possible. This photo was the right combination of beautiful, challenging, and not too challenging:
I didn’t even want to attempt the gorgeous clouds and sunlight, but just to get the building right – for now. Unfortunately…
I don’t know what I did that made my drawing so flat. Getting depth right when there isn’t a lot of depth to work with is frustratingly hard.
I think this past week has pushed me to think that while practice is important, I now really need to get back to watching lessons before going further, or I’ll remain stuck.
The past week or so has left me with very little time to draw, or draw well, for personal reasons that I’m quite delighted about. Where drawing was concerned, my goal these past few days has been to draw anything at all, and not be too hung up about drawing it completely or well.
Unfortunately, I haven’t been drawing them well for the most part. But here come the drawings anyway.
On 19 July, I decided to draw this photo of capuchin monkeys:
And I made this:
I got proportions off again, and by the time I finished the monkey on the right, there was no way to fit the monkey on the left on the same page in the same proportion as he (she?) was in the original photo. And I also had a chore to run, so I let the drawing be with just one monkey instead of erasing and starting over.
What I’m unhappy with: not being able to complete and not getting proportions and composition right. I think the monkey’s left arm is also out of proportion.
What I’m happy with: shading, and being able to show depth between the arms and the torso.