Rasmus' Art Blog

Schoolism with Stephen Silver: Assignment 9 + concluding thoughts

For the last assignment we redrew the character from the first assignment, Walter Chipwitther. I didn’t clean it up as much as the first version, instead I tried to focus on applying the things I’d learn throughout the course about construction and form, avoiding repetition and “the ladder”, and just a simple thing like tilting the head. Most people might not notice, but I’m pretty happy with how the second one feels a bit more “grounded”, I feel the perspective more than in the first one which is just straight on. The connection of the shoulders which was one very basic thing Stephen criticized the first drawing on, has been improved as well.

rasmus-comparison

 

Stephen’s comments: Good work addressing some of the issues, like adding the tilt in the head and paying more attention to the form. It feels like there’s more of a focus now, where the first version was getting a bit crowded in the face with everything – monocle, cigarette, nose, mustache eyes, hair, ear etc – all being basically the same size. There’s a clearer contrast in size in the second version and it really clarifies it. Maybe push the perspective a bit more on the bowtie, and mind the volumes on the legs. Hands are looking a lot better! Perhaps push the cheek even more so it doesn’t feel so even. Maybe wrap the mustache around a bit more. I also asked Stephen about foreshortening, perspective and stuff like that and his answer was basically that, based on everything I’d shown him, he think I understand the basics of foreshortening. It’s just tubes, spheres and boxes. It will get better with practice, but more importantly I should practice capturing the gesture, preferably by taking life drawing classes or at the very least carrying a sketchbook and drawing from life.

 

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My thoughts on the course: Taking this course is something I’ve wanted to do for years, so I’m really happy I finally got to do it (Also, now I’m qualified to take the advanced course, so I have that to look forward to in the future if I ever wanna do it)!

For the most part it was a lot of fun, though as with all illustration (and studying in general) it comes with it’s fair share of anxiety and stress (at least for me). I had a lot of things written down that I wanted to learn at the start of the course, and some of the things I feel like I’ve gotten better at – or at least changed my approach or view of – include drawing caricatures, understanding form and construction better (and making more of an effort), drawing hands, avoiding (and understanding) “the ladder” and avoiding repetition. I also feel more comfortable doing quick sketches of characters and silhouettes.

When going into the course, I knew there’d be no “magic” solution to everything that Stephen would just impart to us so we’d suddenly be able to draw amazing stuff, but a part of me still wanted that to be the case. But there is no magic, it’s just hard work. Just gotta draw more to learn more.

What I liked less about the course was, at times, my own effort lacking a bit sometimes (though I knew that’d vary from week to week). I wanted to draw more and better to get more out of the course. I also felt at times like my critique videos were a bit rushed, like Stephen was in a hurry, even compared to watching some of the older “classmates”. I don’t know if I was just being greedy though, wanting more video-time for myself.

My Final Course Score:
Effort: Excellent
Technical: Excellent
Creative: Excellent

(I don’t know what that says really, maybe they say that to everyone… it’s nice to hear regardless)

Schoolism with Stephen Silver: Assignment 8

Assignment 8 was to draw in the sketchbook, and show some pages of observational sketches and a memory sketch. I took some pictures of my colleagues and used that as a reference for figure drawing. I also did a head sketch of Audrey Hepburn.

Memory sketch (this was a dude at the library, who was looking at the book shelf while eating an apple):

memory-sketch

Sketches:

sketches1
sketches2
sketches3
sketches4

Stephen’s comments: Stephen didn’t really critique the sketches in the same way as the other assignments we’ve made, because it’s more about just doing it, exploring and capturing gesture and all that. He just wanted to make sure that I am doing it, and that I don’t leave out stuff like that hand and that I draw through and find the form and gesture. I told him I was afraid of sketchbooks and that I’d drawn from photos, which was fine but if I really want to grow I need to start carrying a sketchbook and draw from life. I just need to get over the thought that everything needs to look polished and fleshed out, the point of the sketchbook is to explore and try new things, meaning 90% of it is gonna be shit. But it’s shit I’ll learn from. Well, that’s the idea anyways. The memory sketched could use some relaxing in the pose, get that S-curve in their first and not make it so stiff. And pay attention to the folds in the clothes. This is the type of stuff you learn in your sketchbook I suppose.

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Schoolism with Stephen Silver: Assignment 7

Assignment 7 was to do 6 (facial) expressions and 2 attitudes (full-body). I also coloured my character. My attitudes turned out pretty shitty.

color

expression

attitudes

Stephen’s comments: “Love the colour!”, very nice overall. But try to maintain the volume in the shadows, the shadows on the pants have some volumes, but the folds at the bottom’s getting a bit flat. Watch the values/contrast on the hair vs. the turtle neck, they’re getting to even. The expressions are looking pretty good, don’t be afraid to pull out the glasses a bit more though to stop everything from getting so crowded. Remember to draw through all the shapes all the time (like the glasses, draw the full circle). If I maintain all my shapes everything will be a lot clearer and make more sense. The left attitude drawing is feeling too stiff and even, get the gesture drawing in first with the tilts at the hips and shoulders and make it more loose. Try pushing it more and add depth. The right attitude is getting a bit too broken, the body isn’t really making sense. Once again, get the gesture in first.

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Schoolism with Stephen Silver: Assignment 6

Assignment 6 was to do turn arounds, in order from left to right: front view, front 3/4, side and back 3/4.

turnaround

Stephen’s comments: Overall very good. However, as with almost every assignment so far I still need to mind my volumes and draw through my shapes a bit more. The construction (and perspective) is lacking a bit in places, and the scale is a bit inconsistent.

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Schoolism with Stephen Silver: Assignment 5

Assignment 5 was to take the character and do a clean up (no colour).

Here are my preliminary sketches:

sketches

Rough, sketch and clean:

clean

Stephen’s comments: Good job! Overall pretty good consistency in lines, some are getting a bit to thick though. Remember how gravity affects the pants and the hat, maybe pull them down a bit more; for example, round off the lines on the bottom of the hat and make the fold-ups on the pants feel more rested on top of the shoes. The face needs a bit clearning up as it’s getting a bit tangenty. Some lines are almost too close to each other. Mind the hands, the thumb could be a bit bigger for example.

screen

Schoolism with Stephen Silver: Assignment 4

Assignment 4 was pretty straight-forward: fill up a page (preferably several) with hands, eyes, noses, ears and mouths; realistically as well as cartoony. Make it clear and “design” ever shape. Here are some of what I drew, I’m pretty happy with everything except the hands which are pretty awful. But I new from the get-go that that’s what I need the most practice on.

face hands

Stephen’s comments: Some good hands, but don’t just trace! (I submitted a few pages of tracings of both real hand and Disney hands where I was trying to break down the shapes, but a lot of them were just tracings). Try to understand how, for example, Glen Keane constructed his hands from start to finish and break it down. Keep the rhythm in the knuckles and fingers. Mind the volumes, don’t vary the width of the fingers too much. Keep practicing. As for the facial features: very nice, clean and confident! But don’t be afraid to finish of the lines on the eyes.