Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Illustration Fall 2008

After trying to look more into the art fields, I decided take a path on being an Illustrator after taking my basic drawing class... what a jump! So what the heck? Why not take an Illustration class? This class was also taught by my former basic drawing teacher, which was also my figure drawing teacher the same semester.

The class was composed mostly of critiques and a lot of homework doing thumbnails, refining, more refining, critiques, and more refining...

For the first project we had to choose 3 words out of envelopes: A character, an animal and an occupation. I ended up getting a "Inquisitive Cat Artist"
Those pretty much fit together already, but it was still fun, but not as fun as an "Angry Wolf Kung Fu Instuctor!" wahahah... plus, I wasn't a cat person... more into dogs ;p

We drew from imagination and reference. Our objective was to create an anthropomorphic illustration from the 3 words we got.

The second project was to make a poster for the El Dorado Nature Center, in Long Beach.
We even had a field trip over there so that we can do some sketches and take pictures before we started to work on the project...

The following are some of my comps that I did in watercolor.

Then the final piece quickly scanned and edited in Photoshop.

The 3rd and last project we did in the class was to do an illustration based on a science fiction or horror novel. I chose a novel titled Dragon Delasangre by Alan F. Troop. I read those back in High school... I struggled a lot with this project... mainly because I didn't get the results I wanted (lack of skills and time). I was trying to do waaaay to many things that semester, but it was quite an experience.

The class was okay and I did get to meet some great art students too, who I happend to take other classes with in that semester and others to follow. They were really good! Good thing some of them are pretty cool.
The thing that really bugged me about the class was how much time we had for each project... we ended up spending 8 weeks on the first one. I remember we had 4 projects planned for the semester, but only ended doing 3 of them. One would think that getting a lot of time on a project would be a good thing, but for me I felt it killed the fun. I got sick of refining the heck out of the same drawing. The critiques were good and all, but too much is baaaaad! Constructive criticism is a good thing, but after all those weeks... I asked myself "how much of this piece is still actually mine." I felt like I was doing someone elses artwork. -_-
But I still learned lots of things ;D and that's what matters =p

Figure Drawing Fall 2008: Gestures

Figure Drawing is a must for almost any artist. It can also be quite fun because of the challenge. Drawing people is probably, if not the hardest subjects to draw and paint. And drawing from life is one of the best ways to learn. Of course you need to be in a good classroom with good teachers to learn from.

For the fall semester I took it with my former basic drawing teacher. His class is more predictable and consistent compared to Javier's. Which was a good thing, because now I can practice the things I have learned from my previous class.

We always did ten to twenty gestures ranging from 1 to 2 minutes each in order to warm up and get in the groove of things. Then we drew from longer poses anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour each. And somewhere in the middle we drew from slides and took notes in our sketchbooks to learn anatomy and construction. It was consistent and still fun.

I was trying really hard to get good at gestures. I was learning from different sources as well such as Villpu's video tapes (which an awesome teacher gave to me) and from Mike Mattesi's book "Force" which I highly recommend. (above) you can see all my attempts of trying to "get it" and find the rythm. Using economy of lines and such. So fun and frustrating sometimes. (below) is the one I liked the most out of the 4 on the page.

I kept at it...

I was starting to get some of it... haha...

Sometimes I even graded my own gestures when I got home... a bad thing or not... I was being pretty critical on myself at the time. But I did improve fast with all the practice.

Figure Drawing Fall 2008: Long Poses

And of course the long poses for the classes. We started 20 minutes then moved on to 30, 40, and hour poses as the semester went on. These are about in order... I think. I tried dating them all, but of course I forget sometimes.

China marker... nice tool. It looks almost like charcoal, but it's made of wax like crayola crayons haha. I just didn't like the string that got in the way sometimes... or even worse... when I press too hard I break it and try to "peel" off the wrapper and fail at it... (sigh)

I remember this guy was a newb model haha. It was supposedely his first day... so awkward for him. I tried to make the background a bit more interesting... cuz he was holding a large stick-pole thing.

I really liked how this composition turned out. wuhaha. got that feeling yo! I like it better than the drawing below in which I spent way more time on... and reclining poses are the hardest... so much foreshortening and stuff.

With this, I tried using only a vine charcoal to see how far I can go with it.

And some portraits... about 40 to an hour each. Again... I tried to be creative with the background haha. (below) I dappled it using the dirty chamois we use for wiping off/on charcoal and contes. Experiment and have fun! ;p

After seeing all these I remember improving a bit from my "beginner" class, but I did a lot of measuring and I didn't feel like I got the gesture of the pose that well. I needed more practice with construction, composing and "rendering" my values. I still wanted to know how to show the forms in the best possible light.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Figure Drawing Summer 2008: (part 2) Long Poses

Of course we had some relatively longer drawings:

After the first day of drawing (or was it 2nd) Maestro Alvarez gave us some freedom near the end of class and let us use any medium, draw however we want because we were "such good students" haha. This was a 20 or so minute pose. Now that I see this drawing again (above)... I felt like I drew better when I first started. I was quicker with my gesture, had better contruction and draftsmanship skills... what the heck!?

The next long pose we had was a model dressed up as a chef. haha. I just added the extra props on the side for illustrative purposes ;p

What a crazy/cool looking model. We had to draw the model while drawing the skeleton underneath as well. Good excercise. The model reminded me of pirates! harrRRrr! he had so many tatoos and piercings... crazy.

I played around with some techniques. Here I used vine charcoal and used hatched lines. Pretty cool, he looks like he's glowing. He also had plastic swords for props ha.

This was our final for the class... a 2 day pose of 3 models! (about 6 hours total I think)

I tried experimenting with hatching and cross hatching techniques in graphite.

All in all, that was a great summer class witht such a great atmosphere because of all the awesome people. I remember entertaining some people with some of my dance moves haha. Good times, good times. Too bad I can't say the same for some of my other classes.
Lesson: Get to know people and be willing to share your comments about their work so that they can be motivated and learn as well. It's a great way to meet friends and make the learning experience in a classroom that much better. In this summer class our teacher made us walk around ("art walk") to view what other people are doing in order to learn, improve, and motivate each other. He then asked for volunteers for anyone to comment about someone elses work. Be willing to help others and the favors will return to you.

Figure Drawing Summer 2008: (part 1) Quickies & Line Excercises

During the Summer of 2008, I took a couple of art classes: Color Theory and Figure Drawing-the highlight of that season.

What made the class so memorable and fun was the atmosphere of the class.

Most of the people were really cool and we all got along pretty well for those short 5 weeks.

Today, I still continue to keep in touch and even take classes with some of the students I met that summer.

And of course, we had a fun, informative, and spontaneous teacher in Maestro Javier Alvarez.

These were some of the things I did in the class... and we definitely drew a lot!

My first attempts at figure gestures. Quite hard especially with the short time limit; Anywhere between 2 minutes to 5 seconds per pose! I remember we even did some

gestures while the model moved very slowly.

"Arrow technique"- Tried to do gestures with the economy of line.

Gesture drawing in ink. (sharpie)

Contour line/gesture.

We did tons of line practices as well. It was very fun to explore different ways of drawing and new ways of seeing things. We were even introduced to "Mr. Slimy" ahahaa

Discontinued line/line weight

Continuous line- Don't lift that pencil!

Cross contours

And an assignment where we had to draw a portrait of someone from life. I drew Perla, from my color theory class. She was cool, I wonder how she is doing. We basically had to draw on top of a guide sheet that Maestro gave us. Profile and front view.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Basic Drawing Spring 2008

College!!! So many big changes for me, school, friends, and family.
Coming into Fullerton College I was still pretty much undecided. But after taking a career and life planning class, researching more about careers, and taking a chance of what I really desire... I decided to pursue ART!!! go figure.

After some GEDs and a few electives like automotive, photography, and basic design, I finally got into a Basic Drawing class in my 4th semester.

This was quite a turning point for me as I started to get more experience in drawing and learning lots and lots about what I'm getting myself into. Dangerously fun.

After my 2nd semester in basic design class with Bob Miller, I asked him who I should take for drawing, and he said "Jim Dowdalls" without even hesitating. So I did...a year later and these are some of the things I did in there:

This is the first time I really learned about the term "gesture drawing." It was very new to me and we drew everything from life! We would spend the whole class basically drawing random objects in front of us for a certain amount of time. One of the things that took me a while to get used to was holding my pencil differently while drawing so that I can use most of my arm instead of just my fingers. Man, it was pretty hard at first and took me out of my comfort zone. But it didn't really take that long to get used to it (a couple weeks) and it really has paid off.
We also learned about contour lines, line quality, and lines lines lines. This is suppose to be a skull of a small dog like creature...

And then putting the gestures and line quality together by drawing countless flowers and their complex forms. I remember just staring at the flowers sometimes; not because of how "pretty" they were, but how challenging it was and I wasn't sure where to start at times! hahaha.

Near the end of the semester we started to put all kinds of the things we learned together and went for some perspective! We had to draw the entire class from our viewpoint (4 class sessions) and in the middle were stacks of boxes. Crazy and challenging, but it has certainly paid off!

Some part of a tree. Just wood and roots or something. Ink and wash. It was pretty fun.

Then we did a copy of a master of our choice (from the selected pile). I chose to copy this from Michelangelo. At first I felt like it was cheating or something...especially with the grids and all, but it was a great way to learn technique and many other things as I later find out...

A still life of a bull skull in charcoal... I call this piece "Charcow" ;p
I remember I was pretty stote when I was able to get the gesture of it pretty quickly.
Not bad too for using charcoal the first time =D

The final project was a take home assignment and the only thing we didn't draw from life, but from a photograph. ( I do not own the original photograph I drew from or have the rights to it just for the record)
But here it is enlarged and done in charcoal. I started to like charcoal after these two projects. hehe

Lesson: Make sure you try and learn as much as you can even if it takes you out of your comfort zone. Especially when you know the things you are trying to learn will ultimately pay off and help you get better at whatever you are pursuing. Stick with it and do your best. Don't give up or not try it because it's "too hard" or "too different." Take chances and give it a try.