Master Studies are one of the most effective methods for improving your art. Let’s take a look at a drawing from my instructor, Jeff Watts, and see what we can learn.
My study on another Jeff's drawing
Hey Tiago, Your drawing is pretty good, the proportions are close and the gesture is nice. As far as the rendering, you were focused on the surface details, but missed out on how Jeff rendered the bigger forms before rendering the smaller forms. I did a quick sketch to show you what I mean, Hope it helps :)
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Another skull study. I wanted to copy Jeff’s style, but it’s hard to get some reasonable result with just lines. So it became this after a journey with my pencil. Sorry if it’s ugly, but I learned a lot!
Hey Sita, I notice you draw pretty well, but I think it's rendering that you need some help. What I'm seeing is that you are making everything too close in value, creating a flat look to your drawing. Some times when there is a lot of reflective light, people get confused and lighten the shadow side too much, which is what you did here. It's best to ignore it and just render the shadows. You have to think of the head as a box with a side, front and bottom/top. I did a quick paintover to show you what I mean, I hope it helps you, because your drawing is pretty good, but you need to think about shading as a way to give a 3 dimensional feel to your drawings. :)
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Followed along with this and did my own - *seems* like after this and after the critique video I have a better feeling for how to do these studies, but I can't quite be sure yet I'm executing well - obviously I'm off on a lot of these lines, there's still tons to learn, but I dunno does it at least look approached well? - feeling better but also not terribly confident about it and I'd love some critique.
I think you captured the proportions pretty well, good job :)
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This was very helpful in shedding light on HOW to do a proper master study. It was something I had been mulling over while I get ready to start studying my "Art Parents".
Any critique is welcomed
This is nice, but I can tell you were drawing with your fingers. Glen draws with his whole arm, that is why he can get those beautiful sweeping lines. Then he comes in and adds detail to the drawing with his fingers.
This morning’s study. After working pretty precise on the other projects I wanted to draw the lines and proportions more loosely in this exercise. It was fun, felt relaxing.
I chose some artworks from Vinland saga by Makoto Yukimura, I also meant to take a picture of the traditional one before scribbling in those details .
Hi Class! Master line project. I learned from DS Delux from Hungary. I love his animal drawings. The darker lines draw my attention first to the turtles head and front fins, and leads my eyes down the turtles back. I like how the searching lines are left within the sketch, but are softer and not attract too much attention. The searching lines also helped in my own sketch of the master turtle.
Hi, I just want to mention that the artist is psdelux, I couldnt find the artist at first.
Proportions are so off. LOL. But I had so much fun doing this!
This is a tough angle, I think you did pretty well :)
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I chose one of my all-time favorite drawings, Albrecht Dürer's portrait of his mother, Barbara Hofer, at age 63, two months before she died. The drawing shows both the ravages of age and of childbearing--she had 14 children, only two of whom made it to adulthood--and Dürer's tender feelings towards her. As with all of Dürer's drawings, the subject is closely observed. Thanks to this assignment I now see this charcoal drawing with new eyes. In terms of line it has everything: very fine lines, heavy contour lines, firm vs. wavering lines, light vs. dark lines. In the few places where I felt Dürer had used blending, I omitted since this exercise is limited to lines. I didn't try to make a "perfect" copy, but I do regret now that I missed the tilt of the face, which gives the original such interest. Another case of the brain telling the hand and eye what to do!
Incidentally, if you look closely you can see that Dürer corrected himself. Originally he made the nose just a little too long, then decided to shorten it just a bit, but a trace of the older line remains.
I found an artist recommended "Glen Keane" Stan Prokopenko from You tube.
Hey Sarneth, This is a good exercise to do to explore the skull in different angles. Just make sure you keep the elements lined up with the lines. I did a quick sketch to show you what I mean, I hope it helps :)
Seeing you miss some proportions and grumble over it makes the demo rather comforting. It really hammers home the idea that everyone is allowed to make mistakes regardless of skill level
awesome demo, looking forward to the next one!
I'm a very anxious artist. There isnt much I get anxious about any more. But I gotta say, The whole concept of intuition and allowing my self to trust my self really makes me anxious. Even watching Stans video about this master study i was anxious the whole time. It feels so big and mysterious even if at some level I think i understand. Letting my self not make a perfect copy of the master i'm studying. At times when i start to copy a piece i'm not sure if i'm doing it right, Am I just mindlessly copying a piece of art? Or am I learning something important from it. I have been attempting to copy the works of other artists better then me for a while. But I have difficult time taking off those training wheels and allowing my self to draw something from imagination, while using the shapes, or designs, or lines that I should of learned from the masters i studied . This is just getting some of my thoughts out. I'm super anxious just thinking about it, i hope one day I can throw aside my anxiety and just draw.
Moyra Le Blanc Smith
I find putting on some beautiful music while drawing, helps to shift the brain from analytical left side of the brain to the creative right side. When in this state, it’s very peaceful and you become absorbed in the process . All your worries disappear for a while. Good luck.
Devon D. Yeider
I'm currently working through ACT which is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and one of the main principles, very similar to yoga (which I've been practicing for a decade, teaching for over a year and STILL I need the helpful reminder lol) is that we can't get rid of our negative thoughts; but what we can do is accept that not every thought deserves our attention. Often the brain is still in survival mode after millions of years of development so we'll find ourselves worrying too much on the future or past and in that it's our brain trying to protect us from harm ( "failure" "ridicule" etc). So, if you're interested, I'd try and practice noticing your anxiety, not as who you are (I AM anxious) but instead noticing and naming your thoughts and feelings (I'm noticing I'm feeling anxious) then start to connect with your body, with your breathe for a couple of seconds, then connect deeper to your work and just gently rinse wash and repeat. I strongly recommend reading "The happiness trap" the exercises are so helpful. I'm pairing this with a therapist who specializes in ACT and it's working WONDERS. I wish you all the best and feel free to message me if you need any support 🙏✌️
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@Stan Prokopenko - if you haven't decided yet, for the next one, I would personally love to see you doing a master study of Glen Keane's work in the same manner (but with multiple drawings).
Are there any charakteristics you would recommend for reference pictures? In this exercise we were supposed to study line quality and you chose a picture with very expressive lines that still had some sketchlines, mistakes, construction, etc. intact and even required different grips, pencil and so on. Most more "finished" drawings don't have that many clues about how they were made anymore (especially when they were done digitally). I feel like that makes them harder to study? Or maybe I just focused too much on the wrong thing during the exercise like copy everything 1:1 bit by bit rather than looking at the bigger picture to understand what does what in the image and why? I mean I did analyze what the lines did for the image and where they drew attention, became thicker and thinner and so on, but that was more of a process before and after the drawing. While I was at it it felt more like I focused on copying the final lines line for line 1:1 without thinking about the "why". Is there a remedy for this? Do certain images just lend themselves better to studying specific things? Or is it more about me and constantly reminding myself that my goal is to analyze, rather than to create a copy. For me the two won't really mix at the moment. Either I stop and think about what does what (then I could just stare at the image instead of drawing it) or I become a human copy machine. Is it just quantity and repeating such studies? Do I need to simplify the reference like you did with the shoe thumbnails? I probably miss the obvious solution at the moment so if anybody has an idea I'd appreciate a bit of help with that =/ Edit: And then the next line in the video was about using the right tool and how a regular pencil could be used to create the same look, but it wouldn't teach me about the technique used. Maybe that was a big part of the issue since I did everything with a 0.5mm marker and basically drew small shapes that I filled to vary line width… 🤔
I'd say that the questions you're asking yourself are definitely leading you toward the answer and solution you're looking for. Keep asking yourself those questions. When I feel I'm stuck, I often find it helpful to first ask myself if I'm asking the right question. Replacing "why?" with "how?" usually offers a way forwards :).
After watching this I am realizing I have not explored the pencil enough in terms of the grips and different lines it can make by adjusting accordingly.
I have a hard time choosing one artist - since there are so many I admire. And I also get intimidated by putting my silly attempts next to the brilliant works of masters.
Just start with one and do another and another or just pieces of one you admire. Feeling intimidated is your worse enemy if it means you will skip learning from studying the masters…
i have the same opinion. There is just so much to choose from. Feels like there is not enough time to inherit all of the skills from the artists that I admire for their styles and skills.
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Gift card for art students to use on anything in the Proko store
Founder of Proko, artist and teacher of drawing, painting, and anatomy. I try to make my lessons fun and ultra packed with information.