Jesper Axelsson
Jesper Axelsson
Sweden
Aspiring animator and story artist
Jesper Axelsson
Hi @Matthew Kaluza, really nice study! I'll try my best to help you further :) - So if I understand you right, you're looking for a way to depict the plants and trees, without relying on adding all the detail. There are many things to consider when depicting things visually, but two of the keys are shape and value. It's possible to capture a subject in a very simple and abstract way. If you have a characteristic shape and give it the right value, you'll have it. And add appropriate edges, color and textures and you'll have something really life like. Like @Tiffanie Mang's small gouache studies Painting Landscape Thumbnails (STEP BY STEP).   Shape: To capture the character of a subject, the silhouette is the most important shape. If you want to capture something with great economy of line, just draw the silhouette. If you want more information, you could then draw the silhouettes of the interior shapes. And keep going. When drawing from observation, try to learn from the subject you're drawing. Try to be accurate. Look closely at how the silhouette is unique to each object in the scene. The shape of plants and foliage will be different from the shape of a figure, and the shape of the rocks will be something unique, and so will the shape of water. This idea, that different things have different shapes, is something that could be used as a design tool; you could push the idea, and make things more different than they would be in life. You'll see this in old sculptures for example, that leans into being less realistic and more designy. When studying shapes there are many things you could consider. The more you learn the greater your analytical toolset will become. Some things to consider are: How the size of shapes and the lenght of edges vary. Think big, medium and small. If edges are straight or curved. The overall proportion of the shape, height to width. If you want to do a study of this painting, and capture it's likeness in a short time, draw the silhouettes of the different areas and capture their unique character. Value: To capture the light of an image, value is key. You seem to be pretty comfortable with working with tone. Does the term value grouping sound familiar to you? As you create the tonal design of the image you try to look for groups of value. In the case of Boucher's piece one might say that Venus, the sky, and some other parts hit by light make up a light group; and that the foliage, shadows in the bottom of the image and the left pillar in shadow belong to a dark group (it helps to squint, to see this), and that the stone structure to the right, as well as parts of the relief that isn't in shade, belongs to a mid group. For a quick tonal study, paint these three groups. Within these groups there is variation, that you can pull out. So it's not really a matter of three values, but rather three value ranges. Each group has a range of values that you can use, but you don't want to go outside the group, since that breaks your value design. In your study you have broken some of these groups. You've made the pillar to the left as bright as the relief in light, behind venus, making the pillar break out of it's dark group. If you'd like to learn more about value, I'd be happy to guide you. As a suggested assignment: Choose an image and do a value study of it, and I'll try to guide you from there. -"it’s supposed to be a master COPY so I decided to just leave it there" When things aren't matching the reference bothers me too, though I think I would have recommended you to ignore that and add those details anyway. Recently I've tried to have the mindset of doing one thing at a time; I break my process into stages. I do my best in each stage, but as I've moved to the next I don't go back and fix things too much. If my proportions are off, then so be it, I simply have to get better at proportion; I'll get to practice that once more as I do another painting. It helps me finish things and it also makes me draw better: My mind is much clearer, I'm making my marks deliberatly: "Ok, so now I get the overall proportions" and "now I try do show what the subject is doing (the gesture)" and "now I try to capture the subject's specific shapes and forms" and "now I try to connect them with rhythm" etc. I hope this helps :) Keep up the good work!
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May Berry
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Jesper Axelsson
Hi @May Berry, nice drawings! I'll do my best to help you further :) - The proportion vary between the attempts (the second one looks like and improvement 😎👍), so I'll try to give some tips on proportion: It helps me a lot to relate everything to one thing in the subject. When you draw the figure for example, it's common to relate everything to the head's lenght (the upper body is four head lenghts for example). You could do a similar thing when drawing any subject. Yesterday I drew a landscape with a house. I started with a line that represented the lenght of one side of the slanted roof, then with each line and measurement I added, I related back to this line. You could try something similar for the lay-in of the silhouette of the head (see attached images). When you have the overall shape of the head, showing the construction with a loomis head might be a nice next step. Doing one thing at a time, has helped me a lot. Focusing on form, proportion, gesture, line weight etc. all at the same time can make you lose focus. If you draw the figure for example, it might be a good idea to first draw to describe what the subject is doing (the gesture), then on the next layer establish proportion and placement, then on the next focus on getting the shapes accurate. This was just an example; it doesn't necessarily have to be in that order. And the more skilled you get the more you might be able to do at the same time, but you want to work in a way that allows your thinking to stay clear. As inspiration: here's an example where animator Glen Keane works in two steps: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JA7Naf0RF4M&t=9s I hope this helps :) Let me know if you have any questions!
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Sam Knight
Think I did alright
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Jesper Axelsson
Nice studies! - It would help with readability if the lines were cleaner. A line stabilizer (which you find in most drawings program) might help. You could also choose a lighter brush (one that mimicks something like a graphite pencil), and slowly build up the strokes, if that's necessary for control. It helps to break the process into two steps: one rough drawing where you focus on the drawing and analyzing, and then a clean up where all you have to think about is the lines themselves. Thick outlines and thin interior lines (like you've done in number 2) is a nice way to achieve clarity :) I hope this helps :)
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@dooby
Exercise 3: Draw Models A lot of these gave me trouble, poses 14 & 16 definitely gave me the most frustration. Help plz
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Jesper Axelsson
Hi @dooby, nice drawings! - I think I would recommend starting with a drawing of the figure, then putting the anatomy within it. Once you have the proportions and volumes of the figure, you can look for landmarks that help you place the skeleton. Study how the spine relates to the larger volumes (for example: the thoracic portion ends where the 12th ribs attach to the spine) It helps to do drawings of the skeleton itself, as you've done with the drawings after skelly, since the skeleton is covered in flesh, so to draw it in detail based on a live model, you'll have to rely on your understanding of it. I did a paintover with some tips. (Human Proportions – Average Figure ) I hope this helps :)
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@yoyoy12
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Jesper Axelsson
Hi @yoyoy12, nice drawings! - Your drawings have nice rhythm! Now try to include some more structure. You want you drawings to have rhythm, but also structure. See if you can get both in your drawings. If you already have lines in a leg for example, that lead the rhythm, use the other lines to show the structure. Straight lines often communicate structure. I hope this helps :)
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Jesper Axelsson
Hi @gimmiki , nice drawings! The structure is clear, and there is a nice sense of balance as you angle the hips and shoulders, creating nice rhythms. I'll do my best to help you further 😎👍 - How would you like your quicksketches to look? Knowing this might help me guide you in a direction that's relevant for you. What qualities would you like them to have? Do you have any work by another artist in mind? A drawing could be approached differently depending on what your goal with it is. It is likely that your drawing will go through stages. Animators for example, might start with a drawing focusing on the gesture (the acting; what the character is doing), then tie it down in another pass, to make sure that it's on model. Like Glen Keane does here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JA7Naf0RF4M&t=7s . Or to mention another process: maybe you start with the structure of the figure (the placement of the parts), then clarify the rhythm between when you add the wrinkles of the clothing. The point is: you probably won't do everything at the same time. If you want the figure to be drawn with a certain style of line, you'll probably add this first after having done a solid drawing. So; trying to have a clear mind, not trying to do everything at the same time. - While waiting for my reply on your reply of my question, maybe you could try this: I would study Dr. Paul Richer's canon of proportions (Human Proportions – Average Figure ). Take one of your drawings, and with the head you've drawn as reference for measurment, count heads and adjust your figures to match the canon. Remember that as things move in and out of space the proportions are distorted, so for many poses you can't measure the graphic lenght of the head on the paper and use that measurement. In those cases you could imagine what the measurment would be if you tilted it in space. I hope this helps :)
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@egusisoup
Balance - Day 1 & Day 5
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Jesper Axelsson
Hi @egusisoup, nice drawings! - I think you could improve the balance if you looked more carefully at the relationship between the head and the feet. You could for example start the drawing with a head, then find the pit of the neck, then drop a vertical line that represents the length of the figure. Then you place the feet with this vertical line as a guide. Then after that, you could get the angle and placement of the hips and shoulders. - If you use a vertical line as a balance guide (like you've done in your fourth drawing from the left, in the first image), then make sure it's truly vertical. You could compare it to the edges of the paper. I hope this helps :)
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Samuel Sanjaya
I did some expressions study. I feel like knowing the muscles of the face will help me do this better
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Jesper Axelsson
Hi @Samuel Sanjaya, nice studies! - I've been trying to learn drawing facial expression for a long time. I too thought that learning the individual muscles of the face would help me do it better, but it didn't help that much. I've been studying the Disney animators a lot recently. There is an awarness of the muscles in their drawings, but they are focusing on the large masses and how they squash and stretch. You need very little detail! Just a few shapes can give a very clear expression. So keep it to just a few shapes, give us a feeling of solidity with a rigid cranium, then have the features squash and stretch on top of it; have all the features affect eachother. I did a paintover explaining this in more detail. It might help to do some studies of facial expressions drawn by a Disney animator. I hope this helps :) Let me know if you have any questions!
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@marq777
egg.
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Jesper Axelsson
Hi @marq777, nice studies! Nice job with showing the direction of the light using the terminator and the cast shadow! I'll do my best to help you further :) - The shape of the shading on the egg looks pretty accurate; the terminators wrap around the form of the egg, and the ellipses of the terminators are angled perpendicularly to the light. But those nice shapes lose some of their strength since the tone is filled in a little unevenly. Try drawing an egg again, and this time after having outlined the shapes, try to fill them in with a tone that's as even as possible. To get some differentiation between shading and cast shadow, you could make the cast shadow a slightly darker even tone (remember to outline the cast shadow in the lay-in too😎👍) - What's your art goal? Knowing this might help me guide you better :) Please mention any artists who do the type of work that you want to create yourself! I hope this helps :) Keep up the good work!
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Joseph Cicero
Hey Guys, here are some of my attempts at this structure exercise. I probably could have simplified a bit more on these. Any critiques are appreciated!
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Jesper Axelsson
Nice studies! - The body of an animal is symmetrical; the left leg for example, is a mirror image of the right leg. If you look at your drawing of the fox for example, and compare the two hind legs, notice how you have given them different volumes --> the legs aren't mirroring eachother. Its left leg is thicker than its right leg, for example. A similar thing happens in the other drawings. Suggested assignment: Make adjustments to your drawings, on a new layer and try to improve the symmetry of the bodies; so that the forms on each side mirror eachother. Keep in mind that this doesn't necessarily mean that the forms have the exact mirrored graphic shape. As a form rotates, the graphic shape changes. - What's your art goal? Knowing this might help me guide you better :) Please mention any artists who do the type of work that you want to create yourself! I hope this helps :) Keep up the good work!
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Patrycja
My first attempt before watching demo. It might be hard to see the lines of the robot girl, partly because of the paper and doing it lightly but also I am sure I did smudge some graphite as well :) Drawing with coloured pencils makes it a bit more visible.
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Jesper Axelsson
Hi @Patrycja, nice studies! Nice variety of lines, especially in the penguin! - The subjects in your drawings feel a little soft. Maybe you could play with adding more straights in places where you want a sense of structure. Another thing to keep in mind is that curves that appear to be concave on the body, aren't actually concave, but a combination of multiple convex curves or straigths (the body is built with volumes). Of course, drawing a concave line could be a nice stylistic choise, but it might not be a good idea if you're going for a realistic sense of structure. This might be outside the content of the lesson, but I hope you found it useful :)
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Crimson The Vixen
22/2/2024 Hey guys, things looking pretty good here, with @Jesper Axelsson’s challenge, it made me discover my weak point with imagination and viewing the head/hair in different perspectives, while keeping consistency with Proportions. Even though I feel like I’ve known it already, I didn’t realise just how bad it was till I took this challenge. Guess it’s something I’ll have to tackle in the future. Anyway, on the left is the drawing with the Reference. On the Right is purely from imagination.
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Jesper Axelsson
Hi @Crimson The Vixen, did you see the reply I gave to your other post? https://www.proko.com/s/VsLE There's some tips on an exercise there that I think will really help 😎👍
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Crimson The Vixen
18/2/2024 Hello again! Back with another drawing, but this time with the notion of a challenge provided by @Jesper Axelsson! I’m gonna be taking this challenge 1 step at a time, so I hope you guys enjoy it!
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Jesper Axelsson
Hi @Crimson The Vixen! I appreaciate that you tried the challenge :) I would encourage you to keep trying it. I'll give some feedback to consider in your next drawing. - I like the shape design in the top left drawing of page two. The shapes are simple, yet have a sense of form, and there's a nice rythm connecting them. One thing I notice is that all your drawings look quite different from the reference of Jane. The shapes don't match. Being able to control the proportions of the shapes is going to be important as you draw from life but also when you draw from imagination. So I would suggest this next assignment: Try drawing Jane again from the same reference. But only do ONE drawing this time. Your goal should be to have a line drawing that's an exact copy of the lines in the reference of Jane. Include everything; even face, neck and clothing. This is to help you see the drawing as a whole. Let's set the time limit to 1 hour (so that you don't get caught drawing it for too long). I would suggest this process: • A light drawing focusing on establishing the major volumes • on top of which you add even smaller shapes • then look at one line at a time and try to make them match the reference. I hope this helps :) Let me know if you have any questions!
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Vin
Asked for help
Assignment 1: eggs
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Jesper Axelsson
Hi @Vin, nice studies! - When doing studies like these, it might help to draw the rays of light (lightly), as a guide for placing the terminator and cast shadow. Light travels in straight lines, so if you take a point along the terminator edge, then run a straight line through it, that goes in the direction of the light, it will hit the ground where that terminator point's cast shadow is. Repeating this for a few points along the terminator edge can help a lot when establishing the cast shadow edge. Thinking of the direction of light can also help when trying to place the terminator line itself. On a sphere the terminator ellipse will be perpendicular to the direction of the light. It's like it's looking at the light (if the terminator line was an animated character XD) I hope this helps :) Let me know if you have any questions!
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Waner Hoogleiter
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Jesper Axelsson
Hi @Waner Hoogleiter, cool studies! - What is your art goal? Knowing that might help me guide you better. What type of work do you want to create? Please mention a few works of art by artists that you admire, that is the type of work that you want to create! - How was your drawing process when making these? A common approach is to work big to small. Focusing first on what's most essential, and only after that's established the details are put in. For someone aiming to be optically accurate, that might be by starting with a lay-in with straight lines, enveloping the overall shape of the subject, and marking out the proportions. For an animator it might be to start with a sketch focusing on the expression, on top of which the major shapes are then drawn. For a renaissance artist, it might be to start with a rhythmical line, that is then wrapped in the major forms. The proportions in your drawing don't match the reference. In the fifth drawing for example, the hand is longer than the entire lower arm. But in the reference, the lower arm is longer than the hand. Capturing proportions like this is what I would recommend focusing on in your next drawing.  Suggested assignment: Draw from one of the references again. Start by focusing on primary shapes and on getting their proportions right, similar to how I did it in the image I've attached. When you're happy with the primary shapes, go to the next level, and establish the secondary shapes. Avoid getting caught up in detail that isn't relevant to the current step. Then keep on breaking it down like this if you'd like, until you're satisfied with the amount of detail. I think I would recommend being in an "adjustment mindset"; expecting things to not be accurate right away. Try to be decisive with your line, but put them down without too much hesitation. Then paus and take a moment to compare your drawing to the reference. Look and see if you can find anything that's off. Then make adjustments. I hope this helps :) Let me know if you have any questions!
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Sarvesh Gupta
My attempt before following example
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Jesper Axelsson
Hi @Sarvesh Gupta, nice drawing! - I might have asked this before, but what was your art goal again? What type of work do you want to create? Please mention a few works of art by artists that you admire, that is the type of work that you want to create! Cheers!
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Tom Simpson
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Jesper Axelsson
Nice!
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Jack Mills
this is my first attempt at drawing balanced poses.
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Jesper Axelsson
Hi @Jack Mills, nice drawings! - What are your art goals? Knowing this might help me guide you better. What type of work do you want to create? Feel free to mention any art by artists that you admire, that is the type of work that you want to create yourself. Cheers!
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Ian McNeill
Night 3 - 40 Drawings. Twenty 1 min sketches Twenty 2 min sketches Total time: 1hr Would do more but have had a long day. Looking forward to continuing. It got a bit easier to visualize after reading more of Steve Huston's figure drawing book. Any word of encouragement are appreciated!
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Jesper Axelsson
Hi @Ian McNeill, nice rhythms! - What's your art goal? What type of work do you want to create? Knowing this might help me guide you better? Feel free to mention a few works of art by artists that you admire, that is the type of work that you want to create yourself. Cheers!
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Crimson The Vixen
16/2/2024 Classic Double Spread for today, I hope you guys enjoy this one!
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Jesper Axelsson
Hi @Crimson The Vixen, you might benefit from doing some studies of how an animator approaches drawing hair. Maybe it could be interesting to do some studies of Jane from Disney's Tarzan (1999). She has about the same haircut as the girl in your reference photo. Notice how the animators group Jane's hair into larger shapes. Here's a challenge: Copy some drawings of Jane's head and hair by the Disney animators. Then try to pose her head into a new angle from imagination. Compare your drawing to the Disney animators' drawings. Look back and forth. Has the shapes deformed in your drawing? Make adjustments. Try to make it look as if it's still her hair, only in a different angle. I hope this helps :) Let me know if you have any questions!
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