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Marcin
Marcin
Queeeens, New York
Bradwynn Jones
I love how you are using angles of the overall pose in the first two images. That is great! I do think they need a bit more flow and one thing that interrupts the flow is a sketchy line. I'd bet they would look way more gestural and rhythmic if the line was smoother and less sketchy. To me it looks like on your last page may be you focused too much on the contour vs thinking about gesture and structure first. I still find myself jumping too fast into contour on figures. I try to follow a step wise system though. If I'm a good boy I will first isolate what is important like the gesture (feeling and body language of pose) then more structure like the landmarks and mother forms (boxes and cylinders). I think of it like being a sculptor and first building the wire frame of the figure and bending it for the gesture of the pose. I first draw the armature of the figure (gesture drawing) then build the structure further and the basic shapes and their motion or flow (bending, stretching and twisting). Attached image is just an example of a sculptor's armature and it looks similar to our drawing gestures... all those beautiful CSI lines
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Marcin
Appreciate the input! Definitely have to work on my line quality. I'm having a hard time understanding what you mean by the contour vs structure. Don't you use contours to define the structure? Or by contour do you mean more the silhouette and finished lines?
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Marcin
Hey, man! Definitely improved with each iteration. That last one looks particularly good. I really dig the exaggeration. Have you been using solely Proko for learning the Gesture and Structure or do you have any other learning resources you'd recommend?
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Marcin
Hey! I've been trying to learn the figure for a few months now and have never had my scribbles looked at by other partakers of the arts. Would love to hear what you guys thought about a few Gesture/Figure drawings and have any suggestions on how to continue improving. The first two pages I tried focusing on the structure and shapes. On the last page I tried making something pretty looking in a few minutes. I don't think the last one came out all that great. Was also wondering if you guys like to do a multiple sketches before you make a finished drawing or do you jump right into it. Maybe, draw all the layers on top of each other (i.e. shading on top of a drawing of the structure on top of a gesture drawing) or is you're drawing process completely different when working on something you want looking complete. Done on A4 paper with 0.5mm HB lead
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crobinso24
Here are my attempts at gesture. I have some experience drawing gesture but I've always struggled with it. I think knowing what to simplify or leave out can confuse me at times
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Gesture 01
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Marcin
Hey man! Looks awesome. I'd work on getting some more contour's in there to show how the figure is moving towards and away from the viewer. I like to think of gesture as how the eye goes through the picture and how the parts connects. Listening to and Watching Glen VIlppu really made a lot of things click in my head. Here's a video of him on YouTube -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOtVUHgJqQk It's a little different from what Proko teaches but you might enjoy it and find it as helpful as I did.
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Martijn Punt
Hi @Marcin Swaltek, most of the proportions are spot on, but the biggest issue in the eyes, both of them are too big and the right one is placed too much too the right. I've attached some overlays. First one is the showing the reference with some lines that show the front plane of the face is receding in space there is a bit of perspective showing. The second image is the original drawing aligned to match the reference as much as possible and with the red lines showing roughly the vertical position of the facial features. The third image i edited the drawing to change positions: i made left eye a bit smaller, right eye smaller and rotated, nose slightly enlarged. With my own drawings I struggled a lot with eye placement and drawing construction lines really helps me to align them.
proko fix3a
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proko fix3c
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Marcin
Big thanks! I always do struggle with lining the eyes up probably because I usually try to draw them with just the line I use for the brow. Ill definitely try adding more construction lines next time. Thanks for taking the time!
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tomshepherd
Nice feeling of light and shadow, and they definitely have presence. The one thing that I noticed that may be throwing things off is the mouth in relation to the other features. Notice in the photo that because the head is not straight on we are seeing much more of the right side (as we look at it) of the head than the left. Same should apply to features. E.g. If you look at your mouth from centre to corners, both sides are almost the same width, giving the illusion that the mouth is almost straight on, yet the rest of the head is looking to the side. You can also see this by the fact the corner of the mouth on the right as we look at it, should line up vertically with the centre of the eye; whereas yours lines up vertically with inside corner. Very simply if you pull the corner of the mouth over more you are lengthening the one side and it will sit more naturally with the other features - it is amazing how the smallest little piece of the puzzle can make difference. Another couple of minor points is that here forehead (covered by hair) feels a little more upright than yours, and the point where the neck meets the chest lines up vertically with the centre of the the eye (right side as we look), whereas yours is more lined up with inside corner. It's just making the neck a touch broad - again minor points as it seems like you are well on the right track! Hope that helps!
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Marcin
Thanks! I can see exactly what you're talking about with the mouth. Big Thanks!
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Steven Wolf
 Well there are a few things that come to mind when I look at your work here. The main issue is that some things aren’t quite lined up correctly, this is even more of an issue when you are trying to capture a likeness, and aren’t doing a caricature. Notice that in the picture her iris’s touch the bottom eyelid, where as in your drawing there is a space between them for the white of the eye. It may seem a small thing, but it makes a big difference in how her eyes look. You have drawn the nostril on the right of the photo a bit too much to the left, which is giving it a bit of a pinched and crooked look. In the reference photo notice that the ending line of the nostril comes closer to the vertical line that comes down from the left most point of the eye. This effect is heightened by how you did the shading for where that nostril meets the “ball” of the nose. In the photo notice how that shadow goes straight down from the shadow of the side of the nose, where as you have it being a diagonal stripe angled to the center of the nose. You have also made that shadow much darker. I am not sure, but I think you might be trying to do one shadow value for everything, although you do have it darker for the eyes. If you are just trying to do one shadow value then I would recommend doing only the darker parts, the parts that are fully in shadow, but not the halftones, as that makes it difficult to read if both shadow and halftone are showing the same value. If you are trying to render the darker halftones as well as the shadow then it is important that you make sure that the shadows are darker than the halftones. So you would need to do at least a different value for each one. Right now you have what should be a light halftone around the bottom of the forehead, (supraorbital ridge), as one of the darkest spots in your rendering. That really confuses what is going on there, and just pulling that back, or even erasing that altogether would improve your drawing a lot. I like that you didn’t try to draw each strand of her hair. You have concentrated more on just the shape of the hair and that is good. Something to consider when drawing is that the eye is attracted to areas of high contrast. Right now you have the part in her hair depicted by really dark lines. Darker than most of the rest of the hair lines. Now if your goal was to bring a lot of attention to her part, than that is a way to do it, but I don’t see that as being an area that you want people to focus on, so I would lighten that up. I think it would help you to concentrate on getting the angles correct before you start rendering. Remember if the drawing is off, it can’t be helped by even great rendering. Then when you start rendering the shadows, try to lightly block the shadows in. Meaning draw light lines around the contour of where the shadows are. Then step back, or walk away and come back, and check those lines and see if they are all in the correct place, if not fix them, if they are then start shading them in. When you go straight to shading, without blocking the shadows in, it’s much easier for the angles and placement of the rendering to drift and get away from you, as your brain will be concentrating more on the values than the angles. The fewer things you try to do at once, the better your brain will accommodate you. It’s interesting, when I look at the thumbnail of your drawing it looks much closer to looking right. That tells me that you are close, but it is just some smaller tweaks, that if adjusted, would make for a much stronger piece. This is my first critique here. I hope it was helpful.
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Marcin
Wow, thanks! I see what you're talking about the shadows and contrast a lot clearer now. I didn't even notice those small differences before. Took a few minutes to make a few changes you mentioned and the difference is very noticeable. Much appreciated, your response was super insightful!
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Nathan Hayley
Hi Marcin, have you tried starting a portrait by using a structural lay-in process such as the "Reilly Rythms" method? Judging by your description and some of the proportion issues in your drawing, I think it might be helpful to you to spend more time there in a drawing before moving on to shading and details. There are some great resources out there, including a video done by Brian Knox at Watts Atellier that I've found super helpful. I'd recommend watching it and drawing along, if possible. (I bet Proko has videos on this topic, too, but I haven't gone through them myself.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vj5lf43zzFc Hope that helps, and keep up the good work!
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Marcin
Cheers! Appreciate the feedback. Thought I had a good grasp on the proportions but I'll definitely give the video a watch. Thanks, Again!
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Marcin
Last few portraits I've been drawing feel kind of off and I cant put my finger on why exactly. They have an almost uncanny valley feel to them and my eyes seem to be pushed away from the face. Here's my latest one, would love some pointers on what I should be focusing on.
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