Vincentius Sesarius
Vincentius Sesarius
Indonesia
I paint portraits, and a bit of other stuff
Vincentius Sesarius
They look great! The only thing I can advice you is to make sure that the lines are darker than the shading. Because as I can see from your work, the lines and the shading look the same in value. That will make some confusion. It's great to have bold shading, but make sure that the lines are even bolder.
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Vincentius Sesarius
As far as I can see, you've done a good job on landmarks. Is there any particular landmark that you have difficulty with? Broadly speaking, there's only a few landmarks on body that's worth memorizing: 1) shoulder bones, 2) knee bones (knee caps), 3) base of the back of neck (C7 vertebrae, 4) the wings of scapula, 5) clavicles, 6) ASIS and PSIS, 7) the head of femur (greater trochanter of femur, that bulging spot by the side of our hips). As for balance, there's two categories in figure poses, dynamic and static. Dynamic pose is a freeze capture of a candid movement, like a picture of someone in the middle of running. It's a bit more complicated to find the balance in these poses, because, well, there's no balance in dynamic poses: if we'd try to stop in the middle of a running stride, we'd fall. On the other hand, static poses are more predictable when it comes to finding their balance. If you try to draw a perpendicular line from the middle point of the torso to the ground, the point should never cross over the ball of the foot. A good example for this is on the first image that you attached: if you notice, in your drawing, the middle point of the torso crosses the ball of her right foot. While on the reference, it doesn't.
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Vincentius Sesarius
1. The apple doesn't create shadow of the cup next to it. The shadow is created by the cup itself. But yes, you're correct that by the rim of the bottom edge of the cup, there's an ambient occlusion (or occlusion shadow), because ambient occlusion usually occurs on the rim of things. 2. You're correct that there's two light sources in that scene: one from the front right, and the other from the right. That's why you see two sets of cast shadows. 3. You're correct that the horizon line is on the top rim of the upper cup. 4. Defining highlight on a mirror or other reflected surfaces is kind of harder than defining highlights on the actual surface, because it follows a different set of logics. It's possible to do so, but I will say to stick to the reference for this one. 5. Indeed, tha value transition happens because when things are further away from the light source, they become darker. However, it doesn't only happen to big planes though. If you put another apple on the farther side of the scene, that apple will be darker than the apple that is closer to the light source. 6. Yes, as i've said in point number 2. 7. Technically, they're great rendering. However, artistically, you can try to blur the edges of the things that is adjacent to the shadows. As of right now, it seems to me that the edge is all sharp. This overall sharpness creates more of technical feel to the drawing. By blurring some of the edges, you'll create a more of artistic drawing, because our eyes naturally perceive edges differently than that is of a camera. Our eyes blur things that are in shadows or that are not in the focus.
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Vincentius Sesarius
Printers paper is a great choice because it's mostly available in every household. But the thing about printers paper is that it's only available in one color: bright white. You see, bright white is quite hard to handle for drawing gestures because you need to use more of your pencil to achieve a noticeable shading of the halftones and the shadows. Newsprint paper is better, not just because it's cheaper, but also because they offer a natural greyish color which serves as a halftone color. So you just need a bit of shading to create the shadows, and as for highlights, you can use white colored pencils or pastels. But if you want to stick to printers paper, it's actually not that bad either.
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Vincentius Sesarius
What kind of still like are you looking for? You see, 'still life' is a very broad category, and it includes objects we can find everyday to rarest of objects.
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Vincentius Sesarius
I see you struggle, and I guess that's because you missed one basic fundamental in shading. Before we decide to shade anything, it's important to know and be sure about the lighting setup and where the main light comes from. It seems to me that you haven't been sure about either of them. What you did was neutral form shading, that is the shading which result from the nature of the form (things that is farther from our eyes become darker and things that are closer become lighter). But you haven't involved the lighting into the form, and that will make your drawing look rather flat. So I will advice you to try to decide the lighting first, then we can talk about shading further.
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Vincentius Sesarius
Well, I think you ask the very fundamental question in visual art. And as for any fundamental things, it's a very broad subject that I don't believe I can explain in a reply box alone. But for your perspective question, no, we use both eyes when we draw from life. You shouldn't just use one eye when you draw either (that is if you're lucky to have two eyes of course! If you happen to just have one functioning eye, then well, one is fine!). You see, when we use both of our eyes, the perspective from one eye emerges with the other's and create one composite perspective. That's the reason why if you ever see a 3D movie with that two-colored plastic glasses, you'll notice that when you don't use the glasses, the movie looks like two separate movies combined with a few millimeters offset from each other. In 3D movies, it's the glasses which combine the two perspectives into one, in our case, it's our brain who does that. About drawing from life but the subject is constantly moving, I guess that's the challenge we face every time we draw from life when it's not in studio setting where the model is instructed to stay still. The meaning of life drawing is not that we 'copy' directly from life, but we observe from life, put them into our memory, and then we put the things in our memory onto the paper. So it's not wrong to use memory in life drawing, because memory is a part of life drawing as well. Even though the camera is a perfect image capture device, but it's not a perfect life capture device. As you've pointed out that the camera lacks the ability to capture tones, values, and all as accurately as our eyes do. But that's not all though, when it comes to form and line, the camera does this thing called distortion. Each camera lens (wide lens vs long lens) has a different amount of distortion for a specific purpose. We ideally use wide lens for landscape, and long lens for a portrait, but not everyone knows that. Some people use wide lens for everything from landscape to portraits, and that's where the distortion problem rises. If you ever use a phone (phone usually have a wide lens) to take a selfie, you may have noticed that your face sometimes becomes bigger or smaller than you think it should be. Our eyes are different than that is of camera though, because we can't put the wrong lens in our eyes, they already function perfectly since the beginning. Thus learning lines and forms from our eyes and our visual judgement is better than relying on a photograph. But for the sake of practicality, because we sometimes don't have as much chance to do life drawing so often, photographs actually are not that bad if you can decide the distortion level in those photographs. If the distortion is minimal, then you can use them without worries. The other thing you should look out for in photographs are the editing. Get some photos with minimal editing as well, then you're good to go.
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Vincentius Sesarius
It looks like you're on a good start! But I will advice you to spend more time than 30 seconds to finish each pose. Because from what I see, you had a good start, but then because the time restriction is so short, you're unable to finalize the gesture. You may have heard the popular belief that shorter is better when it comes to time restriction in gesture drawing, but I will have to disagree with it only if the person is just starting out. The thing about gesture is that as we do it more and grow as artists, we'll draw in faster pace, thus doing gesture for 30 seconds seems like a perfect idea. But if you're just starting out, it's better for you to take more time than that. Not only you'll draw better, but also you'll learn more from each pose.
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Vincentius Sesarius
As far as I can see, you already have a solid knowledge about landmarks. I can't seem to find any fault with the landmarks. As for the muscles, since you haven't had a good grasp on the muscles yet, you did the right thing by relying more on the visuals of the reference, and less on the guessing part of your knowledge and imagination. The other thing I will advice you to to look out for is the volume of the torso. Because from what I see from your works, that you still treat the torso as a 2D rectangle rather than a 3D box. This in turn makes the torso look rather flat and thin. Try to draw a box instead of a rectangle when you lay in the general shape of the torso.
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Vincentius Sesarius
As you've noticed, it's true that the lighting comes from two directions: 1) top left (cool light), 2) top right (warm light). As for the reflected light, I can't seem to notice any because of the nature of the environment. You see, reflected light is only noticeable when it occurs in enclosed environment, like a studio, because when the space is enclosed, you have walls or other surfaces nearby which can then reflect lights into the subject. Whereas in the photo, it looks like to me that the man is in some kind of bookstore which is basically an endlessly big and open space. It's not that the reflected light is non existent, it's actually the opposite, the reflected light is all over the place that we end up not being able to point it out. It may sound counterintuitive, but have you ever been to a photography studio and noticed that you'd have darker shadow and lighter light on any subject you put in? The reason for this is because in a small space like a studio, the light will naturally be more controlled, thus it makes the light bounce in a more predictable pattern. This predictability of the 'bouncing' lights is why we can see and point out reflected lights in the subject. On the other hand, in an open space, the light is less controlled, and it makes the light bounce in every single direction. This randomly bouncing lights will then make it hard for us to see and point out the reflected lights in the subject.
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Vincentius Sesarius
You're on the right track with these! And they all look great. The only general thing I can add is that you are on the right time to start introducing the squash-stretch principle into your sketches. Disney's people back in the 30s were the ones who invented this principle, and it's a great principle to have around. The principle is quite simple, for example, If you try to curl your biceps, your biceps will squash while the opposing muscle, your triceps, will stretch. And the other great thing about this principle is that it's quite universal too, that they happen not only in our biceps/triceps, but it happens very much in every part of our body. Try to incorporate this principle, and you will not have 'spaghetti' arms and legs in your drawing again!
proko comment 023
proko comment 024
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Vincentius Sesarius
It's great that you've tried and been able to use the Reilly's lines well to structure the face. But you see, the lines are intended as a guide to help artists locate the flow of the facial structure and features, but not to replace the natural flow of the face. Our face has their own natural flow that you can only observe if you draw from actual people's faces. From what I see, I can only guess that you draw these from imagination, that you end up with stiffer looking portraits rather than gracefully flowing ones. To balance technicality and aesthetics, I will advice you to use the imaginary Reilly's lines on real life or photographs of actual people's faces. The other is to rely more on Loomis lines (lines dividing heads into three one-thirds from: hairline, nose, and chin), for general measurement and proportions, because it looks to me like the proportion of the faces are a bit off.
proko comment 022
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Vincentius Sesarius
The form, proportion, edges, and form are great. The only part of the form you missed is the halftone planes. You know, the halftone is the plane which is not directly lit by the light source, but they still reflect some of the leftover light, this is because the halftone plane is moving slightly away from the light, but not completely that they become the shadow. I see and guess from your work that the light source is coming from the front top of the head. This light will create halftone plane by the sides of the nose and also by the side of cheekbones. You see, as of right now, it seems to me that the nose and cheekbones are rather flat because there's no halftones in them. Especially for the cheekbones though (because I see that you've tried to include a bit of shading by the side of the nose, even though it's rather thin), it's the obvious first thing I noticed from your work. The cheekbones have front and side planes, so if the light is coming from the front top of the head, then the side of cheekbones should be in halftone, fading away into shadow as they move towards the back of head.
proko comment 021
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Vincentius Sesarius
What kind of measurement are we talking about though? If it's a physical measurement, then there's nothing which can beat a ruler. It's great if you're drawing something technical like an architecture blueprint, But if we're talking about visual measurement, ruler is less of use because we don't bring or hold ruler while we're drawing or painting. As you've pointed out, angles and positioning plays a huge part when it comes to drawing. So when it comes to visual measurement, the best thing to rely is our own visual judgement. Because length in visual sense is less about actual measurement in centimeters, but more of ratio. How is the length of the skull compared to its width, for example. The length may be something like 25-28 cm and the width may be something like 16-17 cm, but what we see is not all that, but it's a 3:2 ratio. There's a technique to measure visually by using a pencil or a brush handle, (check out Proko's Drawing Measuring Techniques). It's great for some people, and less so for other people. So play around and see if the technique is for you. But before that, I will strongly advice you to get a new prescription for your glasses. I use glasses myself and I can clearly say that it's the best single investment in art for me. It seems to me that this is your biggest obstacle to measuring visually. Making sure our visual instruments (our eyes) are at its optimal capacity is a key to any visual measurement.
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Vincentius Sesarius
They look great! But I guess you got confused on his right leg (our left). I've drawn over the model to show you how I would build the legs in that particular angle and model. Leg is such a pain to draw, you know! Because they're intricate and they change a lot as the angle changes,
proko comment 019
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Vincentius Sesarius
Likeness shouldn't be the main focus when you just started drawing portraits though. Knowing all the basics of facial structure and the lighting is much more important than likeness, because likeness will come naturally after you've spent good amount of time in learning all those basic stuff. Anyway, what kind of private instructors are you looking for? I probably can help you with that!
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Vincentius Sesarius
You seem to be on a good start with this! But I will advice you to take some more time to dig deeper with the concept, because as of right now, the design looks a little early to be finished. Is there any particular reference or characters which you can base your design to?
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Vincentius Sesarius
Shading wise, they are perfect. There are some sharp ones, bold ones, and also smooth ones. That's the way you would want to shade in the future. You probably still need to work on the facial shape in the future, but since this is a shading study, it's not a problem for now. About the shadow being too light, from what I see, it's a problem at all, since when it comes to shading, what matters is relationship between the light and the shadow, not the actual darkness or lightness of the shading. A good measurement to tell if your shading is in the right place, is to squint your eyes and move away from your drawing about a meter. If you still can clearly see the separation of the light and shadow, the you're in the right place. Have you ever tried to use a dedicated art model's portraits? Photographs from google or pinterest may look great, but most of them are heavily edited, and are not particularly designed for artists learning. From my experience, by using art model's portraits, learning shading and/or structure will be much easier because 1) it's not edited, or even if it is, it will be extremely minimal, 2) the photographs are taken most of the time by fellow artists as well so they know what's specifically good for artists, 3) it uses the same model over and over again, so you can stay focus learning and being familiar with one face only, but from many angles and lighting condition.
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Vincentius Sesarius
The simple answer is none of them is correct. But, here's the thing that get people confused, even though it's not correct, but you can still use the 'different vanishing points' technique in some limited cases. I guess a lot of people get confused with vanishing points. Vanishing points exist first, thus they affect the objects in the scene, but it's not the other way around. The position of the vanishing points cannot change just because the objects in the scene move or rotate. Even though there's no object in the scene, vanishing points will still exist. You see, the reason vanishing points themselves exist in the first place is because there's a camera shooting the scene, if there's no camera then there's no vanishing points. Thus the only thing that can change the position of vanishing points are when you move or rotate the camera (changing the camera position or angle), while the 'distance' between vanishing points can change when camera lens' focal length also change (you may have heard the term 50mm or 200mm in camera lens, that's the focal length). So in reality, there cannot be two different sets of vanishing points in one scene, leave alone different 'distance' between the vanishing points. There can only be one set of vanishing points and one distance in each scene, no matter how many objects you have in that scene. As many have pointed out below, the confusion starts when we can actually try to change the position of vanishing points, while maintaining the same 'distance', to portray objects rotation relative to the camera. There are some cases where you can successfully and correctly do that, but in some other cases it doesn't work. I've attached some 3D reference I made in Blender to show that, in that particular scene and camera angle, when the object rotation is counter clockwise, it does work, but when the rotation is clockwise, it just doesn't work.
proko comment 018 001
proko comment 018 002
proko comment 018 003
proko comment 018 004
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Vincentius Sesarius
I don't have one that I know of, but personally, I don't think you should get or buy one of those. From two images you've attached, the left one is basically old male's body, not necessarily skinny though, they're just old. And on the right, it's not skinny, it's anorexic. If you're somehow based your artwork on the left body type, they won't look skinny, they will just look old. If you're based your artwork on the left body type, they won't look skinny either, they will look anorexic. It may sound harsh, but I genuinely believe there's a lot of healthy skinny male models out there, not unlike both of the attached photo examples. Try visit PoseSpace, or Croquis Cafe, they offer a great range of models, both males and females, which some of them look skinny but also healthy enough you shouldn't worry about their well being.
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