Vincentius Sesarius
Vincentius Sesarius
Indonesia
I paint portraits, and a bit of other stuff
Vincentius Sesarius
I know it's a bit late, and you probably have figured that one out. But in case you haven't, that distance, in a better terminology, is called nasal bridge. The thickness of our nasal bridge is actually determined by the thickness of our nasal bones and a muscle called Procerus. Men usually have thicker of both, while women's are more shallow and smooth. Ethnicity also plays a huge part in this particular facial feature. Caucasian tends to be on the thicker side, while other ethnicity, like African and Asian, tend to be on the shallower side.
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Vincentius Sesarius
They're looking great. You've got the flow and the lines that look confident. I guess you're on the right track with this, Try to develop each gesture into more solid body form by implementing broad light and shadow forms, because eventually that's the goal of gesture drawing.
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Vincentius Sesarius
I think you're nearly there though. It's not wrong for heads to look roundish. But in your case, the problem is that you make the jaws much smaller and shorter than it should. You see, the difference between an adult's and a baby's head is the ratio of cranium (the roundish ball part) and the jaw (the squarish wedge-shaped part). Babies have big craniums and small jaws, while adult have still-bigger-than-babies' cranium, but their jaws have caught up the pace and grown much bigger and taller since. From your works, it seems that you make the bottom part of the jaw in line with the bottom part of the ball. It shouldn't be that way though, Jaws in adults measure almost a half of the ball in height. I have some drawings I made earlier for other users, I hope it can help you to understand this cranium-to-jaw ratio.
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Vincentius Sesarius
Hi Natali, it's great to see you're still around and keep coming back with better and better improvements, You work is great, and it's improved in many ways since the last time I gave critique in one of your uploads. The only thing I would add is the classic V shape in middle of the brows which pop because she's frowning her brows. The woman in the original picture have that annoyance kind of expression, while in your work, she looks more like she's bored. It's in the expression kind of area, which I know is not the main focus on the work, but it's still good to exercise it once in a while. The other minor thing is to add a bit of highlight on the left side of neck, so not to make the neck look flat. I've painted over your work (if that's okay) to show my points.
proko comment 025
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Vincentius Sesarius
I will say the proportions can be better. Though, it has nothing with color, but I see that the proportion of your drawing seems a little off; like the nose seems to be a little smaller than it should be, Colored pencils are not the best of tools when it comes to learning colors. It may be convenient since they were the first coloring tools we had been introduced with when we were kids, but in the long run, they're actually hard to use. Some artists even have come to hate them, arguing that colored pencils lack almost everything an artist needs to color their drawing or painting: 1) they're hard to blend, 2) the colors are rather too bright to use by itself, and 3) the wax used to make colored pencils give the drawing that ugly sheen finish. The other problem with colored pencils is flexibility: you'd need a lot of them to cover a wide range of colors. If you'd like to learn colors, get the actual paints, like watercolor, acrylic, or even oil paints. They're much more practical and reliable. You can just buy 4 or 5 paints, and with them you can make all colors you will actually use. Colored pencils look nice since if you bought them in a set, they'd give you this rainbow-like colors. But soon you'd notice that most of them are useless, because you can't really blend them and you can't fit a bright pink or emerald green in any drawing.
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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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