Sonntag, 22. Dezember 2013

Day 43

oooh helloooou.
Alright, a little break from portraits today (and maybe tomorrow as well)
So basically what this is all about is that I started a new Illustration today and as I was sketching I noticed that nasty comfort zone creep up.
I personally don't really get the whole notion of comfortzone because I think a great part of being a recognizable artist is to kind of have "your thing" you do best and hopefully better than other artists. Basically  there is the term of comfort zone which is in gerneral seen as a bad thing and on the other side the term of specialisation which is often considered to be necessary (which is my opinion as well). Anyways I often notice people throwing those terms around without really thinking too much about it and critizising and judging artists for being to much in their comfort zone without thinking about that it might take a bit more than a handful of paintings to actually wrap your mind around a certain topic
Anyways for me (right now) the nasty comfort zone seems to kick in as soon as you work within the boundaries of your chosen specialisation but you stop trying to develop it, trying to make it "richer" or better.
I kiiind of noticed this today when I started my new Illustration where I would just start sketching and everything felt extremely familiar and comfortable when I threw down design decisions.
And this is where todays studytime went in. Time to expand that visual library, time to take out that nasty copying paper and get some scribbling going.
Now those studies belong to the kind of studies which are not supposed to be good drawings, as a matter of fact one could even argue that for this kind of studies you don't even have to draw at all. The point of them is merely to look closely at the things you want to learn more about and discover and understand new ideas and concepts. In my case I wanted to get deeper int medieval armor, even more specific: upper body parts. I wanted to discover new ways of how that stuff is build, maybe find new shapes and patterns, different kinds of materials and how they are layered, stuff like that. It's all about looking closely on WHAT is actually there not at all about HOW it should be drawn to look nice as a drawing. So all these drawings are are literally visual notes, very simple, very literal and clear.
I did find out some new cool stuff there which I am definitely going to use in my next painting. I might spend tomorrows studytime on another round of those, that stuff's just really useful. After that I'll get back to the pretty girls, waaaaaaay more fun :D

Samstag, 21. Dezember 2013

Day 41/42

oooh sorry guys, I'm still fighting with my internetconnection and yesterday I just could not catch one of those short timeintervals where it actually works so today is a two day update again.
Not too much to show as far as amount of studies is concerned since I decided to draw another "finished" pencilportrait.
Sooo because I wanted to fuck myself a little bit I decided to draw a portrait with the face basically looking straight towards the viewer and in addition to that in pretty extreme low light conditions which makes it crazy hard to make it look three dimensional. BUT it's really fun :)
The progress is pretty slow though, as large portions of the page are supposed to be extremely dark and it just takes a lot of time to get the tones really smooth, the trick is just to pound on those areas for laaaarge amounts of time so I think I will be drawing this one for at least the next two days or so.
Anyways the longer I do these the more useful I actually find them. Being forced to work on tiny areas like for example an eye for a very long time makes you think about the form and whats actually going on there much more than when you are painting digitally and try to imply a lot of that stuff with simple brushstrokes. Taking a lot of time on those things and getting in there helps me a lot when I get back to painting and try to show all those stuff as simply as possible.
AND just drawing those is fun, producing stuff that is right in front of you in a physical form is awesome, I kinda want to try and go back to oilpainting for my studies as well.
I don't know , I really don't care much about the whole debate of digital vs. traditional mediums and which one of those is harder to do BUT for me at least it seems that whenever I use traditional mediums I tend to work much more carefully and think about literally every brushstroke I put down which translates really well in my digital work, sooooooo I'll keep doing it :)

Donnerstag, 19. Dezember 2013

Day 40

aaah hellouu guys. Sorry for not updating the last two days. Keeping this study schedule up next to personal and commercial work is crazy hard. And while I love doing this and I get more and more motivated to do those studies every day I was also starting to feel extreemely exhausted. SO what I did was to just take two days off to recharge and now I BACK!

So straight to the updates. I finished the pencil portrait (well it has reached the stage where I call it finished :D) I have to say that I actually really like this one. It has been years since I made a real effort to actually finish a pencil drawing and see where I can go with the rendering. So having done this feels really great also the process itself feels awesome too. Just leaning over that sketchbook and going molecular mode on all the subtle stuff that's going on. It brings you into that intense place of extreme concentration which I just love :) So yea, more of that to come for sure.

And to make up for the lack of updates I spent some more time today and painted another digital portrait. This one was really cool because it showed me clearly that the pencils have been paying off. My "aim" when it comes to nailing the proportions is getting MUCH better, I barely had to correct anything proportion wise after my first block in, everything was pretty much there from the beginning, which is a major step up as far as process is concerned compared to the previous ones which included a whole lot of guessing and fiddling around. Lets hope this wasn't just a lucky one :D I'm still keeping these very simplistic, focusing on mthe biiiig stuff and I also really like the esthetic of it, for my taste I honestly already might have overdone it, I could've simplified it quite a bit more.

Yepp that's it, see yeeers :O

Montag, 16. Dezember 2013

Day 39

Heeey everyone, another day's gone by hehe.

Sooo basically everything I've been doing with my study time today was to keep on drawing yesterday's portrait and it has reached this kind of weird point that probably everybody knows  where you are sitting in front of a drawing or painting and you ask yourself  "...hmm is this done?" Same here.
I think the question if something is done or more importantly being able to answer it is crucial on how much you push yourself  and ultimately how quickly you improve.
What I do when I am not sure if I am done or not is just ask myself  "does this piece of work play in the same league that the artworks of my "art heros" do?". If yes, cool! If no, in order to improve you have to ask yourself  "why not?". In my case the answer has been "no" with every single piece I have done so far in my life. It's simple, I am just not able to compete with my "artheros" yet. But being able to answer that question of  "why doesn't my work look as good as theirs" in my opinion will give you the answer if you should keep going or not.
I feel there are basically just two answers to that question and you will just have to decide which one it is.

Either the answer is :

"my artwork does not look as good because I haven't pushed it far enough yet, if I keep going I might get there"


"goddamnit I screwed up bigtime along the way and I am noticing it just now, crap".

In the first case you just keep going and literally just puuushing, pure musclework, try to sweat until you reach that next level where you end up noticing that you are doing something that you would not have though you could do until that point.

If you answer is the second one, well yea you screwed up at some crucial steps in the beginning where improving on it would ultimately need you to erase huge parts and repaint them.
While this miiiight be a good exercise from time to time and might boost your confidence experiencing that you are able to turn this shitty painting around and making it look good (and sometimes with clientwork it can't be avoided) I think that in order to maintain a process which is geared towards developping and progressing (with for me is getting more and more important as I develop as an artist) it is the best thing to just let it go and go on with the next painting or, if it can't be avoided repaint the entire thing from scratch.
In this case you go ahead and identify your mistake and deliberately try to avoid it the next time.

Now the way these principles apply to this tiny portrait study is that before I uploaded it I was really insecure about the question if this is done or not. But as soon as I reminded myself that this clearly does not look anything near the quality of the people's work I look up to when it comes to pencil drawing and rendering I noticed that I don't think I have screwed up bigtime here as well so far. The proportaions are pretty accurate, and so are the values.
 Although I already have spent quite a bunch of time on this I think I miiiight if I just keep pushing this, refine the rendering and pay close attention to edges especially, get this to a degree of finish which miiiiiiight touch a level of quality that I would not have expected from me haha. So yea I will keep drawing on this and just keep my eyes open for that moment of:

 "aaaaaaaargh I screwed up hours ago , there's no point in going on, this drawing for what it is, is done now!" Man I love this. Thinking about that stuff is almost as great as actually doing it :)

See you tomorrow

Sonntag, 15. Dezember 2013

Day 38

oooooooh new update neeeeeew sketchbook. Mmmmh started drawing in this brand new moleskine and yeaa you know how it is, the intention with every new sketchbook to make just every drawing in it fucking amazing, killing it on each page.
So yea for this page I actually plan once finishing one of those little portraits I've been doing for the last days, trying to figure out where I can go with pencil rendering. Those are so much fun  especially because drawing pretty girls is SOOOO not what I usually do in my personal work. But getting into it is really cool and slooowly but surely getting comfortable feels just great, really filling up those gaps in my "visual library" which almos exclusively has been filled with creepy medieval fantasy shit which is really fun and relevant for work as well but to be honest proooooooobably not where my "true" longterm interest lies when it comes to painting :)

Samstag, 14. Dezember 2013

Day 37

Heya Folks! I hope everyone could recover from yesterdays huge rant. I for sure have been thinking a lot about it haha :D Also thanks for the really cool positive feedback everytime I type those huge posts out. I really love thinking and talking about this whole art thing and unfortunately I just don't have people around  in my life who I could go to with that filled brainz of mine, so it's really cool being able to unload everything on here and to see it being appreciated. So yea thanks guys :)

More heads going on here, not too much else to say about todays update. Still keeping those very simple and kinda minimalistic, focusing on proportions, which is hard enough by itself but it gets better and feels more and more fluent with every one of those. Real babysteps happening here but nonetheless they are steps in the right direction :)

Freitag, 13. Dezember 2013

Day 36

heya guys, day 36 it's ON!
First off be warned, today's post might get pretty ranty, but I think that there are some things happening with me as far as I view drawing and painting which are really going to change me and the way I handle all this both from a pure abstract aspect of how I think about "art" and also from a purely technical standpoint of how I go about making images.
The second thing I want to absolutely stress is that everything I think and write are ultimatively things that I THINK I am discovering for myself here, that is to say I don't mean anything here from an educational standpoint. All I am doing is posting my thoughts and being absolutely open for them being bullshit or just simply totally wrong. SO while I do think that I am progressing here I also know that I know nothing and nothing I say should be taken for a fact even if it seems to work for me haha. Just take everything with a huge bigass grain of salt :D

I kind of hinted at this in a previous post but I want to get deeper into it because the changes I am currently making in the way I think about painting and go about actually doing it are much deeper than I would have expected before I just tried playing around and changing things up. It's also weird that those ridiculous perspective exercises kind of got the ball rolling with me rethinking everything I am doing when it comes to drawing haha. SO yea this is what it's all about right now:

Up until the last few weeks my process of drawing and general thinking about "art" was extremely technical, not only in studies (where it is okay and often the point to be technical) but also in my personal work, from finished Illustrations to even sketchwork. Every figure I drew would be deliberately constructed in a way I saw in this or that book/video. For every head I drew I would start with the classical loomis construction head and then put my headdrawing on top of that, I was obsessed with making everything look correct, going about drawing the way it is "taught". The problem with this is that I was not actually noticing it or better said I did not notice that I was completely caught up in those thought patterns not even starting to think that there was anything wrong about doing things this way. I mean I was drawing that way since I started basically, I just believed that this is the right way to do it.

Now a couple of months ago (maybe something like two months before I started this blog) I noticed "Damn, constructing the shit out of everything does not do me any good, I construct everything the way it's supposed to be and I end up with something I have to correct anyways". So out of this and my flawed mindset sprang the though "alright I need to improve my construction skills!". And that's what I tried to do, I got back to all the basics catching up on the construction part, focused on getting my base constructions even more correct, the divisions on the loomis head even more accurate before I drew the head on top of it. Sometimes I would use a ruler to check if my "division of thirds" was absolutely perfect and I was so happy when I finally got that right. BUT and here is the thing that devestated me: My drawings got WAY worse and not even that, everything started looking the same (especially obvious in my head studies from memory).
It was that point where I started to doubt everything I have been doing so far, thoughts started creeping in about how much time I might have wasted trying to go about drawing the wrong way, only restricting myself instead of opening up , it really really scared me a lot. You know, I thought I was in charge of my own improvement, totally knowing where I need to go but now I was left with nothing, for the first time in years I felt totally lost. I mean I got to a place with my artwork and also jobwise but still I was feeling lost, literally not knowing what to do.
I figured the only way for me to get out of that is a complete reset, rethinking and redoing everything I assumed would be right and true about this whole art thing but instead of just totally changing up everything I would get rid of each of my habits one by one and just see what would happen.

This is where this blog starts and now after a bit more than a month of investing around 3 hours a day into just basic studying of process and painting/drawing itself I think I am safe to say that doing this was probably the best decision for me (as an artist) in the last few years even.

To recap what was going on on this blog in case you did not see all of it or you just did not notice it:
I have been tackling very specific subjects (figuredrawings, portraitdrawings/paintings, lifedrawings, moviestills) and I started with every one of them the way I used to work, very constructive, very technical and I would  go on with every study and gradually remove all the technical layins and constructions and do what might be called "just draw/paint", just going for it and trusting myself with it and it's insane but as soon as I did that I started feeling better about my work, the studies got better, things were much clearer for me, everything started feeling kind of smooth and "clicking". Also everything would translate much more easily into my own personal paintings and clientwork, it was a crazy experience really.

Now after I experienced this over and over with every new subject I was tackling for some reason (and I feel so stupid realizing it so LATE, YEARS after I started drawing) I noticed "wait a minute, every artist you admire and have seen painting ever has "just been painting" whenever he/she started a new picture. Litereally noone ever starts with loomis constructions NOT A SINGLE ONE.

And here's the point (and this is also the point that I am open to being wrong but right nwo today it feels like the biggest truth ever for me so I'll go with it for now): All of those artist I look up to KNOW that stuff, they all know loomisheads and anatomyconstruction and all the technicalities but they don't actually DRAW them down when they paint. That stuff is in their heads as reference to pull from when they "just do it". Those things are guides not literal frameworks to work in when painting a picture. knowledge of a book or a video is JUST THE SAME thing in your visual library as lets say the knowledge you get from a photostudy. Ultimately a loomis head is a REFERENCE not a METHOD to draw a head (even if its presented as this in the books).
I know this might sound obvious but for me this is a profound realization right now and the base to completely change the way I treat painting and drawing, it's really a bit insane for me at the moment how much of an revelation it feels.
For the first time in years I can "just draw" and the results are getting so much better than what I was able to do when I trapped myself in technicalities and constructions and literally drawing on top of diagrams.

I was struggling with that realization as I was drawing those little portraits. I skipped back and forth between the old way of loomis heads as bases for the actual drawing and the way of just starting to draw however I feel and in my opininon when I look at the drawings of the last 3 days it is so obvious to me which ones have been drawn which way. All the wonky ones (they are all still pretty wonky but I am talking about the ones that stand out in this regard) are the ones drawn with an actual loomis construcion as a base and all of those have skewed proportions, the features don't line up correctly, they look really really stiff and forced and thus the liknesses are total shit. And to be honest how could they not?

So yea what I want to get to and what the result of all those weird insights is is the fact that I am going to (and actually am in the middle of) changing my whole approach of image making, I have enough proof now that I have been kind of screwing myself out of the fixated assumption of knowing what the "right way" should be. Instead I am going towards a mindset of "just doing it" and merely refering to all that constructional and technical knowledge as I need it and not use it as a template to force my drawings in.
And yea again, maybe it is totally wrong, maybe it is so right that it seems weird that it took me so long to get this, I don't know but I am pumped as hell, I think some great things can happen here :)

ugh this is a long one, please excuse posible typos and general weirdness I am trying so hard to keep ym eyes open right now, good night everyone :D