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Practice, practice, practice

Lately I have come to realize that I have been doing mostly finished pieces for a while now and have been neglecting my drawing practice. It has been ages since I’ve gone to a life drawing class and I still have difficulty drawing characters from my mind, so I have started to practice again. I’ve spent the last couple days watching drawing videos and reading art blogs which have inspired me to really get going. I’m starting by going through my old photos, random stuff that I’ve taken and collected over the years, and am using them as quick reference for these new drawings.

I'm focusing more on groups here, since I have a tough time maintaining the proportions from figure to figure.

Super simple sketches based on some random photos I took in Central Park. I wanted to observe the way in which the shapes change to create the different action poses.I’m really focusing on different things here. Most of these sketches are reference based, meaning that I was looking at something when I drew them. I drew very small and exclusively in pen, so that I could explore the basic shape and proportion of my figures.  I wanted to really break down how to capture movement in the most simple shapes possible so that I will be able to construct them from memory or from logic later.

I then decided to work on the way I draw groups of people, taking the opportunity to also factor in the way their clothing wrinkles and drapes.

Memory/exploratory exercises.I did all of this so that I would be able to draw from my memory, so the next thing I did was some memory drawings. Well, technically not so much memory as exploratory. Some poses were in my head based on what I have seen before, and some just sort of came about because of the way I was moving my pen, so I turned them into figures that maybe had a little bit of story behind them. I did my best to make the clothing styles fit the poses the ended up in. I now know I need to up my study on clothing styles and rendering of different materials. That work will be coming soon.

I did some more drawings during the past few days, but I will post and talk about them a little later. Because I’m not in school anymore, I have to remind myself to do these simple exercises in order to hone my craft. It’s very easy to assume that now that you’re getting paid to draw or paint that you just need to shoot for a final piece every time. Not only is that not true, but it’s also a little exhausting. It has been so freeing for me to spend this week just drawing for the sake of drawing. It gave me a chance to explore my techniques, materials, and thought processes when it comes to creating artwork.

I spent some time on YouTube watching the tutorials by Alphonso Dunn. I really love how he explains his process and some of the simple, yet weird stuff he does to practice his line work.

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