Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Figure Drawing Portrait

Wednesdays are long pose nights, approx 1 hour and 30 min.  The hair is sort of a blahsville and I need to focus on the entire body's construction since I tend to do a lot of portraits and profiles.  Looks a lot better in person...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

More Figure Drawing & Epiphanies

I had another epiphany while doing the warm ups/gesture drawings;  All things in nature (including lines) have movement.  You can get confident strokes by drawing straight into the direction of the shape / movement.  I've noticed that I have a habit of creating sketchy outlines with strokes that go back and forth, disrupting and clouding the idea of the pose and its clarity.

Sketchy strokes that go back and forth, disrupting the movement and idea - 1 minute each

Strokes that are a bit more confident and supportive... results are more fluid - 1 minute each

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Work in Progress: Still Life #3

More still life coaching from the awesome JoAnn Kang - this time reflective objects.  I'm soooo slow though... nearly 10 hours in and still not done.

  • Be cautious of how you move your arm when taking measurements for blocking (specifically within the z-plane).  I spent an embarrassing two hours just trying to put my blocking down correctly because of this.
  • Don't start too dark when rendering - gradually increase/add the contrast as you go along
  • The more intense brights/darks will be in the foreground - most lights/darks in the background should not be more intense than ones in the foreground
  • There are four different types of basic composition - rule of thirds, triangle-shaped, circle-shaped, and s-shaped
  • Charcoal is a very forgiving medium - also rely on rubbing away marks with a paper towel rather than always using the eraser
  • Be wary that there are also shapes in reflections and shadows

Thoughts on Drawing While Listening to Music

In what is considered to pretty much be one of the animation bibles, The Animator's Survival Kit declares that animation is concentration.  Many people listen to music while they draw, but Milt Kahl considered this counter-productive since it divides concentration and that you are not fully investing your brain into what you are doing.

While I've had many discussions with others on this topic before, everyone's responses have varied.  I've concluded that it all depends on the individuals' work ethic; several animators have stated that they listen to the Animation Podcast while they work, while others like Milt Kahl find it too distracting.

I find myself perfectly capable to draw without having to rely on music, but it is a nice inspirational boost to get into my creative groove and engage into what I'm doing.  Listening to a certain genre at a low volume is also very nice when designing a particular character or trying to convey a specific attitude/mood.  The music might get distracting though once I'm locked in, so at that point I just shut it off.  Otherwise, I just let it keep going.  To me, music is the biggest success when it is able to get me in the zone and I eventually forget that it's even playing.

From The Animator's Survival Kit

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Road to Ringling

For the past two years, I had been studying animation at Columbia College Chicago.  I've given it all that I got, but now that I'm about to head into my junior year, this seems like my last best chance to try to tranfer to my dream school - Ringling College of Art & Design.  They don't accept transfer credits and I won't even know if I'd be accepted until February of next year.  If this is my plan, then I'd just be burning money to continue at Columbia College... just a year to portfolio build and fend off loans.  It won't be an easy journey, but my heart's been set at studying there for 3 years and counting.  I think I finally might have what it takes to get in, but of course I need to get my ass in gear and just keep drawing.  Below is my portfolio in progress, and I'll need to have a final set by the holidays.  Not all of them are winners obviously... for now they'll just be used as benchmarks for my current skill.

1-minute Drawings

Gesture Drawings

More Gesture Drawings

Friday, July 15, 2011

Studying Form from Bones

I've been studying bones & drawing three-dimensionally via clay lately in a quest to understand true form and structure.  The practice is based around Da Vinci's own studies to gain a more intellectual insight to the human body.  Our class begins by building sacrums repeatedly until its structure is burned into our minds, thus being able to build bones from memory (and even blindfolded).  Some epiphanies so far include...

  • Being wary of not just shape, but also volume
  • That all movement of the human body is rooted in the skeleton
  • All skeletons have their differences, so we should not rigorously study from a single image
  • Stop getting caught in details!  The structure is the goal

I'm only a month or so into the class, but this has already been a big help in grasping my figure & gesture drawing skills.  I've been building solid sacrums weekly and am about to attempt one from memory.  In addition, I'm also working on my first hollow sacrum.

Sacrums & hip bones... not chocolate

Developing the hollow sacrum... also not chocolate

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Rough Pass: Walk Cycle

Simple rough pass of my first actual animation in photoshop.  Arms still need tweaking to emphasize the twist in the upper body & about to put in some inbetweens.  Throw in some eyes and stuff and this dude's ready to rave.