Sunday, 8 January 2012

Progression with the Pencil

The pencil

A basic, affordable and awesome drawing medium; however just like any other medium, can be hard to master.
It has been my main companion for the drawing projects since game art and has been great growing on this course with it. I have never been amazing with the pencil and was very self-conscious when we started out, often taking much longer on something that should take half the time that I did it in.

Throughout the first semester, I have learnt to not to be extremely precious about your work. Keeping the mistakes I made really helps me to understand where I went wrong and areas I need to improve. But as usual working more and more will just make you better and better!
I will talk about some of the hardships I've had with the pencil and the time I have had growing with it throughout the frist semester.


Learning single point perspective was a fun challenge and was great that I had met some awesome people to draw with. Though I had some difficulty to start off such as having the horizon line right and the vanishing point in the right place, I felt that I had learnt a lot form this project such as finding good compositions.
When I was uploading my work for the first time, I wasn't sure if we were able to darken lines with photoshop to make it easier to see; just incase it was considered cheating =\.

The challenges that I had in this project was the rendering. I found it extremely tough to render the water and trees. My week of frustration came from that than learning perspective lines.
There is something that bugs me in this picture though. If you haven't already noticed it (I'd be suprised!) is the house. I somehow didn't realise that I was drawing it at a slant. I drew it along the pole infront of the house and didn't realise that it wasn't part of the house. A dumb mistake from me.


The archway was when it got a bit confusing for me. I was really muddled with the perspective lines especially when the road and walls curve. I found it hard to get different compositions as the archway area wasn't paticularly big (I don't think). When I think back now though I could have done some wide angles rather than the standard 'looking down the path'. I was still unsure about the whole improving your drawings with photoshop so I left it just incase.

Though the project was much tougher than the canal, I still found the project enjoyable. I drew a few thumbnails from the same perspective and I saw minor improvements everytime.

With the final, I once again had trouble with the trees. Since the canal project I've been experimenting different ways to draw trees and found some ways that worked and some that didn't. However everytime I tried drawing trees in a way that worked for me the first time, it was very inconsistant and never worked the same way everytime. I figured there is no one way to draw trees...
Again I ended up slanting up the building slighty again. I now frequently look at my drawings from a distance to spot any obvious mistakes that would be easier to miss when working close.

City Centre

This project was tough as I was very self concious about working in public. I was for some reason embarassed especially when working on my own outside without other students around.

I really enjoyed this project as I felt I understood perspective lines better. The vanishing point drifting off the page was a little hard to adjust to though.

With my final, I wanted to push the tone a lot. I was quite rather proud of how it turned out. I left in the perspective lines to partly show my working out. It also makes the final look a little more interesting (IMO).

Vehicle Project

This was a project that I couldn't quite get to grips with. I found Jack's process of making cars really interesting but found it difficult to make work. I got there in the end but I will need to practice this much more. I really like seeing perspective lines in these sort of drawings but I couldn't get the proportions of the car as accurate as I wanted.

The final turned out better than I hoped with how it was going. The rear wheel looks too small to me. Infact, I think the whole car looks a little squashed at the back. I remember the lighting being very awkward and didn't look right when I was shading it.

The Museum

This project I found myself improving on shading a lot. It was also a nice break to back off with the perspective lines. I think I ended up dwarfing all my main pencils on this project. This project definately has the award for the widest range of graded pencils used!

With the final, I started the perspective a little off so I decided to add in the background slightly. I didn't work much into it at all as to not take the focus away from the dino bones. When I look at it though the composition is actually not that bad. The top left of the picture really bugs me though, I should've rubbed it out as that mistake is so obvious that it's not really needed to remind me of something like that but eh =\

Bradgate Park

The park was a really nice place to visit. The only shame was thats it was bloody cold, extremely misty and wet on the first day (my socks were soaked the entire day!). When we were actually able to see the landscape though it was really nice to draw. Tiring than most projects as we usually walked long distances and in uneven terrain, it was nice and quiet. I took the opportunity to work on drawing some trees as I know that they're not my strong points.
However another problem would come up which was similar. I would find it hard to draw grass... I tackled this just by trying out a few mark making techniques but its something I need to delve into a lot more.

I reallly liked the composition of the final. The way the water flows towards the viewer makes it look nice. I really enjoyed this piece. I didn't want to put too much on it incase it took the focus away from the composition and was too heavy with detail.

Space Centre

The centre was a nice trip out. Had many facinating things that was rather distracting but was not nearly as distracting with school kids running up ad down screaming into your ears. It wasn't as bad once you get your head stuck down and settled into some art, but some kids came up to me and asked me millions of questions and random shit -_-;.
Nonetheless, the things at the centre were interesting and I decided to jump into some other medium. I used marker pens, a brush pen (that slightly exploded when I first opened it) and watercolours.
I really liked the space suits as it also gave me a chance to slightly work on the human shape; something we haven't really looked at yet in our projects.

The final was done with the trusty pencil as I felt my pencil skills are still not as sharp as it should be.
The reason I chose this for my final was solely based on the angle. It was difficult and what made it much more difficult was the shading to try and show a shiny surface as well as looking into the cieling and getting a stiff neck. Again, I didn't want the main focus lost on the background so I didn't focus as much on the cieling as it's just many things repeated over and over again.

Overall, looking back at my work during semester one I feel I have made a lot of improvements, I have a better understanding of perspective, composition, shading has improved and overall just much more comfortable drawing than when I first started out. Learning from your mistakes and being reminded of them is something that really helped me out. I know I need to work at a much faster pace. I have tackled this by doing some speed thumbs and drawings in my own time. A website I find useful is I still struggle keeping up at times but hey, I'll just keep practicing it 'til I ace it. :p

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