Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Here is the link to my Final Flickr Portfolio:


Well another semester has come and gone, and I had some pretty great times along the way. I really feel like I accomplished a lot this semester, whether it was learning programs, getting a math class out of the way, or improving my skills with charcoal. Although I didn't come out of the semester with many huge projects that I'll be able to use in a portfolio, I think my skills improved dramatically across the board.

This class was a great example of that, and I feel like I have improved so much more than I thought I would at the beginning of the semester. When I came into the Life Drawing room the first day, my skills were extremely rusty, and I pretty much had to teach myself how to draw with charcoal all over again. It had been over a year since I had picked up any charcoal, sadly, but I was able to become fairly comfortable with it by the end of the semester.

When I look at my drawings from the beginning of the semester or previous classes, my drawings lack variation in line weight and look extremely flat. I think I have been able to improve on those skills, and I am now constantly conscious of how every line is going to affect the drawing. It definitely took a long time for me to grasp the challenge of gesture drawing, but once it clicked it got so much easier to incorporate gesture drawings into my longer poses. I struggled trying to find full-body gestures that I was completely happy with, but I really like some of the gestures I included that only focus on part of the body. They seem much more loose and I think I just need to keep practicing to get my full-body gestures to that point. I also included a gesture at the end of my gesture portfolio to show how much I had improved, which hopefully you will agree was quite a bit.

I have always been better when I have more time to work, so my long poses have always looked better to me than my gestures, but I still had a lot of improving to do on those when I started as well. Overall, I think my drawings got much more dimensional and feel more intelligent due to the way I have learned to use lines to show form rather than just resorting to shading. At first I wasn't excited about trying to draw without shading, but in the end it forced me to improve and evolve so much faster than I would have.

I had a great semester and can't wait to take Life Drawing 2 next semester!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Alright, we're winding down.....

So I finally gathered all my photos of my drawings over the entire semester, and I was extremely pleased with how many I was able to replace from my mid-term portfolio. It's always nice to see improvement, and before I looked at these pictures, I wasn't quite convinced as to just how much I had improved since September. I still struggled finding enough gesture drawings that I liked, so I had to pull some from the first half of the semester that don't include the entire figure, but there's still something about the partial body drawings that I really enjoy. It helps me view the figure as an object rather than a person if I don't think about drawing each individual piece of the body.

I'm also glad that we are able to include some of our skull, foot and hand drawings in our final portfolio, since those ended up being some of my favorite long poses. It was nice to be able to spend the extra time on one specific part of the body rather than the entire body. I think I was able to come out of those with some really nice, polished drawings to put in my portfolio. That's one reason I'm really looking forward to Life Drawing 2 next fall, since it focuses mainly on the head for most of the class. It will be very useful to learn how all the muscles and bones of the head work together to form different expressions and faces.

I'm also pretty pleased with how my maniken turned out at the end of the semester. There were many times during the year that I thought to myself that the muscles would never end, but alas our muscle men are complete. It was a nice change of pace to be able to switch gears and think more in three-dimensions rather than working with charcoal again. I definitely enjoyed the project, and it helped me visualize the body as a whole, as well as helped me place individual muscles into my drawings.

Here's a couple pic's of my final maniken!

Second of three catch-ups!

Here we go again, this time I think I'm going to focus on gesture drawings, since I added a pic of an early-semester gesture that I did, and I will be adding a more recent one on the end of this post.

I definitely think gesture drawings have been the most bittersweet thing for me in this class over the semester. I think I have improved so much on them over the course of the entire semester, but when I'm actually doing them, I hate them so much, haha. I always feel like an idiot for the first chunk of the drawings, just because I'm trying to remember every single little hint and tip we've learned up to that point. I really do think I improved over the semester though, mostly due to the sheer number of gestures that we did.

I realized pretty quickly that I would have to abandon my normally uptight drawing style while in the Life Drawing classroom, and that was extremely difficult for me to do at first. I have always been the type of artist that takes every line very carefully and precisely, trying not to make any mistakes, but now I see that there's really no point in doing that; the mistakes actually add together to make the picture unique and interesting. Once I understood that fact, I was able to start loosening up and being more fluid with my strokes, making for better overall drawings in the end.

The gesture at the bottom of this page is from a few weeks ago, after Amy showed us a little tutorial on how our gestures should be looking at that point. I think I definitely improved, mostly in my use of line weight and the fluidity of my stokes. I also broke away from trying to draw every single line, and instead focused on the overall flow of each limb, using one or two lines to show the majority of the contours of the legs and arms. Hopefully you guys agree!

First of three catch-up posts tonight!

Hello again blog world, it's been far too long since I have been on here, but I will be getting completely caught up tonight before my last, FINAL post on Tuesday!!

I think in this post I will focus on the sheer fact that we are almost done! I can't believe how fast this semester went. I literally feel like we just started, and now we have 2 days until this class will be officially completed. I have had my frustrations during the semester, as I'm sure we all have, but I am extremely glad that I had the chance to take Life Drawing.

I'm not sure if anybody else feels this way, but I feel like I forget how to draw with charcoal, even if it's only been a week since the last time we drew. It takes me almost the entire class period sometimes before I start feeling somewhat competent with the gesture drawings, and I always feel like I'm still forgetting some critical piece of information. One minute I'm trying to make sure I'm getting the rib cage the right proportions, then when I'm just starting to look at the arms and head, Amy's timer goes off and it's time to start a new pose. So frustrating. But I guess that just goes to show how much practice really goes into this stuff, and I'm hoping to continue practicing over the summer in order to get even quicker and more fluid in my drawing style.

I really think I'm going to try to focus on keeping my drawings extremely light at the beginning, and not worrying so much about getting the lines right the first time. I used to be so up-tight about my drawings, but now after taking this class I really think that the more history that is seen in drawings, the more interesting they are. This is definitely something I need to start thinking more about when I draw in my free time (which I will hopefully have at least some of this summer)

Well, here's a gesture drawing from earlier in the semester, and in my next post I'll add a pic of a drawing from later in the semester, hopefully showing a bit of improvement!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Finally Caught Up!

so i think i'm finally caught up on these blogs, so hopefully whoever is grading these notices and takes note of that (hint, hint) haha

but anyways, i'm definitely happy that we've moved onto the skull and hands, which means we're winding down the semester and going to be able to put together some final drawings that look good all over, not just the abdomen. i already like a couple of the long drawings that we've done with the skull and hands, and i'll probably be using them for the final portfolio, which is coming up fast!

speaking of the end of the semester, i have a project in my digital content class that will be alot of work over the next few weeks. i'm doing a hand-drawn animation, telling the story of a penguin that wants to fly. i made storyboards for the same story last year using adobe illustrator, so that makes the project a little easier, since i know where i'm going already. another thing that's going to help me is how comfortable i've gotten with drawing thanks to life drawing. i'm going to be drawing alot of frames, and if i don't want it to take forever, i'll have to draw somewhat quickly. thanks to life drawing though, i think i'll be able to pump out those drawings pretty quick now.

can't wait to see everybody's drawings now that we're winding down! here's the frames from the storyboards for my animation......

Monday, April 11, 2011


I've really been pleased with how my maniken has been turning out so far, and I think I'll be able to put some finishing touches on it after I finish the forearm muscles tonight, with hands and face to come soon. I definitely have to go back tonight and fix my tricep and bicep muscles that I made last week, because I definitely didn't make them big enough after looking at the example. That should be an easy fix though, hopefully, ha.

I plan on heading to the art building tonight to work on the forearm muscles, so I'll be able to add some pictures of my progress after I wrap those up, probably in my next post. I could definitely tell in our last pose that I struggled most with the hands and forearms, the only parts of the body we have yet to really cover, so that makes me feel very optimistic that I'm learning what I need to and that by the end of the semester I won't have much trouble with any part of the body. Hands always seem to be difficult to me though, so we'll see if I can improve enough on those to feel like I'm halfway decent at them. Fingers crossed.

It'll be nice to finally have a full week this week, and not have to miss any more Life Drawing classes for anything, at least that I know of. It's been tough to get back into the swing of things after taking 4 or 5 days off, and hopefully the extra practice this week will keep my skills sharp and carry me into the end of the semester.

Hope all our forearms look like these!

Sorry for the wait....here we go.

Hey guys! Sorry I got set back a few weeks here, got completely bogged down with some of my other classes, and although that's not really an excuse for missing a couple weeks, that's all I've got, haha.

Anyways, I've really been enjoying the long poses we've been doing lately. Now that we are finally winding down on learning all the muscles, it's become so much easier to make strong finished drawings over the course of an hour or hour and a half. It feels so much better to be able to actually feel like I know what I'm doing now, instead of sitting there looking at the model feeling like I'm trying to learn rocket science. I also really have been enjoying being able to switch between both the male and female models fairly often. It creates such a nice change of pace, and really changes the way you have to draw the form.

I'm hoping I can keep finding a way to create some decent drawings in those long poses so that I can make my final portfolio as strong as I can. I've already improved much more than I expected to this semester, but I definitely know now that I have even more room to grow. Hopefully I can make that happen in the next few weeks, and hopefully I'll be able to put everything together at the very end of the semester to create a few great drawings after we finally learn all the muscles of the body.

Keep up the good work guys! I'll have a couple more posts coming up either tonight or tomorrow to get fully caught up!