My drawing project: Episode 2 (Getting the basics right)
A couple of weeks ago, I announced that I had started up a project to learn how to draw better. Since then, I’ve continued to develop my skills, and I will now report on my progress.
Where I left of last time, I had realised that I needed to work more with propotions and relative positions of features in the face. My next attempt at drawing one of my friends only confirmed this conviction of mine.
Said and done. I went out and got myself both a ruler and a protractor. I also started practicing a technique where a circle, an oval, and some guide lines were placed down before starting to draw the face itself, something that was a real eye-opener. Just the fact that the eyes usually are situated half-way between the beginning of the cheek and the top of the forehead really surprised me.
Anyhow, I practiced this technique for a while on my iPad, using the excellent app Paper to draw some cartoon faces with somewhat correct face proportions.
After this, I tried to draw yet another friend of mine, this time using my new measuring tools to really get things right.
As you can see, the proportions were much better this time. However, there still was something wrong with this drawing; something that made it look very unnatural. My guess is that it’s mainly the eyes that are to symmetrical and perfect in their shape.
Now, one of the things I find interesting with this project is that it really illustrates how the ability to perceive and the ability to create are two fundamentally different skillets (even if the latter probably is heavily dependent on the former). That is, in the picture above, I can see that there is something wrong, but this doesn’t mean that I automatically also can create something that is more realistic. The same phenomena can be seen (or rather heard) in for example music. Most people can judge if a tune differs from another, but that doesn’t mean that they also can play the correct one if prompted to.
Anyhow, I went at it again, this time with another influential employe at Apple, Jonathan Ive.
Granted, I probably made him look about 10 years younger, something I guess can be attributed to the extreme smoothness of his skin (to make skin look rougher is something I find really challenging) but otherwise, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out (except for the ears which I simply can’t describe in words).
At this point, I feel that I’ve mastered the absolute basics. The proportions are okay, and my shading technique is, if not satisfactory, so at least promising. From here, I should continue just practicing, but also try to better identify where I need to improve, because I think that that’s one of the keys to success; knowing what to practice rather than just practicing aimlessly.