Monday, September 1, 2008

Lesson 1 by James


I finally got the hang of it.

Here's the transparency.
Still gotta work on...
  1. The pupils are a little off.
  2. The nose is a little off.
  3. The head shape isn't round enough. (Right side near middle)
  4. The eyebrows are a little big.
  5. The left tooth is a little off.
  6. The wrinkles in the cheek are missing.
  1. Everything.
Tips for next time...
  1. Draw BIG!
  2. Measure everything!
  3. Look at other people's.
  4. Try to notice mistakes.


Ivan D said...

Hi James,

And hi everyone else. This is my first post. Thanks for inviting me Wicks.

You're right, there are a lot of things you can improve here. The pencil is a little too fuzzy for me to crit, so I'll concentrate on the inking.

John K made a great point about making cheeks feel fleshy by making the lines start thin, get thick, and finally thin out at the end. It really works! look at Blair's example.

Also notice how the line weight can describe the form. Like how Blair's nose isn't all the same thickness.

trevor said...

Ya know James, I really don't have anything to add. Between your and Ivan's critiques ( Welcome Ivan! ), it's pretty much all been said.

I'll just pose a question to anyone, particularly David:

Are we supposed to be inking these buggers too? Because, I don't feel confident enough in my Illustrator inking abilities and would rather stick to pencil if it's alright. For now.

- trevor.

Wicks for Candlesticks said...


You can't be too hard on yourself. We are all starting from scratch. I'll even put my first try down, from a few days ago. It's quite embarrassing. I see that you actually came close to the original. You seem to understand the importance of measuring when copying. Everything in the pencil (except the mouth shape) seems to be close to the correct spot. I believe you should continue to measure the distances. Use the guide lines to help you. Also work on your wrist movements. Have a loose pencil style and the picture should look livelier.

The inks are pretty good. You seem to have a steady hand, which is very important. You have good control over the lines you put down (you leave a good endpoint). You just need to work on the line weights. Read the article I posted carefully. It states the rules for line weights.

Very good start, in a couple of months you'll be blown away with your progress.


You can choose to ink or not to ink. It's up to you to do what you're comfortable with. Whatever you decide we'll be here to help.

-David O.

James said...

That's my biggest error. The mouth shape. I also had problems with the eyes, but that's getting better.

Ohh and for the record, this was the first time I seriously tried Illustrator. I had trouble adjusting the weight and brush angles.

Yeah, I made a pretty long list. Tough to add to that.

Thanks for tips on the cheeks. Next time I'll try and get the scan clearer.
More to come.

patrick said...

I wish I could find it, but I remember Jim Smith suggesting in his blog that artists should try holding the pencil lightly and using their elbow. When I try it, it seems to end up looking better... try it and see what you guys think

Caleb Bowen said...


you're doing good...being able to spot and fix mistakes is better than getting it right the first time. Keep it up.

trevor said...

Ooo! I can help, I think!

The mouth is tricky because it's not actually a curve... it's a straight line with corners at either end.

- trevor.

James said...

>>The mouth is tricky because it's not actually a curve... it's a straight line with corners at either end.<<
Thanks! That helped. The mouth is a tad closer on my new attempt thanks to you!

trevor said...

Also, remember what John said to do in that video.

Talk it out. LIke, all the stuff you notice about the picture, say it out loud. It's weird but it actually helps.

Although, I live alone, so the only weird looks I get are from the cat, and he does that all the time anyway. Folks with roommates may not have the best time doing that.

- trevor.

Wicks for Candlesticks said...

Hey James,

The new one has a better smile shape. Your first one has a better egg shape and better eye shapes, they were pretty close to Prestons. Don't go crazy trying to redraw it differently each time. If you have it close enough, just keep fixing the mistakes.

That's just one of the many things I had to learn over time.

Keep it up,

-David O.

Gabriele_Gabba said...

My suggestion is look at the negative space between the lines and the distance they form. Don't be afraid to think before laying a line down. And look for shapes and relationships.

Good luck and draw on!

Wicks for Candlesticks said...

real nice, you're getting better and better as we go. That's the magic of hard work and Preston's lessons.

David O.

patrick said...

yes, measure everything, and double-check it, it's worth the extra time. And I usually do better when I draw big too

Clinton said...

I have to remember next time to draw BIG like you did.

James said...

Makes it a lot easier. A trust me. I talked to John a few months ago on aim. I was asking him about the Blair book, and that was one of the tips he gave me. BIG is BETTER.