Friday, June 25, 2010

Art instruction books—DONE! (for now)

That was quick!

In my last post I said I had given myself a deadline of Sunday, July 18, to complete studying particular sections of the Famous Artists Course and the Famous Artists Cartoon Course. Well, it's now SEVEN DAYS since I first made that pledge (on June 19) and guess what?

I'm done studying the Famous Artists Courses material!

Yes, I'll admit that I went through some of it quickly but that was mainly due to redundancy. And I'll also admit that my desire to start putting my new-found knowledge to practical use has become impossible to ignore.

I want to get back to work on TOYS!

I'll continue to work on the Nicolaides curriculum. But starting tomorrow, I'm back to my story!

I can't wait!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Nicolaides—Schedule 4 complete

Another Nicolaides schedule done and another's been started.

I did another calculation and determined that—if I continue to complete one schedule per week—I will complete this in October. Originally, I didn't think I'd be done until December so you can imagine how excited I was to learn this!

Another significant decision—I'm finding that systematically studying drawing is already helping with my observation and recording skills. But I'm getting a little too dependent on the studies. In other words, I've developed a slight fear of leaving the studying behind temporarily so I can apply it to my film.

But that was the point of studying in the first place, to make my next film look significantly better than my last.

So I set a deadline. I'm currently studying the head and figure from the Famous Artists Course (not sure if it's the Illustration or Commercial Art course) and from the Famous Artists Cartoon Course. Once I'm done with those chapters, I'm back on "Toys." THAT deadline is soon, Sunday, July 18.

And here's the best part! I recently did some brainstorming for the Toys storyboard and found myself drawing the figure and heads better than I've ever drawn them before! It's amazing how little drafting knowledge I had. What made me think I could fake it?!


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Notes about Nicolaides

I'm continuing to work my way through the Nicolaides curriculum. I thought that once I'd gotten through the boring blind contours, things would pick up. Then I got to the modelled exercise!

Essentially, I like the exercise and I believe it has a benefit. But maybe it's one of those things that requires a live model because working from photos doesn't quite work. The predecessor to modelled was the weight exercises; modelled is weight with contours indicated. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite work as described.

But I'm not giving up on it. I simply treat the modelled exercises like the weight exercises and leave it at that. I think it's ultimately important to have the experience and to think a certain way while drawing as opposed to the final result.

FYI, for the gesture exercises and similar others, I'm using a stack of pictures I pulled from surfing magazines, skateboard magazines, etc. Anytime I saw a picture of a person in a dramatic action pose, I tore it out of the magazine or printed it. Glad I did because they're substituting for live models.

Another resource I have is this book:

This book has become invaluable for the weight/modelled exercises due to the multiple angles of nude models.

There is one exercise I simply cannot do without a model and that's the Descriptive Pose exercise. One is to describe a pose in words, draw it, then have the model take the pose to draw what it actually looks like. I may have fudged this exercise in the past using a posable mannequin but it simply wasn't working this time. In the future, when it's called for (luckily, it's a 15 minute exercise), I'll substitute the Reverse Pose exercise instead. I really like that one: you have to look at a pose then draw its mirror image. I think that's a skill that will be helpful for animation.

I'm glad I finally got around to using all of the resources I've collected over 35 years!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Nicolaides—Schedule 3 complete AND back from vacation

45 hours done; 330 hours to go!

I scheduled not working on Nicolaides during my vacation into my original deadline for completing this curriculum. But in order to stay on schedule, I did do a few hours of Schedule 3 in order to complete it so I can start Schedule 4 tomorrow.

I will have to read further about the "modelled drawing" exercise. I think I get it but when he talks about drawing the vertical and horizontal contours, I get a little lost. It looks like some form of the modelled drawing is done for several schedules so I should try to better understand it now.

I start the below tomorrow: