Sunday, June 30, 2013

Shoutout Sunday: Leo Babauta

I recently realized that I owe so much of my new, healthier, more productive mindset and habits to a variety of people. I think it's time to start saying "thank you" to those individuals and to share their wisdom with you.

This post starts a new series called Shoutout Sundays that will highlight the people, ideas and books that have been essential to my spiritual growth and creative comfort.

I'll start with Leo Babauta, writer of the blog Babauta's website is a terrific source of guidance for improving and simplifying one's life.

And in his new book, "The Little Book of Contentment," he nails it.

Discontent, fear, jealousy, self-dislike, judgment—all of the things prevent us from being content also prevent us from being creative and experiencing the success of which we dream. Babauta analyzes all of those feelings—simply and straightforwardly—and forces you to acknowledge your own self-sabotage. Self-sabotage, also known as The Resistance, is especially abundant in creative people and recognizing it's symptoms is the first step in fighting it.

Read Babauta's site, download this free book (I liked the Contentment book so much I just purchased his "Zen to Done" book for $9.50. I was happy to buy this one since I found the Contentment book so helpful) and most importantly, take ACTION!

I'm confident it will improve your productivity, your feelings about yourself and your attitude towards your work.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Scene 44 Done!


Film is now 32% complete!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

How (NOT) to Feel Miserable as an Artist

If you're doing any of the things listed below, STOP NOW!

From illustrator Keri Smith:

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Andrew Loomis's 5 C's

Continuing with lessons from Andrew Loomis's "Successful Drawing," here are the 5 C's to consider when drawing:

1. Conception—before beginning to draw, close your eyes and see what you want to draw. Thumbnail what you see.

2. Construction—gather your thumbnails, sketches and reference material. Establish the volume, bulk, mass of your object(s). Determine your drawing's point of view and perspective.

3. Contour—the outer edges of your forms.

4. Character—the quality that distinguishes one thing from another. Uniqueness. Loomis: "Real presentation of character lifts the artist to the top of his profession."

5. Consistency—the truth as recognized by a viewer's intelligent perception. Also, it's the handling of all of the drawing elements. Harmony. Unity.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Andrew Loomis's Five P's

According to Loomis in "Successful Drawing," the appeal of a drawing involves several factors. Among those factors are The Five P's.

Loomis believes that a drawing's appeal for a viewer is encompassed in "intelligent perception," vision coordinated with the brain. The human brain simply knows when it's looking at something that works and is attracted to it while being repulsed by that which doesn't work (the uncanny valley.) It's important for artists to be aware of the viewer's intelligent perception to ensure that our work gets the intended response. These are a few basic elements to a good drawing and those elements can be learned. 

Let's start with The Five P's:

1. Proportion—every object has height, width and depth. The ratio among these three dimensions is proportion. When the ratios are correct, the drawing looks good.

2. Placement—the positioning of the object within the boundaries of the drawing area.

3. Perspective—the object's relationship to the eye level/horizon. No object can be drawn without perspective. 

4. Planes—in order to correctly show an object's light, halftone and shadow, the object must be divided into planes. The effect of light on planes makes a form appear solid.

5. Pattern—the overall tonal arrangement of a composition.

Next post: The 5 C's.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Andrew Loomis's Informal Subdivision Page Design

I'm currently studying Andrew Loomis's "Creative Illustration" book. HIs other books which I've studied —Fun with a Pencil, Drawing the Head and Hands and Successful Drawing—have all contained so much helpful instruction that I've become a bit of a Loomis disciple.

As I explained in this post about Loomis's method for drawing the figure in perspective, his methods are sound despite his illustrations being sometimes convoluted.

But when I came across these pages in Creative Illustration, I had to actually question the method:

The first page shows formal subdivision design. OK, that's clear. The second page shows his informal subdivision method which is where he loses me. I tried it with a ruler and pencil yet every time I got even divisions! At first I thought I didn't follow the instructions correctly but after four tries I realized that it simply doesn't work. All of Loomis's examples show uneven, random divisions while all of my tries were even or symmetrical in some way.

Does Loomis's informal subdivision method work for you?

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Don't Wait For Permission To Do Your Creative Thing

"In the connection economy, the valuable asset is the ability to convene. When we are able to initiate, to make something happen and to be trusted, we not only create value, we create a life."

See more at Seth's Blog.

Friday, June 21, 2013

If You Can Dodge A Wrench, You Can Dodge A Ball!

Image courtesy of From "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story"
More applicable to our purposes is, "If you can reduce every object to a basic shape, you can draw everything." Ignore the detail, see the underlying shape and draw anything. Here's what others have to say on the topic:

Glen Vilppu—from his Drawing Manual book.

Stan Prokopenko—an explanation and video of this basic element.

Andrew Loomis—from his Successful Drawing book.

Stan Lee—from his book with John Buscema, How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way.

Doug Compton—at his Karmatoons site, the opening pages of his Drawing Lessons deal with shapes and their manipulation.

And I'm sure there are many others. These links and images will hopefully show you how to see and draw the basic shapes that will allow you to draw anything.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Preview of What's Coming

Below is a sneak peek at the coming blog topics. Tomorrow: The dude in the photo and drawing shapes.