Friday, December 26, 2014

Namiki Falcon drawings, and fitting the pictures on the page

Ok, here are the drawings I've been doing with the Namiki Falcon. I've been hesitant to post them because - well, they sort of suck. I was pretty disappointed at first, and in fact I went through this thing where it didn't seem able to draw on any paper I have. Not sure what the problem was - it kept cutting out and just not making a line at all. But I discharged the ink back into the bottle, refilled it twice (to get out as much air as possible) and now it seems to be working fine, and handles insanely well, just as I expected. It's like it needed to be broken in or something, I don't know.

These are still from when I was having trouble with it, had to keep trying several times to make many of the lines. I reinforced some of them with black micron pens because I didn't like the weak, thin lines I was getting.

These are the ones I've done since refilling it. Damn, what a difference!! Now I seem to be experiencing exactly what you'd expect when switching from a backfiring Gremlin to a Ferarri - it's way too responsive to every thought - I'm used to some lag and some drag. But now it's like I just start to touch he gas and it jumps forward instantly, touch the brake and it jerks to a sudden halt. Going to take some getting used to. And I love that now I always dream about drawing. Not just making images appear apparently by dabbing mentally, as happens when I'm using the tablet a lot but actually drawing. With nice brown lines.

I read recently somewhere that one of the keys to learning composition is to learn how to make your drawings fit properly on the page. This is a trick I had read about and tried some time ago, related to the whole Ron Lemen/KChen approach to figure quicksketch. Mark off where you want the top of the head (pay attention if the arms are raised above it!) and the bottom of the lowest foot to be. I don't really draw the vertical line, that's just for demo purposes here. Visually divide the marked off space in half with just a tiny tickmark. This is where the crotch will go if it's a standing figure that isn't bent at an angle. Then divide the higher part in half again and once more. This gives you the height of the head and your figure will be 8 heads tall. If it's a weird pose, seated or reclining or with a lot of foreshortening or something then you need to modify - measure off how many heads tall the space itself needs to be, and how many wide if you want to be more precise. I tend to have a problem getting the crotch to actually end up at the halfway point - I usually draw it lower for some reason, though if I start with Vilppu's gesture lines I do much better, because that allows you to plan as you draw rather than beginning with the construction and going piece by piece. and I find that when I do a wash I can make lots of construction lines disappear.

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