September 2, 2021 at 9:40 am #1729204
This is a drawing I just completed for a friend. She’s thrilled simply because it looks like her dog, but I know there is much room for improvement in terms of artistic elements. I’m gradually working through the NMA animal courses which has been very helpful. White fur has also been a challenge for me as far as pushing the values. I appreciate any feedback or recommendations…September 3, 2021 at 8:48 am #1730501Leo Di FraiaParticipant
Woof woof. I think you got a good likeness ;->
Kidding aside, the head and paws are phenomenal.
What I’d like to ask you is…
If you know you’re afraid of the dark (and that there are no monsters in the dark,) isn’t it time you started to use your rational mind and darken the areas that need darkening? (Cough Cough…the shadow sides of the form)
When it comes to light/white objects:
- A good rule of thumb… a dark object in the light is brighter than a light object in the shadow. A good reminder of that is looking at the moon. That is an example of a light object getting completely swallowed by the shadow.
- The white of the paper is a given. By expanding the scale toward the dark side, you will gain many more levels in between allowing you to easily separate the light and shadow sides of the white fur.
May I suggest you look at photographs by Ansel Adams. He designed/invented a whole system of developing photos so that he was able to reach the darkest darks and brightest lights in each print. The consequence is that each photograph is a symphony in itself.
Another suggestion is to start using compressed charcoal sticks… a 6B will do nicely to help you confront your fears. :-> Try working out a value scale first.
September 3, 2021 at 11:32 am #1730685
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 4 days ago by Leo Di Fraia.
Thank you so much, Leo, for the detailed response, the kind comment, and great suggestions! Fear of the dark is something I’ve been working on. I actually was just placing an order yesterday for the Staedtler Mars Lumograph Black Artists’ Pencils. They may help me get more of a jet black similar to your suggestion of charcoal sticks. But I realize it’s not the materials causing the issue but my brain that needs to keep working on processing everything. Your rule of thumb is a vital concept that I understand it but tend to not put into practice especially when the local color is light. Anyway, I appreciate your spot-on feedback. I’ll look at Ansel Adams, too, for how he uses value. I love your description of his photos as a symphony!September 3, 2021 at 12:38 pm #1730762Marcolino EstuardoParticipantNo badges. No points.
Is this pencil? Whatever the case, then yes, PUSH those darks. Don’t stay with one grade, go up to 6b-8b and see how dark you can go.
Be selective though: Push darks in the eyes/nose, subtle mouth opening. It’ll automatically bring the head ‘forward’ and push everything back. Look at John Singer Sargent drawings.
This is good!September 4, 2021 at 8:23 am #1732050
Hi Marcolino! Yes, this piece is done in pencil. I started using a more limited range of pencils when I was going through the Russian Academic course and working on building up value slowly. The softer grades, although they seemed too grainy sometimes, would give me a more intense black without getting that graphite shine from reworking areas with harder pencils. That’s a good suggestion. I also like your idea to be selective in pushing the darks to bring the head forward. And to look at Sargent’s work! I’m guessing from your sketchbook posts that Sargent might be one of your influences. Your work is inspiring as so many have said, and I value your input. Thanks for taking the time!September 11, 2021 at 10:20 am #1753068
This is a drawing I just finished for an elderly neighbor. She and her beloved dog both have worsening dementia. I wanted to make sure I captured the likeness so she could recognize him. Once I see the likeness it tends to make me afraid to push the drawing more, but I tried to be conscious of the suggestions from the previous posts.
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