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d388 Drawing Miscellany

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Well, I dunno how much more I’m going to post given that J seemingly isn’t anymore, but here’s one more for the road.

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Published by D, on April 30th, 2014 at 11:48 am. Filled under: d_paints,d_sketchNo Comments

d380 130920 miscellaneous sketches

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Recently I did some sketches, and I had some thoughts! It’s been about a year and change since Ink, and the best thing it’s done for me is make me draw more with pencil.

I’m not really talking about quantity, as that just doesn’t happen. Two years ago I wrote about drawing and sketching and about how I usually drew instead of sketched. I’d been feeling that the added effort required to hit this drawing tier was limiting my drawing in the same way that the added effort required to make a painting was limiting my painting. The overhead has also made it harder for me to just “go and draw” than it had been for me when I was a kid.

While not necessarily a cause or effect, I’m confident that backdrawing with a harder pencil contributed to that overhead. At one point H6 backdraw with HB lines had been the only way for me to get clean drawings, and then both H6 backdraw and clean drawings became the norm. When I switched to HB backdraw with ink lines to get those clean drawings, I discovered that I could get decent quality sketches using HB backdraw with HB lines. It’s now come to my attention that the latter may have been just as enabling as the former.

For a long time, I’ve had difficulty putting figures and non figures together in a way that doesn’t suck. I’ve physically written and mentally noted some theories, but having this low-quality, low-effort sketching ability has helped me execute: most of these doodles are about scaling figures and backgrounds and having them interact with each other.

This is a ground level view of my neoclassical station from the start of Ink. I think the more aggressive angle gives it a better sense of depth; this is actually much closer to the view that I originally wanted but apparently couldn’t implement. The light battleships up top are mockups of a model I might build in Lego.

This is my favorite one of the lot. It’s hard to draw figures and trains at the same scale because figures are small and trains are not, so you have to draw tiny figures or giant train parts… and that’s hard. That being said, I think the giant train parts turned out pretty good.

This is the cab of the 7-9 Series steam-electric locomotive I keep drawing. It’s probably a little small relative to the figures, but likewise scaling is hard. I semi thought through what all of the levers and dials did, which is what makes this sort of greebling hard for me these days; I don’t think I did that nearly as much when I was a kid. For much the same reason, I mostly reuse designs now and only occasionally introduce new ones.

This is my second favorite of the lot. The conductor is actually from here. The condenser isn’t actually part of the original design, but I felt like having it.

I originally thought the 7-9 Series was a legacy design that survived the BKS era, but I couldn’t find an original drawing, so I assume it originated as part of my 2006 BKS/CL locomotive reference set, which codified some legacy designs like that AT01 Series Atlantis class shay, and introduced some new ones like the 7-9. These drawings are based off an updated 2012 revision.

Published by D, on September 22nd, 2013 at 9:24 pm. Filled under: d_sketchNo Comments

d359 121116 Ink Drawings III

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Another month, another update. One of these months we might get two, since the mean time between updates is more like 20-25 days. This update features some history and some semi-experimental ink drawings done over the past couple weeks where most of the focus is on backgrounding.

Early last year, I started to make a conscious effort to work on backgrounds and the balance between foreground and background. As such, there were some okay drawings and some slightly less okay drawings. These were all done with the same process that I had been using since the end of the NW Directorate story, and I think even back then I realized that I was pushing up against some of the process’s limits that would eventually be “solved” by pen.

But pen was still more than a year away at that point, so in the meantime there were some experiments including an unconventional series of draw-by-references, and a splash of what I’m now calling “gritty” drawings before I went on my painting rampage earlier this year. Only toward the end of said painting rampage did background/foreground balance come back to mind, cumulating in my scratch-painted background for ToG 2012 R2.

I think traditional line-and-fill figure on painted background is ultimately the way to go, so I recently thought that I should try to implement the same thing in pen.

The figures are drawn the way I always draw figures, but I’ve been testing this multi-directional hatching, which tries not to obscure actual lineart “underneath” it. It does a decent job of that, but it also makes everything look textured, or moreso than mono-directional hatching. I’m also trying to distinguish between “hard” and “soft” divides by outlining or not outlining the shadows. The background is an evolution of what I just called “gritty” (J’s term, btw), but it’s basically my pen equivalent of a painted background. This picture is actually the first time all these things are coming together, and I think it turned out pretty well.

This is actually a redraw of a drawing from spring.

Moving along, a drawing in all HB. I’ve been trying to sketch in pure HB and basically eliminate a specialty tool from my processes (lighter pencils). Here I guess I just wanted to try shading a lot of stuff.

Tried some landscaping and water and stuff like that. This was actually okay until I tried to put in the cloud effect in the background, which didn’t go over well. It’s supposed to be sunlight above a thick layer of clouds.

Finally, a drawing from one of J’s prompts. I was trying to draw a better sense of space, but the cloud effect (which I just had to try again) screwed it up again. I’ll make it work someday.

Published by D, on November 16th, 2012 at 11:32 pm. Filled under: d_sketch Tags: , No Comments

d357 120831 Ink Drawings II

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Well, I haven’t really had the chance to draw much since the last update, but I figure I’d get this post in before the month was up (30 minutes left as of this writing!). Last time I posted what I’d consider my first “true” ink drawings, and today I’ve got two more. These are both from reference:

Both drawings are slightly disproportionately narrow compared to the original. I’m not exactly sure how I screwed them up the same way twice in a row, but it might have something to do with the translation of the photo aspect ratio to the paper aspect ratio. Hopefully will have a chance to draw more in the next few weeks.

The following comments about computing and whatnot were written at the beginning of August. As these things go, they are already out of date, but since it’s already written, I’ll post it for my future self to read.

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Published by D, on August 31st, 2012 at 10:35 pm. Filled under: d_sketch Tags: , , , No Comments

d356 120727 Ink Drawings

In the future, I might look at the content in this post as a turning point. Then again, I might not.

Previously, my relationship with ink has been a downhill journey at best. When I first started doodling in preschool or elementary school, I used all sorts of permanent drawing tools including pens and markers and crayons and whatnot. Back then I don’t think my drawing sense had any concept of “rightness”, so I don’t think there was ever anything “wrong”, and as such, there was never any need to erase. As late as the first adventures of BKS this still appeared to be the case.

That being said, that first comic was probably one of the last of its kind, and ink doesn’t show up again until 2002, when I did a series of pen and colored pencil “paintings”. The pen was, of course, only used to trace the original lineart such that the colored pencil didn’t smear anything. A little later, I made an attempt to implement ink in my normal drawing process, but that clearly didn’t pan out.

It was only much, much later in 2010, that I finally turned out some decent drawings in pen, albeit for a class. I even attempted to ink a figure in pen, but ultimately, I went back to pencil for another two years. Ink came back in 2012, but it was, yet again, a matter of tracing completed pencil… until now.

This chapter actually starts in June, when I asked J for a topic to draw. He suggested “neoclassical”, and I sat on it for a while. I had something in mind, and I made a thumbnail or two, but for whatever reason, I didn’t get started in earnest until just a few days ago. For whatever reason, and I’m not really sure if this was premeditated, I started in pencil and decided to throw some pen in there, not as a trace, but as the original lines. Ultimately what resulted from J’s suggestion is this monstrosity:

And that is what I believe to be the turning point.

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Published by D, on July 27th, 2012 at 10:44 pm. Filled under: d_sketch Tags: No Comments

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