Before and after highlighting

Highlighting is cool because it broadens the tonal width of your drawings. By just going in and putting a bright white in the right areas, the drawing ends up looking entirely different because all of the old whites look like mid-tones. I’m glad I was able to salvage the nose and add more clarity to the face.

 

Before Highlighting

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After highlights (and some mid-tone surgery and texture work if we’re being completely honest):

Winter15 (1)

Still need to clean up the hair. and window. I’m really excited to become better at doing this extra phase in the drawings I do because its already giving me great results. There’s still some major issues with certain areas in the drawing, but it’s great when you find yourself improving.

 

Cheers!

Blu

Lines? No Lines?

There’s something beautiful in the realization that the absence of pigment can be just as, if not more, impactful than a bold line.

It’s a subtle concept that bleeds into the rest of life. What you don’t say. What you never try. Where you never go. It all says just as much as your deliberate actions.

Not doing something seems to have some sort of negative connotation attached, but I’d argue there are times when not doing something takes strength and courage. Just a thought, though.

-Blu

Time is Tricky

Would you change something, anything, in your past given a chance? Could you deal with the consequences of that one decision? Could anyone?

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Black ink and B2 pencil base with black, white, and grey charcoal (textured over a copper board). Highlights done in white ink (bleached not synthetic).

Winter6

Back to Monochrome (Character Art)

Going back to my roots a little bit. I’ve felt like I’ve been relying on color a little too much to fix contour and compositional issues, so I wanted to practice some pure black and white. I messed up the nose pretty bad, but I’m happy with the hand and how the jackets texture turned out!

Been writing a lot and loving it. Need to focus more on Organic chem 2, but I’m sure I’ll strike a better balance.

8×10 Inkwell, synthetic brush, and Charcoal.

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Cheers,

Blue

Talent is a conceptual cage. I don’t believe it exists

I was out drawing a tree during today’s snowfall. About halfway through, a woman who lives in my apartment complex approached. I hadn’t met her before, be she was very kind. She was fond of the tree I’d been drawing and mused, “I wish I could draw things like that. I used to love to draw, but I don’t have any talent, so I stopped.” I told her in response, “I don’t have any talent either. But I still draw everyday and practice. I mean, it’s really all practice, nobody starts off being able to paint or draw or illustrate well. It’s all technique and skill. Anybody can learn if they go at it hard and long enough.”

To my surprise, she almost seemed offended. That wasn’t my intention at all, as I merely wanted to suggest that you should never not do something you love because someone tells you you’re bad, or you think you’re bad. In fact, I firmly believe people pointing out mistakes or inconsistencies in proportions has been extremely constructive for me. 

After a pause, she asked, “How on earth do you think you aren’t talented. That tree looks better than the real tree!” She laughed at little there, “I mean sure, nobody starts great, but I can barely draw a straight line.” I laughed there.

So, to demonstrate, I flipped the page I was drawing on, loosened my grip and tried to draw a straight line. It wasn’t terrible, but it was nowhere near straight. Below that line, I demonstrated how I draw lines in drawings. I made small and swift movements, combining multiple small lines into a relatively straight line.

Then I said, “I actually have rigors, my hands shake. I quite literally can’t draw a straight line. So that’s how I outline my contour. Then, later, I improve the line quality while shading. Since it’s in ink, you can cover up pretty much any small mistake if you know how. I’m really not talented, and I don’t want to be. Believing you’re talented makes you complacent. You stop researching ways to improve, you think you’ve hit a perpetual ceiling in your ability when that’s the opposite of the truth. You’re never done learning, especially with things like drawing. On the flip-side, if you think you have no talent, you stop doing something prematurely even though you love doing it. I bet if you started drawing again, you might surprise yourself. The worst thing that could happen is you have fun drawing.”

To my dismay she looked even more upset. I still don’t understand why. 

She said, “Well, I’ll see you around.”

And she walked inside. It was cold out, I don’t blame her. I just hope I didn’t inadvertently say something callous or discouraging, as I was literally trying to do the opposite by encouraging her to do something she said she loved doing. 

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I understand the frustration of not being able to pull off a drawing the way you really want to. It’s one of the things that drives me to improve, so that one day I can draw anything I want, using any medium I want. It’s a passion of mine. It’s incredibly engaging and keeps me sane while I struggle through this degree. I’ve had people tell me when I was just starting off that I couldn’t draw. And I couldn’t. But I wanted to, so I did, and now I can draw a lot of things. There are still far more things I can’t draw, though, and I want to be able to. So I’ll learn how. It’s really that simple. Don’t be discouraged by others or yourself or your failed experiments because you learn the most from those.

-Cheers,

Blue

 

Art, writing, and a Mugshot of my Doggo.

Hi! Just a casual update on what projects I’ve been tackling over the past two months. I got a little side tracked from my zodiac project over the holidays (for the right reasons). I added a few more metallic flourishes to Sagittarius: IMG_7526After that I spent a good bit of time being anxious about whether or not to paint a background and what colors to use on the figure itself. So naturally I just drew something else!

My friends b-day was in early December, so I drew the cleric-beast from Bloodbourne: IMG_7428Pics a little blurry, sorry about that! I used a reference image. Actually I basically just copied the games concept art! A cute little piece of plagiarism? It sounds nicer if you just say fan art, you decide <3. Here’s the original: 

After that I started writing more and just relaxing for the holidays. I have a heavy load this semester, so I want to do my best to enjoy vacation before jumping into the meat grinder. I’ve mostly just been doodling unplanned drawings and working on my book.

Here is a lovely portrait of my doggo, Rufus. And before you ask, yes, he is available for casting in any of your movies. He’s a stone-cold professional, and will be a diva.

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Quotes of a Cynic #25-ish

I have it on good authority that there are four simple components that, when combined, guarantee a happy existence on this floating space-rock. Unfortunately, I have it on better authority that no-one knows what these four components are. Even worse, at least two-point-three million people are currently pedaling fakes! The nerve!