Tori's Journal and Sketchbook

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    Nancy Friedlander

    Learned so much this week.

    I did discover that there things I needed and don’t have — for instance, a printer. Trust me, trying to draw from a reference on the phone is not easy. Looked around a bit and maybe found a printer that’s not too expensive but should give me what I need. One week set back on submission but I’ll use the time to work on matching values and shapes.

    Also have my eye on a desktop easel (with drawer). Ooh! That reminds me. The value finder wasn’t available in stores near me so I had to get one online. So sad because — why waste the shipping on just one thing? (Waggles Eyebrows) Got painter’s tape, foam core board, and a couple of other things. So, once I have the printer and the easel, I should be good to go.

    Tried Prismacolor Col-Erase pencils because experimentation is a good thing. Actually like them! The drawing I’ve included was done in Prismacolor Col-Erase Indigo Blue on Strathmore 400 (something I failed to mention on my submission). Also tried drawing the cat who was sound asleep and still managed to move every five minutes. Not small moves either. I mean he woke up, walked somewhere else and went back to sleep.

    Did learn a lot. Plumb lines – what a concept! Awesome. 3-value studies. Shadow shapes. Continuous shadow shape down the length of a figure. And then some stuff, I don’t quite get about ‘turning a line to give it dimension and ‘the whole layers of light and shadow on the underside of the breast’. Enjoyed the critiques and learned from watching them. Survived my first critique. No not survived – actually enjoyed the process. Amazing.

    Forgot to tell Matt that my first submission (the one he asked for in the introductory material) wasn’t done from a reference at all. It was an exercise that I did on combining shapes (rectangles, triangles and such) to create objects. Still, worked out for the best because what he did with some shading, turned that dull exercise into something a whole lot more interesting.

    Attaching the submission from Begin Here Step by Step Lesson 4 drawn in a sketchbook while balancing the phone on the same page. Didn’t get the angle on the breasts right but the long ones were close. I was doing a fist pump when I saw that in the review!

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    Hi Tori,

    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences here at DTO. You are very talented in both the drawing and writing departments.

    Missed you in the critique gallery this week. Make sure you add an image before next Monday.


    Nancy Friedlander

    Had to buy a printer and that slowed things down because I’m here to tell you, using a reference photo on the screen of your phone induces a whole lot of squinting — and not the Matt-approved kind. So, bought a printer. Course that meant buying paper and ink and all that (the printer actually tells the store when to send more – so cool). Its never just one thing, is it.

    Anyways, the gray scale/value finder I ordered arrived so I had been working on value matching. More squinting but this time, the Matt-approved kind.

    And then, I had to start on the lesson — accurate shapes from the Begin Here – Step by Step course. The first time I am supposed to draw a face and what do you know, its for the lesson no one likes. Took several sessions and whole lot of erasing. A LOT of erasing. I succeeded and I include a reduced size version with this entry. Sort of a record of progress. Some happy day I’ll look at back at these early attempts …

    Anyways, things I noticed –

    – Like working off the foam core board. Because it doesn’t feel as solid to me, it helps me keep my touch lighter. That’s something I’m working on. I have a light touch but I seem to bear down more when I feel less sure of what I’m doing.

    – Really liked doing the value matching. Matt suggested using a stiff brush to push the color in and that worked. Also, I liked the effect.

    – Painter’s tape is great. No residue. Comes off easily. And suddenly, the entire blank wall behind my desk is now a makeshift cork board. Though I might shred the picture from this week’s lesson as a way of taking out the frustration I built up. NOT easy to do.

    New questions arise … such as, how to photograph something I’ve done so it looks right when I turn it in? I was looking at sites that provide figures to use for drawing practice and I noticed that the lighting is more diffuse – not a lot of shadow shapes. Is there a good source for practice shapes?

    Hard as the lesson was its good to be back at it. Onto the next lesson!

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    Nancy Friedlander

    Just a quick update – got a new job and that really messed up my schedule … a LOT. Things are quieting down enough (finally) that I can get back on track and I’m starting the shadow shapes lesson today. Not to worry, I haven’t been completely inactive; I’ve been working on line quality, the value scale, and the like.

    GOOD NEWS! I got an easel (on sale) and that made a huge difference! Now if I can get a good light source, I can work in the evening after work and not fall so far behind. It will probably be next Sunday before I can post the drawing though. If last time was any indication, I need to do some practicing first.

    You know I thought I had done a good job but when Matt put the drawing up side by side with the reference, I immediately saw that the top of the head was way too flat … I was already critiquing myself before Matt even started!


    Magnus Burén

    Good work on step 4 and 5 – looking forward to seeing more of your drawings 🙂

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