amyvanhym: (cover)
PitcherLifeDrawing.jpg JulianAssangePencilPortrait.jpg

There's a point in the early middle of every one of my drawings in which everything looks wrong, I can't see properly, I lose hope and I get very frustrated. The day I drew the pitcher was a gym day, so I was really tired -- tired enough to cry over it like a silly baby. I'm not proud of this, but I'm reminding myself of it so that the next time I feel that way I'll remember that it's not the catastrophe it looks like. Pitcher on DeviantArt.

I love the overall composition of the Assange portrait. The stark contrast at the bottom, the relative midtone-grey at the top, the circular shape. It didn't really happen on purpose -- my intentional mind was busy trying to get the facial structure and details right. I wish I had given it a little more detail. I also got myself into some trouble with the mouth: didn't realize 'til the end that I'd drawn it too far back in the face, so that he looked like his teeth were missing, and I had to move the whole thing forward. Assange on DeviantArt.
amyvanhym: (themist)
NataliaDyerStrangerThingsByAmyVanHym

Full-size | Progress shots | Tin Cup

I've been called crazy for this, but I don't like it. I spent too long, six hours, and didn't learn much. I didn't apply much comprehensive or three-dimensional thinking, I made her hair look like worms, she's not very lifelike and the likeness is lacking. Some of this may be because the source I chose did not have dramatic lighting.

I also tried an experiment: before starting, I altered my source image to black and white and increased the contrast. I thought it might make it easier, and in a way it did: it stopped me from having to think very hard. And because I had to digest less in translating the image onto the page, I think I lost something. I should redraw it sometime later, from the color source image, and see what changes.

All of this really makes me want to get back to work on my YouTube lessons. The last one was really hard and scared me away, but I need to do it. I am not satisfied with where I am and I'm hitting walls when I try to improve on my own.

I've also been browsing through DeviantArt's best pencil artists, so I'm more aware than ever of the breadth of the gulf between myself and serious skill. Some of these people are tear-jerking, jaw dropping masters, the artists who do what I wish I could: their drawings look more beautiful and more real than photographs.

It's trendy to coddle aspiring creatives by saying "Don't compare yourself to other people." But you know what? Fuck that. I see beauty and skill, I see admirable work, and I want to emulate it and grow to sit beside it by improving my own style. Comparing oneself to others only hurts you if you're a pessimist.

Music: Listened to more Nightwish off-and-on.

Room for Improvement:
~ Do moar Proko lessons.
~ Study hair. I hate it because I don't understand it.
~ Study facial expressions, the skull, facial musculature, anatomy.
~ Get better tools. Blending stub, dry brush, white pencil.
~ Vary the subject matter. Draw objects, draw from life. Take a break from photo-portraits.
amyvanhym: (butterflies)
Charlie Heaton portrait by Amy VanHymFinn Wolfhard sketch by Amy VanHym

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Amy VanHym

June 2017

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