Monday, February 27, 2012

MetroPCS Issues

So my cell phone carrier, MetroPCS, who I've been with for over TWO YEARS, burned me good. First they screw up my bill two months in a row(incorrect total, incorrect due date), then they deactivate my phone for a week due to THEIR billing screw up, then they make me pay for the week my phone was deactivated to continue service, and finally they STILL didn't resolve their billing problem!

Never ever going back to these guys. It's funny because two months ago I would've been a MetroPCS evangelist. Never missed a payment, never had a problem. But it wasn't until I had a problem that I saw the problems with MetroPCS.

They were cheap, $38/month cheap, but no way am I staying with a service that punishes me for THEIR mistakes.

So I'm in the market for a new phone carrier.

Bitch mode over.

In other news, here's a study I did tonight:

Looks awful, but I discovered a cool technique during this sketch, so I'm actually in a good mood tonight!

Almost kinda balances out the horrible experience I had with MetroPCS today.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Green Vehicle

Just fooling around with shapes.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Monotony Break

Not a study. Just some freehand sketches to break the monotony of drawing exercises today(which are not worth posting.)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Can't Draw Day

Just spent 3 hours drawing like crap. Hope I snap out of it by tomorrow. Here's the best of the worst:

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Symmetry Practice

Another day. Another drawing. Another form study with symmetry issues.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Basic Form Study. Again. Yay.

Just a random shape to practice construction techniques(tho it does kinda look like a stapler) using a 45 degree two point perspective grid.

This time I put down slow, precise, UGLY lines, instead of quick, confident, INACCURATE ones. I'm not sure if I should lay down slow lines hoping they get faster and prettier, or fast lines hoping they get more accurate. We'll see. But I prefer accuracy first, so I'm sticking with slow and ugly for now.

Trying to nail down symmetrical shapes, which have been weak in the past few drawings.

I know it's not exciting to look at, but I can't get to the good stuff until I get past the bad stuff.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sketchy Sketch

Another form study. Didn't bother erasing the construction lines this time.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Drawing Machines Vs Drawing People

Back to basics again. Looks like a kid's toy, which is appropriate, since I'm still working out the ABC's.

Used a perspective grid and construction lines this time, but I find that even with a grid, I still have to manually adjust things by eye to make it "look right", tho only just a little bit.

But overall, drawing machinery is straightforward: follow the guidelines, connect the dots, and voila, it's done.

Like a covert operative.

Here are your instructions. Your mission is clear. Execute.


FAR DIFFERENT from drawing people, where I'm mostly relying on a library of memorized shapes, using rendering tricks, guessing by eye, or "feeling" my way through.

FEELINGS. So much uncertainty. Where am I going, what am I doing? Does my butt look fat?


Mission Possible VS Fat Butt. That in a nutshell, is the difference between drawing machines, and drawing people.

That's why foreshortening the human figure is so challenging, where guesswork, memorization, and feelings fall apart against a need for perspective accuracy.

In those situations you can't GUESS. You have to KNOW. You have to do it the "hard way", while retaining the feelings that make people LOOK GOOD.

Personally, I can't stand when characters are out of perspective with a scene, but in the past my experiments with figure drawing by construction have ended in failure.

But back then I only had a BASIC understanding of perspective, and NO understanding of form drawing. Eventually, I ended my construction experiments with a strong suspicion that my gaping ignorance of perspective blocked any improvement in that area.

Maybe when I'm more comfortable drawing machine forms in perspective, my ability to draw "people shapes" in perspective will improve. I'll put that to the test soon enough. However, I've noticed that really skilled product designers don't draw people well, and vice versa for "people" artists. One skill doesn't seem to help the other.

Although theoretically it SHOULD.

Theoretically I should be able to break down the human figure into manageable machine shapes to solve any perspective problem. Why hasn't this translated for other machine artists?

Don't know, but I'm on the path to figuring it out for myself.

Machines or People, it's like you have to make a choice.

Some artists draw both well, but of those I've only seen a very small handful who don't copy or fake it, who can draw any design, human or otherwise, by construction,

guys like Moebius:

or Michael Golden:

It's no coincidence that these guys are among the best.

I've also noticed that when I'm drawing machine shapes, which is mostly plotting out coordinates, I have NO DESIRE to draw people, and when I'm drawing people, which is mostly feeling my way through, I have NO DESIRE to draw machine shapes.

Might be a left brain/right brain thing.

Don't really know why.

But I've always felt that if I could do both well, that I'd become one of the best.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Purple Mobile

Warmup for more form studies. And it's another freehand car sketch from memory. Worse than my usual. I need to set up a perspective grid next time, or at least use construction lines. But either way haven't been seeing much improvement lately. Let's see where I am a month from today.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

3 Point Perspective Box Study

Exploring possible cityscape shots using boxes in 3 point perspective.

Perspective grid setup:

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Freehand Car Sketch

Eh, didn't use perspective this time so it's a bit wonkier than usual, but learned some things, especially from the mistakes, and enjoyed sketching it too.

Monday, February 13, 2012

3 Hour Chair

Spent 3 hours on this:

Not kidding.

Combined one, two, and three point perspective, vanishing points, measuring points, measuring bars, circle of views, order to figure out how to draw three equally sized rectangles extending from a center point at 120 degree intervals in perspective. Or put another way, how to cut a pizza into 3 equal slices.


That's one hour per slice!

And it's not much to look at. Sorta chair-like.

Still, I learned a lot from this study, including a shortcut technique to save time(I'm sure the whole process will go faster with practice too), but I'm mostly happy because I was able to PROBLEM SOLVE MY WAY TO A SOLUTION.

Eventually I'd like to post video tutorials covering 1, 2 and 3 point perspective. Including advanced stuff, from retracing the discoveries that led to the invention of perspective, to things like trigonometry and projective geometry(not as scary as it sounds). In other words, learning not just HOW, but WHY perspective works, so that people can find solutions to perspective dilemmas on their own, just like I did with this 120 degree chair.

This is not the basic stuff typically found in architectural textbooks or perspective art books, it's the secret stuff they don't tell you. Still need to study shadows and reflections(and maybe curvilinear perspective if I'm feeling brave), but once I've got that down I'll probably post some videos.

They'll be long tho, REAL long. 3 hours probably. And I need them too because one day I might forget the finer points, so gotta have it all down.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Psychedelic Wheels.

Only need some "peace" sign decals to complete the futuristic hippy motif.

"Duuuude, check out those wheels!"

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Back to Basics

That last drawing convinced me to get back to the basics. SO...MORE FORM STUDIES, dun dun duuuun!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Reverse Engines

This one came out like crap. And the engineer put the thrusters on backwards! D'oh!

Sunday, February 5, 2012


I've been descending deep down the 1, 2 and 3 point perspective rabbit hole in my quest to be a better artist, but I've clawed my way out momentarily to scratch a sudden drawing itch for space ships.

I think I'm getting better at vehicle design(at least better than my earlier form studies), but this one took a few hours. I tried to keep everything curvy, NO BOXY rectilinear shapes. Kinda looks like those enemy vehicles in Halo. Or slap a Cobra insignia on the front for something GI Joe-ish. I made the pilot bigger than in the preliminary sketch so that we could see her face, tho she's probably too big to fit in the cockpit now. Oh well. Might've been cooler with a laser cannon or some weapons added on, but I've scratched my itch, so even tho this drawing is kinda rough, I'm calling it done:

Preliminary sketch:

And tonight's the BIG GAME.


Looking forward to Madonna's half time show. Should be some great commercials too, like this Ferris Bueller ad from Honda: