Various Stuffs, Mostly Bad

My last life drawing class ended in May. I'm actually not required to take any more drawing credits to get a degree in graphic design/illustration! Isn't that incredible? I understand that designers aren't draftsmen, but you'd think a basic art skill such as drawing....perhaps THE basic art skill...would be considered very important to design, even in this day and age.

All of my design projects have required lots of drawing. It isn't really fair to students who are weaker or less experienced in drawing that this is so. Nobody insists that they practice at home. Art classes don't have the drill-style homework science and math courses do, and, in fact, I've had teachers complain about me working on projects at home. There's this big disconnect between the reality of being an art student (requiring constant practice, study, and observation on your own hours to get the good grades), and how things go in class (4 hours a week of art in a class of 10 to 20 with techniques taught more by print outs than one-on-one instruction).

Don't get me wrong...I think having to please a professor and work within their limits has helped me push myself and get better. But the art instruction I've encountered seems to rely too heavily on the student being knowledgeable already. When you take math in the lower grades, you're made to do hundreds of calculation drills...and then, when you have to solve your first equation, you're prepared. Primary school teachers make you do spelling and grammar drills so that when you write something original, you don't look like a total doofus. It seems to me that teaching art should be no different. Before a teacher asks you to design or illustrate anything original, you should have had the practice under your belt. Homework: fill a sketchbook page with hands drawn in various positions, cubes in perspective from many different angles, gesture drawings of your family and friends...that sort of thing.

I don't have that sort of intensive practice, and I feel worse off for it. But I do doodle a lot and keep extensive notes. Also, this sketchblog helps to organize my progress chronologically: I can go through it and see how I've improved, what my mistakes have been, what works, and what doesn't.

Skill is a tool. If you are not skilled, it is hard to make something good. Even if you ARE skilled, it's hard, but at least you have the tools handy. Schools should give you the basic skills you need to be good, before asking you to be original and then grading you on your skills or lack thereof.

These are some doodles and sketches from the past 3 weeks, as I've ramped up my drawing in anticipation of the September school term.

These dinos were for another GameFAQs request topic. I tried to find some funny shapes for the bodies and heads. Dino anatomy is bizarre to us modern mammals.

Birds are just dinosaurs highly adapted to flight, and their anatomy fascinates me too. A Kentucky fried chicken doesn't look much like a bird anymore. Figuring out how your meat once articulated into a living, moving animal can be very puzzling if you're not familiar with how the animal is put together.

This page is from a minor league baseball game I attended. I tried to sketch without looking at the paper, but the players were just in constant motion, shifting around, swinging, looking around, etc. Most of my sketches were pretty bad.

This is a self portrait I did in my attic. The lighting was tricky for me. I don't know whether I should lighten or darken the face.

This was just some fucking around, trying to silently express a story...with a dumb goth thing on top.

An idea I had in my head, not composed at all.

I obviously am not well versed in drawing architecture.

My room mate is fun to draw because she's very pretty, and pretty goofy.

These were also for a request topic...trying to draw girls with guns without making the girls stereotypically sexy types. One kind of looks like Pippi. One kind of looks like Peewee from I.C.U., this Brooklyn band. One kind of looks like Doug Funnee...

A goofy animal drawing, trying out appealing shapes for an elephant. Teeth are funny.


Screaming Yellow Something

This guy needs a Xanax.

I think the background should be cooler...

I used a yellow watercolor pen for the body, then went over it with a green pencil for shading. I like the effect.


More cards

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You know...if you want.