Friday, June 15, 2012

Summer Break 2012 - Sketches 08

Alright, here's the set of drawings from today! I bought two different kinds of sharpies today and I was excited to try them out! One was the regular one and the other a fine tip. I even bought a clipboard and a bunch of A4 print papers to draw on. I find them much more comfortable to draw on than a sketchbook, so I think I'll probably go with those more often. Many times when I sit down and sketch from life, only 4 or 5 out of the 30-40 sketches I did are the more successful ones. It's really easy to get frustrated when the majority of drawings does not capture the essence of the model, so when that happens, I take a short break and look at some art blogs to inspire myself. Here are two blogs in particular that really kept my momentum going today. Check them out, they're super cool!!!

Momma and her kid! I just love drawing moms and their kids! 

I really enjoyed drawing this couple!

My friends and I are gonna cycle from Santa Monica beach to Venice beach tomorrow to sketch and  we'll be leaving early in the morning so I better go to bed now!! More to come tomorrow!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Summer Sketches 2012 - Sketches 07 & Observing Real Life Events

Some sketches I did at the mall today! I think my favorite subject to draw by far is human interaction, particularly those with parents and their kids. 

I can't remember where I got this but I think it was from an art book that stressed on the importance of outdoor life drawings due to the true performances and genuine emotions that comes in variations. I believe this has been discussed by many other artists too so it won't come off as a new thing. The idea is that in an in-class life drawing session, the models are being taught to pose to give you their best poses & silhouettes so you can learn to capture their gesture and anatomy, but more often than not, those poses often lacks real subtle acting because most of the time, they are not meant to be element of acting references. Even if those poses have some sort of underlying meaning or story to them, the subtleties of real and honest emotion is almost non-existing. 

To take an example, imagine an in-class life drawing session where the model is being told to put his left foot forward and bend down to pick up his cap that has fallen off his head. The story behind his pose is pretty prevalent. Cap falls off, he bends down to reach for his cap. Fair enough. Now take another example where you go outside and see a man whose cap is blown off his head. He bends forward to reach for his cap, but this time instead of bending his knee down, he's on a wheelchair. Now there's a much better story to tell, and there's an obstacle to it. Take away the wheelchair and make him a man with a perfectly fine pair of legs and again the wind blows his hat off, but this time it lands on a  lake, or next to a raging bulldog in his ex-girlfriend's front yard. The point that I'm trying to get across here is that by going outside to draw, you can witness more varieties of stories and genuine acting as opposed to sitting only in an in-class life drawing session where you can observe only so much that is being thrown at you. Of course you can let your imagination run wild and imagine the exact same situations that's been given above, but what is "life" drawing if you do not learn to capture from the richest essence of life itself?

In reality, the man in the wheelchair might attempt to pick up the hat in a totally different way than your in-class life drawing model would. What if the man sitting on the wheelchair used to be a celebrated soccer player? Now being unable to walk and sitting on a wheelchair feeling helpless, his attempt in picking up his cap would be way different than the"just a man in the wheelchair" you imagined. Every inch of bent he takes and every twist and turn explains his character and attitude in response to the given situation. Surely from looking at the man in the wheelchair on the outside, it's almost impossible to tell he was an ex-soccer player who still carries in him some pride, but THERE IS a HISTORY behind that character that drives him to ACT in a certain way. It is history that delivers substance. I'm not suggesting that life drawing models cannot act because they certainly know how to and there are very well trained life drawing models out there, but often times they are up there posing for a different purpose. Sometimes the model may be instructed to emulate the quality of a stage actor to deliver a story for narrative illustration purposes, but even so I think there needs to be a balance between these two practices.

It's being stressed so many times by many great artists and mentors that the best way to learn good acting and genuine performances is to go out there on the street, the park, the mall, wherever you go, carry a sketchbook with you and SKETCH SKETCH SKETCH!! Drawing from life outside lets you see how people react to the agenda around them with true honesty and from there you can increase your visual and acting vocabulary.

Again I'm not implying here that one practice is superior than the other because they share equal weight among themselves. Generally I think both going to a life drawing class and outdoor sketching is a much needed practice as they relatively feed off each other and an artist cannot risk losing either one.

The great Dalai Lama said "Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly." and I think that applies to the art of filmmaking, illustrating, storytelling and even disciplines that are not along those lines. You cannot run without learning how to walk. 


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Summer Break 2012 - Sketches 06

Two sketches I did yesterday at the mall! 

P.S. I'll be watching Prometheus tonight with my friends and I'm ubber excited about it!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Summer Break 2012 - Sketches 05

Alright, today's sketches from Burbank!!!

And some environmental pieces from the same area! I was exploring more with angles and these little guys were really fun to do!!

I also went to a bargain bookstore there that I've always wanted to checkout throughly and after stranding myself in there for 2 hours searching for the RIGHT book, I found "Acting: The First Six Lessons" by Richard Boleslavsky and "Shot by Shot: A Practical Guide to Filmmaking" by John Cantine, Susan Howard and Brady Lewis! These two books were mentioned to me by my animation teacher, Matt and a friend of mine Steven, who works in the industry and I consider myself lucky to get them off the shelf at a really cheap price! Can't wait to see what I can get out of these books !!


Monday, June 11, 2012

Summer Break 2012 - Sketches 04

I biked around Newhall today and I really liked some of the buildings they have on Lyons and Walnut Street ! I spent some time sketching those buildings and then decided to bike to the closest park to catch a crowd but a sheriff called out on me since the park was closed so I had to go look for another place, and then I got hungry on the way so I stopped by at Popeye's for dinner and sure enough there were a couple of innocent souls for me to prey on! The lady in the blue shirt in the picture below noticed that I was drawing her and asked to take a picture of it!! 

I'm going to downtown Burbank tomorrow to do some more sketches and hopefully I'll be able to come up with some amazing ones! I visited there once and I really liked the place so I'm super excited!!


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Summer Break 2012 - Sketches 03

Here are the set of sketches I did today at Jamba Juice!! 

The last drawing above with the mom tying her kid's shoelace was the most challenging one I did today! The hardest part was to divert the viewers eyes to the kid's shoe. I redrew this six times and still didn't get it to look right but my visual memory of the scene was decaying after each attempt so I decided to go with the closest one.


Friday, June 8, 2012

Summer Break 2012 - Sketches 02

I biked around the neighborhood with my sketchbook this evening! With my bike I can now GO THE DISTANCE and EXPLORE new territories! At the moment, Valencia doesn't seem to be as boring as I thought it would be since I found myself a new sidekick, my BIKE! HAHAHA!!! Not only will it take me to places but it'll also keep me healthy! The biking around the neighborhood in the evening was super fun since the air was chilly and I haven't biked in the longest time! Anyway, here are some of the sketches I did around the neighborhood! Enjoy!

I'm hoping to keep up with these quick sketches! Doing each within 2-3 minutes helps me loosen up my drawings! Of course the color is added later in photoshop! More to come!!!


Summer Break 2012 - Sketches

Summer break is finally here!! For the past week I've been living most of my life on craigslist looking for places to live over the summer. I traveled a lot to Santa Monica in the past week to look at the places I was gonna rent and I really liked the neighborhoods I visited! They were really beautiful and I was gonna make my final decision in renting one of those places, but after a looooooong and paaaaainfullll consideration, I chose to remain in Valencia. 

The main reason why living in the city was so important to me is solely because I wanted to be in a place where I can feed off the communal energy without needing to take X amount of public transportations that takes a huge toll on my time, and Santa Monica is just the perfect place for me! Needless to say the biggest catch is of course THE BEACH! But then thinking of how I'll probably be committing a huge chunk of my time to a project that will probably require a close teamwork with some people here in Valencia, it might be best to remain where I am now. I guess in the end it doesn't really matter at all whether or not I live by the beach, or in the city or in the suburb because a good artist should be able to work anywhere! Inspiration is out there and you just gotta go out and look for it! SO, I got myself a bike today thinking that over the summer, I can bike to the train station more often to catch the train down to the city to do more sketching, especially in Santa Monica! It's gonna be a pain going down there without a car, but that's gonna make me treasure the time I'll be spending there! Since I'm settled with my summer housing now and I also got my scanner today, I can resume working after having such a long break!! SO EXCITED !!!

Anyway, here are some sketches that I did in Santa Monica a few days ago while I was on room hunting there! I did them on my new CACHET sketchbook I got from Michaels and painted over them in photoshop! 

More to come soon!