I draw better with a live model

Somehow I draw better when my subject is sitting in front of me than if I had hours with a photo reference.

As proof I submit the picture below–

subh at bcl

February 2013 – Sketched while the two of us were sitting at a library.

And then I ask you to look at this

subh

February 2013 – From a picture I took of her at a book fair. (Note: She really does look this grim in the photo.)

Of course you may point out that I just need to practise sketching human anatomy so that next time I get my proportions right. Well, yes, you do have a point there.

Sketching my sister’s face

So, about a half year had passed since I started drawing and I was practising sporadically.

I’d found by this time that the subjects that most interested me (and therefore drew me back to my sketchbook) were sentient ones.

I love sketching people, cats, dogs, cows. Though not birds, because I haven’t learnt to tackle feathered bodies yet. My most patient models have been my dad, my cousin sis and an old school friend. I’ve shown you one of my better sketches of dad (done inĀ SeptemberĀ ’12) in Initial Efforts (part 2) and now here’s my sis, R.

You can see the stages of improvement here, as well as how far I have yet to go.

First sketch

September 2012 - The eyes here are pretty bad, but what I learnt from this one was not to pencil the upper contour of the lips. Best to use mild shading to give it shape and volume.

September 2012 – The eyes here are pretty bad, but what I learnt from this one was not to pencil the upper contour of the lips. Best to use mild shading to give it shape and volume.

Second Effort

October 2012 - I gave her does eyes here, but at least it looks pretty. Also, I gave her hair too much volume. =\

October 2012 – I gave her does eyes here, but at least it looks pretty. Also, I gave her hair too much volume. =\

Third effort and best likeness to date

November 2012 - Uh...maybe I should have erased the hearts, huh? =DR with a guy she likes a lot.

November 2012 – Uh…maybe I should have erased the hearts, huh? =D
R with a guy she likes a lot.

Note – I used photo references here. If I had sat her down and drawn her face, I wouldn’t have had this much trouble. I’m not sure why this is so. Maybe it’s just in my head and I don’t actually draw better with live models, but I really think that I do. I’m trying to figure out why.

Initial efforts (part 2)

And then I sketched people. Live people, picture people, random people on trains.

Dad, asleep after a ten hour trek up the mountain. He fell asleep while we waited for food to get cooked.

Dad, asleep after a ten hour trek up the mountain. He fell asleep while we waited for food to get cooked.

The leads of Queer as Folk, Brian and Justin. I was kind of blown away by this series and even though on looking back I can appreciate it more critically and less through fangirl-lenses now, I still remember Brian Kinney with fondness.

The leads of Queer as Folk, Brian and Justin. I was kind of blown away by this series and even though on looking back I can appreciate it more critically and less through fangirl-lenses now, I still remember Brian Kinney with fondness.

Photo reference off the net. The warm orange lighting is thanks to the lamp I photographed that page under. =D

Photo reference off the net. The warm orange lighting is thanks to the lamp I photographed that page under. =D

That random guy from a train journey. He sat across from me and when he saw the sketch he became oddly gloomy. I'm not sure why, this is one of my better likenesses. Hmm...

That random guy from a train journey. He sat across from me and when he saw the sketch he became oddly gloomy. I’m not sure why, this is one of my better likenesses. Hmm…

Random picture that google image found for me when I typed in "angry guy".

Random picture that google image found for me when I typed in “angry guy”.