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Old Sunday 13th April 2008, 18:05   #1
Andrew H
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Andrews Sketchpad

Well, after many years, Ive picked up a pencil and started Sketching again.... for many years read 26 years......Those who already know me, will understand that I come from a Background of B&W Landscape Photography, and in only the most recent years have taken the plunge into the Digital age and further, taking pictures in Colour, further still, Im now doing Wildlife and Birds in particular, All down to my friend.....Thanks Woody.

Well here below is my first steps into Sketching, please be gentle, as with all thing I can only learn from my mistakes, and remeber that they may be mistakes in your eyes, but to my untrained eye, its what i see at that time, Only words of wisdom and time will improve me..

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Old Monday 14th April 2008, 02:00   #2
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Wonderful job, Andrew (love the cozy little trio in the corner on the first page). My only suggestion is to scale up and use that real estate. You've packed a lot of observation into a small little space, go ahead and give yourself some room!
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Old Monday 14th April 2008, 09:58   #3
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Just to reiterate Jomo's words of wisdom; there are some very encouraging little drawings here, Andrew, and some of the shapes you've made are thoroughly splendid. There is no doubt that working at a larger scale would improve your line-making somewhat. However, work at whatever scale you feel comfortable with, and progress at your own pace. I would say (to quote EAR Ennion) draw birds 'as big as you see them' - in other words, whatever comes naturally to you and seems 'right'. In time, you will start to reduce the number of 'sketchy' lines and home in on the more salient ones, more quickly. This will give your drawings a more authoratative presence. Also the work with the avocets is reaping benefits - looking at major shapes of colour and tone, contained within an overall 'outline' is helping the description of the birds.
Great start and loads to be proud of. Let's see more - soon.
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Old Monday 14th April 2008, 10:49   #4
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Nice to see all of them together Andy. Listen to these guys, they know what they're doing, you'll get the very best advice from the very best advisors on here!

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Old Monday 14th April 2008, 14:18   #5
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Hi Andrew nice to see your sketches here. You been giving Mike lessons lately.As the others have said try to lighten and loosen up, go for the shape and shadow .Detail will come later
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Old Monday 14th April 2008, 18:08   #6
Andrew H
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Thank you one and all, I have a steep learning curve ahead of me to get anywhere near what i see on this site, but i dont want to become an expert overnight.......Ill take on board your comments and hope to add pictures as they come to me, might not always be wildlife, as landscape is my thing...


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Old Sunday 20th April 2008, 18:33   #7
nickderry
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keep it up, you've made an excellent start, it may be a long time before you put things onto paper that you are pleased with, but believe me, these already show an enormous potential, so keep at it and keep posting!
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Old Sunday 27th April 2008, 12:46   #8
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Woody and I ventured out into the marshes again, Ill let him tell the story, Suffice to say that i managed to get the Sketch Pad out again and have another go. The avocets are still close enough for my little Scope, but were being very territorial, so nothing stayed in one place long enought to get the pencil to paper. I tried out the idea of the Propelling pencil, on the idea that it would stop me from pressing too hard on the paper. To be honest i wasnt totally comfortable with it, might have to go back to a 3B pencil and hold back on the pressure to make lighter marks on the paper.
Well here is my latest attempt.....
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Old Sunday 27th April 2008, 20:53   #9
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There are some very nice tonal values here Andrew - you have sculpted the bird's breast very nicely. I would urge you to look back at the two drawings you posted (on sheet 3) of the avocet. Look at how you described the overall form of the bird - how the outline really contains its body. I think when you marry this kind of drawing with your subtle tonal shading, you will really be on to something. Keep looking and drawing - good things are-a-happenin'.
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Old Monday 28th April 2008, 08:38   #10
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Told you the man knows what he's talking about didn't I!

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Old Monday 28th April 2008, 11:08   #11
nickderry
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keep at it, and keep pushing yourself - I'd almost say you were nervous about not getting the avocet right, at the end of the day, it's just paper - put down anything and everything you want on it, when starting out just scribble and scribble and don't worry about end results, you'll find things click into place the more you do it. I also agree entirely with Tim - looking forward to seeing more!
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Old Sunday 4th May 2008, 13:05   #12
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Another go at the now nesting Avocets, Already Ive identified (And woody agrees with me), that im still way to heavy on the paper, might need to try a softer pencil as well, to try and make those lighter strokes on the paper to start with....Does any one have any thoughts on Graphite Pencils (a Graphite stick without the wood wrapped around it), I have a few of these and wonder if that will remove the problem of me being too heavy handed.?
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Well, Im off to Majorca for a few weeks, Not taking any optics with me other than the small camera, but full kit of paper, pencils, and watercolours just incase i have time between drinks on the beach..I cant guarentee that what I bring back will be wildlife related, But Im going to persist, and have a go at some landscape....

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Old Sunday 4th May 2008, 19:46   #13
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Great avocets, remember, it's also important to keep a heavy hand aswell - it's all about balance, though if you've identified a need to be lighter, then you're probably right. You might try drawing bigger, I always end up being heavy handed when I've only got a small page to fill.
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Old Sunday 25th May 2008, 16:31   #14
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Well, I promised a few sketches, but sadly no wildlife......this one was a toughie for me, too many angles to workout on the building.......more to follow soon

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Have attached a picture of the scene, o you have some idea of what i was trying to capture......

It was way too wet to get out to the hides today, so no wildlife sketching done by me....hopefully next weekend will be dryer...


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Old Sunday 25th May 2008, 18:40   #15
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I really like this, there is a rhythm to it that just makes the composition work.
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Old Sunday 15th June 2008, 13:03   #16
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OK, i know its been a while, but today was sunny for a change, and that brings out the Sketch Pad, Not many things to choose from at the moment, mainly Avocets and oh just a few more avocets with their young......
Have had this discussion with Mike about Sketching from Photographs, or in my case - on the screen, as an aid to getting in the practice in getting the body shapes correct, seems that that isnt a problem, so this is somthing that i need to progress....I know youll all say that its always best to get out and sketch from life, but its keeps moving and Im not that quick in getting the first few lines down.
Todays exercise was to use the lightest of touch on the paper, get the basic shapes in then fill out the detail afterwards. I found that by doing the body first with the shapes first, I then added the head on afterwards....

The first two were too heavy still and even maybe the third, the other two on one page got better, and for a change the last one i tried using a fine line gel pen, which strangly enough, when i showed them to the wife, she preferred the last one over the others.......
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Im going to look at my stock of photos to see what shapes i can get from these birds to get the practice in.....even if its basic lines without the finer detail.


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Old Sunday 15th June 2008, 13:33   #17
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Andrew - the ringed plover and preening avocets are super little drawings - really well done. I wonder if you aren't trying to say just a little bit too much with some of the others? I think you make an interesting statement " .....even if its basic lines without the finer detail." In my opinion, this would always be my starting point. By drawing the 'basic lines' you will start to describe the form of the bird - also worth really looking at how the body is formed in 3-d (avocets are really wonderful models for this as they have ready-made 'contour lines' painted on them!
I'll try and scribble down an example, if I get the time.
Very nice work.
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Old Sunday 15th June 2008, 20:19   #18
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Lovely sketches Andrew.
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Old Sunday 29th June 2008, 11:41   #19
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Just two pages from this weekends outing with Mike, cerainly getting a bit braver with getting the pad out and diving straight in with the lines....
The bottom of the first page seems a tad to wide at the base (pearshaped), and the top of page two was another attempt with the fine line pen...mmmmmm not sure that one works....I still need to get some time in by sketching photos.......Bottom right of page 2, is my attempt at doing what you all seem to be able to do with ease, throw in the lines


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Old Sunday 29th June 2008, 11:57   #20
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You're definitely on the up, Andrew. There a couple of little crackers on these sheets - and you're really getting a rounded structure to your birds - bravo! I think on the second sheet, the tiny little thumbnail in the middle of the three is a beauty - really well done. The more time you spend with an artist of the calibre of Woody, the more your own work will benefit - and so it has!
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Old Sunday 29th June 2008, 21:59   #21
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lovely work Andrew espec. like the bot. left 2 nd. page
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Old Monday 30th June 2008, 11:11   #22
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good to see you're sticking at it, and the results speak for themselves.
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Old Tuesday 1st July 2008, 17:05   #23
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Thanks folks.............will be working this weekend, so hopefully if i get any down time Ill pull up the photos that ive posted on here in the gallery, and try sketching from them
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Old Saturday 12th July 2008, 13:38   #24
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I feel like ive cheated a bit here, Decided to have a bit of down time and sketch some bits from the Computer screen before going out tomorrow with woody. I have a hugh stock of Avo pictures, so picked out a few to get some practice.
The first one Im happy with, the second one - not too sure what happened there, the third page is a lot looser and went down quiet fast onto the paper.....I think i prefer the last one best of all.

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Old Saturday 12th July 2008, 14:21   #25
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yes! these are getting better and more lively all the time - practice is always helpful, and it doesn't matter where your practice comes from. The problem in number 2 is perhaps the way the head joins the body. A good thing to practice is to learn the bird's skeleton, and practice drawing those, then draw the outline of the bird around. If you've got access to any of John Busby's drawing birds, first or second edition are both good for it, you'll see what I mean.
Looking forward to seeing the practice paying off with the real thing!
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