Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Why I Write Sketches and Not Draw Them (Part 1 of a Series)

...Except I really don't write that many sketches... I should get on that.

Anywho. This morning (which I suppose is yesterday morning by now), I turned in a ten-page research paper that sucked up a lot of my time over the past few weeks. I knew that as soon as I was done with it, I wanted to throw up another post of some sort. I've had two or three games I've wanted to review, and will likely submit one to the site for this weekend (if I get around to writing it). It's nice to be able to write freely again, or at least, until the next major project is due (early December).

Instead, for reasons I'm not entirely sure of, I pulled out a sketchbook, snapped a photo of myself (for lack of an easily accessible mirror), and drew a self-portrait.


In my defense, I'm using a rather terrible scanner, which has a hard time picking up very light lines (ie, it just drops them altogether). A lot of the shading I had in the original sketch disappeared in the transition to digital. I tried to pseudoPhotoShop a bit of the shading back in with some tweaks to the contrast and brightness, but there really wasn't much I could do. Also in my defense, I'm using a 5.5"x8.5" sketchbook, which isn't exactly an ideal height/width ratio. That at least partly explains why my head is so skinny.

Beyond that, I'll say that I have a history of hating any self-portrait I do, and my lack of love for shading (particularly things that aren't already black and white) trumps all. Trying to shade the (as you're looking at it) right cheek was a nightmare, as either it was too dark compared to the unnaturally light left/top of my head, or darkening the latter just made me look like my face was caked with mud. My hatred for shading runs deeply, and I wish there were some way I could get better at it. (Oh, I guess that I could also use the fact that I'm using a mechanical pencil in my defense.)

Anywho, I would like to start putting more random sketches up, and it'd be an awfully swell bonus to improve as I went along as well. If ever I find the time again to sketch something/someone, I'll keep you guys posted.

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