Rather than making dumb resolutions I, like everyone else, won't keep, I'm going to reaffirm some small goals.
Get through Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards. She's got some great ideas, albeit a bit windy. The thing I need to reaffirm is sitting through an entire book in one sitting. I have the attention span of a goldfish (with the memory to match). But, it's only 270 pages. If I can read through a synopsis of Twilight (mostly), I can definitely stay focused on this. Speaking of which, my sister is starting her blog that will contain her editorials and reviews. I'll be doing cartoons for it. You have GOT to read her Twilight review. I'll stick it up here once it's available.
Anyways, DRSotB is a 5 day intensive course. The book has the same exercises and lessons. Before we start, Miss Betty asks us to draw things to make a point of reference. So here are mine. (Let's keep in mind that I'm a cartoonist, so drawing realistically isn't something I do all that great yet. But that's why I'm learning!)
You may point and laugh now. I know I am.
Self portrait. It's the classic look in a mirror and draw yourself. They said to spend an hour, but I think I did this in 15-20 minutes. We're supposed to look for advantages (her choice of words, not mine) and disadvantages in (of?) the drawings. So I'll do so for each.
A - It kind of looks like me. A little. I think I captured the lack of hair pretty well. This is encouraging because it makes me feel like I can make it as a police sketch artist.
D - I made myself look like a fucking serial rapist. Good work...
I made my chin and mouth much more narrow than they really are. My mouth isn't that tiny. Haha. And I have a fat head. But that's what makes me charming. (Right.)
Draw someone you know from memory. I did a sketch of my sister.
A - It's expressive and reminds me very much of her. Looks like her. (Maybe.)
D - Kind of lopsided.
It went faster than the self portrait. I find it interesting that after these excecises, I read on and Miss Betty states,
"I'm sure the picture from memory was difficult for you, and rightfully so. Even a trained artist will find if difficult to draw a person from memory."
I guess she doesn't deal with cartoonists much. Overlooked yet again by artistic academia, it seems. I found the drawing from memory much easier. I suppose it's because cartoonists look inward to express something about that person, rather than make it accurate. I'm sure when I put this up to my sister's face and compare, it's not a likeness, but it's an expression of who she is to me, I suppose.
And last, (and certainly least) I was to draw my hand.
A - The palm/flat of the hand looks alright.
D - That's about all that looks alright.
I admit, I lost interest at this point because I've never attempted a self portrait before and it was a lot more interesting than drawing my hand, which I've done before. I'm sure had I paid more attention to the lengths of the finger segments it wouldn't look like something out of a Del Toro design. (For the record though, I love long spiderlike fingers on characters and I love the visual quality of his visions.)
If you read all this, kudos. It was boring, but you made it this far. I'll be sure to be more interesting next time.