Posts Tagged "figure drawing"

How I’ve been trying to improve my figure drawing

I’ve always been frustrated with my figure drawing skills (or lack thereof) and, until recently, have been getting away with “charmingly” distorted figures as popularized by indie comics and fashion illustration. For example, the figures in my work for Ang Nawawalang Soundtrack obviously defy human structure logic.

That kind of drawing is acceptable, yes, but I am married to a very skilled artist who always tells me that I have to know anatomy before I can deviate from it. Remember, even Picasso had a realist period before the creative genius revolutionized the art world with his abstract depictions of society. So I made it my mission to practice drawing figures whenever I can and this is how I’ve been doing it.

1. I hang out in coffee shops where I can watch people and draw them inconspicuously. I usually sit in a corner where no one can see me drawing or else they might shy away and turn their backs on me.

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2. I’ve been attending life drawing sessions such as Who Are Maro’s Life Drawing Setup. The session is divided into two halves — one for the male model and another for the female model. Each half is divided into 5, 10, 15, and 30-minute pose sessions so it really trains the artists to draw what they see without overthinking it. Arnold and I have been attending almost regularly since last year. You can follow their FB page to find out when the next one is. Here’s a video of my drawings from the latest one. The first time we joined I just used pencils. The following time I used watercolors, and for this most recent one I used Viarco graphite sticks and tailor’s chalk from ArtWhale.

Using different mediums is training me to think and act quickly before the minutes are up and the model assumes a new position.

3. I watch gesture drawing videos on YouTube. The artist Proko’s human anatomy playlist is definitely a good starting point as he demonstrates drawing, explains bone joints and describes muscle groups in an entertaining way.

4. Sometimes I use Arnold’s action figures to study anatomy. The Final Fantasy XIII figures (which he has a complete set of, lol) are *gorgeous* and I like to pose them around so I can use them as models. They’re also great for studying lighting.

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5. When watching TV series or movies here at home I sometimes sketch from the screen just to train myself to observe lines and angles carefully while setting them on paper. I found it really hard to capture likenesses at first but after much practice I think I’ve gotten a little better at it. Can you guys tell that this is Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie? J/K 😀

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My figure drawing is still very much a work in progress but I hope this post has inspired those of you who are also struggling to get figures done right.

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Kuretake Zig Pen Meet 3
By the way, if you guys aren’t doing anything this Saturday, September 9, I’d like to invite you to come to the Kuretake ZIG Pen Meet 3 at the ShangriLa Plaza. I’ll be there among around 50 artists who’ll be doing live art. My slot is from 3-5pm and I will be at the “Illustration Alley” section. Not sure what I’ll be drawing yet but for sure I’ll be doing it in watercolors. Hope to see you then!

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What Colors to Choose for a Minimalist Watercolor Palette + White Nights Review

Since White Nights (a.k.a. St. Petersburg) Watercolors from Russia became available here in Manila via Deovir, I’ve read a lot of reviews online and have even heard from art-friends that they are easy to re-wet and are highly pigmented. So, being low on EQ I decided to get a few pans for myself. You might already know that I’m not a fan of buying sets (though I have some but they’re either gifts and/or were purchased when I hadn’t the slightest clue about pigments and lightfastness) so I made sure to do my research before buying the paints. My self-imposed rules:

  1. I must be able to use the colors and their combinations in what I love to draw the most — faces, food, and felines (okay, animals in general :))
  2. The colors must consist of single pigments — this is to ensure lightfastness and also reduce the incidence of mud when layering.
  3. They have to fit into my handy DIY mint tin palette, meaning a maximum of 9 pans was in order.
  4. I can’t spend over P1,000.00 because do I really need another set of paints? Umm, no  (see previous post), but then need is sometimes < want. Fortunately White Nights, like ShinHan, isn’t as expensive as the other brands so I was able to stay below my limit.

White Nights Watercolors customized palette

So taking all that into account, here are the colors I ended up with along with their pigment info & light fastness ratings:
— 2 reds (1 cool, 1 warm): Madder Lake Red Light (PR 187 / LF ***) and Cadmium Red Light (PR 108 / LF ***)
— 1 warm yellow: Cadmium Yellow Medium (PY 35 / LF ***)
— 1 green: Emerald Green (PG7 / LF ***)
— 2 earth hues: Raw Sienna (PBr 7 / LF ***) and Burnt Sienna (PBr 7 / LF ***)
— 2 blues (1 warm, 1 cool): Ultramarine (PB29 / LF ***) and Prussian Blue (PB27 / LF ***)
— 1 neutral: Payne’s Grey (PBk7, PB15, PV3 / LF **)
[source]

The last one, Payne’s Grey is not a single-pigment color (it’s made up of 3 pigments) and is something I could’ve gone without since I can mix greys using some of the colors so it’s really just a handy “convenience hue” for days when I can’t be bothered to do extra mixing. 😀

Just to show you the range of colors that are possible using just these 9 pans, here are a couple of watercolor charts I made:

White Nights Watercolor Chart

This one (above) shows the range of color combinations and tonal ranges that can be achieved from mixing the brights with the darks. And just because I always paint portraits and people, I made a separate color chart mainly for the reds and yellows (below). I just added the column for green since there was extra space.

white nights watercolor chart skintones

Here’s something I painted using just the colors in the palette (you can view the work-in-progress video on my Instagram). I used them on Khadi Paper purchased a while back from ArtWhale.

white nights watercolor palette

My capsule review for White Nights Watercolors:
1. Indeed they are easy to re-wet, pick up with the brush and are highly pigmented (some colors more than others though)
2. They are also highly transparent — except for the Cadmiums which are opaque — so they are great for layering.
3. At only P87.00 per pan (except for the Cadmiums which are I think P120 / pan), they are quite affordable. My customized set amounted to around P849.00 and it consists of colors that I will actually use. (Sets usually have 3 or more pans that I always end up never using.) Also, these are FULL pans, not half pans, so you get a lot of paint for your hard-earned cash. 😛

And here is something else I painted using White Nights, a simple maguro sushi for my Youtube Channel (hah! If you’re one of my whopping 3 regular viewers, thank you for not laughing at my attempts to make these home videos <3)

Other observations:
1. ShinHan, Holbein, and Daniel Smith are still my favorites in terms of color intensity and flow but I’m happy to have this inexpensive set of vivid paints for drawings that will be scanned and for practice work. Van Gogh, my student-grade set that was a birthday gift from Arnold last year, is my other go-to for practice work but they are strangely more expensive than White Nights.
2. The pans remain moist for a while so I can’t close the lid of the tin until they dry completely because they might stick in the lid when I store them sideways.

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My Shrink Plastic Workshop, Our Adult Coloring Books, and Holiday Bazaar Schedules

Hi guys! First of all, a quick reminder that my Shrink Plastic Crafting Workshop is happening this Saturday, November 21, from 1-4pm at Hey Kessy in Katipunan .Please head to this link to view the details and/or sign up for a slot. The fee already includes basic materials and snacks but participants can get extra shrink plastic sheets from me at a discount.

Below is an example of what you can learn to make. among so many other fun things, with shrink film. 🙂

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And if you’re wondering about the doodles in the background of my shrinkydink “sampayan” collar pin, those are some of the illustrations you will find in my coloring book FLUTTERBY.  😀
arnold arre cynthia bauzon arre coloring books

Thanks to Chamber Shell Publishing, Arnold and I both have our own adult coloring books.

LOCAL COLOR – A Philippine Fantasy Coloring Book features (as the subtitle says) Arn’s Filipino fantasy themed illustrations that depict both modern and classic facets of our mythology. Think diwatas, aswangs, people from a techno-future and what-have-you.  🙂  It has 30 of his original drawings contained in 64 9″ x 12″ pages, perforated so you can tear out and frame your finished colored work! SRP is PHP 295.00

A few more preview images from Arnold Arre’s LOCAL COLOR —

Local Color Filipino Fantasy Coloring Book by Arnold Arre

FLUTTERBY – A Daydreamy Coloring Book has my doodles of girls in dreamy, breezy scenarios that typically involve flowers, leaves, and, on occasion, birds, butterflies, and cute furry creatures. There are 20 original hand-drawn pen and ink drawings in 44 pages, also perforated. SRP is P150.00.

A few more preview images from FLUTTERBY —

Flutterby Coloring Book by Cynthia Arre

The covers for both books aren’t glossy on purpose so you can color them too if you want! They will be in bookstores soon but you can also order directly from the publisher at orders@nautiluscomics.net for stress-free delivery to your doorstep! Bulk and overseas shipping are available as options. 😀

UPDATE: Limited quantities of Flutterby are now available at my online shop!

I will also be bringing a few of my books to the holiday bazaars which I’ll be participating in soon. So far, here is my schedule.

November 28 (Saturday) – BGC Art Mart
December 6 (Sunday) – BGC Art Mart
(unconfirmed date) – Steady Sunday Bazaaro

It might get even quieter here on the blog as I prepare for the art fairs but you can always check my Instagram for (a bit more) regular updates. 😀

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Watercolor Illustrations for Adobo Magazine’s “Women of Influence 2015”

women of influence 2015 adobo magazine

I’m very honored to have been asked by Adobo Magazine to draw in watercolor three of this year’s Women of Influence for their March-April issue. As some of you already know, I was in the advertising industry for almost a decade back in the ’90s so I felt a little nostalgic while working on this project.  😎  The lovely ladies I was assigned are (from left to right) Merlee Jayme (CEO of DM9JaymeSyfu), Lorna Tabuena (Co-owner of Film Pabrika), and Joanna Mojica (Managing Director of Starcom Mediavest Group).

The objective was to portray them in a manner best representative of their accomplishments and status. Of the three women, I’ve only had the pleasure of meeting Merlee — a creative director I’ve always looked up to — long ago when we had lunch to explore the possibility of me working with her in Saatchi. 😉  I wanted to learn more about Ms. Tabuena and Ms. Mojica so it helped a lot when Adobo’s Victor and Charisma sent me their interviews. It struck me that these highly successful women were most proud of their accomplishments as mothers and wives, which is why I thought of making the portraits elegant and feminine, hence the flowers and light colors.

There’s a closer view of the illustrations in the Portfolio section. Many thanks to Angel Guerrero of Adobo for this golden opportunity.

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On another note, I’m thrilled to announce that I’m joining my first craft fair on Saturday, April 11 in Bonifacio Global City for the BGC Art Mart. I honestly didn’t think I’d be able to join one this soon but my friend, Marita Alcazaren de Leon of Handmade Lemonade, a veteran of these bazaars, convinced and encouraged me to try it out so I applied. I could’ve signed up for one whole weekend but I don’t trust my energy resources anymore. 😛 Here are some of the items I’ll be selling —

Please keep an eye on Instagram because I’ll be posting a few more items in the next few days. I’ll be there from 12 noon to 9 pm so if you’ll be in the vicinity, please say hello. I would love to meet you. 🙂

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Watercolor Illustrations for Adobo Magazine (2015)

Client: Adobo Magazine
Project: Portraits of “Women of Influence 2015” for the March-April issue (Merlee Jayme, Lorna Tabuena, and Joanna Mojica)
Medium: Watercolors on cold-pressed Canson Montval 280 gsm
Date of release: April 2015

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I'm Cynthia Bauzon-Arre, a Filipino watercolor artist & graphic designer. I live in QC with my talented graphic novelist husband Arnold and our friendly marmalade tabby Abbas. This blog has been chronicling my life, likes, and loves since 2001. [ more ]

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