Having spent the last few days practicing gesture drawing, I have been feeling my confidence with a pencil increasing. Tonight changed that. I decided that I should get round to practicing quick sketching. Now I don't know what your definition of quick sketching is, but in my opinion it is a more raw form of drawing - going for the pose without worrying about making it fluid or in proportion. Some people still call this gesture drawing, but I call it quick sketching to differentiate it from the type of drawing I have been doing. Does that make sense? Probably not!
Anyway, I sat down in front of the TV and tried to draw. I was shocked at how clueless I was.
I have got used to just sitting down and drawing. But tonight I experienced the fear of the blank page that used to cripple me when I began to do gestures. Hence the meaningless scribbles at the top of the page. I thought maybe they would cure my fear. They didn't. Through an hour of watching Ugly Betty, I made only three sketches, one of which enfuriated me so much that I immediately scribbled over it.
I was tempted to rip the page out of my sketchbook, crumple it up and hurl it across the room. The fact that I scanned it and am posting it here is nothing short of a miracle! I'm usually calm and tolerant about most things, but when I can't produce a decent drawing, I get filled with frustration. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
Well I decided to put it on here mainly for the benefit of anyone else who happens to be in the same situation as me. I thought it was important to document the lows as well as the highs of learning to animate.
The only thought that consoles me is that I felt just like this when I first attempted gesture drawing and yet I have come on leaps and bounds with that. Possibly the most important thing that helped me to overcome my problems in that area was a video of Glenn Vilppu demonstrating how he does it. I have read lots of books on the subject but no amount of reading and looking at pictures can have the same effect as actually watching someone produce these drawings. This, of course, inspired my little collection of drawing demonstration videos. I really hope that I can find a video of someone doing quick sketches. That would help me so so much.
This is what I want to be able to produce:
These were drawn by the great Walt Stanchfield. You can find them in his lecture notes on the subject of quick sketching (but he calls it gesture drawing!). Other examples are these:
These were done by Tao Nguyen, a former animator who now produces children's books. I've met Tao. I wish I had asked him to demonstrate drawing them for me.
Ok, I'm going to sit in the corner and sulk for a while!