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Elephant family group WIP

The animal and wildlife forum concentrates on drawings of all animals, from domestic pets to wildlife - anything dressed in fur, feathers or scales. The emphasis is on drawing but paintings are also acceptable.

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Elephant family group WIP

Postby Bev » Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:06 pm

I have been very neglectful to this drawing forum of late. Been going through a bit of an artists block :(
This is what I am drawing and hoping will drag me out of messing around and producing rubbish. Fingers crossed!
2H woody, 2B and 3B mechanicals.
Paper: Mellotex (the last few bits of my stock)
Size: 22" x 9"
The composition is mine, made up of a number of different reference photos, both bought and free, so please, if you notice anything wrong with the lighting or perspective please say. All comments are welcomed.
Bev

new-1.jpg

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Re: Elephant family group WIP

Postby Laurene » Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:05 pm

Hi Bev,

I always enjoy watching your elephant drawings develop because they always show a deep understanding of their anatomy and behaviour. I'm intrigued by the drawing size - 22" x 9" - that's a width of 2.5 times the height. I've done similar landscape formats and I know how challenging I found it to come up with a composition I liked. I'm really looking forward to seeing the whole composition!

Can't see a thing wrong with the lighting or perspective here! :)

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Re: Elephant family group WIP

Postby Bev » Fri Apr 28, 2017 4:11 pm

Thanks Laurene. The size was determined by two things, the first was that I had a frame that would take that size ;) .....but seriously, I didn't want too much in the way of background and sky to detract, I wanted the elephant to take centre stage and I wanted them to be quite large in the picture, and that was what made me think a long panorama would work nicely.
I did the composition on the computer which speeds up the process and generally makes it easier to see which images are going to work together. I
I really like this format, either panoramic or square are my favourites.
This is really going a lot faster than I thought it would, so here is an update with quite a lot more completed, although there will need to be a bit of reworking here and there.
Bev

Ele group 2 Sm.jpg

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Re: Elephant family group WIP

Postby PogArt » Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:32 pm

Hi Bev, I went through some tough time as well, regarding my dog's surgery...
Wasn't drawing for many weeks, being affected by my dog's poor condition...
And while I were posting on FB Drawing Group updates, I went too lazy to post the same in here...
I feel sorry for being too lazy...
Any way...
It's nice seeing you producing such wonderful wild art drawing !
So large format as well !
You know me, I'm always big fan of your arts, and this time it's not exception as well ;)
Very nice looking drawing Bev ;)
PogArt
Artur Adamczyk
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Re: Elephant family group WIP

Postby Laurene » Mon May 01, 2017 9:06 pm

Looks great Bev! It's difficult to combine several photo references but I can see no problem at all with the perspective in your composition. I like the way you have the matriarch much closer to the viewer on the right hand side giving the impression that she is protecting her family. Looking forward to seeing another update!

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Re: Elephant family group WIP

Postby Bev » Tue May 02, 2017 11:51 am

Thank you Artur, I was looking at you wonderful portrait on fb. I think you are doing so well even though you say it is taking a long time.
Laurene, I am happy that there aren't any obvious errors, so often I don't see them myself until much later. I hate wasting all that time only to have to ditch a drawing because of a basic mistake. I am thinking of calling this 'The Family' so I am pleased that the story comes across. I will try an post an update later today.

Thanks for commenting Artur and Laurene.
What's happening with all the others out there who look but never post a comment, c'mon guys, if you want us to comment on your work, might be an idea to say something about others work!! OK rant over!

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Re: Elephant family group WIP

Postby Laurene » Wed May 03, 2017 1:49 pm

Well said Bev! If people don't participate, they can't expect to get a lot of response to their own posts. More importantly, none of us gets the full benefit of a forum like this unless everyone pitches in. Luckily Mike provides this forum to us FREE OF CHARGE. All we have to do is take advantage of if and remember to say thank you once in a while.

So what's the problem? Who knows. I guess it's the facebook/twitter/instagram etc... habit that has taken over. If we could click on a thumbs up, or a star, or a heart on this forum your drawing would get all kinds of well deserved attention Bev. I have nothing against social media but the problem is that you can't learn on these other venues the way you can on an active forum. I speak from experience. Thanks to a lot of generous artists, my skills improved. All I had to do was ask. Try it!

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Re: Elephant family group WIP

Postby PogArt » Wed May 03, 2017 3:26 pm

Hi my friends...
I've been reading Bev's points and yours Laurene, and this is happening to me right now, I'm afraid?
In here I can see the artists are viewing my work, but that's it. I don't know how I'm doing? I don't get any feedback whether anyone likes it or not...
On FB Artist Group, by simplicity of sending hearts, thumbs up or other emoticons, you get some idea, whether your efforts are good, great or awesome, and the artists don't hesitate to post some comments for you too...
It's motivating, trigger you to keep going and makes you believing that the arts you make means something...
This caused me posting more happily on FB rather than TDF?! I've posted on TDF a week ago, and none responce ;)
It's like taking some effort to make your picture in lower resolution to be able to post it, then written down some story about it, and get none of feedback ;)
It's like nobody cares whether you post or not ;)
It's not encouraging , and actually making your efforts pointless?
To me it's like posting on TDF just to keep in touch with few of you my friends, I remember the days were different, when this forum were alive.
Because of this happening, FB wins by it's effortless expressing any feedback...
So sad to saying that.
All the best my friends.
PogArt
Artur Adamczyk
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Re: Elephant family group WIP

Postby Laurene » Wed May 03, 2017 3:39 pm

Hi Arthur,

I agree that the kind of feedback that you're getting on facebook is encouraging and can keep you posting and drawing because feedback is motivating and in that sense it's a wonderful thing. I'm not anti-facebook at all. I enjoy it too.

The point I'm making is that a forum is a better learning environment. A thumbs up or a heart is motivating but doesn't provide a learning experience. If someone tells me what they like, or don't like about my drawing, or even if they just ask a question which forces me to think about what I'm doing and why, then I've just learned something. If someone critiques my work....well,great!! I just may learn something and I'm always free to agree or disagree with the critique but at least it made me think through what I'm doing.

Looks like you struck a chord Bev. I'm sorry if I hijacked your thread, but I think that you brought up an excellent point.

Oh, and for those of you viewing but not posting - if you agree or disagree with any of us - let us know!!! It's more fun that way. :)

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Re: Elephant family group WIP

Postby Bev » Thu May 04, 2017 10:10 am

Thank you Laurene and Artur for your comments.
Laurene, I wanted some feedback on my comment so don't worry and if anyone else out there is reading this and wants to add to it please go ahead I wont mind. I knew Laurene and Artur would reply, but I really would like to hear from you others too.
When this forum was Art Papa it was the single most important place where I came to for help and advice. It was the only place I knew of where you could ask for and get honest crits and advice and that helped me to progress from a learner to where I am today and for that I am so grateful. People like DeeDee, BettyAnn, and Linda and of course, Mike (who does this for our benefit), just to name a few who where so ready to help everyone. And I know I wasn't the only one to benefit.
Facebook is fine, but, hey, it's a bit of a love fest isn't it? No one dares offer advice and not many ask for help. Sad really, just to post your pictures with "Hey look what I did, aren't I great?" It has it's place to promote your work, but as a learning tool, it's not much good. So guys and girls, if you want to progress and learn, take some time and post here, but also take some time to comment on others work too.
OK I've said what I wanted, over to you lot!

Sorry Laurene, update coming soon, I hope ;)
Bev

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Re: Elephant family group WIP

Postby PogArt » Thu May 04, 2017 11:22 am

Hi to all the members and my dear friends ;)
I do agree with everything that was told earlier.
I do wish, I wasn't incorrectly understood while talking about FB quick and frequent response and feedback by posting emoticons like thumbs up or hearts.
What I meant was that, because of this respnse you do feel that your work is matter, and people don't refuse to send you any of their thoughts by icons, or short comments.
Obviously there is very rare to receive critiques or good advices, I got some silly feelings, that whether you good or rubbbish, the feedback is usually very positive, telling you that you are great...
Obviously if you not smart enough, you'll soon believe that you're so great artist and this is the worst part in your progress, because you'll not get better if you believe you're already best of the best ;)
You won't learn anything if no one tell you your faults.
So I am against FB regarding any learning experience, you won't benefit from keen compliments.
TDF and probably the other forums I don't know, are for artists who like to learn, and like to ask for help.
Sadly I feel that this TDF has stopped giving any feedback except few of us that still care and willing to give something to the others, the rest members is just watching our work, leaving no comments...
It's just making me down, leaving with silly thoughts, no one cares over here anymore to give you some idea regarding your drawing, whether it's good or bad drawing, so you won't learn but share only, that's it.
If I'm right I've posted my latest drawing over a week ago, I can see the members are watching it, leaving no comments. For this reason, comparing the FB, you will get quick respond from the others and you can see if they like what you do, but you can not rely on it, as it seems like people on FB are trying to avoid to post crits but positive compliments rather, so you can not learn as you not being aware of your faults, because no one will point them to you.
All the best to all of you ;)
PogArt
Artur Adamczyk
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Re: Elephant family group WIP

Postby Bev » Thu May 04, 2017 12:39 pm

Hear, hear, Artur, well said.

Here is the update I promised. Not far to go now, I am having a bit of trouble keeping the lighting consistent, so easy to get distracted by what is in the photo. Any comments are welcome.
Bev

Ele group 3 Sm.jpg

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Re: Elephant family group WIP

Postby Laurene » Thu May 04, 2017 3:31 pm

Yes, well said Arthur. This is how I feel too. I'm so used to only checking in on the Animal forum that I forget to check the "Everything" forum. I'm sorry I missed your post and I'll go check it out right now.

Bev, I love your composition choice here. That large matriarch on the right tells a strong story of how protective these beautiful animals are. Your title "Family" is a perfect fit. As for light direction, I find that aspect very difficult when I combine photos. In this case you have an extra consideration because of the water. The main light direction is from the sun of course but then I would expect the light to bounce off the water and reflect up to cast a secondary light on the elephants. That's all working very well for me when I look at your drawing. The elephants definitely look like they "fit" into their environment.

You know, I remember that Mike gave me some good advice on a previous drawing of mine. It was of a caribou in a stream and the only reason I bring it up is that your animals are standing in water too. Mike felt that the caribou looked like he had just taken a drink of water so one would expect to see some ripples or rings in the water caused by water dripping from his mouth. I had already sprayed my drawing so I couldn't change it much but I always regretted not incorporating that idea. It would have helped to tell the story. The point I retained is that water is not static. There are reflections to deal with and movement around object like rocks and logs and etc... that can cause changes in direction or ripples.

Just some observations about water and drawing :) Your composition really leads the eye through the drawing beautifully!

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Re: Elephant family group WIP

Postby PogArt » Thu May 04, 2017 5:17 pm

This is how you can separate the professional artist from the rest Bev ;)
It's all making sense watching your art ;)
You can hang up your eye anywhere, and you can spent then your time enjoying detailed, life like art ;)
Beautiful Bev ;)
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Re: Elephant family group WIP

Postby Mike Sibley » Fri May 12, 2017 9:31 pm

Bev, this is coming along wonderfully well. There are a lot of good points I could mention but I just want to focus on one - the composition. It has a lovely sense of balance. And it steers your eye around perfectly.

From a technical point of view it has 6 characters - an even number. But you've broken the chain with the matriarch's tusk not connecting with the elephant that's turned away. That gives us two odd-number groups of 5 + 1. I stumbled upon that idea myself years ago when I slightly shifted one of four dogs to the right and created a narrow gap. The effect was immediate and solved the problem of there only being a single group.

I love the way #1 (reading left to right) is looking at us and connecting us to the scene. Then #4 is only partly seen (adding extra realism) and #5 is turning us away to travel behind #6. And then #6 swings us right back into the scene. Perfect!
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