The Four Boxes Technique

The Four Boxes Technique

Jan recently posted up this portrait drawing for a critique. It was from my Shea Portrait course. Jan is looking to get a likeness when drawing a portrait.

Being able to get a likeness is difficult. Sometimes a student will need to use many diverse techniques. Some techniques click with certain students while others do not. You will need to experiment with multiple techniques until you find the one that works for you.

In this video, I share with Jan the Four Boxes Technique. It’s pretty simple. First, you should draw the exact size of your photo reference frame. So if your reference is 8 x 10 inches, draw an 8 x 10-inch boarder on your piece of paper.

You will need to split the frame vertically down the middle, then across the middle. This will leave you with four boxes. You then draw what is in each box. Nothing earth -shattering here.

this is just a drawing technique that will help you look at drawing a portrait differently. Again, this is just an exercise. This four boxes technique just give you a different perspective on drawing correct proportions.

Thanks so much, Jan for sharing your artwork in DTO’s member critique gallery. 

 

 

If you are looking to get your artwork critique definitely check out Drawing Tutorials Online. I offer member critiques every Monday. If you are looking for a more in-depth approach to having your artwork critique read more about my one to one coaching.

 

YeFei’s Sketchbook – Incredible

YeFei’s Sketchbook – Incredible

Every so often I get a student that has a perfect combination of raw talent, an incredible work ethic, tons of passion, and a good sense of humor. Yefei is that student.

I will let his sketchbook speak for itself. This one does not start slow, however, Yifei improves immensely as the sketchbook progresses.

As you look through Yefei’s sketchbook you will start to see a passion for history, specifically the history of Yefei’s home country, China. Personally, I would like to see him push this historic narrative in his work.

When working as an illustrator, the books I enjoyed working on the most were history books. I enjoyed painting historical costumes and all that came with the timeframe of the 1800s.

There are so many things to take away from Yefei’s sketchbook. One is to draw what you are passionate about no matter what anyone tells you, and, work hard. Yefei does not do one drawing for the assigned homework, he does five. We can all learn from Yefei. 

 

 

Check out Yifei’s Instagram. Thanks again Yefei for sharing your art, we all look forward to your next sketchbook.

 

Digital Painting Critique

Digital Painting Critique

It does not matter what medium you work in, digital, traditional, watercolor or pencil, it’s super important to get feedback on your artwork. Sure watching high-quality video tutorials online is a must.

However, what will push you to a higher place of learning is getting feedback from a teacher you trust and like. Some teachers are highly skilled and competent, however, they might not be the right fit for you.

It’s also very important that just because the teacher says you should do a, b, and c, does not mean you have to do a, b, and c. Let your voice come through, cherry-pick what works best for you and use that.

There have been many times where I had two teachers contradict each other, it can get confusing as to who to listen to. Most teachers have very good intentions in mind. Just trust your gut and utilize techniques that feel right.

It’s also very important to tweak and modify what teachers offer up in the classroom and online. Think to yourself, how can I take what this teacher is teaching and make it my own.

In Arjun’s critique, I certainly do not expect him to listen to everything I say. If he takes one lesson from the critique, then I feel I did my job.

Be selective in which teachers you learn from. Anyone can grab their iPhone nowadays, film themselves drawing, and call it a tutorial. Do your homework, see how much classroom experience the teacher has. Do they teach in a kind way, or is it all ego-based. Are they good at communicating techniques to you in a way that makes sense?

It can be hard sometimes to put your work out there for a critique. That’s why I say learn from people that you feel comfortable with. Getting feedback is something you must strive for.

Thanks so much for checking out Arjun’s critique!

 

 

Check out Arjun’s Instagram. Thanks again Arjun for sharing your art.

 

Julia’s Sketchbook

Julia’s Sketchbook

Julia is first to represent her class this fall semester at the School Of Visual Arts. I really like Julia’s sketchbook.

I like all of Julia’s intricate little line drawings. The way she uses lines within her character design is awesome. I’m looking forward to seeing how that progresses in the months to come.

I also love how Julia draws facial expressions. Not an easy thing to do, Julia has that down pat.

After watching this sketchbook I noticed that Julia flipped through some pages a little too fast. No worries, I added a bunch of screenshots of her sketchbook below. Enjoy!

 

 

Check out Julia’s Instagram. Thanks again Julia for sharing your art. 

Seeing The Head As A Box

Seeing The Head As A Box

Arjun consistently uploads his work for a critique every week. In this week’s critique, I help out Arjun with seeing how to fit a box to a head. You might ask, why even bother with this technique, what’s the point?

I think what Arjun is practicing is super important. He is trying to understand how to see and decipher the surface planes of the head. Placing a portrait within a box is the most primitive way to see the surface planes. It’s the most macro, front and side.

There is a multitude of surface planes on the head. With portraits, it’s important to know where the big surface plane shifts occur. They occur at the temple and cheekbone, otherwise known as the Zygomaticofacial foramen. I know, anatomical terms, ugh.

Understanding where to see and place the big surface planes will most certainly help you to improve the way you draw a three-dimensional portrait. It’s even better when you light the portrait whereas the front planes catch the light, and the side planes are in shadow.

Lastly, trying to place a perfectly geometric box around an organic head just does not compute for a lot of artists. That is why I suggest drawing curved edged, organic boxes instead of right-angled boxes.

The human body is not synthetic, it’s super curvy. In other words, round all of your corners.

 

 

Thank you so much for checking out Arjun’s critique. You can check out his Instagram page @AKTracer.