Eight projects, each lasting eight weeks. A journey of learning, practice and creation. A documented truth if I am capable of such a challenge.

A new year, a new start. It’s the start of 2008 and as I’m sure most people experience, life is busy and seems to just be getting busier. For me, I work a full time job, a part time job, live a normal life, yet still fancy myself as an artist in drawing, painting, modelling, animation and music.

Yep, that’s a lot. So to accomplish this, I’ve started the eightWEEKS project.


The purpose of this project is to learn, develop, practice and master the techniques dof drawing, painting, modelling, animation and music. It’s a tall order, but we only get one life to give it a go, so why not. Each area is focused on for the course of eight weeks in an attempt to eliminate the “jack of all trades, master of none” syndrome.


After some consideration of what I would like to work on, I have broken it down into eight different projects, each taking eight weeks to complete. These projects are as follows:

  1. Drawing
  2. Painting
  3. 3D Modelling
  4. Character Modelling and Animation
  5. Digital Sculpting
  6. Environment Creation
  7. Music
  8. Short Film

It is a tough project. I will either succeed for fail. This blog is an insight to my journey.

projectONE: Drawing


projectONE > weekONE

It’s been a great start to this project. First we start with the exercises in the Complete Book of Drawing. Initially we get some basic practice at drawing simple structures, such as lines, squares, circles, etc. This helps to ensure the eye understands where the pencil should be. Nothing special at the moment.

Next we move onto taking these basic shapes and using them to represent elements in a more complex subject. For example, cubes, spheres and also using ellipses to represent a jug, or wine glass.

Finally we move on to sketching animals from their basic shape representations.

With Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, chapter four covered ways to shift the mind’s focus onto the creative right side. A way to do this is to copy a line drawing while it is upside down. This helps clear the mind of recognising elements and simply drawing what the eye sees. Here’s the image I produced.

And here is the same image upside down.

With the Structure of Man videos, I’ve completed the first five videos. Here are the results:


As a final thought, I did a quick sketch of two tigers using the basic shape technique. I used this following image as reference.

projectONE > weekTWO

In this week, Drawing from the Right Side of the Brain chapter 5 discussed how people tend to stop drawing at around the age of 10. It goes on to explain that when most people draw, they become uncomfortable and draw as though they did as a child. This is simply because drawing is a skill that doesn’t get pursued, whereas something like language or maths does. It talks about when we draw from memory, we use symbols, such as a house, a tree, hills, etc. It is useful to try and not draw from these symbols, and focus on drawing what the eye sees, not what it thinks it sees.

The Complete Book of Drawing chapter talked mostly about still life and composition. It demonstrated how to draw every day objects as well as considering the composition of these in a setting.

This week, I had a go at two still life pieces. A bunch of bananas and a sketch of one of my sketchers.

Next we come to the Structure of Man videos. This week I managed to tackle the next six videos. It starts to focus on the side profile of the head and how to build a system of drawing it anatomically correct. Practice of this really helps the mind remember how to draw the human structure without the need for reference. It also discusses how Leonardo da Vinci used a similar technique and would study the human form in great detail and build a system for recreating it in a drawing.



projectONE > weekTHREE

This week, Drawing from the Right Side of the Brain chapter 6 covered ways to get around your symbol system by training the eye to observe meeting edges and contours. This means the right side of the brain can focus on drawing what it sees, and not having the left side drawing what it thinks it sees.The Complete Book of Drawing chapter gave a more broad overview of the experience of drawing along with perspective drawing. It contains lots of illustrated examples and also discusses how to work with perspective when drawing larger scenes.

One important aspect of being able to draw, is to ensure you’ve always got a sketch book handy and to draw almost anything that you see. Here are a few sketches I did to become comfortable with blocking out the composition before drawing the objects.


Book Thumbnail


Toothburshes Thumbnail


Guitar Thumbnail

Form of Sony PSP

PSP Form Thumbnail

The next Structure of Man videos really seem to make a lot more sense. It’s reminds you that it’s about building a system for drawing anatomically correct human beings which we can remember, then simplifying this to continue to produce accurate results. Just like what we were trying to avoid from using symbols from our childhood, this is giving us a new set of symbols which make it easier to draw from imagination. These videos cover both the front view of the human head, and now a 3/4 view.


Structure of Man - 012 Thumbnail


Structure of Man - 013 Thumbnail


Structure of Man - 014 Thumbnail


Structure of Man - 015 Thumbnail


Structure of Man - 016 Thumbnail


Structure of Man - 017-1 Thumbnail
Structure of Man - 017-2 Thumbnail
Structure of Man - 017-3 Thumbnail

Using what I learnt last week, I wanted to experiment more with the side view and try to adapt it to create a range of characters using the same technique. This feels like such a natural way of coming up with original character designs, and will be ideal for the character modelling and animation projects later in the year.


Geek Thumbnail


Monster Thumbnail


Alien Thumbnail

projectONE > weekTHREE

This week, Drawing form the Right Side of the Brain chapter 7 talked about perceiving the shape of a space. It explains that if you pay attention to the negative spaces of a scene, for example, the shapes made by gaps in the frame of a chair, the positive form comes together. I attempted this technique with the following image of some pencils. The challenge however was trying to keep the straight lines of the pencils as I was only focusing on the negative space to start with.

Pencils Thumbnail

The Complete Book of Drawing covered forms of nature and explained how to draw trees in landscapes, compositions of people, clothes, hair, etc. So I attempted two drawings of landscapes.

The first drawing was using this photographic reference: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wauwau/56945976/
Tree Landscape Thumbnail

The second drawing was an attempt of a river flowing down some rocks using this photographic reference:

River Thumbnail

I also wanted to have an attempt at rendering hair. I think the there is still quite a bit to learn with regards to shading on this one. Here’s the reference photo used:

Woman Hair Thumbnail

And here is another quick sketch of Christine sleeping:

Sleeping Thumbnail

The Structure of Man videos continues with rendering the 3/4 view of the human head, and also started on the torso area.


Structure of Man - 018 (Thumnail)


Structure of Man - 019 (Thumbnail)


Structure of Man - 020 (Thumbnail)


Structure of Man - 021 (Thumbnail)


Structure of Man - 021-2
Structure of Man - 022 (Thumbnail)



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