Day 84: More Beachballs and a New Portrait Attempt

Portrait of a Famous ActorI decided to do another celebrity portrait today.  I’m not quite sure what possessed me.  It really interfered with my go to bed early at any cost plan.  I’m really not happy with how this one turned out either.  I definitely got the eyes completely off.  This is what happens when I don’t make sure the line drawing is right before moving on to the shading stage.  It’s also what happens when I hold my sketchbook at strange angles while shading.  Oh well, live and learn I suppose.  He is super famous so maybe someone will be able to guess who it is despite the bad proportions.  What do you think? Anyone up to the challenge?

On the bright side, I am actually feeling a little bit more positive today.  I spent a large portion of the day troubleshooting ad performing various diagnostics on my Mac.  Just because it’s old and half dead doesn’t mean it can be fixed and given a few more years of life … maybe.  That’s the hope anyway.  The two of us still have work to do together!  Also, I am very poor and far from being able to afford a new computer right now, especially a Mac.  So I tried a couple different things to fix it.  So far it’s looking somewhat promising.  Still slow and buggy which is a bit worrisome but not freezing up and crashing every 5 minutes which is a definite improvement!

Right now I’m just trying to test it out and push its limits.  I have a couple more tricks I can try to see if they help but I want to see how it’s doing first rather than just trying everything all at once which wouldn’t be very scientific or informative.  I have about four different apps running right ow which is more than I’ve been able to attempt for a couple of weeks now.  I’m just waiting to see how long it lasts before freezing up again.  I’m also keeping a log of what I’m trying and when.  Hopefully at the very least that will help with the diagnostic process if nothing works.  Still, I can work with slow and buggy as long as it doesn’t freeze, crash and then forget where the hard drive is and how to boot up.  I’ll just have to back up very frequently but it is progress already!  Yay, progress!

I’m also feeling a bit more positive about my drawing today.  I think the two may be related.  Sometimes when you don’t feel like you’re making any progress in one area it colours your perception of other areas.  That may be what happened here.  That and I’ve been stressed out about various other things.  I’ve also been reading a lot lately and looking at various art related books which probably didn’t help either.  When you’ve read all about how to do something there’s a bit of a tendency to think that you should just be able to do it.  That’s not how things work though.  You have to actually try it out for yourself and keep practicing.  Reading about things just gives you ideas for how to approach problems, it doesn’t solve the problems for you.  You still need to put in the work.  It’s all part of the process and I just need to keep that in mind.

I drew some more beach balls today to keep up with the practicing.  When I’m frustrated about my progress with something, or lack thereof, it always helps to go back to the basics.  I have a lot of fun with 3D shapes and I’ve really enjoyed playing with them and trying to learn how to move them around on a page in the past.  Spheres just seem to be particularly tricky for me, much more so than I expected.  I understand the theory but when I try to visualize it in my head I still have difficulty figuring out where the various lines should go.  I think I’m making progress on that too though.

Beach BallsThese ones feel a bit better to me than yesterdays and they came a little easier too.  I went to sleep last night with beach balls rolling around in my head, trying to picture what they would look like in various positions.  Now I think my main problem is a bit of a lack of imagination in coming up with different positions to put them in.  I’ll work on that a bit too.  maybe if I draw the tilt line (the north pole) first and then build the other lines based on that?  Hmmm … maybe I’ll just have to find a ping pong ball or something and draw lines on it and then roll it around my desk.  That could be fun.

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