Z fails to draw part 13 – Z fails slightly better

I drew the cat picture upside-down. The angular face was better but the neck was far too wide and actually she did look rather like a gorilla. I drew it again, right way up. I still had the knack of the face, more or less, but the neck was too narrow and her body looked rather like the flamingo croquet mallets in Alice in Wonderland.

I sighed and took stock. What I really wanted to do was get the head right, so I thought I’d try that. I cropped the photo and had another go. Here you are.

Starting at the top, the ear is too wide. It was my second attempt; first time the ear was too narrow. The angle isn’t dreadful, though.

The shape of the face isn’t dreadful. I don’t know how to do that lovely little light on her eye. Her eye bulges and she has a Homer Simpson side-eye. I can improve the bulge but I don’t know how to get the eyeball right.

Between the eye and the nose, it’s slightly more angular than it should be but I’m not too unhappy. The chin is a bit fat underneath. Considering it’s fur and I don’t know how to portray fur, I’m not too miserable about the shading. No idea about whiskers either, but I had a go and there is an impression of whiskers.

Improving. I need to do a grid. I could more or less manage the proportions here but anything bigger was so difficult. Betty said that her pupils counted the squares and they aren’t supposed to, so she banned them, but I am sure I wouldn’t count the squares and I need them, at least at this stage. Is there an easier way than measuring every damn page and painstakingly marking it?

I almost got the nose right and I’m quite pleased with the shading, considering I have no idea what I’m doing with it. But I think I need a break from the cat.

5 comments on “Z fails to draw part 13 – Z fails slightly better

  1. Z Post author

    The bulbous eye ruins it, doesn’t it. It was okay when I drew it, I spoilt it by trying to get the light right. Damn. Annoyed with myself now. Tomorrow, I might rub out that bit and have another go.

  2. Allotmentqueen

    One of the reasons that you think the ear is too wide is that the line of the outer edge of the ear is too far over so what you can see of the inner ear is too wide (which it is). Look at the relative sizes of the inner and outer ear.

    The face outline is much, much better.

    If you want to draw whiskers, get a really sharp pencil, find your starting point and then very deliberately hurtle out to where the end should be. I don’t know whether that’s a good explanation but you can’t tentatively sketch them out, they need to be drawn very rapidly.

    Think of what you can see of the eye as a silverfish (minus the legs, etc). It really is just a little teardrop shape. And you seem to have done the classic drawing a pupil which really isn’t there, is it?

    I think Betty might have advised getting a plastic rubber (Staedtler Mars plastic?). Those are really good for taking a dark area and rubbing out where you want the light to be. You can use it as a drawing aid in itself, so that would be good for “drawing” your eye.

    But yes, I agree, a break from the cat would be good. Find something with proper edges!

  3. Scarlet

    I agree with Allotment Queen regarding the ear, and everything else – including finding something with proper edges!

    The fur texture thing will come. Please don’t be annoyed with yourself – although many years ago I remember having a major tantrum over a drawing of a butterfly. There was sobbing, and self recrimination – I guess the more drawing we do the less likely this happens as we get used to ‘failing’, or not being perfect, and the ego doesn’t get so miffed about it. Drawing is the same as any kind of problem solving – I reckon.

  4. Z Post author

    Ah, I’d been using the malleable, or whatever it’s called, rubber. Thank you. And I know the pupil wasn’t there but it looked wrong whatever I did. Thank you both, I do appreciate your constructive criticism and help. I had actually done pretty well what you suggested with the whiskers, I’d used an H5 or whatever was the hardest pencil and just went for it. I didn’t think the whiskers were too bad, really, but I couldn’t even attempt the white ones. My ego is right down on the ground, in terms of anything artistic so I was only annoyed with myself for spoiling a decent eye drawing. I have started close to zero and so anything has to be an improvement – and it’s just for fun. Not a competition, not even with myself.
    Kneadable, I think, not malleable. Not sure what you do when it gets dirty with pencil. Break off that bit and throw it away? My ignorance is absolute.

  5. Allotmentqueen

    Back in the day, a kneadable rubber was a bit of white bread, no crusts, kneaded. It works okay as a rubber but it can’t do sharp edges and has a bit of a smudgy quality overall. When the bread gets dirty you throw it away. Go for the plastic rubber every time. Even then you still have to rub it on a bit of spare paper to get rid of the dirty bits.

    And you have made enormous strides – well done.

    Maybe a bunch of daffodils next?


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