A blank page can't be anymore ugly or boring than it starts, so one might as well put something on it. You mentioned something about shading and not liking where you're drawings end up, Try doing some serious studies of just simple shapes and objects of their light, shade, shadow(remember the terminator edge). Like you're trying to get an A on the drawing or something, It could be your medium as well, The value scale is limited with Graphite, Try charcoal on larger drawing paper, maybe 18X24.
When drawing, If shading is your frustration, Start seperating the lights and darks imediately, don't save it until the end. Start with black and white, and find the scale inbetween by erasing and smearing. If you end up doing the charcoal thing, get some sticks(I'd suggest the brand Char-Kole for there softness) and pencils any brand, the pencils are good for the really dark or the really light, use the white one sparingly , but it can really make drawings kind of pop out or almost appear to come alive.
And like Arshes said, "Dirty up the paper" I think that's a great idea, my charcoals start by spreading the charcoal all over the paper to find a medium scale and working to the darks and lights there as well. That or when I work with graphite I like to use the side of a sharpened number2pencil to build the composition, sometimes I know the shape of something, just haven't decided on the details, this has worked for me.
Light and shade are also related to perspective, Try building up your perspective knowledge. A good book is Perspective Drawing and Applications by Charles A. O'Connor, JR
Thomas J. Kier and
David B. Burgey.
However you could probably find some good perspective references at the library as well.
Additional thoughts are...
1.Drawing Area: Make sure you have a drawing area ready to be used all the time, Dedicated just for drawing. don't put any other crap there, if you wake up in the morning and want to draw; you can. If you want to sit down and doodle for five minutes, you can, without having to spend that five minutes of spare time cleaning up your desk or making an area to draw.
2. Loud Music: Find some headphones and some Music and blast that Sierra Hotel India Tango when you draw, get in the zone!
3. Warm Up: Chocolate milk and a banana, I love chocolate milk ! that or hot chocolate , yum. Something that warms you up that's completely unrelated to drawing, Hot chocolate or excercise is what I like... yep !
4.Time: Have an hour dedicated just to drawing, and commit yourself. I use to always draw from Nine to Ten pm with maybe like a few minutes break at the half hour. Whether I wanted to draw or not once I started drawing, I was usually good to go!
Last edited by Mr_S_14; June 13th, 2010 at 01:27 AM.
~"With a little hope, and alot of try, anything is possible."~
~"The harder You work, the better life gets."~
~"The pain doesn't last, but the gain will last forever."~
~"Fear is my courage." ~Mr_S_14