I’m working through this and spending WAY too much time on it and so cut and run with the chrome on the Harley. I messed up the paper a few times by mis-counting the grid lines and erasing the upper left side, then realized I had counted right and erased that and the lower bit of it, and repeated the mistake near the end when I was at the bottom right with the footrest. So, I didn’t push it too far since it wouldn’t hold more. I resorted to the Mars Lumograph Black 8B matte black pencils from Staedtler and they got me a bit more value over regular 8B lead from a lead holder. The varying grades of black are mostly 2B to 8B and then the black 8B and it is pretty obvious where that was used.
I am still starting and not very good at this. I could do more on the chrome of the Harley and actually get the pedal chrome correct but have over 15 hours into it, and halfway through realized the page was sitting 4 pages away from a 5x7" grey paper I taped into the sketchbook so there’s a ridge all the way around where the pencil caught and made extra dark digging into paper uneraseable lines, in addition to far too pressured 4H pencil for the grid lines which I re-did twice and then still mis-counted twice, so there’s only about 10 hours of actual stuff if I don’t count erasing and 20 hours of fretting over it.
Every time I’d touch something up, I’d see it didn’t match and really REALLY got lost on the exhaust pipe and the foot rest, drawing from memory of in person rather than what I was seeing in the photo. I’m not ready for the jellyfish yet, I need to practice something simpler. I’m including the shoe since I feel I improved a little bit at least.
Feedback welcome on how to somehow work by grid, while keeping entire image in mind and not letting what you think you know the lines should be not matching the grid lines, and then how to double and triple check grid lines so you don’t get them knocked off by 1/4" in a re-draw, needing another re-draw of what was erased. So… Frustration and couldn’t do the “70 little pictures” method, I was going more object by object while using grid as reference to how they fit together and ended up with something that doesn’t look right from either viewpoint on the chrome.
The Chrome Harley is also the largest drawing I’ve made yet. The shoe was only 6" wide or so, while the Chrome was 7" x 10", I’m used to 4x6 to 5x7 max from colored pencil patience issues smearing habits into other media.
That’s amazing like, even the warning label is legible…wow! Advice-wise, I think that if you WANT to work object by object, and FIND that method works for you, that’s perfectly fine. Grid is just one way of approaching a drawing, and it might not be the go-to option for everyone. One approach I use when sketching is laying out the base shapes of the objects. So, it’s serving as a placeholder/template because it’s “blocking out” the shapes. Hope that helps, love your work!
Hardest time I had was the chrome reflecting black, I left it white because, well, chrome is shiny white, darn it! By the time I had it down, I’d electric erased all the tooth away from most spots, in addition to earlier “remove 3/4 of drawing” cleanings with gun eraser trying to be gentle as possible on paper but I should have started a new one at the 10 hour mark when I realized I was bumping the outline of the taped in page. Watching the video and Matt making every line the right darkness and in the right spot is really hard to keep up with, so I kind of went over it then dumbly went on my own looking at source.
Trying to get the big shape outlines is what messed me up twice, first by mis-counting, then by realizing I somehow got 1/4" off on my grid lines so it was all skewed resulting in the second re-do. I spent way more time erasing than drawing and practically no blending except in the darkest areas and a few quick passes in chrome areas but after being told how “generic” blended drawings look I wanted to stay away from that, which kind of made it worse.
Biggest lesson learned: Draw what you see, not what you think it looks like, especially chrome reflecting black when the chrome is surrounded by black, such as on the foot rest, I left it white because I gave up instead of most of it being very dark grey to black with only edge highlights on it. Chrome is turning out to be my Kryptonite, I am not a ray tracer sort. Next up is a landscape with waterfalls, and that’s going back to “too organic” and I guess I’m not happy unless I can just get by drawing stick figures, but I’m improving a little bit. Learned a lot on this one, now have 6 lead holders next to me, 4H, 2H, HB, 2B, 4B and 8B with the B in black lead holders, H in silver, and HB in a blue one. I then printed out little label maker labels to make it easily visible as to which is which. I figured out that about 1/2 way through, should help in future. The Staedtler Lumograph Black pencils are good and black and used the wood version there on darkest which changed the dark grey sheen to “black” black with almost matte finish.
Thanks for the feedback, helps me feel not so horrible on it, top half of drawing and down to engine cover I spent most time on, exhaust and foot rests I skimped out on.
Just don’t overthink it, and most importantly, HAVE FUN! Another exercise that may help with drawing “what you see” is to look at the photo upside down. This way, you really have to draw what you see, because what you think you see is…well—upside down? Can’t wait to see your next piece(the waterfall)! You’re doing great!