Lynn Sibley shares with us the evolution she has experienced through her education in the arts. Impressive to see such progress in so many diverse subjects, Lynn! Thank you for contributing!
I’m Lynn “tuffie” Sibley, an animator and painter. I started drawing seriously sometime around when I was 12, and really dug into it in my late teens. I’m showing a bunch of stuff from before and after my time at school to show just how much a strong traditional art education helped me improve.
This has been the most important for me. You can see in my earliest drawing that I was working in pencil. We did long poses, and they ended up stiff and flat. By 2005, I was at college and learning about gesture drawing, conté and the value of short poses. The drawings I produced were less stiff and starting to develop depth. My sense of anatomy was still weak, but getting somewhere. In 2007 I had a teacher who encouraged me to work in colour, which I loved. The piece has more depth and interest, but look what I did to those poor feet! But a teacher who made us learn bone then muscle structure gave me a solid grounding, so that the overall anatomy is much better. 2009’s piece is one I am very proud of right now. It was a one hour pose with work put in after, and I enjoyed every minute of it. I’m finally learning to have contrast in my colours, and though I need to be prodded to keep pushing it, it’s finally starting to seep in.
The first piece from 2001 was at the very start of my digital work. I was so, so proud of it. The shading on her chest? If you’d asked me, it was stunningly rendered.
In 2003 I realized that I needed to add backgrounds. You can see that I did…but I didn’t know how to make it work properly. Even if I did, it didn’t really fit the picture at all. And, I can’t believe I did that, her arm is on backwards.
2005 was a serious step up. I started taking life drawing and I finally thought a bit about appropriate background. I still don’t have much sense for colour or posing though.
2007 was partway through college, and my posing and composition have taken a drastic step up. Still, the anatomy needs a lot of work.
In this year’s piece, you can see that the posing, anatomy and composition are much stronger than before. The colours, however, still need work! Still a long way to go.
Wow, that painting kills me. I worked from a photo for the 2003 piece and it shows. In 2005, my teachers at college started kicking me in the direction of real life reference. 2007 had me confident enough to work with colours from life, and the current piece was a cafe sketch coloured in after the fact. I realized over the years that you can’t just jump into something headfirst and expect it to work. I had to build up the basics before I could get the fun stuff right.
I have always loved self portraits. I think they are a fun bar to measure yourself and your work.
The 2003 picture was my joy at the time. It was a limited palette, it was solid colour, it…didn’t look like me at all!
By 2005 I was able to get a likeness, but the picture was skewed and distorted because I was working from photos. I jumped right into the details because I didn’t want to mess up the picture with guidelines and that kinda junk. Great idea, me.
By 2007 I was working from the mirror. This isn’t my favorite portrait of the year, but it was one where I overcame a hurdle about working with colour. I could finally use colour to get shading and depth!
The 2009 picture is one I had such a blast on. Somewhere along the line I realized that a goofy self portrait was so much fun to work on. I used guidelines, roughed this in, worked from a mirror and used all the info I’d learned on shading, colour and painting theory. I’ve learned that careful planning and using life as reference is the best way to make things look right!
The fun stuff…the doodles and drawings I do just for me. In 2001, I was doing an illustration for a grade 9 English project on The Merchant of Venice – I was big time into anime. 2005 was a doodle during class near the end of high school that I always liked – c’mon, shiny pants! The 2009 drawing was one I did this year while working on my demo reel. Playing with rubber hose animation style, watercolours and cowgirls – what’s not to enjoy!