Ok...my first 'sketchbook thread' on here...and hopefully my only one (I don't care how many pages it gets honestly - though if you *the readers* think it's too long, tell me and I'll make a new one) :).
I'm going to try and update this at least twice a week, but can't promise anything due to time constraints. [Edit: addendum - I will likely be updating this at least every other day *if not daily* from the start of the Vilppu drawings onward - to force myself to practice more]
What I welcome with great eagerness:
Serious and Honest Comments & Critiques
Redlining (please use a color that will stand out from the colors used)
Paint-overs (when I get to color, but please highlight with marks the areas you painted over - sometimes it's hard to notice)
My goals in this sketchbook are to improve my work - in both method and style. This is mainly focusing on a few select aspects of my work:
- Tightening up my use of the fundamentals (I feel I have an understanding of them, and can use them moderately effectively, but I would like to improve them)
- Tightening up my personal style by getting rid of the rough spots, and finding ways to retain my uniqueness while accomplishing more than I currently can.
- Improving my ability to handle the aspects of art I'm still weak in, these will be mainly after I get a little tighter on my fundamentals and more comfortable with posting my work here.
I know I'm far from perfect, and I would rather not get any asspats (or asshats) in this sketchbook regardless of where they come from. Just keep it straightforward, and focus on the artwork please.
Thank you for reading that...and without further rambling/babbling - I'll post some of my more recent sketches, along with a few comments (people from other forums I frequent, may recognize these):
Image 1 - Caveman
I realize the background is rather minimal, and the legs fade off into nothing. I was mainly focusing on the upper torso with this sketch, and a little bit on hair patterns. I know the stick goes into the hand weird...and if I were to draw it again, I'd try to toss the hand down in a little more of a tilt, and expose more fingers. This sketch was intended to remain a sketch, although corrections are welcome should I ever pursue something similar in the future.
Image 2 - Zombie-1
This zombie took a bit longer than the caveman to sketch, and I realize that the posts on the gate in the background are a little warped to the left, if/when I go to color this piece, I will straighten them up to vertical. The tombstones leaning to the left is intentional - these are to lead the eye towards the main tombstone and the zombie itself (main tombstone is noticeable due to greater detail than other stones). If I finish this piece I will add light detail to most of the scenery, and focus the majority of time and detail work on the zombie and main tombstone. I'm thinking muted blueviolets to bluegreens with some very muted browns to make it seem very subdued. Do you think the main tombstone would look better being vertical rather than tilted? Comments & Critique welcome, this piece may be pursued further.
Image 3 - Zombie-2/Ghoul
This is just the figure by itself, I think I need to thin the arms up a bit and give it more an emaciated(sp?) effect to match the shoulders/back (which are supposed to have the bones sticking out, but not piercing the flesh). On the arm that has the hand curled under (our left, the ghoul's right), I need to redo the hanging 'gore' on his forearm, because it peels off wrong and doesn't look right to me (opinions there are welcome - because I may just be seeing things that are unimportant). This one may or may not be pursued further, waiting on a comment from the project I'm doing the zombie sketches for. Should I make the arms less meaty? or should I beef up the back with muscles? Anything in particular you think I should do with the feet - or leave them fairly non-descript (feet are one of my weakpoints - because I can't just look at mine and draw them due to my feet being horrifically 'flat footed' *I have no arches period*)
I think I'll open with that for now...just to feel out the reactions. Even if I don't get a reply - I'll post again in a few days. Also - would it be better for those who view my sketchbook if I post them in clumps once a week...or just post them as I sketch them, one at a time (or however many I do that day -sometimes just 1, sometimes 4 or 5 that are 'post-worthy')
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[thread image added]
hehe - don't worry about rude comments - if anything the crits here aren't harsh enough.
One or two things I did note:
*try not to pet your line - don't forming your line with lots of small strokes, use a little strokes as possible. Contemplate each line you draw - decide where you want it to start and where you want it to end and *how* it wioll make that journey. Avoid those heavy thick lines around everything - use thin light line where the surfaqce falls in the light.
* get a feel for what you are drawing and how you will represent this with line. For instance hair is soft and delicate, so use a thin light line to represent it. The rotting skin on the zombies back is rough and has a distinct texture - try to emulate this texture.
*establish a light source, and work according to your light source. Don't depict light and shadow - use them to depict with. After all, everything we see is because of light and shadow!
* decide what forms you want to draw and how they are positioned in space. we cannot draw well what we do not understand.
Hope that helps - you're off to a great start. Keep drawing, and keep us updated! (personally I prefer frequent updates to weekly huge ones. constant updates also mean constant feedback!)
Thanks for the comment (my response is below the -----s)
Due to comments on other forums, I've started in on coloring the ghoul (I'll be showing it as I progress through coloring it so my method can be critiqued):
That's the little bit I got done tonight, and yes, I realize it's really dark (I have the contrast up on my screen to view it) - I am going 'dark to light' similar to oil painting (although digital does have it's unique perks). I may include some detail in the background although it'll be foggy at best in detail.
I don't have any sketches I feel up to posting currently - I've done a few studies, but nothing exactly post-worthy (mostly because I didn't get any sleep last night - cat was sick and kept me up all night cleaning messes :( )
- Petting the Line: Is it ok to do that on undersketches, or do you think I should probably focus on preventing the excess lines there?
My technique with line is to go from very light/barely noticeable lines to feel out the mass/location of an object then build it up - I find when I do general 'sketches' like this, it does give me a heavy weighted line - any tips on other techniques to feel out the masses, or should I mainly just work through practice on judging it in less strokes (I've tried a few other techniques in the past, but curious if you can shed new light on them - or have any new ones)? Usually when I push to finished works, my undersketches are unnoticeable/minimal (true in both traditional media and digital). Although I do notice sometimes I find it hard to refine specific parts due to this method (ie where I was unable to decide on a final location of the edge of an object or mass - this happens mainly in the facial features for me).
I usually worry about line-weight when I'm doing inking and finishing work - do you find it advantageous to indicate the lightsource in the undersketch with lineweight (I can see some advantages, just curious if we are viewing it from the same point of reference though).
- Feel for what is being drawn: The caveman's hair was intended to look sort of bristly and greasy (from lack of washing - cause he's a caveman ;) ). Although do you have any tips or techniques you'd recommend for indicating the texture on the back of the zombie (I use Painter IX, and don't own a copy of photoshop. I tend to use only the standard brushes, and would rather not have to rely strictly on a 'texture brush' to get a look - I feel it would be more beneficial for me to learn how to do these textures without unique digital tools, to allow an easier transition between digital practice and traditional use).
- Light Source: If not drawing from reference (all of these are un-referenced), I tend to wait until after the initial sketch to establish lighting unless it is crucial to the feel of the scene - should I probably focus on establishing the lightsource before developing the sketch in depth?
I was taught to use light and shadow to define mass, I still have refining to do in that area, and will try and show what I currently am able to do in that area in sketches in the near future (even if I have to post some general studies rather than base images for possible future works). I've been studying value and color a lot over the past few months, although while I feel I understand the 'why' and 'what' of light and shadow, I find I still need to work on the 'how' of portraying it.
- Deciding on forms: This comment I don't quite get where it's coming from (the other comments I can pick out where you were coming from and going to with them - this one I can't).
I thought I had anatomy down fairly good for un-referenced, although not perfect (feet still get me going :P - because mine aren't good subjects for practice as I said earlier heh). Can you point me to some specific trouble areas you found for the forms in these images?
Thank you again for your comments, I'll try and get more pieces up over a short period of time, and maybe a few in-depth studies if I get the time (and sleep ;) ) to do any that I feel are up to my current abilities.
Think I'll pick this up again...yes I know I'm still petting the lines, It's a bad habit :( (also these are still just sketches, where I'm more concerned about form than refinement):
These are 2 older skull sketches I did digitally (painter IX, wacom 6x8 tablet):
Top-left skulls in each are referenced from peck. Biggest skull in the first group is also referenced from peck. Other skulls are sketched using the skulls in the top left as quick reference.
These are digitally done studies...as most of my posts here would be (because it's easiest for me to accurately display with).
I'm going to start posting my 'of the week' pieces here as well, to get c&c on them in a less conflicting atmosphere (ie I'm only competing with myself to get crits, rather than 5-25 other artists -_-).
I'll question things, and sometimes 'sigh' or use weird emoticons ( I wear my emoticons on my sleave ;) ) - mostof the times the emoticons mean nothing except how I'm feeling when I type that sentence (bad habit, I know). I take all critiques (even the ones I don't agree with) - seriously. I am trying to improve my work, so ANY suggestions are welcome. Oftentimes I'll also ask for tips on how to do something if suggested, if you don't know that's ok, thanks for pointing out the issue (Knowing the problem is half the solution).
anywho...here's the Chow #34 submission of mine -
Before it's pointed out that I won't win with that -I already know :), my goal isn't to win, it's to get practice, improve, and give me goals to work towards (as well as subject matter and motivation). I eventually will be trying to do AT LEAST 3 of the 'of the week' topics: CHoW, CoW, and EoW - at a later date I may also try out IDW and 3CH, but those are further down the road (I feel CHoW/CoW/EoW will give me more practice per round with the focus on 'object' and 'environment' - IDW strikes me as more 'specific' and is 4th on my list, and 3CH is random, so it's a mixxed bag).
As for issues with this one, I need to improve my stroke efficiency - and also the lighting issue of the thigh has been pointed out to me (Everything waist down though was off in all the versions, this is sadly the one I felt communicated the leg the best). I improved my stroke efficiency a bit with this one towards the end (think it was just a confidence thing) - you may be able to notice the difference between the arm reaching at the waist, and the empty shoulder socket/neck/head - and the dress.
Nice stuff I especialy like the zombie
keep studying anatomy, draw like a maniac. One issue that i see is that you keep drawing over an area because its not quite coming out the way you want and the result is very messy line art. Try dropping a line and leave it be. Break things down simply as possible and build up.
Thanks for the comments, and yea, I plan to work on anatomy a lot more, but most will have to be a mix of photographs and books - due to the lack of people who'd pose nude (or I would even consider drawing nude for social reasons) near me. Currently I only have a Fabry book (Anatomy for fantasy artists), Peck book (Atlas of Human Anatomy for Artists), and a Hogarth Book (Dynamic Figure Drawing) to go with in the book area, I'm looking to buy the Bridgman (5 of them) set soon, as well as the Vanderpoel book (The Human Figure) - will also work on getting a hold of the Vilppu books, but those will take longer than the Bridgman and Vanderpoel books.
Referenced from Domai.
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Just a physical drawing referenced from a photograph. I know the forehead is off, this is because I drew her eyes too low and a bit too wide, the lips are also a bit too narrow. Sorry for the lack of hands, and most of the legs - I am only drawing what I see (and those weren't in the photograph) - I will be doing 'from photograph' images of the human form (because I can't/don't want to studies from the people I do know here *just moved here* - and don't want to do anatomical studies of any of them *not exactly good subjects, and it'd be akward because of relationships*). There are about 170-ish images in the pool I'm grabbing one randomly from each time I have time to do a physical sketch. I will be doing them graphite on paper, so B&W. I will be using mostly color reference images. (this one was a color reference image). Focusing on a variety of issues in drawing - I have several chosen due to contorted poses, some for perspective, and others for lighting, and yet others simply for anatomical reference.
I will also likely be doing digital sketches (to save paper) of images from books, and maybe some photographs if I'm running low on paper in my sketchbooks (not going to use my bristol board or watercolor paper for sketches).
Referenced from Domai
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didn't render this one as much...simply cause I'm a bit tired...I still need to work on the face (I outlined the lips lightly - to just denote their placement, they're actually a darker value than the rest of the face, but when I'd shade them they looked even MORE painted on...so yea..left them at this sort of 'ugly lined' stage - would have to be something corrected during coloring the image if I were to color it I guess).
Several flaws in this one...especially when compared to the original...can't say I'm happy with these drawings so far, but I am gathering info from them, and may very well be visiting the same reference again in the future. Expect more in the future...anywho....these are for pictures, not text.
I've decided to start work through the "Vilppu Drawing Manual" - namely the "Basic Figure Drawing". I am skipping gesture for now (That's practically all we did in my university life drawing course, still wish my professor had focused a bit more on finishing work as well. But alas cannot change the past and cannot blame her for shortcomings that came about from my unwillingness to push myself further). If needed later, I will come back and do more gesture practice (but considering I usually start off with gesture, it probably won't be necessary)
Here's the first 4 pages of stuff from following the Vilppu lessons - I will be posting EVERYTHING I draw in relation to the Vilppu drawing manual (even 'crappy looking ones' and 'repetition of exercises'). This supposedly should take several weeks if considered as a 'course' - I will not be setting a 'finish date', but I do plan to churn through it as intensely as possible (as many exercises as I have time for each day, and really diving into each one no matter how simple).
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Next round will probably have some more sphere work, and I will likel start in on the cubes as well (although I will be trying to revisit the preceding lessons on and off as I progress through - so you'll see spheres reappearing still for several sections after they're supposedly 'finished')
As I proceed further, I may begin integrating other books into the lessons as appropriate (such as Peck - Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist for example)
Here's the sketch that I was going to work on for the CHoW this week, but decided working on improving my fundamentals was more important than competing at this time:
CHOW #35 - X90 - CYAN [sketch]:
Some more...(aiming to post in clumps of 3-4...just because I'm on dialup and don't want to have a hell of a time loading my sketchbook - not to mention that's about the clump-size I do of these per sitting).
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8 (started some cubes - going to start toggling between this and ellipsoids in future ones)
Should be later this evening (approx 10 hours) before I post any more - so C&C welcome.
nice studies.. i was also thinking of doing some vilppu stuff.. i see your getting down the anatomy.. great! just keep going
Here's some more (hosted by Imageshack):
I'll probably do a few more spheres later today, along with cubes, and then I'm gonna move onto the conjoining cube/sphere lesson later tonight or tomarrow.
Thanks for the reply btw deadpool :) - I'm actually finding the Vilppu stuff somewhat relaxing (following the manual at least) - gives me a reason and a goal to do studies and KEEP them around...which I think is helping motivation :).
Nice stuff, especially the Villpu studies. Keep it up mate!
Thanks for the comment and support Duq :) - was starting to feel like I was posting to myself here ;).
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18 (did a reddish oversketch for someone, and forgot I left it on the red, went ahead and finished the Vilppu sketch in the reddish color)
Only 1 today....too tired atm to do more and actually gain anything from it (did this one earlier today before I had to leave)...
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:frustrated: Having one of those days where I can't even draw the most basic stuff that I've drawn a hundred times -_-... must keep working through it though I guess... here's the latest 2 vilppu 'related' sketch pages... not sure just how much the fact that I feel like I'm pulling teeth to even get things at the quality of 'low end sketch' drawn today shows through...
You seem to be working hard lately. You have a good understanding of form and anatomy: you draw some nice figures. Maybe you should start drawing lighter lines for construction and later draw the definitive lines with a darker pencil (you're improving in the last ones). And this preliminary shading might be difficult to get rid off in the end - it's allright for quick sketches.
But you are on a good schedule.
hi! nice studies! I agree with Bartovan about the lines. Anyways, it´s good work, and I really like your last update. Keep it up!
Thank you both for the nice comments Bartovan and Elisa :)
All of the sketches above are done using Painter IX & an Intuos3 (Cover Pencil tool emulates normal pencils pretty good :D). So obliterating lines won't be a major issue, I'm usually quite a bit more careful with physical sketches when it comes to light/darkness of construction lines (laying down 1 line, rather than feeling out a position - because I hate wasting even cheap paper :( ). Physical drawings I tend to stick with a 4B pencil (keeping it fairly sharp), and utilize that pencil's ability to both do very soft light lines and very dark lines (breaking out an ebony pencil for the really 'dark darks').
My hope for now either way though is to focus on the 'construction' and develop it to the point where I only need to actually draw simple lines and visualize the understructure more - I unfortunately haven't reached that point yet heh, but I will get there eventually. After I get to the point where it is much easier for me to visualize the under-construction, I plan to move back to physical except with pen instead of pencil (to train line efficiency more, which I will only lightly touch on here and there digitally for now). Not sure when/if I will pause studies to do an attempt at a finished piece (to judge my progress), but I'll keep an eye on my undersketch when I do.
Anywho, thank you for the encouragement, it really helps a lot to know people are coming by and showing some interest in my progress :) - gives me motivation to keep going even on the rough days.
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I don't like thumbnails that it produces...so I left these as image tags until someone can tell me how to make them display midpost, without those dirty little thumbnails. (the thumbnails seem more appropriate for 'finished work' than sketchbooks imo)
Great improvement man, those ref'd pages and the ones with a ton on them (like the eyes) are really pushing you along, just keep going.
thanks for the comment light :) - and yea, I'll try and do more of the focused pages (like the eyes and heads) *ps - I get a kick out of your avatar light :P*. Anywho...here's 2 more to add to the pile...and one in COLOR! (ok, it's just colored spheres...but yea, it's an area I need to improve in - was working on 'value in color' - monochromatic for now, will add colored light later).
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Hey! We are both from Texas and we both have a skull with a cowboy hat as our avatar!! hehe. anyway. cool studies. as i was going through, i wondered why you spent so much time drawing little blobs, but i think it really helps your figures. keep it up. i see a lot of talent here!!