Alright, I've got a long way ahead of me so let's get this going.
About myself: I'm 27, a linguistics major living in Toronto. I've had a tiny bit of formal art training some years back, but I'm still very much an amateur. I love drawing and had kept practicing on and off with mixed success.
I got a nice tablet a few months ago and it really reinvigorated my motivation for drawing. I've been using it to practice almost every day of late!
In order to get more practice I asked my friends to give me a new random topic every day, and I try to draw it by the end of the day to really get my feet wet. I like to think I'm very gradually getting better, even though my weaknesses are still a bit more obvious than I might have liked
That's probably as good a place as any to start this sketchbook, so here we go:
first topic I was given was "A fox juggling turtles while balancing on a colorful ball". They certainly took the random part to heart! Edit: on second thought, that was a terrible, terrible thumbnail. Here, have a puppy instead
I'll post lots more soon. Advice and critiques are always welcome.
Here are a few more from my daily practice back in December.
"Acrobats swinging from a trapeze attached to the rings of Saturn"
Still trying to get a feel for my tablet at that point.
Next, "A grandfather clock reading to its grandchildren"
Turned out far less anthropomorphic than I expected. This is one I wouldn't mind going back to fix it up now that I'm more comfortable painting digitally. It has potential.
"A flower house" I was glad to get a less convoluted topic for once
Had a lot of trouble getting a sense for the structure in flowers. So much variation in anatomy compared to humans.
Getting a little bit better at defining edges. Shame I ran out of time before I could get to the background.
"Dino Santa and his 8 reindeer" This one just about killed me with the sheer number of characters in the frame. Up to here, I was imposing a midnight deadline on all of these sketches but couldn't make it for this one.
Tried to differentiate every single reindeer and give them a unique personality. Really botched a lot of the antlers though, not to mention the composition.
"A rolling hill with flowers" This one was really difficult for me. You can see landscapes are a definite weakpoint of mine.
And another one: "A mountain sunrise". I was a little more comfortable working on this one, but the result isn't much better. I need more contrast, I think.
First I'd like to say welcome to Concept Art! This great place will give you all the great critiques that you need. With that said, from what I can see here, you need to work on your anatomy first. Forget color for now and do some figure sketches, jus grab a pencil and some paper and draw some life studies and get some anatomy books at the library. So, put the tablet down for now. Some books I recommend is
Thanks Demon Lizardman. I do draw without the tablet too, but I have no access to a scanner so the best I can post are very low quality camera photos. Is there a reason I couldn't just use a tablet to practice anatomy?
I can try uploading some camera shots instead if you think those are more useful for critiquing.
Haha, yep, that's the plan. Expect to see plenty more of that, though I don't intend to make this sketchbook exclusively for clinical anatomy studies, so you can expect to see lots of other stuff in here too.
For now, here's some more tablet-work from the last couple of months.
These are once again random topics given by my friends in roughly chronological order.
Trying some architecture for a change. Pretty far outside my comfort zone. I cannot paint cliffs for the life of me. This one was to be "Garuda's house"
My friends have officially gone off the deep end with this one. Let's say this was "costume design".
I don't know why, but this one ended up so much better than most of my other stuff.
This one was supposed to be "make a fancy hat" but I should really have put more time into the face
Those lines are a mess!
Supposed to be "scary masks" YMMV.
Waterfalls taken from 3 different reference pictures. I wasn't thinking much about how to integrate them properly; I just wanted to practice as many different waterfalls as I could fit in.
A fair point, but frankly I enjoy using the tablet far too much to simply drop it all of the sudden. And to be quite honest, it allows me to draw 10 times more than I otherwise would have, which can't possibly be a bad thing
So unless the sketchbook section isn't the appropriate place to share this kind of work (if it is I'll remove it) I don't see myself stopping.
Some studies of clothed figures; planning on making more soon
@ Sasha Devina - thanks a lot
Yeah, I got some pretty "out there" topics to work with. I'm almost worried my own ideas are going to look too subdued compared to those.
If you mean the one on the 8th post, that's from a painting by Jules Lefebvre (that's not a typo). I think I found it on artrenewal.org.
If you meant the ones on post 6, those are from posemaniacs. Fantastic resource if you hadn't heard of it before.
Some more stuff:
The sundae used references for some parts and imagination for others. The head studies are from Kevin Chen's old demos somewhere on these forums.
Thank you for stopping by and commenting in my sketchbook. I tried out your advice and did a photo study with negative space at the beginning. I see how it can be of help.
I see how you enjoy digital painting. Maybe you could also try to paint traditionally. Just for fun and try out different things. While working traditionally you will also learn basic things, which can be used in the digital media and you may get different ideas of what working techniques could be possible. Experimenting is the keyword here!
Your studies are very nice and the topics recommended by your friends are really nice. So you will go outside of your comfort zone more than one time. This is good.
In your traditinal studies you could be more brave with the shading. It appears pretty light, but I don't know if it just look like that, because of the scan (or photo) you've taken.
@ Hunin - you're right, I have a bad habit of going with the first image I get in my head and give up too soon on finding usable reference, so most of the structure in those pieces ends up being faked. I'm trying to work in black and white right now so let's see how that goes.
@ Narrenzauber - I pretty much live outside my comfort zone
That's the price I pay for wanting to practice all things at once.
I could never get into traditional painting, largely because I don't like the hassle of all that physical preparation that isn't part of painting directly. I like the tablet because I can instantly start painting the second I'm in a good artsy mood, and stop the moment I'm tired. Plus, my apartment is tiny and if I start painting traditionally at my skill level, I'm worried about accumulating dozens of shoddy paintings I wouldn't know what to do with.
The pencil studies are about a year old, and I did get a bit bolder with shading since then. At the time, I was more timid with it because I tended to use shading as a crutch to avoid putting accurate lines down. I'm more confident about my lines now, so I'm also more confident about shading (though probably not enough).
I'm working on more studies as we speak, so stay tuned
Will do. Is it a problem if I use the tablet for some of these studies?
It's not a problem that you're using a tablet, but your painting technique needs more finetuning to get the best out of digital practice, and it appears like it's getting in the way a bit. You seem to make small strokes and not much wide bold ones, and there is not enough contrast in most of your paintings so the end result looks very bland.
@ nelchee Ah! lol thanks for actually answering the question. I was beginning to think it was just some unwritten rule on these forums.
Yes, I am working in grayscale now.
I do realize those first paintings I posted were very low quality, but I figured that's the best place to start a sketchbook to get a sense of progression. In retrospect that was a mistake, cause now I'm stuck with my absolute worst piece as a thumbnail
Thank you for the critiques as well; those were very useful.
A couple more attempts at greyscale. Tried to start with a more neutral background this time. The first took a few hours, and the second was technically a quickie at around 40 minutes. I'm way too slow with these.
Thanks Narrenzauber and Hunin! I wish I could turn these out faster, but I'm relatively happy with my progress so far.
Another small batch of clothed figures. I'm trying out a few different methods of expressing gesture.
And next is my attempt at creating some nightmare fuel
It isn't convincing enough to be effective yet, but for the sake of prudence: viewer discretion is advised if you are unsettled by spiders, clowns, or any unholy combination thereof.
Hey, mate. Not a bad start at all.
Your studies are showing a nice range of tones and you seem to have a good eye for copying what you see, that said, I'd love to see you take what you learn from a photo study and then apply it onto a picture from the top of your head, i.e you probably learnt a good deal about fur from the dog study, so try drawing animals and rendering the fur similarly, and trying to guess how the fur would be rendered if the colour/texture/lighting was different, then checking for reffs and seeing how wrong/right you were.
That said, your non reff pictures aren't looking bad, but just make the extra effort to ensure you're sucking up as much information from your studies as possible.
Anyways, keep up the good work, mate
The last two big grayscale value drawings are looking very good!
I got the same feeling as you though... I want to use my tablet all the time and sometimes it's hard to put it down to pick up a pencil.
JulieSS - Thanks a lot Yeah, it's no exaggeration to say the tablet is what allows me to join and participate in these forums. I already feel like I've improved a little as a result. Naidy - Wow, thank you so much This is not only great advice, but it's also the perfect set-up for my next post!
IntoTheVoid's practice studies combine Clothing! Value! Figures! Color! Heart! Together they form...
This was done with no reference, so I really hope the anatomy is passable.
I was thinking about Victorian and Chinese influences when constructing this. Not sure the sash on her waist is working; maybe I should make it a bit wider.
Right now I'm torn between a young or an old face
A big thank you for the feedback and encouragement everyone