Scott "Desktop" Wade's Sketchbook (scientist-turned-artist)
Greetings all. The name is Scott, I'm new to the forum and I've been told making a sketch book here is a good idea. I'm a 20 year old college student studying Art and the University of Washington. I got into the whole art thing pretty late. I wanted to be a doctor until just over a year ago and i wasn't really drawing before that. So I have a lot of catching up to do.
On the top of my (long) list of things to work on:
Female body structure
Finishing projects that aren't assignments
One of my older self portraits (done earlier this fall). Roughly 20"x20" square, vine charcoal, compressed charcoal, and black conte on paper. No white used. The assignment was to copy the compositional layout of a famous painting. I chose Ribera's San Paulo and matched to that.
This is my most recent self portrait, done earlier tonight because I felt that this post should contain some brand new material.
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These are my two successive drafts for Battle 5 of the Art Crusade (The topic was Dark abominations - battle at The Horrors). I made a new version after getting some critiques from people I know. In the end this is as far as I got and I neglected to turn in a final.
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I thought the CHOW topic 115 (Near future East African Gang Leader/Warlord) was pretty interesting. I never had any intent to turn one in unless something amazing popped into my head and I had a bunch of free time. Still, it was a good exercise as I can't think of any time I've ever drawn someone who isn't Caucasian (and that includes both invented and from life). Reference was very helpful.
I'm currently in a year-long computer animation course where we produce a 3D movie. As far as art is concerned it is HIGHLY monotonous. So when I got the opportunity to do some color work I took it. These storyboards are going to be used as reference so that someone else in the class can make an actual 3D effect for the movie. I'd never drawn explosions before so it was more about teaching myself as I went than anything.
I wasn't familiar with Plague Doctors until it came up in a conversation recently. But I found their costume design to be interesting enough that I really couldn't resist doing a sketch.
That's all for now. I'll scan some stuff later, but my primary sketchbook is sitting in the computer lab. Critiques are MORE than welcome, as are any recommendations on tutorials, techniques, or artists i should look at.
hey man, sounds like you've made a big switch in studies. It's cool though, im glad to hear your doing what you enjoy.
The first two look pretty awesome, i always had trouble with vine charcoal.
For your digital painting, try some life studies of objects, like fruit or vegetables. Bumskees painting thread (dont have a link, but should be easy to find) is very good for beginners. Try blending your values a little more, a softer brush or lower opacity may help, and maybe defining edges more. I always find portrait studies are good practice for that.
Thanks for the replies. I would have to agree that the swords in the art crusade piece are too bright. Ideally there was supposed to be a holy glow coming out of them, but i guess I went overboard on that because I agree, they look like misshapen lightsabers.
After i posted these i remembered that i had been drawing only with a hard round brush (no feathering, its the one that's first on the list in photoshop). I'll experiment with brushes more because that's causing some serious visual distraction in undesired areas. Thanks for the tips, more work is on the way.
good to see you started a sketchbook scott - its about goddamn time too haha.
anyways ya like has been said your traditional work trumps your digital and its just a matter of practice and knowledge of the programs. also what your looking for isn't feathering in the brush - just make a brush that your only controlling the opacity with pressure - not the size - and use that. I think you'll notice a difference. If that isn't your bag though just fool around with other options in the brushes - but definitely dont just use the default ones they have - im pretty sure none have any opacity change - so your gonna have to make your own brushes that dont suck (also on that same note avoid the smudge tool in PS)
also just as a note on composition for those dark abom pieces - I know theyre not finished but I remember you saying the skeletons are the dark aboms and are the focus - right now the swords competing heavily for them - i would dull that down and just make it a normal sword and use the red glowing piece from the skeleton as the only light source - would look pretty classy + keep the focus 100% on the skeletons - as in thats where your eyes always gonna go.
anyways i know your not gonna finish that but its just something to think about for the future.
edit: Oh and i like the explosion - i hadn't seen it before -- double edit: fuck i totally drew those cards -_-
Last edited by Soul Karl; May 18th, 2008 at 04:30 PM.
I check out bumskee's digital painting thread (http://www.conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=47859) as TLL and Pyroclasm00 recommended. I found it quite helpful. I wound up spending more time on this than was really necessary to learn the concepts (especially given that I have class tomorrow) but whatever. The rim light on the left side (which is actually cast from my monitor) was a bitch to work out and it still looks semi-artificial.
To SoulKarl: Yeah, actually I was using both opacity and size off of pressure sensitivity in all the stuff I posted first (except the self portrait, where I wanted to try working without it). Because of how shitty mah tablet is you probably couldn't tell though. Also, using a softer edge (which i mistakenly called 'feathering' eariler') i found to be key.
Hey man, welcome to CA!
Yeah, its definitely a good thing to have a sketchbook here, and your stuff looks pretty nice so far. I like the apple a lot. The light from your monitor is really a little off, though. Maybe there would be a little reflection from the table on the bottom of the apple. Additionally the apple would shine its red on the table as well (slightly). Maybe you wanna check that out.
Have fun and good luck!
nice apple btw but like pascallo said theres not enough red from the apple making its way on the table (it looks like you may have put some but its definitely not enough - also the dark under the apple is a little too black for my taste - try a dark blue or brown or some shit - the shadow just isn't looking nearly as up to par as the apple is
see ya in class
edit: oh and put a link to your sketchbook as your signature or some shit so i can get to this easier
Self portrait I did back at the beginning of this quarter of painting. Given that it was from observation and how I had to position my hands/arms/face it was pretty challenging. In the end I don't think it was worth doing a crazy pose because I was really only able to work at about 1/2 efficiency and had a limited amount of time to work on it. Still, it was a good exercise in visual memory.
Slight touch-ups using what I learned from doing the apple study. Too smooth for a face, it'd be interesting to start messing around with textures or brushes but I think a face might be a difficult place to start using those.
Arm studies I did tonight. Copies from Bridgeman which I'm trying to skin as I go. This was pretty fun, I think I'll work through this and other muscle groups in a similar way (gets me practice on multiple fronts).
In-class figure study from earlier this year. I strongly disliked the model. No matter what she always had this smug grin on her face. That used to bug me like crazy for no particular reason.
Mock up for my life-sized self portrait. It's done over a photo in order to get my hand in the position I wanted (because I was obviously holding a camera at eye level in the original photo and i didn't want that). Not really precise enough to base the monochromatic underpainting off of. it was more so that I could move things around and figure out the exact size of the frame so that I could make the stretcher exactly what I wanted. Attachment 384020Attachment 384021
WIP and the current level of completion. I wound up griding things off in PS so that I could get the shapes roughly correct (at the left). My room size prevents me from getting more than 4 feet away from the canvas so my skewed perspective is a big concern especially near the bottom of the canvas.
Decided to do another apple study. The shadow is still proving to be challenging. Challenging in that I have to force myself to actually spend time on it that is. It's actually the same apple as before. It's been rolling around on my floor for 2+ weeks so it's getting a little wrinkly and beaten up. That provided some interesting challenges as a lot of its shine and smoothness are gone now.
good stuff scott - i don't think ima touch on the trailer park shit for cale tho haha, theres too much to say and I think you prolly know most of it. Though I like how the light from the flame is actually darker than the base color of the ground and stuff haha - also on the truck that has that fatty cast shadow from the moon, the fire light would eat away at it - changing its darkness and its color, makes it a lot lighter - also light doesnt tend to end in a big circle, haha
but seriously i figure these were all rushed mistakes - but hey maybe those are mistakes you make early and have to fix later normally - so its a good indicator.
that first self portrait is a pretty decent likeness, and the reason you're having trouble making skin believable is because you don't have it see through at all. Skin, and im positive you know this, is fairly transparent and it gets a lot of its color from whats underneath our skin. Theres something called the ring of heat painters use, that starts at the top of the brow and ends at the upper lip, that should essentially just all be warm, so go ahead and make a new overlay layer on it and slap some warm red over that whole area, then lower the opacity on the layer till it looks just right. This is a great first step in making the skin look a lot more alive.
another thing you can do is with a softlight layer, grab a red and later a blue or green and kinda noodle around areas to give the effect of blood veins - on someone young its gonna be very very subtle, but having even the slightest bit of it is gonna make that face that much more realistic. If you want to use photos a really good trick for this is get a picture of a brain and up the contrast on it (by that i mean levels, not actually contrast bar - stay away from brightness and contrast for the most part as they eat pixels - same goes for hue and saturation for color changes, its an inferior tool for it than variations.) then with that brain use it as an overlay or softlight and just lower the opacity. I'll explain more about photos later in person i guess =/ cuz theres some stuff to know about using em.
those plyers are bomb btw, you should make 2 brushes though real quick for when you're doing a hard almost mech surface like that again - take the default brush and completely flatten it with that circle htat has the two dots? its like brush tip shape or something - make a horizontal and a vertical one
pressure size, pressure opacity, pressure fill, smooth, should all be on
this is a pretty solid sketching brush and is especially good for anything with a lot of planes, you can really knock them all out in a hurry, give it a shot i think that thing would look a lot classier the way it is if those big swatches of colors were thrown down as squares - or hell if you can make a textured brush even better
oh and i just wat you read about only opacity - thats not a good idea haha - it mimics nothing natural. Also opacity is retarded to change, fill is the way to go - so turn both on and size pressure as well. Though I know your tablet is kinda a piece of shit, so that may be your reasoning, but using only those is kinda dumb, also if oyu dont want MUCH size jitter, fuck with minimum diamater, and then it wont vary as much, but it keeps your strokes alive.
anyways hope this helps dude - thanks for the comments btw
One thing I've learned is that if the base proportions, lines, and angles aren't relating to each other, no amount of rendering is going to help. Make sure those are all correct before you add value or color, it'll save you hours of rendering with the end product not being what you want.
OK, wow. Like 4 months since last update. Better make this one count then!
First off I've got a series of quick self-portrait studies I did of myself. It was one of those situations where I could choose what I wanted to work on for that weekends projects. And I always just learn more from doing things quickly and repeatedly. So I did a few quick 2-tone ink studies changing the light around. Because of ink being what it is, I sort of had to map it out in pencil, otherwise it tended to get away from me (as was the case with #2, which had a large shadow on the forehead I photoshopped out rather than do the white-out on the original).
Next up was what I was working on for the final of the same class as above. I just chose a scene from the Iliad I liked. Trouble was I wound up re-drawing the figures in my sketchbook so many times the poses lost pretty much all their energy. They got more anatomically correct each time, but stiffer with each pass. So the gestures from the beginning are better, but it was a good chance to study some musculature nonetheless. Attachment 537013
Read a brief for one of the CHOW (past few weeks). Something about a victorian automaton that had a "full range of emotion". I thought it was interesting. I just sort of imagined a bunch of sliding plates with a rubber skin over top. I wasn't in it for the long haul so I never submitted anything (as usual), but I thought the idea I had was interesting at least. Had to bust out the old facial expressions notes to figure out how few plates I thought I could get away with. Attachment 537019
There comes a time in your life when you ask yourself, "Do I need to do a portrait of Carl Weathers?" I decided that I did. I normally wouldn't work from images (a still from Predator in this case), but I'm just too damn weak with color. I figure it's better than avoiding color and what the hell, it's just for my learning purposes anyways, right? Attachment 537016
Last, I looked at the daily sketchgroup thread, which I had never done before. I'll probably be back there over winter break. I like the idea of doing one-day projects. I tend to lose steam on anything longer I've noticed. Anyhow the prompt was just "CYBER-PRINCE HAS MECHANICAL LOBES ON EITHER SIDE OF FACE." I don't have a large male reference folder yet, so Bear Grylls wound up being the meat of it...and honestly I'm OK with that. Also, I liked the idea of implants along the lines of the portal gun; very smooth and refined. So that strayed off topic by the end, but I say if Bear Grylls could shoot portals from his eye he'd be a cyber prince simply by default. Attachment 537021
This one was interesting, mostly because there's a huge gamut of skin colors in the original. The guy on the ground has a lot more blood in the skin of his upper body than Chuck Liddell would standing up. Things started to get a bit muddy and lost though, something I'll have to keep an eye on in the future.
Soul Karl (Dan) noted to me in person that my sketchbook only contains dudes...Lots of buff dudes; whereas his contains a huge percentage of naked women. That having been said more studies of women are coming.
First was actually a result of a failed painting of a different woman (not posted). I had spent so much time trying to get the colors right and fiddling with rendering that after hours it still looked like garbage and had a bunch of color problems even with working from a photo. So I thought, "what the hell, let's just get rid of the rendering problem and see what happens!" So I just worked only with the lasso tool and the paint bucket. Attachment 539342
In any case I was able to work significantly faster than before. The effect is kind of weird, because the shapes around the eyes, etc. are really small and very precise. Overly precise compared to the rest of the body in fact. So there's a weird focus to it. In any case this seems like a good way to get colors blocked out. I'll have to try and see how rendering from something like this works.
Finally I have my Daily Sketch Group 1435. A.k.a. "Depressed Robot". I found the topic interesting, but the morbid is more my forte. Also doing something gray scale and highly polygonal was a wonderful break. I'm pretty happy with it. Attachment 539343
Thanks CTHULU, no it's not finished. I've been participating in Daily Sketch Group threads (http://www.conceptart.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=39) and they're pretty fun. Definitely one of the more low-key areas here and seems mostly to be populated by beginners. Which is nice. In that past I've tried my hand at some of the "(blank) of the week" things but in the end I've never turned anything in because there's so much talent getting thrown around and I'm just struggling to finish usually.
But yeah I liked that one and i think it'd definitely be one to finish. There's some perspective problems on the arm and it'd be pretty boss in color with blue factory lighting and a bright orange light from the muzzle flash.
And to give some more substance to this post, this was my DSG entry for "SCARY ROBOT "VAMPIRE" SAPS ORGANISMS' BLOOD FOR BIO-FUEL": Attachment 543586
I liked the robot arm better but was reasonably pleased with this one too.
Time for a big(ish) update. I've had way more time on my hands than I expected over break. And while I would have certainly liked to have gotten more done there's only so much you can do I guess.
On the plus side the new Wacom Tablet (6x11) is treating me well. Though honestly the largest difference between it and my old $50 tablet is pen ergonomics (which half of this update was drawn with anyways). But If I can't draw more than a few hours a day without my hand cramping up then I have a problem.
First is the DSG 1438: "TINDER-MAN, GUNJUGGLER, & THE EGGBABY... BEST OF ROBOT PALS". I only really had ideas for the first two...and I'd just watched Wall-E so you can see a lot of that in there. Attachment 554263
I thought the idea of a robot with a fireplace inside was fairly amusing. Needs arms and legs or...something. Because it just looks like a flaming coke machine with eyes (and yeah, coke machine reference btw). Attachment 554264Attachment 554265
Then the DSG 1439: "CTHULHU STANDS IN FOR SANTA CLAUS". I thought it was a pretty sweet topic. The lighting situation of moon/interior of a house was just too good to pass up. I did the old trick of making a greyscale then using overlay layers on top for colors. I find it a lot faster but I'm never as pleased with the result. Attachment 554266
Then here's one for SoulKarl. Just because I wanted too and he was right, I don't draw enough women. Attachment 554267
That's all for now. There've been other doodles and shorter sketches over the last week or two. But nothing work putting up. I will say that I (as always) need to do more figure invention. That's still a major stumbling block.
Damn, so it's been like...a year since I put anything in here. Well, let's get to it; oldest stuff first.
One of the better oil paintings I got done during my second-to-last quarter of painting. I think the time on this one was 3 sessions (so 9 hours minus setup and cleanup). That's why the background is so blah and it has a paint-by-numbers vibe.
Color study for my final painting (self portait). Unfortunately this came out better color-wise than the final. So while the final has better measurements as a whole I think it was weaker. Haven't touched a paintbrush since graduation. I've got something in the works now though.
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Part of the redesign of the Shogun novel I had been working on (currently on the back burner). This got posted over on SatelliteSoda, but not here. Started a new piece to re-pose and rework the proportions and costuming. Looks a lot better already. And using only the lasso tool here gave some interesting results.
Another character from the Shogun novel. Here I was trying to mix modern body armor with traditional japanese clothing and then work with the color scheme.
Something still in the works for a deadspace-style survival horror character. Old firefighting equipment is ridiculous, google it some time.
Making forays into the realm of environments more and more. Still rough, but still being worked on. Trying a new idea where a small piece of the environment is from a photo and working out.
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Needed to do something observational while I was at home for Thanksgiving, as I was struggling with other stuff. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you are forced to draw lace I recommend trying to avoid it. It's a nightmare