Sketchbook: Diary of a Noob

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Thread: Diary of a Noob

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    Diary of a Noob

    Im improving, honest! Check out the latest pages!

    Ok..so maybe journal would have been a more manly choice for the title, but its much less photogenic! Anyway...I wasn't quite sure how to start this whole sketchbook thing, so I took some of the sketches I've been making while studying a series of anatomy DVDs (still not quite finished.)

    Anyway, a little background about myself...I'm 25, and I only really got interested in art at about 18. I sketched on and off since then, but at some point in the last year or two, I picked up a pencil and never put it down. I liked it so much I managed to squeeze in art as my minor at the university I'm attending. Unfortunately though, I only seem to get one class per semester..and that just isn't enough!

    SO, Anyway, Here are some of my sketches..I'm trying my hardest to learn anatomy and digital painting..but I'm particularly weak with the digital paint side of things.

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    OK! I felt my digital painting skills were lacking...so, after reading up on some lighting tips, and painting tips..(and raiding the fruit bowl) I started painting on this little number.

    This was way harder then I thought it would be. First of all...I tried to erase the smudge tool from my brain..Only used it once, to join some accidental shadow separations. I am WAY to reliant on that thing.

    My main issue though was telling where the shadows were. This is inside, using your standard house lighting, right next to my computer's screen, on a wood bench.

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    Hey Nedesican,

    Glad to see someone's on the same boat I am! Didn't start drawing till I was 17 or so and this year I've finally take a massive head start to become good at it. Good studies on the skeleton and the apple look's good except it lacks a bit of light and sharpness.

    I would suggest you get into a routine of drawing. Draw when ever you get free time or draw 1hour every night or whenever you find time for it and slowly start to increase the time you put into it. When you get frustrated, laugh at the frustration and go through it because that's when you are making progress. To get motivation I suggest you'd listen to Bobby Chiu's podcasts at www.youtube.com/digitalbobert.

    Also start drawing from life as much as possible and get some god anatomy book.

    Hope this helps! Great start by the way!

    "Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway."
    -Anonymous

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    That does help! And I will certainly give that podcast a try. As for a "routine" I have to ask what it is you draw for your routine. Honestly..whenever my boss isn't looking at work, I find myself scribbling on napkins. At home its paintchat..but in the end, Its usually some random character portrait.

    And thanks for the compliment! Those sketches come from studying the anatomy dvds put out by alienthink.com (I recommend them!)

    Ohh! A last note...regarding the sharpness of the apple. I wanted to put those little spots on it, and it occurred to me to use a Gaussian blur to make them look like part of the apple...but in the end it dulled the picture. any way around that?

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    I take up on subjects in the anatomy to draw on routine, like the skull for example. I suggest you put really time on learning one thing at the time and then move on when you get really good at it. Not saying you should only draw skulls or what not all day long but to really put emphasis on one thing. It was hard for me to figure what to draw at first and I'd just scribble away random heads. Now I'm trying to observe from life as much as possible if I don't get any other idea. Study and you will get richer with the knowledge and it will help you when you are drawing.

    I also checked out those alienthink.com dvd's way back but found them a bit stiff. Look up Glenn Vilppu at google. He has amazing DVD's of his lectures and wil teach you much much more than the alienthink dvd's.


    Put the lighting "glares" on a new layer and then use gaussian blur or use softer brush to get the result. I suggest you look up some photoshop tutorials around here to learn the basics with photoshop or google some it will get you started.

    Hope this helps

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    Ok, because I wanted to keep this partially regular (or at least ATTEMPT it, anyway...90% of my sketches I look at and bury) Ill post something from my pocket sketchbook I just finished.

    Per advice, I looked into Vilppu's work..and while i haven't gone very far down into the drawing manual yet, I made a few gesture drawings. Or what I THINK are gesture drawings, lol. I got a tad anal and put some details in. These poses came from a PDF that imagineFX put out, and rather then do any persnickety anatomy stuff, I just tried to make some large, amorphous circles as close to the shape in the picture as I could..and went from there.

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    I had my smaller sketchbook with me (the one I abuse the most, lol) for that last gesture drawing and...what the hell...I scanned in a few of my personal favorites from it. My scanning technique is still suck..but, here you go!

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    Ok, I didn't actually do this one TODAY..it was a final for last semester's art class. BUT, since this is studies and all, I thought it would be a good idea to pop it in here. This is a cropping of one Floyd "Money" Mayweather's arm.

    As a sidenote...I notice a lot of people have a very professional look to their shading..like it was crosshatched over a smudged base..or something. I need to look into how to do that. With THIS picture though..well...I used most of a 2B pencil (the original is WAY beyond scanner size..had to webcam pic it) and just scrubbed that paper like I was trying to get out that damned spot!

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    I'd recommend more gestures and poses from real life. Books and some one else's pre-digested pics can only take you so far (but are really freaking helpful too!)

    Practise will help you become confident and looser with your poses, which are currently very stiff.

    Good luck!

    *Tres Cute Sketch Group*
    ---no added monosodiumglutamate!!!---

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    Hey man,
    I see you are tryin hard and that is key.
    I agree with The Sharpness of the apple,
    and I have no real advice to give but keep trying hard and scan through other people's sketch books and see how they are improving, keep up the anatomy!
    and Stop by my sketchbook sometime and drop a line
    its in my sig.

    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=115768
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    Phew..Ok, I'm about 14 minutes late for this to be a DAILY update...but I did a few gesture drawings. Or my interpretation of them anyway, lol. This was done by using the posemaniacs site. Basically I was shown a pose at an angle completely from random..for about 90 seconds.

    I'm still not entirely sure what I'm supposed to be picking up here. "Flow" I guess. I know I have to pay attention to the curves a lot. I wonder how it is I apply this to an image..

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    OK! So..I was gone for about 3 days to an anime convention. Yes..I know..anime ist verboten (or however you spell it) but I like it. ANYWAY...since I had no computer, my nights had muuuuuch more room for drawing, and as such, I did some loomis studies, as well as a picture I'm quite happy with.

    I wasn't paying attention to anatomy so much as I was experimenting with gesture drawings...and thats how the pose came about.

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    Keep the work ethic up! You got some good stuff coming!

    "Good composition is sort of like pornography. You know it when you see it. "


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    Haha, sure will, thanks! So now the battle begins...ADD Vs. ART!

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    Keep working at it and you'll get better in no time.

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    OK! I've been hitting the anatomical studies some more (via Loomis) and came up with the front, side, and back views of the legs musculature. In the front..Ill admit it looks a bit stumpy. What can I say..I was eyeballing it. In the back and side, however, I whipped out a ruler for the largest proportions (not the muscles, lol).

    I will say that I seem to to be learning more about these studies from the times that I'm defining the shape of the muscles with the angular shading, rather then making the outlines of the muscles. Is that weird? Anyway, I quite enjoyed drawing from the back..but from the side, since I didn't have the landmarks like the top of the hip to work with, I had a much harder time of it.

    Lastly...more of a conceptual study here. I've always felt the nose of any given character is something of a signature to an artists style. And...anime nut that I am..I'm searching for a good abbreviation of the nose that represents it well, but presents it in a very graceful, as few lines as possible approach.

    OH! as a last note...I discovered a new method for processing sketches in my last post, that I didn't really mention. I KNEW there had to be a process I wasn't using!

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    OK! This update is more of a work in progress. I got a book on anatomy, and it has more then a couple really nice pictures..so I attempted this portrait, trying not to use smudging. (as I rely on it too much). If it doesn't look like the reference photo, its for three reasons:

    1. This sketchbook is titled "Diary of a Noob"

    2. I thought I would post this before I put hair on him..as hair is my weakest area.

    3. (and most important) Rather then just copy down contours for the outline of the head and placement of the eyes, I tried to apply it to my knowledge of the skull.

    Comments are welcome ^^

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    Ok, good - I'll pick up on the last post there. Good to see that you are working on "realism", as, as I mentioned on another thread, doing anime is of little or no use in improving drawing skills (I am not anti-anime as an artform - but, if you are a beginner as an artist, doing it "teaches" attitudes and approaches which are bad habits, and will severely hinder you, when it comes to drawing or painting just about anything else).

    Several points, in no particular order..

    If you use hatched shading, make the scale of it considerably smaller than the feature-size - otherwise it reads as edges, rather than shading.

    Check your overall proportions - the cranial vault looks a little low to me, the eyes a touch too high on the head in consequence, the mid-face a little long, and the lips and chin a little short. In general, in young adults, eyes are about halfway on the vertical of the head from crown to chin, and hairline to brows, brows to bottom of nose, and bottom of nose to chin about 1/3 each. There is some slight variation from this of course, but the model hits those proportions pretty exactly (I realise you are working more on "anatomically plausible" than on "exact likeness").

    Hair's no different from anything else - treat it as masses, don't think of it as individual strands. Squint at your ref, and pay attention to the big shapes, not the details.

    Check out James Gurney's 2-part advice on doing hair here:
    http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/20...tring-mop.html
    and
    http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/20...on-secret.html

    As general info on portraits, read this article about David Kassan's approach:
    http://www.myamericanartist.com/2007...jon-kassa.html

    One technique you might like to try is to use black and white chalk/conte on a mid-tone paper - so that you are drawing by putting in the darks and the lights.

    Keep going, lets see more.

    Dave

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    Wow, thanks! To be honest, with the hatching..I wasn't exactly sure how to accomplish the medium tone of the skin, which is why it looks like his skin is made of pinstripes. Originally, I had put down the major shades in those smaller hatched areas, but then realized that I would need to establish a mid tone SOMEHOW so that the highlights would show.

    In truth though..I've never been really happy with my shading attempts. I mean..I can get good effect out of smudging if I really put my back into it..but the professional crosshatching effects I see so frequenly in these sketchbooks seem to evade me.

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    Just a small update today as I mull over weather or not to make those suggested changes to my realism picture..Honestly, Reworking traditional media makes me hurt inside. The eraser dust! THE ERASER DUST!!!

    ...AAaaaannnyway..Here are some random heads, via the head tutorial in the forums here..Meaning I just drew some random shapes and filled them in with details. I dunno...I think I have a thing for noses or something..

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  23. #21
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    Since the stuff in my last post was more creative then pretty....I did a bunch of profiles. I still need to work on my girls in profile. They just don't strike me as girly enough!

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    I decided I wanted to take one of my pictures I posted as a sketch earlier as an actual picture, so I thought I would post the lineart I just finished. I don't know though..I always feel unsatisfied with my lineart...like I could make it more...crisp somehow. more cool.

    Oh, and this was done using SAI (as my painter X is having a wierd problem..I cant paint on the NON canvas layers!)

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    ok, something of a HALF post today, as (as per usual) My brain is scattered in a billion different places. Taking some of the comments from before into play, I raised the cranial cap of the profile up a little bit (surprisingly easy with photoshop) and thought..HEY, Ill paint this! 3 hours later...I realize that maybe it would have come in handy to have a full color photo rather then a black and white. ANYWAY..this is what I have so far.

    Its worse without the lines ;.;

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    Warning! Drinking lots of beer can impair your senses. Please do so before you view my sketchbook!
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...17#post1821417
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  26. #24
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    I was sniffing through some sketchbooks and I was inspired to go through the vilppu (spelling?) drawing manual some more. To that end...here is a bunch of cubes, jello bricks, and block forms!

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    Warning! Drinking lots of beer can impair your senses. Please do so before you view my sketchbook!
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...17#post1821417
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  27. #25
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    Another update..yay! Lately I've been doing a lot of "Draw this piece" work..so I thought It would be nice to do a whole person, using some of this "Knowlege" ive amassed. SO...I ended up spending about an hour or so in my anatomy referance book. That little muscle area under the arm fascinates me..I need to figure out EXACTLY how to draw it.

    I know it relates to the ribcage..just not exactly HOW.

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    OK! Since I'm going to be working on a bit of a side project for the next 10ish days (girlfriends B-day, gotta make a present!), I decided to make a more advanced study, to make up for the lost time. It took about 2 days of off and on work, and I tried a new technique for the overall drawing method and the sketching.

    I found this awesome picture of a skull in my new reference book. Let me know what you think!

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    Last edited by Nadesican; July 21st, 2008 at 12:19 AM.
    Warning! Drinking lots of beer can impair your senses. Please do so before you view my sketchbook!
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...17#post1821417
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  29. #27
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    Couldn't resist, so I did another study. I need to work on hands and overall composition...and memorizing the muscles better..

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    Warning! Drinking lots of beer can impair your senses. Please do so before you view my sketchbook!
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...17#post1821417
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    Nice start, love the drawing of the face.

    Keep at it.


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    nice skull and muscle studies
    and despite the studies, the body in #25 has very basic anatomy problems. take a look at a human. the body isn't straight, the neck is tilted, the legs have a curve... it's so nostalgic, my first side view human bodies had the same problems. it's so mystical, we are humans living among humans, but it doesn't mean we know how humans look like...
    and in your picture the lower leg is too thick, thicker than the thigh.

    the last drawing is very strange too. the arms are too wide, the thighs and the torso are too narrow. the six-pack isn't quite right and there shouldn't be such a huge gap below. but the upper part (head, neck and shoulders) are at a totally different level, this part is far better (I really like his face. nonrealistic style, but I have no problems with it ). well, the clavicles has a gap between them...

    keep studying, you seems to be serious and have patience for those studies and you seemingly has knowledge about the main muscles, you will probably improving quickly if you get rid of the flaws I mentioned. use some references for the bodies, draw using a model, look at the mirror or to your own studies, your copywork is good... it's strange, you do the much easier parts wrong... it couldn't be intentionally like that, poor figure... you're learning anatomy now and anyway, bending the rules and distort a creature's anatomy has rules too...

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    DreamstateIvory: Thanks! I will!
    ShiNIN: Wow, thanks for the review. For that side view..A little of that is poor planning. If I had enough room on the paper to draw the whole skeleton, I probably could have straightened it out.

    I'm picking up my anatomy from a variety of sources, but I have almost 0 chance to do life drawings on anyone other then myself in my situation, so I'm drawing from referance and models..which all seem somewhat super-heroic. I'm sure a while spent on google will find reference I need though!

    As for that upper part..well, its obvious I draw a lot of heads, huh? When I'm bored, 90% of the time I'll just randomly come up with a face. The neck and shoulder muscles are from casual observation (i'm a cashier, so I see a lot of faces) and from Loomis's drawings.

    In truth, i'm not trying to distort anything..I'd like accurate muscles and anatomy before I start busting into character work, but I find that as I learn more muscles I forget more of the skeleton formation and alignment!

    Warning! Drinking lots of beer can impair your senses. Please do so before you view my sketchbook!
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...17#post1821417
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