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  1. #1
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    Back to the Bones

    Well, so I'm here. I've been a registered member for about a year now, and growing more and more and even more intimidated by all you crazy-good artists out there...and finally have started to work up the nerve to do something about it. I have a working gallery here http://cyan-liblikas.deviantart.com but not much otherwise in the way of inspiration, encouragement, or downright motivation to get to work, so, I've read a couple of these very inspirational sketch threads and thought I'd start my own.

    First off, a little bit about me. I took private art lessons for about 9 years while I was growing up, learned very basic basics and worked mostly in copying my teacher's pastel paintings. I'm very good at copying anything in pastels. Problem is, I've never learned to draw anything on my own and my copied paintings have no spark of real life, MY art, to them, so I've been at a bit of loose ends for the last couple of years and have let my art slide. But not anymore. I've armed myself with a Wacom, CS3 and Painter X, a huge pad of newsprint and my favorite charcoal pencil. And a few printed Loomis books, which I'm currently beating my head over trying to study right now.

    I am a rampant perfectionist, which I'm sure most of you can identify with, so I aim to cure that fear of imperfection on paper by posting my roughs, my journeywork, my "finished" work that I still find sketchy. I think I have some finely honed instincts going for me, but I'm just now learning the REAL skills it takes to be an artist.

    Oh, and fascinating fact #21: I'm a science fiction writer. I'm not sure if that is relevant to the conversation, but it does make things a bit difficult when I have to divide my time and creative energy between hours of eye-numbing writing and eye-numbing painting. I love them both. But I am making a valiant effort to love them both equally!

    So, without further ado, here is the sketchbook of one Holly Heisey, aka seili, artist-in-training extraordinaire.

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    Last edited by seili; July 16th, 2011 at 01:02 AM.
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  3. #2
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    Welcome to the sketchbook adventure. Where's the art?

    Where did you get your printed Loomis books?

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  4. #3
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    And to start off with some basics. These I've done over the past couple of months, I'll try and post them in order they were done.

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    Hi Leonor, thanks for the welcome! Well, there's some art. My Loomis books I can't stand to read onscreen, so I just ended up printing (horrible) copies myself. I really wish they'd reprint them as real books!

    And here's some more sketches, again, in order:

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  6. #5
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    My (not so successful) attempts at the last CGSociety Challenge. I first wanted to do Noah's ark, then the perspective construction and sheer weight of all those robotic animals scared me! Then I tried for Sleeping Beauty, but found I don't really know how to draw people. Kind of posed a problem, there...ah well, I learned a lot and it was fun!

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  7. #6
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    Nice start! The last image posted reminds me of a van gough. I would like to see you take some of these paintings further.

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  8. #7
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    And some more sketches. Experiments in all shapes and forms...

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    Hammed--thanks! I would love to take some of these further too...I'm just waiting for the skills to catch up.

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  10. #9
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    And some of my most recently latest. These, I'd marginally call finished paintings, though because they're not real refined and didn't take huge amounts of time, they're probably still sketches...what do you think? These, at least, I'm a bit more proud of!

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    mmm I love your use of colour, so pretty~
    I like the crayon/pencil effect you have in some your paintings? It looks good C: The first painting is your latest post is cute, looks like it could belong to a childrens book, I like it

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    Thanks, Bellachime! I love vivid colors.

    Hmm, it still shows that I'm a pastel artist, doesn't it? Not that that's a bad thing, I love Painter's charcoal pencil and chalk brush. Yeah, the first painting in this latest was an idea for a children's book, but just an idea. I don't have any relative clue for a story other than what's there! May someday it will develop into something else.

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    I really wish they'd reprint them as real books!
    Me too. Why isn't it happening? The demand for them is humongous! It would sell like... Things that sell a lot. (Couldn't think of an analogy )

    The comic with the dog is my favourite. I like the Noah's ark concept with the balloons too.

    Looking forward to see where your studies take you.

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    Loomis books would sell like hotcakes! I know I'd have them all pre-ordered months before they came out. Ah well.

    Thanks Leonor for the compliments and cheering on! I do like the Noah's Ark too. Maybe when I have a better handle on perspective I'll get to making something more of that.

    As for sketches for today...a lot of Loomis studies, and a few of my own studies/designs/sketches. I tried to make a page of capital ship designs, inspired by the awesome tutorial in the 2dArtist magazine, but was astounded at how hard it was to design a ship that didn't closely resemble something already done in Star Trek, Star Wars, or Battlestar Galactica! I will keep trying, though, and I'm sure all this perspective training will really help! Already I'm seeing all this perspective study paying off in how I view my work.

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    Now that's being serious about wanting to learn perspective. Where are you learning it from? I must get to it one day.

    Neat studies, both the personal ones (spaceship especially) and the Loomis.

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    I'm learning my perspective from Loomis' Successful Drawing, which has about 50 pages dedicated to the subject. It can be a bit confusing, though, and I almost have to sit there and puzzle out exactly what he meant between his words and his pictures, but once I get it, it's great! Yeah, I got tired of not being able to lay out anything other than basic flat one-point, and I could never figure out before where to lay my VPs if I was attempting 2-point. I'm planning on reading the perspective section, along with the sections on light and shading, then going through and rereading reworking the exercises. Loomis is so dense with information, and I really want to get this stuff!

    Thanks on the spaceships - I hope to have more perspectivey sketches on them next time!

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  18. #16
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    Okay, so it's been Easter and I took a break. Sort of. I have some sketchy stuff and odd tidbits, but nothing quite finished. I think right now I want to give myself the freedom to go off and experiment and do crazy things with my art without having to have the pressure of producing a solidly polished piece yet. Perhaps that will come later...but I think I can afford a few months of experimenting fun! (That's how we learn, is it not?)

    For today, I'm posting two images that I've already posted in the Critique center, but have since decided are yet, still, sketches or at least speedpaints. Ah well. I still like them (I'm particularly attached to the first one, Midnight on Haversham Run, as it was my first digital paint to reach any stage of relative completion) and just wanted to keep them in my running tally of images here to gauge my progress. I'd like to look back on this thread in a year and say, Oo, look how far I've come!

    I've posted my perspective/scale overpaint of the second image, too, because it really was amazing to try out all this Loomis perspective and figure scaling I've been learning on an actual piece (and not so easy the first time in Photoshop). Practice practice practice!

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  19. #17
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    My latest speedpaint, finished in about 4 hours in CS3. I've been starting in values and just building up shape and form with custom brushes, then only focusing on color and spot lighting later. It seems to simplify the process. Anyhow, I had fun! I really like how this one turned out. Painting in the lighting was the best part, then to watch it all come together.

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  20. #18
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    there you go! I see you made great progress with your last piece

    thumbs up!

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  22. #19
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    Thank you, Obstbrand! Yes, progress is a very good thing! Thanks for the encouragement!

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    More Loomis studies...I'm starting to get more excited about drawing figures as I'm finding I'm getting just a little bit better! Next: muscle structures!

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    2 ship concepts in charcoal on newsprint.

    Not sure why I named the first a void ship (I later looked it up and found out I probably got the term from Doctor Who, though what I'm intending is entirely different here, and no copying intended!). I just imagine that little ship being able to sleek long distances through void space, with some type of cloak-like camo inherent in its design that makes it seem to come out of nowhere. It's about the size of a shuttle at most. Actual size is shown to scale at bottom right of the cruiser.

    The cruiser I imagine to be a ship that initially had both beautiful and functional lines in its various parts, but through necessity, other sections had to be added later, as its old drive (the center coils called vents) had to be replaced with the more newer engine configuration, which would be the big mass of bulk encompassing the bottom half.

    Anyhow, just having fun sketching out ships! Plus, I had to finish that page of newsprint so I could get on to more Loomis!

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    Seili's Sketch Thread: A "real" WIP, fantasy steampunk, and a quick enviro

    I haven't been uploading much lately, mostly because I've been busy working on revisions for my second novel, doing Loomis until my eyes want to fall out, reading (and getting massively inspired) by John Howe's Fantasy Art Workshop - GET IT!!! - and working tentatively on my current REAL and bona fide WIP. Yes, it's real. I finally got up the courage, and maybe skillset knowledge, to attempt something more than a random sketch. It's going.......interestingly enough. You can see my progress so far below, and believe me, any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    My WIP: A portrait of Brenin, a character from my novels, here in his early twenties when he has just been crowned head of an intersellar empire. The scene is on a palace balcony overlooking the capital...except I can't seem to make a city appear out of that cloudy fog without detracting from the character. Hmm. I'm also dreading face and hands detailing work. The character is, by the way, most definitely drawn from reference!

    Sir Molokoi's Swift Rider: A charcoal sketch on big newsprint where I just let my arm sweep and pencils roam. A great way to unwind and get that creativity flowing! Anyhow, I think it's a piraty-type skyship from a medieval steampunk magicy era. Oh, and it has wings.

    Enviro sketch: Alone: A very sketchy attempt to capture a scene mood I had in my head. What if you went to a well-known transportation hub, usually teeming with people, but suddenly found one day you were all...alone?

    By the way, how do I get one of those thumbs to show up for my thread? I've been trying for ages to put little pics at the end of my attachments, but none of them seem to catch.

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    Last edited by seili; May 29th, 2009 at 06:21 PM.
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  26. #23
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    Updates updates updates!

    I've been playing around with clouds and nebulas and ships...

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    Also been doing some environment doodles and such. Yes, on the desert one, I do love Dune.

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    Lately, I don't know if this is artistic inspiration or some latent form of detail-itis rebellion (my brain might be Loomised-out for the moment), I've been wanting to sketch only in Painter and only with the Artist Oils dry brush. Go figure. But hey, it's so much fun! The beauty of that particular brush is there's no size variance, it only does a clean stroke for about a screen centimeter, and it blends as it goes. VERY fun to play with and perfect for rapid spontaneous idea generation! (and no detail-itis!)

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    Quick charcoal sketch on newsprint, and an update on my WIP. I HATE doing faces...and for some reason I can't fathom, it's harder to do them in Painter.

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    New Stuff - Post Discovery :)

    Finally posting new work! It's been awhile. Learned a lot in Discovery (actually, it rocked my world!) and now I'm getting back into making studies again.

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    ...and more. I printed out a ton of reference poses and have been trying to catch the gesture without going into detail. And trying to see the whole figure at once and convey the energy of the pose...some are successful...

    These are in the order of when I did them. I think I'm improving! The last is with a charcoal stick - very interesting how you can simplify so much easier with broader strokes.

    Sorry for the nasty quality. I like to sketch on a huge newsprint pad, which doesn't lend well to scanning.

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  32. #29
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    After loooong neglect, I can finally come back to my sketch thread! I've been doing a lot of small time freelance work, and I've learned a TON, but now I'm hitting the books again to hone my much-needed skills. Yep, they really need honed...

    Ink study of Frank Frazetta's Lord of the Jungle - about 100 hours start to finish. I can now wield a Speedball nib pen like a sword.

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    Wonderful sketch book!
    I can really see that you're improving. Keep up the good work.

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