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My name's Cam Sykes. My main interests are Art and Skateboarding. I'm studying to become a professional Artist/Illustrator.
So I've decided to start a new sketchbook with a solid plan. After reviewing my old sketchbook, I didn't feel like I was making much progress considering the time I was putting in. I will be updating everyday, although I might miss a day when I'm tired and would rather sleep than update
I've pretty much finished my illustration course so I have heaps of time to focus on personal projects and studies. I've taken the time to work out a 7-day a week progress schedule to keep me on track. I've tried to balance it so it includes both imagination and reference drawing and painting.
The plan has a focus on Character design so I've got 2 days of characters backed up by portrait and anatomy day, then my extra life drawing classes and outdoor scribble sessions. Should be heaps of fun.
These tasks are the main commitments of those days but I will also want to be getting outdoors and doing sketchbook stuff and public scribbles. I don't want to go too crazy y'know
Posting a bit late because the froums were down when I went to post.
Ok so I didn't do much on sunday, just a quick self portrait. Was just planning more stuff and collecting reference.
So yesterday was character day. The focus was muscular males becasue I was thinking about Frankenstein as the character.
Anyway here it is, it's mostly crap but it's a step towards something better I hope. My day was taken up by other things like life drawing
so I didn't get time to colour anything but hey I still learnt heaps.
Today is environment day so gonna get to work on those now.
here's a franksenstein I'd drawn earlier in the week which I plan to finish and render on sunday.
I was really happy with the pose, while I felt my other frankensteins were exploration to see what works and what doesn't.
I've found that prethought about a character's background, motives and attitude will save alot of time and frustration.
here's some experiments I made at life drawing. They loo junk but doesn't hurt to try different approaches.
I was looking at the conceptart atelier study schedule so I could get some ideas about how to aid my own studies.
I think I will include more orthographic process into my work.
Nutter: Thanks alot man good to know you're keeping an eye on me it keeps me in check.
Ok So Enviro day stuff. the theme was snowy/ice enviros in relation to this weeks EOW topic, Iceworld Prison.
Also did a pencil photo study, and made progress on my skateshoe life study.
I want to paint more and finish enviro but my back is hurting which is usually the cue to save myself for the next day. Will probably finish the enviro on sunday because I like where it's going.
The enviro stuff is really good for my learning because it forces me to use perspective, which has kind of escaped my mind from not using it enough.
Edit: Mishkin did an awesome paintover of the snowprison in the EOW section that made me realise how weird I'd made the perspective.
Last edited by Cam Sykes; November 8th, 2009 at 05:09 AM.
For portrait day I chose asian females as my focus.
Ok so as you may notice I didn't fill my quota entirely. Mainly becaseu I was spending a good amount of time on each head. I wanted to do as Jason Manley suggested and only spend 2 minutes on each but I guess Ilike to take my time. I figure I will get faster with time and repetition so I'm just gonna do as many as I can for now. I learnt heaps.
Fcous was coninuing on from monday so I did some muscalr male type figures. And chose legs as the focus area. didn't get as much as I'd like to have gotten done but I learnt heaps. I really gotta speed up to meet my quota.
So Today I decided to reapproach a charater design for one of my school projects. And attempted a cell shaded style which I don't ever do.
the character is the main character in a children's book, an astronaut.
and started another portrait study... gotta finish em soon.
bad_painter: Thanks man. Yeah I'm avoiding burning out by doing other things in between the activities like skating. But I guess the problem that can occur with this is I don't always finish everything listed.
YEah you probably best check back when I'm up to about 20 pages, heheh that's when there'll be things worth looking at.
Fumble: YEah I do get out and excercise usually before I begin drawing, didn't include it on the shcedule becasue it wasn't really art relative.
nonameowns: Thanks yeah I'm in a good situation thanks to my generous parents but the aim is to get good enough at art to support myself.
Collywobbles: Thanks. But yeah not trying to be better than anyone just trying to see improvement.
Janos: Thanks man, I appreciate it.
I'll probably be sticking to this plan for the next couple of weeks but will develop a new schedule soon that focuses more on finished pieces, with a little less time on studies. Becasue I know that studies aren't always that interesting especially when they're just copied from photos.
Photoshop keeps crashing my computer for some reason. Nevertheless, I snuck a few scans in between crashes. Not sure why it's doing it. Was working fine yesterday.
So the focus was on birds I managed to capture quite a few gestures from life down at the park of some wood pigeons and ibis, and a magpie. The rest are from books. some gestures of dudes playing cricket from life too.
Last edited by Cam Sykes; November 8th, 2009 at 02:38 AM.
Hey dude, crazy schedule ! i'd love to have the same !!! Anyway, great stuff, nice studies, you're trying to do everything, which is good ! Well on your post #4, in the painting of the tower, i find that your vanishing points are too close from each other, and well, the third one, who is above, isn't really appropriate in this case ! but you should take a pic of a city with a perspecitve, draw the paralel lines, and find where the vanishing points are, and you'd be surprised !
Walid: thanks for the critique. yeah you're absolutely right. a dude caleld mishkin pointed out how off it was and provided a paintover. WIll take more notice of that.
I will be posting the last fews days activities works tomorrow, basically because I haven't bothered scanning it yet. Although I took a photo of an oil painting I did yesterday.
So for the last couple of days I finally started using oils for the first time ever. I used them during a few life drawing sessions. I really like using them and will aim to make it a regualr thing, as I believe it wil aid my digital painting also.
Anyway here it is. Not the best photo but the colours are pretty accurate to the real thing. I have a bunch more sketchy ones thatr're still drying at college so will post them tomorrow along with the other batch of things.
What I've learned is it's a good idea to lay down alot more gesso as a base so the canvas doesn't show through so much.
Sorry I haven't updated in a while for a number of reasons. Feel like I'm letting you guys down and myself. My back still hasn't fully gotten better so the schedule was really making it flare up again. Also I've been making a pdf portfolio book for my graduate exhibition in early December. So that involved alot of reworking of old images and designing the book. My old computer died too but I've got a heaps faster system now and plenty of ram so things are running sweet.
So the plan is to take a break to let my back get better as well as really spend some time out and relax now that I've officially finished my course. Not for long though. I will be returning to the schedule probably on the 30th of this month depending on how my back feels. And will probably spend some of the time reworking the schedule a bit kind of optimising it. With the possibility of full-time work soon I want to give it a rest to save problems later.
Anyway here's something just so I have something to update with.
you should really consider taking a yoga class once a week that'll help with your back. Also use a stool instead of a chair when your using the computer, in fact try to avoid sitting on anything that has a back rest, that'll force you to work your muscles into a good posture.
Your drawing schedule should also include some push ups and situps, 25 of each a day will be sufficient for a healthy back.
Everytime I've suffered back pain from drawing I've put myself into an exercise routine to put it back in place, very important otherwise your going to continue to get back problems, even if you do rest it now and then. also if your back is strong then you wont need to rest it at all.
I do all my drawing and computer work on a computer chair minus the back rest, i remember it was difficult at first but now i sit like that all day everyday and i barely notice it. Just last night my gf was doing some yoga with me and she was complimenting the strength of my back. Exercise is a must for the artist, it will also make your pictures better as it aids oxygen flow to the brain.
Nice DC schoe man. Overall really great stuff. you might wanna watch your edges. They tend to be pretty vague overall. Feel free to add some sharper edges in there. In the shoe piece especially in the area where your shoe is ragged up add some sharper edges on the outline so the eye can clearly read that its realy loose from the shoe. That should bring it to the next level!
Your work ethic is like, stupid-fresh with free-weights on top. And a cherry.
The frogs are simply gorgeous! The Bridgman copies are nice too, and you're translating the gestures well, while at the same time doing decisive and good-looking line work.
You probably know my posts well enough for the..dun-DUN...next part:
You are also frustrating the shittledy-dizznit out of me with some of the drawing "stiff-clunk" in terms of the gestures & linework in a lot of the non-Bridgman human figures! Dude--your frogs (and frog-creatures) and bird drawings 3 & 4 (from the Nov 8th post) show that you have earned your decisiveness and sensitivity towards gesture and line AND can apply it. You need to apply that ridiculous work ethic of yours to the topic of Integration: you need to identify your Artistic Major Malfunction(s), then figure out a way to translate your (spot-on!) perception and execution of those positive things I mentioned into that funky, negative Cellar of Clunk. Before you give me a got-dam heart attack.
Also, I'm not you so I can't do more than strongly suggest this, but lay off the PShop painting for a while. Spend that time (plus more!) on real, live, physical painting. (I know you're up for my workshop, so head on over to that thread...Assignment # 1 is up!) There are a whole effing lot of good reasons to ditch PShop for now. But if you think I'm being an asshole--though I hope not--here are just a couple, in no particular order:
• Even the most routine, basic, everyday, you-and-I-both-do-them-all-the-time-in-PShop procedures involve about ten digital shortcuts that keep you from a second-nature understanding of the bedrock Real World concepts it's crutching you through. Digital art programs--no matter which--are designed to produce fast, low time-to-cost ratio results. It's like the Lowest Bidder syndrome: sure it's efficient, but is the Output what you're really searching for?
•...and Layers, Image Adjustments, Masks, Blending...you get the idea. There's a great book called "the Tyranny of Choice", and while it's a sociology book, the concept is sound. Nowadays, our vast and limitless choices--while supposedly freeing--are actually a Gordian knot of guaranteed obfuscation and confusion, and anything BUT helpful.
• You can't touch your work, and no Wacom's going to change that. When they get to that level of interactiveness and tactility...they'll have just reinvented the brush we've already had for centuries.
This is getting long. Eeks. Anyhow, I think you're ripe for a breakthrough with your Drawing; as I said you have the eye and the chops...now all you hafta do is integrate them in a Four-Season Porch sort of way.
I have a wacky idea. PM me and tell me if this crit makes sense to you and if you want to hear my idea.
All the best groovy Mojo and tough love,
Last edited by rusko-berger; December 5th, 2009 at 07:05 PM.
Ok First of all a big THANK YOU and big SORRY to all the people that were following this thread and have stopped by to take the time to give very constructive critiques as well as words of encouragement.
So I've been put back alot longer than expected. I took a break to let my back get better. Although it feels a bit better there's still some pain there but I'm feeling improvement with exercising and stretching. If there's days I can't complete all my tasks because of pain I'll at least to what I can manage, because Art is more important than pain to me.
Rusko-Berger has offered to provide some side projects as well so I can keep my traditional skills on-point too.
So the good news is, officially starting tomorrow I will be back on schedule, but with a much more disciplined focus on incorporating exercise and breaks to stay healthy.
Oh yeah I saw Avatar in 3d, what a thrill ride. And the creature designs were awesome. Probably see it again.
Here's a couple of pieces I did this week to get back into things. The first is just some ugly bird character. The second is a concept piece about how money changes people, and when people's primary focus in life is money it turns them into festering mind-numbed zombies, running straight to hell.
Good to hear that you are back in action. Im looking very much forward to you doing that monster schedule of yours.
The head and torso of the bird-guy-thingy is really well made. The legs however are a bit strange, the thigh of the front leg is much shorter then the thigh in the other leg.
Fumble: Thanks dude. Yeah I'm gonna fix that problem with his leg and want to flesh it out more, especially the face, and give him some clothes haha
Ok here's some studies from last 2 days. Didn't get as much as I'd hoped probably because I keep having afternoon naps. The hot weather makes me drowsy. Anyway learnt heaps. I gotta catch up on my Life studies.
I made some changes to my plan which is on portrait day instead of 25 of photos and 25 of imag, to do 12 of each because 25 is heaps and takes too long. Although later on when I get faster and can say more with lesss lines I'll increase the number.
So here it is... I should have some more interesting stuff tomorrow, ie not studies but some concepts pieces. Anyway back to my character day activities for now. Oh and Merry Christmas, Thank Jesus.
After doing these gestures I draw a figure from imagination to check my weak points, pretty much everything looks weird here (that's what one month off will do)
So I chose arms and shoulders as the weak point and get to work on some bammes studies and photo studies.
Now portrait day stuff - I chose Latino females as the topic
Start with some random warmups, then do 12 photo study sketches
and then 12 from imagination to apply what I've learnt, only happy with like 2 of the imagined ones but Hey I learnt something
Silwynar: Yes you can use the plan.. I changed it a bit today, PM me though I will share more of my thoughts and changes I have made on the plan. I rarely get all the activities done each day but I hope speed will come with time and as I settle into the schedule more.
Blackdelphin: Yeah It's pretty intense I'm working on adjusting it a bit so I get more finished pieces and not just studies. I'm spending longer than anticipated on some parts and it cuts into time for rest of stuff.
So here's yesterday's stuff for character day. BEcause it was Christmas I had other commitments and also decided to play around a bit. After reviewing Rusko's comment a bit more I tried to loosen up a bit with the human figure gestures and had alot of fun.
So there's a bunch of gestures, some reffed some not. A random creature, and progress on my birdman. Pretty much finished birdman for now but the problems should appear when I take another look at it.
Last edited by Cam Sykes; December 26th, 2009 at 12:31 AM.