Sketchbook: Klaw's Scratchings

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  1. #1
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    Klaw's Scratchings

    So, here's my sketchbook. In it resides my works in progess, sketches, experiments, and general ramblings about the goings on in my life. So stop in and visit: I'll try to be entertaining. Mostly.

    For my first post, I'm posting an old sketch I did a few years back while I was in Iraq called Emerald and Steel. I recently went over it with Painter, and re-colored it. Painter is in fact, the bomb. I really like what painter is capable of. I also like the more traditional feel it has. PS is great, but I really like how painter replicates the whole painting process. SOME of what I post in here is going to come from my real life sketchbooks. I get to travel to a lot of strange places in my line of work, and a few years ago I picked up some leatherbound sketchboks from Iraq and Kuwait. They are absolutely the best sketchbooks I've ever used. They are leatherbound, and some are set with gemstones (not precious) or stones. When I sketch in these books I feel obligated to do my best: I feel like I'd be wasting a valuable resource otherwise. Maybe I'll post a picture of one here sometime.


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    Last edited by Klaw; May 16th, 2010 at 10:36 AM. Reason: Text, updating Intro.
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  3. #2
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    More Stuff form the past and Present

    Ok, so I've dug up some more stuff, some from the past, some from more recently. So here goes. This first one is really old, just a sketch I went over with some saturated reds. I am reworking it in Painter, just for fun, so expect to see an update on this.

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    Here are a couple of sketches: one is a Dragon and his rider, called .....

    The Reason
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    The next is a sketch from my real life sketchbook: It's a concept for a painting I'm working on

    Unstoppable!
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    This next piece is from my sketchbook, just a picture of a woman in a cowl, done from imagination
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    This are sketches I did that I'll probably revisit in painter, later on
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    This is a sketch I did a long while back, just for fun, but I was experimenting with the selection tools in Photoshop, so I took it, recolored it in Painter, then integrated it into another painting I did with Painter. This was just for practice, so I probably won't do anything else with it.
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    The next one is a series of pictures showing progression from sketch to a finished painter document.

    This first sketch I did just to mess around with the concept of a woman with contrasting, yet matching tatoos- one side roses, and the other side barbed wire.

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    Here I was messing around with Photoshop, but I wasn't happy with it, so I took it to Painter.
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    Finally I recolored it with painter, and during the process I went a different direction with it. This whole piece was done without a reference, so I'm aware of the defects, like the few places where the old sketch shows through- I kinda like this because it connects the old and the new, but I'm still really happy with it. I once had a friend with different colored eyes, and I was always fascinated by that. You see that in Siberian Huskies a lot, but rarely in poeple. I've recently done another similar piece, with different tatoos, but I'm going to redo that one, because I learned so much while finishing this one up.
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  4. #3
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    A few new/ older sketches

    So here's a few more sketches, not a lot. The first one's a concept for a series of angel paintings I'm working on. Just a concept, but it'll eventually find it's way to a canvas or onto painter. The next one is a just a portrait, for fun. It was a very tiny picture, and I wanted to see what kind of likeness I could get from this picture.
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    That's it for now, but I'm working on another few pieces, in Painter. I may post the paper sketches (from my real life sketchbook) here a little later.

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    heeey klaw
    good practice
    your getting better with the colloring
    keep practising the anatomy

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    Thanks Schapen! I am working on three or four pieces of art right now, but it's slow going because I've had to work at my day job so much here lately. I am painting a dragon and another that will be done soon. I will drop by your sketchbook in a few to see what you've been up to.

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    Vampire and Blood

    Her's an older sketch I dug up: I always thought it was kinda cool in an abstract way. I drew this one in between missions while my driver and I were waiting to escort a convoy out of Kuwait. I tucked it away, forgot about it, then later scanned it, and forgot about it again. I wonder how much art we artists lose over time? For me a LOT. I have got to keep better track of things. In any case, when I ran across this one, it was like Christmas, because I had forgotten about it.

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  9. #7
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    It's great to see you experiment with color like this. Tho i feel there are huge differences between certain pieces. The last one doesn't meet the standard you setup.
    The proportions are slightly off and it feels a bit flat.

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    I agree with your opinion on that last one: it's a much older sketch-I just like the hair on her. I'm glad you notice the difference though- I get so used to seing my own art that I don't always pay attention to the changes I make with my style over time. This Vampire is from about eight years ago. I think I will stick to newer stuff from here on out though.

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    New Recolor Work, a few other things

    OK, so I recolored "Blaze" which I did Oh so long ago. When I recolored it, I realized that I had a few issues with the facial structure. I never noticed it before because it was very minimalistic.
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    The next two are done with the same concept in mind. The first is an old sketch of a warrior, done with no ref. I redid it in Painter, changed it a little too: I realized I wasn't too happy with the original face, the proportions were off. Being that this is a quick re color, I did damage control and left it as it is now. Still, I learned a lot. Happily, I am realizing by revisiting old work, that my sense of proportion and depth has improved much over time. Still lots to do though.

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    So, because I don't want this to be a glorified coloring book (it IS a sketchbook, after all), here is another sketch from my real sketchbook. This is just a face, done with a reference. I have to go back and look though: a lot of people's faces aren't quite symmetical: a fact I really didn't appreciate until I really got into portraits. In this case, her eyes aren't quite even. I checked though, and that's how she looks. When I do portraits in particular, I take care to draw it as it is, not how I perceive it. I can't tell you how many times I've done a portrait, even my own face, and come away with a realizeation of some defect or irregularity that I never would have noticed before. Such is the human condition: we are imperfect. I love that though.

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    Ok, let me go sketch some more stuff. I've got PICTURES in my head, and they want out.....

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    Old Stuff, new thoughts

    I haven't gotten to do much here lately: work has been all consuming, which is not a good thing. I wanted to show an older piece, because I realized I have a few themes running through my body of work. This theme, of beauty and the beast runs through a lot of my stuff. This first one was acrylic on board, and while not one of my best works, still makes me happy when I look at it. I once had a good friend tell me that the dragon scared the hell out of her, but she felt utterly peaceful when she looked at the girl's face.

    It's called Myriad and Voxx
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    The next is not strictly a sketch, but is is a quick painting. Occasionally I will paint in black in white, just for fun, and because it's so much easier than color. It's like a break, only having to worry about the simplicity of light and shadow. It's called Unfinished Business
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    This is from my real life sketchbook, and it's a quick sketch of my wife's back, done from memory. I will eventually probably catch hell for this, but she really does have a lovely back.
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    This next one was done for a friend of mine, a fellow NCO, for her family. This was done in acrylics, also b&w. We had some pretty intense times down in Saudr City in Iraq.
    Missy Was Here
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    This next was a portrait of my wife, and one of my favorite pictures of her. It's hard to get her to stop for a likeness, so I got lucky with this one. It's all in pencil, except for the eyes, which are blue marker
    My Queen
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    This next one is a WIP. You'll see more on it later. This is all I'm showing for now.
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    Ok, the last one, is pencil, large, and was a huge pain. Each link in the chain mail was done individually, and the whole thing took weeks. No reference, but there's something I like about the face.
    That's all for now, I'm working on some more newer sketches.

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    Ok, some more

    Both of these are just older stuff I dug up from a while back. The first is called Snow white, and it was done for a friend who wanted a different kind of Snow White. A darker, less wholesome version.
    Snow White
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    The next is a piece done for a client a long while back, of his fiance. They wanted a picture of her as a DragonRider, with a big gold dragon. This was pretty large: she is almost life size here. Too bad the photo's a little fuzzy. Her likeness is good: they were both very happy with it. I did pages of prepwork on it, designing the gear, ect. It was a fun project. I styled the scales from tiger's eye stones, although in this picture, you cant really get a sense of the irridescence. I remember my wife's brother walking in and checking it out before I finished it. He said, "Dude! this does NOT suck." High praise indeed. I am truly happy when my work doesn't suck.

    Ok, the next post will be a recent sketch, I promise.

    Daybreak

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    So that's it for now, although I am really sketching tonight: if all goes well, I'll have a few sketches up before the end of the night.

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    Nice paintings! Snow White is favorite one so far actually. It might be an older piece, but its still really well done. I love the sharp white lines used as highlights in her hair.

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    Thanks for stopping by! Yeah, I don't usually go so stylized, but the highlights really worked for this Snow White. I gotta find the wider angle shot of this one I took: there's a lot more to the painting. In particular, I was really happy with the ring/claws she's wearing. Also in the painting are the dwarves, but they are all shadowy and hidden: you have to find them. When I get back home to the world, I'll find my other shots of this piece and update. In any case, I'm glad you like , and I appreciate the comments. I just finished some quick sketches, and I'll post those soon: just gotta get them uploaded.

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    Finally

    Well, I finally made some time to create some new stuff. Nothing too spectacular, but at least I'm back in the saddle. For the first picture, here's my sketchbook, my real one that I cart around all over the place. I picked this one up in Kuwait, on my way into Iraq. I'm filling it up. I wanted to fill it last time, but I think I can fill it up here. I still have two more with me, but I want to fill this one. I've had dozens of sketchbooks: never completed one. But this one's nice: I want to do right by it. I've gotten it half done now- here's the first few pages, and a few other things from it.
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    So here's a few random sketches.

    The first was done after a particularily auful stint in a job position I hated. When I finally got free of it, I sketched this in celebration.
    I call it
    Freed
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    This next one is a sketch I did during the planning for a painting called Aftermath. I really want to redo this one digitally, and do it right. I did a peice digitally by the same name, but I'm going to redo it completely. I'm curious if anybody "gets" what's going on in this sketch. It pictures a rider, and her dragon in the ruins of a city. That's all I'll say, comments and interperations are welcome here- what do YOU think is happening?

    After
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    These next few aren't anything more than just experimentation. The first is a no-ref character study. I am more than aware of the defects, but I do a ot of no-ref portraits: I find that the better that I get at these, the better my portraits with reference get.
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    This is that same picture, redone in Painter. Not a great picture, but I enjoyed revisiting it anyhow.
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    I know a lot of people do anatomical studies, and different things in their sketchbooks, but for me, my sketchbook is a place to experiment with concepts. I mean to say I am more concerned with how my paintings' themes fit together, what they say to the viewer. Not to say I don't do anatomical studies, but here I want to focus on other things. Also, most of this stuff from my real SB is mainly conceptual. Most of these I haven't spent a whole lot of time with, maybe 15-30 minutes, and in a few cases, maybe 45 minutes to an hour, but nothing more

    These next two are done from reference, then retouched in Painter last night. The last portrait I didn't do too much too: I just darkened specific parts.
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    And the other One from reference.
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    I am putting these up, just to show the difference in the raw sketch and the Painter versions.
    Finally, the last thing for this time is a sketch for a painting I'm working on, from a dream I had. This one I will take my time on: It's called
    Broken
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    This dream had me thinking about a lot of things for days and days, and I need to do it right if it is to have the same impact on the viewer that it had on me. That's all for now!

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    A few more

    Here are a few pages from my real SB: these sketches are separated in the book, but when you find both, they form this image. Just a fun trick to make looking through my Sketchbook interesting.

    Joyride
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    When people look through my SB, they see the two images, but don't connect them at first. The first image they see is the top one, and many just assume something racy is going on, until they connect the two images by holding the book sideways and open so they can see both sketches.

    So, just for my entertainment I guess. Also, I'm looking back through this SB thread, and I see that my images are a bit blurry: I will remedy this in the future!

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    A few more from the book

    So here's a few more. The first is just a sketch from reference that started as a normal portrait, but then turned into something else. I think she looks a little menacing, but intriguing.
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    This one's just a quick sketch, no ref. Was going for a particular type of face. Not really much going on here, just a no ref portrait drill.
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    And this last is just a sketch of a woman: with lots of HAIR. No ref, and real quick, but it was fun.
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    And my pictures are STILL fuzzy. I'm working on it.

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  21. #17
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    Hey there. Your digital work is coming along nicely, I have always wanted to try out painter, is it worth the switch over from Photoshop? I love that sketchbook too! I think it would make me try and draw way better stuff as well haha.

    I think would you should focus on right now in you drawings is really pushing a sense of form and dimension. I am not sure if it's the photographs or not but the majority of them have a flat feel to them. The first image in post #16, the one right above this, looks like it's on the right track, so try and figure out what is different about that one and apply it to future works. I'd also suggest using reference as much as possible. It's nice to be able to draw from imagination but the face is a complicated thing and it takes a lot of practice to get good at drawing it.

    Hope to see more of your work, take care.

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  23. #18
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    Avvatar: I really like Painter: I prefer it over photoshop, I guess because it's more like actually painting. Chances are if you paint in a particular medium, Painter replicates the process fairly well, even down to how the medium reacts to the different kinds of painting surfaces. As far as the depth, the major difference is the amount of time I spend on any given piece. The ones I spend more time with have an all around better quality to them. One of the things I notice when I look at other artists' art is how much care some put into their work. I have realized that my situation causes me to rush a lot more: being a Soldier often limits my free time a lot. I am trying to slow down and spend more time with each piece. the next works I post here should have better quality though. I am so humbled by the amount of talent I see here at CA, and at the same time inspired. I simply must do better. So, less rushing, more care. Thanks for stopping by!

    Last edited by Klaw; May 4th, 2010 at 09:21 AM. Reason: Text
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    Angel of War

    Here is a project I was working on. Before I show more, I am waiting on Hanny Honeymoon to take a look (who I used as a subject). I saw her picture on her SB, and it looked right for this piece. So I hope you like it Hanny! If she approves of my treatment of her image, I shall post a few making-of pictures and a few of the pre production sketches. Hanny is a CA member, and while she's not dark or brooding, her picture was just right for this treatment of this particular angel. So I presented her as a little angrier than normal, and gave her an Army to command. This piece is one more in the angel series I have been doing over the years. So now on to the next angel, although I haven't decided which virtue or concept the next one will represent. By the way, this particular desaturated style is one of my favorites to work in. I usually only color just a few key points in these, just for particular emphasis or effect. I have been painting in color for some time, but I really like working this way, with limited color. I think that I will post my other angels here too, or maybe I'll just do an Angels' thread when have accumulated enough of them. But for now,
    Angel of War
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    Last edited by Klaw; May 10th, 2010 at 03:17 PM. Reason: Text
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    A Sketchbook and a Snake

    So, not Art per se, but I will be uploading more soon Not to stray too far from the intent of this thread, but here is a picture of my largest Sketchbook: it's much larger than my others, but the paper quality is far superior as well. When I finally show the step by step process on Angel of War, this is where I started.

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    And forgive me, because this has no bearing on art, it was just a freakish incident. We get camel Spiders, weird bugs, and all manner of strange creatures out in the desert, but in my almost five years here, I have never seen a real honest to god dangerous snake. This one showed up in our food locker, and it was a SPITTING COBRA. Beautiful, but very deadly. Thankfully, nobody got hurt. We captured it, and now it's far far away.
    Buttercup the Snake
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    OK, next time, more art, I promise.
    Later!

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  26. #21
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    Hi Klaw,

    Thanks very much for stopping by my finished gallery. I took a look at your galleries and you have a great imagination and some really good concepts. I especially like your dragonrider picture and angel painting. Keep practicing and use references when you can.
    I hope you don't mind my offering a little advice? This is just one of the tools that was taught to me in an life drawing class a while back and it really helped me. It is that sometimes it helps to break things down to their basic geometric shapes and build upon that. It is also helpful when trying to figure out foreshorting and lighting.

    Cheers!

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  28. #22
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    DragonflyRina, Thank you very much for stopping by, and I appreciate the advice and insight. I'll have to hunt down your SB and see what you're up to! Your pieces based on Dax are really cool: I once had a friend's horse that ended up as a unicorn on several occasions-I'm sure he would not have approved, but he made an awesome unicorn nontheless. Can't wait to see where Dax turns up next!

    Last edited by Klaw; May 11th, 2010 at 12:01 AM. Reason: text correction
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    Angel of War Stuff

    So here is the making of stuff from Angel of War

    So I was checking out CA member Hanny Honeymoon's SB and I came across a great picture here: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...=180166&page=2 Now Hanny, as far as I can tell is not particularily angry or Warlike but in this picture, she has all the things I was looking for.
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    I love using people as subjects for my Angels, and I love depicting the unusual. So I thought, what if the Angel of War was this angry, beautiful little woman, instead of a hulking brute.
    SO I started by doing an in depth study of her face, which I did in my little sketchbook. Once I finished that, I moved on to my larger sketchbook so I could create the setting for this piece.
    Here are the first sketches, just the basic lines to start the piece.
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    Here is where I started adding details in the picture. I don't usually plan a piece out so much because I like having flexability to stray a little from my original plan. However in this case I had a pretty clear idea of where I was going with it.
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    Here I finished the layout, although I kept her army pretty loose and undefined: right now they are just placeholders until I get ready to send it to Painter. Once I get it finished though, I take a photo (no scanners where I'm at), and import it into Painter after I adjust the exposure a bit.
    This gives me a solid plan to paint from.
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    After that I make layers in Painter for every major element, from the sky, all the way to her face. The last layer I usually make in my paintings is a highlights/shadows layer. In this piece I used 7 different layers in the design. Also, even though it's digital, I work traditionally, from the background to the foreground. So, here are the levels of progression from layer to layer.
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    At the last I decided the only color in this would be the eyes: hers and her army. I really wanted to draw the viewer to her eyes. I also intentionally kept the face in sharp focus while allowing the rest of the piece to be slightly less defined. I gave her a war axe, worn from battle, and a set of wings (she is an Angel after all) Her headpiece is jagged and irregular, from aeons of use.
    So here she is again. At the end of days, the Angel of War will command legions of the dead, ready to make her war, a battle to end all battles, Armageddon.
    Angel of War
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    So, that's all for now, thanks for stopping by!

    Last edited by Klaw; May 11th, 2010 at 03:52 PM. Reason: Add image
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  30. #24
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    Angel of Mercy

    So I decided to post one of my other older Angels here, just to show the context of what I was talking about earlier. This was mixed media, Acrylic, mostly. 18x 24 on Canvas.
    This angel is a bringer of mercy, but perhaps a little too into her job, and maybe just a little damaged from having to do her job over the ages.
    She is The

    Angel of Mercy
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    Hope you like it! Later!

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  31. #25
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    you have a good quality to go from start to finish. But to move forward and to be better it would be a good thing for you to pay more attention to anatomy. Right now there are some issues on your figures. Even as they are done, there are things that don't work. My suggestion is to get Bridgman and see what he says about human figure and anatomy. Right now I'm learning from him too. Hope I wasn't too harsh. Only want to help.

    Cheers and keep posting!

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  32. The Following User Says Thank You to Ivan Turcin For This Useful Post:


  33. #26
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    Never too harsh Ivan! The day we stop accepting criticism is the day we stop learning! Some of my anatomy choices are intentional, some not. For the Angel of Mercy, I wanted her to be a little off, a little unbalanced physically, like the weight of what she has had to do has twisted her more than just emotionally. But for other pieces, yup, I didn't put the time in on them, and the results show. I think the best thing about CA, this whole community, is that there is so much talent and skill here that one simply cannot get away with being lazy. I always have painted, but haven't had much competition or inclination to grow much as an artist because those around me weren't artists. Nothing like having Randis or Cryptcrawler around to give you a reality check on where your skills really are. It's both humbling and inspiring to be able to show my work here. And as a result, I am driven to do better. This community has enabled me to better myself as an artist on so many levels. And yet, I have so far to travel. But it is about the journey, right? Thanks again for stopping by. And I appreciate your insight. I shall improve. I MUST Improve!

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    Some nice stuff here! Try do some photo studies of armour and such, your faces look good but the armour bits could look better
    I really like this last work

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  36. #28
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    Kdult: Thanks! My next piece is a commission, and it's going to end up with a whole lotof armor in it, so hopefully I'll be able to show folks all about how I can do armor. I appreciate the crits and the comments, and thanks for stopping in! I'm glad you like "mercy." I have improved much since I painted her (I hope), but I still like how she turned out. Thanks to everybody who's stopped by!

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    You seem to be working hard with your work just remember to take a step back occasionally or in the computer sense zoom out occasionally to get the grander scheme of things it all good the harder we work the better we get all the best

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  39. #30
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    Thanks Mac Con! Yeah it's tough not to get caught up in the details! Thanks for stopping by!

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