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I bought an animal head skull about a year ago at a cool shop in Manhattan. For whatever reason, I never decided to draw or paint it before until now. Unfortunately, I can't remember if this is a dog skull or a fox skull. Anyway, I felt like painting something new. Surprisingly this was harder to paint than I thought. I only spent about a couple of hours on it. More sketches and work in progress stuff coming soon.
Hey. Your colour photoshop studies seem pretty nice! You are totally moving in the right direction.
I think it would be useful to do some pencil still lifes to brush up on your medium skills, seeing as your pencils seem quite poor compared to your paints.
Keep an eye on perspective too, I have seen a few little errors that bring your work down when them don't need to!
As I said, good work, keep it up and have fun
your studies are good, but i agree with what some else said look more into your perspective, another thing -- as if you want another thing to think about, look into compostion when you do your still lifes. All lot of them just deal with the rendering, a thing in the middle and that's it maybe if you can overlap certain things, this can also help with perspective. well keep up the good work
FraserMcT--Thanks for the comment. I don't think my pencils are poor. Sometimes my drawings aren't as good as I would like due to whatever reason but doing some still life's using pencil isn't a bad idea. I used to do still life's in pencil a lot in college so I don't really feel like doing them now. I'm really just focusing on painting. I know my perspective is off at times and I should probably pay more attention to it. The reason why I didn't as much is because they are mainly just painting studies to improve my rendering skills.
2kre8-- I agree I should pay more attention to my compositions. My main focus is to practice rendering so I didn't really want to think about composition because I don't have a lot of time during the day to paint. If I paint something, thinking about composition just adds more time which I don't have sometimes. When I do Illustration work, I really do focus on composition.
The stuff I'm posting below is some more drawings from my sketchbook and a painting of a face. I really didn't know what to do about the color so it looks a little odd and I'm also not entirely happy with the style I drew the face in. Enjoy.
I like what I see here. You have a lot of natural talent and clearly want to improve as an artist.
I saw your question Magic Man's thread and read your comments here about feeling frustrated about your progress.
I can't speak to you as much of an artist...but I did once have aspirations to be a musician. I remember playing my guitar and trying to write songs. Even though I generally enjoyed it there would be many times I felt so frustrated and angry at my slow progress that I wanted to smash my guitar...LITERALLY!!
I have no idea why I kept going but I did. As I SLOWLY improved I played a few songs for friend's weddings and at church a few times...and eventually sang lead with a blues band.
When that band broke up it was during a big unplugged era so I thought about doing that.
One day I met a girl and trying to impress her I told her I was a musician. First thing she asked was "Where do you play?" I pulled a name of a club outa my head that I'd heard had "open mic" nights. So she said..."next time you play there let me know".
I spent the next week or so on running through 3 of my best songs to play/sing and arranged to have her meet me there.
With this shaky start I began playing music at open mics...and hey at least I was playing and singing somehere besides my living room. : )
Soon enough a coffee house owner asked me if I'd play 2 hours on a Thursday night. You bet! So it was a month or so of me practicing old songs and learning enough music to fill 2 hours.
Fast forward> My life as a musican continued like that. Never really sure what to do next...but doors opening...and me stepping through them.
I played all over in fern bars, coffee houses, private parties etc...and worked my way up to weekends, better clubs, more $$ etc too. As I got burned out playing solo...I started a few bands and we had some fun and made some $$. It was still frustrating at times and I didn't get rich in the 10 years I played music "professionally" but I paid the bills and had some fun...and best of all fullfilled some of my dream.
So why am I telling you all this? Somewhere along the line I got MUCH better as a musican, songwriter, and singer. It happened almost imperceptively.
There's a book by Malcom Gladwell called 10,000 hours...and he makes the case that the people who rise to the top...pro athletes, artists, musicians...EVERYONE who gets to the top of every fiield...has invested at least 10,000 hours. I have no idea if this is true or not...I just know that for me it took years and years to feel like I'd gotten a bit to where I'd always wanted to be.
So keep studying, keep drawing and know that there are a lot of other struggling artists who know exactly what you are going through...and more importantly you can be assured that you WILL get better!!
Hope this inspires and helps.
BTW...I'm applying the lessons I learned during those years to my art now and while I still feel frustration at times I also have more confidence about improving this time.
Jephyr X ---Thanks for the kind comments and encouragement. I think just venting my feelings helps me out but I really thank you for taking the time and writing about your story. It def encourages me to continue.
I have been drawing a lot from Ken Hultgrens book on drawing animals. It's def a helpful book about drawing form so if anyone is interested I would def check it out. I did a lot of drawings today but I don't really have the time to scan them all so I ended up working more on the sketch from above. I painted the character on the right a little bit more. I know I keep saying this but I def need to do some illustration work. Comments and suggestions always welcome.
Your on the right tract to making those nightmares believable! Love the green guy.
Glad if it helped even a little Istmin. : )
Dig the new digi-painting!
mike butkus -- Thanks for the comment. I've seen you around before so it's nice to see you've commented on my sketchbook.
Jephyr X -- Thanks for stopping by again. I really like your anatomy studies. Glad you dig the new digital painting. I feel like some of my colors got a little muddy when I painted the pink highlight on the left side of the bottle. It was a bit difficult but the colors did look that way to me.
Anyway, I woke up this morning and I really liked the reflection I was seeing in the spoon so I decided to paint it. It took more or less an hour. More stuff coming soon...
great studies and progress with your art belt(s), i bow to your efforts. a suggestion for your still lifes: stronger lighting. put a spot light on it or pick a time of the day where the light is coming through the window really strong. Remember light is really what forms everything to our eyes, so creating/finding appropriate lighting makes all the difference.
likewise to your anatomy studies, I suggest as an addition to what youre already doing, to find photos of say fighters (www.mmaphotography.com) and try to draw in their muscles as if they didnt have any skin. Its really helpful to finding realistic proportions and alsoa great excercise for getting anatomy down so you really dont have to think about it anymore. Repetition and passion will absolutely raise your art game my friend. Keep on the keep on!
Don't ask why but at midnight tonight I just felt like doing a painting. I have a devil duck that I've painted before but I haven't painted it with an overhead light before. Even though I was tired I just felt like painting it. Now I'm really tired and should probably go to bed. Goodnight.
Last night I painted a devil duck with strong overhead lighting. Today I painted it in a colder light. They both feel very different in forms of mood and produce different colors. I spent about an hour on both of them. More stuff coming soon. Enjoy.
I felt like painting the doodle I made a couple of days ago. I think doing these painting and anatomy studies has started to really help me paint form without using much reference. I'm also feeling more confident with myself which I think is helping.
I've been drawing a lot but I don't have time to always scan my drawings. This is a painting of a pic I took of NY when you get off the train from Penn Station. It's tough painting environments because there is so much around to paint. Does anyone have any advice on painting windows? Is there a quick way of doing it or do most people draw each line? I'm really not sure if I have the patience to do something like that. I know some of my lines aren't straight so that is something I have to work on. I probably spent about an hour on this. Any comments and suggestions always welcome. Thanks for looking
The environment is looking great so far. For the windows, paint the suggestion of lights and darks. It won't be a fast process, but it will suit the current mood of the painting.
“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” - Stephen King
coming along well man keep drawing
it is better to have sketched and sucked than to never have sketched at all.
Visit my sketch book at
ActonArt, Devere --- Thanks for the comments. I'm glad people are seeing improvement with my work. That means I'm in the right direction. I also feel more confident when I paint. I used to be afraid that I would do something wrong and I would mess up the painting but I'm getting more comfortable now. I don't have that scared feeling when I'm painting.
Here is another rough painting I did today. I spent about an hour - to an hour and a half on it. I like painting these objects if you haven't noticed. lol. I kind of like the rough quality and looseness I have. Thanks for looking
Istmin52 nice sketchbook. i like the look of your OC, dark and gritty just how i like it. your PS paintings are really coming along. keep up with those still life studies cause they are really paying off. your paintings are looking good and are only gonna continue to improve, (i should probably take my own advice on this one and get to work! lol) i see what you mean about the soft light. the lack of high contrast areas can tend to make the paintings seem a little flat, but keep working at it. also keep up with the anatomy studies. your characters are already benefiting from what you've done and they will only continue to get better. i really admire how you have been studying both human and animal anatomy and incorporating them both into your OC. keep it up!
hi Istmin, thanks for commenting on my SB. Painting studies are coming along great... probably something I should start doing as well. Keep going. =)
Thanks everyone for the encouragement and comments. I think this is the most amount of comments I've gotten at once.
I haven't been updating much because they needed me at work a lot more this week to finish something up. I've also been doing some Flash/Actionscript stuff too for my class so that takes some of my time.
I've still been drawing a bit but I just haven't had a chance to post anything yet. Here is a doodle I was working on while drawing some horses. Felt like finally posting something. In a way it was actually good to take a little bit of a break. I think I was burning myself out. I'm gonna be focusing more on some more actionscript stuff until my class ends. I figured once my class ends, I'll really try to bash out a portfolio and do some real illustration work.
Anyway, here is the sketch. I'll try to post more soon. Thanks.
Hey man! thanks for stopping by my book. I just wanted to say I still struggle a lot with everything. The improvement is just because art makes you smarter. I understand things much differently than I did on page one. If im not drawing im reading about a new artist and trying to learn obscene amounts of wisdom from them.
I flipped through your work here and I gotta say I see good things in your paintings from life. Keep sharing