Sketchbook: March to Betterness
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  1. #1
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    March to Betterness

    Time to start a sketchbook.

    I've been lurking for a while, and think I'm finally digging in and applying myself to improve my technique and try new things - and most importantly, get back to regularly doing some damn art!

    This place is awesome and the work going on here is crazy inspiring. You guys rock!

    I've been an engineer for too long and it's time to get my head back out of the code and into some badass. Or whatever. That doesn't sound very good.

    Here's some stuff! Crits are highly valued.
    NEWEST WORK IS ON THE LAST PAGE!
    Thanks for droppin' by!

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    Last edited by tbaldree; November 29th, 2010 at 02:20 AM. Reason: Thread pic added!
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  2. #2
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    This was my first stab at the last CHOW, which I discarded.
    Followed by my actual submission-which was a total 180.

    The first was done in the way I was comfortable, linework, cleanup, then color.

    The second was painted straight and refined. It was a lot more fun to do and had more character.

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  3. #3
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    Did this one today - my wife's WoW character.
    Trying a more interesting direction for the pose and trying to keep my anatomy from going all haywire.

    Scribble-paint, and then a pretty refined value pass, then a bunch of color adjustment layers. I'll post a process animated GIF I think, might be fun.

    Still getting used to my WACOM tablet - this is my second actual painting with a tablet. I can't believe I used to use a mouse. Good god this is easier.

    Trying to get a handle on lighting - I get disheartened in the middle when I start adding color over the value pass and everything looks all horrible and flat. Getting some secondary colored light sources in quickly on layers seems to help me get over that a bit.

    I also find I am afraid to let things go all blurry where no detail is required - still so early in the learning stages that it feels like I have to render everything clearly, but obviously, I don't.

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  4. #4
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    Timelapse for fun!

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  6. #5
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    A 3 hour painting tonight. Been browsing through Dave Rapoza's awesome and amazing artwork and decided to do a chubby demon guy in honor of his greatness.

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    Last edited by tbaldree; September 21st, 2010 at 03:52 AM. Reason: Better image size - oops, was too big!
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  7. #6
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    I think I might do this week's CHOW - first night's noodling done. Kind of riffing on those crazy sand scorpions from the Middle East.

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  8. #7
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    Woah, this is awesome! Nice compositions, that's the first things I noticed more than your great drawings; wanna see more!

    Don't bother looking at my sketchbook. I haven't updated that thing in years. :/
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  9. #8
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    Thanks a bunch, MiladThaha!

    Just a quick scribble tonight, was short on time - dunno if I'll spend any more time on this but it was a fun distraction scribble during builds at work today.

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  10. #9
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    A little cheesecake today - 3.5 hours in Photoshop.
    Built some better brushes today and stripped down to a very small set - just a diagonal squashed circle ( soft and hard versions), and a nice dry brush for paint-y-feeling.

    Having a little more luck with skin tones and secondary details now.

    I feel like i should have made this some sort of Wizard of Oz thing - she's all Dorothy Gale grown up.

    Flying monkey heads on the ground!

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  11. #10
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    We started an in-office sketchclub today.
    Topic #1?

    BATTLE NUN!

    Hells yeah.

    Only about 4 hours in now, but doing something more ambitious than my previous attempts this time out - an animal, an axe-slinging nun, and a full enviro.

    Sacrelicious!

    This is just a cropped WIP - the full piece is much larger, but I've probably got another 10 hours until this is actually done. Hopefully going to squeeze in another hour or so tonight.

    I'll post an epic WIP animation when this is complete - got 16 stages saved off already, and there's at least 20 more to go.

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  12. #11
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    Ended up being really dissatisfied with the last iteration and have gone through two more - hated the previously posted pose, there were lots of anatomical issues, the overall piece had a terrible composition and the eye just scattered everywhere, so I went back to the drawing board.

    here's where I'm at so far - about another hour or two of cleanup and adjustments to make I think but I'm reasonably happy with it. The cloth on the upper arms is terrible - looking for decent fold reference for this kind of sleeve to see if I can get it all corrected. Cloth is still my nemesis.

    I'm experimenting a bit with outlines - I think I'll be blurring and sharpening varying sections to try to lead the eye, or at least that's what I think I'm going to try to do. The gloves are still pretty half-baked and I need some more details to get worked in to things like the bible and the belts and the sword.

    I'd love crits to help me bring this to a more finished state - I want to try to go the extra mile and really get this polished if I can.

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  13. #12
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    A WIP anim of progress so far for fun.

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  14. #13
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    ^_^ Hey! Nice stuff here! I really like the last one! It's the coolest and the best one! ^_^
    She has got a nice contrast but no ambient light from behind, fire should be a bit lighter than everything. She has got good proportions ^_^!
    Keep it up!

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  16. #14
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    Kristoff - thank you very much for the comments!

    I think I'm going to call this finished for now - I added the backlight you mentioned and fixed a lot of general details in the picture. The sword rests on the shoulder now, the sleeves have been removed ( the cloth was terrible ), the left arm length has been fixed and the book no longer appears to be levitating in space. I tried to ground her a bit more in the picture by adding some detail to the ground she was standing on and softened some of the unfocused edges to try to give it a bit more depth. I added a bit of radial blur to the periphery of the image to try to keep the eye focused inward.

    I think this is the most finished piece I have ever done - I learned a great deal trying to bring it to completion.

    Time to move on to the next project!

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    Last edited by tbaldree; September 29th, 2010 at 12:00 AM.
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  17. #15
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    Yap! I Think it turned out great ^_^
    If you think the cloth was terrible why not to try drawing some cloth from life? That experience I think should be fun and really useful!! ^_^
    Waiting for cloth studies! ^_^

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  18. #16
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    Hehe I like the battle-nun theme Especially your last one, that's some good use of warm colors on the back ^^ I like your style!

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  19. #17
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    Kristoff - thanks again for the suggestions - I'm going to try to do something after this next piece that has a lot of cloth in it and see what I can learn

    Jonas_D - thanks a bunch for the nice words!

    here's an hour and a half WIP from tonight - lots of work left to do but the current state came together pretty quickly -

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  20. #18
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    And here's the final - woot!

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  21. #19
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    Here's the WIP anim. Total project about 3 hours total. It's fun to slap things around fast!

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  23. #20
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    nice stuff man, keep going at it.

    Last edited by .pc; September 30th, 2010 at 06:07 AM.
    tumblr/
    deviantart
    sketchbook <- help me improve!
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  24. #21
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    .pc thanks a lot!

    After the dwarf I think it might be fun to do character portraits for people's WoW toons as a way to do some directed daily work. Anybody interested? Might be a dumb idea or might be fun. If you're interested, PM me a shot of your character in some sort of interesting gear and maybe a pose idea or two, and it'll be a good exercise for me to see how close I can get.

    Any takers?

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  25. #22
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    oh shit yea! do me!

    http://www.wowarmory.com/character-s...amar&cn=Evanor

    Although shes not my most geard toon, i think shed be fun to draw

    you could use the armory feature to mess with her poses.

    BTW in post #5 i thought of rapoza mediately before reading the text haha.

    Last edited by Jonathan C; October 1st, 2010 at 02:04 AM.
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  26. #23
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    Great pictures, do some more you're really good at it!

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  27. #24
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    in2eternity Thank you very much!

    Jonathan C - here's tonight's WIP of your character - only an hour in so this is reeeeally rough, but you can see where I'm going with it for the most part. Having to take some creative liberties with shoulders and armor a bit - those gnome meshes are always stabbing themselves in the faces in WoW!

    I'll post the final and a process anim as soon as I am done - hopefully I'll finish that up tomorrow or saturday.

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  29. #25
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    this is so cool! I love the pose you gave her. and yea, I think if any wow character raises their arms past 45 degrees they would decapitate themselves.

    Hey, if u want, Ill pant a character of yours. send me a PM or respond in my sketchbook

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  30. #26
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    Cool sketchbook, really inspirational

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  31. #27
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    WIP 2 on that character - still probably 3 hours more of work to get the details cleaned up and to fix some issues and do some more background rendering. Then a lighting pass, highlights and some edge work.
    Getting there! Taking longer than I expected - the armor has required a lot of retooling and fiddling.

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  33. #28
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    I think I'm going to call this done - not quite happy with it but not sure what do do without starting over from scratch. I think my lesson learned is to try not to be too slavish with the armor - I spent way too much time fiddling with it trying to get it right and the result feels a little cluttered and unnatural to me. Not really happy with the hair either - there's parts that are OK but others bother me. Need to practice more. Still, I learned a lot.


    Jonathan C, thanks a bunch for letting me paint your toon! I don't have any anymore ( stopped playing a while ago ), but my wife might have something paintworthy - I'll check!

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  34. #29
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    And here's the process anim -


    Anybody else have a character they're willing to throw on the pyre to have a portrait done up? This is good practice and an interesting challenge. I'd love to do one of the other races next.

    Any takers?

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  35. #30
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    Decided to maybe take a crack at this week's CHOW, as this sprang to mind right away and was fun to do - 90 minute speedpaint of what first came to mind, a sort of evolved rodent-race that are the last survivors of the radiation aboveground. Living in coffee-cans, that sort of thing.

    I'm still game for another WoW portrait if anybody's got a char they're interested in throwing my way -

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