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Thread: From 0 onwards

  1. #1
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    From 0 onwards

    About a year and a half ago I purchased a small tablet in order to help me do some illustrations for cracked.com

    A couple of LOL's later, I realized I had no drawing skills whatsoever and therefore it was time to put down the tablet and do some serious studying. Of course it took me months to actually get going, but since September of 2010 I've been working on my drawing on a more or less daily basis (as of now, that makes around 6 months of solid work).

    The fact that I don't have a scanner, no one cares about a shitty artist who promises to be awesome someday, and there are literally hundreds of sketchbooks much better than anything I could dream of creating, meant that so far I kept most of my work private. However I recently feel like I reached a point where I think the advice I would get from a public sketchbook would be more then: "find Loomis, read it/ draw it, repeat."

    That being said, I'll use the first post [edit] to tell my life story and have a thumbnail

    TL;DR: I want to get better, thanks for reading!

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    Last edited by dracken; January 27th, 2013 at 11:42 PM.
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  3. #2
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    The most important thing is to be motivated, skill will come with time. Good start, keep drawing from life, You can do also fast poses from here or here. Good luck!

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  4. #3
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    Motivation is the hardest part
    I am trying to balance a full job and family life with drawing and it is tough. But if there is a lesson worth learning from all the awesome people on this forum is that you should never give up. NEVER!

    Here is the next batch of drawings. The first image is a light study and then I'm continuing Loomis (some figure drawing starts to show up around now), along with Alienthink and following this awesome thread on pen skills.

    Most of these drawings are from late last year around November 2010 or so...

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    Last edited by dracken; August 23rd, 2011 at 11:15 AM.
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  5. #4
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    Another day, another sketch dump. I'm getting closer to my more recent stuff and by the weekend (another post or two) I should be up to date with what I'm doing. At that point I plan to post at the end of the day whatever I studied and hopefully improvement will be visible/ people can give me advice on what I should focus next.

    I love working with ink, but right now it's too unforgiving of a medium, so I tend to stick with pencil and slowly make my way through anatomy. I have several books on bones/ muscles and such and I'm also doing posemaniacs in hopes of developing a bold, clear line. These are also the first studies where I started trying to shade stuff...more on value will follow.

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    Sketch dump #4.

    Some portraits drawn from life.... I kinda look like the Dude and the horribly drawn woman (yes I promise that is a female, not John Lennon) is my wife, who is quite attractive in real life.

    Also some nose studies... which seem damn hard to draw, and finally hands after Bridgman.

    Also at the end there is a collection of some digital studies I did a while back: a bent spoon, onions and that is an avocado peel. Should do some more of these soon.

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    Last edited by dracken; August 23rd, 2011 at 11:17 AM.
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  7. #6
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    You know the drill guys and galls. Another day another dump of sketches. These are all from the past few weeks and show more focus on understanding value.

    I am also looking into drawing environments and you'll probably get to see a ton more rocks before this is all over.

    As always critiques, comments and challenges are appreciated.

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  8. #7
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    Nice start man,
    You draw the eyes pretty well.
    Keep up with the good work, will
    try to follow your drawings.


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  9. #8
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    Thank you for the comment I'll try to post some interesting stuff to see.

    I just wanted to mention that I spent the day at the Chicago comic convention and found out one of the artists for the Least I could do webcomic has a Ustream of his work. I love seeing better artists work on stuff, so this is kinda like a gold mine for me I am also very interested in doing comic book work and ideally someday I would be able to have graphic stories in print....someday when I don't suck

    Anyhow, going to the convention was also awesome because everyone I talked to/ heard speak said pretty much the same thing: there is no shortcut to becoming good at drawing, writing or actually any kind of art. You have to do it over and over and over until after years of work you have content good enough that people will gladly support you. On the bright side if art is what you want to do it should never feel like work, right?

    So much for me babbling on here is some stuff I've been working on.

    These are actually all from the last week or so, when I spent a lot of time on faces and nature studies. I tried to understand various elements of the face and how they relate and realized I needed more practice shading and understanding value. Here is where the nature studies came in since a lot of what makes a rock look like a rock (I think) is the way it's shaded/ rendered.

    As always comments and critiques are very appreciated.

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    Last edited by dracken; August 23rd, 2011 at 11:18 AM.
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    Here is some more stuff, this time entirely digital. I suck at this, but trying to improve.

    The hardest part is remembering to flip the canvas and see mistakes (all my portraits are skewed to the right for some reason) and remembering to work large and not go into details early.

    I followed this tutorial for the colored portrait and used Idrawgirls.com for the two females. One of the girls (on the left) was created from values (I just put down dark colors and lights and kinda sculpted around them) while the other one relies heavily on clear lines.

    I also experimented with different brushes, looking for a line that could resemble a pencil best, the result is one heck of a sketchy space soldier of sorts.

    Finally some rock studies that were more or less successful.
    So much for now...

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  11. #10
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    If you suck, what the hell should I say, heh? Don't make the zillion tinier ones feel inferior!
    I spent years on faces till I reached the level you show in some of your stuff, well I lacked desire to draw and it's quite problematic for a hedonist. I have a few good points that helped but it seems you have more Not bad, not bad at all, it's quite great improvement considering that time you spent on drawing I guess.
    Nice sb It'll be fun to see you improve, I like beginners who don't dump crappy effortless stuff but has high standard and practice various things and update often You seem to be horribly self critical (it's always very serious when even I comment this I'm a tiny bit self critical myself ), but are in the right way so a friendly "keep it up" pat is the right comment here I guess
    And the drawing of your wife looks like a woman even if it has anatomically and aesthetics flaws, proportions, missing back part of cranium, whatnot. But you keep practice and it all will be better. I sucked at head shapes for years but broke the wall.
    Nice rocks. The most strict photobucket moderators would delete it due to its phallic nature I guess, good thing you attached them

    I probably will pop in later as well, maybe I will give some crits as well if I see some stubborn recurring flaw

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  13. #11
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    Not the hottest photoshop tutorial, I can say,
    I have followed the link that you have provided, but
    I guess it is ok for some basic gathering of experience.
    I can recognize that face drawing, I think it is one
    of Riven Phoenix lessons?
    Great to see that you are applying the pressure
    on your constant improvement, great stuff man,
    keep it up.


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  14. #12
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    Had a miserable day at work and found out that someone stole my exercise shoes from my gym locker...sigh.

    Luckily I came home to find a bunch of very nice comments and after a quick browse around decided it was time for another self-portrait. This time around I decided to stop periodically and see what I was doing. Laying down basic shapes was first, as well as measuring everything out (the construction lines should be visible in the first image) Then basic shading in the darkest spots (mostly around my eyes and beard) and then finish everything off

    I also included some older digital stuff as well as one of my very first attempts at an auto-portrait. I guess it helps to compare where I was in November and where I managed to get now.

    The next step is getting back into digital and improving there....

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    Last edited by dracken; August 23rd, 2011 at 11:19 AM.
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  15. #13
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    Another day, another update.

    Just some digital stuff based on Idrawgirls and this tutorial
    Also some lip study. I am also looking into using photobucket as the attachment manager is a pain in the but.

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    Last edited by dracken; February 19th, 2013 at 09:45 PM.
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  16. #14
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    An early update for today, mostly older stuff. I also added some even older stuff in the second post of this thread so people can see where I was in November last year...
    The post today is all anatomy study from January or so. A combination of Alienthink and a book on anatomy I picked up at a closing down Borders for 9 bucks (Will miss those sales)

    Going to figure drawing tonight... very tough stuff, but really helpful. Drawing from life is such a difficult concept, but I can really see the improvement after each session.

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  17. #15
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    Hi, good start to your sketchbook here, I like the self portraits! I did those alienthink tutorials too a few years ago when they came out..it's a good jump start into anatomy, good luck with them

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  18. #16
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    Missed five days because of computer problems, but here is some new stuff, based on the Vilpu drawing manual as well as life drawing.... comments and such are appreciated.

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  19. #17
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    it's awesome that you're looking at loomis and vilppu for figure drawing basics. they're awesome.
    it looks like you have good observational skill, too.
    my suggestion [and i might have to come back sometime after i find perhaps a visual to help say what i mean] is to not rely on outlining forms to say that they're there.
    i see very good hatching in the abdomen area of your life drawings in the last post, which show both where the light is coming from and what shape his ribs, muscles or belly are. try that for places like the legs and shoulders too!

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  21. #18
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    That is awesome advice.I think this post by Vastel might illustrate your point

    These are all images from tonight. Tried focusing on drawing value as opposed to lines. Used charcoal and squinted a lot. To spice things up I also used some pen, still focused on values, but tried crosshatching a lot. Didn't look as good as I hoped, alas some day.

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  22. #19
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    Feeling bummed out tonight... nothing seems to look good, my lines are crap and I my eyes hurt. Sigh... maybe things will be better tomorrow.

    These are all from tonight and yesterday. They are inspired by life drawing session / photo/ other drawings around this very forum. If anything looks decent t probably means I copied it from a better artist (I think Miles's or Algenpflege' sketchbooks inspired me for the last few drawings, but I don't remember 100%)


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    Last edited by dracken; February 19th, 2013 at 09:51 PM.
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  23. #20
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    Here is another batch of updates from the past few days.

    Most of this should be either from Loomis or Villpu or life drawing. I really like the idea of the flowing gesture/ force motivating the actions of the figure. This book(Dynamic life drawing for animators) really helped me understand the concept, it's awesome in combination with Villpu

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    Last edited by dracken; February 19th, 2013 at 09:53 PM.
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  24. #21
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    Although I didn't update recently I've been constantly working (finished the sketchbook I used before and started a new one , most recently I completed 70 head/ face studies over a period of two weeks. However all of that is done traditionally and my camera is currently broken, so I had no way to showcase it on-line.

    I recently started working on 30 second gestures on my PC so I guess that will make for a good way to show progress. I also started doing more life studies and will post some here. (I have a few self-portraits that are simply too horrid to look at)

    Here is a quick life study:
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    Finally a DSG for an artificial intelligence repairing itself.

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    Last edited by dracken; February 19th, 2013 at 09:56 PM.
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  25. #22
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    I love the onion, and there is improvement in your self portraits, though look at your subejct more. On the train self portrait your cheek looks slightly large, making it look like you've put on weight, it just needed 'trimming' if you know what I mean. Spotting things like that will come with time. Keep going!

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  26. #23
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    Nice!

    I envy your people drawing skills and your energi at trying to get better at drawing!
    I really suck at drawing people so cant' give you any critique. But Keep On rocking! and keep up the good work!

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  27. #24
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    Yo man u need a scanner if ur producing this volume of work ;]

    Concerning your head studies : Always the head is 5 eye's wide. i think one thats in place, your features will fall into place. also dont drop the eyes too low under the brows. other than that, solid progress, definately on the right track to be a sick artist.

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  28. #25
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    Ahh a scanner would be nice... Alas, in the meantime here is some more digital stuff. I'll try to borrow a camera in the coming days and put some more stuff up, or maybe scan some stuff at work. Till then enjoy some poor quality digital drawings As usual, the quality of these is horrid, but maybe some day I'll be better.

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    Last edited by dracken; February 19th, 2013 at 10:00 PM.
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  29. #26
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    Here are some dumps from the past month or so. A bunch of cartoon heads from Loomis and a bunch of 30 sec gestures and a few heads from reference.

    Many of these drawings are inspired from the sketchbooks here. If it looks good you can assume it was copied from a better artist. In fact if you lurk around here a lot you should recognize some of the concepts (that house on the third post was from Dan's schetchbook ? maybe? not sure... too many talented people on this forum, too much insporation).

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    Last edited by dracken; February 19th, 2013 at 10:01 PM.
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  30. #27
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    Some of those cartoon heads are really good. I love the Mario inspired Mushroom, haha, I always wondered why they had eyes! I actually had a dream last night where I was walking around shops trying to find a new Mario game to play, haha I haven't played video games at home since I was seventeen, I only play the odd arcade machine or wii at friends house, i've grown out of games, funny how these things come back in dreams though.

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    Urgh, today was a bad day. Sometimes, I just look at what I draw and want to cry with frustration. Something that starts out looking promising just fails miserably because I suck... GRRRR.

    7 months daily of work and I still can't draw convincing stick figures... drives me insane. I'm not even going to comment on my painting skills, because they are inexistent.


    Anyway, here are 30 sec/ 2-5 minute poses from tonight and my failed painting. Fun times.

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    Failed attempt at painting

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    Last edited by dracken; August 23rd, 2011 at 12:34 PM.
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  32. #29
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    Having bad days is the burden every single artist have to bear, saddly.
    But I can definitely see you improved a lot since you started this SB, so don't lose your motivation !

    Plus those stick figures are not that bad ! I guess you should try to loosen your pen a little more. Try some fast, or very fast observation drawing ( try 30secs poses, 1 min real life obs, etc... ! ), it'll sure help you drawing faster in the end !
    (And cartoon heads from last updates were very good ! )

    Bookmarked, I want to see your improvement

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  33. #30
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    ahh ive noticed some giovanni civardi drawings in there (i think that's his name?) good stuff man. uve done alot of work, i like to see that. I guess for me, i struggled with drawing alot, and still do, i used to stop drawing for weeks to months on end cause i was getting enormously frustrated. Nothing was working out. But eventually i kept going and going....and eventually things start falling into place. The ball just needs to keep rolling. And try to keep things simple, generally the best approach. Ur work will get marginally better (its really fucking slow) so take it day by day.....and try draw every single day (if ur not already) 1 missed day = 2 missed, = a week, etc. and then u realise how much work u CUD HAVE DONE, and its depressing as shit. Anyway, that's wat ive done. Now i draw every day, ignoring the fact that im not as good as i want to be. i have accepted it, that i fail in comparison to my idols. But i got a goal, and nothing else comes close to important as that. (except for chasin those ladies XD).

    hope ive motivated you somewhat, and if not, sorry :/


    oh yer, and BAD DAYS happen ALL THE DAMN TIME. just power through it, only way.

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