Sketchbook: No direction but to follow what you know.
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Thread: No direction but to follow what you know.

  1. #1
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    No direction but to follow what you know.

    Hello CA

    I've keeping a sketchbook here since for a couple of years now (old stuff), but decided to start up a new one with less... clutter. So to speak...

    While I still do a good deal of Bridgman, Vilppu and Loomis studies, I realized that posting each and every page of them is not only unnecessary, but not really interesting to look at either (At least when it's the same study drawn 20+ times). Instead, i'd like to keep this thread a little more focused and dedicated to the photo studies, landscapes, still life, and imaginary pieces I crank out rather than the endless repetition of anatomy studies. (one or two will get in here from time to time)

    Anyways, Thank you for taking the time to look at my sketchbook. I truly appreciate everyone that visits, and especially those of you that are kind enough to mercilessly rip my shit to shreds so that I can focus in on my blindspots in an effort to grow as an artist.

    I would love some honest critique, as well as any suggestions on reading or videos to check out.

    I'm in this for life and looking to grow!

    -Matt

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    For this first batch, some photo studies of Suicide Girls that i've been doing lately, a few other photo reference pieces, a still life of a miniature skull I keep around the desk and a pastel study I tried after watching the incredibly helpful video by Jane Radstrom (Highly recommend it).

    The Suicide Girl models in this batch are, Aadie, DeeDee, Miranda, Praesepe, Saint, Sevenlea, Venom, Elliott, and Mnemozyne (pastel).

    Video of Miranda Process:


    I really love doing the photo studies but i'm trying to work in more drawing from life practice. My long term goal is to make a living doing what I love (who's isn't), and my short term goal is to draw every day.

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    theUNKNOWNsketcher - Thanks for stopping by

    Self portrait. (from photo ref)

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    Last edited by MBK; June 23rd, 2011 at 09:42 PM.
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    love your artwork, the female figures are absolutely amazing, I really like the way you have handled lighting.

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    Devinda87 - Thanks man

    For tonight's upload, a master copy based on John Singer Sargent's painting, "Madame Errazuriz I"

    I think this one took around 3 hours. I'm really enjoying these. A lot more than the photo studies actually. Picking the right colors was really challenging >_< , I think I got pretty close.

    As always, thanks for stopping by!

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    Nice start. I like the brushwork on that Sargent.

    Maybe you could put more variation into your skin tones and flat areas of color to make them look more interesting. Add some texture too.

    Sketchbook


    "You might be disappointed if you fail, but you will be doomed if you don't try"
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    Wow, very nice. I really love your studies. And your style is cool too. Keep it up

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    Good effort on the Sargent, those colours are hard to pick but when you do get it right at least it's obvious.

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    These are outrageous. Outrageously good. How are you so good with photoshop? I'm wondering if you could recommend any photoshop painting tutorials.

    Also, when you're painting from a photo reference, do you grab colors directly from the image, or just eyeball it?

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    Damn duuuuuuuddddee, awesome stuff. These pictures make my mouth water.

    My Sketchbook: Criticisms and Feedback needed

    "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."
    Lao-tzu, The Way of Lao-tzu
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    Fantastic photo studies! Can't really say more, you've really got a good grasp of digital painting!

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    ismo - You're right man, I haven't really delved too deeply into adding texture yet as far as digital goes.
    It's only been in the last few months that i've really been pushing myself to do more color studies with PS.
    I see what you mean about needing to vary up the strokes to add some interest in those areas. I'll work on that.
    Thanks for pointing that out!

    Vyliss - Thanks

    FUSHANDCHUPS - Yeah man, it's really tricky getting them right, I almost never get it right on the first try.
    Hopefully doing these is rearranging something in my mind to help me see them more accurately.
    I'm always surprised by how different the colors look when they are laid down on top of other colors. O_o

    keithburgun - Hey man, thanks for stopping by! Truth be told i'm not that great with it. I have a looooong way to go (then again, don't we all?)
    The first few photo studies I ever did I picked the colors out of the photo but quickly realized that wasn't getting me anywhere as far as training my eye to see the colors I needed.

    A good exercise that has helped me is to pull up a photo in PS, look at the color you want in the image, pull up the color wheel and try to eyeball about where it is on the wheel, then lay down a brushstroke directly onto the photo next to the color you wanted. See how close you came, if you were off, just pull up the wheel and try again.
    Repaint until you get it right but stay away from the eyedropper tool. It's a crutch that'll only keep you back.

    I still don't really grasp color theory, i'm just trying to paint what I see.
    Ya gotta struggle your way through it and eventually it starts to look good lol

    You should check out an artist named Mark Chong that has a channel on youtube full of helpful tips on all this stuff.
    His youtube channel is "moatddtutorials" and he has an awesome series of videos called "ten minute drawing techniques" that I found pretty helpful in general.

    bish0p2004 - Thanks man

    ian_ruff - Much appreciated! Honestly, I still feel a little clumsy with PS painting but I love it and learn something each time I attempt one of these.


    Venom Process Video:


    Also, here are a few digital experiments and a random drawing.

    Thanks for taking the time to look!

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    Last edited by MBK; February 23rd, 2013 at 10:44 PM.
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    amazing stuff here...that girl on the black chair is very good.

    waiting for more

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    Oh man, you have a wicked grasp on lighting/form. It was a real pleasure looking through your portraits.
    Some real great work here my friend, can't wait to see more!

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    Henrique Ventura - Thanks dude! That was one of my favorites. I think I spent more time on that one than any of them.
    Painting with the soft airbrush tool to get that out of focus look took me a long ass time for some reason lol

    Chips - Thanks man I still don't really feel like I understand light or form though >_<
    I've been thinking of these things mostly in terms of shape when i'm in the process of a painting, which helps,
    but I can't help but wonder if it's keeping me from truly understanding the forms three dimensionally.
    Vilppu has helped with that in the past though, perhaps I should get back to his studies.
    I've been feeling like I rely on photo studies far too much for practice.




    Lately, anything I try from imagination winds up being a mess of wandering, confused lines.
    Makes me want to throw the book in the trash....But I always come back to it.
    That old familiar love/hate relationship that somehow manages to make me feel like myself more than anything else I have ever pursued.
    (If that makes any sense)

    I need to do some stuff from life.

    Hell, even this upload is a photo study.

    Sometimes I feel like these are taking me way longer than they should to get right.
    I've been working on this one for hours, painting and repainting in frustration to get a likeness.
    I actually got about 3 hours in and deleted the whole thing in a fit of frustration before starting over from scratch.

    The colors in this scene are all so damn similar that i'm going cross eyed trying to get them right.
    And i've probably repainted his face at least 6 times to get to this point.
    It's a little discouraging but then again... no one ever said this was supposed to be easy.
    It's just strange how sometimes a piece goes so smoothly you hardly know how you painted it and other times it feels like an uphill battle the whole way.
    This has definitely been the latter.

    Anyhow, here's a movie still study in progress... updates to come.

    Thanks for stopping by.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MBK View Post

    Chips - Thanks man I still don't really feel like I understand light or form though >_<
    I've been thinking of these things mostly in terms of shape when i'm in the process of a painting, which helps,
    but I can't help but wonder if it's keeping me from truly understanding the forms three dimensionally.
    Vilppu has helped with that in the past though, perhaps I should get back to his studies.
    I've been feeling like I rely on photo studies far too much for practice.




    Lately, anything I try from imagination winds up being a mess of wandering, confused lines.
    Makes me want to throw the damn book in the trash....But I always come back to it.
    That old familiar love/hate relationship that somehow manages to make me feel like myself more than anything else I have ever pursued.
    (If that makes any sense)

    I need to do some stuff from life damnit lol

    Hell, even this upload is a photo study.

    Sometimes I feel like these are taking me way longer than they should to get right.
    I've been working on this one for hours, painting and repainting in frustration to get a likeness.
    I actually got about 3 hours in and deleted the whole damn thing in a fit of frustration before starting over from scratch.

    The colors in this scene are all so damn similar that i'm going cross eyed trying to get them right.
    And i've probably repainted his face at least 6 times to get to this point.
    It's a little discouraging but screw it... no one ever said this was supposed to be easy.
    It's just strange how sometimes a piece goes so smoothly you hardly know how you painted it and other times it feels like an uphill battle the whole way.
    This has definitely been the latter.
    I know exactly what you mean, as of late, colour in particular has been a total bane to my progress. Doing nature studies and still life has been some what of a liberation to it all.
    As for form, I've found, over time it becomes easy to simulate a 3D shape in my mind, and there for things such as foreshortening become a whole lot easier. It totally is a case of just sticking at it, doing your studies and kicking ass.

    I've no idea what your reference is, but in your latest picture seems very saturated. Even in figure studies I'm prone to desaturating areas with less visual prestige. And in addition to that, I've found there are an incredible about of greys present in nature and due to the adaptive qualities of Gray, they are at times a struggle to pinpoint. Just be aware of that if you're not all ready!

    Take it easy.

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    First of all, thanks for the comment on my sketchbook!
    Second, you have an awesome way to handle colors - I wish I could take a leaf from your book on that topic, that'd be helpful.

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    Chips - Thank you for that insightful post! Now that you have pointed that out about grey, i'm seeing it all over the place! I've toned down the saturation of the colors a bit in this latest version and it's definitely a lot easier on the eyes.

    Kerah - Thanks for stopping by As far as the colors go, i'm just trying to lay down what I see in the reference, sometimes more successfully than others >_<


    Here's an update on that Fear and Loathing study, still have a ways to go but it's coming along. And a piece from imagination i'm working on. I'm feeling pretty clumsy with it as far as lighting goes, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks for stopping by

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    I love the way you do tattoos. I can't do them without looking bunk. Do you put them in from the start or put them in later?

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    I love your artwork - the suicide girl pieces are great.

    I have to say that the WIP reminded me of Johnny Depp - I look up a bit and see it's fear and loathing, I look it up and bang....Johnny Depp..So two thumbs up for doing a likeness with someone that's wearing glasses

    You do pieces that are very psychedelic - I like.

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    dude those girls are awsome great work

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    You nailed it man! Awesome job.
    Keep a keen eye out for those colours, you seem to have it down, but the chaos never ends, haha!
    Thanks for the advice about the helmet too, On the final character pass I'll be extra sure to get in that edge contrast. You were totally right.

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    kdiegert - Thanks man! Your sketchbook is awesome by the way. I usually get the skin tone laid in first, then put the tattoos on top.
    I've found that a bluish-grey works well for "black" ink tattoos unless there is some sort of colored light around, and with color tattoos,
    it's all over the place. But generally I end up using colors that are way less saturated than I initially guess. Hope that helps!

    Steveland - Thanks man On the off chance that you haven't seen Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas... and you like psychedelic themes...
    get your hands on a copy and watch it as soon as possible! Trust me.

    prsnsweeney - Thanks man! Your work is fantastic.

    Chips - No prob dude. Thanks for stopping by
    I'm still working on this one but I'm getting tired of looking at it so i'm probably about to move on haha

    Here is an update on that Fear and Loathing study. I put some more detail on the gun, face, hands (my god the hands are frustrating >_<), watch, and hat.
    I also put in a few specular highlights.

    I attempted putting some work in on the rocks behind him but it started to get really distracting from the main figure in the foreground. So I abandoned that.
    I dunno, I kinda like it as a field of color, but what do you guys think?
    Does it just look boring and unfinished there?

    (I also noticed that the last version's colors weren't matching the colors I was seeing in PS,
    it looked more towards the yellowish-orange side of things rather than the pinkish-orange it did in PS.
    I think it was the way I was compressing the image... hopefully this looks better.)

    Note to self: DRAW HANDS!

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  30. #25
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    Awesome movie still, mbk. Very inspiring.

    My Sketchbook: Criticisms and Feedback needed

    "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."
    Lao-tzu, The Way of Lao-tzu
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    WHAT A TREMENDOUS START..... BRILLIANT SB, INDEED....

    Here is my: S-K-E-T-C-H-B-O-O-K




    /.....if there is someone from AUSTRALIA especially from SYDNEY on this site, then leave a msg for me, and I really want to meet with you & to making a friends-of course if you'd agree it...............please
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    This work is progressing very neatly I must say. But how do you tackle the choice of color? I always seem to chose poorly when it comes to colorful drawings (using acrylics or watercolors).

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    bish0p2004 - Thanks man, It's been such a pain in the ass lol, but ultimately I think it came together

    Mag-Neo - Thanks for stopping by

    Kerah - Man I know what you mean, and I hate sounding vague about it but you just gotta keep trying. I don't really understand color theory yet, all i'm really doing is eyeballing as best I can the colors i'm seeing. I'm rarely right on the first guess, just keep trying and eventually things start to click.

    Aadie Process Video:


    I couldn't sleep last night so I tackled a value study. Learned a lot during this one. Tried adding a little more texture to this one than I have in the past. Forced myself to push the darks further and to look for places to add sharp edges against soft gradients for contrast. The main lesson was to keep working on it through that inevitable frustration point where you think you have taken it as far as you know how to. Just take a break, look at something else for a bit, come back to it and you'll see things you missed earlier.

    Must keep reminding myself of this.



    All too often I bail on a piece when I feel like I hit a plateau. Which leads to nothing but stagnation. >_<


    ...oh and core shadows! ...so important.

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    Holy cow!

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    heeeey man! damn! should have popped in here earlier! youve got some awesome work bro! love all of those suicide girls, and that fear and loathing cap is wicked! keep it going man, your moving in a good direction!!

    MY SKETCHBOOK!
    Some Sketchbooks you should check out! --->
    (expect this list to change alot)
    Mattinian
    RazorB
    Albino-Z
    MatejaPetkovic
    Cold
    Jama
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