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  1. #1
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    About time I posted some drawings, huh? Seeking C&C

    Well, I've been wandering around in here dispensing advice like I know what I'm talking about, and who knows, I might even have fooled some of you into believing it. Sometimes I almost believe it myself. Then I go and look at my actual artwork, and invariably nothing is anywhere near as good as I seem to remember it. But I guess some of it is pretty cool, though sadly it's not the recent stuff.
    Well, here it is, with brief commentary:
    About time I posted some drawings, huh? Seeking C&CNothing special
    About time I posted some drawings, huh? Seeking C&C
    Let's see, must have got a Kent Williams book recently, and did this just after seeing the Mortal Combat movie
    About time I posted some drawings, huh? Seeking C&C
    Imaginary portrait, messing with line work
    About time I posted some drawings, huh? Seeking C&C
    From video ref, pencil and aquarelles
    About time I posted some drawings, huh? Seeking C&C
    Gouache over pencil sketch

    I'm pretty sure I know what everyone is going to say I need to do, and I totally agree... life drawing, right? Anyway, thanx fer lookin'.
    Last edited by Darkstrider; May 4th, 2004 at 11:58 AM.
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  3. #2
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    Some more:
    About time I posted some drawings, huh? Seeking C&C
    Another imaginary portrait
    About time I posted some drawings, huh? Seeking C&C
    Bodybuilder ref and doodled Wolvie head
    About time I posted some drawings, huh? Seeking C&C
    The first sketches done from camcorder reference of myself
    About time I posted some drawings, huh? Seeking C&C
    Self portrait, pencil, aquarelles, prismacolors, and some white gouache
    About time I posted some drawings, huh? Seeking C&C
    This is actually a finger painting in watercolor, with a few prisma lines
    About time I posted some drawings, huh? Seeking C&C
    Fiona Apple
    About time I posted some drawings, huh? Seeking C&C
    Again
    About time I posted some drawings, huh? Seeking C&C
    An ex girlfriend, me trying to be all expressionist and stuff
    Last edited by Darkstrider; May 4th, 2004 at 12:03 PM.
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  4. #3
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    Well, here are my thoughts, to kick things off.

    I think the best thing about most of it is the confident line, but I know for the most part they lack convincing form. That's partly because I only did minimal shading, I was trying to develop a sort of comic book style and would have done the shadows and stuff in the coloring. But I know i could take the lkine art itself a lot further to developing form and in a lot of places it just falls apart (the line art itself... parts are sure and confident, and suddenly I just lose it).

    As for the color ones... my instructor once told me I'm a high contrast artist, and i think these examples bear that out. The ones I did in aquarelles just don't have any punch... the values don't get dark enough. When I bring in the darkness, and contrast it with some really high tones, things start to look more solid.

    Basically, I feel like I was getting ahead of myself in these drawings.... trying to develop this powerful expressionist style before I can really define form convincingly. I need to go back to the drawing table and work on less stylized, basic rendering concentrating on depicting form.

    Anybody agree or disagree, or have anything different to offer? I'd love to hear from somebody.
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  5. #4
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    Hmm I know what you mean. THese are unique though and I really like them. I would definitly keep drawing from life but never give up your imagination for sure.

  6. #5
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    Hey Thanks Endregan. Mucho appreciated! :chug:
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  7. #6
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    I took this one into PS and messed around for a while. It's crap I know, but I like a lot about it. Everything got all soft and fuzzy behind his hand on the left edge, and I lost all the linework there, but the rest of it came out better than I thought it would. The only experience I have at this from the past is using a laborious technique that invlolves creating a flats channel, and I didn't think you could do it freehand until I saw some of the great stuff in here. I plan to start doing a lot of these, and hopefully get better.

    About time I posted some drawings, huh? Seeking C&C

    I think the color improves the image.

    Experiment:
    About time I posted some drawings, huh? Seeking C&C

    Well, I said before that my PS coloring was crap, but the more I look at it the more I like it. I said that because it's just so simple... basic local color with very minimal shading/highlighting. But, it looks good... a lot better than any of my traditional painting/coloring techniques. I think if I cleaned up the sketches real good first i could do some good work this way. The second one above is still in progress, needs some work, but I like the way it's coming out.
    Last edited by Darkstrider; May 5th, 2004 at 08:42 AM.
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  8. #7
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    Progress report:
    About time I posted some drawings, huh? Seeking C&C
    ...almost there
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  9. #8
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    Mike - Cool your posting your stuff. I'm glad to finally see it.

    So first thing I have to say is you might get better response for the kind of stuff your posting in the Daily Sketchbook section. There might be more guys there working on similar stuff. I'm sure you'll get hits here but I'm not sure as many. But I'm sure you have your reasons.

    Now about the work, the ones that are really popping out to me are the portraits and some of the page design stuff especially the first one with the dog. very williamesque, but still nice, your line work is interesting and fresh, especially on the portraits.

    Your color stuff I think needs a little work. Your working a lot with neutrals and it's leaving everything a little flat, all the color seems close to the same value, more in the mid-range so things aren't turning as much.
    Do you have an example of what your going for next to you when you paint? I think that might help, just a little roadmap on your journey, but you can easily take side trips.

    The ones that I think are working better are the woman with here arms up and together and the portrait of your ex.

    Where your going with your newest piece, you might take a look at bengal's work in the guest demo section.The coloring your going for is similar.
    The blurring is a little distracting to me.

    This is an example of his work there.
    About time I posted some drawings, huh? Seeking C&C

    I'll leave it at that, I'm glad your Posting, it takes guts to put it out there.:thumbsup: I'll check back later.
    B
    Last edited by Bojee; May 5th, 2004 at 01:29 PM.

  10. #9
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    just an fyi - bengal is a dude.

  11. #10
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    lol, whoops, sorry no offense. I'll edit it.
    Love your work Bengal if this happens to get back to you.

  12. #11
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    Darkstrider, you definitely got a style and I like your drawings and paintings a lot. However, what you saw yourself is true: go back to the basics, at least at some sessions, and do live drawings. You have a nice way with colours and a fresh look on trivial things.

    Funny thing is - just like you I wander around and give advice which is certainly true but find that my own work lacks what I'm preaching. However, it's easier to learn the theoretical background than the trade.

    I hope to see more from you.

    Jester
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  13. #12
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    Hey, thanks guys! Great to hear from you.

    Boj,
    when you say the blurring bothers you, were you referring to the chest on that guy with the yellow shirt, or all of them? On that one I lost control, I'm gonna try to bring it around, but I imagine it'll be a beeyotch now that I've obliterated the original lines (I aint got no steenkin' Wacom!)but it'll be good experience to figure out how. On that last one, the guy standing in the street, I know it's kinds loose right now... I'll be tightening it up a little more. Thanks for the crits, I'm here to learn, and this is what I need to hear.

    Jester,
    I've seen your work here and there, looks pretty good. You're obviously working hard at learning this stuff. I need to follow your lead. And thanx for the crits too.

    I should state that I didn't always draw all loose and sketchy like this... I used to do the really tight fully rendered pencil stuff, but it's been a long time. Guess I need to dust off the skills again.

    There's something I hate about all the colored ones I posted (before I started the PS stuff on those last 2). They have this ugly pastel thing goin' on, and no real value contrast. I've tried watercolor, gouache, alkyds, and more recently oil pastels and aquarelles, but each of them give me problems due to their physical working properties... I think photoshop might finally give me the control I've been lacking.

    Oh, and the only reason I posted these in here is because i didn't know any better

    You're right, they should prolly be in the sketchbook section. Oh well, these fall under the 'learning' part of this forum, right?
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  14. #13
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    Hey Darkstrider, its great that you're posting your work here! But do some new paintings!!! It looks like these are all quite a few years old. Not that theres anything wrong with that, I just want you to get some new stuff done so you can show us what you're doing now.

    Definitely go back to the basics! If its been a few years, it'll help so much (heck even if it hasn't been long at all, you should never stop drawing from life). Its so easy to get rusty. Even if i don't draw for just one week, I can feel the difference when I get back to it.

    Your paintings show that you have a good eye, but I think the values lack contrast. They all feel very muddy and washed out. It almost looks like you painted it, and then before you called it finished, you painted over it again with black watercolor. Your photoshop coloring definitely looks more polished, but don't use PS as a crutch. You should learn how to paint well with the real tools before you start relying on digital to help you. It'll make a world of a difference. Anyway keep goin' at it, and keep posting your work here!

  15. #14
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    Hey thanks PW! I see what you're sayin'. Yeah, in fact, a lot of times, I just can't get the dark values with aquarelles or watercolors, so I'll go in with a soft pencil and punch up the darks. And I know it kills the color. It's a bad habit I need to break. I definitely do my best traditional painting in alkyds.

    And Bojee, I was thinking about what you said about everything being blurry. I do tend to use the airbrush way too much. I need to start using regular brushes and just use the airbrush occasionally.

    I really haven't drawn anything in like 2 years. I definitely need to get going again!
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  16. #15
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    Mike - I'm glad your posting, yeah I was talking about the the guy you were coloring in photoshop, to me the way your trying to draw already indicates movement so you don't need to say it again with the blurring. I just looked again, so your painting that, hmm I thought it was a gaussian blur filter,or you were smudging. If your gonna try that you should keep your drawing on a separate layer so you still have options.

    I agree with Panda whipped, I think you should stick at least to some traditional media, I think you'll acheive more of what your looking for.I mean look at your influences. ( what would Kent do ? ) I also agree with PW that should give us more recent stuff to work with, Your in now, no turning back from here.

    The new color piece is a good start, Keep em coming.

  17. #16
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    Well, that smudging on the yellow shirt isn't intentional (just to make it clear). As I was working on it, I found the linework was just so ugly there that I couldn't use it, and I ended up painting over it. Things got pretty hairy, and i haven't got it back under control yet, but I plan to make it my bitch. :bash:
    And yeah, I still have the drawing isolated on its own layer, but those lines there are just too messed up. Oh, for a Wacom!

    Never fear, I won't turn my back on the traditional media. In fact, my ultimate goal is to master oils and sculpture. Well, alkyds and sculpture actually, though I might mess with regular oils again. I'm just finding that in digital I can control the color better, without having to deal with the chemical properties and brush handling etc (of course there are other issues, but in digital you can always fix anything). I know I can learn a lot of actual color theory stuff this way that I can't do yet in paint, and then I can apply it in my painting.
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  18. #17
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    Mike - cool man , what ever gets you there, keep the work coming.:thumbsup:

    Hey mike , do you ever do any of the dailys? I just started ode to Drawing Jam and it's a blast, I think it'll get better too as the word gets out. Might be a cool place to start.
    Last edited by Bojee; May 6th, 2004 at 09:35 AM.

  19. #18
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    Looks like fun. I might get in on the next one.

    Here's something I just did a few minutes ago. I used vine charcoal, and it was giving me fits! And to make matters worse, no eraser of any kind! It's been a looong time since I've done any academic style drawing like this, it feels good to be doing it again.

    About time I posted some drawings, huh? Seeking C&C


    ...My own crits:

    The trigger is too big... it seems to come down farther than the tabletop. The shadow is all wrong. And the little foldaway tripod at the front is too white.
    Last edited by Darkstrider; May 7th, 2004 at 07:05 AM.
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  20. #19
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    corrected version

    Did a little PS correctin'

    About time I posted some drawings, huh? Seeking C&C

    ...And a little more:
    About time I posted some drawings, huh? Seeking C&C

    Hmmm... I don't like the way the BG is looking all misty, I can't seem to darken it without doing that. Oh well, I only did these corrections to demonstrate that I can see what's wrong with the original. Maybe I should just try to fix it on the drawing itself (but that vine charcoal is so finicky... like working with dust). Next time I think I'll go with pencil.
    Last edited by Darkstrider; May 7th, 2004 at 09:32 AM.
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  21. #20
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    Mike - I like it, nice shapes. It's a tiny bit flat but still cool. Careful with the tripod part of it, if you make it too white it'll come forward too much. I think it might of been working better in the first one.
    Great job.

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    Thanks man, I really appreciate the honesty. You're right about the tripod being too white. I cleaned it up a little, and I thought maybe it would work that way since I also cleaned up the background around it. Not only is it too white now, bit I realized it's drawn at the wrong perspective.

    I think the vine charcoal is too touchy... it might work if I was drawing bigger (this was on 9x12). I'm gonna bust out the pencils though.
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  23. #22
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    Here are my most recent paintings. These are in alkyds. Here's what was going through my head when I did them...

    I had tried a lot of different techniques/styles etc, and really never figured out how to convincingly portray the human figure in paint. So I wanted to take it to the basics... to something 'traditional' or classical. The art I'm most familiar with, that seems quite classical to me, is Frazetta and Jeff Jones, and I think emulating them would be a good basis to build on later. The character is Fafhrd from the Fritz Lieber series Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser. This is him when he's young, a strapping lad as opposed to the brawny ruffian he later grew into. I'm not ready to handle that stuff yet, still need to learn normal anatomy better.

    About time I posted some drawings, huh? Seeking C&C


    About time I posted some drawings, huh? Seeking C&C

    This is as far as I could go before I was afraid I would mess them up. Maybe I'll do some digital work on them.

    ***EDIT***

    Before anybody rips into me for that, what I mean is that if i work on them digitally I can try out different things without damaging the originals, then maybe I can get up the courage to finish them IRL.

    Oh, and about his hair in that second one... I know the edge is too hard and straight. My intention was to make it a bit more ragged when I finish the background. I really exagerated that edge to emphasize the triangle of his torso. I see the composition as two triangles... the big V shape of his torso and then the smaller horizontal triangle formed by his arms pointing into the distance. I wanted the edge of his hair to continue the edge of the vertical triangle.
    Last edited by Darkstrider; May 8th, 2004 at 01:41 AM.
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  24. #23
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    Mike- I think your missing that I thought your drawing was good, I was just hoping with the feedback it might be even better. I'm anxious to see what you do with pencil stuff too.

    honesty- I hope it's constructive and helpful.

    the new paintings - the first one seems a little off on the right side of the chest, Too hard an edge between the shadow on the arm and his Pectorial muscle, It's a funny shape so maybe play with the drawing a bit and then maybe try to bring some of the shadow color into that side of the chest, otherwise I like it. Reminds me of a James Dean pose.

    The second one is great! very cool, I think you should do more in this series. Nice Composition ,color , shapes , perspective, it's very nice. Best thing I've seen of yours so far. If anything maybe increase the contrast a little bit so he has more of a glow to him, more hero like. But it's nice the way it is , softer, more dream like, more jones like maybe.

    Great stuff.

  25. #24
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    Mike sorry dude , didn't see the edit. Just so you don't think your the only one getting critiqued around here check out the life painting thread sometime, I get shredded there all the time. actually all the time is a bit much since I'm new around here , lets just say lately. Peace

  26. #25
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    "Mike- I think your missing that I thought your drawing was good...

    No, I didn't take it that way dude. Actually I'm surprized at how good it did come out, considering I haven't drawn in so long and vine charcoal is something I've never really used. The only reason I used it last night is because I couldn't find a pencil!!!:mad:

    "honesty- I hope it's constructive and helpful."

    Everything you've said so far has been exactly that. I'm glad to get such good crits in here.... I was afraid I would post my stuff and nobody would respond!

    "the new paintings - the first one seems a little off on the right side of the chest"

    I agree. That area is weird because I tried to correct it. I couldn't match the paint color and couldn't get quite the shape I wanted. That painting is really unusual... I didn't use any brushes at all. Well, I guess i did for the really fine details, but for 99.9% of it I used alkyds mixed into Dorland's Wax Medium and applied it with little pieces of paper towel. My reasoning was to avoid brushwork, which was throwing me for a loop. The way I did it ended up being more like a dry media... drawing as opposed to painting, and that I can handle better. It looks really cool up close... the texture of the canvas showing through and everything. But the wax takes FOREVER to dry, and when it does, it's very fragile. It comes off almost as easily as pastels. I forgot to mention, for the face and for inspiration, I sort of based him on Anthony Keidis (SP?) of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Sort of, but not too closely, you know? Just as a guide line, and to think about his personality and how he moves and poses. It only shows in the first one though, in the face and the pose (It does seem like a James Dean pose). After doing the first one, I was sick of the technique and was ready to go ahead and deal with brush work. I spent an evening looking through all my Frazetta/Jones and related artists books, and when I went to bed the images seemed to be spinning in my head. Suddenly I sat bolt upright and turned on the light... and it was like I knew how I had to do it! I suddenly understood that I had to do the drawing in paint, in the same color that I want my shadows to be, and then go ahead and shade it, just like it it was a drawing. Then start to fill in the colors. And finally I figured out how to mix up colors and create a limited palette with no 'tube colors'.


    "If anything maybe increase the contrast a little bit.... more jones like maybe"

    That's exactly what I was thinking. I wish the hair looked more sinuous and flowing... it sort of looks like it's welded on! I was dissatisfied with the pale result of the first painting, so I went all out for contrast and dark values, but I do feel I should push it more. I think one of the best choices I made on the second one was that I let the light obliterate detail, like on the extended arm. There's no detail at all on it, and you don't notice... it's just a silouette shape! But I think on the ribcage I should have done some harder shadows/lines for the serratus anterior. Oh well, live and learn. And I do plan to continue the series. I'm afraid to try to paint the Mouser, who is a wiry little fellow. I can't seem to draw him the way I want. But I'll push myself to do it.

    Yeah, I looked at the life painting thread a few times... I like your work in there, and the fantastic conversation you got going on with Fred Flickstone and drdarrow. Great stuff! I plan to save the entire thread to my hard drive. I'm just too intimidated to post there yet myself, but when I've got some life painting stuff, I'll be right in there.

    Wow, I didn't realize how long this post was getting!
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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    Mike - I'm a little confused, you want to paint like all these heavy duty painters but you were trying to avoid brushes and brushstrokes?? at least it sounded that way, all of those guys except maybe Frazetta on some pieces paint pretty thick. Just curious, sounded a little funny.

    About time I posted some drawings, huh? Seeking C&C

    This is what I was talking about with your painting, hope you don't mind. I just increased the contrast .

    I'll continue this tomorrow, I'm beat.

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    Hey, that looks a lot better! Thanx!

    Oh, and when I did the painting trying to avoid brushstrokes, it was as a transition... I wanted to bridge the gap between drawing and painting, just as a learning device to get me past the difficulties. I figured if I take the problems of brush handling and the unpredictable (to me anyway) nature of thick paint out of the equation, I could concentrate more on just the color itself. Then after getting over the hump, I figured I would move on to brushes.

    The whole barbarian thing is also transitional. It's a way of doing semi-nude figure work, while at the same time working in the familar Frazetta/Jones environment. When I'm more comfortable with how to paint, I'll move on to more contemporary stuff.
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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    Here are a few of the better things I've done, but too big for the scanner, and I just have a crappy webcam. The pics look so bad I almost didn't post them, but I'm on a roll, so why not?

    These are from my Schiele emulation period. The first is done from a book of dance photography:

    About time I posted some drawings, huh? Seeking C&C

    This one was a jazz drummer from some pamphlet:

    About time I posted some drawings, huh? Seeking C&C

    And this is my best oil painting up until I did the Fafhrd ones.
    About time I posted some drawings, huh? Seeking C&C

    For this one I used a fun technique... something that I think Whistler used to do in his Nocturnes. He said he would paint all day long, and then decide it was crap and scrub it all off the canvas, but there was always a sort of ghost image left, that usually looked better than the painting itself had. So the next day he'd work over it and scrub it down again. Then later he developed a similar technique for letting the paint dry and scraping it off with a knife. I used both techniques here, and my approach was to use thin warm colors for shadows and build up thicker cool colors for light. I forget whose technique that was, I'm sure a lot of people use it. I just wish you could see it better! :mad:

    This is probably my only still life painting. I call it Life; Still.
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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    Ahhh...HERE they are!!!

    I've been searching for these since I started this thread. Finally turned em up! This might help to explain why I wanted to find a way to make painting more like drawing... because with drawing media you can get these great effects:

    About time I posted some drawings, huh? Seeking C&C
    About time I posted some drawings, huh? Seeking C&C

    Drew thjis in pencil first, then an underpainting in Prismas or aquarelles or something, then worked over with oil pastels. One of my most successful techniques. Sadly never finished, like so much of my work. I know there are problems, like the arm in the bottom left panel being too long. Oh, I left some large sort of blank areas because I was thinking in terms of graphic novel work, and it was for writing to go there. The reference is my GF from when she was my manager. I snuck a handycam in one night and shot her. She was pretty pissed, but it was well worth it! I learned that I could come in with a really soft pencil, like an 8B or 9B, and do shading right into the oil pastels, and then blend with a fingertip if Iwant. It allows much tighter rendering than straight oil pastels. I know it sort of greys the image down, but I like the look.
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

    Sketchbook

  31. #30
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    About time I posted some drawings, huh? Seeking C&C

    Still needs some work... the ear is terrible! What jumps out at me the most is that the glasses aren't symmetrical.. one lens is longer than the other. D-OH! :mad:

    There's a lot wrong with it I know, but some pretty decent rendering IMO, and I'm starting to get back in the groove again. A few more of these and I'll be back in top form.
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

    Sketchbook

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