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  1. #91
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    I'd agree that it's hard to make an opinion on your SB. While you need line for your animation, it isn't necessary as much when you''re doing studies or life drawing. I feel that you're drawing in isolation and rushing through everything. Before starting a study think of what you want to accomplish and how you'll get there. This isn't a race to see how many pieces you can push out. Speed will come with time, but you need to slow down and push those studies a lot further before moving on. Work on making your forms more solid and in their own space.


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  4. #92
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    Thanks for the advice on my sketchbook--the eyes are doe like, and while I like that, I think it does need to be changed.

    Your work is cool and I admire your dedication. My only advice is to quit using white as the highlight. White is almost never seen as a highlight, usually it's a very light shade of the same color, to keep the hue. Great sketchbook, you have a lot of great work!

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  6. #93
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    Okay, so I'm sorry that I haven't been keeping up with you guys lately... but I'm being crushed under the weight of deadlines.

    So! With that, I'll give you the smallest sample of what's going on... And I promise you, there will be more soon (I have approx. 40 more things to scan, not counting the large pieces).

    Sketchbook... Round 2! FIGHT!!

    This is just a TINY sample of my animation... UNCOLORED of course.

    Responses next update... which should be in a few days.
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  7. #94
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    I don't have a ton of time... but it's been a bit since I posted something actually worth looking at.

    I finally took a break from my homework stuff and gathered enough time to draw this pretty fast.

    Lorelei, the Demon Queen - Redesign

    Sketchbook... Round 2! FIGHT!!

    Title: Lorelei, the Demon Queen - Redesign
    Date: April 20, 2012
    Medium: Ink
    Scale: Original is 9" x 12"

    Notes: This was a piece originally done in 2011, I just finally had some time to sit and do something personal. I really didn't have a ton of time to sit and really study the character design before drawing, so I just jumped into the ink right away. Hopefully you like it?
    I just had to step away from my homework for a minute and just relax doing something I enjoy.

    Sketchbook... Round 2! FIGHT!!
    Here is the original. (2011)

    ----RESPONSES----
    -------------------

    Riley Stark:

    I'm curious to know that what style of art you're ultimately working towards? Like, if knowledge/ability was put aside, which genre of art you'd see yourself mostly doing? (I see you testing a lot of different styles and was kind of curious to know if you tended to favor any particularly - just so I can understand you as an artist better, since I really don't know you all that well yet when everything's said and done.)

    The life stuff is looking good. I like the piece that's the guy in the loin cloth (from behind) with the spear and then the studies from the park the best out of the bunch. Also, that piece that's the night scene -- reverse white on black. That's pretty cool, too.

    On some of your figures, I'd ease up on the thickness/darkness of your outlines. When your outlines are darker than the shadows on the figure, it makes it feel kind of flat/cartoonish. (Darker edges just seem to make it more difficult for a form visually to turn in 3D space. I think it's the abruptness of the edge - it's so dark, and then there's nothing, so it feels flat. Lighten it up a bit and I think your figures will jump ahead. Your graphite stuff, for instance, has a much better balance of edges/shadows than your charcoal stuff. Granted, the graphite probably has a much finer edge than the charcoal you're working with, but lighten your hand up with the graphite to compensate a bit. Try to draw with more confident lines, too, and get rid of the 'sketchy' feeling. It's easier said than done, I know -- I struggle with it at times, too.)

    The comments about dark edges/thick line work applies to your digital stuff, too. You don't need to sketch with such thick lines -- it's making it much harder to see the true nature of some of your shapes. And, if you try to paint over the thick lines, it can throw your proportions off, too. Take, for instance, the sketch of Joe Manganiello. Is the actual figure designated to the painted areas or are the outside edges of the black outlines the actual edges of his figure? That'd be a pretty big difference proportion-wise in some areas if you paint over the outlines, or if you were to simply delete them. One would be considerably bigger in parts than the other. If you sketch with thinner lines, however, you'll get a much more accurate judge of proportions/shapes, especially if you're planning to paint things after the sketch. (I hope that makes sense the way I worded it. XD ) Try to make your digital brush the size about the size of an actual pen tip and see how you do sketching with that -- I bet your sketches will be much easier to read and work with. (Think of how much easier it would be to paint in the life sketch of the guy with the loin cloth and the spear vs. painting in your sketch of Joe, for instance. Especially if you decide to delete the sketch when you're done -- you'll wind up with something much more consistent. If you were to paint in the sketch of Joe around the lines you currently have, you'll wind up with gaps in the paint if you delete the line work, which makes it almost useless to lay the paint down beforehand -- you'd wind up with something that looks more like pieces of a puzzle on your paper than a solid figure.)

    Also, digital tip: Always tone your background before you start painting. If you paint your colors (or even just values) against white, you're going to have a hard time judging their true intensity/value accurately. (How can you tell how light or dark something is when it's just against stark white? Everything is going to look darker when compared against it so, if you decide to put a background in there after the fact, it'll throw all the values you've already laid in off because now you'll actually have something to compare them against. It makes it very hard to make your figure feel like it's meshing with the intended environment if you do the process in reverse. You don't have to go crazy -- just lay down a neutral medium-value/color and you're good to go, kind of like you have in the piece with Joe. It'll help you to get the most out of your lighting and your shadows. Notice how much easier it is to establish lighting, for instance, in your Joe piece than in your other piece with just the guy's face? You can tell where the lights and darks are on Joe instantly, but the face is much harder to judge the lightest of lights because they're almost exactly the same as the background. You throw a background on the face piece, it'll change the intensity of the already established values entirely.)

    As far as Caravaggio goes, I think it's kind of cool that you're working from an actual print instead of one off the computer. It would make it harder to make sure the canvas size is the same (obviously) but, I think if you can at least keep the proportions/edge dimensions generally the same, you'll be in good shape for eyeballing the placement of things in the painting. (You could always just grab a cap of the painting off google and use the general dimensions of the image for your canvas, then toss the picture itself and use your print as your actual reference. That's probably what I'd do and save myself a bit of headache trying to figure out how big the edges should be by actually measuring them out and then trying to translate that into my computer.)

    Glad to see you're getting so much done with summer approaching. (I know that this time of year with school is crazy, trying to wrap everything up!) Keep up the hard work -- Looking forward to your next update! ^_^
    Well, I've actually thought about this comment a ton, even moreso well before you said anything... I'm actually going towards a more realistic approach with my art. My main art of influence is mostly Baroque art (like the realism aspect of it) for example, Rembrandt, Valasquez, etc, have a very heavy influence on my work.
    But that's just the painterly aspect. I love the more contemporary works... My main influence has got to be Marko Djurdjevic. I love how he has this very sketchy look to most of his work, yet it still makes very much sense. Like I'm heavily influenced by work like this... http://depblog.weblogs.us/wp-content...2/starfish.jpg
    And also Wes Burt, http://www.wesleyburt.com/degenesis/judges1.jpg

    But I mean... who isn't influenced by these guys?

    They are amazing!

    But anyway, I could go on and on with my references... If you ever thumb through my sketchbooks, I have random snippets of art from all sorts of sources that are influencing my work. Those are just my main inspirations.

    Also, keep in mind that I'm in art school, they don't exactly give you a ton of creative freedom in the lower level classes. It's just basic work to get your mind going... that's pretty much what you've seen since this blog began (again) is my start from art school forward. I'm trying to use it as a visual journal if you will. From start to end, to see how much I've evolved from then.

    As time goes on, and I get into my upper division classes, you'll see a ton more of my own flair coming back out. It's just been repressed from the recent school aspect.
    Ultimately, I love horror, sci-fi, and fantasy. So those three topics are pretty much all I'm into when it comes to what type of stuff I'd like to work on, but I'm trying to be very variable.

    I want to be a 3D environmental artist or concept artist, there's really not much else that I think about. And like I said, if you ever look through my sketchbooks, there is almost as much writing in there as there is art. I'm very concept driven. I like to write and create worlds for just about everything I do. It probably doesn't hurt at all that I live with a creative writing major as well...

    Anyway... I digress...

    Thanks for all the comments, and I'll make sure to start taking into consideration the light - dark ratio, so that the pieces start to make more sense. Also, I really like the comments about painting, I need to start focusing more on that...

    -------------------
    -------------------

    SHEET! I just realized that I have to head to work... I'll finish with the comments when I get back!



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  8. #95
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    Marko = all kinds of win. He's amazing. (And so is Wes, of course.)

    Since you brought up Marko and going for a more realistic style, however, I'll use those as a compass point to compare your last sketches to --

    When I look at Marko's stuff (we'll specifically use the piece you linked to to keep things simple), he tends to keep things rather angular while throwing in a few rounded shapes to break things up. Design-wise it makes things feel cohesive (because there are a lot of similar angles and feel to the items in the design), but the few broken up areas where there are rounded shapes thrown in gives a randomness that you'd expect in real life. Now, when I compare his design (disregarding his epic skill level, of course) to yours - yours looks cartoony by comparison because almost everything is rounded. (Which tends to lend itself to a more cartoony-feel in general.) Her shoes are rounded design, her blades are rounded or curved, the horns on her head are curved feeling with curvy fabric stuff at their base, the draping fabrics of her costume are round-shaped, her breast plates are round, her hair style has a rounded feel, even the handle of the massive blade on her back is all rounded shapes. There are some great spots where you could add some straighter lines to give things a more 'Marko' style feel -- like, give her a choppy, angular hair cut. Add some jagged nicks in the blade of her sword. Make her shoes more pointed. Add some tears into the fabric areas that are rounded to break up the shapes. Give that handle in the back an angular feel. Give her breastplate some angular design elements. (These are all just suggestions where you COULD break things up design-wise to get that life-like variation, those decisions would have to be up to you to put in where you feel they make the most sense, naturally, because it's your design.)

    If you look at Marko's sketch - he's got the angle of the fabric of the wrap he's wearing, which matches the angle of the staff-thing he's holding, which is echoed by the stance of the foot and the direction of the claw thing on the hand on our right. Now, to break up all those angles he's set in -- he's got the circular pendant-things on his belt, the rounded head trophy he's got hanging there, too. Then there are circle links hanging over the angular wrap he's wearing. A rounded-edged pendant laid on top of the angular foot. Rounded goggles that off-set the angular nose on the face and many pointed edges of the necklace below. The rounded cap/edge of the claw thing on his hand vs. the angularity of the blades themselves on the same object. Etc. There's a lot more variety in the design. (Which makes it feel more real. That variety is the key.)

    So, mix it up! Throw in some squared edges occasionally to break things up and you'll find your stuff coming closer to the feel you're looking to go for. ^_^

    Also, lots of anatomy studies. ('Cause those two guys are definitely on top of that stuff in a crazy sort of way. And, the more you do those, the easier it is to do realistic stuff anyhow.)

  9. #96
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    I've never had one of these flat out response posts before... but here goes:

    ----RESPONSES----
    -------------------

    Ohaeri:

    When I was still doing fractal art, I found doing competitions to be really helpful to my development once I got past a certain point of skill. Like, I wouldn't want to embarrass myself, but if I thought my relative skill level was good enough to make an okay showing of it I would enter. I also found doing requests to be extremely helpful. They were free so there wasn't any pressure, but I also had an audience that I could aim it toward.
    I think doing competitions could sometimes help because it would force you into a deadline. Most real-world projects are on very strict deadlines. So it would probably help to get some of those in there sometimes. But yeah, we'd do free ones. I don't think the skill is on par yet to really charge the good bucks.

    poetry man:

    Hey there, I see you've done a lot of explaining, and also a LOT of experimenting. That is fantastic, I'm sure your knowledge and understanding of certain principles,elements is leveling up rapidly. I can't relate that well to the images in general, I'm not sure if you get this a lot, but what is your overall style? what appeal are you going for? where would you say your avenue in art is? Kinda hard to tell by just skimming through- you should be able to- that is, to recognize an artists style by skimming... No one has time to go through every single post in every sketchbook, especially for the art admirers like myself-- So, trying to relate to most of your posts as a whole I would say is kinda hard-- not that every artist should be pinpointed (we are in a post-modern age after all) I believe... But I guess all of that just makes you interesting. You're very explorative that is. uhm.. keep it up I guess, if you know where your aim in life for art is- that's all that matters.

    Maybe you have the makings of a teacher.. I dunno lol.. you can freely disregard all of what I said, I'm not here to crit.. PEace bro!
    I agree, that I need more focus. But like I said earlier, I'm still in art school, at least in the early stages -- they discourage style and personal expression until you get the basics out of the way (which usually includes hundreds of still lifes, render studies, media exploration, etc.). As I progress in school (and even during the summers) there will be much more focus on personal flair and style.
    I do agree though, that I need direction in the long run.
    I have been told that before actually, that I'd make a good teacher. I'm currently tutoring quite a few people at school in different techniques and medias.
    But either way, thanks! You've helped even further my scope.

    Black Spot:

    I'd agree that it's hard to make an opinion on your SB. While you need line for your animation, it isn't necessary as much when you''re doing studies or life drawing. I feel that you're drawing in isolation and rushing through everything. Before starting a study think of what you want to accomplish and how you'll get there. This isn't a race to see how many pieces you can push out. Speed will come with time, but you need to slow down and push those studies a lot further before moving on. Work on making your forms more solid and in their own space.
    It's interesting that people say that my work is fast. These pieces (the large ones especially) are like two to ten hour works. They are just the culmination of my pieces throughout the semester to midterm. I usually do two big posts like this, one at the middle, one at the end. I just fell behind really. Usually check the dates and you'll see that I'm not just powering through, I'm actually working a ton individually.
    I'm not sure what you mean about the drawing in isolation, maybe you could expand upon that? If it means drawing by myself, I'm usually in a class of about ten to twenty people... I could be misunderstanding you though haha!

    Frostelle:

    Thanks for the advice on my sketchbook--the eyes are doe like, and while I like that, I think it does need to be changed.

    Your work is cool and I admire your dedication. My only advice is to quit using white as the highlight. White is almost never seen as a highlight, usually it's a very light shade of the same color, to keep the hue. Great sketchbook, you have a lot of great work!
    Oh man, I completely agree. The white and black for shadows and highlights is just a terrible practice that is bleeding over from my graphite and charcoal pieces... I need to think of color in not terms of black and white (unless for compositions). But anyway... thanks!

    Riley Stark:

    Marko = all kinds of win. He's amazing. (And so is Wes, of course.)

    Since you brought up Marko and going for a more realistic style, however, I'll use those as a compass point to compare your last sketches to --

    When I look at Marko's stuff (we'll specifically use the piece you linked to to keep things simple), he tends to keep things rather angular while throwing in a few rounded shapes to break things up. Design-wise it makes things feel cohesive (because there are a lot of similar angles and feel to the items in the design), but the few broken up areas where there are rounded shapes thrown in gives a randomness that you'd expect in real life. Now, when I compare his design (disregarding his epic skill level, of course) to yours - yours looks cartoony by comparison because almost everything is rounded. (Which tends to lend itself to a more cartoony-feel in general.) Her shoes are rounded design, her blades are rounded or curved, the horns on her head are curved feeling with curvy fabric stuff at their base, the draping fabrics of her costume are round-shaped, her breast plates are round, her hair style has a rounded feel, even the handle of the massive blade on her back is all rounded shapes. There are some great spots where you could add some straighter lines to give things a more 'Marko' style feel -- like, give her a choppy, angular hair cut. Add some jagged nicks in the blade of her sword. Make her shoes more pointed. Add some tears into the fabric areas that are rounded to break up the shapes. Give that handle in the back an angular feel. Give her breastplate some angular design elements. (These are all just suggestions where you COULD break things up design-wise to get that life-like variation, those decisions would have to be up to you to put in where you feel they make the most sense, naturally, because it's your design.)

    If you look at Marko's sketch - he's got the angle of the fabric of the wrap he's wearing, which matches the angle of the staff-thing he's holding, which is echoed by the stance of the foot and the direction of the claw thing on the hand on our right. Now, to break up all those angles he's set in -- he's got the circular pendant-things on his belt, the rounded head trophy he's got hanging there, too. Then there are circle links hanging over the angular wrap he's wearing. A rounded-edged pendant laid on top of the angular foot. Rounded goggles that off-set the angular nose on the face and many pointed edges of the necklace below. The rounded cap/edge of the claw thing on his hand vs. the angularity of the blades themselves on the same object. Etc. There's a lot more variety in the design. (Which makes it feel more real. That variety is the key.)

    So, mix it up! Throw in some squared edges occasionally to break things up and you'll find your stuff coming closer to the feel you're looking to go for. ^_^

    Also, lots of anatomy studies. ('Cause those two guys are definitely on top of that stuff in a crazy sort of way. And, the more you do those, the easier it is to do realistic stuff anyhow.)
    I NEVER actually thought about this. I was always thinking about form break-up (like the angle to circle) but I guess I never really noticed that I did that all the time. I think that I will make sure to pay attention to that from now on. I think another thing that I tend to disregard is light to dark ratio. Especially in my inks and charcoals. Like the light doesn't really have a specific direction.

    So many suggestions! That's amazing...

    Yeah, I need 10,000,000 more anatomy pages at least If realism is what I want, then realism MUST be studied.

    -------------------
    -------------------

    Thanks for the feedback guys.

    I actually have an announcement of sorts... I've actually changed my major to Illustration, so now I have a more focused direction instead of trying to be scattered all over the place I can now focus entirely on drawing, painting, illustrating. It's very important for this to take precedence over trying to study movement and action in terms of animation.

    Anyway, again... thanks! And sorry for no art this go around >.<
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  10. #97
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    Since I've been stupid busy these last few weeks... I think I'll just start with my updates again smaller than I would.

    I'm going to break this update up a bunch, mainly because I have to go to work in a few minutes, but...

    Here's the charcoal portraits that we've done in class. All from life.

    Portraits from Life

    Sketchbook... Round 2! FIGHT!!
    Sketchbook... Round 2! FIGHT!!
    Sketchbook... Round 2! FIGHT!!
    Sketchbook... Round 2! FIGHT!!
    Sketchbook... Round 2! FIGHT!!
    Sketchbook... Round 2! FIGHT!!
    Sketchbook... Round 2! FIGHT!!
    Sketchbook... Round 2! FIGHT!!
    Sketchbook... Round 2! FIGHT!!
    Sketchbook... Round 2! FIGHT!!
    Sketchbook... Round 2! FIGHT!!
    Sketchbook... Round 2! FIGHT!!
    Sketchbook... Round 2! FIGHT!!
    Sketchbook... Round 2! FIGHT!!

    Title: Portraits from Life
    Date: April 17 - 24, 2012
    Medium: Vine Charcoal
    Scale: Each portrait is 20" x 30"

    Notes: Each of these were timed. Approx. ten minutes for each. The earlier ones were faster, etc. This was a really fun exercise, and it is awesome to draw REALLY large when doing portraits. Especially in charcoal.
    Hopefully you can see a progression as I feel like I've gotten better really fast at this.

    Thanks for viewing... more later!
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  11. #98
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    Not too shabby at all for about 10 min. each, but I think some dedicated head studies are definitely in order. (Some of your skulls are a bit misshapen, which means you're not entirely sure about the structure and that'll also slow you down if you're quick sketching from life.)

    One thing that I'm noticing you're almost consistently doing is that you're placing your mouth/teeth area kind of far forward on the face, like they all have jutting teeth underneath their lips (kind of like a horse) -- While some people do have their teeth placed forward like that, most people don't. I think your mouth-areas looking like this is mostly an illusion being caused because your foreheads are very shallow.. If you make those a bit more prominent, your mouths will look more in place by comparison. (Or you can draw them a bit farther back on the face to compensate, but I think fixing the foreheads is probably the better option. The mouth usually won't stick out farther than the edge of the forehead the majority of the time, typically it sits a bit farther back.)

    Funnily enough, the two best pieces out of the bunch (IMHO) are the more complicated 3/4 view pieces. (Girl with the glasses and then the second to last guy with the beard.) I have a hard time with profiles, too -- Just getting the different features to sit correctly in the face kind of hurts my brain sometimes.. I always feel like the features look pasted on whenever I do profile pieces, but most people I watch seem to be able to bang them out quickly and then have trouble placing features correctly on the 3/4. (Huzzah for being backwards. XD)

    Anyway, enough of my rambling -- Keep up the good work and I look forward to your next update!

    (Oh P.S. - Congrats on switching the major! I'll be curious to see what you do with it! ^_^)

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  13. #99
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    Even when you're drawing from life you should still figure out the basic base shape and landmarks of the head before applying detail. When you skip that step you'll end up with the heads looking warped like they do in some of those.

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  15. #100
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    Here is my color final all laid out together.

    Four Seasons

    Sketchbook... Round 2! FIGHT!!

    Title: Four Seasons
    Date: May 1 - 3, 2012
    Medium: Gouache on Bristol Board
    Scale: Each piece is 6" x 9"

    Notes: The requirement for this project was to use the four seasons as a base and then make compositions related to them. I hope that I wasn't too literal, but we'll see how it goes once I sit down and get critiqued.

    Official summertime work schedule!

    Sketchbook... Round 2! FIGHT!!

    It's a modified version of the Crimson Daggers schedule. I need to do this during the semester to catch up with my illustration stuff for the fall (keep in mind that I'm going to a traditional media school, thus so much traditional media. Plus I want to get good at these anyway).

    Supply list so far:

    Minimum Five(5) sketchbooks.
    You will need one for each media.

    I recommend Canson Multi-media

    Basic set of watercolor:

    Cadmium Yellow (light)
    Cadmium Yellow (medium)
    Cadmium Red (medium)
    Alizarin Crimson
    Ultramarine Blue
    Pthalocyanine Blue
    Pthalocyanine Green
    Hooker's Green
    Burnt Sienna
    Burnt Umber

    Brushes:

    1/4" Flat, 1" Flat, #8 Round

    Color Palette
    Water Jar

    Vine Charcoal,
    Compressed Charcoal,
    White Conte,
    Brown Conte,
    White Chalk.

    A set of Staedtler Pigment Liners (0.1, 0.3, 0.5, 0.7)

    Speedball India Ink.

    Anything can be used to apply the ink. I actually prefer a pointed stick or bamboo brush.

    Wacom Tablet (at least Bamboo Fun)

    As many pencils as you can find. Preferably just #2 mechanical pencils, but experiment!

    This is all I have so far, I'm sure things will change.
    If you want to follow along, make sure to comment below with a link to your blog and I'll check on your progress.

    Responses after lunch or so today, I have more to upload and update. One more final to go... THEN SUMMER!
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  16. #101
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    Awesome stuff you've got here, I can tell that you're going to improve exponentially! x)

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  18. #102
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    Finally done with school for FOUR MONTHS! Ugh, what am I going to do with myself...

    Well, here's the wrap up of animation:

    Cora's Day


    Title: Cora's Day
    Date: May 7, 2012

    Notes: Here is the rough version of the animatic that we submitted for finals.

    First of Many Anatomy Studies

    Sketchbook... Round 2! FIGHT!!

    Title: First of Many Anatomy Studies
    Date: May 5, 2012
    Medium: Graphite
    Scale: 9" x 12"

    Notes: The first anatomy study to celebrate the summer with!

    Well, there will be MUCH MUCH MUCH x 10 more to come this summer. I have a ton of stuff to get onto, but for now, WE DRINK!

    Sketchbook... Round 2! FIGHT!!
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  19. #103
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    Hooray for classes being done!

    I really like the girl in the coat, but I wouldn't classify it as an 'anatomy study'. (You can hardly see much of the figure because it's hidden by the huge coat. XD. Anyway, anatomy studies are more about breaking down the different parts of the body and learning how they're constructed / how they move. This could maybe go more under 'figure drawing' or something like that, but not anatomy.)

    I like that you thinned out your lines -- it looks a lot nicer. I also like the cast shadow from the collar. (I think it would be cool if you did something similar on the ground to really cement in how strong the lighting is. I think it would help the figure pop more off the page, too.) Did you draw this from refrence or imagination? If I had to nitpick anything, the only real thing I can think of is that her arms/torso area seems slightly on the long side to me, but that's all I've got. Nice job!

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  21. #104
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    Mat good progress so far. I as well like the girl in the coat study. That's a killer summer schedule. Looking forward to seeing how you grow with the hard work

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  23. #105
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    The school sounds amazing. The recent studies definitely shows great improvement.

    Thanks for putting up that supply list BTW. Made me want to get quite a few more supplies now.

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