Sketchbook: Stuck in a rut, in need of advice

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  1. #1
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    Stuck in a rut, in need of advice

    Hello all you folks of concept art, i'm here with a bit of a plea because i am just... STUCK! I've hit a wall where I'm failing to find any satisfaction in the art i produce which has created a routine...

    Get an itch to draw > doodle up a good couple of basic sketches > redo sketch 3 or so times to get it right > produce good ish sketch >attempt to ink >get irritated > fall into a little depressed phase over my artwork > Give up drawing for a few weeks then repeat process.

    It's made it very hard to actually get anywhere and i just seem to be going from good to bad to worse then back to good quality without making any real difference so I'm coming here in the hopes that you guys and gals could point me the right way.. help me break out of this little rut I cant seem to break free from.

    Focusing mostly on humanoids right now, I generally tend to focus on mecha and fantasy monsters/aliens so naturally my human face proficiency is lacking somewhat, but here i intend to focus on them mostly, no doubt you'll see alot of elvish/orc eventually i want to have a decent fantasy comic featuring elves vs orcs.

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    Last edited by thecitywolf.uk; October 20th, 2011 at 06:20 AM. Reason: rearranging pictures
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  3. #2
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    the top picture is a fine example of my routine, I produced that.. 2-3 months ago based off a life drawing sketch I did, i love how it turned out if it is a bit more suggestive then i had intended but then suddenly.. that kind of skill ebbs from me and i'm back to stickmen. Consistency is probbaly my single biggest problem.

    the other two human sketches I did just this morning.. while the more cartoony version turned out better (gayer but better ) but I want something a bit more grizzled yet my hands just wont seem to work that way

    Feel free to ask for further examples and such, I'm not sure what exactly i need to show but i'm willing to be flexible with any requests

    Last edited by thecitywolf.uk; October 6th, 2011 at 06:29 AM.
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  4. #3
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    My second go at doing Male faces, I focused mostly on placement of features and i referenced a bit of burnehogarth to get some of the features right and generall postioning I used photographs of skulls to get the basic idea but now this seems like one extreme to another but i suppose it wont be hard to 'smooth out' a bit

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  5. #4
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    Hey man I like the sketches. I know that the process can be daunting but you just need to keep pluging away. Try and draw a lot of objects and after that do a major sketch of a model and what not. Try and do warm up sketches before moving onto something to make a big piece. Hope it helps .

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  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silent-samurai87 View Post
    Hey man I like the sketches. I know that the process can be daunting but you just need to keep pluging away. Try and draw a lot of objects and after that do a major sketch of a model and what not. Try and do warm up sketches before moving onto something to make a big piece. Hope it helps .
    Not daunting, just repeditive but so far switching my focus like this is paying off somewhat. thinking about things i rarely draw they're allways different everytime and i like it wheras my regular stuff doesnt seem to change much and i dont like that so yah and yes i will try some still life and such

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    Working up a rotation, male-female-male-female i seem to be focusing on one or the other when they both overlay to an extent.

    Also... Inking.. is my nemesis I can sketch sketch/ink sketch colour... but i cant seem to actually ink a picture.. I seem to lose so much detail from my sketch tho admitidly this ones better then my usuall

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    "....Give up drawing for a few weeks then repeat process."

    See even if you think you suck, all I can say is, don't give yourself those weeks - just the next day, pick up your pencil and draw again. I'm sure every day you do an hours worth or so of sketching, you're going to learn something new and correct yourself for next time. That's how I like to view improvement in drawing anyway...

    You've got great lush form going on with your figures there I reckon maybe you should try a bit of a session working on the facial features like those noses - it's my only qualm with your work I have so far. You got the general shape going on which is great, though I still reckon there is more to touch up on!

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  11. #8
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    cool sketches i like them the most thing that you show strong lines in your drawing.

    post more and share what you've done with your friend to help you to improve your
    art skills. don't be shy to ask any question about art study or advices from CA people
    because they are the best company helping you to find yourself in art movements

    keep it up my friend

    and

    welcome in CA world

    qlotzan

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  13. #9
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    I suppose that does have to be my goal, more frequent since i do seem to forget alot of things when i draw.

    I supppose i'm still more or less warming up with these characters.. i cant... really decide on a theme.. i cant come to it and decide what full/final picture i'm after

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    Quote Originally Posted by qlotzan View Post
    cool sketches i like them the most thing that you show strong lines in your drawing.

    post more and share what you've done with your friend to help you to improve your
    art skills. don't be shy to ask any question about art study or advices from CA people
    because they are the best company helping you to find yourself in art movements

    keep it up my friend

    and

    welcome in CA world

    qlotzan
    thank you qlotzan ^_^ I seem to have picked up the habbit of speed sketching, so strong lines seem to work better for me and i will! just being able to post my work somewhere like this helping

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  15. #11
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    As well as changing focus i'm switching from dragons and focusing on gryphons, I am fairly content with my reptilian understanding but General fur/feather etc is something I havent done very much of so I figured a gryphon would cover those bases.

    This is my first try... see how well it came out for 5 minuites (including researching birds) when it comes to animals I dont tend to struggle. I seem to have a good grasp on them

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  16. #12
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    Simple form start its great way to draw anything u want! Keep posting!)

    sketchbook
    my web Looking for a work
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  18. #13
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    nearly 3am ~'~ but this is new for me.. havent had a chance to draw properly today but i've gone out of my way to have at least 20 minuites to practice after work. (yay bartending...)

    Definatly enjoying the results more but actual style wise i'm not too happy, tho I suppose i am my own worst critique.

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    sunday afternoon, hour and a half before i have to get ready for work.

    First full female form since i started focusing on humans, didnt turn out as bad as i figured, she actally looks feminine! tho i think her chest could do with some work... but.. the picture i had didnt give me much depth to work with but i sussed a few things, i.e. i draw fems typicallt too thin and males to wide apparently.

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  20. #15
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    last one for today
    2 male faces from photos, while there's defninatly a style emerging here... i'm missing bits... like how the face on the right looks absolutly nothing like me! (webcam photo for reference)

    more photo reference from now on i think

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  21. #16
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    Hey, mate. Not a bad start at all. Just try to give yourself a routine and pay a wee bit more attention to the values in faces. A simple scribling along the side of the nose and face won't give them the proper sense of form they deserve. Have a go at really focusing when you're shading. Other than that, just keep on drawing.

    - Sketchbook - Society6 - Etsy
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  23. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naidy View Post
    Hey, mate. Not a bad start at all. Just try to give yourself a routine and pay a wee bit more attention to the values in faces. A simple scribling along the side of the nose and face won't give them the proper sense of form they deserve. Have a go at really focusing when you're shading. Other than that, just keep on drawing.
    Hehe more of a restart.

    Thanks for the input but i'm not entirely sure what you mean by values, i'm assuming shading and lineweight which i had a little go at

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  24. #18
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    just my quick little trial before bed, trying hard to focus on the features but i got the gist of getting everything angled, i can get the basic position for any pose i want, more work on features needed, life drawing would be good

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  25. #19
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    getting a bit more creative, things popping up that i do fancy drawing, naturally any good fantasy fic involves horses!

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  26. #20
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    http://painting.about.com/od/colourt...ClassTones.htm

    Sorry, mate. Suppose I should have explained what I meant better.
    Consider the last pictures you did after my post. I see three shades; white(what you've left blank), grey(the bit of shading) and black(which is the line art). In reality, there is not really that much white on a face. Only a wee bit on the eyes and all that. Everything else is subtle differences in tone. If you look at the woman in your reff, the only parts you could choose to keep white are three wee highlights on the nose, cheek and a bit above the eyebrow.

    Around that, the next lightest is the white of th eyes, just under the bottom eyelids (and the corners of the eye) along with a bit of the chin, the upper part of the nose bridge and just below her eyebrows. The rest of the nose, cheek, forehead, are a bit darker followed by where it goes even darker just under the chin, around the cheek bones, under the jaw and just under her lips.

    See, that was a (very) quick observation and that's already a few different shades in there. Learn to identify the lightest, the darkest and every shade in between and depict it as best as you can in your studies. I'm trying to get this myself so I know it is not easy to understand, but the earlier you get in the habit the better.

    So, it'd be nice to see you revisit the woman and look at her more critically. I'm sure the difference will be massive.

    Oh, and I better add I like the horse. Keep on working!

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  28. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naidy View Post
    http://painting.about.com/od/colourt...ClassTones.htm

    Sorry, mate. Suppose I should have explained what I meant better.
    Consider the last pictures you did after my post. I see three shades; white(what you've left blank), grey(the bit of shading) and black(which is the line art). In reality, there is not really that much white on a face. Only a wee bit on the eyes and all that. Everything else is subtle differences in tone. If you look at the woman in your reff, the only parts you could choose to keep white are three wee highlights on the nose, cheek and a bit above the eyebrow.

    Around that, the next lightest is the white of th eyes, just under the bottom eyelids (and the corners of the eye) along with a bit of the chin, the upper part of the nose bridge and just below her eyebrows. The rest of the nose, cheek, forehead, are a bit darker followed by where it goes even darker just under the chin, around the cheek bones, under the jaw and just under her lips.

    See, that was a (very) quick observation and that's already a few different shades in there. Learn to identify the lightest, the darkest and every shade in between and depict it as best as you can in your studies. I'm trying to get this myself so I know it is not easy to understand, but the earlier you get in the habit the better.

    So, it'd be nice to see you revisit the woman and look at her more critically. I'm sure the difference will be massive.

    Oh, and I better add I like the horse. Keep on working!

    I'm unsure if i'm posting these right, i dont see any option for notify previous poster.

    Thank you for getting back to me, i was kinda scratching my head because i was thinking mainly about the actualy construction rather then depth and tone but i Understand where your going. I decided against doing the same woman (mainly because the small resolution of the pic) and claimed myself another and i immediatly understood, any pic.. once the colour is removed resorts to a ballet of grey.

    I understand this concept :3 and yes I do need to focus as much on my colour/tone scale as I am my lineart

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  29. #22
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    first drawing of the day, this horseriding idea is giving me alot to work with however i seem to be getting stuck with sideon angles, they're easy more of less but i dont want to be restricted like this.

    I should use this as my reference and try a better angle

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  30. #23
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    attempt 2 using pic one as reference, yah this could work for me!

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  31. #24
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    Yeah, it is annoying how there's no real way to notify others to your replies but I figured you'd have replied by now so I went and had a check up.

    And yes. Already there's a big improvement! Though, you've made it quite tough on yourself by picking that for reff. The picture looks like it's been brightened so much it completely flattens the girl's face. It's hard enough identifying different tones on a decent refference, let alone a flat one.

    Lots of photos will do this so keep a watch out.
    Bad reff: http://feedmink.deviantart.com/art/S...trait-59336291 almost completely pale, only the tiniest hints to suggest her face isn't flat as a board.

    Better reff: http://rainbowhackeysack.deviantart....rait-261801715

    Try to keep a look out for photos that don't have the light going straight on their face, as it flattens them and then you will be scratching your head when you try to figure out why your study looks flat too.

    Now, if you've checked my stuff you might realise I'm a far, far, far cry from being an expert so it is always best to do some research yourself on the matter. There's plenty of things on the art discussion forum about photo refferences if you search. (Don't make a new thread there about them, they will most likely sass you right off of CA).

    Good luck and Keep up the good work

    - Sketchbook - Society6 - Etsy
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  32. #25
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    that does help clear things up a bit and yeah that definatly made the job easier, features were easier to pick out but this kind of life drawing isnt my aim, i'm still strugling to construct my characters, my eventual aim is more comicbook/animation

    which the bottom pic would be more close, and also goes against my usuall instinct but i like it.

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  33. #26
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    Also i'm noticing how much easier colouring is then sketching.... *taps his chin*

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