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  1. #1
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    Msafs' sketchbook

    --Jan 2013--
    I'm now a third year information technology student, and I've calculated (via a lengthy spreadsheet) that I've spent more than 1,300 hours drawing and painting. (This is what one does for fun with an IT degree). I'm hoping to get to the fabled 10,000 hours at some point, and perhaps when I'm old and crazy from too many hours staring at code and setup screens, I'll run off and become an artist.

    --Dec 2011--
    Hello! I’m a second year information technology student and a long time lurker here. I think I posted once and went back to lurking, until this week.
    I took some art classes in high school, and so far I’ve tallied that I’ve spent over 500 hours drawing. Still a long way to go.
    I’m usually crunched for time during the semester with schoolwork and one or two jobs, but I’ve decided to start again.

    The posts aren't really in chronological order...

    Thread icon:

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    Last edited by msafs; January 17th, 2013 at 12:28 AM. Reason: updaterrrrd
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  3. #2
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    I’ll post the good stuff first…
    (The first image is duplicated in case I change the thread icon).

    All but the last one are from 17 yrs old/ 12th grade:

    1. This one took 63 hours with a 0.7 mechanical pencil (it’s 18” x 24”). I used a bit of ebony pencil to detail the alveoli in the background. The person on the right is ref’d from a self portrait photo, the one on the left was ref’d from life (wearing the uniform while drawing).

    2. My best clothed pencil drawing, from a self-portrait photo. Four hours with a 0.7 mechanical pencil.

    3. Drawing from the mirror. About an hour

    4. An illustration from a novella I never finished writing (20858 words so far). Almost entirely from imagination (except for the clenched hands and folds in the pants). About 15 hours in Illustrator.

    5. Eight hour portrait of a friend with a 0.7mm mechanical pencil. I started from life (about 40 minutes) and continued the rest from a photo.

    6. Another mirror drawing. 1 hour 37 min

    7. This one is a T-shirt design for the high school I went to. About thirty hours in Illustrator. Used a bunch of references for various things.

    8. Fourteen hour self portrait in Corel Painter. Mirror reference. The back of the head isn’t deep enough by a lot.

    9.Twenty hours in Photoshop in 11th grade/ 16yrs old. A bit of indirect reference used

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    Last edited by msafs; December 28th, 2011 at 04:38 PM. Reason: Made two images smaller
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    India Ink

    Some Pitt India Ink pen drawings...
    All of them but the last one are friends and teachers drawn from photos (I decided to make my own high school yearbook). The checkerboard shows the progression from my first ink portrait to my twenty-fifth one. They improved a lot, imo.

    The last one is drawn from life. I didn't bother with perspective, so it's pretty off. The blob is from imagination, of course.

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    Moar India Ink

    Some stuff from life and mirror in India Ink pens...
    I like the umbrella a lot. Also, the landscape from campus (#1) although I didn't have a red pen to draw any bricks.
    I didn't try for proper perspective, so they all look off in their own ways.
    The guy in the chair is always sleeping in the same chair in the library. Saw him once in December and twice in the summer. Always wearing the same thing, too. The cables on the desk are so kinked because someone tried to send too much Internet through them.

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    Some Flowers

    Some flowers from my mother's garden...

    The two lilies were drawn when I was 16 years old.
    The first one is five hours in colored pencil from a photo. Wish I still had the original.
    The second was three to five hours in Illustrator and Photoshop from life. Not sure how there were lilies here in February.

    The orchid was from a photo. Seven hours with colored pencil. 17 yrs old.

    The daffodil is India Ink on yellow paper. About an hour when I was 18.

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    Graphite and Colored Pencil

    Some colored pencil and graphite stuff from when I was 15...
    I'm rather fond of the Akatsuki Gundam. That one took nine hours, drawn from life (my action figure). I used Roseart colored pencils, which included a fun metallic gold one. I got some Prismacolors as a gift later, but they're the hard kind and sort of hard to draw with.
    The geode is also from life. Should've used a straightedge for the corner. Maybe five hours?
    I made up the background for the duck on a stool, but the rest was from life. I built the stool in 7th grade. Should've used a straightedge again. That's not my croc.
    The teacup and crayon still life are also drawn from life. The spatial relationships in the crayon one are shot... looks like it was squashed in a microscope slide. Five hours for the crayon one.
    The portrait was of a friend. The only picture she had of herself at the time was a crappy passport photo mugshot, so the angle's really boring. Ten hours.
    And happy new year! Have a snow ZAKU.

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  8. #7
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    Arms and hands

    Some arms and hands and a face... The fist and the hand on the lamp were drawn from life. The rest were from the mirror.

    Art goals for early 2012:
    Start working on constructive anatomy
    Start on lighting
    Learn to create enviros or even draw them from reference... they always turn out awful.

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    Graphite Nudes

    Some nudes and sort of nudes drawn with mechanical pencil and tortillion...
    Bunch of things wrong with each one...
    I think the woman is my favorite, although her breasts ended up looking a bit detached from her body.

    Ref sources:
    http://jasonaaronbaca.deviantart.com...t=408#/d36150y
    http://kristinkk.deviantart.com/gall...et=48#/d351jbb
    (third one's been taken down from http://medusestock.deviantart.com/ 's gallery... shame.)
    http://vishstudio.deviantart.com/gal...aster#/d1h42ym

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    Last edited by msafs; February 11th, 2012 at 01:28 AM. Reason: Well they're not all nudes. Thought I'd clarify that.
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    Life in graphite

    Some things from life in graphite...
    First is a tree in the park. The light coming through the leaves was changing and I had to stop when it turned overcast. From 2009. I left such a large area blank because there was only uniform grass there and I wanted to leave room for characters from my unfinished novella. But I realized I couldn't draw from imagination at the same level of skill as the tree.
    Second is a drapery study done from outside of a window. It was a really thick curtain. Had to stop and bs the lower triangle when it got too dark to see inside.
    Finally is a one hour life drawing pose at the local Art Alliance. It ended just before I got to the hand. The last two are from this June.

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    Your rendering is really beautiful! I like your black and white ink drawings the best though.

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    dude your drawings are so good! keep it up!

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    Thank you, CarlyH! It's a fun challenge not being able to erase the India ink.

    Thanks, Quasar97! I'm definitely going to spend more time drawing this year.

    Here are some ink drawings from reference photos. I decided last year to put all of my ink stuff in one sketchbook so that it didn't get smudged with graphite. Only two pages left as of today.
    In the interest of trying to get things right the first time, I sketched in grey ink instead of pencil, so all of the preliminary mistakes are still there (did the same for some of the life ones in the previous posts).
    I was inspired a lot by Rupert Smissen (and sort of stole his handwriting for a bit).

    Sources:
    http://jappasstickystock.deviantart.com/ (image isn't in the gallery anymore)
    I'm not sure where on Deviantart the second stock photo came from. :/ She's kneeling on a barrel.
    Third: http://freeport.deviantart.com/

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    Digital stuff

    I should be posting more…
    Here's some old stuff. I have some new graphite stuff that I'll post eventually. Not that any of the previous things were in chronological order anyway…
    I have a ton of crappy digital stuff that's a lot worse than my graphite drawings, but here are a few not-yet posted highlights. I need to do more digital.
    I'm quite proud of the kneeling man, although I was too much of a bum to draw his neat gas mask. Five hours for that. The values on Agent Hotchner were getting muddy, so I stopped at five hours, although I think the colors were decent. The Hooverville drawing is a T-shirt design I made for my high school's cardboard box shantytown simulation (the lineart was printed in black and white). It took seven hours to draw in PS and three hours to outline in Illustrator. The outlet used my hand as a ref. The bird one was a thank you card for a bird ornament (so the bird is suppose to look sort of fake). Hand and bulb are terrible and the whole thing took seven hours. Coraline is ref'd from various screenshots and my own pose. The character took four hours to draw in Illustrator before I bs'd a Photoshop background for it. The Sleater-Kinney poster was drawn with a now-offline photo as a ref. It took fifteen hours (two for the pencil sketch, thirteen for the photoshop). I was about an hour and a half from finishing my epic-ish WIP, until I realized that everything was wrong with it even though I'd taken numerous ref shots for it. More fold studies and lighting practice before I attempt anything else so large. The guy with the tires is from only a month ago. I like the right arm. I was trying to use varying opacities and 100% flow/ make more opaque strokes.

    Man holding tires from: http://vishstudio.deviantart.com/gal...ottle#/d1infd7
    Kneeling guy from: http://danger99stock.deviantart.com/...et=96#/d2p6fji

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    Last edited by msafs; February 26th, 2012 at 05:41 PM. Reason: moved image to another post
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    Some of the better pencil drawings I've made recently...

    The first one was drawn from the mirror in 3:19 hours. Someday I'll have to draw a whole bunch of right arms to place on these drawings. Probably my best mirror drawing so far. I realized that with the older ones, I was only paying attention to local values and wasn't getting a coherent range of values over the whole picture. I still drew it part by part, (pants first, then shirt, then fleshy parts, so I could move between the three drawing sessions), but I tried to pay more attention to the thing as a whole. The head outline is gigantic and makes me look even shorter than I am, but too lazy to fix it.
    The second is a drawing of my friend, from a photo. I was very happy with it at first, but then I had the finished drawing open next to the photo and I realized that the head and neck are way too narrow. Somehow I'd missed that with the outlined one at 1.5 hours. The whole drawing took 8.5 hours with an HB and a 2B (for hair) mechanical pencil. I elected not to tortillion the dress to give the drawing more diverse texture. Can't stop seeing that glaring error.
    Grayscale GIFs are fun since the high-res scan was 256 "colors" to begin with.
    Third one is another mirror drawing. The dark outlines look kind of silly because it's a small drawing. I tried to draw a head on this one but it failed and I couldn't erase it. I've been working on putting in nice hands, though.

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    Shirt and arm studies

    I should be drawing more of these... and studying more anatomy via Loomis, but somehow I'm better at drawing from life than I am at drawing the anatomical lines. I think the left one in the second image is my favorite of the bunch. The first left one is crappy besides the torso. I learned that trying to lay down a base layer of graphite before doing the shading details was a bad idea, so I'm back to drawing in small parts again. Some of the directional hatching in the arm curl went awry which made my bicep look bigger than it actually was. I guess I have to go work out more to make it match the picture.

    ... oops. Double posted the shirt from before. But the post looks better this way I think.

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    Last edited by msafs; February 19th, 2012 at 01:48 AM.
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    All glory to the female amazon ornate horned frog

    About two weeks ago I decided to sleep only about three and a half hours per night and paint this IRL version of the hypnotoad (although I later realized that I usually sleep about that much without even a hypnotoad to show for it).
    It took 15 hours in Corel Painter plus a bit more to make the eye frames. Really long for a study, but I think it was worth it. I didn't capture the intensity of the light in the photo and I couldn't manage to draw the warts, but I'm happy with it. Expected to take only five hours at the start, but after I hit seven, I knew I had to finish it.
    Photo ref from George Grall at NatGeo

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    ... >_>

    Why are my enviros all such shit?
    Any suggestions besides "draw more until they're not shit"? I admit I've given up on these in less time than it would take someone of my artistic level to make a nice enviro, but I think I'm pretty good at judging when something of mine is unsalvageable. The third failed in part because I used a super-smudgy oil brush in Painter. I kind of wanted to give the last one to my friend as a present (there's supposed to be someone standing on the log), but I might try drawing it with India ink pens instead.
    I spent a while constructing a 3pt perspective grid in Illustrator, although I learned by drawing lines over the photo that they didn't actually converge (grow straighter, trees), but I decided to use my forced-perspective grid anyway.

    Refs:
    Alps: http://momotte2stocks.deviantart.com...et=48#/d339x7l
    Centralia road: http://camierz06.deviantart.com/gall...doned#/d1ju4sz
    Machu Pichu: http://www.flickr.com/photos/efernan...7625863246924/
    Last is my photo. I can post that if it would help with suggestions.

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    Last edited by msafs; February 26th, 2012 at 06:10 PM. Reason: posted another image
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    Fucking acrylics... how do they work?

    Trying to paint with acrylics seems like herding cats right now... they dry before I can do anything useful with them. Also, there's a grass spider that's biting my foot and I can't manage to find out where it's hiding.
    Just so this isn't completely an angry bullshit post, the second image is a better acrylic painting that I did four years ago. Dammit.
    Is there not an acrylic category in the uploader?
    Any tips?

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    Graphite... my only strong medium, maybe

    More graphite stuff... the shoe is one of my best drawings from 2009. It took 5.75 hours and involved a bit of colored pencil (which I messed up a bit). It was drawn from life.
    Second is my part of a portrait trade from life in 1:14 hrs, also from 2009. A lot of issues with this one, but the right cheek (left on the drawing) showed some promise.
    Third is the same friend drawn this year. 1:49 hrs from life and 4:12 from some photos I took of her. The eyes are out of alignment and the right eyeglass is really screwed, but I like the hair and I think the value's decent. I was trying to improve my mark-making, so I didn't smooth any of it.

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    Color studies in PS...

    Two studies... The first is a lucky Chinese grapefruit/pomelo and a lemon from my grandmother's tree. Painted it from life and it turned out pretty crappy.
    Second is referenced from this photo. I like this one a lot better. My first half decent landscape. The foremost tree is terrible, but I didn't want to spend as long as the hypnotoad study making it perfect. I used Blur's good brush's blocky spiral looking brush and a softer one for the sun .
    The process photos help me realize that I'm actually making progress, since it's so slow. Might try some shorter studies now. In the interest of getting things right the first time, I used only three layers for the first one (bkg + pomelo + lemon) and two for the second (trees and not trees) plus the throwaway outline one.

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    Last edited by msafs; March 24th, 2012 at 12:50 PM.
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    Perspective putzin'

    I'm terrible at drawing things in perspective and finding the perspective in organic things/anything that's not a bunch of plain building lined up. I suppose the next step is to try some more organic things in perspective and try the Loomis body outline.
    I stupidly did the first two in my 8.5"x11" cheap notebook on my lap, so I had to establish the VP with two rulers from a pair of existing lines and then carefully move one to make a new line.
    I'm going to look at a circular thing before trying to draw any more circles.
    Probably about 30 to 45 min for the first two and then 41 min, 61 min and 1hr 51min for the last three, which were done on 11"x17" paper on a table.

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    Derpin' along with some foto figures

    15 - 30 min. On #13 of the line so far. Maybe I'll shoot for 100? (more eventually). Also doing some Loomis that I'll post later. The last girl + chair are from life during the intermission of a play.
    Surely I could make them better if I spent two hours on each one but...

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    100th post. No category.

    Very happy with how the figure turned out (1:16 hr). I'll probably do some shorter 15 min sketches of him. Studying the arms with Loomis and Bridgman, so hopefully that will improve my non-ref'd sketches.
    I did the urban enviro study when I should've been reading and studying a book for Spanish literature, and I subsequently flunked the test about it, but it's heaps better than my previous enviros, so no regrets. Well, maybe a few.
    Skateboarding photo from here

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    Last edited by msafs; April 6th, 2012 at 01:08 AM. Reason: changed duplicate photo
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    Moar figures

    I've been drawing a lot more in the past 1.5 months than earlier in my college career. Trying to ace every test and paper got dull and I'm going to be programming 40 hours a week this summer, so...
    A quarter of the way done with my short term figure goal (100 ten - ninety minute photo figures).
    Some ones from imagination are included for your lulz (last image).

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    Spidurrrs

    I was inspired by a spider that found its way into my room and kept crawling up my leg. I think it was a broad-faced sac spider? Only got a few glances.
    The first one's a sun spider, so not a real spider at all. From two years ago (damn, 2010 passed away long ago). Hope I'm not getting worse. I was trying to imitate the DOF in the photos with a tortillion, to varying degrees of failure. Didn't include much shading – that preggers abdomen in the fourth one was hard enough just to outline. :/

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    Dial up death...

    Might start putting fewer images on each post...
    Some more figures – 11.5 hours of them since I started on 29 March. Not nearly enough to be good, but my imagined figures have improved immensely since the middle of March. I'm kind of proud of this one. I was planning to give him a foot, but I changed the pose halfway through and the page ran out.
    Donated blood for the seventh time on Tuesday. I've been feeling a bit loopy since then.

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    Lady, lady spiders, and wtf

    Some stuff from today. Spider legs are so much harder to visualize in space than human legs. I guess I need to go watch some videos of that hydraulic exoskeleton in action...
    Last one is an awful attempt at combining something or other for lulz.

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    Gentleman and gentlemen spiders

    Last night, another spider belayed down from my ceiling, paused to stare into my eyes and continued down into a crevice in my desk. Can't find it. I just expect that it will crawl up into my pants sometime soon when I'm not expecting it.
    The angle on the human was pretty difficult. The rear leg is way too long/not foreshortened, but it came out better than I thought it would.

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    Way hey hey...

    is that the fleeting scent of improvement that I smell?
    Or maybe it's just sweat.
    The 2012 version did take twice as long as the 2010 one, but all of the lines were in place at 20 minutes. I think my observational skills got better, too.
    Head and hands are still terrible. I will work on those.
    ... and still such a long way to go.

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    Last edited by msafs; April 17th, 2012 at 09:14 PM.
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    One can always stave off sleep to draw more...

    Slept two hours last night, and Sunday night, too. But the drawing bug has bitten me. Damn flying ants in the house.
    Going for quality over quantity now, but I'll get to 100 eventually. Then off to 200 and then 1,000...

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