Sketchbook: My journey into mental instability and stuff

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  1. #1
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    My journey into mental instability and stuff

    After some thought and encouragement, I have decided to make me own little sketchbook here.

    Hello world or hello conceptart.org =)

    My name is Tue Kofoed and I’m 31 - yeah late bloomer hehe (but it's never to late to learn!).
    Quick rundown: I sat down a little over a month ago and decided I would change my entire world and learn to draw! I have never drawn or painted anything seriously in my life, I would describe myself on a stickman level when I started, but I need to learn, I have to learn, whatever the cost then may be.
    - That’s the really boiled down version… must resist writing wall… I’ll throw a few pictures from when I started (15/2-12) and to now. (If you want to see more you can always visit my blogspot)

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    Last edited by tueko; April 29th, 2012 at 05:25 PM. Reason: Changing title
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  3. #2
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    These are among the first of my sketches. (the pen ones)
    1) They were done with no real aim if I remember correct, well maybe the “self” portrait was part of my Betty Edwards journey. (using the term self here very loosely ><)

    But yeah I had chosen Betty Edwards to be my first guide into the great unknown, which I think was the right choice for me, since her book starts from absolute zero and teaches you to see instead of thinking.
    Anywho, here’s a few of my sketches from her exercises.

    2) One is me on the left and right one is my brother drawn from memory. It was a complete mindfuck to go from the self-portrait and then draw someone from memory.

    3) Then there was some upside down drawings, which were a great eye opener for me, since it forced me to draw without the constraints of logic (You could ofc argue that, that’s not really a big deal for me… thx!).

    4) After that there were some exercises with drawing on something transparent, I had some transparent plastic lying around which I used, so I would place my hand underneath and then drawn on the plastic looking at my hand below - if that makes sense =). Straight after I had to draw my hand normally on paper.
    I was quite surprised to see that somewhere in the process something had clicked for me.

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    Last edited by tueko; February 28th, 2012 at 06:13 PM. Reason: Think I lost some pictures or my first reply... O.o
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    Then there was some empty space and silhouette exercises. I found the empty space one in particular to be annoying, to a degree it made me furious, I just could not seem to fully take the leap and forget about the chair. Instead my pen got some battlescars... (chew marks)

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    Last edited by tueko; February 28th, 2012 at 06:16 PM. Reason: trying to add pictures :P
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    1) At some point I drifted a bit into some more cartoon drawing, I think these are some sketches done out of a dummies book if I remember correct. It's pretty much just trying to copy what I see in the book and hoping something somewhere will click.

    2) The second is also trying to copy what I see in the book hoping that something "magical" will happen... but o'boy this made me so angry I had to punch the door… drawing the head was clearly beyond my level, I could not grasp the manipulation in a 3d space at all! (“I cry your pardon” for the Danish comments on the paper, but yeah… frustrations)

    3) I went back to sweet Betty and more portraits; this one is the standard hero posse of some guy from the Transformer movie, my portraits are still just on some "pause a movie and try to draw what I see" stage - I wish I could do live drawings, but for now this is better than doing nothing. He turned out looking really chubby, which I think was due to the guideline hell I had started it with, dunno if it’s just me, but for me to many guidelines will activate my analytic side… which blocks me on some level I suspect, would describe it as trying to solve a puzzle like “this line goes the this place on the grid and then it needs to go there *draws line and boom* Done did it!”, that’s not saying I dislike a grid, I like to have a cross shape for example, but if I go beyond that then it turns into a game of “fill out the blocks”.

    4) Next one is another self-portrait, the right side worked somewhat for me, but something went wrong on the left side… or more wrong than the rest hehe. I'm sure my friends would claim i captured myself SPOT ON hahaha (30/1-12).

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    Last edited by tueko; February 27th, 2012 at 10:39 AM.
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  6. #5
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    Still working on bringing it up to date, but time isn't really working in my favor (fuck group studying - It's like history attracts slow talking people who takes forever to say one simple thing! /rant) ... next pictures are from around start of February

    1) From Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas. Standard thing, pause the movie, screenshot and try to get the shit down on paper. I had to really adjust the brightness afterwards, as you can tell.
    One of my big problems is I’m overly scared of making mistakes I can’t correct, so the lines I’m doing here are so soft they hardly make it through the scanner. For example on the paper, the hat looks semi normal, but the brightness/contrast really shows where I put my attention and where I just put a line or two and moved on.
    I was scared of those glasses, since I knew if I wasn’t careful I would go back to just drawing some glasses, instead of what shapes I saw. They aren’t perfect by no means, but I was pleased to see I could to some extent block out my urge to draw two perfect circles at least

    2) This is another one drawn from Transformers, same procedure as the above. This time I was determined I would force myself to at least try a bit darker line, hoping to bring out some depth and… stuff.
    The proportions weren’t exactly right and tbh you can’t really see the character in the drawing, instead it got a more John Doe’ish look. But it’s the small things that count, and I find it fun to notice how I at least, on some subconscious level pick up some favorite parts while drawing, like “I really like how I managed that eye” or whatever, but this was strange after I was finished, I found that the shadow from the rifle on the neck was the thing I liked the most and that was only something I had kinda thrown on as a last little /shrug thing.

    3) I tried to draw Emma Stone (sorry Emma! ) in… that movie – In time? Anywho, for the life of me I couldn’t work out how to draw the nose with the “style” I had chosen, making it work with shadows was something I just couldn’t get my head around.
    I really went overboard on the whole notion about making a darker line, as I recall I even sorted to some charcoal for the hair.
    Still I couldn’t seem to bring out the person, but more a generic look.
    I just can’t seem to work out how to portray the curving of the nose, when it goes from the top to the beneath around the nostril area, I can’t really describe it better in English sorry

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    *got time for a quick batch of pictures again, sorry for the slow speed of getting up to date *

    1) Few days and some anatomy exercises later I wanted to draw another portrait, I had just seen Mustard playing a Radiohead - Creep cover on Youtube (look it up… straight from the heart baby) and wanted to try and put him down on paper. It took me ages, I first made the rough outlines and then went to a friend for some drawing company, there I tried to fill it out as good as I could now unable to see the reference (I’m not 100% sure, but doing that might actually have helped me), I went back home and when I again could see the reference I could adjust and add some stuff, for example; I had close to the same value around his eyes, which was an obvious mistake.

    2) Another portrait attempt, Tilda Swinton in Constantine. I hit the wall hard here … I got pissed off by my lack of sight and inability to draw what was right there, for example I again had big nose problems and the right eye (viewer perspective) just could not work, it was impossible for me to connect the top eyelid with the tear duct or just getting that place correct in general really. Long story short I picked up some charcoal, because yeah – if it’s war it wants… ! I didn’t feel like it really saved the drawing, but the charcoal was mesmerizing to work with So I just had to do more and just started farting out charcoal drawings.

    3) Soldier Demon from Constantine. I thought before I started on this that it would be impossible to recreate the shit on paper with charcoal, but at least the unfamiliarity of it could work in my favor, since I couldn’t really go overboard on one single detail… and it didn’t really have a nose or eyes – oh here comes the truth hahaha.

    4) HULK SMASH! My big time idol hehe. After the last drawing I did of the Soldier Demon I kinda felt like I could take on a slightly “bigger” task (get it? – sorry I’m stupid). One thing that really fucked me up was I noticed on my screenshot that one eye was on top of the other - he’s looking upwards in an angle - but I kinda forgotten that, so I was constantly going back to that shit trying to figure out wth was wrong, so while the eyes was right I was making the noose and the mouth wrong I just couldn’t see that at the time. Nonetheless I really enjoyed drawing this since I could really plunge into the darkness and not limit myself as I do with pencils unfortunately.

    5) Tongue… Monster? from Resident Evil. I was slightly apprehensive since it had so many details and the tongue had a dynamic motion and all kinda excuses. I did the rough stuff but then I realized that there was no way in hell I could capture all the correct folds of skin etc, so I really just kicked loose. I picked up my eraser and started on some highlights and just got utterly captured, by how much of an effect one little stroke could make… so yeah, the light kinda started to come from all directions and shit, it was just too much fun

    6) So why not kill a good momentum by trying a more human figure… Nurse Demon from Silent Hill. Oh welcome back nose, mouth eyes… -.- FML!

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    *More stuff! Almost there now *

    1) I grew up with Jason Voorhees and Friday the 13th. So why not try to draw something related to that, I googled Jason Voorhees and found a picture of the iconic mask… /drool.
    It looked interesting to draw as well, since I would be going all out black and really dig into some depth. It was really satisfying for me to pull out the mask from the depths, and again I really had to restrain myself from not going overboard with the eraser… it’s just so fun to make the highligts!

    2) After my sense of high from drawing the Jason mask, I felt powered enough to try out portraits with charcoal… noses or not!
    I picked up The Book of Eli (movie) and found a good scene of Mila Kunis I wanted to portray. I thought that the glasses was going to be a huge problem for me… but no, welcome back nose… omg -.- I redid the nose more times than Michael Jackson *babum* and nothing worked for me, I was unsure about the placement or maybe I had missed some shape, w/e, so I would erase and draw, erase and draw, erase and went to cry in my sofa while sucking my thumb… it was an ugly experience!

    3-4) If you fail then you try again! So fuck me sideways I forced myself into trying some more portraits with charcoal. I found a nice close up of Clint Eastwood from a scene in “A fistful of Dollars” if I remember correct But this time I would really plot out everything with pen first, so hopefully I could pick up any problems before they got unfixable. So yeah, the first is the pen and the last is the charcoal finish.

    5) I wanted to try out some quick charcoal drawings, so I did one of Rosarch from The Watchmen movie 20-30mins

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    1) After the Clint Eastwood drawing, I wanted to push my luck a bit… again. I chose some scene of a Spartan from 300 (movie) and got to work.
    I had forgotten I bought two kinds of charcoal so I thought I would try and work in the other one a bit, just to see the difference at least, the difference was… the other one was black, like black, black. It made getting a dark shadow 100times easier, but it was impossible for me to control for real details though, so I had to go back to my original for those, still it was a big help.
    I kinda botched the mouth, but I couldn’t and I was maybe a bit scared about trying to fix it too much, since I didn’t really know what exactly the problem was.

    2) Was watching Grey and saw a just iconic scene of Liam Neeson I had to try and put down on paper, I draw the outline with a pencil but never got around to finish it – yeah, prolly afraid to fuck it up *sigh*

    3-4) Got challenged to a quick little hand study, which was cool, since I hadn’t been drawing hands for a while. Anyway I was a bit style confused and couldn’t really find my red thread or what you might call it.
    It annoys me greatly I can’t settle on trying out one thing and stick with that for a while, but instead it’s like I have to reinvent the wheel each time. Next challenge… feets, omfg I can’t draw that, apperantly I’m not a feet kinda guy lol.

    So yeah, now I’m pretty much up to date woop woop di doop. =)

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    Fantastic work.Your drawings are incredible for a beginner.

    Do you recommend exercises from Betty's book?

    Hey,come and visit my sketchbook thread now
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    Fantastic work.Your drawings are incredible for a beginner.

    Do you recommend exercises from Betty's book?

    Hey,come and visit my sketchbook thread now
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    Forgot to mention I love your drawing of the Spartan!!!

    Hey,come and visit my sketchbook thread now
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    diggin that last set of protraits. keep at that, definitely got something there. Just make it a habbit to try and draw everyday. The road is long, but the journey sweet.

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    @leighblack
    Thank you very much. I’m not really certain on what is up or down, right or wrong when it comes to this, so if I can recommend any exercises? well on a personal level I feel like it was the right thing for me at least to start out with Betty’s book, the first exercises was very good at breaking down my old programming of how I saw or thought I saw things. Like seeing the shapes of the empty space, finding some basic measurement units (or what you call it - like what’s the relation between the nose and eye in length, or the size of the head how far does that take me to where the hand is placed in the scene for example, etc.) but also learning to draw shapes instead of features, the really basic things I found to be the biggest help. I skipped a bit on the whole rendering and shading as you can see on the pencil drawings, so doing those is probably a good idea hahaha. I’m just using my fingers or paper sticks and it’s become a bit of a crutch I suspect ><

    @Dtwenty
    Yeah thank you. I’m trying, really trying to draw everyday as much as my studies and general life allows me.


    Right now I’ve jumped into more of a quick sketch “semi” live drawing and I found it to be near impossible for me to do that transition. It’s like being knocked back in Ludo or something, it doesn’t feel natural at all. Sense of proportion and perspective is straight out the window. I’ll upload some of them to clarify

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    Fåcking quick sketches… sigh, talk about getting knocked the fuck back down. I did some from http://www.artsyposes.com - best site ever and some from an episode of The Walking Dead.

    I know jumping into these head first with no clue was a bit of a gamble, but it shocked me how bad it really felt, I don’t care much of the quality of it - it is what it is - but it’s more the feeling like I skipped some step on the learning curve and now it’s time to pay the price.
    One thing I picked up on though, I wasn’t looking at what I was drawing, but instead focusing on the pose and what “line” I would pick up next, I have no idea if that’s how you’re supposed to do those sort of drawings, but I can’t draw in blind for shit.

    I’m not a 100 % certain of the exact dates on all the quick sketches (they aren't all dated) but it’s over a couple of days this week at least.

    1-2) The Walking Dead scenes.

    3) Artsyposes.com

    4) Random workout shit copy pasted together, oh and one girl from Eric Prydz – Call on me

    5-8) I got so pissed off, I went back to the research board and looked for some guidance, I had heard good things about a guy called Vilppu, so I picked up Vilppu’s manual and just started from scratch. I was trying to do 30 second quick gesture sketches, but it took something like 100 or more tries before I got frustrated enough to go back and read the small steps one more time and see the examples.
    I noticed I was doing 10 lines back and forth trying to capture the motion instead of keeping it simple, so I tried to limit myself a bit with just one line give or take.
    I got no clue if I’m going too far with the whole simple thing, to me it borders on just plain stick figures now without real flow to them… but maybe that will come when I try and add some volume… or maybe I’m missing some point O.o
    - Still Artsyposes.com

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    Some updates from the past week.

    I wanted to try a bit more than just the face for once, small steps.

    1-2) Some portraits of a model.
    I really don’t know how to balance things, I’m going overboard trying to put details into an eye for example, and then not really bothering with the “minor” things, like making the shadows work on the face… it’s stupid and I know it, but I can’t help myself it seems ><
    (1) I can’t get the ‘efing breast to work right here, I think/suspect I placed the nipple in some weird outlandish perspective or just plain wrong, but I don’t really know.

    3-6) Feet studies (Feet are fucking annoying!). I know I’m doing this in an overkill fashion - I’m trying to put the same detail and work into these things as I would a portrait. I would much rather fart out 10-20 quick drawings, so I can try more variations and stuff.
    First 3 are random stock things and the last one is my own since I couldn’t find that perspective anywhere and I really wanted to try it out.

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    I’m desperately trying to get better at those gesture or quick sketches in general tbh.
    I’ve continued with Vilppu, but I’m having major meltdowns dealing with circles and squares when it’s on an “imagination” level, cylinders come a bit easier and those I can to a degree use in practice as well.

    Still I need more structured exercises, like step-by-step from the basics and not just copy what’s in the book. I’ve been asking around for good books etc., and was told about a “basic drawing”? I think it’s called, not sure about the correct English just know the Danish translation, anyway it’s some book by a Bruce Robertson, but unfortunately I can’t dig it up here in Copenhagen. But if anyone knows a good guide or book then please give a shout, structure and fuckloads of exercises are a priority

    1-8) Vilppu, circles, squares and cylinders, a lot of them are basically copies from the book, I couldn't get the fucking things to work and bend by myself, only the cylinders made some sense to me, oddly enough.

    9) An attempt to put the cylinders to use, 2 random poses from artsy if I remember correct.

    10) Just needed to do something else for once, so yeah... last one is some concrete rubble for value training.

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    Some updates to my sketchbook.

    Quick sketches from reference, some eye studies and other random stuff

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    Now also drawing with 0's and 1's

    I still got no fucking clue how the f’ one is supposed to learn this, but I stumbled over The Natural Way to Draw – by Kimon Nicolaides, which got my hopes up a bit, since it has a point A – B schedule and that’s really what I need. If I don’t have some structure it just feels like I’m grasping for straws , doing a bit of this and then a bit of that without any real idea or plan to follow.
    Anyway I borrowed friends Bamboo Pen & Touch, so I could try it out before I bought one. OMFG that shit is weird as fuck, the whole not seeing what I’m drawing sensation is such an obstacle for me, I tried drawing with normal lines until I just gave up on that and tried out a more “painting” approach, which was waaaay more fun

    So yeah here are some updates. For better description just check out my blog, it feels a bit silly if I just copy paste imho, there's also some of the photoshop drawing progress pics.

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    These are awesome, great work. You should check out Alienthink. com Riven Phoenix's drawing course is awesome especially if you're wanting to learn about the structure of the human figure. Great work on those drawings keep up the good work.

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    Wow it's a first page and I already see progress.

    Also, out of curiosity, how long does it take you to draw something like http://attachments.conceptart.org/fo...&d=1330527502? I think I may be too slow, so I want to compare the notes.

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    keep updating this! *poke*

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    @Blue Kitsune
    Thank you. I started on some of Riven Phoenix courses, but it felt a bit like I was skipping ahead, I like his method though and it's prolly something I would go back to a some point.

    @Sasha Devina
    Thanks. Gosh I can't really remember how long that one took me, but I'll guess it to at least 2 hours... or actually, I honestly can't say, but more than an hour for sure haha. I do remember it being a weird feeling though, it takes ages to slowly value up, but the detailing with an eraser doesn't take long and that's where it gets fun

    @rumpenstiltzkin
    … yeah yeah! You know I'm slowly going mental trying to decipher Kimon Nicolaides, I'm a bit hesitant about uploading those sketches, since the meaning very much gets “lost in translation” afterall I'm struggling finding head and tail myself ><


    1-4. Small glimpse of my angst and frustrations about that Kimon Nicolaides exercises, these ones are the modelled drawings which “killed” me, I can't make sense of that exercise at all, but it's getting a bit better though... HIGH HOPES! First one I think I gave up half-way through and just send the crayon flying...


    5. And yeah did one little PS drawing, for the sake of my sanity I just had to draw something that made “sense”... as much as a smurf and smurfette sailing a rubber duck does... Didn't finish it completely though, I would like to make some more reflections and shadows, though I don't really wanna use shadows on the smurfs, I like them being a bit “flat”

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  29. #23
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    Nice sketches man.

    Your Vilppu studies are interesting. Obviously a good teacher considering your progress. Have you tried Andrew Loomis? Also great mentor.

    Keep on working!
    greetings
    klaus

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  31. #24
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    @Klaustrophil
    Thanks Yeah I tried Loomis, but both Vilppu and Loomis kinda confuses me, I need a bit more structured approach. I don’t argue the quality of their books, but I feel I’m not on their page yet, they are a bit too free and open for interpretations and I simply can’t put much of it into practice on my own, like when Vilppu talks about drawing with circles, after reading that I draw with circles LITERALLY and get mega frustrated, I then check some of the examples and there’s no circles but more “curves”, but that’s the language it’s written in and my lack of knowledge/confidence simply not matching, not yet at least, I’m sure I will be going back to them when I feel a bit more grounded with a basic feel for wtf I’m doing


    It’s been awhile since last update, but that’s life – wtb more spare time! Nonetheless I’ll add a few new drawings.

    1. Simple environment drawing, totally choosing the easiest wallpaper background I could find as reference.

    2. Wanted to draw/design my own Jolly Roger, not much else to that haha.

    3. Uhm… yeah… don’t judge me, I wanted to draw something bigger with a more complex composition… and then I had a friend over and it sorta spinned out of control haha, yes I’m very easy influenced, but at least I had some laughs. It’s something I would like to work more on, since now things are kinda just thrown in here and there, plus I haven’t even started on a background yet.

    4-9. Wanted to “paint” some portraits again, but It’s bloody hard for me to draw/paint with the tablet, dunno if it’s because it’s too small or it’s just me being old, but I fear for the longevity of my Ctrl+z keys… and feels like I’m using 5x times the time I would if I would be working with pen and paper.
    I figured out how to make gifs in PS, so obviously had to make some with my work process
    Added some textures trying to make a sorta animated wanted poster sensation, that and hidding my mistakes...(using reference from Unforgiven, The Good the Bad and the Ugly and Book of Eli)

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  32. #25
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    you are improving very fast in this page alone. keep it up, I want to see where this sketchbook goes!

    Also, I'd like to see more painting and drawing from life. Try to find a figure drawing group or class.

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  34. #26
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    rockin´updates!

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  36. #27
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    Pretty awesome stuff, especially the smurfs. x)

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  38. #28
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    Once more into the fray

    I haven’t updated in quite a while, I had some health issues which left me in a bit of depression and a big hole of apathy, but hopefully I’m back on track now!
    I did maybe 4-5 drawings in May/June, but last week or two I’ve been able to pick up things again, got some new problems ofc, but then again who doesn’t
    @Jonathan C.
    About figure drawing classes and drawing from life, it’s a bit tricky for me since my sight is kinda… limited, but I should be starting with some classical drawing course to October, just hope I don’t have to stand too far from what I need to draw

    I’ll just do a quick upload of the stuff I’ve been working on, I’ll try and put them in a chronological order.
    It’s a mix of things really, lots of portrait studies and a few imagination drawings, won’t go into too many details here it would just turn into a whole wall of text, but if interested in that it’s on my blog at least. ><

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  39. #29
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    Youre improving so so fast its crazy!, i suggest building up your visual library in order to create even more realistic characters but keep it up its really cool how fast you improved

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  41. #30
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    Redneck rampage

    I hate how I handled the drawing of the little girl and her genie, it was done from the genie head to his body and then adding the girl and boy for some… sense? But never going back and really changing anything in the sketch in the process, which shows imho, it’s way to flat and boring, plus the characters are… well I’m certainly not satisfied.
    So I wanted to do another run or attempt, again I started without a real idea of wtf I was going for, but well maybe third time?!

    I didn’t finish any of the drawings ofc… I got the attention span of a coked up reality star, so I started sketching a bit in SAI without really noticing the transition – autopilot much? I really like the sketching part of the program compared to PS, but when I tried to do a more paintish thing it turned weird, I can’t control the brush at all >< I have too paint over the same part 10 times before the bloody value shifts, major frustrating! But I managed to do some quickies before it got too unbearable to work with… -.-

    And yeah sketching to Jello Biafra and Mojo Nixon might have influenced me a tiny bit…

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