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  1. #1
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    diamandis re-learnin'

    Hey, everyone! Random new dudebro here.

    I grew up drawing, but never took it seriously as a kid, and didn't focus on it in college at all. I made two attempts at starting it back up in the early-mid-2000s, but they didn't pan out, and I went into another career altogether. Through a series of random events, I've started it back up over the past few months. I was pretty sure I gave it up for good in early 2005, because I'd convinced myself I wasn't good enough and didn't have the drive to get better, but my progress and enthusiasm over the last couple months have been surprising.

    I started out a couple months ago doing cutesy vector drawings, before thinking I might like to try resurrecting drawing for real, which started the process of my looking up drawing lessons online and thinking about signing up for real-world classes. I work a full-time job, so I don't have loads of time to do this outside of work, but I've been trying.

    [snip]

    Random things from the past few months, in chronological order: (Moved to a few posts down)
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by diamandis; January 12th, 2018 at 02:55 PM. Reason: title change


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  4. #2
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    Hi, you have great drawing skill. I think you are more up to animation or illustration, but that is your decision. I just stopped here to say that whatever carrer you choose in arts you already have potential. In fact it is a matter of practice and concentration. Go for it. Keep posting.

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  6. #3
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    Thanks. I'm definitely not afraid of hard work and practice. I just don't know what to practice towards. I'm on here today doing research on possible careers. My gut tells me to follow illustration, because over the years I've noticed I'm drawn to the work of illustrators the most (specifically, Sam Weber, Jacek Yerka, and Zdzislaw Beksinski ... although these guys had zero inspiration on the stuff I posted above), but I'm wary of having to be a starving freelancer, chasing money all the time, schmoozing, spending half my time running a business rather than drawing, etc. The potential of all that instability is why I gave this up back in 2005. Do concept artists have full-time jobs? I'm guessing some do, so I'm considering that as an option. I think animators / storyboarders do too? I'm not sure if being practical about this is the best way forward, because I'm not feeling loads of passion for animation / concepting. But you never know. I might be awesome at it. I've never even really tried concepting, aside from the spider-things I posted above, which I tried out of the blue last week. Sometimes you surprise yourself.

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    Last edited by diamandis; March 18th, 2013 at 09:14 PM. Reason: moved images from first post here

  7. #4
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    nice start to your sb! like your style and you have some nice pencils! keep posting!

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  9. #5
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    This is ~OLD STUFF~ from 2004-2005, right before I gave up...

    ... because I'm a total genius and make excellent decisions. Clearly I sucked hard. Anyway, take a wild guess who my hero was at the time. Probably pretty easy, although maybe he's not as popular these days.

    The very last drawing, of the baby, marks the moment I gave up. A friend of my parents asked me to draw their grandkid from a picture, and I must have been frustrated at my progress for a little while before this, because I started drawing it and just stopped. It's the last page in my sketchbook from that period. WTF. Just ... W in TF. I'm going to tear that page out and pin it to my damn wall.

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    seriously, eff you, kid.
    Last edited by diamandis; December 8th, 2013 at 05:35 PM.

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    Hey, nice stuff, good job having the guts to come back to all this after so long away. I think your style has some real appeal, and there's definitely a market for some of the stuff you're doing. That second vector illo in your first post is especially nice. If you're curious what sort of markets that kind of work would fit in, maybe try spending some time browsing the vector section on illustrationmundo.com - there are quite a few illustrators in there with similar styles, and their work might give you some ideas. You also had some interesting stuff going on in your old work - is the unnamed hero James Jean?

    On the gestures - are you working from posemaniacs? I'm guessing you are, based on the crazy figure angles... it's not a terrible site, but working from photo tools like Pixelovely and the Drawing Script is probably a better bet. (And working from life is best, obvs.) What pixelovely lacks is any sense of weight, tension, etc - the gesture part of gestures. Despite some evidence of construction, your gesture drawings are lacking much feeling of form. Check out Michael Hampton's gestures. He has a really good book on constructing anatomy, and all his gestures have both energy and a good sense of 3D solidity. Gesture drawing doesn't give you the time to construct figures from cubes and cylinders and the like, but that's got to be at the back of your mind all the same. You can suggest a lot with overlap, and with one or two lines wrapping around the figure at the right spot. Few other good gesture resources - here, here, and here.

    Good luck with all this, you've got serious potential, I'm curious to see where you'll end up. =D

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  12. #7
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    Thanks for the comment diamandis! I agree with revidescent, lots of potential here and I'm glad you're getting back into drawing! I was about to post those same gesture drawing links too.
    Good luck finding your direction! I'd say go for illustration if that's the kind of work you're drawn to the most. I know I'd be pretty bored doing work that I didn't really love. Sorry for the cliche/impractical advice XD

    Subscribed, really looking forward to seeing new work!
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    The key to getting better at anything is to do it a lot.

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  14. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revidescent View Post
    Hey, nice stuff, good job having the guts to come back to all this after so long away. I think your style has some real appeal, and there's definitely a market for some of the stuff you're doing. That second vector illo in your first post is especially nice. If you're curious what sort of markets that kind of work would fit in, maybe try spending some time browsing the vector section on illustrationmundo.com - there are quite a few illustrators in there with similar styles, and their work might give you some ideas.
    I actually started out a couple months ago thinking I'd do vector illos for sale on microstock sites (Shutterstock, iStock, etc), but I realized there's no real income possible anymore, unless you output vectors 24/7 for a couple years straight, and even then it might be a gamble. I researched tons of cutesy illustrators around that time as part of a big push into the whole thing, and have a couple new favorites. Although I gave up stock illustration pretty much right away, cutesy/cartoony is still a style I might want to pursue. Not sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Revidescent View Post
    You also had some interesting stuff going on in your old work - is the unnamed hero James Jean?
    Yup! Probably pretty obvious. Or maybe it's those Batgirls everywhere. I was just thinking, it's funny to come back to illustration now and seeing other kids who were probably fans of JJ back when I was too, and who stuck with it and their work now has a very clear JJ influence. It's cool, but it's also kinda sad. I keep thinking, crap, if I'd stuck with it, would I be one of the hundreds of drones in that crowd?

    Quote Originally Posted by Revidescent View Post
    On the gestures - are you working from posemaniacs? I'm guessing you are, based on the crazy figure angles... it's not a terrible site, but working from photo tools like Pixelovely and the Drawing Script is probably a better bet. (And working from life is best, obvs.) What pixelovely lacks is any sense of weight, tension, etc - the gesture part of gestures. Despite some evidence of construction, your gesture drawings are lacking much feeling of form. Check out Michael Hampton's gestures. He has a really good book on constructing anatomy, and all his gestures have both energy and a good sense of 3D solidity. Gesture drawing doesn't give you the time to construct figures from cubes and cylinders and the like, but that's got to be at the back of your mind all the same. You can suggest a lot with overlap, and with one or two lines wrapping around the figure at the right spot. Few other good gesture resources - here, here, and here.
    THANK YOU for that huge list of resources, and for taking the time. Yeah, my initial sketches were from Posemaniacs, but hilariously I'd also found out about Drawing Script and Pixelovely before I ever posted here, along with the Force thing, although I hadn't dug into it yet. I'm posting this about two weeks after your post (damn site downtime, WTF), and I remember going through a couple of your links back when I first saw them. I practiced gestures for a few more days after that, but I definitely still need more work.

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    Drew this thing, then realized it looks like a robotic Sebulba taking a dump:

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    Tried coloring a sketch:

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    Started following Andrew Mar's painting tutorial, but then randomly got off track and came up with my own version. OH GOD I've never painted before, I don't know what I'm doing. It would be cool to learn eventually. This was all done on my Wacom, though. I don't think I've done anything straight on there in a long time. I never got the hang of it, even back in the mid-2000s. I love undo, though.

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    A couple sloppy gestures, to disappoint Revidescent.

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  16. #10
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    Oh yeah, meant to post some other stuff.

    A space marine, which I drew knowing it'd come out weird, w/ notes I put in after the fact. I'm realizing a big part of drawing is making mistakes and trying to remember to work on them in later drawings. I guess that only works if you can ID your mistakes, tho.

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    Marginally less crappy gestures, from Drawing Script:

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    Aaaand unintentional hilarity:

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  18. #11
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    you quit? you crazy?? your stuff is lovely! now you have no time to waste, you owe it to yourself, youre good but you could be fucking incredible with 5 years hard ass work.. my 2c
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  20. #12
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    very nice SB, nice cartoony characters keep it up and dont give up!! it doesnt matter if you're almost 30 or 40 or 50.. just keep pushing i'm really diggin your style!

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  22. #13
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    Velocity: Thanks, but 5 years? I don't have that kind of time, man. This snatti guy (click here) got super-pro in like 2 years, and has a job already. I want that! I wonder where he went to school. Not that it matters, he probably would've gotten good eventually without it. EDIT: Oh yeah, forgot to mention, HUGE THANKS for your Weapons of Mass Creation thread. I browsed through that entire thing a couple weeks ago. That's how I found out about Andrew Mar, George Guo, and a couple others. Some epic people here.

    Betty: Thanks. It's definitely harder as you get older, though. I wish I had more time every day. That's part of the reason I wish I could pick a concrete direction. It'd be easier for me to focus my energies on the skills I need for that particular direction. Fundamentals are always good to practice, but ... kinda boring.

    I gotta start drawing more robots.
    Last edited by diamandis; January 13th, 2013 at 03:12 PM.

  23. #14
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    Really great work.
    "Step by Step One Travels Far."~Tolkien

    SKETCHBOOK

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  25. #15
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    Hi! I really like your style. Keep working on it and posting new stuff. Btw I'm in quite same situation and I don't have much time unfortunately. So keeping practice in our free time is only solution how to improve our skills. And yeah, fundamentals are boring but necessary. No pain no gain

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  27. #16
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    I'm going to have to second what Velocity said. Don't stop! Even if you are setback a few years or so doesn't mean that should prevent you from pursuing dreams and enjoying them to the fullest: through the labors of love that may eventually bear fruit. Snatti is a different breed, I don't think you should discredit your own capabilities to improve by comparing your situation to him. I am sure he elevated through time with his craft. Plus, look on the bright side - old men have hobbies too.

    Cool work man, keep it up.
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  29. #17
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    Thank you for dropping by my scketchbook!

    As far as your personal story goes, it reminds me a lot of my own. I gave up art for about 7 years (the most depressing years of my life, hmm, I wonder why?), I too am pushing 30 (the urgency bug), and I've also driven myself mad over the whole question of "Well, what should my focus be? I have no idea and because I don't know, I'm doomed to fail." Before I address some of your concerns, I'd like to preface it with this: the past does not determine the future. You've already done the first right thing: you've pick the art back up and you're reaching out to the community. It's imperative that you keep doing this; it's all about building and sustaining a momentum. This is precisely how that Snatti guy ended up getting a job in 2 years time. He started and never stopped. Creating a momentum can be real tricky in the beginning. Know that this is the hardest part. The reason this is the hardest part is because your brain is working at its best to defend and retain whatever your old (and comforting) routines were prior to your decision to start the art back up. You want to reprogram your brain so that it becomes your greatest ally and not your worst enemy. One of the very first things you need to do is to eliminate all your negative and limiting beliefs. Just get rid of them. They dont serve your purpose of wanting to be a professional artist. Start developing an "anti-virus program" for your brain. Whenever a negative belief pops up, delete it immediately and replace it with a positive one. Those negative beliefs will continue creeping up, in both overt and really subtle ways. It's the subtle ones that are the most damaging so its going to require hyper self-awareness on your end. The second you detect any negativity, just zap it dead.

    Now, as far as the potential question goes...are you seriously serious? Why would you doubt that? Obviously you do. A person's potential is like an endless horizon, every time you get to the "end", you look up and see that there's always more ahead.

    Okay, the question of which exact direction you want to go in...I wouldn't get too hung up on this question. It took me about 2 years to figure this out so don't sweat it. So long as you stay busy building up those technical abilities while you meditate on what is that you want to do, you'll be fine. However, I will say this, having a strong idea of what you want to do earlier on does help A LOT. In an earlier post, you mentioned illustration. Looking at your work and your style, I'd say you're definitely on the right track. You also mentioned it being a gut feeling. Good. Keep following your gut. Don't get too caught up in your head. Put your intuition/feelings/heart in the driver's seat and let your head follow in service of them. Doing this will help you to figure out exactly what it is that you want to do sooner and not later. I'd also like to mention that you want to stay away from asking yourself questions like "Why can't I figure out exactly what it is that I want to do?" Why questions (in this context) sends your mind reeling through all sorts of endless loops that don't yield any real results, and half the time it only comes up with negative responses like "Well, that's because you're stupid" or "It's because you're inadequate" or something in that vein. Instead, ask yourself What or How questions, like "What can I do to help me figure out exactly which type of art career I want to pursue?" or something along those lines. When it comes to asking these kinds of questions, make sure they are precise questions and ask them daily in a really focused manner. Anything too vague wont help too much. The more you practice asking yourself these kinds of practical questions, the further you drive them into unconscious mind. The unconscious mind is where our potential is hiding from us, waiting for us to awaken it. This process may take a while, it all depends on how focused you are, i.e. how badly you want it. Fusing these questions with inspiring emotions and practicing them daily will awaken your will. Our brains are like really slow Google search engines, they take a while to find the right answer but once it comes, it's very powerful.

    Above all things I've mentioned here, you want to get yourself to the point where you're willing to do whatever it takes to make this dream a reality. If that means saying no to your friends when they ask you to hang out, then so be it (this will happen a lot actually). If it means ending a relationship, then so be it. If it means losing some sleep over it, then so be it, etc... You get the idea.

    Now go forth and conquer!

    YOU CAN DO IT!!!

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  31. #18
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    PS: I make mistakes everyday. Mistakes are a gift. Embrace them and you will learn more than those use them as a reason to give up.

    Here. This is a must-watch.

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  33. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by diamandis View Post
    Velocity: Thanks, but 5 years? I don't have that kind of time, man.
    haha i meant 2, typed 5, but yes, 2. also yeah crazy stuff in there, i look at it a lot!
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  35. #20
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    Classmate: Honestly, I think I get bored and antsy if I don't practice fundamentals for a while, so I probably won't have huge problems with laziness. Plus, I can always rotate among the different fundamentals if I do get bored w/ doing one after a while. We'll see. You've got a great head start on the perspective and hard surface stuff. Really cool. I'm jealous. I've barely started studying fundamentals, though. Gestures, that's pretty much it. And yesterday I looked up some intro tutorials for digital painting for the first time.

    Vulgar: Thanks. I'll stick with it. I can't help being jealous, though. Dude's work is amazing. It's funny how being jealous of something that someone else is doing really well (in this case, mechanical / environments) makes me want to go in that direction a little more, even though I wasn't all that interested before. And it's funny that I was into cartoony stuff earlier, and didn't even really care about concepting, even after I joined this forum, but now all of a sudden I'm like, I kinda wanna do that. Or least try putting myself through the rigors of learning it to see if I've got a shot at it.

    Mr. P: Damn, thanks for that epic writeup. I appreciate it. (This place rules, people are so helpful.) A lot of the points you make in your post are things I've realized myself, or at least started thinking about, these past couple weeks, after deciding to get serious. Hilarious how a lot of us go through the exact same thing. I think I only realized a couple days ago that the negativity that creeps in and sometimes completely takes over isn't necessarily rational. And it's probably a very common affliction for people with artistic leanings. At least, that's the stereotype (we're moody, critical, etc). It's often hard to ignore the self-doubt, because what we're doing is staring us right in the face. We take it in very fast, and we come to conclusions very fast. I try to hang on to the idea that through practice I can get better, but I know that's not the case for everyone. Still, I want to try. It's funny how the negativity doesn't even want you to try. But generally, over the past couple days, I'm better about telling the negativity to shut the hell up and let me try, and it seems to be working. It's better than what was happening a week ago, where I was like, yeah, it was pretty stupid of me to start a ConceptArt thread, since I'll never post anything again, since I clearly won't get good at this drawing bullshit. So annoying to deal with.

    I've slowly been collecting inspirational quotes from random artists, and one of my favorites is one that says making a bad drawing isn't necessarily indicative of anything. It doesn't mean I'm bad, it doesn't mean I'll never make a good drawing again. It just means I happened to make a bad drawing. Big deal. There'll be plenty more of those, but lots of good ones too, especially if I keep practicing. The Gaiman video was good. I gotta listen to it again and take notes.

    Re: direction. Unfortunately, I'm not totally sure about the illustrator direction anymore, but I did realize earlier that, as you said, maybe it's not totally critical to worry about it just yet. It helps to have a direction picked out, but I can study fundamentals for a while and start getting a feel for what I'm naturally good at, what needs improvement, whether that improvement is worth the effort to me, and what avenues those things open up or close, in terms of direction. I'll feel it out as I go along.

    Anyway, thanks for the inspiring words. Maybe I'll pay it forward after I get better.

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  37. #21
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    So I browsed Browning's goddamn amazing sketchbook, and right after that I got started on the digital painting 101 tutorials at Ctrl+Paint, and I sketched this out after learning about digital blending for the first time. Inspired by one of Browning's creatures. I'm counting this as my first ever painting. It's rough and unfinished, and it seems so insignificant, but I was beaming right after I did this. (Holy shit I painted something.)

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  38. #22
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    nice start
    i love your style
    keep practicing you're on the right path ....and you are already this good
    keep doing it right and you'll be a lot better in no time!! i know so!!

    keep up to good work!!

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  40. #23
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    With such great drawing skills you will improve really fast. I agree with what the other mates said in here so no need to add to these, i just wanna say, lets all keep up !!!

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  42. #24
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    Second painting. I did this without any reference because I was curious what would come out of it. It's not a total disaster, which is dope. Better than what I imagined I'd do. I do need to learn facial anatomy. I also guessed at all the light/shadow, and there's not nearly enough contrast so it feels flat. I also cheated in a couple places and used Photoshop to warp and move stuff, but I know everyone takes advantage of being able to do that, so who cares.

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  43. #25
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    hello there first of all nice variety of stuffies love the jump from commercial type illustration to concept art,your digi paint skills are good so are your pencil skills great line and form nothing more to say except dig in enjoy the ride and keep it up!

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  45. #26
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    So, I randomly got stuck in a loop trying to capture the likeness of this girl from Drawing Script:
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    The first attempts were based on a technique I'd never tried before, which I saw in the intro pages of The Artist's Complete Guide to Figure Drawing by Anthony Rider. I didn't get into the section on drawing faces yet (er, assuming one exists), but his basic technique is to start off drawing an envelope made up of straight lines around the figure. Didn't turn out so hot:
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    Then I was like, screw it, I'll try what I usually do: start with an eye and work my way out from the inside. Turned out okay, except for the very first unfinished attempt at this (#4), at the very top of #5:
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    Afterwards, did loose outlines of the head first before going in to try the features. Didn't really finish, but they weren't turning out amazing anyway:
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    The inside-out method is probably the winner here. I don't know why. I feel like it's imperative that I be able to draw a likeness onto an already-blocked-out figure, but it looks like it's not something I can do well just yet.

  46. #27
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    Hey dude, I am so happy I found your sketchbook. I really think you can accomplish your goal within your time-frame. I have seen guys go from much worse than you to being real hotshots in the industry (Videogame industry in this case) in just a couple years. The things that they had in common are

    1) They always had fun drawing, they are inseparable from their sketchbooks
    2) They are unafraid to try radically different techniques and technologies to make awesome art
    3) They are super humble, accept feedback very well, and share with and teach others

    I bet that if you can follow those guidelines you will achieve your goal.

    Concerning your portrait. A likeness is controlled by a couple key features. (I was a caricature artist a decade ago and these are some of the things I picked up)

    1 the overall shape of the eye socket and eyebrow in relationship to the eye. Think about the area that would be covered if the person was wearing a super hero eye-mask. That shape needs to be identical

    2 The T-shape that is formed by the relationship between the nose and the far corners of the eyes. That relationship needs to be the same.

    3 The amount of the mouth that is above or below the corners of the mouth.

    4. The slope of the eye as judged be the relationship between the corners of the eye, and how much of the eye is above or below the line that is formed by connecting those 2 points. (I think this one is the most important)
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    For Science- Sketchbook!

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  48. #28
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    Hi, diamandis!
    I agree with others - you have great skill at drawing. I was impressed to see your second painting - without reference, no less! Thanks for sharing your drawing process and various attempts, too, in this last post. I find that it is endlessly fascinating to see how other people are working through things.

    Don't be discouraged by your age, either... some of us are... a little older, even. . I think the most important question is... are you enjoying what you're doing? If so.... don't stop!

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  50. #29
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    @Angieb, Diamandis: Exactly! )

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  52. #30
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    ForScience: Thank you for the encouraging words, and the portrait tips. I definitely love experimenting w/ diff. techniques and media. A little too much maybe. I have hardcore ADD, and it's hard for me to focus on one thing long-term. I want to sample everything. Maybe that's fine early on. But I'm completely ignoring fundamentals. I keep saying I need to get around to learning construction / anatomy, and weeks later, nothing. I just want to mess around, haha.

    Anyway, the portrait tips seem to boil down to: don't screw up the eyes, nose, and mouth. #4 is especially useful, along with #2. The relationship/angle of the two eyes to each other seems critical too, which looks like it's covered by tip #2. In general, I do pay attention to relationships between the different elements, because I need those scale relationships to be able to jump from feature to feature when drawing them in the first place. The shorter the jump, the easier it is to judge scale/distance. I draw eyes first. The jump from one eye across to the other is the first big challenge. Then, the jump down to the bottom of the nose is the other. I hate that jump. That's always a crapshoot. I hate that there's an element of luck involved with this. Maybe that becomes less of a problem as you get more practice. The mouth is sometimes easy, sometimes not. For some reason, this girl's mouth is impossible for me to draw.

    I did two more tries. I drew them larger to give myself more room for detail, and I took my time. Second one's not bad:

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    #5 from yesterday was also pretty decent too, by luck. In terms of proportions/relationships/whatever, it's probably the best one:

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    Another thing I notice is that if there's a little bit of a fisheye effect in the reference picture, i.e., if the focal length of the camera at the time was relatively short (zoomed out), and the subject was close to the camera, I have a hard time incorporating that bulging in my drawing. The person comes out flat instead, as if there were no distortion in the pic. Shrug.

    angieb: Well, I enjoy it if it's going well. To me, right this minute, drawing feels like I'm trying to tame a huge gnarled wild animal into doing what I want. It feels like this wild animal is the intermediary between my brain and my hand, and it really doesn't want to listen to me. It's unruly, and slow, and lazy. But I'll see how it goes. I like your pen sketches. I bought a pen set a while ago, and I played around w/ it, but haven't really gotten anywhere yet, and haven't really looked up ink lessons.

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