Sketchbook: Mikael Eson
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    Mikael Eson

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    Hello. I'm a dude from Sweden. Can an aging bedroom musician and semi successful weightlifter make it in the art biz? Weeeeeell, let's just pretend the answer is "yes" and keep going from there... >_<

    Art background:
    I started drawing in April last year, halfway through my 22nd year in this life thing. I've been interested in art for as long as I can remember (doodled around as a kid and performed "well" in art class in school... which isn't saying much xD) but it never really went past the curiosity stage. I got focused on music instead and used up all my creative energy on composition (I still play a lot of guitar).
    Anyway, I started drawing because I tried making some fan art for the Game of Thrones tv series. I did one of Arya Stark which went quite ok, so I got confident and did Daenerys (spent around 20 hours on that one). I got quite a positive response from my friends, so I'd say it was what really kicked off my interest in art.
    I continued drawing sporadically the rest of the year (like, once every two weeks or so) and have been drawing every day since january.

    Here's some of my "art"

    One of my first attempts, Daenerys:
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    Some other portrait last year, unfinished:
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    First photoshop attempt (I bought a wacom bamboo):
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    Second photoshop (waaaaay too dark):
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    The following are pieces from this month. Unifinished:
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    Manga'ish attempt:
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    Dragon thing
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    Wip. Soldier+giant sucks atm.
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    Something gloomy:
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    Face partly referenced:
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    Two WIP's:
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    Most stuff is done without reference. Any critique and feedback welcome. I'll try to give feedback to others on this site as well. I know I've got a long way to go and lots of work to do if I want to become good at this. I gotta start learning fundamentals and anatomy etc as well.
    Well... That's it for the introduction

    Last edited by Mikael Eson; February 4th, 2013 at 06:01 PM.
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    I've been experiencing my first art block the last few days so drawing has been... different I have theories already behind why this might have happened but I'll save that for when someone would be curious I suppose.
    Anyway, I work part time in a clothing store so on workdays I only have a couple of hours to draw. Today I only got around to making this:

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    I used a reference for the background. Tried to practice making an interesting silhouette. The result was kind of meh. I'm guessing the results will be kind of meh for many years

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    Hej, Mikael! Your story sounds pretty similar to mine. You know, used to draw as a kid but been mainly focusing on playing the guitar until now. I like those pencil drawings a lot. Your digital work has some good elements to it, but I'd definitely suggest doing some photo studies and stuff to get more realism into your art. But don't stop drawing/painting from imagination. I made that mistake and now it's hard to get back to it. Keep it up!

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    Lol, what a coincidence that we posted basically the same message to each other at the same time ^^
    Thanks a lot anyway. I've never done any proper practicing so you're totally right. I think it's funniest to paint from imagination so I don't think I'll be able to stop doing that completely, but a proper mix of both is probably the way to go. I'll keep an eye out for your sketchbook and force you to check my progress in a month or so. Also, if I never catch up to your mad skills I'll challenge you to a guitar duel instead xD

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    Haha, better start refreshing those guitar skills already!

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    Zombie leader, indeed! I expect a worthy challenge

    Was working today as well so didn't get all that much stuff done. But anyway, I tried starting some studies. I'm pretty much clueless as to what to do though. Does anyone know a good site for free pictures of human anatomy etc?

    Learning the proportions of the skull. Well. Somewhat. I think I should draw some skulls every day until it sticks.
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    30 min landscape study. Changed the horizon line on purpose. (Left is not my pic, it's owned by someone else).
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    Started this study of a picture I found on dArt. I put the copyright holders name on the top.
    The proportions are a bit off (she's stretched to the left!) but I'll fix that tomorrow. Kinda stressed it, and that's never good!
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    Does anyone know if it's ok to use any picture for reference as long as you don't claim ownership? (Obviously, I'm not talking about paint overs, only for reference studies).

    Edit: Also, I kind of feel like cheating because I'm using the color picker tool for the last picture. Is that what people usually do or is the purpose of these studies to try finding the right colors without the color picker tool?

    2nd edit: Could someone tell me how I change the thumbnail for my sketchbook? Is it always the first picture in the first post that's the cover for the thumbnail?

    Last edited by Mikael Eson; February 2nd, 2013 at 05:30 PM.
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    Spent yesterday and today drawing some skulls from different perspectives but, I dunno, I don't feel like posting all that stuff here? Maybe I can do some kind of sketch dump once every few weeks or so. I don't want to clog my sketchbook with that stuff ;P Some people make really interesting sketches, but mine look like shit!

    Here's an updated version of the girl portrait I started with two days ago:

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    I don't really like this "human copying machine" kind of approach. Well, it's fun, but the more it looks like a photo, the less artistic it feels... In my opinion that is. It'd be a different matter altogether if I did her from imagination (which I don't) but with these studies, I think I want to try a more suggestive approach in the future. I have no idea how to go about getting that result though but I'll try my best.

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    WOW! Those are some good studies especially the lady in white! About the color picker, in my opinion its best not to use it, train your eye to see and understand the colors you look at.
    You could spend some time going over anatomical studies though, those will definitely help when you draw from your imagination. Maybe you should post the skulls even if you think they don't look so good. That way people will be able to point out where you are making mistakes so you can fix them faster.

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    The last portrait looks fine, but I think you're right about that "human copying machine" thing. I used to be like that, but recently I've come to realize that I learn more if I simplify things and try to see their "essence". Just trying to copy the reference pixel by pixel doesn't teach a lot about creating art. A good approach to studies is to give yourself some limitations. Try to do some quick 30-60 minute studies, like the landscape study you did. Or you could use only big brushes, trying to get as much information down with one brushstroke as possible. I need to work more on this stuff as well. Keep posting!

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    Thanks a lot phili and zombie leader. You're both right about everything! Phili, I'll refrain from using the color picker from now on.
    Zombie leader, I saw what you said and tried a 60 minute portrait today, from reference and without using the color picker. The result totally sucked though xD I think I'm quite slow as it is, and if I double the pace, the results gets ten times as bad! But I'll continue doing it all the same. I won't post the latest quick portrait here.... But I'll post them when they're of acceptable quality.

    Anyway, haven't had all that much time to draw the last two days. Hopefully I'm free all day tomorrow though

    Here's some crap:

    My first try at making quick poses. Roughly 5 min each I'd say. Looks like shit but went better than expected xD
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    I've also been working on something of a little project... I should say that I'm the over ambitious kind of guy. Always have been. So maybe it's not good at starting with relatively huge projects this early on, but I just can't stop myself Anyway, it's not that cool, but it'll take a while to finish. I'd say around 6 months xD Will write more about it in the future ^^

    Last edited by Mikael Eson; February 7th, 2013 at 05:01 AM.
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    Here's some sketches from today. I found a really nice site for figure drawings, I encourage you to check it out
    http://artists.pixelovely.com/practi...igure-drawing/
    (I hope it's not against the rules of the forum to post links to other sites.)

    1 minute (über shitty, but I wasn't warmed up. Also, I suck. That's the bigger issue I suppose.)
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    2 minutes
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    5 minutes
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    10 minutes
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    45 minute frog. Used reference and didn't use the color picker. It's so damn tempting to use it since it would make the process so much faster and the result so much better...
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    Anyway, I've been slacking off today. Gotta get better at time management.

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    Workday so almost no time to draw. Still, did this... thing. I gotta draw some cones and boxes and stuff to learn how the light hits objects. I feel I really lack an understanding in that area.

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    No ref obviously. Some three headed monster like thing. Tried to make it look manga'ish.

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    Hey Mikael, thanks for stopping into my Sb and sharing those super rad compliments. While I'm super flattered, I have sooooo far to go before considering such things. Anyways, thanks again. Also, you have some very cool things going on here yourself. I would simply suggest, to just keep working man, and see what comes of it. Thats all we can do right? You have some nice studies. I would say focus more on fast gesture drawing as opposed to longer ones over a minute. Also, stay away from photo 1 for 1's. They really don't do crap for skill, but don't be afraid to get inspiration from photo ref. Just don't rely on it right? lolz I have the problem too of sometimes wanting to do them for studies or whatever. But meh, anyways. Keep at it man!

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    Thanks for the kind words Stray Of course I'll draw a lot. I've basically just begun my journey so I have no illusions, I know I gotta work my ass off for a few years xD Which I will. I'll try to get into art school this year, seeing as I need at least 3 years of just constant drawing to become good enough. It's generally believed to take 10000 hours to become really good at something, so my plan is to think of myself as a genius, spend half that time, realize I'm not a genius, spend the other half, and then success! Easier that way. Dividing it xD

    Been working the last few days but have been able to squeeze out a few hours every day, here's some of my latest stuff.


    Did a pixelovely class again. Here's some of the later sketches. Still shit but I'm getting a hang of it I think. I've never really drawn under time pressure before, but I think it'll be good for improving as it'll help me find the right order of doing things. I didn't quite get to finish the 60 min drawing. I think i could've made her look quite good if I'd have another 30 minutes. But that's the challenge I suppose.
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    Also, my first ever vehicle design... Not surprisingly, it's shit xD But I wanted to do one before I get started drawing how light hits different shapes and before I try drawing real vehicles to expand my visual library.
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    I should've spent a lot more time on making an interesting design though. I think I can do better, but whatever. Gotta prove it as well. Time will tell!

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    I think you should try to build those figures "from the inside out" instead of going straight to drawing the outline. So that you have the gesture and the proportions correct before worrying about the anatomical details. The vehicle isn't that bad in my opinion, but it's disappearing into the background. Make either the vehicle or the background lighter so that you have more contrast between them. Maybe you should even try to add some color on the object.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeaderOfZombies View Post
    I think you should try to build those figures "from the inside out" instead of going straight to drawing the outline. So that you have the gesture and the proportions correct before worrying about the anatomical details. The vehicle isn't that bad in my opinion, but it's disappearing into the background. Make either the vehicle or the background lighter so that you have more contrast between them. Maybe you should even try to add some color on the object.
    Not sure what you mean. Do you mean I should draw circles and stuff before I draw the linework?
    Tell you what, I'll do a step by step picture of how I go about drawing figures and then you can point at where I'm being a noob Hopefully I can do that tomorrow.
    And you're right about the vehicle. I think I kind of intentionally made the background darker to hide the design since I wasn't happy with it.... >_< But you're right of course and I'll think about that next time. Thanks for the comment.

    Sketchbook update: I've been working full time for a few days since my colleague is sick so I might only have ca 2 hours to draw every day for a few days now. Not that anyone cares but me, but still xD I'll be posting a lot more frequently when he gets back on his feet.

    I wanted to share something though so here's a design I've started working on.

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    I've spent around 1,5 hours so far and I've still got much left. I can see some perspective issues etc. Hopefully I can make it somewhat cool. I've got quite a clear picture in my head of what I want it to look like when it's done anyway.
    For anyone curious, I made my vehicle sketch into a brush and then just painted at random, trying to "see" something in the silhouette. I saw Feng Zhu use this technique in one of his videos and tried it. It's been really fun so far so I'd definitely encourage others to try it out.

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    Yeah, I mean like drawing the line of action at first, then building the figure by using the basic forms, and in that way creating the outline of the figure.

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