Sketchbook: Ali's long and arduous journey - watch me grow!
 
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    Ali's long and arduous journey - watch me grow!

    Hey everyone,

    My name is Ali, I decided to join and create a CA sketchbook documenting my journey. I'm exhausted of mediocrity so I finally decided to do something about it, The idea is to do 2 paintings, one background and a portrait; hopefully I will improve on my lighting.

    Advice and critiques are welcome; Help me reach my destination guys!

    Today's entries:

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    From photo, Photoshop cc4, 2.30hrs

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    From photo, Photoshop cc4, 1.5hrs

    Last edited by AliSaid; April 18th, 2013 at 03:07 PM.
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  3. #2
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    I'm really horrible at practising, although i draw almost everyday, is still isn't everyday - not to mention most of the time i'm just randomly painting, not actually learning. Henceforth today I'm thinking about posting everyday - everythings a bit hectic at the moment

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    Comments and criticisms are welcome. Till tomorrow!

    Last edited by AliSaid; March 8th, 2013 at 08:58 PM.
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  4. #3
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    character design.
    I'm really horrible at proportions, hopefully this is something i can improve upon in time, I really want to become great at it, seeming this is what i want to do as a career. Its the first time I've ever used rim lighting and shadows properly in a character so I'm very proud of that.

    Time: 8-9hrs, Photoshop CS4
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    I'll create another character concept piece in the weekend, I'll try and slash the time into 5-6hrs, because this almost killed me!

    Finally a portrait: This took me two hours, still not great but i realised if the background's non existant, i become less distracted when painting so i could focus on the face. The lighting in the photo was difficult to graps.

    2 Hours/no eyedrop used (never)/PSCS4
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    Last edited by AliSaid; March 8th, 2013 at 08:58 PM. Reason: File size changes
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  5. #4
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    It's really difficult to copy another photo, this took me 3 hours - not proud that it took me that long and it still doesn't look as good as I want it. Early days i suppose. I will post a completed fan concept tomorrow.

    3hrs ps cs4
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    Last edited by AliSaid; March 8th, 2013 at 08:57 PM.
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  6. #5
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    Hi Ali! You're off to a great start. Try studying the anatomy beneath facial forms. Knowing the proper placement of muscles and bone structures will help you with proportions. Knowing how light falls on these structures will give you greater realism and depth in your figures.

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  8. #6
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    First, welcome!

    Second, I'm gonna agree with Miss Gardener in that you should focus on anatomy in order to strengthen your understanding of depth and weight.

    Third, I think you would benefit from a few still life drawings. Photo references tend to have very harsh lighting, thus blowing out all then delicious values.

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  10. #7
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    wow you've read my mind, i was working on a still life painting before you've mentioned it. I really enjoyed it and I will definitely continue working more on it!

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    I will definitely make these my focus of my studies!

    Last edited by AliSaid; March 8th, 2013 at 08:57 PM.
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    Thanks Leanne, I'll definitely focus on the anatomy, incl muscles and bone structure!

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    Name:  Heads - 1.jpg
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    I've been practising drawing heads all day, so to reward myself, i had some fun - these heads all look very stiff so I'll focus on studying andrew loomis's head and hand book! I'm so excited!!

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    Last edited by AliSaid; March 8th, 2013 at 08:57 PM.
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    Name:  image (11).jpg
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    Had no chance of updating past 2 days due to new job, will resume as normal daily. I've been working on head much more - im getting really confident with it now - cant believe I've gotten this far without it! Will focus more on figure and environments from now on!

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    I recently hit a brick wall which finally made me see the truth which is im not happy with where I stand and I want to change that - The best way to do that is to work fiercely hard - learn, adapt and evolve! Like organize some time in the morning which I started today.

    I want to pick up the pieces from my tattered career and move on but if i don't want to hire myself - there's no hope. I want to work on my skills for the next 2 years. The idea is to work 4 hours every morning before i head to my part time retail job which i hate. I've always thought it would be easy - I never seriously put in hard work in anything in my life. I was lazy and i've had enough. I finally picked up that Andrew Loomis's 'Figure drawing for all its worth' and noticed one line that hit home. "It is mediocrity to which the door is closed" and that frightened me because it felt like he was talking to me. It was the wake-up call that I needed and the helping hand that got me back up.

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    1 Hour speedpaints - first time doing it for an hour, it was hard keeping it under an hour!

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    2 hours reading and studying "Andrew Loomis's Figure Drawing for all it's worth"

    I want to reach up to 20 pages with massive changes to my designs, by studying 4 hours everyday I'll get there hopefully!

    Last edited by AliSaid; March 8th, 2013 at 09:53 PM.
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  15. #12
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    Another day, another daily session! I think im getting better with speedpainting faces - 1hr is just so damn quick!

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  16. #13
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    More speedpainting from reference! I'm having difficulty with value study from the portrait study - only explanation as to why it feels a step backwards...

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    Last edited by AliSaid; March 13th, 2013 at 06:12 PM.
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    Name:  1.jpg
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    More head studies; I've attempted doing 60sec gesture drawings, they're really hectic to do, always get a rush - I will try to get down to 30 sec. I've been studying 3-4 hours per day - I'm thinking of pushing it to 8, 4 in the mornings, and another 4 after work in the evenings - Drawings such as anatomy and gesture in the first half, paintings like landscape-portraits in the second, I really want to improve quick-time so I will push myself!

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    Your stuff is great, you practise well!
    In terms of critiques: One this pops out to me immediately... Skin tends to look very flat and lifeless when the hues are the same throughout. Real skin has all sorts of colours in it. Yellow, purple, blue, green, you name it. it's subtle, but it makes a world of difference. It's a thing called local hues/values. A tutorial that helped me greatly was this one: http://browse.deviantart.com/art/SKI...rt-1-144294636
    I'd say, take one of the practise drawings you did and give it a spin. don't be afraid to use weird colours as first, you'll soon get comfortable with it. Another hint is to saturate the mid tones of skin just that little more than the rest; it will help to really make it come to life. Also, maybe eyedropper some colours from the photos you reference? Of course it's good to learn your way around the colour wheel instinctively, but at first it might be interesting to see what kind of hues are -actually- in the photo. Take that most recent guy you drew a portrait of, for example (he seems familiar to me, but I can't recall his name now), the shadow under his chin is most certainly not black or grey, it's blue, kind of purple even.
    Keep on going!

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    Thanks alot for the fantastic advice, I'll fiercely study that tutorial! Painting skins is such a beast to learn Also I haven't the foggiest Idea regarding the man in the photo lol! Thanks man! I owe you!

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    Morning session I studied gesture drawings, the anatomy and the head - tonight I will study landscapes, portrait and concept paintings!

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  21. #18
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    You're welcome
    good gesture drawings also. Gonna keep an eye on your thread~

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  23. #19
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    Name:  13.jpg
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    Just like i promised, final practise for this evening - i'd say this rounds it up to almost 10 hours of studying! If i keep this up for a couple of years, I'd be phenomenal at this - hopefully as good as the famed algenpfleger from here! I'll live and breathe this until I reach my goal of being on Imagine FX/2DConcept Art magazines, silly goal but it really motivates me. Till tomorrow then!

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    Name:  1.jpeg
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    Just practising colouring faces and whatnot - really had fun today. I'll upload 2 more paintings tonight (later tonight) and that will be that for today

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    Good work on the skin there, it looks loads better already! The two scenes you drew up there look great as well.
    Nice you have such a specific goal in mind also... wish mine we as clear! =D

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    look more at getting the right proportions in your studies and direction of the lines compare key points like joints etc and where they are places (hope you can understand that :p)

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  28. #23
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    I do but with gesture drawings its so hard to stop and think because its only 30-60 seconds long, its really frustrating being unable to complete a sketch!

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    2 pointers on the portrait of the 'Guy with tie'

    Check out his nose and where it is pointing. in the photo his eyes are looking right at you but his nose is pointing slightly off to the side. Check out his nostrils. The one on our right side is bigger as we can see the whole thing, on the left it is partly hidden. in your painting they are both about the same size which means you've probably drawn 'A nose as I know it' rather than 'A nose as I see it'. Your brain knows that noses have two more or less identical nostrils and has tricked you into drawing that shortcut of what it already thinks it knows instead of what you are actually looking at.

    Second one is eyes. Remember that the 'whites' of your eyes are anything but. Its tempting to put your brightest values in the eyes and that's where they sometimes are, but look at your photo again. His eyes are actually slightly darker value than his shirt collar. Try putting your picture and the photo into greyscale and compare the values between the two.

    That all said, maybe don't sink a ton more time into it, just take on board what you have learned and move onto the next one.

    Good stuff though. Great to see someone so fired up and enthusiastic. Keep at it and you'll be well on your way.

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  30. #25
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    My lord, tv (well internet) is time's greatest enemy - The idea today was to have fun and attempt at an 'action scene' of any kind, i thought it'd be awesome to capture a moment in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, I thought i'd paint the essence of what myself and my brothers always did when we fought a particular boss in our childhood...which is run like mad. Though that didn't go so well seeming my family wanted to watch a catch-up of Game of Thrones season two before the the third comes on in the next few weeks.

    Here's the preview: I'll postpone this and get back to normal sessions tomorrow and complete this on my off day, make it look really spiffy!

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  31. #26
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    Slow update today - relocating so hopefully I can fully invest all my time into this once settled down tomorrow.
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    I'm really firing through both of Andrew Loomis's books, I really want to focus on the figure and its proportions, my biggest weakness!

    Last edited by AliSaid; March 17th, 2013 at 10:04 PM.
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  32. #27
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    Hey, finally done moving - felt guilty I missed a day's work.

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    I also started weightlifting, which in a way, is a similar practice. You work on your weaknesses, divide them all equally and patiently wait for the results.
    One question I have which i'd love an answer to, does referencing from a book a good idea? I have a visual reference book of expressions which has a ton of photos, will i learn from books? I know from life is also valuable but is there something to gain from referencing from a book?

    I'll post again same as usual tomorrow

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    Name:  preview.jpg
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    Just having a bit of fun today and tomorrow, my aim is to finish this and stop being so slow before i get back into 'intensive training'

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    Name:  image_1.jpeg
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    Back to the nitty gritty work. A little bit about myself; I'm a recent university grad student, I've been working in the industry just under a year -
    see portfolio here: alisaid.carbonmade.com

    Alas the company I was working in, a social games studio fell under financial strains and an untimely end, needless to say I underwent unpleasant experiences. I've been out of work for a couple of month, I applied for similar jobs, in and out of interviews - unsuccessful due to lack of experience (a polite way of saying "you're shite") and roles going to the experienced (read: better) artist.

    I've picked myself up doing retail work and I hate, hate, hate it - until a couple of days ago, I received a job offer at a social games company. It hit me, it took me so long because, no sugarcoating it, i'm terrible at this craft. I don't ever want to feel this way again. I turned down the job, i know, I turned down the job because I want to become a fantastic artist, I don't want to have a comfortable job and at best be mediocre - I want to be amazing, sublime even and the only way i can do this is to work at that crap retail job which is relatively small hours and invest 8hours or so in studying. Working there will be my catalyst.

    Needless to say, i wont stop coming here, updating every day, until I design on the cover of Imagine FX. This will undoubtedly take years; 2, 3, 4 even with thread pages reaching over 200 but i wont stop. Not until i reach that pinnacle. Silly i know but i believe everyone has a small goal they wish to achieve in life.

    I hope i receive your support everyone! Rant over *pheew*

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  35. #30
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    Tried to check out your website but all the images seem broken, you might need to check that out...

    Also I feel your story.. I am still studying but I'm dreading the nearing finishing line. For the kind of work I want to do, I need to seriously up my skill level... This means for the next year, I'll be practising my ass off.
    We can do it!!!! Never give up your dreams!

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