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    Zilkenian's Sketchbook

    Well...first is a first. Some of you know I draw cartoon.
    I tried what some people here told me to do: draw realism. I can't. Seems my mind doesn't work with it, is like a dog trying to eat bird food.
    BUT, when I looked at some realistic poses (posemaniacs), something happened to the bodies of my drawings. They start to have some muscles under the skin, so maybe I'm not a lost cause yet XDD.

    First real drawing:

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    (NOTE: This drawing down here is for thumbnail, not the first one)

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    Last edited by Zilkenian; February 17th, 2013 at 06:19 AM. Reason: Trying to put a good thumbnail
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    Ok so I dunno if you wanna be a pro or not... But if you do your going to need to draw ALOT more than this... Looking at your other thread you say you have no job and you have been drawing for 13 years, what are you spending your days doing? I mean you have 3 rough sketches up there that probably took no more than an hour. Is that all you did since you posted that thread in CC 2 days ago? If not post what you did!

    I have no problems with you drawing things you like to draw, infact you can get very good by doing that IF you spend time doing studies of the things you need to work on to make the drawings you enjoy doing look better. For example, say you do a sketch and you realize you have no idea what the hand looks like in this position, stop and do some hand studies and then go back to it.

    "The whole point of practice is to do it until you can do it right." - dpaint

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zilkenian View Post
    Well...first is a first. Some of you know I draw cartoon.
    I tried what some people here told me to do: draw realism. I can't. Seems my mind doesn't work with it, is like a dog trying to eat bird food.
    You really seem to misunderstand what everyone means when they're saying to study from the real world.

    You should be drawing what you like to draw, but should be supplementing it with studies from real life, because that's how you increase your knowledge and makes for better cartoons. All cartoons are based on reality, and the better your understanding of reality, the better you can make your cartoons.

    And post more post more! You have to have more to post than just those three drawings!

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    LOL!! I may don't have a job, but I'm looking for one!! It's not like I spend the entire day in my house!! I still have lot of things to do, like helping my family with lot of things!!

    Lel...
    Okay...Well, ahem, looking back at my other thread, I started to look for real people photos. At first I looked for anatomy, but all I got was people without skin just standing. Since I kept studying anatomy in that way (I'm always looking in my own body what every muscle and bone does) I needed something else, and I looked for just photos.

    And then, I started to draw. The number in every one is the order I made them. As you can see, I start with coward lines with the guy pulling that...thing XDD, and then I draw more of them in others.
    I know, draw a bunch of lines is not always good, but I decided to, for once, don't use the eraser, and just keep drawing. I noticed everytime I use the eraser is like cutting what I'm doing and losing concentration.

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    You've gotten some interesting poses down right there, neat stuff! Your cartoons have an interesting style too - you may want to add more definition to the poses you're drawing right now though, while they portray the gesture and outline of the pose very nicely, and they do show 3 dimensionality, but I'm not seeing anything that defines the inside of the silhouette (chest, ribs, torso, obliques, traps, etc)

    If you want to find some good photos to practice drawing from, try this web app here http://artists.pixelovely.com/practi...igure-drawing/

    For anatomy, you might want to check out Bridgman's constructive anatomy book, it's excellent, it really is

    And most importantly, don't stop practising, even a few minutes a day goes a long long way; nice going so far though

    ĒI havenít failed. Iíve just found 10,000 ways that wonít work.Ē - Thomas Edison


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    Wow, thankies for the link!! Looks really useful.
    EDIT: IT'S REALLY USEFUL!!! Thanks a lot!!

    Also, the first drawing is one I would love to take off, but since they told me not to, I won't.
    Also, my problem, more than anatomy, is perspective. I know I need to work hands and feet, but is perspective and position what I lack the most. I touch myself (don't think in bad things please...) everytime I have a doubt about anatomy, just to see how my own body reacts to movements, and how my muscles work, along with anatomy photos (lot, and lots of muscles, skeletons, bones...yay!)

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    Try to find some weekly life drawing groups in your area, as well.

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    Poses done with the webpage "Artists Pixelovely".

    60 seconds for each pose:

    Name:  study1.jpg
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    And some eye study.
    The number near every one is the order I made them.

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    you have a good start. just be familiar with peoples anatomy. once you're accustomed to real human anatomy / proportion and how it works, it will help you make your cartoons have a natural look even if they are out of proportion.

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    You seem to have a habit of petting your lines a lot. Try big, confident, sweeping strokes -- as few strokes as possible to make the gesture.

    Also, your art school probably taught you this, but you may find it useful to find the line of action (which you sorta did but only for the spine) and lines to find the angles of the shoulders and hips (which will often be tilting opposite ways).

    Your eyes are still looking fairly cartoony/symbolic -- try Proko's video on how to draw eyes, it's great.

    I also learnt a lot about how to draw eyes from the book Facial Expression by Gary Faigin. I know you don't have enough money for it right now, but I thought I'd mention it for completeness. I've never seen anywhere that gives half the detail and subtlety which that book does on the topic of eyes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lulie View Post
    You seem to have a habit of petting your lines a lot. Try big, confident, sweeping strokes -- as few strokes as possible to make the gesture.

    Also, your art school probably taught you this, but you may find it useful to find the line of action (which you sorta did but only for the spine) and lines to find the angles of the shoulders and hips (which will often be tilting opposite ways).

    Your eyes are still looking fairly cartoony/symbolic -- try Proko's video on how to draw eyes, it's great.

    I also learnt a lot about how to draw eyes from the book Facial Expression by Gary Faigin. I know you don't have enough money for it right now, but I thought I'd mention it for completeness. I've never seen anywhere that gives half the detail and subtlety which that book does on the topic of eyes.
    Thank you. I'll try the line of action for shoulders, and yes, they thaught me about doing less lines, but stronger.
    I decided to start with 60 seconds, but next time I'll try with 30 seconds only. That will make me draw faster and without thinking in leaving a beautiful drawing, but a correct one.
    Also, you say the eyes looks cartoony. Well, then that's good for me. I'm just trying to get a base for them, not to draw them like a photo.
    I may not be able to draw realistic, but my cartoons need some real life to look good and correct. But I think I can't expect myself to do realistic at the 100% because I have 13 years of manga/cartoon in my blood (that sounded quite epic...)

    Last edited by Zilkenian; February 15th, 2013 at 04:09 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zilkenian View Post
    Also, you say the eyes looks cartoony. Well, then that's good for me. I'm just trying to get a base for them, not to draw them like a photo.
    I may not be able to draw realistic, but my cartoons need some real life to look good and correct. But I think I can't expect myself to do realistic at the 100% because I have 13 years of manga/cartoon in my blood (that sounded quite epic...)
    I think you can. Why? Because drawing style isn't a habit that gets ingrained -- it's a set of knowledge. You currently don't have the knowledge of realism you need (need for both making realistic pictures and making cartoon ones), and so you're using the knowledge you currently have (it's not a habit, it's that you just haven't learned how to do otherwise). This knowledge can be learned with study and trying to be accurate.

    Right now, when you do realistic studies, instead of drawing what you see, you cartoon-ify what you see in your mind and then draw that instead. This kinda defeats the point of the exercise, which is to learn how to draw what is actually there in an un-distorted, un-abstracted way. The reason we recommend this is so you can get to understand the structure of real things, and then ultimately apply this knowledge to cartoons to make your cartoons awesome and alive/believable.

    And this idea that one can't learn realism if one is in the habit of manga would be true if realism were just another style, another abstraction. But it's not: it's broader. This is hard to explain, but I'll try...

    Learning to draw realistically is kind of a different experience from how most people learn to draw anime/cartoon. It's counter-intuitive. It's really precise and subtle. It's a different way of thinking. In anime/cartoon, you can just learn a set of rules and get to understand where to put the lines by a mixture of that plus intuition. When drawing realistically, one must do one of two things (well, preferably both):
    1) Understand the structure of what you're drawing -- the ability to turn it in your mind as if it were 3D, understanding how the bends work, understanding what the shape is and why the light is forming particular patterns on it, etc.
    2) Be very precise and observe very carefully, copying exactly, noticing every little thing that's different about the drawing compared to the ref.
    These feel different than the anime way of following rules and copying lines (and playing with those things -- it's not as simple as just following rules, of course; there is some creativity even in drawing anime this way).

    I started out in anime too, and I remember the weird feeling of making the switch and the different way of thinking about drawing. It's hard to explain this feeling without actually trying these two paths to realism until you get something that looks pretty realistic.

    The important thing, though, is that it is just knowledge that anyone can learn. You could have 100 years of manga/cartoon in your blood (now that would be epic ) and still learn realism 100%.


    EDIT: Another way of putting this is: No way man, you can't just turn down a critique and useful (and free!) resource link because you think you can't do it! You totally can. Yeah it's hard but we can help with any difficulties.

    Last edited by Lulie; February 15th, 2013 at 09:05 PM.
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    ....Hehehehe, well, you got me there.

    Well, for your words I totally see you have traveled farther than I did, so I must follow this advice and critique.
    This is what I'll try to....no, what I'll do from now on. Try to make the switch turn the right way (also, I watched the video even if I said that. My curiosity always gets the better of me).

    Thank you a lot. Now, I'm going to follow both of the rules. Lets see if my mind can work with my eyes.

    Last edited by Zilkenian; February 16th, 2013 at 05:59 AM.
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    Great. So watch the video again, draw along side it, and post the results as studies! What I do in videos like this is try to follow along, pausing to draw bits. Good exercise if this is something you don't already do.

    And really, don't worry if it's counter-intuitive or it seems your brain doesn't want to work with it. That's good, that means you're learning and expanding your comfort zone. It's just a matter of taking it one step at a time. Expect to make mistakes, expect it'll be challenging. It's all part of the process.

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    Dont delete your work from this thread because in a years time maybe you will wanna look back and see how far you have come.

    "The whole point of practice is to do it until you can do it right." - dpaint

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    Quote Originally Posted by element1988 View Post
    Dont delete your work from this thread because in a years time maybe you will wanna look back and see how far you have come.
    This. This. This.

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    Quote Originally Posted by element1988 View Post
    Dont delete your work from this thread because in a years time maybe you will wanna look back and see how far you have come.
    I just deleted one that was a false start. I have enough work in my DeviantArt to remind me how I used to be when I get better in this.

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    Today I took the pencil where my family was, and I made some anatomy/pose study with them.
    I had to do the sketches really quick, specially for my grandmother, since she didn't stopped moving for more than one minute or less.
    Oh, and my dog and my cat and a random rose I found around my house.

    I decided to practice the "less lines, but stronger" lesson. I think it works better this way....

    EDIT: Forgot one of my mother's legs....

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    Ha, I love the crocs on the last one.

    I noticed that for the majority of your sketches, the heads are disproportionately large. People tend to draw what they draw first the biggest, so I suggest drawing the torso first. Well, it's not a substitute for knowing anatomy, but it might be some temporary help. Definitely stick with the line of action, since it really helps with the character's movement and it's quite evident in the second one.

    Also, if you're looking for poses, searching up "stock photos", or "stock [insert action you want to see]" will provide a lot more results. DeviantArt isn't a great place for getting constructive criticism, but you can find some decent stock there in the "Resources & Stock Images >>> Stock Images >>> Model", popular pages. And don't be afraid to carry a sketchbook with you to draw strangers, too! (sure, they give you weird looks and run away, but it's great for speed)

    Keep it up! You're doing great!

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    I saw the "big head" thing. Yes, I'll try it the way you say. I didn't know people draw the first thing bigger than the rest....interesting. Definitely, the human brain was set to be weird...

    I already have two webpages (users from this forum gave them to me) where I have a full stock of brilliant photos for this (but from models, most of the poses are a bit exaggerated), and they appear every 30, 60 seconds or 2 or 5 minutes, depending on what time you set for it, which make me draw fast, because I have no idea when the next one will appear.
    But I'll follow your advice and look in DeviantArt too.
    Right now, I'm not uploading anything in DA because I know how people will react: "OMG so pretty!!", and the only thing that would do is feed my pride, and that's something I don't need right now.

    Well,here stranger would give you a weird look, but I don't thing they would run away. They would come to me and have a word with me, a very angry word with me. That's how it works in Spain now I guess, everyone, or almost everyone, is angry (I'll have to draw rich people, only ones who are not that angry, hehehe).

    Thank you, I'm glad to see I'm in the right way, in the beginning, but in the right one.

    Last edited by Zilkenian; February 17th, 2013 at 05:01 AM. Reason: Writting large comment in english is still difficult...
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    I know what are you going to say, but this come to my mind like a thunderbolt, and I couldn't help but draw him.
    I know: he's too cartoony, he looks like a girl, I need more practice, but I couldn't help myself. For now, he'll be my avatar here, instead of the cartoony guy.

    Oh, yes, lines are pencil with some Sai cleaning. Not trying to ink for now. It's easier to find mistakes in pencil than ink, ink could cover or add new mistakes.

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    Looks pretty cool, but dont forget to add the shoulders when you do head shots... Floating heads are creepy man.

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    Those new gestures are much better than the previous 'petted' ones! You're catching on to it fast; keep it up with those long, flowing lines. You might find this concept useful: (semi-NSFW) http://babelab.blogspot.co.uk/2013/0...vs-impure.html Look out for those 'pure' lines and make them the basis of your gesture drawings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by element1988 View Post
    Looks pretty cool, but dont forget to add the shoulders when you do head shots... Floating heads are creepy man.
    You don't know how much I laughed with this....
    And I'm a woman.
    Point taken.

    Lulie, I watched again your "Eyes tutorial" video, and I made this. Those two eyes are from the video with my special touch (since, it seems, I can't draw something exactly without giving it my touch), and then I made this...emo...face thingy.

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    Thank you for the video.

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    You go over your lines a lot, so it's hard to see which ones you consider to be the right ones, therefore it's hard to see what's there to give feedback on. For example, I can't see whether you're drawing the thickness of the eyelids or not (which give a lot of realism).

    That said, here are a couple thoughts:

    - The irises you've drawn there aren't quite circular/elliptical -- the bottom eye particularly has the lower-right hand side squished in. You may think this is a little issue, but it affects the realism quite a lot. I think this is an example of the general lack of practice you have with copying references accurately. (More on this below.)

    - The eyebrows are very scribbly. This might be okay for a quick sketch, but again to see the lines double-back on themselves can break the realism. Also eyebrows have a distinct shape (typically, thick for 2/3 and taper off at the end), but you've kind of got a caterpillar thing going on. Try blocking them in/drawing the outlines first with light lines, and then filling in the hairs like this: http://www.portrait-artist.org/face/eyes5.html


    You mention you don't yet know how to draw something exactly without modifying it. This is what I was talking about above -- the different way of thinking. What I suggest to get over this block (don't worry -- you'll still be able to draw in your style, it's just that you'll also gain the skill of drawing accurately, and you'll be able to use reference to enhance your style) is the following exercise:

    1. Pick a photo of a face (preferably one with clear shadows -- not a really soft overcast look or a photo taken with an on-camera flash).
    2. Try to draw it exactly, and keep working on it until it looks right.
    3. When that's done, show it and the ref to us, we'll point out what you missed and you can work on it even more to push it that extra step further.
    This will take a while, but it's worth it to train your eye.

    If you want, you can measure proportions. But it's encouraged that you try to work it out yourself first and work on it for a while before measuring -- that way you'll see how you thought the head looked and how the real thing is different.

    The reason I suggest a head in particular is:
    - Heads are the hardest thing to get right, and the easiest thing to tell when it isn't (especially if it's of someone whose face you're familiar with, like an actor/actress or someone you know). So accuracy needs to be exact to get likeness, and you can see instantly when it's there.
    - They're interesting, so you won't get bored.
    - Your main interest in drawing is people anyway.

    This exercise will help you start to understand that way of thinking I mentioned in my earlier post. It may take more than one attempt for it to click. You may need to study some realistic head construction methods (like Loomis or Reilly) to really get it. But start with this exercise, and slowly but surely mastery will come.


    (By the way: in English slang, 'man' can sometimes mean man or woman equally. It's like the word 'dude' -- there isn't really a female equivalent, so 'dude' and 'guys' and 'man' can be used on females. It might be more common in the UK than US though -- I hear teen girls call each other 'man' in Britain but not really in America. Anyway, it's not really relevant what gender you are, so don't worry if people just assume a default. Doesn't matter.)

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    I know what 'man' means in that sentence. I just made the easy joke.

    And the other thing.....
    OK, YES, I'M EXCITED WITH THIS!

    While reading it it was like my mind was saying "Yes, I take the challenge". I had a block these past days and you just blew it in some minutes; that means you are awesome.

    And going back to the serious part, yes, I get where are you going. I don't know why but right know my style doesn't matter as much as before to me, but the part of getting better. Really, I'm trying to draw realism!!! That something even my teacher failed to do! Maybe because you gave me all critiques a girl can handle, and more, and that was the first "click" (because all of you did really shoot me with all your weapons...) BUT, that made the click and it's fine for me.

    I'll do what you say. I'll pick a random photo, with the features you told me, and I'll draw it again and again. Also, I'll post them when I find one good enough to show it, posting all the ones I needed to do until the good one, so I can see myself the progress too. I need to see my way, not just see the end of it.

    Oh, and thanks.

    Sketchbook

    I don't have time to read "How beautiful are your drawings!" garbage.
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  34. #27
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    I know. She looks like Ariel in an alien way.
    First attempt with the head exercise.

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    EDIT: Anger problem solved. I know from where it comes...

    Last edited by Zilkenian; February 21st, 2013 at 02:39 PM.
    Sketchbook

    I don't have time to read "How beautiful are your drawings!" garbage.
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  35. #28
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    You did a line drawing here, but like I said you should pick something with strong shadows -- it's really difficult not to cartoon-ify when there aren't any shadows you can draw. Try something with strong shadows, like these: http://lhorgan88.blogspot.co.uk/2012...-lighting.html

    Maybe to get you away from the 'lines' cartoon habit, draw *only* the shapes of the shadows and dark areas and don't do any lines. Use the flat side of the pencil or use charcoal or a medium-large brush if you do it digitally. It'll look weird, but the exercise is to help you start thinking of images as light and shade (which is what is actually there) instead of lines (which is what our brain tells us is there).

    The real world that we see isn't made of lines, it's made of light. Which does gives us edges, but edges are not usually lines: if you look closely, edges are transitions from one value to another, and our brain ignores that and just interprets it as 'a contour'. To change this default interpretation our brain gives us requires training yourself to see past it.
    (And the softer the light, the harder it is to see this fact. So in the image you posted, the nose 'line' is actually an area of lighter value, but all the shading is so mild that it's hard to see at all.)

    Also, definitely try measuring out proportions at this stage. You need to realise how you're exaggerating and modifying what you see. For example, your eyes are huge for realism. Always check yourself against measurements like these: http://hyoko-x3.deviantart.com/art/T...ions-216635034

    Currently your process is: look at ref, draw for a while, check again and correct some things, repeat. But you need to be flipping your eye back and forth between your drawing and the ref constantly. Did your art teacher ever make you do blind contour drawing? Mine did, I thought it was stupid at the time but now I know what it's for: to really pay attention to what something looks like, to spend less time looking at the drawing and making stuff up, more time copying reality inch by inch.
    For what it's worth, Betty Edward's book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain has some really useful exercises like this. It's pretty popular so maybe you can borrow it from the library.


    You suggested in your earlier edit that it wasn't as fun as you hoped it'd be. That's okay, that just means you may need to find a different route or a new way of thinking about it. (It's possible that it was just initial frustration because it's quite different from what you've done before, but if the feeling persists then better find another way. Fortunately, there are loads of different routes you can take to learning this.) And of course never stop doing what you enjoy, these suggestions are just studies to do as well as that, to help train your eye and skills.

    Sketchbook | Composition tutorial
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    Thanks, but it's not frustation. I have to say I'm learning a lot here, and I made today a cartoony drawing and it looks better than what I used to do a week ago.
    But, I'm going to a realistic style. And that's something I truly don't want.

    I know I need references, and I'm doing that, but it's starting to affect the style I want, and that's something that makes me stop drawing. I can't draw if I know what I'm doing will change the way I draw.

    And, I kept doing anatomy drawings with those stocks of photos, this time not doing them quickly, but watching the photo carefully, and then drawing it. I tried to combine it with some characters from a game I play and the result was pretty....nice to see. An improvement.

    But then I saw what I did to my style in order to improve. And I hated it.

    And now! Hands. Lots of hands. I started to draw them just to get out of an angry moment, and then I didn't stop, lel.

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    And this is something I did to check on my current style with all this training. I can't say I don't like what I see, but is not exactly what I want, and that scares me.

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    Sketchbook

    I don't have time to read "How beautiful are your drawings!" garbage.
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  37. #30
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    Well, after losing myself in the new forum (nice new design, by the way), and finding my sketchbook in my profile because I think it's in the neverending page of the sketchbooks forum, I come here to put something I did following all you taught me.

    Also, I understood finally, took me long enough, the line of action. But in order to understand it, I had to use TWO colors in my sketches. So simple I could hit my head against a wall, but I won't do it because it hurts.

    Oh, and I'm coming back to my "animenish" style. I don't care if it's anime or cartoon, I like it, I keep it, but with the improvements I made drawing realism.
    I'm still learning, I'm still in the way of becoming profesional, but now I like what I do.

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    Sketchbook

    I don't have time to read "How beautiful are your drawings!" garbage.
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