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  1. #1
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    Amphsix's Sketchbook

    Time to make a sketchbook on this forum, it is long overdue! I could really use all the help and critique you'd be willing to share with me. I am looking to improve all the technical aspects of art (anatomy, values, colour, perspective, etc) as well as expand my conceptual side (so recommend me books/movies/artists you think would help with my ideas!).

    I've been drawing for over 10 years, but lack serious practise in a lot of basics. For most of my teen years I just drew animals and anthropomorphics, it's only been a few years since I picked up humans seriously. I really enjoy it so I want to get better at it. Same goes for environments, I am pretty bad at it, so I'll just have to push through the bad and keep on going. I'm aware of my weaknesses but am willing to improve. I'm certainly not going to give up.

    I'll attempt to upload regularly.

    EDIT 28-08-2013: So it's been over a year and a half now since I started this sketchbook, and unfortunately I've not been able to stick to my self-promise to update regularly. This is mostly been due to the realities of life... but also a bit with my disillusion in art. Although I have progressed, I have not progressed as much or as far as I had hoped 5 years ago. I'm still in the process of taking a good hard look at myself, and figuring out what to do with that realisation. That doesn't mean in any way I am giving up, no way! It simply means I need to reassess what I expect from myself and how to balance optimism/pessimism, motivation and time. I want to make a more concious effort to work on my skills, and hopefully give myself better incentives as to why I am doing this.

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  3. #2
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    Ok so since I am still newly registered to this site it's difficult to start uploading right off the bat (system isn't sure yet wether I am a bot or a genuine human ) So I guess I'll get involved in a bunch of other threads and try and help others before I start uploading my own sketchbook~

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    Here's a first batch then, after 20 or so posts on CA.org =D
    These are a few "highlights" from the past few weeks. Next posts are definitely going to include more studies and works in (earlier) progress. Some of these aren't finished yet, but it's to sort of show where I want to go. Currently focussing on the human face (which I am still relatively inexperienced with) and environments (they do drive me mad... but I'm going to keep on going!)

    Feel free to crit any of this, I know I have loads to improve on.

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    Studies man, lots and lots of studies.

    Even of boring shit like sloth or dirt, just keep plugging at it, every study is adding something to your toolkit, teaching you a little bit about light, form, anatomy etc.

    Good start though, keep going.

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    Thanks a lot! I'll be sure to keep at it. It'll be difficult to find something I find boring to draw... I don't know.. it seems like everything has at least -some- visually interesting aspect going haha. Maybe I'll just have to look for more random things to draw.

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    Ok super quick update after having had a busy weekend.
    So here's a little WIP creature design. Just me trying to visualize a type of creature from a short story I'm writing. Yeah, writing is my second passion, after art.

    Tried my hand on a little translucency here and there... but I'm by no means good at it. Time to start drawing jellyfish!

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    Tiny bit more rendering and some simple effects... Also slapped in a background colour just to see what it would look like. They do live in a very saturated and bright environment, so maybe I should draw it properly some time soon.

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    I really like your colour choices!
    As Inkthyosaur said, studies are a great practice. Draw/paint from life as much as you can - it really helps broaden your imagination when you get to unique creations (by the way, I love that creature. I want to catch it and ride it)

    It seems you're staying pretty strictly to a single brush setting. Try experimenting with some others to get different textures onto your paintings. (This is something I still need to get the hang of, haha)

    Looking forward to watching your journey

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  12. #9
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    Hey Brakken! =) Thanks a lot for the feedback.
    Funny you said that about brushes, I was thinking the same thing. I see some of these artists using brushes very masterfully, but whenever I attempt it it looks very... well... photoshopped. Like there is no cohesion between the different brushes. To help myself, I made my own brush file a few days ago, containing some of my favourites. Hopefully that will encourage me more to use different brushes and see if I can use them properly some day.

    What I sometimes do, but doesn't show up in the works I have posted thusfar, is overlay a texture when the piece is near-finished. However, I have grown to find this a bit of a cheap trick in recent years. It can still look good, and it's certainly a great way to help concept art along, but it would be great to get some of the texture into the actual work, instead of an overlay.

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    I haven't had a lot of time to focus on drawing in the last few days. I did draw and practise a fair bit in my dummy, but the lack of a scanner is kind of limiting and prevents me from showing what I've done.
    As I am kinda busy with a website design job I'll just post a few wips.

    Still practising environments, a correct perspective helps things along tremendously.

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    Wow I absolutely love your paintings, so warm!, I can definitely see a signature style here. For the portraits, the proportions seems a bit off, especially the boy with the blue eyes. Definitely work on heads and body - that's my goal for this year.

    PS we have so much sililarities, I also need a scanner, getting serious with concepting and im also from the netherlandse! Though i live in London now, I'm from New Den Helder! good to meet you! We moeten vrienden zijn!

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    @ AliSaid: Thank you for the feedback! Improving on human anatomy is definitely one of my goals this year as well. I'll be sure to keep practising proportions. Good to meet another Dutch person I live in Den Bosch myself, although I am soon moving to the UK (so yet another thing we have in common) because my significant other lives there and my studies are soon coming to an end.
    ---

    Currently in college and I noticed I hadn't updated my external HDD, so not much new digital work to add until I get home. However, my college does have a scanner, so here is a tiny backlog of sketches from my dummy.

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    Great sketches here buddy, you got a lot skill and know a lot about perspective, i want look more of your sketches keep on it !

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    Wow nice sketches mate... I'm so impressed. Nice skill wow wow wow

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    Really liking your concepts. Very interesting character designs and environments. It looks like you are doing all the right things to improve your skills, thumbnails, gesture/figure drawings, etc. Keep doing studies as well, I like the soda bottle you did. Keep it up mate!

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    Wow! Thanks guys for the nice comments!

    Decided to give myself a little challenge to keep practising. I've done gesture drawings plenty of times, 20-30 seconds and such... but I feel like I want to draw less poses in my practise, and put a little more focus on each one. So I'm going to do a daily challenge to draw 5 poses of 10 minutes each. This here is my first try. Every upload will be a separate image, but I'm actually going to do each batch in the same photoshop file, so it extends downwards. Maybe after a month or so I can have a big file that shows my improvement (hopefully). I've divided my time as such: 5 minutes line drawing, 5 minutes blocking in super-basic shading and light.

    Other picture is a quick colour test with a run-of-the-mill fluffy dragon anthropomorph.

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    Some nice work here Amphsix. I don't have a lot of experience with photoshop and brushes but I've watched a lot of videos by Feng Zhu, who says a lot that it doesn't matter what brushes you use (he uses one or two most of the time for paintings, then a few others for small effects: textures, atmospheric fog, ect... ) Anatomy and gestures (imo) helps to improve quickly and give a lot of understanding of the underlying form, movement and (for gestures) composition. Pardon the babbling, lol. All in all, good job, and keep at it!

    Obey the principles without being bound by them. -Bruce Lee

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    Yeah I watch his videos too, he's a phenomenal artist. Thanks!

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    Here's my second 5x10 minute poses submission. I did this really early in the morning and I had trouble focussing as I was still feeling somewhat sleepy, but not too bad, I think.

    For the other picture, copypaste from my tumblr: "So me and my BF watch both Parks and Recreation and MLP:FiM. I have long argued that, like the Lion king “lionfied” everything, MLP had already “ponified” everything under the sun. Turns out after a few minutes of googling, no-one had Ponified Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreation as of yet, which I found rather miraculous. So I took it upon myself to change this fact and this is what came out."
    I sometimes like drawing cartoons. I've done some fan-art for Cartoon Network's Adventure Time and Regular Show before... it's just a nice change from my usual drawing style. Also, I love MLP like I love every other show I watch. I'm pretty much a all eater when it comes to shows. Drama, hospital, cops, comedy, sci-fi, cartoons and that includes sappy girly prancy ponies, give me all of them!

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    Some more stuff because I was feeling particularly active tonight. First one is a 15-minutes sketch to practise using different brushes together and some extreme colours. I'm quite happy how the depth of the "particles" turned out, could possibly be quite interesting for future projects.
    The second one is a practise sketch, human faces again, still trying to get better at it. It's Picard from Star Trek, in case anyone -doesn't- know him. Still from one of the first episodes. I might draw some more faces tomorrow, got quite a few good ideas on who to use as examples. I'll try to get my examples as diverse as possible (so not just pretty young white people).

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    Dude you really need to keep workin on thats Dino its carazy cool !

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    @Xizt: Well it actually does have a purpose... it's not an entirely random design, part of a project I've been involved in for a while now, though I can't disclose much about that atm. I just needed a subject to practise these colours on haha.
    ---

    Almost forgot to upload my 5x10 for today. It's already way past midnight... but what can I say, night owl. I drew it this morning when I was feeling a bit off, and it shows. These poses are a lot less bold than the previous 2 days. My mood has a rather big influence on the way I draw. I'll attempt to get back on my "normal" style tomorrow, with a bit more confidence and certainty.

    Second, here's another portrait. I spent quite a lot more time on this one than Picard yesterday. It's the character Donna from the show Parks and Recreation. I used a still from the episode "time capsule". There was never a more sassy amazing black lady in any show ever. Her wide eyes crazy expressions always make me smile. Yeah I totally cheated with her shirt, but I didn't want to get too hung up on details here. I wanted to do a portrait that was reasonably realistic within a short amount of time (in this case, 2 hours). I am rather satisfied with it... I seem to have learned a fair bit about human faces just by copying what I see. Improvement feels good, man.

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    Moar anatomy, more studies. You're going to kill it.

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    Hey man, i see the interesting creature, but yeah, you need more fundamentals. If you like creature, u need Anatomy above all

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    1. Today's 5x10, decided to leave out light and shadow for now and focus the full 10 minutes on getting the form as correct as I could.
    2. 1-hour study of some noses and ears.
    3. I decided to open up a few character designs I had made a while back (a month ago or so) and decided to use what I have learned recently to improve on them. These are only super-fast sketches, but I can already see a number of improvements. I have about 10 character profiles to finish for a college assignment by the end of June. The reason why I'm practising so hard is because I want these to be as good as I can possibly get them, working away my weaknesses and observing better from reference material and general technical skill. We'll see where I'll be in 2-3 months time...

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    Hey, first off I want to say I love that Parks & Rec pony, the mustache is spot on haha. Only seen a few episodes myself as it started airing in the UK a couple of weeks ago now. Anyway I love your use of colour in your original pieces, but watch your skin tones, they look a little murky (I'm guilty of this myself) sometimes, don't be afraid to experiment with them to make them look a little more lively.. I'm sure reference will help with this a lot better than I'm explaining. Also rad enviro thumbnails, you should try doing some more of those some time. Keep it up!

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    Didn't get to do a whole lot today, with it being Easter Sunday and all.
    I did free some time to do my daily 5x10. I'm attempting to do little variations here and there. This time I took an opposite approach, work from the shadows or highlights or both. Give it form without using lines first. Useful stuff to learn for certain.

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    So again didn't have much time to do stuff today. But I did my 5x10 a little more exploratively. Also a perspective drawdle trying out some ideas and just keeping stuff fresh in my mind for what I'm going to do this week.

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    5x10 of today, still sketchy, trying to find the flow in the pose. I've started reading a book about force in life drawing by Mike Mattesi. The book is actually meant for animators, but it might be very useful for me as well. I often find my drawings to static, and have difficulty bringing my characters "to life". I'm going to try an adapt these ideas in my future daily pose drawings.
    The other two drawings depict two characters, one is mine, the other is a friend's. Still playing with (unconventional) colours and roughness, taking a non-linear approach to making a pleasing image. It's easy to get stuck in the same pattern of making an image, but these kind of drawings are meant to shake me from it.

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    Been occupied with an assessment for college the last few days, but here's a bunch of practise drawings again.
    With the charcoal drawings I was trying to capture the motion of the pose, the bare essence without focussing on the anatomy and little details. I still need some more work on this, but I'm getting there. Also, this marks my first filled page on CA.org, yay, hopefully many more will follow.

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