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March 15th, 2013 #1
Lost My Schetchbook. Ah! I Found It! Critique Is Welcome.
Hello, I'm Lost My Marbles and welcome to my sketchbook!
This is my first sketchbook and my first post here on Conceptart. Let me start out by saying I am happy I stumbled upon this wonderful community. I was looking for a place to mingle with other artists and a place that encouraged growth. Concept art is just that. I’m sick of people telling me my drawings are nice. That will get me nowhere. My brother has been the only one to actually give me good constructive criticism. My art teachers at school never said a word to me about my work other than “nice” . “Nice” is nice and all, but it won’t do me any good in the long run so criticize away. I can take it. :-P
I’m 21 and I’m from the Netherlands and I want to become an illustrator. I love everything about the visual arts (shapes textures colors perspective composition.) but I am particularly interested in how pictures can tell a story and evoke emotion. I am self-taught and I learned everything I know from drawing from observation.
I started drawing from an early age just like every kid. I drew a little too much though. My teachers didn’t take kindly to me drawing during class all day so I stopped when I was about 13 years old. I picked it up again recently in my last 2 years of high school. I rediscovered my obsession and I’m now trying for art school. One school already accepted me, but I’m trying for more to see which one would suit me best.
About my stuff:
The stuff you see here is part of my accepted portfolio. I know my anatomy and perspective are a bit dodgy, so I’m looking into getting some books about that. I’m a total noob when it comes to techniques other than “drawing with a HB pencil” but I try. I’d like to learn line drawing with ink but I’m not sure what to do. I just use the ink pen thing as a pencil and it doesn’t look very good. Maybe I’ll get a book about that too. I think my stuff looks a bit stiff so I’d like to lose that. Does it just take more drawing? I don’ t know.
Sorry for the big wall-o-text. Well then…. The sketchbook starts here! :-D
(don't mind the penis statues. I put them in for fun. I made them at school as a joke. They squirted perfume out the top. It was amazing. Everyone loved them. :-P)
That concludes the 1st entry to my sketchbook. I hope you enjoyed it and again: any critique is very welcome. I’ll do my best to improve. :-)
Last edited by Lost My Marbles; March 16th, 2013 at 03:24 AM.
Hide this ad by registering as a memberMarch 17th, 2013 #2
Hey, thanks for your post!
Haha yeah one could say we have a very similar handwriting, and I like your style! You're doing various stuff and all of them on a good level!
The photorealistic piece at the end of your post is what I like best so far! Can't wait to see more! The second hand study as well as the drwan panel-like page are really good,
I like your lines and your sense of values using a pencil!
So, put up more (random) stuff - I'd like to see more
Have a good day,
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March 17th, 2013 #3
Thank you so much for visiting!
I'll be sure to upload more. I'm planning on doing 2 paintings and an illustration for 2 other entrance exams so hopefully I'll have all that stuff up in a couple of weeks. I'll probably do some sketches in the meantime. Also looking forward to your future works. I really want to know if you end up going to art school too. I'm curious about you now. From the few sketches I have seen I can tell you have some good stuff in you. I'm sure you can make it. Mind if I add you as a friend?
March 17th, 2013 #4Registered User
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You have some neat sketches going on! I like the black and white drawings especially.
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March 17th, 2013 #5
The first three watercolor things are beautiful. The color combos are great, and the slightly-off perspective on the buildings is charming. Seriously, these just ooze charm. The second one is my favorite. The people are a bit wonky, but that's fine, it's clear you're developing a style, and you weren't going for realism anyway.
Give realism a try in art school, sure, but honestly I don't think it's for everyone, and I personally think it'd be a shame if you gave up the fantastic story-book style you've got going. I wish I could draw like that, but I'm so used to having one foot in the realistic world, and one foot in the animated/flowy world, that it seems hard to break out of. I dunno what I'd call your look ... symbolic? It's hard for me to pull off, personally.
Do you have any inspirations, or you just developed that style on your own? (I'm sure you have inspirations even if you don't realize it)
March 17th, 2013 #6
You have alot of variety and character in your artwork. I really like the b/W where the surroundings seems to bend as if a strong wind pulling them further into the picture. I'm not sure if I can give you anything constructive, I have limited experience and kind of a sceardy cat when it comes to stepping on toes. =) However, I'm looking forward to seeing more.
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March 17th, 2013 #7
Thank you everyone for comenting. I really apreciate it.
Originally Posted by diamandis
Yeah your right about the weird wonky characters. I did the last 2 about two years ago so I cringe every time I look at them, but I still love them, they are my babies after all (very wonky babies). I have more of them, but I wouldn't dare post them here. I still suck at character design though. What interests me more are the environments and creating a certain feel.
I want to make picture books one day, so I'm glad you think the color pictures look like picture book illustrations. :-) Heh, so you think my paintings look like symbolism huh. I’ve never heard anyone say that to me before. It’s interesting.
My inspiration? I get it from real life believe it or not. There are some really cool old buildings where I live, that look as if they were built by a hack. The perspective in those buildings also looks off. I just interpreted them in my own way. My style is just me working around my shortcomings. When I started that picture book series, I made some really, really bad paintings. I was new to painting and I still had the skill level of a 13-year-old. I took what I had learnt from those ugly pictures and made a new series. I improved a lot, but it's not there yet I think. I'll keep working at it. The black and white things are just an extension of what I was doing with the colored things. I'm experimenting a bit at the moment.
There are artists I admire, but I've never had the urge to emulate them. I love what they do, but I do not want to do what they do. It’s just not for me. Let’s see... I'm a great big fan of Shaun Tan (picture book artist) his work is amazing. Discovered him just a few months ago. My work looks nothing like his but when I look at his pictures and stories I just can't help but think he is a grown up me with more talent. Others I admire are Gaudi (the architect dude), MC Escher (graphic artist), Taiyo Matsumoto (manga artist) and so many others. That last guy does weird architecture too. When I discovered him I thought to myself "Finally, I am not the only crazy person anymore".
I love doing a lot of different things. I like drawing realism, but as you said, it is not for everyone. For now It's just what I do to improve my skills as an artist, the picture book thing is where I want to go. My brother says I might do well with abstraction, but I'm not sure that's up my alley. I'll just go with the flow and see where it takes me.
Originally Posted by dicemarine
March 18th, 2013 #8
I feel like we're having the same conversation across multiple threads.
Wow, that Shaun Tan is pretty epic. I love that kind of stuff. Lots of character. BTW, your environments and colors remind me a little of the background art from a game called Machinarium, which I also thought was really stylish and expressive.
I recognize the Tekkon Kinkreet art done by your Matsumoto. I personally can't do environments so well yet. So much detail. I'd probably go insane. But I haven't really tried yet. Someday.
Re: your wonky characters, I didn't mean that as an insult. You can definitely avoid doing realistic characters, plenty of people do. But whether or not they're realistic, you should still strive to make them look good. The Mayor Gray character is drawn really well, for example. It doesn't matter that his proportions aren't realistic, that his face isn't realistic, and so on. It's still a charming drawing, and he looks great. On the other hand, the big dude raising his fist, in your third drawing, looks not so good. And again, it's not the fact that he's not drawn realistically, it's that he's awkward-looking in other small ways aside from that. The thing is, it's harder to know what's wrong when you don't strive for realism. In a way, the artists who draw realistically have it easier, because they can look up references. There are pictures of humans EVERYWHERE, and the artist can always pose, or get live models. When you're doing your own style, what references do you have? You don't, really. You can look to others who've done similar styles, that's it. And you can develop your own style and get a feel for what looks right and wrong through lots and lots and lots of trial and error. I mentioned that in my own sketchbook. It was something I realized as I was trying to experiment with non-realistic stuff.
Let's see ... who draws characters like you do? (I'm looking through my gigantic folder of references.) Check these people out, see if you like anything:
Alex T. Smith
Jon Klassen (don't Google for his official site, looks like it's been hacked)
Sylvain Marc (not that similar to you actually, but I love this guy, and he does lovely environments)
March 18th, 2013 #9I feel like we're having the same conversation across multiple threads.
I haven’t played that game, but it looks absolutely amazing. I'll try to get my hands on it.
Yes I know you didn't mean it as an insult. I knew what you meant. I know I'm not going for realism, but I do need some more knowledge about anatomy and stuff. Even cartoons need anatomy.
Maybe I'll learn to make better characters if I do a series about them. But I think I also need to draw and observe more real people. By basing them off of real people they might get more character.
How do you think up characters? I just make random shapes and if I see something in it I can turn it into a character, but I find it hard to just think up something out of nowhere.
Wow thanks for the links. Those are some amazing artists. I especially like Jon Klassen's stuff. That's some amazing work.
March 18th, 2013 #10
Re: thinking up characters: it's a mix of things. The majority of the time it's accidents, kind of like you're describing. I'll draw a weird, loose head shape, then draw in an eye, then draw in a nose in some random style that might complement the eye, and so on. Nothing really planned out, just a series of tiny experiments chained together which end up forming a character. Most of the time these experiments fail, sometimes they don't. Sometimes I'll redraw something slightly successful over and over, making incremental tweaks, until I feel like I'm arriving at something.
Every once in a while an image will pop into my mind, mostly fully formed, but this is rare. The clearest images are ones that'll flash in my mind's eye for a second as I'm trying to fall asleep, but those are rare too. I'll either wake up and draw them or remember them for later. Those are fun. They're a reminder that your brain has huge imaginative capacity, even if it doesn't always shine through.
I actually recently looked through my old sketchbook from 2004, before I quit drawing, and I noticed that most of the sketches in there were pretty damn good, and there was very little repetition, meaning I was getting things right on my first try, and maybe also meaning I was much better at envisioning things in the first place, at will? I dunno. Nowadays I have a sloppy hand and make tons of mistakes. It really sucks ... makes me wonder if I lost something, and whether I'll ever get it back.
Anyway! One thing I wanted to mention: this forum is great, but don't spend so much time here that you eat away at your art time. I'm just now learning that. If you're on here, and in the back of your mind is this gnawing feeling that you should really be practicing instead, then step away and get working right then and there. That's WAY more important than maintaining your sketchbook or whatever. These sketchbooks are really supposed to be a reflection of the work you do. A side effect. Not an end goal in themselves. If that makes any sense. Good luck.
March 20th, 2013 #11
Why thanks? I like your work, so obviously I'm gonna visit now and then! I've got to watch your progress!
Upload these 4 pieces as soon as you finish them and tell me if you got in and why! I'm sure they'll take you!
As you said in my topic, I like to work conceptual, and I think fine arts at art school is the right choice for me, but we'll see! I will make experiences and do a lot of stuff,
and maybe someday I know what's my call haha. No I don't mind, I'd be pleased
Maybe we can help each other to stay motivational and do different things than we used to!
Just sneak a peak at My Sketchbook !
March 20th, 2013 #12
Yeah that's pretty much how I do it too. Even the before you go to bed thing. hehe.
Could it be that the reason you think your work got worse is because you want it to be better? If I go out to make something important it'll usually turn to crap because it's just not bold enough. Those works just don't have life in them in contrast to the sketches. It's because I don't want to make mistakes that I make really big mistakes.
Your "sloppy hand" doesn't have to be a bad thing though. It's probably just your mind subconsciously wanting to draw in a different style. My hand has a will of its own and I just let it run free because it has some really good ideas sometimes. Both the color pictures and the black and white pictures are a result of that. Before I let my hand do its thing I overthought everything and it was just crap. Maybe you should just let your hand go for a while and see what comes out. It might give you some interesting results. Just a little experiment. If it fails you can always go back.
Yup the internet will slowly kill any creativity you have if you stay on too long. It's too addicting. I'm already trying to reduce my internet time to 1 hour.
Yeah. We should totally motivate each other. :-)
I can't tell you why I was accepted to art school though. They don't tell you why you were accepted. They only tell you why you were not accepted.
Maybe other schools do though. I'll just have to wait and see.
Well time for an update: Art school assignment (gouache paint and magazine strips)
Do you know that feeling you get when you make something really crappy? Well I have that now. I feel like an untalented monkey with a paintbrush stuck to its tale.
BUT THAT'S OKAY. I'll get over it like I always do. I'll just take what I have learned and do it better next time.
I had to make something based off of a little text and it had to have words incorporated into the painting. I tried to use pastel colors this time because I thought they were better suited to the assignment. The 1st pic shows the accurate colors. I'm really not satisfied with it, but it'll be good enough for the entrance exam I guess. It's a pretty sucky school by the looks of it.
Last edited by Lost My Marbles; March 21st, 2013 at 02:37 AM.
March 23rd, 2013 #13
Re: getting nervous when making something important vs. sketching: I think a lot of artists base finished drawings on loose sketches, to preserve the confidence and playfulness of those sketches. But I don't know, personally. Not much experience. Interesting theory about the sloppy hand, dunno if true. My handwriting has gotten worse over the years too, and I make lots of mistakes. I think I might have dysgraphia, and it might be affecting my drawing. But I've been practicing lately, and I like a lot of what I see, so maybe I'm okay after all.
Your drawing is pretty good, but I think the colors could be more unified / interesting. This is probably much harder to achieve when using physical media vs. using a computer. I'm terrible w/ picking initial colors. I always tweak them in Photoshop until I get something harmonious. I rely heavily on experimentation and happy accidents.
Re: feeling crappy about your work. Over the past couple of days, I've decided to regard negative thoughts as a natural side effect of the progress of improving our skills. On the one hand, they're good because it means we've got a critical eye and we can tell we need to get better, but on the other hand, we often end up taking them too seriously, giving them too much weight. Honestly, I think it's just our brains straining against the effort of getting better. The thoughts are essentially exhaust fumes (or farts, if you want to think of them that way) that have a habit of hitting you in the face. You can either sit there and wallow in them, choking, OR you can move on. For the past couple of days, what I've been doing is acknowledging them for a second, then forgetting them and forging ahead.
They're mostly illogical anyway: e.g., "I'm not good, therefore I should stop practicing." Yeah, that makes sense: you'll see much better improvement by quitting.
I think it was pointed out in that motivation thread that people seem to think that the fact they have negative thoughts is a bad sign, as if the talented artists must not have them, when that's probably completely wrong. I'll bet a lot of successful creatives have been through utter hell psychologically, beating themselves up a lot. But they pressed on, regardless, and they made it.
Last thing: what's a pretty sucky school? The art school you want to go to? Why are you going to a sucky school?!
(I'll stop posting these long replies, I swear. I need to take my own advice and get back to work. Don't feel obligated to reply to every single point unless you have something to say. I mean that with the best intentions, haha. =)
March 23rd, 2013 #14
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March 24th, 2013 #15
Yep I agree with my foreposter! I really like the idea of putting newspaper into some illustration, it creates a bit the feeling a readymade haha
Just try to keep focused and pull your stuff through! Don't get pissed about failing something and do it better the next time.
Did you get denials as well? And what did they say to you?
So your plan is to hand in your maps at various schools and pick out the one that suits you best?
you gotta tell me why you don't want to go to the particular schools or why you're going to attend at that specific one, when you made your decision!
maybe that will help me I don't know yet.. thought about going to art school in Amsterdam, so in your country am I right?
Do you've got any advice about that?
Just sneak a peak at My Sketchbook !
March 24th, 2013 #16
BTW, the only reason I'm strict and weird about updating my sketchbook lately is that I've wasted a lot of time and now I'm trying to play catch-up, so I'm trying to be disciplined. But it's your sketchbook, do what you want with it. Sorry if I've been coming off like a drill sergeant, and if it's been rubbing off on you, haha.
Something I keep meaning to mention ... I think you asked about fluid lines earlier. It can help to pivot your elbow or shoulder instead of your wrist or fingers when you're trying to achieve nice, confident, fluid lines. This video at Ctrl+Paint introduced me to the idea, and it's had a big effect the last couple months, IMO. I personally still can't draw holding the pencil on its side, but the elbow/shoulder stuff is useful. Ctrl+Paint in general has some pretty good intro videos. I need to get back to those someday.
Another random tip: don't be afraid to fill up your physical sketchbooks quickly. Don't think of them as precious (unless they're expensive, in which case, er, buy cheaper ones). I've heard artists will usually fill up one sketchbook per month. I'm nowhere near there, but now that I'm practicing a lot, I can definitely see that happening.
March 24th, 2013 #17
Good point about the color in my last pic. I don’t have a lot of experience with color (only the illustrations I made) I’m trying to find a book about mixing paint but I can’t find one. I’ll just settle for a color theory book then and I’ll sort the rest out by practice.
Yeah I bet every artist has bad thoughts about their work. I think the better you get the worse you feel because you constantly set the bar higher and higher. People who are not invested in art and just do it as a little hobby usually only strive for okay-ish work and they are satisfied with that. They don’t feel the need to progress any further like how I’ m fine with only being able to do high school math.
Yup I just confirmed it was a sucky school. It was the worst I have been to. The student work was really midcore and the teachers didn’t seem like they liked their job much. I wouldn’t even go there if they let me go there for free. All the students that got rejected from other schools go to that school. I am going to do the entrance exam though because it’s free and it’ll give me more experience.
I wouldn’t do anything if I didn’t want to. I want to work harder.
I think I already draw from the shoulder, but only when I’m working big. I even hold it at the side but it doesn’t work on small things the motion is too big.
Yup sketchbooks are easy to fill out. I filled out a 3rd of a sketchbook in a week at my sister’s house. It’s really draining though so I would take it easier and concentrate more on quality. If you sketch the way you always do you won’t really improve. I think you need to think about things and see if you can do better. If it's just sketches though and not studies then I'll make them as ugly as I want. Being too anal on those is bad me thinks.
Thank you and I will. :-)
Thanks . I’m okay with failing. It makes me feel bad, but I get over it as soon as I stop looking at my failure. When I look at it at a later point in time I might even end up seeing some positive things in my failed attempts.
Nope, no denials so far. I’m going to pick out the best match for me. Most schools focus on being experimental and so on and I can’t find myself in that. I think if you are an artist the experimenting will come naturally. I don’t need school for that. I want to go to a school where you are free to experiment, sure, but I want there to be specialists that teach you technique. My ability is not hindered by a lack of inventiveness but by a lack of technique. There are not that many schools out there that share my stance and I think it’s sad. Everyone is just so busy with being Avant grade that they forget that they need actual skills to convey their message effectively. I think this is the reason why a lot of Dutch art schools suck so much. It’s all about “expressing yourself” the outcome doesn’t matter as long as you had fun doing it. I could splatter paint on a tomato and call it art and I’m sure I could have fun doing it, but it doesn’t communicate anything meaningful. Splatter paint can be amazing but a lot of technique is required to make it good instead of just a brain-fart you had at 3 in the morning. People are just so afraid of calling things bad art nowadays. Today everything is art. Nothing has to be good anymore as long as it sells.
I wouldn’t advise you to go to Amsterdam. It isn’t a particularly good school. Also stay away from Utrecht. Actually I wouldn’t go to The Netherlands to study at all. Yes we have a rich history of art (Van Gogh, Rembrandt, MC Escher etc.) but I am really disappointed in our schools up till now. I still have to visit some other schools and one of them is more focused of technique so maybe that one will be good, but there is nothing special about our art schools. They are really unprofessional. I bet Germany has better ones because your country is bigger. America seems to have some good ones. I saw some videos of them and I was impressed by their facilities and teachers. America is too far away though and too expensive. I’ll just find myself a decent school here.
2 sketches and a little brain-fart I had a while ago. I wonder how it’ll turn out. It’s actually a combination of a brain art and my 1st watercolor painting. I’m thinking of developing that idea one of these days.
The studies are pretty crap, but they are just studies. They are allowed to be crap. :-)
March 24th, 2013 #18Registered User
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I like your water color drawings a lot, the figures have an interesting rhythm going on. It's also nice to see your studies!
March 24th, 2013 #19
March 27th, 2013 #20
very interesting illustrations i must admit!!! some of them reminds me of franch comic books by Nicola de Crecy
try to find some images of them !!!!! keep it up man you have talent and original your style is and that is more important for art!!!
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March 27th, 2013 #21
Thank you for your kind words and thank you for showing me that link. That guy is amazing! I love cities that look like they're alive. :-)
April 13th, 2013 #22
Aw man, did you already desert us? Come back! I stole a little of your style for something I did recently. What are you gonna do about it?
April 14th, 2013 #23
Hehe I'm not gone I'm busy. I've also recently started getting into bookbinding and I'm taking pictures for reference for my paintings. I've always loved handmade books and I want to learn how to bind them myself. I can do simple books now, but I want to be able to make some good quality ones. That would be cool. :-)
hehe steal all you want. If you can do it better than me, maybe you should be doing it instead, so go ahead if you can. ;-P
April 14th, 2013 #24
April 15th, 2013 #25
hehe I knew you were exaggerating. I was just playing along. ;-)
Can I see the stolen goods? Is it in your SB? :-D
Weird buildings are hardly my invention though. I do them in my own way, but a lot of people do it. I'd feel weird too, drawing weirdo buildings in someone else’s style. Drawing like someone else feels like having a foreign object on your body. It just feels off somehow.
Last edited by Lost My Marbles; April 15th, 2013 at 01:51 AM.
April 15th, 2013 #26
Yes, in my SB.
If the style I'm copying is WAY different from my own style (if I can be said to have a style), then yeah, it feels weird. But I'm starting to realize there's a handful of styles that feel compatible with mine, and I feel right at home imitating them.
April 18th, 2013 #27
I have no idea what I am doing. I bought an old Olympics book with pics and thought I'd give that gesture thing a go, but I have no idea what I am doing. I think they look like gestures.... but I don't really know what a gesture is. any tips?
aside from that I'm still busy with some projects and I'm having fun making my own sketchbooks and paper. Also trying out ink on paper. Drawing with an old-school feather is actually not that bad ya know? It’s free too.
April 18th, 2013 #28
You have that same wacky style as MattiasA has. This can only become a huge win if you stick with it but don't forget to study.
Your sketches are off to a good start. Gestures are exactly what you have there so you're not completely off the map.
I'd suggest you also try more natural poses as opposed to the sports related ones. keep it up.
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April 18th, 2013 #29
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April 19th, 2013 #30Registered User
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Liking the gesture drawings! And those watercolour illustrations...absolutely adore the way you've done them! Your style for drawing characters and rendering is really quite charming, reminds me of Tin Tin in a way!
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