Ok, I have a feeling I'm going to regret posting these. I struggle a lot with asking for help (never really figured out why, think it's just because I'm a very nervous person by nature), so posting this and asking people to crit/rip my work to shreds is quite a big step for me. But if i'm ever going to really improve as an artist, this is one thing which is going to help me a HUGE amount. So feel free to rip away (but please be nice about it, lol).
I haven't really kept a sketchbook till now, at least not one I have used regularly. This is mainly down to laziness on my part, but that ends now. If I really start to slack off with this, feel free to give me a forum based kick up the backside. And also, if anyone has ANY suggestions for me (how I can improve my work, what else I need to work on, threads/books/blogs etc. that I should be reading, anything like that), that knowledge would be hugely appreciated.
I'll try to get round to checking out as many of the other SB's as I can. I'm currently out of work so I should have plenty of time when I'm not studying.
This is going to be fairly slow to get going I think. I'll post the only two things from that last week or so that I have to hand, will try to post the rest either later on or tomorrow.
I have real issues with hands (among many other things), so recently I've been trying to do a few quick studies from reference images. This was the only digital one to date, the others have been pencil sketches, which I'll upload as soon as I can.
And secondly, this was completed about 30 minutes ago. Another thing I have huge problems with is colour picking. I'm fine with the nicely bright/saturated colours, but when it comes to the less saturated colours everything goes a bit haywire in my head, so this is something I really want to work on. So I've downloaded a ton of movie stills which I feel have interesting lighting, or a nice composition, or generally just stand out to me. The plan is to try and recreate these stills and try to match the colours as accurately as possible, without using the colour picker. I really struggled with this, but it didn't turn out quite as badly as I thought it would. As a secondary aim with this I was trying to keep things as loose as possible and trying to keep myself from zooming in too far and concentrating too much on details (Yet another problem I have)
Please feel free to rip these to shreds (preferably in as polite a way as possible, lol)
I'll try and dig out some of my old sketches etc which could be classed as SB pieces if I had been deliberately creating one at the time.
Thanks to any body who takes the time to check this out, I really appreciate it.
Also, if i'm doing anything wrong in regards to image posting/sizes etc. please let me know.
Serenity's a great movie for colour studies, good choice. If you're trying to get a better handle on colour, though, there're probably better ways to go about your study. For one, it might help to work smaller, so you can get a broader sense rather than getting caught up in the smaller details. Second, use a more solid brush! That scratchy brush isn't doing you any favors; even if you've got the right colour, it might not go down so solidly. On this particular cap, it looks like you've skewed a little lighter and yellower than the source.
Thanks for the feedback, I'm not sure why I decided to go with the bristle brush this time around. I'd normally use one of the chalk brushes or just the simple hard round brush. I guess I wanted to try something a little different this time around.
I've recently read through James Gurney's Color & Light book. It's got some great information in there and I want to go back through it and put the theory behind it all into practice in some of my own work. What other methods would you suggest for improving use of colour?
Thanks for the feedback. I'm not really sure why I used the bristle brush this time around, I'd normally stick with a simple chalk brush. Just something different I guess.
This is actually a very un-detailed and loose painting for me, I tend to concentrate way too much on the little things. I'll have to try a little harder next time though. I've recently read through James Gurney's 'Color & light' book which has some fantastic information about...well, color & light. I'm intending to go back through the book in the next week or two and try to put all the concepts in there into practice in my own studies. Are there any other study methods you would recommend for improving use of colour?
btw, had a quick look through the last few pages of your SB, your use of colour in there is fantastic, and the 15 minute colour studies are astounding. Loving the gesture drawings as well, that's something I need to do a lot more of. Will definitely be looking through the rest of the SB too.
Thanks again Rev, I've had a quick look at ctrlpaint in the past but will definitely give it a more thorough looking over. I also found the Peer Project thread in the tutorials tips & tricks forum, so I'm going to work my way through the exercises in there. I'm not sure if that thread is still all that active though, so I may post my results in both there and in my sketchbook.
I hunted through a few of my old photoshop folders on this computer and came across a few of my older sketches. I warn you now, they are pretty awful. I'll try to upload them in chronological order (oldest to newest)
(15/11/2011)The above was one of my first ever attempts at painting a head from imagination....didn't turn out as well as I thought at the time, lol. I'll try and get another one painted tonight to see how much I have (hopefully) improved.
(16/11/2011) About the only pencil sketch I could find on my computer. These were just a few simple eye studies. Ignore the fact that it says 'right eye' at the top, as they are blatantly the left eye, lol
(13/03/2012) Just a quick sketch of a couple of birds on a branch. I'm sure there was a reason for doing this at the time, but i can't for the life of me remember what it was now
(14/03/2012) Just a couple of anatomy sketches from Burne Hogarth's 'Drawing Dynamic Anatomy' book
(18/03/2012) A render of a bust from this, the first of a 3 part video series on Analysis of Form on Daarkens site.
(04/10/2012) Some quick head sketches, I think I used the basic model in Daz 3d for these and just rotated the camera around.
(18/04/2012) I'm pretty sure these were just out of boredom one evening.
I'll try and upload some new bits and pieces either later tonight or at the very latest tomorrow. I do want to try and do some perspective studies, or more accurately studies of none square forms in perspective. I'll also watch a few more of the videos on ctrlpaint and try out a few exercises from them.
I had a couple of quick attempts at the first project from the 'Peer project' thread, didn't work out too well, I went way too dark with the colour version. The second attempt was a little better, but still pretty far off. I'm gonna try a few more tomorrow and see how I get on.
I also did a quick painting (an hour or so) of a head without reference to see how much I've improved (or haven't) since the first image that I posted in the previous post. I think there's a definite improvement, but I still have a LONG way to go. If anybody wants to point out all the obvious errors for me, feel free.
I haven't had a chance to watch any of the ctrlpaint videos yet today, but I will do so shortly. I did have a quick play around with none square shapes in 2PP though. Sadly photoshop crashed and I lost the whole thing . If anyone knows if it's possible to recover work when photoshop crashes it would be much appreciated (I'm using CS5).
Last but not least, I REALLY want to start doing some gesture drawings, but I seem to keep endlessly putting them off. I think it's mainly down to the fact that I suck at them at the minute, but really that should be a reason to do them rather than to avoid them. When you guys do gesture drawings do you have a particular method? do you use refs? how long would you normally take for each gesture? Thanks to anyone who can help out.
Gesture drawings are actually super easy once you do a handful of them! And yeah, pretty sure they're meant to be taken from a reference, at least at first.
I try to use as few lines as possible while still retaining some mass (so, no stick figures, and no sketchy marks if possible). It helps for me personally to draw in a line or two that convey the whole pose, and then place the head and ribcage before laying down the rest, but everyone does them a little differently. Don't shoot for perfect accuracy, especially when you're only doing 30-60 second gestures. The point is to show the flow of the pose.
As for your head painting...maybe watching some of these videos will help you? http://www.proko.com/videos/
I'd start from the last one and work your way backwards. That seems to be the order in which the videos were made. I've watched them two or three times now; the first time to get the general idea, and the next couple times to really let it sink in and work on some practice while watching.
Anyways, I like your studies, especially the painting referenced from the movie! You seem to have really good observational skills, so I'm sure you'll pick up on this stuff pretty quickly.
Hi Raining, thanks for the advice, will definitely check out those videos on proko.com, they look really useful. I've tried using both pixelovely and pose maniacs before, but only very briefly. Like you I definitely preferred pixelovely.
Also, thanks for checking out the (currently rather sparse sketchbook.
I knew there was a reason I avoided gesture drawings, i suck at them, lol.
I have noticed a few things about my gesture drawings. I think I try a little too hard to get things as accurate as possible and don't concentrate on the actual gesture. You can't really tell that from the image which will get posted, but to me it seems that's the case. I used pixelovely for these drawings, I did set the timer to two minutes though as I'm really not that confident with these yet. But that's why I'm doing them, to improve. I'm gonna try and get at least some done every day from now.
Feel free to point out any mistakes or things I should be concentrating on, I need all the help I can get with these.
Btw, does anyone have any experience with the CGMA 2d Academy? I was looking at their foundation/design program as something I may consider in the future.
Another quick little update from today, I was playing around with perspective and shadows. I need to get a lot more work done than I am at the moment though. I really feel like I'm slacking off at the minute.
I'm going to continue with the gesture drawings tomorrow, and I think I'll try and get some pencil ones done as well. I brought a table top easel the other day which I've not had a chance to try out, so that will give me a good reason to get it out. I also want to try doing a few more small quick colour studies, similar to the 15 minute ones Revidescent posts in her Sketchbook(I'm not sure how to link to a specific post within a thread yet, so sorry for the non specific link). I'm going to force myself to get those done tomorrow.
Is anybody else having real troubles uploading images at the minute?
I couldn't seem to motivate myself to do the pencil gesture drawings (I know, I suck). But I did manage to get a few more done in photoshop and I also managed to do a couple of quick(ish) colour studies.
I'm actually starting to feel more confident about the gesture drawings already, there may not be much improvement in them, but now that I'm feeling more confident hopefully that will change.
15 Min colour study, not great but better than I was expecting.
This one actually took me 45 Minutes, I just couldn't seem to get the colours right.
Both the colour studies were painted on a small canvas (300x300) trying to keep things looser and not concentrate so much on the details (Thanks Revidescent for that tip)
Got a few more gesture drawings done today, using my sketchpad this time rather than photoshop. I'm actually a little surprised at how badly they went today. I always thought I was more comfortable using a regular pencil and paper than I was using photoshop and a tablet. With the gesture drawings though that really wasn't the case. I really don't want to post these ones up because I'm actually quite ashamed how bad they are, but that would completely defy the point of having this sketchbook. I tend to work a little too lightly when I work in pencil so I had to darken things up a little in photoshop so you could actually see them, I was in a bit of a rush so I didn't do a great job of that either.
Some of the gestures are upside down as it was just easier to do them that way.
I also spent a bit of time playing with perspective and just generally messing around with basic shapes, ended up creating this little pyramid structure. It's still not finished, and not 100% sure what I'm going to do with it yet. I do know that I need to work out exactly how those steps are going to connect to the rest of the structure cause at the minute they just kind of hang there.
I did also scan the hand sketches I did a few weeks back this evening, but I need to resize the images before I upload them.
It's been over a year since I'be updated this sketchbook, and that's way too long. I've had a lot of problems and I've let myself get over run with them and basically spent the last year feeling sorry for myself. I've finally started making some moves to sort myself out. One such 'move' is to start painting every day, and to make sure I have some purpose to what I'm painting rather than just blindly copying some form of photo reference and telling myself that I'm doing it to learn something, when really all I'm doing is sitting squarely in my comfort zone and giving the finger to anything else.
Anyway, what I intend to do is to upload everything I do to my sketchbook on a daily basis, regardless of whether or not I like it or think it's any good. Hopefully you guys will be able to give me some feedback and advice, and good kick when I'm slacking off.
For this post I'll upload what I've been working on this week, starting with what is hopefully the tail end of my 'comfort zone' painting.
This is an almost finished portrait of Katerina Graham (Bonnie from Vampire Diaries). Portraits are pretty much my comfort zone, the only part of this that was kind of out of my comfort zone was avoiding colour picking from the reference photo.
I very very rarely paint or draw anything from imagination these days (another result of my comfort zone), and I've always tried to stay away from landscapes and environments, I suck at painting them.....so as my first real step out of my comfort zone.....
This was kind of an attempt at trying a different, less photo realistic painting style. I'm quite happy with the results, although as always there's a whole lot of room for improvement.
And the 2 bits I worked on today, the first was back in my comfort zone again, but I was really just using it as an hour long warm up sketch.
And, back out of my comfort zone, I realised that I had never painted any kind of building before in my life (Or at least not that I can recall). So I had a quick look through deviant art and found a nice building of a church in the snow (another thing I have very little experience painting). And tried to paint it. I managed to get the basic block in and colours working ok. But as I got into more detail I struggled. I didn't want to paint in as much detail as I usually would, I wanted to try a more kind of 'hinted at details' approach (I don't think that actually makes any sense, but I'm struggling to find the right words for what I mean). I really struggled though. I kept zooming right in and trying to paint all the details.....anyway, this is what I eventually ended up with. Definitely a lot more practice needed
That was a much longer post than I had intended to write, hopefully they'll be a little shorter in the future. If anybody can give me any crits or advice, especially regarding the stuff out of my comfort zone, It would be very much appreciated.
First off, I apologies again for the long post....I have a feeling this may be a recurring theme, lol
I have kind of mixed feelings about today, I didn't get a lot of sleep so I was tired to begin with, and on top of that I wasn't completely clear what I wanted to get done today. As a result I ended up spending the first hour looking at paintings by Jaime Jones, Kekai Kotaki & Andreas Rocha mainly just for inspiration. I really want to spend a bit more time actually properly looking at each of the paintings rather than seeing them and thinking 'Damn, that's good', and then moving on to the next.
Anyway,afterwards I started the way I'm going to start every day....with a little warm up. At the moment I'm just using stills from films, it gets me painting lots of different things, albeit only for a short time. Today was a still from Jurrasic Park III (Reference)
I was quite happy with that after the hour.
After that I was a little stumped for what to do. I've been wanting to try out painting different types of rocks/rock formations, so I decided to try that, the basic idea was to analyse some pictures, note down the distinguishing visual features, and then paint a fairly simple version of them without directly copying any of the reference images. I don't know why but I just couldn't get my head into it and couldn't seem to motivate myself properly. So the image below is the failed attempt at one of the rock formation types I found via wikipedia.
After that I was a little discouraged, but didn't want to give up for the day. So I stuck with the 'rocks' theme but tried something different. I have never been all that comfortable getting texture into my paintings (whether through brush settings or photo bashing, which is something I have never really tried), so I went with a study of a rock with an emphasis on getting a decent amount of texture in. I actually learnt a hell of a lot about using the brush settings to get different texture effects, so I'm pretty happy with what I ended up with. (Reference)
I think I need to spend a bit of time either at the end of every week, or at the end of each day deciding exactly what I want to achieve (or at least work towards achieving) the following day or week, It should help to keep me focused and motivated. I also need to start setting time aside every few days to go through other peoples sketchbooks as well. When I've been through them in the past I've always been motivated by the progress of others.
As always, any comments or crits are more than welcome.
It's been a pretty slow day today painting wise. I've spent the last 3 days trying to work out what I want to do career wise and some ideas as to what I need to do to be able to improve myself and get a portfolio together in the process.
I did manage to get another 1 hour sketch done today (which I kind of ran out of time before I could finish) and a very quick, and very crappy sketch of a head/hair in a vaguely stylised way. It only took about 15 minutes, and you can tell, but I did say I was going to upload everything regardless of how bad it was so.....
On the plus side, I do have a much better idea of where I want to end up and how I'm going to get there. Which is something I haven't had for a while
Wow, shieet, you've made some monumental progress! Seriously impressed, man.Your confidence with painting and drawing has risen a great amount, and you should be proud of yourself for what you've done so far. I don't have much of a critique to give you, since I don't know if that would help any, but I will try to give you some advice that might help:
If you want to learn how to do something, simply try to draw or paint that something to the best of your ability, then afterwards you find a photo or other reference similar to that, and copy it. Make sure to point out mentally what you did wrong and what you did best, and after a while it will sort itself out.
Try to get a couple books, either as pdfs or buy them if possible -- books such as Color and Light by James Gurney and any book by Andrew Loomis will help you a lot. Bookdepository.com usually has great deals on books, and they don't have any shipping charges.
Best of luck to you, and keep going!
If you ever have any questions, or you want help, all you need to do is shoot me a message.
Can't hurt, right?
Toffers : Thank you for the kind words, they're very much appreciated. I actually have a lot of Loomis' books as PDF's but haven't really studied them properly yet as I hate reading books from a computer screen, I'd much rather have the physical copy, so those are high on my 'to buy' list. I do have a few Burne Hogarth books and Pecks Atlas of Human Anatomy for Artists, both of which I often use for reference, but again, haven't spent the time to study them properly. The James Gurney books ('Color & Light' and 'Imaginative Realism') are both great and have helped me loads. Another great book I've found is 'Light for Visual Artists' by Richard Yot, if your ever on the lookout for more color/light books.
I HATE gesture drawing, I suck at it, and as a result I've been avoiding it like the plague. I have three main problems with it, firstly, I try to put in a lot more detail than is necessary, I try and copy the figure exactly rather than just trying to capture the gesture. Secondly, I'm never sure how to draw the hands/feet/head. And finally, whenever I try to do quick gesture drawings (1-2 minute ones) I always end up rushing to finish, and it shows in the drawings, I think it's mainly down to a lack of confidence in what I'm actually doing. I want to start trying to enter the Character of the Week challenges on here and the one they just started on Crimson Daggers, in the not too distant future, and improving my gesture drawing is definitely going to help me with that. So I decided to spend the day doing them.
I took a slightly different approach with them than I have in the past. I didn't set myself a time limit, Instead I spent a little while studying the image, trying to get a feel for the gesture, then trying to make sure each mark had a purpose, wasn't just a random line which 'may' be in the right place. I ended up taking me a lot more time (about 10-15 minutes each), but even after just the 25 I finished today I was already starting to feel a bit more confident and actually starting to enjoy them. I'll keep doing this for the next few days and try to keep building my confidence, with any luck I'll keep improving and eventually be able to just use them as part of warming up....I think I've been talking too much again, lol
More gesture drawings today, same amount as yesterday, but took me about 2 hours less, so there's already improvement in the time it took me, whether there's any improvement in the quality remains to be seen.
As I finished the gesture drawings quicker than I had expected, I wanted to try doing a study of a full character, or at least the majority of one. So I started this study from django unchained (A movie that I have yet to see, but really want to).
My intention was to focus on the wrinkling in the clothes to try and gain a better understanding of it. Instead I ended up just trying to copy the image exactly....which teaches me nothing. So instead I'm calling it a day, and tomorrow, after a few more gesture drawings, I'm going to get the book I have on wrinkles and drapery and actually study it. Using reference photos to help me understand things better, then try out some examples from imagination.
This is actually turning into more of a study diary than a sketchbook, lol. Hopefully that will change once I actually get a bit more confident drawing and painting from imagination.
Most of the last few days has been spent reading through Burne Hogarth's book on Dynamic Wrinkles and drapery. The book's been incredibly useful so far, although I'm not overly keen on his actual writing style, I've had to read through a few of the sections 2 or 3 times to really understand them. I have been making a few quick sketches to help me understand things a little better, but they've tended to be deleted afterwards. The intention is to do a few sketches/paintings from imagination and try to incorporate what I've learned into them.
I also did an hour of gesture drawings on Friday & Saturday.
Then today, which I had intended on being a day off, I ended up doing some quick random B & W sketches, just for a bit of fun and I guess get me back in the habit of drawing from my imagination. I had no idea what I was going to sketch, just started doodling and saw what came out.
I've also decided to take a leaf out of Dan LuVisi's book and start creating my own world. The main reason for this is to give myself a starting point for trying to get a concept art portfolio together. I've been struggling to come up with ideas for things I can do, and creating my own little (for now) world gives me a whole load of environments, characters, vehicles, props etc. to design.
I'm going to try and keep these shorter from now on.
A few more gesture drawings, all under 5 mins and I'm actually starting to quite enjoy them.
I've also been thinking about how to give a painting a positive or negative 'mood'. I spent a bit of time looking at other paintings and making a few observations, then did a couple of quick thumbnails only concentrating on the 'mood' (hence being pretty crappy), one negative one positive. This was the result.
I'm not sure I really captured either all that well.
I'm going to spend a bit of time now reading up on techniques for creating mood, both by other artists and also in things like cinematography, then I'll re-paint the two thumbnails, but try to give them the opposite mood to the one they currently have (or kind of have, lol)
Firstly, some logo ideas for 2 fictitious corporations.
And some quick thumbnails of HQ type buildings for one of the 2 corporations, really just looking for interesting silhouettes to work with. I'm definitely starting to see more of a benefit from doing lots of quick little sketches like this to explore ideas.
Practising simple single source lighting on basic head models. This was done without reference, as you can see, I kind of suck at this, especially with lights from below. Either today or tomorrow I'm going to re-do all of these but using reference to see all the glaring mistakes I made.
These next three are from a painting I started for the Virtual Plein Air group on Facebook. I'm starting to get a bit fed up with it now though (although I've only spent about 2 or 3 hours on it over a couple of days). I tend to get very disheartened when I can't do something, in this case painting textures like the stone wall, I ended up throwing a photo texture over the top of it which didn't work too badly, but I'd still like to learn how to paint textures like that and make them read well.
And finally, another thing I've been putting off for a long long time, painting from life. I decided to keep it simple to kind of ease myself into it, so I kept it with a single object with a piece of paper underneath and propped up behind it. I'd just been watching one of the FZD videos on youtube about portfolio prep, and looking at objects as 3D forms and analysing/drawing them that way, rather than just trying to copy what I was looking at. I started off OK, but realised by the end that I'd just fallen back into just copying what I saw. Anyway, I'm fairly happy with the result, still a lot of room for improvement. But then it's pretty much the first time I've painted anything from life, or at least as far as I can remember
After a few weeks of getting very little done and having to question my approach to things a bit, I'm finally back with a few more things.
I realised I was trying to do things that were way too complex for my current abilities, as far as architecture of any kind goes, so I decided to try something a bit more simple.
Another quick sketch, kind of based on the bandit shacks from Borderlands 2.
Also over the last week or so I've realised a few of the mistakes I was making as far as landscapes were concerned and these are the 2 I've done since, the first was about 1 1/2 hours, the second about 4 or 5 hours.
I had another go at drawing/painting a portrait from imagination.
I also went back through a few of my previous attempts for a bit of a comparison.
There's obviously still a whole lot of errors, but I think there's definitely improvement.
And this week I've started looking at prop/weapon designs, something I've never tried before. These are meant to be concepts geared towards games (in this case a slightly futuristic setting). I did a few quick little sketches in a notepad (which I can't scan at the moment but hopefully will later), then a few silhouettes to play around with different shapes. Finally a few slightly more refined design ideas. I'll probably have a look at them again tomorrow and decide which one I like best and then work it up into a more finished piece.
As always, any feedback/crits are more than welcome.
hi chachava, your work is really impressive and inspirational for have can be accomplished in a year. Your tea pot is very realistic. And you are very right about trying to do things that are way too complex, i learnt that only recently.
what technique did you use for your gesture drawings?
Hi Gul, really glad your finding my work inspirational, always makes my day when people say things like that . As for the gesture drawings, It's kind of an amalgamation of several different methods I guess, I think the two videos that helped me the most were the ones on gesture drawing on proko's site(http://www.proko.com/how-to-draw-gesture/) , and the other was from a sample video from the 'Analytical Figure Drawing' class at CGMA (http://2d.cgmasteracademy.com/analyt...e-drawing.html). It did take me quite a while and a lot of trying different approaches till I found one which worked for me and I actually enjoyed.
A few more weapon sketches, this time I wanted to have a go at designing some fairly decorative swords. These are what I came up with, 7 original designs and 1 not so original (but I couldn't resist, lol) These are the initial sketches, cleaned up drawings, and finally 3 of them fully painted up. I wanted to get all of them done but it ended up taking a lot longer than I thought to clean up and detail the sketches, then even longer to paint them up. It's something I really want to get a bit faster at.
Definitely had a lot of fun with these, even if they aren't that great.
As always, comments and crits are more than welcome
I got round to working up one of the sniper rifle sketches I did earlier in the week, I had meant to do all 3, but as with the swords, this took me a LOT longer than I had anticipated. In the end it took me around about 5 hours to complete (not including the initial sketch), which I have a feeling is a time that I'm going to need to drastically cut down if I want to get anywhere as a concept artist. I didn't enjoy this one quite as much as the swords from yesterday, but a lot of that is down to having a blinding headache at the moment. Anyway, as always, comments and crits are more than welcome.
For the last few weeks I've been spending a week concentrating mostly on one aspect of the things I want to improve on, then working on other things when I have a bit of spare time. This has been working pretty well for me so far so I'm going to continue with that trend. So next week I'm going back to anatomy as there are a few things I really want to work on (like hands for instance), then next time I come round to working on prop/weapon design I'm going to attempt to make a full set of something (like pistol, smg, assault rifle, sniper rifle etc. ), concentrating on the design language and making them actually look like part of a set, it should be an interesting exercise.
Nice studies and the recent weapons are looking good. The swords have nice textures. It is good to think about design so much. I think design gets overlooked in favour of technical skills quite a lot when design is probably the most important.
As for how long they are taking you. I think you shouldn't worry about it at all. Worry about quality first, getting quicker comes naturally I think.