Sketchbook: To improvement and beyond!
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Thread: To improvement and beyond!

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    To improvement and beyond!

    Hi there!
    I'm a game art student who's currently attending at LCAD, and I am hoping to keep up this sketchbook by updating it everyday (until school starts in September) to brush up my fundamentals and digital painting skills.

    It's going to be a huge commitment, but I'll do my best, I hope this will help increase my diligence since I'm a little bad at keeping a consistent study!

    So far each day I've been doing 15 minute color studies and 15 minute figure drawings (30 sec pose or 1 min pose) with my friends!
    Here are the studies I did yesterday, and today's plenn-air study. I'm aiming to do these each day, with a couple of extra studies like anatomy every other day.

    As always I'd love and appreciate some critique if anyone has the time!

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    Last edited by DonnaVu; July 25th, 2013 at 02:46 PM. Reason: Putting new attachment, moving the other ones to the next post!
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    Did a 15 minute- value study last night with my pals! My partner in crime chose to do Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen. I checked the grayscale of the image and it seems my darker values weren't dark enough as the picture, oops!
    I think one of my bad habits is not boldly putting down darks. Next time we do a value study I'll be sure to block with 4 tones and focus more on getting the value right than rendering (oh how addicting rendering is)

    There's also more 1 minute figure poses, though some of them are looking a little wonky so I have to reanalyze human anatomy soon. At least I'm sure I got the gesture down!

    And at the bottom there's Ben Lo master studies because I adore how clear yet grundgey his background looks and that is a kind of style I want to lean towards, huge crisp strokes yet also detailing the focal point!

    I will edit this later when I do my plenn-air of the day.

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    Last edited by DonnaVu; July 25th, 2013 at 02:48 PM. Reason: Added the plenn-air! Did that one on my 3ds using Colors 3D, wow what a neat program.
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    Focused on the forms in yesterday's figure studies. I think that's what I also need to work on, no wonder some of my figures looked a little flat. I'm pretty sure there's other things wrong with them as well, not just form, but this is a starting point.
    I think I'll continue focusing on forms and dip my feet into anatomy at the same time?

    I'm quite happy with how the plenn-air turned out! Though there's something about it that's still off to me, I'm just not sure what. Maybe missing some dark shadows??

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    Yesterday's studies and today's plenn-air, the kitchen sink.

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    not a bad start so far. It definitely looks like you got carried away with the tap study, it looks muddied and messy. keep the shapes simple and the edges clean and sharp, you'll find that the chrome will look much better.

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    Thank you for the advice, Fireblade! That's definitely something I will keep in mind as I use soft brushes extensively now that I look back.

    I totally almost forgot to do my daily post, woops, well here it is.

    Yesterday I skimped out on the figure studies since I got drained from doing commissions.
    I definitely will make up for it today, and I think I'll read up on some life drawing books (I started on John Vanderpoel's The Human Figure) to study it up. I was feeling kind of aimless in the figure studies for a while but maybe a little note each day from the books will bring something fresh and new to the studies.

    I'll add my plenn-air soon, still need a chance to get to it today!

    (EDIT) Added my plenn-air aww yiss I made sure to give things an edge this time, it looks much better!

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    Last edited by DonnaVu; July 17th, 2013 at 01:31 AM.
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    Studies from yesterday! Incorporated some advice from Vanderpoel's book, regarding observing the action of the figure first and then applying it to the paper. Visualization is important, and one of the quotes I'll keep in mind is "Every stroke of the artist's brush should prove his understanding of the form of the subject matter-depicted".
    Hatchy lines and uncertainty in drawing is something I want to override with confidence of knowledge. It's a thing I am working hard on!

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    Decided to take a little break from the usual Plenn-Air studies and did some personal art to loosen up. Often times I forget to have fun with art haha.

    Yesterday I read some exerpts from Art & Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland, which really helped give me a stronger sense of what to aim for: confidence and faith in one's hand and tolerating uncertainty and fear in the process of making art. All the while bolstering knowledge about drawing of course. I feel it's pretty important to keep those mental reminders in the head as I go and do more art.

    I also started a chapter of Andrew Loomis' Figure Drawing For All its Worth! I want to see where this takes me. I'm aiming for maybe reading a bit of the book each day if I can, so each time I do a study I'll bring in something new.

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    I was absent yesterday but here are the studies I did. (You can see some bridgeman in there! That guy is great.)
    And skimped out again on plenn-air for some creature design fun?

    Included are also a couple of plenn-air studies I did whilst on the bart train from SF to home, the big perspective-y one I fell asleep on so I'm not too proud of that one haha...

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    The studies in the past two days!
    I've been reading more of bridgeman and sparingly Andrew Loomis, slowly reading through. I'm not the best at reading books, oftentimes I fall asleep in a couple of paragraphs (I am notorious in general for getting nap attacks when idly sitting about) but lately taking notes and actively putting the notes into the studies has been helping me retain some certain things.

    I'm trying to incorporate balance into the figures, but it seems I'll need a longer timing than just 1 minute to properly study that. Definitely keeping in mind about Andrew Loomis mentioning that there is no way we can go through the entire process of figure drawing, and it's true, one minute poses has been teaching me to go for what's most important in the pose. I'm still trying to get used to that, since I keep noodling unimportant limbs for the sake of completion.

    It's really hard to think about everything at once, maybe I should slow down and work one one thing at a time haha.

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    Lovin' your sb! Bridgeman and Andrew Loomis are both great, just keep studying from them

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    @Minella - Ahh thank you!! Yeah, they're really wonderful, I want to eventually own all their books for my reference library.

    Hmm I haven't been doing much figure studies since I've been a little occupied with life errands and all that jazz, but I still find time to do more notes and that's fine with me for now! When I get the chance I'll put the notes to application.

    I realize that a lot of my figures are wonky because I probably am not visualizing the figure right? Visualization and observing the figure are very important to figure out the pose and all, I realize I used to just jump ahead and draw whatever was there without properly thinking about it. I think some exercises regarding figure drawing can be done without actual drawing, I can probably train my mind to observe things in a way that I can grasp as much visual information I can, and understand it. Drawing mindlessly seems like a very dangerous thing! Especially if I want to go into the professional field, so that's a habit I have to make.

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    good studies dude, i loved those animals in post 8 and 9, play a bit with negative space and your poses will improve a bit, its all about developing the forces in the figure and giving it the propper balance and dynamism, assimetry plays a big role in this, also you should try some value studies to start to practice your shading still lifes are good for this i see you do them in colour but i would suggest to start with black and white so you can focus exclusevely on value believe me its way more important than the hue fo the colour or anything of the sort, start to be more careful for your edges and this is one of the things i lack too FINISH stuff doesnt matter if it looks good or bad but take one painting a week to a finished state put in the hours and you will learn exponentially about your subjects keep it up! id love to see much more!

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    @Lionheart- Thank you so much!! That advice does sound pretty good, I haven't thought much about the negative space at all, wow. Yeah asymmetry is something I do want to work on, and I'm a little at loss at to what exercises I should do to improve that, but I think I'll try out silhouettes and see where that takes me. Also yeah!! That is a good idea on still life, values are pretty important and I have been thinking about pooling in some hours into some still life. I'll give that a shot, thank you for the feedback!

    Yesterday I had some character design fun! Decided to draw a character I had in my head for a day or two, she's a burly chick who goes around monster slaying, or adventuring, something like ol' traditional monster wrassling rpg games.

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    I am seeing some small steps of improvement from older human work and I am really happy!! There's still some work to be done on the figure of course

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    I want to design more props and swords, it's fun to see how far you can push a design

    30 minute design challenge my workout group of friends and I did; we had to make a design out of the four words: Bin, Robot, Ashes, and Telescope
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    And the usual value study!
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    cool stuff man - your life drawings are awesome

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    Ooh lots of cool stuff. Lovely character designs, studies, and movement/fluidity to your work. I'd love to see more subscribing~
    I have visualization issues too it is a difficult craft, this 'art' thing!

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    -Walter Crane, 'Line & Form'
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    @crisimikiwiki- Oh man thank you so much!! I still want to keep up doing more life drawings!

    @the-muddy- Ahh thank you! Yeah, I didn't think much about it until I hit art school and studied art around, but you really do need a lot of mental training along with your technical skills. And it sounds really hard!
    There is an artist from Pixar who did a podcast that I listened to- A good exercise he mentioned is to view the world through your lenses, whatever you see, think about how you would interpret/paint/draw it. Which is a really good exercise to keep in mind and I'm trying to keep that a good habit for myself.

    I've been lazing on the studies for a bit since its the weekend, recently it's been hard to keep up things because of other daily errands, but I've been doing what I can.

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    Objects in observement, with volume. Next semester I'm taking Concept Sketch which will mostly involve drawings like these

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    Followed up on some balance studies. I thought about asymmetry and the line that gives that is presummably the center line of the body. I'm still struggling with the concept of gravity and weight but after sitting down and studying these photos I think this is an okay start. I will have to do some more actual figure drawing to apply the idea though

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    Heya mate!
    Really digging that burly chick! Shows that you handle form really well in your imaginative work.
    Do you do a lot of comparing when you study? I think that might help your issue of wonkiness. There's nothing wrong with making a grid and checking relation between things. The same goes for colorpicking. It's always okay if you do it after you've interpreted. Just to check yourself basically. The mindless part comes in when you don't think about what you're doing. Taking notes of what you've observed is good remedy. You can always go back to it and reread if you're ever thinking about drawing something similar. Building yourself a little database!

    I'd suggest checking out Vilppu for your gestures. He's a genius; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ef4Nmqe4OhI

    Keep up the work and kick butts!

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    Good studies! Yeah I try to observe everything in that way. In trying to portray things that exist and don't exist, we need to understand so much. Do you have the link to that podcast by any chance?

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    "[...]as we gain facility of hand and travel further afield, we discover that we have a key to unlock the wonders of art and nature, a method of conjuring up forms at will: a sensitive language capable of recording and revealing impressions and beauties of form and structure hidden from the careless eye[...]"
    -Walter Crane, 'Line & Form'
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    @Bjulvar- Hey man, thank you! And I try to compare when I'm drawing, but it still ends up being a little on the wonky side- I think a grid might actually help that though, that's some good advice. Most of my color studies are 15 minutes, but perhaps I can spend an extra 5 fixing them in some ways! Also oh man, Glenn Vippu, I've been meaning to get to his videos at one point but I totally forgot. Thank you for the video link!! I will totally give that a watch at one point. And yes I will try to kick more butts!!

    @the-muddy- Thank you! My roommate was the one who shared the podcast with me and I'm not exactly sure who said it, but it was Bobby Chiu's podcast and he had several pixar artists with him who spoke. I'm sure you'll find something with Bobby Chiu in the search engines, it sounds like he does good podcasts!

    And I have been a little behind on studies due to emotional problems, but I'm working on patching those up too. Here are studies I did in the past few days!

    Value studies! 15 minutes each as usual
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    Name:  ValueStudy_15min_8.jpg
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    Tried the observational note thing, I actually kinda like it so I'm going to continue doing it and see where that goes

    Color study, tried a mix of soft brush with another edgy brush- clouds are pretty tough, oof! Some looked really sharp but I think I made them too edgy.
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    I also made a new brush that I super dooper adore, it was mimicing a square acrylic kind of feel. I wanted a brush that had a square edge that was opaque yet still with light-opacity qualities- so I tried this one out and it works really well with my default photoshop watercolor brush.
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    I'm still a little tentative with it, but so far so good. I can make more brush modifications later if I wanted to!
    I also worked from grayscale to color with this picture, which is something I seldom do. I kind of like the method though? It lets me focus more on values, but the outcome is a little muddied out. I'm sure there's a way to fix that, though all I can think is using the Hard Light layer option or just a simple paintover.

    Last edited by DonnaVu; August 2nd, 2013 at 03:18 AM.
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    I really love this last one, the dragon. Super nice colours. Great value studies too! Keep it up

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    "[...]as we gain facility of hand and travel further afield, we discover that we have a key to unlock the wonders of art and nature, a method of conjuring up forms at will: a sensitive language capable of recording and revealing impressions and beauties of form and structure hidden from the careless eye[...]"
    -Walter Crane, 'Line & Form'
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    Liking those figure studies and bridgman sketches! A few other pieces showing some really solid linework! In your studies try to work on building up the major shapes and doing your best make the proportions look more accurate before working on the detailing...don't forget try to flip the canvas often it will help you spot mistakes a lot easier, by giving yourself a fresh look at things...

    Art is not about competing against others and being better than everyone else, but it is about competing against yourself and discovering your greatest potential!

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