Sketchbook: Kimonas's Sketches. Practice, for realz!
 
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    Kimonas's Sketches. Practice, for realz!

    So, here i am, just turned the big 30. Do i really want to do my day job for the rest of my days? Or do i want to stop frittering my spare time away and work for an awesome alternate career? Time to start drawing seriously, For realz!
    To let you understand, i have done a lot of personal illustrations before, but I've never sat down with a sketch book and actually practiced, which i hear, is the key to becoming a masta. My illustrations, amongst other things, which you might help me identify, obviously lack form, tonal control when using colour, poor anatomy knowledge, poor perspective. Pah, the list is endless.
    So here is where i turn a leaf, and get serious, which i have been for about a month.
    Concept art.org I've been told is a great community for budding artists, so i hope we can all help eachother out.
    My old stuff can be found at http://kimonas.deviantart.com/

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    Last edited by Kimonas; November 1st, 2014 at 10:12 AM. Reason: Uploaded thumbnail - hope it works this time!
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    Looking good! It's clear you have a lot of skill. I took a peek at your DeviantArt page and really liked your MultiPass one!

    One thing I'd say here is to add more contrast (punch the darks a little)? The images look rather faded.

    Keep studying facial structure . . . you're getting there! Aren't we all? If you don't already, work from life as much as possible.

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    These are good studies for the most part, and it seems that you understand what all you need to work on, so it'll be kinda redundant to tell you the same. Just keep pushing your fundamental studies, perspective mainly, and you'll grow exponentially. Keep it up.

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    Thanks for the feedback celadon - will try and use harder shadows and maybe have more hard edges. Your portraits are great! I do oils but haven't figured out how to mix them well yet. Maybe ill pick your brain about that one day, if you'll let me! Thank you also Mr Frenick - ill look at perspective in more detail. Hopefully another post after the weekend!

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    So, week six of training. I've mostly been trying to use darkened tones to punch shadows as suggested and trying to focus on perspective, especially with the distant eye on a portrait. Trying to wrap it round the skull.
    Ive noticed that I'm struggling to nail the shape of the skull, and have ordered a resin replica of a skull to practice! I think I'm also weak to defining the neck, but i hope to practice body anatomy lots, after I've tried introducing colour to portraiture. No small feat! So, here are this weekends studies:
    Kimonas's Sketches. Practice, for realz!
    Eyes too far apart, oops!
    Kimonas's Sketches. Practice, for realz!
    Kimonas's Sketches. Practice, for realz!
    Poor facial shape/skull definition
    Kimonas's Sketches. Practice, for realz!
    Kimonas's Sketches. Practice, for realz!
    Kimonas's Sketches. Practice, for realz!
    Took a bit longer with this one, trying to bring it all together. Eyes too big! Schoolboy's error!

    Crit appreciated, See you next week!

    Last edited by Kimonas; September 28th, 2013 at 01:28 PM.
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    So I've has some time mid week to do some facial feature study. Trying to work those core shadows, and figure out planes. The last set of eyes were done without references.

    Interestingly, when trying to find references for ears on google search, they were all blurred on the three-quarter views. Hmm, should use that in photoshop to create more depth.

    Ultimately id really love to be able to draw faces without reference - I'm almost anxious to try incase all this practice has been in vain. Being afraid of failure, keeps you going but sometimes it holds you back!

    I'm still waiting for that skull Ive ordered, then i realized its being shipped from China. Lame.

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    yow, kimonas. nice stuff. really enjoyed the facial features; they've become objects of their own; a very rare thing. lol, I'm inspired to try my own now. I think I will.

    >>SKETCHBOOK. you'll visit me. I'll visit you, we'll have a tea party. with arts and shit. it'll be dreamy. stop by.
    >>mah tumbr
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    Well this weekends results were mixed.

    I powered through two color portraits, shown below, with reference, and thought i did an okay job.

    Then i felt so cocky, that i thought i could do portraits without any reference!

    Man, i got my ass KICKED! I guess i just need more practice.

    I might go back to greyscale for portraiture without reference, to try and nail form a bit more.

    Im desperate to have fun with anatomy though, i think i might come back to portraiture in a few weeks, and look at expressions in detail.

    Any tips appreciated.

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    Last edited by Kimonas; September 30th, 2013 at 11:55 AM.
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    These last two portraits are excellent! Looking good!

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    They're looking good, man. Keep pushing!

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    Hey thanks guys

    I finally got that Skull! Here are a few 3-5 min sketches, i hope this helps with the whole facial structure thing!

    More to come this weekend hopefully.

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    really good stuff here,good observations (lucky you have a skull ) and good features . For your digital work perhaps play with the soft brush ( the soft round pressure opacity brush ) to make a soft texture in your faces

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    Hey Thanks Laureline! Means a lot to me, I will deffo have a bash with the soft brush, esp for rendering female faces. Might make things look a bit more delicate.

    Today i was fiddling about with female facial features, still not figured it out yet. What proportion and shape of female features brings the most beauty? I think i have little knowledge on this and it showed when last week, i tried to render two female faces with no references in colour. What a disaster. POW, right in the ego!

    Practicing this way I'snt fast enough so I've gone back to line drawing for a bit.

    I tried various profiles and proportions today, then went on to draw a few faces with the loomis method, no references this time. Was tough, but some turned out ok.

    Blast away with crit or advice, Its appreciated!

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    Keep up with the studies. I'm in the same boat and I'm definitely noticing a difference by just putting the time in.

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    Hey man a nice workflow you've got here, definitely liking the skull studies and the sketchbook stuff. Feature studies is nice! You need to watch the width of your heads though. Have you been reading Loomis books, I highly recommend checking them out, just type save loomis in google and you'll find the books. The width of the head is equal to the space between eyebrow to chin, so yours are way too wide. But the skull studies will definitely help. Keep it up I'll be tuning in

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    hey kimonas- good practicign! but I wouldnt worry too much about beauty right now. getting a female head right is just getting the basic head and then softening it. you do seem to be making the face a bit bit though; compared ti the skull. remember the eyes should end up around the middle.

    >>SKETCHBOOK. you'll visit me. I'll visit you, we'll have a tea party. with arts and shit. it'll be dreamy. stop by.
    >>mah tumbr
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    Quote Originally Posted by sudafreekan View Post
    Hey man a nice workflow you've got here, definitely liking the skull studies and the sketchbook stuff. Feature studies is nice! You need to watch the width of your heads though. Have you been reading Loomis books, I highly recommend checking them out, just type save loomis in google and you'll find the books. The width of the head is equal to the space between eyebrow to chin, so yours are way too wide. But the skull studies will definitely help. Keep it up I'll be tuning in
    Oh yes, those are great books! They are quite stylized though, so if that's not your thing keep that in mind.

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    Thanks for the crit!

    Cranewife- Sure thing! I always used to keep wondering what the secret to getting better was, hard work really does pay off!

    sudafreekan - Again, thanks for the advice - i forgot to mention on my response on your page, i am indeed looking at the Loomis book. By the way one of my best chums lives in Livingston, i pop down from time to time, almost neighbours! Ill deffo work on squashing my heads

    Ashess- I do fall into that trap sometimes, and put eyes up there with the brow line!


    I decided to post up my two recent failures i keep talking about (no references). I guess its best to be honest. This is why its bad to use references exclusively. They are the whole reason behind going back to line drawing again.
    Ive also posted some more photoshop studies with references, and some non referenced pencil sketches.

    One thing im having a really hard time with is the forward tilt of the head and how to draw the eyes, its tough!

    Will do more male heads this week, and then hopefully more colour studies this weekend

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    Well, had a bit of a calamity with my computer and had to reinstall everything which ate a chunk of my time this weekend.

    Did some pencil drawings without references and also a portrait from imagination - still a bit shaky on facial anatomy and colour, but getting there.

    I think ill do some more colour studies which should help.

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    Hi everyone, did one more greyscale from imagination, and a colour study.

    The soft round brush was a godsend, i used to spend so long ironing out hard edges. SO silly not to have used it before! But i guess thats what practice is for, tiny improvements (hopefully) add up in the end!

    The colour study ended up looking nothing like the reference, i'm just fairly happy the forms are kinda rendered. Took about 4 hours in totally, much time wasted on indecision.

    Focusing on colour and tone at the same time is Haaaaard.

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    The soft round brush can be very useful, especially when you're doing female portraits but be careful with it. Overuse can lead to uniform looking edges. A combination of soft and hard brushes can look very appealing. That said, you did a great job with that colour portrait. Keep up the good work.

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    Thanks Jondawo - will deffo try a mix of soft and hard so not to loose hard edges

    Well, did another portrait, without references. It took ages though - 7 hours. I was struggling for about 4 hours really to lay a foundation, i hope i can find a way to get faster.

    As usual, I suspect it has something to do with going back to foundations, and practice!

    So I've set myself a goal of doing 100 faces, with one in 5 being in colour. Im going to set myself a maximum of 30 minutes for each image!

    Hopefully it will help.

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    Last edited by Kimonas; October 21st, 2013 at 05:47 PM.
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    So i embark on the 100 portrait goal

    I had a chat with depingo on deviant art (She is elite) And have decided to go with her advice and practice drawing portraits from memory, then going back and looking at what i did wrong. I will mark 'NR' next to the images which are without reference.

    I will also concentrate on stroke economy, and actually laying down a good foundation and accurate, but simple line drawing to keep me right for the shading.

    Here we go!

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    hay great drawings keep up the good work i really like your head studies...by the way your sketchbook avatar of the girl looks just like my ex girlfriend lol hey now!! lol

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    Creeptool - thanks for popping in. You ex must have been pretty goood lookin!

    So a few more pencil head studies without refs. I've not given up on the whole 100 head thing, just wanted to develop some pencil skills as its fun, and way more mobile and accesible. Also I have too many abandoned sketch books lying around, I want to get my pennies worth.

    These gave a me a boost to my confidence as i felt i was really getting into a rhythm, and figured out effective shading techniques. I messed up the third female head with heavy lighting, and perhaps an unskilled rendering of.

    I recently also read an article on gardening, with the quote 'a good gardener has the courage to withstand failure', and hell, does this apply to art.

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    Todays efforts, only had a few spare hours. Supposed to be Avril L.

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    Hey man your I can definitely see some improvement here, I think I mentioned this before but one thing that really stands out wrong is the jaw, for females and probably even males it's far too big and sometimes too angular for femals. Defintely worth studying the jaw/neck area to get this right. Loomis all the way. I had a similar problem. You'll see a big difference if you can spot the errors and iron them out

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    Sudafrrekan - Not mentioned this before but, yes, you are right (again!) i should go easy on the jaw lines in females!

    I tried another piece without reference with a novel (for me) lighting situation.

    Had loads of problems trying to render the secondary cool lighting - it got better when i started variing the chroma of the cool light a bit. Ended up a bit cartoonish but meh, its ok.

    If anyone wants to do a draw over and bust my chops, be my guest.

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    its nice, i like it. course im hardly a lighting expert...

    >>SKETCHBOOK. you'll visit me. I'll visit you, we'll have a tea party. with arts and shit. it'll be dreamy. stop by.
    >>mah tumbr
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    Ashess - Thanks! Your sketchbook is looking good with all that loomis recently!

    Well, today I started looking at the Loomis figure drawing book, and have become very inspired by it! I've grown a bit weary of the whole portraiture thing. Does this happen to everyone?

    I feel like I've definitely made improvements here, and moved away from the reliance of references which is a big handicap.

    I see it as unfinished business, and realise that I've only really skimmed the surface of the art of portraiture. I think I might benefit from coming back to it after looking at anatomy, still lives and even landscapes.

    I do realise I was talking about the whole 100 faces thing, but, well ill come back to it!

    My plan for the year is as such :

    2 months portraiture (Done)
    2 months anatomy (Starting)
    2 months still life
    2 months landscapes
    2 months movie stills
    2 months compositions for funz

    After this I plan a further 2-4 years of study, I hear it takes this amount of time to get any good. I really just wanted to give my self some foundation initially, before getting into more detail. I hope its not in vain!

    Here are a few loomis drawings, looking at proportion, 3-5 mins each.

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    Last edited by Kimonas; October 28th, 2013 at 02:43 PM.
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