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Hello friends and cohorts!
After an unfortunate 1.5 year hiatus due to scholastic responsibilities, I finally have some time to draw and paint again. I have a whole lot to learn, so critique away! And please enjoy, or at least tolerate with minimal revulsion, my humble sketchbook.
Last edited by Dahlia; April 21st, 2014 at 12:28 AM.
Here's a couple of my older works to give you an idea of where I'm at.
Don't look for meaning in these. There isn't any.
Note to self: learn how to actually do backgrounds...
Interesting designs love the orka/panda hybrid
one thing to think about in the future might be to plan the lighting better,
right now everything except the last one seems to have a overcast type of lighting to it with hardly any shadow shapes in the creatures.
Keep it up
Here's some stuff I did today and yesterday. Whew, fast sketching is really disorienting to get back to after a long break.
Then here's a 2.5 hr study that I thought turned out really well. I think I've become obsessed with opaque brushes - they are seriously addictive:
Here's a similar one I did a while back with 85% opacity. This one took way longer because I wasn't used to the style yet.
I really should learn how to use normal brushes like a real person someday.
Oops, cross post. Thanks DK! I agree, lighting and value is definitely something I need to work on.
Hey Dahlia! Thank you so much for stopping by in my sketchbook!
Really nice stuff you got here! I really enjoy your gesture studies and your color studies as well
I need to work in my anatomy studies too!
Mini update. Here's a couple landscape studies I just did (~15 min. per mini square). All from photos - I know, I know, terrible habit...
And here's an old COW entry, just to keep things exciting and make people who don't read the text think I paint really fast:
Lovely Zelda monster Redesign that looks great, also think your 15 minute studies are awesome. Would be nice to see a bit more light/darkness in soem of them though. The first one for instance I have no idea where the light is coming from. And it looks like a deserty land so the sun should be a huge light source. And that 2.5 hour study is really really good, looks professional, clean, good detail and realistic!
Ma Sketchbook brings all the girls to the forums, damn right its worse than yours.
Dennis - A very belated thank you for your comment
So... been a while, but back at it. Let's see if I can make it past three posts this time.
Been doing the composition studies from Levelup. Here's my favorites so far:
I desperately need to work on drawing/painting from imagination, so I played with a few thumbnails of some generic enviros. They were supposed to be b&w, but apparently I can't judge value at all without color, so I added the ugly overlay. I've never done enviros before so these were fun
But composition is still confusing, so I decided to super simplify it and play with just three values and see what looks nice. I'm finding them very helpful, I think I'll do a lot more. The top half are from my head and the bottom half are interpreted from master paintings:
Then I worked on a little figure drawing, where I would sketch from reference (left) then redo them from memory (right). Here's one page. These fall into the category of arduous but necessary
Finally, here's a painting that I started 2 years ago and finally got around to finishing yesterday. It didn't occur to me until afterwards that you probably wouldn't have rice and noodles at the same meal, unless you really like carbohydrates. I'm a big fan of carbohydrates, personally.
Yey Panda whale! Awesome work all round, really like the last painting, felt like that a few times
Those thumbnails! You have the eye! Was trying to pinpoint a favourite, but I like them all. Maybe number 5, mountain dwellings are always a fav.
Ah, to live on the mountain.. with the great eagle and the whispering wind....
The composition simplification looks really interesting, might need to give it a go.
Bri - I thought the mini composition studies were really helpful in understanding how to place mass lights/darks. At the very least, I find myself noticing it more when I look at other people's paintings. Also, you can do them while watching TV. That's a plus.
Glad you like the landscapes! I love the mountains too, though I have yet to learn how to paint with all the colors of the wind. Scotland looks like it has some gorgeous mountains and landscapes. Always wanted to visit. Someday!!
Still trying to flex my imagination muscles. Just got a new sci-fi book (Red Rising) and decided to try and illustrate some stuff from it. I'm only 40 pages or so in right now, so don't tell me what happens!
Here's what I've got so far. A few random thumbnails- some mining (it's a mining colony on Mars), an underground garden, and a few thumbnails of girl-character fixing boy-character's burnt hand. Also tried to do portraits of the main characters. Takes forever without reference.
Finally figured out the 'color' layer too. It is almost unbelievably easier than using straight color for imagination stuff.
Ahh this is so much fun! I can't believe I waited so long to start doing stuff from my imagination.
Last edited by Dahlia; April 12th, 2014 at 12:51 AM.
Wow nice update! Looks awesome, haven't read the book but your pics make me want to. You'll need to enlighten me on this new wizardry you have figured out. The colour layer is the dark arts I hear, you might want to be careful.
Scotland is a small and very beautiful country, you should defintately make plans to visit sometime and if you do, take a rain coat
I also like to draw whilst watching stuff, even if I'm just basically holding a pencil and not drawing anything... Multi taking is not my strong point..
Really look forward to more.
Thanks Bri! Still learning the color layer so I don't really have any advice yet, but hopefully someday I'll get the hang of it. I do think it's almost entirely dependent on the correctness of the underlying value. I hadn't realized how important midtones were for saturated color until I tried to use the color layer.
Don't really have much cool for this update, just sketching mostly, but I feel like I need to keep in the habit of updating this.
The following sketches are from imagination unless otherwise stated. I may have to accept that I have better knowledge of horse anatomy than human anatomy... Dogs could use some work...
And here's some composition thumbnails of random scenes from random books. Just practicing the whole thumbnail concept.
Now I know why you clocked my black blob horse so quickly haha! Sweet animals D! Full of movement, character and charm. Really impressive you can do them from imagination, shows you have observed them carefully over the years even subconsciously. I sometimes wonder what my subconscious mind has been doing all these years, don't think it has been recording anything....
You got the right idea with the figure practice, one from ref then one from memory. I imagine that will really help reinforce the information. Totally gonna steal your ideas!
The composition Thumbnails translate well, get a good sense of story just by looking at them. The very first one is a little more ambiguous. I either see a person being playfully buried in leaves or having an an oxygen mask put on, hmmmm maybe being force fed ice cream? Chocolate chip? Unfortunately your writing was too small to read, but I did try
Don't have much to say other then really nice work with values and composition,and that I would like to see more finished personal work.
I definitely see improvement. I definitely see a payoff in the exercises regarding your digital work. Opaque brushes are something every digital artist should master early on. Took me years to realize this and my work suffered from the characteristic "muddy" look. Your master copies are fantastically accurate proportion wise and I am quite envious.
Git yo ass back here missy! Cmon where you at, don't pretend you are not making art stuffs
Bri - Hey, I'm surprised you remember me after so long! I'm flattered. Thanks for the get-your-butt-into-gear encouragement, as always. Due to a variety of events keeping me busy, I actually haven't done any art in the last month. Just got back into it yesterday, and should be free for a little while (finally).
In response to your last post (2 months ago... sorry bout that), I've definitely found doing the memory exercises helpful. I think that most of the time when I study I'm just mindlessly copying what's in front of me, and when I have to try to recreate it I realize how little I actually absorbed. Knowing I'll have to draw something from memory seems to force me to focus more.
TroublingTim - Thanks for stopping by! I'd post more finished work if I had some... Hopefully that will change as I get faster at this stuff.
Tsujni - Thanks! I've really enjoyed the opaque brushes. I think I gravitated to them because I'm hyper sensitive to the blurry look that digital can get (it's like nails on chalkboard, but worse). I'm trying to branch back into more texture and softness now and it's tricky.
Started up with a new levelup assignment, a color copy of a Gandolfi:
Then I tried to use the same color palette while it was fresh in my mind to do an imaginary head. Turned out a better than I expected, actually. Maybe I should try to memorize a color palette and a corresponding lighting scheme that I can use whenever my imagination fails me.
Last edited by Dahlia; June 28th, 2014 at 12:40 AM.
Duuuuuuuuude!! Wow this looks so sweet, actually feels like real paint and those colours! Sooooo juicy. Really like Gandolfi, Gandolfini, Gandalfi?
How could I forget such awesomeness! We missed youHey, I'm surprised you remember me after so long! I'm flattered
Pffft you actually have a life? Having a life is so overrated You need to get your priorities straight woman, the art gods demand servitude. Every night I break a paint brush and leave it on the alter as an offering whilst smearing alizarin crimson into my nipples and mumbling incoherent incantations of a dark persuasion...... Seems to work a charm.Due to a variety of events keeping me busy, I actually haven't done any art in the last month. Just got back into it yesterday, and should be free for a little while (finally).
Anyhow please give us more. So love the painterly feel you have.
Haha thanks Bri! I might have to alter my nightly routine to include alizarin crimson. I've had only mediocre results with prussian blue.
Also, nice catch on my Gandolfi spelling mistake (now edited). Yes, Gandolfini is someone very different...
Anyway, another color copy, this time a Bierstadt:
I rediscovered my old boxes of pastels, so thought I'd do a traditional still life for a change of pace. So nice to use real paint every once and a while.
Nah avoid the cool colours, you need the fire! Red, oranges and yellows! Ignite the fire that burns within, kindle the artist flame of creativity and watch it become a blazing inferno.I've had only mediocre results with prussian blue.
Gandolfini, Gandalfi, I can never remember the names, google keeps me right though
Great choice of study with the Bierstadt and you are super close. My only crit would be the orangy browns in the tree area, right hand side, really pop in the original. Think they are super saturated and have a little yellow in there. Could be wrong though.
The pastel drawing is very beautiful. I kinda feel sorry for the bread though, the knife sticking in it feels very aggressive Nah looks fantastic well done \o/
Thanks! Yeah, looks like I missed some of the saturated warms in the Bierstadt trees. I don't know why I was having trouble seeing them.
The poor bread actually got off easy haha. I wrenched the little tomato in half with my bare fingers. Quite messy.
My next levelup color study was giving me trouble and stressing me out, so I took a little break.
Here's some completely random thumbnails:
Then I wanted to practice doing stuff from my imagination in traditional, which I've always been too afraid to do. I still have a ton of trouble with the constructive methods for drawing without a direct ref, so I stuck to simple subjects.
A rat in pastel:
Then experimented with using watercolor and ink for a comic book look, which turned out to be really fun:
Last edited by Dahlia; July 14th, 2014 at 03:41 PM.
Dahlia I have the same problem with level up studies, since I'm posting them directly to be critiqued I get more anxious about them.Something I try to do is say my only goal is to do the study as best as I can with the time I have, the actual outcome is irrelevant. That said it is good to take break if you're feeling stressed out and work on something else.
I love your pastel work, and your thumbnails are nice too. I'm wondering if you are planning to try and become a professional artist, or are just doing this as a hobby.
Thanks Tim! It's interesting, getting critiqued doesn't particularly stress me out, it seems to be more when my mental image of what I should be able to produce doesn't match up with what I'm actually producing, and that makes me really self-conscious. You've got the right idea though, it's about just doing your best in what time you have. Glad I'm not the only one who still gets stressed though.
I currently have no plans of going professional in art. I like my day job. But who knows? Maybe someday.
What are you stressed about dude? Your work is awesome. I think our mental image will never match our actual work and this is a good thing. I personally think the mind moves the goal posts in incriments without us really noticing, much like if you work out and don't really notice the gradual physical change until you look at a 'before and after' photo or something like that. Anyhow this striving to be better is the driving force that will propel your art forward, the dangling carrot that we always chase.Glad I'm not the only one who still gets stressed though
I love your art and the fact that you are versatile with mediums. These last ones are simply stunning. Love Rats, always feel sorry for them, they get such a hard time of it from us humans when ultimately they are just trying to survive like everyone else.
You have such a great handle on colour, it really shows. The expressive marks in the sky and the colour in the spider piece are great, feels really original to me.
What are you afraid of? I was afraid for too long then I realised that it was holding me back and crippling my art. Get lots of shit paper and just let go without caring too much. There is a beautiful artistic freedom to be found, don't let the fear shackle your creativity.Then I wanted to practice doing stuff from my imagination in traditional, which I've always been too afraid to do
Hope some of that made sense....I like to waffle on sometimes and try and sound intelligent
Thanks Bri! I love experimenting with different mediums. I suppose I should probably specialize a little bit, but this is more fun for now.
I've found traditional to be more scary for imaginative stuff because it is so much harder to fix mistakes. There's a lot more time invested in it. But now that I've tried it, it's really not that bad. And I agree with your advice, there is something cathartic about freely blowing through shit paper with whatever the mind vomits forth. I should do it more often!
Sorry bout the lack of updates, I've been trying to fundamentally rework how I draw to include perspective and construction, so I haven't been producing too much to show lately. Here's a few quick pieces I did for breaks though.
Some random acrylics I did while binge watching Battlestar Galactica:
Then practice enviro thumbnails - underwater oil rig.
And attempted to design an earth-mover. I'm new to mechs, this was more fun than I thought it would be. Started getting the hang of it by the third one. Apparently I just drew a truck for the second one... my creativity is astounding.
By the way, I tend to take notes all over my sketches for my own reference. You can read them if you want, but I don't expect anyone to.
Follow the fun I say. Worry about specializing later. Or specialize in that which is most fun. There is a time for serious art, a time for fun art and a time for experimenting and all things inbetween. The most important thing is to keep learning and enjoy it.love experimenting with different mediums. I suppose I should probably specialize a little bit, but this is more fun for now.
Yes, I think this is really important. A sort of artistic release where you can just vent without worrying about whether it will be good or bad. Get into the habit of not judging yourself on every drawing produced as us artists have a tendancy to do. It's good training for building confidence and fluid movement much like zen calligraphy. Drawing with no mind. I like the idea of drawing as meditation, where the drawing flows with natural grace like a branch swaying gently in the wind.there is something cathartic about freely blowing through shit paper with whatever the mind vomits forth. I should do it more often!
Beautiful acrylics. You did these whilst watching sci-fi stuff? That is some super awesome multi-tasking skills you got right there. Love the tree and the landscape, great marks, great language. I find it captivating when people can communicate something at a deeper level without all the bells and whistles. I want to chill under that tree and watch the clouds make pictures in the sky.
The other pics are sweet too, got the underwater colours spot on with the thumbies, knew it was underwater before my brain had even started translating it. Look forward to seeing more industrial designs, number 1 is really interesting and you can tell you are in the zone by number 3. Good to see writing on there too I always read peeps stuff.
Thanks Bri!! I think I'll start saying I'm "flowing with a natural grace like a branch swaying gently in the wind" to excuse the fact that my art is all over the place .
I've been mostly working on fundamentals lately (since I never learned them correctly the first time), which hasn't yielded much to post, but here's a few tidbits I've collected over the last month to prove I've still been doing stuff.
Drawing and color practice.
Robotic Assistant for nothing in particular
Yes! We as artists can pretty much say anything we like to non artists. If people look at you funny when you tell them you are a tree or branch, just explain that one day they might 'get it'.
Awesome updates as usual. The gestural figures are beautiful, well done! Robo assistant number 3 for me. Wish they would hurry up and master AI. I so want a robot.
Psychedelic fly-cat-pug xD Genius \o/ Totally diggin those colours baby yeeeeah! Trippy!
Look forward to seeing the next carazy creature
Did you ever finish that Sci-Fi book set on Mars?