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  1. #1
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    Fatmans sketchbook

    Hi there

    I have been getting back into drawing again traditionally and digitally after spending quite a long time working with vector graphics and never being very satisfied with the results! I do a lot of design for educational material but I mostly enjoy the figure drawing and thumbnail designs I do in my spare time, they just need a lot of work and I don't really know what to do with them!

    I would love to hear some feedback or advice as I am working in a bit of a vacuum just now!

    Thank you very much for looking, I am a little apprehensive since the skill on show on these forums is so amazing.

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    Last edited by fatman274; April 25th, 2014 at 04:00 PM.
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  3. #2
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    Here are a couple of life drawings from last year and the first couple of experiments in Photoshop playing with thumbnails.

    Hard pencil on watercolour paper
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    I had no goal with these thumbnails other than to get something down quickly and have fun, hence the random nature of the characters..
    Inspired by Feng Zhu's videos at this point.

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    Last edited by fatman274; January 14th, 2014 at 08:15 AM.
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  4. #3
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    Some more life drawing and thumbnails.

    Drawings done quickly with soft pencil on rough paper. Exercise in looking at the model rather than the paper!

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    I tried to do some silhouettes for a gladiator or warrior of some kind this time. Using Photoshop to work on one side and then flipping over to create a symmetrical design before adding a couple of details. Mostly drawn with the marquee tool and a hard brush. Quite like some bits of these but there is a lot to work on. Good fun though.

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  6. #4
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    Welcome aboard, mate!
    Your pencil sketches look good, I like the portrait of the dude in your first post best.
    You've already disocvered Feng Zhu so you've got tons to learn from there.
    I would recommend Bridgeman, Loomis, Hogarth on anatomy.
    As for what to do with your portraits and thumbnails, well that's for you to figure out.
    I would recommend taking some of your strongest thumbnails to a finished drawing.
    You will learn a lot. Also, life drawing. I do it way too little myself, but it really helps
    to see all the variety in colors, edges and values, more so than photographs.
    Although photo studies are good too. Also I would recommend doing a master study every now and then.
    The master has already resolved issues of composition, colorharmony and all the other technical stuff
    to a degree we can only dream of (for now anyway) and so you will learn a lot by studying them.

    Good luck, and mainly just keep on drawing!

    "...it had the serene look in it's eyes of a creature that realizes it's a tube on legs..." ~ Terry Pratchett

    "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." ~Pablo Picasso

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  8. #5
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    Thanks man, good to be here.
    Lots of good tips there, I'll take it all on board. Especially need to do some specific studies.
    I've done a fair bit of life drawing but I never really analysed the model properly. I intend to go more often and really try to understand anatomy, perspective, form, gesture etc. The ones above were not concerned with accuracy but a warm up looking at the model rather than the sketchbook...will post more soon.
    Thanks again mate, appreciate the advice.

    Last edited by fatman274; January 15th, 2014 at 07:34 AM.
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    Just getting used to using the tablet to sketch here with some figures from reference.

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  10. #7
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    Had a lot of fun playing with these using Mike Corriero's youtube tutorial on inkblot thumbnail design.
    Possibly not very exciting to look at but there you go. I need to start thinking about these things in 3 dimensions eventually but for the moment I am enjoying designing shapes like this..

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    Wow man your pencil stuff is awesome. Also great character concepts. Are going to take any of these to a more detailed level? Keep the stuff coming!

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    Thanks man. Yeah Hopefully I will get a bit more detail. Just having fun thinking in silhouette just now. I need to start thinking about the forms and internal shapes asap. I have a couple of digital scribbles that I will post soon. Thanks for looking!

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    This sketchbook is all over the place!

    I have rounded up most of my older drawings from a couple of years ago, before my break from drawing. There are a few more kicking about but this will do for now..I have a very slow work rate due to full time job and full time family! I got into it again 6 months ago so will post newer stuff soon.

    I was doing these to keep a hand in and wasn't really thinking too much about the fundamental stuff!

    A couple of 30 minute poses from life..

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    These ones are from reference images except bottom right which is an old woman in costa coffee.

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    A tree in Holyrood park of all things and two 5 minute scribbles from life drawing

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    This is the top of Arthurs Seat in Edinburgh from the window of my old flat. Need to make time for more landscape stuff.

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    Just some quick head / beard studies. All from life, cept bottom left which is Cezanne.

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    These are some longer poses from life drawing that I am not keen on (dont look at the heads) and probably over worked!

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    Some more quick sketches, mostly trying not to look at the paper. I like these, I should do more with soft pencil I think!

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    A couple of head studies from life when I was going thru my 3H phase

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    This is a Del Sarto study from the National Gallery in Edinburgh. And some quick sketches from coffee shops. Dont know what I was thinking about with the Del Sarto jacket? Need to do more of these.

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    ..And these are just some old men watching football in pubs. Think I should draw after a couple of pints more often.

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    Thanks again for looking. Hopefully I will get some newer stuff and some digital things organised soon.

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  14. #11
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    I love the structure of your drawings - figures, heads, trees, whatever, they're all beautifully solid and your linework is lovely to boot. =) You should try working out more of those thumbs into full drawings, you obviously have the skill to construct them in 3D!

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  16. #12
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    Revidescent - Thanks for the kind words! I have been giving it a go, but struggling to translate the traditional methods to digital so just experimenting with different techniques and having fun. Thanks again..

    Here are a couple of digital things from not too long ago.

    These were hand studies from posemaniacs, just getting used to the wacom and studying the planes. I think the technique improved slightly from the first couple. As with all this I need to do more!

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    More silhouettes, mostly from imagination but a couple referenced from posemaniacs. Really like carving these shapes out with the eraser..

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    I really enjoyed doing these, although I think I went for quantity over quality as my ideas and skills petered out after the first 2 or 3. Initial idea was just some cliched dudes that had some kind of breathing apparatus..Using a lot of size jitter, eraser and mirroring shapes with very mixed results.

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    So tried to work up one of the silhouettes from previous image a bit, but thought he came out looking very generic and lost a lot of the chunkier features from the original idea.

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    I then tried to fix the perspective a little and sort out the arms but I'm not sure if I prefer the early ones now!?

    If anyone is looking and has any strong feelings about it, I would love to hear them ; )

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    Last edited by fatman274; January 24th, 2014 at 06:07 PM.
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  17. #13
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    So I have tried a couple of still life's to practice painting techniques and rendering forms.

    This was a quick blending exercise over a couple of lunch breaks. I really dislike the finished apple. it seems to look flat and the blended result is not as appealing as the original rough. Worth trying though.

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    An unfinished painting based on an excellent daarken tutorial. Much happier with this but still struggling to get semi-smooth blending that still describes the form.

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    And a completely different technique based on a Ctrl+Paint tutorial using "temp layers" to build up the values and planes. Great technique but not that keen on the airbrushed look!?

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    Last edited by fatman274; February 4th, 2014 at 11:29 AM.
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  18. #14
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    These are closer to what I would normally do in illustrator with vectors but I did it in Photoshop with brushes and the odd selection tool.
    Basically just a side view from a Bridgeman book with a big daft heid.
    Looking to do a front view soon and detail it up a little...

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    Last edited by fatman274; February 12th, 2014 at 07:44 PM.
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  19. #15
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    Was playing about with some photos to give me ideas for internal shapes but I ended up ignoring them and kept him fairly simple.

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    I quite like this but he is still very flat. Will hopefully come back to him at some point..

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  20. #16
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    The flatness looks really neat on him! Definitely art deco. More!

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  22. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by miletic View Post
    The flatness looks really neat on him! Definitely art deco. More!
    Aww thanks man. I hadn't thought of that but maybe I will now ; )

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    Playing about with the silhouette technique from above again but trying a couple of ways to show some forms this time.
    Love this process but designs are pretty pedestrian so far and I need to start learning some perspective!

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  24. #19
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    Slightly different again - a couple of lunch breaks spent doodling ogrey lookin punters.

    I need to get some kind of direction soon!

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  25. #20
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    Well, still having fun with silhouettes. Cant seem to pluck up the courage to fail in rendering this stuff! Think I'm going to concentrate more on studies and life drawing now.

    Couple of vehicle things that finally appeared from completely random scribbles..

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    wow man, im just a beginner so i cant say much but your awesome and i cant wait too see more

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    Hello fatman274 - thanks for dropping by my sketchbook the other day.

    The silhouette way of drawing really works for you! Great results. The poses and feet positions of the more human-like character are very good! Seems to be a great way of generating ideas also.

    On your apple in #13 I see the shadow as darker, than you have it, and the reflection/highlight as even brighter - that way you could maybe achieve more three dimensionality. I see from your note, that you are using opacity and flow - it helps me for now to work with 100% opacity only. Make a simple 5 color value chart, or 10 - and only pick those. Think in numbers for a while. You will get more of a feeling of the value distribution this way. Again: this is just what worked for me - I am just starting also.

    Looking forward to see more here!

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  30. #23
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    Fantastic sketches and thumbnails!
    Gawd, so much to learn just from those thumbnails. Just the idea of using them more consistently will probably bring great improvement.
    Also I think your sketching style is very loose and special, keep at it but also do longer studies if possible
    Cheers and good luck!

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  31. #24
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    Hey, thanks for the comments guys. Very nice to hear some feedback. I am mostly working in a vacuum so it means a lot. Cheers!

    kingdoop - thanks for the kind words!

    Sixten - Thanks man, sounds like very good advice. I'll be sure to give it a go. Values are something I I have difficulty with, along with various other things! Thanks for taking the time dude..

    Kerah - Thanks for the comments man, very kind. Longer studies are something I plan to get a handle on very soon.

    Had a busy week so these are a couple of pretty random and ropey lunch break studies, mainly just basic painting practice.

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    Last edited by fatman274; February 19th, 2014 at 08:00 PM.
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  32. #25
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    You've posted twice on my sketchbook with your encouragement which I greatly appreciate so I thought I would say hello and thank you.

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  33. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keither View Post
    You've posted twice on my sketchbook with your encouragement which I greatly appreciate so I thought I would say hello and thank you.
    No bother, lookin forward to seeing more of your work..

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  34. #27
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    Nothing very exciting today. Just been practicing ctrl paints temp layers technique on some anatomy drawings. I really hate what I did to the pecs/deltoid area on the anterior view so maybe I will fix that. Was wondering how to describe the muscle fibres but I think in future I would just ignore them! I have also mixed hard and soft brushes badly here I think. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

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    And these were some very quick lunch break doodles in illustrator, messing about with floating cities.

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  35. #28
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    Couple of lunch break thumbnails from imagination here. Really enjoyed using a textured brush for these. As usual not very dynamic poses but hopefully more life drawing coming up so that might help!?

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  36. #29
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    Couple more experiments with the textured brush, still avoiding doing any details though!

    Name:  cloaks2aCA.png
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  37. #30
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    Hey man! nice work, really like some of your silhouettes, maybe give it a try to do some rendering on some of them ?

    p.s. your charcoal drawings in at the top are beautiful!

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