Edit: Welcome to my personal mess which I call sketchbook. I'm challenging myself to do studies every day (I will have my bad days when I won't be able to, of course) as part of my 2016 resolution (yes, 2016 - I know it's still 2015, but by the end of 2016, I want to have improved by a lot). My objective is to feel confident enough to do freelance illustrations. I don't have any goal in my mind right now to become a concept artist(?), but, regardless, there are some amazing sketchbooks on this site that have inspired me to practice like crazy.
The thing I'm worst at right now is environments and backgrounds, but to get good at those, I feel I have to learn other things as well (since backgrounds are affected by these other things I'm also terrible at). My favorite thing to draw are portraits! I'm not good at it, but I really enjoy it. I have a list of things/assignments to do (if you have any suggestions on what I should add, feel free to tell me! I've been looking at other sketchbooks and studies to get ideas). To make sure I do all of them, I'm going to be marking them RED when I have already done it and when I have done the whole thing, I will start all over with black text (YELLOW means I have done only half of the assignment, GREEN means I'm working on it!):
-10 Hand studies
-10 Feet studies
-8 Material studies
-30 Gestures M/F
-A study of a figure M/F
-1 Animal study
-5 Value studies of environments
-1 Study of a master portrait painting
-1 Study of a master landscape painting
-1 Study of a contemporary artist
-1 Still life of an object
-3 Still life sketches of the same object in the same position, but with different light
-People sketching at the café!
-Draw a room or a section of a room from my apartment
Ongoing projects (longer assignments - should be done by the time I am done with the rest of the assignments):
-A portrait with interesting lighting
-An environment with interesting lighting
Critiques are always welcome.
Original Post: This is my sketchbook. I'm trying to improve my backgrounds and my composition. All replies are appreciated. Thank you!
Last edited by springs-tulip; 2 Days Ago at 10:46 PM.
I'm a sophomore, majoring in Fine Arts (and possibly minoring in Illustration). I'm looking to improve my work. My biggest issues are composition, anatomy, and backgrounds - so those will be my focus. This is my sketchbook.
This one is a copy of the reference I used (I attached the reference below). I was not trying to get the exact same thing, but more of the whole. I don't think I did well. I could still work on it some more.
Yeah To do circles/half circles on perspective I just use a tool with the pre-made shape and then put it into perspective but I just wanted to study value and light, so! Didn't worry about that. If this was a finished painting I would definitely do that, though.
I realized I wasn't going to be able to sleep if I didn't do something else haha. So I am starting this painting.
Still trying to figure things out. The previous anatomy studies are really helping me out. Still need work on it! But now I can be like, "Oh, wait, something goes here." Next sitting, which will probably be tomorrow after work, I'll work harder on fixing the perspective and anatomy (also that arm in the back: I need reference for it).
A warm up still life of a small/medium cat figurine I have (I don't think it's copper -seems to be porcelain, but it's painted to look like it is copper). Discovered it is actually pretty freaking hard to draw from life with a tablet and a computer, since I'm not drawing with the pen on the paper in front of me, instead with the computer in front of me, and the tablet below my view. My techniques for sighting and using a pencil for finding out angles is pretty much unusable. Aaaand also the light from the screen tends to mess up my vision so I tend to paint brighter (had to go back and edit the brightness by a good amount). So I have to figure all this out.
Using only morning light (about 10:30-11:40am EST, during winter) coming from between the blinds. I thought the light would be warmer, but it's actually very cool.
Oooh! Hey thanks for reminding me. I was actually watching one of Ahmed Aldoori's videos the other day and I saw that there's a smudge brush in Photoshop (not to be confused with the smudge tool). It's listed as a tool under the brushes tool in the sidebar (sort of like how the paint bucket is under the gradient tool). I had never seen it before in my life so I wanted to try it and now that you say this I just remembered haha. I think it's called the mixer brush or something, but it basically smudges paint around. Pretty sure this is what apofiss uses for those glowy smudgy effects(?).
And those brushes in the first link look pretty neat. I'm not a big fan of going crazy with a ton of brushes because in the past I've abused object shaped brushes haha, but these ones don't look like objects! They actually look like brushes. I tend to keep it to one or two, no more than three brushes and typically PS's are good enough for me, but I'm willing to try those! I've been getting into making my own. I made a square brush, a slanted triangular brush (when I had just a Bamboo Fun and needed something that would make edges but also be bold when I needed it, although I had to change the tilt manually). I've recently made an almost linear brush that I find to be really neat when laying down color! - Recently got this Intuos Pro and I've been trying to get used to tilting and take advantage of it (truth is, even traditionally, I don't rely on tilting -unless I'm using charcoal, pastels, conté-, much less blending and smudging).
1. Panic because I have to work Thanksgiving and Black Friday and the close the store every day the next 3 days after that.
2. Get motivated to become better because I don't want to be stuck on retail my entire life.
3. Bought (for the second time) Gurney's Color and Light. I love his books, they are contemporary and teach a lot of small details that would take a long time to figure out on one's own. The first time I bought this, I lend it to my partner and he never gave it back before we broke up. $#@$*)^!! I'll feel good about myself when I kick his ass with self-teaching while he's going to an expensive, pretentious art school.
4. Got another book on light (Illuminated Pixels) because it talks about color digitally, which I think is very important. I already have some background in traditional color theory, but I'm going to go to the next level and study it scientifically and study more contemporary versions of it, since I'm digitally based.
5. Been watching some videos on environments on PencilKings! I have to work on the one big environment project.
I don't think I have any examples of environmental sketches like these from the past, but I couldn't really make out any shapes before and now I'm getting slightly better at this kind of thing. Not even better, I suppose I'm just starting to be able to make out shapes from abstract paintings. Watched a tutorial by Kan Muftic which helped me a lot. Concentrated on putting color, color, and color, and also on making sure there was some depth on these so that they would look like something. They are not very refined for thumbnails. I think I might choose one of these and refine it into a final painting, though (or make another of these sets and choose from there). I might or might not refine the others a bit more.
I watch FDZ's videos but they're more eye candy and entertaining to listen to if you're a beginner like me (at least at environments) than tutorials. Maybe after I get better, they will help me more.
Yes, I've learned about it (mixer brush tool) recently too. These brushes in the pack were supposed to be used with mixer brush as well (I didn't notice though), but it seemed like they worked fine either way (with smudging). Although just using smudging with a simple brush produces very weird results that are too extreme, don't know about the mixer brush... But in any case some smoothing seems to be helpful.
A few questions I have encountered have to do with color theory:
On the difference of color theory on pen and paper versus on the monitor. Which color wheel more closely resembles what we see in life: RYB or RGB? I would think it would be RGB because light is additive (all colors=white light) but then again, would it have the same effects it has when mixing RGB colors? Blue+Yellow=Gray? That seems counterintuitive to me, so it's something I have never noticed... I'm kind of starting to learn in depth about CMYK/RGB. When painting I usually think in terms of RYB, but should I change my thinking to accommodate the other or both?
A study of a section of a room inside my apartment. That's the bed on the bottom, I assume it should look very ambiguous to you guys. I also have no idea why the light turns orange-ish when it bounces against the lamp if the light coming from the window is pretty blue, but it looks really pretty and grabbed my attention. If someone could explain and point out what's happening that would be awesome!