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    Kuroro's Sketchbook

    Hello everyone! I've been drawing for about two years now, but lately I don't feel like I'm improving much and that's why I've decided to sign up so critiques are welcome
    From now on I'll try to post on a daily basis pretty much everything I draw. Here are some of my latest works.

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    Here's what I drew today

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    These are the things I drew today

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    Lately I don't really have a lot of free time so I'm not drawing as much as I'd like to, anyway today I did these.

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    Ops, I forgot to post yesterday

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    Your hand studies and blocked shapes are quite good!

    One thing I'm noticing with a lot of the more rendered gesture studies is that they seem stiff. The outlines are clean but they don't have much motion and the form seems incomplete. Many of the line-and-joint ones seem a bit more free-flowing. When drawing the base sketch, perhaps use more exaggerated curves to suggest motion and then build the form off that.

    I found this video was helpful for me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJWLaDSNBAI

    I would also suggest doing some studies of arms. To my eye, your grasp of leg shape is pretty good. The arms, in comparison, seem less formed. (I should take my own advice, arms are the bane of my drawings...tricky bone structures! Grr).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beakyree View Post
    Your hand studies and blocked shapes are quite good!

    One thing I'm noticing with a lot of the more rendered gesture studies is that they seem stiff. The outlines are clean but they don't have much motion and the form seems incomplete. Many of the line-and-joint ones seem a bit more free-flowing. When drawing the base sketch, perhaps use more exaggerated curves to suggest motion and then build the form off that.

    I found this video was helpful for me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJWLaDSNBAI

    I would also suggest doing some studies of arms. To my eye, your grasp of leg shape is pretty good. The arms, in comparison, seem less formed. (I should take my own advice, arms are the bane of my drawings...tricky bone structures! Grr).
    Thank you so much! I followed your advice and spent some time working on arms as you can see below, also I'll keep in mind what you told me about my figure drawings and try to push things a bit more in the future.

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    Nice, some of those arm studies are looking good ^^ I particularly see improvement in the ones where you've defined the musculature. Props to you for doing bone and muscle sketches!

    I remember doing Loomis skeleton studies in a class (like this). They're good for gesture studies because you can keep a loose, flowy quality but have a little more substance to work with. I found that it helped me picture how the body masses might be formed on top of the gesture.

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    Thanks for the comment on my sketchbook! Great start! Don't have really much to say right now but keep it up and compare yourself to other artists!

    "What are these barriers that keep people from reaching anywhere near their potential? Fear or laziness?" -Waking life
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    Thanks Uyeno!

    Beakyree thanks for the kind words as for Loomis' skeleton I don't really like it honestly, to me it seems a bit too elaborated to be used for quick gesture drawings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuroro View Post
    ...as for Loomis' skeleton I don't really like it honestly, to me it seems a bit too elaborated to be used for quick gesture drawings.
    Totally fair point. There's particular types of gesture drawing that I just can't get my head around either. Like the scribble method :/

    There's some good motion going on in the top image there; the fighting-type poses in the lower corners particularly. The characters are starting to look more believable as actors in 3D space - you can start to see that they're in the middle of doing or being.

    In terms of the portraits, one thing to watch out for is eye and mouth placement. Flipping the canvas every so often will help point out any crookedness or misplaced features. I actually think it would be cool to see the male portrait as a completely high-contrast piece. His hair is quite striking - it might be a fun study to block in shadows and light on the face with equally stark lights and darks. Just a thought ^^

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    Thanks! Today I tried that tip about flipping the canvas and found it to be very useful Anyway I'll come back to the portrait I did yesterday when I'm a bit better so as to do some sort of "draw this again" thing too

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    I definitely see improvement! The rendered gesture studies are looking a lot less stiff overall. The males are a still a bit blocky, though - it might be worth doing some extra work with them. I would imagine they're harder to render (at least in my experience) because they don't have such obvious curves to work with. Something that helped me was finding some reference photos and making a few quick over-sketches to see where the curves are. Males do have them! They're just a lot more subtle and often located in different places because of their muscle mass.

    I notice you like to draw headshots. Something that you might enjoy is doing some hair studies! Reference photos from runway fashion shows are often fun to draw - sometimes the models have some pretty crazy elaborate hair ^^ It's also fun to take a sketchbook on the bus, to a library, or a coffee shop - somewhere that has lots of people who will be sitting still - and make sketches of their hairstyles. Plus it's good practice to draw things that are around you!

    Keep it up! You're doing really well with drawing on a regular basis.

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    Thanks Beakyree! I followed your advice and decided to focus mostly on male figures today

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    The mouth and jawline on the upper portrait are quite nice ^^ They were the first things I noticed about that particular painting...definite potential there!

    There's quite a bit of upper body stiffness going on in the male gestures. Don't be afraid to give them a little bit of spinal curve too ^^ Men quite often lead with their pelvis while walking or standing, and this gives them a good amount of angle in the lower back. It may help to represent the pelvis as a box - I personally find it's more suitable for the male shape and provides some stability.

    The eye placement in the anime headshots is quite good and the face shapes are believable. I also really like that you usually draw them with different expressions instead of making them blank-faced all the time! I'm noticing some misalignment on the mouths in the 3/4 and profile shots, however. Lips on an angle can be tricky to draw, but when done right they really help make for a solid portrait. It's actually a lot of fun to sit down occasionally and draw facial features separately (ie: not on a face). You can grab a bunch of reference photos of different face angles/shapes/races and go to town with a page of noses, a page of mouths, a page of ears, a page of eyes...

    I'm not sure if I'm being helpful or not since I'm still learning all this stuff myself lol. ANYWAY. At the very least, hopefully some of it is encouraging! All art can be conquered given time and determination and it looks like you've got both - keep it up ^^

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    Actually they're all coming in pretty handy also since I usually don't know what to practice (I follow a daily schedule I made up) it's good to know what I should focus on. So thank you so much for keeping an eye on my sketchbook
    Anyway I thought about studying the features individually but I don't really like that idea because when I'm drawing a face I try my best to convey a certain look and I feel like the only way to achieve that is to work with them all simultaneously, besides it helps with the whole getting the placement right problem

    Today I tried to do more stuff from my imagination and I also copied a bunch of poses from screenshots I took while watching an anime on my pc just for fun

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    Haha, that's good then ^^ I'm enjoying seeing what new things you post!

    True enough. Solitary studies can sometimes turn facial features into symbols instead of part of a whole. I found it had the opposite effect for me: once I learned the basics of drawing each feature, I could spend more time arranging them on a face and less time on figuring out what they should look like ^^ Especially since I still have a bad habit of making all my noses and chins look the same...

    The male poses are looking more fluid this time round - good job!

    Have you ever done any studies of cloth draping? Hang a t-shirt on a hook, put a cloth on the table, throw a dishtowel across something bumpy... it's a good way to learn about how fabric interacts with objects around it. Good for when one wants to draw clothes! One of these days I plan to study the blankets on my hammock when the sun hits them in the morning. It makes all sorts of interesting wrinkles and hanging folds!

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    Yesterday my internet connection refused to work , anyway Beakyree I was thinking about studying drapery too and since I also wanted to start painting using some colors I tried it today, nothing impressive but not too bad either I guess

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    This is what I did today

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    Today I began to draw some clothed figures

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    Love the improvements Kuroro! Are the last figures from imagination? They're very nice!

    "What are these barriers that keep people from reaching anywhere near their potential? Fear or laziness?" -Waking life
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    Sorry for not commenting sooner :/ I've been busy the last few days (and also dealing with dodgy internet, strangely enough!)

    Woohoo, clothes! Clothes are always exciting ^^ The first couple of color drapery studies are looking promising! I know they're just quick studies but something that often helps any digital artwork is sharpening up the edges. The folds right now are very soft and a bit smudgy - a little hardness here and there can add to the realism by showing how the fabric hangs and what kind of material it is. In the pencil figures, I find the clothes seem to be all angles, which is really stiffening up the characters. It's good for thick, rigid materials like marine leather and denim, but if you're drawing a t-shirt or a gown, it needs to have softer curves and more flowing lines. I often end up with this problem as well when I focus too much trying to draw the outline of the clothing instead of its effect on the form underneath it. You might find it beneficial to take the same sweeping, loose motions used in gesture drawing and apply them to drawing clothes.

    Another thing that might be good to keep in mind is relative head size (actually, just body proportion in general). In some of the later rendered gestures, the heads are looking awfully small compared to the bodies, and the clothed figures are very skinny and long-limbed. It's a good idea to draw proportional figures for awhile before doing stylized drawings, as this helps you learn which proportions can be exaggerated without looking awkward ^^

    That being said, you're totally putting me to shame with the sheer amount of practice you're putting in Keep it up!

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    Hi there Kuroro! I see steady improvement in your sketchbook! Other than the proportion issue that Beakyree has mentioned, I'd like to add that for the b/w face and figure value study you could also try paying attention to the edges (hard/soft) of light and shadow; these subtle details would push the realism!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uyeno
    Love the improvements Kuroro! Are the last figures from imagination? They're very nice!
    Thanks man! Actually those are from reference sort of I looked at a magazine and then made a few modifications (pose, hair and/or face) according to what I thought I could do to make the figures look more lively

    Quote Originally Posted by Beakyree
    The first couple of color drapery studies are looking promising! I know they're just quick studies but something that often helps any digital artwork is sharpening up the edges. The folds right now are very soft and a bit smudgy - a little hardness here and there can add to the realism by showing how the fabric hangs and what kind of material it is.
    Thanks a lot! I'll try and work on that tomorrow (today I just painted a cap because I didn't have a lot of time and so I went for something "simple")
    Quote Originally Posted by Beakyree
    Another thing that might be good to keep in mind is relative head size (actually, just body proportion in general). In some of the later rendered gestures, the heads are looking awfully small compared to the bodies, and the clothed figures are very skinny and long-limbed. It's a good idea to draw proportional figures for awhile before doing stylized drawings, as this helps you learn which proportions can be exaggerated without looking awkward ^^
    You're definitely right! I checked out a few videos on youtube about proportions and found this helpful chart made by Proko which helped a lot

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarada
    Hi there Kuroro! I see steady improvement in your sketchbook! Other than the proportion issue that Beakyree has mentioned, I'd like to add that for the b/w face and figure value study you could also try paying attention to the edges (hard/soft) of light and shadow; these subtle details would push the realism!
    Thank you for the advice! I tried it in the portrait I did today, I kind of failed miserably because I got caught up in details and lost sight of the general picture, but overall I'm starting to grasp the concept I guess it's just a question of time now before I am able to paint them naturally

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    That chart is exactly what I was thinking of! (well, not quite so specifically, but the general idea of measuring proportions by head height anyway).

    The cap looks much better with a balance between hard and soft edges - it takes up space on the page instead of being a flat smudge ^^ Even in an unfinished state it's definitely helped out the portrait as well! See how much more defined the forms are?

    I'd challenge you to occasionally add clothes to some of your figures in motion. Fabric behaves differently against a body that's moving as opposed to standing. Unless one is doing a portrait sitting or a fashion sketch, having a more dynamic piece is more interesting in a visual sense ^^

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beakyree
    The cap looks much better with a balance between hard and soft edges - it takes up space on the page instead of being a flat smudge ^^ Even in an unfinished state it's definitely helped out the portrait as well! See how much more defined the forms are?
    Yeah it's working very well! In the portrait I did today I also tried focusing on texture (I played around with brushes a bit ) and I feel like I'm slowly getting better, even though every time I look at something I did for some reason I only seem to be able to see the mistakes

    Quote Originally Posted by Beakyree
    I'd challenge you to occasionally add clothes to some of your figures in motion. Fabric behaves differently against a body that's moving as opposed to standing. Unless one is doing a portrait sitting or a fashion sketch, having a more dynamic piece is more interesting in a visual sense ^^
    Challenge accepted tomorrow I'll certainly give that a shot

    Today I had some extra time so I did a little fan art too, however I ended up wasting a lot of time on the lineart using the pen tool, no matter how I use it the method is just too time consuming in my opinion, I guess I'll have to figure out some other way to get decent line quality

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    No worries - lineart tends to be fussy and take a long time no matter what method you use ^^; (When I do it, I'll do a rough sketch, double the canvas size, do a tidier sketch on top, zoom in to 200% to clean up the tidy sketch, redraw parts as necessary, adjust the line weight, halve the canvas size, and only then use it as a lineart I like the hand-drawn look, unfortunately). So don't feel bad if it seems to take longer than you think it should!

    T-shirt looks pretty good. White objects are always a fun to do studies on because they pick up every color around them! I would soften a couple of the fold edges just a smidge, since T-shirts are usually soft and drapey, but the placement looks good.

    For the paintings, I would leave off the added texture for now. The main thing to focus on should be getting the shapes and values accurate. That being said, if you like having the additional texture there, I would recommend doing the entire painting with a textured brush instead of adding texture later. I recommend this brush set - it has some very good, basic brushes. They're not magical, but sometimes it's helpful to use something a little more custom than the Photoshop defaults.

    In some of the sitting poses the leg/hip joint seems to be positioned too high. I would also recommend doing some foot studies to get an idea of what feet look like at different angles. For example, the girl wearing high heels and jeans looks quite natural until one gets down to the feet. (Though to be fair, high heels are kind of a nightmare to draw in anything other than a side view haha)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beakyree View Post
    No worries - lineart tends to be fussy and take a long time no matter what method you use ^^; (When I do it, I'll do a rough sketch, double the canvas size, do a tidier sketch on top, zoom in to 200% to clean up the tidy sketch, redraw parts as necessary, adjust the line weight, halve the canvas size, and only then use it as a lineart I like the hand-drawn look, unfortunately). So don't feel bad if it seems to take longer than you think it should!
    I'll try that out tomorrow, thanks for the tip

    Quote Originally Posted by Beakyree View Post
    T-shirt looks pretty good. White objects are always a fun to do studies on because they pick up every color around them! I would soften a couple of the fold edges just a smidge, since T-shirts are usually soft and drapey, but the placement looks good.
    Thank you, clothes seem so difficult to render to me, maybe it's because I've only started working on them a few days ago, but sometimes I just feel like giving up halfway through anyway I'll keep trying until I get how to paint them decently

    Quote Originally Posted by Beakyree View Post
    For the paintings, I would leave off the added texture for now. The main thing to focus on should be getting the shapes and values accurate. That being said, if you like having the additional texture there, I would recommend doing the entire painting with a textured brush instead of adding texture later. I recommend this brush set - it has some very good, basic brushes. They're not magical, but sometimes it's helpful to use something a little more custom than the Photoshop defaults.
    Today I used textured brushes too but I think I did a better job balancing the use of textured and non-textured ones, despite some soft edges that aren't as soft as they should be anyhow tomorrow I'll try out the brushes you linked me

    Quote Originally Posted by Beakyree View Post
    In some of the sitting poses the leg/hip joint seems to be positioned too high. I would also recommend doing some foot studies to get an idea of what feet look like at different angles. For example, the girl wearing high heels and jeans looks quite natural until one gets down to the feet. (Though to be fair, high heels are kind of a nightmare to draw in anything other than a side view haha)
    I'm going to pay more attention to the placement of the hips from now on, thanks As for the studies I did some today, but I'm not really satisfied with them, so I'll do some more tomorrow

    Anyway Beakyree I just wanted to thank you for all the support and the critiques, you're awesome!

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    Today I didn't really feel like painting anything, but I did that anyway and I probably shouldn't have anyhow I'm kind of happy with the last figure I drew from imagination(the boy wearing the hoodie)

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    Hehe, it's not just you. Clothes are tough. A single misplaced shadow or highlight and the whole thing goes to pot!

    One thing I'm noticing in some later pose drawings is that the female frontal views appear to have a bust that's too wide. A natural chest usually won't spread out that much. (Of course it'll differ based on what sort of body type you're basing it on). On the average body type in a front-on view, you might be surprised at how little the bust actually extends past the ribs on the sides.

    When drawing in side view, it's even more important to have curve to the body. (re: the sheet with the three headshots and sideview bodies). Human legs do not go straight up and down. They're almost shaped like an S. I hope you don't mind, but I took the liberty of doing a sketchover of your drawing (because I'm bad at explaining with words lol)

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    Take this with a grain of salt - I didn't measure or use a reference so it's really not accurate. I just wanted to sort of demonstrate what I personally find useful ^^

    I like to try and draw my 'skeleton' with curved lines, even if the final figure will be mostly 'straightened'. It seems to help hint at that underlying bit of movement and make the figures seem more lifelike. You can see how curvy I made the leg 'bone' lines, even though the actual outline of the legs aren't quite as exaggerated. I also dropped the bust to a more natural position and emphasized the S-curve of the spine to balance out the pose. On the left, she's leaning forward very slightly. (Mine is slightly off balance as well now that I look at it, bah!) I think you get the point though lol. Mostly I just wanted to show a looser pose with a bit more dimension.

    When doing hands, be mindful of the proportions of palm to fingers. It's very easy to have the fingers start too low. I'm seeing improvement in the foot studies between the two posts ^^

    ...I had more but my mind just totally blanked on me. So I'll leave it here with a simple 'keep it up!' Daily discipline is the key ^^ (...says the person who hasn't drawn in three days "OTL)

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