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  1. #1
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    Nymx's Sketchbook

    [12/11/2014]
    Hi, my name is Nicholas Yu, this is my first time here, and i'm in awe and slightly overwhelmed by all the amazing art in this place. I do hope i can match up to said art in due time.
    My dream is to become a decent professional concept artist/illustrator by the age of 30 (now about to hit 20 another 2 weeks from this post).

    I've been wanting to improve my work for a long time, and figured that having a place where people see the work i do and can give me advice will greatly help progress.

    This thread is not one that will likely have a daily update sort of thing due to personal issues, but i will attempt to keep up a relatively steady flow, and hopefully have some new updates each weekend - updates in the sense that i won't just upload one singular sketch - unless it's a painting.

    In this sketchbook thread likely you will find a lot of fundamental practice and studies, as I have figured out that is my biggest weakness in my path to becoming a professional illustrator/concept artist.

    TL;DR I'm a newbie pls halp

    If you're interested in looking at some of my existing works (assorted 2D and 3D), you can find my up to date portfolio here.

    I welcome any feedback and hope you like my work. If you don't like it/see issues with my work, please dont hesitate tell me what i'm doing wrong, i'm here to learn and better myself at this.


    With that, here are a few recent sketches i've done for practice.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    [P.S. These were taken with a phone camera. I'll be trying to use a scanner the next round, but i'm not certain if the one i own is still working.]

    Notes on the attached sketches :
    The first seven attached images are a series of more or less random doodles/sketches, testing out a new pen and a new small a6 sketchbook (i've found out it makes it less of a pain to do daily sketches and such, especially since i dont normally have a lot of time and most of my free time is on a crowded train.). The anatomy sketches were copied from Michael Hampton's book, an attempt to aid in my limited understanding of it. I'm not certain if it's truly helping me, but it's a start.

    The last 8 images are of my work following a tutorial for mech design, a weakness i've found myself struggling with quite some time. The tutorial has so far helped immensely understand why i've been unable to generate interesting mechs before this. The first of the eight was done before the tutorial, and i couldnt understand why it didnt feel as "cool" as the sketches by for example, Scott Robertson. After watching the first part of the tutorial, i'm beginning to see how to approach the design better, and am looking forward to seeing what i can create at the end of the entire tutorial. I will be posting up more of these of my progress through the tutorial.
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    Last edited by Nymx; November 15th, 2014 at 01:10 AM.


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  3. #2
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    Are there any attachments to this post? Looking at your website, your background scenery is very well done! Do you use actively use the rule of thirds in your artwork?

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  5. #3
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    Ah.. I think the moderators have approved my incomplete post..? I can't really tell - on a mobile. Ill try to sort it out in the next twelve hours or repost a new thread. I AM supposed to attach it with the Attachments button and not link it right?

    Thanks, and yeah, i try to. It's one of the few things about composition that i think that it've figured out.

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    Yup! If you use the attachments button, it'll automatically be at the end of your post. I'm sure you can figure it out without having to make a new thread.

    That's really impressive and it's fantastic to see something I've read about being implemented in other people's work. I have a lot to learn about composition from your work! Can't wait to see what you post next.

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    I had issues organizing it though - they seemed humongous when they uploaded in the post preview.

    It is? I thought it was fairly basic stuff, but thanks! You should give it a shot, its actually easy, using crop preview gives a instant free rule of 3rds grid.
    Last edited by Nymx; November 14th, 2014 at 12:38 AM.

  8. #6
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    I'm fairly new to approaching art technically, I've always drawn without much thought until I joined this forum. Seeing the things I've been studying/reading about is always fascinating to me! I'll have to add composition to my list of things to practice next, thanks!

  9. #7
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    Ah, okay, I understand. Best of luck!

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    16-11-2014 Update.

    [16-11-2014]

    I've attempted to use my scanner, but it turned out to be of poorer quality,
    so i've continued to use my phone camera, and the quality doesn't seem to be too bad.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    Notes on the attached sketches :

    First three images are the last of the silhouette sketches for now.

    The next three are anatomy sketches i copied from a book i purchased trying to understand the various parts. They aren't entirely correct, including one or two mislabel-lings i've done due to my own mixing up of details. But everything is more or less true to the original images i was copying from. It may not be proportionally right but it's helped me understand for instance why the forearm isnt just one straight cylinder.

    Next two are sketches of joints, part of the same exercise as silhouettes, i've given myself from following the tutorials i own to study. The purpose i believe is to come up/discover with as much interesting joints as possible for my own visual library.

    The remainder of the images is of me struggling to figure out how to do the subreddit /r/ArtFundamentals first exercise.

    It took me a while trying to get the grip right so that my marker pen was actually dropping ink, and took me a while to realise i was using too much force, and of course kept reverting to wrist when i stopped focusing on it. I do realise it's really rough ugly work, but i figure it IS part of my progress isn't it?

    I was actually in a bit of despair halfway through the ellipses, then i recalled about another artist speaking about how during the time he was forcing himself to do fundamentals, it brought a lot of failure into his life, but he pressed on and now he's happily working in his dream line of work (or so i think he is). Or something along those lines anyway. It pushed me on.

    I didn't exactly complete the exercise's full parameters but i ran out of free time for the weekend so it'll have to wait till the next update, i think.

    Thanks for taking a look. Appreciate any feedback you might have.

    p.s. can someone clarify the purpose of practicing ellipse drawing, a friend asked, and i'm not exactly sure as to it's purpose either other than being able to get better at freehanding them.
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    Hey Nymx great start, I really like the silhouettes some have some really cool design, are you going to take any of them a bit further or will you just keep them as silhouettes? Drawing elipses is indeed great for improving freehanding them but it basically teaches your muscles how to draw all kinds of rounded shapes, so if you want to make clean line art the more you do these elipses the better and cleaner your line art will be. You wont have to do a specific line 6 times to get it right but you'll get it right the first or second time. Same for drawing pages and pages filled with straight lines that is great practice! I think you should slow down on the anatomy stuff, I think going all detailed in on the muscle groups and such before you can draw the figure correctly isnt a smart way of going at it, try and do some lose figures with simple shapes like boxes and sphere's there are alot of tutorials on the web on different kind of skeleton structures for gesture drawing. I would suggest getting better at lose gestures and then going in depth on the different muscle groups and such because you can see you havent drawn alot of figures in those studies. It seems like you are working very hard and practicing the right stuff, hard work will pay of!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Kessel View Post
    Hey Nymx great start, I really like the silhouettes some have some really cool design, are you going to take any of them a bit further or will you just keep them as silhouettes?
    Thanks! I believe i will be working with them further. I'm going through a four part tutorial for this, and the silhouettes are half of the first part. I'm still tackling the Joints studies half of the first part, and when that is done i will probably take some of them further. The tutorials are recordings of classes, so i figured i should follow the programme the teacher set for his students rather than rush ahead and likely trip in the process.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Kessel View Post
    Drawing elipses is indeed great for improving freehanding them but it basically teaches your muscles how to draw all kinds of rounded shapes, so if you want to make clean line art the more you do these elipses the better and cleaner your line art will be. You wont have to do a specific line 6 times to get it right but you'll get it right the first or second time. Same for drawing pages and pages filled with straight lines that is great practice!
    I see. Thanks. Incredibly dull, but i guess that's what fundamentals have always been,

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Kessel View Post
    I think you should slow down on the anatomy stuff, I think going all detailed in on the muscle groups and such before you can draw the figure correctly isnt a smart way of going at it, try and do some lose figures with simple shapes like boxes and sphere's there are alot of tutorials on the web on different kind of skeleton structures for gesture drawing. I would suggest getting better at lose gestures and then going in depth on the different muscle groups and such because you can see you havent drawn alot of figures in those studies. It seems like you are working very hard and practicing the right stuff, hard work will pay of!
    I see. Well, i'm working on this detailed anatomy because in the past four years i've been at school i have found it lacking in the drilling of fundamentals, and i HAVE been doing a lot of gesture drawing/figure drawing (similar format to what the Pixelovely site has to offer) but i barely understand what i draw, and thus miss out important contours (for example, the forearm extensor). I have only had one or two assignments where we were tasked to copy printed anatomy turntables, but we never looked beyond it as a tedious task, or went into any particular detail. But I HAVE been doubting this approach I SHOULD probably return to doing some gesture drawing though, you're right. It seems like there's an endless amount of the different kinds of studies i have to tackle.
    Thanks for the encouragement. Really appreciate it. Best of luck to you too! Can't wait to get better at the craft!

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    Ellipses

    Hey Nymx. Thanks for dropping by my sketchbook. You have an amazing start already! Regarding ellipses, I recently struggled with them so I ended up doing a lot of research in their construction. Since I like machines they are important for me to understand. It's important to practice drawing them freehand as well as understanding the minor//major axis, how they change in relation to the viewer, horizon line, how multiple inner concentric ellipses relate to each other etc. Here are some links to get you started on what I mean. Let me know if you have more questions.

    http://userwww.sfsu.edu/trogu/420/re.../ellipses.html
    http://www.deep4d.com/pages_tuts/art/art-wheels1.htm
    http://www.deep4d.com/pages_tuts/art/art_humvee.htm

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  15. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by crankshaft View Post
    Hey Nymx. Thanks for dropping by my sketchbook. You have an amazing start already! Regarding ellipses, I recently struggled with them so I ended up doing a lot of research in their construction. Since I like machines they are important for me to understand. It's important to practice drawing them freehand as well as understanding the minor//major axis, how they change in relation to the viewer, horizon line, how multiple inner concentric ellipses relate to each other etc. Here are some links to get you started on what I mean. Let me know if you have more questions.

    http://userwww.sfsu.edu/trogu/420/re.../ellipses.html
    http://www.deep4d.com/pages_tuts/art/art-wheels1.htm
    http://www.deep4d.com/pages_tuts/art/art_humvee.htm
    Thank you, and thanks for the links. I'll be sure to study them.


    EDIT : NOTE TO SELF :
    Rescan and reupload basic joints from part 1 of mech tutorial together with next update.
    Last edited by Nymx; November 18th, 2014 at 11:29 AM.

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    Paltry update this round, been really burned out by my part time job. I'm changing to something different in a week or two as my stint there is ending anyway.

    I only have two images i forgot to include with one of my earlier updates, and a sketch that i'm likely not going to continue.
    I started out on it inspired by the upcoming Witcher 3 and recently released DA : I (God i want to play that game), but halfway through my initial vision of what the painting was meant to be wasn't there and ditched it. It probably didn't help that i didn't sketch up at least a thumbnail to figure out what i really wanted and got lost in the process.


    It also probably doesn't help that ever since i felt my work had begun to stagnate (about a year now) i've been feeling mighty discouraged. Granted i've found short bursts of encouragement, but something feels different. I no longer have the same desire that i had initially to paint daily, to have something cool to show, that i always end up feeling like the work will end up trash. Anyone have/had the same issue?

    In any case since work is ending at the end of the next week, i reckon potentially i'll have more time for myself AND practicing work. My next job might be a little more relaxed too.
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  17. #14
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    Great updates! Since you're learning to draw mechs as well, you can look at a lot of automotive engineering to add believability to your drawings. Eg Look at connecting rods, pistons, the inner workings of a car engine.

  18. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by crankshaft View Post
    Great updates! Since you're learning to draw mechs as well, you can look at a lot of automotive engineering to add believability to your drawings. Eg Look at connecting rods, pistons, the inner workings of a car engine.
    Thank you.
    Yeah, that's something I was meant to be doing this week. I'm supposed to be studying joints and such, but I ran out of ideas on what to draw after those two joint studies in the 2nd update. I'll take a look at the workings of a car engine for stuff to extract, thanks! Otherwise i'll just try to think up of more joint combinations and how they would work.

  19. #16
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    Another paltry update, because i suddenly had to prepare for an interview i wasn't expecting to get.
    Just a quick photobash, because the lack of practice was starting to bug me. Roughly two hours worth of work. Not too pleased with how it turned out, but it was worth a shot. Included the version from the first hour, because i couldnt figure out what worked better.

    Thanks for dropping by.


    7-12-2014
    No update. I've been doing actually quite a number of sketches, but i've decided some of these i'll keep to myself for now, figure out how to work them out as paintings, then render and post em up. I'm also still trying to figure out the joint practice exercise thing - I think i'm missing something about the point of the exercise, still figuring out what other joint variations exist for me to draw.
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    Last edited by Nymx; December 7th, 2014 at 10:02 AM.

  20. #17
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    Update. Bunch of sketches i managed to do while commuting about.
    Really wish i had the fire in my veins that so many of the people here seem to have to keep going full steam.
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    Great updates! The ring in that painting reminds me of Halo. However, I don't think the bright white of it matches the color palette of the rest of the painting. As for motivation, have you tried getting art books based on your favorite artists or games? I have a Halo art book and I get inspired to create every time I look at it. I'd love some older Final Fantasy art books but those are hard to find.

  22. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by crankshaft View Post
    Great updates! The ring in that painting reminds me of Halo. However, I don't think the bright white of it matches the color palette of the rest of the painting. As for motivation, have you tried getting art books based on your favorite artists or games? I have a Halo art book and I get inspired to create every time I look at it. I'd love some older Final Fantasy art books but those are hard to find.
    Thanks. Yeah, thats sort of the look i wanted. It was added in as an afterthought really, as i didnt really like how the photobash turned out. I just wanted to create something and i had just watched Interstellar that week (fucking awesome)

    Inspiration : Yeah, i have. I havent really purchased any like, artbooks that are just purely art rather than instructing me in fundamentals except the art of GW2? My issue really isn't with not seeing enough cool stuff (see plenty on a day to day basis on fb and tumblr), it's more of the feeling like i'm not making any progress. Every now and then i see a professional artist give inspiring encouraging words, i pick myself up again and try, but the feeling quickly fades, seeing how stagnant my progress has been over the past year or so. I feel like plenty of the fundamental work escapes my mind's grasp and understanding.
    Yeah, final fantasy artbooks are great but hard to get one's hands on. I would love to own a copy of at least one book of Yoshitaka Amano.


    EDIT :
    No update this week, hectic workload, but i managed to find time to study more of the videos i own and take down notes. I did make some sketches, but they were REALLY loose and probably wouldnt make sense to anyone (other than me disliking them), and the next task revolves on picking one of the silhouettes i did (which i now have decided that i hate ALL of the silhouettes i did) and am now trying to figure out a simple 2d silhouette for the next part of the tutorial.
    Last edited by Nymx; December 22nd, 2014 at 11:45 AM.

  23. #20
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    Sorry for the lack of updates. I am no longer able to promise any weekly update, especially with so much things to prepare for now that ill soon be conscripted. Also i should probably just buy a full featured scanning app. Does anyone know a good one? I'm currently contemplating purchasing the Tiny Scan Pro version. Buying it will probably make the uploading process a lot less frustratingly time consuming.

    The sketches here are mostly a mix of 30s, 2 minute, 10 minute sketches from an event.

    Standstill on mech tutorial because after going through my silhouettes once more i am not satisfied with any of them that i wish to bring further into the tutorial. Rather frustrating, really.
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  24. #21
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    Good to see you again! Nice pictures by the way. Since you sound frustrated, when it comes to drawing remember to take small steps. It's common for me to work 11 hour shifts a day with my job. Try to build a routine or fill you SB with meaningful studies, that way as you progress you have tangible proof that you are moving forward and improving. Eg Get a drawing book such as Scott Robertson and do every page and watch your SB grow.

  25. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by crankshaft View Post
    Good to see you again! Nice pictures by the way. Since you sound frustrated, when it comes to drawing remember to take small steps. It's common for me to work 11 hour shifts a day with my job. Try to build a routine or fill you SB with meaningful studies, that way as you progress you have tangible proof that you are moving forward and improving. Eg Get a drawing book such as Scott Robertson and do every page and watch your SB grow.
    Thank you for coming by again. 'ppreciate it.
    I see. Yeah, i'm trying to make it a rule to do a bit of work each day - at the very least one simple sketch.

    Getting a book : Yeah, i went out and purchased two sketchbook compilations - one of ImagineFX. I'm also now trying to go for a regular sketching session that other artists go to.
    Again, thanks dude. :>

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    Sketchdump from another drawing event.
    Mech Design work is underway again, finally nailed some silhouettes that seemed more promising. Refraining from uploading until i have more to show than just the silhouettes and shape blockouts however.
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  27. #24
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    Great work! A bit hard to critique something so rough but maybe try varying your line weights? Also remember to "draw through" see the objects as they were made out of glass.

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    Update. I chucked a mix of things in here. Here's a update on the mech tutorial thing. I'm trying to learn how to control my line weights - don't really know how other than lightly scratching pen. Used a 0.4 pen for the 2d profiles. Other than that its a page on anatomy, a page on ellipse drawing, a buncha pages where i drew boxes for some reason and i can no longer recall what it really is for. There should be another update next week if all goes well - going to another drawing session this weekend.

    Thanks for dropping by.
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  30. #26
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    Nice studies! They're a bit hard to see and critique but some of the lines on the boxes don't converge properly or are distorted (too much converging). However, keep these studies up because they will pay off! I work on machines and draw machines so if you need help with the mech let me know!

  31. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by crankshaft View Post
    Nice studies! They're a bit hard to see and critique but some of the lines on the boxes don't converge properly or are distorted (too much converging). However, keep these studies up because they will pay off! I work on machines and draw machines so if you need help with the mech let me know!
    Boxes : Noted. Don't have an update because something i had before the drawing session took longer than usual and i missed it ;_;
    Thanks!
    I don't particularly have any problems, but if you know where to get image references for joints and so on please do let me know - Like those studies that i did several posts before on the various types of joints. I honestly have yet to use any of them (that and no inclination to do so as i dont particularly understand them), so i figure its possible i might need more practice?

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