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  1. #1
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    Starting a Sketchbook

    Hi, I'm Zak. Without boring you too much, I am a 17 year old aspiring concept artist currently studying video games development at college. Whilst this subject is very broad and I'm interested in every aspect of video game creation (especially the visual side), I am very much determined to specialise in concept art and have been for the past 4 or 5 years. I've decided to create a sketchbook after the idea was suggested to me by Dennis Van Kessel, a concept art student at Teeside that I pestered the crap out of at an open day, and he seemed to really get a lot out of sharing what he gets up to and receiving critique from other artists and also using it as a really good way of viewing personal progression, so I figured it would be worth doing for me as well.


    And with that unceremonious, somewhat generic introduction out of the way, HERE'S SOME ART *throws in face*


    Please feel free to critique my work to your heart's content and offer any advice that you have which could help me inch a little closer to becoming a concept artist!


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  4. #2
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    You have a lot of ideas, which is great, but for now, you need to study from life.
    I like you picked that head study, but it is really hard to do from a dark model.
    So, try to get a white plaster head and repeat the exercise, paying more attention to values and proportions.
    Grinnikend door het leven...

    Sketchbook Blog

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  6. #3
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    Will do!

  7. #4
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    Looks like your guys all shop at guerrilla group neat ideas, would like to see more studies.

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  9. #5
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    Awesome that you made a sketchbook, and you didnt pester me at all, never stop asking questions! Ive told you already what I think you should work on. I look forward to seeing more work and giving more precise feedback
    Im sure this will be a great start of your online journey
    My Sketchbook
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  11. #6
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    Hey Zak! How often do you draw from observation? If your work here is any indication, then I would highly recommend drawing more from observation. I think it's very good you're all ready doing the more creative stuff, but I think it's good to find a good balance between the creative stuff and studying from life. Maybe keep a separate sketchbook that's just for drawing things from observation. This way you can practice analying proportions and placing things properly. Also, I'd recommend doing some simple drawings of cubes and cylinders in perspective. It's boring, tedious stuff, but it will help a lot. Look forward to seeing more!

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  13. #7
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    Not very often, but I did about 4 or so hours of it today on a picture of me. It didn't go so great... (Some of the pictures are upside down for some reason, sorry about that. No idea why, I did correct their rotation after I imported themName:  IMG_2441.jpg
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    I had a lot of difficulty with this picture. I used the ' map out the proportions first then add the detail' approach for some, and the 'draw one facial feature and then draw all the others in relation to it' for others. For the most part each try (That survived the eraser because I simply flipped to another page) ended up a grotesque deformation that could be interpreted as a face, whereas the ones that looked alright I ended up erasing to try and further improve their accuracy. Oh well. At least I know what area to work on.

  14. #8
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    Did some wooden hand studies on (you guessed it) a wooden hand. It's been lying around my room for years and up until now I've never used. Also, I did some of the primitives practice that Rau suggested and worked through some more of How to Draw.Name:  IMG_2450.JPG
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  15. #9
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    Did another hour on that same picture this morning. Whilst this one actually resembles a face, I'd still not satisfied with its lack of resemblance.

    Does the key in getting an accurate resemblance lie in getting the head's shape right? I remember hearing that from Tom Rhodes of RnD Fantasy.Name:  IMG_2453.JPG
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  16. #10
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    So I've been working on a project I was commissioned for involving doing illustrations for the characters and locations that are used in someone's zombie apocalypse survival card game. This is the most recent character I've done, they're a hunter that operates in the mountains. I feel like I should have spent more time rendering her out, but because I'm trying to be quite concise with my completion rate of these characters (I'm pushing for 3 days per one) I'm quite strict on myself to move on. Looking back that the bare pose of this character, I can't help but feel dissatisfied with the final illustration. The face in particular generally just looks better to me in the grey background base pose picture. That might be because I made the lighting of her face more interesting, whereas its more uniformly lit in the end result. Also included 2 variants where one has a red bag and the other a line green one. I originally chose the lime green to go with the gas mask, but later decided that the gas mask should be an isolated element as it's drawing more attention to the face, like it should, so I tried it with red which is a result I'm more content with, however due to complications with going back to previous iterations and general tiredness I kept with the more detained green bag. I should probably revisit and revise this character at some point.

    For the texture of their clothing I did a quick jacket study. Each of these characters are a real slog and end up looking pretty garbage and like I've just wildly thrown colours at them in the end, which I suppose isn't too inaccurate. Material study is definately another thing to add to the list.
    I think I'm generally just lacking motivation at the moment, and am very time conscious that I've spent the last 2 days not working on the next character. Name:  jacketstudy.png
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  17. #11
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    Did some perspective grid study today. I also took a wild stab at some shadows.

    Also did a 30 minute sketch of a TMRU police officer from a documentary I was watching yesterday. These don't seem like the nicest guys ever, I'd go as far as to say that they're almost like a real-life version of U.F.E. from Max Payne 3, which is quite worrying. Wouldn't want to be in the Philippines at this time.Name:  IMG_2518.jpg
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  18. #12
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    Revised Francina tonight (that's the name of the character I was moping about earlier) so that now her face and posture are more readable, and she looks considerably less 80's. I also finished the 6th playable character, Dr. Quintin. He's an old guy. I've never drawn an old guy before. How'd it turn out?Name:  quintinfinished.jpg
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  19. #13
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    I drew some cringy pose studies over a holiday, as well as an incomplete study of a plant which was a frustrating experience, and I also translated a character design sketch form a 3/4 view to a front one on the plane journey homeName:  IMG_2655.jpg
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Size:  48.9 KB. I don't think it turned out that bad, and because I did it in grey scale it kinda looks like something you'd see on a wanted poster, which I think compliments the seedy and bitter nature of the character in question.

  20. #14
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    Made some tweaks to a Samurai-esque PMC design I've been working on on-and-off. I'm trying to get out of the habit of adding stuff to the design solely because of its aesthetic value and be more selective and deliberate, something I am keen to exercise with the body because for the head I was pretty much on autopilot. I looked at Kabuki masks for some general reference, and the most direct thing I took from that was the eye shape. However, I have little justification for the fact I chose Kabuki masks as an inspiration point other than I thought it might look cool. So yeah, need to work on being more deliberate. This design is meant to be of the 'Primary antagonists of a stealth game that are guarding some blacksite facility/research lab/cool high tech place or another', akin to a lot of the designs from Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, such as the Belltower guards, Belltower spec ops and Gold Mask Mercs/Shadow Operatives. So these guys would be proxy soldiers for the illuminati, which means they can look flashy and cool with their identity-shrouding outfits, but they still need enough believability to pull them back from being straight up sci-fi.Name:  16.jpg
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  21. #15
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    Nice updates Zak! Especially the figure studies are looking really good, definitely continue doing those. The characters for that comission are also looking pretty good but could use some cleaning up around the edges and overall a little moer clarity. It's really good that you posed yourself and then took a picture because that's one of the best ways to understand the pose and of course to make it accurate. It made the design really good. For the self portrait it's not bad for a first try but getting resemblance when drawing faces I think is the last thing you should worry about. First learn about their construction, the underlying skeleton, then muscles and rendering faces. And then, after all of that worry about how to get a face to look like a certain person. Our brain is so good at recognizing faces that it's about all the small and big things, so not something you want to be worrying about when starting out learning faces. Keep at it, you're doing really well!
    My Sketchbook
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