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  1. #1
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    Julia's Sketchbook

    Hello everyone!

    I'm kinda back again! Somewhere around here I have an old sketchbook lurking, which I haven't used in years (and most images are missing now). So I feel like giving myself a fresh start now while trying to get active again. We'll see how it goes, but I miss the forum days and having things in one place.
    Not so much a student anymore by now in terms of lifestyle (I'm working in the industry since 2012), but still far from where I want to be and lot more to learn ahead!

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  3. #2
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    Now, let's get the Party started!

    First, some personal pieces I did last year.

    Name:  goldenApples.jpg
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    Name:  theMoon.jpg
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    Name:  shadow.jpeg
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    Name:  moro.jpg
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    And some more recent stuff:
    Name:  FabricOfReality.jpg
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    Name:  somethingWicked.jpg
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    Name:  2011.jpg
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    Any kind of feedback is welcome!

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  5. #3
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    Wow. What an awesome start! Really like the second to last one with the demon thingy climbing down the building. Now that you've finished school and have been working for a couple years it would be interesting to hear what your goals are now. Do you feel like trying to get better at art because you feel like you should or are you trying to get somewhere? Are you just trying to improve your overall technical skill or on one particular thing like storytelling? Also, how much time outside of work do you spend on studies/personal work?
    Progress is so slow I'd rather rub lemons in my eyes.

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  7. #4
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    DoctorCoco:
    To answer your questions: I'm trying to get somewhere. More precise: I wanna be a Magic - The Gathering Artist. My heart is deeply connected to fantasy art, but it's simply horrible to make a living out of that in Germany as a Freelance Artist. Where are some companies that give you consistent work... but the rates are not that good. So I have to cram in a lot of rather low quality work to earn enough to pay my bills. But that burns me out and kills every creative spark I have over time. Which is kinda not worth it.
    Soo... I have to improve to get where I want to be. Main focus is or should be on improving storytelling right now, as well as more cinematic compositions. And maybe pushing the realism. Though improvement on technical skills never stops anyway. So that kinda goes together while hopefully the other parts get pushed a bit more as well.
    I have no specific time frames though for studies and personal work. I hope I can get back to have something akin to an actual schedule, but for the time being I have to work with what my mental health let's me do. I switch around between things like Schoolism Classes and personal illustrations. Usually the client work takes priority though and everything else takes the backseat behind the deadlines.
    As this sketchbook get's going, I will see that I post the study stuff as well

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  9. #5
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    My current WIP. I have some ideas for the background, but so far it's not quite coming together. Need to give it some time.
    Name:  heart_of_darkness01a.jpg
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  10. #6
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    Oh my god haha. The whole time while I was looking at your portfolio I was thinking why is this person working on stylized games when this person obviously should be doing Magic the Gathering/fantasy type work. Have you heard of One Fantastic Week podcast with Pete Mohrbacher. It's mainly fantasy artists talking about how to make money selling art but the reason I bring it up is because it reminds me of where you're at. Pete started out working on stylized mobile games before transitioning to working for MTG and now makes a full-time living selling personal work.

    Anyways, I don't have a lot of time to post but I'll definitely be lurking about!
    Last edited by DoctorCoco; 4 Weeks Ago at 05:25 PM.
    Progress is so slow I'd rather rub lemons in my eyes.

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  11. #7
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    This is the new sketchbook right? This is awesome!

  12. #8
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    @DoctorCoco
    Thanks for stopping by again! So nice to have somebody to talk to here
    MTG has been my goal for a long time, but I'm a bit of a slow learner. So for the time being, I take whatever job keeps me afloat, as long as its somewhat fun. And I actually don't mind working on stylized games. There was some fun to have in that production. But it's not where I want to stay all the time. So I keep on working to make my dream a reality. And it's nice that more and more people get a bit of a MTG vibe from my work without me stating that beforehand. I take it as a sign that at least I'm on the right path.
    The first pieces up there I painted last year in preparation for Trojan Horse was a Unicorn - knowing that Cynthia Sheppard would be there. I managed to snatch portfolio reviews from her and Karla Ortiz. I still use these now as my guideline to improve and hopefully reach the level needed to join their illustrators. In a best case scenario same of their feedback shines through in the newer stuff. I try to be mindful about it. I'm always a bit disappointed in myself that I can't pick up a better pace, but it is what it is.

    I've never actually listened to the 1FW Podcast. I know Peter and his work for many years and sometimes read some cool blog posts by him, but I never dug deeper into it. Looking at their list of Youtube Videos right now, I wonder why it never really caught my attention.
    Any specific recommendations there?

    @edgarej
    yep! that's the one! Thanks for your visit here!
    (and by now I found out how to fix my signature, woohoo~)


    Another update here before I go to bed... I'm super blind to any f*-ups right now. Basically, anything looks odd and wrong. I'm gonna love myself for having that online in a few days. Lol.
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  14. #9
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    It feels like the eyes are too close to each other. In general that pose is difficult to do. Overall I think you got all the proportions and foreshortening right for that angle... except for what I mentioned of course.

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  16. #10
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    Cynthia Sheppard and Peter Mohrbacher are two of my current favorite artists. I love Peter Polach too, but he's less of a fantasy artist. His youtube channel (Apterus Graphics) is worth checking out, his workflow is extremely educational. He messes up his colors a lot on purpose then repainting with the hue he wants so he can get layers and layers of different color skin tones. He is a digital artist though... which reminds me, are all your work digital? Some of them looks like it's scanned in. If it's not digital, what medium are you working on?

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  18. #11
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    I'm really impressed looking at your paintings and as someone who's illustrating in the field like some other on the forum, you're someone who I have big respect for. With your recent painting, I think everything looks good, but I think the fingers on his hand are a little too long because the knuckle joints are about halfway on the whole hand, They're halfway, but since the fingers are a little bent thy should be shorter.

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  20. #12
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    @edgarej: nah, it's all Photoshop for me. I only play with textures and some brushes to have it not look too artificial. Though I always thought it still appears very digital, even if just because of the colours I choose.
    I only gave a quick Google search to Peter Polach now. Didn't know him - but seems really cool. Thanks for introducing me to him!

    @Zaulta: thank you for you nice words and your feedback! Gonna incorporate that as soon as I get back to working on the painting.

  21. #13
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    just a small update with a master study. Have been too busy with client work this week.

    Would love to get a better understanding of their use of colour. Reference by Jean-Leon Gerome
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  22. #14
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    update on this one. should be done for the most part. I hope. lol

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    Name:  portrait081.jpg
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    little portrait practice

  24. #16
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    I took a look at my notebook today and everything I've written down during Trojan Horse was a Unicorn last year. One of the topics I've barely touched upon so far is my brushwork and brush Economy. So I focused my studies on those today
    Name:  masterstudy_juni19_01.jpg
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  26. #17
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    bold choice great reward... awesome studies!
    "Have only 4 values, but all the edges you want."
    Glen Orbik

    "To any man who has slaved to acquire skill in his art, it is most irritating to have his ability referred to as a 'gift.'"
    Andrew Loomis

  27. #18
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    thanks sone_one! I'm not sure about the reward part. I'm good at doing lovely studies, I'm bad at connecting dots and really have it show up in my work. I hope at some point it will pay off. I keep on trying.

    Today's studies.
    Karla Ortiz said something about working without brush opacity to learn about brushwork and painting with intent. So I tried to paint with the pen pressure off... That failed horribly rrgarding the intended goal and was only interesting in practicing shapes. Now I wonder if I should keep pen pressure and just make sure I keep the basic opacity values at 100%? I have no idea D=
    Name:  photostudy_juni19_01.jpg
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    another study where I tried to simplify a photo and take more control about the colours and style, not feeling like a slave to the reference
    Name:  photostudy_juni19_02.jpg
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  28. #19
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    today's studies. All where done with a 10min timer. I'm not used that, so no wonder if they look horrible. But I guess timed studies could be helpful to get a better idea of brush efficiency.
    Name:  bodiesinmotion2.jpg
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  29. #20
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  30. #21
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    only had the time for a quick warm-up today
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  31. #22
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    I really like your sketchbook. I love the themes, and your way of painting! but definetly this, and the tiger skin one, are the ones I like the most,because they're so vibrant and warm. Keep up the good work! ^^

  32. #23
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    Thanks for stopping by, xoxdid! Which piece did you like besides the Gerome-Masterstudy? It's not quite clear to me rn.

    no study today, but my first illustration for Humblewood. It was a bit on short notice, but fun
    Name:  avium_render1e.jpg
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  34. #24
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    i think theres a lot to like about that illu, but the plant on the right in the midground, is throwing me off... it has too many values, so it becomes a focus thing, my eyes keep going there, only to go "duh just a plant"... it took me quite a while to even notice the awesome skeleton behind it. mass your values more.

    that beeing said... good work. keep going.
    "Have only 4 values, but all the edges you want."
    Glen Orbik

    "To any man who has slaved to acquire skill in his art, it is most irritating to have his ability referred to as a 'gift.'"
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  37. #26
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    sone_one: value structure and value grouping are still some of my bigger weak spots, where I'm figuring out how to solve it. But slowly getting there, I think! Thank for your feedback!
    edgarej: glad you like it!

    Warm-Up study
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  38. #27
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    Oh, this is so good. I really like the work you're doing and the quility, and it's so great to see you keep doing studies to levelUp your skills

    It's interesting that there's a lot of people wanting to work in MTG, years ago I was one of them but something changed when I started to see the works of Sterling Hundley, George Pratt, Edward Kinsella and the likes, the I realized I wanted to work more in the veins of editorial and expressionism. My little story on how my artistic goals change.

    Keep the good work, I hope to see more
    "Know yourself. Express yourself. Master yourself"
    Instagram -- Sketchbook - Color 1.1 1.2 - Composition 1.1 1.2 - Drawing 1.1 - Illusion

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  40. #28
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    motato: thanks! I specifically made this sketchbook to beat myself to do more studies again and having a good way of tracking it. Have to do something to reach that LevelUp!
    For me the career path is pretty much about wanting to do Fantasy art. I kinda need that escape and never questioned that part of what I want to do. Choices bounce more back and forth between illustration and concept art, never completely falling for one or the other, so I kinda do both. MTG combines a lot of what I like with a level of artistic skill I aspire to, so it seams like a clear choice. even if it feels unattainable for me at times. It's good to have an idea of where to go, and yes - also realizing if there's change in goals and knowing if something else would be more fitting.


    Warm-up sketches of the day. Focus on expressions, because I ain't good at painting them.
    Name:  expressions02.jpg
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    Rant to myself (because I have to write things down somewhere)
    Super frustrated right now. Half the year almost over, and I have like... 2 new images in my portfolio that I can consider good enough. A few more things where I tried to step up my game and failed. And as much as I know I need to embrace the failure and to keep it up, I'm afraid of it. But there's no safe way to level up, repeating myself won't get me anywhere. I have no idea how to bridge that gap. There has to be some path I can take in between being too save or sending myself down the path to hell where I fall apart mentally. I don't question challenges half as much as they come with client assignments. Of course I'll do it, and within the deadline. Challenging myself? Doesn't go that well. And half of the time I'm paralyzed just having to choose an idea to work on for potential portfolio pieces, not wanting to work on something that might be stupid or not worth it.

    Just for the sake of it, a little overview of personal paintings 2019:
    Name:  2019_overview.jpg
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  42. #29
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    Oh what the heck, I feel like I need the overview of everything I did this year (except client work, cause NDA), so let's throw in the studies that predated this sketchbook.
    Name:  overview1.jpg
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    Name:  overview2.jpg
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Size:  177.0 KBName:  lesson6_assignment2a.jpg
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    Name:  lesson7_assignment.jpg
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    Name:  lesson8_assignment1.jpg
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    Name:  lesson1_iron_assignment1.jpg
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    Name:  lesson2_gold_practice1.jpg
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  43. #30
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    "The evil Twin" or something. An idea I wanted to sketch at least. Not sure if it's worth to continue.
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