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  1. #1
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    The Citybilly Sketchbook: Updated Feb. 3, 2007

    Welcome to my little corner of Conceptart and my journal / diary.

    This will be as much as my thoughts and feelings of where I am in my drawings. So what you read now may change in the future. Anyway, it should be interesting to see where this goes.

    I'm going to be upfront and let all know that I really do not enjoy drawing at all (or at least at this time of my life). I've gone to school for animation and have graduated with a good set of grades showing that I'm at least willing to work hard. I enjoy animation immensly and still want to do traditional styled animation, but I'm realistic enough to know that I'll never be hired by any company for my artistic skills. I didn't start drawing or doing any type of art until I arrived at school. So where I am at now is the difference between light and dark.

    Now the biggest part of my dissatisfaction from drawing is the fact that my eye has been trained to see mistakes, but my "artistic muscle" hasn't been developed enough to at least make "good" drawings. But that is ok, and gives me something to shoot for as I really do want to be better at drawing.

    Also, while at school, I learned that I enjoy painting and sculpture. But with that knowledge came the realization that to be better at painting and sculpture that I must become better at drawing (also learned the inverse is true as well).

    So without further ado, I present... my growth.

    Thank you for stopping by and I look forward to your constructive crits.
    Last edited by J.Willis; April 10th, 2008 at 08:47 AM.


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  3. #2
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    Sketchbook the First

    The following images are from my travel sketchbook (3.5 in W x 6 in H) that goes everywhere with me. Right now, I'm lucky to do one page a day in it as I am currently working 12 hour shifts with 3 hours travel times...ah the life of a poor game tester.

    Also, since I'm starting anew with drawing, I'll begin counting from this point forward to be rid of my 5,000 pages of bad drawings (4 pages = 1 normal sketchbook page).

    Some items I drew while I was waiting to meet my boss on the first day of work.

    A poor attempt to capture my fiancee asleep on the ferry surround by Loomis manakins (this has all the makings of a very bad fairytale).

    More copied Loomis manakins.

    Loomis manakins were beginning to bore me, so I feel back onto animation and tried to give them a bit more life.

    Manakined out here, so traveled over to Mentler's TSOFA when CA experience the time travel hic-up. Saw the post of adopting a master or something like that and decided I would do a single master copy a day of Raphael to chart improvement.

    Second attempt at Raphael.

    Number of pages completed = 2.5
    Last edited by J.Willis; August 16th, 2007 at 03:44 PM.

  4. #3
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    Nice stuff going on! I like your barrage of loomis manakins.
    remember how eyes sit in their sockets when drawing them from the side.
    Also hair has a lot of volume, it grows away from the head and is pulled back down by gravity.
    Keep going, the progress is obvious.
    -B-

  5. #4
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    I agree, very nice progress, keep it up! I find it interesting that you "hate to draw" but are doing it anyway! I suggest altering your attitude a trifle: "drawing is hard, but the rewards are worth it!" Sometimes attitude makes all the difference. You may not be where you want to be, but if your attitude is one of "I can only get better after this drawing" you will be far happier with your progress. My only crit - watch your proportions: your ribcages tend to be too big in comparison with your lower body.

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    Badger: Thank you for the advise. Going back to study anatomy from the skeleton outward is on my list of things to do as soon as I get a few hours of my life back.

    Teigrob: I will endevor to change my additude towards drawing. Thank you for calling me on it. As for porportions, yeah, they get me just about everytime. I haven't quite worked out the secret to doing them when the person is not standing straight and tall. Course, the straight and tall aren't all that proportional either now that I go back and look at them again.

    Drew this little page up yesterday. I had a rare free moment at work (well actually most of the day) and figured I'd take Badger up on his hidden suggestion and do a couple more manakins. But not feeling particularly inspired or anything, I searched for a few images of fencers. And volia, there was this one of the guy leaping in the air to land his hit and evade his opponent. Talk about cool.

    The others were taken from a Sky Vodka ad in some zine I happened across at work.
    Last edited by J.Willis; August 16th, 2007 at 03:39 PM.

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  7. #6
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    Looking good there! I think you should do more poses and portraits from ref at this point - it's certainly helping you keep your proportions better. On the lady's face, remember that the face is a cylinder and the features 'wrap around' the face. She's looking kinda flat at the moment! Keep it up!

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    Page 3 of 5,000 Bad Pages of Drawings Completed

    Teigrob: A cylinder? I hadn't thought of doing that. I'll see to doing that here soon. And thank you for the encouragement.

    Took another stab and doing a head from the same Vodka ad. The back of the head looks a little too flat to my eye, so out came the Barcsay anatomy book to look at skulls. I tried just drawing the shape and line of the skull, but found it very difficult with the level of rendering it had.

    Probably going to study skulls a bit more. Been thinking of approaching human drawing from a top down, inside out.
    Last edited by J.Willis; August 16th, 2007 at 03:14 PM.

    My List of Works
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    Page 3.25 of 5,000 Bad Pages of Drawings Completed

    Another attempt at doing a head in profile. I'll keep coming back to it, but wanted to take a shot at doing eyes after looking at Teigrob's thread. Figured, hey, why not as it's just a circle... I now understand what my teachers said about simple is hard to do. I freely admit that of all the parts of a face, I love eyes. But boy do I have a ways to go. Some look alright, others....well practice makes perfect.

    Not a lot of access to a scanner, so going to be lengths inbetween posts. Also, only another month or so to go before the 60 hour work weeks are over and perhaps, I'll get more time to draw/sclupt/paint/model to improve.

    I'm not drawing much each day, but at least I'm drawing a little. I'm starting to find drawing becoming more enjoyable like exercising. I lost a lot of weight exercising, so this means I'll get lots better (or so the theory goes).
    Last edited by J.Willis; August 16th, 2007 at 03:11 PM.

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  10. #9
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    Well, draw some more. You have some nice lines going here.

  11. #10
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    Those eyes are looking great! I can see that you're starting to really feel the form, and that's an important step. Seeing in 3d is hard for people (even people in animation school...d'oh!) so once you start noticing how the form rotates in space and are able to represent it on paper, you are well on your way to improving by leaps and bounds. Who cares if you only draw a little each day? At least you're drawing a little each day, which is better than none at all! Keep it up, citybilly - I want to see some more from you!

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    Page 4 of 5,000 Bad Pages of Drawings Completed

    Van: Thank you for you encouragement and the kick in the rear. I truly enjoy your thread and the paintings you do.

    Teigrob: Your wish is my command...delivery of a few more pages. As you will see, I'm still hit or miss on the form, but I figure I'll get it eventually.

    Well it's been a little over a month since my last post. A lot has happened during the past month, so not a lot of drawing on my part. I've moved into an apartment, moved my fiancee into her apartment (which will later be our home), filed for bankruptcy, got a small respite from 12-hour shifts (60 hour weeks) before starting them up again (ship dates and titles are so much fun), and finally decided what I wanted to do with my career. Thank the Lord that He helped me keep my sanity through all this...otherwise I would be stuck doing art with mashed potatoes with a nice jacket that only comes in white and must be worn backwards (all for fashion's sake of course).

    So through this topsy-turvy month, I didn't really draw all that much. I basically doodled here and there when I had a few spare moments that weren't filled with sleep, work, or travel. (And let me tell you, drawing on buses in Seattle is next to impossible with the road conditions they maintain.)

    Two thing, I've noticed during this time. I found that when I do idle doodles I'm a lot more looser and my forms seem to be better. Second, I really missed drawing.

    Anyway, enough of my ramblings and more of my drawings.

    Just about all these drawings are from refernce, whether is a Gustov Dore, photos on the web, or "Drawing Dynamic Comics." The right half of the second page is a combination of doodles and reference.

    My personal crits are I need to study heads, facial features (eyes and noses) more, and hands. The Gustov Dore copy has a lot going for it in terms of posing and line, but the rendering, hand, and clothing need serious studies. Part of this I know to be from trying to "see" the form from a printout that made elements darker than they should be.

    The head on the first page started strong, but once I tried the nose it flattened out. So off I went to try and understand how the nose is constructed in form....hence the drawing comic reference towards the lower portion of the last page. I'm still trying to figure out the structure of the nose and how it fits with the face. The 3/4 view gets me the most as I'm having trouble drawing through it to position correctly.
    Last edited by J.Willis; August 16th, 2007 at 02:54 PM.

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  13. #12
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    I love the lips you did on the first page: they've got volume, nicely rendered, and the form is excellant! You're a beginner, but the artist you will be shines through! Cute bull, btw - nice sense of movement, and a good feel for the bones underneath. The nose studies are coming along really well - keep those up! And the lady in the dress? Lovely - your shading is a tad tenative, but you seem to have a good idea of lighting. Keep drawing dude - and I'm glad to hear you're not drowning in life's events.

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    Page 4.25 of 5,000 Bad Pages of Drawings Completed

    Teigrob: Thanks for the encouragement. I feel like I'm still hit or miss on my sense of weight and structure, but it's coming in spurts which is better than none at all. As for the rendering...let's just say Carl Jackson was a big influence on the way I'd like to use the pencil...and his constant nudging me to draw and render at the same time.


    Not much to say lately, other than I believe it is nearly time to look for another job after today's meeting and learning the wonderful cycle of game development as the holidays draw closer. Don't know about you, but this citybilly needs food for the table and a roof over his head. So I'll have to try and figure out how to keep drawing while also getting ramped up in other skills that I'm going to need to move over to game level design.

    Anyway, here's the next quater page.

    First, I know the gentleman's nose is too wide. This was purposefully done as I was trying to figure what the ringleader of a circus would look like. After all he's showing the bearded lady and such. So wouldn't he seem a bit off as well?

    The rest is just idle drawings and trying to work out my version of the CHoW. I probably won't enter due to time restrictions, but I figure it's good exercise anyway.
    Last edited by J.Willis; August 16th, 2007 at 02:51 PM.

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  15. #14
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    I love the moose! Look at those big knobby knees! The ringleader looks very nice too - and the sword. The manequin is looking a bit stiff, though. The background looks like it's off the ground, but the feet don't match up - they look like they're planted quite solidly on the ground. Just indicate the ground better, and that'll solve the problem.

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    Page 5.5 of 5,000 Bad Pages of Drawings Completed

    Teigrob: Thanks again for the crits. You are right about the manakin. Originally, I thought I'd have the person sliding across the ground then decided to change it without thinking about the feet. A definate oversight on my part that I'll need to be aware of in the future.


    Well not a lot of updates going here. Been a little over a month and not much to show. I'm aggrivated at myself for not drawing more and the only way to get rid of that aggrivation is to just draw. During the month, I went to a life drawing session and felt so inadequate. The pencil felt foreign to my hand, again another reason to draw a little bit each day. But with the rush to get the last few games finished for the XBox 360 launch and then getting disbanded the Friday, November 18th, I guess it's not surprising that I haven't drawn much.

    On the plus side, Harry Potter 4 was good.
    Last edited by J.Willis; August 15th, 2007 at 06:35 PM.

    My List of Works
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