Sketchbook: le-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcher

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  1. #1
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    le-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcher

    Good mornin' CA!

    My name is Mark Chong, and I'm a former 5-year visual effects TD and 18-year programmer who left the film industry to work as a freelance storyboard artist/conceptual artist for the broadcast industry. It's been a little over a year on my own, and things are slow, and I've been spending a lot of time teaching myself the basic fundamentals. I don't do finished artwork very often, mostly because things die very quickly when I realize I'm missing something very vital.

    In any case, I joined CA.org because it seems there are some real pros here who are willing to call a spade a spade and dish out the tough love without being malicious. Feel free to give me your own special warm welcome in the tradition of CA.org, I checked my ego at the door.

    These are some of the "finished" yet flawed pieces that I've done in the past. They're somewhat embarrassing to look at, but I'm going to post them so everyone can get a sense of where I'm at, overall.

    le-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcher
    This one's VERY old. Anatomy problems abound.

    le-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcher
    This is a very early attempt at painting. It took a whole damn week because all through, I was lousy at planning. Many lessons learned in this one.

    le-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcher
    This one's fairly recent. It's messy. My brush moves before I can decide where it should go. Still, I like the idea of floating isles with big cannons on them.

    le-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcher
    This is a study from a photograph that I took. I spent about an hour on this.

    le-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcher
    This is an OLD thing I did around November for a comic project I gave to myself as an exercise.

    le-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcher
    This is the first page. There's more on my gallery but I don't want to inundate this with more of the same....

    Last edited by le-mec; December 1st, 2006 at 05:38 PM. Reason: update
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  3. #2
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    Life Drawing...

    Every Thursday I head off for a life drawing practice session for about 3 hours.

    le-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcher
    le-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcher
    le-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcher
    le-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcher
    le-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcher

    I also do a lot of subway/transit sketching and sometimes I sketch down at the beach near my house.
    le-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcher
    le-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcher
    le-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcher
    le-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcher

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  4. #3
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    Woah, really nice drawings and illustrations. Figure drawings are really nice, like the style a lot. Love the figure inventions. My only crit is that in a few of your peices, are a bit hard to read because of a lack of a focal point. The creature on the mountain and the black and white peices could use a focal point.

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  5. #4
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    Nice stuff, I like the figures and the sketches, they have a cool style to them. Also like the black and white pieces, they read well. KEep up the good work.

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  6. #5
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    Shweet, going to subscribe and hope for some good updates man.

    I second the focal point bit, The glow technique is nice but it's stealing the show. Maybe make the focal glow instead?

    Also, man those are annoying watermarks *wink wink*

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  7. #6
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    wonderful loose lines, first image has an awesome flow... the anatomy "problems" really help it IMO

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  8. #7
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    Thanks guys!

    Quote Originally Posted by Smitherines
    Woah, really nice drawings and illustrations. Figure drawings are really nice, like the style a lot. Love the figure inventions.
    Thank you for taking the time to comment! You flatter me a little too much!

    Quote Originally Posted by Smitherines
    My only crit is that in a few of your peices, are a bit hard to read because of a lack of a focal point. The creature on the mountain and the black and white peices could use a focal point.
    Yes.... I wholeheartedly agreee. I was bumbling around FAR too much trying to get anatomy and volume to read (it was also a first attempt at drawing a burly figure, and I was constantly going through anatomy books and Vilppu DVD's) and totally neglected to work out a 'photographic composition'. I didn't frame the shot, I just wanted to rush right ahead and get off to drawing a cool monster. I did that one around February, but it wasn't until earlier this week that I started understanding the importance of 'framing' my shots.

    I spend a lot of time reading animation books and drawing from life, and usually my main focus is on figure invention. It's all about making a nice solid pose, etc. The only problem is that during my studies, there was little to no emphasis on composition. In illustration, it's a whole new ball of wax. You gotta get certain elements to take up just the right amount of space, and overlap just the right amount, and point to other elements and make this whole flow. It makes it necessary to add just ONE more step to the process -- that is, to block in the shapes very lightly (without expending much effort to volume, anatomy, perspective) and make that composition work in my head... and THEN I can go in and gesture the pose and use all that wonderful volume, anatomy and perspective knowledge to draw the image.

    The black and white stuff....... Same deal. That stuff is even older, and I was just off capturing whatever images appeared to me. I guess I was so thrilled with the prospect of being able to see things before I drew them that I just rushed on ahead and wanted to draw pretty pictures....

    I also just took a quick peek into your sketchbook... You studied at the Watts Atelier? Most impressive. I learned about Watts from Court Jones, a fantastic caricaturist. I believe he teaches there...

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Smith
    Nice stuff, I like the figures and the sketches, they have a cool style to them. Also like the black and white pieces, they read well. KEep up the good work.
    Thank you also for posting! I like to peek through the sketchbooks of my correspondents, and I'm thrilled when someone with solid skills takes the time and effort to comment. I felt just a little sting of envy when I saw your traditional work. It's great encouragement!

    Quote Originally Posted by Idiot Apathy
    Shweet, going to subscribe and hope for some good updates man.
    Ohhh maaaaaaaannnnnnnn!!!!!! I'm getting my arse kicked by someone 6 years younger than me (in regards to your sketchbook). Wow. Good for you, I'm SO impressed! Over here in Toronto, I'm constantly shaking my head at all the schools here whose teachings are devoid of any sort of basic fundamentals. You've reinstilled a faith in me that upcoming generations of artists are not totally doomed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Idiot Apathy
    I second the focal point bit, The glow technique is nice but it's stealing the show. Maybe make the focal glow instead?
    Ah, this is a case of me loving filters just a little too much... Agreed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Idiot Apathy
    Also, man those are annoying watermarks *wink wink*
    Yes..... I hate watermarks too... Should I care/worry about people stealing artwork for use in posters and whatnot? I don't really know... Watermarks make it worse for everyone when it's only a few idiots who steal. It also makes it harder for people here to crit. Whatever. If someone steals, que sera, sera... Starting today, no more watermarks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ferg
    wonderful loose lines, first image has an awesome flow... the anatomy "problems" really help it IMO
    Gah -- You're too nice!! Look, even you spot something amiss that seems that I'm probably aware of already, be BOLD! Say something about it, because at the very least, someone else browsing through this thread may be able to benefit from it! Don't pull your punches with me, kay?

    Last edited by le-mec; June 4th, 2006 at 06:39 PM. Reason: fixing tags, links, etc...

    Some people stare upon a blank page and see nothing. I see endless possibilities.
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  9. #8
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    Hahaha, reinstilled faith in the upcoming generation... me? I too would love a school chock full of the fundamentals, it's what most people are missing I think. Honestly I've learned more here at CA.org and it's members than I have in my ... half dozen art classes.

    You shouldn't let the age thing bother you either, or I'll show you some 16 and 17 year olds that will make you cry.

    Kudos on deciding to nix the watermarks; just sign your stuff and keep the high res off the web and you shouldn't need to worry. The people who do steal it won't get much use out of it, but honestly I don't think you need to worry.

    Hey, so how about an update yeah?

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  10. #9
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    Simple cloud studies...

    Clouds looked great today, so I grabbed my stuff and skated to the beach again.

    I tried to put some emphasis on catching some good volume and try to suggest a little perspective. These are the relatively successful ones (but wash wasn't really cooperating today, so only one tiny fragment at the end).

    I typically stop when I feel like I'm not getting anywhere -- when my stuff starts to look the same... So if anyone has anything to say about where to go from here, please do! If you'd like to see more of a particular type of study or exercise, say so, as well. Those are things I can tackle when I'm out in the field again.

    le-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcher


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  11. #10
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    wow im really digging the way you shade im a big fan of hatching

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  12. #11
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    Without seeing very much of your work I can't say too much, but I do know the feeling of stopping when things start to look the same. I think it means you need to go experimental, untested and unproven. Go nuts! Do some clouds with a chunk of charcoal, brush and ink. Or just try and draw them differently, accentuate the softness somehow perhaps? Use line thickness to convey depth maybe? Give your self small rules and try to stick to them - perhaps how can I show this cloud convincingly with only 3 shapes?

    All I know is through experimentation I've learned so much that I can apply to everything else. It all chains together, lately I've been trying to figure out line and it's actually helped me quite a lot with painting.

    Cheers! Keep the updates coming.

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  13. #12
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    @DesperateCuban >> Yes... I'm slowly learning to exercise a bit of restraint and ease up on the drawing instrument to get some degree of subtlety. It's so important, working lightly! I have to throttle that scribbling caveman part of me every so often...

    @Idiot Apathy >> Okay... I've brought the clouds into TVPaint and did a bit of painting, but I think right off the bat, I try to go into the nittygritty details too damn soon. I need to look at the masses a little more simply. It's strange. When I work with a fountain pen, I can maintain some amount of distance, but once I'm on the computer... gah. Must... keep.. sight... of.... the... TOTAL!

    *note to self* I need to examine Idiot Apathy's work a little bit more...
    le-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcher


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  14. #13
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    LOL !

    "In any case, I joined CA.org because it seems there are some real pros here who are willing to call a spade a spade and dish out the tough love without being malicious. Feel free to give me your own special warm welcome in the tradition of CA.org, I checked my ego at the door."


    THAT WAS FUNNY


    I love these two :

    this

    and this


    they look so professional, is it your solid style or were they happy accidents or something ?

    look I dont know why I love you I just do
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  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Egets
    LOL !

    "In any case, I joined CA.org because it seems there are some real pros here who are willing to call a spade a spade and dish out the tough love without being malicious. Feel free to give me your own special warm welcome in the tradition of CA.org, I checked my ego at the door."


    THAT WAS FUNNY
    Yunno, the last time I was on ConceptArt.org seems like years ago, but since then, it's matured so much. I'd been posting on various forums and sort of languishing because of all the forum politics and popularity games and I didn't really feel I was getting anywhere -- everyone's got these velvet gloves on.

    So, when I was chattin' it up with some people on DA, one of them posted a link to a particularly brutal (and locked) thread on CA.org and I saw a hapless DA anime fan being disassembled and discombobulated through a cruel reality-check. I knew right then and there that CA was the place for me, because I've been drawing for four/five years now, but now I'm out on my own, trying to run an illustration business, but being somewhat frustrated with my own skills. I had a huge drawing slump around January and decided that I REALLY didn't know squat about perspective or volume and went straight back to drawing geometric perspectives, working on gesture and pose, and watching a lot of Glenn Vilppu DVDs.

    I want to be good. I really do, and sometime in this life, I want to be able to draw like Claire Wendling, or Craig Mullins, or Juanjo Guarnido, or Karl Gnass, or Glenn Keane, or Glenn Vilppu, or Olivier Vatine, or countless other artists who have such freedom of expression. People here seem to be as rabid about the basics as I am, and that's a GOOD thing. I'm mostly self-taught ... I never went to art school. I know my education's incomplete, but the combined knowlege of the CA community seems to be a good place to continue it.

    Sometimes artists get stuck doing the same old mistakes even though they know better and it takes a good whack upside the head to set things straight. If that's what's needed with me, I'll supply the bats(posted material).

    Quote Originally Posted by Egets
    I love these two :

    this

    and this


    they look so professional, is it your solid style or were they happy accidents or something ?
    I would call them happy accidents. Why? Because I can't pull off something like that 100% of the time. I don't dare call myself a professional artist until my work is consistently unmarred by preventable error. I need to be able to work without erasers or undos. You don't see demonstrators on Gnomon DVD's erasing/undoing large chunks of things, right?


    Some people stare upon a blank page and see nothing. I see endless possibilities.
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    Nice gestures, tho the faces don't seem right to me.


    Quote Originally Posted by le-mec

    So, when I was chattin' it up with some people on DA, one of them posted a link to a particularly brutal (and locked) thread on CA.org and I saw a hapless DA anime fan being disassembled and discombobulated through a cruel reality-check.
    DA is a hopeless community all they do is bum each other, saying nice work and OMG +fav.



    Quote Originally Posted by le-mec
    I'm mostly self-taught ... I never went to art school. I know my education's incomplete, but the combined knowlege of the CA community seems to be a good place to continue it.
    Yup, this place looks fun.

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  17. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by LEEBLEEB
    Nice gestures, tho the faces don't seem right to me.
    Thanks for taking the time to stop by. Faces were never my strong suit. Could you please be a bit more specific which faces could use work? In what way could they improve? Even if you can't give a detailed breakdown of what's wrong, your thoughts and instincts on the situation could be useful critique.

    Quote Originally Posted by LEEBLEEB
    DA is a hopeless community all they do is bum each other, saying nice work and OMG +fav.

    Yup, this place looks fun.
    Well, I've been lucky to meet some amazing professional artists on there, like davidsdoodles(who works for the Cartoon Network) or InkThinker, (a pretty good animator). I know these people are kinda far between on DA, but their work has been an important inspiration for me. If you can get past all the fan-art and photo-manipulations, it's not so bad.


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  18. #17
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    WoW! kiiiiick aaaass!

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  19. #18
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    stuter >> Thanks! I really dig your sketchbook, btw...

    Now for some pencil tests... I haven't ever taken a course in traditional animation, but it's something I'd like to be good at, hopefully, someday...
    le-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcherle-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcherle-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcher

    Okay, haven't drawn a cute girl in a while... I dunno why but nowadays I like the bookish ones...
    le-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcher


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  20. #19
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    Nice, cute style on this girl. Mind if I have a go at coloring her next time I have a hankering for some coloring?

    Pencil tests are neat too, that animation stuff is a whole nother level.

    Oh, never commented on the clouds - they look nice. I've been meaning to do some cloud studies myself. Tricky buggers...

    Edit: Couldn't help myself - I got the hankering to color something quick before bed. Hope you don't mind!
    http://img80.imageshack.us/img80/7149/sgirl28tq.jpg
    If you do mind, let me know and I'll take 'er down. If you don't mind, do you then mind if I post her up in the New Media Coloring Book?
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...&goto=lastpost
    (That's a link to the New Media Coloring Book, always the last post)

    Also, now that I got up and close with the lines - really appreciate the way you drew this. Interesting techniques, good brain food - thanks.

    Last edited by Idiot Apathy; July 4th, 2006 at 04:28 AM.
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  21. #20
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    IdiotApathy >> DUDE! That colouring job is SO solid! You should add your signature to that image too! You can post her in the colouring book...

    It deserves to be shown!
    le-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcher
    Doesn't he rock, folks?

    I think I drew the condyle on the right leg too strongly -- it reads like her knee... Ah well, I would've fixed it in the nicer pencils

    Last edited by le-mec; July 4th, 2006 at 10:34 AM.

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    Looks great... especcially that last girl...

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  23. #22
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    What's a condyle?
    And thanks.

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  24. #23
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    Well, condyles refer to the bony protrusions found at the ends of a bone. They're typically off to the sides of joints and serve as attachment points for muscles.


    Some people stare upon a blank page and see nothing. I see endless possibilities.
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    I've been bustin' my ass off doing some seemingly simple exercises... I'm animating a rotating CUBE of all things, except I'm doing it entirely by hand, without guides or drawing aids in order to help me sense perspective and volume better. I had to do this over four times today before I started to "get it" and I spent a large part of the day working on a tool that would let me flip the animation with a game controller.

    le-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcher

    And, of course, a sketchbook page of chicks, if they're hot, then they're from my perverted imagination. If they're so-so or kind of dumpy, well, then they're from life, drawing on the subway...
    le-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcher


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    Yay -- a little bit of animation!
    le-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcher


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    Back from Europe...

    Sorry for the lack of updates -- I'd been busy for a month working on some annoyingly troublesome particle effects, a commission, and then I was whisked off to Denmark and Sweden to meet with Glenn Vilppu and run his poor old hearing aid batteries into the ground.

    I did a lot of sketching and have been ruthlessly drilling various draughtsmanship skills and the past couple weeks have been a huge confidence boost for me.

    le-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcherle-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcherle-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcherle-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcherle-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcher
    le-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcherle-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcherle-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcherle-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcherle-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcher
    le-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcherle-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcherle-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcherle-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcherle-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcher
    le-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcher

    Today I wanted to do a drapery study. I also wanted to draw a hot chick. So, you get both... yay!

    le-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcher

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    Last edited by le-mec; August 30th, 2006 at 09:11 AM.

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    Nausicaä

    This took too long...

    I've also posted the work-in
    There's a higher-res version on my DA account for anyone who wants to take a closer look (without the jpg artifacts...)

    http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/40221698/

    (work in progress)
    le-mec's sketchbook - Dec 1. -sketcher

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    Last edited by le-mec; September 22nd, 2006 at 06:57 PM.

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    Good linework on this one http://www.moat-dd.com/images/portfolio/img_9.jpg, both on the contours and shade lines. Not closing off the lines on the hair is effective in showing it's lack of solidity, I'll contrast that with the thick contour lines on the Nausicaa clouds which look out of place. It also looks like her head is on her right shoulder. An anatomical issue I've noticed has to do with getting the rear view of deltoid and tricep to read, it looks like the scapula is connecting straight into the arm http://www.conceptart.org/forums/att...1&d=1156911386.
    The hands on that set of women are huge, taking away from their femininity. As drapery studies they're effective though. The gestures and line work overall are pretty good, I think giving a little more consideration to line flow and rhythm should make them a little stronger, also make more use of convex lines. I need to see you do a drawing of a morbidly obese person, it has got to be great!

    Last edited by armando; September 25th, 2006 at 12:32 AM.
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    Oh really nice. What is it with french speaking people and art...

    And why doesn't it work for me haha.

    Really like the style in your ladies, lots of spunk.

    I want to see more, keep up the good work.

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    armando >> Yeah, she was wearing this heavy sheepskin coat, which I failed to pull off... Come to think of it, I think I was relying too heavily on copying the image rather than thinking of form and flow and all the other stuff I keep preaching! I'm glad that nowadays I can look back at that image (which I thought was pretty good) and go eeechhh!!!!

    As for the Nausicaä painting -- I wound up tinting the lines (see the Creative Critique forum) -- and then last night I went bonkers and did a major paint overhaul before going bonkers again and starting the paints over again from scratch. Some lines will stay, others'll go, but what looks good in the clean lines doesn't always work out in the paints...

    As for my problem with drawing big hands -- it's a symptom of not knowing my subject! Whenever I'm unsure, I tend to draw things larger -- maybe it's like a person who's lost in a strange town who drives slowly and misses turns... Even though I've filled up pages upon pages with seemingly solid hand sketches, they're complex enough to still throw me off if I'm out of practice -- if I forget to simplify them and worry about the big forms that make up the hands first!

    I have to go and draw a morbidly obese person -- right after I finish ploughing through this Nausicaä painting. I have to go thorough some serious psychological scarring before I can do this with any speed or competence...

    That said, no matter how much factual knowledge I have accumulated to do with the interaction between light and surface, I still find the simplest painting tasks to be of great difficulty!


    evildisco >> Hah! I can speak french with some degree of skill (the parisians seemed to think so) but whenever I hear them speak, it all goes flying right over my head. But when it comes to the French (or for that matter, the European countries I've visited -- France, Italy, England, Sweden and Denmark) they've got a fantastic art history. Paris, though, is a special case, and over there, they have amazing colossal comic book stores that would blow your mind! Yes, it helps to be able to read french to fully appreciate them, but I spent a fortune on books in those stores, buying up stacks of great stuff.

    Claire Wendling, Olivier Vatine, Bengal (who's a CA resident!), Barbucci, Guarnido, Loisel, Chauvel, Gibrat, Alary, Lauffray... the list goes on and on and on!!!! Of course, there are many amazing artists in Japan, and on our home continent that I love as well, so I really want to be able to steal every bit of style and technique that I can... but... I still have a huge reverence for old pros like master storyteller Will Eisner(who's not with us any more, unfortunately!) and drawing instructor Glenn Vilppu (who was a huge inspiration to me when I went to meet him in Denmark, for the 2nd time.)

    Where does all this lead? I'm not sure exactly -- as my last battle had to do with being able to learn to see and draw form -- but now it's all shifted towards deciding just what to draw -- having to build a visual vocabulary of things to draw, and build up my compositional skills and some day have some real stories to tell! Damn it, life is just too damn short to master everything I want... I don't know if I'll ever have enough time to do things with the skills I'm scrambling to grasp......


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