Holy crap it's been a long time since i've been here! Everything is great! The Yellow Bloodsucker was extremely well thought out, and carried out. I love how you're writing all this stuff about your creatures, it's pretty inspirational to read all of it. By the way, your skill at humans has grown tremendously! i salute you
Incessant Doodlings of a Wandering Mind (my sketchbook)
"Avoidance of what you can't draw well doesn't stimulate growth." -Cory Trego-Erdner
"Only the mediocre are always at their best."-Jean Giraudoux
Sorry for the long time with a lack of updates, people. I've been rather busy and/or overwhelmed for the past few days. Working, school work, social life, etc. Once again, there's no update for today either. I'll scan some sketchbook pages in tomorrow, I hope.
Anyway, I have some pretty big news. I've decided to take my life, and my interest in concept art, in a new direction. Recently, Maxine Schacker, the director of Max the Mutt animation school in Toronto, announced the school's brand new concept art degree program. There's a thread on it in the education forum of this site if you want to check it out. The class list looks incredibly well-rounded, and the tuition is a fraction of what American schools cost, so I'm going for it. I emailed them about it, and they're accepting early applications for 2008 this August, so I'm going to be busy adding some new pieces to my portfolio for that. Traditional media pieces, mostly, so that'll be something different for me.
So, that's my life plan for right now!
redSpade- Let me know when, man. I'll be here.
Lazy- Thanks for the crits and comments! I'll work on those soft edges. Really, I will.
Ignonimious- You're back! Yay! Thank you so much for your comments.
So, the Max the Mutt mood swings have already started. I alternate between being sure this is what I want to do and excited about going to a new place, and being plagued with doubt, as I am now. Rather exhausting. There's also the stress of having to tell my family that I'm thinking of picking up and moving to Canada.
Anyway, the updates:
-Some hive/rock structure things, and some hip studies from whathisname, oh yeah, Bridgman! I got tired of drawing hands.
-I got the idea of drawing an evolved descendant of the elephant. Rather than being big and bulky, like practically every elephant species in history, this critter would be small, nimble, and gazelle-like. However, it proved to be quite a challenge to design a creature that was lithe and agile, but still recognizably elephant-like. These drawings weren't very successful.
-More legs! And some terrible cars!
-More legs, a weird antelope thing, and some Arabian dude with a turban and a scroll. I have a library book on historical costumes, which I referenced liberally for this fellow. I'm pretty happy with the way he turned out, except that he looks a bit too gentle and Jesus-like.
-Hey, look! More legs. Also, the first drawing I've done in preparation for my Max the Mutt portfolio. One of the pieces that must be included is a room/interior. So this is my loft bedroom. I like the way the perspective turned out.
And there you have it.
Great job as usual, Moai. Loving the way you handle your sketches. Those "Lousy Cars" look like they would fit a humorous comic or cartoon. Like mister Bean or something like that. Can't catch my eye on anything to critizice. Sorry. Stop being so good and you might get something from me, dangit.
Anyways, I especially love your anatomy studies. I don't know why, but I find them somehow... fascinating.
Keep up the good work.
Hey dude, nice SB you got yourself here,
Nice update tho, nice bridgman studies, looking good! Very Very nice lines in all your sketchs, there small but sweet These hands are just great, http://www.conceptart.org/forums/att...1&d=1183137593. I do actually have a crit, post more work!!!!!!
Monsterkill- Thankee, sai. The reason I call those cares "lousy" is because...well, I have know idea what I'm doing when I'm drawing them, and it's frustrating. Anyway, you're making me feel guilty for not commenting in your sketchbook, so I'll go do that presently.
Edit: Thank you too, Qzxi! I'll will post more work. I've had an off week until today.
Right after posting these images, that is. My mood has shifted the other way and I'm feeling more optimistic than I was in my last post. I tell you, these shifting moods I have sometimes are darn tiring. One pleasant thing about this whole school business is the amount art I'm being motivated to do. Everything in this update I drew in the past few hours.
So the images:
-Climb down the ladder from the interior in my last post and you'll get this view. My bedroom is the loft space up at the top. This one is more complex than the last one, since it has two vanishing points (one of which is somewhere off the right edge of my paper). It's not quite as successful as by bedroom piece, though. I didn't place the vanishing points that well, so there's some warping going on on the left side of the image. Anyway, continuing the tour of my house...
-Head down the hallway in the previous image, turn left, and you'll get this view of the bathroom. Actually, you'll have to sit down to get this specific view of the bathroom, but that's irrelevant. This is another easy old single vanishing point pic, except for the door, which is at an angle compared to everything else. The main flaw with this image is that the objects are disproportionate to each other. The toilet and the shelf over it are too small, compared to the counter at left.
-This is actually on the same piece of paper as the previous image, but I scanned them as two separate images because they're oriented differently on the page. This is just a fun little jester/masquerade ball dancer/duelist guy with a fun feathered mask and a fun feathery...arm-thingy. I'm mostly pleased with how this guy turned out, even if the sketch is quite rough. His little "sidekick" on the ride is a darn mediocre sketch, though. The hands are also portfolio practice. I have to do a drawing of my hand.
-More hand practice. These were really fun. Each hand is done with only a single line, so the emphasis is put more on feeling the forms, rather than on technique. The hands themselves are a bit of a mixed bag, but I'm much more happy than unhappy with most of them.
Fine. Now I'll go critique some sketchbooks.
Hey Moai, nice new updates. Strong leg studies, and cool Arabian guy. I like the clothing and folds. Did you use any reference for this guy? Strong perspective studies as well, something I should practice. Like the last character, interesting design to him. Not much to really crit. Good luck at that the school in Toronto. I might be ending up in Vancouver early next year.
Hey, Moai, sweet progress since I've been here last! The perspective studies look sound and I'm really digging that last character design (and the contraposto. those figure/structure studies are paying off!) Also, that 3-d modeling stuff is awesome! The long-legged elephants remind me of a piece I saw by Dali once, but they do look more solid. Maybe you could try looking up tapirs to give you more elephant ideas?
I don't know what else to say. I still love your animal studies, but I'm happy to see other subjects too. Good luck with Max the Mutt!
Hey, everyone. I'm getting back into the swing of things here. It's been a relatively artless couple of weeks for me. I've been having mood swings and serious second thoughts about this whole Max the Mutt business, and I felt guilty about drawing or painting stuff that wasn't for my application portfolio for that, and I was procrastinating, and I was getting stressed out and depressed. To top that off, when I did whip out the old acrylics and try to do a still life, I couldn't mix the colors right, my paint tubes were sealed shut (I had to cut the white open with scissors to get to it, so I guess I'll need a new tube of that) and the result looked like such consummate crap that I'm going to paint over it at the next opportunity. So basically, I'm putting off making a decision on Max the Mutt, and I'm not going to try to get my portfolio done fast for early admissions in August. Also, I did a quick calculation of MtM tuition for four years, plus the monthly rent at a reasonably priced student housing building, and found that going there would cost be $52,000, not counting things like groceries, clothes, going out, riding the bus, etc. So yeah. Whatever. Anyway.
Yautja892- Thanks, man! I referenced his costume and turban, but the wrinkles and anatomy were from my head. Where are you going in Vancouver?
Katfay- My gosh, I am so dense. I was on facebook the other day, and I finally connected the dots that you and this Kat Nicole person are one and the same! I know exactly which Dali piece you're talking about. I might look at tapirs, but I think the whole gazellephant thing is already behind me now. Thanks for the comments!
So, here's what I've done since yesterday.
-An environment speedpaint/WIP. I've decided to take a page out of Monsterkill's book and start structuring my weekly art-making. This one will count as my external environment for this week. It's sort of a cross between Mordor and the atmosphere processing plant from "Aliens", which I just watched this morning. There are some great exterior environments in that movie. Anyway, the style of this piece is somewhat influenced by the artwork of CA artist Theo, whom you might look up. He does nice silhouette-based environments that often have tilted horizons. I want to take this further, because straight, hard things like these structures are a huge challenge for me to paint, and I need challenges.
-Yay for alt+drag! This began as a design study for Dan Simmons' character, Mahnmut, whom I sketched a month or so ago. I was happy with his body but not with his head, so I sketched out several ideas. Once I got to the bottom row, I moved away from Mahnmut and started going in my own direction. According to the text of Simmons' novels, Mahnmut's face is smooth and featureless except for a light-sensitive visor/strip thing. So I moved more in a binocular-head direction.
-I got lucky with my second-to last concept, and started painting him. For now I'm just calling him "Friend." I'm going to practice rendering different materials with this guy, so parts of him will be shiny, light-blue metal and other parts of him will be dark, purplish plastic.
Hey Moai!Very good studies and bots.Keep up with the good work!!
WOW! The last one is gorgeous!
Love the hand studies! And can I leave here without saying how awesome your creature studies are?
awesome stuff.. loving those studies, especially this page of hands http://www.conceptart.org/forums/att...1&d=1184187948
also really like this http://www.conceptart.org/forums/att...1&d=1184888751
Hey nice update. Cool designs for that last character. From your head concepts for the character I actually like the third one from the top and the first one in the middle row. I think you made a good choice though, that one has a lot more character and personality to him. Nothing to crit this time, I'll wait until you push the painting a little further.
Edit: Yeah about Vancouver, I'm debating on applying to VFS (Vancouver Film School) in Oct/November. Majoring in their Visual Effects and Animation Program with a focus in Modeling. Around August I'm going to make a transition in 3D once again, but I will keep up with the 2D of course. Main skill sets I would like to have at some point to a professional level are Character/Creature Design and Illustration, 3D Modeling and Texturing.
Last edited by Yautja892; July 21st, 2007 at 08:39 PM.
dont stress out; usually its just a phase. i go through that every three months, lol. but ive come to realize that whenever i do that, by the end of the crazy shit ride, i find something new in terms of my art skill. i guess, if i was to geek out here for a second, its like im leveling up and you have to come close to dying first to get all of that experience points to get stronger faster...
anywho, digging that robot piece. its cool that it has textures to it, they definitely add detail and not let it make too photoshop-y. also i dig the color pallette on that enviro piece.
keep it up; hope all is well; see you soon.
Camara- Thanks, buddy!
Bard- Thank you as well. I'm going to give you a nice big Crit Week critique sometime this week, so just you wait!
nethus- Thank you. I like those hand studies, too. I'm going to have to do more studies like that.
Yautja892- Thanks, sketchgroupie! Yeah, it's hard to make a face with personality with so little in the way of features. That school you're going to sounds cool. Hope everything works out great for you there!
redSpade- Thanks for the support, man. Yeah, I go through the phases too. Some of them aren't very fun, like the "Omigosh-I'm-not-drawing-nearly-enough-and-I'm-making-no-progress!!!" phase. And I totally get your geek analogy. Comparing life to a computer game definitely works sometimes. Thanks for the comments on my robot. I'm going to do a little bit of hand painting over those textures in the background anyway, just to make them a little more my own. I'm looking forward to our eventual sketch-meet, man!
The images today:
-An update on my robot. I was getting away from the initial expression I had in the sketch, so I scrapped the painting layer all this was one and did it again in the next image. I also darkened up the background so that the bright little fella would stand out more.
-The direction I was going previously was loosing that big-eyed, innocent look I had going in the sketch, so I did it over again with this one. I started making his metal parts look more metallic by adding distinct shadow cores, like you see on his eyeballs. I also gave him some flexible plastic mouthparts and an adorable little smile. I imagine his character as a robot originally meant to be a companion for children, and even though those days are long past (do to revolution or evolution or something), he still retains his happy, playful programming. I just might have to do some paintings of his adventures. That'd be good fun, and nice practice.
-I'm painting a flamingo for my aunt's birthday. That's pretty much our tradition. The first piece is just practice, and the second one is the beginning of a full-fledged digital piece that I just wasn't feeling, so I abandoned it.
-Here's step one of the acrylic painting I decided to do instead of a digital one. This is painted over that crappy still life I was talking about in my last update. I love painting loose, abstract areas of color like this. It's one of my favorite things to do with traditional paints.
-Uber-roughing the flamingo in. His neck is too thick along its length to be correct in the exaggerated perspective I have him in.
-The current state of the painting. It's still very rough, and I haven't added any shadows to the flamingo yet. I'll try to take a decent photo of this when it's done.
-Three photos of my palette, corresponding to the three steps of the painting above.
-Only two sketchbook pages for me today. I haven't done many Bridgman studies lately, so that's probably why I have so few pages. Anyway, not much to talk about on this page except for the characters on the bottom. Those tusked beings are doodles for the Heavy Gunner ChoW. I had no plans of actually entering, so these are just doodles for fun. He's a troll of some kind, with design elements taken from Deinotherium. The other guy, the rather creepy one, began as a drawing of an ape, but ended up being a semi-caricature of this incredible morbid-looking man who comes into my work every so often. Seriously, this guy makes the food critic in "Ratatouille" seem fun and carefree. Very artistically inspiring, because the guy oozes character, even if you wouldn't necessarily want to hang out with him.
-Here we have by deino-troll's gun. It's some sort of quasi-organic four-barreled blunderbuss, or something. It has a little shoot in the back where you can just pour ammo in. Also, some studies of birds from reference, done in the same single-line style as the hands I did earlier. I think next time I'll take a less abstract route with these studies.
Ahhhhh...Acrylics. If you have any questions about how to use them just ask me. Well, the thing about the flamingo is that you're not building any structure or body with the paint. Does this make since? The flamingo has no form and no relation to the background. Try using a nice, textured surface like canvaspaper and first doing a transparent underpainting with a bright, warm colour like Red Iron Oxide (this will help to unify all elements in the picture), then paint the flamingo and the BG on top at the same time (not the background, then the flamingo!) Also, GOLDENs are the best Acrylics ever!
Yeah, and your sketches are great as usual. My fav is the strange old man in the black suit.
Thanks for the crits and comments, Katfayheirti! What you say about the way I set up the painting does make sense, but let me explain a little bit. Yes, I was a little sloppy and half-assed in setting up the flamingo. However, that last photo was taken at a time when I hadn't started rendering the shadows yet, so of course the flamingo is rather formless. But you're right, my process with this was all wrong. I did the background first, then a general shape of the flamingo, then the lit parts of the flamingo, then the shadows. I've looked at a few painting tutorials, including the one on this site by William Whitaker, and I know that there are much more correct ways to paint. As sort of an explanation, I painted the complete background first because I'd already painted on this canvas (I lousy still life) and wanted to make it a clean slate again, if you will.
So yeah, I have a question about acrylics. What's your method for starting a painting? You already mentioned doing a bright underpainting. Do you just do a monochromatic study with that, and then paint over it?
Golden Acrylics are the best? Sweet! I'm using a few tubes of those.
Edit: I also have a palette knife question. After I mix paint with my palette knife, it usually has a bit of paint stuck on it which I can only get off my wiping it off with a towel/napkin/rag, and thus wasting that paint, or by scraping it off on the edge of my palette. I use one of those long, skinny palette knives. Is there a different kind I can use that doesn't have this problem?
Last edited by Moai; July 26th, 2007 at 12:11 PM.
GOLDEN are the best line of acrylic. today a golden representative was suppose to come to our class. she usually gives us free paints but she didnt show up today =(
im trying to experiment with a different method of painting lately (im normally more expressive when it comes to paints and just go for it). some people like to paint in a completely monochromatic underlay and paint it over with colors. im really pushing my black and white phase right now.
good luck with that phase man!
Yeah, what I generally do is start with the warm underpainting like I said before. Sometimes I draw out what I want to do with a small paintbrush loaded with burnt sienna first and let it dry, then I take a huge brush or a wet paper towel and slather some really watered-down burnt sienna or red iron oxide all over the canvas. Before the watery paint dries I take a rag or a paper towel and scrub out lighter areas for where I generally want highlights to be. I don't usually do a full value study and I never never add white to the underpainting. Adding white gets rid of the nice, beautiful transparency of the red iron oxide or burnt sienna. I let everything dry (you can use a hairdryer to speed up the process) then I come back and paint the final painting on top of the underpainting. Most of the time i try to work the highlights and shadows at the same time. It's usually good to use a lot of medium for the shadows and let the warm underpainting show through them a little to give them a nice rich depth. For finishing touches I usually use a little bit of pigment in large amounts of gell medium and kind-of glaze it on in layers. I've found that this adds some nice subtle variety of colours and gives you more control with manipulating the paint.
I hope this helped some. I'm sorry I don't have pictures of all of these steps. I'm sure it would be easier to understand them if I did.
Um....as far as pallette knifes go, I'm not sure. I only ever use one for getting my white paint out of the little tub it's in (all of my other colours are tubes) and I just scrape any extra paint on the side of the tub. You really don't need a pallette knife to get paint out of tubes if that's what you were doing.
So, I'm on vacation in Oregon and Washington right now. I'm visiting a few relatives, including my cousin's brand new baby that I've never seen before. So, no updates from me until sometime late next week. I don't know how much time I'll have to comment on the rest of you guys either. So yeah, I'll try to draw every day so that I'll have plenty to post to make up for this absense.
redSpade- That value study/underpainting thing sounds like a good idea. I'll try that.
Katfayheirti- Thanks for the huge response! Very helpful. I have some questions.
What medium are you talking about? Gel medium? I have a few containers of various mediums around, and I think one of them is gel. What are the advantages of using medium to thin paint, rather than simply using water? I've heard about this transparent shadows, opaque lights approach before. It seems like a method that a lot of artists like to use. Also, after looking at a few tutorials in the fine art section, it seems that a method many painters like to use is to just put tiny dabs of color on the canvas just as "place holders," so that they can see how their color relationships are building up without having to cover everything with paint right from the start.It's usually good to use a lot of medium for the shadows and let the warm underpainting show through them a little to give them a nice rich depth.
As for the palette knife, all my paints are in squeazeable tubes. I use the palette knife mostly just to mix larger quantities of paint. I usually only mix paint with the brush when I just need a tiny bit for a small area, just when I need a little dab of something else. Mixing larger amounts of paint with the brush leads to a loaded brush and a waste of paint. I usually end up wasting a little bit of paint anyway with the palette knife, so I was just wondering if using another size/shape of palette knife would lessen the problem of paint getting stuck on the palette knife and me having to scrape it off on the side of the palette or wipe it off on a rag or something.
Hey man! thats why I haven't seen you much on the CoW forums, you're on vacations! I didn't know haha. Hope things are going well, Im just watching the CoW section not been participating hehe...xD Very very very good sketchbook, hope to see more soon...I started a sketchbook like...yesterday haha, hope to see you around there and drop a comment.(heh this is what people always say when they start a sketchbook!!??) Take care.
Hey everyone! I'm back from my vacation. I had a great time, and met my newest and youngest relative, my cousin's new baby daughter. I also had a few strange and memorable experiences. For example, we were walking down the street in Seattle, and there was this clown making balloon animals. Seemed harmless enough. But when I walk by, he hands me this paper, and it's all 666, New World Order, personal microchip mind control conspiracy/doomsday theory stuff. So yeah. Weirdo.
RedSpade- All is mostly well. I need a good helping of motivation, though. Thanks for stopping by.
Arn. J- Thanks for visiting, man! I'm very impressed by your sketchbook as well.
Yautja892- Thanks, pal.
So, this is just a small update of the stuff I've scanned since I got back home. I didn't actually draw very much on vacation. I was visiting with relatives, having fun, reading the final Harry Potter book (it was awesome!), and besides, my mechanical pencil ran out of lead and I forgot to bring my little thing of replacements. Regular wooden pencils just don't quite do it for me anymore. Though I didn't make much art, I did observe the hell out of the world around me, looking at light and shadow and colors and speculars and radiosity and all that other stuff that us artists seem to talk about.
Also, I've made a new decision about the direction of my work. For each piece that I do, I will use it as an opportunity to teach myself something new. Kinda-sorta what I've been doing, but now I'm being extra conscious of it.
-The central robot was done with a mechanical pencil the day before I set off on my trip. The other doodles were done in the car with a wooden pencil, hence the lesser line quality. Anyway, the mechanical pencil robot is easily the best robot I've ever done, even if I wasn't extremely successful in giving it a "classic car" aesthetic. Also, it's pretty much the first figure that I've ever done in proper perspective. I'm happy with the result, though his far arm seems too high. He has the best robot hands and feet I've ever done, too. As for the other images, random critters and robots, a very shabby baliset concept (an instrument from the Dune universe), and a sketch for an environment I intend to paint.
-A detail sketch of the previous robot's hand, some sketches of my aunt's cat Thor, a creature design, and some heads of various quality. The robot hand and the cat sketches didn't turn out that great. The cats look like they have a little mongoose or marmoset in them or something. I'm somewhat happy with the two rightmost heads, but the left one is crap. The Dinursasaurus (terrible bear-lizard) is moderately successful. It was directly inspired by a sketch by CA.org artist Caskin, who has commented here a few times and whose sketchbook you should definitely visit. The armor plating on its back isn't quite what I was going for, and the back legs are too small and floppy and anatomy-less. And they're in incorrect perspective. As for the concept behind the creature, it's a very large, powerful, and burly carnivore. It's very strong, but not agile, so it specializes in taking the kills of other predators. Its armor defends against both those predators, and against rival Dinursasaurs. So there ya go.
-A figure, drawn without reference. Most of the ideas I'm getting lately are character ideas. This was going to be some sort of sexy, fur-wearing woods witch character, but I was so happy with the way that the figure was coming out that I could bear to draw the complete rendering over it. So, I'm (probably) going to complete her digitally. I noticed after drawing her that she is off balance. I put her center of gravity right over her weight-bearing leg, rather than somewhere between the two legs, so she is somewhat unbalanced towards the right. Also, some doodles for some sort of strangely-armored warrior character, and a rifle doodle for another character sketch.
And finally, I may not work any more on that little big-eyed robot fella. I like his design still, but I've been doing some research and some observing of shiny surfaces, and I've him all wrong. I may just start over on the rendering, if I find the motivation.
At last an update!!Well..not much but it´s ok!!Those little robots are sweet!!
By the way,I implemented some of the crits you made on my heavy gunner in my last work,Moai.Come to my SB and tell me what you think!!
Camara- Thanks! I don't see that update image you were talking about in your sketchbook, though...
So, here's what I've done in the past few hours. A little character design I call the Metalhead, for obvious reasons. He's some sort of futuristical priest/aristocrat/dictator guy, and has obviously been roughed up a bit. His neck brace is based off of an image of some sort of dirt bike neck guard that I found on google images. I also used reference for the skin tone and the ear, and layered several textures in the background. I'll have to find some reference for the cloak he's wearing, so I can get the wrinkles right.
glad to see you're back! your comments are always greatly appreciated, were very missed. your character painting of metal head is amazing - the metal piece is looking very good . just need to spend a little bit more time on it, and its going to look pretty kick ass. other than that, i cant wait to see where you take that one.
now get back on that sadle, and draw!
oh yeah, if you want motivation: http://www.alxartblog.blogspot.com/
this guy became art director for ilm at 21. art directed transformers. argh.
Thanks, redSpade! Glad you like him. Here's the current state of him. He's pretty much done, future crits pending. I'm also kind of at a loss as to how to paint clothes. Katfayheirti, I need your help! Anyway, those cracks in the walls behind him I painted myself, rather than overlaying a texture from the internet. I'm not sure if those are effecting the composition very well, so any help with that would be super. I also confess that I made some very light use of some blur and noise filter's on his metal mask.
Coming up, a mermaid picture for my mom.
Here's my mom's birthday present from me. It's a carp-themed mermaid, if you couldn't tell. I have some common carp, some koi, a few varieties of goldfish, and of course, a mermaid. This is the most reference-heavy image I've ever done. The pose of the mermaid's upper body and facial expression both came from photographs, and I have at least a dozen carp/goldfish images that I'm drawing on for the fish.
The color layers are semitransparent in this image, so I could do the linework with less distraction. Now I'm going to get on to the actual painting.
Any crits on the composition would be appreciated.