Hi Everyone! My name is Heather; I'm a project manager in the videogame industry by day and a wannabe artist by night. I'm a shy lurker who recently noticed that her art is stagnating. Yuck! Only way to improve is to push past those comfort levels, so here I am.
Seeing all the progress in other sketchbooks has me inspired. I hope that one day, this will be an inspiring thread where I will show evolution from a BLAH artist into a WOW! artist.
Critiques and comments will be greatly appreciated! There is nothing I love more than making progress, and the best way to do that is with outside help.
Last edited by kuni-bob; May 29th, 2009 at 01:04 AM.
I'll post a couple of quick digital paints to get this thread rolling, though I need to post some "back to basics" stuff soon.
1st one is a speedpaint focus on lighting/composition.
2nd is a character face exploration for a story. Bunged up the anatomy pretty badly, especially in her right collarbone/shoulder.
Also, starting work on a painting for my fiance of his D&D character. Trying to work out the composition before I do anything.
This is VERY rough so it might be a bit hard to read, but any suggestions on the composition will be greatly, greatly appreciated. I'm trying to lead the eye first to the girl, then to the building at the top of the mountain on the right (which is kind of a blob right now.)
Attempt 2, after some feedback:
And, some life drawing from today. Forced myself to use pen so that I couldn't get hung up on erasing every line. (Arghhh, the FEET!)
Sorry for the quality -- no scanner.
Last edited by kuni-bob; May 19th, 2009 at 03:53 AM.
[You need to cut your left big toe nail. ]
I love the colour green. The glow (it could be from re-sizing) is a bit strong.
on that floater. I wouldn't mind seeing light lines of detail on it.
[Her beubs are painfully squashed]
I'm still having trouble with values, but one keyword, if you're not in the know is the squinting technique while painting/drawing.
Richard Schmidt is where I first heard it. (I'll update this post when I find a link for it.)
I like that WIP of the D&D character. I'm assuming more refinements are on the way
As far as pen drawings go I think you did great... I suck at anything permanent! I'm a graphite addict. The digital white haired lady has a pretty bad broken shoulder. Usually when I draw certain poses that I'm not sure of I either pose in front of the mirror or take a snapshot of myshelf in the same pose. That may give you a better idea of positioning
Great work so far, looking forward to more!
Hey whats up Kuni
I'm really loving all these sketches you post up. As far as crits go:
on the pen sketches you might want to try using less hatching. A few of them get a little hard to read because of all the lines.
the white haired lady's shoulder that's closest to the viewer looks a little to far down and forward. The shoulder that's furthest looks a little to far down as well.
Hope that helped a little
Erika M. R.
Amazing structure of the body. References use? Like it. Keep Up
Sorry for bad english
dwardo -- You're absolutely right about the values, and I had totally forgotten about the squinting techique. I'll keep that in mind for my next sketches/paintings -- it will be a huge help!
Haha, my big toenail just needs to be drawn better so that it doesn't look long...
I appreciate you taking the time to comment and give feedback. Than you so much! Moar to come!
darkchild - more refinements are definitely on the way! And for the broken shoulder, do you mean her left or her right? (Or both?) I'll pose in front of the mirror this evening and see what I can see. I'd like to retouch that picture a bit to get it right.
Thank you so much for your feedback and for taking the time to drop by!
Erika!! - Oh my goodness, welcome to CA! *hugs* Thanks so much for those tips! That is a big help. Hope to see you around here!
Gisaiagami - thanks for your comment! No references were used for the digital work, just for the pen stuff. I will keep working hard!
Last edited by kuni-bob; May 15th, 2009 at 07:08 PM.
Both her shoulders look a bit awkward but more so her left. Her chest sticks out too much with regards to how curved the back is. If she is really bent over that much the breasts shouldn't protrude that much. The only other logical conclusion is that she has really, really huge breasts! This may be one of those odd poses that may have some real life truth to but just look odd regardless of whether it's a photo or a drawing
darkchild - thanks so much for the help; I'll take that into account when I'm revising that piece.
Tonight, I decided to spend one hour on a self portrait, using a mirror, and paint it only in B&W to force myself to focus on values. Epic failure: doesn't look like me and turned out horribly flat. UGH. I don't think I've ever hated a piece this much. But I promised myself to post it no matter how much I hate it, so here it is:
Motivation to improve.
I wanted to paint something tonight just to keep this daily momentum going, so I sat down and let whatever wanted to come out come out.
I really don't know what the hell this is all about, but man, does his anatomy suck...and not just because there are suction cups. Horrible, horrible flatness. I think the next post will be an anatomy study.
Great start! I don't have any critiques as such... just keep up the exploring and experimenting, and try to have fun while you're at it?
I really like hatching on your SP and the pen drawings!
Experimentation is always a good thing! It doesn't matter if you think it turned out well or not. The important thing is that you start with a concept and see where it goes What I usually do is draw the concept a few times in small versions. I fit about two to three onto a page. Everyone of them starts becoming different. After I'm happy with the refinements then I redraw with more detail on a larger scale. I draw primarily fantasy pinups so for my concepts I will try different poses, costumes, accessories...etc. They don't have to be detailed, just enough for you to remember what you're drawing.
I think that portrait you've drawn is fine. We don't the original reference available so I'll have to take your word that it's not accurate. Chalk it up for experience
Marria - Thank you for dropping by and taking the time to comment! It means a lot to me.
darkchild - Experience is always a good thing. I think I'll definitely start thumbnailing out my concepts before I do anything with them -- makes things so much easier.
Here's an anatomy study for today. I morphed him into one of my personal characters because it was more fun that way. Reference was from 3d.sk; painted in Photoshop. Finally warmed up again -- this is a better representation of my actual abilities/weaknesses than anything I've posted in this thread so far.
I think his abs are the weakest point of this, but I tried to rework them many times and couldn't figure out how to make them look better. Think I need to do some torso studies.
Last edited by kuni-bob; May 19th, 2009 at 04:00 AM.
Had a photo reference all set up for a female anatomy/lighting study this time, but the crappy self portrait I have in this thread is really bugging me. Time for a better self portrait before I tackle that next study.
Using a reference photo + the grid method for this one to break me out of the misconceptions that caught me up on the first one. It still doesn't look quite like me -- I'm managing to warp it even with a grid. Man, I really have some skewed views of myself... Brilliant. Will fix all the proportions by the final version.
Will finish this one later; time to sleep now!
Your latest attempt at a selfie is looking a lot better than the first. But without a reference photo I can't be too sure of what's "inaccurate". Great looking eye btw!
The work so far is pretty decent. Your values seem good to me. I think the green speedpaint is one of my favs, but that may just be because I like bright colors.
It's easy can tell that using references is already improving your form. I've noticed that the features tend to be placed really well, but then the face shape is a little off. Your latest self portrait looks pretty spot on.
On the male study, I think if you de-emphasized the line down the middle of the abs it would help. To me it looks like his abs are clay and someone ran their finger down the middle.
I look forward to see your second self portrait done. Those are so hard, because you think you know what you're supposed to look like and it never seems to be the same. Really nice work so far!
I love this site -- thanks so much for the feedback and comments!
darkchild - I'm planning to upload the reference photo if I get to a point where I've pressed as hard as I can and it still doesn't look like me. We'll see what happens!
Jefita - wow, you have just nailed what has been bugging me about all of my artwork! I couldn't put my finger on it, but you're right about the face shape being off -- this is exactly what has been bugging me about all my artwork thus far. I think it's time for some skull & face studies. Thank you so much for this tip.
And also thanks for fingering what was wrong with the abs. I'll post a revised version of that after I've fixed it.
More of the self portrait. I have not worked this hard on a picture in a long time -- it feels fantastic. Learning a lot in the process.
This is still a long way from being done (none of this is fully refined yet), but it's starting to look a lot like me now! Shock!
I don't think I've worked this hard on a painting in years. It feels great. I can't get over how much I'm learning from this. I just looked back at an old "awesome" self portrait that I thought was my best work, and all I can see are flaws. It's working, it's working! My artistic eye is developing!
Still a long way to go, but here's another WIP! Almost finished getting the general placement and colour, and then I can start refining the skin, eyes, hair and fabric.
Also tried to fix up the abs of my previous study. Something still looks wrong to me, though. I think the whole torso is too flat and the contours are incorrect.
Finally, a quickie for composition. My composition skills SUCK. Does anyone have any good sites/books that give instruction about what good composition is?
Last edited by kuni-bob; May 22nd, 2009 at 04:19 AM.
Oooh, I like how the self-portrait is progressing. That is looking really great. Also, the guy's abs definitely look better. I'm afraid I can't offer much more advice on that, as I'm woefully inexperienced drawing such things. I suck at composition too...
Very nice work on that SP Looks almost photorealistic! I can't wait to see the next stage in development!
There's actually a lot of photography books on composition at the bookstores. I've browsed through a couple while I was there. I apologize I don't have the names of them. But that info is good towards drawing as well!
Ugh, the skin texture on the self portrait is driving me nuts. Anyone have any good links to skin texture advice? I could only come up with a few piss-poor examples online, but there has to be better stuff out there.
Jefita - I appreciate the help you offered with that!
darkchild - ooh, excellent idea. Thanks for that suggestion!
I wanted to post something today before I go to bed, as I likely won't have much time for art this weekend. So, did another quickie stream-of-consciousness thing, trying to focus on composition. Didn't really go the way I wanted, but everything is a learning exercise...and it was very relaxing.
It's either an angel of darkness, or some sort of gummy, deformed bird. Rocket-propelled, of course, so that I can say "pchoooo" in my head when I look at it.
Last edited by kuni-bob; May 23rd, 2009 at 05:56 AM.
Going to be really busy this weekend, so I decided to take a few minutes this morning to do some 30 second poses from posemaniacs.
I haven't done "lifedrawing" seriously since 2005, and...WOW. Those skills are rusty. I'm going to start doing a few of these as a warm up each day I can. Any comments on how to improve my gesture will be happily accepted.
I think I need to revisit Loomis.
Sorry for the poor quality -- don't have a scanner. I figured that gestures didn't need to be super high quality, anyway.
Last edited by kuni-bob; May 23rd, 2009 at 03:23 PM.
wow I STILL haven't posted after I promised to before my trip.
You are definately warming up now, getting some more refined studies going.
As far as composition, I always have the 'rule of thirds' ready to turn on using the grid in photoshop (one line each 33.3 percent) doesn't have to be a strict rule, something interesting often lands near the corners and its a very broad idea to work with - you should be able to find a few other basic compositions by searching the web (there is a very famous spiral shaped one that I cant remember), and Painter has a few more hidden in it as well.
"It's either an angel of darkness, or some sort of gummy, deformed bird." haha totally up for interpretation hey? I'd say you're doing a good job exploring.
The self portrait turned out nice, and you understand that placing some hard edges, like under the eye, can be pretty key to realism. You are approaching hair in a good way, in sections first, though do suggest some small strands using some highlights to give the impression of hair.
I'm looking forward to helping each other out on here and keeping each other motivated...its a hard game to stay running in (especially when you feel your drawing skills should be tons better by now....and yes, talking about myself!)
Last edited by Jakers; May 24th, 2009 at 03:58 PM.
I like your sketchbook. The most amazing thing here is for me the self portrait you did - it´s just wow.
The naked elf is also very nice (rrr naked elves (sorry haha) ) - what I noticed is, that the breast- muscle (I don´t know the right english term >_>) is defined very hard especially where his arms start, the folds in the skin look really deep in there. On his belly on the other hand they are not so hard... and the fold in the middle looks very deep again. - I love his legs though. Knees in that position are one the hardest thing there are for me and you did them really well.
your sketches are nice too - I think you inspired me to do some posesketches tomorrow - thanks!
Jakers - Welcome back! I appreciate you taking the time to drop by my thread. Thanks for those tips on composition. I think I'll do another composition study after I post this, keeping those things in mind. I'm still having a hard time figuring out WHERE to place hard edges. Polishing up this portrait from where it's at to photoreal texture is a nightmare right now, especially because the reference photo is super blurry...I'll tackle it in a few days, I think, and keep on with studies for a bit.
Haha, I know what you feel about feeling like skills should be better. I think that's the case with almost any artist, though -- if you feel your skills are 100% up to snuff, then that just means you're stagnating, right?
Trudy - glad there is another elf appreciator here, haha! That won't be the last elf I post, I'm sure. Thank you for pointing out the differences in depth between the different parts; that really opened my eye up to something I hadn't thought of before. Thank you for taking the time to visit my little sketchbook!
Kind of frustrated with today's effort, but I swore to myself that I would post EVERYTHING I drew, no matter how terrible. May do something else yet tonight to try to balance it out a bit.
15 second poses, posemaniacs:
60 second poses, posemaniacs -- this turned out to be a nightmare for me with the Sharpie I was using, so I only did 2.
Tried to draw my fiance while he played videogames. The problem was that it was a particularly frustrating section of a game, so he was very animated. It wasn't until I finished that I noticed that I had drawn different features from different angles. BLAH. Also, his hairstyle is friggin' hard to draw. I think I massacred it. (Sorry, hon.)
First two laughable attempts are in charcoal and then in conte, but I went back to pencil when I got frustrated.
hm... nice selfportrait... better than nice... awsome! i cant say its like a photo, because its more... its deep... dunno what is the right word (mb i will figure it out someday)
keep workin... im looking forward to see more...
My first sketchbook... wanna improve!
I also wanna rock! ROCK! tuptuptudum...tudumtuptudum...tudumtuptudum... I - want - to - rock!
quackart - thanks so much for that lovely comment, and thanks for dropping by!!
So, here is the "final" version of my self portrait. I think I just hit my personal ceiling, so I'm going to need outside help if I'm going to push the textures of this any further.
EDIT: in case it makes it easier to crit the textures, here's a closeup of the skin:
Last edited by kuni-bob; May 25th, 2009 at 05:09 AM.
Great refinement on your selfie! It's getting clearer, sharper... just better in general I would love to see a larger version of that angel flying through the light. It's a great concept. You did a very good job on the lighting and background.
i love the self portrait. Only thing I can think of is to maybe add more detail to the back part of your hair. Compared to the pieces hanging down its a little flat. Other than that.. great job
"We are the music makers... and we are the dreamers of dreams."