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[Noah's Art Camp 2]

sampangolinsampangolin Registered User regular

Artcamp 2 has just started! The thread about artcamp 1 is here.

The website if you'd like to sign up is here: Week one has begun so do it fast if you're planning to.

The syllabus this time around is as follows:

Week 1 - Seeing & Drawing Learn to train your eye with basic drawing and observation techniques. These are the basics that everything else is built on.

Week 2 - The Sketchbook Habit Sketchbooks are the birthplaces of paintings. Learn to develop the habit of continual sketching and observation.

Week 3 - Perspective That thing everyone hates. I'm going to break down perspective to the basics of what you need to learn and explain it as clearly as possible. Don't be afraid. It's not that scary.

Week 4 - Experiments in Drawing Materials Learn to play around with new materials in drawing. We'll cover charcoal, graphite, pastel, ink, and perhaps others in an attempt to see what these mediums can offer us.

Week 5 - Experiments in Painting Materials Most people paint digitally because they think traditional painting is expensive and/or complicated. But I'll show you how to do it. I promise you'll love it.

Week 6 - Basics of Digital Painting I'm going to show you every trick, tool, and method I know for working digitally. Specifically designed for working in Photoshop.

Week 7 - Light & Form Learning to draw & paint basic forms is a cornerstone of learning any new medium. These fundamental exercises will push our facility to the next level.

Week 8 - Narrative & Storytelling Learn to communicate compelling narrative in visual and written form. Let's dive into the art of storytelling.

Week 9 - Sequential Art Storyboards, comics, and other sequential art. Learn the freedoms and challenges that come with working with multiple images.

Week 10 - Photography & Reference Get out your cameras. I'm going to show you how to use photography to improve your other artistic skills. Also we'll be talking about shooting good reference and using it effectively.

Week 11 - Digital & Traditional Sculpture Learn to think entirely differently. Working in three dimensions will radically change how you approach your drawings. Trust me—you don't want to miss this.

Week 12 - Creating Work you Love How to find your "style" and do work that you love.

I know at least 3 others on here are doing it so if you all fancy posting your work here we can maybe help each other out a bit, stay motivated and get some bonus critiques. And if anyone not doing it fancies having a crack at the assignments without the benefit of the tutorial then feel free obviously. The critiques are working a bit differently this time around as Noah now has a forum, and several instructors lurk around on there giving out advice as and when. So far they are pretty active, so things look promising. Hopefully it will remain that way!

Danger! As with the first thread, no links to the tutorials on here please.

sampangolin on


  • sampangolinsampangolin Registered User regular
    The assignments this week are a mix of abstract drawings (reduce a master painting or drawing to black and white shapes, flip it upside down, try to copy that), master study drawings, and bargue studies. Here's some of my work so far. Struggling not to stretch everything horizontally.








  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod

    Thanks for making a new thread. It looks like you are taking to the first assignment well! I hope you Art Camp is a positive experience for you, it seems like it is going to push you forward.

    Good luck, keep us updated!

  • sampangolinsampangolin Registered User regular
    Thanks @Iruka. If nothing else it definitely makes me actually do some drawing! Couple more bits here.



  • kevindeekevindee Registered User regular
    edited May 2014
    Come on homps, I know more of you are doing the art camp this summer. Get in on this action.

    I only joined up today, so I didn't have much time, but I squeezed some out:



    Line drawing has always been a weak spot, so I'm especially keen to work on that.

    Samp, mind your angles. Lookin' good otherwise.

    kevindee on
  • sampangolinsampangolin Registered User regular
    Glad to see you're doing it too : )



  • sampangolinsampangolin Registered User regular
    Week 2 is almost over already! Goodness. Post some sketchbooky goodness everyone.


  • kevindeekevindee Registered User regular
    Week 2, the digital doodles:




  • sampangolinsampangolin Registered User regular
    Couple of other little sketch pages.



    Now onto week 3. Perspective!

  • sampangolinsampangolin Registered User regular
    Some random boxy perspective things.






  • jennytablinajennytablina Registered User new member
    Thought I'ld sign up and keep you company in this thread as a fellow art camper:

    Here's my master studies!


  • jennytablinajennytablina Registered User new member
    Need to work on my landscapes but heres where I'm starting at I guess...


  • sampangolinsampangolin Registered User regular
    Hi Jenny, thanks for joining! Some good stuff going on there. Couple of small things to work on - on a lot of your studies the edges are really fuzzy because of the brush you used. That's fine for some things but for a lot of objects a crisp edge really helps to sell it. And on a couple where there is a subject, like the two with the deer, you have made them quite a bit bigger than they were in the original. It's easily done. Try to really focus on the scale in relation to the rest of the picture. Keep up the good work!

    Here's a couple more perspective bits.



  • sampangolinsampangolin Registered User regular
    Come on guyyyyys post some stuff



  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    @sampangolin‌ That Ball against the board is weak. I'd check your reference, and try and keep your hatching under control. the wood table on that page looks nice, though.

  • sampangolinsampangolin Registered User regular
    It is super weak you are correct. No reference as it was just made up, but you're still right :) Will watch the hatching.


    Here are some watercolour attempts. Oil attempts to follow. I don't know how to colours.




    Question - I found some of those pre prepped canvas board for oils, and bought 3 small ones. They're quite expensive here though, and I've only found one shop so far that sells them. For my very first forays can I acrylic up some thick watercolour paper as a base, then oil paint on that? Not super worried about future generations missing out on these first pieces.

  • tapeslingertapeslinger Space Unicorn Slush Ranger Social Justice Rebel ScumRegistered User regular
    yeah, prime the paper with gesso (probably 2 layers, and watch your texturing if you want a smooth surface) and let it dry a day or two

    -- I actually have a pad of paper in my ridiculous stash of "Things I Thought I Should Try Someday" which is called Painter's Paper and is pretty much exactly that

  • kevindeekevindee Registered User regular
    I have no idea what panel Noah is using in the demo, but I haven't come across anything that isnt stark white. Also, I haven't had any luck wiping paint off with a rag. The panels I got were random unbranded ones I got locally, and I have no idea how they were primed. I looked into getting some lead primed panels, but it's hopeless without resorting to buying overseas.

  • sampangolinsampangolin Registered User regular
    I used to live near a branch of this shop in England, they sold the sort of thing he is using -

    Sadly I don't live there anymore. The ones I found here are white but never mind, they are daler rowney and say they've been double primed so hopefully quality is ok.

  • sampangolinsampangolin Registered User regular
    One more watercolour


    Oils are haaaard.


  • sampangolinsampangolin Registered User regular
    Oily stuff. Digital week starts later today. Looking forward to it after these! It has been good fun though.

    (the lower of these two sea ones was the first - hopefully the top one is a bit better)


  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    @sampangolin‌ have you received any hands on feedback from the teachers?

  • sampangolinsampangolin Registered User regular
    Err the short answer would be no, not much. In the new setup there is a sub board for each week - and you make a thread in that with your week's work. I've had threads in 4 of the 5 weeks with only 1 reply from an instructor so far.

    There are 4 instructors. 1 seems to be doing a lot of work on the board, giving people useful short crits. He's the one that gave me some tips and it was useful stuff. Another is doing 2 livestreams each week (on the same day, separated by about 10 hours, which is really useful) and mainly focus on critting the people who are on the livestream and ask for advice. The livestreams have been really good but I've only been on 1 'live' and it was a busy one so was just watching really. Feels a bit too 'OOH PICK ME' in the comments otherwise.

    Another of them (I didn't realise this until about 3 weeks in) is focusing mainly on a paintover thread, recording paintovers of the work people post in there. So that seems pretty useful.

    I probably could get more critique from them if I kept jamming my work in their faces by posting on that thread and making all the livestreams. I guess I am naturally a bit reluctant to be that guy :) Noah isn't very active on the forum (I don't think anyway, I might be wrong) which is a bit of a shame.

    It's a bit haphazard and could do with a bit more organisation and info about what is going on where and when really. I'll stop moaning now. I'm enjoying it and if I could choose again I would sign up for the second one again - but I won't be doing a third if one come about.

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    I'm sure the forum is much more useful than the facebook, but it still seems to suffer from some imbalance. From what I can see in the normal forum and artcamp1 threads it seems like a bunch of people simply waiting for the teachers to notice them. This is, I think, from a lack of talent mix. Since you have to pay for artcamp, and its geared to help people through the early stages of art development, the forum is almost entirely populated with non-professionals who are working on the basics. Unless Noah continues to hire people to comment, there wont be enough advice to go around.

    If he gets lucky, as the artists hes inspiring to work stick around, there may be a trickle down effect if the class is ongoing. Right now the cross talk seems super low.

  • sampangolinsampangolin Registered User regular
    It's digital week, so here is some digital stuff.




  • kevindeekevindee Registered User regular
    Oof, good on you for sticking with it, Sam - I fell off super hard after the sketchbook week, since everything else that came after hasnt held my interest, and I feel like the feedback at this point is entirely nonexistant on the forums. Like Laura said, it's hard to get much out of it if you've been at it for a while, most of this stuff isn't anything new.

    I'm also not a huge fan of the videos, and I find myself not always agreeing with what Noah says, or just not being super impressed with the work produced in the videos. It feels like he's just talking about the basics, while doing pretty uninspired work. At some points - like when he dismissed using RGB colour sliders in photoshop altogether - I actually got annoyed at what he was saying, and just tuned out. Lets hope the next few weeks can be more interesting :c

  • sampangolinsampangolin Registered User regular
    edited August 2014
    Yes to your comments Kevin. Hope you are getting something out of it though. So it's sequential art week. Here's some things. Bit rushed as Noah was having lots of technical problems (his companion died) and so the tutorial which usually goes up on Wednesday went up on... Saturday I think?

    So I started off trying to tell a story about this huge old forcefield that used to protect a large portion of the planet. But it was now in ruins, and someone needed to work out how to restore it to stop... bad things... I didn't know where to go with the story and got bored of it. Anyway here are some sketches from that.




    Then I was looking for inspiration for some kind of short story, and decided to have a crack at drawing Pockets' poem from last week. Hope that is ok with him!! (he is my brother) Here is his thread:

    <removed for this forum>

    And here is the poem he wrote:
    Pockets wrote:
    The hairs across my neck lift in the gentle river wind
    sunbeams play across the rippling flow
    tide traversing traders travel round the eastern bend
    drawn toward the harbour lantern's glow
    harbour master rises from the net he stooped to mend
    casts a rope and ties the ship to shore
    a brief connection to the static world the master tends
    before it plays across the waves once more.

    Captains, crews and cargoes, skiffs and barges plough the surf
    wind and want propel them ever on
    from this busy border station 'tween the water and the earth
    they come – and just as quickly – they are gone
    a half a mile of river is my view these many days
    beyond the bends, I know not yet what lies
    while my master bids me so it is my lot to stay
    yet yearn to see beyond before I die.

    Does the river split, do raging rapids founder ships
    do waterfalls cascade from lofty heights
    does the endless ocean deep lie just beyond the peaks
    where seabirds call to sailors as they fly
    does my future hold one great adventure, be it short
    is there more to my brief life than this
    what will hist'ry tell of the accomplishments I wrought
    will its silence speak of those I missed.

    The hairs upon my neck raise at the river's siren call
    ships and crew pass swiftly in the night
    harbour master's pipe glows as the rain begins to fall
    and comfort can be found within its light
    with time and tide I find my comfort worth less than it seemed
    and all that I grew up with I've outgrown
    lift up my paws and pad my claws across these weathered beams
    and board a vessel into lands unknown.

    And finally here are my early attempts to illustrate it:



    I think it needs to be longer (the artwork not the poem) and buildup more of the protagonist's life before the final 3 panels where he leaves. More panels with the old guy doing stuff and the cat just hanging around and watching, so it's nice and vague up until the last moment. Thoughts?

    sampangolin on
  • sampangolinsampangolin Registered User regular
    Hey so it's sculpting week, here are some attempts to 3d render my face off then do a quick paintover. You get to look at loads of pictures of my face you lucky things.

    First lot:





    And second lot after fixing some things:




    Anything else you guys can see that is obviously off? I see now I have given myself a manlier, more defined jawline than I currently possess.

  • sampangolinsampangolin Registered User regular
    Tried to move my mouth back in a bit, generally bring the rest a bit closer to a likeness.


  • tapeslingertapeslinger Space Unicorn Slush Ranger Social Justice Rebel ScumRegistered User regular
    yeah, the new view has a better jawline. Sometimes it's challenging to get those fleshy areas near the nose and mouth correct-- for me that's so much harder to do digitally than it is to do in clay or wax, because I'm used to pulling out the planar forms with rake tools to see the angling, and then refining them down to deeper skin-stuff. looks like the nose is a tiny bit long and turned down a bit sharper than in the photo, but there's not quite enough shadow to define the planes in those photos, which makes it challenging to isolate forms.

  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    The face feels really tilted back to me....Consider drawing a vertical "plumb" line on the photograph directly, where your brow extends, or your nose.

    I'd also suggest you check out the method I mention in this comment from another thread:

    A very basic "grid" setup like that might feel a bit like cheating to some people, but ignore that! :) It's hella useful and you're still able to learn a lot from it, and as you get better you learn to just do it in your head to double-check the alignment of the subject you're drawing.

    That, combined with determining the shapes of the negative space (and then also figuring the internal shapes, within the figure/subject) can really help you with accuracy. Take the internal shapes between your eyebrows and your hairline, for instance. A lot that you can correct there - especially around the sideburns and ear. I'm assuming your painting is on a separate layer - don't paint over the side of your will make it harder to determine those internal shapes by removing half of the facial "landmarks".

    I assume you're also aware that your drawing is larger than the photograph? If you scale down the entire drawing a bit, it will also make things much easier as you'll be able to align your facial features with your drawing's. It's not absolutely necessary, but I think it could help out a lot.

  • sampangolinsampangolin Registered User regular
    Thanks for the comments both of you! I think a lot of the problems that you mention, NightDragon, are due to me not being able to quite align the sculpt I was doing with the picture behind it. I may be missing something in Sculpturis but rotating the object you are sculpting juuuust the way you want seems really really hard. You are dead right about everything else though. I'll have another crack at a self portrait without the sculpting element and try to put your points into practice.

  • sampangolinsampangolin Registered User regular
    WIP of a self portrait, just drawn this time not sculpted. Trying to take NightDragon's advice!


    Lots still to do but if someone notices that I have drawn 2 noses or something it would be good to know sooner rather than later.

  • tapeslingertapeslinger Space Unicorn Slush Ranger Social Justice Rebel ScumRegistered User regular
    nose is sitting a bit low, but it looks like you're getting a better grasp of volumes!

  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited August 2014
    It seems you're focusing a little too much on the small details at this stage (like the highlighted areas of your face on your nose, lips, forehead and chin), which is making them more prominent than they should be.

    Try "blurring" your vision a bit and look at the shapes that occur between light and dark. Try drawing only those major values first, and nailing the shapes - like this (nsfw) or this. Details like those highlights should be one of (if not the) last thing(s) you do. Bringing out the brightest brights too early can ruin the value balance...and drawing in details when the larger shapes have not yet been resolved can be troublesome. Drawing the values in stages like this also forces you to compare things and realize "is this darker or lighter than this other shape?" rather than seeing every highlighted area as the same value because it's a highlight.

    For example, the side of your face in the light is actually much brighter than what you've drawn, and I think that lightening the background (I assume in an attempt to see the edge of your face?) has made some of your values not as accurate. The brightest highlights on your face are actually brighter than your shirt.

    I made your image black and white and did a quick paintover to give you an idea of what I'm talking about - I left some areas looser, so you could start to see the progression. I used a large brush for 95% of this, and then used a smaller brush for 4%, and used a tiniest brush for the brightest highlights - parts of your hair, the glint in your eye, the highlights on your nose and lip. Things that are in shadow you can generally keep more loose...they are less defined and the eye is drawn to the areas of sharpest contrast, which is generally the areas that are brightest. A few small extra-thin strokes at the very end of a piece can bring some quick detail to areas that have already had their major value shapes blocked out.

    [edit - my monitor was next to a bright window when I did this, so some areas may be off...take with a salt-grain. :) ]


    NightDragon on
  • sampangolinsampangolin Registered User regular
    That is spectacular advice - thank you so much. I've read it about 4 times already and will read it more as I keep working. Your quick paintover is amazing! Thank you!!

  • sampangolinsampangolin Registered User regular
    Ok I spent a while longer today. Tried to not get bogged down in details too soon. Found that very hard. My ear is like a word I've said too many times. I don't know what ears even look like any more. Have I drawn an arm or something instead of an ear? Maybe tomorrow I'll be able to tell, and will try to improve it some more.




  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    That is certainly an improvement over the first one you posted, looking between the two I can see some small off measurements, but you did a much better job observing. Keep it up,

    What are the next assignments? What's left on the agenda?

  • sampangolinsampangolin Registered User regular
    Art camp finished on Wednesday, so no assignments! I'll abandon this thread soon.

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Grats on Sticking it out, dude. I'm sure forum folk will be more than happy to keep suggesting assignments if you make a thread.

  • sampangolinsampangolin Registered User regular
    Huh? No both camps are done. I learned all the art. Happy to set any assignment you need though.

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