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Mightyhog's Sketchbook



  • LampLamp Registered User regular
    edited July 2015
    Hm,t hanks for sharing your perspective Tynic! I guess my main point is that you can't just pick a color pallete and blend from that, like you'd see someone doing with physical paints. It literally doesn't work because the colors don't blend the same way at all, right? That's my experience in practice, and my understanding of the theory. There's also the issue of losing saturation just from the process of applying paint to your canvas with the varying opacity of a Photoshop brush. It varies a lot by situation, but I usually find that I have to "overshoot" the saturation and value when choosing a color in order to have a hue that will accurately reflect what's in the reference when I apply it with my opacity-sensitive Photoshop brush. I'd love to hear some other thoughts on the subject!

    Lamp on
  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited July 2015
    Another thing to remember about color is that often times, when people give themselves a predefined "palette" to work from, their painting doesn't receive the variety of color that actually exists in the original, because the artist is reusing the same handful of colors, rather than eyeballing each of the colors as they come up. The other issue I've found with palettes is that it's generally easier to get colors accurate when they're up against each other, as they are in the original painting, as opposed to residing alone, in the corner of your canvas somewhere. A blue surrounded by white might look like the same color as the blue in the middle of a painting...until you actually try to use that blue in your copy, with other colors surrounding it. Suddenly that blue looks out of place. That is referred to as "simultaneous contrast".


    This is an example of how the surrounding colors may affect your perception of the color in the centers. Saturation, hue, and value of a certain color may look different based on the saturation, hue, and value of surrounding colors. If you think about it, the same thing happens with people when they try to get accurate colors on a white canvas. It can be really hard because colors may look too dark or too intense against the starkness of the white background. It's one of the reasons why people "tone" their canvases first, as it gives a more neutral base to work from than a pure white background.

    I'd actually suggest you move away from palettes completely, and try to just adjust the colors as you go. It might be a good idea to rough in a "base" of colors, to give youself a general idea, but don't force yourself to stay within that same set of colors if you feel an adjustment is needed here and there. Color-picking everything will not help you learn color - I think that once in awhile, if you're really struggling, you can color-pick simply to see where you went wrong (sometimes it's surprising!) but absolutely do not use it for will become a crutch. It's more challenging to figure out the color for yourself, but it's much more beneficial to you, and will help you avoid the pitfall @tynic mentioned, where your picker might select a color artifact that isn't a proper representation of the bulk of color used in the reference.

    NightDragon on
  • LampLamp Registered User regular
    I think a nice alternative to "cheating" by color picking directly from your reference, is to pick your color manually, and if it looks off but you can't figure out why, go ahead and paint it in on your reference, beside the color you're trying to match. That way you can see the contrast and get an idea of how far off you were (e.g. "the reference color is darker/lighter or cooler/warmer than the one I picked"). But you still have to go ahead and manually pick the color in the end. Challenging yourself to match the colors on your own is the best way to learn, but I think this method is good if you're really struggling with a spot.

  • MightyhogMightyhog Registered User regular
    I am so sorry for the radio silence- life and my own flights of fancy (no one deserves to talk like this...) have made progress slow, and it probably goes without saying I appreciated the advice to take things a little more steady. Clearly it's the permission I've been waiting for, and it's made drawing in general feel less like an obligation and more compelling to me! It's silly, but that's one of the reasons I was delaying posting- why bug you after all this fantastic advice on color with these silly downtime sketches?



    I've never done this sort of naval-gazey self portrait stuff before... but like I said, compelled!

    Sketches from The Academy of Sciences exhibit "The Color of Life" which kind of let me down, to be honest...


    Finally, progress on Lime Tree Shade, flipped at the moment:


    I'm so thankful for the advice, don't ease up! I ended up trying to approach the piece in the manner NightDragon described, something a little organic and less based on a hard and fast palette. I consider this the "base" layer, now I just worry about stopping myself. I could conceivably keep gussying this layer up, start trying to mimic individual strokes on top of it, go deeper and deeper and then ostensibly shift all focus from color to texture which wasn't really the point... somebody has to say "stop!"

    Finally, one rabbit hole I've opened up again is gesture drawing, primarily focusing on Glenn Vilppu's formula. Vilppu is someone I revisit about once a year it seems, and this time I'd like to try and cull what I can from him and other sources: namely Proko, Matessi and Walt Stanchfield- the last two of which focus on gesture for animation. I've done a decent mix of digital experiments using myself as a model, as well as habitually sketching outside.

    I want to write at length about that class I'm still a part of, the very new-agey "not-an-art-class" but with figure drawing. Its primary lesson all this time has more to do with fighting one's inhibitions, and I find it all very inspiring, but hard to put into words. Needless to say it's been just as compelling to finally make a go of reconciling it with more traditional "learning to see" art fundamentals that I had been so wrapped up in before taking the class. I guess all I'm trying to say is I feel a sort of second wind, and I hope I can manifest that in future posts. I'm sorry I let this shit pile up! I'll try to hold back less and just show what isn't finished, what could use fresh eyes, and what in the past I may have let rot on the vine.

    I guess, try to write less and show more.

  • MightyhogMightyhog Registered User regular
    Flipping, filling in mouseholes, not sure how to bring it to a close satisfactorily. But this, this is life, no? Posting original again for comparison. I've got to dull this thing down!


    Mason Verger, from popular television series "Hannibal." I think I understand the appeal of signal boosting now.


    Visual notes on Photoshop blend modes, based on


  • LampLamp Registered User regular
    edited July 2015
    Good effort on that master copy. Careful with your hues though -- almost every aspect of your copy is significantly warmer and more saturated than the original. You're observing that there's a brown dog, yellow dress and pink skin, for example, but not taking into account the cooling effect of the shade from the tree. Instead of just shooting from the hip when picking colors, try thinking about different aspects of each hue. Try picking the right color, put it down, look over at your reference and ask yourself -- is the color I chose the right value (squint to help see if it's lighter or darker)? Is it the right temperature (cooler or warmer than the reference?) Is it more intense and saturated than the reference color? Adjust each component of your hue individually in Photoshop, instead of trying to calculate the correct color all at once. Eventually you'll start getting better at observing the correct color right off the bat, but you have to take baby steps when learning.

    Lamp on
  • MightyhogMightyhog Registered User regular
    Your advice pushed me to really compare the color on my two monitors- I'm not saying that was my only handicap and it's all smooth sailing from here on out but wow, I probably should have calibrated sooner. It's silly, but I may not have been thinking to cross-reference color information piece by piece: value, temperature, intensity, etc, and that was really helpful to hear.

    I'm making a go of "rebuilding" my layer composition in Photoshop, with the base layer (hidden in this shot) as reference. I don't intend to throw everything I've done away!



    Maybe it's a bad sign to restart, but I've also heard the praises of practicing beginning a drawing as often as one can. At any rate, I think this is the pass I'll end on.
    Some thoughts: I'm having trouble cognizing certain details, making it hard to break them into masses of local color- the dog's buttocks, the darker foliage at the top... anyone with fresher eyes want to red line that shit for me? As for what seems just too impressionistic to cognize- the mass of broken yellow-green just above and to the right of the girl's head- I'm thinking I'll just make it intentionally fussy when the time comes.
    Thoughts on actually having the painting as a layer on your document, up top and ready to flick on and off for a quick comparison? I'm not relying on it, but it was a sort of reassuring thing to do before I saved and quit.

    Anyway, let's end on some figure drawing:



  • LampLamp Registered User regular
    I totally believe it, I've had the same issue with doing studies between two different monitors. Unless they're precisely calibrated, your colors are gonna turn out screwy in the end.. That's why I usually just paint my studies right beside the reference in the same Photoshop document. As a bonus, this lets me flip my reference and study at the same time to get a fresh perspective. That might not be a great option if you're working on a small monitor, though.

  • MightyhogMightyhog Registered User regular
    edited August 2015

    I chip-a-chip-away at my study, trying to make time for Raindrop Hop. That's my problem, no focus, but it feels good to give the game some attention.


    Thoughts on the Raindrop character in more than just profile view


    A concept on how levels might be designed to differentiate the foreground/background from the "play ground," what fun perspective effects might be appealing


    Rough designs on a sea-floor screen


    And more figural work:


    Source for the following


    Gestures, even some process GIFs (a sandwich of like-dislike-like)



    Mightyhog on
  • m3nacem3nace Registered User regular
    edited August 2015
    The thing to pay attention to in impressionistic treatment of light, as in the Lime Tree Shade painting, is that the luminous or "pulsing light" effect arises from the fact that those saturated colors are very close to each other in terms of value. Right now the yellow in the tree is way too bright, and thus doesn't allow for that pulsing effect.
    Take a look at these famous impressionist (+1 Van Gogh) paintings gray scaled
    See how the sun in 'impression' becomes so vibrant, merely stemming from the fact that it's of the almost exact same value as the blue around it. Meanwhile the thing that allows the haystack to glow like that, is the fact that it's coupled with blue and teal brushstrokes, and the underglow on the lady with the umbrella is also the exact same value as the blue atmospheric light of her dress. Oftentimes impressionistic paintings tend to be so effective at looking like they're lit, that they betray our sense of value.

    m3nace on
  • MightyhogMightyhog Registered User regular
    That's so interesting! I think I was counting on toning down that yellow with a mess of green, but it would have been a bit more blind without your points on value.

    Here's about as far as I think I can take it for now:

    I think I was starting to find my rhythm while coloring the dog, which came last.
    I made a little comparison GIF that I believe lowers saturation of both the original and my own without affecting value- in the end I was off in a lot of places! You were dead on, I can see the technique at work.


    On the Raindrop Hop Front, I've been trying to concept a progression of screens following the pattern of the rainbow, ROY G BIV in reverse, basically: Violet for the watery depths, red for the stratosphere at sunset, with different altitudes in between ...Here's a "violet" concept, at least:


    "God rays," caustics and the deep-silhouette divers are all filed under "flare," they'll be dynamic, animated. In the end the screen's dominant color, in this case violet, will dominate a bit less- I'm just having trouble committing to making color changes beyond the single multiply layer.

    Finally, a quick ZBrush sculpture of a Subrosian from Oracle of Seasons because well, why not?


  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    That study came around. I wonder if you could maybe get a few smaller ones done in less time with what you learned? It maybe good for information retention.

    I may have missed this detail, But is Raindrop Hop actually destined to be a game? Or are you mocking it up for learnings sake?

  • MightyhogMightyhog Registered User regular
    The confident answer to the Raindrop Hop question is "yes," but in the end it's never had more pressure on it than to be an experiment, a friend (leading on design and programming) and I making a stab at mobile development. It's Schrodinger's game: simultaneously being mocked up and finished! Definitely not the ideal place to be.

    There are plenty of images I'd like to follow up with studies in color, and I've got Thursday free to do just that! On that note have been trying out the exercises in Confident Color so the material might sink in. They don't feel quite "postable" but what the hell, I should be get more in the habit of sharing. It might make me work harder.

    Using contrast in value to create a focal point

    Reference card for a high key color combination- followed of course, by how it makes you feel.

    High Key

    Low key combination, though to be honest, I wasn't sure whether it was still too bright

    Low Key

    A full contrast combination

    Finally, a peak into my search for something like a "process." I wanted to incorporate the line "I've spent my whole life avoiding what might have made me stronger... confident only in my immutable weakness!" into a dramatic, soapy little comic book image, and jammed up a value sketch I was happy with using Art Boards in Photoshop, jumping from new board to new board at intervals of one minute. "Finishing" has always been my problem though- it makes me feel so trapped when a sketch becomes a question of "Well, what DO YOU actually know about (in this case) the planes of the face?" Here's what the whole thing looks like:


    And a closer look at the image proper as it stands now:

    The trouble with taking any sketch like this further is that I can't quite tell you what feedback it is that I want. Obviously a better product (more accurate planes, light interaction) would result from more studious observation/copy of a reference image, and I took a few images of myself to act as general guidelines- not intending this drawing to be a copy of one in particular. I feel so silly, like I'm the only artist who gets anxious over how far you're "supposed" to take any piece... I guess I'm just curious what I could have done differently, as always.

  • MightyhogMightyhog Registered User regular
    Here's a quick question about comparing color value in Photoshop:


    I've read you can change the intensity/saturation of a color without affecting value, mostly through tint I suppose, but the actual HSV values confuse me. At left the value for V (you know, value) matches, until you desaturate the colors, below. At right Value is apparently different until you desaturate them. I'm using a simple hue/saturation adjustment layer. Just something I haven't had much luck finding info on!

  • MightyhogMightyhog Registered User regular
    Chose to do a study of a piece called "From Studio Window, Isola di Capri, October Evening"
    Here's the real deal:

    and here's a few process shots of my copy, and something that might even be called "finished!" ...It's not difficult to see why something less figural would take less time, but I'm pretty darn happy to see myself get a little quicker.





    And here's an exercise out of Confident Color in checking temperature, which naturally this piece was perfect for. I hope my notes are legible- I tried to portray where each succeeding color appeared on the color wheel, clockwise or counter clockwise. I did it blind, so it's a bit off target.


    Finally, more creative exercises out of Confident Color, each focused on contrasting intensity/saturation, rather than temperature.



    ...I love the wife-beater/tomato piece, but I think I may switch gears and do more exercises based on reference. I "force" these from the imagination like someone being told to "tell a joke" and coming up short.

  • MightyhogMightyhog Registered User regular
    More exercises in color: first, in temperature: a warm and a cool manikin, from life.



    Complementary contrast comes next:
    A sketch in Blue/Orange, based on penciled frame from Song of the South


    This from a trio of sketches featuring Red/Green and Yellow/Violet, the latter two just being embarrassing!

    Diagnosis: This was based on a viewfinder sketch of an illustration that didn't feature beams of light coming from the figure's orifices. The exercise suggested using pure hues, and really, what was I expecting when applied to a human face? I just sort of improvised this one and yeah, it shows!

    Diagnosis: I'm not against this design, but it's just not executed very well. Suffers for pure hues, and linework is just there.

    Here was a fun one: Sketches based on mixing, dulling complimentary hues. I made three designed to be comped together as a mock RPG battle: the background is red-violet/yellow-green, the player is red-orange/blue-green, and the enemy is yellow-orange/blue violet (not too different from the background, dare I say...)

    I'm fond of that character, but shrank him to fit the scene

    Finally, three character sketches based on "visual complements" rather than "mixing complements," Orange-Cyan, Yellow-Blue and Turquois-Red


    I've been thinking a lot about my goals recently, or lack thereof. A lot about study, too, based on NightDragon's post in Frank's Thread. I've devoted much more time to studying, and am considering taking some online courses as long as what I'm earning at work is essentially gravy. ...I live with my mother, is what I'm saying. Scott Eaton's anatomy course has my attention right now. Where things get sticky is just what I intend to do with whatever knowledge, or technique I amass. I feel like I want "anatomy" like a toy, just for the fact that it will make me "better." Better at what? In service of what goal?

    I'll be the first to admit I don't know what I want, not really, and am probably hampered pretty badly by a fatalistic bent. At worst I want to "feel competent" and for some reason art is where I've aimed that impulse. I'm being a little dramatic, and it's not as if I haven't been making forward steps: I've tried to actually surround myself with art and artists the way I used to, before I found them all inherently threatening, and making a "bad drawing" is starting to feel less like I'm poking holes in myself. Art is starting to inspire me again! What worries me is at the end of the day, and you can take that literally, there's not much I'll do for fun. I won't "risk" starting a sketch sometimes, or making anything, trying anything that I told myself I wanted to try. I don't think I've found what I draw for fun yet. That's sad. ...How did I get this far without figuring that one out?

    So I've been thinking about games, animation, even the technical things like character rigging that I recall really getting me excited in the past. I need to make like George Costanza and really think this out on a pier for a while. If that was a movie before it was Seinfeld, too bad. I guess what I'm asking is, any advice on finding your bliss in life? TIA.

  • MightyhogMightyhog Registered User regular
    Color sketches emphasizing mass, "making a little go a long way"


    Recent studies of stuff I like


    Original by Akeussel


    Going on vacation, away from digital art for a week which is really where I'm comfortable in color... but I bought some crayons to play with. Currently hung up on pointillism and perceptual color contrast, but not much to post- it's hard to experiment with pointillism, it takes patience!

    Hopefully I can get a little thinking done while I'm away, too.

  • MightyhogMightyhog Registered User regular
    Out of Confident Color, looking for contrasts of hue, value, intensity, compliment, temperature or mass in the provided examples. I did a rough copy of the first, but just took notes directly over the second.


    Obviously there's more than can be labeled, but I made note of some obvious things as well as some of what surprised me when I caught it.








    On the emotional front: still my own worst enemy. But I'll zip it for now.

  • MightyhogMightyhog Registered User regular
    Getting constructive

    A fun pose

    Cinderella and Prince via Disney Animation Archive Series: Animation

    Manikin from life

    Sketches from final contrast assignment in Confident Color, based on monochromatic sources
    (In order: Hue, Value, Intensity, Temperature, Complimentary, Mass)


    Carl Felber
    Ezio Anichini
    Charles Addams
    Neal Adams

  • MightyhogMightyhog Registered User regular
    edited October 2015
    Confident Color frustrated me recently with a chapter on planning one's palette around a triad (Red, Yellow, Blue and loose variations thereof) and I stupidly took to trying to blend her subtractive, RYB palette in ol' additive Photoshop...


    That inner palette approximates how it should look

    The harmony it's meant to evoke must still apply painting digitally, but it was an interesting rabbit hole to travel down learning about color blending in Photoshop. Seems a bit limited! How would one "make" a triadic palette- just eyeball it? That seems to be her suggestion for collage artists reading the book. At any rate I copied her High Key palette by sight and tried a pick of my own based on RGB as my primaries.


    I'd like to pursue a "high key horror" piece for fun, think candy colored Silent Hill, but it's made me so aware of how disconnected I am from just sketching, construction in general... and this quote really got me thinking:

    (Harold Speed from "The Practice and Science of Drawing")
    Colour would seem to depend much more on a natural sense and to be less amenable to teaching. A well-trained eye for the appreciation of form is what every student should set himself to acquire with all the might of which he is capable.

    Oh, I'm not giving up on Confident Color! But I know I need to devote more time to drawing from life, more time to form... in the meantime here's a study in progress, and some of the notes I took so far. Based on Terrazas de Tánger by Enrique Simonet.


    The nearest wall, the least intense mass of color, dominates by shear mass. What is the focal point if not the perched birds? Though they don’t exemplify the greatest contrast in the picture.

    Intensity and temperature are key, and I’m tempted to say blue-green dominates (no, red-orange! No, blue-green!). Everything is warm against cool, or transitioning between the two. Trees make for interesting notes of green in background, not immediately perceptible, and of course the “thimbleful” of red in a teeny, far off flag. Interesting to note relative intensity of distant row of buildings.

    After the flag, nearby masses of red orange rooftop and wall at lower right are most intense, but don’t seem to dominate. Maybe the rooftop has more power than I’m willing to admit. It is nicely centered.

    Ocean an example of cool receding, warm advancing? Interesting horizon, contrast of intensity/temperature.

    And the window. It doesn’t draw my eye, but is an excellent contrast in value and intensity. Conforms to hue and temperature, dominating coolness of edifice. Breaks up flat mass.

    Didn’t even catch that wooden post with the dark cast shadow my first pass through the piece. Fun that it and its shadow basically make an arrow toward the birds.

    I didn’t give light much thought (I never do) but if I had to put it into words I’d say the piece depicts a warm light source casting cool shadows. Am I right? Do I win? The predominance of the planes seen in shadow contribute to the general coolness of the picture.

    Mightyhog on
  • MightyhogMightyhog Registered User regular
    The finished study

    This began as part of a warm up routine I've been trying to stick to based on a model by Brandon Dayton. It dragged me out of the routine though, became more of a protracted study than anything else, which feels like it should be a separate "practice" ... oy, I'm just too hung up on getting things right.

    Tried to apply what I learned to this little abode

    Made me aware of just how uncomfortable I am with light and shadow, something else to work on. Am I studying color out of order? ...I feel so fixated on doing things "right," it's made me so slow, so cautious.

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Just wanted to chime in and say some classes may really help you target certain areas to study and focus. Being self directed is great, but sometimes the best way to do something you wouldn't normally is to have someone tell you what to do, when to do it, why you are doing it, and then give feedback. There are times when that sort of structure and 1 on 1 time really kickstart your perception.

    I think that your studies have been coming along well, but your "application" stage rarely leads to something a little more polished and finished. Push yourself on your pieces and use studies to solve problems as you run across them. It's easier than trying scatter shot at things like color theory. Sure you will eventually get better overall, but try and point yourself so you are moving forward in some direction and not meandering outwards.

    Being slow and cautious isn't bad. This last study is way better than the mushy, rushed studies of your earlier posts. You are actually trying to take information away from the things you are working on, thats a good step in the right direction. Just also consider what you want to do with your work, in a realistic sense.

  • MightyhogMightyhog Registered User regular
    Just an aside: I wrote a real long anxiety driven paragraph of bullshit before deciding to maybe sit on it. I seem to recall stating the aim to draw more, write less.

    I'll cop to floundering, and I know the power of good old structured learning. I'm a born follower! That's part of my problem. when it comes to what I want to do with my life... I'm still figuring that out. It's so much easier just to be told!
    I think it's important I look into art education, but where to begin? Bear in mind I'm sitting on more self-image than I may have time to fulfill: Draftsman, animator, 3D Sculptor... I realized recently there was no one word I could, say, put on a business card. And when was the last time I opened Zbrush? How sad, to just want to be a "content creator", but be so hung up on being ready to actually make a damn thing.
    ...Anyway, an online course makes sense to me, probably easier to fit around work. Thoughts?

    I don't think I know myself very well yet. What's fulfilling to me, what I find myself doing, and can "forget myself" in the process of doing it. I have plenty of ideas, but apparently not enough discipline to see at least one through just see how it feels, even to fail. I'm too hung up on being "ready", on everything needing to work out.

    So! I've hit the reset on Vilppu again. Here were some "quick sketches", which I'm taking far more deliberately than I have in the past.yponu5fc8w0c.png
    o2t25umidhcb.png (from a GIF... I feel like I need to "excuse" this one, apparently...)

    From another set... I let these go a decent length...


    A study for that high key horror piece

    And another- this one before the dive back into Vilppu, I was much more concerned with Bridgman's model for figure drawing. The head stands out as some questionable decision making.

    And a working image of the piece itself. I worry about how vague a concept I had going in, and want to start over. Work less realistically. Why won't I give myself permission to work fun? It feels so uninspired- it's supposed to be candy colored!


    ...not that I had it in mind when I conceived it, but definitely not going to be ready by Halloween!

  • DinoFightDinoFight Registered User regular
    Mightyhog wrote: »
    I took the study one step further, but the animation will have to wait I think- I'll definitely be doing more hops, but It's tough to justify opening up Animator's Survival Kit before I meet some Raindrop Hop milestones.

    The aquarium feature in color

    One or two more rounds of adding detail, and that'd be close to looking realistic! Good job!
  • MightyhogMightyhog Registered User regular
    Interesting you bring up that piece- strange how intuitively it "happened", whereas these days I'm more concerned with knowing exactly what I'm doing before even attempting something...

    I've slacked on the horror front, knowing full well I was doing everything backwards. I already had my barely-designed character in place, but went ahead and designed him again anyway- not "re-designed," just... tried to work backwards. Oy!

    Started with some silhouettes to get ideas flowing for a head, which remained the least well defined aspect of the character. Hey, his face is hidden, anyway!

    And this is what stops me up: I'm working from this vague sense of "naturalism" rather than caricature or even creativity. Thighs look like this. Feet look like this. ...or close enough, at least. Unfinished designs ho!

    The Return To Vilppu sees me working on figure drawing

    Testing what I know on ol' Gollum

    Most recent drawing with process shots

    And continued development of Raindrop Hop- hopefully finding a comfortable place to settle with the "Lemon Lime" character. Developing tunnel vision around a rendering style focused on tiled "chips", exploring the appeal of them casting shadows over each other versus flat color- I like the idea of differentiating foreground and background planes by the style of chip, shaded or flat.



    I'm trying to more regularly attend a life drawing group focusing on short poses (up to 20 minutes) and generally balance self-improvement with, you know, actually making anything, having a goal beyond "be better, now." I still feel so hamstrung by work, like I come home without momentum, I get this strange sense of amnesia, like I can only accomplish certain drawings directly after a video tutorial, directly after reading about it, but retention eludes me. It's like that aquarium piece quoted above- it feels like a moment, something that happened to me once, rather than a skill I possess, or possessed.

    Just to end on a weird note, here's a sketchy sketch I made while listening to music. It stands out if only because it's probably the only drawing of its kind out of the last few weeks. Why don't I draw for fun? Because everything has to be progress?

  • MightyhogMightyhog Registered User regular
    Been trying to focus on figural studies and exercises from, I'll post the figures for now at least. I tend to look at these all through the lens of practicing a Vilppu model of gesture followed by simple synthetic form. They're all physical media, which is a bit of a shift for me, but I've been trying to make figure drawing a daily habit.

    Largely in chronological order:

    Two separate studies of a pose from Pose Space- SOURCE



    Not hot, part of me wants to blame working upright at an easel.

    In hindsight, a good life drawing session:
    Beginning with some 5 minute poses









    The next week, not so much.
    Shorter to longer poses

    Text: Very Vilppu except for head, which I lean toward spherical. Asking myself: Through or over the form? What overlap?

    Text: Lots of placement issues after following Vilppu model

    Text: Oops, forgot the feet! Do I engage with squinting/blurring, recording only the most basic masses I see?

    Text: Scratching the outline, digging far too deep


    Text: Tunnel vision,,,! Let's blame fatigue. These poses of overlapping forms, thighs over the pelvis / rib-cage, really throw me off. Flattens the figure.


    I'm using more Croquis Cafe videos:


    As well as a Japanese book of art models, "Pose File":


    And a protracted Pose Space study that didn't quite pan out... SOURCE


    More Croquis...

    More Pose File...

    And a life drawing session featuring mostly 30 minute poses after some short ones
    (I start working on two images in tandem, trying not to burn my eyes out on just one. Hey, 30 minutes is 10 minutes out of my comfort zone!)

    ...and to cap it all off, a bit of a clunker...


    Is it helpful at all to dump these sort of drawings? Do patterns emerge? What am I always doing, what am I never doing? I hate that I let these pile up, but a part of me is so scared to share, to compare... and I'm worried I don't have solid, specific questions about where to improve.

  • MightyhogMightyhog Registered User regular
    I've been looking at some visually interesting technology and design from the 1970s in preparation for a personal project, brushing up on my Photoshop with individual studies and exercises in combining the reference into compound forms.
    I've been working from these for a little while:
    Below, A Radio/Video Capsule

    Below, A Pavilion from the Osaka World Fair

    Below, The finished Compound Form, about 9 hours

    To get an idea of the process, here it was about three hours in

    I worked from a few sketchy guide layers, then filled it all in with a flat base color and put a heavy stroke around it. Tried to work from general to specific in regards lighting. I did not use that little mat ball as much as I thought I would.

    I'm doing over my studies of the original forms, currently the Video Capsule, which is about 3 hours in, below:

  • MightyhogMightyhog Registered User regular

    Work continues on the study of the JVC video capsule, above.
    I've put together a Process GIF of the first 13 hours, below:


    More than anything this has become an experiment in avoiding traditional line work. All of the black lines are actually the outlining contours of white masses of paint, each occupying its own layer. I'm moving into an Ambient Occlusion pass, after which I'll have to do proper shading, maybe flat color/tone. I may stop at tone. Light and color scares me.

    Two more studies may be in my future before another compound form, at the moment these are the top contenders:


  • MightyhogMightyhog Registered User regular
    Slow progress on the JVC Video Capsule, just began shading pass over Ambient Occlusion, Below


    I'm finding it a bit easier to just mask on the fly and shade in temp layers, very CTRL+Paint, which leads me to consider not preserving the separate shape layers that comprise my line work. I could select the pixels to generate a mask, but the stack is so tall it's a bit prohibitive, anyway!

    Went to life drawing, don't want to post everything, so here are the Twenty Minute Poses, at least:




    Likeness is a concern of mine, and the fact that, given the time, I'll build part-to-part rather than off of a gesture drawing, which I was struggling with in earlier poses.

  • MightyhogMightyhog Registered User regular
    Video Capsule approaches 21 hours, below
    Link to latest in set
    Nearly ready to close it out; the text at the end isn't some sort of title, I need to stamp it to the Base component's top face...

    Life Drawing, 10 minute to 45 minute poses, below





    Something tells me I should loosen up. These are rather small, on a 5.5 by 8 inch pad.

  • MightyhogMightyhog Registered User regular
    The final JVC Video Capsule, Below


    And the Reference, Below


    The grill pattern curving around the back of the monitor head was a bit of a cop-out, I had trouble understanding how to light it, where to break up the highlights...
    It will be a while, but I'm curious how well these "knockout" layers will handle more organic forms- a face, for instance. I could see them being trimmed and flattened down on the fly, like Ctrl+Paint's temp layers, at which point I question whether it would be easier to just draw the lines directly.

    A goal between this and the next study is definitely to streamline the keyboard shortcuts I use.

  • SublimusSublimus Artist. nowhereRegistered User regular
    Wow. Really crazy progress in here man. The latest figures are looking good, and that JVC came out great!!

  • MightyhogMightyhog Registered User regular
    Thanks Sublimus!

    WIPs update:
    A cleaned up thumbnail for the next tech study, a View Master, Below.


    Based on this image, also appearing in an earlier post

    Life Drawing
    This week I went in with a vague notion of using lose contour drawings, not lifting my pencil from the page, as a quick basis for my gestures. When things didn't pan out, I mostly reverted back to my comfort zone. Ugh!

    2 Minute Pose, Below, probably the only appealing follow-through on the method I described.


    7 Minute Pose, Below, I'm letting ol' Vilppu slip in, but it's not so bad!


    20 Minute Pose, Below, feels lifeless.


    45 Minute Pose, Below... I like the feet, at least.


  • SublimusSublimus Artist. nowhereRegistered User regular
    Another nice update!

    Now I miss actual figure drawing haha.

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    My only crit for the jvc thing is I think the metalic parts could have sharper and brighter highlights. Those are impressive technical studies that I could probably benefit from forcing myself to do. Very clean and tangible.

    The figure drawing effort looks to be paying off as well, looking forward to seeing those progress.

  • MightyhogMightyhog Registered User regular
    Thanks, Sublimus, Iruka!

    Picks from figure drawing this week, below

    Walked in with a hard brown pastel, not my tool of choice, but I wasn't very satisfied with my pencil drawings. Turns out the tool wasn't the problem HEH. Anyway, here are some short poses...



    A longer pose, below, getting boxier, looking for corners...


    An oddity of continually working the form...


    and a long pose I split in two because I hated the first drawing, below...



    I go to life drawing without much prep. I want to crack open Force by Matessi, but don't make the time. Really life drawing has become like exercise, just something to keep these parts of my brain from going numb.

    WIPs Department

    I want to call the ViewMaster study finished, or at least enter a period of hands off time.

    Palette is still there on the image. Painted directly on my shape layers, this time. A bit more destructive, but with a limited palette not very intimidating.


    Process GIF, below, approximately hour intervals.


  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    this one seems a little flatter, it lacks the grounded feel of the JVC study since its hard to tell if its resting on a surface.

    I like the texture of those figures, actually. If reading through force is getting you down (its alot more dense than I anticipated, I'll admit) You might want to at least add watching proko videos to your routine. It's much more structural in nature, but I've enjoyed them as an easy way to keep learning about anatomy.

  • MightyhogMightyhog Registered User regular
    I've tried to get Proko started a few times- it wouldn't hurt to start again, ha! I'll try to go in next week with the basic gesture videos under my belt!

    As for the Viewmaster, with fresher eyes I definitely see it flattening out, though I might blame the colors... I'm not sure what steps I should take, and I don't want to resort to just fussing about. In the original, there's a nice effect you can observe on the top face, with the grill set into it, as the light seemingly drops off from right to left- an illusion as virtually the same tone contrasts with the lighter and darker faces at either side. I didn't quite capture that. My tones seem... limited.

  • MightyhogMightyhog Registered User regular
    Went into Life Drawing with a bit of Proko, here are the long poses (twenty minutes) below, some with gestures I warmed up with, separate from the final piece...






    I really was put off by the last one, above, but generally I felt a new sort of confidence in depicting gesture like a composition of "flat tubes", generally showing simple motion in C-S-I curves.

    Random figure drawing question: anyone have experience with High-Focus Drawing? I've heard it recommended, not that I'll be able to dig into it any time soon.

    In the WIPs department, I'm taking on this "Aquatron Egg Radio"


    Process GIF, below...


    I really started feeling shaky on this one, and have recently revamped the whole thing...


    Something about these irregular shapes. They make me second guess everything.

  • MightyhogMightyhog Registered User regular
    Life Drawing, Below...
    A strong two minute pose...


    A weak two minute pose...


    My favorite, a ten minute pose...


    And a glimpse into how I try to build on a gesture. For some poses I began in graphite and built off of the sketch in color...


    Work moves slowly but surely on the Aquatron...


    If I had to guess where I got stuck on this one for so long, it certainly helped to seek further reference than just the first photo. I jumped out of my draft layers pretty early, too, before it really felt solid. I could only struggle with the shape layers because I hadn't worked it out in line- in my head, really.

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