Blue Gleepstone does stuff

BlueGleepstoneBlueGleepstone Super SketchyRegistered User new member
edited February 2018 in Artist's Corner
Hi all, I've been looking for a place to get some critique on my art and have heard great things about the PA forums so I figured I'd give it a go!
For a little background I'm a college graduate that bounced back and forth between art and programming majors about 5 times ending up with degrees in Computer Animation and Graphic Design and with a Computer Science degree I'm currently finishing up. (and probably a traditional art one someday, because I clearly have a problem.)
I took a pretty long break from art over the last few years but I recently re-found my motivation in drawing random reddit posts of all things.
Now that I've been back at the sketchbook for a while I'm looking to try to start actively improving my work.

I draw primarily with a .3mm pencil, multiliner pens, and copic markers.
I put up all of my drawings on Instagram, my Reddit profile, and Twitter.

The things I'm currently trying to focus on (kind of putting these here as a reminder for myself!)
  • More fluid and dynamic figures
    -It's been a few years since I've really done any figure drawing and my figures have become very stiff, flat, and oddly proportioned.
  • Better shading/color usage
    -I'd say about half of the time I end up overworking a drawing during the shading/color phase; going to try to use more control and preplanning in my shading. Also looking to try to get better at softer transitions of color.
  • Drawing more from life
    -I don't draw from life nearly enough and it probably shows in my work. Just invested in a small sketchbook to help out with this.
  • Drawing more quickly
    -I tend to sketch over the same section of any illustration about 100 times; I think I could definitely be getting drawings done at a fraction of the time if I were more confident with my lines.
    Started recording myself through Twitch to help me really see where I can speed up my work.
  • Spending more time on illustrations (Wait, that's the opposite of the last thing!)
    -About the most time I spend on any illustration outside of commissions is around an hour; probably usually closer to 20-30 minutes. I don't have too much time to devote to drawing so I try to rush things out as quickly as I can, but I think it would be beneficial to actually invest some time into a larger and more focused illustration or two.

If you notice any other areas I could improve I'm all ears!
Whew, that went on longer than I expected; thanks for having me!

I'll start off with a sketch last night from /r/streetwear
red x (1.5" x 5")
  • Went with the name "red x" because of the skull on the shoes made me think of the Teen Titans character
  • Arm length feels too short; length of the jacket threw me a bit.
  • The arm blends into the body too much as well; could have used some stronger lines and better use of highlighting.
  • Not quite enough control with the shading

BlueGleepst.one/ mostly sketches
BlueGleepstone on


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    IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator Mod Emeritus
    Hey @BlueGleepstone! First of all welcome to the forums.

    My first suggestions are to post more work, and to not put them in spoilers. This is your thread! No reason to hide your work behind links and gates, makes it harder to contemplate as you write a crit.

    It looks like you have a lot of self critique going on, which generally is what's needed to make big changes in your work. You already know what you want, and have some plans for getting there. When it comes to giving more thorough critiques, you might also want to state some of your influences and artistic goals, and think about what you want your work to do, and be, before setting a course.

    I dug up our old influence thread as an example:

    You might not have an artistic focus on a particular industry (like concept art, or a specific facet of graphic design), but it can be pretty helpful to think about what you might want to do with your work. Find the influences and goals that you are going to use to set your standards and consider your progress. The questions in the influence thread above might help. And perhaps the old resolution threads as well:

    The reason I say all this is because trying to improve your art, broadly and to no particular end, can be pretty daunting. Even tackling a seemingly "simple" concept like improving your coloring techniques comes with a lot of questions about how you want to go about it, what media you want to work with, and what you want your work to look like ultimately.

    For the art itself, I personally think that the linework is a bit loose and busy in some of the things I see on instagram, making it hard to discern forms. This is probably the hardest on your drawings of faces, where details and important landmarks are feeling lost in the frenetic energy of things. I think the high saturated colors and pure white highlights tend to be easier to take in when the application of them feels more deliberate. A bunch of white highlights everywhere makes it hard to get a sense of the light.

    In your reference above, there's a clear sense of the light coming from the window at his back in the photo, but the white on the front of his pants and jacket make it more ambiguous, and harder to read.

    One of my favorite marker artists is Nuri Durr (https://twitter.com/actionhankbeard/media), but his work might be a few degrees too clean for your tastes. Still, he works with light, and smooth fields of color to build up shapes in a very clear manner. It might be something to look to for inspiration!

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    BlueGleepstoneBlueGleepstone Super Sketchy Registered User new member
    edited February 2018
    Thanks a lot for the links, absolutely love that artist you linked me to. As you said, a bit on the clean side for me but I could definitely learn a lot from his art; especially the control and softer/lighter touch.
    That inspiration thread seems like a great exercise; definitely going to tackle those questions.

    Thanks for the advice as well; I've been trying to think about where I want to go artistically quite a bit lately.
    As you can tell from my "high energy" (read "scribbling") sketches I prefer something a little less perfect than graphic design and I've been leaning towards concept art. Just picked up this book by Elliot Lilly; haven't given it a full read but it seems packed full of helpful advice so far.
    But then I also have this other side that wants to take my programming knowledge and combine it with my art to make small artsy games and experiences. So that side wants to focus on crafting game ready art whether that is lower-poly hand painted 3D models (<3 that MegaMan Legends style to death) or 2D assets.

    While I'm hoping to eventually have the time to work on both, for now I think I'm going to focus on the conceptual side and move to the more refined stuff once I'm happy with my conceptual skills.
    I have a back-burner dream project that I'm slowly working towards as motivation to keep improving and would love to finally get to the level to really start concepting that out a bit more.

    On to some more art!

    Here is a commission I did recently for a HitBox arcade stick; looking forward to seeing how it looks on the controller.
    Worked digitally for this one, trying to go for more of a painterly style while keeping my usual energy.
    As these things usually go, it ended up being my least favorite thumbnail that got picked but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.
    I think that some of the shading on the face came out a bit too harsh and the eyes don't quite pop/have enough life to them. Still not great at really getting good depth to a face when working from a 2D reference.

    For something that I actually used a little bit of control with (!!!) here are a few D20 Cat illustrations from a few weeks back.
    -Not too much to say about these, although I think I like how the white cat turned out a little bit more.

    And here are some older concept pieces from that back-burner dream project, which is set in a world powered by cans of spray paint.
    -A Spray Station to refill on paint

    -A paint refinery.

    -Vending machine + recycling bin design
    -Spray pump design.
    I know I modeled and textured some of these but they may have been lost on an old harddrive.

    I've been drawing people from /r/Streetwear as robo-people in an effort to start to working towards the design of the people that will inhabit this world.
    Narrowing in on a multi-eyed robot-skull race of people for the city dwellers and need to start working on the design of the nature-dwelling robots.

    BlueGleepstone on
    BlueGleepst.one/ mostly sketches
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    BlueGleepstoneBlueGleepstone Super Sketchy Registered User new member
    I've been on a bit of a retro gaming-gear kick while trying to practice a little bit more control with lines and color!

    Ordered from new->old

    I think I'm starting to get a little bit better at drawing larger and (kinda) taking my time. Still not quite getting that 'finished' look to most of my sketches though (which is I guess why they're sketches!)
    I've also been trying to get my forms to feel more solid.

    Finally took to time to start putting my personal site together to make it easier to browser related skecthes. Right now it's running on a modified Wordpress, but I've been looking for an excuse to get back into PHP so I think I'll be coding something new from the ground up for it soon!

    BlueGleepst.one/ mostly sketches
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    SublimusSublimus Artist. nowhereRegistered User regular
    Nice update! great to see traditional art on the forum!

    My only real bit of advice would be that some of your lines are just placed down for seemingly no reason. Especially on the green n64, they don't seem to be describing the form, or describing a texture, or there for any real purpose. Except maybe "I want it to look kind of cross hatch sketchy style". But even if that's the look you're going for, they should be placed down for a reason.

    Hope that helps!!

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    DoodmannDoodmann Registered User regular
    edited March 2018
    I've been on a bit of a retro gaming-gear kick while trying to practice a little bit more control with lines and color!

    GBA SO GOLD[/center]

    Just a tip, I've found stuff displays better on here if you throw an "L" before the .jpg on your images. Quoted with example...that for some reason broke the png, ugh never mind.

    Doodmann on
    Whippy wrote: »
    nope nope nope nope abort abort talk about anime
    I like to ART
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    BlueGleepstoneBlueGleepstone Super Sketchy Registered User new member
    Thanks for the feedback and the formatting help!

    I get what you mean with the lines being seemingly random. A lot of the time I'll use scratch marks to help gauge the spacing of objects or I just zoned out and went into scribble mode.
    For that one I think I was breaking up paint into 3 levels of shade, kind of like a cel-shading approach. It's something I used to do with figure drawing that I really liked the look of but I haven't quite been able to recapture it yet.

    I used to try to keep my shading lines more in line with the form of an object but the more I looked at the linework of art that I was seeing and liking I realized a lot of them had some chaos and randomness to their shading lines. Still need to find that sweet spot in between where I still convey the form but also have the random 'noise' that I enjoy.
    I think I'll do a few sketches with a more strict with-the-form approach too as I could use the practice.

    Thanks again for the feedback!

    BlueGleepst.one/ mostly sketches
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