Sunday, 30 December 2012

City Scape

One thing I learned while painting the image for the previous post was that it was just plain boring looking. After some looking around I think it's because there wasn't really a whole lot of dynamic or focus. I tried to get a lot more of that in this painting. It comes from generally the same idea, it's just a different view of that city. So still a lot of inspiration from buildings found in Venice Italy.

My plan is to keep improving on this, I think it's a fight between creativity and the skill of painting in itself. It's hard to do both at the same time, so hopefully my paintings will become more solid and less boring on a nice upward plane as I go.

 Again the goal is the get the nice look scene in concept art from games like Mass Effect, I think I still have a ways to go on the polish, but like I said before, I think I'm on the right path to it.

Monday, 24 December 2012


So I'm working on the whole painting thing, I'm not 100% happy with this but its another step. I finished this a month or two ago and wasn't going to post it, but ah whatever, may as well!

till next time.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Application time - soldiers

I decided to apply some of that gesture practice to a drawing finally. I think it worked out pretty well, although I'm sure I still have a ways to go.

I decided to drawing some soldiers clowning around, so first the design:

Admittedly I did the poses first not thinking I was going to take it further, so the design came second. I then applied to the poses as you can see below. I was considering painting it, but I think the shade worked out pretty nice so, maybe I'll leave it at that.

I also had a lot of fun drawing the rifle, first time I really tried to make a gun design, it was a blast I have to say... no pun intended. I really wanted to stay on the sci fi theme for the time being, so more to come in the future.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

An important lesson i'll never forget

So This Blog is basically to document my progress in getting better at art, and just as importantly, re-discovering what I like about it. The first part of that has been coming along well, but to my surprise, the second part, is just booming!

I honestly viewed this blog as a way to force myself to do the chore of getting to a point in art where I could draw my armored unicorns fighting spaceships and move on. However, It's becoming so much more than that. I've learned a very important lesson, and although I wished I learned it earlier, I'm really excited to be moving through it now. That lesson is firstly, basics are king, and you're never too good for them. The second part of this lesson I'd really like to stress, viewing it as a chore was a horrifying way of thinking, and doubly so, I 'm happy to move past that self defeating state of mind.

When I did the painting for my last post, it was to take a break from a bigger painting I'd been teasing for a bit. But as the lesson I've been learning goes(and sadly had learned in college but ignored), was that detailed crap is still crap, and 20 hours later, I abandoned it. That's when I decided to gear this learning process in one fundamental direction, basics first.

Gestures are definitely a defining point because if the gesture is bad, the structure following it will not make the drawing any better, nor will the anatomy layered on top of that and nor will the clothing, laser guns and helmets on that. Taking it a step further, neither will its paint job. So simply ignoring the first step, which takes all of 20 seconds, you can spend 20 hours to finally realize you made a fundamental error, and it was all pointless.

A lot of old advice has been flooding into my cranium lately, mostly from my friend over at Chroma Sketch. The biggest of which was to read Walt Stanchfield's notes. I'm happy to say I picked up a copy of "Drawn to Life" last week. It's beyond awesome and very inspiring.

I'm really starting to understand that this is a lifestyle, and to be great at art you really have to live it. Between gestures, anatomy studies, and just observing more, I can really see the huge benefits that will come from this. I understand now that although my goal has always been to create cool sci fi and fantasy characters/environments, that in between, I must, and will enjoy a regiment of practice to keep my skills sharp, and my visual library primed and ready to go!

So ending this long winded thought, drawings! The are all from coffee shops minus the nudes, which came from stock I found on (I can only afford so many drinks haha).

 The last one here is the one I think I got the closest to the goal, note the girl sitting on the right side of the page, very few lines, shows the pose, not to caught up in anatomy.

I admit as a whole these are a bit touch and go, but I'm having a lot of fun trying to drop my bad habits and work towards the ideal point of the exercise.

Lastly there are a few I did that aren't gestures but I'm putting up anyways. Obviously gestures are a means to an end, and another part of that is anatomy, structure, aesthetic etc. So when I was trying to wrap my head around a collar, I ended up drawing this. I only bring it up because I think the relaxed demeanor of the pose is a bi-product of the gestures, since I usually end up with something stiff and lifeless. But I like it stylistically, and I'd like to play more with drawing like this in the future.

This second one here is a quick study I did of lips since I've been having a bit of an issue with them, especially in 3/4. This is part of a larger effort to do more anatomy studies, primarily focused on facial expressions. I've started doing a lot more, but here's the start.
Although the number of drawings here are pretty limited, since two weeks ago, ive filled over half of my new sketch book. I hope with much more study and practice, I'll be able to post more and more of them. I know not every attempt will yield a great gesture, but I'm only now finally getting some consistency in my artwork through these exercises. Despite having a long way to go, I'm finally excited about art again, and that's more then I could have ever hoped for.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Favorite. Bird. Ever.

So when I was at Petsmart, I saw this bird called a Star Finch for sale, I'm guessing they're pretty common because I see them there a lot. They're pretty awesome though. So I thought it would be fun to design a character with similar colors and patterns. In the end I ended  up with more of a cult leader Motif.

I'd definitely like to continue in this vein of style, a bit more rustic and less refined, but it has more visual appeal then then usual perfect line clean up I have to employ at work. This is definitely more up my alley.

This isn't the painting I've been hinting at but it gave me a nice break, I think from beginning to end including the design roughs this took me about 5 hours I'd say. Design roughs included a few sketches, a turn around to see where I was going with it and a bunch of silhoutte drawings to play with body type. I think I may do another painting of him/her with another body type I also liked, could be a fun exercise.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Second visit to the Royal Winter Fair

Apparently they had sheep with dreads... So.... How could I not go back?

I'm enjoying my pen a lot, starting to get the hang of it. In a bit I'd like to start experimenting with some rendering, like markers or conte or something to spice it up.

I'm trying a bit harder working towards the goal of posting once a week (minimum) too. so Here's hoping!

Till next time.

Friday, 2 November 2012

A visit to the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair! And the ROM again!

I ended up at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair today, and since I forgot my camera, I had to reconstruct my experience with napkins and a pen I found on the floor.

And Last weekend I also Found myself back at the ROM.

That's it for now, my next painting is coming along pretty well, hopefully I can post that next.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Sketch dump

A bunch of coffee shop sketches/gestures. If it makes the first one any less creepy, drawn with the subjects consent!

Ive been working on my life drawing technique in the meantime, next time I get to the TSA I can generate some drawings, much better then the old in my opinion. I still have to work on my gesture technique, I'm getting a lot of inconsistent ones.

Also I'm half way through a new painting, so that should be going up soon!

Monday, 8 October 2012

We're all just as ugly on the inside

So with the title I'm really just referencing this fine fellow to the left. I've always had difficulty recording the likeness of a person, so it's part of my plan to go back and patch up my weaknesses. 

What I've identified, is a general lack of understanding of what's under the hood. So as my first of many studies, I sketched a rough self portrait of myself, and then drew in anything under the skin that was contributing greatly to my appearance. Obviously things like bone structure were the main focus, but I included the sternocleidomastoid muscle's in the neck as they're important for it's form, as well as the larynx and related pieces (hyoid bone and trachea). The main reason for their inclusion was because I have a very protruded adam's apple, which I now know is called the laryngeal prominence.

The reason I did it via the route of self portrait was so I would be forced to actually translate the information in context and not just copy it from a book. Which lets face it, is a terrible way to learn anything.

Below is the simple concept of apply what you learn, so on this gesture drawing trip I focused much more on people's faces. This made for some awkward stare backs from time to time.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Chameleon vs. Elephant: Elephant wins.

Another trip to the TO Zoo, I think the elephant is a new personal best, so I'm considering it my new sketching bar for the future. Admittedly she wouldn't sit still, so this is a reconstruction using all 3 elephants there given the initial pose of the first one.

Apparently elephants only want me to see them in profile, and somehow psychically alter space so no matter where I or they move, its all I see. 360 degrees? "No" say the elephants, "only 1".

I'm really enjoying the kraft paper sketching book and pen combo, now I just need to find more places where I can draw people from the front... Although I've got to say I'm getting damn good at drawing people back 3/4 playing on their phones...


Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Not a PNG...

Turns out Blogspot doesn't like my PNG files, so enjoy this jpg...

This is an extension of the first first post I made involving the plague doctor kid, I think I hit a new painting milestone, still have a lot left to improve upon, but i'll be working on keeping them at least at this bar. Obviously I'll be shooting higher until I can rival the amazing art of Mass Effect, that's the current goal!

Its my hope to start taking painting classes soon so I can learn more techniques and what not first hand. I want to make sure I learn it properly so I can eventually refer to myself as competent in it! woo! competent!

Also I probably wont be posting any more images from this particular IP, I'm going to try and do some more Sci Fi oriented stuff, combaaaat suits anyone?

Also if anyone is wondering(Im sure someone in my audience of 0 has been curious) I'm still doing gestures and life drawing, more of that to come soon!

till my next post!

Friday, 17 August 2012


A bunch of gestures/ sketches (kind of a grey area sometimes) from the zoo and starbucks... also a bit of a grey area.

Ring Tailed Lemurs

unidentified turtle

White Rhino

White Rhino 02

Coffee enthusiasts

Coffee enthusiasts 02

Monday, 6 August 2012

This one definitely doesn't give honey...

Continuing the Venetian thing from the first post... I painted this awhile back but didn't post it because the bottom right had saturation issues, but I recently found the PSD so I was able to modify it! Go digital tech! (okay.. I admit it... I probably could've fixed the jpg...)

As a side note, when I was looking for reference for the pistol, I was really surprised at A) that angle from barrel to handle is WAAAY more subtle then I would've thought and B) there are a surprising amount of variations of these pistols, and I'm not just talking fancy lion etchings.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Some hives just aren't for honey

 Just a couple hours in an attempt to jaz up an old drawing. Im starting to dislike line work in favor of paint/tone. Just feels a lot less... liney (these bits of wisdom are why I don't bother with twitter).

As a side note, I have been life drawing since the last figure drawing post, so soonish I'll head back to the TSA and do a few to post to show some progression!

Edit: It was bugging me so I added a border and upped the contrast on the image a bit.