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hey guys, I hope I didn't doublepost any images. I lost track AND I am too lazy too search my sketchbook.

some of the sketches were done while walking through the park with my daughter, watching people

aaaand some more

more sketches
i dont know how to finish this +LALALA+
Hey guys,

a think I finally found a way to study that works for me. It is less an issue of commitment, but more an issue of organization. I started naming the file after what the study was about and not for example who I am studying from. That way I keep in mind what I am doing the study for. Also I save all the studies I do on that topic in one month in the same file. So after a month I can see how many composition studies I did in April and how many gesture studies and so on. It feels right this way and is fun (at least for me)


A quick note on gestures. I used to hate them, because they felt so difficult und unsatisfying. I never knew why I did them, because I felt like I didn't learn anything from them. But since I started walking around outside with my sketchbook and sketching people while I was walking (sometimes behind them very slowly (people don't get suspicious if you have a baby with you)), I started to like them more and more. I guess the whole thing turned when I started to do really simplified gestures of people with the least lines possible. PS is actually a great tool for this, since it lets you change brush diameter instantly. So in the first of these I brushed in a couple of guidelines with big broad strokes and after that got clearer and more detailed. But all the time the first big strokes tell the whole story. The smaller strokes help to tell more about the volumes and connections, but the big ones are the key to the pose. And also I found my perfect time for these. It's 2 min. It is the perfect timespan to check out the whole figure, do my big strokes and then add some details where I want them. It is pretty satisfying to work that way.


These ones I started after reading more and more in Richard Schmid's great book "Alla Prima 2". It helped me to get the hang of those small value comps. The key way to always squint down at the originals until I could say which values are the darkest, which one are the lightest and what are the middle tones. I tried to work only with the least values necessary, which are mostly 3.


This one is actually just part of an image. I try to focus here on picking the right colors and comparing them to each other. I don't go overboard with rendering, but look for the simple statement. In this one I actually more or less looked for the value of the colors. In future studies I will look more into the color temperature changes too. It is still a lot to handle so no wonder my focus jumpes around a bit.


This one is by my all time favorite artist William-Adolphe Bouguereau. The focus here way to render a part of the image to a more finished degree. I don't think you have to go for the whole picture, but pick out parts, that are interesting at that moment. And to me that is rendering flesh and picking skin colors. Also learning more about the shoulder girdle, the connection of the arm and the neck to the shoulder. These studies are also a great way to feel like I can paint like the old masters and get my confidence-level up after struggling with one of my own paintings. Of course I know that I can't paint like them, since I only look at the finished piece with all the problems figured out for me. But it is a nice illusion :)

In the end I won't do this in a set order, but work on what I feel like needs attention. But having figured out some of the issues in organization and clearing up the purpose of the single study, I feel like I have more focus to actually do the study.

last but not least I got some awesome feedback on this piece and finally found a way to finish it. this is still WIP but I get closer to the finishing line

finishing up slowly.

getting rid of design and comp problems and detailing
more studies and a finished piece (?)

C n C welcome!

2 h creature sketch. It is basicly a combined study of 4 photos. Design is not really existing :D
misc stuff, mostly studies. I landed a freelance gig as conceptartist! Woohoo! I will post stuff from it soon.
today's stilllife. great thing my parents kept my childhood toys
Hey, you haven't posted work in awhile! Hope you're still at it. Great improvements. Grin

Congrats on the job! Hope it's going well for you man.
Hey Bookend,

yeah sorry I know I haven't been around quite a while. Being a parent and starting a career can be quite stressful at times haha How are you doing? everything is well?

ok so just the most recent stuff. Some illustrations and some conceptart + 1 study
I'm doing great, thanks. Grin Was a bit touch and go there-- Got kinda demotivated, but then pulled myself up again.

So glad to see you're still working hard and doing lots of amazing stuff!

I doubt I could critique your work at this point-- I just love your figures and your studies. Great way to learn from the skeleton and whatnot. Great ideas.

But, I dooo have a question! When you're doing studies, are you trying to get the most accurate colour from it? For example-- With the arch you did way-back-when, you used a more saturated purple, and I really love the effect it made on the piece. I'm wondering if I'm not taking my studies the wrong way-- Trying to pick the 'perfect colour', and making it perfectly accurate, when I should be just getting within the ballpark, but still learning from the composition?

But, yeah-- Squinting is definitely helping me, thanks for your tips in my SB. And keep rocking! Thumbs_up
hey bookend,

I am not sure, which study you mean, but generally studying shouldn't be about perfect copying but about understanding something. You can copy something 100 % correctly, but afterwards have no idea what you did. This maybe sounds a little extreme, but I remember studies I did where afterwards, I didn't feel smarter at all. Then again I did studies, that where merely scribbles and notes, but they helped me to understand something very well.

I am no master of this, to be honest. I don't understand lots of it myself, but in my experience, if you don't feel like you understood it, you haven't understood it. That is to say that some things get stored in the back of your head and when you reach a certain level all of a sudden it makes total sense. That is when you jump ahead and that feels awesome.

But take of all that with a grain of salt, I am also struggling with studies and I don't feel I get ahead as fast as I liked. Listen to "The science and practice of drawing" by Harold speed. There is an good audiobook of it in the web. And also the blogposts by the Creativetrigger guy are cool. He talks a lot about seperating what you want to study and then do a focussed study of that. for example don't copy only masterpaintings or fotografs, also du linestudies only, or simple value studies, or realy simple stilllifes with only 1 lightsource. Really try to seperate what painting and drawing is made off and then study each part.

Again: me no master. But here is what I think, what you need to learn:

drawing accurately : practice contour drawings of simple objects
values: do value scales and simple value studies
composition: do small comps and comp studies
perspective: read about it and pratice your basic volumes in perspective
colors: read about and look for hue and color temperature changes. do small studies and try to match colors. after you did it, pick the colors and see how the react in the picture
narrative: I don't really know how to practice this, but read, watch movies, think up stories and such
anatomy: contour drawings of anatomy parts. I have not a lot of clues about anatomy but I feel like there is a better way to learn than the way I did it, so I won't say a lot about it. But you should know the bones and the big muscles. Use ref a lot.

Change media from time to time and just do whatever it is that makes you love painting. Easier said than done, when you have a tight schedule...

And lastly, as long as you keep drawing, everything will work out sooner or later. Peter Mohrbacher didn't learn the fundemantels for a long time and look where he is now. Dave Rapoza says he sucks at painting hands. Nobody is every totally satisfied. :*
some mech-concept art for the game I am working on + a study
a stilllife I am working on and a 1,5 h study for a project. trying to stay relevant here
level concept for the game. I can still only work out colors when looking at ref. oh well, no problem
hey guys,

i needed a break from the anatomy so i tackled the other big issue i suck at: composition. So I did some composition studies of old masters (mostly Bierstadt and Bougereau) and tried to simplify some landscapes.

Also I did a 15 min color sketch where I wanted to test out some of the principles I read about here:

It is the one below with the colums and the jungle theme (not the one with the arc, that was a photo-study). The main goal was to creat a simple 3 or 4 value composition and then NOT loose it while dropping in some color and light.

Another thing I studied was painting fleshtones. There was a great post about that over at muddycolors too

I also applied a method of studying I found for myself some while ago. Instead of looking at the ref while painting, I look at it for a while, then hide it and paint what I remember. This way I feel like I have to be more concious and don't just go through the motions of copying. The result can be a bit more disappointing, but I feel like it helps me. And lastly I tried to do the copy starting with blue, yellow, red, black and white and mixing my colors on the photoshop canvas. That way I had to think more in terms of temperature and primary, secondary and tertiary colors.
here's a greyskale sketch done for fun and trying to implement the composition stuff I read and heard about :)
Lookin good, Flo. Likin that level concept you're workin on. I see you start with a soft type of brush to block in shapes? Maybe it might be better to start with hard edge brushes without opacity when you're blockin everything in, and then soften up where appropriate? That's just how I'd work it personally.

Cool winged statue up there as well. I like the angle more so in the drawing than the painting, though.
hey dennis,

thanks for dropping in. I will try that out next time, thanks.

With the statue I am not super happy with it, I seem to have problem painting the basic volumes. Will have to work on that :D
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