Darktiste Sketchbook
(02-08-2024, 11:36 PM)cgmythology Wrote: Sorry to hear about your cpu problems, hopefully you get it sorted it out and recover your files.  It would really suck if you lost your work :(
The good news is my computer survive. The bad news is it still a old computer. The other bad news is i had two people lead me to believe that they would sell me their computer at a fair price but one change is mind and want to sell in a few month... and when i thought i had a back up plan the back up plan wasn't available.

So let say that i am going to prioritize backing up my work a bit more often for now on since my computer show sign of old age.

I still don't know what i will do for my next computer. It always a difficult question for me.It such a complex topic. I am already bad at taking small decision...

The good thing is that i don't feel that sad about the little i lost i was mostly save because i had a backup and i knew this kind of thing was just a matter of time.

Now i just need to get deal with the fact i have not been drawing as much since that event. Still dealing with carpal tunnel so i take thing slow i can't rush back my return even if more then ever it seem like i should that just a receipt for physical problem to pill up.

Hopefully i will be able to start to post some progress on the project that were put on hold at that time this week or next week

My Sketchbook

Perfection is unmeasurable therefor it impossible to reach it.
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Luck was not on my side when it came to recovering my in progress project. Since i suspect that some file were open during the ''file apocalypse'' this as greatly affected the likeness that they could be recovered.

Due to unforseen circumstance even those some content remain ''as evidence of such project'' there is no plan to salvage those project.

So the elvish axe project,the oriental armor project are going to be casuality.

The only project that was in progress that survive is my Heavy Mace temple project which as not seen any content being post in my sketchbook so far.

But enough with update this is a sketchbook afterall.

My Sketchbook

Perfection is unmeasurable therefor it impossible to reach it.
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That's really unfortunate :( I think it's worth investing in a decent computer as it speeds things up and makes things easier/smoother. It can be a bit pricey though so I don't know what sort of budget you're working with, but I recommend something with a solid gfx card and cpu.

I also recommend backing up files on an external hard drive and online via the cloud or Dropbox just to be safe. Art takes a lot of work so it's never worth the risk to lose all the work.

Hope you find your inspiration again to continue posting, love you recent designs!

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Some of the genre that have influence me early on were sci fi dystopia. I personally don't find myself invest in drawing character or drawing in this genre very much anymore but i don't want to be close to exploring and being influence by all kind of subject matter even if i prefer inanimate object i sometime want to imagine the character that would us those object and i find that to save time it best done using Ai.

I find that playing around with Ai help find the word since you need to come up with the prompt to generate the image that later on can make design be more grounded and the influence i want clearer for myself. 

Here I choose 2 of my favorite dark cyber punk chix that were generated for fun i wonder what kind of accessory would go well with them. Maybe a cigarette for the one above and a rusty pipe for the pale one that look menacing.

Those are influenced by Rachel in blade runner.

It important to have fun in how i approch drawing and i like to bounce back idea around with the Ai because i think otherwise my influence could be stagnant the fact the prompt can be adjusted to be closer or further from the keyword that i pick give flexibility to the amount of chaos i want because i want that unpredictability because it fun and it keep it fresh. I want mystery and freshness.The more thing bounce against each other the richer the design become it a cascading effect.

The Idea behind using Ai is to develop a visual vocabulary that evolve into a visual library taking note over some of the image generated is a great way to also dissect what i like.

Model:Use is SDXL


Attached Files Image(s)




My Sketchbook

Perfection is unmeasurable therefor it impossible to reach it.
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Hey darktiste,
I still drop by every once in a while and check your sketchbook. I'm a bit concerned about that A.I. trend you're seeming to get more and more into, seems like another form of distraction from practicing your art (the other distraction being being overly verbose in various art related essays). I hope you can find and keep your focus, you seem to be getting easily distracted away from what you should be doing. Just take a moment to ponder this before rationalizing it away please :)!

I am rooting for you, keep drawing!
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Thank for the concern but i think that if you would be more active i suppose you would get what i am saying you would understand the intent. Art is not all about what you put on the paper it also what you feed yourself with.

Some watch movie some people read some people go around and find inspiration or they play video etc and i see A.I in a similar way.

I have certainly been more open about my inspiration lately and think that those picture are causing confusion because i am probably one of the only one that as been sharing such thing around here.I don't think sharing my process and thought should be seen throught the lense of ''it a distraction'' it actually putting affirming and organizing your thought to a certain extent. Just sharing your own art that fine also but i am an art enjoyer aswell and i do it more visually than some because i don't like to talk about my taste without giving something to bite on.

I some might be confuse about my A.I sharing abit and yes cannot say i have not been into looking into Ai more and more because it such a grey area that as rapidly evolve that it certainly require my attention i believe you might not agree that fine also.

I am not as distracted as i use to be.I would say i am more shatter brain in term of project recently.

As for my habit of being all over the forum you could probably understand if you had as few human interaction as i do or had a passion such as mine to be of use to other.

I am sorry to cause you concern.I am myself concern we don't see you around anymore...

My Sketchbook

Perfection is unmeasurable therefor it impossible to reach it.
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I think you’re rationalising, as preemptively mentioned. Maybe it’s because we’re in disagreement. I figured you’d double down but I couldn’t help myself.

You’re right in saying I don’t understand the intent, which could be because I’m not as active as I used to. It could be. Maybe more active members read my message and sighed at my shortsightedness, at me missing the point here. Maybe I’m missing the point while everyone else is seeing as obvious. If that’s the case, I hope you’ll forgive my confusion.

If I understand correctly, inspiration is what you struggle with. That’s what stops you from practicing. If only you were inspired, everything would fall into place, so to speak. So using A.I. is your way of finding inspiration in order to go back to grabbing that pen and getting back into the stride of things.

The reason why I’m confused is because I never considered inspiration as a hurdle for practice. I always figured there was something to practice on the technical level. So I guess you could say we’re different in that way. I can understand creative block (lack of inspiration preventing you from creating) but I don’t see what’s stopping you from doing other sorts of practice. I remember when you used to (correctly) suggests all sorts of exercises to me. I’d say you know a lot about practical exercises which don’t require inspiration. There’s some cognitive dissonance here to me.

“I some might be confuse about my A.I sharing abit and yes cannot say i have not been into looking into Ai more and more because it such a grey area that as rapidly evolve that it certainly require my attention i believe you might not agree that fine also.”

Concern here isn’t really meant to be taken literally, it’s a turn of phrase. I’m not worried about you or distressed. Besides, it’s not like you should care or anything. More to the point:
I’m starting to get the impression you’re slowly giving up on your artistic journey and settle for a.i. prompts (‘looking more and more into it’). Considering you’re bring up that a.i. art is quote a ‘grey area’, it seems to be hinting at that. It seems to be saying that it would allow you to ‘create’ art without having to practice, that a.i. art really is a valuable as any other art, which to be honest might actually suit you to a t.

I think bringing up ‘grey area’ on a.i. promoting is probably not going to be the most popular statement in a sketchbook section where each and every member is pouring sweat in tears in improving their skills :). I’d go as far as ‘sketchbook’ seems a bit of a misnomer for an a.i. depository. I think you could be good at a.i. prompting but to showcase such a.i. generated results as anything but might come across as offensive to everyone else who go through the trouble of learning the trade.

I guess all in all I could’ve simply asked:
Are you considering leaving your practice behind and heading toward a.i. prompting? I’m curious to know.
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No inspiration is not something i struggle with it sometime i am open about and i believe that Ai might not be very welcome around here but i think we should still have a rational talk about it may it come with more well thought post or just sharing what it can or cant do.

It not surpris if it turn into me rationalizing for me it normal to defend my choose because i have to question them myself and if i cannot defend it rationally then i will realize that i need to change course.

Practicing building visual library as many layers may it be building mood board,collecting reference of inspiration material,exploring theme by drawing.

Ai specialty is i would say building the vocabulary itself and building the quick visual language that translate into shape language not that i leak inspiration it rather a lighting fast visualization exercise rather than a dissecting kind of exercise.For me dissecting is learning about the function of job it breaking it down into simple geometric form it can also help to dissect the shape and recurring pattern. Visualization is more about composition, color, proportion,visual style.

You pass a certain point where you have done certain thing and need to keep it fresh so it also an opportunity to try something out of the box without spending large amount of energy.It thumbnailling on steroid but it not the same because thumbnailling is a problem solving process not a visualisation process.

As you advance you gotta break of old habit you gotta shatter your assumption about subject and tool and try thing that what i am doing.I am not saying i know the outcome but atleast i think about why i do the thing i do.

My line of work is design it as more to do with thinking and problem solving it can be done either on paper or through visualization.No body who expect to be making a final image could expect to get around the fundamental of visual art ai doesnt give you an easy route it doesnt magically put your brain onto the paper and teach you if anything about light and shadow or perspective which mean it doesnt teach you how to fix something it spew out which still mean you have to support it with drawing skill or more accurate prompt making.

I think there is a shift away from needing as much drawing skill toward more time spent in the visualization stage atleast in the field of design.I believe personally that AI is certainly not going anywhere and there is no reason to believe you or anyone are going in the same direction even if we are artist for myself i am always looking to perfect my process which is why i take risk.

The slow down in the none ai generate work post in here is due to a computer problem i had to fix which took about two month to solve it was also a period where i took my force vacation because i was mostly working digitally and the stress and time of it was already in favor of a well deserve vacation.That computer problem cause some issue with the project that were W.I.P.It also kinda destroy some aspect of how i arranged my tool in software so that had to be rebuild aswell.

Showing Ai art in my sketchbook is not meant to be disrespectful it an open form journaling of my thought and taste it not for you that why it confusing it journaling because it convenient that it here.I dont post stuff just so it can be seen or get praise.I could very well put those image with a time stamp in some folder on my computer and let them collect dust but it ultimately it not as good of a journaling tool if i have to make a conscious decision to look back i personally prefer to have them here in my sketchbook as some kind of timeline of my taste and as a reminder to keep my work diverse it also an opportunity to exchange about my taste and allow other people to exchange influence that can ultimately enrich my work.

In the end i gotta look up for what is best for myself i dont mind to justifying myself even if it not well receive life is full of disagreement it just one more of such case.

Who know where i am heading one thing seem to be that i am probably more open than most which already give me a head start in that alley.

I am some kind of world builder at heart but i operate in a visual manner when it spew out.Sometime it not straight out visual assemblage of reference if i am not familar with my subject matter sometime it not world but word assemblage it getting to know the language of a subject by dissecting the reference.Ai is similar to refining a research on google but ai tool were intended to be use as an artist tool.The advantage of Ai which i find useful for myself is that i dont get distracted when i am doing my research phase which mean i dont come across happy accident as much because there less chance of random image being part of the search result.But when i use ai can control the level of happy accident if need be with just a few adjustment in my ai tool if need be.

The choose we make boil down to who we are and what we need to do.

Let try not to see were difference as insult to what we are.But rather let see those difference as tool to learn about other and wereselve.

My Sketchbook

Perfection is unmeasurable therefor it impossible to reach it.
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Alot of trial and error.

I was inspired to do someting i did not really tried that much which is make magic wand

I was aiming for a more finish design.I am still very bad with presentation.Also just as disclaimer it perfectly normal if you cant read what the text say it meant to had some mystery to the object.There initial intent to have something that look like a schematic of an object but when i added the lightning later on it was clashing with the image i add in mind because the lighting was now looking out of lace so i decided instead to go for a holographic front view of the object but i also wanted something dynamic with the lightning as to atleast point to what the purpose of the object.

One other problem was that the lightning was way more complex then i originally anticipated. I add to learn about bloom effect and some technicality on how to render it separately.

One of the other challenge was to find a lighting scenario that would complement all the secondary light source.

This was an extremely hard project with alot of side tracking issue that i think will pay on later on.

I hope you enjoy and see soon when i finish an other project.


Attached Files Image(s)



My Sketchbook

Perfection is unmeasurable therefor it impossible to reach it.
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I'm with Ziska on this...I don't think using A.I is developing any skill. Never once have I looked at an image or an object, and thought, "yeah, I can draw that now!"

Surely it would be better to write down that prompt and go and study those things what would make up an image using that prompt. You know, by actually drawing those elements. Really seeing. Rather than just looking. That would be far better for development.

Using A.I can create some cool things, but it's just not personal. It's not a part of "art". There's no frustration, there's no willpower to push through, there's no moments of clarity and understanding.

I also don't think art forums are a place for A.I imagery. I don't feel it brings anything to the table regarding people's journey into a world of human expression, ideas and the bettering of oneself.

I'm probably not explaining myself very well. I think Ziska did it best.

Our main dude here, Mr. Rapoza also explains a lot here. This is an incredible interview. Give it a watch.

https://youtu.be/A8-nsFN-pWQ?si=5sz5u9lNe7uLGezU

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Hey man congrats on the latest design! That's a really unique take on a magic wand, and it honestly looks quite cool! The rendering is overall a huge step up, it feels like a real object, and the side view looks great. Is this a combo of 3D modeling with like a toon shader and painting? I think it's a good use of all your tools if so.

I agree the presentation maybe could use some workshopping. Like I get that the text is supposed to look like a fantasy language on purpose. But I genuinely struggle to read it at all. Though the text does look cool, I think that idea could be more legible like if it looked like it was an old schematic on paper like an ink-drawing vibe instead. But of course that doesn't work with the futuristic elements and the lightning like you said. But I'm not so much getting the futuristic, holographic version of that, so I kind of just want the font to be readable. I think it would work if it was presented more in this kind of manner:

something like that. Obviously that image makes no sense at all if you actually look at it, but just that sort imagery looks like 'sci-fi holographic blueprint'. And then it's clear that the text is in an alien language and you're not really supposed to be reading it.


 But all that aside the work itself is good.

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(04-07-2024, 12:38 PM)JosephCow Wrote: Hey man congrats on the latest design! That's a really unique take on a magic wand, and it honestly looks quite cool! The rendering is overall a huge step up, it feels like a real object, and the side view looks great. Is this a combo of 3D modeling with like a toon shader and painting? I think it's a good use of all your tools if so.

I agree the presentation maybe could use some workshopping. Like I get that the text is supposed to look like a fantasy language on purpose. But I genuinely struggle to read it at all. Though the text does look cool, I think that idea could be more legible like if it looked like it was an old schematic on paper like an ink-drawing vibe instead. But of course that doesn't work with the futuristic elements and the lightning like you said. But I'm not so much getting the futuristic, holographic version of that, so I kind of just want the font to be readable. I think it would work if it was presented more in this kind of manner:

something like that. Obviously that image makes no sense at all if you actually look at it, but just that sort imagery looks like 'sci-fi holographic blueprint'. And then it's clear that the text is in an alien language and you're not really supposed to be reading it.


 But all that aside the work itself is good.
It a aetherpunk inspired wand the aesthetic is not really new. But atleast i am sharing something that new to you.

Yes it a 3d painter over the initial design was done digitally i am building a workflow that try be 100% blender friendly.

It not the futuristic element that throw the old schematic on paper idea into the bin but it rather that my object as value but on a schematic you only have contour of the object and flat value and i spend a considerable time getting the light to read in a interesting way so changing my mind was out of question the project was already loosing steam by the point i run into problem with my initial intent.

The addition of the lightning made it even worst because without the lightning the object function become occulted and since it already hardly read as a wand it had to make it to the final in my opinion.

When i say holographic i made a mistake i meant like fluorence ink.The setting in which the object live would not have such technology it meant to use magic as power source but the general look i had in mind was more fantasy/renaissance aesthetic .But obviously magic is anything i went.I dont want to go for a sci fi look actually i want something that look more like something that you could find in the room of a inventor that might have live in the renaissance.

But i dont want to make my image feel like an illustration since it would take extra time and is unnecessary for what i am about to explain.

I am making the project particially with the fictive goal that it be use as a concept to someone who would model it(not so necessary since i made a model after all by myself but the issue would be that i am not a modeller so it not a game ready model it doesn't use UV and the object is not optimized for game either)

The end goal isnt so much the idea presented but the workflow behind it.To see what get in the way for future project so i can optimize and avoid wasting time.


Here a secret for you.
The toon shading is to simplify the paint over so you have solid edge during selection(no need to adjust the setting to get the right selection you always select what need to be selected)

Oh and this was done without a tablet by the way yes even the initial sketch.

My Sketchbook

Perfection is unmeasurable therefor it impossible to reach it.
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Oh okay got it. Holographic made me think sci-fi.

Do you use a mouse for all your work still or do you sometimes draw with a tablet?

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(04-08-2024, 09:23 AM)JosephCow Wrote: Oh okay got it. Holographic made me think sci-fi.

Do you use a mouse for all your work still or do you sometimes draw with a tablet?

I was thinking about using VR tool to draw to avoid carpal tunnel but i am worried about the damage it could do to my eye sight so i never made a move in that direction.

I dont own a tablet and i dont know how a professional one feel like i borrow a few tablet in the past but i eventually had to return them back.It never striked me as the tool i felt natural with since i started with traditional tool and that what we were still using when i took art class.

To this day i felt the only draw back of using the mouse exclusively specially when it come to the sketching phase as i would feel that the mouse is harder on the wrist and there alot of clicking but i think it might be a question of just zooming out and make smaller movement or just rotation the canva to get a more natural range of motion.The reality is obviously i am not always think about minimizing wrist fatigue and that would distract from the decision making. So i just cant stress enough to people to get up and take pause away from the computer.

I might see a future where i paint with my finger i think it that it could address that fatigue.I certainly have to explore  how other artist deal with their carpal tunnel problem but i believe my issue are ergonomically related i share on that issue before.Obviously if i work professionally on site and i have access to tablet i dont see why i would work exclusively using the mouse for me personally the pencil just feel like i am pinching more and the wrist motion are more up and down then sideway anyhow to much of the same type of motion seem to generate fatigue it a very boring topic i dont which to go further into detail.

My Sketchbook

Perfection is unmeasurable therefor it impossible to reach it.
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I see. I definitely feel a lot of discomfort using a mouse after a long time because clicking with bent wrist uses your carpal tunnel. but it could also depend on the mouse. If youhave ergonomic one that allows you to keep your wrist straight that might be alright. I think now knowing that you only use mouse a lot of your previous work makes sense because you're not working with pen pressure which is the main technique for shading gradients and modeling form, so you naturally need to use selections and soft brushes. I think a tablet is pretty indispensable for my work but I guess it's not one size fits all and it does hurt my hand as well after a while so idk.

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(04-08-2024, 12:41 PM)JosephCow Wrote: I see. I definitely feel a lot of discomfort using a mouse after a long time because clicking with bent wrist uses your carpal tunnel. but it could also depend on the mouse. If youhave ergonomic one that allows you to keep your wrist straight that might be alright. I think now knowing that you only use mouse a lot of your previous work makes sense because you're not working with pen pressure which is the main technique for shading gradients and modeling form, so you naturally need to use selections and soft brushes. I think a tablet is pretty indispensable for my work but I guess it's not one size fits all and it does hurt my hand as well after a while so idk.

I think you can get gradient pretty easly aslong as you get the selection stage pretty solid i personally i am very inspired by the realm of animation aswell as comic my main focus is for idea to read quickly but also far enough from the classic representation that it been done a gazillion time .I find that gradient are more time consuming but that are certainly necessary for added realism but it really come down to the style i am call to do on a case by case scenario if i would be to work for someone else obviously not necessarily choosing to show alot of work that involve gradient might attract a specific client base which is also i think useful to attract the type of people i want to work with but also kinda limiting.

Having a few style is better then being a one trick poney for sure i dont think i have a distinct style yet so i think to build and identity limiting the style you show not necessarly that you work in is better because you dont put a question in the mind of people reviewing portfolio.It kinda hard to show that you can also adapt if you take that approach you cant be everything to everyone. I specially believe this is truth in the AAA world and less of a thing in indie game because you are call to be more role then just one because they dont have the budjet to attract the people with more specialize skillset.So i feel that i personally i resonate more with indie game just because the style are simple the color are often saturated and i am a concept artist and somewhat of a modeller so i have more chance to stick around as thing move further down the pipe.

My main problem is when it come to designing a variety of subject matter i definitively fall in the AAA type i have a specialty and i am less of a jack of all trade.

When it come to tool i am not to hot on making change aslong as i am able to have enough time to rest and work everything is fine but if workload get cramp that where fatigue ramp up and that where i think i would feel the necessity to play around with different tool. Ideally i would work from home to reduce time lost in transportation that could be use to rest between episode of crunch but obviously i dont want to be forever dodging issue.To put it simple right know i am just in the capacity to work around the carpal tunnel issue by having compassion and not pushing myself unnecessary ideally i would work lengthy period of time but i can afford to spread my work time so this allow me to avoid fatigue.Anyways i am not a strong believer in large period of work i personally do not have that type of concentration and i think it fantastic that taking pause can also help refresh your eye and it detach you from some bad decision you were engaging in but had the capacity to reflect on after coming back refresh.I think we take bad decison to often when we are expecting a result right away and i think that using the same approch everytime is flawed as much as i would live to believe there is a perfect workflow that not the case.But it also boring i dont just want to be creative with my result i want to be involve with the process.I want my process to feel like i am evolving as an artist.Not necessarly that the process is more complex to achieve the same result but that i have many option that could lead to similar result.

My Sketchbook

Perfection is unmeasurable therefor it impossible to reach it.
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So i am doing this mayan inspired mace weapon and i am designing the skull to be like a relief and i am wondering if i should keep exploring more skull design or should i have less or more detail in the face?

Thank for and critic or comment


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Perfection is unmeasurable therefor it impossible to reach it.
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I think it's getting there! Maybe the skull could be a little more square shaped to reflect mayan carving conforming to a square a lot of the time. You definitely have that in the handle and around the skull, but you could push it more in the skull shape so that the aesthetic really reads to the viewer.

I also read that the Maya used a lot of Jade in their artwork, it's really common in their jewelry. Maybe that could be an even better choice for the eyes! Emeralds, I don't know, they probably had emeralds as well but I definitely think emeralds are more strongly associated with the Inca in Peru. The reference you show, I'm not like an archaeologist or anything but that looks like it could be an Incan thing, but I could be wrong honestly. Assuming you specifically want it to be 'Mayan' and not something more general.

Just a couple random thoughts on it.

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(04-14-2024, 10:32 AM)JosephCow Wrote: I think it's getting there! Maybe the skull could be a little more square shaped to reflect mayan carving conforming to a square a lot of the time. You definitely have that in the handle and around the skull, but you could push it more in the skull shape so that the aesthetic really reads to the viewer.

I also read that the Maya used a lot of Jade in their artwork, it's really common in their jewelry. Maybe that could be an even better choice for the eyes! Emeralds, I don't know, they probably had emeralds as well but I definitely think emeralds are more strongly associated with the Inca in Peru. The reference you show, I'm not like an archaeologist or anything but that looks like it could be an Incan thing, but I could be wrong honestly. Assuming you specifically want it to be 'Mayan' and not something more general.

Just a couple random thoughts on it.

I appreciate the input .I had trouble to put in word the theme on this one. Basically it would be a old relic found in a jungle.I will probably had the jade to the crown part where there those square with shape inside them.But creating a contrast in the level of reflectiveness by adding a more polish gemstone could attract the viewer eye to the skull eye obviously i don't have to i could try to have all the gem stone be made of jade and have them all similar in reflectiveness. That something i will test in the material phase in blender stage because rendering would be time consuming.

I am not an expert so i would not try to be specific in the culture i am borrowing from i prefer to think about the material as the ''cultural'' aspect like what kind of material would that culture have use and if it mix inca or mayan inspired material it not the end of the world i am not concern with historical accuracy.

For the shape of the head i want it to somewhat have a arch shape because it repeat and harmonize with the other shape in the head dress.The arch shape are related to the fact it not clear as of right now but there sun shape language in the piece you can see the triangle in the central shape also where there a half circle there will be an other sun motif there.Where i might change the shape of the skull is the jaw.One other repeating shape is the stair case which is probably how i am gonna change the shape right now it to curvy i will change that i think to be more with straight angle.I also thought about removing the jawline part but i find it empty without it so i left it i find that the zigzag contrast with the opposite side which create additional interest.

Again thank for the input.

My Sketchbook

Perfection is unmeasurable therefor it impossible to reach it.
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Finally you answered something that everyone asked, your lines are very characteristic of someone who is doing everything with the mouse, I've asked this here a few times and you didn't answer. Buy a tablet, if that's not possible, start doing it the traditional way, you won't be a concept artist doing everything with the mouse like you are doing now. Since 2020, I and other people have pointed out that your lines are very bad and robotic like a drawing with a mouse and you ignored it, so I'll consider that you spent 4 years wasting time trying to draw with a mouse instead of simply taking a paper and a pencil and doing it

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