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Lyraina's sketchbook - Lyraina - 03-09-2013

Hello and welcome to my sketchbook thread!

I'm currently doing my master's degree in biology (to be exact: molecular ecology), but I am drawing every free minute that I can get my hands on. I want to pursue a career in conceptart/illustration - I'm aware that I have a long way to go, but in a few months I will hopefully be able to work on my skills fulltime (until my money runs out and I have to get a small job on the side, that is!).

You can watch my current progress on my blog, if you're interested.

I'm very grateful for every critique, advide, or feedback of any kind! My goal is to improve, so feel free to rip apart my weaknesses! :blush:

Thank you!

At the moment, I try to improve my faces/portraits, be able to draw them fast and accurately from many angles, also no more displaced features (always something I get critiques on). I also would like to improve my drawing abilty as a whole, I've always prefered painting, so there is a lot to learn!

(Environment from mind, portrait and bird from photo ref)

(Why am I always so nervous when posting on a new forum/community...)

RE: Lyraina's sketchbook - alexson - 03-09-2013

Hey! Nice work!
Cool to see that you are practicing faces/heads! You probably already know this but if not I would recommend Loomis book "drawing the head and hands" for great info and reference for head construction, planes etc.
Keep up the good work!

RE: Lyraina's sketchbook - Lyraina - 03-10-2013

alexson: Thank you! :) I'm actually trying to construct my heads (in strange angles) with the Loomis method, just doesn't always look like I do ;) I think need to practice "thinking in 3d" more. Thank you for the comment.

Trying to go all brush-stroky with those Sargent studies, I would love to have a bit more control over my brushstrokes. Doing magic with few, deliberate brustrokes, brush economy and such - instead of just rendering everything to a muddy mess. The last study turned more into a "emulating traditional media" practice though, but this was interesting as well. I wish I had the courage and materials do to something like that in oil...




And from mirror. (Not very good likeliness though)


RE: Lyraina's sketchbook - holdkocos - 03-10-2013

i really like that enviro! :3 such nice colors and feeling...keep going! ^^

RE: Lyraina's sketchbook - Prospass - 03-10-2013

Hey there!

Great sketchbook so far :)

Don't worry too much about getting brush-stroky/painterly effects, this will come by acquiring knowledge about forms, values and so on.
Those Sargent studies look really great!
For that last portrait, I think you could use some skull/muscle/face proportion studies, this will really help you achieve more solidity and spot what make every face different from one another.
I think you're also going too fast into strong black and white values. On this portrait you could for instance keep all the strong contrasts and edges for the lighted side of the face, and paint the rest with more neutral greys and softer edges. =) But it's just one possible solution, studies can get far more interesting and beneficial when you don't feel to limited to mere "photographic" copy.

I made you a quick paintover (I'm still struggling to make myself clear in english :c). The likeness is surely totally gone now, but I hope this makes sense anyway ^^

[Image: po_02_by_prospass-d5xhshs.jpg]

RE: Lyraina's sketchbook - Jaik - 03-10-2013

man, i hardly need to post to anymore, all the people that gave me the best advice there are slowly working there way to this forum :D Good start to the sketchbooks, and this newest update is great as always :D

RE: Lyraina's sketchbook - Lyraina - 03-11-2013

holdkocos: Thank you! :)

Prospass: Thanks so much for the overpaint, that was really kind of you!! :D It is really eye-opening in several aspects - I can see clearly what you mean with the values, I'll try to do better next time. I also didn't realize how wide I am painting/drawing my faces, especially if you consider that this was done from mirror, and I have a very narrow/oval face shape! I love the way you painted it. :)
I'm glad to hear what you said about brush strokes - I guess that is something like line quality and 'style', which will come with enough practice anyways. I'll just have to be patient then. :)

Jaik: Haha, well, I guess it's good to be omnipresent on the internet! It does cost a lot of time though. Thanks as always!


Sketches! Today I was studying arm muscles (not scanned yet), so I also did a referenced painting including... well, muscles.

RE: Lyraina's sketchbook - Blewzen - 03-11-2013

Great sketchbook! I like the forest landscape so much, also good studies, just keep studying anatomy I see few mistakes (I need a lot anatomy study -.-) and keep this uploaded :)

RE: Lyraina's sketchbook - Lyraina - 03-11-2013

Blewzen: Thank you! And you're right - anatomy is something I struggle with aaaall the time, but I will just stick with it, and hopefully will improve over time... even if it's going very slowly!

With this week's anatomy drawings, my focus was on dynamic and volume (again). Concentrating on those factors, I sacrificed line quality and proportions. Hopefully at some point I will be able to draw well proportioned, dynamic figures with beautiful lines. Until then I need to concentrate on one or two at a time!
I also realized that I like drawing legs, but not arms - so I refreshed my knowledge on arm muscles with the help of Bammes, Hampton, my mirror etc.

RE: Lyraina's sketchbook - anzhou - 03-12-2013

Inspirational! Keep posting you're doing good! *runs away to study* :D

RE: Lyraina's sketchbook - Lyraina - 03-15-2013

Thank you, anzhou! :)


Trying to apply the critiques I got on the digital portrait:

The usual sketches from imagination, mirror and reference:

RE: Lyraina's sketchbook - Lyraina - 04-08-2013


RE: Lyraina's sketchbook - Jaik - 04-11-2013

nice updates! it's been a while since i've seen you do a more finished portrait traditionally, looking good. Don't forget the mirror trick when working traditionally :)

RE: Lyraina's sketchbook - vices - 04-11-2013

Those figures are awesome. The angles look great, the forms are full, the anatomy is distinctive. It makes me jealous. Great colors on your bird~

I'm in a similar boat to you, I got a degree in biochem and am struggling to become a professional artist. Cheers!

RE: Lyraina's sketchbook - smrr - 04-12-2013

Your work and determination is fantastic!! Thank you for inspiring me all over again! :D

RE: Lyraina's sketchbook - Matthias Kinnigkeit - 04-12-2013

Hey nice SB! I really like your environment pice in the first post! Your figure studys have nice organic shapes. I´d advice you to do some more research about the structure of the face. Regarding the general simple forms and the planes of the face. Check out Stan Prokopenkos Youtube channel if you dont know his videos. To improve your figure drawings you could maybe also study more about the general structure, proportions,.. of the human body. There are so many books. I suppose you know the one form andrew loomis : I recently bought myself Michael Hamptons "Figure Drawing Design and Invention". I´m pretty happy with it. It´s pretty boring to study anatomy but the feeling when slowly by slwoly guessing turns into knowing is definetly worth it. The painting studys look good! Keep it up!

RE: Lyraina's sketchbook - Lyraina - 04-15-2013

Thanks guys for all the feedback, I really appreciate it!


RE: Lyraina's sketchbook - YOLOLEX - 04-15-2013

loving the plants and the way u render light :) the colours are so nice

RE: Lyraina's sketchbook - Lyraina - 04-19-2013

YOLOLEX: Thank you! Glad you like my colors, they always give me a hard time.

Color studies from - trying to paint in more atmospheric perspective than visible in the photos... don't know why that's so hard O_O


RE: Lyraina's sketchbook - Lyraina - 04-21-2013

Experimenting... I don't know what I'm doing Shock