Artloader - Sketchbook
@Fedodika:  Thanks mate!

@Darktiste:  Hey thanks for the in-depth critique there dude!  I absolutely agree, analysis of forms is key, when I sketch like this, I try to construct from simplified 3D forms to begin with - although I don't quite simplify to circles and triangles so that's probably an area I could improve upon - simplification.

Here's another one:









“Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.” -- H. Jackson Brown Jr.

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Quote:How do we find a balance between savouring the journey and reaching our destination? Maybe it is by focussing on our craft for it's own sake? By learning solid skills and processes that help us to reliably produce art that we love?

I believe we share the same goals of trying to make money out of art. I can relate a bit to your predicament.

Quote:My artistic progress is slow but I need to come to terms with that and accept it because I have multiple priorities in life.

In my opinion, I disagree about you being slow in your artistic progress. You're currently gaining a lot of input and content from your priorities for you to process in order for you to turn them something that you can express. And those experiences are basically the stuff what art is made of. I hope you forgive me by going with the pretentious sounding definition of art, being: a recreation of one's metaphysical value judgments of reality.

To a lot of people focused on craft, like me, I think we stunted our 'artistic growth'. When the focus is on getting better; where there's zero vacations, zero social life; where our life's struggle is figuring out the craft; It's silly. Like acing grammar school, yet nothing we could say is of any substance. I think we're basically setting up ourselves to fail as an artist. I got to that point where I don't really have anything of value to say.

With that said, going back to goals, there's a bit of dishonesty every time I throw that statement of art as a means to make money, like how prostitutes claim they're in the business of selling love. That's the part where I think "artists" are having troubles with. Not saying that as if I'm out of that loop, since I am trying to figure that one out myself.

And if it makes you feel any better about being slow, I think ateliers make it a point to go slow with doing pieces. It gives you more time to make informed decisions with regards to the craft.

That's my long winded response to say 'you're pretty balanced from my point of view'.

And oh. Nice turtle. Definitely better than the first.

It's debatable whether or not what you're trying to achieve is indeed impossible. One thing's for sure: it's impossible to defeat a person who doesn't know how to quit.
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John ''And oh. Nice turtle. Definitely better than the first.''

I agree is just seem as you jump from 2d reality to the 3d reality in no time great progress i guess it also help to create overlap of the form to create volume and to use a forshorten pose of the subject so that form overlap more natural will still showing enought to describe the subject clearly .I also encourage you too study a subject from many angle and think about the pose and to re draw multiple time you can increase you understanding of a subject and create a stronger mental libreary that way i believe adding note to the drawing could be a good idea the more you describe the more you understand.

Side note i generally start with a gesture line than find the 3 big mass such as the torso,pelvis and head indicating them with a egg like shape than i generally add a cube to represent the pelvis.

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The journey of an artist truly begin when he can learn from is own error.
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@John:  Thanks dude, yeah balance has been a theme with me for the last few months and I think it has been very helpful so I will try to push it further in 2018 and see what happens.  Thanks also for the kind words about the turtle - appreciated :).

@Darktiste:  Thank you, I try to do these construction sketches most days although sometimes I don't get time to do them.  My method is very similar to what you have described:  Gesture - Construct Big Forms - Refine The Forms - Notan.

In the meantime, I've been cracking on with the next book cover.  This one is about a teenager who is actually a reluctant Star Warrior in some kind of space war!









“Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.” -- H. Jackson Brown Jr.

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I think the sketch has better proportions than the rendered version youre going for here. In the rendered one his eyes are like really buggy and big, he almost looks like a child, but his jawline is longer than a childs so it gets that uncanny valley kinda look to it heh. Eyes are tiny little things, no matter how much attention we pay to them. And round cheekbones on men can look kinda stupid sometimes hehe

http://curate.cool/upload/iblock/0ab/the..._video.jpg

70+Page Koala Sketchbook: http://crimsondaggers.com/forum/thread-3465.html SB

Paintover thread, submit for crits! http://crimsondaggers.com/forum/thread-7879.html
[color=rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.882)]e owl sat on an oak. The more he saw, the less he spoke.[/color]
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Hey Art, the comp you chose isn't one of the thumbs...but the centered ones in almost all the thumbs i feel are better for a book cover. One thing i've learned with the book cover work i do is, to keep it simple and not be too fancy for the sake of it alone.

The lower 3 and top right corner all have more interesting poses/povs. The idea you picked as is doesn't have much narrative elements in there, even less than the others, which also are a bit light on that aspect, though could be amped up. Narrative is crucial for genre book cover work.

If I was your AD i'd tell you to do more thumbs or pick a better one and work it until you nail the comp. What's going to get you to pick up the book off the shelves amongst a hundred others...it needs to first be exciting visually/compositionally to get past the noise from afar, and then it needs to make the kill shot with narrative/intrigue to get youto turn over and read the blurb. ;)

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Well the compo alway need to fit with the lettering did you receive the intruction and did you ask for the client feed back before choosing a thumbnail or is this practice?

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@darkartiste, All the comps in the thumbs have enough negative space for lettering.

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(12-26-2017, 09:10 AM)Amit Dutta Wrote: @darkartiste, All the comps in the thumbs have enough negative space for lettering.

The point was more about is this for a client work or a practice.Because if it a practice it as not much importance.But if it a client work he might need to make sure to have space for additional text on the cover.It was also to high lighting the question do he need to come up with is own lettering or is there someone else doing the lettering.

When doing a book cover it mostly composition,color,mood and scale that are highly important in my own opinion.

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The journey of an artist truly begin when he can learn from is own error.
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@Fedodika:  Thanks for the feedback mate - I'll pay closer attention to how old I make him look - he's supposed to be a teenager - maybe around 15/16 years old, hopefully I can bring that across with a bit more rendering.

@Amit: Very useful points dude, I had always been scared of using centralised comps and have been a bit of a slave to the Rule Of Thirds but will try to step out of my comfort zone a bit more and consider centralised comps on the next piece.  Great points on the narrative aspect as well, something for me to add to my list to improve on for the next piece (time is tight so I will have to just press on and do my best with what I have on this one - really appreciate the feedback though - many thanks).

@Darktiste: This project is a collaboration between myself and an author friend of mine.  He will be doing the lettering so I just need to leave space for him to add the words.  My remit is to produce a series of cover illustrations for a collection of short stories.  It is not a professional contract where I will be payed a set amount - I will only get payed if the book sells.

There are 8 short stories and I have to do a cover for each.  The thing is, I am about 2 months behind schedule so am prioritising speed over quality at the moment.  Having said that I am still trying to follow an illustration process and trying to produce work that is not absolute rubbish.

Here's some more progress:




I think I need to push the dark values a bit darker on his face.

“Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.” -- H. Jackson Brown Jr.

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I think you could make his eyes still a little bit smaller in order to fit in the skull more properly. Remember the eyes are inside a socket, not just symbols.He can still look like a teen, love the purple!!!!

70+Page Koala Sketchbook: http://crimsondaggers.com/forum/thread-3465.html SB

Paintover thread, submit for crits! http://crimsondaggers.com/forum/thread-7879.html
[color=rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.882)]e owl sat on an oak. The more he saw, the less he spoke.[/color]
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@Fedodika:  Thanks for the advice dude, I tried to reduce the size of his eyes a little.  Calling this one done now and moving onto the next book cover soon:




And here's my first digital sketch of 2018, critiques most appreciated as always:



“Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.” -- H. Jackson Brown Jr.

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Remember that texture are also form that cast shadow.

Use the silhouette to move the eye across the piece here you can see that all you arrow are pointing to the center of interest.

Create a zone of contrast where you want to push a point of interest.

Add a cast shadow to help yourself remember where the light come from­.Casting a shadowwill help give the impression that the subject is ancor to the ground.

Avoid doing tangent like the red line it flatten the image.Try to come up with pose where we don't see all the form from a side view.For example you could have turn the head just a bit.

Sorry for my crappy draw over i forget my tablet and i had to use paint with a mouse.


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The journey of an artist truly begin when he can learn from is own error.
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@Darktiste:  Useful crits dude, I need to remember to avoid tangents, I seem to be blind to them at the moment, they just sneak up and slap me round the face before I know it!

I've started working on my next book cover.  This one is set in the future where human augmentation is the norm.  The protagonist is a woman who is much older than she looks because she has had a lot of work done on her.  She is not superhuman, but she is a lot fitter than the average person.  She is leading a young man up a mountain.

I've put together some thumbnails, any feedback or ideas would be appreciated thanks:



“Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.” -- H. Jackson Brown Jr.

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Either 1,5,9 i would say take those 3 and develop 3 variant of each of them.Make sure that the terrain feel extreme with mountain in the background.I would guess she as leg protesis try to study them before.
And probably also you like to practice aging a character.


You could also do a few color variant once you satisfy with the result.

Of course any of this is not set in stone the client alway as the last word(within the contract).So i advice you ask the client what thumbnail he or she prefer.

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Just wanted to drop in and say you look like you are making a good deal of progress artloader. Its really cool seeing you guys giving each other crits. Artloader on your thumbnails I noticed you do everything in line rather than doing things in shapes. If you take a look at an illustration you like and break it down into a thumbnail with just black, medium tone and white it will greatly inform your own thumbnails. Have you seen this video before Artloader?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQfF-P70V2Q&t=2215s

Im sure you have, but if you look at the way he is doing his thumbnail studies, this is the best way for you to do your own as well. Stay zoomed out and think about the big shapes and how well they are communicating vs the details of the face..etc. This is also a relevant video worth checking out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CAlo0IU-UI
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This will make me sound really rude, but...
Looking at those thumbnails all that goes in my mind is "...meh"

The constructions on 7 and 8 look pretty good, but I don't feel anything to get exited about by looking at them.
I think a solid painting should look good even in it's line-art stage, adding colors n' stuff can't save your piece.

I'm obviously not any expert on composition, but I think you should look up some good classes/ tutorials on the subject.
If you have the coin, SVS and and Schoolism has some golden content on the subject

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Phew! Been a bit busy in other areas of my life this week but thought I'd better respond to you guys :).

@Darktiste:  Thanks for the useful feedback - I think 9 is my favourite so far - I want to show off the fact that she is a beautiful woman of indeterminate age.  Also there are no obvious prosthesis on show - she looks completely human.  Good call on the studies as well - I am trying to get better at building studies into my workflow.

@Mchammer75:  Thanks for dropping by dude, you are right - I do need to think more about shapes and tone - something I am working on albeit slowly :) thanks for the links.

@Zahra1234:  Thanks for commenting and welcome to the forum :).  If you are asking how to start learning art then I would advise beginning with constructing things from basic forms (boxes, ovals, cylinders etc ...) check out drawabox.com one of my favourite resources.

@Hirvios:  Thanks for the honesty mate, I do need to learn more about composition, you are right - I am currently reading Framed Ink by Marcos Mateu-Mestre ... I'm still in the Introduction section but already I can say that it is an awesome book!

“Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.” -- H. Jackson Brown Jr.

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Hello, Framed Ink is one of the best books I've read, I was going to say something to you but everything is in that book ¬ ¬, I was playing with your idea for a while I had a lot of fun thinking more or less how it would be in my world :). regards


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@Abnormal:  Heheh - awesome stuff dude, I love the Framed Ink style thumbnails with the light and dark and tension lines - food for thought - thanks for the ideas :).

I've been messing about doing some studies.  I am petrified of rendering a complex rocky mountain side with loose shale and rock so have been doing some studying:













Any tips on rendering textures would be appreciated :).

“Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.” -- H. Jackson Brown Jr.

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