mateusrocha's sketchbook
Hey Daggers :)

I decided to start a new Sketchbook here, with my new set of goals and working method.

I was unhappy with my paintings, and realized that the problem was in the lines, the structure, the fundamentals. So, I'll begin all over again.

For start, I'll work mainly on lines first, then I'll go to values, until I reach color. Thats the plan, but for sure, from time to time I will spend some time having fun with colors etc, it's not a strict schedule.

Also, everyday that I'll be at home, I'll pick a theme to study. Today the subject was: Faces/Head structure.

For quite some time I've been doing studies. However, I noticed that I didn't improve that much doing so. The problem is, I was just copying - mindlessly. With my new approach I will first analyse and try to understand what I want to reach/accomplish, then I'll start the practical study.

I've done a lot of studies of photos (in the morning) and other artists works today. At some point, when I felt confortable, I did my own thing, applying what I've noticed/learned.

So, this is all from imagination:

[Image: 23_04_13_faces_practice_by_mateusrocha-d62sq4i.jpg]

I won't post the studies, because I felt that I was posting it (specially in my FB) just to show it to people, rather than to enjoy the process of making it. My denial of posting it is an attempt of breaking that thought of mine. Maybe in the future I'll post some of them, or the ones I feel like showing.

Well, that's for today. I'm really pumped up right now, and pretend on working everyday now, no excuses. As I said, I want to stay only with lines at first, slowly progressing to a full color illustration. One thing at a time.

Cheers :)

Today I focused on character design. In the morning I analysed some characters from good artists, to try to understand the elements they put in their artwork. It was a good study.

In the afternoon I did some practice, but the rest of the day got occupied by uni stuff.

Again, just line work. Despite my lack of practice today, the studies from the morning were good stuff :)

[Image: 24_04_13_character_design_practice_by_ma...62wmfo.jpg]

Today I had class in uni, but it turned out quite well. I have a story to tell.

I recently found out that my teacher of Typography did some illustrations when he was in his 20's, and today I asked him if he could show me, and so he did.

Wow. It was like I was seeing a Marvel artist. Seriously, I never tought I could have someone that good teaching me stuff at uni. After seeing his work, he chatted about it a little.

He gave up because he felt desmotivated about it. Sadly, I'm pretty sure he could have been a great sucessfull illustrator. He also gave me some precious advice about it: forget my tablet a little and do more work in traditional, specially studying anatomy trought boxes, and focusing in each part of the human body.

I tought about his work, his life and his advice all day.

And so, I did some studies from Loomis, specially the boxes thing. I also got trought my old sketchbooks to see some improvement from myself.

I wouldn't post anything, but decided to do a quick sketch. This new aproach in the way I'm studying is really making me think much more, and make more decisions. Following my teachers advice, I will try to finish some illustrations traditionally. I realized that I never did so, or rarely.

Enought cheap chat. Here's a lil' sketch.

I got to sleep and forgot to post it yesterday :O

And that resumes my day. I was really focused, draw all day, and learned a lot! Maybe it was the best art-day of the year so far!

I've begun with some 60s gestures using Alex Negrea's site (

After that I was quite confused about what to study in the rest of the day, but went to anatomy. And it was awesome! I didn't just copied it, but really studied, a thing that I was neglecting a long time. Trough the day I passed from Loomis to Michael Hampton. And at night I did some practice in paper, and planned on doing an illustration for monday class.

What I have to show here is just the gestures, but when I finish the traditional illust, I'll scan it.

So yesterday I didn't post anything because I did just sketches for my Visual Experimentations assignment: I tried different poses applying what I've learnt from Loomis and Hampton.

This was the result - ink + colored pencils:

[Image: frodo_by_mateusrocha-d63dn4k.jpg]

I used colored pencils because the assignment was to use some medium the we are not used to.

It was very nice to do some traditional stuff. I've always been doing digital art and, it's hard to confess but, I nearly neglected traditional art. This was really nice to do, with that fear of doing something wrong, without the possibility of going back.

I intend to do some watercolors or acrylics next.

I got to work on a large commission from a advocacy office, and also I've been playing Dota 2 more often because my friends from highschool began playing again :(

BUT, I've been drawing too.

This is some poses and faces practice. I'm working on a new illustration too.


here's my piece for today. This was an oriented painting I did... as I'm playing Dota 2 too often nowadays because my friends of good old dota 1 started playing again, I decided to put some new things into action

[Image: zharvakko__the_witch_doctor_by_mateusrocha-d65m3k9.jpg]

first, the low lightsource - something I never painted before;
second, the illustration done with focus... I realized I always do a full character scene... so this top-only portrait was good.

With this I also straied away from the only-line phase, but I think for a finished piece it is ok.

Ok. I got pretty pumped up with some art I've seen recently (thank you, my news feed artists <3)

I was just remebering when I first found out about Crimson Daggers in 2011, trough Alex Negrea. At that time, I spent my nights painting till' late, did studies almost every day. I miss that. Something went wrong in the way, altrough I learnt a LOT in the mean time. Anyways, I felt like giving a shot, trying to emulate the feeling from 2011. Let's see until when I can carry on with it.

I stopped the lines-only works. Was getting bored.

So here's a study after Bierstadt

[Image: 28_05_13_bierstadt_study_by_mateusrocha-d66xxr5.jpg]

Trying to convey rocks trough master paintings - and I'll do some studies of contemporary artists too - I figured out that I didn't learn much from photos.

Well, this one was a bit more tricky.

I'll do some more, and then try to do some from imagination. Let's see what happens!!

[Image: 29.05.13+thomas+moran+canyon+study.jpg]

study after Thomas Moran.

I really love the colors and almost swirling motion in this piece.

(05-30-2013, 11:01 AM)mateusrocha Wrote: Well, this one was a bit more tricky.

I'll do some more, and then try to do some from imagination. Let's see what happens!!

study after Thomas Moran.

“If you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with anything original.”
-Ken Robinson


@Tygerson: thank you! (: original by Thomas Moran! (much better I garantee haha)

Well, after some college and relationship problems, I'm slowly going back to painting... ugh.

This is old (a day after the last Thomas Moran study). Trying to apply it:

[Image: 30.05.13+enviro+comps.jpg]

Hey hey (:

Here's what I'm up to lately.

I did some studies, applied them, some gestures and anatomy.

[Image: 01_07_13_female_anatomy_studies_by_mateu...6c131g.jpg]

[Image: 03_07_13_female_gestures_by_mateusrocha-d6c130n.jpg]

[Image: 03_07_13_female_portrait_all_by_mateusrocha-d6c130d.jpg]

[Image: 03_07_13_female_portrait2_by_mateusrocha-d6c1308.jpg]

[Image: 04_07_13_random_by_mateusrocha-d6c12zo.jpg]

Hey man, you are doing great, keep those studies coming. Forget about women for a while and focus on those studies! And be careful with games, they are dangerous time-swallowing stuff.

I like the incorporation of memory studies to the traditional photo studies there. Keep it up!
@Wils and inkmech: thanks guys (: I intend to keep the studies. I'm very excited about it, seeing results is helping a lot haha

This was done today:

[Image: 05_07_13_armor_practice_by_mateusrocha-d6c6gdj.jpg]

[Image: 05_07_13_armor_practice2_by_mateusrocha-d6c6gd7.jpg]

[Image: 05_07_13_random_by_mateusrocha-d6c6gcz.jpg]

Last one was all from imagination. It's kind of lousy because I didn't want to take too long.

That's my actual study method: 2 or 3 studies directly from photo, then trying to replicate from memory, and before sleep, do something from imagination, related to the studies or not.


Saddly, I didn't managed to do everything I wanted today. I have a comic to develop for my class, so in the afternoon I was caught trying to come up with something :( should have made more studies.

This is what I got today (the figures are from a series I did yesterday)

[Image: 06_07_13_enviro_study_by_mateusrocha-d6cb04m.jpg]

[Image: 05_07_13_figure_by_mateusrocha-d6cb050.jpg]

Nice progress! remember drawing is key, i bet a lot of your studies would be twice as good if you just spent twice as much time on the drawing/planning stage;

Also hampton is a genius; really dig into his stuff, it has helped me a ton!
Keep up the good work! Another thing to notice is that your colors tend to get progressively less saturated as you go from your referenced studies to the one from memory. Try and pay attention to the areas of greatest saturation in the reference, and when you are done you can use the color picker to see what's different.

You could also organize your values in your environments a bit better, especially in the black and white ones its easy to see that things are getting busy and that a focal point isn't really defined.

Looking forward to more!

@Fedodika: Thanks! Yeah, I always did the lineart very loose and with missing part thinking that I would "finish it with paint"... then all the painting was lame haha. I'm working on it (:

@devin: saturation and values are one of my main problems.. I really need to work on that too. Thanks a lot btw! (:

And as I didn't made a random painting yesterday, I took my sunday to work on something a bit more, and this came out. It was really nice, trying to apply what I've learned in the week.

[Image: baby_dragon_by_mateusrocha-d6cf7kd.jpg]

I'm so pumped up (: vacations are coming, it will be nice.

Hey nice painting; but there is a mean tangent with the hip plate near where her arm is behind her. It took me a second to figure out what was going on, i kept thinking her hip plate was part of her arm plate... maybe push the arm out so it is more clear keep it up!

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