Lance's Juicy Fruity Sketchbook
The video's great, so awesome to see the process and hear you talk through what you're doing. They are really helpful! Keep making them : ) You're from England too ^^ South East somewhere? I'm in Bristol.

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JyonnyNovice - Thanks, I'm glad you liked the video! It was pretty fun to make, so I would totally be up for doing more. I'm hoping to set up something with a webcam so I can record some sketches too. Cool to see another Brit, and damn you have a good ear - I'm from Kent! About as South East as it gets.


I think a lot of composition and shape studies started to sink in this week, things really started to click. My work has been rather weird to me, which usually precedes some kind of style or skill jump. (I have rather non-linear improvement pattern looking back.) Lots of experimenting and fun though, I love these times.

Tonnes of life sketching from the fair I was at this weekend. I got hardly any customers (bad venue + bad weather), so lots of time to draw people. They had a strong man there was well - I wish I had been closer, but it was still cool to get a chance to sketch him pulling a truck.

Some hip sketches to support those Bridgman studies. Hips I find very tough, so I will probably do another round.

Brush pen sketches from photo. I found a whole pack of carts that I had lost too... much joy.

Bob Peak Composition notes. I love his work so, so much.

Bargue study. I don't usually bother posting these, but this one was the first without guides and man it was tough.

Sorolla study. 2hrs, mainly looking at colour.

Still life study, about 2.5 hours. My mother randomly brought home these wonderful feathers and asked if I'd find them useful for painting. (!)

Speedpaints, I had loads of fun with these.

And finally some imaginative sketching. Redid the minotaur pose because it was freaking stiff. Also having fun with the brush pen some more.

Just saw your video as well, you should have advertised it in the shout box or something man, totally missed ! That still life came out great too. I liked your vid and subbed you. it was kind of hard to hear you though. Maybe it was because I was using my speakers and not headphones but I really had to crank up the volume to make out what you were saying. Or maybe Im just deaf!

Also Ive always been curious what the take away from bargue studies is. To me they seem kind of flat and not particularly useful, but I must be missing something. I see a lot of people praising him but just cant for the life of me figure out why lol

And damn your brush pen skills :o You gettin good with that thang son

Wohoooo! Really impressed man, you're racking up some serious progress here! And I'm also impressed about the guts you have to give this a serious shot after graduating from physics, that's real passion there , really inspiring.

I'm digging a lot your paintings , there's a clear improvement in edge control and values from the first stuff you posted, also the drawings are getting better and better , the lines are starting to make sense in a more meaningfull way and them inks! Hmmm! Gotta love those. I specially dig the guy with the hat and the beard, for some reason it reminds me of Fetchin's work , granted it's not a vignette but it has that smart touch he has. Haven't checked out the vid though cause I'm about to fall dead in my bed but I will , I'm really interested in seeing how you tackle your process.
And the feathers are looking sweet, if you find a way to export that into your personal work it's gonna be rock and roll for real.

On feedback there's not a ton to say , you really seem to analyse your work and to know what you need to work on but here's my two cents.


More blacks and darker greys. They're coming together, but they still lack a bit the "je ne sais quoi" to make them real juicy and I think it's because you're not enfatizing occlusion shadows and falling in the lighter side of line weight a bit too much, the problem with this is that it takes some serious experimentation and failure to know where to put them to get them right, it's happening right now to me where most my stuff comes out too heavy on darks when before it was lacking, I feel that finding that balance is the next step into getting them right.

Also, some foreshortening studies would help, cause some stuff is coming out a bit wonky, I still like the choices you made but I feel that some delving into this would give them more consistency.


I myself I'm the biggest rookie in this so I'm not gonna give you much advice cause I don't know what choices are right or wrong, the only thing I'd recommend is to use smoother gradients for backgrounds with big brushes. As an example , in the feathers study the main subject is quite awesomely depicted, but the secondary focus comes out too hard, like the folds and stuff, those brush marks really hurt the rest of the picture, so maybe some quick smooth brush would give it more unity even if you're missing out on the fine detailing.

Overall, pretty impressed man, I really dig where your headed and I feel I have a ton of things in common in both strengths and weaknesses, I'll be checking you out! :D


Lovely update! I really dig those brushpen sketches and the other pen sketches as well. Your posts always include such a massive amount of studies and stuff man, it's amazing. I think your anatomy studies are coming along well. I also think hips are extremely difficult, you might want to check out this guy's deviantart account: His notes on certain aspects of anatomy and construction really helped me out here and there.


Brilliant sketching. Got some great skill and style going on there.

I'm going to have to buy some brush pens now, awesome stuff! keep studying the masters !
Beardley - Oh wow, thank you! It was very much an experiment, which is why I never plugged it. Also I totally agree about the volume, it isn't just you - next time I will try to speak up or move the mic closer. Just need to think of stuff to record now!

As for the Bargue studies, they are mainly for just teaching the brain/eye to measure angles, flatten shapes and read values when drawing from life, and training it to become more perceptive and accurate by steadily increasing the difficulty. They are a very dry exercise though. (I only do a couple a week, but find them pretty relaxing, haha.) Overall I have found them pretty good for training me to draw from life better, as well as to slow my ass down and concentrate. Weirdly they have also had some side effects regarding noticing stuff about anatomy and form too.

Suira - Woah, thank you for the in-depth comment and crits, I really appreciate it! I have not heard of Fetchin before, wow. Can't believe I have been missing out on him, his work is really gorgeous. Thanks for introducing me to him, I love discovering new-old masters.

Thanks for the tips on shadows, I'm going to try to keep thinking about the occlusion in particular, and keep pushing the contrast too. Your comment sort of alerted me to how much I struggle with value/form still. On your suggestion, I've also started some foreshortening studies with a bit of reading from Hogarth's Figure book to give the brain some hand holds. It is definitely something I'm weak at though, the forms often flatten out, and as you say, become askew when I push it.

As for the painting crit, that really switched me on to noticing those smooth transitions, thanks. I've tried to sort of get a handle on it with a photostudy lower down, but yeah, need a lot of practise there. Thanks for bringing the noisy brush work to my attention too, totally missed it myself!

Again, thanks for the great feedback, it has given me a ton to work on.

Cyprinus - Thank you! I ought to push myself into doing more original stuff though, haha. Thanks for the link too, he really diagrams out how the thighs slot into the hip well, it is proving handy as I move down to the legs.

Craig Paton - Thanks man!

BenFlores - Thanks, will do! Brushpens are good fun - but so very unforgiving. They will teach you to think about mark making for sure.


Took it easy over the weekend for some birthday celebrations and catching up with family. Got lots of sketching done inbetween though!

Forgot this last time, a really weird result experimenting with painting a self portrait sketch:

Some warm up sketches over the last few days - 2 minute figures, warm up figures and horses.

Bridgman hips again

Foreshortening studies - first from photo:

and then from imagination:

Sketches - a few thumbs from town before I had had to retreat indoors, and the rest are from the forest. I find the most cooperative insects.

Values studies, finishing that photostudy a few posts back, and a life study in pencil. Both made me really aware I have so much to work on with values, ouch.

Just some late night sketch sheets in pen

And finally getting into colouring this! WIP

So much hard work!! Really nice and inspiring man. I gotta say you took the crits to heart! Your linework is getting stronger. The character sketches and the thumbs are awesome, really strong inking and confident at that too. And the hips studies are trough, you don't leave anything to chance, which is great to see :)

Of all the paintings I like the sp the most, really simple and efficient.

I have a sugestion for your paintings/value studies:


I had this issue a lot lately where I find that things come out over-rendered and it kills the consistency of the painting, the best way out I found to kill that tendency is to over-simplify the value structures and the brushwork by painting a hard edged core shadow and blending with soft brush the midtone and the transitions with big brushes and it helps a lot. Leave them simple even if it feels too simple and just focus on one or two areas. The more you do that the more ways you find to convey the form, I hope it helps :P

Sorry for the sloppy crit , but I'm about to fall dead in my bed hehe. By the way, thanks a lot for the feedback on my sb man. I was really blocked and it has helped me a lot! :D

(07-23-2014, 08:31 PM)clockodile Wrote: I'm from Kent! About as South East as it gets.
Hey i'm from the Kent area too :) think i'm on the outskirts of it though.

Anyway you're killin it with these updates, i'm really likin how you've painted the minotaur piece, I like the patterns you've put on the ruins & it's telling an interesting story with the minotaur sorta guarding these old ruins.

Also on the topic of values, i've been workin on values alot myself recently and i've heard some people give the same advice as Suira on simplifying it, i've been finding it hard to put into practice, keep trying to start of simple but before I know it I'm over complicating the values into a mess XD.

Hey man, just wanted to say thanks for all your support and comments on my sketchbook, really motivates me and gets me through the low points. I'm always checking here but don't have too much say, too busy just saying 'wow' as I flick through : )

I can offer my opinion on your minotaur piece so far though - don't get me wrong it looks stunning, the colours and the scene and the idea - but for me the minotaurs pose really jars with my kind of mental story that I get from this; he looks like he is posing for a painting, it kind of stops me from trying to discover a narrative - like I feel he isn't guarding the place, since he looks quite laid back, and I feel he isn't there relaxing because his pose seems too 'held'. It's kind of awkward to sit like that, it'd hurt your arm after a while and he is in danger of sliding off.

I reckon the story would come out more if he was either stood to attention, looking menacing with his spear, or if he was like totally just kicking back, spear close by but laying on his back on the wall, legs dangling, maybe snoozing... I dunno! Do you get me? XD

Sorry if that came across harsh at all! I know it's a WIP as well! I'm just enthusiastic at finding something to comment on haha

Anyway, all the best mate!

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Suira - Thank you! It has been so long since I studied legs/hips (the arm section in Bridgman is rightfully massive - took months to get through!) I'm going through it with a fine toothcomb.

I have done a few value studies this week and have tried to implement it on the later two, but totally failed with discipline, and just badly reading the values. What I might try is follow that, but force myself to draw small, quick studies to get that experience of a simple start better ingrained. Thank you for the tip, I definitely need to let go of that detail issue.

Triggerpigking - Wow, cool to see another Brit! I'm right down in the Weald, very rural.

Thanks, there is a bunch more to add with the details, but it a lot of fun to work at.
Yes, it can be harder to stay simple than to over-render this stuff. The human eye is so detail-obsessed!

JyonnyNovice - You're welcome, it is great to hear that. I know it is bloody tough work, but I really admire the effort you put in.

No worries, thanks for the crit! I'll be having a look at changing his pose. Because he is the guard, I don't want him to be totally laid back, since he is meant to be at least somewhat serious about his job, haha. So I have gone for making him look more alert in the thumbs. Though I do like the idea of the dangling leg a lot - resting one of them in thumbs immediately make the pose look a bit more natural and assymetric.


OK, have been plugging away at the minotaur a lot, and doing a bunch of value studies. Trying to simplify strokes, shapes, and everything to avoid detail niggling, but to limited success.

Some gesture sketches and a WIP of the minotaur scene. Trying to decide how to redraw him or edit him - I am trying to keep hold of the same triangle composition though.

Bridgman studies, moving down to the thighs now, and looking at Cypinus' link to how the muscles lock to the hip.

Random 70's suit study, never got around to sketching any characters though.

Value studies! Really trying to get the hang of these. The jug was 2hrs, the first skull 2hrs and the second skull 3 hrs. The first skull was a nightmare to visual measure, so I did a sketch for the second one and tried to follow Suira's advice blocking it in, after doing a practise run on the jug. I really need to work on my values.

Fechin eye study, just getting a feel for how his lines work.

Head studies - about 15 minute sketches focusing on construction.

Gesture studies- I do 30 sec gestures in the morning that I never post, but these are a bit longer and I had a go with the brushpen, which was fun. Plus some untimed figure studies done as a warm up.

Late night chill down sketches and some WIPs for the next thing I'm going to paint.

That minotaur piece is starting to shape up, looking good! And lot's of studies as usual man, keep working at it, it's worth it.
Be carefull on this last portrait though, that's a really tricky angle and you'll need ref for it, I already feel that his head is far to back of his body, you would barely see his neck from this angle and his left shoulder would probably come out of his eyes, not mouth, anyways reference it up dude!

Killer update man! these last studies on values are really improving,when checking out the jar I had to concentrate a bit to realise which one was the painting which tells something about your skills already. The figure studies are coming along too, pretty nice. Tons of studies and hard work, real inspiring too man.

The minotaur piece is getting better, and cool to see you taking the time to improve the pose and everything. The only crit for me it would be that it implies a bit of a sexual type of deal, like he's holding his cock ( but this is purely subjective). Anyway, I'm sure it'll end up looking even better.

If I had to pick a favorite it would be the value studies and the ballpoint heads, for some reason they're really strong in the linework and the confidence.

Keep up the great work man! ;)

Whoa... man, I got nuthin'. Please keep inspiring me to work harder with your work!

Nice stuff man. Your figure drawings reminds me of Vilppu. IDK, the forms aren't completely round nor boxy. Its in-between. Its very flowy and energetic.
rafa zanchetin - Thanks for the crit, I've been working a bit at fixing the rough (his face is rather narrow too) think I'm going to shot something for it if I can. I really appreciate hearing that early on though, it is an issue I have had in the past and not figured out until way too late.

Suira - Thanks! I'm determined to get a grip on values, they're an embarrassing weak point now I notice them. Now you say that, I am doubly glad I redid the pose! Hopefully it will take away that awkward read. Interesting, I actually really enjoyed doing the heads, as at the time I had just finished a long stint of painting.

meat - Haha, thank you! Not the best update I have made but I hope it counts for something.

nastobi - Thanks, I actually am a huge fan of Vilppu, though I look at lots of figure resources, and try to weld rhythmic methods to constructive ones.


Not much in the way of studies, spent the weekend pretty ill (impaired motor skills is no fun) and most of the energy I did have got directed at the minotaur picture. Still rather tired but bouncing back!

Have totally gutted the minotaur and redrew him from scratch. I'm itching to move onto something different (plus I need more stuff to jam into my portfolio), so I am going try to push for a finish now I think. Lots of detail to do, getting those skeles looking how I want, detailing him/his costume, wrecking bricks etc. Glad I have a list.

Warm up figures - 3 min a pop I think

Bridgman muscle studies

Hogarth photo studies - just going ahead and going to do a run through his book I think. Looking at foot positions, how they are stablised and how they fit with rhythms of the leg.

And from imagination

Value studies! Life study of a ball, very boring. Mainly just to drum in how terminators wrap to form, and bounce shadows and all that.

Photo value study of a creepy mannekin. It is mainly for looking at rendering out soft transitions better (the light is rubbish), and trying to work on some of Suira's advice a couple of posts back. 1 hr - it was surprisingly efficient.

Composition studies/notes.

Few sketches of people in the doctor's waiting room.

And some sketching for fun

Could you make the tree behind the Minotaur bigger? Or with bigger leaves? So that it appears closer to us, and also contrast more with the leaves on the vines to the far left side of the painting.

I think I asked you this before, are you using brush and ink for that last drawing or is that a really impressively mimicking Photoshop brush?

I've done nothing in the way of studies, they're like fruits hanging far out of reach. So I really enjoy looking at your studies.

The minotaur pose kinda reminds me of this:

Maybe it's the tilt of his head or the finger on the spear, very renaissance style pose! Kinda feels like it needs a counterpoint character since those kind of paintings always had them. That's just what I see anyway, great job ^^

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Super juicy anatomy-studies! Your sketches are also super fresh, I love all the variation in your SB!


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