AfricanVoodoo's Sketchbook
#1
Hello, I'm AfricanVoodoo.
I want to start this sketchbook because I need guidance/advice on how to get better with my art. I am going to ask on every post that I make for critiques on all of my studies and sketches. This is so I can feel relieved that I have someone over my back. No one is there to watch over me to make sure I am doing the right thing so I'm all on my own.

I hope being on this website will give me guidance, and I hope I can help other people as well. I also hope I will reveal more of myself down the line as I post more and more!


If you are wondering, I am trying to get into the field of Character Design. I've been drawing my own characters ever since I have started to take drawing seriously. It's fun and I want to see if I can develop my skills so I can land a job.

If you have any advice on how to improve my character designing, please let me know!

Here is some of my studies!

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These are very recent, I hope I can scan older studies and artwork in future posts.
Thank you for reading!
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#2
Hey dude, you've got some decent figure sketches there. I think you are right about taking things more slowly with your studies. I have struggled with going too fast myself but have been trying to find ways of slowing down and trying to enjoy my studies. I've found that there are certain teachers out there that exude a deep joy in art and reading their teachings helps me to get into the right mindset. Dorian Iten is one such master:

http://www.dorian-iten.com

I also find that when I sit down to do a study (even if it is only a 10 minute study) if I tell myself that I will make the study as beautiful as I can in the time that I have, it relaxes me and improves my mood and there fore my enjoyment of the moment.

Also one of the best free figure study resources I've found is Proko's YouTube channel:

https://m.youtube.com/user/ProkoTV

Hope thiat helps dude.

Keep it going and good luck :).

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

CD Sketchbook



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#3
(11-07-2016, 12:00 AM)Artloader Wrote: Hey dude, you've got some decent figure sketches there.  I think you are right about taking things more slowly with your studies.  I have struggled with going too fast myself but have been trying to find ways of slowing down and trying to enjoy my studies.  I've found that there are certain teachers out there that exude a deep joy in art and reading their teachings helps me to get into the right mindset.  Dorian Iten is one such master:

http://www.dorian-iten.com

I also find that when I sit down to do a study (even if it is only a 10 minute study) if I tell myself that I will make the study as beautiful as I can in the time that I have, it relaxes me and improves my mood and there fore my enjoyment of the moment.

Also one of the best free figure study resources I've found is Proko's YouTube channel:

https://m.youtube.com/user/ProkoTV

Hope thiat helps dude.

Keep it going and good luck   :).
Thank you so much for the recommendations!

There are times when I feel like taking my time with my studies (like doing those 30 day challenges) is me missing out on other subjects I should tackle since I want to be a character designer/ concept artist. But I am doing the best I can right now since I have a long time to develop my skills until I make it out into the world.

I never heard of Dorian Iten but I... LOVE, Proko, he is the go-to person for anatomy. I should get his Premium course and gain more knowledge.

Once again, thank you linking me to these people!

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#4
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Okay, I made it work!! I need to go to bed, I'm tired.

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#5
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Yo, yo, yo guys! Now that I know a more consistent way of uploading digital art here, hopefully, I can start to upload more and more now.

So... I got another problem afoot on my art journey. The fundamentals. I feel like I am going way too fast . There is Perspective, Form, Anatomy, Value, Light and Color, Proportion, Gestures, etc. But I feel like I have the basics of Anatomy, Proportions and Gestures since I draw way too much humans for my own good, but everything else is absent in my mind.

I honestly do not know where to start with Form studies, is it just drawing wireframes around a still life? (I think it is). I do not shade my sketches as much as I should, nor do I do value studies on anything. And I do not use color that much either for me to study it... sigh.


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So you know what I am going to do? I am going to reach out to other art communities and I am going to get some critiques on my studies on the fundamentals. Mainly on a reddit page for the website Draw A Box, a website handled by an independent dude named Uncomfortable who pretty much teaches you the most basic of drawing, like linework and drawing forms. He used to take free critiques but now they are a Patreon reward and I have to get critiques from the community. WHICH IS FANTASTIC, getting multiple responses from different people instead of just one person is so awesome.

I mean, I won't get some fundamentals down like Color, Light, and Value since he does not go through those but I have more communities out there to help me out in that!

I am trying to cheer myself up because I am honestly scared that I will never get, AT LEAST, a commission that involves drawing. I am scared that I have to go into something entirely different that involves me to completely disown drawing. I don't want that to happen to me, which means I have to train up and be known!! (But still have fun since I feel like I am taking drawing too seriously, time to loosen up.)
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Another thing is ... I might start a YouTube channel. I dunno, I could document my thoughts and show the world how much of a goof I am. Some could be about drawing, most will be about my life experiences and stuff since I think I am a """"""""""""good"""""""""""""""" storyteller, so why not? We'll see when I have time.

Till next time! Bye now!

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#6
I'll admit, I am still scared of drawing females fully. Time to be comfortable of big booties and big hips.

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#7
A month later, yeesh!

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I... kindaalmostmaybe considered to stop posting art on this site because of all the scanning I have to do for my traditional art. And the fact that I do WAY more traditional than digital, it makes me not want to deal with my stupid scanner. Now that I am on break, I found some time to do some shit.

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Firstly, (and finally), I am doing way more figures on women. It was a smooth transition for me actually. All I have to do is make the ribcage smaller and the pelvis bigger and then bam, female form. Females are way more circular, curvy, anti-edge, traits that definitely helps with finding gesture and rhythm. Speaking of rhythm... I should study how other artists find rhythm in the human form.

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(I apologize for this being sideways) Speaking of studying other artists, I am finally starting to think about what art books I want to hoard into my house. I COULD get pdfs of the art books (like Loomis), but what if I was in a pinch? The power goes out or I'm in a long ass road trip, it is time to bring some of the old masters. Well... most of them aren't from the old masters, they are mostly in the 10's. 




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Here are some of the books I'm interested in:
Art Fundementals
Sketching from the Imagination: Characters
Figure Drawing: Design and Invention
Pen and Ink Drawing: A Simple Guide
Force: Dynamic Life Drawing for Animators
The Skillful Huntsman
Color and Light


And many more!

That is all I got for now! I have over 30 watercolor paper squares to fill up, I dunno what I am going to put on it, but I am going to do it. Anyways, bye now!

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#8
Yo yo yo! I'm back!

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So for the people who didn't know, I use FireAlpaca as my main digital program. And... I feel cold about it. It's great for linework and mainly casual stuff, but I want to incorporate some painting into the mix. It is hard to paint on FA without it looking messy and rushed, even if you spend so much time on it. I'm still going to use it because I feel bad for barely using it and not finding out it's true power. Most of the videos using FireAlpaca are mostly linework, channels like Magna Omega (link to his channel), and his style is extremely good. There are also channels like Twarda8 (link to her channel) that actually succeed in doing a painting of various Pokemon with using Fire Alpaca and Gimp. I might need to hone my skills so I can make my stuff look like Magna's cause... wowzers.

(Art): I was doing tiny thumbnails of tribal people for a design that I wanted to do for a character design for my soon-to-be comic. At the bottom of the page was a few male lips from reference.

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Oh, that's right my art. When I drew this character design... I started doing this weird foreign thing called hatching. There is book called "The Edge" illustrated by Chris Riddell (you can look him up on Google). His art style is consisted on highly detailed line drawings with absolutely no shading. Even though I honestly do not like how he draws his characters (mostly his almost ugly looking character designs turn me off), I study how he uses line to define clothing and faces and literally everything. He's amazing.

(Art): An executor design that I randomly decided to do. I actually started to do my style that I always wanted in this piece. Now it is time to refine it.

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Here's a little more insight into what style I wish to obtain. This is a line drawing of Freyr, Norse God of Prosperity. Notice how the lines wrap around the form of the muscles and clouds. These kinds of illustrations really appeal to me... and I'm not sure why. But by doing this, I pretty much have to do form studies like crazy and brush off my lighting skills (whatever skill that I have in that department.). Also, when I eventually gain Photoshop, I am going to try to incorporate this hatching in my work but with color this time... not sure what it is going to look like. Only time will tell me.

In the Executor design, I utilized this technique with some soft shading in it. If you guys have ANY feedback, please tell me! 

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Speaking of Photoshop, I have finally decided to get the thing. Like I said, I am about to turn a cold shoulder towards FireAlpaca because of how limited it is (especially in brush customization... ugh). Finding out that you literally need a monthly subscription for the thing was disheartening, I just want to buy the thing and go. I almost considered the "Single App" option which was 19.99. But there was a "Photography" Set which included both Lightroom (whatever the hell that is) and Photoshop.... for 9.99 a month. 

...hmm.

Is there anything that I am missing? Why is getting two programs cheaper than getting one. Oh well, 10 dollars off is amazing to me.

(Art): A bunch of sword poses from reference (it was pretty fun actually), angry eyes, and some knight that I like.

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(Art: Women figures, superimposing lines for better linework, and werewolf poses I found on the internet. I like how the werewolf have a subtle triangle body shape, which implies that they are dangerous beings that should not be taken lightly. Also their head is usually positioned lower on the body than normal, a physical trait common on bulky characters.

Anyways, that is all I got. Until next, bye now!

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#9
Hey,

Just a heads up, you can upload images to your posts - nearly all of you images here are unavailable as you've used an expired imgur link, so there's not much to see. When I can I'll be back to check things out :)



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#10
Yo yo yo! Back for another round of sketches!

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I've been feeling pretty isolated on this website. Not because of the people (not that much people interact with me anyways), but there are so much artists on here who does fantastic digital art and still life and clean lines and perspective and anatomy studies and value studies, etc. I'm over here still doing dumb character designs. Sure there are some cartoony people on this site, but they are also capable of creating realistic pencil drawings with smooth lines. Of course, I only had almost two years of self-teaching while others had four to six years. And their most likely in college with teachers and outside help.

(Art): A bunch of gestures of a fat woman. I really needed this. Drawing slim and muscular people is tiring now, and I need to know different body types for better character variation

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I shouldn't worry about it honestly because I have so much time to hone my skills while interacting with (a few) people on this website.
 Speaking of people interacting with me, I dunno why, but when I see that someone replied on my sketchbook, my heart beats like I just ran from a dog. I like to think that it is just excitement that someone is finally going to drag me so I can have a clear direction now. Naw, it was either a pat on the back or telling me that literally all the photos are gone on my sketchbook. Thank you... but FUCK I get my hopes up too much bro.

(Art): More female figures and an anatomy study of the legs. The main thing I did now is that form and placement was my main concern. I'm also learning a lot too even though I was studying the thighs for two thousand years. The more muscular the legs, the more developed the quads and that oval shape between the quads are. The more developed the quads are, the more it covers that thin strand of muscle that wraps around the entire thigh. If the leg is not as developed, you can see a clear line going diagonally on the leg dividing the... "pelvic muscle strand area near the pelvis??? (I think it is called... the radius?)" and the main leg muscles. There is also a main rhythm I have found. That thin strand on muscle also flows right into the side of the knee area creating a beautiful c-curve. I demonstrated it on almost all of the leg figures on the right page.

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And the worst thing is happening every time I go on this site, I will low-key start comparing myself (And I'm doing a pretty good-ass job at not doing that). Usually not by how their art looks (it can be, like seeing a shaded skull that looks good makes me cry), but it is the thing that is non-drawing related. Passion. I see people like Raph (link) who does mountains of just hands, legs, figures, value studies, Loomis studies, character designs, storybook illustrations, visual library improvement etc. And he is doing this in a weekly basis. I'm over here doing 1/8 of that a day with little digital millage. 

 He does so much studies and sketchbook pages, I feel like I need to stop typing this shit out and start doing some faces. Like... 6 pages of them. I want to surpass Raph and all the other artists who put so much love and care into their work but my brain just dies out when I needed it the most!

(Art): After last's night little leg muscle session, I started with some refreshment on the leg bones. Turns out I was pushing the upper bone WAYYY too far to the left. Looking at it now, that thing does not look okay... But now I know not to exaggerate so much.

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I'm not saying this out of jealously or spite for these people. Just admiration. Even though some people on here will look at my studies and say that I'm passionate... I just don't feel it. Will I ever feel that sense of passion? I dunno honestly, but I feel like it is possible. And the fact that I think it is possible... and I still cannot brand myself as "passionate", there is something wrong. And I'm going to fix it. Starting in January, I'm going to obtain Photoshop and a new sketchbook and I WILL complete this new sketchbook in a month's time.

It is going to be full of hands, feet, human figures, perspective, composition, character designs, lighting studies, value, everything!! (Well, I might have to slow down so I can actually retain the information).

If I come back to this website and not achieve my goal by the end of January. I'm not gonna quit art, but I'm going to punish myself, severely. It is time for me to get self-discipline to smack me in the face so I can reach people like Anthony Jones and Raph and (little bit of a stretch here...) Bengus, long time artist for Capcom... It's time to get my shit together.

(Art): Some more female figures and butts. It is was a late night thing so not much here.

Welp, that's it from me. Till next time! Bye now.

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#11
Hey you guys, this might be a quick one since I only have a few to share.

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I might start another sketchbook. I dunno if there are any horror stories out there involving having two sketchbooks on here but I do not care.

The sketchbook is gonna be called "The Voodoo's Tribulation of Design". Since I want to be a character designer, there is one thing that is the most important while designing, your visual library. I love this word so much because it is basically a part of my brain where I can learn so much about insects and armor design, then incorporate it into my own designs. How cool is that?

(Art: Moving on from the leg bones since I can simplify it easily now, I transferred into the side of the legs and... it was actually new terf for me. New muscles and tendons to remember. There is this giant tendon on the side that divides the side of the thigh in half and it goes into other muscles like the butt.)

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(Art): After the side of the leg, I moved on to the back of the legs. It's... really confusing on a really muscular model honestly. There are depressions everywhere and subtle shadows and highlights and it was........ GAH! Until I looked at my reference and found where all the muscles were. The hamstring was a weird muscle, because I could barely see it on the model. I concluded that the hamstring could be simplified as a huge oval, combing both of the tube-like muscles.

That's it for me! Till next time, bye now!

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#12
Good to see you working hard here AfricanVoodoo :).

When studying anatomy I find it very useful to search the internet for diagrams of muscle origin and insertions. If you build up a knowledge of where each muscle starts and finishes, it becomes much less confusing when you study real life subjects or photos.

For example, here's some information on the sartorius muscle from Wikipedia:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sartorius_muscle

Hope this helps, keep up the hard work :).

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

CD Sketchbook



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#13
(12-31-2016, 08:19 AM)Artloader Wrote: Good to see you working hard here AfricanVoodoo :).

When studying anatomy I find it very useful to search the internet for diagrams of muscle origin and insertions. If you build up a knowledge of where each muscle starts and finishes, it becomes much less confusing when you study real life subjects or photos.

For example, here's some information on the sartorius muscle from Wikipedia:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sartorius_muscle

Hope this helps, keep up the hard work :).
Thank you so much Artloader! 

You know, I used to do that for m anatomy studies but for some reason I forgot to do that. Finding the origins would be very useful.

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#14
Yo yo yo! I'm back!

Yesterday was... disappointing for me (it should be disappointing for many artists on here...). I pretty much skipped a day. The only thing that I did that day was look at someone's sketchbook and marveled at their clean lines. So I took out my sketchbook and tried to do the superimposing lines exercise and I failed miserably. Then, surprisingly, I felt unmotivated and went back to sleep. I was extremely tired yesterday for some unknown reason. I woke up at 10:00 AM, stayed up until 11:00, went to sleep, then woke up at 4:30 when I heard my mother walk through the door. 

Today ended up being like every other day, so I'm going to see if I can get some work done.

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(Art): I started to do some value studies... on FireAlpaca. I wanted to see if I can at least get some millage with the program... it's hard. But until I get Photoshop, I'll have to deal with results like these. I got so uncomfortable doing this, mainly because 1. the brushes on Fire Alpaca are super smooth without any textures, so I had to improvise with subtle lines and dirty paintwork and 2. I still do not know when to make new layers, which is my fault. If I was better at layer management most of these soft transitions in my study would of been gone. It's time to get some training.

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(Art): This was... better?? I forgot to mention that FireAlpaca do not have a reliable blending option to make a smooth texture, so once again, dirty paintwork. I wanted to go more simple than an entire arm, looks like I am not at the level yet...

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(Art): This is the same arm but on Toned Tan paper. The gesture was off but I wasn't focusing on that, it was a value study. In the middle of the drawing, I quickly realized that doing value studies are way better on white paper (and it's easier to do on digital since you can check your work.) Not very happy with this one...

That's all I have! Bye now!

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#15
Yo yo yo! I'm back.

School started, I was on Winter Vacation which is why I was posting so much in December. But now it looks like I can only do that on Saturdays and Sundays. I don't want to leave this website for 2-3 months until Spring Break comes by, so I am going to try to be active on this website.

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So I started a challenge. I usually never do that but I'm going to try. The challenge is to fill a 200 page sketchbook in one month. The deadline is 2/5/17, I feel like I can do it.

(Art): I was looking at a few knight poses and tried to recreate them on paper. Not very sure... about anything else...

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My main goal is to fill this sketchbook full of things that I usually never do. Hands, feet, environments, master studies, shading, etc. And since I don't bring this sketchbook to school, I feel like I can do anything in here without restricting myself.

(Art); I started doing Hampton Anatomy studies and I focused on the perspective on the spine.

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Another goal of mine is to start doing more than 2 pages a day of studies. I feel like I can do better than this, I feel like that is the bare minimum on how much time I should be drawing. Ever since I started this sketchbook, I've said that I have no passion,  at least compared to the other people on this website. And I feel like it is time to change that. I try to do six pages a day.

(Art): Even though I was doing Hampton Studies, it slowly changed into how to draw boxes and perspective studies.

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Another problem that I am facing is my lines and my overall presentation of my art. I feel like my lines are ultra messy, the way I place my drawings make the pages look cluttered. I might have to get a desk so I can get a better control with my arms. My bed is where most of my messy lines are.

(Art): I was doing copies of Green Arrow's design on his comic and in the Injustice video game. I like the one on the left because the artist (Otto... something) created main shapes with tiny shapes inside of it, which appealed to me so much I am going to try to incorporate this style into my own character designs. The Injustice design is much more advanced with the shapes, since this is for a video game and not for a comic.

I might study more shapes used in animation and comics since I like that kind of designing.

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(Art): I started to study how the fingers looks and how to effectively draw the hand without reference... it is going to be a long road until I can actually do that.

Welp, that it's it. Bye now!

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#16
Hey man, i see you are well on your way with studying, which is good! I hope you feel more comfortable with your studies now than you did when you wrote the first post. I want to point out something though if you want to be a character artist still. I do not think you are there yet in terms of drawing the character by itself, simply because you are still making some mistakes in fundamentals. Try to make front, side back view so that a 3D modeler can use your character to make it in 3D space. Also think of a story for your characters, think of their attitude, think of what environment they live in and what their clothing is.. That is good character design! :D Like you and artloader already said, take it slow. Do not look at other people! There are people that draw 16 hours a day yes and they become really good faster than others - if they study well. That doesnt mean however that everyone should do that. I for example don't draw so much but think back in my head of certain shapes or things i have done in 1 study and try to apply that to the next concept i do. I also do not think one is learning slower because lack of passion. Sure passion gives you overall better looking drawings, but it is more a matter of discipline. Your brain is used to looking at youtube after school, so automatically your hands grab the mouse and go browse the web xD If you want that character artist job, you can do it. It only takes time, and time requires patience :)
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#17
PS : if you look for other drawing software you can check smith micro software once in a while - they have discounts on clip studio paint from time to time. I think I paid 12 dollars for my license :)
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#18
(01-17-2017, 03:21 AM)AngeliquevdMee Wrote: Hey man, i see you are well on your way with studying, which is good! I hope you feel more comfortable with your studies now than you did when you wrote the first post. I want to point out something though if you want to be a character artist still. I do not think you are there yet in terms of drawing the character by itself, simply because you are still making some mistakes in fundamentals. Try to make front, side back view so that a 3D modeler can use your character to make it in 3D space. Also think of a story for your characters, think of their attitude, think of what environment they live in and what their clothing is.. That is good character design! :D Like you and artloader already said, take it slow. Do not look at other people! There are people that draw 16 hours a day yes and they become really good faster than others - if they study well. That doesnt mean however that everyone should do that. I for example don't draw so much but think back in my head of certain shapes or things i have done in 1 study and try to apply that to the next concept i do. I also do not think one is learning slower because lack of passion. Sure passion gives you overall better looking drawings, but it is more a matter of discipline. Your brain is used to looking at youtube after school, so automatically your hands grab the mouse and go browse the web xD If you want that character artist job, you can do it. It only takes time, and time requires patience :)
Thank you very much!

I agree with everything that you have said! It was a reliever to hear someone say that it doesn't matter how much time I put into art, as long as I am studying well I can achieve my goal.

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#19
Hi there AfricanVoodoo!

I've read some of your posts and I'm worried that you are stressing yourself too much over art! I agree with AngeliquevdMee that as long as you do the work, you'll get there! Even if you can't afford to spend 12 or 16 hours a day on drawing (I know my back hurts like hell when I do that), if you can draw for 2 or 4 - that is awesome too! Don't compare yourself with others because what you see can be just your assumption. You don't know how much each person spends on drawing, even if someone updates their sketchbook daily. And also, we all have ups and downs, everyone has a day without art! We are all just people who have the same goal - to do art professionally, but each of us takes a different path to get there.

As for your sketches - yes you need to work on fundamentals (don't we all!) and I think at this point, as long as you fill your sketchbook pages as often as you can you will start seeing progress soon. Maybe you could find some live figure drawing classes nearby? It would definitely help if you had a chance to draw the human body not only from books or photos.
Once you get your proportions right and you are able to feel the 3D form of a figure, you could start experimenting with different shapes and give your characters some unique features!

One more thing - When starting to draw a figure, try to see the big shapes first and sketch them out, then go into detail and muscle definition.

Hope this helps!

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#20
Yo yo yo! I'm back!

I have to stop thinking that I need to upload +50 images on each post all the time. I'm going to scan many images and slowly upload them on here so I won't have the displeasure of scanning art every time I decide to upload.

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Jesus, I have little stamina honestly. I noticed that in my entire family, we honestly cannot do anything after a long day of work/school. It's even worst on the weekends since I want to sleep after a long week of maintaining an A/B honor roll, slight drama, and finding a job.

(Art): Tiny doodles, but look at that date, yeesh! It's... been a long time since I updated here even though I said I would be updating regularly.

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I didn't draw much in 3 weeks, little things here and there but not a lot of studies. It was really foolish of me to think that I need to do 16 hours of pure drawing when am I not ready for that kind of commitment for that, AND I have other things to do that is also important to me.

(Art): More doodles. I vaguely remember telling myself that I wanted to do more detailed sketches while doing that awkward alien knight thing. I don't think I did a good job with that...


[Image: tzvMOF7.jpg]I need to start drinking water and eating healthier, cause I feel like that will give me AT LEAST some form of energy. I don't care what energy, as long as it is positive and it helps me not fall asleep every time I step foot into my damn house.

(Art): Some king illustration I did. The wrinkles on his clothes are all over the place and I honestly didn't think about who he was as a character... I just kind of drew him. I should start practicing character writing and profiles... and drooping clothes.


I have more in the vault, but like I said, I will reveal them in another time and day when I am ready. Until next time, bye now!

(P.S. I FINALLY got Photoshop... and I didn't do any art on it (it's actually been 2 weeks since I bought it and I still didn't do anything on it). I heard that it wasn't ideal for line art which... disappointed me, but using the program might force me to get into digital painting. Which should be exciting.)

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