Peter's Sketchbook
(04-02-2022, 07:57 PM)mixedmax Wrote: Really digging the illustration ideas as well. Sounds very promising!
I'm getting some old 50s radio show or Twilight Zone vibes.
Also really admiring your committment and all the thumbnails/roughs you did for this and I think the shifted perspective will go very well with your theme.

Thanks man! :) You are really gonna hate me since I went ahead and changed my rough comp to my second choice since I kept having so many issues with it.


I was meant to post sooner but ended up being sick the past week and long story short I just tested positive for covid today..... Feeling much better now, thankfully haven't been too bad, it's pretty muich been the same as a mild cold that I can't quite shake. Mnaged to make some progress but I've had to take it slow.


Initially I shot some reference to match my final comp above and started work on a more refined rough comp but I felt like I kept having issue after issue with it, mainly the perspective. I had to correct the perspective compared to my rough comp and rely on my phoot ref more and in the end I felt like my design had changed too much compared to my intial design and was more reliant on my reference which I didn't want. Guess 3 point perspective is something I need to revisit.

Decided to shoot some photo ref for my second idea and develop that some more with the design on the left being the one I ended up going with.

Value Comp

Spent around 2 evenings taking the idea above and settling on a value scheme to help aid the final painting.

Colour Comp

Spent some time last night aswell as this morning working on my colour comp for the piece. I liked the idea of the shadow from the window pane being angled like in the value comp but once I added some colour I wasn't as keen on it so in my second comp I thought I'd go with the shadow being straight which I think works alot better.

ATM I'm settlede on the second comp, might see if I can improve on it some more before I start painting it next week or if anyone here has any critiques? Please note the face is not final! :)


Still recovering so again haven't really made awhole lot of progress, keep alternating between feeling ok to feeling like crap so mainly spent the week recovering. Done abit of sketching in between and watching some art videos so my week didn't feel completely wasted.

Wasn't too happy with my original colour scheme, felt my colours needed to be more vibrant so with that in mind I re-did my colour comp (1) and after some feedback on another forum I revisited the idea of the angled shadow (2) which I think looks a whole lot better than my original comp so I've decided to go with this new one instead.

Plan on starting this tomorrow, it isn't too big so hopefully I can finish it in a few days, especially since I have classes starting up again aswell next week.

Sorry to hear your still not feeling well. I like this composition, very moody. I will say that I think the stuff on the mantle seems to be really prominent in this thumbnail. Like when i squint that plate is kind of the focal point, and the guy's face is quite a bit dimmer. idk something to think about. I'm not sure if you want his face to be the really obvious focus or not. In some versions you do have that shadow cast across his face, which adds a certain amount of mystery and gloominess to the scene.

(04-18-2022, 12:48 PM)JosephCow Wrote: Sorry to hear your still not feeling well. I like this composition, very moody. I will say that I think the stuff on the mantle seems to be really prominent in this thumbnail. Like when i squint that plate is kind of the focal point, and the guy's face is quite a bit dimmer. idk something to think about. I'm not sure if you want his face to be the really obvious focus or not. In some versions you do have that shadow cast across his face, which adds a certain amount of mystery and gloominess to the scene.

Hey Joseph! Sorry it took me so long to reply, as you are aware I suck at getting back to people haha.

Thanks for the feedback :) Trying to remember now since this was a few months ago but I think I actually reworked the areas you suggested but I ended up scrapping the painting as I wasn't happy with it (I'll explain in my next post).

I'm definitely going to revisit the idea so I'll apply what you said then :)

Been awhile since I last posted............

No excuses really, I remember I didn't have time to post for a few weeks in a row, had far too many photos to take and just fell out of the habit of posting  unfortunately. Trying to get back into the swing of things with posting/updating since I have a bad habit of shutting myself away to work on things so I'll see if I can back to posting once a week.


I ended up scraping my illustration I was working on last time. I started working on the painting but the more I worked on it the more I hated it! Think it boiled down to my drawing not being refined enough (and just plain ugly). I still like the idea so my plan is to revisit it once I have some free time, probably around December.

Work wise I've been sticking to the same schedule as before which was taking 1-2 online classes a term and in the breaks trying to work on some finished illustrations so that I can have a starter portfolio complete by early next year.

Enough talking, I'll post some finished work first and in my next post I'll post some of my studies for the last few months.

Enjoy :) 

Think I posted a crappy phone photo of this last time but here's a better quality pic. Actually entered this into a few competitions but unfortunately wasn't successful.

Masque of the red death

Decided to enter the Folio book competition this year, albeit rather late so it was abit of a rush job. Start to finish was a week but with my day job it was probably less time. Unfortunately wasn't successful with my entry but what can you do.

 Rough comps

Finished line drawing

Finished value comp

Finished painting

Chelsea Illustration awards

Started work on an illustration for the Chelsea competition but had some personal issues crop up which meant I wasn't able to get this done in time for the deadline. The "brief" for this was "Digging Deep" so my idea was something pirated related.

Rough Comps

Rough Value Comps

Rough Colour Comps

Finished Drawing

Finished Value Comp

Refined Colour Comps

Wasn't 100% on which colour comp to go with so I asked a friend who liked 1 and 3 combined which is the image below. I have some frailly visiting atm so plan on painting it once they leave next week.

wow, those are some really nice compositions. I really like where the dig deep one is at. It looks like you made some big improvements in a lot of areas over the past months!

Very solid updates here, really enjoy the play of light and shadow with your recent images. Excellent color choices with the pirate themed illustration as well!

JosephCow - Thanks! :) Not gonna lie the past few months I've felt like I haven't had as much time as usual to study and improve so I was really unsure if I had gotten any better or not but I'll take your word for it :)

cgmythology - Cheers man! must confess I "borrowed" my colour schemes from other artists that I like since I quite frankly suck at coming up with my own schemes haha.

Apologies for the delay in updating, just gonna blame plain old laziness on my part......

Digging Deep

Oil Comp

I painted some quick comps based on the last digital image I posted just to see how close I could match the colours with my chosen palette.

Refined Oil Comp

Thought I'd try something different and work on a more refined comp in oil first to see how beneficial it would be since I usually just jump straight into painting once completing a digital colour version. I've definitely spent longer this time around with the extra steps compared to past paintings but I do believe it has been beneficial for me and helped me create a stronger piece.

Final Painting

Here's the finished painting. Wanna say it took around 20-30hrs to paint start to finish, hard to give an accurate time since I painted it over many days due to my day job etc. Feels like a step in the right direction atleast even though there are parts I like and others I don't such as the chest and grass but I guess I'm still learning  Doubtful   Also need to work on my dexterity since those heads where a struggle! The piece is 18x24 so the heads aren't very big.

Plein Air

To finish things off here's a plein air painting from the summer that I forgot to post last time :) 


I've been meaning to post an update for awhile now but never had the time or was just too lazy..........

Anyway I thought I'd post a mini-ish update just of some recent work I've done since I last updated, more of a high light really as I have far too many pictures.

Haven't got a whole lot to say really, my work output/ethic has taken a nose dive the last year, to quote The Shining  "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy".

I've been entering competitions (unsuccessfully I might add) and still studying. Started taking online classes over at Foundation Art school about a year ago with a former Watts teacher who I really liked, purely drawing classes as I felt (and still feel) that my drawing skills need alot of improvement so my painting skills have been heavily neglected but starting to get back into making painting a weekly endeavour. 

I've been spending alot of time over the last few months working on a basic portfolio (I've been using a post on the muddycolors blog as guidance) and I'm at the point now of trying to find somewhere where I can get a review of my work and plan my next steps and hopefully be at a point where I can start getting work.

Enough about my life, here's some work, mainly paintings that I've completed for said portfolio.

Beyond the Door

I decided to scrap my original painting that I started a few months back as I wasn't liking how it looked, design wise and painting wise and decided to start fresh with a new idea.

Value drawing

Colour study

I did have a an oil painting study that I used as reference for the painting but cant find it anywhere. If I find it I'll post it.

Finished Painting 

Tried a different approach than normal and had ago at working in layers rather than working section my section alla prima style. Not sure how I feel about the finished result, definitely not my best painting but it's a painting none the less.

Portrait Paintings

Some celeb portrait paintings

Master Studies

Dean Cornwell

Haddon Sundblom

I'll post a 2nd update of some studies that I've worked on over the last few months next week so stay tuned.

These all look great. Very solidly drawn and painted with some great brushwork as well. Keep it up!

The variety and quality of your artwork is always so inspiring. I can get lost for ages within these pages! Love it!

I hope you're being kept busy and not just being lazy, as you said. Eager as always to see your work.


Link Tree

Discord: emnida
cgmythology - Thanks for the feedback :) I'm getting there, albeit rather slowly!

IrishWhiskey - Appreciate it! Glad to hear my work inspires you :)

RottenPocket - Ask and I shall deliver :) Not gonna lie I've been abit of both this past year, still working/studying but I find that the amount if time I spend working has greatly decreased compared to the previous few years (atleast it seems like that). As I've mentioned previously not sure if it's just burn out or frustration at my lack of improvement, maybe I'm just getting old haha.

I've been meaning to update for awhile now but I've just been busy.

The past year I moved over from Watts Atelier and started taking drawing classes with Brian Knox over at Foundation Art School, he's a former teacher at Watts who is really good at the fundamentals and I always liked how he draws so I thought it would be a good opportunity to improve my drawings. 

Here's some work from his classes over a few terms in no particular order.

Kinda got too focused on drawing and neglected my painting skills though so.......... I started doing some still lifes last month which are very meh........ my colour mixing has improved but I still find I have value issues which makes the paintings not feel real if that makes sense?

I've also just started taking some online classes over at Grand Central Atelier (GCA). I've been interested for awhile now but finally took the plunge, mainly I wanted to find out how their approach compares to the approach I've learnt so far since they share the same concepts but execute them in totally different ways. 

Still unsure about their approach to drawing as it is very time consuming, and for me more boring than construction (in one of the hand outs they say that for a 40hr figure drawing 12 hours would be dedicated purely to the basic figure construction which seems rather overkill to me).   

Atm I'm just taking their drawing/painting orientation classes to dip my toes and see how I feel.

Here's the assignment for drawing week 1 which was to light a sphere from imagination. Not proud to admit that I spent way too long on this and I thought I'd do a much better job....



It takes a lot of discipline [which I don't have] to undertake these courses and see the other side, so I commend you - Just hoping you don't ever reach a point of burning out. 

Good to see more from you! I'm sure Joseph would have good input on the painting from life.


Link Tree

Discord: emnida
Hey nice to see your work! The anatomy studies are looking good! I need to get back into that because I'm starting to forget my muscles. With the GCA sphere exercise, we did the exact same thing at my atelier, and yeah it is time consuming. It didn't take too long to do the sphere but the casts and figures afterwards were so slow. I think the good thing about them is that they really dive into the structure and understand the form, not just copying. However, I kinda feel like too much energy is spent on just smooth shading. That's just my experience doing it second hand kinda, though. I actually am probably doing a workshop there next summer if I have the money, because I'm curious about it, too!

I can tell you exactly what they would say about the sphere, though. You need to lock in the shadow shape completely first. Like take really sharp HB pencil and fill in all the white dots of the shadow as dark as the pencil goes without burnishing the paper, and then work out from that when it's completely solid, which like, is really boring but it's not too hard since it's all the same value everywhere. Your shadow is pretty even, but it could definitely be darker and more solid, and then the shading in the light does have a lot of islands of lighter and darker which make the gradation of form not as smooth as GCA drawings would be.

I feel like there's definitely a smarter and less tedious way to draw a ball, so it seems kind of dumb, but then again it is just an exercise so idk maybe it's not.

RottenPocket - Thanks man :) Not gonna lie I am struggling abit with these courses and they are only the introductory one! I'm trying to wrap my head around their approach/theory which right now is not clicking at all to the point where it is starting to p*** me off. I have had a s*** week so that probably doesn't help.....

Joseph - Cheers! Tbh it has been awhile myself since I did any anatomy work so I should really dive back in aswell. As I mentioned above I'm finding it difficult to wrap my head around their approach which is more scientific. Trying to ignore how I've learnt/bene taught so far and undertake these exercises utilising their approach but it is not computing in the slightest.

Really, realllllyyy hate how they draw and the shading is so tedious it's driving me mad! Don't know how you did it myself tbh, thought this whole methodical approach would suite my mindset and it is not......

Thanks for the feedback on the sphere , the tutor didn't have a problem with my shadow shading actually, pointed out the same issue in the lighter areas but it was because I shaded the sphere too dark the first time, so rather than looking like a white sphere it looked like a grey one. Tried lightening up the lighter values with a kneaded eraser, hence the "islands" of dark, if that makes sense?

She did mention to think of the sphere as wedges, in my head I thought of it as slices instead, so once she explained it/demonstrated it made sense to me.

They run a summer course at GCA right? Is that the one you were interested in?

Enough talking time for some work.

Also taking the GCA painting orientation, first weeks assignment was to render a white sphere from imagination, so the same as the week 1 homework for the drawing seminar but in paint.

Here's weeks 2 assignment for the drawing class, Bargue studies.

When I get some time I'll post the feedback I get from the tutor, just been too busy to get round to it just yet, maybe once the classes are over.

Still not sure how I'm feeling about the classes so far, as I mentioned above I'm struggling to fully grasp their approach/understanding, it's very "scientific", maybe I just need to take more classes to fully understand it as these are only introductory ones, it's alot to cover in 4 weeks.

My approach to these classes was to take the theoretical side of their teaching and see if I can apply it to how I usually draw as I find their way of drawing so so boring and not fun in the slightest, she showed a portrait block in of a cast a friend did for a painting and she said it took him 40 hours and the thing wasn't even rendered! Just couldn't help but think that the tutors at Watts (or elsewhere) can do a fully rendered drawing in half that time (probably even less as it's a portrait) which looks more aesthetically pleasing to me.

I also had a portfolio review from an art director which did not go well. I agreed with some of the points he made, others I wasn't too sure on as I couldn't fully understand how they applied to my work. Trying to find some other places to get a review/feedback and not just base my work purely on one persons view point. The work his magazine did was very much "graphic" illustration and completely different to my work so perhaps it wasn't the most ideal place to get feedback from.

They have week long workshops at GCA over the summer. I have a friend that did one and it seemed really cool. I think that the insane amount of time spent on projects kinda makes sense in context. Like they are there for 8 hours a day, every day. So 40 hours is like a 2 weeks worth of work if you were spending every afternoon on it. When I went to an atelier, the cast drawing would probably take several weeks to a month or more, so spending a 3 days to a week on the preliminary part seemed fairly short. Maybe it was 40 hours, but I never thought of it in terms of hours I guess. There's a definite possibility that a lot of that time your friend spent was super slow and kind of wasteful. Like fiddling with an area for a whole day and not really changing it much.

In the day to day life of a working person. 40 hours represents an extremely valuable amount of time and money. Like you wouldn't just take 40 hours off of work to do a drawing (half a drawing!), it wouldn't make sense.

I can admire anyone who can sit down and work on project for hour i certain leak that ability even after so many years.I just don't have that type attention span and capacity to manage the stress building up as the work complexify. I take pause to refresh my eye and to regain interest more often then might be necessary which i feel is hard to do if you work for hour on end.It sometime i am really trying to break and be better at managing stress and frustration sometime i also get exited after i am done doing some reference gathering and i enjoy that moment of uncertainty in what i am about to do and i get a surge of idea sometime i feel cripple if the subject matter don't necessarly speak to me in that phase and then i doubt myself wondering where my creativity and motivation went.

I can certainly sympathize with people who are force into those corner of doing boring work for the sake of the fundamental.I think it very typical for the very academical school to have that approch i would say.

Construction is to me really what separate those who know and those who guess and they are not the type to teach student in the way of guessing they teach a methodology. So it really depend where you want your work to move toward but i don't think you shown you have enough time to even ponder those question which really put you at the mercy of other people methodology it kinda shackle your ability to experiment with your own construction method it doesn't stop you from trying later on but you might be at a point where you want to follow your own path. But if you are still unsure of the direction because you never take the ''bull by the horn'' and experiment on your own you are on a crazy train where you are not the driver and that require you understand atleast where you could be after you take those course sometime it feel like sitting in the dark because how can you extrapolate when there is so much unknown.

I just want to say i sympathize with your struggle of beimg shackle at time i myself could not sit down even at art school i really found that i was at my best when i was motivated and i had the sentiment of being in control.

But motivation and artistic control are a topic in itself i don't want to prolonge this message more then necessary.

I hope you can atleast gain some patience and experience out of this.

My Sketchbook
The journey of an artist truly begin when he can learn from everyone error.
Teamwork make your dream work.
Asking help is the key to growth.
Loving those latest studies, really solid linework there. Very confident and clean, keep it up!

awesome tradiotional work ! keep it up !


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