Ubem's Deliberate Practice
Hi, thanks for stopping by. I'm going to post all my bad art here. I started about 3 years ago, but only recently I started learning how to study critically, so I'm a beginner in that regard. If you have any criticism or feedback I'd love to hear it and I'd love to return the favor. Apologies for the bad art.
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Master Studies: 
Solomon J Solomon
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These are yummy.
I love the lighting in the 2nd painting :D keep it up !

Sketchbook     Artstation    Faceboob   
Hey ubem welcome to CD! I absolutely love your stuff. You have gotten yourself a new fan haha Your style reminds me of ruan jias work. Cant wait to see more :D

Begginer my ass! xD. This stuff is great dude.

Damn, dude, this stuff is sick! Beginner, pfft. Don't sell yourself so short!

Wow, what a warm welcome guys, thank you.

Chrisbojan: Thanks for stopping by. That centaur piece was redone a couple of times because I forgot to draw in a perspective grid in order to simulate the light and ground haha. Your 3D skills are mind blowing and I love those values, Keep up the great posts. 

NoodleInBox: Thanks a ton Anna. Ruan Jia's paintings have been my biggest teacher lately, one day I'll branch out so I don't become a complete clone. You've made some massive progress, and love how you break down anatomy in those studies. Your latest painting is looking solid, keep up the awesome work. 

Triggerpigking: Haha, thanks so much. I guess I'm not an absolute beginner, but my skills definitely feel that way. I love your consistency over the years, I admire those who continue year after year for decades. Your latest design drawing is looking very clean, would love to see it painted.

ZombieChinchilla: Thank you for the motivational comment, my skills are a century away from where I want to go, so I feel like just a beginner still. Congrats on your BFA, and love your silhouette design in those portraits, very art nouveau. Keep up those great designs. 


I'm pretty bad at environments and scenes, as you can see in my thumbnail sketch. So I've been diving head first into master studies until I can take off the training wheels and stand on my own. 

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If anyone's interested, I recorded the Ruan Jia master study I just to see what it would look like:

 I'll try to post once a week so I don't spam too often. And wow, everyone is so loving and nice here, I am just blown away. Thanks so much everyone!

Hey welcome to Crimson Daggers Ubem, you possess some pretty awesome ability already as others have noted above

I particularly admire your rendering skills, great work.

Just one thing I noticed in post #1, on the muscular guy with the golden body markings, I would normally expect to see more of a separation between the pectorals and the deltoids, here's a quick image I found to illustrate my point: 

Hope that helps, if not please ignore.  Either way, I'm looking forward to seeing more of your work, keep it going :).

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

CD Sketchbook

Artloader: Thanks for the great tip, I overlooked that completely. I'm lacking drawing and anatomy abilities, I guess that's the consequence of only focusing on paintings. Your latest piece looks great, love the atmospheric perspective using only values. Maybe there can be more sci-fi elements though.


Sorry for the slow updates, I decided to stop posting studies since it doesn't seem to be that interesting to see. I'll post whenever I have a new sketch or piece that I get sick of haha.

Here's a quick sketch, venturing out of my comfort zone. I hope I learned some things doing the dozens of alligator and environment studies.

I'm giving up on it because the composition doesn't feel right. Hopefully, the next one will be better, thanks for lookin'!

Really beautiful colors and light you have going on all your work! Totally okay that you pick one thing (painting) to hyperfocus on. Kinda like learning a dance. Once you can do the footwork easily, it's much more manageable to add in arm movements.

As you build up all other skills, you'll just be building on top of that gorgeous painting style.

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.  The second best time is now.  
-Chinese proverb


Yo broooo, good to see you here ! Good stuff so far ! you already know what you should be studying so that's great !

Your stuff is very excellent bro!! Your anatomy, form, colors and your technique is very wonderful for 3 years of work. Your studies are also great dude. Trust me dude, you are going to be fine.

@tygerson Thanks for the comment, focusing on one area at a time has definitely helped when it comes to processing the studies. Love seeing you do the same in your sketchbook, those perspective drawings are looking great. 

@kikindaface Good seeing you around too, rest in piece permanoobs. Being cold and analytical of my babies has helped to identify want I'm struggling with. I guess the cost of that is never being satisfied with my skills. That goblin design is looking great, hope you work more on it! Awesome faces too. 

@AfricanVoodoo Thanks so much, appreciate your supportive words. Hope I can build a portfolio over the next year or so and then look for a stable income off of art. Loving the sheer volume of your sketches, it reminds me of my own drawings when I only did traditional. Can't wait to see more, keep up the great effort! 

Sorry for the late response, it's just I had nothing original to show for a while. I've been focusing on studies, trying to learn how to paint landscapes. But here are a couple fun test sketches to find out what I'm still weak at; I've found my lack of a visual library is holding me back the most, along with not having the motivation to "finish" a piece, and macro-compositional values. 

I'm also only showing some of the best pieces out of dozens of failed sketches done over the past month. So I've decided to upload most of my bad sketches on google drive: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9aAfo...WhGVm03Q2c
I've always wanted to see what an artist's journey looked like but it was impossible to find. Hopefully, this is an effort for a more transparent and open art community. 

 The pig and environment sketch I might be abandoning since I figured out what I needed to study next after analyzing them. The last piece is an Eytan Zana study, learned so much about rendering grass. 

Thanks for looking, and giant thanks to everyone's kind comments, it's heartwarming to have your perspectives when I just see the flaws in my own work. 

I don't have any ink pens, let alone a camera to post Inktober sketches. But I really want to participate since this is a perfect way to practice designing quickly. So instead, I'll start my own poor man's Paintober. I'm starting early to test the waters and want to get an idea of how far I can go before burning out while doing studies on the side.

My goals for Paintober are to become a little faster and improving my design sense. Doodling from imagination is surprisingly easy compared to the grueling master studies, but I think the biggest difficulties are going to be the limited time to render and lack of a broad visual library.

Here's day negative 2:

Ouch, this looks really ugly. I'm uploading it as small as possible to hide the unholy lack of edge control, going to have to work more on brush economy. I got a lot of great feedback on my last environment, and the biggest issue was not zooming out enough, resulting in a terrible unreadable thumbnail. Hope this is a better attempt, thanks for looking!

God i love your stuff so much <3 And thank you for the google drive pics i love it when you can see everything an artist does. It gives me more insight on how to study. Btw how do you approach studying color? Its a tough subject for me and yours are so beautiful! Paintober sounds awesome to be honest. I wanted to join inktober too but since i am really bad at painting i might as well do that instead and try impoving there! I just wanted to say that you are super motiving for me right now... that sounds so cheesy and lame haha

@NoodleInBox Thanks so much, I've been feeling down because churning these out quickly usually leads to bad quality, so your words are really uplifting. If you're still stuck on what to study, I highly recommend a book called Peak by Anders Ericsson, that alone gave me huge breakthroughs in improving. As for color, I mostly do master studies then try to reverse engineer every color choice to figure out why their colors work so well. The most common recurring color theme I've come across are complimentary colors in everything, even low saturated on the same surface make things pop and still feel natural. For skin tones, subtle hue shifts and saturation shifts when combined with value transitions are golden. Your latest pieces are looking better and better, hope these tips help out. Glad to hear you might try out Paintober, that would motivate me as well to go make it through. Can't wait to see what's next, keep up the great progress, and thanks for stopping by.


Sorry in advance, there's going to be a lot of bad art since it's only day 2/33 of Paintober. And I'm toning down the complexity due to the time limits. The pose and anatomy feel off in this one, I hope it works compositionally at least. I also miss working on a piece over the period of weeks, I feel that's where my best results come from.  

painting quality is real nice for a short session.
im not feeling how the cloud changes tone at the same point as her skirt. also what direction is she moving
whether shes falling or jumping something about the angle of her skirt doesnt feel appropriate
i think in that action the shoulder would be a little more forward and down. she doesnt look like shes holding the sword very strongly in any kind of defensive motion and the angle at which shes protecting looks like shes protecting nothing from the arrow if its coming from a similar direction as the others.
im not sold on her skin tones, is she in the shadow of some clouds?
all that said, you paint good man!

Discord tag: AndrewGibbons#3357
@xelfereht Thanks for the quality critique, I agree with all your points. I tried to make those adjustments you pointed out, I guess these things get overlooked with such short deadlines. Loving the caricatures your dishing out and your social media presence is on point. It looks like those gestures could be a little more accurate though which is tough to do with short time limits. Only pointing it out because I used to do thousands of those doodles but never improved much because they were far from accurate. Thanks again for stopping by and for the great feedback, can't wait to see your next posts!


I feel like the quality is slowly deteriorating as my brain gets more tired. But I'll try to push myself until I start to hate art.

Her motion seems more consistent now but itd be nice if her sword scabbard followed that same movement, it might be tacky but just and idea, instead of the straight cloud you could have it flare out a bit behind her resembling wings but not being wings, like metaphorical wings? lol its something i like to do..even if its tacky... id like to see that loose finger grab the sword harder too, i know it looks pretty like that but feels bit weak for the action.

new piece is cool, i like how you get the look of Armour even so loose

yeah for my figure studies ive been feeling im getting more out of the quicker ones that end up less accurate but i focus on a particular quality of the pose. the ones i render carefully feels like teach me less maybe cos im too focused on accuracy and not what im taking away from the observation

thanks for taking a look at my sketchbook :)
yeah im trying to get better with the social media stuff.. put myself out there a bit more. im married, turning 30 and still tryna show my family i can succeed at art...
im not much a fan of the business side but its part of the deal to try and work for yourself :/

Discord tag: AndrewGibbons#3357
@xelfereht Haha, love the number of ideas you are generating for that piece, I would never have imagined pushing it in those directions. Sounds like fun to readjust even further, but making a new piece while doing multiple studies is already a full plate for me.

That's interesting about the gestures, I guess we all learn differently, it does seem to be working for you so far.

I admire that you're putting yourself out there; I'm waiting till I reach a good level before making that leap, which might never happen. That's motivating to hear you're producing so much while having a wife and family. I had to break off all my friendships and girlfriend because art just consumes me. Thanks again for stopping by, your input has been valuable!


I learned that starting a piece with a drawing instead of blobs of color saves hours. With that technique, I feel I can make it through the month. Finishing this one early, want to get it off my plate to do more studies. Not too happy with how I handled the shape of the lit area on the bridge though.

*This is going to be my last post, but I'm still going to continue the Paintober challenge since I'm learning a lot. I'll only upload to the google drive folder. That's because the quality of these paintings is just too low to update regularly, thanks everyone for the critiques and support!

I'm glad to work on something for more than a day. This was also a great way to build my mental stamina. Looks like I need to practice my perspective more.


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