Jon's sketchbook
#1
Hello!

I'm a freelance illustrator and concept artist! I've been looking for a place with a bit of a sense of community recently. I used to have a thread on the old conceptart.org forums but that place isn't that active anymore unfortunately so I thought i'd give Crimson Daggers a try. I'm looking forward to giving and receiving feedback and critiques and just learning with you guys.

I'll post a bit of my finished work and then try to regularly (or at least semi-regularly) post WIPs and sketches.

Cheers!


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#2
The work speak for itself looking forward to see you do some more.

My Sketchbook
The journey of an artist truly begin when he can learn from is own error.
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#3
@darktiste: Thank you!

I'm currently working on my environment design skills. I'm trying to create a fantasical jungle area and have drawn up a bunch of thumbnails. I also started on some prop design and a study to try and get the dense feeling of a jungle. Definitely need to practice that more.


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#4
Some sketches and some more props for the environment piece.


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#5
Where the portfolio piece?I send you back the ball.For those form they read flat i think there missing a bit more of value change around the edge.But i also have my own theory that white also create the illusion of flatness and take away from the subject that why i also throw a mid grey background as minimum unless it pure flat silhouette.

My Sketchbook
The journey of an artist truly begin when he can learn from is own error.
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#6
darktiste: The prop designs are part of a portfolio piece. They're supposed to help design an environment. You're right that the rocks and trees lack a bit of form but I thought it was more important to figure out the shape languange and colours than taking the time to figure out the forms completely every time. But I appreciate the note. Maybe I should pay more attention to it in the future.

So I'm now trying to figure out the colour version of this jungle environment. I picked some of my favourite thumbnails and did some quick colour comps to figure out what direction to go. Then I got a start in on two final variations.


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#7
Well i think it more important that there portfolio quality it need to show you understand all of the fundamental if anything.I mean would you put abstract in your portfolio and argue that it show you can do everything they ask or put only manga and show that you can do other style?

My Sketchbook
The journey of an artist truly begin when he can learn from is own error.
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#8
I didn't have much time today so I just have a sketch


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#9
Great job ! I love your sketchbook
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#10
Welcome aboard! Great sense of composition and atmosphere in your pieces!
I look forward to seeing where you push the jungle explorations. Is the photo reference from a cloud forest? Looks very much like it. You know, the forests high up that get water directly from the clouds rather than rainfall.
The muted color portrait is striking! http://crimsondaggers.com/forum/attachme...tch183.jpg You got a bit messy on the upper torso though :P
Do you do direct painting without prior lines in your sketches/speedpaints?

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#11
Mariyan-Hristov: Thank you! 

Leo Ki: Thanks! I actually didn't know that cloud forests were what I was looking for until I saw them. Thank you for the tip. I also agree that the portrait got a little messy towards the bottom. I intentionally left it less rendered than the face but maybe it's too contrasty, hence looking messy. I'll try to work on that next time. Thanks! 

To answer your question I havn't been using lines in these black and white sketches. I'm trying to be a bit more freeform with how I find my compositions so I don't plan with lines much. If I do a study or design work I use lines. 


I have some more progess on the jungle environment. It's really tough to figure out all of this detail. I also constantly want to be all painterly and imply detail but still end up rendering the crap out of everything. I guess I really do need another 30 years before I can be like craig mullins. Sigh... I feel like I have to be there now already because everyone working is so freaking good already.

I also did another study to figure out how I can handle the water.


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#12
Excellent designs and story telling, you really capture the mood and character in your paintings.

One thing that stands out, mostly in the pieces with environments, is that there's a lack of dimension and space with perspective. It might be that you're relying on layering foreground on top of midgrounds on top of backgrounds, and atmospheric perspective to achieve a sense of distance. Rather than using a believable 3D space based on a perspective grid.

But if the aim is just to capture mood and style, I think you're doing wonderfully. Keep it up, can't wait to see your future works!

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#13
ubem: Thank you! You're definitely right. I think you really identified one of my weaknesses. I often try to imply depth with layering rather than working things out in perspective because I struggle with it. To help remedy the situation I tried a sketch today that was more perspective heavy and relied less on layering. It definitely felt good to try and figure that out and gain some confidence with perspective. Thanks for the tip!


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#14
I think this is where I'm leaving this first environment piece. Also I tried to figure out a fully posed figure from imagination in today's sketch since I needed a break from the environmental stuff.


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#15
Alright! Starting strong! whoa! They definitively have the looks of concept art / storyboard I've seen around on people! Quality mark.

Okay so the best I'd say is that everything reads well, like the sense of space is there. Is true I think some more perspective and less using just overlap but I dunno, that one with the woman staring at a painting looks so nice! But also it feels to me like she is on a ramp going up? And the painting then is rotated slightly (more like is not leveled, is slanted) I dunno though! Maybe it's something I'm seeing wrong. But the walls also feel slanting inwards, not sure if on purpose or what architecture are you going for! It goes beyond my expertise.

I would say I like your approaches to some colors, but at the same time I feel you do a lot of grayscale first then add color on top? Then some feel off, like the girl with the character killing another on the first ones out put up, it's like she is glowing (her overall value is too bright), is good for depth that she doesn't has as much contrast but I would check that out, like the local values of many parts of her should be different and darker, I feel. On that one also I think I personally would love to see more of the assailant? Like right now can't tell if it's a monster, alien, robot or another person on a suit. But the framing is really good for the action, so if it's part of a sequence then stay course.

The design of the girl headpiece on that one is really cool, I like that design a lot! Her pose could be a bit better, proportions maybe too, but that's a personal thing, to show the design it works well! So again, only if you want more illustration/character focus, check a bit more the acting side, if not stay with that.

Overall I'm really impressed! Awesome stuff. I wish one day I can pull those off myself.
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#16
Great updates here; The latest environment piece is very well done in particular, some great color choices there and loving the details and use light. Speaking of light, the figure study from imaginations looks great in that regard, very dynamic which can sometimes be difficult to obtain when working form imagination. Keep up the great work!

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#17
Rotohail: Thank you for your words and for taking the time to visit! Regarding the hallway painting, I think you're right, there's something off about the perspective. Part of it might come from me adding a skirting board to the bottom of the wall on one side which throws off the visuals of the floor abit. But i definitely rushed the overall perspective a bit and the upwards vanishing point is way overstated. 

My approach with colours has recently been a black and white sketch to figure out the composition, then an entirely new colour sketch to figure those out. Then I basically make selections in the black and white comp and slap the new colours in there and repaint everything, using the bw sketch as reference. Ideally I'd like to figure out the compositon and colours all in one step but it's really tough. I'm working on it at the moment.

The girl with the robot painting is a painted version of a panel from a comic i'm working on, so yeah it's very sequential. She's supposed to look like there's a flashlight being pointed at her which is why her overall values are so bright. Maybe it doesn't come across right. I hope I'll do better in the future.

Thanks again for all your comments, it's much appreciated! I hope you drop by more often :)

cgmythology: Thank you, I'm glad you like the work. I'm really tring to pay attention to lighting and how it shows form so I'm glad you're picking up on that!



Here's my stuff from the past week. I worked over the fantasy jungle piece some more. I think maybe it's a bit overworked now but I think I have to move on to another piece. I started work on a second jungle piece with the same theme and I really learned a lot from it. It's not done yet but it's well on its way. The rest are sketches and photostudies from the past few days.


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#18
Sketch-painting and speed-painting without prior lines is excellent for imagination work although it takes a lot of experience (which I don't have) to avoid getting lost in endless remodeling. I encourage you to sketch paint in color instead of gray scale, as you mentioned, because colors can plant vital information from the very start and stimulate the imagination. This also teaches to perceive color value/luminosity from the start. But I believe this is exactly what you did in (some of) the recent pieces, right?

The first jungle piece has an interesting dynamic: The eye tends to slide quickly along the liana to the monkey's glowing eyes but gets attracted on the way to the background detail. It's a trap! :) The second piece is more of a maze, following sections of the vertical and corkscrew elements.

My comment on the muted color portrait was not exactly that the chest lacked detail, rather that the thin brush looping strokes added too much eye catching texture. It's about the brush being too thin. I agree that the chest shouldn't be as detailed as the head.

The giant hallway scene is breathtaking although I had the same impression as Rotohail that I'm loosing my balance on it.

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#19
dude, this is fantastic! I definitely wanna see more of your work, please keep going :) 

<3

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