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Yo, thanks for the comment! I'm gonna echo what people were saying earlier about draw through, you seem to be developing a good eye for copying shapes but should try to start drawing to show form and volume. A great way to do this is to simplify the forms of what you're drawing to primitive shapes, cylinders and boxes making up everything you;re drawing, These forms are easier to draw in space with a definitive placement. Instead of matching something exactly when drawing it, try drawing the box that would fit around it. See if the box would tilt towards or away from you, whether you see more if its left or right side. Once your basic forms are properly placed, get more specific with the shapes.
Archreux-Thank you very much for your kind words. As I said before, I feel it's a great shame that scientific illustration is in less demand now. I think there's much an illustration can convey that a photograph can't. Thank you very much.

Samsyzm-Thank you as well, I'll keep that in mind next time I'm doing life stuff. I've been practicing reducing subjects to simplified shapes with a number of recent sketches. Thanks a lot, man!

[Image: yji4m5w.jpg]

Here's one of the aforementioned attempts at reducing subjects to simpler shapes. I went by what Farvus suggested and did a still life with simple objects.

[Image: X4FEr8D.jpg]

Also, obligatory beetles!
Just finished another scientific illustration of a fox skull. I'm trying to broaden my horizons with the scientific subjects I work with for my portfolio. I'm thinking of using this one for my portfolio possibly. Thoughts?

[Image: vulpes_vulpes_skull_diagram_by_personinator-d7y4itf.jpg]
Hey man! Great stuff, love the watercolour and ink ant! Great idea to start labeling them like the one above too. It makes a straight top down or side view make sense when it's presented like that. Maybe look at the overall design of the page; I'm not up much on graphic design, so take this with a pinch of salt but, for example, a hand drawn image could maybe look more cohesive with hand written labels; kinda like we're glimpsing into the notebook of a victorian explorer or something heh. These images: and they kinda look like everything fits, with the choice of fonts and the lines used and stuff. Just some food for thought anyway! It's a great direction you're going in!

About portfolio stuff - from what I understand your portfolio should contain the best of your work and should be being updated all the time. So put that one in your portfolio, then when you do something better, swap it out ^^
Thanks again for the suggestion, Jyonny. I have considered hand-labelling my scientific illustrations, but I have incredibly childish hand writing, so I don't think it would look too presentable. I may do it with preliminaries and such though.

Anyway, I'm not sure if this was such a good idea, but I ended up setting up a portfolio site the other night on Carbonmade. I realise I'm probably not good enough for that kind of thing yet, so it may have been a mistake on my part. Anyway, here it is:

There's not much there you haven't seen already, but I intend to update more with the better stuff I produce. At the moment I'm currently focusing on branching out with the scientific subjects I illustrate, so expect to see more things other than arthropods on there soon. Any thoughts on it so far?

Also, while I'm here, I just finished a digital painting of one of my pet beetles.

[Image: pachnoda_marginata_by_personinator-d7yg9us.jpg]
It can always be a little fearful putting yourself out there but I think your portfolio looks great, it's a nice image viewer gallery and you've got all your best images on there. Sycra says that it's better to just go and practice the thing you wanna do instead of waiting til you're good enough to do it - making a portfolio and doing real illustrations is totally the right way! Best of luck man : )

If you think better handwriting would help you in your work just go ahead and get better, look up some sites and tutorials and practice - I need to do the same thing to write comic books since my handwriting sucks!

Last thing, sorry to give you these big blocks of text all the time! But when you write something, after you've proof read it get someone else to read it and see if there are any spelling mistakes, you put 'a incredibly' instead of 'an incredibly' on your folio. Not digging on you, just pointing it out.
Hey Stardust! I'd suggest to give your digi insect illustrations an outline for boundary. Also, looks like you're particularly interested in entomology at the moment. I have some reading suggestions on the topic back from years ago when I took a natural science illustration course in NYBG, and here they are:

A World for Butterflies: Their Lives, Behavior and Future, by Phil Schappert. ISBN: 1 55209 550 9

Caterpillars of Eastern North America, by David L. Wagner. ISBN 0 691 12144 3

Alien Empire: An Exploration of the Lives of Insects, by Christopher O’Toole. ISBN 0 06 270156 8

Resources: Ianni Butterfly:
Butterflies and Things:
BioQuip (supplies and books):
Jyonny-Once again, thank you! I appreciate your regular feedback. Also, thank you for pointing out that written error on my portfolio, I have now corrected it.

Meat-Thanks for the tip. Entomology is a particular interest of mine (well, zoology in general really), so I appreciate the reading suggestions. I ordered the Christopher O'Toole one, so hopefully that will make a nice addition to my entomology book collection.

Been working on various bits and pieces for my portfolio, I ordered some skull replicas to work from so I can get some vertebrates in there. I'm also going to try and get some botanic stuff in there too, pretty much anything that is scientifically studied I'm going to attempt to get some pieces of.

[Image: P6lUwGY.jpg]

A watercolour piece of the pillbug Armadillidum vulgare. I drew this one based on studies I did from photos of the species. I don't think it's that accurate a representation of the species.

[Image: scolopendra_subspinipes_by_personinator-d7yp4d2.jpg]

Another pen and ink piece of the centipede Scolopendra subspinipes.
I saw your question in stream but couldn't answer them on time. So here's what I usually do. Partly due to old school fine art training, I always aim to draw something directly from observation... without paying a bunch. For entomology it's easier to get real specimens because there are a good mix of live bugs even in the middle of a city. Pick up dead bugs. Get a net to catch live ones (eg. moth). Go to a local museum/historical society/botanical garden/park/etc etc, and sketch from their preserved specimen. Try to - despite the extra, cumbersome work - bring a little ruler with you and at least keep the proportion in check. Always state if it is drawn to 1:1 scale, or enlarged or minimized.
Hey Stardust! Love the passion you have for these creatures, they give me the willies :/ And I have to admit I've killed a few spiders in my time. I like that skull, but I can't help but think, have you tried these in a digital format? You could make a dot brush to take care of the shading aspect a little easier and save yourself some time/cleanup. Although you can't beat the feel of traditional :)

I'm afraid I can't offer any advice on the front of insects and scientific illustration, but you can't go wrong with fundamentals. If you put some serious focus on your fundies (value, edge control, properties of light when they hit objects), I guarantee your work will skyrocket since they apply to everything. I think more still lifes would help immensely with picturing objects in 3D space, or you can go with those resources that you mentioned meat provided for you, but either way, I think they would help. Keep hammering out those pieces!
Meat-Ah, right. Thank you for answering my question. I do prefer to study these specimens from life, I suppose it's just a struggle if one wants to work with a particularly exotic species.

Pnate-Hi Nate! I haven't really considered making a stippling brush in a digital format but I suppose I could give it a try. I do find working in traditional much more rewarding than digital, though. I intend to focus on training in the fundamentals more now that I have much more time on my hands. Thank you, and don't worry, I forgive you for killing a few spiders. ;)

Here's another possible portfolio piece I just finished, of a vervet monkey skull. This was a lot of fun to do. For my portfolio I do intend to get some pieces of actual living vertebrates.

[Image: chlorocebus_pygerythrus_skull_by_personi...7ywqzb.jpg]
Been working digitally again recently. Here's an illustration of the ladybird Coccinella magnifica. This was another one I did based on studies that I then amalgamated into a finished illustration. Thoughts?

[Image: AlEZMNz.jpg]
Ladybugs are almost half spheres, so try shading the dark side darker to make this bug look even more round. You can also add a dark, near-black line to one side of the legs as shading.
It easy to represent bug from the top view because it symmetrical but you should try to draw them from different angle to stay out of the comfort zone.

Drawing from imagination combine 2 principle perspective and 3d form if you can draw a line, wave, ellipse and cercle you can draw any thing you want by simply reducing what you see into major form and adding on top of it with mixed form

I would recommend using this link

Study the section
2) Traditional Drawing
3) Drawing 2
7) Perspective
Meat-Very well then, I'll keep that in mind for future reference when working with similar subjects.

Darktiste-Thank you for the recommendations. I will look into them further. As for why I draw a lot of my subjects from the top view, it's mainly because of the fact one can observe the anatomical details at a particular level from such a view. I don't want to sound like I'm making excuses though; I will try and draw these subjects from other angles.

Right then, I haven't been able to draw as much the past week due to being busy with life, but I have a couple more ink drawings. Unfortunately my tablet has died, due to a cut in the cable attached to it. I'm currently saving money to purchase a new one, but until then I can't do anything digitally. Thankfully, seeing as I base myself predominantly in traditional media this isn't such an issue.

[Image: trees_and_limbs_by_personinator-d7zpj3g.jpg]

An illustration in which I experimented with singular-line hatching.

[Image: ozc5VFE.jpg]

Another scientific illustration, a crab claw I found that I'm unable to identify the species of.
Nice claw study! I'd recommend also doing a second drawing of it extended and claw open.
Hey man, here's a royalty-free image of a beetle to practice from. I have this bugger pinned in a glued-shut box, but no idea the species since the label got lost:
hey there larva,

I like your latest claw study, but I think you could develop the shading more. I don't know the reference image so I can't say if you missed some dark spots here and there. But I think the light and shadow side should be defined more.

Maybe do some value scales with cross hatching like this:


That way your brain will have only one concern: to match the values and that is a core skill you need to develop anyway.

The way to do it: set up 2 rows of squares. one row with 3 squares, another with 5.

Then put in the black square in each one. leave the first white.

after that add the middle-square in the upper row. try to create a value (check it by squinting your eyes) that is exactly between the black and the white one.

if you are happy with it, transfer the same value to the lower row. then add square 2 and 4. here also try to achieve values that are between the ones on the right and left of them.

It will teach you also how to crosshatch and stuff like that. You could do that with all techniques, points, circles, curves, etc. It doesn't matter. And don't beat yourself up, if you can't do it perfectly. Just do it from time to time and your values will get better.

Meat-Sure, I may end up doing that. Also, thank you for the photo, I'll probably study it at some point.

Flo-Ah, thank you for the crits. I have actually attempted what you suggested, the result of which is displayed below:

[Image: QBJIi32.jpg]

Anyway, I've been pretty busy recently, so I haven't had as much time to draw which sucks. I have oviposited a few things onto paper though. I finally got around to visiting my local natural history museum, who were kind enough to let me study their insect specimens. I got a few sketches and lots of photos which I'm glad about. Here's a couple of the aforementioned sketches:

[Image: EqZY5Rn.jpg]

[Image: 5z0jcFM.jpg]

For this one I managed to get a good photograph of the specimen I was working with, so I intend to produce a painting based off it.

[Image: phalacrognathus_muelleri_by_personinator-d822qd4.jpg]

Also, a finished illustration of one of the stag beetles I viewed.

Finally, a couple more things:

[Image: nuppeppo_by_personinator-d817xdp.jpg]

My first Inktober illustration for the month, of the yokai Nuppeppo. I already posted this in the Inktober thread, but thought I'd post it here too.

[Image: i_by_personinator-d813e44.jpg]

Lastly, a sketchbook drawing in which I tried out some new coloured pencils.
When you're doing the ink dotting, may I suggest do one where you try to keep the ink dots tail-free and as round as possible without overlapping as much as possible? Just to explore what that will look like and how you might like its effect.

Also about cross hatching. I've seen Trudy does a trick where she draws lines on small pieces of transparent paper (not sure if it's mylar?), then she'll take them, and overlap them to get a preview of what the hatching will look like at which angles. She also make them with varying line weights. It is very useful as it saves you a lot of guessing and estimating when it comes to shading a face on a shape you're not completely familiar with.
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