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(10-26-2020, 09:37 PM)Who Wrote: [ -> ]Wrt to hands and feet. Honestly, I have come to believe that all abstractions are simply that. They are all a system of observing geometry of form expressed through a particular perspective. As such, I cannot predict what will resonate for you and what won't. The onus is on you ultimately. Proko is probably as good as any as are all the other usual contenders for abstraction systems.

My meta advice would be, that once you are done trying one system over another, attempt to look at some reference and find your own rhythms, your own geometry that makes sense to you when breaking down the forms. It never hurts to do master studies, not simply construction abstractions. This becomes more important/useful as you develop past fundamentals and study and into the realms of more authentic expression. Processing through your own filters begins to work on devoping your own aesthetic approach, which ultimately is what I think most artists want to achieve.

Basically. Learn, then experiment yourself. I am only being this vague, because I feel you have a good grasp already on how to learn and what's actually important.

Thanks for the sound advice Who :) Master studies is one area that I never make enough time for and really need to. I was thinking once my current classes end that I would take a break next term from Watts live streaming to focus and catch up on areas that I feel I've neglected for too long such as hands/feet.

I definitely still feel like I haven't really found my artistic voice or vision, I know it's not a simple thing to discover for yourself like you explained so master studies seems like something to focus on.

Observational Colour




I've been trying to develop my rough comp into something more complete which I've been struggling alot with the past 2 weeks. Not sure if it's becuase I'm trying to follow Erik's approach that he demonstrates which is different to my own that's causing this issue, or if it's simply becuase I'm trying to do things that I have little experinece with doing?

Anyway this was my first attempt at a tonal comp. I usually attempt a line drawing first from imaginatioan that I develop as much as I can before shooting ref and then do a tonal comp, whereas after our roughs we are shooting ref and then working on top of our rough tonal comps to a finish without doing a line drawing and drawing in "paint" or tone. Perhaps this way of working is what is confusing me?


I wasn't liking it at all ( I mainly felt my value structure and shape design were weak) so I sent it off unfinished for Erik's advice and see if he can pojnt out where I was going wrong.


Main feedback from Erik was to reduce the size of the male head and tone down the expression aswell as some atmospheric lighting.


2nd attempt

I decided to re do my tonal comp from scratch as it seemd it would be less trime consuming compared to trying to fix the many mistakes on my first attempt.

Decided to do a line drawing first to work out my shape design


This is what I have so far. It's a definite improvement on thefirst, still not liking the guys face so i want to spend some more time developing it.


Observational Colour

Moved away from using pallette knves and using brushes instead painting the same subject under warm and cool light.


Plein Air

Some more plein air work

Only got 2 pieces done but spent abit more time on them. Painting was roughly 1h30m and the drawing around 50m-1hr. Had a hard time with the paitning since the lighting was constantly changing. Going to try a different yellow next time since I can;t mix bright greens my my current palette.



Some studies of Brian Knox's hand demos (left) and some drawinjgs of my own from ref(right). Not the prettiest hands but it's start.


My scanner is being very temperamental atm so I've had to use the scanner on my printer instead which as you can see is not very good.
Just a quick update, haven't had as much time the past week as I usually do and had some issues with motivation but still plodding along. Hopefully I can get back into my regular routine now.

Observational Colour

Moving away from still lifes and using a warm/cool pallette and exploring the zorn palette and portrait painting. This week was simply exploring the zorn palette and mixing some skin tones for pale and dark skin, and variations of warm/cool tones.

Experimented with 2 versions of yellow ochre as I couldn't get ahold of the particular brand of yellow ochre that Meadow recommended (gamblin) which is alot warmer and more vibrant than what I have here.



Worked on my tonal comp some more based on Erik's feedback, trying to push it as much as I can.


Colour comps

Exploring different colour comps. These were all based on the colour choices of different pieces of artwork that I liked and thought might suit the mood I wanted.


Chosen Colour Comp

This is the colour comp I liked the most and ended up choosing.


Got some small correctional changes to do on my tonal comp (based on this weeks feedback) so once that is done I'll move onto actually painting it.
Apologies forthe delay in updating. I was going to post last weke but I had a week off from work and ended up taking a few days off to chill and relax.

Anyway back to the grind.


Did some alterations on my tonal/colour comp based off Erik's advice.


Started work on the physical painting.

Tonal Comp

Used Raw Umber for this



I'm following along with Erik's demo's and tackling whatever it is Erik is wokring on that week, the first being portraits so I started with the male face/hands on mine.


Not really happy with the face right now, spent quite abit of time on it already so it might just be that it's the best I can do right now. I'm going to work on the rest of the painting first and come back to the face and see if I can improve on it.

Observational Colour

Assignments for the last few weeks

Colour Wheel

This was more of a side assignment, I beleive we are doing gamut maks the last 2-3 weeks hence the colour wheel. This was done using a 50% grey mixture to desaturate the primary/secondary colours. Spent around 2 1/2 days on this to get it as accurate as possible since it’s a tool I’ll be using for years to come.


Week 6

I tried treating this one as a gesture painting so I spent around 15-20 minutes on the lay-in and maybe 2 hours on laying colour. Definitely went into this one with the wrong mindset/intentions as it just got worse and worse the more I worked on it. I was feeling abit burnt out aswell so not sure if that contributed to it fialing as bad as it did.


Week 7

This was done a week later after I had a few days off to relax. Took Meadows advice of picking one area that I wanted to work on/improve. In the end I chose tiling as the area that I wanted to work on so that ws my intention for this one. Didn't set my self a time limit on this, just spent as much time as I felt needed to accurately judge my colour choices and gradations.


The previous week I was having alot of difficulty judging what colours I was seeing and the shifts ijn colour temperature which I felt I didnt struggle as much with this week since I spent more time studying the ref.

Plein Air

Another plein study from the other week.


This is actually a part of the ruins of an old manor house in the woods that I have been going to that some guy told me about. Decided to spend more time on this one and take my time observing. Spent round 2 hours on this total. I was hoping to do some pen/ink sketching afterwards but the cold weather got the better of me (sitting still for 2 hours did not help either). I've bought some more warmer clothing so hopefully that helps next time I go out.
Nice studies! I actually quite like the one from week 6, which you say you felt turned out bad. For your colour studies it looks like you're attempting to stay very accurate to what you see. That's great training but I think eventually you can attempt to exaggerate the differences in colour temps/hue , pick which areas you want to be more saturated etc
(12-05-2020, 06:38 AM)Skeffin Wrote: [ -> ]Nice studies! I actually quite like the one from week 6, which you say you felt turned out bad. For your colour studies it looks like you're attempting to stay very accurate to what you see. That's great training but I think eventually you can attempt to exaggerate the differences in colour temps/hue , pick which areas you want to be more saturated etc

Hey Skeffin thanks :) Glad someone liked that study haha.

Thanks for the advice, I tend to have a bad habit so to speak of not pushiing/exagerating certains aspects of a drawing or painting. Something I'm definitely trying to fix haha.
Didn't realise I hadn't posed in so long...............Spent most of December trying to get the illustration I was working on done and then took a 2 week break over the Christmas period since I was long over due for one haha.

Anyay enough talking, here's what I got done over December.


Observational Colour


Spectrum Illustration



Observational Colour


Spectrum Illustration


Final Painting


Calling it done on the illustration. Feel like I've pushed it as much as I can with my current skill level.  Still have a long way to go but I guess we all have to start somewhere. I'm just happy with myself since I got something done that wasn't a study.

New Plan

I've been working on my new schedule going forward. My original plan was to study, I have some areas that I need to address so my plan was to work on certain aspects of my draftmanship e.g. Portraits, drapery etc alongside painting studies to get the mileage in, and after roughly 5 weeks of studying, take what I've learnt and attempt another illustration but going by Erik's feedback in the last spectrum class I might wait just a little bit longer before attempting my next illustration. simply becuase I have quite a few areas drawing wise I want to address first.

My current plan for the next 7ish weeks where to work on the following:

1. Portrait - Signed up to Scott Eaton's Portrait course but that doesn't start till 22/01 (hench my 7ish week plan)
2. Hands/Feet
3. Anatomy - plan is to continue this indefinitely and only take a break when working on a illustration
4. Painting - Master studies and still life/plein air

Still plan on working on my perspective and drapery skills but I think the above is all I can handle right now along wiht my day job. My plan is to work on these 2 once these 7ish weeks are over and then attempt another illustration.

Currently working on a painting for a friend which should be done this week so should start my new schedule beginning of next week and get back into posting.
Listen, man. You are absolutely amazing for pushing the piece to it limits! I congratulate you for doing what many can't and I'll keep you mind when I want to be done with something I know could be even better if I worked towards it. It looks great!  Happy
Hey Peter - awesome update!

Fascinating to see the tiling technique in action here - thanks for sharing!

Also - congrats on getting that spectrum piece to a finish - I'm in awe of your skills with traditional oils already! I know this piece is done but one slight critique for you to consider for future pieces if I may - I feel that maybe you could have pushed your darker values a bit more - at the moment I feel that the dark value inside his mouth really stands out and could use some darker accents maybe beneath his jawline where it disappears beneath his hair. Hope that helps - please ignore if not.

Keep it going though!
been following your sketchbook for a while, really love the organisational way you present this stuff. So useful and educational! Really awesome to see your traditional painting work progress and great results ^^
typhoneus - Thanks for the kind words :) Not gonna lie it was pretty daunting at first haha, but the process turned out to be easier than expected. For some reason I kept over thinking the process of building a painting up in layers.

Artloader - Hey man it's been ages, great to hear from you! Your far too kind :) Thanks for the suggestion on the value structure. I was actually thinknig the same thing once it came to taking photos. It looked fine while I was working on it but looked abit washed out (atleast to me) when I took some pics. Not sure if I need to adject my lighting when I paint.........

JyonnyNovice - Thanks man, glad you like my posts. Happy you can get something out of them :)

Update for last week.



Forgot to post these last time. I did some prep work where I did a quick colour comp for the final painting, mainly to see if my intended palette was capeable of mixing the colours in my digital comp.


From that I did some pages of swatches with a note next to each showing what colours where used to mix it. Just a little handy reminder for myself since I was painting over a couple of weeks and had to re-mix my paints each time.


A friend asked me to do a painting for her of a friends horse. I have very little practice of drawing or painting animals, let alone horses but thought I'd give it a shot. Tbh I don't really like my final result but my friend is happy with it so I guess that's all the matters really? Safe to say I will get some much needed practice in before I attempt animals again.

Tonal Comp


Colour Comps


Final Colour Comp


Painted Colour Comp





My schedule going forward was going to focus on:

1. Anatomy/ Figure Construction
2. Portraits
3. Hands/Feet Construction
4. Master Studies
5. Still Life/Plein Air

Setting aside time each week to do some invention/memory drawing of anatomy, hands/feet etc.

Not sure if I'm trying to do too much in a week or not? especially since some things are taking longer than I thought.

Master Studies

Some Frazetta arm studies.


A graphite figure study of one of Brian Knox's lay-ins. Originally attempted a figure lay-in from photo ref but scrapped it since I had made too many mistakes. Trying to get back into figure/facial construction after taking an extended break and I am definitely rusty.



Portrait lay-in from photo ref focusing on construction. Originally tried drawing in the same way as an atleier does with careful measuring rather than construction but felt I wasn't really learning from it so I went back to construction since I want to actively get better at it.



Started working through the hand section of the Proko course. Was meant to get some feet studies in aswell but these took me longer than I had thought originally.


Still life

A quick still life of apples. Trying to actively work on my colour mixing and accurately identifying the colours I am seeing.




Bargue Plate

Also working on a long drawing of a bague plate after Joseph recommended it as an exercise to work on accuracy. Taking my time with this one and spending a few hours each week on it. Notcied when editing the photo I've already made a few istakes that will need correcting.


I also have some master study paintings I'm working on to help me with my shape design and colour mixing/choices. Mix of landscapes and portraits, gonna wait till I have more done before posting though.
Amazing sketchbook man! You are showing some crazy dedication and work ethic!
The bargue drawing is looking good so far! Definitely keep trying to push it to be more accurate. Probably most lines you have could be tweaked at least a little bit in their angle and placement. Sometimes it feels like a waste of time, like who will care if some line is off by a millimeter or two? But if those little differences are all over, they kind of compound on themselves and make a big difference in the overall drawing.
Zorrentos - Thanks man :) Feel like I should have more to show but I'm still rather slow haha.

JosephCow - Thanks Joseph :) I defimitely know what you mean about having multiple little mistakes so to speak. Rather like a ripple from a small stone, starts small and gets bigger and bigger. If that makes sense?

Mini-ish? update.

Still have a few things that I either need to finish or simply edit for posting. I'll see if I can spare some tomorrow or Thursday to do those so that I can post.


Switched over to digital for these so that I can do some tracings over photo ref





Memory Drawing


Tried to see if I could recall any of the drawings/tracings from memory to help cement the construction better. Trying to do more of this type of work to hlep devleop my understanding and invention skills.

Gesture Drawing


I've been going over the handouts for Brian's figure drawing fundamentals course on Watts Atleier as I wanted to work on my figure construction since I haven't worked on my figure skills in awhile. Not happy with my current level so I wanted to really sit down and just power through and try and level up as much as possible since I feel my construction is still rather shakey.

Started with some gesture tracings (blue) which I then tried free hand drawing (black) since I have an issue with my figures in charcoal, I think becuase of the size (18x24) I get confused with my measuring which thorughs my figures off.

Anyway I'm gonna try and follow the course basically, start with gesture, constrution, and then layer anatomy knowkegde on top.

Still Lifes

Some still lifes from life



Struggled with my colour mixing on this one, mainly the off white cloth and the colour of the grapes in the light. I made some notes afterwards on what I percieved to be were I went wrong/struggled.

My main take away was that:

1. Relied on blending too much rather than mixing my tones
2. The saturation of my colours of the grapes facing the light (felt I saturated my colours too much) and their temperature (felt cold when they should of been warm).





Following my notes I thought it would be a good idea to do a quick paint over using a pic I took of my set up and simply colour pick from the ref and compare it to my colour choices to give me an idea of where I went wrong which I then made notes on.

Quite liked this way of wokring so I did the same for my next still life.







Should be back to post the rest of my work from last week (manily Scot's portrait course).
(01-27-2021, 06:06 AM)Peter Wrote: [ -> ]Struggled with my colour mixing on this one, mainly the off white cloth and the colour of the grapes in the light. I made some notes afterwards on what I percieved to be were I went wrong/struggled.

My main take away was that:

1. Relied on blending too much rather than mixing my tones

Hey Peter awesome work! Can I ask you about the difference between blending vs mixing the tones? Is mixing where you make the paint color on your board and then apply it, whereas blending is mixing the paint on the canvas itself?

I've been doing digital work myself for a long time now, but I've had a set of gouache lying around the place for a couple months now. Seeing you do both and also double up has really inspired me. 

gerbenpasjes - Sorry for getting back to you so late and thanks man :) Glad I can be of some inspiration to you!

When I talked about relying on blending rather than mixing my tones I was talking about tiling if you have ever heard of it before?  If not it's basically rather than relying on blending your colours together on your canvas (or whatever you are painting on) to create your transitional tones, you instead mix those transitional tones yourself and lay them in. Basically think of a value scale. If you want to get from 10 (black) to 5 (middle) you'd mix each vlaue in between. Hopefully that makes some sense? If not I can link some stuff.

Rather behind on posting....I've had a few things that I needed to finish off first before posting and they took more time than I thought they would, haven't even fully finihsed everything but thought I'd give an update regardless.

Just gonna dump everything and keep the text to a minimal.

Scott Eaton Portrait Class

Week 1

First week was focusing on skull construction


Week 2

Expanding upon the first week and starting to add some muscles on top


He had no issues with my h/w for week 1 so I don't have any feedback to post so far.

Gesture Drawing

Another simple block-in. Trying to work on my proportions since I sill find I have trouble with them, especially when it comes to figure drawing. Finally got my hands on more newsprint so I'm going to go back to traditional and work on my figure constuction.



Got Jeff Watt's new Bridgeman book so I've been working through that. Also singed up to the class online since it compliments the book.



More construction. Going to move onto anatomy next week and start doing some actual drawings.


Plein Air

Finally been able to get out and do some plein air work. Weather has been shit here since the start of the year. Pretty much everyday I wanted to go out it was raining but thankfully it has been dry the last 2 weeks. I've been reading through Nathan Fowkes landscape book so I've been trying to implement some of that. Gonna do some more reading or watch a video of his to see his process. I'm trying to treat these as tkaing colour notes basically so I want to focus less on details and get the overall colour impression but I'm still not getting it.

This was around 2 hours


This was around 1 hour (ran out of time).



Started doing some Edgar Payne studies on the days where I planned to go out and paint but couldn't. They are around 6x6cm roughly.


Wanted to work on my tiling so I tried doing a master study of a Dean Cornwell painting...which as you can see didn't turn out so good. I thought my drawing was sound but cleary wasn't. My main problem was that I struggled alot whith assinging tone and getting those sublte variations correct. I'm auditing Jeff's tiling class so I'm gonna start on that this week and hopefully apply what I learnt from my mistakes here.


Still life

Tried working on painting metal since it's something that I need to work on.






I'm going to try and paint the same object again this week. See if I can do a better job now that I've spent some time making notes on where I went wrong the first time.
Back for my weekly(ish) update.....


Scott Eaton Facial Anatomy

Week 2

Not too much to correct, mainly some minot corrections for the masseter muscle and remembering that the tarsel plates aren't muscles (whoops).


Week 3

Similar situation for this week aswell. Had a few questions regarding facial fat, mostly regardign fat deposits on younger faces.



Facial Anatomy

Week 3


Week 4

Applying what we have learnt so far and trying to build a portrait over a skull. Feel like I am having some issues with nose and/or mouth placement as I thought my philtrum's where too large.


Figure Drawing

Finally got my hands on some newsprint. Haven't been able to buy my regular pads for almost a year now so ended up buying a pack of 500 sheets. Think it is thinner compared to the pads sine it looks like it has ripples in the photos but it's definitely smooth and I can lay in tone really easily so I guess it will be fine.

Still working on my construction skills. Trying to follow the same procedure of 1.gesture 2. structure and then applying mapping on top. I haven't been timing myself on these, just taking my time until I think it looks right. I'm taking as much time as necessary which shoulf theoretically increase my drawing speed.


I'm still having proportional issues though, mostly width issues as far as I can tell which is having a knock on effect for all my other measurements, even though I am measuring multiple times. Think I'm still having a hard time drawing at the size I draw (18x24 inches). Not sure if this is simply something that will get fixed my continuing as I am and just getting mileage or not?

Bargue Drawing

Finally found some time to work on my bargue drawing. Just spent abit of time fixing mistakes from my 1st lay in. Noticed I just need to do a few tewaks to the top of her head and then I should be bae to move onto the mapping.


Figure Invention

Trying to apply what I am learning from Jeff's Bridgeman course to some figure invention, just the upper torso since that is what his course covers. Still struggling with inventing poses though, not sure how to work on that apart from some quick sketch?


Plein Air

Weather has been absolutely shit here in England the past few weeks. Pretty much wet, windy and cloudy with a different shade of grey. I've attempted to go out and paint the last 2 weeks but have been defeated by the wind and rain which prety much destroyed any attempt at paitning that I did. It's really starting to piss me off now so I was contemplating just studying landscape drawing/painting at home (at some point) and go back out and paint once the weather is somewhat better.

Anyway here are some quick 5-10 min value sketches that I have been doing when out and about as a warm up exercise.


Gouache Painting

Started working through Jeff's tilng course (playing catch up). Took my time with the drawing, think I spent around 4 hours on it and then another 2-3 transferring it to some illustration board. Did some prelim comps in gouache below, not sure which one to go with though, originally liked the first one on the left but now I'm leaning towards the one in the middle. Gonna start the painting this week and hopefully get it done in the next 2.

Initial drawing

Did this on a piece of a4 which I then scanned and enlarged before transferring it since it was on the small side.



Great amount of mileage! It's amazing to see these carefully made, traditional drawings! I look forward to seeing all this knowledge come together into finished illustrations at some point!
woaaah man, so much stuff done in a week ... My ass is kicked so hard, gotta draw .. looking forward to the last gouache once it's painted !
Zorrentos - Thanks alot :) That's the plan, going to do another 5-6 weeks of study on things I either haven't done enough of (hands/feet,) or haven't done in awhile (perspective,drapery) and then work on a new illustration.

wild.89 - Thanks man :) i must confess my last update was for work I did over a 2 week period (I wish I could do all that in a week), bloody facial anatomy homeworks have ben kicking my butt! Gonna crack on with the goauche painting this week so should be complete by Friday.

Quick update.


Facial anatomy week 4

I was having a few issues with the placement of the nose and mouth in my assignments which I asked him to look at since I wasn't sure where I was going wrong which he kindly did. Part of it was me forgetting that the skin has some thickness to it which I completely forgot about.


Facial Anatomy

Week 5

This week was just expanding on all the previous weeks and looking to see how expressions work, exploring Paul Eikman's FACS and seeing if we could apply his work and identify these "markers" on images and try and apply it to work from imagination.


Some FACS numbering I did on some photos.



I originally tried just doing some drawings of expressions from imagination but I was having a really hard time with it, so instead I thought I would do some studies of the 2 facial expressions I was trying to depict first and then apply that to my work from imagination.



2 peices I tried doing from imagination. Thought they were looking correct in the muscle and fat stages but once I tried putting it all together and drawing on top to create a face I felt like it all fell apart. I feel like my lack of practice in drawing facial expressions is mostly to blame but I'm starting to get the feeling that my approachh to imaginative drawing and my mindset is not right. I feel like I am of the mindset of trying to draw things completely realistically with correct lighting  and construction of features from imagination rather than trying to simplify and stylize. Best I can explain it is comic art. They are realistic in terms of accurate proportions but have stylized things like facial features and anatomy, if this makes any sense? Maybe if I had that mindset when it came to imaginative drawing and knowing that I can never achieve an imaginative drawing as detailed or realistic as those of drawings  did from photo ref then I would create better drawings?



There doesn't seem to be an assingment for week6 of the facial anatomy course, I normally get my feedback on Mondays so I'll double check then but my plan now was to crack on with the gouache painting all this week and get that done by Friday, then take a few days off and start my new practice schedule the week after.

I have 1 or 2 tradtional things I did this week which I'll post once the painting is done. Totally underestimated how long the facial anatomy homework would take.
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