Jaik's Sketches & Thoughts
Hey Jaik!
Great job the portrait of Commander Ironfist! Haven't read the books but I'm getting a good feel for the character anyway. The brushstrokes in the face have a really nice texture to them. The only thing I'd like to see is keeping the texture consistent on the clothing aswell. Seems like the shadow is getting some noise, but no the belt or armor on his shoulder. I find it a tad confusing!

You're pushing it hard with the amount of work in every post! Keep that up! :D

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You're pumping out a lot of work, man. Keep it up.

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I wish I could give you advice about pushing the light/environments, but unfortunately I still have to figure it out myself :P But yes, playing with light/dark seems key, using it to create interesting value patterns / bandings. Analysing other people's works as well as experimenting sounds like the way to go.

The ironfist painting is great, such an intense gaze!
Ramrock illustration looks promising - just be careful to never cut people by their ankles, and don't get a tangent between the two characters (I know it's quite rough still, saying ist just in case...)

Love the light coming into the cave... just curious, are you using rough brushes or photo textures for the rock?

Time for a new update! ;)

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Kaffter, BenFlores and Frenik: Thanks guys! Appreciate the support!

Bjulvar: You're right, though I wanted to keep them simple because I didn't want them to be a focal point, but just based on the fact that you pointed out they didnt look finished makes me think I missed that a bit. I will definitely take that into account on the next one :)

Lyraina: The environment thing is going to be a bunch of experimenting I think... the hard way lol. I will share what I discover though so maybe it can help you too :)
I will also add in feet to the guy and watch tangents, thanks for critting that one. And its a combination of both, phototextures for a little bit of it then copying bits and pieces of the texture with textured chalk brushes.

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Not a lot, was going to update last Monday but realised I must have dicked around for a week because I only had 2 pieces to upload, then I found a few older bits to add to it.. So I'll update now..

Seans class started this week too, not sure whether I will upload the work from that or wait till the end to see if it works. Guess I will see how much other work I can do in the mean time..

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20min studies

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Figure study

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Her head is annoying me... Think I need help on this one, figure people help!

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If you're having trouble with it, don't be afraid to grab some reference. No shame in doing what hundreds of years worth of previous artists have done before us.

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hey jaik. grab some reference for the face, im not sure what you have done with it since posting but it looks flat right now. some darker value on the sides may help turn the form.
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Very nice environment again, not much to critique! Only the violoet leaves are standing out a bit from the rest because of their unique color, maybe you could mix in a bit of it in other places, so that it fits in with the rest better.

Concerning the b/w figure, I think you just placed her eyes a bit too high in her face (meaning the nose is too long). This makes the head look like you're missing a bit of the top of the head, despite the measurements being technically correct. Justr try placing them a bit lower and see if you like it better... Next thing that irritates me is the strand of her hair - unless she used a whole can of hair spray, I don't think it would just stay behind her shoulder like that. If you want to keep it that way to preserve the asymmetry, at least let the strand fall down a bit besides her face, and then put it over her shoulder. (Gravity!) Now if this changes her somewhat stern look too much for your liking, you could always make her features more edged, or transform her face to be a bit longer or slimmer (because it does get shorter with shortening the nose of course).
Also, be careful not to place the breats too high :)


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MrFrenik and BenFlores: You guys are right, I'm always way too stubborn with using reference because I want to try and use whats already in my head.. Reference should always be my first port of call.

Lyraina: All good points. Thanks heaps for the paint over :D ( It looks so much better >.> ) The proportions were all right when I measured it, damn failing at the Loomis method again =/

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First week of Sean's class, I decided I will upload the stuff along the way since it's a large chunk of what I do in a week lol. I keep underestimating how long a piece will take me. I always think "I'll knock out a couple of pieces in the morning then have the afternoon free to study *insert subject here*" except it always takes me all day lol.

So a couple of maps (sorry for the size, but any smaller and theres no point in uploading them at all because the text doesnt read well), some 20min enviro warm ups and enviro studies and painting.

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Wow, lots of work for one week. I'm sure this'll keep you plenty busy, ha.

You've got the kind of "chalk-washed" color going for some of your paintings, which happens in photoshop pretty easily. I think it's because the more you use the color picker to pick up existing colors on your canvas, the more greyed out and neutral it all becomes. Try throwing down bold strokes as opaquely as you can for a lot of areas and blend only when you need to turn a form. The more you just let your brush work for you the better. Keep it up!

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Mr Frenik: Now that you mention it, they are rather chalky.. Tried to fix that a bit this week. Don't know if its any better.. Colours are still a pretty week area for me.

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Week 2 of the class.. It was a surprisingly tough week :S

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Sup Jaik. Awesome dedication man, great progress.

I really like your recent works - environment design is really fun, especially when you really go into the naunces and detail (how the rocks are designed to what trees and the weather, etc, etc. You can really go on forever)

One thing I'd like to point out is that all your edges in your environment pieces are super lasso-tool crisp. I feel that if every edge is super sharp, it'll kind of "flatten" the image. Lose some focus and fog out some of the less key areas and keep the contrasts on the areas you feel is the most important.

Keep going man, you're on your way!

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So. Much. Work. Ahhhh! :)

Doing great, man. One great way to study color is to do color studies. Small, quick thumbnail studies of master works using a brush with opacity settings turned off - forces you to make confident, bold color choices/strokes. I promise it'll help. Keep it up!

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Awesome updates Jaik. Especially that last enviro in post #249 really screams "improvement" to me! The presentation including the enviros in the map looks really professional.
Interesting to read your notes on the thumbnails (seems like you need to show some more design :P). Are those your thoughts or feedback from the teacher?

It's really cool to see you come up with all those interesting ideas and designs, I really need to push that as well. It's easy to get lost in improving the mere technical aspects.
No critique this time, sorry!

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Lovin' these updates, Jaik--!

Your designs are kicking so much ass! I love flipping through your sketchbook, the progress is wonderful and the designs are killer!!

Looking forward to more juicy updates

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Thanks everyone. Theres no images to go with this reply, but woke up this morn feeling pretty crappy and checking my sketchbook and seeing these replies definitely got me back up on my feet. So really, thanks :)

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You can do it Jaik! <3

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Heya beautiful!
What awe-inspiring updates you've posted recently. My imagination gets all pumped up from reading the names of locations on the maps and in your thumbnails!

I'll say what others have said! Feels as if you need to introduce softer edges to enhance the depth of the pieces. Maybe even refrain from using many details all over the place. Like the last picture in post #251, the surface of the cliff is quite even in it's texture. Introduce a stronger focal point!
Keep up the buttkickin'!

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LongJh: Yeah, those edges now that I look at them are stupidly sharp lol. I went through a re did it really dodgily with blur filters because it bothered me, but I will look out for them in future enviro's and do it properly.

MrF: Those colour studies are a great idea, I meant to do some of them this past 2 weeks but never got round to it. I think I will try doing them this week. Thanks for the suggestion.

Lyra: Those were my notes. I have seen a lot of people who can just thumbnail and get closer and closer with every one. But I can't do that while holding everything that was wrong with the previous one in my head >.> lol. So I need to write everything down or I just forget where I was going...

Thanks Bjulvar. I thought that too. Way too much texture everywhere but I wasnt entirely sure how to make it look like a cliff without that texture. I think I will work on that too :)

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Haven't updated for a while. I had no idea how much effort goes into getting ready to go over seas! Days are just spent running around.. Then doctors dont have the right injections, and they are on back order so I have to drive halfway across the world to get stuck with a needle (I hate needles) such a pain. But hopefully Bali will be worth it.
So I had to pull out of Seans class, and I will be doing it in 6 months time when he runs it again. Between all the travel stuff, and not realising that maybe going from working as hard as I can on a course, to a full time workshop in another country may be a little bit too tough. So that was a bit of a disappointment.

And so I don't have much to show for the last two weeks. A lot of seeing family before I go (it's for two weeks but you would think I am climbing Everest or something...). Such is life..

I redesigned my cliff town image to more what I was thinking of though. Just really quick and rough..
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The last bit I could do for the course. Creature design is a really weak point of mine, need to work on it. And I didn't have time to do a proper job on the colours which is a bit disappointing.
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Gurney study for transmitted light.
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Quick dodgy edge fix lol >____>
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I think you'd really benefit from doing a good amount of value studies, Jaik. Your forms just don't have enough information in them to turn properly and the lighting doesn't stay consistent throughout your works. Simple, thoughtful studies focusing primarily on values will definitely help you out.

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Sup Jaik, that cliff town image's lookin'good! And yeah, I have to agree with what Frenik said, Forms and values are probably the things you might want to work on now. Your cliff town has a really nice depth and good consistent lighting that I feel is absent in your other three paintings.

But anyway, good luck on your Bali trip (I assume it's for the workshop?), keep working it!

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