Jaik's Sketches & Thoughts
Thanks Sula :D

Cracked: I hear that. If only it was a linear journey and every piece is better than the last lol.

Thanks Corey! Working on it :P

Lyra: Thanks :) The longest poses I get in those sessions are about 20min. Once a month there are full 2.5hr poses, but so far I have manged to screw up most of those (The last one is the one in my small moleskine-style sketchbook. And thanks for picking up on that mountain, I changed it a little after seeing your comment :D

So once again a little less this week. Still kind of happy with my output all things considered. My computer hated me for most of the week (USB will randomly turn off and require a complete restart at the switch, computer freezes completely, corrupting files) I lost 2-3 mornings of work because of this. But I have reflashed the BIOS (twice, because the first time I flashed the wrong revision.. -__-;;) and it seems to have stablilized. The USB problem still happens but I think it may be a USB 3.0 issue since my research turned up a lot of people with similar problems. I think I may have to roll back the USB drivers to 2.0 and just loose my 3.0 speeds :(

Oh and I also missed out a day because I went to a shooting range :D:D first time I ever shot a gun, was kind of cool but I was too tall for the tether (since I dont have my gun license this was a must, stupid Australian bureaucracy) so I couldn't aim properly :(

So all in all a pretty good week.

Playing with value and shape for all of about 20min. I suck at edges and value is weak so..
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Here is the last of the anatomy stuff. With this week done I finished all of the muscles of the body. Surface ones at least. I now have faces, hands and feet left and thats it. But that will still take a large amount of time. And I want to change my methods because I am no longer sure the method I just used was effective, but experimentation is for learning just as much as it is for art styles etc.
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Update on that enviro. Did some traditional sketches with architecture that I have misplaced but will probably add next week.
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Dude, I love the anatomical drawings.
Enviro is looking great. Work on the focal point and add more buildings, making it deeper, add more contrast to it aswell.
Have you tried out yellowish hues on the castle?
Keep it up mate.

Wow, the leg studies have so much thought put into them! I like how you are studying the parts, and also how to make them graceful with the "s" curves and all.

Environment is looking lovely.

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


Your hard work is really showing!! Congrats on getting through all the muscles! Really nice drawings, and blown away by how professionally they're presented too!
Enviro's looking really cool! I think the composition's a bit top heavy, maybe crop off the bottom fifth of it or add some stuff in the bottom of the image so there's not all this dead space?

keep rocking!

Nice studies and updates man! Although if I can offer a couple crits, like crackedskull said for that environment, I think some more contrast on those buildings will help the focal point stand out more. Also I think it might help the image if you varied the shapes of those clouds and distant hills, because they mirror the sloping shapes of the foreground hill and the middle ground hill pretty closely at the moment.

Hey Jaik

Nice studies! On that enviro: I think that building in the dark section kinda confuses focal points.. is it necessary? (I dont know if there is a story behind it).. anyways, it'c coming along nicely!

Cracked: thanks man! :) Definitely added more buildings, and I'll fix the contrast at the end (soonish). The reason I didnt make them yellowish hue is a) I was trying to go for a triadic colour scheme (blue, magenta and green) and b) I did an enviro a couple of months ago with similar looking architecture and it had the golden-ish roofs so I didn't want to do that again.

Tygerson: Thanks a lot :)

Samszym: Thank you :) Feels good to be done with it. Good spot with the composition, I think I will add some plants maybe to weigh down the bottom.

Pnate: Now that you have pointed out the clouds mirroring the hills I can't stop seeing it. I will definitely change some of that up and vary my shapes.

Kaffer: I added more definition, and made them larger. Did that help in your opinion? The reason I want more buildings there is because it would be a little too simple otherwise and I need practice doing larger towns.


Went to see the lion King musical yesterday. It was fantastic. I looked at it with a designers eye and noticed things I wouldnt have noticed otherwise. Things like the costume design and how each character was represented. The use of coloured lights and strictly contolling the mood with the hues. Also spot lighting, the use of fog. It would be fascinating to be able to have a video of it and study it.. but there are no videos allowed :(

Alright, I have started doing these anatomy revision things as warm ups. Just to solidify the knowledge in my head as a 3D form and make sure that I don't miss anything. This isnt finished because I want to do a 3/4 front and rear but I will do that over the week this week.

Just a quick reflection on the anatomy studies, while they were really useful and I can see myself applying them all the time in life drawing and in my own studies/personal pieces. I don't think that such an in depth study has given me a good ROI considering the time it took. As I go through with these warm ups, I realise that not everything is cemented in my memory (I can still name all the muscles and say where they originate and terminate but I can't translate it as well as I should into say a rear 3/4 view of the forearm) I guess what I am saying is to keep in mind that your theoretical knowledge can quickly out pace your practical knowledge if you enjoy learning for learnings sake too much.
Regardless of what you learn, learning is good, but maybe the way I did it was not as efficient as it could have been.
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On to portrait studies!! This was fun. After doing anatomy for so long moving on to something like this was great. Each of these varied between 2hrs to a max of maybe 3.
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I took my laptop and tablet to life drawing for the long pose (2.3hrs) but the colours are all messed up because my screen is WAYYYYYY off on my laptop. This is after heavily editing levels and colour balance on my desktop and I still couldnt get it to the way my laptop looks. Sigh. Time to calibrate that again..
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Update on enviro
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Bloodsports 4: toy packaging. Join us!
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You should try overlaying the photo you study from trick, you learn some things from it about drawing, done in moderation it defiantly helps to have those exact copies as a goal.

Oh and as if its not worth it to learn all the muscles, you can impress you lady by naming all her muscles as you seductively trace her skin. Isn't this what we all got into art for? :p

Lot of studies here lately (that reminds me that i also need to do them).

That last enviro looks solid! I've been wanting to join these bloodsports, not finding the time yet but I might join at some point :(.

The gorillas look great--I love that backward leaning small guy's pose best! I like how you made a bunch of sketches, and sort of noted what you liked in each.

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


Your studies look really good! I like the recent stuff, too, and even learned something myself!
Keep it up! It's great! :)
Your portraits are coming along! That is such a jump to the last batch of portrait studies I remember seeing from you. They eyes are sometimes a bit "harsh" the way you paint them because of the very dark colors/black you use... even with mascara I'm not sure you'd get such crisp and dark edges as you paint them (mostly talking of the redhead here). But it is nice to see you improving on edge control, I see some nice lost edges in there :)

Love the glow and soft feeling of the figure painting you did in your live drawing course.

The enviro is coming along nicely!

SketchbookDeviantartArtblog | Portfolio
Every feedback is appreciated!
Hey Jaik, sorry for the late reply

What I meant was more composition-oriented stuff.. somehow I feel the building with the dome is the focal point, and that other building in the corner just diverts our attention. Also some more contrast on the main building might be something to consider, and a little aerial perspective in the background to get rid of "not-called-for" contrast area in the painting..
I took the audacity to do a paint-over, I hope you don't mind, to show what I meant

Also, If you are about to do cityscapes, I think you should try to handle them in groups, not in individual objects.. after all, they have to be a nice painting altogether, not one by one :) Try to experiment with their rythm, shapes and forms, try different lighting situations.. And those are fun as hell too :)

Skeptical: Thanks for that, I started to do it, after the original lay in and it has helped me see where I am consistently making mistakes in judgement.
And yes, that is one use for anatomical knowledge xP

Blewzen: You should definitely join the bloodsports. Helps to stay accountable for doing studies and shiz. Very beneficial.

Thanks Tygerson :)

Mat: Glad that they helped you :D

Lyraina: Thanks, glad to see that there actually is improvement. I wish it wasnt so hard to see your own improvement, would make motivation much easier to come by. You are right about the eyes, I have tried to soften them on some of my studies. I think I need to do individual facial feature studies lol.

Kaffer: Thanks man! Really appreciate it. I see what you mean now. I will apply some of that to it when I go back to it. Cities are one of the hardest things for me, which I think basically comes down to implying detail. Something I constantly struggle with.


End of another week. Time goes so fast. I always feel as though I haven't used my time as best I could.

So this week I was thinking, as I comment in peoples sketchbooks, sometimes I wonder whether what I actually write as feedback is useful at all. As to better help people when I do comment, could people give me some info on what they actually find useful in feedback? I'm curious as to whether everyone is similar or peoples needs vary from person to person.
Sometimes I feel like depending on skill level general feedback works better than specific feedback, but that could just be me.
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Anyway on to new stuff:

Anatomy revision - Summarising most of the info I know about the neck
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Portrait studies, I am starting to apply as many as I can, so after I do a study, the same day, or next day, I'll do another portrait, trying to refer to the original as little as possible, and just try different things. Don't know whether it is working but we'll see.

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And a failed application (most terrifying shit I have ever created, but I wanted to upload failures as well as successes)
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Beginning of an application that I will finish this week
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10minute study from life at life drawing
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Life drawing vomit. I was so tired that night I couldnt see straight, but I still went (for some stupid reason)
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Bloodsports 4: Gorilla Guardians
I attempted to do a comic book style this time, I think I missed the beat a little but I'm not too unhappy with the result.
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Crimson Crusaders - Leading Lady
My three fave thumbs
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The one I am going with
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Gorilla guy's looking great.

For feedback, it helps to know what went right on an image, and what went wrong. I always appreciate when people explain why it looks off, or link an appropriate tutorial. Or even draw an example.

Example: I like the interplay of warm and cool colors on the ladies' portraits. For a more feminine look, I think it may help to make the top plane of the nose narrower. And maybe sometimes a little less definition on the "ala" part (had to google "parts of the nose" to see what to call that). There's not always so much of a step there. Probably depends on the individual.

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


Yeah individual feature-studies can be useful, too. Every now and then. About seeing one's own improvement, just go back and look at old work... while there might be one piece or another that's not too bad, the overall quality is most certainly lower! But you really have to go and look, because the memory of your old work is never accurate when you have improved in the meantime. Just go and look at your first sketchbook pages. Don't really want to go and point on your old work and say "see how bad you were" :P But I tell you, you're improving a lot.

From what I see of your comments in other people's sketchbooks, I do think your comments are useful. At least those in my sketchbook always are! I think what to comment on always depends on each individual person/work. No real use to point out a misplaced eye in a quick color study for example, but if that person tends to misplace eyes more often, then it's good to tell them... or similar repeated mistakes. best thing to comment on I think is also when people write their thoughts on a topic, or a specific piece where they are stuck... Sometimes I also think people need to get told things they already know, because at least I know that I tend to push aside uncomfortable truths, or the fact that I should paint more men etc :P So, I think there's no real right/one way to comment...as it differs widely what exactly everybody needs. Your comments always feel very well thought out from what I can see though.

Love those ref/application studies! Shouldn't have neglected them, but there's just so much to do x_x "most terrifying shit I have ever created" made me laugh :D You seem to be going too contrasty too fast on your applications. Reserve the blacks just for the really dark parts, at the very end. The third study, smoking lady, is really, really, really beautiful! Also reminds me of someone I know or knew, but I can't tell who...

Looking forward to your crimson arena final. Careful not to make the head too big, right now its something like 7 heads or less, especially if you add hair or so as well.

Keep it up! :)

SketchbookDeviantartArtblog | Portfolio
Every feedback is appreciated!
Tygerson: You make some good points about actually classifying what I mean when I am giving feedback. I'll keep that in mind in the future :D Thanks for that.

Lyraina: Haha, a trip down memory lane made me laugh.. I see what you mean when you say they are better in your memory.....
Thats true, it will be on a case by case basis. I try to personalise the feedback I give as much as possible, but sometimes general "work on your values" is all I can come up with.
Thanks for the tip on contrast, I see what you mean. Darker skin is hard for me for this exact reason since my values arent quite there yet.
I really liked the smoking lady pic, I think one day I will do something similar on a canvas in oils.
Also THANK YOU for the head comment. If you didn't catch that I probably wouldnt have shrunk it down, I hope I shrunk it down enough...


Alright, not going to write too long here today. I came down with a cold really quickly and feel like death (I was fine until 11am Thursday morning and then started feeling sick and by 4 I could hardly drive home from work, and its just gotten worse).

It was a perfect storm of misfortune for the Crimson Arena though, I lost about 6hrs of work the day it was due when there was still a whole days worth of work to go into it (my computer froze and corrupted the file), and I could barely stay upright because of sickness, but I got it done. Which made me feel good because I know in the future if I have to push through and work I can. But its not something I really want to ever do again..

*I also think in the haze of that day I inputted the timezone calculator wrong, according to what I worked out, I got my piece in with 15min to spare before the deadline. But I think that was very, very wrong. So I could have even worked on it a lot longer and done all the things I wanted to do -_-*

I want to explore some areas of it a bit more in depth at some stage. Like how the armor opens, and attaches etc. But this is it for now.

I struggled a lot to find the variations in colour I liked. If I had the time I would have played some more with it at the end.
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Here are the studies:
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And I used my girlfriend as the model for this, which came in amazingly handy, since I could pose her in the exact perspective of my finished piece and use the study as the actual head :D Probably wouldn't have gotten it done in time if I had to do a new head. Though I didn't quite do her justice =/
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Weapon variations:
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Clothing Variations, I was planning on doing this for every item, but it was taking a ridiculous amount of time.
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Dead pan wasnt very charming. So I did this.. didn't turn out so good
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And a gif for shits and giggles
Clicky clicky

Good to see you push through, when things get hard on you. Also great design on the arena piece.

Oh, oh, oh - I really like the final effect. The details on armour look really nice to me.

Great design on the crimson arena piece, it feels like there is few proportion issues in the right arm and the hand shows like it was the palm instead of the top of it maybe is because of how you rendered the light on it and the forearm, but anyways overall it looks pretty neat, good job!


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