Meat House
.... work getting the better of me, and it's not getting better, so I'll have to get better at working beyond work. Pretty exhausted at the moment. Will proper replies and souper belated comment later..... Working ever-changing shifts full time serving in a cafe for an introvert who fears socializing takes a real toll physically and mentally each day. I mean I can certainly try harder, but there must be better and smarter way somewhere to do more art stuff outside of a day job. Plenty of other people do other stuff outside a full time day job all the time, right? 

Anyway, a piece of progress, life cycle material, something I wanted to do for the creatures ever since I started rendering them. I was tired and couldn't be bothered to deal with digital media, so just did it on paper instead. So the colors are pretty off since my pencil set don't have that neon bright green-blue-cyan, and scanner is meh.




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I feel you meatie, make sure your health is optimized so you can handle things better. Also take a moment to relax after work for maybe 1-2 hours ( if you can ) so you can rest a bit, maybe try to sleep for 20 min, it should boost creativity more. For me it helps when I feel tired in the afternoon :) take it easy!! you will improve, don't worry too much about it.
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Those last creature drawings look incredible :)
The colors seem somewhat intact. My scanner tends to wash out color way too much & the image looks faded :/

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I’m not really qualified to comment on the work-after-work thing, and don’t really remember how I did it with university… other than trying very hard to keep up at least some daily routine studies (like anatomy) to not get rusty and sad. Also planning ahead and scheduling (sometimes rough, sometimes detailed to the minute) to waste less time and energy on „what should I draw next“.
Did you consider looking for a less stressful job that might even allow you to do some drawing while working? I’m mentioning this because Brandon Sanderson himself wrote entire novels during his student times, while working as a night desk clerk at a hotel! o_o

LOVE the baby racnors…. so adorable :D Nothing wrong with doing them in traditional (just like Terryl Whitlatch, cough cough), you can always go over it again with digital if you want to have more of that glow or more intense colors. Keep 'em coming!

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Dude, really nice life cycle thing.

As for the work thing, I may have some thoughts on it. Though, I have thoughts on everything so it doesnt actually mean I know what Im talking about. Im just trumpeting out my ass...

One very powerful tool in your arsenal (weapon in your toolbox) is the power of habits. For me, and from what I have read on the topic most people are the same, what becomes automatic becomes easy to do. Most of the time it is starting that is the hardest part and if you get into the habit of doing it everyday, starting does become easier. Developing the habit is a pain in the ass and with your shift changing I think that its going to be really difficult for you to develop a habit of working after work since there is not consistency.

So tackle it from a different perspective. A) You get breaks, right? I dont know what it is in Murica, but in Aus we get a 45min break for a general work day. So thats a half hour study right there! I know its not something that you would particularly feel like doing, but its something that is consistent (you get a break every time you work). Since time is so short, you should use the night before to work out EXACTLY what you want to study. After 30 days I think this would be pretty easy.
Your other option (B) is to get up at 5am. Pain in the ass, especially if you arent a morning person, but totally do-able. The reason why doing work in the morning is better than night is because you choose when you start your day, when its ended its kind of up in the air if your shifts change frequently. And also, it takes away the stress when you get home of an evening, you have already done your work for the day, so spend the night unwinding, working out what you have to do the next day etc.

A couple of things to keep in mind is that you are NOT going to improve at the same rate as people who work at it full time, its just not possible, but you will probably improve at a faster rate per hour you invest (due to sleeping and subconsciously sorting through information)
One final thing to keep in mind is that you have to enjoy it. Study is great, and CD is great for studying, but studying isnt everything about art, and if you can do 4hrs of art because you do what you enjoy, or 1hr of study because its like drawing blood from stone, go with the 4hrs because you will improve faster. Not as fast as 4hrs of study, but fuck man, I cant even do 4hrs of full study in a day and I do it almost full time.

At the end of the day, do what works for you, but the only person who can work out what works for you is you. So listen to your body. Willpower is infinite, dont push past your limits time and time again because you will get much worse before you get better if that is the case. And at the end of the day just keep on keeping on and you will get there eventually.

PS: Totally not re-reading and spell checking this

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Angelique: I'm trying all sorts of things, lol! 1 tactic for mid-day shift where I come home between 6~9pm but doesn't leave for work until 8~11am; another tactic for early morning or late evening shift. 

Prabu: Yeah, the scanner washed some things off, but not too badly. Also I was too tired to spend hours and hours on layering limited color pencil color choices in the correct combination to get what I had in the digital painting.

Lyra: I do want a more menial job that's close by, or really keep to only 4 days of work or less per week. I'm only 1 person with limited health bar... portfolio, studies, IP development... all that should get priority and majority of my performance, not stressing out over talking to too many people all day... Anyway, will keep trucking!

Jake: I've been trying to draw during lunch break, which is 30 minutes, which is in reality more like 20~15min after getting to my locker in the break room and greeting co-workers. Sometimes it works when I get to be alone, sometimes it doesn't work at all. 

The getting up at 5am is my ultimate dream.... so far I can only get up at 6am every day. 5:30 if I'm lucky or don't have exhausting work the day before. Getting up early feels samn good, especially after working through all the morning check list, and realize it ain't even noon yet! "Do what works for you right now" is basically the theme of this year's Spectrum Live panels, did you know? 

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Been trying to work out designs for a page that lays out my concept better visually. First it was the shiny display with foggy background, like a car poster. Then I tried to do it like a science magazine page with separate images and text on my portfolio website. Then I tried to represent the information visually as much as possible in this 3rd attempt. The biggest weakness in mine is the lack of variations - either in body shape, colors (red blue green), or versions (wood dragon vs ice dragon). I need to look at even more concept layout page examples and make the new concept with creating visual representation of variations in mind from even earlier on  - maybe even right from the beginning .













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Oh shit. Those are really solid creature designs. Great job!

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Hahah maaan, I have deep feeling about the nut cracker. Love it <3

Beware when painting scales - every scale visible makes more for noise than for scales :) tone down the contrast on some, let it only pop when direct light hits it, and it will feel more natural.


Love it man, keep it up :D <3

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ramalooke : Thanks man!

Sula : Thanks! Yeah I kind of knew that would be a problem, but I couldn't rest until I tested and proved myself wrong by doing one project like that. If you look up the word "stupid" in a dictionary, it's gonna have my picture next to it, lol! You and Angelique both like that bird better, huh? I'm curious now what is about the Nut Cracker that rings with you folks?
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I'm having a lot of hours at work this month, plus some miscellaneous, administration work, I'm low on art. I'm still trying to move my wake up time just 30 minutes more to get 5:30am and eventually 5am, and to finally squeeze in regular sketching (composition or others) every morning. I've take a leap of sorts very recently, and now I've got no choice but to flap really, really hard to not crash and burn. That includes doing everything I can think of that contributes directly to my goal on the other side, and then some! I really want to put in more in replying SBs, crit board, and community events, but it's just not possible right now, it's pissing me off...








After doing some shadow studies I tried to draw a dino from imagination. Failed. Then do another study...






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Hey meat! Don't worry about the simillar shape... at least not much cuz you'll get there! ;)

Love the life cycle idea, keep at it! <3


Do you know Brent Hollowell? The dude is a beast! And many of his creatures have a similiar shape/body but he plays more with the different attributes that his creatures have (to have). This way the shape changes automaticly and each reads a bit different :)
Here's his blog http://brenthollowellart.blogspot.de/201...chive.html

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Fantastic designs, loving the sketchbook.

Scream at what I'm doing wrong in my sketchbook
it helps a lot
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Really cool the way you laid out those creature designs! Definitely some of your strongest work for your portfolio. Btw your portfolio site is down :( As a fellow introvert I can relate to the stress of a job that forces you to constantly interact with people. It definitely takes a toll on you. It does seem like it would be a good idea to look for a job where you can keep your inner battery still charged and use it on art instead. Be wary of office jobs though, they can be just as draining depending on what it is. Anyway, I hope it gets easier for you to preserve that energy so you can use it for your stuff. I think I told you before, but I always took a quick nap after work before I got started on art which I think helped (30 minutes max). Just be careful of pushing your limits too far, as it could do more harm than good.

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Lol, cashew nut x4 :D

Good job on getting in some digital mileage. Even if you’re struggling now, it’ll get better, I promise <3

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Quick and small update before running off to work ... Q_Q ... so much randomness.... Q_Q x999



















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Random is better than nothing. Since you’re focusing on digital kilometerage (!), it’s not really random but hitting the mark - so keep it up. :)

Crit for your digitals: Good job on values and conveying different materials, from fuzzy feather to smooth fungus. It’s good to see you paying attention to those differences. Most of your digital paintings suffer a bit from over-use of low-opacity brush strokes though - as if you don’t want to commit to one color/value in one place, but instead let the brush decide on where your edges and transitions are going. I suggest you keep experimenting a bit with which brush you like for which kind of markmaking (i.e. hard edges for confident brush strokes… or another one for smooth rendering with almost invisible strokes). So for your next painting/study, ask yourself beforehand where you want your focal area to be - and then try being *especially* careful to get the edges where you want them, and not fuzzy where no fuzzyness is needed. Lead your viewer's attention by placing your edges and contrast deliberately.
I’m having a hard time explaining what I mean here -_- So if this is not clear, I’ll happily try explaining it again... That said, you’ll figure all these things out by just painting some more - you’re on the right track :)

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I think your animal sketches are pretty nice; you seem to understand their anatomy well. You could probably vary the edges a little bit in your paintings, right now they look too uniform. Make some soft, some lost, some hard, some in the middle, thinking about how the edges describe the form and grab attention from the eye.

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really cool updates man =D keep them coming. plus i'm really impressed that you manage to wake up 5:30 am. big props for that. i remember when i use to do this and know how super hard it can be =D. be carefull though. you can get burned out pretty easly after a while going beast mode. so keep healthy balance =D

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Lyra: Thanks for your crit! I will keep that in mind in future digital painting mileage. Even just picking up the wacom to make something in Photoshop remains a conscious challenge for me, but that's how the chipping process go :) Look forward to more frequent digi mileage from now on! And I'll look forward to more crit-cookies! 

ceartalves: Thanks :) I don't think I'm good at animal anatomy at all, hahaha! Sometimes I would design a creature, and in their skeleton view, I'll forget to draw the whole pelvis bone. Or forget the fact that mammals only have 7 neck bones. Anatomy study is like ... eating or doing laundry - it's life-long. 

ramalook: Oh I wish I have a beast mode..... The down side of waking up at 5:30, 6am is that I look all energy and focus power pretty much by 9pm, and have to sleep by 11pm or midnight. Not to mention the massive Resistance and Procrastination counter-strikes all through the days (when I'm not at day job). Let's keep fighting! 

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Been doing some sketching and trying out a technique that's like looking at clouds and imagining creatures. Only in this case, I'm the only making the clouds. Not wanting to spend another whole day fidgeting through Photoshop to find brushes, then make shapes then try to pick out designs, I decided to make the shapes with an art marker. 

Back in one of my previous job, they gave me a box of used Blick brand art marker for free, and I am using the 50% Grey marker to draw out loose ideas of creatures. the big brush tips prevents me from making any fine shapes or even points. At first I was annoyed at the ugly shapes, and that it bleeds over to the next page even on this thick-paper sketchbook. Then I realized I could use the stained back-side of the same page to pick out different designs from the same marker blob. 

Art markers are expensive, and their advantage over a brush and watercolor is no brush strokes edges. I don't know how, but the marker strokes will just blend into each other to make one shape without that rimmed edge look easily gotten from watercolor brush strokes. That is an advantage because less visible brush strokes = less distractions and dictation to my mind's eye while trying to pull shapes out of the grey blob.  Markers dry quickly, is less messy, and let me work faster (even though my 'fast' is really slow compared to many, many, many others). I can abuse a hard marker tip in ways I can't abuse a soft hair brush without splaying the hair and making uncontrollable, shitty brush strokes that look like they are painted by an old broom.

That said, they're still very expensive, and seem to be non-refillable unless it's the Copic brand, and creates a lot of plastic, toxic wastes. Hopefuly I'll find an alternative to this marker shape making business in other traditional media. 

Here are 2 examples of what I've been up to. One with pencil base, and one with marker base. Both picked out with an Artist Pitt pen and that Pentel brush pen. Unlike the markers, these can be pried open with a tool and refilled with Bombay India ink that does not clog. 

It's important to note that tools do not make art, and an artist with great skill will make great art even with a cheap office Bic pen. I use these tools mostly because I can afford them, and am also cutting budget in other stuff like food and cellphone to 'make up' for the purchases. It's also important to remember the fact that money can always be earned back in the future, and they will pretty much look and feel the same then, but other things won't. 





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Some more of the... why is the font purple? ... Some more of the creature design thumbnail series. I wanted to finish them all up before posting, but, want to keep a regular schedule than keep waiting. Did some basic plant 'design' as well although they're not that different from their real life look. And some squid men.

More anatomy studies from the same book. Recently I'm starting to sketch color studies more earnestly in Photoshop to practice painting digitally in preparation of the upcoming Robot Pencil Mentorship in creatures. I'm sketching from life as much as possible, so all these studies are from observation except that grey shrimp. 

Other than continuing to get better understanding of the digital painting process for the next several years, next step is to paint a full background as well. 










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Hey meat, i didnt even see the marker creatures. They look great! one tip : keep thinking about their purpose, where do they live? what do they eat, are they predators or not, are they very saturated in color, and if so, why? Asking yourself all sorts of questions will result in even better creatures. Youre making good progress here :)
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