Chachava's 'Sketchbook'
OK, I really need to get this sketchbook started. For now I'm just going to post a few bits and pieces that I have been working on lately. Mainly just studies at the minute, this has both been a benefit and a hindrance. It's a benefit because I've learnt quite a lot from these studies, but the downside has been that my imagination seems to have suffered because of it. This is something I'm trying to rectify as I have started putting together some ideas for a new project which is going to involve me using my imagination a lot.

Anyway, here are some of the bits I've been working on recently.

[Image: Hand_Value_Sketch_06_06_06_zpsf72bddda.jpg]

[Image: Serenity_3_zps658dc4c7.jpg]

[Image: Johnny_Depp_Paint_Finished_Small_zpseb25e9dc.jpg]

[Image: PearStillLife_27_06_2013_zps7b494e67.jpg]

[Image: Skull_28_06_2013_zpse11b2900.jpg]

[Image: EventHorizonScene_04_07_2013_zpsef19ac5a.jpg]

[Image: MaleFace_11_07_2013_zps38e52db5.jpg]

Ok, so i'll split this over two posts as I think there's a lot more than I thought to put up, lol

And here's some more

[Image: Mouth_Studies_13_07_2013_zpsaa7619ed.jpg]

[Image: LeatherJacket_zpsa3767384.jpg]

Some gesture drawings

[Image: Gesture_Drawings_16_06_2013_zpsb6284181.jpg]

[Image: GestureDrawings_17_06_2013_3_zpsc32fa9cc.jpg]

[Image: GestureDrawings_17_06_2013_2_zpsfee5da08.jpg]

[Image: GestureDrawings_17_06_2013_zps0bf72c7c.jpg]

And some hands....

[Image: Hands_5_6_2013_zpse9c0c704.jpg]

[Image: Hands_2_29_05_2013_zps504485f7.jpg]

[Image: Hands_29_05_2013_zps3b282866.jpg]

And last (and probably least), the only images I've got from my imagination over the last few months. And they're both me just messing around trying to draw heads from memory.

[Image: Head_15_07_2013_zps4c28cbf9.jpg]

[Image: RandomHead_21_07_2013_zps92f1e915.jpg]

I'm not all that good at drawing hair at the minute, that's one of the things I really want to work on over the next few weeks, among loads of other stuff.

There are some more but I think I'm already going a bit overboard with the uploads, lol

Comments and criticisms are more than welcome as I am desperate to improve myself to a point where I could possibly look at doing some small freelance jobs.

I'm hoping to spend a bit of time going through a few of the other sketchbooks on here, the few I've looked at so far have been pretty impressive and very inspirational.
Hey man,

2 things

First check out prokotv's movies on gesture drawing on youtube. That will help you a lot!

Secondly, dont try and draw single hairs. Look at it as a mass with shadow areas and highlights.

Hope that helps!


Secondly, I was going to say - you seem to do a lot of film studies/photo studies, make sure to do a buttload of studies from life too -- but you proved me wrong because boom! Sexual still lifes.

Hmm, I'd suggest you read up on some Loomis/Bridgman for delving into hands and getting the most out of what you've studied.

Keep it up!!

  • 'smrr' - the initials of my full name
feel free to call me Risa  Sun

sketchbook | pg 52
I've come to realise how posting in my daggers sketchbook kept me accountable... I'm going to try to lean into that again and see how I go.
It's about time I train to get a stronger grip on the fundamentals

Thanks for the comments :)

DoubleThink. I have actually watched Proko's videos on gesture drawing, but I still have real trouble with them. It's one of the many things I need to work on. Will definitely take on your advice about the hair, I'll try and get some studies up later tonight.

Smrrfette, I definitely need to start painting more from life as a lot of my studies do tend to be from photos. Hands have been a real issue for me for a long time. I keep putting them off but that's really the opposite of what I should be doing. I've been reading Hogarth's 'Drawing dynamic hands' which has helped a lot, but I still need to do a hell of a lot of work.

Hey Chachava,
Nice start- you have some clean studies here and basics that everyone do, just keep up with it. After you study enough portraits I would suggest you to make lots of unfinished faces but make them anatomicly correct- like don't pay attention to details,but try to place eyes,nose and mouth where they should be, after that you can move to some expressions.
Keep up with good work and study hard :)

Toxicpanda - Thanks for the comments, definitely want to get a few more portraits under my belt. Really hope that it does help when I'm drawing characters from imagination cause right now all the ones I try just seem really kind of 'wooden'.

I've had pretty much no motivation at all over the last few days (Something which happens fairly regularly due to long term depression) so haven't managed to get any proper studies done. But I did manage to get this portrait done this morning, I've been meaning to do this for a friend of mine for ages but never got round to it. Hopefully I'll get out of this lull soon and actually manage to get some studies done, I really want to start painting a bit more from life rather than just reference photos.

[Image: Ian_Somerhalder_Paint_cd_zpsffb68411.jpg]

Still can't seem to shake this slump I'm in.....not really the start to this sketchbook that I was hoping. I did manage to get a fairly quick sketch done though. Was originally going to be for one of the contests on But may turn it into something for myself instead.

[Image: GivingBlood_zpsf80e58e2.jpg]

The portrait of your friend turned out really well, especially the hair. It has kind of a "Matt Bomer" look.

Two things help with hair. First off, looking at reference, you can use photoshop to blur the ref to see the blocks better. Filter>>surface blur works well. Second off, if you are familiar with gesture drawing, hair has gesture. Don't just look for the blocks, look for lines of movement in the hair, like you did on your friend's portrait.

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


This sketchbook really hasn't gone as I'd hoped. Over the last few weeks or so I've hit a major mental health related slump and just haven't been able to do anything. I've wanted to, but it's just seemed like my body/mind just didn't want to play ball. I've finally managed to sit myself in front of photoshop long enough to get a couple of quick bits done.

Firstly, a couple of hand value studies. I shouldn't really call them studies really as I don't feel like I learnt anything from them. But if I'm honest I'm just happy to be painting again.

[Image: Hands18_08_2013_zps4ad5887e.jpg]

And secondly the early stages of a possible illustration. Got some ideas of where I'd like to take it, but my head still isn't working properly atm so it may take a while to get there. I originally started this in colour but wasn't happy with it so took it back to greyscale. As always, any crits and comments are more than welcome

[Image: Random_zps84f44c4d.jpg]

Almost forgot...Tygerson, thanks for the comments. I never thought of trying the blurring technique with hair. I've tried a similar technique with some landscapes but using the cutout filter rather than the blur.

A little bit of an update to the head of the guy I just posted

[Image: Creature_1_zps541e6b73.jpg]

A couple of quick shoulder/arm studies, the left were done from the reference photo, the right were my attempts from memory. I haven't tried this approach to studying before (although I have no idea why as it's a great method to use), and it's helped a great deal especially in pointing out errors.

[Image: Deltoids_zpseea6f578.jpg]

I had intended to do 3 or 4 more similar studies from different angles, but my room was invaded by my 4 year old nephew who wanted to paint something......thought I'd upload that too, lol. Modern art maybe?

[Image: Thomas_Sketch_zpsbbaf432b.jpg]

I'm going to try and do some painting from life later. I cleared a bit of space so I could set up some objects a few weeks ago, but haven't got round to doing anything yet.

Another quick update, this has been posted in the critiques forum as well but I figured I'd put it in here too. Something about this just doesn't look right to me. The background/environment is going to be changed, but something else just isn't right.

[Image: Creature_WiP_zps301a3f64.jpg]

And some other bits and pieces from the last few days.....

[Image: UpperArm_Shoulder_zpsc3974b5d.jpg]

[Image: RandomWormThing_zps7d43dfae.jpg]

[Image: Heads_zps26b29c9e.jpg]

It's been way too long since I posted in here. Mainly cause it's been a pretty rough few months, my depression has reared it's ugly head again in a major way. But it's also at least in some part down to laziness. Even with the crappy time I've been having I've managed to get a few paintings done, and a few others started.
First up this is an update to something I posted last time around. It's not finished but I kind of lost my way with it, so it's been put to one side for the time being.

[Image: Creature_7.jpg]

A few sketches of my favourite dA model Miss Laurelle. The first was an attempt to get a painting done in 4 hours or less. The second two are just quick 30 minute or so sketches. And the last is a WiP attempt at getting as realistic a render as possible (No real reason for it, just felt like a good idea at the time)

[Image: MissLaurelle_Paint_Finish.jpg]
[Image: MissLaurelle_Painting2.jpg]
[Image: MissLaurelle_Painting3.jpg]
[Image: WiP_ML_Render_Practice.jpg]

A few bits of random line art. Both of which have been pretty much scrapped (for now at least)

[Image: Lineart_1.jpg]
[Image: HulkBusterSketch_2.jpg]

A portrait of one of my favourite dj/producers Krafty Kuts. I mainly did this to see how I got on painting without an initial sketch and also trying to colour pick as little as possible from the original image.

[Image: KraftyKuts_14_11_2013.jpg]

The first 'seasonal' painting I've done.

[Image: Halloween_2013.jpg]

This is a painting I've been meaning to start for a long time. My mum died back when I was 18 (about 13 years ago) and I've been wanting to give my dad/sister/me something special to remember her by. And the only thing I could think of was a painting. I haven't got to far yet as I'm taking my time with it as I want it to be as good as I can possibly get it (Plus i tend to get quite emotional when I work on it, as I kind of am now).

[Image: MumampDad.jpg]

And finally some other random WiP's and finished paintings. The last of them was finished today and was yet another attempt to improve my colour picking. This time I decided to try painting from an image in a book rather than a digital image, that way I'm forced not to use the colour picker.

[Image: LongerGestureDrawings09_11_2013.jpg]
[Image: Morbius_Paint.jpg]
[Image: MickeyRourke.jpg]
[Image: NamibDessert_RefBookimage_17_11_2013.jpg]

And that's what I've been doing for the last 3 months or so, painting wise at least. I haven't done nearly enough studying, and I have also realised a hell of a lot of things I need to work on. My understanding of light is one of them, I get along fine when I'm working from a reference image but when it comes to my own work I tend to completely screw it up and get disheartened with the whole thing. So, I've started to read through James Gurney's 'Color & Light' & 'imaginative realism' again, as well as reading through 'light for visual artists' by Richard Yot. As always my intention is to read through the books again once, then go back to each section and try and use what I learn in some of my own pieces. Hopefully it'll work out better this time.

Anyway, I think this post has gone on long enough. Hopefully I'll update this again a little sooner than I did last time.

It's been a long time since I've updated this sketchbook, and that's way too long. I've had a lot of problems and I've let myself get over run with them and basically spent the last year feeling sorry for myself. I've finally started making some moves to sort myself out. One such 'move' is to start painting every day, and to make sure I have some purpose to what I'm painting rather than just blindly copying some form of photo reference and telling myself that I'm doing it to learn something, when really all I'm doing is sitting squarely in my comfort zone and giving the finger to anything else.

Anyway, what I intend to do is to upload everything I do to my sketchbook on a daily basis, regardless of whether or not I like it or think it's any good. Hopefully you guys will be able to give me some feedback and advice, and good kick when I'm slacking off.

For this post I'll upload what I've been working on this week, starting with what is hopefully the tail end of my 'comfort zone' painting.

This is an almost finished portrait of Katerina Graham (Bonnie from Vampire Diaries). Portraits are pretty much my comfort zone, the only part of this that was kind of out of my comfort zone was avoiding colour picking from the reference photo.

[Image: Bonnie_2_WiP_2.jpg]

I very very rarely paint or draw anything from imagination these days (another result of my comfort zone), and I've always tried to stay away from landscapes and environments, I suck at painting as my first real step out of my comfort zone.....

[Image: Airship_2.jpg]

This was kind of an attempt at trying a different, less photo realistic painting style. I'm quite happy with the results, although as always there's a whole lot of room for improvement.

And the 2 bits I worked on today, the first was back in my comfort zone again, but I was really just using it as an hour long warm up sketch.

[Image: 21_08_14_1Hour_Sketch.jpg]

And, back out of my comfort zone, I realised that I had never painted any kind of building before in my life (Or at least not that I can recall). So I had a quick look through deviant art and found a nice building of a church in the snow (another thing I have very little experience painting). And tried to paint it. I managed to get the basic block in and colours working ok. But as I got into more detail I struggled. I didn't want to paint in as much detail as I usually would, I wanted to try a more kind of 'hinted at details' approach (I don't think that actually makes any sense, but I'm struggling to find the right words for what I mean). I really struggled though. I kept zooming right in and trying to paint all the details.....anyway, this is what I eventually ended up with. Definitely a lot more practice needed

[Image: Church_Study.jpg]

That was a much longer post than I had intended to write, hopefully they'll be a little shorter in the future. If anybody can give me any crits or advice, especially regarding the stuff out of my comfort zone, It would be very much appreciated.

Keep it up man! You're definitely doing it right and studying a lot! Keep going!

You are your only limits!

LaleAnn - Thanks, definitely intending to keep up with studies etc.

First off, apologies again for the long post....I have a feeling this may be a recurring theme, lol

I have kind of mixed feelings about today, I didn't get a lot of sleep so I was tired to begin with, and on top of that I wasn't completely clear what I wanted to get done today. As a result I ended up spending the first hour looking at paintings by Jaime Jones, Kekai Kotaki & Andreas Rocha mainly just for inspiration. I really want to spend a bit more time actually properly looking at each of the paintings rather than seeing them and thinking 'Damn, that's good', and then moving on to the next.

Anyway,afterwards I started the way I'm going to start every day....with a little warm up. At the moment I'm just using stills from films, it gets me painting lots of different things, albeit only for a short time. Today was a still from Jurrasic Park III (Reference)

[Image: 22_08_14_1Hour_Warmup.jpg]

I was quite happy with that after the hour.

After that I was a little stumped for what to do. I've been wanting to try out painting different types of rocks/rock formations, so I decided to try that, the basic idea was to analyse some pictures, note down the distinguishing visual features, and then paint a fairly simple version of them without directly copying any of the reference images. I don't know why but I just couldn't get my head into it and couldn't seem to motivate myself properly. So the image below is the failed attempt at one of the rock formation types I found via wikipedia.

[Image: rock_types_22_08_2014_failed.jpg]

After that I was a little discouraged, but didn't want to give up for the day. So I stuck with the 'rocks' theme but tried something different. I have never been all that comfortable getting texture into my paintings (whether through brush settings or photo bashing, which is something I have never really tried), so I went with a study of a rock with an emphasis on getting a decent amount of texture in. I actually learnt a hell of a lot about using the brush settings to get different texture effects, so I'm pretty happy with what I ended up with.

[Image: Random_Rock_22_08_2014_Study.jpg]

I think I need to spend a bit of time either at the end of every week, or at the end of each day deciding exactly what I want to achieve (or at least work towards achieving) the following day or week, It should help to keep me focused and motivated. I also need to start setting time aside every few days to go through other peoples sketchbooks as well. When I've been through them in the past I've always been motivated by the progress of others.

As always, any comments or crits are more than welcome.

It's been a pretty slow day today painting wise. I've spent the last 3 days trying to work out what I want to do career wise and some ideas as to what I need to do to be able to improve myself and get a portfolio together in the process.

I did manage to get another 1 hour sketch done today (which I kind of ran out of time before I could finish) and a very quick, and very crappy sketch of a head/hair in a vaguely stylised way. It only took about 15 minutes, and you can tell, but I did say I was going to upload everything regardless of how bad it was so.....

[Image: 25_08_14.jpg]

[Image: crappy_stylised_sketch.jpg]

On the plus side, I do have a much better idea of where I want to end up and how I'm going to get there. Which is something I haven't had for a while

I HATE gesture drawing, I suck at it, and as a result I've been avoiding it like the plague. I have three main problems with it, firstly, I try to put in a lot more detail than is necessary, I try and copy the figure exactly rather than just trying to capture the gesture. Secondly, I'm never sure how to draw the hands/feet/head. And finally, whenever I try to do quick gesture drawings (1-2 minute ones) I always end up rushing to finish, and it shows in the drawings, I think it's mainly down to a lack of confidence in what I'm actually doing. I want to start trying to enter the Character of the Week challenges on here and CA in the not too distant future, and improving my gesture drawing is definitely going to help me with that. So I decided to spend the day doing them.

I took a slightly different approach with them than I have in the past. I didn't set myself a time limit, Instead I spent a little while studying the image, trying to get a feel for the gesture, then trying to make sure each mark had a purpose, wasn't just a random line which 'may' be in the right place. I ended up taking me a lot more time (about 10-15 minutes each), but even after just the 25 I finished today I was already starting to feel a bit more confident and actually starting to enjoy them. I'll keep doing this for the next few days and try to keep building my confidence, with any luck I'll keep improving and eventually be able to just use them as part of warming up....I think I've been talking too much again, lol

[Image: 27_08_2014_gestures_1.jpg]

[Image: 27_08_2014_gestures_2.jpg]

[Image: 27_08_2014_gestures_3.jpg]

More gesture drawings today, same amount as yesterday, but took me about 2 hours less, so there's already improvement in the time it took me, whether there's any improvement in the quality remains to be seen.

[Image: 28_08_2014_gestures_1.jpg]

[Image: 28_08_2014_gestures_2.jpg]

[Image: 28_08_2014_gestures_3.jpg]

As I finished the gesture drawings quicker than I had expected, I wanted to try doing a study of a full character, or at least the majority of one. So I started this study from django unchained (A movie that I have yet to see, but really want to).

[Image: Django_Study_WiP.jpg]

My intention was to focus on the wrinkling in the clothes to try and gain a better understanding of it. Instead I ended up just trying to copy the image exactly....which teaches me nothing. So instead I'm calling it a day, and tomorrow, after a few more gesture drawings, I'm going to get the book I have on wrinkles and drapery and actually study it. Using reference photos to help me understand things better, then try out some examples from imagination.

This is actually turning into more of a study diary than a sketchbook, lol. Hopefully that will change once I actually get a bit more confident drawing and painting from imagination.

Most of the last few days has been spent reading through Burne Hogarth's book on Dynamic Wrinkles and drapery. The book's been incredibly useful so far, although I'm not overly keen on his actual writing style, I've had to read through a few of the sections 2 or 3 times to really understand them. I have been making a few quick sketches to help me understand things a little better, but they've tended to be deleted afterwards. The intention is to do a few sketches/paintings from imagination and try to incorporate what I've learned into them.

I also did an hour of gesture drawings on Friday & Saturday.

[Image: 29_08_2014_gestures.jpg]

[Image: 30_08_2014_gestures.jpg]

Then today, which I had intended on being a day off, I ended up doing some quick random B & W sketches, just for a bit of fun and I guess get me back in the habit of drawing from my imagination. I had no idea what I was going to sketch, just started doodling and saw what came out.

[Image: 31_08_2014_BWSketches.jpg]

I've also decided to take a leaf out of Dan LuVisi's book and start creating my own world. The main reason for this is to give myself a starting point for trying to get a concept art portfolio together. I've been struggling to come up with ideas for things I can do, and creating my own little (for now) world gives me a whole load of environments, characters, vehicles, props etc. to design.


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