Jh's Sketchbook! Study. Practice! APPLY!
#1
Hi everyone, Junhong here (Long is actually my surname) - aspiring concept artist from Singapore. I've actually got another sketchbook over at CGHub and a study blog which I have been posting my studies and practices for, oh, I'd say a year and a half now. Still got long to go, but slow and steady, yeah?

I've always heard awesome things about the Daggers - wish I had joined way earlier lol. (Actually I'm seeing a whole bunch of familiar names from CGHub over here as well)

Anyway, hoping to rage myself to improvement like everyone else here. Critiques are welcome! Do let me know if I'm going around in circles because that's pretty much my biggest fear - to study myself into a corner and rolling around in my comfort zone for too long.

SO ENOUGH TALKING TIME TO DRAW

Some head studies from photos. Last one is an attempt from imagination.
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Studies from Linda Bergvists' tutorials. (Her site's down, but you can still find them floating around when you google them)
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And some sketchbook stuff.
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(edit - changed study blog URL)

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#2
Edit - Ok! fixed that replying problem I had. Apparently there is a time restriction for replies.

I've been practicing Dynamic Sketching lately. Using what reference I can find online to sort of "reverse-engineer" the homework assignments that the students do for the course and trying to practice to it myself (CGMA's awesome for releasing short demos of their courses). I find this course very similar to FZD's Visual Communications class in their training outline - which is cool because I think it's quite useful to learn how to sketch things quickly and accurately.

Big dump ahoy!

First one is just a few warmup pages lol, thought it would be interesting to post. Basically starting out practicing how to sketch basic geometric forms and how they can interact with one another. Things start to get a little confusing when I try to intersect cylindrical shapes with other cylindrical shapes.

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And then moving up to organic forms. And then trying to mix organic and geometric forms - it gets tricky at times. Emphasis on figuring out the contours and how they wrap around the form.

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#3
Damn man, you're doing this the right way! Focused and efficient, smart studying. Great stuff, keep it up!

 YouTube free learnin! | DeviantArt | Old Folio | Insta
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#4
YOU'RE A BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAST :D!

That's what I like to see, damn! Thanks for motivating me hahaha

More pls!

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#5
monkeybread - Whoo, thanks! Will do!
smrrfette - Haha, thank you! Keep the fire burning!

Let's go!

More head studies. Heads are like my greatest weakness. Every time I paint one I seem to be struggling all over again. About one hour or so for each study. Limiting myself to the early stages to try and improve my ability to read proportions.

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And more Dynamic Sketching! Working on dissections and texturing. The part I'm having trouble with now is trying to show the form of the shape using only the texture and also trying to stay as clean as possible. Patience and confidence is really the key here. As much as I enjoy doing shaky lines I feel that for these I should aim for more smoother, accelerating linework.

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Aaand more sketchbook sillies. Going to try to do some pencil rendering for my next few pages.

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Alright, so, finally caught up to the present. Stay beautiful everyone.

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#6
Haha, so fun to see that I'm not the only one trying to "reverse engineer" efficient exercises from what people in art courses/schools are doing, art school timelines etc! :)
I love how you started combining the organic and geometric volumes together.

Concerning the head studies, I think that's just a matter of mileage really. Paint studies, draw studies, inbetween look up some proportion guides of different teachers etc. Also, be careful not to place the eyes to high in the face or make the features too big. But you're definitely on the right track!

Love that second last page from your sketches, lovely pencil lines and flow.

Keep up the great work!

SketchbookDeviantartArtblog | Portfolio
Every feedback is appreciated!
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#7
Awesome form studies, man. That Dynamic Sketching series is really working for you. Keep it up!

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#8
Lyraina - Yeah lol. Adapting other peoples' study methods are definitely helpful, especially in terms of giving yourself related assignments and exercises and letting you compare to the works other people have done to get a better guage of your abilities. Thanks for the advice on heads - proportions are my biggest weakness. I can never seem to get it right the first (or first few) times. I guess that's why we practice!

MrFrenik - Thanks! Starting it out was pretty tricky - I had no idea how to draw 3D objects without plotting a perspective first. This way of sketching really forces you to think about how forms wrap around each other.

Alright, so more stuff!

Head studies from photos. Still having trouble with initial proportions and rendering. Trying to avoid lifeless rendering and "plastic" skin. Having trouble whenever I paint the eyes, nose and lips (ok, so that sounds like the whole damn face), especially when starting straight with colour. Somehow they always seem to lack, I dunno, "weight"? Maybe one of my problems is that I lack texture in these faces, but somehow I feel that that's going into the details instead of focusing on the bigger picture (which are the proportions and value/colours of the face). Bleh.

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And more dynamic sketching. Starting on some simple plants and fruits. I think fruits are good to start with because their simple in their forms, plus they have some interesting texture and look cool when "dissected". Plants are a bit trickier, especially when they have many overlapping leaves - the key is to really think simple shapes, and resisting the urge to redraw unnecessary lines. One of the things I want to work on is getting that really smooth, elegant linework consistently in my sketches - really difficult, mine always end up wobbly.

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#9
Hey long, doing pretty good so far. As far as I can see the construction of your faces are already pretty solid. If you are having trouble with individual facial features, y'know...just paint/draw a bunch of them to nail the construction into your head. You're already on the right track about it all though. I like the drawing as well, lots of solid practice there. May I suggest trying out machinery? Lots of basic shapes useful, can be good practice for breaking things down into simpler shapes. Car engines, planes, old strange inventions, ect. Keep up the hard work man!

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#10
Those dynamic sketching exercises are really cool.

Hiya! Hiya! Hiya!

Sketchbook | Deviantart | Tumblr
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#11
Awesome observational and structural studies. Lookin really good man

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#12
Form studies are really awesome! You've got a nice control over the line. May I ask where did you get that nice blue sketchbook? And, when it comes to pen... what kind of pen are you using... I know this is secondary thing, but Peter Han is telling to use felt tip. Later he shows a Staedtler pen, that actually isn't felt tip as far as I know. Probably, you could do all the studies with just a pencil, but pen is probably harder and when you screw up there's no forgiveness. That's a harder way to learn but probably faster, because you have to put more attention to every line.

It's a somewhat solitary existence, a bit like a lighthouse keeper throwing a beam out into the darkness, in faith that this action might help someone unseen.

BombMy Sketchbook (critique welcome)Bomb
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#13
To avoid the "plastic" look in your faces (and all rendered objects) try to use less value range to turn your forms, and focus mainly on using middle/darker values as most saturated colors lie within the middle of the value scale and down. I'd also suggest getting away from the soft brush while you're getting used to rendering forms and try to focus on confident brush work as well as painting the larger planes that make up the masses. Starting out with painting the basic geo-forms (cube, cylinder, sphere, cone) is great practice and I highly recommend it, despite how boring it might seem.

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#14
Psychotime - Thanks! It's starting to get pretty fun too lol.

pnate - Haha, thanks man!

kerm - Thank you! I actually got my sketchbook from a local bookstore. It's actually a simple A5 booklet with a plain black cover stapled through the middle . I'm not sure if you have something like this where you are, but one alternative that I'm considering switching to is to buy a stack of A4 blue paper and then binding them myself. It's just much cheaper than the brown paper sketchbook that the course recommends. The only downside is that if you use markers, it might bleed through and create a stain on the opposite page.

As for the pen, I use Staedtler triplus fineliner (which is felt tip) and I also use a Pilot-G1 Grip (which is a gel pen). The good thing about a felt tip is that it won't sort of "catch" and suddenly lose ink in the middle of a line, which sometimes happens to (non-quality) gel pens. I think you should just go for a pen that gives you a good feeling when you draw, it doen't necessarily have to be a felt tip. Any pen that makes good permanent lines will do.

For myself, I chose those two pens because they are the most affordable for me. You can really burn through the pens very quickly if you practice a lot, and it can get quite pricey if you buy pens that are too expensive. Choose one that doesn't run out of ink too fast or comes with refills if possible (unfortunately I think most felt-tips don't have refills, which is why I still use the Pilot G1). If money isn't a issue - then just go for whatever feels the best.

MrFrenik - Thanks! Great advice, I definitely have to work on understanding the planar surfaces of the face. "Use less value range to turn your forms, and focus mainly on using middle/darker values as most saturated colors lie within the middle of the value scale and down"" - That one's going into the notebook!

Okay! More stuff! Kind of slowing down a little. Juggling a few things now, I probably need to pace myself a little better.

Head practice fails. Tried to draw some heads from imagination - proportions still look... ugh. For the first image I used Linda Bervist's skin tones tutorial, although to be honest I had no idea what I was doing. If felt like I was mixing the colours randomly without any understanding or structure. Second one I tried to paint by "lighting"the major planes. Ended up looking like a mannequin lol.

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More dynamic sketching. Starting to really enjoy drawing this way. Practicing building objects with simple forms and sketching trees.

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And one silly sketchbook page. Not really doing my best here... but it was lying around so I thought I'll just post it up. Bad works are still works.

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And lastly, something I've been working on - a wip for CGHub's New Worlds challenge - Treetop Highway. I'm showing the full progress over at the crits section and will be working on it along with feedback.

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Whoo, long post. That's all for now! Have a great day everyone.

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#15
Looking at your sketchbook and im impressed! Yourdoing everything you should be doing so just keep it up! One thing i would say is to work on you volumes a bit more alot of the shapes you draw seem to get flat as they come out towards the viewer. i notice this especially in the mouth area of your head drawings and some of you torsi. one way i try to fix this in my own drawings is to imagine the shape around the mouth as a trapezoid with the top plane being the area where the lips are. the lips and teeth are known as the denture sphere and it extrudes out from the surrounding face as much as the nose does. hope this helps man and those tree drawings are awesome! :)

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#16
Woah, those form sketches are intense. Do you practice Loomis techniques or Burne Hogarth's for head proportions? I was thinking of buying some of their books actually.

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#17
Looking good man. Lot's of work going on here in a short period of time. Those sketching exercises look like they are paying off and seem really enjoyable. You might want to try doing some anatomical sketching like that. Focus of forms etc and just a little white for highlighting? Don't know whether it would be that interesting but it may help :)

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#18
Stay away from color for now until you're more comfortable with values. You have the skills to do accurate constructions, so use your perspective knowledge to accurately depict lighting situations. I still recommend setting up basic forms and rendering those before you jump off the deep end. In fact, you've got TONS of construction exercise examples that you should be trying to light and paint in your previous posts.

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#19
futurespaceghost - Thanks, and great points! What you said is really a kick in my face to go back to studying the simple facial forms again. ESPECIALLY the mouth and it's surrounding forms. (I always seem to fall back to drawing it like a flat graphic instead of a real 3D form, bad lazy habit.)

Hypnagogic_Haze - Thank you! So far I've been practicing to Loomis for general head proportions, or else its from tutorials I find online (Stan Prokopenko's youtube channel is a good one!). But mostly I look at photos or from life (like, on the train). I think both Loomis and Hogarth are good, I would study them both lol. Just start with whichever you have a better feeling for.

Jaik - Thanks! Yeah I think I will soon haha. Actually what I'm really looking forward to is using what I learned to sketch vehicles and mechs, hard surface stuff. I've never really done much of those before.

MrFrenik - Thanks for the advice. Yeah I think I'll be taking a break from the head paintings for awhile, and concentrate on rendering forms again. Definitely something I've been struggling with for a long time. Time to plan a study schedule for that! Always a fun time.

Alright! So, I've been pretty busy with a bunch of stuff for the past week, so my studies really hit a huge speedbump. Hoping to pick up the pace again.

Finished my Treetop Highway! Or at least, finished to as far as I'm willing to go. The full process can be seen in the crits section here. Hopefully I learned a thing or two from this. Any advice from this that I can take note of for the future would be great as well!

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Going to start doing more life paintings now, studying forms and colour mainly. I finally found a great use for my figure mannequin! (I hardly use it for drawing because it's poses are super stiff and its proportions can't really compare to studying from a photo) I wrapped a tissue paper around it and voila! Instant drapery-figure-constume study reference. Really had a lot of fun with these haha.

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And lastly some more dyamic sketching. Gonna wrap up my plant sketching. Moving on to insects next!

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#20
That tree top painting looks great. Cool idea too with the bugs as cars. Looking forward to your insect dynamic sketches :D Thanks for the advice on Loomis. I've been working with him mainly and Im going to ask for some Hogarth books for xmas.

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