Sketchbook & Progess Log - The journey is the reward!
Hey everybody.
This year I really want to improve a big deal so I hope this place here will help me get extra motivation and track my progress! Anyways I'm happy to be here, I lurked around some days and had a look at some great sketchbooks feeling super inspired afterwards.
My passion for drawing is based on my love for Manga & Comic, and I guess it still shows in my art. My goal would be to have a semi-realistic style somehow, but I came to the conclusion that I'll just study life and style happens a long the way. Here's just a little record what I want to focus on this year:

- improve my figure drawing, especially dynamic poses
- backgrounds - desperately
- colours - I'd like to use more realistic colours
- digital art - I need to work a lot here, I'm actually a passionate watercolorist
- animals
- bascially everything

To start my sketchbook have a mix of newer and old stuff, mainly from my sketchbook, and two digital wips that I found on my hard drive. I hope to continue them some day. I also hope I can post on a regular base as sometimes I'm quite busy. I'm currently working trough Vanderpoel's "The human figure". Figures are also from lifedrawing or from stock photos.

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[Image: lifedrawing_by_cyprinusfox-d721ne7.jpg]
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(Wayofbrush is my tumblr log)


You've got some great line work. I love to see drawings like the one you did in that restaurant. Keep it up!

Finally! :D
Love your restaurant and gesture sketches and hope to see more like these in the future!

As for you question I lately started to look into the Loomis books and seeing alot of awesome and really cool little hints. So I am gonna go through his books and try to learn as much as possible before moving on to another master... we'll see how it goes ;)


I like how you've constructed those models:) And you have good strokes when shading with a pencil.

Keep calm and get in the robot

My sketchbook
You're on the money!

Great start to your sketchbook - I like your goals, they're precise, but achieveable.

Keep it up, you're a force to be reckoned with!

sketchbook | pg 52

I'll be back - it's an odyssey, after all
Beautiful sketches - especially those interiors. Your digital stuff seem to be making good progress already. Keep up the good work and you'll really get to places!

First at all: Thank you everybody for the replies!

@Hypnagogic_Haze Thank you! I'm actually really really into beautiful lines and all, so I'm glad you like mine! I hope to have a chance to do more sketches like in the restaurant as well, but it's been a while since I went out and all. Need to change that.

@Nowio Yeah, thanks to you! Thanks a lot! Good luck with your Loomis studies (:

@Doolio Hey!!! (: Thanks for stopping by my sketchbook and thank you! I'm glad you like this stuff!

@smrrfette Thank you so much for your encouraging words! I'll definitely keep it up, this year I feel like fighting a lot!

@meat Thank you! Glad you like my stuff! Your words are very encouraging I hope I can push my limits a big deal this year!

So unfortunately yesterday I didn't feel well and as a result I didn't manage to do something decent. However, your comments were really energizing so that today I could start refreshed! I'm a bit disappointed though because it feels like I need an awful lot of time for every study, and right now I'm very busy and I don't have too much time to spend on them...well I think I just brush away the doubts and go on. Gotta squeeze some studies in whenever I find the time. I wish I also had the time to surf around in the great sketchbooks here, but this will have to wait a little until I'm not as busy anymore!

Continued the Vanderpoel-Book today and arrived at the mouth/chin chapter

[Image: cd_04_by_cyprinusfox-d72bpx0.jpg]

I forgot to mention that besides dynamic poses I want to improve at extreme angles, so have some studies done from senshistock again, plus right bottom is an original character from imagination, but the clothing is semi ref done with a fashion catalogue. Want to get better at realistic fashion so I need to learn about the seams etc. (wanted to do more of these but ran out of time)

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Finally lifedrawing started again! From today's session:

[Image: lifedrawing_15012014_by_cyprinusfox-d72bt4t.jpg]

And finally, I started a study of a pacific rim screenshot...when I made it ready for upload I already saw a million wrong things. Likeness always takes a long time in to develop in my paintings...XD Overall I think I still use colours that are too light. I should do some value studies first maybe...and: does anybody have advice on lips and colour? I just never seem to get it right. Everybody looks like they are wearing lipstick all the time....

[Image: pacific_rim_study_15012014_by_cyprinusfox-d72bpyd.jpg]

Ahhh I talk too much!


These are some rocking drawings! Your figures look really solid and well-constructed, and I'm always happy to see someone here who likes drawing stylized stuff :D

If you want to get better at extreme poses and angles I'd recommend taking the pose you're drawing from and finding a way to exaggerate the action and perspective. I think that when we see angles in a pose we tend to naturally want to correct them, if something straight is kinda tilted we'd want to make it totally vertical and if it's almost leaning we'd want to make it perfectly horizontal. So when you notice an angle instead of straightening it up, make it more extreme! Try to find the main line of action of a pose and make it's curve even curvier!
Same goes for perspective, if we see some really dramatic foreshortening where the forearm is the same length as the whole rest of the body for example, our natural inclination is to make the forearm smaller because it looks more normal. But if you're not going for normal, force yourself to make the body even smaller instead!
I've found it very helpful to copy drawings of artist who draw exaggerated action really well, like Hiroyuki Imaishi or Frank Stockton, and then try to do the same drawing from my memory. Almost always, my memory drawing feels downright COWARDLY compared to how extreme the original artist was willing to go! You've got the technical SKILL to draw the figure well, now you need to develop enough BRAVERY to ignore your subconscious telling you to water down the angles and make a super exciting pose!
Hope that makes sense XD And hey, if you happen to run into any cool resources for learning about cloth and fashion please share it! I'd love to learn more about how that stuff works too.

Keep up the good work :D

Lovely sketchbook, your figures have a very beautiful line quality. Especially the ones you did from life.

SketchbookDeviantartArtblog | Portfolio
Every feedback is appreciated!
Update time!

@Samszym: Thank you SO much! Your comment is REALLY helpful as well, thanks a ton, I can't stress it enough. Especially also the part where you talk about bravery. I sometimes have the feeling that I'm kind of blocked by stupid fears of all kind, which I also notice when I want to do something outside of the sketchbook - there are times when I really have a hard time to get started then. So it's good you remind of the courage just to go wild with the pencil! Also gonna have a look at those artists you mentioned and give that method a try sometime.

@Lyraina: Thank you so much! Glad you like my lines, I'm actually really passionate about lines :)

Now on to the new stuff; still busy but here's at least a bit. Started with the book from Hultgren on Animals. Copied some drawings from the book, went straight to the dog part then (my main interest right now), some dogs from photo ref and the cats are done from life (my little monster <3) Tried drawing figures & angles from imagination, continued a bit on the PacRim study and then a head from imagination. I think I'm understanding nose and eyes better but Also the colours, I'm always lacking contrast. The thing is, while I paint it looks okay, but when I close it and reopen it's basically all just one goop, argh....

[EDIT] I have no idea why but the attachments just don't work for me...

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Samszym said it:) I mean, it's literally some kind of invisible force making my drawings more "normal":) It's like "ok, let's draw this stylized thin anime girl" and the "force" is like "oh no you don't, we are going to have normal waist, legs are going to be thicker, knee is going to be moderately sized and shins aren't going to be longer than thighs". And then you get some anorexic kid with bulging knees and pronounced bone lines:D

I think it's about constant learning and application and also studying of some good examples of exaggeration. I think even tracing could help sometimes, even though I haven't tried it. I suppose it could literally force you to "unwillingly" trace the original artwork and go like "ooh, these hip bones are reaaally low hur dur" :D

Quote:And finally, I started a study of a pacific rim screenshot...when I made it ready for upload I already saw a million wrong things. Likeness always takes a long time in to develop in my paintings...XD Overall I think I still use colours that are too light. I should do some value studies first maybe...and: does anybody have advice on lips and colour? I just never seem to get it right. Everybody looks like they are wearing lipstick all the time....
My advice (and others may disagree) would be to try and analyze the image like a neutral composition - so there are no "lips" or "people" as such, only surfaces and shapes that have their value and color info. Our brain, if unchecked, automatically calls for our library of things and stuff and then we draw from that and we draw "lips no. 14" and stuff like that, which are lip shaped and lip colored and often look like our own lips (as we know those the most). While they might be totally obscured or merged with the neighboring value surface or green or something like that. Try to lay out the image the least partially as you can, squint your eyes and merge all the similar values.
For example, if you squint your eyes, you'll see that (on the screenshot) the jacket and the shelf behind it form almost a single value mass, which could be put down as such, for starters. And later, when you are breaking down the jacket, you would see that it consists of two rough value parts which are pretty close in value. And, for example, that the figures behind are closer in value with the cloth and shadows to the left and above and that too could be marked down as a single value mass when you start and then it could be broken down later. This way you are more likely to avoid having "value jumps" or putting down incorrect details.

Of course, in the anatomy study or something else than what you are trying to achieve in this Pacific Rim piece, your approach should be more 3d and more informational etc.
A good practice for turning off the "scumbag library" is to turn the composition upside down and paint that. It messes with your recognition, so you are like "ok, this here is this shape and this value and it's next to this and I don't have the slighest idea what i'm looking at" and not like "ooh look, a chair, I know chairs".

Keep calm and get in the robot

My sketchbook
Oh yeah! I love your sketches and line quality. They're very clean and fluid. I love that. Your paintings could use a little more value range and more variety of edges. But I like your style. It's pretty sweet. Keep posting, I'll be watching ya! XDD

Finally ~

Thank you SO MUCH for taking your time and writing me all this advice! Of course I know about the squinting thing and how our brain tries to sabotage us all the time, but somehow I tend to forget about this stuff. It's good to get a reminder now and then, really. For example, concerning the lips, I'm really embarrassed, but it never occurred to me just once that I couldn't get the colour right because of my idea of how they should look like. Man. Countless convos with cool artbuddies and you still forget some of the most important stuff along the way. Gotta try the upside down thing again some time, I've done it before, it was a good exercise.

Thank you so much for your kind words! Glad you like my stuff so far. Reading about values is already on my to-do-list, I'll have a look into edges as well!

Speaking of that, if anybody has good online stuff concerning values and edges to read about or can recommend good literature on the topic, please go ahead, I'm all ears!

I'm still stuck in the busy-bubble somehow, so not much sketching done. Went to life drawing yesterday though and tried to be more loose as I was inspired by so many cool artists rocking life drawing. A friend also said my stuff always looks good but pretty dead, so there I went! My dilemma though: the more loose I get, the worse the drawings concerning anatomy accuracy.
Did another screenshot study only to notice I have no idea how to paint water, scribbled some people in the tram with my trusty biro and today I did some watercolour doodles without a sketch first, simply to relax a bit.

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My advice, don't even worry about anatomical accuracy when you're pushing the proportions! Just let yourself be free and then you can reign it all in. I take a tiny sketchbook to life drawing sessions so I can do little thumbnails and play with making extreme shapes, and then draw a bigger drawing using the design I worked out where I actually think about the construction and anatomy.But if the construction and anatomy gets in the way of what you think would look best, just ditch it! you''re the boss! No one will ever know!

as for edges, don't have anything too comprehensive but you might want to take a loot at Mark Tennant's drawings and try to get some of the lost and soft edges he uses in your stuff:
I think the way he puts just enough information in the drawing to explain it and leaves a lot up to the viewer's imagination is really cool!

@Samszym: I guess you're right...I think I just always get a bit under pressure because I told myself to master anatomy as best as I can. I often fear, that when I let myself be free and "play" a bit, that I might etch wrong things into my brain which are hard to erase afterwards. I really like the idea with the thumbnails though, I'm gonna try that out as well maybe! Thanks also for the new artist suggestion (colours in his work is also so good!) and the overall input!

Well I'm always shocked how fast a week is over. Somewhere between the last days I kind of hit the frustration wall and spent my time sitting idly in front of it (or so it feels). I can't even say what it was exactly, but well, we all have these times. I'm back to my spirits now though and finally found the time to go on studying a bit, and also had an idea or two concerning future stuff I'd like to try. It's just difficult right now to find the time for everything...conventions are coming up and I need to prepare stuff. I wish I didn't feel so disappointed...but January is almost over already...

Did some gestures again and well, THIS frustrated me a lot. I mean, I was never really satisfied with them but the new ones don't look better compared to my old ones. Gotta practice more........I find it hard to find a decent way to express the arms. Also Vanderpoel, mouths from photo + imagination (I arrived at the ear section now) and two digital doodles. I need to figure out how to draw lashes as well.

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Don't be too frustrated... learning and improving is not a constant way up, but there always are days where it just seems to stagnate or even get worse. Your brain still is learning though!
Also... it's normal that you are going to lose some anatomical correctness and often also line quality when trying to draw more loose.. I found that practicing all separately (nice lines, looseness and correctness), focusing on one at a time, is a lot less overwhelming. And with enough practice eventually all will (hopefully...) come together in nice, correct and lively drawings. :)

Here's what I have bookmarked about edges:


SketchbookDeviantartArtblog | Portfolio
Every feedback is appreciated!
Lyraina, thank you so much for your kind words! I indeed seem to have the problem of being too impatient lately, wanting everything at once. I should remind myself more often of the title of my sketchbook here, the journey is important. It's also true that I often feel overwhelmed with what I still have to learn. I should really find a way to stay more focused and concentrated.

And wow, thank you so much for sharing your bookmarks!!! I'm going to have a look at everything, starting with one of the links right now.


Update time...

I read the article about values...I'll try to digest everything and hope I can apply it well.

some life drawing from yesterday, a very quick portrait piece I did for the purpose of values. Today I tried to reconstruct the portrait from memory and failed big time. Somewhere in the middle I thought it looked like my OC and so I went with that. Did this in the morning, when I opened it now in the middle of the night..........I'm shocked at how bad the contrast is. I KNOW that I always tend to have be extra careful with contrast and so I choose darker values deliberately, but it still ends up like this. (So much for better values....) Next time...Next time...also, always the problems with drawing the eyes correctly in perspective orz and two colour studies from photos.

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i really like your sketches great line work on the last figure drawings!!

keep it up
What lovely pencil sketches! The figures are really well constructed. And so many cool noses. I love to see a variety of noses in characters.

It's awesome that you experiment with different materials, and draw from life. I've got to do all that, too!

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



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