StardustLarva's Visual Explorations
Hello there. I'd really love some critique on my stuff as I feel I've made little progress in the past year or two. It would be very appreciated. If there's anything you want to suggest, please do so.

Anyway, here's some of my stuff mostly from the past few months to the present:

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The following piece is from over a year ago, but it's one I'm somewhat satisfied with as one of my first real attempts at digital. I've not really received any feedback on it in the past, so I would like to receive feedback on this one particularly.

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I like the concepts you're working from. It somewhat reminds me of Salvador Dali. At this point you just need to focus on your fundamentals. I cant tell if youre going for a stylized figure or if you want to make realistic figures. Either way you'll need to study figure drawing. Style will come after you've gotten a LOt and I mean A LOT of practice drawing from reference. Search for Proko on youtube and watch all his videos starting from the most basic stuff like measuring and basic forms. Then move on to his gesture, landmarks and mannequinization videos. Watch them multiple times and practice the stages he talks about. Dont try and skip stages and go straight to drawing contours of the body. You need to drill the basic understanding of the figure in space into your head. Good luck!

Ah, thank you. I've always been fond of Dali's work, so I'll take that as a compliment. Anyway, with that last piece I was attempting to create a realistic figure above a stylised one. I've done more studies of figures since I did that piece but it's still very much something I need to work on. I'll most definitely take a look at those videos. Thank you very much for your suggestions.

Here's some more stuff for people to regret looking at. Again, anything you could suggest to help me be less shitty at what I do would be helpful. You'll have to excuse the questionable photographs, as I don't have access to a scanner at the moment.

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Here's some studies of some beetles. Expect to see a lot of invertebrates in this thread. I feel my graphite work is pretty messy.

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This is a piece I finished earlier today, somewhat influenced by the aesthetics of old eastern prints and such. I don't really like how this one came out.

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Here's a study of the Japanese rhinoceros beetle, Allomyrina dichotoma. It's been a very long time since I've done anything digital.

Reference used here.

You do love your bugs I see. You should check this photo gallery out for reference
Or if you just google electron microscope you'll find some cool detailed images of crazy looking creatures. Keep up the studies and watch your values. Id do a lot of black and white value studies.

More questionable studies of our friends of the order Coleoptera.

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I feel that the values on this one are particularly questionable. I tried integrating some coloured pencil as well as graphite. I really don't like the texture of the graphite either.

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Here's a study of a rather cute Lucanus cervus larva. Reference used here. I tried focusing on values with this one.

Recently finished a couple of acrylic paintings. I feel they look pretty shoddy. I'd love some feedback on these.

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Hello man, thanks for stopping by in my sketchbook. I really dig the "bug" theme in your work. I think that could result into some really interesting and original pieces. I would suggest to work more on structure and try to build the objects from actual 3d shapes.

I recommend theese videos from Marshall Vandruff, it helped me big big time and are very affordable.

Thank you, 0ziRi5. Yes, insects and invertebrates have been a long time fascination of mine. Anyway, I have purchased access to those videos and will look at them once I get the time.

Also, here's a piece I forgot to post. It's an illustration of the Nurikabe, a yokai creature from Japanese folklore.

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A painting I finished last night. Part of the same series as the last one.

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Here's some more visual travesties:

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The third and final painting in the previously discussed series.

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A study of Birgus latro. I don't like the texture of the graphite; I feel it's too rough looking. I also feel that I haven't captured the tones from the reference very well. Any advice on this would be great. Reference image used here.

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Some attempts at Loomis.

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Lastly, here's a digital study I'm working on that I'm not too sure about. Here's the reference.

Any advice or general pointers would be very appreciated.

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Had an attempt at stippling. I don't think it came out too well...

Thank you, Constructicon. I will work on the facets you've suggested. Do you know any good books or resources you could recommend me on perspective and drawing 3D shapes? I've been working with Fun With a Pencil a bit, but are there any other particularly good ones?

Also, I went away and did as you suggested, I did a greyscale study of a pool ball:

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I don't think it came out too well. Any feedback on this one would be appreciated.

Wow, thanks a lot man. I'll go and take a look at those books and videos right away.

I've been focusing a bit on the stuff you guys have told me to. Here's a couple of samples of my endeavours:

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I recently purchased a kraft paper sketchbook, which I thought would be good for practising values with. Here's a couple of sketches I did in which I observed the values of a couple of subjects. I intend to work more thoroughly with this soon.

As well as this, I have been reading those perspective books that Constructicon recommended to me. The Loomis one I find a bit daunting but the Norling one is good. I feel I am starting to gain an understanding of one-point perspective. Below is a very rough composition sketch for a piece I'd like to do. How does my attempt at the perspective look in this one? Sorry if it's not very clear.

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Great start with the perspective stuff!

Although the goal is to be able to draw that stuff freehand, while learning the basics I used a ruler, especially when doing more complex scenes where you need to get the intersections really accurate.

Also, someone posted me this video a while back, if you haven't seen it already, the exercises will really help for doing freehand perspective drawings (and drawing skill in general)

Dynamic Sketching with Peter Han 1:
Dynamic Sketching with Peter Han 2:

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Very nice updates !
Thank you both. Jyonny, I will take a look at those videos once I get the chance. Anyway, here's a portrait study I just did that I don't think looks too accurate but oh well. It's for that piece I previously mentioned.

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Any advice anyone could give me on observing faces when doing studies?

Nice portrait. You should go darker in your shadows. Try using a black charcoal or a black colored pencil for your darks. Not seeing your reference I cant say for sure but almost always you will have a dark occlusion shadow on the inside corners of the eyes. Also do some skulls studies and identify the different bones of the skull like the maxilla, the zygomatic, the lacrimal and the frontal process of the maxilla. Knowing where structures are and what they look like isnt enough. Knowing the names will cement them in your brain. Do the same with the muscles of the face. Take note of what the individual muscles move. For instance, the zygomaticus major and minor muscles begin at the zygomatic bone and pull the corner of the mouth up and out. Keep up the good work!


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