JyonnyNovice - from Novice to Master!
Study goal today was perspective; restarted Scott Robertson's 'How to draw' from the very start. This time, since I am familiar with the concepts I'll do all my perspective studying freehand (before since some of the techniques could get quite complex I usually used a ruler).

Did 3 or 4 pages doing the exercises (parallel lines, connecting points with straight lines and curves, elipses & minor axis), then just the first few techniques covered today:

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Then for my daily goal, some gestures with Sigma pen black felt tip. I really like the 'messy beauty' that can come out when using black felt tip for these.

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Got two of my daily study goals done today, some gestures and some imaginative stuff:

2 minute poses

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Tried lowering the speed to 1 minute, and tried to switch back to Proko's style; it's less pretty but more accurate for me at the moment - I should probably stick with this til I improve.

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Another surreal landscape scene from imagination:

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Weekly study goal today was heads,

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And since tomorrow I'll study painting I did a quick pencil sketch from Spirited Away that I'm going to experiment on.

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I think the Proko style gestures seem to be working out better too - they have a much more pleasing flow to them. It is good to see you experimenting with different techniques and materials too. The proportions still seem to suffer a bit with the 1 minute time though, mainly with the heads being rather large, but it doesn't happen in the longer ones so it seems to be working itself out.

The torsos, however, are definitely looking a lot better. They show a clear gesture and you seem to be getting more of a feel to the shoulder-hip balance. Try to keep the flow of the gesture travelling through the elbow and knee joints - it is starting to get there with the Proko gestures, but sometimes the knees/elbows are still overly tense and pointed compared to the rest of the pose.

If you are interested in experimenting with some sports gestures, http://www.olympic.org/photos, http://www.ufc.com/media/latest/photos, and http://www.maxpreps.com/photos/gallery/browse.htm has a lot (annoyingly they are all watermarked and awkward to download, but the variety is fantastic, so maybe worth having a go at for some untimed gestures).

Good job using the perspective practise in your imagined landscape too, keep up the good work!

@Clockodile thanks for the comment, it means a lot to get this kind of detailed feedback from someone with a lot more experience than me. Will definitely stick with that kind of gesture then til I get better and can 'graduate' to the more artistic style. Thanks for the links too!

Today's study goal was painting (I kinda grouped value / colours / painting into one thing). I'm following a tutorial from ctrl-paint called Advanced Digital Painting (in the video's he paints a Goblin with a bomb). Following along his process, which might not be the best for learning since he uses a lot of quick ways to do things since he's a pro and understands all the fundamentals but it's good for me to follow a kind of plan instead of just flailing around trying to apply the bits and pieces of knowledge I've picked up.

Started with my Spirited Away sketch, the one above, cleaned up the line work just a little then did some value thumbnails. Playing around with different brushes and ways to paint too, which is why some are a bit messy. In the end I went with Matt Khorr's style (new layer for pretty much every stroke, paint big line with hard round brush to get a hard edge, then erase the excess off the other edge with a soft round brush to blend it) - it's a nice, logical approach. (Used it in 5b and 6 - the cleanest ones).

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Decided I liked 5b the best so went on to render that a little more.

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Then did colour thumbnails over the top of that value one (using multiple, colour dodge and colour blending modes).

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I tried making some of the palettes myself, and tried colour picking from paintings that I liked. Mine look so basic - like a kid's colouring book. I know I should be doing colour studies from paintings and such to improve but I wanted to try out taking something from sketch to painting.

At the moment I think I like no.6 the best, although I'm not so thrilled with it. Next week I'll do a colour study of a painting then go back to doing more thumbnails of this and see if I can learn something new. Also, I might bite the bullet and buy the James Gurney book after all <_>

My daily goal today, gestures, but since I had my tablet out already I just did them on the PC (plus it's good practice maneuvering the tablet). My tablet control isn't great, which shows, but it's really fun being able to jump between brushes and colours in the middle of a gesture!

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Hi man, how's it going:D

I can give my input on gestures, though I am not sure everybody else will agree. But I do think it could be the right step.
Maybe try to do something like 2-3 minute gestures - but with the visual outcome that you have with the one minute gestures. So, no shading or much defining or volumes etc, instead keep it at the gesture level. But with more time to grasp the placing of the lines and to constructively see the flow and the relations. That way your brain will have the time to see what's the main flow line for a specific segment and you will have the time to decide and place more deliberate, grounded lines and definitions.

Of course, there is merit to fast gestures, looking at the model 90% of time without lifting the pen etc - actually, in my opinion, fast croquis are the staple of visual art and are by far the most important thing one could do to practice and push one's skill and perception. But my impression when I look at your gestures is that you need more analysis and less "speeding":)
I say that because I tend to do the same. And then I get into that frenzy mode where my output is high, but the progress is lacking because I produce a high level of croquis doodles without getting stuff from them.
For example, I am used to doing stuff quickly, it's how I was taught - everything was croquis-ish, from actual gestures to painting - painting the large masses? Take the large brush and flap around the canvas like a madman. Painting details? Take the small brush and flap around that small area like a madman. And while it is true that that approach does good things to you - your skill slowly starts to catch up with your speed and then you can do fairly accurate portraits in couple of minutes for example - it's also true that, form the aspect of knowledge, construction, analysis, I have gained more from a slow and boring study with more "hmmm"-s and beard scratching than actual drawing:)

I think your output is great and that you will advance pretty fast!

Oh, and for the rest of the stuff, mainly portraits - construction and simplification is the way to go! Don't think about the contours or getting the right shape, think simplified large masses. Perhaps the prominent cheek shadow is an upside down triangle with certain ratio among its lines and certain coordinates on a chess board that is your piece. When you get the masses and the relations, then you will go on the smaller relations and refinement of the piece.

Keep calm and get in the robot

My sketchbook
@Doolio Thanks for the feedback, you're totally right; I always improve faster when I take things slow and deliberate - at least while studying - gonna try what you suggested and do 2 minute gestures but really simply and carefully. Thanks for the portrait advice too, it's a balance between seeing the head as a 3d structure and using the 2d shapes and information from a reference I guess! I'll keep pushing! Thanks man : )

Didn't get any of my study goals done today; went with family + parents-in-law to Avebury Stone Circle (it's like Stone Henge but the rocks are smaller and much further apart).

Got in a quick landscape sketch while the baby was sleeping:

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I'm starting to dig the power of curved lines to pull the eye around different parts of a drawing, tried to kind of lead the eye towards the big rock in the middle of the drawing above.

Did some drawing from imagination too, it's amazing what flows out from a simple curved line and a block; this drawing seemed to draw itself:

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I was really happy with it, it's by far the best imagination drawing I've ever done, curved line of the clouds -> birds -> square-ish block of the tower. Such a simple concept and I think it looks good (considering my level and such ^^).

Played around with painting it as well (got tired by this point, I may finish it some other time).

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Gestures; took 2 minutes on some, others untimed, to really try and focus on taking time and care and using just a few lines. Not worrying about the volume or thickness of anything just the bare pose. I didn't really enjoy these drawings, I like putting shape and detail into them, but I guess I should get really good at these before I do all that~

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Next did one of my weekly study goals; more work on fabric and drapery, just a couple more fold types left and then it's just practising. Most of it comes from this tutorial: http://www.mightyartdemos.com/mightyartd...adley.html and some from my own investigations.

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Had a little more drawing time today, drawing from imagination, using curved design lines at the start.

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You can't see cause the image is too small but the character is reaching for a faery sleeping in a leaf. I might develop it some more in photoshop (and must learn to press very lightly when doing these preliminary pencil sketches, then I can develop it further on paper! - everything ended up too small and too dark to try and develop the characters with pencil)

Did some street sketching today; never really considered how different 'normal' people stand than models / life models when they're posing. Most people have this slight hunch to their back (myself included I'm sure), so the neck tends to curve forward more than models posing and the trapezii(?) at the back make a more acute curve. I will make an effort to do this kind of sketching more:

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Prettied a few up with marker and felt tip then played around in photoshop a little:

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Those gestures are getting so fluid and relaxed. See if you can get some of those relaxed long lines into your life drawing. It's hard when people are moving around, but watch as people repeat their motions. Or try squinting and just seeing big shapes. The "D" shape is everywhere. Try to see it in the torso, or legs, or whole body head to toe.

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


@Tygerson Thanks so much! I'll do my best - sometimes I find it really hard even to see the gesture lines when people are doing 'normal' things; too used to seeing models and photos of people in really striking, extreme or dynamic poses. Gonna try to practice more on normal people. Thanks for the tips, I will try them out : )

A lot of people on the forum have been saying great things about Hampton, so I bought his book to study from. It felt a little frustrating at first to start another anatomy / figure drawing course from the beginning again (my third time), his process seems to be based on the stuff covered in the first part of the book though so I think it's better to go from the beginning.

Tried out his gesture style and am really loving it - it's like what Vilppu does but he explains what the curves mean - Vilppu's explanation wasn't enough for me to understand how he was placing his lines to move the eye and capture the gesture.

Anyway, started off with Proko style gestures then did Hampton style. I did the Hampton ones in coloured pencil which was really nice but they were so faint after scanning I had to mess with them to get them to show up.

Proko Style:
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Hampton Style:
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The wrapping lines really show which direction the body parts are turned in 3D space - still just gesture, no little details or muscles like I tend to end up doing but they feel more complete and interesting. I will stick with this style for a while.

Messed with a few of the good ones in photoshop to see what I could do (mainly to practice my tablet skill as it's really shaky).

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Anatomy today, started studying Hampton.

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Then some gestures + locating spine / pelvis / rib cage (top images), and practice drawing figures from imagination (lower images)

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I find it so hard on the tablet still. These look kinda tidy but I have to do kind of repeated lines again and again on top of one another to find the right line - if I draw a slow line it is so jagged and ugly. I understand it's because I'm zoomed out on a large document, the tablet doesn't have enough sensors to map it across accurately, so photoshop has to interpolate - but it's kind of annoying. I can get a smooth line if I draw a very quick, definite line but my accuracy is way off (I don't do that when I'm drawing with pen or pencil - my hand is steady enough to do nice slow, smooth curves). Not sure if there's a better way to approach it with a tablet? Maybe it's about finding the right brush; the last figure (bottom right) looks pretty clean, that was with the charcoal brush, the rest was with pressure sensitive hard round / hard round textured.

And some imaginative doodling with markers and pens:

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It really leans to the right... I never notice how much my stuff leans until I scan it into the computer.

Any tips or techniques to stop my stuff leaning so much?

Getting your perspective fundamentals down will stop the leaning, or you can double check it in a mirror before you start cleaning up your sketches. As for the lines on the tablet sometimes you have to press R on the keyboard so you can rotate the canvas to get the angle for the line you want to draw in your most comfortable position. That's why it's important to practice those straight lines and curves and elipses etc again and again and again and again and again and get that mechanical motion down it transfers directly to the tablet but it takes time as you are not looking at your hand when you use the tablet.

I can see you improving with each update and that street sketching has given you more confidence in your mark making so both those things are awesome! Keep up the hard work man!

Cheers mate, I am definitely feeling improvement day by day. Good tip about the mirror, I think I need to keep one where I draw or something, that spirited away drawing I did a few posts up was leaning so badly I had to use the distort function in photoshop to set it right - I guess that's what digital can do for you, but better not to have to rely on those tools.

Drawing exercises! I never make time for that recently... gonna do them more often, especially on tablet. When you draw on tablet though, do you draw each line quick or can you do a nice slow, smooth curve?

I think I do them moderately fast but I think that's more due to the fact that when I do linework I am very loose initially and then tighten the linework up with a few cleaner passes over it on new layers. To get nice smooth lines takes practice though and a lot of mileage, I really found doing a lot of traditional sketching in pen helped me improve my line control on the tablet.

Doing the straight lines, curves and wavy line and elipse exercises for 5-10 mins for a warm up before drawing anything can help to loosen up and at the same time you're practicing your line work :).

Hey friendzie, nice to see you again working on the gestures, i really see an improvement with every update so just dont slack off the study routine~ :p

And as for the smooth curves, i think it's best to use straight lines for the base sketch and then make a layer above with the smoother lines and as JonHop said, you can draw number 8 repeatedly on the paper before you draw or study anything else to loosen up

Keep it up ! : )

Shin's Sketchbook ▼ ▼ ▼Patreon ▼ ▼ ▼ dArt
Jyonny, check out this lecture for great warm up routine and how to improve line shape quality:
Dynamic Sketching I With Peter Han

@Jon Cheers mate, will persevere! I guess I'm going for the really smooth comic book style 'inked' lines - it's a really hard thing to do well, I won't stress too much about it and will just keep drawing.

@Shin Thanks for the encouragement, I feel pretty happy with my linework on paper, just transitioning back to tablet that's giving me problems - doing the smooth lines on a layer above, even if my hand feels super steady, if I hide the layer beneath after I've done them they are just hella jaggy (unless I am zoomed in way, way close). Like I said anyway, just keep drawing and I'll improve.

@Richie Thanks for the link man, that's a great video, I watched it a while back and doing those exercises totally killed my previous scratchy pencil style. Really improved so much from those exercises - I've been slack with them recently though, gonna make time to do them more, especially with tablet. Thanks!

Today though, drawing on the tablet felt much, much smoother and easier - at the end of the day I have the skills to do it, just need to learn this new tool. Much better than when I started and didn't have the skills OR know how to use the tool. I did Peter Han's exercises with the tablet and, although not as good as on paper, they weren't too bad. Just need to keep doing them and it'll come through I'm sure.

Spent most of my drawing time today studying perspective; not going to scan all the stuff I did since it's just exercises from the book. Mirroring the tilted, rotated plane really hurt my head though, he doesn't show you how to set up the tilted, rotated plane to begin with so I spent a long time trying to figure out just what a tilted, rotated plane even was... I got there in the end, it all clicked and I managed to do the mirroring, both with ruler and freehand. Some of them looked kinda weird because I think the planes were actually twisted, as well as being tilted and rotated - it's a hard thing to set up!

Did a drawing that let me practice all the perspective stuff so far: multiplying, dividing, mirroring, mirroring rotated / tilted, and freehand perspective drawings. Did it in ballpoint pen on A3 paper then scanned it and coloured it.

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There's some distortion and bits where my lines were off but I'm pretty happy that I could pull all the techniques together and do it all freehand.

Was tired today so just some quick gestures at the end:
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I tend to neglect my life - like not getting enough sleep - cause I want to study more and more (in the end making myself too tired so I can't study well, then get angry / depressed about it and the cycle continues!). I Read this Buddha wisdom yesterday, it really helped me, so I wanted to share it:

"There is no need to seek impatiently for greatness, fame or wealth. The Earth and Sun do not hurry, they follow their own path at their own pace. If the Earth was to accelerate and complete one rotation in three hours instead of twenty-four, we would be in big trouble! The most important thing in life, too, is to find a sure and certain path and confidently advance along it."

- Daisaku Ikeda

So, I guess he is saying that as long as we have a firm 'mission', and have the courage to move towards it, we are certain to grow and develop! Going too fast can hurt us! (you could burn out and become sick of art, or like me neglect your health and suffer). Hope this is good for someone : )

Kept going with perspective today since I was on a roll. Covered all the various curve mirroring techniques, did about 6 pages of practice and tried to use them all in a drawing. Didn't come out as clean or nice looking as yesterday's but was good practice still. Ball point pen on A3 paper, freehand.

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Then some quick gestures and a little painting.

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Working hard! Keep it up! Good Study Plan!

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