JyonnyNovice - from Novice to Master!
I think this video might help you improve your observation drawing.


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Great video, thanks for posting it! I'll practice this stuff!

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Studied digital painting today, decided to plan a set of studies to work towards a finished illustration, instead of doing studies then trying to come up with something to apply them on.

My initial sketch - it's just a doodle, I'm not concerned with the composition or scale of anything, just using it as a focus for my painting study.

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Some development:

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Some studies:

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More development

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More studies:

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Development:

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That's as far as I got today, My metal material study wasn't great and it's not looking so good as the body of the flying thing, might change it for some other kind of material.

Will work on this more tomorrow.

Hmmm, the more I look at this image the more I dislike it, might just trash it and move onto something else... will see how I feel tomorrow. The studies were still useful.

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Felt rubbish about my artwork today, really doubting myself and questioning why I'm even doing it - typical stuff when you're on a downer. In my drawing time I felt frustrated and inept but I kept going still and at the end of today when I looked back over what I'd painted I was quite happy with it all.

Candle painting, used reference for the shape and colours from my mind:

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I didn't use any levels adjustments on this (just some sharpening on the smoke), which is a first for me - usually my paintings are washed out and need a contrast boost. The candle studies from yesterday paid off.


Some thumbnails exploring some kind of scene with candles, really rushed these and it shows:

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Developed a few of them a bit further:

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Might choose one to paint next time I study painting.

Then watched a few tutorials and did some thumbnail practice, no specific theme just playing with shapes and getting used to different photoshop brushes. I slowed down a lot for these; kinda realised that although thumbnails are supposed to be quick it doesn't mean they will be quick for me - I need to practice digital painting a lot more before that happens - so I took my time on these and I think they are looking nice.

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Finally, did some gestures digitally, I'm going to try and do digital gestures everyday to get better used to controlling the stylus.

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The guy in the bottom who looks like he's wanking, wasn't in the photo! he was holding some kind of fur over his privates >.<

Another quick one - trying digital water painting brushes and technique.

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Playing around with digital watercolour, it's really fun, I'm using the tools and brushes from this link: http://www.paintingdigitally.com/

The pack isn't free but it's well worth the $15, he's put a lot of time and thought into the pack. He has a video series on youtube explaining how to use it all.

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The painting is the Castell Del Ovo in Napoli - the next stage, I guess, would be to zoom in and work in some more details but I don't have the confidence to do that yet. I like how the colours came out though.


Some digital gestures:

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4th day in a row of painting study, preparing to paint a still life of my beloved cactus.

Some leaf studies:

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The initial pencil sketch:

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Clean sketch in photoshop:

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Going to fix the table it's standing on before I paint it, make more of an overlap of the dish over the back left corner. The perspective looks a little off too but I can't figure out what's wrong (it's probably the ellipses).

Colour studies to get a palette sorted:

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I'm doing this digital watercolour style where you build up the image with many many layers set to 'multiply'. Since it's kinda hard (for me) to hit the exact hue painting like that I'm going more for the feel than the actual colour.

One more study left to do then I'll fix up the sketch and start painting.

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Great study with the cactus, it is a good idea to break down lighting to its different behaviours with the notes like that. I don't know if I missed if it was written down or anything, but as an addition, I thought it would be worth mentioning that the green/yellow glow on the leaves is a form of subsurface scattering where the cool light has passed through the leaf and rescattered as a green-yellow colour. Basically the plant version of holding your hand up to a lamp and seeing your fingers glow red due to it. (If you already knew that, sorry for pointing out the obvious.)

You're right about the table too. The pot is a bit more difficult to solve, though what does stand out is that the base of the dish looks very tall in the clean sketch compared to the photo of the set up. From the angle of the ellipse it forms, only a sliver of the side would be visible.

Nice gestures too, the linework is definitely looking stronger and cleaner. Your general digital work is improving too, just with how you are handing things more confidently. (Perhaps be mindful of using the custom brushes as a crutch - though I totally understand that they are fun to use, and I think it is worth trying to figure out what you like to work with. So by all means use them, making studies fun is always good.) Anyhow, keep practising those observational skills, and keep up the good work!

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nice studies man. If you keep analysing everything like this you will be there in no time. So long as you are trying to work out what is happening with the colours too. Not just, leaves are a yellow green with light behind them. But more WHY is it shifting to that colour range. If you can work all that stuff out, for everything in your painting. You will be the master of colour :D


Keep up the good work :)

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@Clockodile Thanks for your comment man, I feel like my stuff is improving but usually doubt myself, so getting some confirmation that things are looking better is such a reassurance and a boost! I didn't know that light shining through was called subsurface scattering, thanks for that, and you're right about the texture brushes - when I was doing some pencil sketches recently I found myself unable to think of how to do some certain textures cause I always just pull up a fancy brush and do it digitally - on the positive side I feel like I'm ready to start learning how to apply textures and details, I feel I've got enough of a grasp of the fundamentals to start pushing my drawings further now.

@Jaik Thanks so much man, it's great to know I'm on the right track and not being too OCD about my studies. That's sage advice too, I only half understand the 'why' with colour stuff, so I'm gonna make sure to investigate that stuff properly when I do my next colour studies. From James Gurney's book he says somewhere that the visible colour is a combination of all the hues (colour of object, colour of light, colour of reflected light). In my understanding then, the colour is pushed and pulled around the colour wheel, the amount of push or pull dependent on the strength and hue of the source. But yea, I'm learning more and more each time I look at this stuff.



I've been for a few days holiday and done some traveling to various cities in the last couple weeks; here's some of the stuff I've drawn.

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View from the beach in West Bay - Dorset.

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A local pub in West Bay.

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From imagination.

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Another pub, I liked the thatched roof.

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Fishing boats; I drew tons of these but these ones are the best - was a real test trying to draw this curved shape with the tilted cabin in perspective - result is so-so but my perspective drawing got a boost.

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Something from imagination - trying to re-create the thatched roof from my observation drawings.

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A pirate sack-boy; drawn under supervision from my friends 5-year-old.

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Landscape of Exeter - the rolling hills of England. I couldn't get the depth to be as spectacular as the view itself; the small hills in the top middle were really far away, I wasn't able to capture this too well - using darker value in front and lighter behind could help, also the tower on the far away hill looks the same size as the signal tower on the railway, which doesn't help the sense of scale). I was quite happy with how the tree / bush rendering came out, although I need to find a way to push the detail more to get the message across more).

Finally some gesture stuff since I've been back:

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I've identified perspective and heads & faces as my two weakest areas at the moment, so I'm going to be spending more time working on these. I've done about 10 pages of various head notes and studies and am making great progress. I'll post an update on that next time.

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Good progress you're making there, Jyonny. I like that perspective drawing you did of the inn. Keep going, man!

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Thanks so much Stardust! Cheers for the support ^^

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Awesome job keeping up the studies since the last time I checked in (been on holiday in morocco visiting my wife's family). Your understanding of perspective and form are coming along nicely. I've never tried that digital watercolour technique will have to give it a go some time.

Also I don't know if youve seen this http://crimsondaggers.com/forum/thread-4563.html about checking the force proportions box on your tablet settings, I just recently did it and drawing on the tablet is much better its a subtle change but def worth doing if you havent.

keep up the hard work man!!

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@JonHop Hope you had a great time man! Drinking mint tea in the bazaar and all that : ) You should definitely try that watercolour painting, it's really fun and you can be really expressive with it washing and blurring colours together, I only watched the first few videos so far and that's enough to get painting. Cheers for the link too, it's quite a revelation, I tried drawing round a coin without force proportions on and it was totally squished - I'm sure it will help with my digital drawing.


Here's some stuff on heads I've been doing recently:

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I've been sick the last few days so just been doodling stuff from imagination, they are just simple chibi style characters but it's a result of all the studying I've been doing recently; gesture, proportion, heads, perspective and constructive drawing. Will post it up again when I'm finished. Started on paper then scanned into photoshop.

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Practising brush pen and a little marker, and trying to better construct these chibi's - they look ok with the underdrawing but my inking lets them down.

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And this one from some practice paper, I liked how it turned out:

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hey man, I really like some of your drawings, specially the cactus and that house in perspective you did from your observation drawings :) I think you are making progress and should keep it up man, it's a tough journey but you sure can make it :D if you're trying to nail colours, you should try doing some screencaps, it might help you! and if I can give you any advice would be to take things slowly and try to focus on one thing at the time ;) enjoy your journey dude!

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Renato That means so much! Thanks man! By screencaps you mean shots from movies right? I have a folder of nice shots I've collected - I'll get to those studies eventually!


I haven't been 'studying studying' for a little, still drawing a lot everyday though. I'm posting some of my doodles and exercise / warm up pages because I feel I've made a sort of leap with my construction drawing, it's all kind of clicked into place, I feel like I can build anything out of spheres cylinders etc. It's a really fun time for me!

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I looked at some old images I made and discovered it's been 13 months since I started drawing, it felt like longer. Looking back at my progress I'm really happy with things. I've experimented with a lot of different mediums and feel like now is the time to decide what I want to focus most of my time on developing. I wanted to get good with marker and pen but the markers run out so quickly it's too expensive and inconvenient for me. Since I want to do comic books or comic book style illustrations I figured brush pen is a good thing to get good at, for colour I'm going to try watercolour, since it's cheaper than markers.

Here are some brush pen practices (I have a pocket set of watercolours and some water brushes on order but they didn't arrive yet):

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Just practising the cross hatching style really. It's really good training for drawing since you need to be so precise and have such a light touch, I'm finding my pencil & regular pen work is coming out a lot cleaner because of it.

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Heya Jyonny. Good to hear about your progression since you started. It always tends to feel as though you've been drawing longer than you actually have been, you're certainly not alone in that!

Not a bad start with the cross-hatching pieces, though I recommend that you vary the length and spacing of the lines in order to convey different values, as some of those hatched drawings look a bit flat at the moment. I'd also recommend hatching with a thinner tip, for example with fine liner pens.

Still, keep going man, I'm seeing improvement at your current rate.

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Stardust Thanks man! You're right my hatching needs work, but it's just the beginning, trying to get good control with the pen then I'll start doing the cross hatching exercises from this page: http://i.imgur.com/nJIDqO2.jpg I'm gonna try and stick to the brush pen solely, I do have some black fine liners, but a lot of comic guys on youtube and such say they do everything with a brush (brush and ink not a brush pen but it's got to be near enough the same) - it's a long road to mastery but I'm going to persevere! Thanks for the pointer too, hatching needs to be organised but not a rigid pattern or it just looks like fabric (like mine does!) and doesn't do the job of conveying the form.


Had a bit more time today so a couple more quick brush pen sketches:

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If you really want to get better at hatching Id say study the techniques of some of the masters at hatching. If you type in "Frank Frazetta inks" in google image you can see some of the best ink drawings ever imo. Pay special attention to how he controls the thickness of each mark, where he decides to have the pointy end versus the thick end and the way he uses hatching not only to convey form but to show movement and direct the viewers eye.

Also I'm not a big comic book guy but I've noticed you hardly see a lot of cross hatching. I think its very hard to make cross hatching look good which is why you mostly see one directional regular hatching. Like on that last mech drawing instead of using spaced out cross hatches to show a middle tone, try using closer spaced hair thin single hatches. Of course Im no expert so take that bit with a grain of salt.

One more thing though, check out the youtube channel of that guy I linked you at the top of the page. He focuses primarily on traditional ink drawing tutorials.

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Hey there, Jyonny! You're improving pretty quickly from what I've seen! That's seriously awesome.

Now, I'm not sure if anyone has already mentioned these things already (or if you've already gone over this!), but I'm gon' point out a few thangs to keep in mind when it comes to the figure. (I take it that you've been studying a bit of Michael Hampton?) Regarding the distribution of weight, often times drawing a plumb-line from the middle of the head (or navel!) down to the ground plane will provide you with where the weight is focused. If it's a standard standing pose, it'll either fall somewhere in between the feet or on either one of them. If the pose has a dramatic lean (in the case of someone falling over), the reason why they're off balance is because their weight is off-center.

Of course there are exceptions to general rules, and they're meant to be broken! Because breaking is fun. :)

Some of that may have been a bit redundant, as I have a habit of over-explaining things. Anywho, awesome stuff and keep up the momentum! You'll look back in a few months and say, "hot diggity damn!"

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