Ricardo´s Art Journey
@Fedo- Agre totally. The pose looked really stiff and i think still is, yet has some gravity. Tried to push her pose a bit downwards and more grounded on the rock.
Worked a bit on her expression to act a bit more concerned.

Made a quick experiment to convert her to a steampunk climber with some vertical iron beams on the BG but it didn´t work.
Still, i´m not satisfied with the piece and still not finished.
I´m intenting to abandon that piece if the next step does not solve it´s main issues. I´ll give it another shot.

@Chub- I agree and used part of your tip on the current pose. Still not sure if the pose i´ve chosen works.
My main concern is that the pose needs to be harmonious with the vertical composition. The thing that drove me to start the piece was the simple vertical composition yet if the pose does not work, the piece will not work.
That nitpick makes perfect sense, even though all those elements were in shadow they should read indepentently as you´ve said. Thanks!!

Once again, gone to the shelve and i´m re-working more two concepts, those two i need to say, i´m a bit more satisfied with in the current stage.
Tried to apply some lesseon i´ve learned by studying in grayscale concept art by Igor Sid in my provocateur piece. ( yeah, the right shoulder needs to be wider haha)

One the second one, the Kalari warrior i was quite suprised. Initially i didn´t give two cents about the piece but after re-working a bit i´m starting slowly to enjoy it.

alot of these recent ones like the proportions are about right but the poses feel very still, the lines of the legs on the new claw girl, kinda like voldos katars. a great way to check if the pose is stiff is to literally take it yourself, like one leg is tippy toed one is straight on a diagonal which, you know could work its not a bad plan, just something aboutthe rest of the body isnt really going with it.

Like she has really dynamic legs, twisting hold weight radically, but the rest of her is straight up and down and her face is somber. Her hands and arms are goofy, like im imagining the arm on the right side of the image without clothing and its disturbingly long, and you got lazy with the fists and they are both dead on views instead of turning with perspective.

The dude with the gun his face is good, but his stance is strange like idk how his feet are supposed to be on the floor, the foot to the left of the image is higher on the ground plane as if the ground is rising, i did a similar pose and yes theres some goofs in mine,


But for your guy the torso is straight on, bend it, make sure everything wherever possible is moving in perspective and you arent drawing things flat as if its straight on. his face and hand are rendered nice, but the rest isnt rendered to any light souce kinda like flat cut and paste shapes. cast some shadows, think about how these forms are relating to one another; first thing i find in a drawing are the cast shadows after the gesture, it helps loads

70+Page Koala Sketchbook: http://crimsondaggers.com/forum/thread-3465.html SB

Paintover thread, submit for crits! http://crimsondaggers.com/forum/thread-7879.html
[color=rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.882)]e owl sat on an oak. The more he saw, the less he spoke.[/color]
Your study of Igor sid are great, I definitly recognize the style . I though it was your own concept at first and I was amazed.

I think you didn't apply it in your last works. His value range for skin for example is very limited, it almost a flat grey tone with some gradient light. All his light feel like its cloudy day, very flat value with gradient throughout the body (example, dark arm to light torso, dark face to light forehead) while the skin in your concept is more like dark to light in every part. The man with the gun has too much hard edge for this style, which makes him more cartoony but he has some personality and charism which is great !
I like the climber a lot, she looks a bit sad though, wonder why. makes an interesting story. By the way, I don't know if it would work in your picture but when you climb you often keep your pelvis close to the wall, its alleviate the burden on arm and shoulders.
The last girl you did has a value range that is closer to sid. I feel her pose is a bit odd though.

Keep up the good work!
@Fedo Yeah, Voldo catars are an inspiration for the Katari concept. To be honest the legs pose was intentional, a mix between a fighting stance and a dancer´s pose, static, like in a fighting game stance. Not sure if it was a bullseye or not but the intent was preciselly the one you´ve mentined; a semi static danceish fighting stance that may be even a bit wired haha. ( dynamic legs, static toso and arms)
I agree, the right arm is quite long, going to reduce it a little bit. Also, rework the hands, gotta nail those hands.

Yeah, the provocateur duelist guy has quite strange ankles. I agree, bellow the knees the pose does not make sense.Yes, the values are still not matching. Going to study how the light might hit/ cast shadows to provide a more accurate volume.

Once again man, thank you for the awesome and honest feedback!

@Baldgate Haha thanks. I hope in a near future my original concepts may be more close to Igor Sid awesom work.
Agree. I need to revisit the value scale on the guy piece. To be honest in his particular piece i will probably leave a hard ege tone on the piece, to contrast a bit with my other concepts, usually i tent to soften too much but i will give a shot regarding softening the edges.
There are already on the way several character concepts that avoid too much hard edges haha.
If her pose is odd, that´s the intent haha, be a quite voldo-ish character but feminine.

Finally managed to give another shot to the "parkour lady", now probably more like prostetic arm runaway piece.
I sense that the anatomy is not there yet on the piece, the piece has an overall tone that i like but i think the piece has suit it´s purpose, to be a sketch, train value, composition and a bit of rendering with a brush i´m starting to admire haha.
I will wrap up that piece

Gonna work harder of the next concepts!

PS: Also a Sonic Tails fanart concept i´m finishing for a deathline challenge among friends ( not yet concluded)

You seem to be working a lot on values right now and I can kind of tell things aren't really clicking into place. On a lot of the color and value studies on prior pages seem to be focused on gradients, modelling and copying over some general values rather than trying to organise your values in a manner where you can more easily understand them. At times this isn't too costly when you're working from reference (although things would be better if things were better organised) but you end up really paying for it in your imaginative work where you have to fall back on your understanding of light and values. The things you seem to be struggling with are very common and that makes it much easier to address.

One of the primary issues you're running into when it comes to values is that you overestimate small differences and underestimate large differences. So when you're trying to model the form with halftones, you overestimate the how different each halftone is from the one next to it. This can often make the skin feel dirty or metallic and it really weakens the overall impression. On the other hand, the difference between light and shadow is often underestimated, your lights are too dark and your shadows are too light. This is further weakens the light impression combined with how much you overestimate the halftones. So instead of having a clear light shape and shadow shape, the image devolves into a mist of halftones.

It's a good idea to develop a way to orient yourself within a value range. The traditional way to do this is by grouping values together and focusing on getting the big impression established between these groups before subdividing them into smaller sections. In the real world, values group themselves much more than you maybe think. We all have a natural tendency to look at details and small variations in the halftones on a surface but our brain is poorly wired to put that into perspective with the big differences of the impression. So artists for as long as art has existed have looked at ways of overcoming this tendency.

This kind of big value grouping is part of what you want to study because it's that big impression that is the core of your painting, it's what makes stuff look like stuff. So try to squint down and break every local color/value into two values forming the light shape and shadow shape with a well studied edge between them varying from sharp to soft depending on the type of light and form. But really try to keep things flat, try to communicate more with the transition edge between these two values rather than breaking it up with further half-tones. When squinting you'll probably notice that most shadows tend to merge into one and the same value and it's a great opportunity to group them together to strengthen the core impression.

If you keep your values well grouped and flat, changing them becomes very easy because you just have to change the color of one shape rather than trying to figure out how to change a complicated gradient. The even flatness makes the information more solid and tangible, like how straight lines are more tangible than complicated curves, it lets you work with them in a much more analytical manner.

I've moistly addressed direct light but you may wonder what things are like under ambient light. It's basically the same thing but instead of two values, you're mostly just comparing local values, so every object basically just gets one value that contrasts with whatever is behind/next to it. Try and keep away from gradients and communicate the form with the contour information, with its drawing and edge.

Once technique I remember Krøyer talking about in some of his letters is basically value triangulation. This is when you've establish a two values on either end of the spectrum, often your lightest light and darkest dark (but this can also be subdivided into smaller areas of value), and you compare it with a third value and compare the contrast between both sides of the spectrum to see if one needs to move that value closer to the light or further to the dark. So if your lightest light is value A, and your darkest dark is value B, your new tone is value C. You look at your subject, find value C and first compare the contrast between A and C, then compare the contrast between B and C. You then do the same thing to the the values on your painting and if the contrast difference is the same between A and C, as well as B and C, then the new value is probably correct. If however it's contrasting too much with one and too little with the other, you then adjust the value to fit correctly between the two.

This system allows you to work with your values in a fairly easy manner while remaining completely relative to your subject, meaning that you don't have to work in 1:1 values, but rather you're expressing the contrast range instead of the literal each object is. This is very useful when working from life because you can't always paint the value of the lightest light or darkest dark, so you have to compress things and work in higher or lower key. I use this system a lot and it was a little awkward at first but you quickly get into it and it really helps.

If you post a study, consider including the reference and explain how you tried to study the values, it makes it much easier to talk about it. Value studies don't need to be perfect drawings so don't put so much pressure on that quality when making them, and critiques addressing the drawing of a study that is about the big impression of values can probably be ignored. Having more information on what you're doing, what you're trying to learn and what you're struggling with will really help anyone interested in giving you feedback. I know feedback on the internet generally sucks but maybe we can change that.

But regardless of any advice on particular methods and techniques, remember that broadly realist art has a history spanning hundreds of years and there are a lot of ways very different artists have solved the same problems they run into. So feel free to think for yourself if something doesn't resonate with you.

Discord - JetJaguar#8954
Tristan Berndt - Thank you very much for your feedback and advice. Sorry about the late reply.

A lot of things happening still, pushing hard as ever to work on my artskills.
This years Inktober was very productive and i´ve tried to tackle several stylistic approaches.
Also, i´m working on a small project for my portfolio about a new Pokemon region, taking more time than i expected.

Tails look like he's ready for the new Sonic movie. [Image: 960x0.jpg]

If you are reading this, I most likely just gave you a crappy crit! What I'm basically trying to say is, don't give up!  
IG: @thatpuddinhead
@John- Haha thanks! It would be fun to see Tails and Knuckes in the movie.

Went to Japan this year and took inspiration on the Kansai prefecture for this small project based on Pokemon, Fakemon; Sakura & Asagao versions. The works will be simply character concepts and explorations to put on my Portfolio.

The artistic style is quite off my confort zone, influenced by the work of Ken Sugimori.

Daiki だいき and fire starter, Coalbit, Maho まほ and grass starter, Peany and Rival - Katsurou かつろう and water starter, Husaqua.
All these three pokemon (fakemon) designs are redesigns of my previous designs done a few years ago, all the others are completely original.

Also, a few doodles about people i´ve encoutered.


Great stuff man! You got a great sense for values. 

One thing I noticed about the lineart stuff is that you had some tangents in there. Try to avoid theese at ALL COST! They remove a lot of the depth in your drawings.

May I also suggest some more line weight? Lines that come in front should be thicker then the one in the back (this may be a stylistic choice from your side tho, in that case, feel free to ignore this crit  Stupid)

hey ricky, i know this isnt an in depth paintover but you really need to vary your line weight as all of them right now are the same width and it adds this really juvenille appearance to your work. Just adding like a micro cast shadow under a hair strand can add a lot of depth. Also think about lines in shadow, things in shadow will have less definition, so maybe leave off that line. 

You arent making these characters to be animated, so you dont have to strip back the line weight that much for the sake of simplicity; Id reccomend embellishing the details and lines because often when you look at Pokemon or DBZ stuff youre going to see a stripped back style for the sake of making animation simpler.

Attached Files Image(s)

70+Page Koala Sketchbook: http://crimsondaggers.com/forum/thread-3465.html SB

Paintover thread, submit for crits! http://crimsondaggers.com/forum/thread-7879.html
[color=rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.882)]e owl sat on an oak. The more he saw, the less he spoke.[/color]
@Zorrentos - Thanks for the tip mate! Tried to avoid the tangents and increase the overlaping sense. Definitively learned something out of this small project that became bigger than i expected.

@ Fedodika - Thanks for the input Fedodika, always useful!! Went back on those three pieces and re-worked the line. In a sense i´ve wanted to give that flat, slightly 3dísh vibe to the character designs ( like here; https://www.creativeuncut.com/art_pokemo...vee_a.html )
yet with a personal touch.

Now, finally managed to finish this designs haha. In the respective order, the two starters and the rival character, then the 8 gym leaders, then the 4 elite four trainers and the champion.

If i have the time i still want to crack some story pieces for this Pokemon (fakemon) Sakura & Asagao project.
It´s a perfect oportunity to train narrative drawing, composition, environments and mood colouring like Pascal Campion.

Also, a few unfinished character design pieces i´ve droped from last year, and off course, a caricature commission.



Gym Leaders


Elite 4


Pokedex (fakedex)









hey rick, wow lots of work here; indeed you have a very vivid imagination and theres no denying that!

So, youve definitely gotten better at making cool looking characters, if you compare these to the stuff you did idk how long ago, the old fighting games you did, theres a (helluva) lot more gesture, narrative, personality, style, charisma, absolutely. Great work on improving that, and i feel youre enjoying doing these alot, which is definitely something youd need to do this volume of work.

My issue is you're making the same mistakes over and over with technical things that hold back your characters from being as cool as they could be. I dont really have any criticisms of your fakemon, hell if they were drawn with better execution, you could tell me one of them was a real pokemon and i wouldnt know otherwise.

You do all these pokemon things, and what are the studies? these random black and white paintings? that have nothing to do with pokemon? why not take some of that brand's best work, and do a carbon copy of it, try to nail the lineweight (emphasis on lineweight) and try to work that into your characters, i think thatd help alot more than these going through the motions grayscale paintings, where you again make the same old mistakes over and over.

Im being tough on you because i believe in you ricardo

Your anatomy and shape design is in the ballpark, but its still just ugly, like there is a design for pokemon, right? You have to design the body the same way, the individual limbs that fit together, they have to look cool too, thats what seperates the pros.


Like this chick^ stomach? ugly, boots? ugly, no hands to be found, her face is not great, skirt, ugly, you know, why do something like this? to prove you have like a 10 minute wortha googling understanding of a "barbarian?" How is this an interesting concept?

Lets take a look at leyendecker,

Beautiful hands
Beautiful fabric
Beautiful contour, collar shape, hair shape, silhouette

all those things he put thought into. Its just hands... if you wanna just draw hands to fill in a gap. Its a beautiful hand, if you want something to write home about. Look at how chubbycat broke down his work in her sketchbook and how lovely her linework got, even in a small time frame.

Right now, you CANT draw beautiful feet, hands, legs, boots, clothing, faces, bodies. Everything is just a basic lay in of a proportion, which you are getting better at, dont get me wrong.


Look at that foot^ you proud of that? Looks like a beat up corn dog. and on the other foot you did one toe but gave up on the rest lol

Look at walents foot

mouth watering

and the creative uncut thing, their gestures are better, their lines are better, but this artwork isnt that great, or worth imitating. 

you know, this person cant draw a hand holding a flat object correctly; i mean i did

its kinda cool, but who stands like that?

I mean i remember some of these drawings, they meant a lot to me as a kid, but theyre not great... like 6/10 at best.

People notice all these little things dude, if i show my friends a painting of a good face with a bad hand, they notice it... I notice every bad foot, hand, eyeball, stomach, everything. Study design, the design of anatomy, and your characters will soar. I hate that in art, the ideas themselves dont go far without great execution, but its true. you have cool ideas, you need to work on your execution. Who has great design? Leyendecker, jeff watt's sketches, micheal hampton, bridgeman, charles dana gibson, people who dedicate their lives to drawing handsome features, usually in the figure drawing world. those are some old school ones. anyone whos a character designer for a big company will have great shape design, like stephen silver or shane glines, or artgerm, the list goes on... 

Love you

70+Page Koala Sketchbook: http://crimsondaggers.com/forum/thread-3465.html SB

Paintover thread, submit for crits! http://crimsondaggers.com/forum/thread-7879.html
[color=rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.882)]e owl sat on an oak. The more he saw, the less he spoke.[/color]
Hey Rick I like how you're doing loads of invention and design. Something that I myself find a real challenge so I give you applause for getting on with it.

You got any tips for invention and design? Just loading as much as you can into your visual library? Maybe having your own project like your fakemon helps?

Keep it going dude!

“Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.” -- H. Jackson Brown Jr.

CD Sketchbook

I think you'd benefit a lot from paying attention to the larger values rather than trying to dig out all the half-tone transitions you can see. It's very easy for your attention to go to the details and the half-tones, but if the big values aren't solid, that rendering is going to harm both the light and overall sense of form. I think all your value studies suffer from this, where the big values are muddied by trying to cram in as many half-tones as you can, even when there isn't room for it.

When something focuses on the large light and form instead of details, it preserves a sense of dignity that I think a lot of people respond positively to. This is a significant difference between traditional realism and photo realism. Traditional realism seeks to represent those fundamentals whereas photorealism often seeks to only copy the surface details that cameras are good at capturing. I'd make the value judgement that the former is more interesting and skillful than the latter and if you're interested in working out of your head to some degree, the former is very important. 

Working from life is a good way to study this because cameras are fairly bad at capturing the broad values of what we see. Squinting down often helps organize the values you see, removing details and limiting the light hitting your retina. That being said, it's not always convenient to work from life so if you have to rely on photos, be very careful in selecting the reference because if it doesn't represent the values of life well, it's much harder to learn something valuable from them. Even with photos, try squinting down when looking at them so you can focus on the important stuff.

When working, painting with large brushes will also help keep you from noodling away at small details and instead focusing representing the big impression. It is almost cliche but if you can use big brushes well, you'll save yourself a lot of pain and frustration, even if it can feel awkward at first. 

Example of a more ordered set of values on this monster hunter looking lady.

Discord - JetJaguar#8954
@Fedodika Thanks man. That´s though love and i appreciate that haha, that´s how improvements are made.
Followed some advice and drawn every single figure from Bridgeman to make sure i go back to the foundations again.
To be honest i often leave feet and hands to the end of the painting, i didn´t like to paint it as the other parts but i understood that they´re as important as a face. That´s why sometimes when i´m done with a sketch/ concept the hands and feet are left more incomplete than other parts.

@Artloader Thanks man! I would say to keep building your visual library, studying the artists and character concepts you really like and when you come with a concept imagine a tangible back story for the character, also if it is like a big cast of characters, it works to create recogniseable shapes for each one, depending on the project have each one having a specific pallet of colour.
Fighting games for example are a big source of very good character designs because a game will rest on how good the characters are. And even though bad designs can be hidden in games with tons of characters, in fighting games it´s really difficult to hide bad designs.

Hope it helps!

@Tristan Whoa, thanks a lot man. That overpainting was very helpful. I love great contrast in value and that overpainting made my day.
Regarding painting from life it is what the course i´m taking is all about, so hopefuly i´m bettering in that area.

Loads of anatomy studies, some quick digital paintings to warm up and the two first week assignments for the course Painting with Light and Color with Tonko House and Cody Gramstad, i´m already learning a ton, fantastic course.




Alot of your forms, even showing up in these bridgeman studies are just super round and ballooney. Hogarthe, the anatomy guy gets a lot of flack for this in his shape designs, even as masterful as he is. I used to draw the ballooney shapes myself (still trying to unlearn that) and am trying to go for more simplified shapes that are more often than not angular.

I like where this girl is going

See the angular shapes coming in, her legs and face are appealing and the designs starting to feel just overall cool!

Your paintings are good, but why are you doing them? Where are you applying these observations? Its better to IMO, do an imagination piece, push it as far as you can without reference then use the studies to learn about where youre slacking up at. It seems like youre just doing these still lives and portraits to have something to show since theyre about as good as a year or two ago... Where are you improving?

why not, have like a goal when you do the study... for instance like, pushing a study further than you ever have to realism. But i dont even know why youd do that since your style isnt a painted realism style. I think youd learn quicker if you studied other people of a similar style. I mean its good to do these, but you wanna draw cartoons right? Why not draw more cartoons?

I could in theory wanna draw cartoons and spend all my time studying like early 1900's hyper real still life paintings, but i just dont think its the right way to go about it efficiently.

So yea, big questions for your next painted studies. "Why am i doing this?" "Will this influence my work in any way?" "Am i just going through the motions to feel like im being productive?"

"What do cell shaded cartoons need to look good?"
(anatomy, line weight, gesture, design, style.)
(probably not *as much* realistic texture, chiaroscuro like values, and advanced still life techniques)

Not that those things are useless! Im more suggesting a more focused route to your goal.

"Is drawing realistic portraits and still lives going to make my cartoons more appealing? Even if i dont use the painting knowledge im gaining from them?"

If you wanna get a lot of jobs, focus on one thing, cartoons since thats your thing; copy the crap outta cartoon artists you like then do your own cartoon, and just focus on that, ditch the painting stuff until you need it. Put down the digital painting for as looong as you can. Thats my take

70+Page Koala Sketchbook: http://crimsondaggers.com/forum/thread-3465.html SB

Paintover thread, submit for crits! http://crimsondaggers.com/forum/thread-7879.html
[color=rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.882)]e owl sat on an oak. The more he saw, the less he spoke.[/color]

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