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Goal: go from crappy to awesome artist in 10 years. [itt he's pretty much there now]

Discussion in 'Smeargle's Studio' started by Sarenji, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. Sarenji

    Sarenji leaf-faced
    is a Battle Server Admin Alumnusis a Programmer Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Researcher Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus

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    In sum: I am a horrible artist. But I've made a goal to become a great one.

    I started out doing 30-minute speed sketches a day, but that turned out to be non-sustainable (I have a full-time job). But, hopefully, I'll continue drawing for an average of an hour a day for the next couple months, maybe years.

    This thread is also a little kick so I don't stop drawing until it becomes habit.

    I took inspiration from a dude who drew every day for ten years. Look at the first page. Then the last few pages. It's pretty rad. If he can do it, I sure as hell can too.

    My eventual goal is to become better than yosinori. Hey, when you can dream, dream big.

    Requests are welcome. Critique is better, because I'm basically doing deliberate practice without a teacher. (If you wanna teach me, contact me!)

    I don't have a scanner so I can't show you any of my pencilwork. Sorry!



    DAY 1 — Jan. 23, 2012

    Reflections: I need work on stroke and consistent lines. All my lines look very shaky. I need to improve in pretty much everything.

    PKGaming requested Luffy + Breloom. The hand is the worst part. 30 min. (open)
    [​IMG]


    Matthew/Genny requested a beach with waves and non-literal crap. 30 min. (open)
    [​IMG]


    DAY 2 — Jan. 24, 2012

    Reflections: Got a little better with lines, I guess. I spend way too much time getting lines right. Hopefully it gets easier as you go on?

    BlueKirby requested... well (open)
    [​IMG]


    My friend wanted me to draw her. I told her I'm really bad at humans (open)
    [​IMG]


    DAY 3 — Jan. 25, 2012

    Reflections: I like being sketchy but there's something missing and I can't put my finger on it. Also, I have no idea how to make rocky textures/forest backgrounds. Also, I really need to practice hands.

    Matthew requested a waterfall over a cliff. I put in a random flower monster. 30 min. (open)
    [​IMG]


    My first try coloring. I tried to draw Zoro from One Piece (open)
    [​IMG]


    DAY 4-5 — Jan. 26-27, 2012

    Reflections: Oops. Come home from work less tired or take a nap!

    DAY 6 — Jan. 28, 2012

    Reflections: I need to practice more realistic women. Overall I'm happy with how I've improved, but there's definitely a long way to go. The lines still look sloppy and I can't put my finger on what looks wrong with my hand. Possibly because my finger is attached to my hand.

    My first real hand practice. ~20 min. (open)
    [​IMG]


    I put my hand on the monitor and traced it. Hopefully this is not cheating. ~20 min. (open)
    [​IMG]


    Some random girl. I felt like trying out a humanoid and it didn't turn out so bad except the fact she is cartoony. ~10 min. (open)
    [​IMG]


    I lifted my own hand in front of me for reference. ~20 min. (open)
    [​IMG]


    Compared to Zoro (open)
    [​IMG]


    DAY 7

    Reflections: A different brush can really hide my flaws in drawing, which could also be a bad thing.

    I need to keep proportion better. Anything I can do to help with that?

    I tried sketching then sketching again over that - it takes longer obviously but I think it's helped.

    (Feminine) Mienshao (Ritter)

    In general I tried making a new pose with lots of curves.

    sketches of mienshao (open)
    [​IMG]


    last sketch of mienshao. because umbrella = girl. this was supposed to take 30 secs (open)
    [​IMG]


    black sketch overlaid on sketch (open)
    [​IMG]


    black sketch; line thickness definitely needs work. 30 min (open)
    [​IMG]


    More hand studies/anatomy

    no idea how long this took (open)
    [​IMG]


    Rorona Zoro + Gallade (PKGaming)

    1 hour I think? Zoro's face needs to be rounder.

    anyone who calls zoro 'zolo' will be sliced in half (open)
    [​IMG]


    both sketches (open)
    [​IMG]


    black sketch (open)
    [​IMG]



    DAY I'M TOO LAZY TO FIGURE OUT THE DAYS ANYMORE

    huge image; bunch of 60sec-sketch figures (open)
    [​IMG]


    another batch. kinda hard to make room!! (open)
    [​IMG]


    first bottle: trying to make straight lines only; second: using curves; third: after trying out the above link and actually speed-sketching. I guess that's why it took so much less time! (open)
    [​IMG]


    pixelmator (open)
    [​IMG]


    My hand is pretty tired from all this sketching. I tried one of those 1 hour long "lessons" in wick's link which turned out just to be several 30-second figures then 1-minute then 5/10/30. You can pretty much tell which is which.

    Show Hide
    [​IMG]

    Show Hide
    [​IMG]


    some random 1 min figure practice the previous day (open)
    [​IMG]


    bad latias (open)
    [​IMG]


    nami from one piece with an arm condition. this is me sketching the same picture from prem's avatar. one thing i learned about this is that manga women have incredibly exaggerated features! i kept drawing this 'wrong' and redrawing it before realizing i was drawing it 'right'. (open)
    [​IMG]


    [hide='Cute' Purugly. Cat/animal anatomy is something to work on! (For Ritter)][​IMG][/hide]

    Spike from Buffy. Looking at this picture gives me embarrassed laughter because of how awkward it is. But it's okay (open)
    [​IMG]


    Meowth doing what Meowth does best. Used Photoshop (open)
    [​IMG]


    Probably NSFW. Another one of those hour-long lessons. 30 sec sketches (open)
    [​IMG]


    30s-1m drawings (open)
    [​IMG]

    longer ones. yeah i know i screw up proportions a lot :( i'm proud of the last one though (open)
    [​IMG]


    retarded zuckerberg. it's okay to laugh. i did. (open)
    [​IMG]

    my friend. oof. (open)
    [​IMG]


    duskull. my first okay coloring - but i dunno how to get smoother colors. tips? it actually looks okay if you zoom out like 50% (open)
    [​IMG]

    sketch for above (open)
    [​IMG]

    gulpin + girl. and no. the gulpin is not sucking on the girl's boob. also the girl's face is manly. how do i make it more feminine? somehow the sketch was better than the lineart. no references for this one though! (open)
    [​IMG]

    colored gulpin (open)
    [​IMG]

    blocky persian (open)
    [​IMG]


    eyes (open)
    [​IMG]


    Indy. (open)
    [​IMG]

    Harrison Ford. (open)
    [​IMG]

    Michelle Trachtenberg. Adjusted this for a while to get the proportions right (open)

    Buffy. I got the vertical proportions fairly correct but totally forgot to do the horizontal (open)
    [​IMG]

    Harrison Ford again. (open)
    [​IMG]


    DAY 27

    Took me a few tries before realizing I should try sketching the shapes rather than the outline the entire body made. I'm gonna say that the first one is an alien and the second one is a shrunken head. (open)
    [​IMG]

    This was supposed to be Sylar. Instead (open)
    [​IMG]

    This was supposed to be Marilyn Monroe. Instead (open)
    [​IMG]

    New Purugly for Ritter. I wanted to give it another chance. The walking posture is wrong though. (open)
    [​IMG]

    Numel spewing fire for Furosuto. I dunno (open)
    [​IMG]

    sketch of a girl reading a book in a library. i'm proud of doing this without references. 20 min (open)
    [​IMG]

    cleaned up sketch (open)
    [​IMG]


    DAY WHATEVERS

    eevee for natgeo (+ blue (open)
    [​IMG]

    wip for above (i actually like the eyes/face better here...)
    this was supposed to be a girl. i forget who. ask Matthew. (open)
    [​IMG]

    my friend's birthday was one day before mine (open)
    [​IMG]

    I was trying to draw Kaylee from Firefly (open)
    [​IMG]

    Christina Hendricks as requested by PKGaming. She already looks sort of inhuman so it kinda works. (open)
    [​IMG]

    Christina Hendricks for PKGaming again. I still can't believe those breasts are real. I couldn't get the face right (open)
    [​IMG]

    some fat mobster bro in made-up environment (Dune?). i need straighter lines. i should spend a few minutes each day doing this. (open)
    [​IMG]

    lips. i tried to get faster at drawing them as i went. (open)
    [​IMG]

    noses (open)
    [​IMG]

    sketch. By far the most time went into getting her face right. (and the gun (open)
    [​IMG]

    lineart. still thinking about how to improve line-arting. something to try is using a same-width brush then tapering maybe? (open)
    [​IMG]

    color attempt #1. guhhh. (open)
    [​IMG]

    color attempt #2. slightly better? (open)
    [​IMG]

    extremely quick calvin klein ad sketch (open)
    [​IMG]

    colored. seems like the head is as hard to color as it is to sketch (open)
    [​IMG]

    i was drawing up some ideas for the vanillite makeover but i don't have time to finish x_x (open)
    [​IMG]


    INTERVAL OF TIME AS I FRANTICALLY LOOKED FOR A PLACE TO LIVE

    miscellaneous stuff. i got a little rusty and my faces look awful! (day ~61) (open)
    [​IMG]

    attempt at a lamp + architecture (open)
    [​IMG]

    at first this guy's face looked too young. now he looks like a clown (open)
    [​IMG]

    lucario (open)
    [​IMG]

    Jade from Homestuck. I didn't have a great eraser so I accidentally gave her a mustache and also she looks like a guy. (open)
    [​IMG]

    Dave from Homestuck. (open)
    [​IMG]

    a swimmer. i've been finding lots of different (open)
    [​IMG]

    some dude (open)
    [​IMG]

    my first time smudging. her face is actually slimmer than this. (open)
    [​IMG]

    skyla with freakishly long arms. i thought this was anatomically correct up until i looked down at my own arms and then started laughing my head off. (open)
    [​IMG]

    old woman. this is the best out of the bunch. (open)
    [​IMG]

    john from homestuck. i began with his neck and then realized his head would be cut off (open)
    [​IMG]

    lucy from fairy tail. prem and i used the same ref (open)
    [​IMG]

    rose from homestuck. (open)
    [​IMG]

    running girl. as usual (open)
    [​IMG]

    instead of poses like i originally said i was going to do (open)
    [​IMG]

    erza from fairy tail. this took me over an hour to draw. (open)
    [​IMG]

    matthew wanted a waterfall again. this is supposed to parallel the waterfall i dd way in the beginning of this thread. (open)
    [​IMG]

    more jade from homestuck. i tried some harder outlines and some symmetry (open)
    [​IMG]

    more looooomis (open)
    [​IMG]

    girl. 2hrs :/ hardest part was her feet+proportions (open)
    [​IMG]

    sollux for pkgaming. he has differently colored eyes. (open)
    [​IMG]

    clint eastwood. tried to do this really fast (open)
    [​IMG]


    My game!
  2. the dead mans oddysey

    the dead mans oddysey

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    These are actually quite good after you drew Zolo, but tracing you hand is a bit of a cheat. Putting your hand in front of you for refence isn't.

    You are improving quickly, too quickly, 9.89 years too quickly...
  3. Omicron

    Omicron
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    Excellent goal. I see improvement already! :)
  4. RitterCat

    RitterCat
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    I love the premise of this thread, and let's hope it goes as well as the guy in the link (fuck he is amazing)
    I can see improvement already since the early stuff, good luck for this thread!
    I think the strategy you have of imitating from real life will pay off. It gives you an idea of scale, proportion, anatomy etc. This thread also helps with lots of cool tutorials
    So for requests, I'll give you a few to keep you occupied. A cute Purugly, a badass Simisage and a feminine Mienshao
  5. sirndpt

    sirndpt
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    oh my goodness, thank you so much for that link - I just read it from beginning to end, and it was absolutely unbelievable. sorry that I don't have much constructive criticism to give, but just wanted to say that I might be taking this idea on board too, and I'd love to see where you end up!
  6. Mekkah

    Mekkah
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    I remember hands being very annoying to draw, and looking at my own hand a lot when doing it. Definitely the way to go. This is why cartoons/comics often only use 3 fingers and a thumb. If this is going to be your style you may want to try that, it helps a lot!
  7. Matthew

    Matthew I love weather; Sun for days
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    I'm actually quite in love with the ocean scene that you drew at my request. The reason I suggested these is for the feel of motion you have to develop when drawing them. The ocean isn't still and neither is a waterfall, but capturing how motion should look, and look well, is a difficult but rewarding skill to achieve. While I think the waterfall picture could use some work it isn't bad for the time put into it and it being your third day of drawings.

    Like I said though, the ocean drawing is quite excellent.
  8. Nastyjungle

    Nastyjungle fat and sassy
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    Thank god there are still people who exist that aren't convinced drawing is a skill you're born with when it isn't. It's true that some people have a "natural talent" or a natural drive to do art, but technical ability and correctness are basically 100% learned, so if you truly push yourself to get better each day then in ten years you will look back and be amazed at how far you've come. Anyways this is a fantastic goal and if you actually keep up with it and stick to it I guarantee your art will come out the better for it.

    My first advice to you would be: study, study, study. And by study I mean study the things around you and draw them. Discard the idea of a "natural style". You do not develop a style and then learn to draw. You learn to draw then develop a style. I'm not saying that you shouldn't draw cartoons ever, because that would be awful of me, but your main focus should be on real life, especially the human form. Understanding the human form like the back of your hand will give you a gateway into drawing, and the nice thing is that references are all around you. Draw the people that you see. Draw people from reference. Study the musculature in anatomy books and completely grasp its form. Andrew Loomis is one of the greatest things you can study starting out. His books are online or able to be downloaded for free. It is very imperative for a person to learn real anatomy before attempting to do serious cartoon work. Part of cartooning is understanding the form and distorting it in a way that it is a parody of the original object but still recognizable. A cartoonist who doesn't understand anatomy is easily identifiable.

    In addition to doing studies of the human body, don't forget to draw other creatures or still life as well. Looking at something and being able to draw to perfection is the goal that every artist should strive for. Familiarize yourself with common anatomy types such as canine, feline, equine, aves, reptile, and fish and eventually you will have a good enough understanding of animal anatomy that no animal is difficult to draw. For still life, pick interesting objects from around your house and just draw them. Learn the contours and shapes and colors of the world around you and apply it to your art.

    Secondly, learn about color, hues, and shadows and how to draw them. Just like studying how to do realism, learn color theory. Learn what colors go well together, and how hues, saturation, and intensity of light plays into your picture. Play around with different swatches and understand how using a certain colors can make a picture more interesting to look at.

    Try to abandon cross-hatching for now. It is easy for a beginner to do, but is generally a master's technique to actually do correctly (and by correctly I mean actually capturing the values of an object realistically). Because that's what shading is all about, learning to capture values. Relying totally on the pen tool will kill you starting out. Use some brushes that have natural smoothing (this is a good all purpose brush pack, go explore others too, though) and study some tutorials on light and getting a good shade.

    Another problem I see immediately (as you already pointed out yourself) is that your lines are hairy and lack confidence. You also appear to be drawing from your wrist instead of your entire arm. Not to say you can't draw from your wrist (as many small details require it) but large lines will require long sweeping motions which should be an exercise of your arm. Get in the habit of moving your entire forearm for long strokes, or even your entire upper arm guided by your shoulder. This isn't to say that there is necessarily a correct way to draw, but only from the wrist will severely limit your scope and it's a bad habit to get into generally.

    Anyways, about your lines: they are completely lacking confidence. You already have an image formed in your head, and you are going over your lines in short strokes in an attempt to draw that image out. This is the wrong way to go about things. Sketch lines should be an act that you do almost without thinking, something that happens in seconds. A single line should consist of just that: a single line, at most 2 or 3. Sketches are about not committing to an image. Sketch loose lines that are long and confident and that get general shapes but not much more, and from there draw out some detailing and start committing to the final sketch.

    Finally: Absolutely do not be afraid to fail. Mindsets like "I can't draw humans very well so I'm not going to" will kill you. How are you meant to get better if you don't attempt to draw these things? Your first full body study will probably look like shit. Your second one will probably also look like shit. But the point is that that's ok, because everybody is shit starting out. Don't let it discourage you. Keep on drawing those bodies. Eventually, you will start producing people that you are proud of. Always directly tackle your problem areas by practice, and eventually you will be able to draw with confidence.

    Anyways, I will direct you (as RitterCat already has) to our own tutorial thread, which also has good references mixed within. I tried to cover all the basics and stuff I could think of, but there's a lot more I have to say, I'm sure. If you want to contact me to speak on a specific matter, or just to elaborate something I've already said, feel free to PM me, or I'm found on #smeargle a good portion of the day (4pm-11pm central time generally). Best of luck to you :)
    Sapphire., Zebraiken and Andrew like this.
  9. Furosuto

    Furosuto

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    Really? You think you're not a good artist? This stuff isn't bad at all.

    The thing you have to watch out for though, is comparing your works to the original piece. That's the one prob I have with drawing pokemon sometimes. I'm always feeling like I have to be on par with some of the original artists that made the pokemon, or the artists that drew them differently and are considered amazing, such as NJ or Icepick. Thing is though, that you may never be satisfied with your work. I don't finish a piece and then say I think it's perfect. Because the artist that made the pic is most likely gonna find some errors in their art.

    Now, you might need to copy other peoples art so you have an idea on different styles, and like how NJ said, how to draw. Once you feel satisfied with yourself, then you can try to add your own flare to the drawings. but yeah, don't be afraid to copy other peoples art to improve your own. Take the tutorials in the digital drawing's thread and keep on practising like you said you would. I think you can become a great artist in no time man.

    If you have some spare time, can you make me a numel spewing fire for a challenge?

    The challenge is so that you can try and learn how fire looks like. But with pokemon involved of course!
  10. wickdaggler

    wickdaggler

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    nj I honestly wouldn't suggest adonihs's brush pack because it has a lot of "detailing" brushes that aren't particularly useful unless you really know what you're doing and want to add polish to a piece.

    sarenji, I would suggest this brush pack, since it really has all the tools you need. the third brush in particular is a life saver if you want to add soft shadows without getting a airbrushed look, which is all kinds of ugly.

    you totally have the potential to be a wonderful artist. I can't back up everything nj said enough; practice the fundamentals, and everything else will start to come a bit easier. good luck, and try to have some fun with this!
  11. Zracknel

    Zracknel you're not even worth it
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    really awesome project

    I intend to start a similar endeavor soon, so it's uplifting in a way to know I'm not alone in that

    best of luck for now! I know I will be keeping an eye on this thread, haha
  12. Nastyjungle

    Nastyjungle fat and sassy
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    i suggested them not because of the detailing brushes but because of the painting brushes, both of which are top notch imo

    but yeah honestly the more brush packs you have the better
  13. PK Gaming

    PK Gaming Pursuing My True Self
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    Lol.

    You drew my request in 30 minutes?!? Its actually fucking awesome for an amateur. I'm not saying that because we're friends. I'm a saying that because you drew 2 of my favorite characters. You actually got their likeness sorta. Don't get me wrong, you're not hot shit, you still have a ways to go before you become a super star. But your goal is achievable so keep at it!
  14. Sarenji

    Sarenji leaf-faced
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    Holy crap, guys. Thanks a ton for the responses and criticism and support. I should mention that I don't think I'm a good artist in comparison to everyone here on Smogon — you guys are incredible. I'm gonna get on your requests and work more on anatomy. The tutorials/resources here are really helpful.

    Okay that makes sense, that's what I was missing with the waterfall-on-a-cliff drawing. I'll likely try another one soon!

    This criticism is *really* helpful, I'm really glad you took the time to criticize. We already talked on IRC so you know this already :)

    I'll try the brushes ASAP; Photoshop's on my external HDD which doesn't want to work right now. I'm trying Corel painter now.
  15. Sarenji

    Sarenji leaf-faced
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    DAY 7

    Reflections: A different brush can really hide my flaws in drawing, which could also be a bad thing.

    I need to keep proportion better. Anything I can do to help with that? EDIT: I haven't started reading Nastyjungle's links yet but that would probably help!

    I tried sketching then sketching again over that - it takes longer obviously but I think it's helped.

    (Feminine) Mienshao (Ritter)

    In general I tried making a new pose with lots of curves.

    sketches of mienshao (open)
    [​IMG]


    last sketch of mienshao. because umbrella = girl. this was supposed to take 30 secs (open)
    [​IMG]


    black sketch overlaid on sketch (open)
    [​IMG]


    black sketch; line thickness definitely needs work. 30 min (open)
    [​IMG]


    More hand studies/anatomy

    no idea how long this took (open)
    [​IMG]


    Rorona Zoro + Gallade (PKGaming)

    ~45 min. Zoro's face needs to be rounder.

    anyone who calls zoro 'zolo' will be sliced in half (open)
    [​IMG]


    both sketches (open)
    [​IMG]


    black sketch (open)
    [​IMG]
  16. LeviLamprey

    LeviLamprey

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    Uhhh, ummmmm...
    I can't say anything NJ already said, plus I'm an impatient piece of crap whose only good pictures aren't finished yet, so I can't even be taken seriously.
    I'll just emphasise a bit of cleaner lineart and wish you the best!
    You're improving quickly!
    Team Sarenji, blast off at the speed of light!
  17. RitterCat

    RitterCat
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    The hand studies are looking great, and I love the little lips on the first Mienshao! I think a main thing you need to work on will be line thickness and smoothness of the curves and just lines in general lol. In Mienshao, it goes from thin to thick REALLY jerkily and unevenly. Line width changes should be smooth and make sense with the posing and tapering of lines towards the end of the line (look at Volmise's thread for quality tapering of lines). Lines should also curve smoothly and naturally: kinda like ) as opposed to }
    Just some things to work on in future days :)
  18. Feathers

    Feathers

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    this is exciting to see.

    i'm tired of my friends trying to be masters of art by never drawing and then trying to draw like Tracy JB or something out of the blue and then getting upset because they can't. and then i tell them to practice BUT I DON'T WANNA PRACTICE THAT TAKES TIME OUT OF MY DAY

    am i thrilled to see the result. i've been doing this sort of thing to learn painter, though not every day. it is working. watching someone livestream a drawing is good fun and a great help as well.
  19. wickdaggler

    wickdaggler

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    hi again. i'm going to go ahead and suggest you do some gestures, and figure drawing.
    if you have two monitors, load this up on one and sketch on the other
    e: it seems to be down now, but it should be up soon? :s

    if you don't have two monitors, just sketch with paper.
  20. Nastyjungle

    Nastyjungle fat and sassy
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    i did some quick sketch thingers for user zracknel and then i used them to clarify some things from this thread further so why not just share them w the world


  21. Sarenji

    Sarenji leaf-faced
    is a Battle Server Admin Alumnusis a Programmer Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Researcher Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus

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    Messages:
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    This is amazing. Really helpful. I'm sketching on the 60 sec timer.

    huge image; bunch of 60sec-sketch figures (open)
    [​IMG]


    another batch. kinda hard to make room!! (open)
    [​IMG]


    first bottle: trying to make straight lines only; second: using curves; third: after trying out the above link and actually speed-sketching. I guess that's why it took so much less time! (open)
    [​IMG]


    It feels like sketching is like an art form in itself — I'm gonna practice your link for a while! I think it'd be good to start at this step and work my way up to the more detail-ish sketches in NJ's PM to me.
  22. wickdaggler

    wickdaggler

    Joined:
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    (' _ ')b

    also dude what program are you using? also are you using a mouse or tablet or what? if you are using a tablet, than you really need to set whatever program you are using to recognize pen sensitivity.
  23. Sarenji

    Sarenji leaf-faced
    is a Battle Server Admin Alumnusis a Programmer Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Researcher Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus

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    Intuos3 with Corel Painter/Pixelmator. I might press too hard on the tablet or something. I have Photoshop but my external HDD needs to work first!

    I actually drew a pretty good Simisage last night but Corel crashed literally right after I finished and was about to save. So here's another one!

    Badass (?) Simisage (Ritter)

    pixelmator (open)
    [​IMG]


    BTW I won't be updating this thread every day since I feel like I'd be spamming. I'll try a package deal kind of thing.

    EDIT: Also you can see all my images so far in my imgur album.
  24. RitterCat

    RitterCat
    is an Artistis a Forum Moderatoris a Contributor Alumnus
    Moderator

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    fucking YES, that has so much character and the lineart has improved so much! The pose and everything just feels right; sometimes on early work the anatomy seems to have -something- wrong with it, like that right arm in the sketches, but in the final it's great. It's not there yet (:P) but it's great improvement, keep it up :)
  25. ssbbm

    ssbbm

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    predicting you to be the ninahaza of smeargle's studio

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