View Full Version : Sketchbook Thread of Helen

03 March 2006, 02:24 AM
Well.... Thought it was about time to get one of these for myself. Maybe it'll motivate me to do more studies or something? Who knows.

Looking through my files, I realize now that I did way less anatomy stuff not for the Sketchathon than I thought... Whoa. I'm really lazy. Anyway, in vague chronological order:
Probably the first reffed pic I drew... ever. This was from sometime last semester. Painter.
Tried to draw a self-portrait with photoshop. Yeah, I failed. I really gave up toward the end. :P
Picked up watercolors for the first time since 3rd grade and managed to come up with this. Unfortunately, can't get a better scan, since I gave it to my friend as a present. Kind of like this one, though.
Watercolors proved to be fun, so I tried again... Self-portrait number two.
Just 'finished' this, though I use the term loosely. Reffed off a picture on Stockholmgruppen. I managed to ugly-fy a perfectly attractive guy! Amazing! Painter.

03 March 2006, 02:37 AM
wow, i love the way you color the hair of the second piece. Looks good!

03 March 2006, 02:43 AM
Hey great job on the self portrait you think you failed. One thing tho, are you avoiding to draw/paint ears?

03 March 2006, 02:54 AM
Hey great job on the self portrait you think you failed. One thing tho, are you avoiding to draw/paint ears?

Thanks! Though, frankly, it doesn't look too much like me. And the whole neck region... Euugh. And now that you mention the ears... Yeah, I really think I am. Especially considering that last guy had an ear showing, which I completely left out. I'll pay more attention to ears (or any other missing body parts) in the future, thanks. :)

wow, i love the way you color the hair of the second piece. Looks good!
Thank you. Glad you like it!

03 March 2006, 05:02 AM

The technique is really nice on that second one...really like the lighting and color on that one also... nice study...:thumbsup:
First one is also nice...maybe smooth out the out line..maybe even get rid of it....also maybe
a darker background...will creat more depth...:shrug:



03 March 2006, 03:17 PM
Welcome aboard, Helen! :) Great to see your work here...I'm curious as to why you think your self~portrait 'failed' ~ to me it seems to have tons of potential, and the beauty of digital is that nothing can ever really fail, as work done digitally can always be tweaked and changed. :)

I like the sense of light in the self~portrait, and it reminds me a bit of Andrew Wyeth's Helga series ( of watercolors.

Hope to see you develop your pieces further, and to see more work! :)



03 March 2006, 08:20 PM
Spirit Dreamer: Thanks! Glad you like it, though as always, the photograph has far better color and lighting. :/ After what you and Rebecca have said, I'm tempted to go back to the piece and add some texture to it or something. For the first piece, I'll see if I can find some time to refine it. Thanks a ton for the advice!

Rebeccak: Well... Doesn't look too much like me, pales in comparison to the photograph, and just seemed to get only worse and worse if I tried to refine it. :/
And thanks for the link! That's WATERCOLOR? Gods, I have a lot to learn... And Helga and I both have red hair and wear braids 95% of the time? ;)

03 March 2006, 05:10 AM
Yay found 20 minutes to sketch. :3

Felt really inspired by Zhu Zhu and Degas and their CRAZY ballet drawings...

03 March 2006, 01:13 PM

LIKE THAT ONE.....nice color and light study...looks great against the black...also like
the way the black comes through the it a nice airy lightness...goes good
with her stance...CAN'T WAIT TO SEE MORE ...:)


03 March 2006, 04:52 PM
Yep, I agree with Glenn. The light on black ballerina is a pretty study of light. You captured her gracefulness very well and I love the colours. Nice work :)

I also really like your self portrait. Pic #2 on your original post. Fantastic work there! Is that from a photo or a mirror? I don't think it failed at all. Great job on the lighting and skintones.

03 March 2006, 10:06 AM
SpiritDreamer: Thank you so much! :D Hearing such praise from you really encourages me to work harder. Thanks.

Amerasu: I'm glad you like them. :) Now I can only wish I could draw light like that from imagination... All my self-portraits are from photographs, since I have neither the discipline or vision to be able to do anything much from a mirror. AND I got an awesome camera for my birthday. ;)

I got some new watercolor paper so couldn't resist experimenting:

Mostly photoreffed, though I have NO idea why I gave her Barbie doll hands.

03 March 2006, 07:17 AM
I swear, fixing old stuff on Saturday!

Don't know if this is finished yet, so any critique/etc./etc. is very appreciated (and half as likely to be put off as usual ;) ).

03 March 2006, 07:30 AM

I think if you grayscale the image, you'll notice that all of your values are in the really light range...I think if you start to add some more midtone and dark hues to the color version, you will get more contrast and a more visually interesting result, since you will have more value range to play with. I think what is working so successfully in your previous self~portrait is the clearly defined areas of light and dark that are nicely separated, yet with blended edges. I think pushing the same concept here would really help your painting. :)

Hope this helps! :)



03 March 2006, 07:42 AM
Hi Helen,

I very much like the dress folds in the last watercolor!

And I think your self-portraits are wonderful, especially the first one, but the skintones on the cheekbones are great in both!

I would love to see the eyes more refined, like for example the raylike structures of the iris.

04 April 2006, 06:53 AM
Rebecca, after putting it off for a LONG time, finally gave up on the piece and cranked up the contrast a bit...
Mr. Mu, thank you! For the eyes, I actually like painting them, but I genereally work in too low a resolution (600x800 is my usual working size) to get too much detail in there... But I'll certainly try in the future!
You're right, it definitely improved that piece. :) It'd improve it more if I wasn't lazy and actually painted some darker parts on it and stuff.... But bleh. I'll just put more effort into my next self-portrait.

This was also posted on the 15 minute sketch thread, and I don't want to have too much overlap between the two, but... liked this piece more than enough to repost. :3

Don't know how much this counts, considering it's fanart and was intended to be stylized... But the arms and muscles are from reference. And I'm in love with them for some reason.

04 April 2006, 07:33 AM
the 2nd last one for 1.5 hours, holy crap that is amazing.

04 April 2006, 07:41 AM
the 2nd last one for 1.5 hours, holy crap that is amazing.

Glad you like them. :) Of course, the 2nd to last one was also done directly from a reference; I could have NEVER done something like that without a ref in under 6 hours.

04 April 2006, 08:31 AM
Great painting of the two dancers Comrad. Black and white seems to fit this one nicely and you've emphasized a lot of movement.

Good stuff

04 April 2006, 02:34 PM
Helen / CB,

You're more than welcome to post any and all work from other threads to your own Anatomy Thread ~ it's more or less your own visual diary, so whatever you feel comfortable posting you are welcome to post. :) It's great to see your 15 MS piece here ~ amazing work! Heh, I can understand about the SP ~ it does look nicer, and you may wish to revisit it much later. :)

Looking forward to seeing more of your work! :thumbsup:



04 April 2006, 09:34 AM
Thanks, everyone!
Hmm, I think I'll take Rebecca's advice and crosspost more often here...

So, from the SP Overload thread, it's HELEN and her hair, in all its uncombed glory. :O (You should see my braid. It's starting to look like one big dreadlock. XD)

04 April 2006, 02:07 PM
Hey Helen,

Really nice work here, I love the sense of naturalistic light! Also I like the warmth of the colors you picked, and this one definitely looks as though you were comfortable painting it. Looking forward to seeing more SPs!

Cheers, :)


04 April 2006, 05:03 AM
i really like that dancer drawing (1.5 hours).

04 April 2006, 10:08 AM
Rebecca, Zhu: THANK YOU! :D

Don't have much to add (been busy/lazy lately). :( This one was kind of reffed, though it's far from faithful... Mostly experimenting with colours and staying up too late at night. :/

Probably won't be any SPs till after May 10th - crunch time for testing right now. :/

04 April 2006, 12:41 AM
Hi Helens,

I'm liking your coloring here ~ I think the ear is a little off in terms of placement and size, but I also know you're working quickly on these ~ if you were to come back to this piece, I might suggest deepening the shadows of the eyesockets and giving the overall image more contrast. :)



04 April 2006, 05:51 PM
helo hellen
you do good work with the values and the light, but I notice you are having an issue with the perspective or placement. It is quite consistant. I made an image that I hope shows the main points, namely the eyes. (

this is a quickie but I hope by showing it, you will see what I mean.

04 April 2006, 05:59 PM
Hey Helen - I have no comments. I just wanted to browse your thread and say Hola! :buttrock:

05 May 2006, 04:36 AM
Rebeccak: Thank you! Ugh wanted to fix previous painting, but tablet is taken away because apparently, I'm not doing homework 24/7... :[ *mental note'd*

Scorche: Thank you SO much! That helps a lot. :D I'll definitely keep a lookout in the future (couldn't do it with this painting since I only saw your post now ;_;, so it's probably also mistake-ridden).

aggie93: Hehe, Hola to you tooo! :D

Sooo more random practice from reference (
(Or alternate version (

Edit: Rebecca, or anyone else: since I don't know how the plan to take art classes this summer will pan out, any specific suggestions for begginer-esque books on figure drawing, watercolor, and/or figure drawing in watercolor? Thanks in advance.

05 May 2006, 04:17 AM
Hi Helen,

Hope you don't mind, but I did a paintover of your piece ~ I'm no watercolor expert, but you might try, they have more traditional resources in just about every medium. :)

Regarding books:

beginner-esque books on figure drawing, watercolor, and/or figure drawing in watercolor
Hmm, like I say, try for watercolor resources. :) Regarding beginning drawing books / figurative, check out:

Anatomy Resources : BOOKS (showthread.php?t=257424)

Vilppu Drawing Manual (Spiral-bound) by Glenn Vilppu (

"The Human Machine: The Anatomical Structure and Mechanism of the Human Body", by George Bridgeman - Dover, publisher (

"The Artist's Complete Guide to Figure Drawing" by Anthony Ryder (artist). (
Excellent book, and not too expensive! The artist is a traditional artist working in pencil ~ his work is HIGHLY realistic and beautiful.

"Dynamic Anatomy", by Burne Hogarth - Watson Guptill, publisher (

Cheers, :)


09 September 2006, 12:39 AM
Hi Helen!

Your value work is incredible! I had a lot of placement issues when I first began, and found that just by doing lots and lots of sketches I began to figure it out more. Sometimes they're still a little off, but I'm getting there.

The Dancers and your first self portrait you posted here are my favorites, keep up the great work! Good luck with your new drawings and I'll keep an eye out for your thread!


08 August 2007, 12:45 AM
Well, I haven't posted here in forever. :) So some updates!

A lot of these go back to last summer.

Stuff from 15min sketchathon:

08 August 2007, 12:46 AM
Some more!

Self-portrait of my hands I guess? :P Except for the one with the arm, the arm was just kind of there.

These 3 were a series done for art class; they were traced from a photograph (BADLY. I'm awful at tracing. I'm not sure how that's possible, but I am), and then rendered in ink, black and blue watercolor, and full color watercolor respectively. They look far better in real life.

08 August 2007, 12:47 AM
From reference:

Wanted this to be for the torso workshop, but I guess that's long-dead now. I think I'll still do a couple, though, and just post them here. :)

I'll try to post a bit more consistently from now on.

08 August 2007, 02:58 PM
Hi Helen, great sketchbook you have. Some very nice self portraits! The dancing couple is still my favorite one. The last white on black ones als look very good. Keep going!

08 August 2007, 03:06 PM
Hey Helen,

I really like the b/w ones from august last year on the last page with the bold strokes!

Please keep this thing updated, because I really really liked your SPs!

08 August 2007, 04:18 PM
Hi Helen! Its a great thread you've got here! keep up the good work!!:thumbsup:

08 August 2007, 08:03 PM
nice work!
hope you'll post more

oh and... the anatomy workshop threads will never die ;)

08 August 2007, 03:06 PM
Hi Helen, I've enjoyed looking through your thread! :) Really lovely works here.

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