View Full Version : Sketchbook Thread of MichalB

04 April 2006, 07:36 PM
Hi everyone,

My name's Michal and I'm here to learn to draw :arteest:

A short list of first things to practice:
- proportions,
- perspective,
- value perception and shading.

I know I make a lot of mistakes but it's hard for me to find them, so please (pretty please) don't be afraid that you will hurt my feelings :D and tell me if you see anything wrong.

First two pictures for the grand opening ;)
I know - it's bad. But it's that guy's fault for taking such a strage pose...
A small update to my picture from here (http://here%3C/a%3E%3C/b%3E): the thighs and torso narrowed, the light part of the torso darkened, the opposing curves theory ( (just read that) applied in the guy's right calf, some random smudging.

04 April 2006, 08:25 PM
Hey, MichalB,

It's great to see your Anatomy Thread up and running! :) You are more than welcome to post your other studies which were posted to the Beginner's Lounge here as well. Looking forward to seeing more work from you!

I really recommend trying many more Master Copies. You might want to check out some of the books from this series:

Entire Master Draughtsman Series of Paperback Books: (,+availability,-unit-sales)
Great books because they are cheap, light, and great for copying from, as you will not be concerned about destroying the book ~ they are really instructional devices, more than anything else.

This is taken from this thread:

Anatomy Resources : BOOKS (

Alternately, you can find Master Works on the web, try here:

Web Gallery of Art (

However, I think books are always better, as the detail will usually be much more clear.

Cheers, :)


04 April 2006, 10:28 PM
Hi Rebecca,

Thanks for the book recommendations, though I won't be able to buy them in any near future (no cash, poor student, etc. :rolleyes: ). But will get a list of second-hand bookshops from my friend and raid them as soon as I have time :D

A new picture:
Drawn from imagination using DoctorBone's method. Proportions messed up as usual and no contraposto. But I've used opposing curves and drawn the lines quite clean (with no egg-timer ticking the precious seconds away it wasn't that hard :D)

About the pictures from the Lounge - I tried to put them here but got the message about too many images in one post. I might do it tomorrow but now I have to run.


04 April 2006, 04:41 PM
Did some work on face detail (100% size)
The face, especially the nose, was too long so I did a little copy&paste to fix that (hence the strange line) but when I merged the layers Artweaver crashed :argh:. The only thing I managed to do was to make a screenshot.

04 April 2006, 04:48 PM

I'm really sorry to hear the file crashed! I can't recall, do you have Photoshop / are you able to resize the image back up to a printable size? If not, let me know and I'll resize it for you. I hate when stuff like that happens, but it's just best to back up regularly ~ sometimes as a quick fix I'll email myself a jpg of something.

This piece looks great! That's a lot of improvement in a short time, I'm definitely impressed! :thumbsup: Keep up the good work. :)



04 April 2006, 08:22 PM
Hi :)

I'm not sure what you meant about resizing "to a printable size", but if need be I guess I could use GIMP to do it.

I've managed to put that screenshot into Artweaver without crashing it :D and here is a little update:
Worked more on the nose and mouth. Put in an eye but it was too small so I reworked it and made it bigger. Then it was too big so I smugded it up and made a smaller one. So now I'll have to make it bigger again :rolleyes: or better I'll just move to some other part of the body.

A new 2-5-10 (reference image from OFDW 11)

04 April 2006, 09:51 PM

The portrait looks great! What I meant by print resolution is 300 dpi (vs. 72 which is screen resolution). Typically working in a higher resolution document just lets you get to details more easily (in addition to which, should you ever want to print your work, it would come out clear and not blurry).

With the OFDW piece, I think the shoulders should be a bit higher and the head and neck should be raised accordingly ~ looking forward to your progress!

Cheers, :)


04 April 2006, 07:55 AM

always a pleasure seeing people rise from the fiery ovens of the Beginner's Forge to their own anatomy threads!

and the work you did on that face is nothing short of spectacular! The highlights the proportions: very nice! do finish it up, because it will look great.

And if you have any questions about artweaver: let me know (post in my thread, PM me, skype, ICQ - whatever), because I struggled with artweaver quite a while and can handle its features and shortcomings quite well by now, I guess.

Keep it up:)

04 April 2006, 08:44 PM

It actually was 300 dpi (just in 'actual pixels' view) but 1800x2400 px. I resized it to fit A4 so when I finish I can print it and give to my friends as a present :scream:


Are you sure you were looking at my picture when posting? :eek: Thank you very much for the compliment, just be careful not to spoil me with your sweet sweet words :D

For now most of my questions regarding Aw have already been answered in its forums, and the answer was usually "it will be added in 0.4.x" but it is good to know that there is someone to harass should things go bad :D Thanks!

And here's an update on the OFWD 15 guy:
Almost an hour of work and very little visible improvement comparing to the previous image. What am I doing wrong? :shrug:

But on the positive side: my understanding of value seems to improve :thumbsup:

And here's a 2-5-10:

04 April 2006, 08:59 PM

Ah, gotcha. :) Hey, I think your friends will be quite impressed with their present! :cool: You're really showing a lot of improvement fast, keep up the good work!

Cheers, :)


04 April 2006, 12:36 AM
Hmmm... It's not that bad an idea. My cousin and his girlfriend are getting married in June so it would be nice to give them something personal - how about a picture? :D A half-naked bald guy with a gun might not be a good theme for this occasion, but hey - I have 2 months to think up some romantic image, compose it and fill up with details to fit 300 dpi A2 (everything super pretty of course). Got amphetamine?

Enough of that nonsense, back to work:
I decided to work on this leg to get some rest from the head. To-do: feet studies.

My first eye study in digital (all of my school notes' margins are filled with eye drawings)
Also a part of the OFDW piece (to be put on the face instead of what is there).

04 April 2006, 09:41 PM
A few days' break and I lost my will to do all the smudging in black and white, so I started a new master copy (from Bouguereau's ...defending against love):

I'll post a few pencil sketches that I've drawn during the holiday (mostly my ugly feet but also a copy of the girl's face from The Broken Pitcher by Bouguereau) as soon as I manage to scan them. And since I will need a scanner to do so, it may take some time :D

04 April 2006, 12:01 AM
A new sketch for this copy:

It was more visible in the color sketch but even here you can easily see deviations from the original.

Now the question is: how should I go about them? :shrug:

Fix them until the sketch is as close to the original as possible? Leave it for now and fix it in the "coloring" stage? Or maybe just stay with what I have and say it is my interpretation :D?

04 April 2006, 12:08 AM
I would say not to leave it to the coloring stage ~ things will only get more complicated then, and you will be more apt, not less, to call mistakes 'style' :D ~ something we're all guilty of sometimes ~ so I really recommend refining things at the drawing stage as much as is possible.

Both characters look quite short ~ are they meant to be children? :) One thing that would be helpful is if you were to post the reference image.

If you are going to go with color from the start, I recommend trying a limited palette ~ also, you may want to check out this thread regarding color:

Color Theory and The Human Figure (

The main mistake beginners make is to make everything very LIGHT and washed out looking. Try using the HSB slider in PS ~ Hue, Saturation, Brightness. This way you can adjust the different color properties with more precision. Definitely try to become a bit familiar with basic color terms, as this will really help you to think about what you are doing color wise.

Looking forward to your progress. :)



04 April 2006, 12:44 AM
Hi Rebecca,

Stupid me forgot to link the reference. Again :rolleyes:

It can be found here:

And if the file is not protected against hotlinking it will be visible here:

Great thread the one about color. Who would have thought there is so much theory regarding simple picture-making...

04 April 2006, 04:24 AM
Thanks for the reference image! :)

Try something, just as an experiment ~ take the reference image and set the mode to Grayscale. You'll see what a Master Bouguereau is ~ the painting will more or less look like a drawing. :)

My point being that Value, no matter how boring, will always trump color in importance.

I'm not discouraging you from using color, but without a deep appreciation and mastery of value, it will be hard to paint something very well in color.

Basically the most important things for the construction of any painting are, in order of importance:

1. Drawing
2. Value
3. Color

If you want to work in Color from the start, try creating an Adjustment Layer (Image > Create Adjustment Layer > Hue / Saturation). Then move the slider so that with the Adjustment Layer on, the image appears to be desaturated. You can use this as a double check tool as you are painting in color.

But I really think the drawing needs to be much more refined before delving in. (Having said that, everyone works differently. ;))

Cheers, :)


04 April 2006, 08:01 AM
I made a new sketch and now I can see how badly the previous one sucked :D

It still needs cleaning up and detailing but I guess the main forms are placed correctly. Is there any way to check that other than using grids or overlaying the reference with sketch?
They give good results but feel a little bit like cheating. I know, CG and graphics in general are all about fooling the viewer into thinking that the flat shapes are real objects etc., but this is more like cheating myself :shrug:

04 April 2006, 08:34 AM
It's looking great so far! Good job!
For checking whether the forms are correct... Try flipping both your image and the reference? Or maybe zoom the ref out to be roughly the same size as your drawing, and place them next to each other to compare? Hope that helps. :/
Can't wait to see the finished product.

04 April 2006, 06:00 PM
Hi Helen,

This flipping method seemed too easy to work, so it worked great, of course :D

I've managed to fix some mistakes and made a few new ones along the way :rolleyes:

04 April 2006, 05:10 PM
Yay, grayscale!

And a 2-5-10:

04 April 2006, 05:17 PM
Ooh, top piece coming along nicely so far! :thumbsup:

04 April 2006, 09:45 PM
I seriously need to change the way I work because now it's like this:
1. choose a part of the picture
2. paint some
3. smudge some
4. go to 2.
Wouldn't be so bad but I do it for about 2 hours and the result looks just like after the first pass.
Hopefully I will finish this piece by the time I have grandchildren :D

04 April 2006, 12:57 AM
Heh, lol, yeah ~ painting is unfortunately like that. :D You'll get faster as you pick up more confidence...but the beginning stages are definitely painful. I really find the posting WIP process helpful, though ~ it's usually not until I post the next stage of WIP and compare with the previous that I see my mistakes ~ some of them quite egregious :D ~ and it's also incentive to continue as it shows (even incremental) progress. :)



05 May 2006, 09:10 PM
My every attempt to improve the figures takes away the variety in value so I moved to the background :shrug:

And here's two 2-5-10s:
Reference from Hong Ly's Character Design
Reference: Character Design photo from OFDW 8

05 May 2006, 07:57 AM

You might try for your grayscale painting, instead of limiting yourself to swatches, creating a full white to black gradient to be used as a full grayscale pallette.

I began to do this in the latter stages of my OFDW painting ( and I think it helped to choose more subtle shades of gray.

If you are unfamiliar with gradients, all I did was to create a narrow marquee box selection, select the gradient tool from the tool pallette, make sure the tool was set to straight vs. circular gradient, and started at the top and shift + dragged down to get a perfectly straight line, releasing at the bottom of the marquee selection. (My apologies if this is totally redundant to you, I'm never sure how much basic PS knowledge people have). :) I then deselected and gave the gradient a stroke effect so that I could see it in it's entirety against the background.

Then you can just keep this to the side as a swatch pallette and select your grays very easily.

Hope this helps!

Cheers, :)


05 May 2006, 06:31 PM
Hey Rebecca,

It might come in handy - thanks for sharing! :thumbsup:

But when it comes to picking a value from swatches (or a gradient), I usually choose wrong :D, so after the first blocking out, I just pick it from the part I currently work on and adjust the L slider to get what I need.

Oh well, another abandoned picture :rolleyes:

Back to 2-5-10s:
Reference taken from here (

05 May 2006, 10:29 PM
A 2-5-15 of Raphael's kneeling woman:
For the first 10 seconds after finishing it I thought it came out really good. But compared to the original everything is wrong: the "hat" is too small, the pose too vertical, and worst of all it doesn't look female :cry:

But hey - it's sooo much cleaner than my other drawings and as I finished the 2min sketch I realised that I didn't draw the underlaying skeleton/mannequin :eek:

*walks away whistling a happy tune*

A 2-5-10 of Rubens' crouching man:

05 May 2006, 06:17 PM

I always love to see the 2-5-10 or -15 minute sketches, I really believe in this kind of timed sequence of drawings, and I've seen improvement in everyone so far that's done them ~ nice work! :)

Personally I always find with any image I'm working on that leaving it for a while and coming back to it with fresh eyes is always helpful. After looking at / thinking about a single image for too long, there's a sort of retinal / mental burnout, and it's best to just leave a picture alone for a little while. :) I've ruined many a traditional painting by not letting it 'sit' for long enough. ;)

Keep going, it's really good to see your progress!

Cheers, :)


05 May 2006, 08:21 PM

Really like the 2-5-10s and the Bouguereau. These last master studies are real good too. One thing i did notice is that your line quality could use a tad (okay I say this to everyone and I'm not one to talk - my line is awful). DoctorBone has some great advice on line and how it should be used. Other than that, a normal ballpoint pen makes for great practice!

Anyway - like where you're going with these. keep drawing!

- d.

05 May 2006, 10:22 PM
Hi....MichalB...:) Like your thread so far....nice master copies that you just posted....think what Demented
said about studying Dr Bone's LINE Technique would really benifit all the effort and time you
are putting into elegant line goes a long ways, when it comes to Old Master Drawings...Dr Bone has one of the best lines that I can remember seeing...defenitly worth
checking out.
GREAT JOB so far...keep posting....looking forward to seeing the progress...:thumbsup:


05 May 2006, 06:05 PM
Thanks for your replies guys :wavey:

The problem with leaving things to finish later is that after a week or two (or a month) I look at the piece of whatever (mostly 3d models in Blender but sometimes short stories) and I think "What a piece of sh*t - I have to start over". And I do because I don't want a good idea go to waste. Then I get stuck again and leave it for a week or two (or a month)... :rolleyes:

About my lines... Yeah, I know they are dirty and ragged - I somehow manage to get them cleaner in pencil&paper despite making too many strokes but it doesn't work in digital. I'll try to work on not-petting-the-line :D.
And DoctorBone's style sure is great, but is there any special technique behind it other than years of practice and miles of drawn lines?

A 2-5-10 experimenting with different techniques. The first are 2px soft pencils with low pressure controlled opacity and constant colour. The last is 2-20px solid circle brush (pressure controlled size), 100% opacity and colours picked from a gradient :thumbsup:

The next two pictures were supposed to be stylised characters with a special style in mind (like in the third), but didn't come out right. I've also learned while trying to put the second one in a more dynamic pose, that there is no way a head this big could be supported by such a thin neck. And where do the two connect if the head is just a simple ball? :shrug:

05 May 2006, 06:40 PM
I've decided to go through Loomis' book Drawing the Head and Hands. But now I look at what Lyneran did here ( and do this: :eek: and :drool:, then look at mine and go like this: :blush: and :cry:.

Um... Is there any way to draw more pencil-like in digital?

And here's a little thing that could pass as my self-portrait if you've never seen me :D

05 May 2006, 11:01 PM

LOL, indeed our Lye is very good. ;) It's great to see your studies! Actually a really great app that apes the pencil really well is Art Rage. It's a steal at $20 for the download ( ( I've heard rave reviews of the pencil tool, and I've bought / downloaded the app, the pencil tool really is quite nice. :)

Also, you should be able to go to Photoshop's extended brush library, and select from a wide range of different brushes. Select the brush icon in the top tool bar when you have the brush selected in the tool pallette, and then click the little triangular arrow. You should see a number of different brush sets listed, choose "Dry Media Brushes" then "Append". You should then be able to select brushes that mimic charcoal etc. A charcoal brush at a small brush size looks a lot like a pencil. :)



05 May 2006, 10:09 PM
Hey Rebecca,

Thanks for the advice :thumbsup:. I've checked the pencil in ArtRage and it was quite what I wanted; now if it only the interface was less childish :D...
Fortunately it wasn't hard to mimic in Artweaver. It is a great free program (from what I hear it is similar to Painter) - you should check it out if you haven't already.

Three more pages from Loomis.

05 May 2006, 11:57 PM

Glad you liked the ArtRage pencil, though I agree about the interface. :D

Hey, I think these studies are looking much tighter than the previous set ~ nice work! Looking forward to seeing more of these studies. :thumbsup:



05 May 2006, 10:06 AM
Fantastic head studies, i gotta try that one myself! I tried something similar but this way seems much more slick.

05 May 2006, 01:16 PM

It may seem as if my drawings have improved, but I just scale them down to 75% of the original size and it cleans the lines up a bit - in 100% size they are as bad as the previous ones :D.


You should definitely give Loomis a try! He guides you through the whole process of drawing a head, step by step and with detailed explanations but starts simple so you can see some results from the very beginning. Great learning material, methinks.

05 May 2006, 01:39 PM
I may give him a try, I here too much recommendations for him these days. I have been busy with Hogarths and Barcsays studies so lets see if I can squash in some Loomy time!

Do you have the URL for the Downloads?

05 May 2006, 02:12 PM
You can find four of his books here (, but it looks like you'll have to save each page manually.

One more page:

05 May 2006, 10:06 PM
Another two pages from Loomis:

And Lucky Luciano's mug (reference (

05 May 2006, 02:28 AM

What a cool reference to paint! Do you mind if I make a few suggestions for the layout of the face via paintover?

Cheers, :)


05 May 2006, 09:15 AM
Hey Rebecca,

I would love you to paint over me ;)

My attempt at redrawing Mark Behm's wolverine picture (can't link to it directly because his site is in flash, go to (> gallery, 5th row, 1st column :))

Trying to block out a figure. The idea: old man, struck by pain, drops his cane, leans to a wall and grabs his chest. I want to go for a stylised look but first need to give it proper character.

Trying to come up with a pained expression for the above figure.

05 May 2006, 03:47 PM
You have some nice sketches in here. I would suggest you to try painting with hard brushes. This might give you some more options while painting peaople. Just give it a try :) Maybe it can help you a little to improve yourself! It is just another way to paint, well try it or leave it ;)

Keep up posting new images :)

05 May 2006, 09:08 PM

Thanks ~ hope this helps: :)

I enlarged the image a bit just to have more room to work with detail...I think something that often makes portraits and figurative work generally easier is to block in the shapes with very blocky, generic lines at first. Gradually refine your angles until the final result is softer.

The key bit is to make sure you have the basic structure established, before adding details.



05 May 2006, 09:51 PM
Yo MichalB

Rebecca's paintovers really are the bomb, uh?

This thread is really coming along nicely.

One thing that has helped me with faces is to consider the muscles - I think the key to understand ing the face it know how the various aspects of the face interconnect - they're not just seperate subject on a surface. I find lines running all across the face from the eyes to the ears from the nose to the mouth from the bridge of the nose to the temple from the eyes to the upper lip all around. Using these have given me a better sense of unity, even though my structure still sucks.

If that didn't make sense it's probably best you don't try to make sense of it!:D I often have too wierd ways...

Keep up the great work dude


- d.

05 May 2006, 12:22 AM

Thanks for comments. I do use hard brushes for painting, and just blend a little for more natural effect. But then I can't stop so I blend more and more, until I get that blobby look. :D


Many thanks! It's great to see one's work with someone else's eye, and if that someone is an anatomy master like yourself then it's xmass in May! :love:

I was afraid to draw blocky because of all this no-straight-lines-in-nature thing I keep hearing. :rolleyes:


What you say makes sense (or at least it seems to :D), I'll add it to my list of things to do while drawing. :)

I try hard to do at least one page from Loomis a day but they take long hours to complete and the quality is in no way adequate. Maybe timing them would help... :shrug:

05 May 2006, 04:35 AM

You're welcome! :) Regarding your Loomis studies, I think they are going better than you think ~ I don't think timing the studies would necessarily be a good idea, just stick with these studies, even if they don't come out perfectly, the point is to connect the information between hand, eye, and brain.

Keep going!

Cheers, :)


05 May 2006, 04:05 PM
Loomis books are great. Master copies are great to do too :) Draw as many as you can! Good luck with your works :thumbsup:

05 May 2006, 10:38 PM
Thanks Rebecca! Thanks razz! :wavey:

It took 4 hours to finish page 35 :rolleyes:, I blame the off-page VPs. :D
Next 5 or 6 pages look like pure fun though so they'll *hopefully* come easier.

05 May 2006, 03:29 PM
One last page from Loomis that I've managed to finish before my monitor stopped working :cry:

05 May 2006, 04:09 PM

Oh no! I have to assume you got another monitor, since you posted this :D ~ sorry to hear that. :sad:

05 May 2006, 04:52 PM
I hope you have got a new monitor so you can keep up your work!

Nice work on the faces ! The left head looks a little hard edged especially around the mouth.

Keep at it!

11 November 2006, 07:43 PM
New motivation... check
New nickname... check
Great pictures... uhh, no :blush:

But I got two out of three, and that ain't bad :D

Gotta (re)start with something so here it goes - arm studies from Hogarth's and two examples of cutely distorted proportions. Mechanical pencil 0.5mm #2 (I guess that's 2H) on office paper:

And here's 20 hands drawn in 57 minutes (made for today's DSG), all in oC 1.1.

First ten, from photo reference (flickr search for 'hand' tag):

My left hand:

And the last 5 from imagination. The bottom-right corner was supposed to be extreme foreshortening :rolleyes:.

Thanks for watching :wavey:

11 November 2006, 06:18 AM

hands from imagination... wow, good to see you are pushing yourself.
It's also good that I found your thread :)

11 November 2006, 07:00 AM
Looks like you've got a good re-start. Keep going.


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