View Full Version : Sketchbook Thread of YMS

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02 February 2007, 06:38 AM
Thanks, Mark! :) Reading the threads re. charcoal use has been inspiring.

Trying to get to grips with oils - have these three on the go at the moment. Letting them dry then will further fix and refine the values and shapes; just made very rough starts so I would have something to work with - i.e. will then "carve" them out with the added new paint. Will post the references when these are further along and show more of a resemblance ... :)

A start on a CG sketch thread ref:

Another start, this time on a Rubens woman:

Third start in oil - an image from the book "Anatomy for the Artist":

An update (from CG sketch ref thread):


02 February 2007, 07:01 AM
Hey Yvonne,

really great to see these charcoal drawings. Especially the one of the woman.
A suggestion I've been making to others as well lately (it's a revelation to meh... can't keep it to myself lol):

It's ok to make a linesketch first. It's actually recommended to get the composition and proportions right, but don't spend too much time on it and certainly don't try to get some sort of finished level concerning your linework in the beginning.
Your wip images show you've builded up your shades gradually by finding different areas with the same value. That's the way to do it!
All I'm missing is an accent line here and there (maybe those got lost in the photograph as you said) and the background is a bit too distracting imho but that's just nitpicking really.

Wonderful work!

02 February 2007, 02:00 PM

I love Prudhon's drawings, and it's great to see you tackling them! :) I think the first copy shows tons of promise and I very much look forward to seeing where you go with these - charcoal can be tricky but so rewarding at the same time. One thing I might recommend with the oil studies is working against a toned bkgrd. An easy way to get a toned bkgrd without the drying time is to give the canvas or support a good coat or so of black gesso - this will save you so much work in terms of actual oil painting, it's not funny. It's the equivalent of starting against a neutral bkgrd in digital media, or of drawing on a toned page in tradtitional media. It just saves tons of work and aggravation. :)

Great to see your work up in the 'Improvement' thread, though I still think you should add your OFDW piece! :) Looking forward to more!

02 February 2007, 05:12 AM
Thanks, Johan - yes, the woman turned out somewhat reasonable :) I didn't have accent marks in this one, (I'll have to find out what they are...) so there's an improvement I can make! I did begin with pencil, though, then worked on in charcoal. At some stages, I was virtually "painting" with charcoal dust and paintbrush, so it was quite the experiment. The distracting background was probably from being unable to erase when I wanted to, and the paper was scrap so was a bit stained to begin with.

Rebecca, thanks. I remember painting a Prudhon in one of the recent workshops. I'll keep trying with these and hope to incorporate all of the good advice.
Re. the toned paper and oil painting, I do tend to make things hard for myself. :)

(I'll get that OFDW20 piece in the improvement thread...soon. :) )


Another oil update (B & W version of a Rubens woman):

(Still a lot to work on in order to get the resemblance, especially a correct expression - she's looking too miserable at the moment! She should be looking more "serene". :) )

Original (from "Anatomy for the Artist")

updated WIP:

Rubens original:

Rubens update (her nose is giving me grief :) )


02 February 2007, 10:23 AM
Yay, great to see you doing all these piece at once. While one is drying, take another, great. Something I should do myself. I like how the Rubens woman is looking and the from the "anatomy for the artist" book has an especially good start. What are the sizes of these? Something around A2 I guess?
So, Yvonne, no matter how much I would like to see you finishing these, I got to ask, how about the OFDW21?!

02 February 2007, 12:31 AM
Hey, Razz, yep a lot of images in WIP at the moment. These black and white oil studies are A4 sized canvas pad pages.

If you're still going to follow Richard Schmid's "Alla Prima" then you won't be waiting around for your oils to dry. I think he paints in one sitting and suggests the details?


Well, I've been working on an image from OFDW21 this week, but not sure of the outcome as I'm attempting it in oils - totally learning as I go - perhaps it's too much of an objective for me... :) The canvas is around 12" x 16" and is pretty rough - seems to be canvas glued on to thin hardboard.

It's at a really ugly stage at the moment (as I'm sure it will be until I call it finished!).

The Damned (detail)



02 February 2007, 04:53 AM
YMS, great to see you trying this in oils! :) One thing I really recommend is starting off with a solid drawing, either in pencil or in thinned down paint - not sure how you started, but it looks like the approach is pretty much alla prima. That's a good way to approach a generalized value or color study - I might suggest not using so much white however - try for example using no white at all, especially at first, and using yellow ochre as your lightest light. The flash may be contributing, but the white tends to wash everything out immediately.

Once you're more comfortable with this approach you might try thinner layers and glazing using Liquin or other type of glazing medium. Other sites frankly have much more useful information regarding oil painting - you also might check out some of the oil painting how to videos linked in the anatomy reference thread.

Looking forward to your progress as always! :)

02 February 2007, 02:18 AM
hey YMS

looks like your making progress with the oils, hope your having fun :thumbsup:


02 February 2007, 03:47 AM
Oh you're using oils, nice! They certainly can be tough to work with, I never quite got used to them myself. But I wish you luck and looking forward to seeing your progress on your master copy :)

02 February 2007, 06:53 AM
Hey Yvonne

great to see you are enjoying yourself with oils!
something I will be trying for sure in a few years...

I love the variety that can be found in your thread... different media, different styles,...
always enjoying my visits here :)

take care,

02 February 2007, 02:38 AM
Hey, Guys, thanks for taking the time! :)

Thanks, Johan. See, you have the right idea re. the oils. Wait until you're competent in drawing, et cetera, before diving in like me! I read somewhere this weekend: "If you can't draw it, you can't paint it". So, I'm taking parts of the painting, and sketching them over and over, faces especially. Amazing how the second and further versions look tons better than a first one.

Hey, Roja, thanks for stopping by. Yes, I'm finding oils tricky to work with, but will persevere. Should be starting smaller... :) Will you ever try them again?

Frustrating "fun", is more like it, Mark. But, I'll keep on keeping on, and see what I can get done, even if I'm in my own workshop, and take more than the next three weeks to finish. I will have learnt a lot - always a good thing! :thumbsup:

Rebecca, yes a big undertaking to tackle it in oils, without the experience. I didn't think that I was working alla prima. I started with very rough paint blocking, then worked layer on layer, with breaks for drying. No flash, just too much white and a poor photograph! I'll try to glaze later on, and see if I can get some resemblance to an "oil" and the Master. :)


Here's the latest progress with the master study oil painting.

I think I must have made every beginner mistake known to man... :)

Worst one, is how it has become so chalky and dull. Could be from using titanium white with a heavy hand, or from starting with a poorly prepared surface. Not sure, but I'm now at the point of rescuing it by repainting in subdued, and not too dark, related tones so that I can perhaps glaze it with the correct colours at a later stage - after a wipe with either linseed or retouch varnish, or so I've read! ... We’ll see. :)

It's not in the original, but I kind of like the evil smile of the top devil. Accidental result - I'm finding it hard to work details with my big brushes, and have to keep coming back after letting things dry. His face will be fixed as I go along - he should be grimacing with a mouthful of her ear lobe. Bottom devil also needs his gaze not meeting the viewer.


03 March 2007, 01:26 AM
Some new work done, all referenced.

Won’t call them “WIPs” as I’m not necessarily going back to them – they’re part of recent trials and practice :)



03 March 2007, 06:49 AM
Good to see the variety and experimentation here - funny how doing a lot of digital work can send one back to the traditional. :) Am sort of enjoying the back and forth dialogue betweent the two myself as of late. One thing I might suggest if I may is to lightly draw in with a soft pencil the axes of the forms before rendering / detailing. I'm hugely guilty of just going for the gold myself, but lately I've been making an attempt to try to see the big picture first more. It's always more fun for me to go after details, but I always pay for it at the end. ;) For the charcoal / white chalk pieces, I'm curious as to the paper you're working on. I've been trying a few of these types of drawings on textured / toned Canson / Swarthmore paper which takes soft charcoal really nicely. I guess the final thing I could suggest is to draw the whole of the head for the portraits instead of the face only. That will really help to complete the sense of volume, heh, that's another thing I have to constantly remind myself of. :D Great to see the diversity of approach in these and looking forward to updates. :)

03 March 2007, 07:26 AM
Another recent doodle with oil (belongs with the recent work above...) - just messing around at the edge of a canvas.

He/she has a "Rocky B." look to an eye - lost its form working the wet paint :)


Very good advice there, as usual, Rebecca! Thanks. :)

I must take more care, plan more, and not rush ... and include more than the faces!
I will have been in this forum for a year next month, but don't think I have made a year's worth of effort - something to work on in the next one. :thumbsup:

About the paper I used for the charcoal and chalk sketches - it's just lightish gray art paper from my son's primary school. (It didn't photograph to the correct colour.) I think they use it for poster paints, etc. It's very stiff and creases easily - pretty cheap quality.
I was just using it up!

03 March 2007, 07:36 AM
No problem! Wow, a year - hard to believe you started off in the Beginners' Lounge, you've made such rapid progress. :) It's been really cool to see the amazing leaps you've made digitally - so much more patience is required for traditional, and it will be cool to see your strides in that direction as well. Heh, I know what you mean about using paper up - I've found a great paper is the cheap brown wrapping kind that you buy in rolls from Staples :D - ever so much cheaper, and it has a nice texture. :)

10 October 2007, 11:26 AM
Hey Yvonne
where are you?

Going through my sb subscriptions from the last page on and came across yours...
Hope all is well (and your email notifier is on for this thread :D )

11 November 2007, 03:39 AM
Hi there, Johan! Goodness, time has sure flown by.

where are you?
Nowhere exciting; same old, same old. Just getting busier and busier. Hope your family is well, and you are okay, and have a healthier arm these days.

I'm sure you're working just as hard, and making even more progress. :)

I still visit, just not as often, and obviously haven't been posting.

I don't think that I ever showed you this - he may look familiar! I worked off a photo that you put up a while ago; perhaps last year sometime. A really quick job for just the essence.

Another earlier one, done way back then, but not posted.
A second attempt at The Damned , this time in oil pastels.

and your email notifier is on for this thread
You're a detective in your other life..:)

(edit to say that, Johan, I can remove your portrait if you would rather not have it here...)


11 November 2007, 01:31 PM
Hey you've drawn me slimmer than I really am on that picture... I have more fat wobbling around my cheeks :D

Pretty nice, this is the first time I was drawn (to my knowledge)
I feel honored :)

I like your pastel drawing... a medium that is quite hard for me to use.

Do you still draw/paint these days?

If so, would love to see some more of your work
If not, it's never to late to pick up that pencil/brush again :)

(btw, my arm is a lot better, although I have to be careful not to spend too much time at the pc, which is why I've not been using my wacom and painter that much lately. Thanks for caring!)

Take care!

11 November 2007, 09:36 PM
Hi again, Johan!

Yes, still TRYING to draw and paint, just not so much at the moment = sporadic :)

Here is a link to something I was quite pleased with, though it looks too photographic for my taste, now. I worked at a really high resolution, and when the work was compressed, it looked more like a photo than a painting. But I did it for a good cause, and was happy to make the attempt.

digital paintings (

(I'm near the bottom of page 4)

I'll edit later to add a couple more links - just don't have them to hand at the moment. :)

Glad to hear your arm is okay, now, as long as you rest it! I'm noticing a lot of stiffness in my hands, and forearms, at times, so take it easy now and then.


11 November 2007, 09:41 PM
Wow, it's really moving that you did these images. Not to mention that they look great, the first one especially. Big kudos to you. :)

11 November 2007, 12:42 AM
It's been awhile :wavey: awesome work :thumbsup:
hope to see more of your work when you get time


11 November 2007, 07:20 AM
Heh, the boy reminds me of my own son... cute and "tough" at the same time.

I think if you would add a bit of texture to the backgrounds it would bring them to a higher level.
Great paintings Yvonne!
Thanks for sharing

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