View Full Version : Howlinghorse -- sketches/wips

05 May 2006, 10:39 PM
hullo :D I'm trying to improve my human art recently as I'm 16 and it wasn't until last year I started drawing humans... I was happy with horse drawing after horse drawing and then suddenly I realised I had never tried to paint a skin tone. Aaaaand now I'm on a learning curve and I love critique - savage, mean, harsh, fair, or friendly critique, I care not - but above all constructive critique as that is the point after all!

Anyway I'm glad I found this forum, I haven't posted much but everyone's so helpful and there is SO much talent. And I don't want to just improve with portraits and figures but with everything. And I find that talking to people about drawings is a great way to learn, and getting fresh viewpoints on pieces is so motivating! But enough of the long winded intro which makes not much sense as ...well, I never make much sense because I babble too much... so er anyway. onwards!

So to start... I drew this today for the daily sketch forum, topic of "First Love" - hands, my arch nemesises. (I have photoshop and a wacom tablet)

05 May 2006, 10:47 PM
First of all, Hello there HH :) Seen your stuff in the DSG lately :)

Nice to see another wildly enthusiastic person here, this place could use more of us crazy gals. I'm twice your age and I still find myself giddy about life :) It's a good place to be.

Regarding your hands here, there really quite good. I'm not sure if you used a reference but the only issue I really see is the hand in the back -- there is a couple things about the fingers that make it hard to read (but that is only becuase I'm inspecting it to crit it --- actually, upon first 'glance' it looks just fine)

As far as practicing anatomy, I don't know if you have found the Anatomy Forum ( yet, but it's a wonderful place to start :)

Nice to see your WIP thread here!

05 May 2006, 10:50 PM
This would be my current project...I'm a fan of the colour scheme but I am having a lot of trouble with her dress. I have some things in mind for the drawing, but I really do need to hear a few opinions round about now, heh.

05 May 2006, 10:53 PM
Hulloo LM!
I think you're right - at second look, some of the fingers seem wildly weirdly sized, maybe thats what's causing the difficulty. I think I'll have to remember to check that the fingertips are the same size in future.
I had a reference photo from a magazine, but it was rather small...I suppose what I could do is practice drawing from some large pictures of hands, and figure out how to make them more detailed/realistic that way.

Ahh an anatomy forum? Whoaoa, I must go and look, thank you for the link!

05 May 2006, 06:36 PM
Hi! I looked at this earlier too but I couldn't see the first image and I thought I'd wait till I could.
I saw your sketch in the DSG too, and really liked it. I like the whole painterly feeling you have going there.
The second image is quite pretty too, nice yellows. I'd suggest adding a few folds to what she's wearing. Are you doing this from a reference? Her arms looks a tad short too. Nice overall though :)

05 May 2006, 09:30 PM
Hi hiiri, thank you for replying!
I did reference the original sketch from a photograph, I've just trawled through my documents and can't find the reference I used, but if I find it again I'll post it. Folds sounds like a good all I have to do is try and come up with a believable place for them to be. My inexperienced eyes can't tell if the arms are too short or not, I wonder if I could experiment with them and see what looks best.

Here is a close up of her head...I'm going to try and work on it more tomorrow

05 May 2006, 11:05 PM
Ahh, I just love drawing artists at the same time as listening to their music. This is Anthony Kiedis, the Chilis are so brilliant! Drawn during the songs Hump De Bump, Snow (Hey Oh) and Storm In A Teacup so... let me just do the maths... about 12 minutes.

05 May 2006, 04:18 AM
You did that in 12 minutes?!?:eek: Bloody awesome!
Regarding folds in the fabric. They would most certainly show up on her left side where her body bends in a concave shape, don't think a paintover would be necessary to show this. I actually like the profile of the face.
Very nice work, keep it up!

05 May 2006, 08:40 PM
thank-you pap! Folds are difficult for me, I'm going to tackle it when I have a spare moment though.

This is going to be a commission of someone's cat... this being the Concept Sketch stage. I don't know if I like the arrangement though. Does it look catty to you?

05 May 2006, 12:46 AM
what will be in the top right corner? I think this will work if there is "empty space" with good texture and that isn't bounded by the frame, like the wood of a floor (new or old), or a large rug that stretches out both the top and right edges, or somesuch.

edit: I foolishly forgot to say, the figures look superb, no problems at all looking catty :)

05 May 2006, 04:09 PM
Thank you for your comment Grondhammar! I think I'm going to use paving stones as a background, but quite faintly suggested. I've shuffled the two drawings around a bit and some of the blank space is gone now... I thought the cats should be further apart (It's the same cat, I'm not sure if it looks weird to have her looking at herself though...) I've also started smoothing out the fur. Going to try and get it to have the 'realism' feel like I did here: click (

05 May 2006, 12:51 AM
keep us updated, I'd like to see your process on something like the Sherpa pic... good luck!

05 May 2006, 09:41 AM
I was going through My Documents (I tell you I risk my life every time I do this - it's like a jungle in there) and found a huge backlog of WIPs that I never got around to finishing from ...oh, more than a year ago, up to the present day. I'm not sure what to do with them so I'm going to post them here. Comments and suggestions would be exactly what I need to get going on any of them again, if they are worth it! Tell me if any catch your eye...

Black Unicorn - a few months old

Some cartoon-style wolves

Blue and red-lit unicorn

Pair of green unicorns

Herd of unicorns/two unis chasing each other

Pegasus from above (was going to draw a moon below it)

A friend's horse, Robbie (photo reference used for this one)

A random happy looking wolf

An amazing artist called Katy Rewston's character, Bane, as a unicorn

05 May 2006, 01:32 PM
First impressions right off the bat (in order going down from the top):

Green Unicorns
Bane, as a Unicorn

I would push these to finished I think -- they are all already solidly built so just refining is needed.

The green Unicorns in particular gave me a really fairy tale like feel - would love to see a fleshed out fairy tale forest background for that image -- these are really good by the way :)

05 May 2006, 02:58 PM
Green Unicorns, definitely, lots of possibilities for the background. I like what I saw in my head with the pegasus from above image... I saw the moon reflected in a lake or ocean, with the silouette of the pegasus cut out from the bright moon. And finally, the Bane pic I think just needs a full thunderstorm in the distance.

05 May 2006, 07:06 PM

well, both the idea and the painting is great. your skin coloring is very successful. fingers I believe need to be revised yet I am surely not an expert. the energy like light around the hands seems a bit unattached but again the coloring is very very good. for the bacground you may prefer more contrasting one, for example a darker tone like...very very good..


05 May 2006, 03:42 AM
very nice work
very very nice

05 May 2006, 04:50 AM
I love the fairy picture so far, but I agree about the arms being a bit short. The colors are nice.. they make it seem so peaceful. ^^

I also really love the Robbie painting, how his nose is lit up more than the rest of him (although that's probably just because it isn't finished.. but I like it like that a lot :)).

The herd of running unicorns is really nice, too. The cropping and the shady unicorns in back give it a lot of energy.
I'd love to see all these finished! <3

05 May 2006, 06:29 PM
Thank you so much everyone for the advice. :)
It's helped me a lot to narrow down my WIPs and see the finishable ones in a new light!

I also really love the Robbie painting, how his nose is lit up more than the rest of him (although that's probably just because it isn't finished.. but I like it like that a lot :)).

It is on purpose! I love drawing light and shadow, I wanted him to seem like he was stepping out of the darkness.

Been busy these last few and things, but now its half term so I will definitely be finding some time for drawing. :D

05 May 2006, 09:47 PM
Update on the faerie painting, hurrah for half term.

Sparklies, how storybook is that? :P

Do the folds in the dress look ok?

I want to finish it soon, not too sure exactly what needs to be done though... help!

05 May 2006, 08:28 AM
ok, think it might be finished! I worked a lot on getting the colours deeper and generally making it more vivid, gave the sparkles more 'sparkle' etc

05 May 2006, 08:43 AM
Because I forgot to take screenshots, the process I went over during last night while I finished it was something like this:

- Paintover background with brighter greens
- Paint skin with colours picked from the background to liven it up
- Smoothen the folds in the dress, hopefully they're in the right place...
- Get a slightly harder, smaller brush and paint over the wings to give them a more cutout look
- Enhance the sparkles with a small opaque brush, dabbing a bright spot in the centre of each
- Finally make a new layer and get a hard brush, paint over the colours even more vividly to give the painting a crisper feel

05 May 2006, 09:22 AM
Looking great
good work:)

05 May 2006, 10:25 AM
New painting :D There's this amazing candid film on undercurrents ... this is a scene from it; wild horse and police horse ...very touching video.

05 May 2006, 10:31 AM
you really love horses don't you:)
looks like a great start

05 May 2006, 11:51 AM
thank you!
Yes, I do, heh :D

06 June 2006, 04:35 PM
ok, think it might be finished! I worked a lot on getting the colours deeper and generally making it more vivid, gave the sparkles more 'sparkle' etc

great work, seems you start getting comfy with the human form :) hehe, checked out your stuff a bit yesterday and thx for your nice post in the dsg.

Lovely work on the mood, and the characterdesign is beatifull. keep up your great progress. cheers

06 June 2006, 09:03 PM
Thanks thefirstangel, it was really nice of you to leave a comment! :)

I haven't had a lot of time for drawing lately... just now I decided to draw a human face with no reference and see what happened.

BLEH! I hate it.
But it's a learning experience, so I'm posting it. :D
Feel free to pull it to bits. I need help. (Not this drawing, necessarily - I don't think it can be saved - just faces in general)

06 June 2006, 03:08 PM
I suppose the main thing wrong with this that you can remember for next time is the position of the mouth in relation to the nose. The eye looks pretty good to me.
It's never too late to save a drawing! Besides the mouth can easily be fixed because of the simplicity of the picture.

Keep up the hard work!:thumbsup:

06 June 2006, 07:39 PM
Thanks, pap! I'm definitely going to move the mouth as soon as I get back to the drawing. I had a great paintover sent to me :D

Little bit more done on the wild horse/police horse drawing...

06 June 2006, 12:08 AM
Another WIP of the police horse + wild horse painting, beginning to bring in a lighting scheme... took out the rider as well, he was annoying me.

06 June 2006, 08:40 PM
For the DSG topic 'white'
I haven't drawn a cliché unicorn in aaages (white arabian with a tail, that is :P)

1 hour 37 mins so far, I think the horn's too small... if anyone has any critique that'd be REALLY helpful as I'm going to be trying to finish it within the next few hours.

06 June 2006, 09:02 PM
Hope this helps:

Colour Palette and lighting is delicious,

although shadow benath unicorn needs more development -looks like its floating a bit.

maybe the torso is slightly too large and long ...

legs look a bit squat. maybe lengthen.

profile of the horses head looks too canine. Check curve from forehead down.

re neck: 'flexed swan-carriage'. might it be more craned forward?

You did ask...

my most recent:

06 June 2006, 09:07 PM
thanks, that's brilliant :)
The head I'm trying to make dished, like an arabian, but that's never been my forte when it comes to horses... it needs a little more face-bone (I always forget what that bone is called)
You're right about the legs, I think, and torso.
and especially thank you for the shadow comment, I changed it and it looks way better.

06 June 2006, 09:07 PM
Aww that one with the 2 horses is so sweet! It's such a beautiful image, I'm really looking forward to seeing it finished. The unicorn is lovely too, I like the face! I agree about the comment on the length of the torso though. I'm not good at horses though, so I don't knwo what that comment is worth ;)

06 June 2006, 09:09 PM
thankyou hiiri! :D
torso is undergoing renovations, should be done soon.

06 June 2006, 09:36 PM
phew, think it might be almost done now...

06 June 2006, 10:09 PM
aand fiinished! Still unrefined in places but that's kind of my style at the moment, lol. Bad, impatient me.

06 June 2006, 07:24 PM
well seeing as the anatomy of the last horse painting was so... un arabic, I was feeling ...what's the opposite of closure? Anyway, I felt like I wasn't finished with the topic. So here's another arab horse, hopefully more realistic this time.
Hopefully when I've finished this one I'll be able to get back to the older wips and maybe even finish some...


lay out the colours:

begin with detail:

Aaand a close up

critique v welcomed especially regarding background.

06 June 2006, 09:19 PM

the anatomy is proving VERY challenging and VERY fun... arabs have such graceful figures.
haven't touched the bg yet. I think I know what I'm doing though. I hope!

06 June 2006, 09:56 PM
I'm almost definitely overposting now, sorry about the spam. I guess I er, I just like the way its going! :)

06 June 2006, 10:44 PM
awesome! no lesser! how about post this over in the steps thread?

06 June 2006, 11:55 PM
alright! I've just posted in the steps thread :)

here's the finished product :D I do believe its the best thing I've ever painted (but generally when I think that, no one agrees with me)
I can actually feel a little empty space in my chest where I took some of my heart out to put into the drawing... sounds silly but its true. lol!

06 June 2006, 12:17 AM
Its simply awesome. and the final piece is such a beauty. :) thanks for sharing

06 June 2006, 12:21 AM
you're welcome, I'm glad you like it.:bounce:

06 June 2006, 04:35 AM
The last two paintings are awesome. I agree the white unicorn has short legs but it makes it look very powerful.
In the last one the velvety fur looks spot on.

And the step by step posting is very inspiring. Don't think of it as overposting!

06 June 2006, 08:15 PM
thank you pap! :) I only really drew the second one 'cause the first had such wonky anatomy, and I wanted to do the breed justice.

Here I go sorting out some of my old WIPs, here's Bane (hopefully) finished!

(yes I will draw something other than an equine soon.)

06 June 2006, 02:29 AM
Wow, that arab is just beautiful! <3!

Bane looks really nice, too. I love the lighting.

06 June 2006, 01:24 PM
That's gorgeous HH - the sheen on the coat is amazing! Very good work - you should sell prints of that, it's lovely!

07 July 2006, 08:30 PM
Sorry I haven't posted for awhile. Here's a summary of all my drawings since then, just for the sake of keeping the structure intact..

Miho ( Hatori from Cibo Matto, portrait
Astraea ( - A wolf character of someone who bought me a subscription on DA...I'm very proud of this painting, I don't really have a reason though. I just like it.
Painting with a brick? ( At college, with a mouse in photoshop, trying out mouse using techniques
Vanner ( a Gypsy Vanner horse sketch
A black horse type thing ( Also proud of this one. Quite different to most of my drawings. Apart from the fact that it's a horse.
And er... this ( nonsense.

Now. I am painting a commission of two war horses. It's hard work! I need critique! This is where you come in! Please help me out.. give me a fresh eye on it, that kind of thing. Yell at my stupid mistakes if you like doign that kind of thing. Everything is good!

07 July 2006, 10:01 PM
Some more progress!

07 July 2006, 11:11 PM
Yet another update.

I love the way pieces always make a big jump forward when you put some tangible light in...

07 July 2006, 01:58 PM
Same again! (but slightly better)

07 July 2006, 12:43 AM
the final version! It's VERY flawed... but I'm not worrying too much. it'll do!

07 July 2006, 02:02 AM
I'm not so sure about flawed really, just more unrefined - but the sketchiness of it is pretty :)

I like the color change to the purple a lot

07 July 2006, 12:27 PM
Thanks! I'm glad the sketchiness has some appeal. The colour change was the commissioners idea, hehe. I was going to do it originally, but they said red at first. Lol.

Jumping right into another commission...I think this one's just about finished, not sure.

I'm awful at colouring chestnut horses from memory, gaah.

07 July 2006, 04:46 PM
I just know from whom I'll ask help if I ever need to paint a horse! ;) You really nail down their anatomy, and they always look very expressive.

About the dark horses: Normally I like sketchiness, but in this case your forms look a little bit random in comparison with other works of yours. Still, since it's finished, there's not much I can say about it.

07 July 2006, 05:30 PM
About the dark horses: Normally I like sketchiness, but in this case your forms look a little bit random in comparison with other works of yours. Still, since it's finished, there's not much I can say about it.

That's exactly what I thought! I just... I don't like the painting at all, but as its a commission, I didn't want to redo the entire thing (almost did, though) and I couldn't just give up. The forms -are- random. I sketched it and loved it and then ...I stopped 'feeling' the entire picture. I also dislike how smudgy everything looks, like messy paint, even though I didn't change brush once, it just happened...and it's never been like this before when I've done a painting, so I was out of my depth. Maybe I should have started again, but I guess now I've ploughed through it, I'll know what to watch out for in future. Phew, learning processes are complicated things.

07 July 2006, 06:23 PM
Beautiful. I really like how you bring to life the horses you paint. And how they have different shapes. I particularly like the head of the last one which isn't as elongated as usual, gives him a very nice feature. :)

I'll definatly keep an eye on this thread.

07 July 2006, 01:00 AM
:) thanks, Lilie! (That's my middle name :D )

The commissioner wanted me to slim the horse down, hehe... and some other stuff... here it is again:

07 July 2006, 03:16 AM
Hmm his legs looks a little thin now i guess. I would have kept the old legs and only silm down the body. Maybe (well probably) a matter of personnal taste. Still very beautiful. :) Maybe you could lenghten the mane so he looks a little wilder? (Okay.. i have a soft spot for wild horses with long manes. :rolleyes: )

But hey, as they say, the client's always right. :D

07 July 2006, 10:00 AM
I think that you have got photoreferences so I won't tell you nothing about its anatomy, but I can suggest you to use front or 3/4 view for animals to create perspective effect and to delete the bad sensation of 'animal attached on a background' :)

I also suggest you to develop both background and subject in order to create colors interaction .

Watch you soon

07 July 2006, 02:40 PM
By the way, there's a topic at the DSG: "Warhorse" -- just in case you didn't have it in mind. :)

10 October 2006, 12:43 PM
I think that you have got photoreferences so I won't tell you nothing about its anatomy,

no, I didn't have any photo references, so please feel free to tell me what you're thinking!

Thanks for the tip, eilidh, I'm afraid I've been verrry inactive here for a while. There's more free time now though.

again just for the record, here are the paintings I've been working on in the meantime. I've got to a stage now where I'm really, really determined to improve and to push myself.

Sombre Lilac (
Sea Spirals (
Blue Is Your Friend (
Ochredrift (
Fourhoofed Devil (
Ablaze (
Present for Amanda (

10 October 2006, 11:52 AM
Wow, very very nice paintings!
No less can be said.

10 October 2006, 09:47 PM
thanks very much, pap! :)

This is me pushing myself out of my comfort zone. Pretty horses are great but I feel very stuck-in-a-rut, heh. I want to really work on brushstrokes and accuracy, see if I can't get emotion through colours and shapes and compositions. And, get anatomy to flow more easily than it is at the moment.

a sketch of a laughing girl... erk, lots I've got wrong here. I sort of like the way the brush seems quite fluid though. Funny seeing as its only the photoshop default. Actually, that's just about the only brush I use.

10 October 2006, 10:02 AM
Mmm I like it !

10 October 2006, 07:14 PM
aw, thank you CyborgJA! :) I know its not finished, but I probably won't do any more on this.

I don't know what to draw next. I could finish an old WIP but I'm more in the mood for shiny new project-ness.

10 October 2006, 07:39 AM
I agree. Don't touch it cause it's beautiful as it is. Start another one and try to develop it in order to obtain more details.

See you soon,

10 October 2006, 06:58 PM
a new WIP!

ok, well I have this dream... and it's so vivid and poignant every time I have it I wake up thinking "Whoa." And I really want to... illustrate it. Create it. Strikes me as the kind of project I feel like doing at the moment, time consuming, and hopefully big. I want to render it as realistically and effectively as I can... I want to capture my dream!

The dream is this. I'm sorry, it's a very long ramble. Feel free to skip it.

I am at a racehorse racing course. I'm not sure why. A big, stylish one, every woman wearing a hat at least twice the size of her head, everyone dressed smartly. White canes and rails. I push through the crowd towards the green track. As I go, I hear the announcer announcing the next race to shortly begin. I pick up a programme from the floor and read that it is a match between three stallions, simply called Golden, White and Black. The programme boasts of this being the race of the millennium between three unbeaten horses who have never before faced each other.
I reach the rails and see the horses being led around the corral. They rear and paw and twist, foaming and snorting. Whole groups of men are amassed around each one to attempt to control it. Slowly and excitingly amid flying hooves and shouts of "Look out!" they are led to the starting gates and urged inside. Their jockeys are hoisted aboard and grip sweaty reins tightly with gloved hands. I am frightened for them and for the horses inside these tiny compartments. The announcer is building up his commentary to a fever pitch.
The gun sounds and the gates crash open. Like cannonballs the three stallions fling themselves into throttle and power forward over the turf. The enormous crowd of people watching gasps as the horses whip past, legs moving like pistons. The jockeys become merely blurs of colour as they cling to the saddles.
One lap, and two, no one can take their eyes off the three horses, the lithe black, the muscular grey, the rangy chestnut. The stadium is strangely silent. Each stride they take, the other two match. None of them can pull ahead and leave the others behind. As one they strive for greater and greater speeds and as one they continue to meet them.
Third lap and the horses are still picking up speed. "Impossible," the commentator is ranting. The stallions are reaching the end of the third lap and the end of the race. None of them can overtake, they are locked in equilibrium, and the clods of earth they kick up fly behind them with the speed of bullets.
The finishing post is looming... they sweep past. The crowd cries in astonishment. The horses are not even slowing down. Up in the monitoring gallery the photofinish shows that the black's muzzle was ahead at the decisive moment, but no one is paying attention to this result. Stride for stride the stallions take a fourth lap at full throttle, then a fifth...
The gates are being closed as they sweep round the halfway mark of the sixth lap. But the horses don't even falter as they see the impassable barrier ahead of them. Maybe they sense that this challenge is unsettled, maybe they are tired of the human way of judging, maybe they wish to finish the contest on their own ground... they turn to the track fence and leap it with room to spare, all three of them sailing over, two jockeys falling and rolling dizzy and exhausted, arms cracking from holding the rains. The third is unseated at the next obstacle, a line of parked cars, which the horses clatter over, half climbing and half jumping. Riderless they continue, towards the stadium fence - ten feet high and solid wood.
Landrovers are rumbling over the plain dirt ground, hoping to head off the loose stallions, men waving ropes rush after them. Before anyone can get near, the three powerful racers hit the fence at what is almost a full-speed collision. They dig in their hind hooves and strike the fence with their chest and forelegs so hard it cracks and tips beneath their weight. They are over, and running, running up the tussocky hillside and away into the distance, still together.
Shock and consternation fills the stadium, but as it is my dream, I leave that behind and follow the horses over the rolling hillsides with the grey skies above lending a sombre, dramatic tone to the heathery landscape. I wonder if they are about to fight to the death. Did their frustration with their limited world get to them? Did they sense they would never be free to honour each other's strength? Did they realise that in each other they had found the only horses in the world that were their equals? I wonder if they have ever felt this free before.
A rocky moorland stretches before them. They are running now for pleasure, sweat staining their coats but heads held high and footfalls light and easy. They slow as one to a steadier pace, heading up the slope, higher and higher. Bit by bit their tack is being shed - a girth here, a leg bandage there, blinkers, bits. Unfettered they continue.
Eventually atop the wild lonely mountain they stop. Necks arched and tails streaming, they circle each other, snorting gently, graceful and calm. Then they turn to face each other, and I feel I should expect a charge, violence, fighting... but no. They stand up tall on their hindlegs only, forefeet lifted as if in salute. The world seems to hold its breath. Their manes blow and furl. They are respectful as they acknowledge each other.

anyway, the point is... here is my first WIP of the illustration!.. It's going to have much more in it, though. :D

10 October 2006, 07:02 PM
The idea is great and you know...I love horses but I think you can improve the composition placing other elements or giving more balance to these ones.

Take care of colors too. You have described the 3 horses as they are in full midday light while the background is quite dulled.

Looking forward for updates,

10 October 2006, 07:07 PM
definitely going to add more compositional elements! I just have to figure them out...
good tip with the colours - heh, I really should work those out soon. I'm going to subdue the horses, make them more gloomy, and hopefully smooth out the landscape a bit and try and add some depth. There's lots to do!
thanks so much for your advice :)

10 October 2006, 02:36 PM
ok I'm knuckling down to this one now.

I like the composition better now..and the lighting too a bit. Still, it's horrendously messy and rough so any advice is warmly appreciated.

10 October 2006, 04:54 PM
I think I like the composition for now...probably will change though.
more refinement:

10 October 2006, 08:42 AM
Uhh, beautiful idea this cloudy sky.
I love those sunrays that come out from clouds. I only suggest you, if you want, to add more shadows near the horizon line and to make darker the clouds that are far from the scene and, in the same time, add strong contrast to horses and play with lighting on them. This will help you in :
- focusing the eye on the horses
- adding depth to your image

See the reference (you know...sometimes images are better than 100000 words)

Hope that it helps,
Serena :)

10 October 2006, 10:25 PM
thanks so much Serena! I understand completely what you're saying, it's extremely helpful =]

now distracting myself with a halloweeny theme (got so irritated with a vampire I drew yesterday that I just had to try again.)

Calling it "Vampire's First Bite"

could do with help! Am not using references. Ugh!

I guess I'll probably either figure it out or ditch it... but... in the meantime... if anyone sees anything worth picking up on pleaseplease feel free to be as harsh as you can.

10 October 2006, 09:02 AM
Yea, vampires! ;) I like the feeding angle you have, but right now it looks like she is digging into the collarbone( well it IS her first time, so..) I think the image might flow better if you painted the victim first and then adjusted the vampire around it. I say that because then the vampire face can be aligned correctly, right now it seems a little off. Also check the length of the nose and the jaw, right now the chin seems to be missing. Easy to fix though :)
I hope you continue with it, looking forward to updates :)

The image with the three horses is beautiful! I agree with Serena on the dramatic sky, I think it would look fantastic with the horses.

10 October 2006, 10:19 AM
she does indeed seem to be eating the shoulder-collarbone area, heh. I'm going to move the victim down a little and have them leaning into her so the angle makes more sense... it's meant to be a little awkward, but in a realistic way. Thanks for your advice =]

10 October 2006, 12:04 PM
Shreya tolds you all.
I only suggest you to have some quick studies if you are unsure on elements' pose or anything else. All the greatest artist drew thousands of sketches to develop their pics and I think it really helps to understand what you want from the pic without loosing too many hours painting and re-painting it (with the BLEEEACHHH effect after the 30 hs on the same subject :scream:)
So, good work, I'll looking forwards for updates,

10 October 2006, 12:49 AM
I've had to put the vampire on hold for a drawing which I just began and has a deadline in four days time, erk...

Basically the theme is Genesis, creation. I think I'm going to draw something to do with the idea of creation through dreams as below. Hmm, it seems a little uninteresting now but I'm hoping the concept will come through better when I give it some colour...

10 October 2006, 10:49 PM
Now working with the colours...actually the wallpaper has taken the longest time, and now I'm not even sure if it looks right! XD

about lighting... I'm imagining a lamp to the left of the image, but I don't think I'm drawing it in. And the 'dream' will be emitting its own fantasy-style light.

10 October 2006, 11:00 PM
You do beautiful work. Are you still sixteen, because that's just, well, damn!

Obviously you're limited in your commisioned work, but the composition seems slightly off. Instead of appearing to breath out the dream/creation, perhaps it should emanate more from her forehead/mind? Either that or make it more obvious that she's puffing it out instead of it being drawn from her lips. It simply seems a little awkward.

Incidentally, would you mind taking a glance at the horse painting in my own thread (link in sig)? You can't miss it, just look for the dismal little place with no visitors ;)

10 October 2006, 11:09 PM
ah no, I'm seventeen now :) thanks though!

I guess it does seem awkward, it's simply the image that came to mind. I think if I made it a little more 'breathy' near her mouth, it might look a more natural? Hmm, I think I'll puzzle over it and try and come up with something.

Gonna check out your thread now, thanks very much for your comment!

10 October 2006, 10:25 PM
In the middle of one of my projects... I really must pack in this habit of having 10 billion paintings on the go at once... and I tried out a new technique. I quite like it, so I thought I'd share! :)

Basically, I have this nightly sea-scape Autumnal hunter's moon type scene, with a bay unicorn with white markings, a headshot. As its a simplish piece I decided to go doolally with the details. I decided to cut and paste the unicorn's eye into a new PSD file and blow it up to extreme proportions, work on the details, then shrink it down and paste it back into the original painting. So here is the original eye, the blown-up version:

and this is the detailed paintover I then did:

Here the two eyes are as part of the whole image... as you can see, you can't really tell them apart at this size, heh.

but, I think the subtle difference is enough that I'll want to try this again =] and hopefully I can get the same amount of detail to reside in the rest of this painting... if I can stick to it long enough, that is.

Just thought I'd share that, anyway.

10 October 2006, 07:07 PM
"The Genesis of Dreams" update the third...gosh that deadline is getting close. =|


10 October 2006, 01:14 AM
well, that's as finished as it's going to get for the moment!

The Painting on DA ( - the full size file won't fit in photobucket. >(

So... forward march to the next WIP! XD

10 October 2006, 01:26 AM
Are you ONLY 17 ys old? Hey, you are on the way to be a PRO !

I've seen you pic on DA and I must tell you 2 things.

1: I think that the girl is too 'shifted' to the bottom border. My eye tells me that the horse is great but the girl has not the right 'power' to balance the scene

2: WOW GUY, you have done an incredible work with the horse. Stylish, stylish and stylish. But you have not painted the girl with all this quantity of details. Why? Is she less important than the horse?

About the bay unicorn : to be honest I prefer the eye #1. It has got more power. Do not forget that horses have not our kind of pupil ;)

10 October 2006, 03:24 AM
Ceinwen, you have some great work in this thread. I'll have to come and visit more often. I love the vampire piece you started; I hope you come back to it.


10 October 2006, 11:59 AM
CyborgJA - thanks!
I think the girl has less details 'cause I just don't have the amount of experience with humans as with horses... it came to the point where I wasn't confident to go any further with her. I think it really shows in this piece especially as they're both in it together. Am planning to do some realistic human studies as soon as I can to try and bolster my abilities in that area!
Horses do have a pupil, I know it's a very long wedge-shaped one however, it does look a bit off I agree. But I was really trying to draw the reflection in there anyway, of the sea and sky, and still make it look eye-shaped! I think it needs more lustre though, thanks for the tip =]

cris, thank you! I'm going to try my best to finish that in time for Halloween, but my anatomy is so awful, both characters in it will probably look disfigured.

10 October 2006, 02:50 PM
ok, I got fed up of my inability to handle skin tones and faces. I'm going to paint 10 realistic faces in a row for practice.

Face 1 is begun... I'm trying out a technique of getting the basic colours down. The brush is at 100% opacity and flow.

10 October 2006, 03:37 PM

10 October 2006, 09:35 AM
You are doing a great work. Nothing to say at the moment except for ear's alignment, but of course, I'll wait for the next step.:)


10 October 2006, 02:48 PM
She looks very nice so far.:)
If you shade with the same quality as with your horse paintings then I can't wait to see the end result!

11 November 2006, 10:29 PM
I'm going to knuckle down and try and get this to look finished as soon as possible. My new camera distracted me but I've planted myself thoroughly back in photoshop now and it should be possible to finish soon.

CyborgJA and Pap, thanks so much for your comments! :)

Work in progress number 3... been smoothing out and generally trying to make the textures more realistic. There's very little depth, though! argh...

11 November 2006, 11:10 PM

11 November 2006, 11:22 AM
This is turning out very nice!
I think the reason it looks flat is because it's being lit from the front. It looks quite accurate still, but if you really want more depth and contrast try lighting it from the side. But it would be a shame to change what you have here already, if it means wrecking it, because it looks so nice already. :thumbsup:

11 November 2006, 03:36 PM
Weeee beautiful !!
You are making a good work !

11 November 2006, 03:51 PM
Improving nicely :applause:

11 November 2006, 06:07 PM
Your whole thread is absolutely lovely, it was really interesting looking through it. It *amazes* me how well you can draw horses with no ref!!! :-O The whole thread just ooozes talent!

Your current WIP is looking gorgeous - her eyes are full of expression and that hair is shaping up nicely! I'm not exactly a good source of advice on skin tones since I'm currently battling with them myself not-so-successfully... yours seem perfect here though! There's only one thing that bugs me slightly, that's the size of her nose-tip. It seems a little small, I feel it should extend more into the left (her right) cheek.

Try putting a highlight on her right (our left) cheek to match the other one, I think it may help the depth issue, but that's just a nitpick. Hm. I have nothing left to say other than good luck, I think! I hope that helped a bit! :S

11 November 2006, 10:25 PM
Okeydokey, so THIS is the big unicorn portrait I've been slaving over. I reached an impasse (partly because my computer was running slowly, and I got so frustrated my inspiration all melted away - I hate that). So here's the work in-progress, so far... if anyone sees anything that could be improved or changed, now would be a brilliant time to point it out, I'm pretty much open to changing absolutely anything. This is rather big - I'd show closeups if I thought my computer could handle the full file right now. sorry for the text, it's a present - and his ears are meant to be tufted.









11 November 2006, 10:31 PM
thank you very much for your comments people. I'm definitely going to work on the highlights and shading on the face, and her nose is really in need of a sort-out too. Hugs to everyone for taking the time to look! =D

11 November 2006, 05:07 AM
I love the unicorn, you don't usually see unicorns painted like that, its very different. I think that the neck should be more boxy, more muscular, because the head looks so masuline. I also think it would make the painting more interesting if you made the body facing towards us but then keep his head turned, or make it facing away from us i dunno, make it so that is neck is turned in some direction. Just my thoughts, I really hate it when Im stuck on a painting, and when I am, I like to hear lots of different opinions. Im sure you'll find a good way to finish it.
Just thought about this- what about a mane? (With the dark and light hairs same as the 'beard')
hope to see more soon!

11 November 2006, 09:56 PM
Sorry this thread is moving so-oo slowly... blame college, and my laggy photoshop. I think I need to reformat my computer...

@jackie66: I read your comment though I did not reply, and took into consideration what you said - thanks so much, awesome advice, thanks. I thought the mane was a good addition to the composition.

This is how it came out, anyway.. I think it may be a little dark, but then again, that was the point, I wanted just a hint of the character in there. Well the final version for better or worse, looks like this:

And now I'm back to working on that moorland image. It's progressing unbelievably slowly. I've spent maybe 30 more minutes on it since last update. I hope to get hit by inspiration soon and stay up all night finishing it. The worst thing about college is being unable to be insomniac in that way. :P

This is it so far anyways.

um... and... OH yes! The Realistic Face Project...
Well this one is going ok, but it's still not lifelike enough for me. Should I give up and go onto the next one, or carry on striving for realism? I think there's at least one more stage in it...

11 November 2006, 06:42 AM
The face has come a long way since the beginning. She looks really nice now. Now that it's more crisp I can see the nose just needs a little attention. We should be able to see a bit of her other nostril too from this angle.

Excellent work on the facial proportions, she is very attractive:love:

11 November 2006, 07:27 AM
The face has come a long way since the beginning. She looks really nice now. Now that it's more crisp I can see the nose just needs a little attention. We should be able to see a bit of her other nostril too from this angle.

Excellent work on the facial proportions, she is very attractive:love:

Quoted. Plus, as usual, a great sense of color. She's very elegant.

11 November 2006, 11:24 PM
thanks so much you two... I'm going to open up that file now and see if I can't get to the finished stage with it. The nose will definitely be undergoing some slight reshaping.

In the meantime, I'm still determined enough to be working on this thing :P The composition is what I want to get right right now. I think it's better, the slope of the land is different. Might still need to be more panoramic though. I added some fierce wind, don't know if that helps the atmosphere any...

11 November 2006, 12:38 AM
hurrah, I think it's finished. =D


11 November 2006, 06:15 AM
Well done again on the portrait!

For the horse painting, it might be cool to make the clouds behind quite dark (they are storm clouds aren't they? correct me if I'm wrong) and the horses brightly lit from the front, kinda the way it looks just before a storm if you get what I mean. Just an idea.

I look forward to an update :thumbsup:

12 December 2006, 07:53 PM
thanks pap... gosh, I'm looking forward to things stopping being so relentlessly busy when I can settle down again and just PAINT.

in the meantime, I finished that old police-horse+wild-horse painting... and here it is.

very monochromatic... I tend to do that a lot. I think its just the way I evolve - I used to draw nothing but greyscale, and now sometimes I try more realistic colourschemes but I'm still most comfortable with monochrome.

Anyway. photoshop 7+tablet as usual... and... hope everyone is alright, as I'm afraid due to the craziness of my schedule right now, I haven't been keeping up with any threads here at all :(

and early merry Xmas/solstice/holiday/end-of-days-getting-shorter, hurrah.

12 December 2006, 06:57 AM
Well, monochromatism is not SO bad. If well used it can obtain the same result of the whole colourswheel!

I love your Lipiza's !

12 December 2006, 12:55 PM
early merry Xmas/solstice/holiday/end-of-days-getting-shorter, hurrah.

Haha, wish I could say the same about the days-getting-shorter down here.

12 December 2006, 05:49 PM
I actually quite like monochrome but it does need to be used well. Katy Rewston is brilliant at it (Probably because she's brilliant at EVERY kind of colour use, but I think she uses monochrome more than anything else.. anyways). I would prefer to have a full command of the spectrum so I'll try and steer clear of greyscale/mono for a little while now.

and aw, pap, I forgot about that. well at least you can enjoy long days right now, here the nights just seem endless!

12 December 2006, 07:59 PM
I was expecting to be too braindead to draw today. especially after many commissions just being done in the traditional medium and I wasn't very happy with any of them but time ran out... anyway, that wasn't really fun, and I was all ready just to go and flop down and spend hours on Minesweeper or something.

But no. My emotions have conjured something up and I actually feel very motivated towards it.

I'm sorry to have so many WIPs on the go at once... oh heck, maybe I should just let go and stop trying to be at all disciplined and paint whatever I feel like. Lol, prepare for twenty-bazillion paintings at once...

anyyyyway, this is the one I'm drawing right now. My 'brief' to myself was: "Green room with a red dress and gold in it. Black sofa, red curtains. Big cushions. An emotion that could be either bliss or melancholy."

I don't know where I'm going with that, but this is what I have:


some colour:

12 December 2006, 08:29 PM
Like this new one on the couch - excellent color scheme :D

12 December 2006, 09:21 PM
more effort:

thank you Renee :) I'm so glad you do - extra motivation for me!

12 December 2006, 09:48 AM
I already love the dress. Check her shoulder's curve : it seems to be too 'hard' for the arm in this position. Try to make it follow the back-line. :love:

12 December 2006, 01:00 PM
I'm really liking the look of this one. I agree with Serena about the curve of the body. Maybe it would be better if the back was curving in a concave shape.
Great work on the folds of the clothing.

12 December 2006, 11:02 PM
thanks very much for your opinions - I've tried the concave shape... does it look more correct? more convincing? Still too straight?

also, I trekked onwards with the dress folds. Definitely a challenge for me.

and I want a chaise longue like that...

12 December 2006, 11:53 PM
Challenging to get the girl's anatomy right in when he's hulking like that. I'll check up on your progress from time to time. Keep posting :)

01 January 2007, 05:38 PM
Commission time has come again, which I now have to finish all of them before anything else. Might be able to work on the personal projects in between times though.

Annnyyway, some wolves that someone wants drawn.

Sketch (no refs, I was quite shocked at the uberrealism as I don't draw wolves much):

Tentatively trying to find a colour scheme/bg that matches the mood:

01 January 2007, 09:51 PM
I think the wolf painting is done now - hurrah, one day.

Waiting for feedback from commissioner... In the meantime, a closeup of their heads:

and on to the next painting! Something I love drawing - a bay arabian horse. :buttrock:


Blocked in colours:

Bit of shading:

close up of what it looks like right now:

more later!

01 January 2007, 01:37 AM
4 hours later (how can it have been that long??!)..... it's done!!

*passes out*

01 January 2007, 09:23 AM
Your arabian is really BEAUTIFUL. Really. I love it.

The dogs are beautiful too but they do not have got the same tridimensional description, especially on fur, that you are able to paint with horses. So....I wait more pics :buttrock:

01 January 2007, 09:33 AM
That latest horse picture is amazing.

And I like
as well.

keep up the great work, it's inspirational.

01 January 2007, 11:41 PM
Serena: Thank you! =] I think you're right, although what I'm aiming for is definitely to be able to achieve a similar feel with any subject.

Frostblade: Ohh, I'm honoured you like my painting. :) I'm glad you like 'express' too, I'm going to go back and work more on that soon. Extra motivation!

Well, the commissioner called me on my sloppiness with painting that wolf fur (fair enough, too), so I revisited it, I was stuck for about half an hour on what exactly I should do there... I just added details and pondered... then I decided to go crazy with the lighting and try and 'lift' the painting. This is what I have right now. Still don't know if it's finished... sorry for the watermark, I didn't remember to save two copies...

01 January 2007, 12:54 AM
Yet another one begun.

A horse running by a burning tree... has been coming easily so far, but will I get to the lifelike stage intact?... this is the colour sketch:

01 January 2007, 11:46 AM
Uhm...please...can you have an experiment with the white wolf?
Create a new layer and cover what now appears grey (like pencil) with dark malvas (like the dark areas of your background) plus few touches of orange on her muzzle to focus the attention with complementary colors.

It's the third time I see this image (twice yesterday plus one now) and I my eyes always "fall down" on this grey.... I don't know if it's the right choice but...try it :bounce:

01 January 2007, 07:34 PM
oohh, sounds interesting... I will try it...

more on the burning tree:

01 January 2007, 07:43 PM
Is this a little like what you meant?

01 January 2007, 08:32 PM
haha, too many works-in-progress..

This one is slooowly coming, how does her back and general pose look? :S

01 January 2007, 09:59 AM
Your horses' description is always incredible! :love:
For the white wolf...yes! But of course, it's a matter of taste :love:

01 January 2007, 11:28 PM
Having had time to chew it over, it looks much better like that, I especially like the orange on the nose... never thought about complementary colours like that before! Thanks for your help there.

Now... I'm calling this one finished 'cause I.... got tired of it. And I thought I'd quit while it looked vaguely like oil paints. (In my opinion at least)

01 January 2007, 12:05 AM

And you can find the work-in-progress file on Deviantart :)

Here ( *nods*

01 January 2007, 09:35 AM
Back, pose, folding and colorscheme are perfect. I only suggest you to refine a little her hand and it'll be perfect !

01 January 2007, 09:08 PM
It is Boudicca, yayy. I love the DSG. It's a very unrefined and kind of an awfully proportioned portrait, but TheFirstAngel if you're there, I have definitely improved at this angle since you sent me that incredibly helpful email :)

I'd reallly love to continue and make her super-realistic but I'm not sure where to go from here... mebbe I'll just... try it and see.

1 hour in photoshop.

01 January 2007, 11:59 AM
After seeing some of your work over at the DSG i thought i'd check out this thread.Very nice! You really paint horses well - hence the name huh?
I actually painted my first horse today for the Boudica DSG topic. Cerainly nowhere up to the standard you do your horses, but fun nonetheless.
Keep up the good work. I'll be visiting again :)

01 January 2007, 02:45 PM
Redfrog - I saw your horse sketch, I love how alive and dynamic it looks! It's also got great perspective which I'm generally not very good at, hehe.
Thanks for stopping by, I'm off to look at your thread. :)

Edit: oooooo! Two stars! I feel quite honoured to have any stars at all :D

01 January 2007, 09:17 AM
I just made a comment on your DA page but I thought it would be nice to leave a comment here. Your WIP's have been very interesting to look at. I love how your stepping out of your comfort zone with a lot of your pics.
I will be watching for more posts, and hopefully I can help out a little.

01 January 2007, 09:31 AM
Your boudica sketch is very nice, I would like to see further steps if you decide to work it some more :)

01 January 2007, 10:18 AM
Anisi: thank you! I suppose the whole point of this thread was really to step out of The Comfort Zone, hehe. And it's reallly helped me, I think.

Ivy00: I'm definitely going to be continuing on the Boudicca one and trying to make it as realistic as I possibly can. I need a LOT of practice in human realism. :) I'm glad you like it!

edit: practicing red hair... probably will go more smoothly with the tablet. But the colours are what I really want to practice. I have red hair myself, so luckily I'll have plenty of reference.

01 January 2007, 08:59 AM
update time...
I've done a little more on the Boudicca painting, not sure what to think of it now

also, started a new painting in the interests of improving realism. This thing WILL be photorealistic if I have to work on it for six months.

01 January 2007, 09:16 AM
Your new horse is looking great :)

01 January 2007, 10:43 AM
This thing WILL be photorealistic if I have to work on it for six months.

Excellent! Will be looking forward to that.

The face, however, is a bit wonky. I think it's mostly to do with the eye on our right. It's a bit small. The mouth also looks a little misshapen too, but the rest is pretty good. :thumbsup:

01 January 2007, 02:51 PM
Your horse work is beautiful and the anantomy is solid. Great stuff !

01 January 2007, 11:20 AM
The horse has got a prfect muzzle. I love it
check "Boudicca" left eye : it's on a different plane if compared to the right one

02 February 2007, 10:50 AM
I'm glad you like the horse. I haven't had a moment to do anything with it, as of now, and I'm seeing a lot of proportion problems, but it will definitely be a rewarding painting (I'm pretty sure)

Yet another WIP, I haven't drawn a winged horse for a while. Still can't draw wings, but without reference I don't think it looks tooo bad. Today I'm going to find some references and get it properly up to scratch. Sorry about the massive copyright, the character's creator doesn't want the design used

and this is a disaster of a painting for a art card collaboration project.. I think I'm going to restart the concept of 'Hippo' entirely. Gahh, it just looks so awful. The underwater and above water don't seem like part of the same painting, which was the whole point...

02 February 2007, 01:11 PM
Few more images.

A selfportrait (doodled because nothing else would open)
aaand... the pegasus continues:

And a doodle that I may work on a bit, pale blue is a nice colour and it'll be challenging trying to get that realistic 'morning' look that I always seem to be trying for... though it IS a unicorn so I should probably not waste too much time on it

02 February 2007, 07:59 PM
Nice pegasus HH. That should come up nicely.

And that self portrait is so....ummm....hmmm..googly eyed?
Hehe. Nice little doodle that made me chuckle :)

02 February 2007, 03:51 PM
hehe, thanks redfrog! I have in fact finished the winged horse, here tis:

and a closeup:

more work on the Classical painting... I've never used such a painterly palette before!

again a closeup.

02 February 2007, 05:14 PM
LOL i love that bug-eyed doodle!!
And u do have a knack for horses :)

The classical painting's looking real good.. cant wait to see it finished

btw... hope you dont mind, i liked the hippos, it was sad to see them abandoned so i tried to see if i could produce the effect you needed.

tell me if this works :P

02 February 2007, 01:12 PM
justanothercow; Whoa, thank you so much! I'm pleased you like them - and you made the water look watery, which is what I've been struggling with, so... that is incredibly helpful :) I'm going to try and resurrect it now. :D

02 February 2007, 09:15 AM
another Boudicca wip... lol she has stopped looking human

02 February 2007, 11:27 AM
I think it's the nose, it's too flat and narrow. Too far to the right as well. As a result, the mouth is slightly too far to the right as well D:

03 March 2007, 12:37 PM
Hmm... well, I'll try and fix her when I feel the inspiration. In the meantime I'm sorry for vanishing yet again, but I am still alive... just I moved out and don't have the internet now. Also college is very hectic as its the end of the final year! Painting is still a great way to escape all the isanity though so here is some stuff.

The classical painting is 'finished' though I'm thinking of doing more still on it, it'll hold for now.

The dream illustration is STILL going. I'm simply determined to finish it and make it look right somehow. I've moved the horses down and tried to give it a more 'oil paint' look.

Aaand... a unicorn quick thing done yesterday.

closeup 1:

closeup 2 where you can see the tattoos and earrings sort of although its sketchy:

This whole thing was basically meant to be a relaxation thing, nothing more. I definitely jumped right back into my comfort zone. And notice the photoshop grass brush... ouch. Lazy. It's also a scene from the 'story in my head' about this character. I always find drawing her very easy. If anyone is interested I'll post the WIPs but apparently I can't do it now as that would be too many images in one post, hehe.

hum... I'm sorry I haven't been commenting on anyone else's threads, for some reason I'm not getting the email notifications any more and it's a bit confusing trying to keep up.

03 March 2007, 12:59 PM
Very nice work. keep it up. your doing awesome!! :)

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