View Full Version : Sketchbook Thread of space-sprayer

06 June 2006, 11:01 PM
Hi Everyone

My name is Nick. I am starting an animation course at Universtiy here in England in a few months. I know that while I am there they will keep doing figurative drawing to help you with characters etc, but I am very interested in this area, and want to get good at it before I go. I will have 3 months of summer with absolutely nothing going on, so I can work everyday to improve, I just need some help.
So far, I have used reference photos to produce some fully rendered sketches, which I am fine at. If I can look at a photo, I can sketch it to a high standard. My problem is that if I try to be creative and imaginative, I don't end up with anything a 3 year old would be proud of. I have followed some of the tutorials I have found on here, and they have been helpful so far. I was wondering if anyone could just point me in the right direction of some good beginner tutorials. If anyone knows of figure drawing dvds on the market I am willing to invest in that if it comes reccommended? I have just ordered a book that was reccommended by Rebbeccak in one of her posts, so that should be here shortly, but if anyone can help, that would be great!

Thanks in advance. I am planning on being very actice on here for a long time now, and I am really motivated and dedicated about doing this, so hopefully i can make some good progress.


06 June 2006, 11:20 PM
Welcome aboard Nick! :)

It's great to hear about your background, and I wish you luck in your course. Regarding good training DVDs, I would recommend checking out a few of Glen Vilppu's DVDs, which can be found here:

The problem is that he divides the DVDs into too many sections (for maximum profit ;)) but the guy is a master, and razz has been doing some wonderful studies from the DVDs, and it looks like they are really paying off.

Anatomy Thread of razz (

I am happy to move and rename this thread to the following location:

Personal Anatomy & Sketchbook Threads (

and rename it to "Anatomy Thread of space-sprayer". You wouldn't then need to create a new thread, I'll just move and rename this one. :)

See this thread for information about personal Anatomy Threads:
FAQ: Can I Create My Own Anatomy Thread? (

Links to all Personal Anatomy Threads can be found here:
Anatomy Threads of Individual Users (

I encourage you to look at other peoples' threads and to see what they're up to.

You can find links to useful resources here:

Anatomy Resources : BOOKS (

and here:

Reference for Anatomical and Figurative Art (

Also, Open Figure Drawing Workshop 018 starts tomorrow evening, and you are most welcome to join in! The current OFDW 017 is just wrapping up, the best work from which is soon to be SPOTLIGHTED:

Open Figure Drawing Workshop - Sorolla, Zorn, Leon Master Copy - with Rebeccak 017 (

Looking forward to seeing your work! :)



06 June 2006, 11:28 PM
Wow thats an incredibly fast reply, thanks Rebecca!

Im gonna go right ahead and order Vilppu's first dvd, the Gesture 1 dvd; it looks great!
Thanks for pointing me towards all those resources too, i'm gonna exhaust them all to help me.
Feel free to ove this thread too, if you feel it would be better suited there. I will try and upload some work to show you all soon!
Again, I appreciate the speedy reply!


06 June 2006, 11:42 PM
No problem, Nick! Let me know how you like the DVD. :)



06 June 2006, 01:13 PM
Here is a little doodle that I felt happy enough with to see what you think. Im sure there are a million things wrong with it, but its a start for me. Just took a minute or two to do. I will post some better ones later. Sorry if the quality isn't great, it is a photo coz i dont have a scanner.

Comments and Crits appreciated

06 June 2006, 03:08 PM
Hi Nick,

Let's see more of your drawings! :) It's quite difficult to crit just one fast piece, it will definitely give me a better idea of where you're at when more work is posted. Looking forward to seeing it! :)



06 June 2006, 10:41 PM
Here are a few more. This illustrates my problem. When I have a figure to copy (this one was from life) then i am not too bad. Its still got loads and loads wrong with it, but its not a complete failure in my eyes.
The problem is, compare this to the below images which have no reference. They are hideous...

So, you see my problem :(

06 June 2006, 10:54 PM

Lol, I don't know why people think that they should be able to draw figures from the imagination right off the bat. Count how many drawings from life + master drawings you have done in your life. It is probably less than 100, maybe even 50. To really build up a good, solid vocabulary of figurative 'terms' and memory, you really have to do hundreds of drawings. This can be anything from sketches to full fledged drawings, but the point is that you must do a lot of them in order to eventually be able to draw from imagination. :)

You're at a good starting point. Aim to do a set number of master drawings, say, 20 in a week or 2. Keep setting goals, and doing more drawings.

See this useful thread with links to Master Copy Resources:

Master Copy Resources (

Looking forward to seeing your progress! :)



06 June 2006, 01:52 AM
I agree with Rebecca. Don't get discouraged, just keep drawing.... breaks into song: just keep drawing, just keep drawing, what do we do, we draw, draw draw...:)

06 June 2006, 05:02 PM
Thanks guys

Yea i guess it was being over ambitious to expect top results this soon. Thanks for putting it into perspective for me though Rebeccak, and i will buy your record when you release it mybutterflyiris :)

I will work on the master copies, and keep posting for criticisms and advice. See you very soon...


06 June 2006, 06:08 PM
Hi hi!

I'm new to here too! Great to see you starting!!!

Lol, I don't know why people think that they should be able to draw figures from the imagination right off the bat. Count how many drawings from life + master drawings you have done in your life. It is probably less than 100, maybe even 50. To really build up a good, solid vocabulary of figurative 'terms' and memory, you really have to do hundreds of drawings. This can be anything from sketches to full fledged drawings, but the point is that you must do a lot of them in order to eventually be able to draw from imagination. :)

I used to hate references and copies too! But these few months I have slowly accepted them and I do see some progress (I guess so =x)
Let's improve together!!!

06 June 2006, 10:29 PM
Good to see another new artist. Is your work of similar level to mine? If you want, i think it could help us both to see each others comments and suggestions, so you can post some of your work in my thread. I'm not sure if you are supposed to, but it may help us both to see each others work, and see each others comments and criticisms. Up to you, i guess you may want your own thread.
Anyway, i have been working on some photo reference, and i have ordered a book to copy some masters work, so that should get here soon.


06 June 2006, 02:11 AM
Hey guys,

You are free to do whatever you want (within reason, of course) with your threads, so any collaborations are more than fine by me! :) However, generally I think people prefer to keep their own work in their own threads, but who am I to say what people like to do? :)

To keep up with one another's threads, I recommend just subscribing to each other's threads and that way you'll know when one or the other has posted an update. :)



06 June 2006, 09:15 AM
Yea thats probably a better idea.
Plus iv'e just checked and BNN has her own thread anyway. I'll just subscribe to that one. Ill have some work on here to show you by tonight too!


06 June 2006, 10:37 PM
Here are a few sketches from today.
The first 2 were pretty quick - 10 mins for the first, and about 15 - 20 mins for the second. The last one is much more finished off, with more attention to detail and muscle structure. I apologise for the low quality of my images, its not ideal taking pics of my sketches instead of scanning them, but its the best I can do for now.

Any advice would be great. By the way Rebeccak, I ended up ordering Vilppu's head costruction, and upper torso anatomy dvds. Also I ordered Michelangelos master draughtsman book, along with Raphaels master draughtsman book, for some good master copies - they should arrive soon. I just recieved my anatomy book my Peck, and am reading through that now. Im contemplating getting Hogarths dynamic gestures book, but i have plenty to work with for now, so that can wait.

I wasn't focusing on any hand anatomy in any of these by the way. Just taking it one step at a time.

This last one took around 2 hours. I was pretty happy with how it came out in the end, but i'm sure it could still use more work.

Thanks for all the encouragement and help I have recieved so far. I hope you will start to see improvements in my work a lot over the summer :)


06 June 2006, 06:54 PM

Good to see these drawings! Keep doing many many more, and I think once you start in on some Master Copies from your new books (great to hear you will be getting those!) :) I think you will start to see tremendous improvement!

Cheers, :)


06 June 2006, 10:51 AM
Thanks! I am waiting on two Vilppu dvds, and I hope that they will get here soon, coz im pretty convinced they will be a great resource. Yea doing master copies is bound to improve my work. I know what you mean about the image already having been interpreted in terms of lines.


06 June 2006, 11:31 AM
Hey! Great start!

I'm new to the forum too and I REALLY need to get on those master drawings as well. Rebecca has a nice way of saying things simply so you can get it.

I think I'll get a master draftsman book too. I don't even know if I can wait to order one; might go check a couple of book shops.

I think your later sketches show a definite improvement especially since your lines look more intentional and confident.

Hang in there, I'm trying to as well!:thumbsup:

Oh yea let me know how the DVD's go, I was thinking about ordering them as well. I already have the hogarth books, but I like to take it one step @ a time... oro~

06 June 2006, 03:05 PM
the pictures are a bit blurry, do you photograph them?

anyways, nice to see studies, I'm curious how you will develop. villpu is great :)

06 June 2006, 12:05 AM
Yea, unfortunatley I don't have a scanner so the pics aren't great. I may even try taking them from a bit of a distance and see if that helps in the future.
Thanks for the words of encouragement, I'm trying my hardest, and I hope its gonna start to show as my work progresses. Still waiting on the Vilppu dvd's but i've heard good things, so I'm looking forward to recieving it (I actually get out of bed for the door now in case its my dvds being delivered).
aLoneCusso, I will let you know how the master draughtsman books and the dvd are when they get here. I appreciate what you mean about taking it one step at a time tho. At the moment i'm just trying to surround myself with material so that wherever I see anatomy :) Surely I will pick it up then!! lol

I somehow managed to completely miss the beginners lounge, and just found out about it when reading through some other threads! Im starting work on the assignments in there right away!!

Thanks for everything guys and gals! There's some great people here!


01 January 2007, 06:35 PM
Well, I've been workin away for a while now, but I haven't updated in ages, so here's a bit of an update:

I got a Vilppu dvd, and they are really very good. However, because there are so many, its very hard for me to properly assess how much use just one was. I think I have much better understanding of the upper torso now (which is the one I bought).
I have started doing life drawing at university now, which is good, but my accuracy seems to go completely to pot when Im srawing from life rather than photo reference! My proportions go all over the place, and my line work is aweful too!

Here are a couple of gesture drawings that I did just now, all under 3 mins:

I pretty much despise them. I really don't like my line work. These were my brother posing for me, so they were from life, but they look awful IMO. Can anyone offer any suggestions to improve my gesture drawings?

I also have all my life drawing from uni to post up, so will take care of that later tonight.

Here is a quick drawing from photo reference using ball point pen to try and free myself up a bit:

Any comments and crits would be very much appreciated!

Hope everyone had a good Christmas.


01 January 2007, 01:25 PM
Ok, heres an update. Did this one last night from photo ref. About 2 hours work. Sorry the shading looks a little grainy, its coz I had to make some levels adjustments in PS due to bad lighting when I took the photo:

Comments and crits appreciated:



01 January 2007, 02:15 AM
Ok here is a little update for this evening. Decided to do a more finished drawing, with more shading and render it with realism as my target. You'll have to let me know if I succeeded or, but Im pretty happy with the outcome. Eye Study:

If you got a minute please leave some comments or just say hi :)


01 January 2007, 02:06 PM

Good to see your updates! :) I might recommend Vilppu's Gesture DVD since gesture is so foundational, and would help you a lot with your life studies in terms of proportion and capturing the essence. It comes highly recommended! :)

01 January 2007, 09:21 PM
Thanks Rebecca :)

Actually, its funny you should mention that becuase 3 days ago I ordered exactly that. I know that is something that I really need to improve. I have a lot of trouble when I try and quickly capture the essence of a pose.

Anyway, ill keep trying to update every day, so I look forward to your comments on those.

Thanks for the reply.


01 January 2007, 07:03 AM
I want them too! (the Vilppu DVD's)

love the eye closeup. Maybe add a wrinkle to make the lower lid more visible...

01 January 2007, 12:20 PM
Thanks :)
Yea I can't wait for the dvd to arrive! You are right about the lower lid. There is a slight line there to suggest it, but it could do with being more pronounced, or adding a second.


01 January 2007, 12:34 PM
hmmm just testing my signature

01 January 2007, 12:52 PM
Well, its been a few days since I posted, so naturally I have a few updates:

Ballerina Studies:

And some little practice bits:

All these are from my sketchbook in the last few days, none are digital, im trying to improve my natural drawing skills first :)

Comments appreciated!


02 February 2007, 12:21 PM
good stuff Nick, I can see you're already improving... keep it up!

06 June 2007, 04:00 PM

Dont worry about your drawing skills being a bit weak, rebbekah is right in saying it takes hundreds of drawings to start becoming a little better. At art college we spent two weeks drawing straight lines freehand. then we were allowed to draw leaves for another two weeks. Then we were allowed to draw primitives like cubes and spheres this was our practice session each time we had to draw from life. My tutors Stan North and Jan (? co produced Sgt Pepper album cover) were really strict with us. I was getting disheartened with the course, but you know what it started working.

you will get there mate, and i think your spray art is awesome.


06 June 2007, 10:08 PM
Thanks Rich :)

Well ill continue to work away at it and I can see myself improving so thats my main motivation to continue :)

Im glad you like my spray art too ;)

Animziggy - Thanks mate, good to hear from you :)


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