View Full Version : Sketchbook Thread of Johan Derycke

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11 November 2006, 12:11 PM
At last the ref :)
About the darks and lights, the darks could be darker and light lighter in your painting. And I don't think it's monitors fault, tehy just need to be painted more. To see yourself if you're right with tones, desaturate both, the ref and your painting, and just see yourself.
The update shows improvements from the previous wip. The head looked too wide to me there, but now with the hair it looks ~ fine.
The trapezius muscle looks better defined now.
Do you mind if I try to do an overpaint? It will be a big practise for myself and maybe It'll help you too.

11 November 2006, 01:51 PM
You can do all the overpainting you wish mate ;)
that counts for anyone here btw...

Just keep in mind I'm trying to create a more... euhm... darkish atmosphere than in the ref, without having to put half my face in the "unrecognizable dark"... if you know what I mean.

About the contrast... it's because I'm going pretty dark here already for my darks and pretty bright for my light colors that I'm wondering if my monitors settings. I tried monitor calibration wizard but I ended up with an all purple and green image so I didn't apply the calibration settings

Wasn't able to work on it yet. Will do later on today...

11 November 2006, 03:05 PM

Looks fine on my monitor...I think that before you go into detail, you might want to really get
your lighting down first, to creat the mood your going after.
The ear on the left side of painting should be in shadow,..a lot of dark on hair on that side also, ect....really squint your eyes at this point, to capture the larger masses of lights and darks.
I don't want to crit too much at this stage of the painting..:)
In painter,.. if you go to effects at top of surface control, then select
apply lighting,...will let you spotlight the face any way, and with any colors...that's the way I get the basic lighting mood down to start with,...then I go into it with regular brushstrokes as you are doing. I just find that those spotlighs have a way of creating a lighting mood, in a really quick way..saves a lot of work, and overpainting, to creat a mood...just one method of enhancing the lighting, and creating the mood your after in your painting, right from the start.
I thought it worth mentioning at this point in your painting...:)
Really looking forward to the progress on this one..:thumbsup:

11 November 2006, 04:33 PM
Thanks for the tip Glenn

do you think the portrait will be interesting enough with a one point lighting applied like below?

I think I'm off to a not-so-bad start :)
Thanks guys :bounce:

11 November 2006, 05:42 PM
Hi...Johan...:applause: :thumbsup:

One point lighting..could be enough...depends on what kind of mood you are going for, and what you are trying to express emotion wise...:)
Was wondering if you have Burne Hogarth's ...DYNAMIC LIGHT AND SHADE book...GREAT BOOK:thumbsup: of my favorites, and an invaluble treasure, when it comes to the effects of lighting, and the various moods and emotions that can be created through it's propper use.
If you don't have it, I highly suggest you get it...can be bought online through,
or not sure of the spelling here..Albris .com...very inexpensive, when bought used, if money is a problem...for sure worth the investment though..:)
I forgot to tell you to take a look at the first couple of pages in my skechbook//anatomy thread. if you have time, and want to..:)
Might be a couple of things on those pages that will be of help to you with your self portrait.
I used the lighting technique created with those spotlights mentioned above..might give you ideas of what can be done with them, which you might be able to apply to your self portrait.
I really like what you have just done to it...really starting to get a nice feeling to it, and it doesn't even have a lot of details yet....:bounce: :thumbsup:
Looking forward to seeing where it goes next..:)

PS....You might want to hit the upper shadow side of portrait and babkground, with a dark purple spotlight...just to see what effect it creates...just experiment with the different color values, and colors in the spotlights, until you find what suites the mood you are going for..Also keep ajusting the contrast ect. as you experiment with the lighting...just to see what effect it has on the mood of the piece..and the lighting..ect....:)

11 November 2006, 08:08 PM
Good to see the ref for your painting, Johan. Glad you didn't go for Hercule's hairdo - he's quite balding. :)

Hope you get time this weekend to work more on it.

11 November 2006, 09:15 PM
Ok thanks again Glenn.
Hi Yvonne. Thanks for passing by :)
I've been playing with lights and contrast and for now I'm gonna leave it like this. My light plugin for painter seems to act really weird too. When I save a light setup it totally flips... even had my painter close down with an error msg once. Oh well...

I think this might get me the sinister mood I'm after... will try to paint the counterlight in... will be another challenge.

Tomorrow I have to start painting, speed things up just a bit...
Besides, if this one doesn't turn out to be what I wanted... I can do plenty more portraits afterwards - already learned heaps again :D

I'm heading to bed now... plan to get up early tomorrow and then... let the fixing begin :scream:

11 November 2006, 12:26 AM
Hey, Johan. Here's my go at it. I didn't blend anything for you to have a better look. I'm not saying it's correct in all ways, and it's really not, but maybe will help. I can tell it's harder to work from a photo and from a piece that has been already started.
Watch where you'll place the eyes very carefully and overall proportions, how everything relates to one another. It might really help you if you draw some lines before going into painting everything. See here (, it's how I started my latest study. One is in the making so soon this won't be the latest one, haha. It just helped me to judge the proportions so that later I can concentrate only on painting.
Ok, enough talking, here's the overpaint. I hope it'll help a bit. Again, watch the proportions very carefully!! Observe the ref.


Keep going!! :thumbsup:

11 November 2006, 02:55 AM
hi NR43

hmmm, was kind of looking forward to the green and white punk dew, a mohawk even.:)

coming along great with your self portait
next time the 50 heads workshop comes around we should all do one...or better yet of each other


11 November 2006, 01:01 PM
Hi Johan :)

It's exciting to watch your portrait develop - and I can't see anyone deserting your thread for posting reference pic ;)

It adds so much to a portrait when you aim for not just the realism, but something beyond, like you were talking about a darker feel to the painting.

I really don't know digital at all (as you know) so don't feel I can offer much in terms of how to go about it, I do feel you are well on your way and the feeling you are after is starting to come through :thumbsup:

From a non-digital point :D Watch the right eye (looking at) that it doesn't end up too close to the nose... :) Your light direction seems to be working well :thumbsup: If you did want more contrast to create an even more dark and sinister mood... you could take the contrast between darkest and lightest area on the face further; emphasizing that diagonal line across the face. Keep going though, it's looking great, and only you can see where it's heading (as in where you want to take it :) ) Looking forward to seeing the next stages :)

cheers and take care
a. :)

PS: I like Mark's suggestion of a cgtalk 50 heads :D

11 November 2006, 03:29 PM
hey razz you're the first person ever to paint me :D Thanks for making the effort to help me... it has really pulled me out of the moment of doubt I was suffering from... I'm thinking of maybe printing this as a gift for my mother if it turns out to be ok... but I must admit I'm using the "mental beautify filter" a fair bit... as it is now I look a lot like the way I looked a few years back. I think she'd be happy with though because she's always been complaining I am never to be found on any family pictures hehe.

the mohawk... I think I'm gonna do one next year or so... never had it in real life but always wondered what I would look like with one :D
Thanks for the visit!


Thanks for the visit and the nice words :)
Good tip about the eye... and pushing the contrast even more made it better I think

Still, I'm not even halfway there... this will take a couple of weeks...

here's the latest update.

I gotta run if I don't want to be late for school.
Ciao 4 nao

11 November 2006, 03:37 PM
Hey, no problem, NR, we're all here to help each other. And wow, this is turning out really nice. Big improvement from the previous wip. You're on the right direction, just keep going.
One thing I can suggest is to create the reflected light on his right side of the face (left for us, how we're looking at him). It'll give more form even if you do a little touch of it.
Well, I'm sure this will turn out to be a great gift :thumbsup: A painting, about 684651968749 times better than a photo!

11 November 2006, 04:15 PM

Coming along nicely....:)
I think that if you just take your time now, and take a lot of measurements with your pen or whatever, for distances and angles between shapes and edges ect., it should come out great.
You have a real nice mood and feeling going on with it, right from the start, which is the hardest part, and is the key to a fine all that is left, is the accuracy needed for the likeness part.
I think this portrait, and the way you are going about painting it, will have a very dramatic effect, on every piece you do in the keep going...LOOKING GREAT..:applause: :thumbsup:

11 November 2006, 10:39 PM
Hey Johan,

I agree with spirit dreamer, Its looking great and its such a great undertaking. To really take ur time with a piece like this can really affect your work and upskill you so fast. The understandings you get. I tend to get a bit impatient and stick with short 1 hour or less sketches quite often, and I learn different things that way. But I fully commend you on sticking with this piece. Great tip about the eyes btw, I'll update that tonight after work maybe... if I dont go to lifedrawing :P
My only real word of advice (you seem to be headed in the right direction), is jus because youve layed down a good foundation with great shading, dont be afraid to correct proportions and angles. I often find on the longer pieces i get my underdrawing or color sketch quite accurate, but then as I refine it i get focused on nice color or blending and my proportions shift only slightly, but just enough to lose the magic. I think its important to not be too precious about what is already down on the canvas, and be willing to question what you've already done even if you like it.... is it right? or appropriate for the mood?
I watched a Gnomon Dvd once about visual storytelling. I cant remember the artists name, but he was amazing with a pencil. One thing that always stuck with me was when he was drawing a hand on this one picture. He drew it in freely, quickly and with the confident elegant line only an experienced artist can do. This was a gorgeous hand, the kind of drawing I wouldnt draw a body on for fear of ruining it. Id put it in a drawer and laminate it later! haha. But he was like 'that aint quite right' and rubbed it out. And drew another beautiful hand. And rubbed it out. And drew about a dozen more beautiful hands before settling on one no better than the rest, just more appropriate. And I thought to myself then - geez he pushes himself so hard, and where I wouldve done one hand drawing as part of the whole, he did a dozen or more. And really thats what gets you good I guess. Mileage and continously questioning your own work and not being too precious.
Man that turned into a mad ramble. But nice work mate, I'll be checking in on this one :)
Good luck :)

11 November 2006, 05:53 PM
Great update and great progress, looked your thread from the begining and can see great progress...
but i think his nostrils a bit wrong, like he is draw deep breath...

11 November 2006, 06:30 PM
Hi NR43!

I have less time like everytime when I come here ... well I have to change it ... in 1 month we have holidays ^^ Your selfportrait (?) looks very nice! How many time have you spend in it? I like this colors! Keep it up!

11 November 2006, 11:45 PM

Your sketches and studies are very very inspiring! You've improved so much! I hope I can achieve that much! it's very impressive (ok and intimidating :| hehe :D ) I just love the blue studies and the scull, they're so good!!
keep it up!

11 November 2006, 08:42 PM
Thanks razz, Glenn, Cavematty... for the good advise... I will try to meet your suggestions and make it good :)

Hey Trunks, long time no see :) Thanks for poppin in
I'm gonna have to work a few more hours on my sp :)

Greatto, elnaz, thanks for the kind words... they stimulate me to keep pushing and working hard

This morning there was a girl on the radio who won a GPS. She could choose between 3 kinds... on of them being a GPS for a bicycle... I thought it was quite funny and this triggered an idea for a concept...

I think it might be worth spending some time on this trying to paint it... in a nice landscape or something... the guy going up the hill... would be really funny I think if the fat womans trailor looked like it was about to snap and go downhill all the sudden...

11 November 2006, 09:12 PM
Hey Johan,
many thanks for replying to my thread.

This last portrait is looking really good, like the colours. Think you could work some more cooler tones into the shadows, very subtly as to not destroy the warm and fuzzy feel.

With your pencils, make sure you establish the 3dimensional forms in space before you delve into anything else. Also, work some on your line, contemplate each line you are drawing, ask yourself why you're drawing it, where you want it to start and where you want it to end. Most importantly, be as sparing possible, since every line is a journey and if possible we do not travel along the same path twice! It's so much more exciting to take a different path back, if you get my meaning. Hope that helped some.

Solid work overall, studies are paying off.

- d.

11 November 2006, 09:54 AM
First thing we had to do this week in school after some warmups, was drawing a bald head in profile from imagination. While most of my classmates were totally shocked, I was rather pleased because this was a good test, to have to draw this unexpectedly, to see if I really learned anything from the hogarth book I am currently studying from.

I wasn't very happy with the result, but I got a nice complement from the teach so I guess it was above his expectations :)

Then he explained to us the da vinci method for constructing a head in profile

The rest of the week we were drawing plaster heads in profile (no shading allowed yet)
I focussed mainly on the accuracy, placement of all features and proportions.
Apologies for the low quality photo's

11 November 2006, 09:58 AM
More work from school.
I have a bad habbit of drawing very lightly on paper, and being obliged to use a HB pencil at school doesn't help :/

11 November 2006, 09:59 AM
More school work...

11 November 2006, 10:30 AM
Wow, nice work, NR. These will pay of, no doubt. I especially like the first sketch in post #271. Just great! We won't be drawing heads this year at the art school where I go, at least that's what the drawing teacher said. But we're doing pretty fun exercises with simple objects. I know it'll pay of, so doing 'em happily.
Linework is important to study, I think it's good that no shading is allowed at first.

Keep going, NR :)

11 November 2006, 07:05 PM
demented, razz, thanks. I'll just keep practising every day :)
I remember early summer when I was so eager to learn as much as possible in the shortest possible time... but that was a totally unrealistic idea... now I got a plan... in a few years this thread will be insanely massive, like hundreds of pages hehe...
For example: I think every page of Burne Hogarth's Drawing The Human Head will be displayed here soon :D

Here's more... trying to construct heads with minimal or no reference at all. some are better than others...

11 November 2006, 07:07 PM
and some more from today

the last ones I did while listnening to Bobby chiu's latest vid (part 4, not the first 2 parts :p )

Oh yeah, I worked a bit on the SP as well, but I'll try to keep the updates here a bit within proportions... less updates will show more progress I hope :)

11 November 2006, 08:58 PM
And here are the last ones for today.
Tomorrow school yay can't wait to see what teach will have in mind for us :)

11 November 2006, 09:15 PM
This is pretty good. A lot better than my studies. Very confident line.

The down view looks wrong though. The eyes should conform to the arc in that view. Why can't you use a 2b? Its more expressive I think than an HB. Or charcoal?

11 November 2006, 09:36 PM
Hi NR43

some very nice drawings here - and a stong sense of purpose. Good work!


11 November 2006, 10:17 PM
very neat and I really love the quality of the lines. As Womball said, there's a confidence about them. Some features from some angles look a little off (eg, eye shapes in perspective), but that's actually testament to the precision of the way you draw - if you'd done them more sketchy it wouldn't be as apparent! When you nail the corrections you'll be amazing because your art will be both clean and accurate.

11 November 2006, 09:11 AM
Hi again Johan :)

Great to see all your updates and how busy you are keeping :thumbsup: I agree with that your clean lines will show up the wow factor in really capturing the essence - and you are well on your way!

Your multi view heads: the up view looks the best I think. With the down view, the top lip will be less visible, and like with the arc shape of eyes and forhead, will tend to curve up instead of down...

You are getting some really nice sculpted heads: almost carving the features in clean lines :thumbsup:
On some the forhead appears a bit large, with the eye, nose and mouth slightly squashed together...

Great studies! keep them up and your enthusiasm too! :) :bounce:

Take care and cheers
a. :)

11 November 2006, 08:26 PM
Hey thank you all for the encouraging words. I still have a long long way to go but it's loads of fun doing these studies so who cares how long it takes :D

I've been thinking about what you said Annette... about the forehead being too big and the facial features looking a bit squashed together... you're right!
I was always wondering what is wrong with the sketches... couldn't quite place it.... I think I may have created a bad habbit by drawing the foreheads simply too large (too high)

So I did a study of a head profile today. First I did this using ref from Hogarth. Then I drew one on top of it but using Da Vinci's method. The difference is quite remarkable and interesting, but at the same time very confusing...

I'm rather confused now... hm
will have to do a lot more of these simplified sketches to get rid of that nasty habbit :eek:

11 November 2006, 07:24 PM
Anger, Rage, Frustration,... they all pass along every now and then...
This has nothing to do with my studies/drawing/painting
Just a personal matter I am solving this way (don't ask)...

Totally uncontrolled drawings really... used ref from Hogarth but was hardly thinking about what I was doing...

A couple more maybe and I'll be fine :D

11 November 2006, 11:01 PM
Hey's cool man. It'll be ok. The latest work is great. Very hard strokes and I can see how you feel. I won't ask...Reminds me of my work last week when I was bummed. Peace.

12 December 2006, 12:09 AM
I like the hogarth/davinci comparison - very interesting! Very nicely executed drawing. Was the comparison your idea - just curious?


also - hope those personal issues find resolution! (we all have them from time to time)

12 December 2006, 06:16 AM
Thanks for the support guys... although things are not at all as bad as they may look. It was my ventilage for having an argument with my partner. Issue is solved by now... the night can have an amazing effect on people :DI'm actually really really glad that this kind of "decompressure" works great for me! Some people go running, others go drinking... from now on I'll go drawing :bounce:

Yes Gord it was my idea to do this comparison. I saw the da Vinci method in school last week, so it was fresh in my mind.
Come to think of it it's actually not correctly done. The scale in both versions is different. I will try it a different way when I have the chance: Do one on normal paper and the other on chalk paper... we'll see what gives. :)

I also plan to continue working on the self portrait this weekend.
Should be fun

12 December 2006, 07:26 AM
Since there were so many proportional and other important issues (eye lineup, nose,...) I abandoned this one at an early stage...

So I went back to my Hogarth book and studies some wrinkle patterns :)
So this one took most of my day yesterday since I'm still making the noob mistake to not make a light sketch first to check proportions. I'm sure you'll notice about the ears... I'm aware of it...

sketchbook nr2 is full. I got me a really nice and empty hard covered one now :D

12 December 2006, 07:50 AM
I won't mention what you've already mentioned, Johan. ;)

Good studies, though. There is something so wonderful about pencil on paper. I used to love to use Prismacolor pencils on paper.

Good job...look forward to entries from your new clean notebook which will not be that way long.


12 December 2006, 09:23 AM
Hi Johan :)

Great updates and work (as usual :thumbsup: )

Interesting comparisons - Hogarth and da Vinci :) I think though, when you look at people, as a whole, even though there are basic proportions and elements that make up your "average" head or face, people still differ a lot. Perhaps opting for the inbetween "NR43" head proportions ;) Studying heads - different shapes, colours and sizes, male, female, children, adults, older people; across the globe... gives you more of a feel for where the differences lie (I think...:shrug: )

I like the studies you did, when you say you didn't really know what you were doing... glad to hear what inspired you to draw them is resolved too :)

cheers and take care

a. :)

12 December 2006, 04:46 PM
School work. Sorry more of these rather simple, less spectacular drawings... if you're getting tired of these... I apologize ^^

All done from plasters, except one, which is a mirrored me (20 min) :D

12 December 2006, 04:53 PM
And some more...

I was told by our teacher we'd be going to start shading soon...
Anyway, I still think I need more practice on the linework... namely getting more accuracy from the first line, instead of having to correct each line a couple of times.

Cris, Annette,

thanks for your kindness :)

I like the studies you did, when you say you didn't really know what you were doing...

I like those too actually... maybe I should think less when I'm drawing for a change huh :scream:

12 December 2006, 11:36 AM

LOOKING GOOD.....Really capturing a lot, with a little....key to great drawing..:)
Your line is getting a very nice flow to it...this will really come through in your brushwork also.
Will give your paintings a great fluidity..:)
Frame # 289...4th one down....nice emotion captured there...has personality...:applause:

12 December 2006, 11:18 PM
Aah, I wish I could do so many head drawings from life...gotta buy a mirror and put it in front of where I draw and then a 1000 portraitathon (that's a word :D) would begin, haha!
How much time do you spent to draw one of these? And, Johan, are these done without any construction lines or do you just erase them after they are no longer needed?
Practising like this will improve your linework a whole lot!!

12 December 2006, 01:33 PM
hi NR43

great work on those heads :) was kind of looking to see if you had started on a piece from the work shop.


12 December 2006, 07:02 PM
Glenn, thanks my friend... from you that means a lot! I'm glad you notice I've been working on the flow of the lines, and I will continue to do so until sun has died :D

razz, we were actually drawing those heads when our teach suddenly rolled this giant mirror on wheels to the middle of the atelier and we got 20min to draw ourselves. I think at some point we will also be drawing our classmates... that should be fun :scream:

these heads usually take around 30min... I estimate because I don't have carry a watch, our lives are timed and scheduled enough by others... but I try to avoid erasing, although every now and then I do that when I've drawn a line that really bothers me, then I just erase that whole part and start over again. I sometimes erase when I do my very first compo sketch, which is very lightly done just to match everything right on paper.

Anyway, I'm still drawing far too many lines... see this detail shot of one of those heads:

constantly searching for "the right" line. Sort of a finetuning system I have. But I hope by practicing a lot, I will reduce the attempts needed to get that perfect line. Like with that boxer portrait Glenn made a couple of weeks back, where he shaped the nose bridge with one stroke... but in my case with drawing iso painting. Glenn is right, I do this because I know it will improve my painting strokes. The better the strokes, the less blending is required when painting digitally, so time is gained by improved skills :D

Hey Mark, thanks for popping in! I'm working on nr11 from OFDW20..drawing it in pencil on A3 paper. Will post it up tomorrow I hope :)

12 December 2006, 11:24 PM
Great thinking, NR. I've been told more than once that painting is like drawing and I heard this phrase many times. The only things that adds is color, which is not as important as other things, like value for example. I'm sure when you'll jump into painting you'll do fine. I have problems with lines too. I can't freakin' stop and learn one thing at a time, there's so much I'm eager to know and experience, I really should really concentrate on one thing, and starting from the beggining it should be linework I think. This is why I like seeing these pages of your line drawings, NR.
This lines will improve with practise! Keep going :)

12 December 2006, 11:35 PM
lovely studies and remember YOU ARE GETTING BETTER!
keep a good work up! :thumbsup:

12 December 2006, 01:23 AM
hmmm... let me guess which one is the mirrored you ;)

how on earth are you able to pull those likenesses off with so few lines is beyond me - I have swing my hand around like a sword while drawing... *sigh* I guess there's no hope for some of us :D Great drawings!

12 December 2006, 02:08 PM
Nice and clean looking studeis; some issues here and there, but that's what studies are for. Personally i prefer to draw more construction lines - to get a better grip on perspective. But then again, i mess up most of my drawings.
I'm waiting on your contribution to the OFDW20?

12 December 2006, 02:25 PM

thanks. still got 3,5 years of drawing school to do... I might do 4y painting afterwards... will see.. in the mean time I will be painting digitally :D


Thanks! most important thing isn't it... continuous improvement... although I feel like I'm floating on the same level since a while now... not that big of a deal... it probably just means I might take another skill boost soon (I hope lol)


thanks for the visit and the kind words... I'll keep practicing ;)


Thanks, just a couple of thousands more and I'll get there :wise:
It must be said that I find these plaster statues rather hard to draw. It's sometimes quite hard to find differences, because those heads are completely made of the same material.
Also, the drawings look a lot different in real life, I had to mess around with the contrast etc to make the lines sort of visible on these crappy pictures...
Anyway, no excuses, I need more practice.

Sketchbook 3, page 1:
Another abandoned attempt at David's head. I'll get it right sometime :eek:

And my OFDW20 WIP:

It's on A3. I'm abandoning it since I think it's a rather poor attempt + I feel if I should do this I should do it on bigger paper...

I'm feeling tempted to start a greyscale in Painter on one of the other refs for OFDW20. Will see.

12 December 2006, 02:37 PM
Another different kind of exercises... had lots of fun doing these but they took a lot longer than one would think (about 90min each)

I was late on monday (overtime at work) and yesterday we went to a lecture about art so nothing else from school this week...

12 December 2006, 10:12 PM
Wow Johan :)

Like Mark, I was waiting to see what you'd be doing for the OFDW... but see that you have been mighty busy with lots of heads :) Very easy to pick you out of the crowd of plaster heads :thumbsup: and it looks as though your lines are getting more confident and done more with looking, less with thinking :) no need to say keep it up - as you're already steaming along nicely!

cheers and take care!
a. :)

12 December 2006, 09:06 PM
Thanks for the visit and the kind words Annette.

been slacking seriously the last couple of dayz...

Sketchbook 3, page 2:
likeness was not what I was looking for...

lots of flaws... I blame it on the graphitone I used. It's this oily woodless, watersoluble pencil-ish thing... don't really like it.

I'd love to get some of these conte crayons but they're so bloody expensive :eek:

12 December 2006, 01:34 AM
Nice head studies, they look so clean. The poligon heads are so weird, they look very hard to do. Also The david head is looking great! the shading is amazing.

Keep up the good work :D !

12 December 2006, 09:29 AM
Talaria, thanks my friend. I will have to keep trying to get David exactly as I want it. This head is so perfect it can be quite intimidating sometimes.

I was installing Photoshop CS3 beta when all the sudden my pc crashed :S
Luckily, no real harm was done and my system recovered well instantly.

I am not going to do the OFDW again on A2.
Instead I've started a digital attempt on a different original:

Choice 07:
Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (1780-1867)
Madame Marie Marcotte (Marcotte de Sainte-Marie), née Suzanne-Clarisse de Salvaing de Boissieu
Oil on canvas, 1826
36 1/2 x 29 1/8 inches (93 x 74 cm)

Here is the first stage of the greyscale study, blocking in:
[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

obviously, a lot of work to do...

12 December 2006, 03:22 PM
Hi NR43!
Your head sketches / studies are looking very nice! I like the way you draw the lines !

But I don't like the mouth of the last one ;)

(I'll have to buy a new keyboard for longer comments, mine is damaged :/ )

12 December 2006, 07:49 PM
Hey Johan,

Lots of great progress here - have been constantly checking in to see what you're up to :) - thanks for all the great support around the forums!

Cheers, :)


12 December 2006, 09:05 PM
Heyah Thanks Rebecca for popping in at my humble thready. Ah I try to help if I can, even if it's only with some words of encouragement.

Trunks thanks mate. You're totally right about that mouth!

here's an update:
[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

Well, school tomorrow and tuesday so don't expect an update before wednesday :D

12 December 2006, 10:13 PM
Hey, Johan, great to see you at the OFDW! You've chosen a hard piece to study, good luck with it.

Aand, are painting it in grayscale while looking at a colored piece? Or did you desaturate the original? Would be an awesome value exercise, painting it monochromatic while looking at a colored original.

I'll be looking forward for you to develop it, mate :thumbsup:

By the way, some great head constructions few posts back! Especially the middle one. Another great exercise would be to shade it! From imagination! Putting the light in a desired place and just going for it. Ok I'm stopping...

12 December 2006, 03:47 AM
Great values on her nose, Johan! We can almost reach out and tweak it... :)

12 December 2006, 05:51 AM
Hi Johan!! nice work on the OFDW piece...details on the face are really sweet!!... You still need to get that subtle smile on her lips, though... And the eyes... they look beautiful.. but the left one is looking a tad bit to the left(of the model).. you know, in the original, the girl is looking straight at the painter!

12 December 2006, 10:30 AM
thanks all for your kind words and making the effort to come and have a look :)

I was forced to leave the OFDW20 piece this week. This, however has turned out to be something good. When I wanted to continue working at it I had a fresh eye laying around and used it, discovering that there were a lot of proportional issues.

So I made a quick line sketch over what I had so far. See for yourself:

razz: i use both the color and a grayscale version of the originals as reference. To be honest it's really hard to get the values right when using only the colored original as ref. Maybe by OFDW25 I'll be able to :D

This one I made as a warmup, took only 5 min or so:

[images removed to save bandwidth - apologies]

Will post up latest school work later today if I get the chance...

12 December 2006, 03:04 PM
More school work:

We'll be starting on shading after Xmas holidays...

12 December 2006, 09:30 AM
Hi Johan :)

Popping in to wish you a happy festive and silly season! :)

Been inundated lately :D but am still mentally working on things and I so appreciate all the support and inspiration from having guys like you around :) May 2007 bring lots of creative and artistic adventures!

Take care and big cheers from the sunny Christmas land down under :beer: :wavey:

Annette :)

12 December 2006, 06:26 PM
Thank you Annette, for taking the time to come around here :)
I couldn't formulate my wishes for you better than you, so I'm just gonna stick to
"Same to you my dear" ;)

Ok enough slacking from my part :eek:

time for an update on my OFDW20 painting. It may look like a small update but a lot has happened actually.. mainly on the part of proportions.
I think the remaining proportional flaws can be corrected during the painting process, which I believe is a good thing.

more soon

12 December 2006, 04:36 AM
You've shown great progress here, this is encouraging for newbies like myself :) I noticed in the beginning you said you hardly had any time to draw though but it looks like you got hooked and maybe decided this was more important than minor things, like sleep, perhaps? ;)

Am curious, it looks like you started with Loomis head studies and moved to Hogarth. Do you prefer the Hogarth for heads or did you find it helpful to look at both? Any recommendations on which to start with? (I know, there are a lot of posts on this, but just curious to hear your opinion while still fresh in your mind!)


12 December 2006, 06:22 AM
Hiya Johan,

Great to see your progress on the head breakdowns - I think that's a great assignment. How exactly did your instructor set out that assignment? I think everyone should do it. :)

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! :)

12 December 2006, 06:37 AM
Hi Abby,

thanks for visiting my humble cavern in the green woods of creation :D

I was looking for the Loomis books on the internet, as I had heard they were freely available for downloading. However, I found out this website had to take down the files by request of the family of Mr Loomis, who died in the 90s.
So I bought some Loomis books on amazon, which I partly regret. Regret because it was a total ripoff. It's a very thin book (32 pages or so) and contains only an extract of the real book by Loomis called "Drawing the Head and hands". I paid more for this book than I paid for my 150pages Drawing the Human Head by Mr Hogarth.

However, I only partly regret buying the Loomis book because it does contain Loomis' basic foolproof system to draw heads. This technique worked really well with me, low learning curve... it made things quite easy to be honest and I was able to solve the main problem why I actually bought the book. (I was having trouble drawing heads under an angle).

Hogarth's book doesn't describe a foolproof system like Loomis', but it describes a lot of things to be aware of when drawing heads. There is a lot to learn about heads in this book concerning proportions, structure of the head and the facial features, how to create difference in aging etc.

Omg I'm such a rambler

In short:
I would recommend to do Loomis first and then Hogarth, sticking to one book at the same time. But take your time. I think I practiced Loomis' technique for several of months before I bought Hogarth's book.

At school we have briefly seen Da Vinci's method, but the focus there is really to learn to draw what we see instead of what we think we see.

The combination of these works well I think.

Sorry Rebecca, I think our posts might have crossed eachother :)

For the "modeled" heads, we were allowed to start how and where we want. If we wished, we could draw a very light basic head shape, but the focus really lies in actually building the head using only streight lines. In reality we will hardly find any streight lines, but it is a good exercise to make us realize that a face or head can be brought back to a collection of planes. So we found out there were 2 methods:

1. first add the basic, bigger planes and subdivide into smaller planes until we get a satisfying result

2. start at a certain spot on the head (to be chosen freely) and build your way around it. eg start with the nose and add more planes in several directions, first one eye, then the other, the cheeks, the mouth area. I can't help but think of domino bricks that have been setup to fall in different directions and as they fall, a drawing becomes visible :)

I like my teacher's approach. He doesn't say all too much, mostly. Gives us an assignment and observes us executing it. He won't be correcting us from the start - unless we do things totally wrong - but will let us try things out. I think it works too. I remember a video I saw a couple months ago where this man tried to "build" a human character on paper. His theory was that one learns more when one has to discover things for ones self. I believe that is correct, because there is less chance one will forget afterwards.

My teacher uses a bit the same principle. He didn't tell me there are several ways to approach this type of assignment. I found this by myself. Now I won't forget which is a very big relieve :D (believe me, I have swiss cheese up here)

edit: jsut wanted to add that either way you do this type of exercise... the result should be simular as the planes of the face/head remain the same :bounce:

12 December 2006, 01:35 PM

I like that exercise with the heads...very simaler to the way that I was taught to see, not just look..:scream: ...I still find it very useful, especally when trying to get a likeness...:)
Working outward from the center of a face, or figure for that matter, and not putting the outter edge in until last..Was thinking, that that exersize might work very well on your OFDW #20...On her face especally,....have you thought of putting that exercise into practice, using
that #20, as your experiment....Just a thought here..:)
Anyway....really looking forward to seeing more of your work, and GREAT progress in the year that is coming up....I THINK YOU ARE DOING A FANTASTIC JOB ...BY THE WAY...:applause: :thumbsup: :)

12 December 2006, 03:08 PM

Thanks so much for the explanation! I did find Loomis' work free on the net. If you are interested, you can find his Drawing the Head and Hands along with 3 other of his books here:

It's a bit tedious as each page is an individual image file with no forward <--> back buttons to page through them, but you get the whole 141 pages as opposed to only ~30 on Amazon (I had also wondered about the page difference I saw there).

It sounds like it will be worth it for me to spend some time with it once I finish up Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain (I just noticed that DOTRSOTB has its own methods on drawing faces as well, but am sure that will be considerably more elementary - er, just what I need right now :) ).

Are you taking art classes full time? Or is this in addition to a full time job? Will be good to watch what you do for tips on what I should work on learning next... ;)


12 December 2006, 03:32 PM
Thanks for the tap on the shoulder Glenn. Really means a lot, coming from you. I'm sure having fun and I got so many things to learn still... should be enough for at least... one lifetime :D

Hey Abby,

I didn't use the DOTRSOTB, but from what I heard it's supposed to be a good book.

Here's how I filled lunchtime at work today...

[image removed to save bandwidth - apologies][image removed to save bandwidth - apologies]

Credits for these go to Joel Carlo and John Kearney.
Their work was in ImagineFX Issue 13 . Each page took about 15-20min.

So to answer your question Abbie, my classes are after work, every monday and tuesday from 17hr30 unti 22hr.

12 December 2006, 06:13 PM
Working on my OFDW20 piece...
this was done just now as I took a little break from it...

also from ImagineFX (13), by David Levy

well, back to the OFDW20 now :)

12 December 2006, 08:33 PM

more tomorrow...

12 December 2006, 09:06 PM
well restarting was sure a good idea and taking a different approach even better - the cloth's looking awesome Johan! bravo :applause::bounce: and pray, continue :)

12 December 2006, 07:27 PM
Yeah that cloth is looking awesome! :thumbsup:

12 December 2006, 07:32 PM
Nice exercises on the heads; allmost looks like a 3D modell. Amazing how you captured the shininess of the material of the dress! Keep going.

12 December 2006, 08:37 AM
Hey there Johan :)

You sure are keeping busy :) great to see: and the restarted piece looks like it's coming along really well - I agree with Intervain that the clothes are looking great! :thumbsup:

Just stopping in really to wish you a fabulous 2007 :) With your spirit and dedication I can't see it going anywhere but UP! :)

Take care and cheers!!

a. :)

12 December 2006, 12:08 PM
Hi Johan

that arm piece of cloth is looking awesome. I can feel the weight and smoothness of the textiles!

Now that I am back for more activities in this forum homebase I will pop in more often...:)

12 December 2006, 07:34 AM
Hey NR43

Happy New year :scream:

awesome cloth... waiting on the rest...:thumbsup:


12 December 2006, 10:37 AM
Hi Johan!! damn sweet work on the sleeve, buddy!! cant wait to see this finished!:bounce:

Have a Great New Year!!:scream:

01 January 2007, 07:25 PM
I am finally feeling a bit better today, after being "out of order"... totally struck down by some viral infection (it got the other members of my family too bah) for a whole week bah.
Even browsing cgtalk was exhausting.

Nevertheless I wish everyone a Happy New Year!

I've started working on my OFDW study again now. I will ignore the deadline for it, finish it and then continue working on my self portrait painting. I wanted to surprize my mother with that one for xmas but oh well... there will be plenty of other occasions :)

Thank you all for the support. It's amazing how much I've learned thanks to you people. I hope you will keep doing that :D

Here's where I am on the OFDW at the mo...
not much progress yet so time to get crackin'

[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

01 January 2007, 07:43 PM
the cloth is looking really fantastic Johan - can't wait to see the whole piece done :thumbsup:

01 January 2007, 10:54 PM
Hi, Johan.

Many thanks for your New Year wishes in my thread!
Wishing you a further productive year in 2007... :) You have drive and you work hard so there's no question that you will continue to progress. :thumbsup:

Also, very pleased to hear that you won the viral battle. Bad timing for you and the family to fall ill - hope you all continue to feel well.

Good on you for working to your own deadline for OFDW20 - perhaps you will feel that your first efforts were a dry run for something more pleasing to you in the end. I have to echo the comments on your painted sleeves so far - they look wonderful with their shine, values, and draping. Keep up with it (and your self-portrait, when you can fit it in - your mother is going to love it).

Regards :)

01 January 2007, 01:02 PM
HEY...Johan..Glad to hear you are feeling better...:thumbsup:

I think I remember you saying that you were having a little trouble getting a likeness in this one.
If you go to the ..Tutorials Workshops, Anatomy Reviews and More, at the top of the main page in here,......on first page, you will find a link to...OFDW #7.....GO THERE..:scream: :)

In OFDW #7....on page #5...frame #69, there is something that might help you with that problem of getting a likenes...:)


01 January 2007, 06:19 PM
hi nr43
thanx for posting them brokendown heads, I'm currently trying to get into modeling a bit (c4d) but I got stuck on heads, and this method seems really helpful (inspires me to overcome my laziness too:D) - getting a map like this beforehand should ease things down some.
nice work here otherwise:thumbsup:


01 January 2007, 09:13 AM
Intervain Thanks for the visit, working on it :)

YMS Hi! Thank you! With every workshop here at cgtalk I start with great enthousiasm, forgetting that my free time is a lot more limited than I want to. Usually I end up with an unfinished OFDW project but I'll try to finish this one!

Hello Glenn. I'm always very pleased to see you are still interested in my progress, and the great thing is your words are always very useful. So big thanks to you. I was gonna repaint the head completely anyway. Might as well try Frank Slater's method...

HladekStepan Thanks for dropping in. If you want to learn about modeling humans you might want to check Anandgp's thread. He's an expert! Don't think he's using C4D but it's just a tool... maya, max, C4D, blender... a good modeler can easily translate things to his own tool language :) Good luck! Oh and about laziness... I believe it was Bobby Chiu who said "you won't learn by thinking you should draw/paint/model... you will when you actually are doing it" ;)

[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

Oh, good news, before I forget...
remember the pen studies of the vertebrae I did a while ago? I finally ordered the book... The plan is to do every plate from there in ballpen... can't wait for it to arrive!

Still doing some Hogarth studies but not enough yet... will post them when I got a few

01 January 2007, 09:29 PM
Ok worked a lot on it today, hope I can produce just as much tomorrow...
Her face looks messy at the moment... will continue at it tomorrow...

01 January 2007, 09:07 AM
Hey Johan!... great going, pal!!:thumbsup:

01 January 2007, 12:00 PM
Hey, Johan. I like the cloth on her left hand. If you manage to do all the painting in such way, the end result will be stunning. Of course it will need a lot of work, but I think it's not a problem for you :)
Maybe you should test out how it looks in color, try adding some even at this stage, just to see how it would look.
Good luck on this one :thumbsup:

01 January 2007, 07:52 PM
Hey Anand and Razz thanks guys for the support... still a long way to go but I'll finish it; i've put too much work in it to drop it now :)

School is starting again tomorrow so I can totally forget about making it by wednesday... and there's not a chance I can take a day off from work this week :/

I'm taking the whole week off next week though :D

01 January 2007, 04:31 AM
Beautiful work Johan! I hope you'll finish this when you can. :)

If you want to, I'd love for you to post here:

Before and After - Post Examples of Your Improvement! (

To show a good example of what hard work can do. :)

01 January 2007, 11:11 AM
Her left arm is freaking GORGEOUS Johan!:scream: Congrats bro! I gotta get on it. :eek:More!

01 January 2007, 12:28 PM
Wow the shading on the folds in her clothing is raelly something! I hope you finish this coz id love to see the whole painting finished to that quality!

Thanks for making a comment on my sektchbook too!


01 January 2007, 12:56 PM
Hi Johan! she is coming out beautiful!... :applause:
just a little crit:
there seems to be more space on her face to the left(our left ) of her nose than the to the right. I mean to say it would look more balanced if you move the nose and mouth slightly to the left(our left)... flip the image horizontally and have a look! ;)

01 January 2007, 03:42 PM
Hi NR43!
I was just stopping by to wish you all the best in 2007 and a good time with your art :) I hope you'll keep on posting and painting more then before ;) Also I hope you'll keep on your good progress and learn more and more :D

Keep it up I'll check when time allows :D Btw: I like the cloth of the woman very much! Good work there !

01 January 2007, 03:54 PM
Oh my. The black and white woman looks just plain amazing. I really look forward seeing it finished. Hope you'll have time to do so soon :)

01 January 2007, 04:12 PM
Rebeccak, ha-dou-ken, space-sprayer, anandpg, Trunks, Jho

Thank you so much for your nice words everyone!
really means a lot to me and makes me want to learn more and more !!

Had about an hour so I started fixing the face (Thanks Anand!! golden tip, I hope I see it myself next time... a bit sooner :) )

[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

It still needs some work but it's better already I think (her right eye is a tad too wide... fixing that should make it possible to get the face right)

More soon...

01 January 2007, 05:15 PM
Very good, Johan! I'm already sure you'll impress me a lot when this is finished. I like the look of it now. You're doing an awesome job. And you're one more person whose OFDW piece is pushing me to try out this technique. Paint in grayscale and then colorise :arteest:
Keep going with this, as far as you can. And it's far, I know. Do some little paintings or drawing not to get bored working on this one all the time. But you must finish this :scream:

01 January 2007, 03:51 PM
I went through each and every page in your thread and I'm really impressed by your progress. It's really inspiring to see how others managed to improve in such a short time span.
I don't know really what else to say except you did wonderful work and I hope you'll continue on this way :)
By the way, can't wait to see the self-portrait finished - I heard someone saying drawing oneself is the hardest thing to draw :D

01 January 2007, 08:46 PM
Hi Johan!

I've been scrolling through your sketchbook from the beginning to the end and I am (once again) truely amazed! There's such a big improvement in your works, especially when you compare the first and the last work. Brilliant :D :applause: :thumbsup:

Anyways, I guess practice does make perfect which means there's hope for me yet hahaha :wise: :P
So keep up the good work!

01 January 2007, 09:23 PM
Hey razz, elnaz and nelchee

I'm on a long journey, slowly moving on, day by day... I'll get at my final destination some day... but I know it will take at least 10-12000 days to get there... but I've seen a picture in my mind of how it looks and I so wanna get there... so I practice every day ;)
thanks for dropping by and leaving such nice comments :)

Spend another 3 hours fixing the face of Marie today... (can't believe how long it takes me to get it right, this must be the most difficult head I've ever done)

Too bad I didn't make it (it's 1.5hrs before deadline here in Belgium) but I'll finish it even though the workshop is over. Thanks all it was (and still is for me) a wonderful experience to be part of OFDW20!

01 January 2007, 12:16 AM
You're an inspiration Johan :)

I know it's slow day by day, but piece by piece I think it goes faster. I can't find anything to comment on other than to say it's looking very good.

01 January 2007, 03:25 AM
wow! great progress, Johan!.... The face looks much better now.

01 January 2007, 03:38 AM


Great job so far....once you master that ART OF REALLY SEEING part, which I SEE you have, by what I SEE in that latest update of yours...
Then it becomes just a matter of ..HOW..WHICH TAKES A LIFETIME..:)


01 January 2007, 04:58 AM
I'm glad I am subscirbed to this thread, you improved so much it inspires me:) thank you:)

01 January 2007, 08:07 AM
Wow Johan, that is an awesome piece. You are working so hard on it too. I admire the desire to create as close as possible a likeness to the original, but the success you are having with it is wonderful. I have not the patience to do cloth as many have shown. I have a preference for just rendering flesh at the moment. This will be a fine fine piece. Please keep going. I so want tsee it finished.

01 January 2007, 08:41 AM
Hi Johan :)

Sorry for not dropping by in a while... :shrug: Time just got the better of me.

I agree with all that you should keep going on your OFDW, she's really coming along well!

Take care and cheers!
a. :)

01 January 2007, 09:53 AM
Man, you've got here an enormous quantity of great pics. :drool:

01 January 2007, 10:18 AM
hi nr43
wanted to check your OFDW. wow, you really ARE going for a perfect image, are you? :bowdown:
I love the face and the cloth, especially the right side.
So, you really have to finish this:D :D (heh heh, I wish I was this strict with myself Lol )


01 January 2007, 05:01 AM

really looking awesome, can't wait to see it finished :thumbsup:


01 January 2007, 12:12 PM
NR43: Hi Dwarf! I love the progression you have made! This last one is astounding, someone would think you have been doing it for years.

I'm currently in the process of converting from Traditional to Digital. Love my little toy so far.

01 January 2007, 09:14 PM
THANK YOU all! You're to kind :)

Here's an update (finally). Sorry, life got a bit in the way the last couple of days...

Blocked in the hair roughly just to make her look more human lol
worked on the dress and a bit on the jewelry on her arm. I think the angle of her left forearm is off... thank god this is digital... imagine I'd have to re-paint to fix :s
Guess I'd better not start any real oil paintings yet lol

More tomorrow, unless we're taking the kids out for the day...

01 January 2007, 04:22 PM
So it's been a while since I worked from Hogarth's book...
Anyway, I saw some people on the anatomy forums are studying Loomis and I really felt the urge to pick that up again. I have always felt more comfortable with Loomis' technique than with hogarth's to be honest.

However, I was shocked to find out how much I've already forgotten :eek:
These are just a few of my sb pages. there's about 5 more pages with the very basic loomis stuff where I am memorizing the basic planes, which I'll spare you from...

So the plan is to draw from Loomis' book on heads all week during the day and continuing to work on the OFDW piece in the evenings. (I've got a huuuge window right beside my desk so there is too much distracting light on my screens anyway during daytime)

01 January 2007, 04:24 PM
wow Johan the painting's looking amazing! I love the little buttons on her dress sleeve! Can't wait to see more - it's going to be excellent :bounce:

nice sketches too!

01 January 2007, 05:09 PM
Hey, very cool - the baby's head is wild and the runner on the right really looks like he's workin it hard. BTW, I just found several of Loomis' books online in PDF - have you seen these?

Keep up the great work! :)

01 January 2007, 05:33 PM
I prefer Loomis too. Your OFWD work is great, I can't wait to see the next step!

01 January 2007, 06:21 PM
She's beautiful, Johan!!:scream:

01 January 2007, 07:50 PM
Magdalena, Anand, deco, CyborgJA

thanks! still working on it :)

In the mean time... here is school work from last week:

2 assignments, +4hrs each:

1st one was done with a 0.8 black Artline pen... placing dots... first one to guess how many dots I made wins a beer :beer:

2nd one was from imagination. the assignment was to create an organic system of shapes that flow into eachother. This type of shading (in both exercises) is called reliëf shading (not sure how exactly it's called inEnglish, but it's called Relief shading because there is no light involved in the scene, just shape. The darker the shade, the bigger the angle.

We were joking about this one in class that the shaded part of the drawing represents the 2nd part of the school year where the focus will be on shading, while the first part represents the first part of the year, where we were practicing our linework.
I think the concept and the drawing match well together :D

01 January 2007, 07:59 PM
you actually counted them :eek:?

btw - second drawing reminded me of the last ep of House MD :) - he was making intestines in clay as part of his rehab :scream:

01 January 2007, 08:14 AM
Dehehe I prefer the first one ;D

01 January 2007, 12:50 PM
hoi Johan,

I like your mastercopy a lot, the clothing and face are perfectly done!
really great progress in your thread! keep doing the loomis, I learned so much from it! (still my anatomy sucks though :) )


01 January 2007, 01:05 PM
CyborgJA I do too actually.

My god noway Magedalena I want someone else to count them for me haha (ok ok I admit I am a number freak :scream: )

Hey Cyanid, long time no see :)
Thanks for the encouraging words and yes you are right, there is a lot to learn from Loomis. I was totally shocked to see how quickly one forgets so i'm totally back into loomis now.

So on request here are the loomis head constructions I did after not having done any of those for months. It is obvious that I need to work much harder if I want to get this in my system.

[images removed to save bandwidth - apologies]

Also here is what we did in school last night. Again, the intention was to shade without the use of light and shadow (relief).

01 January 2007, 01:11 PM
and here's another update on Marie, just so you don't think I'm abandoning her :)

i've realized that I've made a capital mistake. One only beginners would make... and I realize it has caused the many many proportional issues there still are. They are hard to fix and even though all in all the painting will not reach the level I intended due to those prop issues, I won't spend too much time trying to fix them anymore.
The mistake was adding canvas to the left and bottom at the early stage (I had taken the same resolution at first as the original). Because of that, as I was building up the scene roughly, I was building on proportions that were wrong in the first place, instead of keeping the canvas the same size and correcting the proportions where needed.

Anyway, I want it finished by the end of the weekend.

Right, I'm off... my pencil and sketchbook are calling me ;)

01 January 2007, 02:03 AM
Heya man, thats an INCREDBLE piece! I've been gone for a while and I come back - you've levelled up man :)
loving it.
I'll get back in and update my anatomy thread this week sometime. I have done very little but I will post what there is :)
The dots study looks tedious too.... though it creates a nice look in the end.
Keep up the great and inspiring work Johan.

Warm regards

01 January 2007, 03:44 AM
Wow your master copy is coming along awesome! Obviously you still have a lot to do, but for the parts that you have finished rendering look really amazing. You better finish it :)
And you're working on loomis too like me, with the heads, hehe :)

01 January 2007, 07:24 PM
Hi Johan, wonderful work on your master study. Amazing how you did all the folds and the details.

A little remark on Loomis: if you want to apply his head construction succesfully, you have to start with good circles and ellipses. Here is a link to a thread that explains how to draw ellipses, using the minor axis as a base. It is some theoretical stuff, but it's worth going through. Look for post #22: the illustrations are there.

Drawing freehand ellipses is a great skill to have, but it is not as easy as it looks. I usually do a few pages as a warmup exercise. I hope this helps.

01 January 2007, 11:48 PM
Wow, Johan, the work on the dress of the OFDW figure is just incredible. Fantastic job. And kudos for the patience with the stippling of the figure, i've never had the time or patience to even start with stuff like that. Sounds like your classes are intriguing, I've never thought abut shading like that before.

01 January 2007, 05:27 PM
Hey NR43, this heads were really .. well ... bad :D You should do some more loomis again, you were right ;)

Anyway, you OFDW looks great! Can't wait to see her finished :D

Keep it up :)

01 January 2007, 10:23 PM
Hey Cavematty longtime no see :) Hope you'll be posting some stuff soon

Roja thanks yeah still a lot to do but I love painting so no worries :)

batte812 Thanks for popping in. You're right about the basic shapes determining the look and feel of the head. I realized it a couple days ago... planning to stick to loomis for a while now (several months, maybe until summertime - a couple of pages each day)

Zephyri Thanks! Means a lot, coming from you but you know... the easiest part is rendering the cloth (imho)... it's just a lot of work.

Trunks haha yeah it's really bad but I'm working on it :D

So still quite some work to do, allthough the dress is nearly finished...

* legs
* jewelry
* hair
* sofa

Well I'd better fix those bracelets :eek:

01 January 2007, 12:25 AM
It's always such a pleasure to pop in here and see what exciting goings on you're up to :)

Counting dots eh... ;) great study too! :thumbsup: It's great to see the way you balance and happlily shift between detalied work like your OFDW (which is coming on beautifully!) and the studies from school and home. No need to say keep it up.. as you are steaming along!

Take care and cheers!!! (I would like that beer, but hmmmm nah... will have to pass on the dot counting challenge :D)

Annette :)

01 January 2007, 03:34 PM

love them wrinkles :thumbsup: they' re awesome


01 January 2007, 07:01 PM
My son Lars - first time ever I've drawn him.
(terrible picture... apologies for that)

01 January 2007, 08:11 PM
Another first timer... Charcoal on A2
Had never used charcoal before so anyone that has useful tips on using charcoal (eg what not to do)

one thing I've learned already is that it's unforgivable. (the brackets in the forearm, which are really ennoying me)

bad camera + bad photographer = bad picture... sorry

Re for this came out of a 30 year old book of Rubens I have with sketches, paintings and drawings... The book is nearly falling apart but it's just sooo lovely...
You can be sure to see more of this in the future...

01 January 2007, 08:47 PM
I love the line-work but I think you should fix more the anatomy of the torso. Of course, this is only my opinion. Mm about charcoals...they are my fav. technique !
I can suggest you to start with a hard pencil to draw basic lines if you are unsure of your subject (charcoal is impossible to remove from the paper's surface, you'll always see the stroke). Then, if you "lean" your hand onto the pic, use a clean sheet of paper between. This will allow you to shift your hand without transferring the dark powder all around your work.
If you like the "soft" touch I suggest you to buy a simple blender ( So you won't destroy your indicis :scream: or your rubber and you'll obtain a pro-effect
Finally, when you finish your pic I suggest you to fix the charcoal on paper using a simple hair-spray : CHEAP and effective :thumbsup:

Good work !

01 January 2007, 12:05 AM
Sweet drawing of Lars, Johan!

Hope you get to grips with the charcoal. (Rebecca and Annette will have some tips, I'm sure...)

Your Rubens books is a real treasure - safeguard it! :)

01 January 2007, 07:18 AM
CyborgJA Hi! thanks for taking the time to let me in on using charcoal. You're right I'd better make a light sketch in pencil first to get the proportions right (this one didn't fit onthe paper)

About the blenders... I have tortillons in different sizes, but I didn't use them. I used my finger to blend. I don't touch the paper - unless for shading I use my fingers - with my hand as I draw while standing on this size of paper, so that's not an issue.
It's the actual shading I'm not sure of. I broke off a small piece of charcoal and used it flat on it's side to lightly draw a broad stroke where I wanted to shade. Then I smudged it with my fingers. Donnow if that is the way, or the way not to go... If there are any better methods, please let me know :D

Hey Yvonne

Thanks for stopping by. Yeah I'm really fond of the drawing, it is sooo much better in real. I really have a problem with transferring my traditional works to digital. Oh well... his mum was happy (although Lars himself wasn't at all impressed... he seemed too busy with his own drawing lol)

About the book, yeah it's a really special book. There was only one print, for this particular exhibition in 1977, organized by our king, the town of Antwerp and the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp to celebrate Rubens' 400th birthday ... yes the man is still alive!
it has nearly 400 pages and describes hundreds of drawings and paintings.
Ironically, I got this from my mother in law, who is an old farmer and had little or nothing to do with art at all during her whole life, which usually didn't extend any further than working really hard out on the field and bringing up her 8 children.

Only recently I've come to realize this book's value. Although there is plenty of better reference available of Rubens' work these days, it's still a nice book to draw from... or just to browse through and be totally impressed :D

anyway, sorry for rambling on and on. I'll be away unexpectedly for the day
Take care

01 January 2007, 09:05 AM
Man, it's a pleasure for me :)
Well, I think that in "art" there are no fixed rules and the first aim is to obtain what you want, whatever technique you may use. Personally I've got different "methods" to blend my charcoals. If I want a pure black point, fading in dark grey, I'm used to draw "crossed strokes" then smudge them all with blender, cause of the huge amount of podwer that -usually- it's not fully controllable by the finger. If I want a soft, delicate and light grey in a tiny space and I do not want to see the stroke, I "pick-up" a little quantity of powder with a clean blender and then I apply it on the surface ( I suggest you to try the value in a test-sheet), while if I want this soft grey in a wide and large area (as example a background) I pick up a cleenex, ( and I "diffuse" on it the charcoal's powder. As usual, I've got my test on a white sheet and then I apply the powder with this big "wad". If you use rough paper the effect will be incredible !
I hope you'll understand all, my english is really bad. However, if you've got any question, simply ask :)

Good work ,

01 January 2007, 02:45 PM
HEY ...Johan..:thumbsup: :applause:

The OFDW piece is looking the subtle shading on her hands:thumbsup:
Maybe some elf ears on your sons portrait will get his attension.:scream:
he has a sort of a mischievous look about him in that portrait..would make a great elf portrait I think... just a passing thought :)
REALLY like that rubens charcoal drawing...have you ever thought of using CONTI CRAYONS and PENCILS COMBO...the conti crayons last a lot longer, and are far less messy, and the redish brown on a color toned paper espealally gives a much more beautiful effect than charcoal...use the same way as charcoal..break a crayon in half..use the side od it to get the shading, and at the same time, in the same stroke apply pressure to the tip of crayon, and you get a fine lined edge.all in one smoging or anything else needed.
If you use a darker brown crayon in the deep shadow areas over the redish brown, makes a nice effect..then you can even go into with the white crayon to get desired hightlights at the end,if you want.
You can make life sized drawings using those conti crayons.really fast, because of the broad strokes they creat, depending on the length of the crayon..the longer the piece, the bigger the stroke.
All of those nice drawings in the Burne Hogarth Books are done on simple news print paper, using CONTI CRAYON..GREAT and fast way to creat dynamic Ruben type of charcoal dust to deal with, and they last a whole lot longer, because they are made of a more compressed material.More expensive than charcoal, but you get what you pay for..and then some..:)

01 January 2007, 03:56 PM
Very nice, I specially like that master study :thumbsup:

01 January 2007, 02:50 AM
Aww, great picture of Lars - he looks adorable :)

01 January 2007, 06:57 AM
Hey Johan! Lars is real cute!:)

Good luck with charcoal!:thumbsup:

01 January 2007, 07:50 AM
Hi Johan,

A pleasure to see your progress here on all fronts - your OFDW piece has been wowing me for a while, and I can't wait to see it finished. :)

Regarding charcoal drawing, there's really no 'right' way to go about it, but I recommend using charcoal pencils instead of vine charcoal sticks - is that what you are using? It's hard to tell from the photo, but this is the way that I prefer to sharpen my charcoal pencils - I use 6B General's Charcaol Pencils and sharpen them with an exacto knife, carefully exposing a good bit of the charcoal, which I then sharpen on a sandpaper pad placed on top of a paper towel. It really doesn't matter the brand of charcoal pencil - whatever you can find that is a rich, dark / soft charcoal pencil should work well.

When drawing, think of the total form much as you would do when working from large to small in a digital painting. The mental trick with drawing traditionally is that you sort of have to keep the big picture in the back of your mind while also focusing in on the details - sort of mixing in the big with the small in your drawing, and getting the smaller forms to relate to the large in your pencil strokes all at the same time is key. Rubens is a fantastic master to copy since his pencil strokes are so generous / round and really display the relation of the smaller forms to the larger - everything relates to the whole, yet is individually descriptive of the part. This kind of control / mental balancing takes a while to master, yet it is a pleasure to build upon as you gradually gain more control of your strokes. I look forward to following your progress here. :)

William Maughan, who wrote this ( book, uses exactly the same kind of method in sharpening his pencils, he was taught the same way at Art Center as I was, only years and years earlier. :) I have this book and it is worth checking out.

01 January 2007, 01:29 PM
Hi Johan :)

Oh I had to laugh reading about your portrait-sitter (your son) being more occupied with his own drawing and less impressed by your achievements in depicting him... :) Rings many bells ;)
To your portrait though... it's looking lovely, and having seen the self portrait you did earlier, it's really striking how easy it was to pick him as your son, so you've certainly captured something there! :thumbsup:

As far as charcoal and drawing goes, you've got lots of great advice here :) As you can see most people have their favourite materials and ways to work, and there really aren't bad or wrong ways, you'll find through experimenting and trying different approaches that some materials will feel more "you". Rebeccak's advice is (as usual) great, and will give you a sense of control using the charcoal with less powdering and smudging on the paper. As will the compressed or synthetic variants of charcoal or conté.
I tend to work with the willow sticks and am most likely a hugely messy artist by comparison :D I just can't help that I love the feel of getting up-close-and personal with anything I use... with the willow sticks you can vary the thickness of line and lie the stick on it's side for broad strokes or work it to a sharp point for detail. They come in a variety of sizes from extra thin to extra thick. Yes they do powder and if you drag your arm or hand across the paper it will smudge a lot... yet that soft and powdering quality of the charcoal can also give you a lot of freedom in exploring marks and tone :) Using fingers, a stomp or tortillon, rags or tissues to blend, wipe back and move the charcoal around, be careful of too much smudging as you end up loosing the "clarity of line and tone" yet you can freely blend areas and work over them with more lines to create depth. Cyborg's advice on criss-crossing and blending to get darker shades is good.. as is that trusty hairspray! Only advice on that is that if it's a drawing you are very precious about.. use the real stuff as it's supposed to not yellow the paper... although I've used cheap hairspray on drawings for years without noticing any discolouration... just the safe bunny popping in ;) You can also fix the drawing as you go... just make sure you aren't fixing parts that you later decide you'd want to get rid of or rub back.

Working at an easel helps as you can keep all but hand holding charcoal off the paper.

That book of Ruben's Sketches and paintings sounds like a real gem :) looking forward to seeing more drawings from that one! And great to see you go up in size too! Possibly think less of the outline and more of the whole shape and where the light falls..

Bit of a blab really - just tell me to stop if need be - and do have fun, play and experiment! Looks great so far and can't wait to see more - you're more than likely to come up with your own approach and favourite combination of materials in no time!

take care and cheers
a. :)

01 January 2007, 03:11 PM
Why hello there, Johan :) Took a new medium to try out? Great to see that. Unfortunately I know nothing about it. But people here seem to have said pretty much about it. Could pick a charcoal pencil myself now and wouldn't be lost :D Aah, just don't forget your master study, it's coming out very well and I am looking forward to see it finished some day. I know sometimes there's a break needed, not to be working all days on one piece. So, just a reminder.
Wish you good luck on your next charcoal try-out :bounce:

01 January 2007, 06:29 PM
Oooh charcoal:drool:
I hope to get in some of that someday. Great start man! I can't believe your OFDW too! GEEZ, amazing! C'mon bro, we both hav to finish ours haha. I will if you will:beer:

I can't wait to see some more charcoals.

01 January 2007, 03:18 PM
Serena, Glenn, Rebecca, Annette,

Thank you for the info on charcoal and variant media. I'm sure I will be trying charcoal pencils, conte crayons and many more media as I go along, but first I will use those 3 sticks I got :) I think the main thing I wanted to try was working fast and big(ger). I have a small easel i can put on the table which allows me to draw while standing. i'm sure I'll be buying a big one at some point because I think the arm can move more freely while standing.

wasker, deco-3d, anandpg, razz, ha-dou-ken

thanks for the support!
And for those who are wondering if I'm still working on my OFDW piece... yes, but I'm trying not to put a new wip image of every 5 strokes I make ;)

But just to show you I've not abandoned Marie:

need to find the time to work on the hanky, jewelry, belt, hands, sofa, hair and overall touching up. then I should concider adding colour... but I'm not sure of that...yet

01 January 2007, 03:53 PM
This week's school work.

The assignment was to draw the subjects as they are lit, but using only 3 tones:

* white = lit area
* midtone grey = partially lit area
* black = unlit area

in chronological order (first 2 done on monday, 3rd and 4th on tuesday)

I wasn't happy with the first attempt so I did this one again right after the first version:

the last one I couldn't finish in time but here it is anyway:

the great thing about these is (they are 36cm x 27cm) is when you take 4, 5m distance they look really beautiful (which means I passed the test :) )
Had a lot of fun doiing these... went really black with my 2B pencil on some of those :bounce:

01 January 2007, 04:30 PM
Hi Johan, lovely sketches. The latest looks like a fun excercise, I may have to try it. I really like your OFDW piece.:)

01 January 2007, 02:33 AM
Hi Johan, these last batch of figure studies with the three tones look great even here at this size, so I can imagine how wonderful they must look in the flesh. Consider me highly envious. I'd love to have a go at life drawing, but with a minimum 1 hour drive each way to get to the nearest place, it's a little impossible. Still.. I have some nice inspiration to keep studying myself here!

01 January 2007, 07:53 PM
Hi Johan (everybody calls you this way so I join, too :D)
Your last pieces are really looking funny but good. I think you did a good job on them! I think this would be nothing for me but you can try them a second time if you want to :)
Keep it going!

01 January 2007, 08:41 PM
I really like your shadow studies. I think that is what I need.

01 January 2007, 05:22 PM
Woa took me quite a while to read the entire thread! You have put alot of blood in your work and i can see the evolution, i really like the skull and the charcoal-pencil works. Keep it up! =]

01 January 2007, 06:00 PM
love those 3-tone studies - especially the 2 torsos - amazing! I'm not sure I could do anything with just 3 tones :surprised You made me curious :D Excellent!

01 January 2007, 06:13 PM
Great exercise with those three tones. Makes you look only for bug shapes. Not seeing the detail. This will help you for sure.
Hey, and I'm looking forward to seeing your charcoal drawings! I got a little eager to try out charcoal pencils myself, but I think I'll put that aside for some time now.
By the way, I'm already imagining your master study in color, waiting to see it!

01 January 2007, 07:06 PM

That's an excellent assignment and posted studies. This is how you process a painting as well. One of the things I love to do now is thumbnails. When I realized the treasure that little value studies reveal, I was hooked. They can be beautiful in themselves as simple images of tone without detail. Spread out the value work to your background on occasion. It's a fantastic and therapeutic workout for your artistic brain.

Nice job! :thumbsup:

01 January 2007, 04:27 PM
Samanthie, Trunks, aggie93, Intervain

Glad you like the 3-tone exercises. I strongly encourage you to try it :)
Compliments on the assignments should go to Mr Peter van Eyck, my teacher at school. He's the one who came up with them :scream:


thank you for taking the time to go through my sketchbook. I hope you learned something... it's 1/2 the reason why I have it ;)


Thanks for your kind encouragements. I'm sorry to hear that you need to drive an hour to the nearest town. It only takes 30min for me from home to school, but I think you should concider it nonetheless... I'm learning heaps and heaps and most of all it's so much more fun to draw together with other people and then discuss eachothers interpretations...


Thanks for visiting!
backgrounds.... whoooo they scare meh... but I will get into those... eventually :D
I think I still feel very novice most of the time so I tend to focus on my subject only. It's true that an enveronment can make a drawing / painting much more interesting so definetely worth paying attention to. Thanks for the tip!


Thanks! I tried the color layer last week but didn't save it actually. But I'd really like to finish the value study first so at least I have one part finished ;)


I've been doing a lot of schematic head constructions this week (loomis, 122 to be exact, those I did at work and threw away not included)
I'm not posting any because there are lots of those already in this thread and they aren't much better nor worse than the previously posted ones.

I just know I will have to do hundreds more at least... but it's fun to do so it's ok. I'm gonna try to do like this week and do 10-20 each day during the next couple of months (maybe until summertime?) By then I want to be able to try some heads from imagination every now and then...


Cleaning the house took much longer than expected today so only one charcoal study yet.
You can see the sticks on the tray of my mini-easel. It looks very simular to the one I did last week but it's actually after a different ref from the Rubens bible :)

A2 charcoal on paper:

edit: what I wanted to ask...
Does anyone know any good examples of white pencil or chalk on dark/colored paper?

01 January 2007, 05:09 PM

Nice job on those three tone figures....REALLY LIKE that last Rubens study...going to be trying that technique myself shortly as warmups before my figure drawing class, as Rebecca just suggested to really got a nice effect going on that one...:thumbsup: :applause:
Dynamic Light and Shade by Burne Hogarth, has a lot of what you are looking for, in the ways of handleing white on black, and the different forms and effects of lighting you can achieve using it..GRAET BOOK,I think you would learn alot from it,....I know I did, and still do...never knew that there were so many different ways that the figure could be lighted, until I got that book...:)
Anyway...just stopping by mainly to say..HI, and to see what you've been up to...Good things I see...:thumbsup:

01 January 2007, 05:13 PM
This drawing is a great improvement on the last, and the forms and spatial relationships are reading really well. :) One thing you might try with the charcoal is sharpening the tips to points on a sanding pad, so that you get a more varied line weight in your next drawing - but I think that the way you are approaching things now is very solid, and I am eager to see your next piece. :)

01 January 2007, 12:18 AM

nice work on that charcoal drawing :)
i have a book "realistic figure drawing" by joseph sheppard, alot of his stuff in this book is on gray background and uses black charcoal and white chalk. guess i could send you one or two to see if this is what your looking for


01 January 2007, 05:52 PM
Hi Johan,
the last piece looks great! I like the way you did the lines. Maybe you should do one of them with just lineart and no shadow? :D Would be nice :D

Keep it up :)

01 January 2007, 04:32 AM
Ooh, I really like this last one as well. What do you think of charcoal as opposed to pencil?


01 January 2007, 05:21 AM
Hi Johan :)

Good to see your charcoal drawing :thumbsup: I want to see many more now!
Going well! :) You have a nice feel for both shading and placement on paper. Possibly aim to interact parts of the shaded areas with the outline or edge of the figure... this makes the figure less framed by "line", & also helps to create more depth. Probably this is pretty much the same advice as Rebeccak just gave you, so sorry for repeating :D
It's just that I'm excited to see you work in charcoal ;) and can't wait for more updates!

take care and will be back soon!
a. :)

01 January 2007, 07:10 PM
Marie looks wonderful, the level of detail is awesome, the fabrics are so uber realistic... as I already said, you're an ispiration :)
The charcoal study looks very good. I was thinking of drawing in charcoal as well.

02 February 2007, 06:30 PM
A simple "ciao" waiting for new pics !

02 February 2007, 07:14 PM
Yes, updates updates! The last charcoal piece is really great. Improved after the first one. More!

02 February 2007, 03:19 AM
AHHHHHHHHHH! :D :) :bounce: ;)

Just joining in the choir chanting UPDATES Johan!!!

Hope all is well and sorry about my silly mood :shrug:

take care and cheers!
a. :)

02 February 2007, 05:33 AM
Hee hee.. *joins in chorus* but the last rubens copy was lovely. Would love to see one of those! And I'm seriously considering going to life drawing if the classes are still running, despite the 2 hour round trip.. I think, as you say, it'll be worth it. It's been SO long since I sat in a non-virtual room with other artists.

02 February 2007, 01:40 PM
hey, where's the images? :scream:
that charcoal looks really cool, makes me want to try to draw something after a long period of idleness. more updates,pls.:bounce:

02 February 2007, 05:53 PM
Hey Johan, that last Ruben's is so nice. I love the three tone excercises as well. I would love to see more Ruben's from you.:thumbsup: Also, the OFDW is dope man. I can't wait to see it finally done.:applause:

02 February 2007, 06:48 PM
Well I'm having to deal with some rather unpleasant facts in my life at the moment that keep me from being prominently active in the forums here - one of them having to do overtime at work a lot. Friday should be the last day and I'm hoping to get the day off on monday so I'll have 3 days to have fun. Sorry for keeping you all waiting... I hope you haven't been expecting to see a masterpiece now lol.

At school, which I am ofcourse faithfully attending, we've moved on to shading to present light and shadow (3 shades exercises), rather than using the relief shading, over to using a combination of both. Also we were practicing on getting more info on our paper at a quicker pace, rather than drawing anatomically correct with the right proportions. Seeing shades as fast as we can is the goal.

02 February 2007, 06:51 PM
We then started to work even faster, 5 - 10 min max per drawing. Again the goal was to put as much info as possible on paper in the quickest possible time. We were pushed to use all our perceptional powers because the teach would turn or replace the sculpture or change the light setup at unanounced moments:

02 February 2007, 06:53 PM
And finally some longer studies:

02 February 2007, 07:25 PM
Hey Glenn thanks for your help! always pleased to read your comments. I learn with every one of them!

Rebecca thanks that's a great idea about making an edge to my charcoal tip. I was looking for some sanding paper last weekend and ended up cleaning my desk drawers and getting rid of a lot of old junk instead of drawing. Didn't find any sanding paper yet either lol. But I will get to the charcoal soon!

Mark Hey man that's a really generous offer. but I think you should keep the book for yourself. Don't give any books away! They are treasures to keep, even if there was only one sentence or image in it that taught you something. The name of the book and author which I now know is just as useful to me! I've added it to my amazon wishlist ;)

Hey Trunks thanks for the motivation. I'll see if I can come up with some crisp linework any time soon!

deco-3d Hey Thanks for popping in!
charcoal is a really soft medium. I feel that if I practice this I can get a lot of control over my lines and shades. i can already recommend it if you haven't used it yet and I've barely used it. Pencils, however are what I first used for drawing and I will always luvvem :)

hi Annette, the framing is a bit of a beginners habbit I think? The shading exercises at school are really helping me in this, because we aren't supposed to start with a "frame". Lots of practice will get me there I think. Thanks for your help!

nelchee you're making me shy hehe
I'm almost finished with the OFDW study Only the hair to do left. Already made some custom brushes which I will post along with the finished greyscale image... when it's finished. thanks for your patience... speed is something I must improve at.
Pleae please try the charcoal it's soooo much fun :D

Serena Hi *waves* hope you're not too disappointed *blushes*
Sorry for the long wait... busy busy busy

razz glad you like it. More soon... sorry I'm so slow ;)

Zephyri / Sam
Don't want to push you but... euhm... can I see some of those life drawings please? :D

HladekStepan yeah draw! it's the ultimate ride :) Thanks for stopping by!

hey Thanks Isaias. Nearly finished on the OFDW piece. Will post it when it's finished. Too many in-between uploads already)

I haven't had the time to check on all your threads lately so I've ran a bit behind (well more than a bit in some cases :) )

I'll try to get something useful said in your sb's as I go along. Hope y'all can forgive my lack of activity... it bugs meh that I can't spend more time on it

One more thing I haven't mentioned yet... still doing the loomis exercises although not today nor yesterday. I'll do some now :D

Ciao for nao

02 February 2007, 07:38 PM
Honestly in 5 minutes I'm unable to see anything ;D

I can't think to myself sketching in less than 30 minutes :eek:

Bravo !

02 February 2007, 01:52 AM
Very nice speed studies Johan, I think that would be a little hard to do. Your longer studies are very nice. I really like the last one.

02 February 2007, 02:37 AM
Hi Johan :)

Oh you are doing sooo well! :)
Those shading excercises... great! you've managed to capture a lot of form and suggestion of form in them! keep going, you're obviously doing the right thing :) I really like the torsos you posted at the top... they're yummy :) Nice work with the diagonal line, and like your 3 tone studies; they have that variation of tone, yet they're looser and describe volume and light so well.

cheers and take care - hope you do get more time to draw soon... just take a few deep breaths and know it will happen :)

a. :)

02 February 2007, 04:02 AM

some great studies you've been doing, seems your classes are going well.:thumbsup:

well if you really really really needed the book i could part with it :D, but what i meant to say is i would scan in a few of his drawings and send you the files so you could see if they were what you were looking for :) just let me know.


02 February 2007, 04:29 PM
Serena I'm normally rather slow at sketching but the speeding exercises are a great way to improve on creating someting fast without loosing too much information... not easy though but if I want to be drawing life models once I get to the 3rd year at school, I better be quick at sketching :)

Samanthie Thank you! The pictures are so aweful a lot of detail is lost. I really should be experimenting on how to photograph my drawings better...

Annette Thanks for always encouraging me in such joyful way. I'm starting to associate you with the sun somehow ... warm and bright colors :D

Hey Mark, don't worry about the book I'll get it sooner or later ;)
I love my classes... before I was attending school I used to hate mondays... now I look forward to every one of them :)

Open Figure Drawing Workshop - Mixed Masters - 020
Choice 07:
Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (1780-1867)
Madame Marie Marcotte (Marcotte de Sainte-Marie), née Suzanne-Clarisse de Salvaing de Boissieu
Oil on canvas, 1826
36 1/2 x 29 1/8 inches (93 x 74 cm)

LINK B (same ref. as above) (

>> Large version << (

and some detail shots:

Thank you all for the continuous support!!
I could not have done it without you!!
Having accomplished this feels tremendously great (even though there are dozens of issues left) and I got to thank you for getting me there!

I will color it too but right now I think I'll take a small break from it (sorry razz! hope you can wait a bit longer for a colored version)

Painter Brushes

I would like to share the brush I used for creating the hair. It's a variant of hard edged custom airbrush I had made a few months ago, using Cris' technique explained in this thread:

Tutorials - Bunch o' Painter Tutorials - by Cris Palomino (

I have a problem though:
according to Painter's help files, I should create a brush category and include the xml file for this brush variant. I can't find any xml file related to the variants I make??!! searched my complete hard drive and I'm really lost here. If anyone kows how to solve this I'd really appreciate it. Thanks!

played a bit with the background. I don't like it any better than the first version, but maybe someone will :)

02 February 2007, 04:38 PM
Wow! So great to finally see this finished. :) Congrats! It's a gorgeous piece - I've added it to the SPOTLIGHT thread here:

The one small crit I might have is that I would love to see the bkgrd get just a bit more attention. Relative to the pure beauty of everything else, it detracts just a small bit. But overall I just have to give you tremendous kudos for this gorgeous piece!

EDIT: I've just been back through your whole thread to see how far you've come...and wow, I have to say that your OFDW piece is sort of like a grand statement of your progress thus far. :) It's amazing to me how much effort and consistent progress you've made. Major kudos to you and I can't wait to see how much further you can go!

Cheers :)

02 February 2007, 05:12 PM
Wow, NR43! Awesomely captured values in that masterstudy!

02 February 2007, 12:02 AM
HEY...Johan....:bounce: :applause: :thumbsup:
AMAZING what KIND OF RESULTS taking your time can produce...:)
I think you have just taken your SEEING SKILLS to a higher level......:thumbsup:
BEAUTIFUL JOB...:applause: :thumbsup:

About color....I may sound a bit old fashioned here, ..but I think that that litttle trick of just pushing a couple of buttons, and wa la, a beautiful colored painting is in front of you, a trick that will rob you of the knowlage of what color is all about, and the ability to judge and pick color VALUES on your own, as you have done in picking and judging values in grayscale...Will also rob you of the pleasure and satisfaction of knowing that you can actually see colors , and judge their VALUES, to prduce a painting in full color, as the Master painters that you are making these studies from did...Just my personal opinion concerning color here though, and something to think about, as you progress into this journy of painting.
Learn how to do it the right way first, then play with the tricks that the computer offers,..that way you will never be in a position of having cheated yourself...just my opinion again..:)

02 February 2007, 08:25 AM
WOw Absolutely awesome.

I just love it when you can actually feel the weight of the cloth just by judging from the detailed work on its values and the way the light is reflected. Great improvement!

As concerns the XML files: Under C\Documents and settings (english term?)\YOURUSERNAME\application data\Corel\Painter IX\brushes there's all the files the brushes are built from

- an xml file (it contains all the parameters you set in the UI of Painter)
- a B/W jpg file (in the case of captured dabs)

If you can't see the "application data" folder it is hidden by the operating system. Make it show up by accesing the explorer's "Extra" menu and then "options" and then the "View" tab which will give you a bunch of checkboxes.

Uncheck the one which says something like "hide system files (recommended)".

You should be able to access that directory, now.

02 February 2007, 08:26 AM
Dear Rebecca
thank you so much! It means a lot to me to hear from "real" artists like you.
I concider myself a student, not an artist, as long as I am not able to create my own art from imagination the way I plan to create it, without having to admit everything I do from imagination sucks. It will remain like this for many more years I think lol.
The great thing about all this is that it's all fun... creating, learning, even the good old smacking my face against the floor when realizing I did something completely wrong and will have to try again... it's really fun (I sound a bit like a masochist now woops... that's unintended for anyone frowning their eyebrows :p )

I've got mixed feelings over the OFDW piece. some things are good, some are bad. The good thing is that when doing such an intensive, long study, one is faced with all his skills and more important the lack of other, required skills. Realizing this is extremely motivating. Makes me want to work harder on those lesser developed skills.

I sometimes go through my own thread as well, just to see the progress I'm making. It tells me I'm on the right track and I always wonder what it will look like in a couple of years from now :)

Thanks again for your ever so kind encouragements... this is just the beginning :)


thanks for visiting my humble thread! The values were my main concern here so I guess I can call it a success when I'm not the only one who likes it :)


I'm really glad you like it. It's true... there is no need to rush... we got a lifetime to learn (I learned that from you ;) )
It's all about seeing I think and it's also about seeing more and seeing more accurate. The art comes in place when the artist uses the filters in his brain to command his/her tools to do only what is required.. nothing more, nothing less. On to the next level! :)

I agree with you on the color. I started this as a value study. Along the way people requested a color version. Myself, I don't think I'm ready for color yet, although I like setting a step here and there in that field. I do realize that when I do I have a high risk at slipping and ending up with my face against the floor (let's hope it's not concrete :eek:)
So just like the skull study from the shading tutorial thread, I will do the color version when I feel ready. Might take a month, might take 3 years.. who knows ;)

Thanks for your support and being such nice teachers
What more can a student wish than to be surrounded by teachers? :D

02 February 2007, 10:15 AM
I'll join in concgratulating you on the finished master study, Johan! Though I would've liked to see it in color :) Looks awesome enough in just b&w I must say. And the head studies, would be bad not to mention them. Those longer ones really show that you're progressing further.
Can't wait to see more stuff from you.

Good luck there :thumbsup:

02 February 2007, 11:39 AM
Hi Mu!
our posts must have crossed eachother :)

Thanks for the help.

Here are the brushes I use to paint - at least the ones I created myself.
I also use one of Robert Chang's brushes every now and then and I use the "just add water" brush in the blenders category to blend.

NR43 ( (installation instructions included)

razz Thanks mate! glad you like it. Don't worry I'll be studying color profoundly in a few months/years time ;)

I was wondering... got an email from Corel earlier this week with a promo to upgrade to Painter X in advance. I'm wondering if it would be worth the 161€ (about 130$). Being a beginner I'm not really tempted to do this, unless people can tell me it's really worth the money... what y'all think?

02 February 2007, 11:58 AM
Hello Johan :) :)

WOW! what a lovely piece you've created with your OFDW! The hair, the face, the detail in her clothes and jewellery... amazing! You should be so happy with this one, and yes it will be exciting to see what you do with the colours - but you deserve a break for a bit :)

Congrats! :)

Thanks too for your sweet comments earlier - put a smile on my face for sure, and as far as popping in here; it's always a pleasure!
:wavey: (waving from the sunny land in the south ;) )

a. :)

02 February 2007, 12:05 PM
I suggest you go to the Painter forum here in cgtalk and read about it there. I saw people striking not to upgrade to/buy Painter X. The info you'll find will hopefully answer your doubts.

02 February 2007, 01:12 PM
Impressive progress!:thumbsup:

02 February 2007, 01:54 PM
Dear Rebecca
thank you so much! It means a lot to me to hear from "real" artists like you.
I concider myself a student, not an artist, as long as I am not able to create my own art from imagination the way I plan to create it, without having to admit everything I do from imagination sucks. It will remain like this for many more years I think lol.
The great thing about all this is that it's all fun... creating, learning, even the good old smacking my face against the floor when realizing I did something completely wrong and will have to try again... it's really fun (I sound a bit like a masochist now woops... that's unintended for anyone frowning their eyebrows :p )

I've got mixed feelings over the OFDW piece. some things are good, some are bad. The good thing is that when doing such an intensive, long study, one is faced with all his skills and more important the lack of other, required skills. Realizing this is extremely motivating. Makes me want to work harder on those lesser developed skills.

I sometimes go through my own thread as well, just to see the progress I'm making. It tells me I'm on the right track and I always wonder what it will look like in a couple of years from now :)

Thanks again for your ever so kind encouragements... this is just the beginning :)

Nah, we're all 'just' students ;) - and that's fine with me. :) It seems the people who make the most progress have the most humble attitude and just work hard. I've no doubt it will pay off. :)

02 February 2007, 02:06 PM
161€ (about 130$)
hi, just a small reminder that the EUR is atm rather strong and the price for you should be something about 100€ rather if (important if...:D ) you can order directly from the U.S.

Anyway. Keep painting. You rock...:D

02 February 2007, 04:49 PM
First a quick one (about 7-8min) after Loomis

And a longer study (about 2hrs I think) after Michelangelo

Both are done with charcoal 7mm sticks on A2 paper

Mu, the email clearly mentions 161EUR (taxes excluded, 191.59EUR incl) but I don't think I will upgrade. Plenty of stuff I haven't tried in IX.5 yet ;)

02 February 2007, 08:47 PM
Hi Johan!
This quick loomis study is very funny ... was the face planned to be looking this skewed? If not, think before you draw! If yes, funny! Looks like a man ;)

I think you should use bigger paper then A2 :) A2 is very small when it comes to charcoal drawings :D

Also I want to give you the smae advice I gave Glenn, draw your hands and feet correct. Don't draw them perfcet but try to do the anatomy correct. This is very important to give the whole figure a nice pose. Figures are more alive this way :)

Keep it up!

02 February 2007, 03:57 PM
Hi Johan, great to see you finished your OFDW painting. Very interesting to see the closeups. It looks like 10 paintings you've done in one! The last charcoal piece looks very well rendered. Keep on going.

02 February 2007, 12:15 AM
Hey there, Johan! :)

Your charcoal woman really pops! (Does the dust coat your throat, make you sneeze?!)

Incredible result with your OFDW20 piece. Such patience and eye for detail...:thumbsup: We could see that it was going to be great.

Your daily inroads into learning your art are really paying off for you - I have no doubt that you'll keep it up so just wish you the continued time and stamina to fit it in! :applause:

02 February 2007, 05:53 AM
Hi Johan,

It's very encouraging for a newbie like me to see the amazing progress you have made since you first started this thread. I can only hope I have some of the patience and persistence that you have displayed. I look forward to seeing your future improvements! :)

02 February 2007, 06:23 AM
Hey Johan! wassup?.. great to see your OFDW piece finished.:bounce: Love that last sketch... nice rendering with charcoal.

02 February 2007, 09:26 AM
Hi Johan, nice sketchbook.
The rendering on that study from OFDW20 is great, really clean and detailed.

02 February 2007, 05:15 PM

Thanks. There was no time to think before drawing ;)
You're right, A2 is kinda small when working with charcoal.
btw, the last one... it was a torso study and I wanted to add the foreshortening on the legs

ha Bartovan :D thanks mate... just cruising along here ;)

Hey Yvonne thanks! no sneezing here ;)
to be honest I'm glad that OFDW study is done lol

I can only hope I have some of the patience and persistence that you have displayed.
Just have to do it, nothing more to it... and if you really want it you will do it ;)

hey Anand thanks for taking the time to visit!
I think I'm getting the hang of that charcoal stick I'm using... and I love shading with fingers wiii

thanks! glad you like it mate!


Another different exercise at school this week...
Same subject drawn several times: 1 min, 2min30, 5min, 10min and finally 20min






Apologies for the bad quality of the images.

Crits I got:

* good linework
* try to divide the attention more equally for every part of a drawing. don't just focus on one side or one area (eg facial feartures). a drawing should always have a finished look, no matter what level of finishing it is...

02 February 2007, 05:24 PM
Wow.. your charcoal drawing looks impressive! well done.:thumbsup:

02 February 2007, 08:03 PM
Thanks coochaki


finally started this new project I was planning to do already since quite a while...
I would like to paint several characters from winnie the pooh stories in a nice composition on the ceiling of the children's bedroom.

Here's the first preliminary sketch. ballpen on some old paper.
Roo the kangaroo

I realize these characters are copyrighted so if there is objection against me posting them here I will take them down immediately. Don't want to violate any rules.

02 February 2007, 09:15 PM
cool character!
is that a rabbit?

02 February 2007, 08:07 AM
Hi Johan,

it is very for me exciting to attend (backdoor, hehe) you way of learning and how fast you get better and better with each lesson. The second charcoal piece I like very much, also your OFWD. And I hope you do the ceiling-painting. So cute... :scream:


02 February 2007, 12:39 PM
I feel so low now :(

Ellie, thanks for visiting and the kind words. Remember how I was so posting in your thread a couple of days ago that I'm lefthanded and I only have pain in my right hand? Well... of all times, yesterday my left arm suddenly starts to hurt and hasn't stopped hurting ever since :(
I'm writing this with tears in my eyes because it's not just the pain but it feels like my whole world will collapse any minute now.

I'm seeing the doctor tonight but I don't have my hopes up too high.
I guess I will have to stay away from the computer for a while. How on earth will I do that?? I'm an addict!

all hope's not lost yet...
cya soon

Here's another disney character study. The plan is to draw many of them, then pick the best ones and put them in a nice circular composition, print it off and reproduce on a bigger scale on the bedroom ceiling... won't happen too soon now though :shrug:

02 February 2007, 01:50 PM
Johan, I really hope and expect that the pain is temporary...I know what you mean, I push my eyes past what they are capable of taking, and sometimes I just have to take some time off from sitting in front of the computer. So glad you are seeing a doctor, but please don't despair - I really hope it's temporary and a product of your activity. Hopefully if you ease up a little, the pain will go away. Definitely let us know how things go when you can.

BTW - don't feel compelled to reply to all the comments you may get here! We understand, so please don't feel the need to post back - get better first! :)

02 February 2007, 01:56 PM
Oh no Johan!!! :(

Wish I could say things that make it all better...
Hopefully the pain will be easily fixed and NEVER come back! As an artist you need your hands and I totally understand that frustration and despair when your main "tools" aren't feeling their best.

So sorry to hear! :cry:

I don't know if it can cheer you up... but I'll tell you anyways... :) About 12 years ago I had a really sore hand - wrist really, (basically I'd overworked things and ended up with a lump in my wrist that was pushing on nervs and tendants and things like that). Anyway, I had an operation, they removed the lump, recovery was swift, and I haven't felt any pain since then...

I hope that your hands get better without surgery or intervention - bit like when the tooth fairy comes... a sleep that changes everything :)

Take care! and remember how great you are going with your artwork - nothing is going to stop you! :arteest:

:) Annette

02 February 2007, 03:00 PM
Sorry to hear about the difficulties you're having, Johan. I hope you'll get better soon and back to the drawing more of those lovely disney character studies and stuff :)
I've hurt my hand a bit too, well, a finger. It's all blue/purple now, bigger than the other ones when it shouldn't be like that. And it hurts when I bend it, or try to touch it. The only comfort is that it's my left hand's finger, and I'm right-handed (phew..).
I'll second Rebecca on you not to feel the need to post back. Will make me happy when I hear that you're ok :)
Good luck, Johan!

02 February 2007, 03:24 PM
Hi Johan,

let's start a club :(. Hmm, please be careful and what I watched out this should really be a temporary problem which can be solved by time and (I hope not, for us both) perhaps a small operation.

Perhaps we need somebody to stop us drawing too much? :wise:


02 February 2007, 04:32 PM
Johan, man,

I know what this feels like. I know it from playing guitar in an uncontrolled or tense way which makes my wrist hurt.
With much experience now I can detect the earliest signs of it and interpret them as an indicator for wrong hand posture and then I either try to relax while playing (which I should have been doing anyway) or just stop for a while.

Bottom line: if it stays you can learn to live with it and use it as an indicator of wether you are being relaxed in your working hand (which it should be regardless of doing music or drawing) and if it goes away take it as a warning that you have to either mind your breaks or work on hand posture.

Either way you won't be handicapped forever. I hope you recover soon, as I totally love Winnie and your copies breathe the spirit of those characters with every line.


I push my eyes past what they are capable of taking, and sometimes I just have to take some time off from sitting in front of the computer.


hear, hear... when might those breaks be? Is that when your forehead hits the desk? That is not a break, officially. That is exhaustion...:D

02 February 2007, 04:55 PM

hear, hear... when might those breaks be? Is that when your forehead hits the desk? That is not a break, officially. That is exhaustion...:D
LMAO you will pay Mu man, you will pay....:D

02 February 2007, 04:59 PM
Hi...Johan...Johand...sorry to hear about yohand Johan...almost rhyms :scream:
Maybe rent the movie called MY LEFT FOOT..will give you something to do while you recooperate...GREAT MOVIE..:twisted: If you haven't seen it, it's a true story about a guy who can't use his arms or hands, so he just puts the canvas on the floor, and sticks the brush between his toes, and produces some great works..:)
Seriously though....hope the pain goes away..SOON, and your arm and hand works as though it were new...:thumbsup:

02 February 2007, 05:04 PM
Oh I don't think that sounds very reassuring Glenn :surprised Heh - but I know you mean well. :)

02 February 2007, 05:13 PM
Rebecca....always good to laugh in the face of death...great concept for a painting...YES...Will leave the reassuring to you...LOL..:twisted: :scream: :)

02 February 2007, 06:37 PM
Hey peepz

Thanks for trying to cheer me up...

Just came back from the doctor.
I don't think I like her that much...
diagnose: tendonitis caused by my joints being way too flexible. because of that I have a tendency to overstretch my tendons, causing inflammations

1.use ice
2. use medication to get rid of the inflammation
3. use a wrist bandage
4. avoid using the hand as much as possible (duh?!)
5. learn to live with it

So this is good and bad
Good because it's not carpal tunnely syndrom (yet) and I'm having to learn to live with so many things lately I'm getting pretty good at it lol.

Bad because... well it sux doesn't it

if I have to live with it, might as well keep on drawing and just do less computing at work (that bandage should do the trick) :twisted:

so here's another Disney character... one of my favourites I must say.

The letters on the balloons are the first letters of my kids names:
Amber (5,5), Lars (4) and Inèz (nearly 3)

getting the bandage on saturday (bah)

Thanks guys for the support, I feel better now :)

02 February 2007, 06:57 PM
Man, am sorry to hear, but it at least sounds treatable, which is good news...maybe see another doctor if you don't like this one, and see if there is alternative treatment...anything to facilitate your ability to draw and maintain your health. We're definitely rooting for you! :)

02 February 2007, 07:40 PM
Hi there, I think I can get you a little help since I'm a tendinitis veteran :D

I used to (like 2 years ago) have tendinitis all the time, from both using the computer too much (Counter Strike pwnage :D) and playing guitar wrong, like Mu was saying.

What I did was waiting for the worst part to pass (in those days when you can't turn a door knob without feeling like you just got shot in the hand, y'know, you better just stay in bed and watch tv all day). Then whenever I had to do something bad for my hands (I used to work at a lanhouse, for example) I'd just take a break at any sign of pain.

Since this method above isn't the most practical and comfortable thing in the world, I kept looking for a better solution and what I found is that I was too skinny and that all the strain was going to the tendons, which are not really made for that. So I started doing yoga, which grew me some muscle, which kinda absorbs the tension that used to go to the tendons.

I'm not sure how scientifically acurate this is, but it works for me. Start exercising and, anytime your tendons hurt, take a break.

By the way, just in case your problem is a little worst than simple tendinitis (which I don't think it is), that's not the end of the world. My mom has RSI, from working too much with computers back in a time when RSI was considered just an excuse for not working. She lives a normal life. After the worst part was over she's done some physioterapeutical treatment and now all she has to do is not carry heavy weights or stretch her arms too much.

She's a painting teacher, so she paints and plays with the computer a lot without any trouble. It's just about knowing when to take a break and when to call someone else to help you put that heavy thing up there.

So, hope this was helpful and you better get better because you're a very talented artist :D

02 February 2007, 10:57 PM
Hey again Johan :)

Just thought I'd paste a link here for you... :) and please don't feel you have to reply, your main thing now is to get better, sit back, relax and not worry... all will be well, and there are heaps of good movies out there ;)

Just had a look on the net for some exercises; what kljsadfhklj said about exercising is valid (and I don't know if you are a gym junkie, so forgive me if it's something you're already persuing..) and, even if you're fit and healthy; it's so easy to overwork those poor wrists - esp at computer and drawing...


1) Try to be happy, relaxed & not worry :)

2) Take that anti-inflammatory stuff doc prescribed (a short course of it will get rid of the inflammation and you can be on the road to getting rid of the problem... - don't let a doc tell you you need to go on anti-inflammatory stuff for the rest of your life ;) )

3) If you don't like doc, see another one, or try a few things and see what works.

4) Have a look at your posture; can you work with support for your wrists, are you relaxed while you work?

5) Take a deep breath :)

6) Try to be happy, relaxed & not worry :)

7) Do exercises that strenghten the muscles in your wrist area... this will greatly help your wrists in "carrying" your hands... allowing your hands to do more work. Doing exercises like this focuses on the muscles that don't work as much while say typing or drawing - building up these muscles (and the ones that do do the work) will both give support and give you that extra muscle padding and strenght that you need... A bit like the way crunches or sit-ups are a great way to strengthen your "core", which in turn can help if you have a bad back.. Bit of an "all-over-the-place" explanation, sorry...

Have a look at this link:
It has good drawings showing some simple yet effective exercises.

8) Don't feel bad about taking it easy; you NEED to recoup, and sometimes it's good to take a break (I know the Rebeccak style break (or Mu's version of it) am guilty of it myself, but nevertheless, it is important to stop every once in a while), use time to reflect and come up with new ideas, read maybe, or watch movies... or eat heaps of chocolate :D

That was all from me for now... I think I've used up my smiley faces or I'd post a bunch of silly ones here... to try and put a smile on your face...

take care!
A. :)

02 February 2007, 09:15 AM
Rebecca, Allan, Annette

Thanks for your support!

But don't worry...
there is a saying in dutch that goes "Onkruid vergaat niet"
Litterary translated is would be something like "weeds don't die"

but I looked it up and in proper English it's

Ill weeds grow apace

in other words, I'll survive, like I always do ;)
I do practice some minor exercising but more for arms, abs, legs and chest muscles rather than hand muscles/tendons. Might not be a bad idea to start this once the pain is fully gone...

I blame 20 years of (bad?) computer usage. (Had some years of cs/half life addiction too Allan back in the days before cs source)

Boring day here at work... mbrought my "Anatomy for the Artists" from Jeno Barcsay with me... might draw some hand muscles to pass the time harhar

02 February 2007, 09:22 AM
"Onkruid vergaat niet"

funny, it's the same in german: Unkraut vergeht nicht...:D

02 February 2007, 11:31 AM
Hey Johan... Sorry about your arm... you should see a physiotherapist if its too bad. proper exercise/stretching can be of great help.. meanwhile, take good rest and keep off computers as much as you can... atleast keep off darned mice! btw, if your pain is the type that radiates from neck/shoulder downwards to the finger tips, it must be from bad neck/head posture.. in that case, try exercising your neck and spine frequently during the day's work (I suffer from the same thing). Anyways, get well soon, buddy!:)

02 February 2007, 05:21 AM
Johan! Much sympathy re. your limb(s). Good that you can be positive despite everything. :thumbsup:

Hey, your three youngsters are at such cute ages - great names, especially "Inez" - quite exotic. :)

02 February 2007, 06:25 AM

Great job on your OFDW20 :thumbsup: charcoal studies and cartoons are looking good also :)

Sorry to here about your hand, I'm sure you well be able to get though this.
besides all the good advice already given there is also mineral supplements you can take to help like calcium and Magnesium but ask your doctor about it first.

*part II hope you find this amusing if not I'll delete it*

been wanting to use my CAD program with my tablet but haven't had the urge to draw a house like I usually do , sooooo i went ahead and designed you a new wrist and hand, just in case. Ran into some minor complications but should turn out OK with a little luck

sorry about the poor sketching kind of a rush job :D

Best wishes

02 February 2007, 08:31 PM
lol Mark nice one thanks. I'll take your plan with me to the doc next time :p
anyway, if my arm doesn't stop hurting by friday i'm calling a specialized physician... not taking any risks here and my regular doctor just lets me work at the pc all day (omg can you believe it??)

Mu, anandpg, Yvonne, Annette, Rebecca, kljsadfhklj... :thumbsup:

thank you so much for your support all! you've no idea what it means to me!!

So not being able to actually create something has it's advantages... my mind is full of ideas now...

I was thinking of a painting concept that might fit in the OFDW theme Angels and Devils...
A portrait of a guy turning into a devil... the evil coming from inside...

I made a picture not to forget about the idea

don't look at the background etc, it's totally irrelevant. just the look on my face and the position of the hands were important to me. it would be like the evil is growing inside me, starting at the hand/wrist (harhar). I think it would be a great concept from a painter's point of view :twisted:

For the evilness I was thinking of a glow of some sort... like how wood looks when the fire is already gone but the wood itself is still glowing...

I made some quick sketches (wearing the bandage, so very crappy) to get a few different options concerning composition and I think this could work if I can get a good facial expression of fear and pain growing into evilness.

When the body was under an angle there was less of the hands visible, which is the main reason why I think a frontal pose will work best.

Any thoughts and suggestions are welcome here :)

02 February 2007, 08:41 PM
Hi Johan,

haha, great idea. Yes, but what do yoou think about that an artist have to suffer a lot to produce genious ideas? :scream:

Goede verbetering!


02 February 2007, 09:00 PM
GREAT CONCEPT....Reminds me of what Gandhi once said..went somthing like....I believe that all of the demons and angels in the world are within us all, and perhaps that is where ALL of the battles and wars between good and evil should be fought...:)
Very wise thought and words...still as relevent today as when he spoke them many years ago..:)

02 February 2007, 11:08 PM
Hey there Johan :)

Good to see you're at fighting spirits ;) and there are more things than weeds that survive you know.

I like your thoughts on the Devil inside... will be interesting to see how you play around with the expression on "his" face... how fear and horror transforms to evil... :twisted: Good to have the hands in focus too :) Are you thinking full body? Don't know why I see him kneeling with the background in that dark glow you described... ;)

Oh, and I had a right laugh at Marks invention... should patent it, I wouldn't mind a remote-controlled one of those that could do all the boring jobs around the place ;)

Cheers and take care :)

a. :)

02 February 2007, 11:20 PM
HEY ..Johan..:)

Was just thinking after I read Annette's post about changing expressions, that the perfect film to study for that change that takes place, one that I just saw for the who knows how many times now.LOL.
THE SHINING with Jack Nicholson...perfect example of that subtle change...:scream:

02 February 2007, 10:06 AM
Yeah! 'the shining' is the thing for such stuff.. never saw the movie, but read the book by Stephen Hawking. got so scared, I refused to see the movie ever!!:sad:

02 February 2007, 10:01 PM
Hi Johan, too bad about your arm - hopefully ou'll get better soon. At least you got some inspiration out of it. Be careful and get some good medical advice!

02 February 2007, 06:42 PM
Og God Johan! i just heard about your arm. I'm sorry bro. I have similar pain with my dislocated shoulder. I can only recommend what everyone else has already. I really admire your strong spirit and positive outlook on things. Cheers to you Johan.:beer:

Hang in there bro.:thumbsup:


p.s. DON'T REPLY!!!lol, get better!

02 February 2007, 09:22 AM
The shining is a brilliant film... and Jack Nicholson is the perfect man to give us those kind of expressions (or any other expression for that matter :) )

Bart, Isaias, thanks for the supportive words! it's very hard not to draw but every now and then i cannot resist and hold a pen for 5 or 10 minutes...

great idea about the kneeling pose Annette, will prolly go for it if i can get a good one on paper...

here's a few of those doodles:

The legs are after Ben Miller. Will do a couple more of those leg studies and hopefully some hand studies as well soon...

They are rather poorly drawn but it's not easy with a bandage on that prevents me from bending my wrist ;)

02 February 2007, 09:42 AM
Good to see you're still doing your best to draw even with conditions like that. And heym turnin yourself into a devil :D I would only suggest more interesting horns. Finding ref for that is easy. Here's ONE ( and TWO ( But understand that it might be only my taste.

Is the hand getting any better? I hope you'll be able to draw as much as you want in no time!

Good luck to you, Johan.

02 February 2007, 03:16 PM
Just have to do it, nothing more to it... and if you really want it you will do it ;)

True that! :) I just seem to be more impatient than I recall from years back, when I last used to draw heaps. Maybe its just coz I didn't know as much and had no idea how much there was to learn back then, lol.

I like you concept for OFDW! Real sorry to hear about your hand. If only you could save up all its energy just for drawing and didn't have to move it for anything else. Hope its getting better, or that you can at least find a way to manage the pain so drawing doesn't hurt.

Best wishes!

02 February 2007, 05:23 PM
Hi Johan,

great to see you going on, but please be patient an perhaps work with less pressure. I want to see more work from you for a long, long time. :)

And yes, Jack Nicholson is a crazy demon... *lol* you know the film where he is the devil and had a love affair with three witches? Don't know the title.


02 February 2007, 04:13 PM
Well the hand was getting better which is why I went to school last night.
We went to the school library where we picked ourselves a nice book to draw from and started working with bister a brush and a "rietpen". don't know the english word but it's a pen made from a fine bamboostick.

Some studies from Rembrandt:

The head is awefully big in the first one but apart from that I'm quite pleased with it.
I had never used bister before, let alone a brush or one of those pens... great fun.

Unfortunately my arm wasn't so happy about all this today so I'm not going to class tonight to let it rest. I read somewhere it usually takes around 9 months average to recover from tendonitis and it can take up to 2,3 years omg :eek:
Guess I will have to learn to live with it.:shrug:

Anyway, don't want to be too negative about it...
Razz, Aviva, Ellie: thanks for the support peepz! Really appreciate it!

02 February 2007, 04:53 PM
Amber, 5 years old

02 February 2007, 05:02 PM
good portrait, its really 'alive.'

few crits
-eyeballs look flat...maybe some shading could help.
-nose seems to bee assymetrical...cant really put my finger on it.
-maybe some extra highlights and dark shades to level up the contrast.

ah well...minor crits they are, good job.
don't overwork your arm... :sad:


02 February 2007, 07:02 PM
Hi Johan,

beautiful studies with the "rietpen" and with the portrait of the cute girl I also see minor problems which you can debug.

Take care about your arm,
Ellie :)

03 March 2007, 11:34 AM
well, there are few troubles, I agree, but her expression is SO intense and real... I love it !

03 March 2007, 03:21 PM
Been a while.. trying to keep pc usage to a minimum so won't update/comment too often.
Had a meeting with a specialized doctor today and she thinks the problems, which have taken very carpal tunnel syndrom-ish proportions by now, are caused by inflammations at the elbow. She gave me instructions for stretching exercises, a liniment and other treatment details. We agreed to give this method 3 weeks and if there is no improvement we'll be taking further actions (x rays, maybe nerve tests etc).

I'm feeling more confident I will get better now and having good hopes. only thing is I'm a bit unpatient and would love to draw a lot. Other than school I've done nearly no drawing at all.

Here's the school work:
done on 36 x 27 (cm) paper with a brush and bister. Trying to capture as much as possible with as few as possible strokes. Light is the main aspect to deal with during these exercises so if area's seem uncomplete because they are all white, that was done on purpose and was part of the exercise ;)

Small images because they are meant to be looked at from a distance....

03 March 2007, 03:22 PM
more of these...

03 March 2007, 04:06 PM
I'm a bit unpatient and would love to draw a lot.
I really appreciate your love and enthusiasm:DBUT TAKE CARE:)
The way we sit lost for hours in our drawings...i really fear that i ll go numb some day in the same pose...To fight this fear i have decided to take out time for exercise regularly...Please make sure you make some such routine:)
I wish speedy recovery to your left arm:)

03 March 2007, 04:34 PM
Great value studies Johan and they look good from a distance.:) The little girl sketch is adorable. I'm sorry you are having problems with your arm. I hope the excercises help, just keep up with them.

03 March 2007, 06:52 AM
Johan - your tirless effort is paying off big time!!! Great work, Great progress :thumbsup:


03 March 2007, 07:28 AM
I read somewhere it usually takes around 9 months average to recover from tendonitis

Hm, it didn't take a half of that to me.

03 March 2007, 01:45 PM
Hi Johan, good updates. Nice experiments with bister; seems very difficult as you can probably hardly correct mistakes. The portrait of Amber looks very good. Very well drawn. There are some issues with the lighting though. The light comes from top right. So the areas under the nose, the upper lip, the upper eye lids should be shaded darker. That would make it look more natural (even though it might be different from your observation). The expression is very good!

03 March 2007, 01:48 PM
CgIcecube thanks! My arm doesn't hurt from drawing anymore... sitting at a computer desk is hell but drawing is ok. I'm looking to buy a new chair to sit at my pc here at home. Ok they are very expensive (some chairs cost as much as a new pc) but I think it will make a huuuge difference.

Samanthie, Gord, Thank you for the kind words and the visit!

kljsadfhklj let's hope it won't take that long! Feeling less pain now so I'm optimistic.

batte812 Glad you like it. The drawing of Amber is one of the studies I'm doing of my kids before I'll be making a grouped portrait on big colored paper. thanks for the advise on light usage. I'll try to take it with me in my next drawings.
The bistre is indeed very challenging.... has to be put on paper in only a few lines and strokes... these are not all the sketches I made with bistre to be honest... I left out the failures ;)

I've made a tutorial on how to make your own cane pen and bistre so you can all try it as well if you are interested. Any feedback will be highly appreciated since making tutorials is a lot of fun but I'm not that experienced in it ;)

Find the link in my sig

03 March 2007, 03:53 PM
I think that it's beautiful and very inspiring to see all the passion you put in learning!

About the chair...I'm a software developer and I paint at pc so I spend a lot of hour in a bad position for shoulders, arms and of course, backbone. My experience told me to use 2 different kinds of chair in order to change the backbone position at least each 2 days.
I use a normal office-chair plus what here is called "ergonomic" one. >Here a photo< (
I spent 75 € to buy this last one so I really suggest you to save your money for a new graphic card ^_^, use 2 chairs and of course have at least 1 hour of jogging/sport 3/4 times at week plus daily stretching.

Good work man ! :thumbsup:

03 March 2007, 04:33 PM
I definitely see progress here. keep it up! practice makes perfect :)

03 March 2007, 10:28 PM
The portrait of Amber is lovely, and thank you for the Tutorial! Hope you are taking care of your wrist. :)

03 March 2007, 02:35 PM
Serena thanks not sure which chair I'm buying yet there are so many of them and it's easy to spend a lot of money on it... will carefully think about the pros and cons first :)
The exercising... I normally go cycling and do a bit of fitness at home a couple of times a week but cannot start those again unless I feel no pain in my arm at any time... maybe in a few weeks ;)

cok3 thanks, that's the aim... will still be the aim in 30 years for sure...

Rebecca Thanks glad you like it. It's just a study for a bigger project though. I'll be drawing my 3 children on a 64 by 51 cm Sienna beige paper at some point and it will be framed...

Don't worry I'm being careful with my arm. Drawing doesn't hurt when I use a shelf to put against the edge of my desk/table. It's mainly typing and driving the car which is the problem.
I do follow the treatment directions I got from my doctor precisely and during the last 5 days I've noticed remarkable improvement. It's looking good :)

Here's another pooh-sheet lol

as you can see I'll need to draw many more of these hehe

03 March 2007, 02:47 PM
nice clean poohs. why are you drawing poo's if I may ask? hehe
good luck with your arm!