View Full Version : Sketchbook Thread of Johan Derycke

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03 March 2007, 02:54 PM
My kids make drawings for me regularly so I want to return the favour :)
It's also good practice for our lil bedroom project we have here. Planning to paint some characters from the Pooh series on the ceiling of the children's bedroom in the summer or fall... I'm just drawing these characters regularly so I get to know them better... When I've got loads of them I'll pick out the best and make a nice circular composition in GIMP, print it out and use it as a ref for the bedroom ceiling painting. (I'm sure it will be my neck hurting then instead of my arm lol)

Here's some of this weeks school work:

03 March 2007, 11:30 AM

Just popping in to see how you are doing...:)
I really like those light and shade studies on the previous page..:thumbsup:
You really captured a great expession on your kids face, with emotion that..:applause:
Great exercice on those last contour drawings..really forces and trains your mind to see and feel in a 3d kind of mode...will pay of big time in your future drawings and paintings...:thumbsup:
Can't wait to see the thumnail composition of that ceiling mural for your kids room....will you be using perspective in it, to add to the illussion of depth and enhance the magic of it...just curious..:)

03 March 2007, 05:22 PM
I'm sure you'll choose a perfect chair that fits you ^_^!
I can only wish you to get better as soon as possible,
Serena. :love:

03 March 2007, 08:52 PM
I love the stuff you do at the school. I've been drawing heads all this semester myself, like it a lot. But I don't do exercises like you, I go all the way with the shading, which isn't a bad thing too. Something I really must practise, so doing that with pleasure. After seeing this stuff of yours, I think I should do such exercise myself. If not at the art school, then at home.
The top head looks especially great. Looking forward to more :)

03 March 2007, 08:30 AM
Hey again Johan :)

Been a while I know... :shrug: Life and work just steam-rolled me for a while.

Anyways, great to see your "bister" and "reitpen" washes! and your cross-contour drawings, they really are going places :thumbsup:

Hoping that your arm/hand is on the mend, you seem to be thinking about all the right things - just wishing you the quickest recovery! :)

I looked at your tutorial as well; it's so informative, inspiring and well put together! :applause:

Take care
a. :)

03 March 2007, 11:02 AM
Hi Johan,

I had to laught when you said that your kids are constantly doing drawings for you, cause my daughter is, too.

Your effort is paying off big time and the cross contour drawings are spot on in my book. Always inspiring (and a little bit frightening :eek: ) to come here and see your progress...


03 March 2007, 01:48 AM
Hi, NR43. I'm really impressed with all of your traditional studies! The master studies following your sketch like the masters tutorial are really great. By the way, thanks for that tutorial.

I can't wait to see this mural that you're planning on. A wall mural would be impressive, but you're planning on taking it to the ceiling?! I won't force more work on your project, but a few WIP or step by step photos of the mural would be awesome! :D

I didn't realize you had problems with you arm, I'm sorry to hear that. Take care of that arm and keep up the good spirits!


03 March 2007, 04:29 AM
hi NR43

see you've been busy doing a bunch of great studies :thumbsup: but this doesn't seem like rest for that wrist of yours :D


03 March 2007, 06:54 PM
Glenn: Thanks for popping in! Glad you like my work! the portrait of Amber is just a study actually.. doing some studies of all my children coz I wanna put them in one big drawing on brown/beige paper... will post wip's once I start working on it (will be quite a big project for me)

Serena: Thanks for the support! Doing much better already but would do even more better if I'd totally ignore pc's I think... but I simply can't do that... ;)

Hey Annette thanks for dropping in! Really love the series in your very own thread!

Mu Hi! good to have you wondering around the darkest corners of the forums again :)
thanks a lot for the compliments! It's not hard work really... it's fun! I was really impressed with that knee study of yours btw... wish you would upload more of those studies...

Knilblink You're too kind! You know actually I really want to paint digitally... mixing fantasy with realisme... like Lorland Chen or Marta Dahlig, but the traditional work is so much fun and I really believe it's important to get traditional skills if I want to be good at digital.
The ceiling painting will probably be a circular composition. Will post images for sure but I probably start it no sooner than the 2nd half of this year. Taking my time to get to know pooh and his friends first. Thanks for your support that really motivates me!

Fatebringer/Mark What can I say... I'm hooked :D
Thanks man!

Here's some of this week's school work, where we were exercising hatching with different media, trying to mold with non linear hatches to get organic forms

proportional issues on every one of them... that's what you get when you disregard the basic anatomical rules (embarassed to be honest but oh well... a lesson learned)

03 March 2007, 11:20 PM
Hi Johan, I like the Pooh drawings. It's going to be so cute when you are finished. I will look forward to your wip of your kids portraits. The sepia drawing is very good. Proportions..aren't they fun?lol Still you have some nice line work on these latest sketches.

03 March 2007, 03:51 PM
Hey Johan, listen to the doctor lol!

I'm really enjoying these contour drawings and the line work on the last one. You have improved so much since the beginning of your thread. Congrats!

We are perpetual students aye mate? heh, talk to you soon bro.

p.s. I can't wait to see the finished Pooh paintings too heh. So much fun.

03 March 2007, 02:48 PM

I'm getting real soft now so if you can't stand this get going and read some other thread ;)

A couple of weeks ago I was thinking how overwelmed I was by all the support I got from everyone here. Not just coz of my arm, but since the very beginning. People would encourage me, teach me and help me in any way they could.

I started thinking all these nice people should get some sort of a reward... a cgtalk award for dedication and helpfulness or something. Unfortunately such thing doesn't exist so the thought began to swirl around my brain to make a painting to symbolize such an award

I wanted this "CGSociety Community Award" as I named it, to be something special. Not just a trophy that will end up in a box after 2 weeks.

Last week I got ImagineFX 16 which inspired me to do a hand study in Painter so I got the marvelous idea to combine the hand study and the award idea so...

For everyone reading this

This magic award will hover/float 5-10cm above any surface. If you drop it, it won't break because it will stop before it touches anything.
It will glow whenever you feel bad, lonely or cold and give you that warm feeling we all need from time to time.

I cannot thank you all enough because I have learned so much from you peepz -and not just about art- and it means the world to this old sucker!

Talk to y'all soon ;)

03 March 2007, 03:21 PM
HEY....Johan...:applause: :thumbsup:


03 March 2007, 09:03 PM
Hey Johan,

this is such a nice idea and the painting along with the hand is really well executed.

And the award itself totally rocks... I just smashed it against the window for a test and it came bouncing back in complete silence!


03 March 2007, 09:23 PM
that's fantastic Johan and I have to thank you back :D Looking forward to more and more from ya - after seeing that Ingres study of yours I believe you can do magic :love:

03 March 2007, 09:39 PM
That's very cool Johan and a very nice thought. :)

03 March 2007, 10:11 PM
Truly a lovely idea, thanking people with your art, and much more. Haven't seen this happen anywhere else. Nice one :bounce:

Thank yourself too, you help people around here just as they help you :thumbsup:

03 March 2007, 12:16 AM
Great work Johan - Keep em coming! :thumbsup:

03 March 2007, 03:14 AM
Johan, that is just beautiful, I'm so glad I stopped by! Thank you Johan.:bounce:

03 March 2007, 11:55 AM
:love:So sweet !

03 March 2007, 09:31 AM
Hip,Hip (or in this case, hand:D)...JOHAN!

03 March 2007, 09:54 AM
:applause::applause::applause:..... Hurray!!

03 March 2007, 11:06 AM
hey johan!

great work. i really dig those "wireframe" sketches aswell as you last head study.
looking forward for more nice work from you.


03 March 2007, 12:20 PM
Way to go. Spread the love... :thumbsup: :bounce:

03 March 2007, 01:54 PM
Hey Johan :) :)

That award is so cool! It has a real healing quality about it & I'm sure it will have powers to heal the creator of that same award! Very sweet and lovely idea too; now you'll have all blushing in the "not so dark" corners of this great forum :) :)

I love those head studies as well

keep it up "with moderation"
and take care

a. :)

03 March 2007, 02:31 PM
Hi Johan,

you are absolutely right with the award. I have learned also a lot from this community.

Enjoy! :bounce:


03 March 2007, 02:34 PM
Hey y'all
glad you all like
the cgball


Here's this week's school work:

Still working on linear shading with different media:

pencil on white paper

0.8mm Artline black pen on white paper:

And this one is on an old piece of grey paper (even though it loks green, bad pic):
pencil and white chalk

03 March 2007, 03:10 PM
Hey Johan! Nice studies. I like the white chalk sketch.:) Keep up the good work.:thumbsup:

03 March 2007, 03:49 PM
Hi Johan,
I just read through your whole thread. What an incredible journey so far! Your energy is really going to take you to wonderful places. I'll be following along, can't wait to see where the journey goes. :)

04 April 2007, 10:23 AM
Hi Johan, nice studies, i like the effect you achieve with the white chalk. You seem to draw the eye that is the furthest away too big (a mistake that i make regularly myself); the inner corner of the eye should be hidden more behind the nose - if you get what i mean. Keep going!

04 April 2007, 02:35 PM
That last one in particular has a lovely feeling to it. Definitely a direction to go in for your work. :)

04 April 2007, 08:43 AM
Nice schoolwork, Johan. Especially the last one. I love drawings done on toned paper, which allows the use of a white pencil, wheee!! Adds such a cool effect to the drawing. And haa, I've found one toned paper for myself, goodie. Wanted to buy more of those, so went to an art shop but they didn't have it. In fact, they didn't have any of three things I wanted. Hope you don't have these difficulties of getting the art supplies you want.
When are you going to start drawing finished head studies at school? I've started a fourth and it's so much fun, but takes loads of time for me, but it's worth it I think.

04 April 2007, 08:38 PM
Always a pleasure to surf this thread !


04 April 2007, 12:26 PM
Hi johan!
I was not able to post for a long time now ... I am writing my exams ;)

I am too lazy to comment on every piece you postet, so I want to tell you that it is great to see you keeping at this heads :) As I maybe said some time ago, it is also good to see you not onle practicing heads but hands and torso. I think it is important not to concentrate to much on one part of the human body for too long (maybe I should tell this myself :D)

Keep it up, I'll come back :D (some day ^^)


04 April 2007, 04:34 PM
Samanthie, maritok, Rebecca, CyborgJA
Thanks all for your nice comments and support.

batte812 You're right I shouldn't forget about perspective.

razz Thanks mate. I also like those drawings a la Antony Ryder... hope to get just as good at some point in my lifetime. School is ending in the end of June. Until then it will be heads mostly. We're mostly focussing on learning different techniques until now, but I think our teach said something about "more freedom" after easter so we'll see what happens.

2nd year (starting september) focusses mainly on learning anatomy, which is a logical traject I think, techniques first, then anatomy.

Trunks I'm focussing on heads but I also draw other stuff every now and then... eg at work when I'm bored I draw my own hands :)

Commissioned by a colleague of mine.

This is the 2nd version of the same reference picture I received. The first one was totally off. I'm still unhappy about the hands but it's hard to get it right on A4 I think.
I'm actually not going to charge her but it will be a "promotional" gift.
Gonna start another one for another colleague soon...
I sorta want them to make a bit of advertising for me in their hallway. It would be great if I could earn a few extra euro's to pay for materials and tools...

Edit: Forgot to mention I'm in a contest at the PixlelBrush forum. I will not make the deadline but it's a painting I will finish for sure. You can see my progress here (

04 April 2007, 08:54 AM
Hey Johan! this one is really sweet!!:applause:

04 April 2007, 09:51 AM
Hi johan! Nice sketchbook!:thumbsup:

04 April 2007, 10:30 AM
oh Johan,

the portrait of the little baby is really very expressive and accurate! Excellent.

04 April 2007, 02:40 PM
Adorable baby, you did a great job! :)The hands look fine to me, just like little chubby baby hands. I think the mom is going to love it!

Too bad you won't have time to finish your image at Pixelbrush, lots of nice detail in it and the officer's face looks very natural.

04 April 2007, 04:43 PM
10,000, WOO hoo!!!

*cough*, those eyes are so cute. Great shading too.

04 April 2007, 04:52 PM
What a lovely, sensitive drawing! Among other things, I love the hair, it looks so soft, like the real thing.

04 April 2007, 06:46 PM
Thank you all!

I gave the drawing to my colleague and she was really happy with it.
Feels good to make someone feel good :D

I'll be back soon with more

04 April 2007, 07:08 PM
What a lovely expression of the baby, Johan! Really well done! Gotta love the paper you used on that one, trying to find something similar to that myself. The touch-ups with the white pencil add beauty to the whole.
Oh, and the piece for the contest looks really great! You'll have yourself an amazing self-portrait when it's finished, that's for sure. But why don't you post it here?

04 April 2007, 08:05 PM
Interesting to see that uniform after being hit with a lot of WWI history over Monday (when they were rededicating the Vimy memorial). A horrible war, and really a different era from today.

Great start to the portrait. Just me or is there a tilt in the body that seems a bit odd (everything is going from lower left to top right, sort of a sense that a lot of weight will be on the right hand)?

The face is great and ties into the roughing of the costume very nicely. It's strong enough that it should be able to hold up with the details of the final costume. Should be a very nice piece :)

And you've captured the cute in the baby very well ;)

04 April 2007, 10:37 AM
Beautiful, beautiful baby ! Bravissimo for the touches of white on his skin !

04 April 2007, 11:47 AM
We've got an awesome art store only 2km from my home (which is a lucky coinsidence since I live in the middle of frikking nowhere lol). You can get everything there (they even do framing for paintings and all). So I buy this colored paper there per sheet (it's CANSON Mi-teintes). it's funny coz usually when I go to the grocery store or something, I go in, collect the stuff I need and go out as fast as possible but at Lucasarts... I could live there and spend all my money hehe

Thanks. That's well spotted about the officer's SP. He is indeed leaning on something (I think it's a false wall or something) in the ref but I'm going to replace it with something a little more interesting, a chair or a sofa or something... not sure yet so I left that area open, which is why the figure balance may seem off.
I'm glad you noticed though... I love good crits and you seem to be good at that :D

Serena! Thanks for dropping by! Always lovely to hear I'm still not too boring hehe

Well, just to show I'm not totally lazy...
here are some quickies from imagination. Twas actually the first time I tried this... gonna need a lot more tries hehe.
Sadly, these are the best of the bunch...

I was reading about weight and it's effect on human body in ImagineFX so I tried out some stuff (no ref). They are anatomical disasters but concidering I've never drawn from imagination I think they're ok.

The last one... I might have seen a simular head a while ago... at least that's the feeling I have when I look at it.

Back to school tonight... yay!

04 April 2007, 11:57 AM
Liking the baby study! Expression is very curious.

04 April 2007, 03:31 PM
Hi Johan, Pen and ink is like working without a net.hehe You have some good form and expressive line in these sketches. The top sketch with the guy on the right with the braid and the man just below him are really nice as is the guy pulling the rope. Keep practicing and posting!:thumbsup:

04 April 2007, 05:37 AM
Hey Johan,

wow, I've missed so much here:scream: , you've made some really amazing progress! Interesting to see all the different techniques...and of course seeing the latest pieces the baby portrait is especially good:thumbsup: ! I also had a look at your work for the PixelBrush contest, the wip is just awesome, I hope you'll have the time to finish it and post it here!:)



04 April 2007, 06:22 PM
Fl3wk, thanks glad you like it!

Samanthie, I like working with pen for the exact reason you say: it forces me to keep pushing. these were more doodles than anything though.
Thanks for passing by *waves*

daWinky, hey long time no see :D Hope you are well!
I like school for the variety of exercises we get... really keeps me pushing myself
The PB event has finished. Unfortunately I didn't make it in time but I will finish it. That's a promise!

In the mean time here is more school work:

Contour sculpting.
Instead of "building up" a drawing from inside to the outside, we had to work the other way around and sculpt the contour of our subject out of the background with short streight lines. My charcoal was rather soft which is why some area's became totally black... it doesn't bother me though.

04 April 2007, 06:24 PM
More contour sculpting:

04 April 2007, 06:27 PM
And then using this technique also on the inside of the contour... the goal is to actually sculpt on paper... adding a bit here, then a bit there, etc... like a real sculpter would do but the other way around (adding volume iso removing)

Loved these exercises and felt really FREE doing them

04 April 2007, 04:49 AM
Hey, Johan. Those contour drawing look very well. I think it is called "the arabesque". It's very useuful when drawing from life, thought I don't think one could apply it very well when drawing from imagination. Even though I haven't read it, the book by Anthony Ryder teacher this technique.And hey, great to see imaginational work from you! Do more of that, I'll sure want to see it.

Good luck, Johan :thumbsup:

04 April 2007, 08:45 AM
You got me interested contour drawing. I've been thinking to try something really different, to get that "free" feeling.

Those look great, sketchy details, inspiring.

And your baby drawing looks like a pro did it, really good.

04 April 2007, 03:03 PM
Hi Johan,

these look really interesting, exciting and different...

are you supposed/allowed to mark how the elements in a face fall together, using parallels and stuff like that? Or are you encouraged to do without that stuff and just carve away at the inside? What about mistakes? Do you erase?

04 April 2007, 04:07 PM
thanks for stopping by.
yeah it's a nice change... and it's great to learn about negative space.
i've rarely drawn from imagination (well I have every now and then but i think my 5y old daughter draws better from imagination so it's too embarassing and then i throw those away)
I might do more as my confidence grows...

Thanks, you're too kind.
the contour drawings are meant to be sketchy. It's not about finesse and accuracy with these kind of exercises, but learning to see form and negative space.
The other drawings are a step furhter... taking the technique of "sculpting" to one level higher. We were inspired by some of the pencil drawings from Paul Cézanne (

Hi Mu
when drawing almost nothing but plaster heads the entire school year, one has to bring variation in the exercises. My teacher does this very well I think.(thank god)
I think we might be going to the botanical garden in Leuven soon thoug, so it will be interesting to draw some nature for a change.

I'm always avoiding construction when drawing at school. Simply because I think it's best to sharpen my observational skills while I'm there, having the chance to draw from real objects instead of photographs.
I hardly ever erase (unless for commissions, where it is required to get a realistic/photographic result - or as good as.) When I make a mistake I try to correct it by adding. Very often I can't do much about it and so I leave them as good as I can get them. But they are just exercises so I'm not trying to make a masterpiece.

For example with these charcoal drawings, done with a 7mm vine, I avoid whiping or erasing. The exercises are to build up in "area"s of the same value, sort of like a painter would do. the lines are almost always added at the very end to accentuate certain characteristics.

The last head ^ is my favourite and I've drawn that one more than any others in class.
We were saying that it would be a good exercise to draw what we've just drawn in class without the object in front of us.

So, today at work, I quickly drew that head from memory. It took maybe 5-7min tops and it was done with a HB pencil so very light. but I felt quite good because I got pretty close. (or at least closer than expected)

so you see Trunks, it's not such a bad idea to focus on one part of the body... until you really REALLY know it, before moving on to the next ;)

04 April 2007, 05:39 PM
Hi Johan,

it is really interesting to follow you through your excercises! And inspiring, we also try out contour-drawing at the figure drawing class but there is not much time to do it, only 1,5 hrs and they fly away.

The baby is really cute.

Ellie :)

04 April 2007, 08:30 AM
hey johan!

great seeing those exercises. you can really see the improvements as you get more comfortable with those contour sketches. the last ones are really good.
aswell are those charcoal drawings.


04 April 2007, 06:32 PM
Digging the contour drawing bro. I love to learn through negative space. I may try this as well with some charcoal.

the last few heads are very nice as well.I'm learning a lot! Thanks!

04 April 2007, 03:28 AM
Hey Johan :)

long time -again :D - since posts...

Great to see how busy you've been here - school work is coming along great - all those heads! :) I like the variety in approach sculpting/contour/charcoal/pen - and that male head, your favourite.. I like it! :thumbsup: Nice features, I like the charcoal drawing:)

The sculpted drawings - where you've modelled the features in the same style as blocking in the head from the outside - work well :) It shows that you enjoyed doing them - the way the short & sculpted linestyle forces you out of a "known" approach, and sends you on a different path. Keep it up Johan! Also, hope that hand of yours is getting better by the minute :)

take care and cheers
a. :)

04 April 2007, 03:09 PM
Hi Johan!

great sketches man, the baby drawing is soo cuuute and soft :D btw, the charcoal sketches are great :D I like the last one most, it feels alive somehow. Anyway, by looking at your charcoal drawings I see what I'm doing wrong :D so tnx Johan you're a great teacher :D

keep it up ;)

04 April 2007, 04:55 PM
I like how you are playing with strokes. I got 1 question, is all this work to become a professional in the industry or is it just a hobby?

05 May 2007, 04:16 PM
Hey Ellie I'm lucky... got 10hrs class per week :D

abyss103 thanks. I guess it's all about mileage.. draw a lot on a daily basis for many years... that's the plan anyway.

Hi Isaias! Great stuff in your thread lately... surely inspiring! Wishing I could work a bit digital but getting a bit caught up being commissioned for traditional drawings lately

Well Hello Annette!
Getting very fond of charcoal meself. I just know I can do powerful stuff with it if I practice with it a lot...
Thanks for making the time to drop by!

Hey there.
I must say I learn just as much from your stuff so thank you too :D

Actually I don't think it's realistic to think I'll be drawing and painting fulltiime for a living in the future, but one should never say never. I just practice a lot because I want to get better. At the moment I am so far off the level I eventually want to reach, but I realize very well that it cannot be reached before age 50 :D

In the mean time I've started to accept commissions for traditional drawings. I don't charge much and it's mostly drawing kids for mums and godmothers, but it's a fun way to get some extra euros so I can buy more art supplies...

Talking about that, I've totally revamped my website and it's looking better than it ever has now. At last I have a spot on the web that looks a bit professional... feel free to have a look and share your opinion :D

here's the result of some experimenting with charcoal a napkin and a kneadable eraser
this technique is alled grisaille, where you start by making a grey paper and then use the kneadable eraser to make highlights and use more charcoal to add shadows:

05 May 2007, 04:45 PM
nice website Johan :) I like that dragon-ish creature - looks real nice and clean! the only thing that I'd say about it is the 'enter' page at the beginning... gosh I hate those things - why would you have something like that in the first place when all a visitor wants to do is skip it?... sorry maybe it's just my personal thing but I don't see a point of these other than to annoy me ;)

more paintings like those 3 on your website please! Sheesh that skull is killing me every time I see it! Fabulous!

05 May 2007, 05:20 PM
Very interesting thread, with excellent sketches, very inspiring. Thx for sharing and explaining :thumbsup: :applause:

05 May 2007, 05:35 PM
Ok it took me 3 seconds to find where to push to enter the site. Yes, the "enter" sign is very little! But oh, ok, the site is nice looking. Lots of blue :)
I'll second Magdalena on doing more paintings like those three on you website. I know you've spend pretty much time on those, but was it not worth it? And of course many speedpaints!! Haha!
Some of the drawings on your site were new to me, and I must say, very beautiful.
I heard about this technique you've used for these last two drawings, nice to see it used. Must be interesting. Well, at least it's pretty different from what we're used to.
Good luck on those commissions!

05 May 2007, 07:16 PM
Hm thanks for the feedback guys
Had no idea intro pages are irritating are so very irritating to people.
The thing is my actual website is placed in a subdirectory, so I'm obliged to have an index page unless I can redirect from serverside, but I don't know if I can do this and I don't know how.

But I've made it so that it automatically redirects to the main page now, removed some text and increased font-size so it's faster readable.

I hope it's less irritating that way (surely don't want people to leave my site before they have actually entered lol)

05 May 2007, 10:26 PM
Very nice paintings on your site! I have to agree that the skull is especially good
I also enjoyed the sketch of the older man in your sketches section.

Your sketches in this thread are also showing some nice improvement from start to finish.

05 May 2007, 07:15 AM
heya NR43, thought I drop by and say hello! :) things looking good.. and that's shite load of heads! heh. keep it going mate! cheers, Min

05 May 2007, 11:28 AM
Hi Johan! Nice head studies! Wonderful work on the last two that you did with the kneaded eraser. It's so interesting to see how your work progresses.:thumbsup:

05 May 2007, 02:57 PM
Hey Johan :)

Just had a look at that new website of yours :) congrats! it looks great :) I like the layout (and obviously your artwork!) and that dragon is cool!

Thanks again too for your kind words in my thread :) means a lot!

cheers and take care :wavey:

a. :)

05 May 2007, 05:22 PM
Hi all,
thanks for the really nice words!

I wish I had more time to paint :cry:

hey Min it's really nice of you to come and say hello here :D
btw your latest stuff is really awesome, but I think you might have guessed that already by the dozens of comments. Keep setting examples mate we're enjoying and learning!

hey Debbie
It's really fun to try different approaches and techniques. This way it makes the subject a little less important but learning heaps that way.
It doesn't matter what you draw... it's how you draw it :D

hi Annette,
really nice of you to make time to visit my website. The layout was done by Lisa Sabin, who made the wordpress theme. I just changed some graphics and minor layout issues.
Since I've been doing commissoned traditional drawings, I thought I needed a nice spot for potential customers to have a look at what they can expect :)
(btw, don't worry about my arm, it's a lot better... not bothering too much except at the office desk. i'm taking a lot of rest there lol)

speaking of commissions:

Here's one more:

btw. I totally screwed up my 2 screen color profiles. Will have a Heuy or a Lacie blue eye to calibrate them in a couple of weeks. In the mean time I have no idea if my scans will look good or crappy ;)

05 May 2007, 06:02 PM
Aww, how cute :D Put lot of work to the piece, m? Again the white touch to it add a lot. Is this from a photo? Well, I'm guessing it is, 'cause you could hardly make a baby keep the pose for a long time, unless he's asleep, hehe. Nice hat :)
So, are all of your commissions babies? How about a beautiful teen girl :D You could have her posing. Ah, just joking of course.
In one word - amazing! Good luck with the future ones, hope they'll be even better looking :)

05 May 2007, 06:22 PM
Hey Johan!! WOW!! really sweet drawing!

05 May 2007, 06:40 PM
thanks mate. for now I only get commissioned by mummies wanting a drawing of their kids. I ask them a reference picture yeah, otherwise I'd be getting only 1 second poses hehe.

Hi anand
thanks for looking and liking :)

I got a question for you guys:
Here I was sitting at my desk thinking I got about 45 mins until the snooker world championship continues, so why not do a few gestures.
It's something I haven't done often and I really REALLY should be making a habbit of it.
I feel it is time to expand the anatomical knowledge a bit further then drawing the human head :)

But as I grabbed my sketchbook and a pencil... I got stuck. Totally stuck. Nothing useful on paper at all...

Searched cgtalk a bit, but have not found a satisfying answer on how to quickly build up a gesture. Where to start (hips? head?...)

Does anyone have a good suggestion on where to start drawing a quick gesture? And where do I go from there when I did the first step?

05 May 2007, 06:53 PM
What a gorgeous drawing! It would be interesting to see gestural drawings of a baby, but I guess I have to wait until I have a kid to do that. ;-)

05 May 2007, 07:51 PM
Hey, Johan. I suggest you get yourself some Vilppu DVDs on gesture drawing. There's one on gesture itself and one on quick sketches if I remember correctly. Should helpt you a pretty lot. For me, starting with the head is the best. The continuing with the middle line of the body, then legs and at the last arms. And give yourself a few minutes to do that. Even though I saw Vilppu in one of his dvds draw a really nice gesture in about 10 seconds. Well, he's Vilppu you know, he can do that :) I believe going outside and drawing people you see around should help a lot. I went to the city to do some quick sketches just like that. Great exercise, because people move all the time (expect one guy today who was like a statue, bless him! Drawn him in two different angles, he was great). I saw a pretty big improvement even though it's my second time doing that. I was just scribbling without much thinking. Sat in a cafe for about 4-5 hours, good thing no one asked us (I was with friend) to leave :D Though not many people were around so I didn't draw as much as I wanted. Planning to go out and draw like that once a week. Maybe it's a thing you need too :thumbsup:
Good luck!

05 May 2007, 04:34 AM
Hey Johan! good luck with the Vilppu DVDs.. as razz said, outdoor sketching will do a lot of good(I wish I had the time for that!)... and have a look at Dr.Bones' anatomy thread... he has a great method of starting a figure from a box and an egg... I tried it... its a great exercise!!

05 May 2007, 07:11 AM
Hi Johan, congratulations on the website bro. I'm happy to hear you've been busy with commisioned work. I love the baby, thank goodness you had a photo though ha.

I'm fascinated by the napkin/charcoal technique you jave used on the previous page. I would love to try it...I'm assuming :shrug:soft charcoal?

Well, congrats on everything, inclusing the new monitor. Sorry about the stupid software for that one Monitor. I know it was divine intervention though.

Ciao bro.:)

05 May 2007, 08:49 AM
got a question for you guys:
Here I was sitting at my desk thinking I got about 45 mins until the snooker world championship continues, so why not do a few gestures.
It's something I haven't done often and I really REALLY should be making a habbit of it.
I feel it is time to expand the anatomical knowledge a bit further then drawing the human head

But as I grabbed my sketchbook and a pencil... I got stuck. Totally stuck. Nothing useful on paper at all...

I know exactly how you feel, its really difficult for me to come up with a nice gesture scetch. i try to surround this problem by learning to paint a mannequin as Loomis suggest in his books. But most difficult for me is to put this mannepuin in perspective.
Anyway, the baby sketch is awesome, one of the bests in this thread. :applause: :buttrock:

05 May 2007, 11:30 AM
Hey Johan :)

I can't remember where I got this link from (may even have been posted here somewhere - or I googled it.. :D) Walt Stanchfield was a great gesture animator - these files can be dl as pdf files and are like chapters in a book he never published - but were put together after he died by former students and admirers of his work and teachings.

I find gesture drawing is a way of concentrating on and accentuating a pose, so what you'd be looking for essentially is the line of that pose - and pushing it that little bit further. For examle with a contrapose you would emphasize the "up" in the supporting hip and the opposite angle of the shoulder this pose creates. Or if you think of a person bending over to touch their toes - there's a definite "arc" line formed by whole body. Starting with the head and spine line can be helpful - from there you can add the angles of your shoulder and hip lines.

If you do a series of "stick figures" or soft curvy-lined stick figures... concentrating on the direction and angle in each pose - it may help for when you add the flesh and bones (so to speak :) )

Sometimes it helps to either imagine or actually place yourself in the pose you want to draw - to really feel it, in terms of weight, balance etc.

Hope there's something here that makes sense ;) and have fun! can't wait to see some gesture updates from you :)

cheers and take care!
a. :)

05 May 2007, 12:36 PM

GREAT TECHNIQUE on those baby pictures, really coming out nice, with a soft look....the parents should love them I think..:thumbsup:
I also like your new web site...I had a look at it the other day..GREAT START ...:applause:
About the gesture drawings that you just mentioned having trouble with.
Besides what other people have suggested, I suggest and highly recommend that you get and study, Burne Hogarths book DYNAMIC FIGURE DRAWING ....All of the secrets that you will ever need to know about the fine art of gesture concerning the human figure, are all in that one book....forshortening, motion, ect. ect. ect. ..all in there...Plus, if you learn what he has to teach in that book, you will be able to CREATE your own figures WITHOUT USING REFFERENCES, if and when you so desire...:)
Keep up the GREAT WORK...Johan.....lookink forward to seeing more of those babies, and some great gestures also...:thumbsup:

05 May 2007, 04:06 PM
Thanks all for the suggestions, ideas and links!
This will keep me busy for a while now :D

ok Glenn you got me blushing... I had bought this book from Hogarth a while ago when I bought the drawing the human head one, but had forgotten about it.

I really need to get me a nice book shelve so I can see my books (they are hidden in a closet now :s)

Here's some quick doodles from this morning at the office. The winged dragon was reffed but can't remember where the ref is (it's on my desktop background of my office pc :) )
the wing and the creature head are from imagination

thanks again ALL, for helping me on my bike... I can have another ride now :D

05 May 2007, 04:26 PM
I love the little baby! so cute :)

05 May 2007, 07:08 AM
Hi Johan, great portrait of the baby; great effect with the colored paper and the subtle touches of white. Keep going!

05 May 2007, 06:14 PM
hi Magdalena & Bart
Glad you like it. I'm also very fond of this effect.
Check out Anthony Ryder. He's a master at producing such kind of drawings and I must say it was seeing his work that actually made me do these children portraits this way.

05 May 2007, 06:09 AM
Hey Johan,

great to see how busy you are, I admire your constant effort and improvement!:bowdown:
And I love this baby portrait:thumbsup: , it's so well done, congrats!

Wish you a creative day!


05 May 2007, 08:00 AM

the arm and hand studies look so vivid and soft that I was thinking that they kind of announce big things to come, namely things which will come if you keep working in the way you do.

I can already see a whole new level of awesomeness arriving. Damn. I'm envious...:scream:

05 May 2007, 03:30 PM
Hey Sabrina thanks!
I gotta run off to school (class today instead of monday) so let's hope a lot of creativness spawns from the charcoal or pencil today :)

Hi Mu!
Thanks man! If I'm ever in doubt about my studies I'll come back and read your post again :D

More lunchbreak doodles...
some dancing dragons and some helmet concepts
no ref except where stated.

05 May 2007, 07:12 PM
Hi Johan, Nice updates and I especially like the arm and muscle studies.:thumbsup:

05 May 2007, 12:26 PM
Thanks Debbie.
I'll try to focus a bit on arms and shoulders for a while. I should also do neck muscle studies and the chest area around the collarbones. I want to be able to put a head on a body when I draw one :)

Some more arm studies in charcoal (not all of them)

The shaded part below is not the torso but a repeat of the frontal view of the upperarm biceps. There was a lot of foreshortening happening in this view. Found it very hard to draw this well with just lines...

I find 36 x 27 cm too small to draw on with charcoal really. Thank god we'll be drawing a lot on bigger format next schoolyear

05 May 2007, 07:09 PM

Nice to see your development through the pages on your thread. :)
Nice exercises, that's the way... the only way... practice and practice...
It's cool to share it with other students and teachers around here. :)

Will keep an eye on your thread too ;)


05 May 2007, 06:37 PM
Hi Eduardo
Thanks for dropping by my humble thread :)
Just hoping my scribbles will perhaps inspire other people to stick to the plan...

Quick studies, nothing to be proud of (done better than this)... just practice... even when progress seems to have stopped... just keep going is what I tell myself...

05 May 2007, 06:37 PM
More quickies

05 May 2007, 06:39 PM
And a couple of longer studies (about 90min each?)
Made some embarassing perspective errors but thought I'd post anyway

did a lot of mannikin poses as well... will post them later...

05 May 2007, 07:08 PM
Hi Johan!

You sure do a lot of sketching at the school. I think that's great. Will make you a lot faster. I would've liked to do only line-drawings at the art school too. But the drawings I've done were really good for my hatching and cross-hatching skills.
Hey, won't the school run out of clay sculptures when you're drawing so many of them? Though it's an exercise to draw the same thing twice too, hehe :D
Have any commissions at this time?

05 May 2007, 01:06 AM
hey Johan!
I went through ALOT of work of yours. i don't have a high speed connection so it took quite a lot of time but it was worth it. i am just simply amazed at your progress! it is really inspiring and makes me feel jealous (hehe). but seriously your work makes me want to put in every bit of myself. thanx for the inspiration and keep up the great work.

also would like to add that i am pursuing a course in animation. but the teacher we are supposed to have for our drawing classes does not put in any effort. so you are really lucky to have been taught and guided by teachers.

hope to see more!


06 June 2007, 08:56 AM
Hi Ratul!
Thanks for visiting my humble thread.
Just posting some pictures as I go through my journey... feel like a tourist now lol
but seriously... that's what it is... a journey... learning along the way... maybe animation will cross my path some day (I certainly intend to let that happen, but not until a few years have passed)

Always nice to have you around.
I'm working on another children portrait yes, but it's been standing untouched on the easel for 10 days or so... it's not really a commission as I won't charge the person who requested it, but she knew I would take my time to finish it...

Missed a few classes due to illness and the old arm objecting service again... reading a lot these days instead.

Last tuesday we went to the botanical garden... it occured to me I had never drawn nature before and the result is rather poor... posting it anyway...

the tree in the first one looks more like an explosion to me lol.
The last one took only 10min or so.. I like it better coz it looks more spontane

One more week to go at school and then it's "jury week" (whatever that may mean)
We had to take all our class drawings to school so the jury can browse them whenever they wish to do so. The first 2 years we are being judged by an internal jury (= a group of teachers from our school), but from the 3rd year on the jury is external, and we will have to make an assignment under their judging eyes as well...
For now... this judging is just a formality (I coudn't care less really... most important thing is I know I made progress and I know I have much much progress to make)

06 June 2007, 11:40 AM
Ahhh man, I was missing your thread !
Beautiful sketches. They really have got personality.

06 June 2007, 02:59 PM
As always it's nice to pop in here and see your work - and yes Progress :) that's a certain!

explosive trees - now that's something, perhaps a concept worth exploring on global warming? ;)

sorry to hear that you'r arm's still causing you grief :shrug: hopefully having a break from school, reading (enjoying the european summer?) and getting some well deserved re-coup time will give your arm the rest it needs to be ready to cooperate again very soon :)

Sometimes the journey takes strange turns and we don't see until later why that happens...

All the best and take care
a. :)

06 June 2007, 11:58 AM
Hi Johan,

good that you realized that there is nature and things outdoors to draw! :scream:

I think from the drawings one can see that you definitely know how to shade and all, but you sort of got hung up on trying to nail details way too soon. You are accustomed to doing slow elaborate studio work and you have achieved a strong reliable knowledge there, but if you want to do sketches the main thing, imhno*, is to let go of the urge to be exact.

Be fuzzy instead.

A good thing to practise that is to go and choose a place where you can watch a lot of people (I did so on the playground in our neighbourhood) and try to sketch as many people in their poses as possible. Each pose will only be available for a few seconds so you will quickly realize how to hammer the essence home.

With that approach in mind, if you draw an outdoor scene you can treat it like the fleeting poses of moving people and get to the rather abstract essence of it all.

*imhno = in my humble noob opinion....:D

06 June 2007, 12:05 AM
Hey! :) lots of stuff happening here, damn you draw lots. heh.
have you read loomis? he's got a very good section on simplifying things down.. I think it helps a lot seeing in little simple forms.. and it is definitely a scare to draw a landscape with a pencil.. :O hope you are doing well! cheers, Min

06 June 2007, 03:14 AM
Johaaaaaaaaan! What's up bro? I see you're exploding the outdoors now a days. For shame!:D I really like the arm studies on the last page too. Ok enough coffee for me tonight. PEACE!

06 June 2007, 05:58 AM
Hi Johan,
I hope your arm is doing better. Best of luck with the jury!! I'm sure you will do well. I am enjoying looking at your sketch assignments.:) I remember doing the same type of sketches of trees and bushes in class like what you are doing now with the botanical garden. Foliage is a learning process for sure and you have a really good start, not poor at all. You are going for more of an impressionistic style with these excercises right? Try to look at the foliage and see the dark and light areas as shapes. Draw lightly and shade in the shapes and layer your shading to get the depth you want. I hope that is helpful. Take care of that arm now.:)

06 June 2007, 03:02 PM
Hi Mu

you're right... I do tend to fix on details too soon, but with these outdoor sketches I worked exactly like Debbie described. The details were added at the end. basically it was a loooot of scribbling :D

hi mate!
I sure try to but actually I think I could draw a lot more (I definetely need the practice)
I'm actually studying loomis but haven't posted anything yet. Will do so soon. It's mainly getting the mannikin in my long term memory... proportions etc

Hey Isaias
always nice to see you here :)
Thanks for the encouragement!

hi Debbie,
you're right! and if I want to be able to draw, I can't just stick to figure only... so I think I'll be drawing lots of other stuff in the summertime
My arm... well it's my own fault really... I should stop using it for some weeks or months but I can't... it's not that it hurts that much but it's there... every now and then with certain moves etc... oh well I'll live ;)
Thanks for the tip I'll try it soon enough

Here's last night's school work. Not much, just some quickies, because we spent half the class time watching some artists at work (can't remember the names sorry)

Tonight is the last class already omg the year has passed so quickly...

06 June 2007, 11:21 AM
It's been a while...
The arm is still not back at 100% so I'm taking as much rest as I can get... well I've been reading Tad Williams which can be the cause of the few updates lately :p

I am still drawing though (even though school is out)

Been having issues with my pc too so after formatting and reinstalling all my software (god I hate that) I'm finally getting there again.

I've lost all my custom Painter brushes but I'm already making new ones so I've come to accept it. This time I won't use any brushes from anyone else anymore... want to use the basic brushes and custom ones I made myself only.

Here's some stuff from imagination. The 2nd one is a WIP on A2 paper. I think I might take this into a full painting sometime but it needs many fixes first. I think I will make the cave on the left bigger... want a guy standing there and he should be about the size of the dragon's head... oh well early stage but I thought I'd show anywayz... it's been too long since my last post

[images removed to save bandwidth - apologies]

06 June 2007, 11:48 AM
Hi Johan,

I really like the first one - if you make the knight just a tiny bit bigger you can put more details in his pose and cloth and the dragon would still be huuge. It has a comical feeling to it, like there could easily be a text balloon over the dragon's head saying "WTF!?"


06 June 2007, 06:43 AM
Hey Johan, I like the dragon image! I agree with Mu. The knight could be a bit larger. Also the dragon's eye pupil could be more towards the knight's direction. The main fang on the left where the skin meets the top of it needs to curve more upward rather than down so that it is following the round shape of the fang. Take care and post an update when you can!:)

06 June 2007, 10:16 AM
Hi Mu
Thanks for the tip. I was going for the biggest contrast in size (wanted it to be funny).
Tried some interesting poses with a bigger human in painter last night but without success until now... might get back to it later...

Hey Debbie
Thanks for the tip on the fang... I should make it more obvious how it is implanted in the skull and/or how it is pushing the lip(s)

Worked more on the other one. It's meant to have following features:

snake-ish head (not happy with it, tried and tried... bleh)
black, thin tongue
scales, yellow-ish hair
coming from underneath the ground which is ice.
no wings

going digital with this one from here

[images removed to save bandwidth - apologies]

06 June 2007, 11:56 AM
HEY...JOHAN...WELCOME BACK...:thumbsup:

I like the idea alot of the dragon coming out of the ice...I have been having a SNOW DRAGON roaming around in my thoughts for a few years now..just never seem to get around to painting it..:)
You might take a look around at various dragons that are out there, do a little research..I have seen some GREAT looking snow white colored dragons on book covers ect., but they are never in the snow, or on ice, always against a dark background it seems. I think that a snow white dragon against a white cold background would look great,..kind of like a polar bear in the artic effect, except in this case it would be a dragon.Maybe even have cold piercing blue eyes to go with a cold blue sky..Just throwing a couple of thoughts at you,..may be useful to you...don't know...:)
Anyway GREAT to see you back at it...looking forward to seeing the outcome of your dragon concept :thumbsup:

06 June 2007, 12:21 PM
Hi Glenn,

thanks for dropping in and sharing your thoughts with me.

the more I look at this dragon, the more I see that needs to change... will be developing this digitally from here and there will probably not be a lot of it left once it's done lol...
I will have to make the dragon look like a dragon, change the angle of view etc... it needs more... "danger" will be nice to experiment.

I'm doing a Ben Miller study right now to get my Painter feeling back (haven't done anything digital in a long time and I lost all my brushes so have to make new ones along the way)
Will post it soon.

Here's a few sheets of other stuff I've been doing lately... trying to get the proportions in my system. Will need dozens more like these before I will go to "real" gestures... I'm sort of planning to spend all summer doing these kind of exercises combined with some digital studies of Ben.

[images removed to save bandwidth - apologies]

I'll post what I have of the Ben Miller tonight

Thanks for watching!

06 June 2007, 12:41 PM
Hey...JOHAN....You ought to jump in on the Fortnight Cafe forum. A new one just don't have to do the whole figure, you can just consentrate on your weak spots in human anatomy if you feel like it. It last for two weeks...This new one will be dealing with human anatomy, MALE. Will be a good chance to tighten up your anatomy know how..JUST A THOUGHT..:)


06 June 2007, 06:49 PM
Thanks Glenn I think I might.

Here's a WIP of a detailed study of "Huddled face down (" by Ben Miller aka Justmeina

06 June 2007, 07:10 PM
Hi, Johan. Been a while since I said a few words here, felt bad for this today. Well, I was following every update and was happy to see you doing imaginational stuff. Those proportion studies will come handy, trust me. After doing some myself I feel much better when drawing, hehe.
And no, summer is not treating me very well. The teacher didn't call (yet, I hope) and I'm doing 3d work to make some $, so it leaves me no time for drawing or painting, except weekends. One more project and I'll quit. I hope this won't take long. Want to get into painting/drawing more.
Any holiday for you, m?

06 June 2007, 01:29 AM
Hi Johan...
I noticed that you are using the Loomis mannikin for some studies. I'm also attempting to use that method in my recent sketches and feel like it's helped me create more accurate drawings and more quickly, also.
The digital painting wip you've posted looks like it has some good proportions. I look forward to seeing progress on it.
I like the concept of your dragon. I think an area that could use some attention where the limbs connect to the body...I think if there was a bit more muscle structure suggested in the body, the limbs would look a little more natural. I hope that makes sense. :)

Great work!

06 June 2007, 10:53 AM
Hey Johann! I do admire the resolve to try those proportional studies... I get so bored of such technical drawing and I know it only helps! Love the beginning of that Ben Miller study and looking forward to more:thumbsup:

06 June 2007, 08:19 PM

hi mate. Thanks for visiting... always nice to see you here, but please do not feel obliged, this is only a sketchbook thread and you and I both know there are more important things in life ;)

Thanks for your encouraging words and crits. To be honest my dragon design is weak... I will work on it to make it better... that's a good tip about the "shoulder" and "hips"
but I think I will start all over... the pose is far from interesting... need something more convincing... something to make the viewer think... woops, he looks dangerous.
Right now it looks like a toy lol.
Thanks for your help!

Hi Magdalena
you're too kind. I get bored easily too but I really really need the practice so I try to stick to the practice :D

Here's today's update:

06 June 2007, 04:00 AM

painting is really looking great :thumbsup: was hoping to see your finished dagon too, but i guess i'll just have to wait for the new design


06 June 2007, 05:20 AM
Hey Johan,

great to see a lot of new stuff here, I really like the dragon sketches and of course your last painting, it's already coming along nicely:thumbsup: ...
And so irritating to see you always do the studies I should do myself:twisted: , the proportional studies are looking so useful:D ...

Have a great day!


06 June 2007, 08:30 PM
hi Mark, Hi Sabrina,

Thanks for the encouragements

had a rough day @ work today and was reading a book on Rubens I bought the other day so just a quicky (bout 30 min)

06 June 2007, 09:36 PM
Hi Johan, some good exercises! You can't go wrong with Loomis and you have to repete it again and again; The Ben Miller study is looking good. And Rubens is intersting to work from: only looking at his work a bit more closly is a lesson by itself. Keep it up!

06 June 2007, 02:45 AM
Hey Johan, Wow, lots of great updates! :thumbsup: I like your update on the second dragon. You have some really nice shading going on there. I like the way you did the breaking ground. This is just a suggestion but if possible I would bring his hind right leg (currently out of sight) forward into view a bit for balance. I hope you will continue with him.
The 'huddled face down' image is getting some really good form and
the elephant is just great!:)

06 June 2007, 09:16 AM
Wow, great sketches !!
I particularly admire your study of "Huddled face down (", bravissimo.

Great palette on the elephant too !


06 June 2007, 09:20 AM
Hello Johan, playing with grayscale? :D Once grayscale is mastered all it takes then is the understanding of where to place colours. Although I remember reading there is more to it than just using Colour Blending mode, something about balancing saturation levels and fixing value.

Great Oliphant, I mean Eliphant!

06 June 2007, 10:34 AM

Really nice values happening in that study of Ben..nice job on the forshortening also..:applause:
Keep an eye out on the eye of the elephant...looks like it has the eye of a predator, rather than a prey animal at the moment..:)

06 June 2007, 09:27 PM
first time i see your thread...amazing stuff, very inspiring. i didn't go threw all the pages cause I'm a bit tired now, but from what I've seen - keep it up ! :thumbsup:


06 June 2007, 10:24 PM
haaha - it's like an animal invasion in the anatomy forum lately :) Nice elephant Johan! I wouldn't try an animal - well I did try a horse a couple of days ago and won't even start to describe how bad it was LOL

07 July 2007, 08:18 PM
I just wrote a huuuuge friggin post and just as I wanted to submit it got screwed up and vanished somehow (I normally copy it to my clipboard but not this time huh)
oh well it's the worst thing that happened to me today...

So to keep things short:


I have spent the whole day sketching for my comp entry (from 06:30 this morning until 30min ago), but didn't get anything good enough to post in my Strange Behaviour Thread ( If I do create good stuff I will post it there so get over there if you are interested in my progress.

So even though I didn't submit anything there today, I don't feel bad. I learned a lot and I'm even more motivated to come up with a really good concept sketch. I have the idea but just don't seem to be able to put it on paper as I want it right now... it will come eventually I'm sure.

I took a break this evening and surfed a bit so I ended up listnening to Bobby Chiu's new podcast. I didn't see much of it again... I always start sketching while listnening to the man talk, rather than just sitting there watching his sketch...

So now I probably feel better than I ought to lol.

Here's the result: a dog skull

I was sketching with my feet on my desk and watching the ref on my monitor at an angle of about 50degrees so it turned out shorter than it should be. Twas fun anywayz :)

Thanks all!
Cya later!

07 July 2007, 08:25 PM
Johan you are doing a great job! :) I love your loomis studies, they look really good to me. I get to start doing more of loomis now. That figure painting as well really nice shading done there. I like your dog skull studies as well, I think you could use some more dark shading to define volumes clearly. I know it may be a quickie, but what I have noticed is that if you use contrast values, it works better generally. Keep updating, wating for more stuff from you.

07 July 2007, 10:28 AM
Great sketch man !
I'll check what you are doing in the strange behaviour challenge !

07 July 2007, 02:02 PM
thanks guys

I donnow how many times this happened before but as soon as I scan a drawing and look at it on my screen I totally dislike it... then I see all sorts of things that went wrong...

Been sketching a lot lately but it's almost all for the strange behaviour contest and it's mainly gestures and thumbs so nothing worth showing really... I feel like I'm learning heaps though

07 July 2007, 03:28 PM
Ohh well man, it happens a lot of time to all artists so "notice it" and continue to draw.

By the way such distortions happens when you change the angle of the sheet-block so it changes the perspective in relation to your eye.

This is the reason why, when I've got the "mind" I set up the human proportions with ruler.
Of course it's booooring.

Can't wait to see what you'll create for strange behaviour challenge !

07 July 2007, 05:29 PM
Hey Serena,
you're right... just gotta keep practicing, it's just a sign for me I need to work more.
Switched to mechanical pencil and drew this guy from imagination just now

07 July 2007, 05:35 PM
Hi Johan,

nevermind the crappy drawings as long as you keep churnin out wonderful things like the elephant study and the Ben pose which I really like very much.

The more I think about it, by the way, the more I doubt what the benefit of drawing without ref actually is. I say so, because I guess you did not use ref for that roman soldier thing?
I mean, it's not only the worn out (but true) example of the old masters, who basically did everything based on real life references, but also contemporary masters like James Gurney who sets up family, friends and neighbours to pose for him so he can base his compositions on real life ref.

Just a thought...

I mean, I do constantly draw things from memory or from imagination for fun- it's just that I am no longer frustrated if they don't look truthful enough, because I feel I can always just go and search for a pose ref and that's it.

Just keep posting and drawing, man... and now I'm off to check out your challenge thread...:D

07 July 2007, 06:26 PM
Great work Johan
I would say my biggest crit would be focus on form. Your drawings are losing dimensionality because there is no clear sense of light diffusing around form. It is one thing to be able to draw from a photo, but to be successful at drawing from life or from your imagination you need to understand form. One quick tip to help with this is to remember that with a single light source everything on the light side of the form will be quite a bit lighter than anything on the shadow side, think of it like night and day(literally). Hopefully this will help.

07 July 2007, 08:35 PM
wow, Erik, great piece of information you posted!

What book is that from? Did you write it?

07 July 2007, 08:38 PM
Yeah, I wrote it here is a link to the whole thing (

07 July 2007, 09:00 PM
sorry Johan for hijacking your thread a bit...:D

where can I buy that thing, Erik? I checked, but your name gave no results... is it in print yet or what...?

*waves with a roll of Euros*


07 July 2007, 09:16 PM
I also apologize Johan,
It is not for sale anywhere other than at the school I teach. I want to do a more complete book before I publish. Here is a link to a PDF though (
If you have any further questions just PM me or post in the tutorial thread, which might be better because others may have the same questions.

07 July 2007, 12:28 AM
Hey Johan, I am learning this thing too. When you are drawing big and close to the paper it is very difficult to visualize the result as overall picture. Now I have made practice to step back a little far and check my drawing for all sorts of problems. It really helps a lot. I just need to make it a regular practice. Even though you are drawing small I guess looking it at from far at some interval may really help.

Your latest drawing from imagination is good, my main critique is about the eyes they look too flat to me. Light source is kind of clear but still lighting looks a little confusing to me. Otherwise I should say really nice effor to draw from imagination.

07 July 2007, 08:14 AM
Hard pencil it's not so easy to manage and you did a good work with it !

Come on, I wait more sketches !

07 July 2007, 10:24 AM

thank you. I think drawing from imagination is a good test for me to see what I can do already (and more importantly what I cannot draw properly yet). It is my ultimate goal to be able to draw what I want, where I want, and how I want it to look.

Most drawings are make are ref'd. Sometimes I am happy with a drawing but mostly I just think of them as exercises, always keeping my ultimate goal in the back of my mind. Every now and then I draw from imagination because it's fun (as you mentioned).

thanks for the tip. I sometimes do that already though *blushes*.
I was waiting who would be the first to crit on the eyes on that big guy hehe. It's true, but I won't go back to it.

:) thanks... I was waiting for some spanking before continuing lol
Will hopefully have something to show soon.

GIST / Erik
Thank you for spending time here and sharing your knowledge.
You are right, it's one of my weakest points I think... afraid of going too dark. This results in lack of contrast.

I'm at work now having my lunch break and will read your tutorial right after this post and make some notes. If I have questions I will post them later in the tutorial thread, as you suggested. After work I will read it again and make a drawing.

Thank you all (sorry no image)

Note to self:
* draw bigger
* simplify
* values & contrast

07 July 2007, 03:45 PM
Hey Johan, We are learning about the same things right now. I have to do more with light/form. I hope you will continue to work on the soldier. Try and find a reference that is similar to him. Good pencil work on the head study. Oh and I often find mistakes on my drawings after I scan them. They look totally different to me once they are in the pc. I often work without a reference first and then use a reference to fix mistakes. Of course alot of the help comes from those who critique and offer suggestions, things you may never have noticed. Keep practicing and I will too.:thumbsup:

Erik, thanks for posting the link to your book. It's great of you to do that.:)

07 July 2007, 04:55 PM
Hi Johan!
Nice Work there...The head with mechanical pencil is rendered well i think.....
Its gr8 that you are able to draw from imagination....I also hope to do that someday....

Looking forward to what you produce in the strange behaviour contest....
do post the stuff here....

Tke Cre

07 July 2007, 08:12 PM
Hi Johan, it's not easy to draw from imagination; and it's very different from drawing from reference. So study carefully where it tends to go wrong and do some specific exercises to correct. Keep it up!

07 July 2007, 05:28 PM
I cannot stress enough how important critique is to me. People tend to be afraid to offer crits, worrying I might be offended in any way maybe. But I have soooo much to learn...
So when you see something that bothers you... just post it thanks :D

Hi Ratul
Glad you like that fellow even though his eyes are totally flat :)

lol every now and then I feel the urge to come up with some imaginative stuff and it usually doesn't take too long before I start thinking "damn I need more practice... need more solid knowledge of the basics... must go back to studies now"

With this one I made at work today for example I know I have to study torso, arm and shoulder anatomy more (especially that forearm... bueek)

[images removed to save bandwidth - apologies]

oh and I left out the neck on purpose :p

07 July 2007, 01:19 PM
MMMM, have you ever thought to use large-tip pencils?
From what I see you are starting to describe essential lines and then you "fill up" the empty space with shading using the same pencil, isn't it?
Well, try to fill them with a stick, maybe it will be more intuitive for you !

Can't wait to see the next sketch:thumbsup:

07 July 2007, 05:59 PM
Hi Johan!
You are doing some great progress :) Very nice to see!

I think your light / shadow is very inconsequent. You must think of the light in your scene and then place the shadow and the reflections right. For me it looks more like you did it where you just wanted to have a shadow. Well... just try to force yourself more to think of this when you draw from imagination :)

Anyway nice work, keep it up :)

07 July 2007, 03:55 PM
Hey Johan, always glad to help if I can! I was going to mention the neck on this latest work when I saw you left it out on purpose.hehe..It suits his character!:)

07 July 2007, 12:12 PM
Hi ...Johan...:)

I see you are going for the creation of human figures from the imagination...not as easy as it would seem, hey..:scream: ...I would highly suggest to not only yourself, but to ANYONE going for the creation of human figures from the imagination, to get all of Burne Hogarths books, and read them, not just copy them..:) ..That was his specialty, and in my opinion, no one in recent times even comes close to him in that field of expertise...not even Loomis..:) ..Just my personal opinion here, for whatever it may be worth ..:eek: :)

07 July 2007, 06:22 PM
Large tip pencils? not sure what you mean :)

You might be right concerning light/shadow in my drawings... I think it all comes down to my value range not being wide enough. Mainly lacking the dark values.
But I've been working on that as you will find out in a couple of days.

well you are right in a way, even if the neck is short and the head is sticking out forward from the trunk, I should have defined the neck better

lol I do have the tendency to try drawing from imagination every now and then (I usually start with a contest subscription and end up smacking my face against the hard brick wall of skills, after which I quickly go back to some more anatomy studies with my tail between my legs :blush:

I have 3 of B Hogarth's books. I've started reading "Dynamic Figure Drawing" a couple of times already but never made it very far. Eventually I will read the whole book ;)

Now here's another lesson I took. Went sketching in town with a friend from class last week. This was a shocking experience if it comes to drawing skills. I feel so green behind my ears now omg. The result is almost too embarrassing but I decided to post it here anyway so you guys can have a good laugh

While most of my sketches looked like a 3y old kid drew them, here are the best of that day (or I should say the least bad ones)

We're planning to go again on aug 5th so if anyone is around Leuven (Belgium) that day let us know and join the fun

Will have a serious update soon, promised!

07 July 2007, 06:37 PM
Hey Johan!
I don't think the 1st drawing is bad! Considering that its a still life study its pretty good though its face a bit flat.....The second one isn't a finished one so can't say much but the figure is looking good! :)
Seeing your life drawing attempts, I'm too scared!! Tomorrow's my first life drawing class with a live model.....I'm too scared....I'll try my best , but I don't know why I have a feeling that it will go very badly....

Keep up the soon...


07 July 2007, 07:00 PM
Trying to understand how the shoulder works and what the the parts look like

07 July 2007, 07:02 PM
more bones

07 July 2007, 07:08 PM
Actually above drawings are me focussing on form like Erik Gist advised me to. Trying to get rid of this old problem while picking up some anatomy at the same time.

I'm going to dive into the muscles that make the shoulder/arm system complete soon

This one I made before I started this series of bones on recycled A3 (the pencil would hardly show on this paper so I had to push my pencil real hard on it to go dark)

07 July 2007, 09:36 AM
Hi Johan , picking up the anatomy studies i see. Nice work!

It seems like great fun to go out and draw. Too bad i can't join you on the 5th; i have other plans that day. But maybe some other time. Good luck!

07 July 2007, 12:53 PM
Great anatomy sketches !

About thin and large tips see this image :

I was telling you that it can be "comfortable" to use large tips to fill large areas and viceversa. In this way you will not trash time :thumbsup:

07 July 2007, 12:57 AM
Pretty cool studies Johan, Love them. What book did you use for reference?

07 July 2007, 10:44 AM
*double post*

07 July 2007, 10:44 AM
awesome studies Johan :eek:

07 July 2007, 02:35 PM
Hey Johan :)

Been a while, so thought I'd pop in and see how you are going...
great to see the anatomy studies; so organic they become little treasures on their own - in an abstract sort of way :)

Wondering what pencils you are using... (when you said you had to push really hard to make a mark on the recycled paper) just curious :) There are these great leadstick like graphite pencils (you can sharpen them like normal ones, just the whole thing is the lead - so not a thin encased in wood stick..) They come in different hardness/softness grades, and I really like them (I use an 8B and a 4B, nice and "heavy" to hold) hmm but that was just my 2 cents worth, could be your paper likes that extra bit of attention :)

Hope all is well and good your end
this end: looking forward to the end of winter :)

cheers and take care
a. :)

07 July 2007, 06:29 PM
Hi Johan, you have some great anatomy studies going on! Lovely shading on the bones and the arm muscles. It's great to stop by and see what you are working on. I always need a bit of motivation when it comes to doing anatomy studies so thanks!:D

07 July 2007, 06:32 PM
Bart, thanks.

Serena, I see what you mean. Thanks. I have charcoal in different sizes for when I work on large format paper (the anatomy studies are mostly on A4, except one on A3)

theflash, thanks. I use "Anatomy for the artist" by Jenö Barcsay. It's my favourite book!

su, thanks. Glad you like 'em. Hope they are inspiring you to do some too :D

Annette, hey there!
I've been using a mechanical pencil with 0.5mm 2B leads in it lately. It's great for fast sketching and you don't have to stop to sharpen.
On larger formats I like charcoal. I also have this Conte stick, which is basically the same as charcoal but it's pressed and it contains glue (at least I think it does because my hands tend to get sticky when using it for too long, which is why I'm not all too fond of it)

All is great here :)

Debbie, hey thanks! Such a nice compliment... I will have to do many many more of these though ;)

No drawing today (I'm working on a larger drawing, will post when finished).
I've started reading Burne Hogarth's Dynamic Figure Drawing again though. (I never got to finish it).

This time, I've made some notes. Maybe they are of use to anyone...
I'm posting these also for myself to have this summary at hand when I'm bored at work, and I will add more as I read more by editing this post :)

Dynamic Figure Drawing by Burne Hogarth

Chapter 1: Body Forms

Chest = dominating form

Female vs male: hip<-> torso proportions

Hip = butterfly

Chest + hip = kidney

Arms: always double upward curve
Locate the elbow to locate the curves


Side-view rule:
ancklebone within lower leg contours = side-view = S-curve

Front-view rule:
Ancklebones protrude from leg contour = front-view = elongated B-shape

The hand is a tool

4 fingers in line, rod & ball construction

bottom of hand:

thumb mound

tapered lateral cushion

horizontal row of palm pads

=>triangular depression in the middle

thumb: not in line with fingers and palm plane

The foot is a support



arch --> instep

toes: rod & ball construction (step arrangment is easier)
2 horizontal steps, 1 vertical riser per toe
big toe is in line with small toes, the tip rises

Chapter 2: Figure Notation in Deep Space


The Torso is primary (don't start drawing a figure with the head).
All other forms attach to this central double form (chest + hip wedge)

Center Line

When both torso masses are facing a different direction:

center line = S- line

The legs are secondary (function: support/balance).
Pelvic wedge block initiates direction of the legs

Belly bulge sqeezed in between the legs

Feet thrust outward


Arms are 3rd in importance

See both arms as 1 unit

Collarbone is a true extension of the arm (=> yoked arms)

In rear view, the armature is inverted. The arms then connect at the upper boundaries of the trapezius muscles

In case of overlapping forms, seeing the origin of attached members & construction of obscured parts is important. (“transparancy”)


The head is last.

07 July 2007, 08:43 PM
Hey Johan!
Beautiful Anatomical studies there....I thinks they are really well rendered.....You really are motivation for so many!!
And this idea of yours to take notes is superb :) I'm going to be the first one to follow in your footsteps and do the same....

Take care...
Keep updating...

07 July 2007, 11:17 PM
I like that book too, there are some really amazing stuff in it. But what frustrates me in that book is the dark lighting in all the drawings. Small drawings and dark lighting makes it really difficult to see particular details. I have some other books in the library which I refer a lot along with this book. I think you will find this helpful as well:
eSkeleton (
you can download the whole thing and see the actual bones in different views. It has got animal skeletons as well.

08 August 2007, 01:24 AM
Hi...Johan ...:)

Great to see you are learning the princibles of creating figures in Burne Hogarths Dynamic Figure Drawing book...Really understanding those princables is sure to be well worth the effort spent ...His book Dynamic Light and Shade is also a very helpful tool to have at your side..All of them are great really...I still find myself going back to them whenever I have a problem figure...The solutions to the problems I run into while creating figures, can always be found in his books...never fails...:)
Anyway, I was just happy to see you post your notes from his teachings..:)
As always, looking forward to seeing where the journy leads you to..:thumbsup:

08 August 2007, 06:55 AM
Hi Johan,

I got two Hogarth books myself and the way he systematically breaks things down is rather unique.

Anyway, I was reading through your list yesterday and was thinking that this is quite a good summary, but Hogarth's simplified anatomy examples should go along with it, because I did not really get the essence of most of the things which were mentioned or have a vague idea only.

Maybe, if you're really going to follow through with your idea to keep this list updated and all, you want to add a few explanatory sketches as examples done by yourself?
Would make for an awesome tutorial one day...:D

08 August 2007, 01:04 PM
I second this idea :thumbsup:

08 August 2007, 12:13 AM
:) so do I (second tutorial :)) ... and the note-taking is great! Such a good way to both absorb and condense valuable information.

and.. mechanical pencil... bliss for when drawing out and about... 0.5 mm :eek: wow! very fine indeed! I have 2, one takes 5mm (I think..) lead and the other one takes 1mm. I really like the detail and flow of multiple lines all woven into a section (to shade or lift or otherway describe a part of the drawing) that you are achieving; I'd say patience hard work and a fine pencil all play their part in that one - not to mention your skills ;) :)

Hmm Conté... comes in a variety of types... some are more oily or "fat" and waxy than others - main thing is that it feels good to draw with.

found this little description..

"Conté crayon: Invented in 1795 by Nicolas-Jacques Conté in response to the short supply of graphite during the Napoleonic Wars, Conté crayons were a mixture of refined graphite ( and clay. The process of manufacture used less graphite and, by altering the proportion of lead to clay, allowed the degree of hardness of the crayon to be altered. Deficiencies in the quality of the natural chalks, particularly red chalk, appear to have been the impetus at the end of the eighteenth century for the production of Conté crayons from carbon black and iron oxide. Orange-red in color, and slightly less friable ( than natural chalk, these became known as sanguine Conté crayons. Since the late nineteenth century, many fabricated dry or waxy crayons have been referred to as "Conté crayon."

cheers and take care
a. :)

08 August 2007, 04:19 PM
Hey Johan,

Your notes for Hogarth's are really useful. . .It never occurred to me to do so for books on drawing. I think I can follow your example and use these notes as a quick reference next time I draw.

I look forward to seeing more improvements, esp for drawing from imagination. . . which is something very hard for me, I must admit. :P

My Sketchbook thread (

08 August 2007, 07:54 PM
Hi Glenn! I'm always happy when you're around my thread :) thanks!

Mu, sirielle, Annette

Hm... I don't mind posting notes but I don't think anyone could illustrate what the man is talking about in his books any better than Mr Hogarth himself... so I don't think I should re-write/illustrate his book ;)

I do hope you will recognize some of the things from my notes when I share some figure drawings though!

Here's a commission I finished today. I took 28 pictures of it and none of them was good, couldn't get a satisfying result by tweaking it digitally either so this image really does not represent the actual drawing, which is originally 32.6cm x 42.8cm

The real drawing has more contrast, more detail, more white
Sorry for the terrible quality. I will try to take a picture tomorrow morning and change it if I get a better one.

08 August 2007, 02:20 AM
Hi...Johan ..:)

WOW ...I really like that drawing of the two kids...Beautiful rendering job, and you even managed to get all those curles in the one kids hair to look loose, soft, and full of air...Great line work there...reminds me of DaVinci's drawings of flowing water,and atmosphere motion studies in his later works...FANTASTIC JOB:applause: ...KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK, and PROGRESS..Johan.:thumbsup:

08 August 2007, 02:48 AM
Hey Johan! thats a beeeautiful picture!!:thumbsup: Your rendering is awesome!.. lot of work in there, I can see.. can you post a bigger picture?

08 August 2007, 06:35 AM
Hey Glenn, Anand,

wow... thanks!

Here's a bigger, better picture

In the future, with these kind of commissions, I will try to implement a more interesting light setup. I'm not too fond of this frontal light setup one can usually see (people use flashlight all the time to take pictures)

Thanks for the tap on the shoulder guys, really means a lot from experienced artists like you!

edit: just noticed I have forgotten to draw her ear decoration (a little butterfly)
woops *blushes*
Thank god I haven't delivered yet :D

08 August 2007, 11:24 AM
Hi Johan, nice portrait! It is an extra difficulty if a flashlight is used to take the picture. Anyway it is a great rendering!

08 August 2007, 05:11 PM
Wow, those kids looks so realistic, nice job. I'm reading Dynamic Figure Drawing too... interspersed with all the Loomis books and some Jack Hamm thrown in there too. Unfortunately my attention span is too low to stick with one book til the end, but its fun getting different takes on the same thing!

08 August 2007, 05:32 PM
Amazing work Johan!!
You guys are Real inspiration for me.....:)

Keep rocking.....

08 August 2007, 05:33 PM
WOW their eyes:)their smile!..beautifully sketched:bounce:

08 August 2007, 09:36 PM
Hey Johan, Awesome sketch of the kids, just beautiful! :thumbsup:

08 August 2007, 07:22 AM
Hey Johan,

The kids' cuteness and innocence really comes through in your rendering! Great job! :thumbsup: :) ;)

Just a question: Are you allowed to modify the drawing slightly different from the photo? For example increasing the contrast? As in the values are relationally similar but more extreme. Or you have to render the photo 'as it is'? Increasing the contrast will be the icing on the cake, I think. :)

Take care, have fun.

08 August 2007, 11:05 AM
I think you did a really good work. The single thing I can add is to add movement to background in order to mix and equilibrate the picture

can't wait for new pictures ! :bounce:

08 August 2007, 09:40 AM
keep up the studies bro! progress is lookin good :)

08 August 2007, 03:21 AM
That is really fantastic work Johan.

A very picky critique, the kid on the left side with curly hair iris on his right eye is larger than that of on the left side.

I think dramatic lighting on kids might be a little bit overwhelming. More bright and cheerful lighting creates that innocent mood. I have not done any finished piece of a kid so I cannot conclude this.

Post some more work, would love to see :)

08 August 2007, 09:58 AM
Hi NR43 and...WOW!:eek:

You said in your first posts that you drew for the first time, but from the first drawings your work is amazing! I don't believe you...:D

Waiting for more!


08 August 2007, 04:01 PM
beautiful portraits Johan! I loved the little kid you have in your portfolio and those follow the good tradition :)

the girl seems a tad skewed - in the way one does when having the drawing board too horizontal... maybe you changed it's angle while working... just a thought!

how long did this take you?! There's so much detail in there :bounce:

08 August 2007, 11:39 AM
Yo Johan!

Looking at the beginning of the thread and looking at those recent children drawings, you have come a long way my friend! True I have not gone through all your thread, but i am sure to flick through it :D

08 August 2007, 03:26 PM
hi Johan :)

Just popping in to say hi :)

Lovely portrait of the kids! I'm sure they will be well pleased with it, and so should you :) :thumbsup:
Do you find when drawing faces you sort of feel you get to know the person behind the face a little - even if it's on a completely different level to "actually" knowing them? It's like spending time observing their unique features - I find it fascinating :)

It's a nightmare at times to take photos of drawings... if you ever want to feel great about your photography - browse through my thread :D - seriously though... sometimes I find using "daylight bulbs" or flourescent ones helps - as they seem to give more light likeness... but I recognize and sympathize with the 28 photo syndrome...

still, the portrait looks lovely :)

take care
a. :)

08 August 2007, 04:08 PM
Just wanted to say that the kids look amazing. though i'm sure you know that by now :)

08 August 2007, 01:27 PM
Awesome portrait.
Don't know what else to tell you, you just rock :)

08 August 2007, 06:07 PM
Thanks mate! Always nice when you drop by :)

I agree that the writing style of Dynamic Figure Drawing is somewhat demanding. Took me a while to finish the book myself and still trying to absorbe what is in there. Lots of good tips in there though!

wow! thank you. Actually I'm not too fond of the double portrait anymore. And the mother wasn't really impressed (it was a colleague of me) as she forgot to take the drawing home with her that day and only took it the day after. She was actually hoping I didn't notice but I did. I was a bit sad over it but then again... it was just an exercise. If she's not happy with it, at least I learned from it.

Richa, Debbie, angelicvoice
Thank you so much!
Actually I was just given the reference photo, so I was pretty free in my choices. I realize now I should take things much further when such opportunity comes along.

you're so right! I will try not to forget *blushes*
(Sorry, I'm a little "slow" sometimes... I need to be told the same thing many times before I get it)

cok3, ForzaInter, Fl3wk, piccolabella, Jho
Thanks visiting and for the tap on the shoulder! I learn a lot from each and everyone of you!!

thanks, well spotted! There is a lot more to imporve than just that though ;)

you may well be right... it was a rather awkward photo actually. I feel it was taken from a rather close range. Thanks for the support as always!
And I'm so jealous of your modeling skills (I have a hard time modeling a box lol)

Thanks man. I should try to bring more variation in my sb... when I go back a few pages myself every now and then, I get easily bored :/


hey thanks! Would you believe I'm quite often thinking I should be drawing my own kids instead of other kids? I wanted to start a huuge portrait of all 3 of them on toned paper this summer but haven't started it yet... let's hope I find the time to do it... I think E (my girlfriend) would love it :)


So much feedback from you guys I can't thank you enough for it!
Have a rather disappointing image in return though...
... just showing how an average scribbling page from at the office looks like...

[images removed to save bandwidth - apologies]

I've been doing a lot of basic exercises lately... drawing circles, ellipses, boxes, the box+sphere form etc all from Vilppu.
After seeing his Gesture DVD I was amazed. It's really a revelation to me how he analizes. This will help me for sure! (Thanks Ratul, you're one of the peepz that convinced me to buy this awesome DVD)

I'll have more up soon, stay tuned!

08 August 2007, 07:04 PM
Here's an example of the basic stuff I was talking about:

trying to bring some movement in simple forms like a box (or an eraser if you wish)

woopsss... it's tripping!

08 August 2007, 10:50 PM
Hehe :D

What is this DVD you're talking about?

08 August 2007, 09:25 AM
we're all curious about that DVD now eheh :P

08 August 2007, 09:40 AM
Glenn Vilppu ( is an awesome master and a wonderful tutor.

His DVD's ( are quite expensive and I've only bought the Gesture DVD (Figure DVD's - Chapter 1: the gesture), but it's sooo much worth every penny spent on it. I'm definitely gonna buy more of his DVD's sooner or later.

The box exercises I did after reading his ideas on basic forms at AWN (
(the ones about form are on page 3 I think)

08 August 2007, 11:15 AM
Hi Johan,
doing this basic forms is very important for figure drawing, so keep doing them as long as you fell you should practice them. When it comes to figure drawing you always come back to basic forms like circles, so you need to be able to draw them quickly and correct :)

Keep at it!

08 August 2007, 12:09 PM
Hey Johan!
Great exercises......:thumbsup: keep at it.....and I like the profilr head too.....nice place to doodle :D

Looks like Vilppu is gonna be popular here....and thats great because his method of teaching is very unique and every1 will benefit from his technique.....

But I'm also amazed because so many people don't know about this DVD even though I've seen Rebecca recommend it in so many people's sketchbook......

keep up the great exercises....and work....

08 August 2007, 02:33 PM
good studies man, been away for a while and I must say that you have made a lot of progress in those weeks. your thread is growing so fast, I admire your effort!
I'm looking forward to the villpu studies.


08 August 2007, 07:11 PM
Hey thanks y'all for the warm words

I've not had time to scan/photograph any of my latest work but I just stumbled onto this website and I just had to post it:

It's from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam (

It's in dutch but when you klik on an artist you can scroll through their work and with each piece comes a description. Underneath the lowres picture of the described piece, there is a link saying "Bekijk het object extra groot" which will give you a high quality highres image.

A must have in everyone's favourites/bookmarks I think :)

08 August 2007, 07:24 PM
Great exercises, Johan. Really well done too. It looks so simple that one might easily underestimate how useful it is to do this kind of exercise.
What I love about Vilppu's technique is that it can be applied both to life drawing and imaginational drawing. It has no limits.
Looking forward to more.
Hey, any new commissions?

08 August 2007, 06:44 PM
hi NR o/
You study improve a great evolution. Congratulations a lot.
Vilppus really nice, and force too: =)

08 August 2007, 10:26 PM
Hi! :)
your kids drawing is very pretty, the soft shading looks is very good, and the lips of the kid look so real! I think one of the hardest thing to draw is lips, you did a great job!

08 August 2007, 02:58 AM
so when do we see it walk? :D

09 September 2007, 03:36 AM

seems its been awhile. some great work you've been doing :) hmm... think my erasers
dance around like that when i'm not looking


09 September 2007, 07:33 PM
Where's the new stuff? Me wants an update!

09 September 2007, 10:36 AM
love your eraser studies :)
and as bumskee said, it what be really funny to see it walk (or trip :))

09 September 2007, 12:33 AM
Hey Johan, I too am looking for an update. Great studies with the eraser. Looks interesting to try. Thanks too for the Amsterdam link.:)

09 September 2007, 01:28 AM
Hi Johan :)

Been a while... I really like your "movement to simple form studies"! I think
the way you are working is paying off so well :) It's like Razz said... the simple line
can be deceptive; done well it looks so easy :thumbsup:

Take care and cheers!
a. :)

09 September 2007, 10:13 AM
those box studies look like a useful thing - brought back the traumatic memories of animating a flower sack :scream: in my classical animation classes... that was not easy... Keep'em coming Johan!

09 September 2007, 04:53 PM
Hi all

I have to apologize for not posting for a while.
A recent death in our family has taken a lot of my free time, for obvious reasons.

There is no need to stop doing what we were doing so here goes some of the work I've done recently. The quality is rather poor but I hope the circumstances can explain my troubled eyesight...

And finally school has started again. Just some quick sketches. The skull was a longer study, about 90min I think.

The rest, mainly gestures will follow when I find the urge to scan the 70 pages (1 gesture per page)

Take care,

09 September 2007, 05:30 PM
My deepest condolences Johan. Sad news :sad: I just hope you will be strong and that time will heal the wounds. I am with you.

09 September 2007, 05:38 PM
Johan, I too offer my deepest condolences. I have you in my thoughts. I'm glad to see you posting your art. Take good care Johan.

09 September 2007, 06:22 PM
Hi ...Johan ..SORRY to hear about a death in your family....I've been going through a whole lot of that lately myself. Makes one appreceate the fleeting moments of life, and the ones that we love a whole lot more. My MOTHER used to say that everything happens for a reason. Maybe that is the reason and purpose of death and life, make us appreceate a whole lot more, the life we are given, and the ones that we love.
Anyway, just wanted to say ..SORRY
Keep going with your has a magical way of taking your mind off of your sorrows and grief. I don't know how, but I do know that there is a reason that it happens that way.

09 September 2007, 05:49 AM
So sorry to hear your news Johan! :(
My thoughts are with you and your family - hoping you all have the support and
strength to ride this sad time. Be yourself and let your emotions be too. :wavey:

Take care!
Annette :)

09 September 2007, 05:58 AM
Hey Razz, Debbie, Glenn,

Thanks for your kind words.
Do not worry too much though because it is true that one starts to appreciate every day one can be around more and more. One learns to accept, simply because there is no other way than to accept. We will always remember Ivo, who was 47, father of 8 children and godfather of my oldest daughter, as the kind, funny, helpful and loving man he was.
Our thoughts also go to Jenny (his wife, sister of my girlffiend) and her children, for whom the hardest times are yet to come now that everyone has said goodbye and they will have to carry on with their lives by themselves.

Thank you guys!

edit: Hey Annette our posts crossed ;)
I've cried more the last 2 weeks than I ever did in my whole life, but now the tears are running dry, there is also a feeling of relief. Relief because there is no shame in dying if you have lived a good life. Ivo was a really great man, always stood up for the less fortunate.
I should be more like he was.
Thanks for your kind words.
btw, I was trying to visit your website a couple of days ago but I couldn't reach it? I'm sure you know by now but just in case ;)

09 September 2007, 06:27 AM
Hey Johan.. My sympathies, man.. God give you strength.

09 September 2007, 07:58 AM

my deepest condolences.
And I know what you mean by crying more than you ever remember having done before. That was the same with me when my mother died.

I just want to tell you what a friend of mine once told me:
death is merely an optical illusion.

That is true, not only because noone who died ever lost his life, but also because we do not truly lose the ones who pass on.
I don't know how often I could basically hear my mother swear at me in the last couple of months - and while it really got on my nerves while she was alive it always brought a smile on my face in certain moments to know that she would complain about me being the son of a donkey, now.

People leave their imprints on us and that is something to keep.

all my best wishes

09 September 2007, 09:23 AM
Hi Johan, I am very sorry to hear about your bad news, it is a terrible shock to loose someone so close.
All the best

09 September 2007, 08:21 PM
Hi Johan, sorry for your loss. My deepest condolences.

09 September 2007, 11:23 PM
Hey Johan!
My sympathies, mate....sorry for your loss....take good care......and as you've said, do keep posting....

09 September 2007, 12:49 AM
there is sadness in loss, but strength in memories. memento mori. my deepest condolences, i know everything will turn its head around and happiness will stream through your eyes instead of tears, as well as his family. just always keep him in your thoughts, as his strength will become yours.

09 September 2007, 04:56 PM
Sad news, I'm sorry for you, but I'm glad you cope with the loss well and stay active.

09 September 2007, 11:04 AM
Hi Johan..sorry for your loss.. :( take care

09 September 2007, 04:02 PM
Thank you all for your support. It means a great deal to me to realize there are so many good people around cgtalk. Please forgive me if I have not replied to you in your personal threads.

On a happier note, thank god school has started again
So for whoever isn't bored with my academic images yet, here comes year 2...
...some zombies

and a torso (quick study)

and the same torso, different angle, longer study. It had been a while since I did a longer study and I really had a good feeling about this one...

Still have to scan all my gesture drawings argh... soon I hope

09 September 2007, 04:25 PM
Hey, nice to see you doing those studies! :thumbsup: Great!
But now I have a bad conscience ... and I don't know why :rolleyes:

Hope to see more of these :) Nice job.

09 September 2007, 04:36 PM
Hey Johan, it's great to see your new studies. :) I think the fourth one from the top looks familiar somehow. Very nice torso sketches!

09 September 2007, 05:28 PM
Wow it's amazing to see how far you've come in terms of anatomy! You'll soon need another thread with the amount of pages here getting to critical mass! :) The last two torsos are nicely rendered. congrats.

take care,


09 September 2007, 05:46 PM
Beautiful torso's studies !

Keep it up and good school-start !

09 September 2007, 11:17 AM
Hi Johan,
very nice work on the torsos! For me they are looking very good and I think you capture them very nice :)
I think you should go for the iris i nthe eyes to leave the zombie stuff behind :D But nice work on the heads also!

Keep it up :)

09 September 2007, 11:33 AM
the two torsos look very confident and clean! Nice work.

09 September 2007, 02:40 PM
Hey Johan!
Those are AWESOME drawings...the torso studies.....are BEAUTIFUL.....keep posting're such an inspiration....
the heads are also really good.....

take care...

09 September 2007, 04:11 PM
LOVE the new stuff!! i think the fourth one down is my favorite

09 September 2007, 07:07 PM
Hi there! Been a while.... hope all is well... Thanks for visiting...
Practice is the only way to improve mate... remember that ;)

Hey Debbie
Those heads may very well look familiar because I've posted many in this thread last schoolyear :D

Thanks for the nice words. I'm still very very green behind my ears though (the images below are the proof of that)... there is still a zillion things to learn for me and you know how it goes... every day a lil bit... the great thing is it's so much fun!

thank you!

thanks for the tip on the eyes!

had a good feeling about the 2nd one yeah. can't wait to start drawing oscar though... the skeleton in our classroom that is...

wow thanks! If that won't boost my confidence I don't know hehe

Hey how have you been? Hope you're doing well.
I like the 2nd one, with the hat

Here's the gestures/figure sketches I was talking about. Finally scanned them in and made a few collages. Most are really bad, some are good and a few I really like. But the big lesson I've learned with these is that the result is much better when drawing at a slower pace... and I really have to do a couple of thousands more asap lol.

Some were under 30secs, some under 2 min, some took 15min...

Take care!

09 September 2007, 07:16 PM
What a great set! Good job :) And the previously posted sketches were good, too, especially the torso studies.

09 September 2007, 07:29 PM
Thanks Karolina

Here's a quick head from the old people Zbrush workshop (I know the eyes are flat... it's becoming a bad habbit)

09 September 2007, 09:04 PM
Whoa Johan!

those gesture drawings are awesome :| :D great job!! :D

09 September 2007, 05:08 AM
amazing gesture drawings!! they look awesome :) really thought out for the little time you took on them. i like the ones with the lines defining the form. they look really good.

the old zbrush sketch looks great too, the cheeks and nose esspecially! :) the eyes need to wrap around the head more, now they kind of look as though it should be a head on shot even though the head is tilted, if that makes sense.

either way, great stuff :)!

09 September 2007, 10:05 AM
gr8 gestures.....the no. is what counts.....refd right? and I can see a lot of vilppu influence:thumbsup: :scream:......gr8 job on the head too.....want update on it soon....

09 September 2007, 10:24 AM
Hi Johan,
very nice work on the figures! Some of them are really great some of them are just good ;) You are totally right, one has to do more than 1000 of this to really get it :)

This last potrait is also done ver well, have you noticed how the iris gives the person the NOT ZOMBIE look? :D Now one more thing: give the eye a bright reflection point. This will bring the face to life :)

Keep it up!

09 September 2007, 10:42 AM
gesture #27 is doing some thorough asskicking, imo.

great work. And an inspiration to take it slow with the gestures. Since the initial advice to hurry up with gestures so I bypass my rational reasoning and won't waste my time putting detail in I always hurried them.

But those look very energetic and with some of them you can see you took a bit more time.

Will try that, too

09 September 2007, 11:19 AM
Nr, loveeeeeeee ths studys in pag 49
It is my great difficulty and them they are inspired. You sum the direct skeleton with tubes (pipes)? It is an interesting form that I would like to learn. I do not give myself well with geometrias. Taste of the method of vilppu
Sorry for english and thank you

09 September 2007, 07:25 AM
Aah Johan, I am so sorry for the loss you've experienced.
Such loved ones will always be part of our lives; In the way they influenced our character, filled our memories with wonderful moments. My condolences and heart go out to you and your family.

ZOMBIES! where!!!
Ha. Good studies.
And the quik sketches...that's what Im' talking about. Nice analyzes of the volumes. The forshortened guy lying at the bottom is sweet. Nice line work.

09 September 2007, 07:45 AM
nice gestures, on what size do you draw them?
your effort is really paying out lately.

09 September 2007, 11:41 PM
Hi johan... had a look through your gestures - they really look great! :)

Good to see and hear that you are back at school again;
wishing you an adventurous and exciting year in the world of art :wavey:
you are off to a good start already...

... so this end is just happily looking forward to your

take care and cheers!
a. :)

09 September 2007, 10:29 AM
HEY ....Johan ...:)

Just stopping by to see what you've been up to lately.
Pleasently surprized by all of those gestures..GREAT JOB ON THOSE..:applause: :thumbsup: ....Time for the next step...get Burne Hogarth's DYNAMIC FIGURE DRAWING book, if you haven't already that is....Fantastic sections in that book on FORSHORTENING, doing it correctly, and all of the princables that apply to it...One of the hardest lessons you will ever learn in figure drawing is forshortening,...but once you master it's princables, your figures will be taken to the next,and HIGHER LEVEL.
You might also get a chunk of that new non drying clay or plastacine I think it is called...make your own cast of hands, feet, figures ect.
With that non drying stuff, you can make them over and over in different poses ect...Get used to working in 3d with that clay,..will really help train your mind to see better in 2d, and with your forshortening of the figure also...ANYWAY, that is just my two cents worth at the moment..:)
GOOD LUCK with your school by the way...:thumbsup: ...and it is GREAT to see such GREAT progress happening in your thread...KEEP GOING..YOUR FOR SURE ON THE RIGHT PATH :thumbsup: :)

09 September 2007, 08:39 AM
thanks. lots of room for improvement still (as always ;) )

Thankies! They actually took a lot more time than I wanted. It's a matter of getting better at seeing to be able to analyse the human form in a certain pose faster...

thanks. yes ref'd... I'm an ubernoob if it comes to gestures. Maybe after the next 5000 I will accept my skill level easier hehe

Thanks mate! good advise. Don't be mad if I forget every now and then... I'm kinda slow *blushes*

I'm thinking if I take my time now and try to analyse the form (like vilppu advises) in terms of volume, it will be worth the efforts. Thanks

thanks. I'm guessing that you mean the vilppu gestures? You gotta see him sketch it's really amazing and his approach seems logical in every way! If you can, get the dvd!

Thanks! Coming from you, that's really appreciated (I'm a fan). The good thing is I realize I can get much better if I work really hard! The gestures are on these small sketchbooks at 19cm x 27cm and some on A4. I'm really amazed how others can get like 5 or more gestures on one sheet... When I draw that small it looks like my 6 year old daughter has drawn a human lol.

Thanks for that!
We'll be focussing on anatomy this year, starting with the skeleton and muscles after that.
I really need more anatomy knowledge so it will do me good. Also getting art history now, which is a bit tough after having worked all day, but since I know nothing about art I really need these classes so looking forward to every one of them.

Hi Glenn,
thanks. I need to work hard on every aspect of drawing really.
The book I have read and made a summary, of which the first part I posted a while ago (still have to type out the rest of my notes, not sure if this ok though... don't want to be violating any laws, as the book says nothing may be reproduced in any way)

So we started the skeleton studies with some skulls. While some at class did 2 or 3 studies, I prefer doing some quick ones the first hour to get into it and then do a longer study. It helps me getting in to it. There are some serious perspective issues here and there. I am aware and will have to try to think of that while I'm sketching (instead of afterwards).

Here's some of the skulls:

All done on 27cmx36cm paper

09 September 2007, 08:42 AM
And here's a longer skull study.
It might look a bit weird because it is actually a real skull placed on a small piece of wood under an angle of about 40° Next time I will add an indication of the wood so the foreshortening is more obvious

And a rather quick head study (15 min or so)
Wanted to get as much info on paper with the least possible efforts
Quite happy about it coz for me it's the most difficult head sculpture in classroom

Take care y'all

09 September 2007, 11:23 AM
Hello Johan!

Long time since I've written anything here, though following everything what happens. Really enjoyed your last updates. If I remember correctly, aren't you supposed to be doing fully finished studies at school now? Well, yeah, something like the skull in the latest update. By the way, I really like the shading there, even though I love cross-hatching with a harder pencil myself.
Now about head drawing, what really helped me is learning to see the forms and being able to model them. Good way to practise that is drawing hairy heads, hehe. From sculptures. You get the idea :) It's just where you can see the mass of the hair and be able to divide it into planes. I must say it really helped me a lot, because when the head is really complex it makes it a lot easier. For example the one I've posted some time ago, which I did at the art school. The one where you can only see his eyes and nose, everything else is hair. Teacher were walking by (the sculpture stands in the corridor, that's where I drew it) and almost all of them told me to divide everything into planes. As I remember that was a sculpture of Hercules.

Looking forward to seeing more stuff from you, Johan :)

09 September 2007, 02:18 PM
Hi Johan!
You've got a really inspiring sketchbook.
I love the gestural sketches on the previous page. I assume they help a lot? The skull studies also look great!

Looking forward to more

09 September 2007, 01:21 AM
your skulls are coming along nicely! the rendered one looks really good.

09 September 2007, 01:44 AM
great and useful studies here Johan! I do like the shaded skull :thumbsup: Keep it up!