View Full Version : Sketchbook Thread of Johan Derycke

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09 September 2007, 11:30 AM
Excellent rendering on this last skull ! well done !

09 September 2007, 02:50 PM

I don't think that Burne Hogarth would mind you using his knowlage and book in any way that was helpful to yourself, and others..I know that for a fact, as a matter of fact...:) ..I think he would love it..:thumbsup:
REALLY looking forward to seeing more of your works, studies, and progress..:thumbsup:

09 September 2007, 05:02 PM
hi! thanks for posting :)
I don't prefer hatching over other shading techniques... the main thing is each technique is done properly hehe.
I think plaster heads are a pain sometimes... too white. Some of the heads in our classroom have nearly no hair at all.
Anyway, I think I will be heading away from heads (lol) systematically this year, focussing on other body parts...

Hi thanks. The gestures are great fun to do but for me not that easy. I really need to do many many more, combined with anatomy studies in order to improve my accuracy.

thanks. the rendered one took about 4-5hours over 2 days. The others less than 10 min (some less than 3min)

Thanks. I agree. I like my method of drawing some quickies for an hour or so and then go for a longer one... tends to allow me to get a feel of the basic forms of the subject before really getting into shading.

thank you!

thank you!
I've been slacking lately argh. Not feeling well at all as we speak (was sleeping in the couch all afternoon). Hopefully tomorrow those lil virusses are beaten :)

Here's some stuff I found in one of my anatomy books when opening it. The last one was very WIP so I finished it just now.

10 October 2007, 08:06 PM
Hey Johan, Very cool skull! I like the portrait of the head sculpture too. Maybe a little more work on his shading for more form because he has a really nice face. Nice bone studies. :)

10 October 2007, 10:12 PM
Hi Johan, nice sketches you've been posting, that skull looks very nice.
Something i think would improve your work is to define better the outlines, you are using very thick pencil lines, and they are equal all around despite being in the shadow or not. You should use thiner and ligther lines in the more illuminated side.
Just some suggestions, keep up the good work.

10 October 2007, 10:36 AM
Wow i love your sketches! Espesially the poses on page 49! Great stuff! Keep going, I can't believe your sketch tread is this big! I hope to reach 50 pages too soon and you're a great inspiration :D!

10 October 2007, 10:39 AM
This bones' study gots a lot of strokes-smoothness and I love it.
Can't wait to see the other views :thumbsup:

10 October 2007, 04:30 PM
Hey Debbie
I might tackle that head sculpt again one of these days... although I'm gonna try and do more torso's and other body parts if I can at school

Hi Luis
Thanks for dropping by and for the useful critique! Will try to watch my linework

Hello luckydesign
Thanks. It's indeed getting a bit big. I was thinking of maybe closing this one and starting a new one. This way I could save up webspace too and publish only the works of which I'm really happy about. Not sure though because a big thread is actually what everyone should have... practice makes perfect and as you can see I will need many many more pages hehe.

Hi Serena
thanks. I quite love drawing bones really, while others may seem it is rather boring, I think they are fascinating things. I'm learning much about form with bones as well...

Here's some of this weeks school work

quick ribcage sketches: as you can see, Oscar - our class' skeleton - is in a really poor condition...

And a quick line sketch (5 min or so)

A longer study of about 90 minutes:
I liked the light on this statue but now that I look back at the drawing I wish I had pushed it even further

10 October 2007, 04:39 PM
I've so fallen in love with your quick line sketch of the torso....its really ummmm.....flawless!

The rib csge studies are gr8....and the longer study of torso is good too but darker tones would have helped to emphasize the lighting....

GREAT WORK :thumbsup: Looks like school is working gr8 for you....

10 October 2007, 10:08 PM
Wow NR!.. you've got a great sb here. Gorgeous drawings of the children & baby. And love the last version of the skull, really nice contrast. Nice shoulder & bone studies, also I liked your gesture drawings. Took a while to get through all the pages here, but it was an interesting journey, so far.

10 October 2007, 07:43 AM
I was thinking of maybe closing this one and starting a new one. This way I could save up webspace too and publish only the works of which I'm really happy about. Not sure though because a big thread is actually what everyone should have...

Ah, I would say keep this one as it is... ever evolving while showing where you came from. Big inspiration, you know.

But something you could do is open a thread in the WIP2d section showing your works or something?

10 October 2007, 06:41 PM
Hey Ratul
thanks ... still loads of area's in which this sucker's got to improve... slowly but steady I hope

heh yeah it's growing and growing...
still, plan to bring some more varied work here soon so stay tuned

ok I think I will stick to this one for now.
A thread in the 2D WIP section... it's been on my mind to do this in a year or 2... I hope to be tackling color by then

Having really long days at work this week so not much time for drawing. Here's some quick torso studies:

poor pictures... damn I really need a new digital camera. My current one only takes good pictures outside on a bright sunny day. Good thing Santa Claus is coming soon ^^

10 October 2007, 11:02 PM
Oh wow, fantastic sketches Johan. :wip: Great work here. Keep'em coming! :D

10 October 2007, 01:36 AM
i like your smooth lines :) you have a confident hand which is good! your torso studies look great :D! make sure to keep perspective in mind, in the latest drawing the abs further away from us seem the same size as those closest to us, the further ones being slightly smaller would really give a great sense of depth to the picture!

10 October 2007, 05:53 AM
Hello. You have nice line work with your torso studies here Johan. I particularly like the first drawing and how the torso is tilted and countering it's weight. On the third drawing, the one where the figure is scratching his head, his head looks a tad bit small. Keep up the excellent work. Cheers.

10 October 2007, 08:02 PM
Hi Johan, Great torso studies. I like the 90min one, nice shading. You are doing great with your quick line drawings too. Now I want to practice some.hehe Keep up the great work Johan!:thumbsup:

10 October 2007, 09:17 PM
Great work on those studies. Really clear read on whats what on the torso. I might try that myself one day. Keep up =)

10 October 2007, 01:48 AM
Hey Johan nice studies. Your more refined studies show a lot more "care" on the general proportion and anatomy than your quick gestures. Remember that just because you might have a small amount of time to do a gesture, you don't nessesarly need to draw everything. There's a lot of potential in you linework, I'll keep an eye out for this thread.

10 October 2007, 09:10 AM
Hi Johan :)

Just popping in to say hello and see how you are going :thumbsup:
I like your quick studies; they have movement and confident lines
sometimes perspective/proprotions end up on the back foot - but you
are going great and I believe in building up skills through that variety
of technique and different speeds; which is what you are doing.

The longer torso and rib cage studies (tell Oscar he needs some serious tlc ;) )
are beautifully rendered :)

keep cruising! :)
and take care

a. :)

10 October 2007, 06:39 PM
Thanks mate. Need way more practice though... spending too much time at work lately argh

You're absolutely right and it would have surprized me if no-one would have mentioned the perspective issues. Thanks!

thanks for the tip on the proportions!

Hi Debbie
Would love to see some anatomy studies and quick sketches in your thread ;)


There's a lot of potential... hm I like hearing that... but I must add... it will take time so hopefully you are patient enough. You're right though... I'm gonna try to get my gestures more accurate without spending too much time on details. Thanks for your advise!

Thanks for dropping by!
Oscar... poor fella... you know our teacher actually had to put metallic wire on the scapula's towards the neck to keep him from slumping like a bag of patatoes

Here's some of this weeks quickies... spent just a little more time than usual on them but the result isn't bad. Also started a longer study of an arm sculpture but it's not finished yet.

Take care y'all

10 October 2007, 07:11 PM
Beautiful sketches, very good shadows on the bones i think .

10 October 2007, 07:43 PM
Have you drawn all the parts of the human body yet? Would be neat to see an illustration where you put all those things together. Just a thought. ;) Btw, great work on those bones. Keep up!

10 October 2007, 11:13 AM
Hi Johan, nice bone sketches. I think you could use darker values in them though and also some stronger lines.
You are taking photos of your work rigth? You could make better photos with better illumination, or edit them digitally, I think they could look much better.

10 October 2007, 04:05 PM
Hi ...Johan ..:)

BEAUTIFUL bone studies/renderings...:thumbsup:
Just a thought here, might make little indents on them, where the tendons / muscle ends, attach to the bones....When I took a class years ago in anatomical drawing, the teacher would always use the bones on the skelaton to demontrate how the tendons/muscles attached //where, and more importantly..WHY they attached there in that specific spot...FUNTION was KEY to understanding HOW AND WHY the bones and tendons/muscles worked the way they worked...If you make a little indent on the bones where the tendons to the muscles attach, will also make an indent in your memory...:)
Anyway,..just stopping by to see what you've been up to...Looks like you are on the right path to me...:thumbsup:
Keep going, your hard work is getting stronger and stronger results...:applause::thumbsup: :)

11 November 2007, 06:59 AM
hi johan your studies of bones are lovely :) i'm looking forward to seeing more of your work. thanks for inspiring me to start studying again!

11 November 2007, 02:37 PM
Thank you... I love drawing bones... they are the foundation of our existence... in a way hehe. Most of all they help me understand how the human body functions.

No not yet, but I'm working on it :)

-voraz- / Luis

thanks, I've always drawn too light. It's already better than a year ago though. Hopefully soon I won't have the issue anymore. The fact that my digital camera sux and we have aweful lighting in our classroom (the drawings I make at home usually have a lot more contrast) is something that won't change too soon, however.


Thanks. You know... just working my drawing every day... it's the only way.
Long long way to go still, but I'll get there... at least that's the plan :)
Thanks for that tip on those bones. It's true, bones have a rougher surface where the tendons attach.

Hi there! Thanks for popping in!
I'm glad you're pickin up things again... would be a shame to see your talents and skills unused :D

Thanks for your visit everyone!

More school work from last week:

11 November 2007, 04:24 PM
Hey Johan!!... how're you doing, buddy!!.. cool studies:thumbsup:.. way to go!!

11 November 2007, 08:26 PM
Hi Johan, greattudies of the pelvis. I like this schematic approach you use in these studies: you should understand the structure of the pelvis rather than being able to draw it in all its detail. I like the hatching as well!

11 November 2007, 08:39 PM
oh la la, sweet effective shading on that pelvis! :bounce: Very clean work. I'm learning by watching here! Keep teaching me. :thumbsup:

11 November 2007, 06:25 AM
great bone studies! i love the different ways you are shading them.

11 November 2007, 11:24 AM
Hi Johan,

Great bone studies. I'm really envious that you have a chance to do bone studes from life. Never got that pleasure myself. And pelvis has this hard shape. Ah, it'll be useful, these studies. The hand looks a little stiff though. Do look at Rebecca's updates if you haven't already, her drawings are ALIVE! Lines and everything, amazing.
Oh, did you always cross-hatch or did I miss something?

11 November 2007, 12:19 PM
Clean and sharp, perfect linework, bravissimo !

11 November 2007, 03:58 AM

great bone studies :thumbsup: and from life...hmm could you send me some i'll pay for shipping lol


11 November 2007, 10:31 AM
Your studies look great :thumbsup:

Looking forward to see more, Johan! :)

11 November 2007, 12:21 PM
Hey Anand I'm fine although I had a tough time since my last post. Not only did I break my digital camera (I fixed it half and half... I'm able to make pictures again but the quality is even worse than before... oh well, better than before, when my cam crashed and froze upon turning on the power), but I was also sick like a dog and I had a really bad drawing week (more of that later)

Thanks... doing my best but learning slowly (my colliflower isn't working that well, so it seems)

heh thanks, glad my posts are of any use to you!

thanks, I try to get some variation in my shading yes... mostly it's experimenting...

well Oscar (our plastic skeleton in our class) is in a really poor condition, but he's very useful if it comes to understanding how the human body works... I find some systems like the shoulders and hips quite hard to learn to be honest. I'm such a person that understands something better when actually seeing it happen.

thanks for everything *big hug*


hi! ok I'll take Oscar for a drink and when he's all drunk I'll knock him out with his own leg and put him on the ferry ;)

Thanks! There will always be more... sooner or later :)

11 November 2007, 12:26 PM
What follows is a series of 7 minute sketches.
As you will see the first ones are really aweful but things got better after a while...

As I look to that torso now I feel it could have been a bit more elongated... oh well... maybe next time :)

11 November 2007, 12:27 PM
And a couple of "longer studies"


And I think 50 min or so, while talking to some classmates:

11 November 2007, 12:33 PM
This, particulary, was a nice exercise:
We got a A4 sheet with the contours of a leg drawn on it.
Then we had to fill in the bones as they would be positioned.
Afterwards, we would look at the ref from an anatomy book and correct ourselves in ballpen

11 November 2007, 06:16 PM
Some quick hand studies after my own hand:

And some imaginational work:

Basically I'm trying to get some personal pieces together.
But I need your input: every time I start a personal piece I end up being totally blocked. I know one of the main reasons is that I still lack a lot of knowledge to be able to draw well from imagination, but there must be some ways to avoid the blocked feeling...


11 November 2007, 10:45 PM
just because its from your imagination doesn't mean that you can't use reference. you can concept out your idea in a rough sketch and then gather a ton of supporting reference.

11 November 2007, 11:45 PM
Great studies! It looks like you were very accurate with the filling in bones task.

I second piccolabella - use ref for imaginational projects. Though I understand what you mean, either - reference or not I get stuck when I'm nearly done because I don't know what way to make something.

11 November 2007, 09:17 AM
It's great to see you working on personal pieces too.
At the moment I think you are very good with torso and in general the body, but I think you should have a little bit of "hand - refitnessing" with the human head. About dragons...I've noticed that you got a great line-control but you flat a little down the subject when you add value over its body. I think this is caused mostly by a "mental-lock" cause everyone can see right here in your thread how much good you are in shading.
So, relax and mostly ENJOY with personal pieces, in this way - I think - you'll obtain 2 pigeons with 1 seed :bounce:

11 November 2007, 09:17 AM
Yes, I use reference for personal "projects" too. This usually starts after I am satisfied with poses, composition, etc. Honesty obliges me to say that in that phase I often loose interest in my concept and I end up trashing it.


your answers have made me realize something important:
I should stop expecting that the ideal composition, pose or any other important element, comes right away and more importantly I MUST NOT FEEL DISAPPOINTED OR DOWN when this happens but just CARRY ON SEARCHING/SKETCHING until I come up with something I am satisfied with.

Thanks piccolabella and sirielle!!

Hi Serena, apparantly our posts crossed eachother :)
Thanks for the good advise, will try to work up to it!

11 November 2007, 01:11 PM
Hi Johan,
on your problem:
I had this problem for a while also, I could not motivate myself for a personal piece ... I think a point that really helps is to choose a material you like or would like to expire with. This helped me a lot. I was doing some of my selfpotraits and experementing with any medium I could find. You should think of the material you would like to use.

Another thing which might be good for you is to start with something you are familiar with, your dragon's are looking to flat but your torsos are looking a lot better. So maybe you should think of a piece where you can work with your torso ... don't forget this is to find the fun at doing personal work and not to get the best piece ever. So I think starting with something you know better is the best way.

Another thing: Start with doing some idea finding sketches, you can see them also in my thread, where I have a few pages with brushes and than things where I worked with this brushes. Also the pages where I put stuff on people's head. This is a way to find interresting ideas, compositions and designs. This quick sketches are not planned to be superrealistic but to help you to get some ideas on paper. You also train to work from imagination :) This is also a way to challange yourself ... "How can I make this believable" it is not important to make it realistic but to make it look as if it would work.

As you know it helped me a lot to do some creative self-potraits. The great thing about self-potraits is that you always have a reference, and you can choose the reference as you want it. As you know it is harder to work from life then to work from fotos. The mirror is somewhere in between. So another advice would be to attempt on a creative sp.

All in all, I think it is important to learn to work from imagination again and to use what you have learned by doing studies in your work ... don't forget what you have learned about light and shadow. When you start rendering, think of your light ... make an arrow on your piece to ALWAYS remember yourself from where the light comes. Start with one light source, not two or more. Think where the light hits the object, always think first then draw!

What I always tried to say, start simpel and don't force yourself with hard things at the beginning but start to have fun doing it. Think of what makes fun when you are doing your studies and try to use this doing personal work :)

I hope this could help a little.

11 November 2007, 04:57 PM

Did you ever lay on your back in the grass when you were a child, and watch the clouds roll by,...while you layed there and saw what was hidden deep in your imagination being formed by those drifting and everchanging clouds.
Or did you ever lay in the dark of night in bed when you were a child, and see shadows, and shapes within those shadows on the walls, that brought forth hidden fears that created images buried deep within your imagination.
Did you ever notice that as you grow older, you see less when you look at those same clouds, and also that the shadows on those walls when you lay in the dark are much less frightening.
I think the key to creating from the imagination, is to get back in touch with your inner child,...the part of yourself that everyone tends to outgrow, and leave behind as they age.
If you can, and are able to, refind that child within you, and you will also refind your own imagination...You might have to dig deep to find that child within you, but as soon as you find him,I think you will find him still imagining all sorts of things that are really not there,...or are they..:)
Abilities that are lost over time by most, but cherished for life by the best of artist.
DaVinci used to make use of stains on walls to spark his imagination.
Michaelangelo used clouds to spark his imagination.
You might try the same thing when you work on your paintings and drawings...Get some stains, or some atompheric effects/AIR/CLOUDS onto the canvas first,...then just stare at those effects for awhile, and watch what happens as that child within you comes to life once more, and starts to SEE ONCE AGAIN...Just record with your adult hands and gained knowlage of art, what that child is seeing..:)
It may take a lifetime to re-reach that state of innocense...just like it took PICCASO..:)
Hope that helps some..:)

11 November 2007, 01:28 AM

LOL now that's an idea and would maybe make for a few comical drawings hmm...

...all great ideas and here's some others
buy a cheap dictiphone to put your thoughts in words , leaves you wide open don't have to worry about the hows,skills or technique.think about that stuff later. don't want to put limits on your imagination. I usually start with little and build on it, but you must start! weather you think it's great or not doesn't matter. if you loose inspiration just save it for later never now when it could be helpfull.

some i borrowed from a music writing book and altered for art
a famous painting you like...
-what happens after that scene
-what happen before that scene
-what was the artist trying to express and how could i express the same idea
-setting from the past, make it modern or future

Draw a scene from a book you like
Draw a scene from a song you like
Draw a scene from something you injoy doing or watching

well you get the idea, hope this helps


11 November 2007, 08:38 AM
Johan, You have an inspiring thread. I see your anatomy studies and know that it is time to dive back in. I'd like to match your discipline.
I often run into a creative block. I think what Glenn said is sound advice. I think the key is to stop putting pressure on the particular outcome. Like a child, doodle (concept) and enjoy the process without judgements. It's hard for me to move forward sometimes. But, I've also experienced moments of creative freedom where things just flow, usually when I take the focus off of the end product.

11 November 2007, 05:57 AM
something else i find that helps me is sometimes i close my eyes and draw some squiggly lines, and then when i open them, i try to make something out of it. its not always what i'm hoping to make, but helps the creative flow and i end up creating creatures and characters that i could never have created consciously.

11 November 2007, 09:51 AM
man Johan,

sorry for having neglected your thread for so long.
To be totally honest, I think I sometimes downright avoid your thread, because I see you continuously working hard and then get a bad conscience. I feel like I should be doing some of the studies you did instead of following my pleasure driven goals of copying paintings I like or other stuff.


here's a link that might help you take control of your photo reference so it does not take control of you and your creative process...:


11 November 2007, 08:08 PM
Ah big thanks to all of you for your massive support!

Basically it all comes down to me being still very green behind my ears and needing a lot more experience. Ups and downs are part of the trip... a straight line towards the final destination would be too boring anywayz :)

So I'm kind of abandoning my personal projects since the pleasure is gone with those.
I am able to get rid of all expectations when it comes to studies, but not just yet for personal pieces... a nice goal to set.
Not to worry, this was an extremely useful experience once again. One day, I will be able to finish a personal piece:bounce:

Not much to show yet

Thanks again ALL! I owe the lot of you BIGTIME!

11 November 2007, 10:35 PM

LOL..:scream: ...UPS AND DOWNS ARE PART OF THE TRIP...That's an understatement, if there ever was one..:scream:
IT'S LIKE SKATEING ON ICE..You can study it all you want to, but you will never know what it's really all about, until you actually step out onto the ice..fall down, and then get back up and try again...NO PAIN, NO GAIN :) ..Just make sure that the ice is not to thin...that's the only purpose of studies...:)

11 November 2007, 06:03 AM
So true Glenn, I know I'm skating in between the cracks here... ;)
There's still so much work (and that's certainly not a negative word) to do for this guy...
(sorry no image)

11 November 2007, 10:15 AM

ROFLMAO! :scream:

Now, that should get my ass in gear if nothing else should....:D

11 November 2007, 11:51 AM
ROFLMAO! :scream:

Now, that should get my ass in gear if nothing else should....:D

quite!!! LOL sounds good to me too!

gotta love them bones, heh?! Nice studies Johan - I do like the hands and feet in particular... and well dragons are always good ;)

11 November 2007, 05:09 PM
I see you're doing a lot of anatomy studies these days. That is always good to see. Just thought that a thing that might really help you is sculpture! I don't think I even have to say why. It just helps to put 3d objects on a 2d surface with a better understanding. Well other than that I think Glenn made it clear about the trip :)
By the way, I liked the sketch with a dragon looking at a little fairy. Dragons - good.

11 November 2007, 07:13 PM

go on... get going... start posting *taps fingers on desk at a rather unpatient pace*

Heh... I guess next week we'll be doing the hand bones and if I'm not mistaken we'll have done them all then. After the bones we'll study the muscles.

yeah anatomy is pretty much the plan for the 2nd year at the academy:
1st year = learning to see + drawing techniques,
2nd = learning anatomy,
3rd + 4th + 5th + 6th = life drawing, while 5th and 6th are actually additional years.

And dragons... well I have a thing for it... just ordered Bobby Chiu's book on dragons... can't wait to get it.

Here's a couple of sketches I made for one of those personal projects I had started to work on... (before the mental breakdown lol)

11 November 2007, 07:52 AM
Hey Johan.!! How're you doing?!.. Cool studies, man!!:thumbsup: You are puttin in a lot of effort here!:buttrock:

11 November 2007, 03:12 PM
Wow - really inspiring stuff! I'm especialloy loving the dragon sketches and the bone studies. With the dragon sketches in particular the sense of form is amazing and when you put the time in and shade, the results are stunning. I can't really give you any advice, but I can pat you on the back, and say, carry on, this is the path to greatness!

/pats NR43 on the back

Carry on! This is the path to greatness!

/taps nose

11 November 2007, 05:00 PM
Hey Johan, You have been very busy! Great work and very nice shading on the bone and foot studies. As usual you remind me I need to practice mine...I will! Love your dragons btw especially the one that is running!:thumbsup:

11 November 2007, 02:35 PM
Nice sketches on dragons. Maybe you could take some of them to push'em a little bit more. Just a suggestion :).


11 November 2007, 08:06 PM
oh man not even 20% of how much I need it!
I see you're having a lot of fun in Magda's latest workshop... now thàt's impressive!

yeah dragons are fun... one day I'll come up with a really great one :)

Hey Debbie
How are you doing? Thanks for dropping a line... *waves*

Well... here's a lil something in color for ya
Sorry... the really good ones are still to be made lol

11 November 2007, 08:18 PM
Hey the'e Johan :)

I like the roundness you've put to those dragon sketches. Very nice :thumbsup:

Nice color render, too. Did you use any reference?
I like the eye! If it was more closed, it could be more fearsome, in my humble opinion. :)

One more thought for the neck. You could try to pop it up from the background, as it seems stuck to it.

11 November 2007, 11:11 PM
:eek: HA!! Now that's what I call pushing. Hey Johan, it's amazing :wip: I love it, not only the dragon but the background is great. What about the body, he? :D

Hope to see an update soon. Cheers

11 November 2007, 06:55 AM
NOV. 25, 2007

I like what you are doing with your dragon, and the concepts that you are creating for it..NICE DRAGON ACTIONS AND POSES/GESTURES:thumbsup:
For the emotions of the dragon,...use the same expressions that you would for a human face..raised lip, wrinkles between the eyes, flared nostrals your own face in the mirror while creating expressions that you want to project into/onto your dragons character.
DON'T FORGET THE ATMOSPHERE/AIR..Make your dragon come out of it, and be part of it, and it part of the dragon..:)
Hope you don't mind, ..I did a little paintover of the last one that you posted...couldn't resist..:)
It might give you some ideas for your future never know..:)

11 November 2007, 03:12 PM
Hey you're making dragons here too :)

The coloring is nice on the last one you did..but I do think the neck is too thin, it should probably extend out more on the back and a little on the belly side.

11 November 2007, 02:43 PM
Hey, Johan.

You're pushing forward as I see. And really into dragons, eh? Nothing to crit, because I think Glenn has already showed you what couldn't be told by words. Just dropped by to say that it's great to see you climbing up the ladder :)

12 December 2007, 10:30 AM
Hi Glenn,

Thanks for the overpaint!
I have a lot to learn, especially if it comes to expressions and atmosphere.

thanks for visiting... and for the useful crit!
I have a lot to learn about dragons (and everything else heh)...


Another step taken, only 579 billion to go lol. It could be a few more or less though
But you know me I work at my own pace... sure I want to be good like everyone else, but there's just no point in rushing. I'll need my years of mileage if I want to be good. Anyway, it's good to be told I'm making progress every now and then because sometimes it's easy to not see it myself. Thanks!

A collage of quick torso studies (all on A3 minus 3cm at the bottom)
They are a selection of the exercises we did at school the last 2 weeks. Most of them took around 5-10min.

And a few more studies (the female shading exercise is unfinished, obviously):

12 December 2007, 10:31 AM

12 December 2007, 05:23 PM
Hi Johan, nice torso studies. I like the shading on the last one. Really good. The girl"s arms seem to be a bit too long and the shading of her face is not as smooth as the rest of the drawing. It seems like you are trying to fit in all the details on a smaller scale. Maybe you should simplify things (just an idea - don't look at me for any answers how to do that). Keep going!

12 December 2007, 07:09 PM
Mm, I'd love doing this kind of exercise at my art school. But I just keep drawings and cross-hatching heads, haha. Which is also great, but clearly doesn't involve full body anatomy. But there's nothing one can't learn at home, right?
I like the unsfinished female drawing. Give a try at a torso from imagination to really get the anatomy into your head. And get to know those insertions of muscles, not just what you see on the outside.
Ahh, damn, I don't need to tell you that :)

Keep rocking, mate!

12 December 2007, 04:25 PM
Hey Johan,
your studies are great as always! Maybe you should start using one of your studies as a start for a drawing ? Take your study and use it as reference, than go crazy :D

Something on your dragon: I think you should use more contrast of light and shadow. Your dragon looks very flat to me. It might help to use not only a darker green as the shadow color but maybe a dark blue or violet. As highlight color you could use a bright yellow. I think this would help you painting :) By the way, the background is really a good one!

Keep it up!

12 December 2007, 06:21 PM
At first glance the pose of the woman on the beach works really well, you've done some good work on it, but the arms are wildly out. Like batte812 says they're really long, and her right arm is out of proportion. Also her eyes and the general symmetry of her face seems out too.

The pose however works, and when looking at i did fully get the impression of a woman walking on a beach on a sunny windy morning!

12 December 2007, 06:09 PM

Clean studies as always. About that woman on the beach, maybe you should be a bit more careful shading her face? I've noticed that shading a females face sometimes makes it appear a bit more masculine than intended. My take on it at least.

Keep it up :cool:

12 December 2007, 09:38 AM
Hey Johan Keep up those great studies.

Like the render on this one.
Nice, subtle and sensitive pencil application.

I would suggest for expressions on the dragon; Check out snarling dogs and lion faces for wrinkle pattern around the mouth. If the surface is bony or hard than probably the skin around joints or areas where they move would have looser skin where muscle action would affect. Anyway, that's what learning entails, pushing through those hurdles (or jumping them). Critter invention does seem to require lotsa reading and looking at critter pictures.:)

12 December 2007, 06:06 PM

thank you for your encouragements... there's loads of room for improvement in my drawing. Working on expressions is one of my resolutions for 2008 :)

@ all who commented on that girl at the beach drawing:

The arms are not too long though, the legs are too short ;)
She is wearing a thick wintercoat, which has bent a bit awkwardly I must admit. When I saw the reference (from a fashion magazine), my first impression was exactly like yours about the arms.
I have to agree on having screwed up the face.
Thanks for commenting, please continue to do so :D


I've been really ill the last couple of weeks and this has forced me to limit my presence here at cgtalk to mainly browsing and occasionally adding a comment here and there.
What's worse is that for a good 2 weeks I wasn't able to draw and study.

So I've not much interesting to show, except maybe one thing.
Today it's exactly 2 years ago since I made my very first drawing:

I've learned a lot in those 2 years, but there is still soooo much to learn!
Thanks to all who have helped me get to this point.

Have a very merry Christmas y'all

12 December 2007, 08:39 PM
Still that very first drawing looks great :)

12 December 2007, 11:28 PM
Still that very first drawing looks great :)

12 December 2007, 06:56 PM
Hey Johan,
I hope you are feeling well now? If not, get well soon!

I agree, there ist still so much to learn but this very first drawing was very nice ;) Just keep this thread up for another 2 years :)


12 December 2007, 10:13 PM
Hey Johan!! Merry Christmas!!!:scream:

12 December 2007, 11:19 AM

12 December 2007, 07:38 PM
Merry Christams Johan!!! :thumbsup:

12 December 2007, 10:57 PM
I'll add to all the wishes and just say happy holidays to you my friend! Happy next year :thumbsup:

12 December 2007, 01:05 PM
Hey Johan, also a merry christmas and some happy holidays from me ;) Have a great start in the next year and keep your stuff coming :D

12 December 2007, 08:44 PM
Hey Johan!
You've been doin some great work:thumbsup:....I missed so much of it!
Looks like school's going great for you....
Keep at it man.....

HAPPY NEW YEAR! May it bring the best for you.....

12 December 2007, 02:34 PM
Hi ...Johan..:)

REALLY like the rendering that you are doing...GREAT SKILL to master.
My eyes aren't that great anymore, so I never do that tight rendering like you are showing and doing anymore...But I still really enjoy seeing it done by others...It's alot of work, but those great results can't be gotten in any other way...It also forces you to slow down, and to really see, and not just look at the form that you are rendering...No way to describe form in shorthand, when you render it...You end up really seeing, and thus, really understanding the form that you are working on.
ANYWAY, ..HOPE you are feeling better now, and am really looking forward to seeing more of the GREAT PROGRESS that you are making and showing,... in the new year that is coming up shortly... :) :thumbsup:

01 January 2008, 08:16 AM
Hey there Johan :)

Happy wishes for 2008 (slightly belated - but well meant ;) )
Hope to see you in the OFDW (am yet to make a start, but am keen
and excited)

take care - hope things have been going and continue to go well

a. :)

01 January 2008, 06:10 PM
Hello Johan

I haven't had the chance to look through your thread before now, and I must say the amount of work you put in your studies really inspires me to work harder. Just keep it up as you are and things are going to get really sweet soon. It's only two years since your first drawing? I must say you've come a long way. (Even though the first one is nice as well - Maybe you're one of those naturally talented people? ;))

You don't post a lot of sketches from imagination in your thread - Maybe you think it is too soon, but I would like to encourage you to do them, especially after you've done some studies then try to use what you've learned by redrawing the study from imagination (as I saw you did once in your thread with a great result) or if you can, use them to make a different drawing. I feel that what I learn from doing studies "stick" more easily this way, if I try to make use of it (This is good advice for myself by the way)

Great studies of bones and anatomy in general - I'm sure they will pay off. You've got a really good grasp of tonal value on the drawings you've worked on a lot.

Get well, if you aren't already, and I wish you a happy new year.

01 January 2008, 07:06 PM
Hello Johan, happy new year! :wavey: A bit late, but i came back late from holiday, this Christmas. :)

Nice torso and muscle studies, are they from live or photo reference?

I also like the drapery study very much! Beautiful, realistic study! :thumbsup:


02 February 2008, 03:03 PM
Hey Johan :)

Hope all is going well and that your slight absense means
that you are occupied with exciting projects :)

Hope to see updates here soon :wavey::beer:

cheers and take care
a. :)

02 February 2008, 11:31 PM
I think your sketch studies here look really good. I also liked your style on the dragon heads. I have also been sick, its that time of the year I guess. I hope your doing alright and you find the time to get some drawing in.

03 March 2008, 04:10 PM
Hey peepz

been a while... life is keeping me too busy to post much ;)

My kids and girlfriend were in need of some extra care the past winter.
I've been taking much time to get welll myself as well... back at fitness and started cycling again (finally!). I'm even going to work by bike as soon as the weather gets better (we are expecting a big storm here which will last more than 2 days). It's not far and it will save me about 2€ per day on fuel.
I am still enjoying the academy, even more now since once a week we draw on large formats. (somewhere between 50cmx80cm and 70cmx100cm)

Here's a selection of some of these large format charcoal sketches.
I bought some Conté crayons but haven't used them yet... should be great fun on these big papers.

Apologies for the bad pics and the stuff at the corners to keep those papers flat. Hope they aren't too disturbing....


03 March 2008, 04:13 PM

There's more at school, will try to photograph and upload them soon.
I've a lot of smaller sized drawings as well but still have to scan/photograph them...

Hope you are all doing fine (I think you are, since I saw so many great things happening in the last OFDW, which I was sadly unable to participate at)

Cya soon and I apologize for not posting.

03 March 2008, 11:31 AM
Hello, Johan!

Just stopping by to say:" Love your studies!" :thumbsup:
I'll come back later to see more of your work!


03 March 2008, 12:39 PM
HEY ...Johan...:wavey: :) ....GREAT TO HAVE YOU BACK, AND IN GOOD HEALTH..:thumbsup: ..Watch out for idiots opening there car doors in front of you, while your riding your bike.:eek: ..I used to ride a ten speed back and forth to work six days a week when I was working at a printing company here in Boston years ago.six miles each way..I did it for three years, and I even did it in the winter..:scream:

With the price of fuel these days, you just can't go wrong rideing a bike.
I used to laugh to myself, because most of the time, I would get to where I was going, before the cars did,..they were usually sitting in traffic jams with soured looks on their faces, as I would ride by then smileing...:scream: :)
Anyway,...Can't wait to see those large conte crayon drawings...Check out the works of Burne Hogarth, in his instrution books,...He was a master at drawing with conte crayons...:)

03 March 2008, 02:27 PM
very interesting anatomy studies

03 March 2008, 03:43 PM
great sketches. Charcoal is a nice messy medium for these, I tried the conte crayons but I don't care for them. Have you tried them yet?

03 March 2008, 06:21 PM
Biking to work, you're lucky you can do that! Wish I could :)
Really nice anatomy studies! :)

03 March 2008, 03:03 PM
Hey Johan :)

Good to see you back posting! Nice studies! A few seem a bit short in
the lower body, but that could be the angle (photo) as well. Your lines
are getting more and more confident :thumbsup:
Look forward to more updates and hope that school has lots of
exciting art projects for you this term :)

cheers and take care
a. :)

03 March 2008, 09:26 AM
Thank you! Although I am not posting as often as before anymore, I'm still sketching everyday... it's what makes us better than we were ;)

Yep, the bike is the future! It's either that or buying a 2nd car, which I cannot afford and I really just don't wanna do that (it's bad enough as it is these days with our environment and it won't change until we all do something about it, I like blue skies rather than smog)
I tried the conté's... awesome gear, will post later, those drawings are still at school and it's easter holiday now. I have the book you mentioned and I can say only one thing... it will take many many tries to get it done like he did lol

Thanks. Glad you like 'em

About the charcoal: It's indeed a nice medium to get messy. By using charcoal, I've learned that my drawings don't have to look too clean -we call it clinical- to be nice. In fact, the whole process of searching for the right line while drawing, whiping the charcoal off and correct with a new line... it allows us to build up a texture of some kind.
I like the Contés too, nice and quick, although it's a technique I will have to practice more to get good at it...(no whiping off like with the charcoal)

It's about 15km (9miles) one way and it feels good!
Why is it that you can't bike to work?

Thanks. School is really great. We are preparing towards life drawing sessions, which will start soon now (I think from may on once a week and then from september on 2 years of life drawing woohoo)

I have a personal piece in the making for a school project, for which I will ask you peepz for help soon. Stay tuned!

03 March 2008, 09:31 AM
some more studies from plaster statues

These were done from memory, after observing them for 1-2min, then I corrected in red:

And a really quick first test with a black conté crayon.
I tried to highten some area's with white chalk but it was to greasy, hence the greasy stain on the beard. I still like it though because considered the amount of time spent, there's a lot of info there.

03 March 2008, 09:34 AM
Our teacher's apple... I was soooo tempted to eat it lol

And some more random plaster cast studies:

I almost forgot. I need your advise!
I would really like to buy some markers to do quick sketches. Which ones should I get?
(not worried about colored ones)

Thanks in advance!

03 March 2008, 10:05 PM
Great sketches, that torso looks really good, beautiful shading.
May I ask what was the pencil that you used?

Keep up the good work. :)

03 March 2008, 12:17 AM
Hi Johan, great to see you're back! Good progress on the figure drawing! Keep going!

03 March 2008, 09:56 AM
Hi there,

Amazing sb. Love the shading and work. Keep up the great work and look forward to watching out for your future pieces.

03 March 2008, 12:26 PM

GREAT STUDIES...:thumbsup:
Really nice job on that back shoulder area in post #849.
That black conte crayon portrait..really nice atmospheric feel to it..great job there.:applause: ...You might try the red conte crayon on large newsprint has just the right amount of texture for the crayon..but experimenting with different surfaces is always a good way to explore also...ANYWAY...KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK AND STUDY PROGRESS...ALWAYS A GREAT PLEASURE TO SEE BOTH..:) :thumbsup:

03 March 2008, 12:54 PM
Markers, I never really used them much but you can try Prismacolor, at least that is the brand I've seen in the art isle of the local craft store..also some artists have mentioned it on the gnomon dvd's I have.
Why can't I bike to work, well, #1. I don't need to, I work from home now :p But before when I had a job outside the reason is that people just don't do that around here. You can't ride a bike on a highway, and it's dangerous on the really busy roads-plus you'd be like the only one doing it. It's all cars where I live. If you do'nt have one you're screwed. There's like barely any public transportation too.

Nice job on that torso too!

03 March 2008, 04:49 PM
Thank you!

Hey Bart, good to see you :)
Still so much to learn heh... just cruising towards the next step forward...

Thanks. Glad you like it.
I hope to post some good things in here soon.

Hi Glenn
yeah I kinda like that shoulder myself.

The conté drawings at school are done with brown/red conté's on Steinbach paper (73cm x 55cm):

Couldn't just leave them at the store for 4€ ;)
I'll post the drawings as soon as I bring them home.

Thanks for the help
There's cars all over here as well... I guess working from home is the cheapest way, but surely not the healthiest ;)

This came outta nowhere:

And some lunchbreak sketches done at work:
The lady is from ImagineFX 25 cover by Yuehui Tang

and from imagination:

03 March 2008, 05:08 PM
Really nice work! I love the figure studies - great poses, I like the way you block out the masses.

I have both Copic markers and Prismacolors, the Prismacolors are cheaper, the Copics are nicer (soft tip) but don't seem to last as long -

03 March 2008, 07:25 PM
Nice sketchs, that last hand/claw looks very good, nice wide range of tones in the shading.
Keep up the good work.

03 March 2008, 07:27 PM
coool stuff in the whole thread !!

last one's are also good. looking for more .. .

03 March 2008, 05:09 PM
Thank you!

glad you like it, just practicing ballpen shading with the claws :)

There will be even cooler stuff here once my skills are good enough and they allow me to be creative...

Didn't find Copic Markers nor any Prismacolor Markers.
But I did find Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens.
They have a brush tip, which is kinda nice.

I will buy more of these, even though they are expensive.

Speaking of being creative, I want to make a painting for school and I'm getting my inspiration from Boris Vallejo and Frank Frazetta to make it. I'm still in the sketching phase (the toughest phase of all I think, never got passed that one yet to be honest :eek: ), trying to come up with good poses and composition for my concept.

Anyway, not gonna show you that yet :p
Here were the first tests with these brush pens, both quick studies after Boris Vallejo (I hope he won't mind)

03 March 2008, 01:07 PM
HEY ..Johan..:)

Looking forward to seeing those conte crayon drawings that your doing at school..:)

I like the brushed look that your getting on that dragon with those step away from a painting...nice way to create an underpainting, before you go into it with color.
I recently bought a book called ..IMAGINISTIX...BORIS VALLEJO AND JULIE BELL....FANTASTIC BOOK..Get it if you can...shows how he does his underpaintings...might be useful to you in this painting that your starting...It's not that expensive ether.:) .You can get it on the internet.

04 April 2008, 12:37 PM
Hi Johan :)

Great updates and sketches and ideas :)
I like the bike-riding thing too :thumbsup: - for years I used to
ride my bike to artschool through Sydney (lots of traffic) and although
a bit hairy at times, it was fine - and a great way to wake up in the morning!
There's not quite as much traffic where we live now, and it's really nice to
go out riding.

You asked about markers... I'm not sure, but here "Pantone" are seen as top of
the range, I tend to just use what I can find (afford), making sure they are permanent and
light/water fast: Artline, Staedtler and Sharpie all make good markers :)

Look forward to seeing those conte drawings (cool 'teaser' with the box...)

cheers and take care!
Annette :)

04 April 2008, 07:01 PM

yeah I was at amazon looking at his books (B. Vallejo) but my wallet said "wait a bit longer". Eventually, I will buy his books for sure... all of them, and those Frazetta books as well... but not just yet. For now I have taken the time to download their images from the internet and put them in my reference folder.


Thanks for the tip on markers. For now I've bought some Faber-Castell Pitt pens, which are quite pleasant to use (now I only need the skills to use them lol)

So this is basically a bit embarrasing because I feel this selection of concept sketches are below my level. It's a mixture of reffed sketches and some from imagination, trying to get my story together in a sketch worth painting. Although I've been trying things for days, I find it very hard to put my idea exactly on paper as I have it in my head... guess I'll have to sketch a lot more...

In Greek mythology, according to most versions, Medusa was slain by Perseus, decapitated even. Athena had given Perseus a shield, which he used to avoid looking directly into Medusa's eyes (which would have caused him to turn into stone).
Concept: What if Perseus failed and was slain by Medusa instead? Medusa may be angry and she will know for sure it was Athena who helped Perseus. (After all, Athena gave her the snake hair). So I want Medusa to look evil and full of hate... The word Vengeance would have crossed her mind for sure...

Next up is getting her a costume... Medusa means "empress, mistress" so I may want her to look important.
I also want to have at least some sort of indication of Perseus being slain, whether turned to stone or not isn't that important to me... although I do like the tought of making Perseus look really scared, like he realized he would be turned into stone the next moment, right before Medusa turned her head and looked at him.

I just don't have a clue about the composition of the 2 figures yet...

04 April 2008, 05:41 PM
Johan, thanks for the Painter tip about brush settings - I will definitely give that a try!

Interesting concept you're working on! I would say if you're looking for composition ideas, check out classical sculpture, some have great way of grouping and composing figures/expressing extreme emotions, like some of the stuff from this 3d workshop ( -

04 April 2008, 12:21 PM
the torso in post #851 came out really nice. I think these sketches aren't that bad, you're just jotting down ideas?

04 April 2008, 02:31 PM
Hey Johan :)

Great concept idea bringing Medusa back to life - and giving her the powers beyond turning 'warriors' to stone... I love Greek mythology, it has so much drama and the ins and outs will keep anyone busy for ages :) - maybe she had this trick up her sleeve, which meant she could revert Perseus' powers back on him (instead of him turning to stone like the others...)

look forward to seeing where this one goes :)
great to see you found markers as well :)

cheers and take care!
a. :)

04 April 2008, 04:33 PM
Glad I could help! And thanks for your help in return :)

Yeah... getting ideas on paper is what I try... not very succesful until now but I'll keep trying ! Thanks for the tap on the shoulder.

I'm gonna use Greek mythology for more than one painting in the future, that's for sure...
Always nice to see I'm still not boring you with my stuff heh.

Here are the 2 drawings with the conté crayons from the box a few posts earlier, both on 55cm x 73cm Steinbach...

04 April 2008, 04:36 PM
And more charcoal drawings, also on 55 x 73 Steinbach

Had some more but since the proportions were way off in some cases, I decided to leave them out (webspace is getting near the limit again bah)

hope you like these... more to come soon!
Take care

04 April 2008, 04:42 PM
Hey dude,
thanks for those tips, it's very helpful advices. I always had thinking what take on eye, when looking for measurements between hairline and brow line, now I know. :) I have never tried nose, I've only knew that the face is as big as a hand, ears as long as space between browline and end of the nose :P.
You've some nice sketches man, I like the way how you shading them.

Thanks again!

04 April 2008, 05:43 PM
np... you can read more about this in the books of Andrew Loomis. If I'm correct those are available for the public on the internet (pdf format). You should find them if you search the cgtalk forums for "Loomis books"


Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse ( (1824-1887)
Dancing Neapolitian Fishermen
Bronze and brown patina
41 1/4 x 16 1/4 inches (105 x 41.5 cm)

Thanks for visiting and commenting

04 April 2008, 07:31 PM
btw... thanks for that awesome link ceruleanvii

Sketching these is fun!

Here's one more...

Looking at the scanned version I notice I missed the twist in her torso... will try to get it right next time

04 April 2008, 10:49 AM
Hi Johan!

Can't help noticing the huge sizes you're drawing on :) I think this has a good percent in learning anatomy, but i would feel a couple of those huge pages with tiny sketches, and trying to get them as anatomically right as i can. That way you could learn faster the big picture and be able to impact it on the huge scale drawing :)

Just a thought ….


04 April 2008, 10:56 AM
diligent as evah :buttrock: - I love the conte crayon drawing a couple pages back! Keep it up:bounce:

04 April 2008, 10:39 AM
Hey Icey,

you're perfectly right that a lot of sketches are far more efficient in terms of learning anatomy, compared to only a few sketches.

But don't be mislead by the size of my drawings... I'm not posting every sketch I make, only a selection. The great advantages about drawing on larger sizes are:

it's free for us as we can use paper from the academy iso having to buy our own :)
it's pushing us to draw from the shoulder iso from the wrist
it's allowing us to learn to adapt to different canvas/paper sizes (something I really had to learn). In the beginning I totally lost my sense of proportions... it's getting better lately.
The disadvantage is that these large papers are hard to handle practically, and they are heavy once the pile gets bigger.

Hi Magdalena,

glad you like 'em... I will defenitely use conté more often. It's hard to erase but that only pushes me to think about what I'm drawing, which is good.

Here's my studies from OFDW23 so far:

Oh and I have big news... at least for me lol... we are invited to join the 3rd and 4th year students at the academy for a couple of life drawing sessions... Donnow when exactly yet but should be soon (next week I hope). WOOHOO!!

04 April 2008, 02:41 PM
Awesome looking hand studies! The last one is especially nice, I really like the crosshatching ones too. Good work! You'll have the other 20 done in no time at this rate :)

04 April 2008, 04:20 PM
Thanks Del... it's good practice :)

Here's something a lil different.
These are drawings I did not make, but my children did... I'm too proud not to show off :D

Pokemon, by Lars Derycke (5y):

People, by Inèz Derycke (4y)

Our family, by Amber Derycke (6y)

And here are the artists at work:

04 April 2008, 05:32 PM
WOW, Johan!! this is so sweeeet!!!:)

(Three kids and you still find time to draw!!.. man, you are awesome!!:bowdown: )

04 April 2008, 05:37 PM
heh it's a matter of commuting... constantly lol

but they draw almost every day and I really hope they will keep doing it!

04 April 2008, 05:43 PM
Hey Johan,
I like how you draw the first hand you have posted. Nice linework. But your drawings have no chance against this last pieces you have posted, the kids images :) These are so much greater ;)

Anyway, another point, I think you should try to hide yor symbol a little more ... I just can't belive how people can destroy great drawings with such a huge signature ? Please try to keep it smaller, thanks! :D


04 April 2008, 07:23 AM
Hi Johan,
thanks for this tip, I'm going to use it in my next SP. I'm trying to make Selfportrait from time to time 'cause I think, this is a good way to see how your progress is going on, my first SP, was totally different than me :D. This one is one of those which I'm happy with and now [fortunately] I'm doing many more like this. :)

Oh about photo of your children, the one of them is going to be a real artist. I mean your little girl in the our right on the image, just look at her expression, art is on her face and in her mind. :D

04 April 2008, 07:41 AM
Awwww they are so adorable!!! :D I think you should definitely frame their artwork. :)

04 April 2008, 12:52 PM
Ooooh its soooo cute! Thanks for sharing :) Family drawing session time :P

04 April 2008, 01:56 PM
Very cute bunch of budding artists you have! Love their artwork :)

I here I thought I was busy with just two kids... Good for you for keeping up with it all!

04 April 2008, 05:03 AM

so you got me holding my hand up in the air trying to see if i can get that 4 fingered hand pose to work, lol it does. :cool: great work on the ofdw so far.

Very good job Amber, Lars and Inez :thumbsup:


04 April 2008, 01:20 PM
Hi Johan :)

Those 3 fingers (or the 4 fingered hand) seem to be causing quite a stir ;)

I love the drawings and photo of your kids!!! :arteest:Happy smiles and
congrats to all 3 little artists :)

(I couldn't help myself and ended up posting my kids painting session
today - thanks for the inspiration! and it's obvious that you are an inspiration to
your kids as well :) - keep art alive in every shape and form)

cheers and take care
a. :)

04 April 2008, 05:30 PM
Anand heh, I mostly draw when they are in bed or else together with them (that's like my whole life from nowadays summed up in one sentence lol)

Trunks lol those kids are my finest artworks ever and I don't think I will achieve this level of quality ever again... unless we get more children...

teo-disturbed thanks! glad I could help (that's what the forums are for)

Rebecca cheers! I'm so proud of them. I'm actually thinking of involving them in the creation of a big multi-canvas painting... something to decorate the house. The idea -which originally came from a friend- is still rough in my head but soon I will have a clear image. Will post my experiments here...

calan we've got these drawing sessions every other day or so... and it's not very often I have to help them with inspiration... they are so full of ideas and I am amazed by their powerful imagination. (in other words, learning loads from them!)

ceruleanvii thank you!

Mark lol wasn't intended, but art is about discovering things, right?

Annette fingers fingers loads of fingers... you gotta love 'em lol
And about the kids... as long as there is love around them... they will be creative!

More hand studies for OFDW23:

Did this one at school last tuesday after my own hand. I'm counting it as one study.
Ballpen on A3

And some from last weekend

I still have to finish one on black paper with conté... will do so soon!

04 April 2008, 05:37 PM
You're doing great with the hands. I really love that ballpoint with the foreshortened forearm, you've pulled that off very well!

04 April 2008, 05:42 PM
Ok, had my first life drawing session ever... The quality is very poor so don't laugh :p
The good thing is it was the first of many many sessions so I'm hoping to be even more embarrassed in 2 years from now :D

First we did some 5 min warmup sketches (of which I missed the first half hour due to being late... I hate my job now):

After a break the model took a pose for 2 times 40 min. I drew a couple of 15min sketches and then one of maybe 30 min

I tried to post them in order of drawing... this way the minimal improvement is visible as I got more warmed up (and I had switched to ballpen upon the teacher's suggestion)

As you can see I lost all sense for proportions and unfortunately I couldn't get rid of this flaw during the rest of the evening... I was also immediately falling back into my old insecure attitude pattern, namely drawing very light. (It was the first comment my new teacher gave me heh) Another trap I easily fell into again was the "rush rush" trap... was thinking instead of drawing...
will try to do better next monday!

04 April 2008, 05:46 PM
ceruleanvii thanks! still loads of improvement ahead though... practice makes ...euhm... better :)

Here are some quick ballpen sketches I did last tuesday at school, mostly from plaster casts. They were done at a quicker page as a warmup for the hand study I posted 2 posts back.

Enough posting for now... time to put the kids in bed and get drawing :D

04 April 2008, 05:48 PM
my, my, my=) the third hand is the BEST. i really like it, the construction is very good!

04 April 2008, 07:31 PM
Hi Johan, good work on those hand studies. I like the shading especially on the second page.

Life figure drawing isn't easy when the time is limited; and it's very different from working from ref pics. At least you get the chance to get the experience and soon you will be able to apply the skills you learned in recent years.
Keep going!

04 April 2008, 04:09 PM
calan we've got these drawing sessions every other day or so... and it's not very often I have to help them with inspiration... they are so full of ideas and I am amazed by their powerful imagination. (in other words, learning loads from them!)

Thats great! Kids are fountains of ideas, it blows my mind sometimes! Thats why I try to keep my inner child in me :D .. I know I am still one (not because I am immature.. well maybe sometimes :P) but I know I still have that little creative imaginative girl in me... but unfortunatly sometimes adult things, like bills, morgage, job stress, etc. doesnt help to bring that "child mind" out, if you know what I mean.

Anyway, thats great you have very creative children, must be a very good inspiration sometimes!

04 April 2008, 04:51 PM
Ahh, that's it! I'm always saying I'm going to pick up a biro but never do that. Well, after seeing these, I freakin' will! Sorry for not stopping by for such a long time. I've seen every update though. It's just that when I stop by I want to tell something useful and you're the person that knows what he's doing very well. Don't even know what to suggest.
I must say that you're pushing forward. Don't know if you notice that yourself so thought it's worth mentioning.

Always exciting to step in here, mate ;]

Now, where's that biro...

04 April 2008, 05:31 PM
Hi! Thanks! I will for sure!

calan Hey, right on!

razz no worries mate, we're all busy and actually you are setting another example for me... I should be posting less on forums and drawing more :)

Here's 2 more ballpen hands...

12. (
Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680)
Rape of Proserpine [detail: 1]
Marble, 1621-1622
Galleria Borghese, Rome

28. (
William Bouguereau (1825-1905)
Au Bord du Ruisseau [At the Edge of the Brook]
Oil on canvas, 1875
Collection of Fred and Sherry Ross

04 April 2008, 09:55 AM
40. (
William Bouguereau (1825-1905)
Les Noisettes [Hazelnuts]
Oil on canvas, 1882
34 3/8 x 52 3/4 inches (87.5 x 134 cm)
Detroit Institute of Art

Conté and white chalk on black A3, contrast and colors tuned in acdsee.

04 April 2008, 11:07 AM
Great hand studies, the ones in ball pen are my favourite. The newest sturdy looks like a part of an old fresco, congratulations on using so many different media. I also like the face of old man in ball pen. Keep on doing the good job!
I still have 24 hands to go, where the time has run!?

Edit. One thing, after checking the ref - the hand on right should be a bit wider in the part towards elbow.

Edit 2. I have missed all the conté and charcoal studies, great stuff!

04 April 2008, 10:44 AM
sirielle Thank you, also for the crit!

I was asked some stuff about drawing through a pm. Since these are questions I often see being asked on the forums, I thought I might share it here so any others can perhaps benefit from this as well. (Also, the text was too long for one message so I'm splitting it up in 2 posts here :p)
I have the books

Anatomy and Drawing lessons from the masters

and i find it hard to learn something from copying

I really don't know what to look for at some drawings.Not all , i can learn some from some drawings.

Anyways how should i copy them? Should i do it digitally with grid or draw traditionally with grids?No grids?

I tried so far doing some and it takes me like at least 4 hours just getting correct placement of features,proportions and outline.
How much is it ok to spend on one copy? One per week maybe?

Another problem some drawings are too messy and i don't know where to start from.Strokes all over the place.

please help
Hi there

Like you, I have used books and info I could find on the internet to learn how to draw. At a certain time, I was asking these same questions you are asking now. The fact that you are asking such questions is a good thing, believe me. Such questions mean we think about what we are doing. It's also a sign of an urge for improvement, something that will stick around for the rest of our lives.
Did you know that Picasso made more than 100.000 sketches? And he still didn't think he drew fantastic.
In other words, there is ALWAYS room for improvement, even to those artists who have been drawing for 20 or 30 years, they just want to improve and keep improving. It's this drive, this urge to improve that keeps us going. It's the same urge that connects all artists around the world.

Anyway, to get to some answers...

Books about drawing are great to draw from, but if you really want to learn from them, you have to study them, in other words, read the text over and over again, and try out the things that are written down. Drawing is all about experimenting... trying new things, smacking your face against a brick wall (or so it feels sometimes), getting up (overcoming frustration) and trying something else...

First things first... Disappointment, and overcoming it:
It is often frustrating and disappointing to see our own sketches. Why? Simply because our drawings hardly ever look exactly like how we intended them to look like.
What works best for me to overcome disappointment is to see each drawing as a study, an exercise. If you look at your work as "just" an exercise, you will have less problems detaching from it mentally. It's great to commit yourself fully when drawing, it's a must actually, but when it's finished, it's finished. Things we like about it, we can take with us to the next drawing. Things we dislike or errors, we try not to forget about it when we create our next drawing. Or if the matter really bothers us, we dive into it and do some research (that's where the books come in handy) on how to avoid making the same mistakes again.
Remember that mistakes and flaws are usually the consequense of lacking experience. In other words, they are usually only overcome by sheer practice...

Expectations and goals:
In order to achieve your goals, you must have the right frame of mind.
The more we draw, the better we become. Learning to draw is a long process that takes many years.
Don't expect to be making drawings like the ones you see from masters (traditional or digital) all over the internet in 6 months from now.
Most of these masterpieces we see are created by people who have drawn for many many years. It will take us the same amount of time/practice to come to their level.
If we don't draw for a while, we get rusty and we forget some of what we've learned.
It's a never ending story.

Drawing human beings:
Yep, the most challenging subject of all... humans.
Try not to use a grid because it prevents you from "feeling the form" as Vilppu describes it. With a grid, one ends up drawing square per square, rather than drawing the form as a whole.
It's really important that when you draw (anything for that matter), you try to imagine how your subject looks in 3D. Just because you can only see the front part of a certain form, doesn't mean that the form has no rear side.
My advise would be to first start drawing simple forms like cardboard boxes, chairs, vases, bottles and things like that (understanding perspective is a must).
After that, study anatomy well. The human body is a very complex subject. There are hundreds of bones and muscles and they all have their particular function. Knowing how things work usually helps a lot when you have to draw it. Each muscle has a certain form and nature has forseen it to have this form simply because it is most efficient this way. Practice and study such things.
Concerning proportions, it is a sense you have to develop. It takes a lot of practice but in time you will see that it gets better.
Combining loads of quick studies with a few longer studies is the best way imho to improve on proportions.
The quick studies are also a great way to warm up (our first drawing of a session is usually never as good as our last)

There are many theories on techniques. You can find a lot of info on the internet and in books about it.
Personally, I think the only way to improve on technique is to draw as often as you can.
Warming up helps a lot. When we aren't warmed up, we tend to draw more from the wrist than from the shoulder, which causes the drawings to sometimes appear stiffer, than when drawn from the elbow or shoulder.
Technique is also related to the medium of use. Each medium requires it's own techniques. I encourage you to try as many different media as you can think of... combinations often give surprizingly pleasing results as well. For initiates, I would recommend to draw mostly traditionally, but there is absolutely no need to disencourage anyone to draw digitally.
About messy drawings, I think it's a personal taste but I often find the messy ones a lot better than the "cleaned up" drawings.
When a drawing is messy, it usually shows something that can't be found in a clinical drawing (as I tend to call those superclean ones), something special that lives in that messy drawing... :drool:

04 April 2008, 10:45 AM
Improvement through Structure:
I think we all benefit from having a certain plan, some structure.
I tend to look at myself as if I am setting up my own database full of knowledge. The more I learn, the more things are stored in my database (my longterm memory), which can be used at any moment after that.
It is because our database is located in our longterm memory, that it takes so many years to master drawing. We can only store something in our longterm memory by repeating it often enough.
Structure helps us to easily apply our knowledge once we have gained it. Try to do different kinds of exercises to train your memory. Also draw from imagination. It allows you to apply the knowledge you have gained with your anatomy studies.

Anyway, to be more specific, here is how the first 2 years of my "career" went:

Concentrating on linework: See page 5-10 of my sketchbook ( for details and examples. NO SHADING!!
First 6 or 8 weeks: perspective.NO SHADING
Then a couple of weeks simple objects like vases, bottles etc (putting perspective on every day objects in practice)
Human heads: 1 or 2 weeks - Profile (side view) from plastercasts (heads from real persons like family members and images will do as well) NO SHADING
Human heads: several weeks - 3/4 view from plastercasts (heads from real persons like family members and images will do as well) NO SHADING
Human heads: several weeks, different exercises, contour drawing, blind drawing (drawing without looking at your paper), crosscontour drawing NO SHADING

After 3, 4 months, we began experimenting on shading:
Shading is done for 2 reasons, namely shadows and form
There are different methods to shade as well.
Examples can be found in my sketchbook from page 10 (
We practiced our shading mainly on heads.

Year 2 was mainly studying anatomy, part per part, combined with drawing complete figures.
Order was something like: skull, ribcage + spine, torso, arms, pelvis, torso, legs, feet and hands. Spending at least a few weeks on each.
Examples can be found in my sketchbook from page 19 (

So, in short, my best advice would be:
- draw every day (even if it's just 15min, but don't go to bed without having drawn). The more you practice, the better you get.
- don't get too attached to your drawings: consider every sketch, drawing, painting, inking, even a commissioned work, as a study, an exercise.
- no grid
- warm up, it takes a few sketches to loosen up the arm
- read the books rather than just copying their drawings
- experiment, and don't be afraid to "smack your face".
- study anatomy. Knowing the function of a muscle group will allow you to draw it better.
- draw from life as well as from images.
- draw from imagination

Well, I hope I didn't bore you by now lol
Please realize that I am still not very experienced at drawing (only 2,5 years) and that this is by no means the way to go.
I just took the time to write down my opinion, from my own experience and hopefully it is of any use to you.

Take care,

04 April 2008, 12:24 PM
Wow Johan! :) what a marathon post of great advice! You're so spot on with
advice and observations on all aspects of creating and evolving in art. :wavey:

And... how exciting! Life-drawing :)
even though your first time may have felt like being in deep water, don't worry!
Life drawing is so much fun, and with all the drawing you've been doing, you'll
quickly find your feet. Do you stand up? (can help you 'feel' the pose... (even with a seated or reclining pose - as you have that added room to move about)) Use your 'light' lines to sketch out mid/hip & shoulder angles which you can then add form to with the main shapes blocked in (looks like you're doing this). A simple egg-shape (head) allows you time to observe more of the pose (esp in short poses). Main thing, like you say :) is to have fun!

Great hands - I like them all :)

cheers and take care
a. :)

04 April 2008, 12:40 PM
Heh, it's easier to write it down than to do it :blush:

And yeah, I'm really looking forward to the next 2 years full of life drawing :bounce:
Was gonna add... I only have class on monday and tuesday evenings (life on mondays), but our instructor said we could go on wednesdays as well... I think I'm defenitely gonna pick up some of those wednesday classes as well coz it's extra drawing time for free :D

04 April 2008, 01:09 PM
wow some good tips and nice ballpen studies!:thumbsup::arteest:

04 April 2008, 06:12 PM
Geee i don't know what to say :)

thanks so much really

i asked few people from here this questions to get more feedback but you really killed it :)

The only question remains is , ok no grids i understand.So things will definetly be out of order more or less.So how to measure now ? Should i measure in my head aha this is half the distance of that and this and that,you know.Or i should use the pencil for that?

kind regards

04 April 2008, 07:04 PM
heh np, glad it helps.

About measuring...
The best tools you have are your eyes... it's just a matter of training them. A pencil can be handy sometimes if your in doubt, but the more confident you get, the less you will use it.

It's good that you mention it because this is something very important. Even more because in the beginning, we still have to learn it and it is done by measuring in a very conscious way... after a while we start measuring more in a subconscious way...

Sure, at first things will be off. But when they are off, keep asking yourself why they are off... maybe the distance between the nose and the chin is too long, maybe the forearm should be wider, etc...
Whatever happens, keep going! Don't be afraid to correct yourself.

04 April 2008, 09:39 PM
Thats a big and great list of tips to the artist, thanks it helps. :)
Cool ballpen hands btw, great job.

04 April 2008, 11:35 PM
Yes but now i am learning the formulas from the Human structure dvds, so i guess i will use tools for now untill i master them and then slowly trasfore to completely no tools.It is really not easy without using tools to be precise with these,especially with the smaller measurments where very litle matters a lot.

By the way your thread is inspiration , i bookmarked it will make studies from here

04 April 2008, 11:59 PM
Great points Johan, thank you for posting it to everyone :)
I am still not able to detach from my images, that's horrible and stops me. I'll try to get better with it and sketch more, too.

04 April 2008, 10:20 AM
Thanks for popping in and your support! I know you are very busy, so it means a lot to me.

Vilppu says in his gesture DVD (which I strongly recommend to everyone)
No rules, just tools!
So just go the way you feel is best for you ;)

Thanks. Took me an hour or 2 to write it down so I'm glad it helps others!

I know this feeling very well. It's a mental click you have to made inside your head.
Once it has occured... it's a lot easier to let go a failed attempt.


On a side note I want to add a few remarks concerning exercises and practice.
Time for some credits!

Things like the cgtalk forum community, particularly the OFDW's and tutorials ( by some great artists on the forum have made it a lot easier for me to improve on all aspects of drawing.

Some tutorials which have specifically helped me a lot:

I5 Minute Sketchathon - Thread 1: Reference (

Rebecca Kimmel's Anatomy Review 003: SHADING TUTORIAL AND HUMAN SKULL EXERCISE (

TUTORIAL - Watts Atelier Figure Tutorial - by Gist (

And this one in particular, which has more or less made me getting the right frame of mind

TUTORIALS - Digital Painting Video Sketchbook - by Bobby Chiu (

I can highly recommend all these threads to everyone who hasn't seen them yet.

So this is a perfect time to give credit to Rebecca, Bobby Chiu, Erik Gist, Glenn, Anand, Razz, Magdalena, Annette, Cris Palomino and all the other wonderful people (there's to many to name them all) who have made efforts to help me and others by creating these wonderful tutorials and also by taking the time to give personal advice.

That being said, it sounds almost like I have arrived at my final destination, while this is really just the beginning!!
I'm looking forward to my next life drawing session tonight :bounce:
(I'm at work now so no drawing with my post, sorry...)

04 April 2008, 01:40 PM
Thanks alot for that Johan! Those two posts were awesome :D I've been struggling with alot you mentioned up there. So it was really good to be able to read what someone with skill has to say about it.

I tend to get caught up in the fact that I can't draw like most of the work up here, and forget that you guys have been drawing for a fairly long time. I have this mindset with drawing that if I'm not good at it from the start...I wont be good at it at all. Which is just you said just draw as much as possible. Anyway I really appreciate those posts and wanted to let you know that!

Great stuff in the sketchbook too!

04 April 2008, 02:07 PM
Hey Michael, really glad it helps you!
Thanks for letting me know.

We had a very skinny female model last monday.
Still lightyears away from where I'd like to be, but I felt there was defenitely some progress since the first life session last week.
I feel I'm making some progress in general actually... feeling more confident when drawing...

5 min warmup sketches (proportions are still off but already way better than last time)

And a couple of 20min sketches
I made some mental notes coz I still managed to get the proportions off, which means I have been wanting to skip the initial phase (blocking in) too quickly again...

04 April 2008, 02:10 PM
So on tuesday at school, I really didn't feel like drawing plaster casts again.
Decided to draw my own hand again since the OFDW is still running :lightbulb

White watercolor pencil (used dry) and white conté on black A3 paper

Red watercolor pencil (used dry) on A3 paper

Ballpen on A3

05 May 2008, 12:45 PM
HEY ..Johan...:) Just dropping in to say that it's a real pleasure to see all of your hard work and effort paying off...BIG TIME...You've really learnt how to ..SEE..WHAT YOUR LOOKING AT:applause: :thumbsup:
BEAUTIFUL TIGHT RENDERINGS...Makes my eyes sore just thinking about it..:D :scream:
ANYWAY,...KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK...:arteest: :thumbsup:


05 May 2008, 02:34 PM
Johan, you are seriously rocking with that ballpoint pen! Really nice hands!

Looks like you're getting the hang of life drawing - this week's figures are starting to come together well. You're making the upper leg too long, I also have a tendency to do that too when drawing from life, not sure why that is... the more compressed poses have a really nice feel to them, I really like the one where she's lying down and leaning on her elbow.

Good work!

05 May 2008, 06:49 PM
That ballpoint pen drawings look very good, your shading in those looks very good.

Keep it up. ;)

05 May 2008, 07:48 PM
Hey Johan!

Beautiful hand studies!

05 May 2008, 03:07 AM
Wonderful post on your learning experience Johan. To few people that have made the tremendous strides in their work you have take the time to do that. There were quite a few things in there that reinforce ideas that were floating around in the back of my head and it's great to have that brought into focus. Very important as there really isn't much more important than being aware of how we learn, if you're cognisant of that you can save so much time.

Your work is great these days. Some of the ball point pieces just blow my mind -- so much patience and technique involved in those thats beyond me, and you need the ability to see the form and make all the art decisions... in a very unforgiving medium.

Great sketchbook, thanks for maintaining it and sharing your experience.

05 May 2008, 08:17 AM
Cool hands,#911 ( :thumbsup:
I am here to learn from you.

05 May 2008, 12:17 AM
Hey Johan :)

Your ability to put words on process, progress and what inspires you to do so; continually
amazes me! :deal: I could see you writing a book for artist's one day (as long as it doesn't
deter from your own artistic ventures ;) ) Inspiring, encouraging and down-to-earth, all
the qualities which makes learning a sheer pleasure, and evolving a natural flow-on :)

Keep it up and I think you can give yourself a pat on the back in your 'credits' as well :)

btw.. last posting of life-drawings are showing a lot more confidence than the first. Not sure what size you are working on (smallish - a guess only because of the ball-point pen?), maybe
try some larger size paper and charcoal or conte stick - working on the side to block-in and then using the edge for variation in line...
Do you have set materials in your class? (i.e. set by teacher) or are you encouraged to experiment?

take care and cheers
a. :)

05 May 2008, 04:34 PM
thank you... wouldn't be where I am now without you *bows gratefully*

I started using ballpen, encouraged by Rebecca and inspired by Anatomy Thread of BNN (
Since then I've come to love the medium as a quick sketching tool (often at the office too)

thanks mate

Hey Mu,
thanks for taking the time to pop in! Most appreciated!
Keep rockin (or should I say folkin :) )

Thanks. I'm really glad that people find something in this sb that are of use to them.
I have a couple of interesting years ahead with lots of life drawing and experimenting with different media and formats... I will for sure keep posting here.

heh thanks I'm honored. (but surely there are loads of peepz around the forum that have a multiple times my skill level be sure to check out the other sb threads ;) )

Hi Annette
perhaps I will write a book when I'm a grandpa lol
Usually the teacher tells us what size we will be drawing at before the session starts. We are defenitely encouraged to experiment. The only not so nice thing is that there are too many students in the room.
but no worries... from september on, I will be doing 8hrs of life drawing per week until the end of schoolyear 2009-2010 (at least... perhaps 2 more years after that, not sure yet) so there will be plenty of time to experiment with media, size, etc.

Here's 2 40 min charcoal studies on 55cm x 72.5cm

I know I know... that breast is ridiculous in the 2nd one

Hadn't had much time to do some work for the OFDW this week... and having a busy weekend coming up, will try hard to get to the 25 though.

Take care y'all!

05 May 2008, 07:11 AM
2 sketches I like -even though the lighting is inconsistent in both sketches- from my sketchbook

Note to self: try not to stop working on a sketch until it's finished (particularly the lighting)

06 June 2008, 06:39 PM
Some of the work I did at school last couple of weeks...

In those life drawing sessions we usually do quickies for an hour first.
Then after the model had a break, we do 2 40 min poses (or sometimes I do some 20 min sketches instead)

Media used:: pencil, ballpen, black conté. All on A3.
The big size drawings I'm leaving at school because it's too much hassle to bring them home...

06 June 2008, 06:41 PM
Here are some quickies from life (2-5 min)

06 June 2008, 08:32 PM
Hey there NR43!

Nice working with your sketches! My little advice to you- i think you should often use the charcoal for drawing- it will make you understand faster the meaning of values- i am not good in drawing but i have the same problem as you. Keep it working ;)


06 June 2008, 11:28 AM
Hi Johan :)

Just dropping in to say happy first days of winter (from the southern hemisphere ;) )
Hoping you're enjoying sunny days up north :)

Nice charcoal studies from your life drawing classes! I agree with selphoo, that
particularily with life-drawing, charcoal can really help in quick gestural drawings,
to resolve light-dark areas in a non-precious way. I do like your ball-point studies
as well; you're simply charging a long which is great to see :) and to think you have another
3 years of life-drawing ahead, how wonderful :)

a. :)

06 June 2008, 07:56 PM

Thanks for your crits... I don't think I have a big problem with understanding values but I do have a problem getting the values on paper exactly like I want too in a very short time (2-5 min)... I'm using these square conté sticks for these quickies... really have to get used to the technique. I'm hoping that experimenting with media like this (and charcoal as well) will help me become quicker... put the essence on paper as fast as possible is one of the targets in the upcoming years.


I've been sooo busy lately that I'm not even drawing half as much as I'd like to. You're right, the 3 years of life drawing will do me good lol.

Anyway, here are more quickies from this weeks life sessions. (Some poor, some ok)

06 June 2008, 07:57 PM
more quickies (max 5min)
Crit I got was to keep things sharp

06 June 2008, 07:59 PM
And some longer ones (30-40min)

06 June 2008, 08:23 PM
Hi Johan.

Nice life drawings. I like the first one in this last update. I can see the progress you're making. Especially with that biro in your hands. I may suggest practising linework. Try showing all the forms with lines only. Hogarth's Dynamic Figure Drawing Book has a great concept explained about the interconnection of forms. As I remember, you have the book. Just a reminder :)
I started to like the way Hogarth draws figures, all the muscles showing, very 3d. Amazing to learn from. Say, do you have his book "Dynamic Anatomy"? I'm planning to buy it and thinking what kind of stuff exactly it contains.

Now post more stuff!!


06 June 2008, 11:13 PM
Looks like your life drawing is progressing nicely! I like both the quick studies and the longer poses. Since everyone's throwing advice at you :) - to me, with gestural quickies, the idea is to capture the essense of a pose - so more linework showing the flow and form, shading would be more of a clarifier at the end. But maybe that's just the animator in me talking. Have you checked out Vilppu? Love his gestures. Anyway, you're doing great work - how lucky you are to have three more years of this!

06 June 2008, 05:18 AM

hey man, thanks for commenting!
I have dynamic figure drawing from Burne Hogarth but not Dynamic Anatomy. Perhaps I will buy it some day (but not now as I am getting evil looks from my girlfriend already since I've been spending a lot of money on my bicycles and the tools to set up some sort of a reparation space in our garage :) )

I will pick up that Dynamic Figure Drawing again this weekend, great idea, will fresh up my mind.

Basically, I think that is what my teacher meant by saying I should keep things sharp... these contés are quite black and a bit "powdery" (is that even a word? lol) so things get quite messy. Perhaps the results will be better if I use thes conté's on a large format instead... next week 2 more sessions and that will be the end of this schoolyear, I'll try it.

I sometimes think about Vilppu when I do these quickies but perhaps I should push his techniques a lot further... I remember being totally struck down (like I was hit by lightning) when I first saw him drawing on his gesture DVD... I will defenitely play his DVD again one of these days!

Thanks both for your valuable input! Really appreciated!
Have a nice day

06 June 2008, 12:33 PM

Just stopping by to enjoy that beautiful ink linework of yours..:)
On the conte crayons...For figure studies, it is best on large newsprint..held between your thumb and first two fingers, and using the whole side of the stick or half of it, depending on the size of the figure drawing..apply extra pressure to the far end of the conte stick to get a crisp accent line, this will also sharpen the end of the stick as you progress with the drawing...The flat sharp edge that runs the length of the conte crayon will give you a nice clean and crisp edge in and around the drawing.
Extend out your arm all the way .. shoulder if you had a fencing sword in your hand,...Z as in ZORRO STYLE and let the dual begin..:twisted: :bounce: :scream: .....This will strengthen your shoulder, and your drawing at the same time :)
Always a pleasure visiting your thread, and seeing the great works and progress happening in it.

06 June 2008, 03:08 PM
Great drawing and great technique. :thumbsup:

06 June 2008, 05:25 AM
Wow Johan :)

Great figure drawing updates and nice to see the charcoal studies too :)
I think the one you did of model lying down - legs up, has a lovely mood about it :)

Keep them coming - and keep exploring!

a. :)

06 June 2008, 09:02 AM

yep, as from mid september, when the new school year starts, I will be drawing a lot on larger paper, with exactly the "fencing technique" as you described it. I practiced this technique a bit already this year and I like it because of the physical aspects... it makes drawing a completely different experience :)
To be continued for sure...

Thanks, still a lot of improvement to make though


heh, you are a lot more positive about them than my teacher lol. The last comment I got before the schoolyear was ended was that I shouldn't make my drawings too slick, too polished... it's not literally what he said (in flemish it's called "afgelekt", which has a bit of a negative color). I was a bit shocked to be honest but in the mean time I've already realized that handling critique is part of the job, even if it is exactly what you tried to avoid :)

with the academic year ended and summertime at the door, I will use my free time to do a bit different things than focussing on figure drawing... hopefully I'll get that dust of my wacom now *blushes*

It was a rough start of the summer season already as all my kids were very ill this week and I'm fighting againts this virus as well as we speak, but I still found some time to do this Feng Zhu study, as I got motivated to do this after seeing the same one in Razz' thread.

So I first started a study of that particular Feng Zhu concept:

And then I tried to make some variations. While I think of the above as a more light, fast, recon version, here's a tracked heavy duty version:

Both are ballpen on A4
I've got another, more vertical version in the making...

06 June 2008, 10:03 AM
Hey Johan! Great to see this from you. And I'm very happy to have inspired you. It's also kind of strange to see this in your thread because it's full of humans and dragons :) I hope this will keep you trying out different stuff, you've seem to have done a very nice job with the variation. The shading is nice, but it would be great to see more confident linework. For straight lines just put a two dots (the start of the line and the end of the line) and connect them with one stroke. But before that ghost over, that is, move the pen from dot to dot and then put it on the paper to draw the line. Don't know if that was very clear. I've learned this from a video at some blog, but there's no way I could find it now, sorry. I just hope you understood, or already knew it.
Also, it might be just a thing of preference, but for this kind of stuff (linework) a needle point pen ( might work better.
Looking forward to seeing more!

06 June 2008, 10:34 AM
great work johan!
your latest stuff is really nice :thumbsup:

just have read razz comment, perhaps he meant this video:
episode 1 it is (
definitely it's interessing and helpful

06 June 2008, 10:54 AM
Yes, Sebastian, that's the one. Thanks!

06 June 2008, 04:13 PM
Thanks for the comments and the link guys.
Twas interesting to see... I already knew of the point-to-point method, but I tend to forget what I have learned from time to time (guess I'm not the smartest student *blushes* )
So thanks for reminding me I shouldn't get sloppy on technique.

Here's somethin without straight lines :D

I'm having this thought in the back of my mind that this tree might be part of a scene called "The four fingers"... A tree at a certain point, where a certain land... a point that indicates some kind of border... as if everything past the tree is to be entered at ones own risk...

Perhaps it will appear to be of any use later...

06 June 2008, 07:03 PM
So I started doodling in Painter and ended up with something of an environment...

There could be a bloke hiding for that knight on top of the cliff...
There could be remains of a totally destructed area in the hills at the background... or something like that.

Perhaps a bit of a classic fantasy story but do you think this would be worth putting more work into it?

06 June 2008, 07:16 PM
HEY ..Johan...Great little doodle...nice composition, depth, and atmosphere..:thumbsup:

Maybe blend the sky just a little with a very soft blender so you don't lose those tonal and value variations going on in it.
If it were mine, I would for sure take it wherever it led me to..:)

06 June 2008, 06:01 AM
WOW!! Awesome stuff lately, Johan!! Life drawing seems to have done you a great deal of good! :thumbsup: Love that environment!! waiting to see how you develop it!
Keep rocking!!:scream:

06 June 2008, 06:30 PM
Hey Johan, I remember you from a long time ago when I started my sketchbook thread and then drifted away soon after. I think you were just starting school then. I am glad to see the progress you have made, and at the same time want to kick myself for not drawing when I could have. I like your recent pen drawings, the tree is great. Keep it up, and I will try to be as deligent as you have been all along.

06 June 2008, 06:11 AM
Hey Johan,

Some nice studies of the hand. You've inspired me to seriously tackle this important limb.
Your figures are coming along. I know it takes alot of dedication to master, and there is no doubt that you will.
If I can offer some tid bits, don't go for speed. Ceruleanvii has good advice. Find the longest line in your figure to build from. Indeed every line you put down should serve to enhance and explain the figure. Try to put down only what is needed. The gesture is what gives life to a sketch. Sometimes I fill a page or 2 just on this exercise. This will also help to keep the drawings cleaner from the start.
Wow, charcoals are the coolest tool to work figures with, but, surfaces force such a varied approach. Perhaps your teacher meant to free up the arm, rather than be overly careful in depicting what you see. If this is so, I understand how hard it is to put down a confident line without worry of obliterating the drawing. You won't.

Gesture is an amazing facet of depicting the figure. Equally as important as construction.
Hope your kids are better. I'll be doing same and take up study with different tools than I'm used to. NOW, I understand how valuable this is to keep the work fresh.

Keep up the cool work.

07 July 2008, 10:21 AM
hi Johan, #934 ( very nice:applause: I like Feng Zhu concept!

Looking forward to seeing more!

07 July 2008, 06:50 PM
Hey Glenn
Thanks for the advice, I will try after holidays ;)

Thanks Anand,
awesome workshop you're running... makes me wish I had Zbrush or mudbox... and sculpting skills :D

it's great that I can inspire others to work on their skills.
I'm a bit embarassed now that I haven't updated my sb in so long :blush:

Wow, too much praise for me heh... I'll try to keep both feet on the ground and continue to work hard... perhaps some day you will be right, but I'm in no hurry
I really really need to practice gesture... it should be a daily habbit.

Thanks mate!
Will for sure try more different things this summer.


Well... been sick again until last weekend. Had to take antibiotics :/
Anyway, better now.

We're off to the beach with the kids on monday... will take my sketchbook in case I have time for sketching... although I doubt I will be too busy building sand castles, kiting and chasing crabs with the kids :D

When I'm back it's really time for some digital work (my tablet is aching of loneliness :rolleyes: )

Here's a commission I did this week.
Sorry I couldn't get a good picture (it's totally off omg)... it was getting dark already and I had to deliver this morning.

Cretacolor Aquamonolith pencils used dry on tinted paper. 30 cm x 40 cm
Certainly not my best, but I had much fun drawing the hair.

Thnaks for visiting my humble thread.
Enjoy your holidays y'all!

07 July 2008, 06:59 AM
Hi Johan :)

I like that environment - and do think spending more time or working further in that direction would be interesting to see. There are several shapes (for some reason I see this guy kneeling, arms up in the air - in the area where you said there could be ruins...) a story, which could unfold with just that little more drama and movement, yet still leaving room for imagination...

Lovely portrait of the kid :) especially his (looking at) left side, you've captured the hair and the shading on the face beautifully. Right side of face looks a little stretched, but it could be the angle of the photo as well. Cute smile, I am sure they were very happy when you delivered it to them :)

enjoy the beach!

cheers and take care
a. :)

07 July 2008, 01:14 PM
Thanks Annette!

Had a great time at the beach even though the weather was really really bad (loads of wind, hard rain and lots of it, no sun at all and pretty darn cold).
Main thing is the kids had a lovely time ;)

For anyone using Corel Painter, I've written a small guide on how to create custom brushes using patterns.

Guide: Using patterns to create custom brushes in Corel Painter IX.5 (

And I found out that Painter has a liquify tool too!

Guide: Liquify Tool in Painter IX.5 (

07 July 2008, 07:39 PM
Nice portrait, Johan! I especially like the eyes.

Glad you enjoyed your vacation, in spite of the weather. Kids can always have fun at the beach, even in the middle of winter!

07 July 2008, 08:04 PM
Heh thanks Del... it's in the middle of the summer here though :curious:
not posting images in my sb yet, but working hard... will soon post up ;)

07 July 2008, 10:21 PM
I know :) - just meant kids can have fun at the beach whenever. We took ours to one in December when it was like 20 degrees out, they had a blast just throwing stuff in the water and chasing birds.

Looking forward to your new sketches -

07 July 2008, 10:37 AM
Hi Johan! Great work!! i like the concept sketches the most, they are very light and I can see that you don't have any problem with drawing. Cheers!

07 July 2008, 10:02 PM
Thanks for passing by! I'm not drawing half as much as I should :cry:

I am trying to focus a bit on colour, light, composition and speedpainting.
After searching the forums for quite a while I finally found this thread ( where Mu and Rebecca started some color exercises. There are loads of threads, websites and books on color theory, but finding exercises is a lot harder. So here's the plan:

do a certain amount of color studies, as in painting from reference while studying the colors.
do a certain amount of paintings in different color schemes (complementary, split complementary, double split complementary, triadic, analogous and monochromatic palettes)
study warm vs cool colours
become and remain active in the DSF

That should keep my busy for a while LOL

So here are the first 2 color studies:

30min, from life, my pencil sharpener (it was positioned at eye level)

about 4hrs, from reference, found in the thread mentioned above. I was only planning to make this a 1hr study but it sorta got outta hand... (no highres image :banghead: 100% is at 1280px wide )

Perhaps I'll post a few WIP shots tomorrow but I gotta go to bed now... I'm wrecked.

07 July 2008, 12:55 AM
The study of flower is amazing! Great job :D

07 July 2008, 06:21 AM
Hey Johan!! beautiful flower painting!! :) PS or Painter?

07 July 2008, 07:46 AM
sirielle, Anand, thank you!

I tried to make an animated gif but I ended up with a +400KB file which had a poor quality so I'll post just a few steps with a word of explanation.

I use Painter IX.5 as I cannot afford Photoshop.
Tablet: Wacom Intuos 3 A4

Brushes used:
Basic Square brush - custom
Soft Round brush - custom
Chunky Oil Pastel - customized
Blenders - Just Add Water

1.Started with the background.
I'm using a custom made Square brush because it's fast.
CTRL + ALT + Click n Drag will adjust brushsize very quickly.
I refuse to pick colors from the reference image with the dropper. My advice if you want to learn color, NEVER EVER pick colors from an image. You don't learn that way. Besides, it is ok if the colors don't exactly match the reference colors... that can never happen anyway. The whole exercise it to train the eyes and become more accurate over the years of practice. As with all other aspects of drawing and painting, there are no shortcuts.

2. Basic composition
I didn't follow Daniel Helzer's composition rule "odd nrs + assymetry = beauty" ( here but I will remember it for the future.

3. adding basic colors
This is an important step because it can save you a lot of hassle if you quickly have the right hues, and values. I will try to remember for my next exercise to take my time for this step.

4. I am using the Mixer Palette in Painter to search for the right colors. I am not actually mixing colors on it, but just using it to dab some colors I chose from the color palette. With color I mean a certain hue with a certain value and saturation. I constantly play with these parameters in the mixer palette until I find a color that satisfies my current needs. I then apply it on the canvas.

I use the color info palette (above) set to HSV to adjust color parameters. I think it's a great way to see the difference between hue, saturation and value.

At this stage I also duplicated the canvas layer and put it on Overlay. Then I lower the opacity until I am satisfied and drop the layer on my canvas. I do this because the values in the reference image are extremely high in certain area's and I am having a hard time choosing the correct values for my colors. From now on I work on one layer only most of the time. The only time I add an extra layer is to experiment with some custom brushes for the 2 things on the left of the flower. Afterwards I drop that layer to the canvas again.

5. It is just a matter of continuing to search for the right colors and applying them. Carefully observing the light in the scene. Why is this part of that leaf darker than this part? Where does this shadow come from? What is the hue of that highlight on that edge?
Things like that are constantly in my mind.

6. Final stages
Adding a few details and correcting some errors here and there. I am pretty tired at this stage and my eyes are sore from looking at those high values for 4hours :argh:
I'm pretty happy with the result though

And again the final image for the sake of completeness

07 July 2008, 05:15 PM
JULY 18, 2008


I really like where you are headed in your approach to the study of color, and it sounds like you know what you are after in your quest..which is great..:thumbsup:

I'm not sure if the schools even have a special class dedicated to teaching color theory anymore.
I took a color theory class for 3 years here in Boston at the art school that I graduated from about 30 plus years ago..New England Shool of ART AND DESIGN at Suffolk University.
We were given a box with about a thousend 6x8 inch sheets of colored paper contained within it, with every color there is contained on the color per sheet...I think they still might sell those boxes of colored papers in art stores, not sure though.
Anyway, we had to shuffle them like a deck of cards, really mixing the colors up good..and then put them back into the proper color value range that they were originally in,..for each color..and each color had about 100 different values to it if I remember correctly..A real eye and mind boggleling task to say the least..LOL
We did all kinds of value studies wth those sheets of paper...combining colors and ranges of values within those colors, overlapping warm and cool colors and the values within them ect.
Alot of stuff that creates the effects you get in OPTICAL ART..Really nice effects where your eyes and vision start to vibrate,along with the colors that you have combined, and you end up seeing colors that are the oposite or complimentary to the color that is actually in front of you..happens when you stare at the color combination, and then close your a small green squre on a large red square, or vise versa...Really magical optical illussions.that make you go blind...LOL.
Anyway, that's basically what I remember abot those classes.

You asked if I had any suggestions or advice , and for some help concerning your new studies concerning color.
If you don't mind, I have posted a couple of my studies into your thread...just makes it easier, a picture is worth a thousend words kind of thing..:)

My advice, other than what you are already doing, is to.. STUDY is the true master when it comes to color.
If you can, go to a pet shop, or zoo, and ask the bird keeper for some feathers of the parrots and other fancy birds they have..the birds naturally shed their if you ask nicely, the bird keeper might save you a bag full of feathers from various birds, instead of throwing them away.
If you do get some of those feathers, ..hold them up to the sunlight, and you will see an optical show of vibrating color, like you have never seen before.:)
GET A GOOD BOOK WITH NICE COLOR PLATES OF HUMMINGBIRDS IN IT....Study their colors...You will see in those feathers,..all of the theories of color that you are studying,..PUT INTO PRACTICE, so to speak.
It's the same with fish, insects, flowers, and everything else in nature, including human skin,...put your hand in front of a candle or flashlight at night in the darnkess, and you will see what the color of that skin is truely all about.
Anyway Johan..that's a start,..hope it wasn't too boring...:)

Keep up the GREAT work Johan...and the GREAT progress that only will come with it, is sure to happen, which you have proven..:thumbsup:

07 July 2008, 05:36 PM
Hey Johan,

Nice flower study! Now I want to see some insect studies, lol.

I wanted to comment on the HSV system in painter. I have recently read through, and it revolutioized my understanding of color. This particular page and the one after concern what I want to talk about.

When I work in photoshop since my new understanding, I try to pick color based on hue, saturation and brightness. Now in painter, there is no parameter for brightness. (Brightness is NOT value/lightness.) You do get Value, but it seems to have a relative scale for each hue, and does not give you the absolute grayscale value. In painter, the value where chroma is at maximum (right point of the triangle) is always set at 50%. But as you will see in that web site, the actual value at max chroma varies widely for each hue, 98% for yellow, 54% for red, 30% for blue, etc.

To make the matters worse, the definition of Saturation seems loose in Painter. When you follow the top right edge of the triangle from the max chroma point to white in Painter, you will see that S stays at 100% until you reach white when it suddenly turns to 0%. Saturation actually goes down gradually from 100% at max chroma to 0% at white. What doesn't change here is the brightness, which is at 100% any point on that line. In essence, Painter is calling diluted colors fully saturated!

Maybe you already know about all this, but S and V seem rather arbitrary in Painter and I just wanted to point that out as a word of caution when picking colors in Painter by those parameters.

07 July 2008, 08:11 PM
Hey Glenn, thank you so much!

The drawing course at the academy where I am does not include studying color (at least not as far as I know), which is why I was directing my search for info at the internet.

I will search for such a box, will probably take ages before I can get my hands on one though.

I agree with you on Nature. I've never seen any color screwups by nature and I doubt that I ever will. I guess it is for certain reasons that the greatest painters studied nature until their dying breath :)

Thanks for the lot of ideas! This should keep my busy for a while :scream: which is just fine!

Hi Wes,

I've done the tet and you are right.
I must say that at first I was rather confused but after reading the info on that website, I can only agree that this color triangle in Painter doesn't really represent all color features correctly. Particularly that figure 8.5 demonstrates this well.

I have checked the square color palette in GIMP and this works totally different.
Unfortunately I don't have Photoshop so I will have to keep going in Painter.
To be really honest, when I am trying to mimic the colors in a reference image, I kinda work arbitrary myself lol, I compare the color I want with it's close neighbour colors and then judge on it's parameters, often having to search for a good solution in the mixing palette. I'm afraid I will have to practice trial and error for many years to get a good understanding of color (I'm not that smart :p ). The good thing is that it's all fun!

Anyway, thanks for your valuable help both!
Really appreciated!!

07 July 2008, 12:38 PM
Here's my DSF entries for this week (sofar, might do the latest one "Port" as well)

07 July 2008, 01:24 PM

I really like "the coin"!

07 July 2008, 06:13 PM
hey, I remember that flower, you did a great job on the painting. And the ones you did for the DSF... the coin sequence is really nice.

In painter, you could double-click your active color on the toolbox.. that's what I use when I pick colors to go into a color set. I never use the triangle, mixer, or color info palettes.

07 July 2008, 07:09 PM
Very nice flower study - you did a great job of capturing the subtle shadows and the translucency of the petals.

07 July 2008, 04:31 AM
Hi Johan :)

Great updates - I like your speed paintings and the quest for colour
seems to be going really well! Your step by step analysis is awesome,
I admire your patience in recording and explaining each step in so much
detail - I think you can be well pleased with the end result - if this is
where you are starting... imagine what's to come! :buttrock:

Cheers and take care
a. :)

07 July 2008, 08:04 AM

I kinda like it as well, although I didn't succeed in getting that coin to "pop out" as strongly as I wanted to. But 5min is really fast and for a color noob such as me it's more than ok.

Yeah I think that is the proper way to choose colors in Painter and I think the creators really know it, but they added the color triangle because it is quicker - that is, if you know your colors well. So I guess the triangle is more a shortcut for the pro's. I seem to do ok for now in picking the colors I need, apart from the lack of intensity. I'm hoping it's just a lack of experience but if it doesn't seem to improve over time I can see myself picking colors in the normal color window. Thanks for your comments!

Thanks. It's one of the few things I created I haven't started to dislike yet. Let's hope it stays that way.

I'm on a road that doesn't end, just like everyone else here I guess. It's just a matter of taking the time to make a pitstop every now and then and enjoying the view
Always nice to see you here :)

Here's a page with doodles with markers I did a while ago.

I'm thinking of buying a DVD from the
If I were rich I'd buy the whole lot but they are so darn expensive...
What do you peepz think?
This one by Feng Zhu ( or this one by Ryan Church (

07 July 2008, 10:55 AM
Hi Johan,

Great to see you've joined the DSF. I hope you'll continue doing those quick paintings, a lot can be learned and I will surely love to see get better and better. I just don't know what to suggest, you seem to be going teh right way on your own :)
About those DVDs, again, hard to tell. It's clear that one of them is about traditional drawing with markers and the other about digital painting. I guess then it's what you want to learn more about. I wanted to order two DVDs myself, but the shipping cost makes me not to. It sucks paying 30$ just for shipping.

07 July 2008, 11:01 AM
Wow I didn't know the shipping costs are that high (for a DVD, which weighs only what 250grams?)

And I don't like the fact that they charge just as much for a downloadable version, since no DVD is included, no packaging etc...

But they look so hugely interesting! And I just know that they are full of invaluable information. These guys are the crème de la crème so to speak


07 July 2008, 11:17 AM
Hey Johan! Thanks a lot for the step-by-step. I am trying to get used to Painter right now, so it is really useful for me! :bounce:
About the DVDs, I would say, buy both!!:D I haven't watched them, but by the looks, its seems like Feng Zhu deals more with the drawing and design part of it, and Ryan Church shows you more about rendering in color, creating atmosphere etc. Both are invaluable, I suppose. I think you should also check out the massiveblack tutorials. ( Look in the "downloads" section. They are shorter videos, but also cheaper.

07 July 2008, 03:09 PM
love the flower composition - thanks for doing the step by step too :):wavey:

07 July 2008, 06:35 PM
More DSF tryouts... got so much to learn.
These DSF assignments are pretty short, varying from a couple of minutes to half an hour or 45min or so. If anyone has tips on how to add instant interesting light in a scene... please post your thoughts!

The line, 10min

Red, 10 min

Perspective, 10 min

Thusla Doom, 25min

Very crappy... I know... I'm just posting these to give myself a laugh in 2012...

The Joker, NTL WIP:
Spent many hours on it already and there are loads of things to do still as you can see.
It's basically a selfportrait, that's right... me as the joker, or a similar looking freak anywayz. I don't want to look exactly like the joker from The Dark Knight, but I'm hoping to capture some of the madness which I can relate to quite well every now and then :scream:

Hoping to take this one a lot further...

07 July 2008, 06:44 PM
Also wanted to say that I bought 3 of these Massive Black video's and they are awesome!

Also, I found out that Painter cannot handle .png files
I did find a way to convert PS Brushes to Painter Brushes.

Here's how you do it in short:
Download and install ABRViewer
Run it
Load PS Brushes in the application (the .abr files)
Export the .png thumbnails
Convert the .png images to .jpg images
Load the .jpg images in Painter and make a Captured Dab Brush
Simple, right? Just wish there was an automated way to do it but unfortunately there isn't.
I have a good friend who is a programmer... perhaps he could write a plugin... hm

On the other hand... creating brushes in Painter is a fun thing to do so why would I do all this when I can make my own brushes? :D

/*start rant mode*/
Besides, most of these downloadable PS brush sets have rules like "don't use for commercial work, don't use outside DA, don't do this and don't do that"... which I found really REALLY stupid because why sharing your brushes with the public if you don't want them to be used? Oh well...
/*end rant mode*/

07 July 2008, 08:14 PM
Had time for a quicky...

reffed, about 20min in Painter... just trying to eyeball the right colors

07 July 2008, 08:29 PM
Hi Johan!

Nice to see you're still practising your painting at DSF. I'm slow, so I think I won't be joining it anytime soon, haha. But I have a suggestiosn for fast lighting. Use the Glow brush in Painter. It's extremely amazing. I believe you paint all these quickies on one layer, so there'll be no problems. Just duplicate the layer and paint in the light with the Glow brush, then with the eraser erase where you don't want the light, because it's a soft brush and it kind of gets everywhere, assuming you use a big size. As I remember you use Painter, so you should know about this magical brush :) Not sure if I've seen you using it. It's under the F-X category.

07 July 2008, 02:03 AM

GREAT job on that JOKER so far :thumbsup:

For quick and great lighting, using the Corel Painter programs,

IT'S as easy as 1-2-3

Put your image that your working on, onto the screen. to start with.:)


Go to top of your screen....Select ...EFFECTS...

A menu comes up...Select...SURFACE CONTROL.. from that menu.

Another menu will appear...Select.....APPLY LIGHTING...from that menu.

Everything you need in the way of lighting your scene..Spot lighting,color of light, intensity of light, light direction, ect. ect. ect....a thousand ways can be achieved,.. that have to do with lighting your scene, and they can all be found in the APPLY LIGHTING section of the Corel Painter program...LIGHTING YOUR SCENE..That is what that section of the Corel Painter program was created for.



07 July 2008, 02:40 AM
Hi Johan, a big update today. I know those daily sketches are really tough to get good results within the given time. I have tried a long time ago and found out that my ability to draw from imagination sucks. :( You are doing great, so keep it up! Hopefully I will come join you soon.

I love your Joker self portrait. Hmm...maybe it will be a fun group thing for us anatomy forum people to do joker self portraits. But I need to watch the Dark Night first.

07 July 2008, 03:39 AM
HEY ...Johan,...I just posted in my sketchbook thread for you, an example of that APPLY LIGHTING system that I mentioned above, and that I use in the Corel Painter program..took all of maybe five minutes to change the lighting of the top painting in the last page of my thread, to the lighting of the second painting right below it on that page.

08 August 2008, 04:51 PM
Thanks for pointing out that brush, knew about it but didn't use so I forgot. It's in my main library now.

Thank you my friend for your help.
I'll play with it while doing my DSF exercises...

yeah self portraits are so much fun and I should be doing a lot more of them.
I've already mentioned it to our forum guru's before that it would make a great OFDW subject... perhaps it will happen sooner or later :)

Thanks all for the continious support... wouldn't be the same without you!
I ordered 2 books yesterday, will take a week or 2 before they arrive...
Bold Visions: A Digital Painting Bible and
Mechanika: How to Create Science Fiction Art

More crap:
Color eyeballing practice:

random doodle

Was in a rut all the sudden... no inspiration whatsoever, so I ended up watching Glenn Vilppu's Gesture DVD once more and did some figure analysing afterwards to get back into it.

08 August 2008, 06:03 PM
Hi Johan, I really like that Joker self portrait image you were working on, very nice - you have good teeth :) Love those gestures too.

Some suggestions for working in color, I've found these helpful, and maybe you're doing this already... Limit your pallette - this isn't as restrictive as it sounds and it'll help unify your paintings. Work colors from the background into your subject, again this helps integrate it all, plus in the real world colors reflect and bounce off each other all the time, depending on the surface.

Good stuff!

08 August 2008, 07:53 PM
Mm, those books look interesting, especially Mechanika. Will be glad to hear your thoghts about them once they arrive. I'm still waiting for the last book to arrive, which is traveling for almost a month now. Yeah, sometimes it takes that much. They give quite a big period for the shipment, so can't complain. By the way, did you order any of those Gnomon DVDs you were speaking about?
Will be amazing to see you learn new stuff and apply it to your work!

08 August 2008, 08:35 PM
Thanks for the help.
I am basically just observing a reference image and trying to eyeball the colors I see. Not really digging into each painting since I'm only trying to train the eyeballing. But you're right, I have a lot to learn still.

No I didn't... too expensive for now. Bought 3 Massiveblack movies from Jason Chan instead.
Those are pretty cool.

here's this weeks DSF entries:

10 outlines @ 5min/outline

Shark, 20min

View out of my window, 15min

Canada, 13min

His name is Mike, 15min

Queen, 20min

08 August 2008, 05:36 PM
Hey Johan,

I love the flowing lines in the Vilppu studies. I have checked out his web site and he has a lot of DVDs. Do you have any particular ones you recommend? There is no way I can buy them all, maybe one or two.

I just bought a Nintendo DS to use Colors! ( to do life paintings where ever I go, kinda like the color eyeballing exercises you are doing. Check out Sparth's DS paintings ( It seems to me the key to lifelike appearance is in understanding the lighting and picking the right colors for that lighting. If you get that right, you will be able to exaggerate(or simplify) the forms and still paint a believable picture. Of course, in order to exaggerate the form you need to know the form first. Btw, this isn't a comment on your excercises, just what I am beginning to realize from my observations. I just thought painting on the go with the DS might interest you too. It will probably be at least a week before I receive the extra stuff required to start painting, but I can't wait!

08 August 2008, 03:42 AM
You placed a question in Daniel's thread that I've often wanted to ask myself, so I thought I'd stop by and see how you were doing in here. Looking good! :)

08 August 2008, 05:46 AM
great work .. looking forward:cool:

08 August 2008, 12:22 PM
Quite an interesting thread, you look like a very devoted person to art. Lots of amazing works esp the flower and the eye of the boy... your thread will be a great inspiration to me... and very knowledgable too... Thanks for your feedbacks on my drawing tooo:beer:

08 August 2008, 12:41 PM
HEY ...Johan..:)

I like your color obseving on that arm and shoulder study..just searching out all the different colors that are there, is a great way to train your eye to see...color.....
The more closely you observe, the more colors you will see.
If you keep up that color observing becomes second nature over time, and your color vision becomes more acute and sensitive to what colors are actually making up what you are observing...and in time what you have seen today to only have 3 or 4 colors, will be seen as having 20 colors...
That's the way it works, no shortcuts, just constant concentrated observation, which strenthens your awareness and vision over time....
It's like a muscle that you keep exercising on a daily will get stronger with each passing day in which you exercise it.

On that minimal light exercise,...the herring or egret at the top..It's leg at the knee joint is bent in the wrong direction...birds legs bend at the center/elbow joint, like your arm does, in relationship to the trunk /torso of the body,.opposite direction of the way your leg does.:)

I like that shark..When they breech the surface like that, it is usually when they are striking a seal or sea lion at high speed from beneath,...and their body usually forms a nice curved arch as they go back into the water..they usually take a big bite out of the seal or sea lion, and then come back and eat their meal, after it has bled to death.
Making that arch in the shark and the composition, and having the seal or sea lion being raised out of the water by the shark as it takes it's deadly bite, will add to the composition, drama, and action. and will make a very DYNAMIC IMAGE.

I really like what's going on in that one with the leaves...maybe a bug..dragonfly or whatever, perched at the lower right end of the leaf..will really add to the composition, and give it a focus point of interest...nice composition ,atmosphere, and depth in that one..:thumbsup:

In your view from your room...Maybe a tonal/color value gradation from dark at the top of the canvas to lighter at the that at the beginning, and everything in the painting will fall into place..valuewise, and will have atmospheric depth and lighting.
You might even put a couple of diaginals in the bottom of the composition, to tie it in with the diaginals leading into the moon/sun //light sorce at the top of the composition..overlapping, and repeated shapes and angles in a composition, add interest, direction, and depth to any composition, and can inliven even the most mundane of subjects...always think composition the director, and set the stage..:)
ALWAYS a pleasure seeing what you've been up to Johan..:)
Keep up the GREAT and STEADY progress...:thumbsup:

08 August 2008, 11:40 AM
hi Johan - I thought I have already been in your thread - but - I missed it somehow :)
though I missed your images that were deleted (I am a bit too late) ..
those that still remained are a pleasure to look at, some of those are really nice (especially those with flat color backgrounds and subltle white chalk shading on it, also the recent sketches/drawings are lovely, and I also love those ball-point pen studies, and many more :) )
I will certainly keep an eye on your further work, looking forward to :)

08 August 2008, 06:58 PM
Hi! This Nintendo DS with Colors! looks like a really nice "out-of-the-house-toy" indeed!
Wish I could afford it :/ Although I wonder how anyone paints on a tiny little screen like that!
I need a lot (and I mena aLOT) of practice concerning form... patience my friend ;)

Thanks for the visit. Best way to know someones opinion is to ask ;)

Thanks! Waiting for updates in your thread :buttrock:

Glad you like my (sometimes) poor attempts heh.

I'll need many many more color studies (and any other studies for that matter) if I want to become better. Well spotted on the birds leg! All these DSF speedpaintings are basically me trying to get as much info on in my image as possible in the given time. I tend to be too "rushed" when doing these. So I hope it will get better when I get used to it and I will be able to add some interest to those exercises.
Thanks for the advice and the great ideas! (Man I seem to be having to thank you a lot lately... Let's hope I can turn all your advice into something good!)

Haven't had too much time the past couple of days.
Here's a few hours work on studies.

08 August 2008, 07:01 PM
Sorry about having to delete old images... my webspace is limited to 50MB unfortunately
Thanks for the visit and for being interested in what I do!

Here are some more studies

08 August 2008, 06:09 AM
Quick Character concept

Might explore this idea (which I got from fooling around and wearing my backpack in my neck at work for a laugh with the colleagues last friday) a bit further later on... just sketching it down so I still have something to work from if I ever get to it...

08 August 2008, 04:16 PM
Started playing with it in Painter but as I was screwing it up more and more the longer I tried... I got fed up with it. So this really is a dump :scream:

08 August 2008, 04:27 PM
Hey Johan! Nice concept! I love the colorized one, it is not a dump, cm on!:) Looking forward to seeing more on this one!


08 August 2008, 04:48 PM
A promising dump - you could start again or just make it from scratch in the future. I like the origins of this idea - with you wearing the backpack on your neck XD

08 August 2008, 06:11 PM
Very nice with the color version! What don't you like about it? The arm in shadow is a bit dark, but other than that I think it's looking really cool!

08 August 2008, 06:51 AM
wow Johan! you have a great thread!:buttrock:amazing works! love your concept sketches too..

08 August 2008, 06:17 PM
Heh thanks for the positiveness.. (I rarely create something and feel proud about it. Usually I get sick of it pretty fast)
It's just a sketch though... nothing special

Yeah that's the most fun part... the inspiration! Sometimes the most unexpected things can cause an idea to be born

It's ok, a couple of thousands more and these concept sketches will be better :)

Thanks for the visit! Not as awesome as your thread though! Lot's of creative stuff over there!

Been reading Doug Chiang's book "Mechanika" so I thought I'd finally finish this vehicle concept I had laying around.

It's supposed to be a vehicle used to go on a weekend trip...

Did some thumbs on other vehicles and robots but nothing worth developing came up... hopefully soon...

edit: added some shadow to the wing. Thanks for the crit!

08 August 2008, 07:54 PM
Hi Johan, nice work on the vehicle! The side wing seems to be a bit confusing: it catches too much light so it seems to be horizontal. Keep going!

08 August 2008, 07:58 PM
Love the vehicle Johan! You should really do some more vehicle concepts.

All your sketches are great tool! Keep em coming :D

08 August 2008, 12:29 AM
Hey man, that looks really great! :) Lots of lovely texture and grittiness.

08 August 2008, 12:33 AM
so where exactly can I get me one of of those to go on the weekend? ;) Cool design

08 August 2008, 02:50 AM
Hey Johan!! That vehicle thingy is looking cool!:thumbsup: Love your figure drawings! keep 'em coming!!

08 August 2008, 06:01 AM
The vehicle design is awesome! nice concept.. i too want that vehicle for my weekend trip to other galaxies :wavey: