View Full Version : Sketchbook Thread of Johan Derycke

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02 February 2009, 02:44 PM
I really. really like your attitude towards art. Johan. With your family responsibilities and all. I'm 48 this year and looking forward to launching my new career, which is to become a full-time illustrator specialising in femme fatales.

Keep up your attitude and your art. Cheers.

02 February 2009, 04:47 PM
Hi Vincent
I don't think I would go for a challenge like yours though...
I hope it works out just fine for you :bounce:

Here's one from yesterday evening, 90 minutes with a normal 2B pencil on A3-3cm

02 February 2009, 05:56 PM
.. hi johan - you did it again :)
your new sketch/pose for the IFW entry has the same mistake in it, as we were talking about in PM, I am afraid ..
the dorsal fin (see? I have looked up in the dict. meanwhile :) ) is - again - somehow shifted aside, off the median/sagital plane ... which - in result - makes the viewer feel something is wrong with your (sorry, lol :) ) butt ..

so - I did the paintover (anyway :) )
trying to show what I meant;
very messy and rough PO actually, just to explain what I mean ..
a. :)

here´s the static jpeg:

02 February 2009, 06:24 PM

Thanks a mil for the paintover Alena!
Now that I see it, I know my mistake was the position and the angle of the pelvis...
The upporting leg should be the highest point iso the lowest...
Hm... must improve that!

Thank you, will do my best!

02 February 2009, 06:55 PM
Hi Johan.

Well. That is one dedicated schedule. I guess you are very disciplined at falling asleep, LOL...(otherwise there's not much space for goofing around in the evenings...)

I think the opportunity to draw from life is the one thing I am missing in my plan for learning how to draw - maybe I can find a chance to add this to my efforts.
Thanks for taking the time (especially your time which is sparse...:D ) to explain.


02 February 2009, 08:00 PM
Hi ..Johan..:)

On your figure with fins....The pelvis reads as a 3 quarter view, and your legs read as a back view...IMPOSSIBLE...unless the legs were dislocated from their hip sockets and turned so that they create a view that is looking directly at them from the back..:eek: :D
Those are the exact words spoken to me by Burne Hogarth about 30 plus years ago while I was in his class, and showing him a figure that I had created.
If you have his DYNAMIC FIGURE DRAWING BOOK, will show you exactly what the problems are in your figure, and how to corect them, so that they read corectly..:) GREAT book...I always use it to double check things when I have questions about anything concerning my created figures...The corect answers can ALWAYS be found in it..ALWAYS..:)

02 February 2009, 12:38 PM
hey johan .. had not seen your SB for a while. . beautiful work !

02 February 2009, 06:50 PM
Hey Johan!!

That concept character is quite nice. I am totally agree with Alena's paintover. Is that still in progress? looking to see it finished.

02 February 2009, 05:08 PM
Mu Any time!
Glenn Thank you! I started below pose with the pelvis-trunk first and it's a lot better now I hope.
Santhosh Thanks buddy! Better is a goal ;)
Deepam Hi! Been a while, no? Alena's a real sweety for helping me with a paintover!

Allright then.

I'm still nowhere near finishing this one... I'm having some real life issues keeping me from painting hence the lack of progress sofar.

Did quite a bit of sketching earlier this week to get a more dynamic pose first.
Ended up picking this one, which afterwards reminded me a lot of David. I used some my Barcsay Anatomy For the Artist and Burne Hogarth's Dynamic Figure Drawing (Thanks Glenn and Alena!) for reference so far. I "invented" this pose rather than copying a pose from a reference, which is a good thing, if you ask me.

A few things come to mind:

I want him to be looking at the viewer in a "I know you are watching me... you do know I know, do you?" way.
He (I) is supposed to be an amphibious creature that had to adjust to living outside the water due to pollution.
I'm not so certain about the fins on the back anymore. What do you think?
I plan to add some foreground treebranches in the top left corner for framing.
Should I first paint the grayscale with the one main lightsource from the left and add a secondary light source once the first one is done? Or should I paint the 2nd light in right away?
I might add some basic clothing/costume... or not.... what do you think? butt or no butt?
Please realize I'm not finished applying the basic light, I know it's not consistent yet.
If you see some other major flaws.. plz say so!
Please crit!

02 February 2009, 01:25 PM
FEB. 16, 2009
Hi Johan...I don't know if this will be of any use to you, but here are a few DYNAMIC poses that I made up using the pose, or one very similar to the one that you created for your figure..Hope they help some.:)
Sometimes it is best to see the posed figure in the round, so you can get the best pose for the painting that your going for.
You can use a little piece of clay, even silly puddy,..or even mud..LOL.:D ..Just something that gives you forms to pose and experiment with...
Spotlight the little sculpture you create to get your Dynamic lighting,shade and shadows ect.
Using little simplified models/sculptures is a method that many of the old masters like Da Vinci for instance used to study the lighting and pose that they were after to create some of their paintings.
Anyway, just a little something to spark your IMAGINATION as you go about CREATING your own figure without the use of reference,..which I personally think is a GREAT way to explore and understand better what you don't understand...Forces you to VISULIZE, and to be less reliant on photo references and other peoples work...and leads to a CREATIVE path that was, and is still traveled by many a GREAT MASTER..:)

02 February 2009, 10:18 PM
Hi Glenn
Thanks for your help!
I've been taking a closer look at the torso and pelvis method from B. Hogarth's book.
I am really struggling with it though... main problems are estimating the distance between pelvis and ribcage and attaching the legs. I guess I need more practice :argh:
Might upload some sketches tomorrow so you can see what I'm talking about...
Anyway, big thanks for your continuous support!!

I've been painting...finally!
Getting close to finishing the grayscale of my IFW001 piece.
If anything would come to mind upon looking that needs some immediate attention, please let me know :D

Forgot to mention that when resizing images they get blurred and I loose some of the highlights in my image? Anyone knows how to avoid this? The face is really a lot sharper in my .RIF and the highlights are a lot lighter :(

02 February 2009, 12:19 AM
Hey Johan,

It is coming along nicely! :thumbsup: I really like the contrast between light and dark at the bottom, and I think maybe you could push the values a little further in the background on the right to make it look more dynamic.

I am no expert on lighting, but when I look at the left foot, at first it looked as if he didn't have a heel, but I looked harder and now I see it. From the angle of the shadows on the ground, I think the darkest area on his foot should be on the heel and not the ankle. The shadow on his left thigh may need to be pushed back a little to make it more consistent as well.

I am not sure about blurring from resize. Are you resizing directly from the .rif file? I noticed that if I first save to a fullsize jpeg and resize that jpeg, the quality gets downgraded twice, but I don't think you are doing that...

02 February 2009, 03:22 AM
Nice lighting, I do agree with Heozart about the heel, If you resize it from photoshop, there are different options while resizing an image. If the image is getting smaller almost 4 times, then using a bicubic sharper will work. Try out different resize options. One of them will work best.

02 February 2009, 08:13 AM
Well I like the subject and I like the idea you had to put its body gently to the diagonal. I do not understand the composition, I do not understand the position of the stick that absolutely closes the dynamic action. However these things are "up to the artist" :wavey:

02 February 2009, 05:42 PM
Wes, Vikram, Serena,
thanks for your critique! Absolutely right you all are!
Those legs and feet have been giving me a hard time but I think I pulled it off now...?

Great to see you here! How have you been?
This guy (well, me) is on his way to find some food somewhere, after having to leave a life near and in water because water is too polluted. He uses the stick to kill small animals for food. But be careful, he has great senses and can hear someone following him from quite some distance ;)

I used progressive method to resize this time, which looks slightly less blurry now I think.
It'll have to do anyway o_O

Think I'm gonna do a color test now...

02 February 2009, 01:08 AM
Wow, that looks a lot better! Can't wait to see it colored.

02 February 2009, 04:31 PM

The texture and values of the road as well as the rest of weight on the lifted foot are really awesome! So much better than the previous wip!

One thing: The strong hard shadow suggests a nearby spotlight (like from a flash or strobe). Though light falloff would indeed be pretty quick with such a near lightsource some of the flowers/plants on the road would definitely catch some highlight. Or, if you let those remain in the dim light, you should probably dim down the contrast of the shade/light area on the road and feather the shade edges.

02 February 2009, 07:02 PM
Heh yeah me too, although I did a few tests and I'm telling ya, I suck at coloring OMG

Thank you!
You were right again...
Contrast was way too high. I've tried to decrease it in order to give it a more diffuse lighting.
I've also just found out that accents can also be laid in with high saturated colors instead of high values

02 February 2009, 09:04 PM
I've also just found out that accents can also be laid in with high saturated colors instead of high value

ah, that's where it all comes together.

Looking much better, btw. Really looking forward to your coloured piece.

02 February 2009, 04:30 AM
ey how hav you been doing..hav been off the forums for a while..the new work has developed interestingly,feet coming out real nice,i think you havnt done much on arm.i would suggest you do some reasearch for doesnt seem to be coming out of the body,looks more like stuck on it looks going on side wen it reaches below.


03 March 2009, 09:04 AM
Man,now I realize what a color noob I am!

Thanks for the crit, I've tried to give the fins more unity with the body, hope it is better now.


I got a little disappointed while adding colors, because of the difficulties that it brings for someone who doesn't know much about it, but then I realize that there is just another step forward to make and I have to keep pushing myself.

03 March 2009, 11:25 AM
Hi Johan,

I think you are much better at dealing with colour than I am.
The greens in the forest look very coherent, as does the road.

The red/blue patterns on the skin I don't really understand. Are these patches of thinner skin where the blood shines through? Is it a camouflage pattern?

If it is to be a pattern you should outline them a bit more clearly and add detail and hard edges.
The fins are looking super great, imo!

03 March 2009, 12:49 PM
Well I wanted to stick with the original idea of a blue-ish skin, but a fully blue figure didn't really work well in the environment it is in. When I tried red skin only it seemed to fit in better, but then it looked a bit dull imo.
So I thought it was kinda "crisp" to have a blue skin with a bit of red in it where exposure to sunlight occured more or more movement happens.
Damn you got me doubting this now just as I was to start my bunny piece LOL

03 March 2009, 01:33 PM

for subsurface scattering it's a bit too direct, imo. Also, it only occurs with backlit forms.

Check the conditions out here:

Why not make it a surface pattern? Like a leopard's spots or something? The edges would have to be a bit sharper.

03 March 2009, 04:44 PM
Mu, I wasn't referring to SSS
more to skin color wearing off due to excessive exposure to sunlight (this being an amphibious creature, normally staying in the water most of its time).

So I am looking at reference of burned skin and peeling skin etc... will take the skin texture to a next level and hopefully the coloring will make more sense...
Thanks for the crit!

03 March 2009, 11:11 AM
Hi Johan,
I really like how your amphibious man is coming along. I’m no expert in colour, and this screen tends to make things look a bit washed out, but to me it looks as if the painting could use some warmth to in its light source. Instead of the pure white highlights add some yellow, and even a bit of green ambiance to help the character feel part of its environment. You already have a green tinge to the dorsal fin, which is working well, so see if you can also work this in on the skin. I hope that makes sense.

Edit: actually, looking at it on this screen, there is a lot more colour where I was seeing the white before (stupid washed out laptop screen!), so I don't think anything I said applies. It looks great!

03 March 2009, 03:40 PM
MAR. 05, 2009

I couldn't resist..:D
You spent alot of time and put alot of effort into your piece, and by the looks of your end result, you learned alot in the process also..:thumbsup:
The next step I think you might try, is to compose with your light, shade, and shadow,..the same way that you compose with form and volume.....Focus on focus points, atmosphere/air, complimentary colors at work, ect....THINK DRAMA, and how a stage lighting technician would create/compose this scene on a stage using the tools of his/her trade.. LIGHTING.:)
Anyway Johan...ALWAYS a pleasure to see how you progress with each piece that you do..:) :thumbsup:

03 March 2009, 06:34 PM
Heh monitor calibration is something we can't do without ;)
Thanks for dropping by my sb!

Thanks for the paintover.
I am indeed discovering many things about light and color and everything else with this piece! The stat e it is currently in is a bit similar to your paintover, although I didn't push the light strength this far. I want a bit of a serene mood. This creature is slowly wandering around, looking to see if it can find something to eat. Suddenly, it turns around and looks at the viewer... it is one second away from judging the viewer as something uninteresting or... a nice meal :D

Anyway, I won't post an update on it anymore before posting the final....

Here's a ballpen sketch from imagination I did this morning at work. Took a good hour all in all... I got an idea after finishing this one... would be an interesting project to draw all my colleagues in a similar style... I don't think it'll happen though *shrugs*

03 March 2009, 10:54 PM
Hi there Johan :)

great work on your amphibious man! He has a cheeky almost 'camp' look about him
which is delightful! I saw this workshop come up, but just haven't had the time,
it's great to see you charging ahead :)

Oh... do find time to draw your collegues! Such a cool idea! Will keep hassling you
on that one ;)

take care :)

03 March 2009, 02:07 AM
Hey Johan,

I may have found the answer to your resizing problem from my new book. It says always resize by 50% to minimize blurring and color alteration, the reason being that when you go by 50%, exactly 4 pixels get combined into one without affecting other pixels. If you have to resize to something other than 50%, find the highest multiple of the desired size that is smaller than your current size, and then repeat resizing by 50%. So if your current size is 6000 pixels and you want to go to 800, keep multiplying 800 by 2 to find the highest multiple(800, 1600, 3200, 6400...), resize your image to 3200 (if you go up to 6400 there will be even more quality loss), and then resize by 50% twice to get to 800. This is what the book says, and I've been working in low resolution on this laptop so I can't really test it. Try and see if it works. :)

I like the new sketch. Is it your boss? :D

Looking forward to seeing your pieced finished.

03 March 2009, 05:25 AM
Hey Wes, thanks for the info on resizing.
You know, actually I had something similar in my mind, but just couldn't figure out why it works like that. I guess being a number freak I just found it a more logical solution to resize to a dividend of the original size. And it does work.

The caricature... my boss is female so I doubt she'd like this one hehe
The problem with caricatures is we emphasize the facial features that are standing out from the rest to create a funny recognition. I'm sure some of the women here wouldn't think it as funny as I would to see their big nose, ears, chin etc depicted so dominantly... *shrugs*

Hey Annette,
was thinking about you the other day but I thought it was better not to post in your thread before you do... it was beginning to look a bit like spamming :curious: LOL
Hope all is well at the other end of the world?

I just noticed I lost my little pen holder. I have a small leather pen holder in which I keep some pens, pencils, a fine marker and a kneedable eraser. I normally put this in my coat and take it everywhere I go. This way I always have something to draw with me.
Last tuesday at school, I took it out to use the kneadable eraser, but I forgot it at school...
:argh: This is a disaster!! I was totally shocked when I found out this morning...
I hope it will be still there when I get back to school :(

03 March 2009, 05:12 PM
So since we are always trying to make the best of it, I started using my markers again now that I've lost my pens and pencils...

Just experimenting with markers, pencil and ballpen

03 March 2009, 06:39 PM
Life would be too complicated if I counted every time I need to fit exact (or not) size with my image to post it on-line. I just run sharpen filter after all, this feature works well in Painter when one can control amount of sharpness. If image goes to print the biggest size is always the best anyway. But I can't find the beginning of your discussion, maybe you were talking about something specific. Is there any difference visible in the end? Could you post such? Like image resised with the best calculation and a similar one sharpened in the end.
The only problem with Painter is it saves crappy JPGs, even in the best quality they loose colours (especially reds) and artifacts appear. I wonder if the newest version improved in this field, need to run a trial one day, after CS4 trial expires. So far there is no better JPG saving software than Photoshop.

03 March 2009, 12:02 AM
Oh goodness Johan! :D I soooo empathize with you and HOPE happiness is restored &
That your PENS WERE SITTING and WAITING FOR YOU at school!!! Totally ok if they raised
and eyebrow and gave you a bit of a look, as long as you've found them....
I carry my pens & pencils in a little fabric roll - & the several 'close to losing them' experiences have sent me quite frantic ;) So good luck :) Great sketches with the
marker pens :)

In web-design I've ploughed through a lot of resizing and saving images for web - I think Sirelle and Heozart have explained it really well, there are several methods & as always it depends on what your end needs are (& the software / image format etc) in terms of which works best for you... I've found that original size resized down at 50% or 25% works well - probably because of the pixel thing Heozart was talking about.
(vector based images can slice a pixel (as vector isn't based on pixels but lines and curves - but as a painter you need the pixel based image format to have all those colours and textures...)
I tend to think of it as halving or quartering the image.. Sometimes though, halving or quartering (even if you repeat the steps to make the image smaller) won't get you to the desired width/height - esp if the required size is a different ratio to your original size. In these cases I'll do a bit of a crop and/or use the unsharp mask to bring back the sharpness to the image. I don't know Painter - but it sounds like you have a similar effect to the Photoshop 'unsharp mask' (which allows you to control the amount, radius and threshold as you sharpen the image) - always run this as the very last step. Does Painter have anything where you can adjust levels/contrast/colour etc (a way perhaps to counter the loss of highlights and red values) similar to adjustment layers in PS?
These are the guidelines I try to stick to with resizing for web (*cough* try being the operative word -as there are times when reason has left the building ;) )

Always make sure the completed original image is saved and locked away somewhere
When posting WIP images I tend to save each step as a separate layer, saving the whole document each time as a .psd before creating any .jpg version.
Resize copy of original image
Adjust levels
Sharpen (either through sharpen edges or using the unsharp mask) if needed
Save for web as .jpg - usually 50-70% quality works well enough for me, but it always depends on the size/amount of detail etc
Sorry about the waffle :D I think I've pretty much repeated myself and others ad nauseum - must be making up for lost time ;)
Oh and you know women went out of their way to be offended by Groucho Marx... they'll love your drawings :) (or maybe you can use some as leverage for a payrise ;) )

take care & cheers
a. :)

03 March 2009, 07:02 AM
Hi Sirielle and Annette!
Great to see you here :)

I actually never tried resizing the jpg in Painter.
I save my oringinal file as a .RIF, then I save it as a jpg at 100% without resizing it.
This works fine for me and I never experienced any artifacts or color loss.
I do work on various resolutions... small, quick sketches are usually around 2k x 2.5k px but can be even smaller (I don't intend to print my quick sketches anyway) The bigger ones are 4k x 4.8k or can be even up to 7k x 9k px to allow printing.

So when I've got my uncompressed jpg at 100% I make a copy in ACDSee (my image browsing and filing tool) and resize it. Until recently I've never thought of resizing to a dividend size (eg 50%). So the original jpg at 100% is sharp enough, but the resized file wasn't. I know I will do this always from now on, because it does make a huge difference.

Thanks for your help!

Btw... me = very proud to present my Ingres study at display and available for purchase at the online gallery (

Click through "Gallery Createur" and choose my name :)

Many thanks to Eric Poirier at Imagine-Design and the lovely people at Art Renewal Centre for making this possible.
Also, huge thanks to Rebecca Kimmel for running the awesome workshops here at the forums and for the good advise! This wouldn't have happened without these workshops... I'd still be absolutely nowhere, honestly!

03 March 2009, 10:41 PM
Final Version

Original Resolution: 3000px x 4667px
Some reference of my own leg used to get that left foot right.
Check out the IFW thread to see the steps...

Thanks Alenah, Mu, Glenn, Rebecca, Wes, Vikram, Serena, Amrinder, Tessa and everyone else who helped me!
Bigger version uploaded in my portfolio (

03 March 2009, 12:31 AM
nice one Johan - the perspective's a bit strange - kinda starts and then half way up the image disappears... or maybe it's just me... the trees are so monochromatic that it feels flattened up there... anywho - Great to see it done :D

03 March 2009, 01:51 PM
Thanks Magdalena.
There arer probably a 1000 things that can be improved on this piece. I just had to stop and move on. Main thing with this one is that I learned the importance of having a solid start upon which can be built. I've learned a lot about color, but the most important thing about color I learned is that it will take a lot of practice to get better LOL.

Still doing life drawing every monday and tuesday, just not having the time to upload them all. Been tackling Conté sticks and crayons. I find these soft media quite hard to control, so most of the sketches I made are really bad. Here's a selection that isn't too crappy.

03 March 2009, 11:32 AM
What do you mean you are slacking? Those are very nice conte studies! :) Hope you found your pen holder...

03 March 2009, 01:32 PM
Thanks Wes.
Been very restless lately... with motivation fluctuating from very high to very low and vice versa at high speed...

Hence a quick "let it all out" sketch entitled

Going cycling now... need some air

03 March 2009, 06:06 PM
Freedom me arse??Hehe nice one. Also like the final version you've done for the workshop ..Great work.

03 March 2009, 07:32 PM

it's all good. A man needs to let off some steam from time to time.
You are a good artist, you don't need your pens and pencils as the marker sketches are beautiful, too - and if all comes to naught you can heat your house with coal and use the remains to draw on stony ground.

In short: you are free. Freedom your arse.

I like that - should be an international greeting among artists.


EDIT: Oh, I quite forgot. Your IFDW painting rocks. I love the cheeky look back over the shoulder, I love the creature concept and the whole "situation" of this shot. Give yourself a pat on the shoulder, gallery-exhibiting-artmonster.

03 March 2009, 03:16 PM
Hey Johan one suggestion i'd like to make... I think you should free your hand. First, see the figure as a whole and then move on to details. Try to imagine the flow of power.

I'm not so good with words, so i'd suggest you bought the book Force: Dynamic Life Drawing for Animators by Mike Mattesi. It's an excellent book, I own a copy myself, currently reading it, but still haven't got the opportunity to exploit it on life drawing.

03 March 2009, 06:59 PM
Hey, I'm a bit late, but congrats on finishing the IFW001 piece. Looking good, but I would've liked more contrast and saturation. That's just me though.
Watch the proportions on your life drawings, some are a bit off. Overall I think you're pushing forward with these. Everytime I stop by you've gotten a tad better.
Ahh, working with markers. Using them very freely and going over the lines of the original drawing made them so fun for me. I see you've been quite careful with them.
I always find it hard to suggest you something, because you don't seem to stray from the right path. Don't lose the motivation!

03 March 2009, 08:04 PM
The IFW looks cool :cool:.
Maybe you could add a little bit more back-light at the upper-left thigh to give sense of volume.

03 March 2009, 04:06 PM
vikramvr thanks buddy :)
Mu Thanks for cheering me up... I'm better now that the sun is shining :D
Dennis Thanks for the tip on that book! I'm constantly working on my flow (I hardly ever draw from the wrist these days... it's all elbow and shoulder dynamics. Guess I just need more practice eh...
razz Yeah the quickies are always full of issues. They are warmup sketches after all. I try to vary the media I use to learn how to handle them better, but as you know I'm a slow learner... it's not a matter of weeks or months, but a matter of years...
sycen Thanks buddy! Yeah the lighting could be a lot better in that one. Will try to do a series of lighting studies in the upcoming weeks...
In desperate need of more anatomy studies!
As with all my future anatomy studies, I plan not to take too long per drawing (max 15, 20min) and I'm not really bothered by esthaetics, but more so in learning the location and function of each subject, so some proportional issues may occur.
Here's a start...

03 March 2009, 04:09 PM
and a couple of ladies from imagination, the 2nd one being inspired by a drawing my 5y old daughter gave me called "Waterbloem" (Water Flower). I want to make a painting of a ladie emerging from the sea, with the waves of the water looking like leaves. This is just the first of what should be a series of concept sketches. So yes, issues (eg the head) are noticed and taken into consideration.


03 March 2009, 04:28 PM
Nice sketches! Waterbloem sounds like a cool concept. Looking forward to seeing it develop!

03 March 2009, 04:30 PM
And a selection from this week's school work.
Charcoal on A2, played with the hue in ACDSee to add a bit of color to them
I will need years of practice with these soft media to become any good... WOOHOO :D

EDIT: Thanks Wes, will develop it over the next couple of weeks (if time allows) so stay tuned :D

03 March 2009, 05:30 PM
You are not slow learner but a very humble person, the progress you do is visible well :)

03 March 2009, 06:12 PM
Woohoo, very nice update! :thumbsup:

I think you've done an excellent job with charcoal! :thumbsup:
Since you've noticed issues for the concept drawings, I won't be making any comments at all ;) Only saying that i like them!

Keep up mate!

03 March 2009, 07:03 PM
sirielle You're too kind ;)
Dionysis Heh, the color adds a lot to it... long live the digital age!

Here are some more
Charcoal on A3

The next sheet was inspired by Mu, but sadly I find it really REALLY hard to do this kind of inked sketches, hence the serious proportion screw-ups. I'll see if I can do more of these somehow...

03 March 2009, 07:13 PM
My diary entry from today will read:
"Dear Diary,

today I inspired an artist I admire.



Looking cool. It's all about making decisions and being bold about what you knock into the shadow.

Here is a video of Shawn Martinbrough (the author of the how to book that inspired me) doing his thing. It underlines the method better than words or my clumsy attempts:

03 March 2009, 02:14 PM
Heh Mu, I guess now we are even...

Cigarette Smoke (Inspired by This Image By Murat Kayi (
Black Marker on A4, then inverted in Painter and corrected lines here and there.

03 March 2009, 02:58 PM
Hi Johan, good charcoal sketches! Indeed, some digital enhancements add to the presentation. Great anatomy studies as well (i should do some more myself...).

03 March 2009, 05:05 PM
Hi Johan,

I think I saw her now that you mentioned her.

This is a strong pose. Maybe the opposing curves should continue on the soles of the feet, too, but for a graphic approach this is a strong image.

Keep on rocking!

03 March 2009, 12:23 PM
Hi Johan :)

Good to see the marker pens flourish ;)
Also love those A2 charcoal studies! :wavey:

Quick studies are great, and a nice balance then to be
doing a few longer ones here and there :) A teacher I once had
told us to approach the start of a long study in the same way
as a quick study (i.e. aim to get proportions and essence of form
on paper in the first few minutes), & then use the "extra time" to
work on shading and detail.. It works for me (regardless of result :D)
so thought I'd throw it in :) Your figure drawing is definitely coming along
well, one thing I notice (and please discard if irrelevant) is that you tend
to draw your heads a tad large. When thinking in terms of the 8 (or thereabouts)
head proportion, it's easy to work out with a straight up & down standing pose, but
gets harder with all the foreshortenings of
a sitting or angled pose... Maybe try doing a very light oval (to guide where the head needs to be) while you find the pose and proportions of the body, once you have the body proportions down, it may be easier to see the 'size' of the head? Just a thought - still
feels like a bit of a blah blah, as I'm sure you're more than aware of this :)

Oh and did you find your pens?
hope all else is travelling well your end :)

a. :)

03 March 2009, 03:26 PM
Thanks mate... I really need to refresh my memory on anatomy *blushes*

You're right, but I'll leave it as it is
Hope you don't mind :D

Yeah, proportions are a real issue for me. Always have been, always will be.
The issue particularly occurs when drawing quickly, while trying to loosen up/warm up, and when I change to a bigger paper size... eg from A3 to A2.
Oh well, I'm trying not to be too bothered by it because I was getting pretty frustrated about it last year.

03 March 2009, 06:01 PM
Hope you don't mind :D

I do! Ze art police vil prossecute you!


The latest studies show that - if done with dedication - even the seemingly driest subject can be beautiful. :arteest:

03 March 2009, 06:43 PM
Sheesh. You're one of only three or four other artists I know where I can be away from your thread for a couple days, and by the time I get back I've missed an entire page worth of work. Just intense work ethic, man. Really an inspiration.

03 March 2009, 04:18 PM
HEY Johan...:wavey:

Waves looking like leaves as she leaves the water.Great concept/vision :)
Check out the works of an artist named Patrick Woodroffe...
You can find him on the internet...I have a couple of his books..prized possesions in my personal library..:)
He has a way of capturing a childs imagination in his images,and alot of the times it's his own childrens imaginations.He uses their unhampered special imaginations to create, and in the creation of his works.
Anyway, if you get a chance to, check him out...I think you will really enjoy what he has done in the way of capturing a childs imagination in an adult painting and drawing technique..:)

03 March 2009, 05:31 PM
Mu LOL I blame the system!

Jason heh thanks... I have my moments LOL. I really ought to be less active on the boards the next few weeks because I have a paper/presentation to prepare for Art Histery. So if you don't hear that often from me... blame my school :)

Thanks for pointing out Patrick Woodroffe. The man has indeed a powerful imagination and his colors are very bold and striking. Very inspiring!

So since blogger allows us to upload images, which means I have unlimited webspace (my own webspace is nearly full and I can't keep buying more), I will post on this blog at regular times to keep my webspace here available for my school work. (

Also, don't forget to check out my kids digital experiences on their own blog too: (

My parents came over from Ostend today.
Here's a really quick portrait of my dad in pencil.

03 March 2009, 09:05 PM
Ah, papers and presentations... haha. Hope it goes well, man. Great sketch, too. I've never seen the guy, but it looks like a real person, you know what I mean? Like... it doesn't look like somebody someone would make up. Good shadow work, too.

03 March 2009, 01:50 PM
Hi Jason, he's real allright :)

Been really busy with this presentation for school, but I managed to play with Alchemy, finally... and WOW! I am seeing things flying accross my monitor LOL!
Imagination gets triggered instantly and continuously while moving around the stylus... Definitely a brilliant tool for people that are in a rut!

Here's a couple of exported images...
Will surely play some more with this when I can but it's back to that school work for now :/


03 March 2009, 04:48 PM
What is this Alchemy thingie? A software? The first one looks a bit like Rorschach spot ;)

A very nice dolphin study, accurate and warming viewers mood. Dolphins just are such charming beings :)

I don't know if you finally watched that movie or not, it's definitely a tough one and not for a good mood, better fits when you're down. Anyway they're was shown illegal - I guess it must be illegal - hunt of dolphins in Japan. Unbelievable and tragic. They're sold later as whales meat. I would never think something like that happens in Japan. I knew they're still hunting whales, but I thought they're hones in it. It looks like I was mistaken and gave them too much credit.

Coming back to lighter stuff - web space is a problem. I'm not running out of mine, but I'm too lazy to post via FTP images into my own and then think of what URL to image is and post here, so I use ImageShack. It's free and works well, but images cannot be deleted from there - every image once uploaded stays on servers forever, it's only marked as deleted. Maybe it's some policy against possible abuse etc. but lack of control over it irritates me. Also sooner or later they'll implement theitr own prints system in which I don't want to participate. How does it work on blogspot? Can you post images uploaded there anywhere else? I've got account at wordpress blog, I 've got to check how it works there. Need to block my nick name at blogspot, too, if I haven't done it yet. Photobucket is out of question, there I only check if anyone is uploading my images without my permission, which happened many times.

03 March 2009, 07:10 AM
Seems like the popularity of Watchmen has everyone calling Alchemy files Rorschach blots.

Fun stuff though, isn't it?

Cheers :)

03 March 2009, 10:50 AM
No, I haven't seen the movie, yet, but have had - or just had ;) - a few classes devoted to Rorschach at uni in the past.

03 March 2009, 08:25 PM


Haven't seen watchmen, don't think I will either... or perhaps in a few years when it's on tele :p

Alchemy is so good!
You can get stuff like this in no time:

As you can see, I painted a bit on the guy on the right... not even 10 min in total but yet a good idea for a halloween character hehe

03 March 2009, 11:26 PM
Nice, mate. Yeah, I wouldn't really recommend going out of your way to see Watchmen. I didn't find it to be that good of a movie.

Good use of Alchemy. Character looks fun. :)

03 March 2009, 11:39 PM
Very interesting results! Seems like this program is pushing creativity.
Interesting sillouette! Do you consider continuing this? It can turn out really nicely i think :)

I just downloaded it and maybe i'll give it a try.

03 March 2009, 02:17 PM
thanks for the alchemy link. Downloading now. :D

03 March 2009, 08:16 PM
Hey Johan! How are you doing? Great stuff going on here! Love the "alchemy" pics and the muscle studies!:thumbsup:

03 March 2009, 11:29 PM
Those Alchemy experiments are sweet! :thumbsup: Guess I am downloading it too. :D

04 April 2009, 03:29 PM
Jason, ForzaInter, sycen, Wes: How do you guys like Alchemy now?

Anand Hey WB sir! How is L.A. treating you? Hope you're having a blast :)

So ok, ready for a good laugh? Here we go...
The kids were painting with gouache all afternoon today, so I couldn't resist joining them as I still had this really cheap intro package in my cupboard somewhere... a 18x24cm (7x9-ish inch) canvas, some really cheap brushes (and I mean really cheap!) and acrylic paint...

I painted some flowers, as we had some nice ones on the kitchen table...

Soooo... a zillion issues occured, from mixing paint too dark - I should have known- to unbelievably bad brushwork and eventually not even be capable of signing it properly...
Quite embarrassing to be honest...

... but it is so much fun to put this weird substance called paint on a canvas, just the act alone... without even considering the result!!!

So you can be sure that this is just a start.

04 April 2009, 05:00 PM
haha awesome! looks like you haven't lost your inner child yet. :)
the painting is really ... cute. you sure you didn't accidentally posted one of your kid's paintings? :P

04 April 2009, 10:34 PM
Oh I know, isn't real paint amazing? It's so tangible... now if only I could get enough free time to deal with all of the set-up and break-down of natural media...

04 April 2009, 05:13 AM
Wow, the alchemy sketches are wonderful. I just figured out alchemy sometime back, and it is wonderful, it just opens up a whole new world of creativity..

04 April 2009, 07:30 PM
Taole LMAO my kids are more experienced with traditional painting than I am so yeah, they made a couple of masterpieces while my effort was... well... something to look back to for a good laugh in a couple of years I hope :)

Jason Oh yeah! get your gear up and do it :)

Vikram Yep! New version of alchemy came out today btw... go get it and show us what you can do with it :bounce:

I've been neglecting my mistress Intuos3, so here's a real quicky with Painter Oils 20min or so

04 April 2009, 03:27 PM
I just pulled out some acrylic paints too and I know exactly what you mean! It's hell of a lot of fun, but odd to have to mix colours after getting so accustomed to just picking a colour - and the way the brush moves the paint around... I just smooshed some colours together, so you got a lot further than me with them Daffodils. :)

Cute sketch!

04 April 2009, 07:50 PM
Aviva Thanks. can't wait to buy some canvas to start playing with acrylics some more.
I'm thinking of doing a series of monochrome studies to get the hang of things like mixing, brush usage, etc

Girl with grandpa's hat.
Inspired by Rob Rey ( This man has some incredible portraits in his oeuvre.
Painter IX.5 - Artist's Oils: Dry Bristle and Dry Palette Knife, no other brushes used.

These brushes are tricky, but they force me to think about each brushstroke, so this was excellent practice. Learned heaps with this one. Will do the other family members with the same brushes.

04 April 2009, 08:09 PM
Hey! thanks for steeping by and the advices,,,I appreciate it!
is great see that you're experimenting with brushes also :surprised still I don't use the oils, just the acrilycs and airbrushes....going to try with those, nice improvement on your work! :thumbsup:

04 April 2009, 08:21 PM
nice and lively portrait there Johan! the only thing I'm not too keen on is black around the eyes, I think it stands out too much in comparison to other darks
Other than that great job! :thumbsup:

04 April 2009, 08:27 AM
that Alchemy seems interesting, love the sketches you`ve done with that.....and that last one, nice use of painter...i use the 'Thick Wet Oils' brush for my work, but i`ve altered it to remove the 3d element and only brush with colour, works for me.....
keep up the good work dude....


04 April 2009, 10:26 AM
stridiggio Thank you too :)

Magdalena Thanks! You're right. I've reworked the eyes and fixed some other things that were still bothering me.

Kris Thanks man. I'll try that thick wet oils brush. I'll have to remove the impasto as well coz impasto is just too much work for my old P4...

Final version now. On to the next!

04 April 2009, 11:22 AM
HEY Johan...:)

GREAT JOB on the last one posted..I really like the way you put the flesh colors in the background....creates a nice color harmony, and gives the piece that ONENESS/UNITY...:thumbsup:
ALWAYS a real pleasure seeing the progress your making, with each new post...:) :thumbsup:

04 April 2009, 01:30 PM
Hey Johan! Really cute portrait! Very nicely done!:thumbsup:

04 April 2009, 05:47 PM
Thanks for stopping by here :)
I was aiming for a serene mood in this portrait with a warmer but more subtle lighting than the reference photo. This is what I'm trying to do with these portraits... study reference photo's but at the same time trying to make them mine.

Thank you for the encouragement!

Here's a selection of life drawings that I hadn't uploaded yet.

04 April 2009, 05:50 PM
And some quickies (couple of mins max)

04 April 2009, 03:26 PM
Always happy to see the life drawings coming in. OooooOOOooo

04 April 2009, 08:02 PM
Jason Yeah I'll be glad when easter holidays will be over next week

More alchemy stuff

04 April 2009, 08:56 PM
And a real quickie in Painter from imagination

04 April 2009, 12:17 AM
WOW!! Alchemy rocks!! :bowdown:

04 April 2009, 06:01 AM
Man, alchemy really is a lot of fun... it's so relaxing, no? Fun stuff, man. I especially like the page with the pregnant woman silhouettes and the idol(?).

04 April 2009, 11:30 AM
Anand Yeah it does! Give it a shot! Would love to see what you'd do with it ;)
Jason I was pretty nervous yesterday for no particular reasons... it was just one of those days where everything I tried to draw failed to look as I intended it, a bad drawing day if you wish. Then I opened Alchemy and I suddenly got calmer. It is indeed very relaxing to just see the shapes become forms. I love it!

Here's a couple more

04 April 2009, 04:02 PM
Oooh, I like that you're adding some color in here. I've found that using color in Alchemy gives a sort of paper collage look, which is really interesting. Different slices of color overlay others, so it's kind of like stacking pieces of your image on top of each other, no? What settings do you typically use in Alchemy?

04 April 2009, 04:54 PM
cool Alchemy doodles Johan :) I enjoyed that software too :)

04 April 2009, 05:06 PM
Interesting Alchemy doodles, Johan. You could try overlaying some of those on top of another and see what that brings you. And then it's just like trying to see interesting shapes in clouds. Cool stuff.
Ahh, more life drawings, I'm still jealous. Some of the poses look really hard to draw, you've done a good job.
Played well with the brushes in Painter. I've tried them myself and they're amazing though needs some getting used to.

04 April 2009, 08:06 PM
I like the concept of the speed painting #1341 the perspective and machine are good, also nice studies of live drawing of the trhead 1337 are too good,.keep it :arteest: .

04 April 2009, 01:30 PM
Nice Alchemy experiments!

Great figure drawings! I especially like the ones with a bit of color in them. I feel more depth in those.

04 April 2009, 01:29 PM
Thank you all for your interest and for taking the time to reply.
Not been very active here lately myself... life get's in the way sometimes ;)

Here's a WIP on a portrait of my son in Acrylics.
This is more about getting to know the materials than it is about the result.
Used titanium white and lamp black to mix values.

I'm really interested in hearing about what brushes are good for painting with acrylic paint, how to keep them as long as possible, how to use them (LOL?) etc
Any info is welcome and highly appreciated!

Thanks in advance

04 April 2009, 01:38 PM
looking forward to more on this one Johan! I used to love acrylics back in the day I was a kid:) just treated myself to the Dan Dos Santos' vids from Concept art :) - highly recommend it :)

04 April 2009, 05:02 PM
Fun! It just feels good putting brush to canvas, no? It's not like a tablet. With a brush you feel pressure sensitivity, and with a tablet it feels all cold and hard and lifeless... I like painting. :D
As far as brushes and acrylic... I can't give any sage advice on this topic, but from what I've experienced it really just depends on the look you want. I've used flat brushes, sable brushes, cheap brushes, nice brushes... I've painted opaque right from the tube, and I've painted with it super diluted with water. As far as I know it's all "ok" for your canvas or brushes or paints or what have you. One of the best things I've done for myself in the realm of natural paint media is just grabbing a big sheet of paper of some kind and just putting colors down in different consistencies, different combinations or layers, and seeing how things go.
For my own workflow, I put down colors on a big sheet of paper. I'll mix and dilute to taste and then make a small mark somewhere else on the paper to make sure I have the paint how I want it, and then I'll put it to canvas. That's for the careful stuff. Sometimes it's fun to just grab some paint, assume it'll probably look right, and just throw it on the canvas really thickly. I did that for an acrylic copy of a Van Gogh and it was a lot of fun. Acrylic dries really quickly, so if you mess up or put down a bad color, just wait a minute and you can just come back and paint over it. Everything you do just adds to the texture and unpredictability of the piece.

Hope at least some of that was useful! Have fun dude.

04 April 2009, 06:55 PM
Hey Johan! great start on the portrait! Good luck with acrylic! For making the paint stay wet, try using a retardant gel, or just keep spraying water on the palette from time to time. Keep going!:thumbsup:

btw, I just watched a trailer of the Dan Dos Santos video that Magda mentioned .. seems like a good buy!

04 April 2009, 07:32 AM
Just finished reading back 20+ pages, looking at your studies and experiments... wow Johan, fantastic and inspiring stuff man. Loved the frog.. the colors and now I want to use the palette knife. Awesome studies with pens and I think you're doing fine with charcoals and the contes. I'd like to see more charcoal work from ya. Lovely painting of your little one and the cat.
The clock is starting to catch up to me now, feels like 3:30am, past my bedtime. yuck

04 April 2009, 11:17 PM
Hey Johan! great start on the portrait! Good luck with acrylic! For making the paint stay wet, try using a retardant gel, or just keep spraying water on the palette from time to time. Keep going!:thumbsup:

btw, I just watched a trailer of the Dan Dos Santos video that Magda mentioned .. seems like a good buy!

a very good one!! He's very precise and explains a lot of practical things he's learned over the years... it was also awesome to hear what the actual process of making a book cover really is like - I mean what the instructions from the client are [there's an interview with the representative of the publishing house] etc - and he's making a real cover - I checked on Amazon :) A very exhaustive and instructive dvd. 50 bucks very well spent in my opinion :D

04 April 2009, 07:05 AM
Hey Magdalena, Anand, Jason, DivineRain,

thank you for the valuable input!
I've bought the Dan Dos Santos DVD download from Massive Black yesterday and watched 3 of 5 parts (it's 5 hours in total, had to give my gf driving lessons as well, which also took more than 2hrs)

BIG Thanks to you Magda and Anand for mentioning this Artist and that DVD because... well... WOW!
It's really great because he really shows you the whole process from the very beginning (the more bussiness related stuff, rather than just the art creation process alone).

I'm a bit bitchslapped by the fact that he works 11hrs a day, 7 days a week, because the kind of work he does and the level of quality is actually some thing that looks very VERY much like one of my longterm goals. However, where I thought I wanted to reach a decent level (good enough to be called professional standard) in 10 years, I will have to revise that and think more like 20 years or more instead. I'm at 3.5 years of drawing now and nowhere near a professional standard, mildly spoken. 1-2hrs a day just isn't enough to become good. The fact that I find nothing satisfying in my current job doesn't help, but I can't risk losing my income so there is no other way, unless I can find a 30k/year sponsor (OMFG)

Anyway, the first parts of the DVD have already helped me tremendously.
It confirms that I am on the right track in trying to find a working process that allows me to start a piece and take it all the way within a reasonable time. There is a lot of work to do on that part still as well. I'm glad I wasn't forgetting about it.

Being able to follow the process and his thoughts throughout the whole creation process is really awesome. There are so many things he says on where you go "ah yes ofcourse" but to actually think about what seems logical when creating something is another thing.

The stuff he tells about color... well, I think I will have to allow myself to find all that stuff out by actually painting over the next years. It's all just too much for me to understand right now, being such a color-noob. That's ok, there are no shortcuts.

So my biggest problem still remains the same: TIME!
I guess a lot of fellow aspiring artists can relate to that huh

Life drawing tonight, looking forward to that!
Thanks peepz, you rock!

04 April 2009, 01:33 PM
great to know you found it useful Johan :) Yes he'd make a good teacher as well as artist - usually those types of dvds are boring - his is not :)

04 April 2009, 11:18 AM
hey johan . . love the new works. . the lines and tonesz in life study are real nice ..
and i see that you too have been trippin alchemy . . did u ge the beta.007 ?? it's awesome .

05 May 2009, 06:49 AM
i like the what you did with Alchemy. i didn't manage to get to satisfying results myself but maybe i should try some more.
and really nice lighting in the figure drawing.

keep it up :wavey:


05 May 2009, 02:01 PM
cool Alchemy doodles, man. I have never really grasped how to create something with that app. It still rests on my desktop, but mostly I don't touch it.

Your life drawings are really - really - taking off. Definitely keep the dedication for these sessions up, because it's looking more and more like you understand how the person you are drawing actually *feels*, you know?

05 May 2009, 09:27 AM
Hey folks thanks very much for the sound advice and the really nice comments!
I'm really sorry for not being very active here lately, but things are quite hectic here with an examn I had to take, my daughters communion, sickness, work and what more.

Anyway, in short I have a bunch of stuff to upload, just not getting to it.

Here's that finished portrait in Acrylics of my son.
The likeness got somewhat screwed up (this is how my son could look at age 12 or 14 iso age 6) so I started to experiment with ways to apply the paint, blending the paints on the canvas, using water etc... learned heaps, had loads of FUN :) This picture is a tad oversaturated, but not much! As Dan Dos Santos says in his DVD is true... mixing black and white does give gray with a blue-ish hue.

05 May 2009, 04:42 PM
Nice! You've done a really god job, Johan. :D People are pretty tough to do in traditional paint, but you got all your core shadows and reflected light down and everything. Woo!

05 May 2009, 08:58 PM
Neat job with acrylics, Johan. And I see you're really enjoying that DVD. Was thinking of getting it myself, but I've ordered Exodyssey ( instead, hehe. I guess I could spend all my money on art books...
Eager to see what you'll show next!

05 May 2009, 09:44 AM
Ha ha no this isn't fair. From your post on my thread I thought you were a beginner and now I discover you're this really cool versatile and most of all dedicated artist.
I say KUDOS!!:)

And, on a personal note, I'd say don't let a limited amount of time get you down. I spent app. 7 years on writing, 5 of which in school, with about 2 hours a day. On the one hand I feel like I have a lot to learn and am just starting out; on the other hand I earn my living as a (quite proficient) copywriter nowadays.

I guess if you're a creative person, creativity will always find a way to surface. Due to lack of time/energy (I don't have a boring job but instead deal with a health problem) the road may not be smooth and straight, but everytime you 'resurface' in the creative flow, you'll find you've grown - if not technically, then at least as a person/artist. In the end that's what matters.

Really don't want to lecture you but just give you a bit of encouragement from a fellow struggling artist who so knows what it's like!:)

05 May 2009, 11:28 AM
hey johan . . great to see you painting . . the portrait is coming out beautifully. . i simply love acrylics. . and once to get used to it. . u'll see the versatility of it and i am sure u'll love them too ..
herez my painting god Bhaskar Rao's work with acrylics . .

05 May 2009, 09:03 AM
yeah at first I was a bit disappointed as I was losing more and more of the likeness as I painted, but at a certain point I was able to let go and just paint for the fun of it, experiment with things and not minding the end result too much (except for trying to make it a believable portrait). Thanks for the support! Hope you're having a great trip back home :)

Thanks. That DVD is also a must have. I've been reading some books on painting traditionally, but I must say that a DVD is much better for such things... You see the artist at work, which makes it really easy to visualize what he is talking about. In a book, the words all sound nice and logic, but it's pretty hard for me to actually visualize them.
I have to seriously cut back on book expenses for a while now though. I still need the 3 most expensive parts for my new workstation (motherboard, cpu and memory). I've even had to stop my ImagineFX subscription because of this :/
Ironically, it ended after 43 issues :D

Heh thanks. Kudos to you too for picking up that pencil again!
Thanks for the encouragement btw, really well put how I hope it will turn out!
Positive vibes are so nice .

Hey Santosh, starting to dip my toes into it (as someone so nicely said a few days ago on these very boards). At a certain point I will totally dive in, but it will take 2 more years of drawing classes first.
It's a pitty I couldn't find more info on the painter you mentioned. That Renaissance Gallery website doesn't seem to have much on him... or did I overlook? Couldn't find much on google either. Anyway, perhaps I said it before, but there is something magical about putting this somewhat liquid-ish substance on a canvas... it's hard to explain but yeah... magical seems to describe it well :)


I've been neglecting this thread a bit, sorry. So busy!
Will post a tiny tiny portion of what I've done the last weeks, just so you don't think I'm slacking, coz I'm not ;)

Here's an alien character I'm working on

I've also made pages and pages like the one below... drawing my kids when they are playing, watching tv, drawing, crying, etc. We're talking poses of maximum 30 seconds here so things get quite hectic sometimes...

05 May 2009, 09:09 AM
Another thing I've been doing is using Doug Chiang's book Mechanika to learn more about bots and mechanic structures and vehicles. I've also done some perspective studies... simple ones so not making the effort to show them.

Here's a few examples of studies from Mr Chiang's book and some imaginational stuff

05 May 2009, 09:13 AM
One day, not too long ago, I arrived at the office around 6 in the morning (as usual), fired up my pc and saw this image by Alessandro Baldasseroni (, which I had set as my new wallpaper the day before.

I sat down and drew a quick sketch (about 15min), even before making coffee ^^
The pose was just too striking not to draw it

The man is a genius!
Life drawings coming up...

05 May 2009, 10:32 AM
The end of my 3rd year at the academy is near. Only 3 more weeks left and then I'll have to do without a nude model until september :s

Anyway, although I feel I'm a bit stuck on a plateau regarding life drawing in general, I do have the feeling I have learned a lot the past schoolyear. As some probably know, I will do the 4th and 5th year of this drawing course now, and then I'll do the 5 year painting course.
At least that is the plan. In any case I am looking forward to draw a lot more from life...

Here are some of the past few weeks. I missed a couple of classes due to my Art History presentation, but oh well... better some than none, right?

Mostly quick sketches (2-5min), in various media (pencil, compressed charcoal, ballpen, fine ink and artist pitt brushtip pen)

05 May 2009, 10:34 AM
quick life sketches continued...

05 May 2009, 10:37 AM
quickies continued...
Sorry for spamming but I must admit that usually the need to create is bigger than the need to photograph, resize and publish the drawings ^^

05 May 2009, 10:44 AM
And some longer studies, most are around 45min
In general, I am a lot happier with the short poses, the poses are somewhat more challenging, especially considering the short timeframe, but I feel the models are challenging themselves a lot more during these shorter poses. Something that seems quite logical too.
Next schoolyear, I plan to draw on bigger formats a lot more using charcoal, pastels etc

Pencil on A3

0.4mm Artline black pen

Pencil on A3

Failed to depict the foreshortening in the lower legs here:

Sorry for the ridiculously small images... tons of detail washed away... wish I had unlimited bandwidth but alas...

This summer, I'm focussing on getting used to paint with acrylics, broaden my digital skills and improving my workflow so I can bring concepts to a satisfying end result, rather than planting it somewhere in a corner on my hard drive to be forgotten eternally...

05 May 2009, 11:28 AM
Hey Johan,

I agree with you I like the 'quickies' best. Somehow there seems to be more flow and life to them. Especially like some of the inked (?) ones!
Keep going:)

05 May 2009, 09:47 AM
*jaw drops

man! You're a drawing machine!

05 May 2009, 09:48 AM
Hey pal,

finally had time to check your thread, great progress, work overall. :D

I really liked the animal paintings. This thread really need some wild animal love though :D


05 May 2009, 05:43 PM
Hey Johan,

Nice life drawings. I love the blue hand, great depth!

I love the bot studies. Mechanika is actually the next book on my shopping list. I haven't seen it in person, but liked the reviews on Amazon. Looks like it will be a good book to study from.

05 May 2009, 07:33 PM
Hi Johan, great ro see you do so many figure drawings. I envy you for than! We only have about 10 lessons with a model per year and that's it.
Figure drawing is great practice and it's very difficult as it's mostly a race against the clock. What strikes me a bit in your drawings is that you are mostly focusing on contour lines. Maybe you should try more to block in the figure with bigger and more fluent strokes like you did in the one on the left. Hope this helps! keep going!

06 June 2009, 09:42 AM
Thanks Maladie, Bart, Mu, menthol, Wes, for your input.

Yeah it's quite hard to keep the original spontanity when working out a quicky into a longer study. That being said, doing the "longer" -if you can call 15 to 90 minutes longer- studies really allows me to get into feeling the form much more profoundly.
This is probably why I work the way I work:

starting with a "quick" general depiction of the subject, a contour if you wish Bart, but it's really more than a contour. I am really trying to feel the form from once I have put some initial anchor points on paper.
continuation of feeling the form, using light and shadow to render the forms. I'm learning to see light and the absence of it as a tool to understand what I observe.
adding expression to the model's face, what is she thinking while posing? sometimes you can sense the model may have had an experience during the day which made a certain impression. (before the sessions even started). So sometimes you can see they are tired, worried, relaxed, nervous, sad, happy, proud...

Here's some more life drawings from last week, all in ballpen.

I have another important question:
I've been reading the dutch version of
Classical Painting Atelier: A Contemporary Guide to Traditional Studio Practice (

by Julliette Aristides (

This is an amazing source of information and an absolute must have for everyone that is into visual art. Anyway, in the book, she describes the composition methods that were used by the old masters. She talks about something called "the armature of a rectangle". (free translation from dutch).

I couldn't find much info about this and other composition methods on the internet, at least nothing too satisfying.
So my question is, what books on composition methods can you recommend?
Do you have any online resources you are willing to share?


06 June 2009, 04:50 PM
hey johan . . beautiful new work . .
and i think it sounds like you are lookin for the golden ratio

i remember reading this over and over years ago .. i kinda gave up. .

06 June 2009, 01:32 PM
Again love the quick ones! The proportions and lines in those somehow look better, more certain. I really don't see why that would be - maybe the further you go, the more choices you have to make? Anyway the shading is beautifully done in all of them!:)

06 June 2009, 11:52 AM
Hi Johan..:) ...As always, a pleasure seeing your progress..and drawings.:thumbsup:

If I haven't mentioned it to you already,..a great book to have in your personal library, and is one of my most prized possessions is PAINTING TECHNIQUES OF THE MASTERS by HEREWARD LESTER COOKE..Curator of painting, National Gallery of Art..He covers alot of what makes for GREAT DESIGN in there by disecting and analizing 100 GREAT, GREAT MASTER PAINTINGS..:)

06 June 2009, 02:15 PM
Hi Johan! Long time!:wavey:

I love these quickies as well. So free and loose.

06 June 2009, 03:07 PM
Hi Johan, the acrylic painting of your son came out really well! Nice figure studies. As always, I'm in aww at how incredibly productive you are. :)

06 June 2009, 03:48 PM
actually, usefull links. Thanks for that!
Will try to show you something next weekend on composition... never seen anything like it before (me, I mean)

I think it may have something to do with losing the spontanity when drawing longer.
I tend to doubt my techniques, proportions, etc more when I spend longer time at a drawing.

Thanks for mentioning that book sir!
Will buy it for sure (one day! when lady fortune allows me too)

Thanks for popping in my humble thread man! Great to see you back!

Thanks! Me? Productive? Wait until a couple of months and see then... I'm planning to be really productive this summer ;)

Last drawing class of my 3rd year at the academy yesterday :/
Teach saved a really nice exercise for last though...
He gave us 2 long bamboo sticks. One with a sharp point (=cane pen), one with a small sponge wrapped around one of the ends.

Then we drew the model with bistre while standing, having taped our paper (70cm x 100cm) to the floor.

About 30 min each I think:

Things are going pretty bad at the company where I work. I guess a lot of you can relate to that. Last monday, we got the message that any day could be our last. Also, working conditions will drastically change (and not in the positive way). I've worked there for more than 7 years now and to see colleagues being squeezed out like sponges and then thrown away like a piece of garbage, really hurts. I have it from a very reliable source that these "reorganisations" are only required to keep the big bosses bonusses at maximum level.
That's like stabbing a knife in the back of every employee.
Sad thing is nobody can do anything about it... it's a game everyone has to play... if you play it well, you might have a chance to survive...

since any day can be my last, I will not just sit there and wait until I get sacked.
Our dept. should be migrated with this other entity of the company by the end of the year.
That gives me 6 months to prepare myself. (I hope).
So I will try to get a portfolio together with stuff that I think is really good.
And when the day comes, I will not only apply for jobs in the finance business, but also submit my portfolio everywhere in the country.
At least that's the plan...
Wish me luck, and discipline.
I'm gonna need it!

06 June 2009, 03:50 PM
HEY ..Johan...:)

I just checked out a book from the public library where I live...GREAT BOOK...I don't know if you can find it on the internet, but you might..:)
It's title is.


It was first published in 1975, so if you do find it, it shouldn't be very expensive...Would deffenitly be a good one to have on hand in your personal home library:)

P.S.....I just read about your job situation after I posted the thing about the book....Sorry to hear about your job situation...All I can say, is.. Storms come and go throughout life...maybe you'll land in a better place and end up in a better position when this latest one blows over, you just never know...Anyway, GOOD LUCK on the journy...:thumbsup:

06 June 2009, 04:10 PM
I'm sorry to hear about the situation in your job, but there is always something good coming out of bad. So yes - send your portfolio everywhere, let the world know that a talented artist is available! I hope you'll get a good art related job so you'll not have to worry about the finance business jobs. If not at least more commissions to build up your portfolio and prestige :)

Nice exercise and results. You'll be missing the classes I guess. How many years more to finish?

06 June 2009, 06:06 PM
Ah Johan!

Your life is about to change! How wonderful!


I am not even trying to be sarcastic. First, I was kinda shocked when I read your news, but I was *immediately* thinking you should be using this turn of events to go with the flow of a new current in your life.
A bit like a surfer who is waiting 300ft offshore for his wave. Minute after minute. But then it builds up and if you catch it, it will carry you on and on and you'll know it was worth the wait.

At least that's how I figured I would have to describe it to you in order to make you send your portfolio around when I read this:

So I will try to get a portfolio together with stuff that I think is really good.


Go, Johan! No regrets, man!


06 June 2009, 01:21 PM
I'm sorry to here about your work situation Johan. I've been having difficulties on the job front too, and I know how much work situations suck at the moment. Just have to hold out 'till things improve and concentrate on the positives like more time for drawing. It's scary to think how productive you will be with more time :p Sounds like you have a good plan already. So I wish you bunches of luck and much dicipline! :)

06 June 2009, 05:07 PM
Hey Johan, long time I did not stop by ..
so many (many many many!!) new drawings and things here!
And - wow - you are painting acrylics, eager to see where you can take this technique (I admire everyone who paints acrylics (if I understood well);
for some reason I never was able to grasp this amazing medium) ..

I am sorry to hear about your job difficulties/situation;
I did not read all the posts since my last visit here, so - I am sorry if it has been mentioned already - but - I always wanted to ask you, but did not:
I know it is not easy, having family with three children - and I do not know anything about the job market in your country - but - didn´t you think about trying to find some art-related job? would this be possible ??
just curious ..
crossing my fingers for you,
btw. really love your charcoals in #1299

06 June 2009, 10:08 AM
Sorry to hear about your situation at work, times sure are getting harder.
Can't last forever though.

The best of luck with your portfolio, you have some beautiful work to fill it up with.
Be sure to keep us updated on the progress :)

06 June 2009, 02:25 PM
Hey exciting news here. At least, I hope that when you get past the scary, you'll start to be able to appreciate the exciting part:).

Easy for me to talk though, I don't have a family, house etc. Even so, hope you will flourish in this new situation! What sort of art-related stuff would you like to do?

06 June 2009, 04:05 PM
SpiritDreamer / Glenn
Thank you for the nice book tip!
And for taking the time to visit me here :)

Yeah will miss classes for sure, starting from next week :/
Going into my 4th year of the 5 year drawing program now.
Then I'll do 5 years painting, then I'll do 2 additional years drawing, then 2 additional painting, and then... perhaps sculpting? Who knows :)

Heh thank you my friend. Your positive spirit has really helped turning that mental switch.
I better get mys ass in 2nd gear, gave myself until end of September to create 8 to 12 strong illustrations. (lol, me and my goals)

Thanks! It's not sure I will be fired yet though. But there is a big chance. That's all we know.
On the other hand, I could still be working there in 5 years... who knows?
I'm just thinking I should be prepared when it does happen.
There will be no time to waste then as I have 3 kids to feed.

hey, welcome back girl, GREAT to see you here :)
Yeah, an art job would be fantastic, but honestly, I first have to prove to myself that I am capable of creating illustrations at a rate of minimum 8hrs painting per day... then I'll decide if I'll try it or not. Although Belgium has a pretty active art market, I'm not sure I fit in either... will have to see...

Yep. Timing sucks though LOL
But I will survive, that's for sure.
Thank for the encouraging words!

Lol exciting for sure... just not that pleasant
It's ok, I'm a big boy ;)

Here's a quick Alchemy sketch from last night.
Had others but this one I like the most.

Forgot to mention this:
The brainstormer ( you really ought to check it out!

06 June 2009, 05:42 PM
Hi Johan, it really saddens me to hear about your job situation...that's bollocks about the cuts being made to save someone else's bonuses, really this kind of nonsense is why I steer as clear of the corporate world as I possibly can. I guess there's cold comfort in that you have some time to prepare, and I know the hard part must be not really knowing for sure if the economy will pick up again, and the threat of what *might* happen recedes...these are tough times for everyone as we all know and we've definitely all been affected in one way or another. Keep your head up, and I definitely wish you all the best.

On the positive side, your drawings are really progressing and I appreciate all your activity here. Keep going, keep pushing yourself, and keep growing - it seems like people all over the world are having to reassess their lives thanks to the state of things today, and who knows, it could result in a positive change for you, but the bottom line is, you will survive and thrive, and you have a wonderful family to make life all the sweeter - so just appreciate every day and know that probably you are far better off than many out there who are facing even tougher situations. We all have to think positive at this point!

06 June 2009, 06:36 PM
Hi Johan,

I am really sorry to hear about your job situation. I really do hope it will be an opportunity for your art to flourish. I can't wait to see what fine illustrations you will create in the next few months. :)

I checked out the brainstormer. Kept clicking random, and some of the results were hilarious. :D

06 June 2009, 06:48 PM

that does not even look like alchemy - in a positive way.

Are you going to build it up a little?

06 June 2009, 07:26 PM
Hey Rebecca!
I really appreciate your support. Thank you!
You know of all online communities this one still does it for me.
ConceptArt is just as amazing but here at CGTalk the "creative" me was born. Your help and advise, especially in the very beginning, was one of those things that have opened my eyes.
I will never forget that.

With my observational skills growing, my vision of life changes along.
Eventually it will allow me to step away from the more academic stuff, but until then, I shall remain focussed on improving my technical skills and techniques. My current teacher wants to push me a bit, but I feel I will be better off not to rush things too much. Spending time watching, reading and commenting on other people's work at these boards has tought me this.
Although I've come a long way (remembering those first drawings, ouch) and I am getting more and more positive feedback from people who see my work, I realise that I have quite a bit to grow and my drawing needs to improve in every aspect of it.

As you say, we all have setbacks and we all pull through every time.
BUT... A smile from my kids, a sunrise, a sunset, a tree, the clouds, ... nature has a lot to offer! It's those little things that make it all worth playing that "corporate game". Although I must admit that if I could, I would leave it as fast as possible. I can only agree with you when you say you want to stay away from it as far as possible.

Perhaps I sounded more negative when I posted my comments on my work situation, than I actually am. I guess I was shocked after that meeting at the office. Actually, the 2nd part of your reply is pretty much how I see life these days. I am blessed! Every day is a gift to me!
Anyway, I will try to use the current situation for my familie's and my own benefit and if I succeed, this will turn out great for my us, no matter which direction it grows.
Above all, creativity must and will prevail :D
Thanks again for your support!

Hey Wes,
It's ok and I hope so too. I'm not gonna sit around and wait for good things to happen, that's for sure ;)
That brainstormer is really fun eh :D

Dear Mu,
LoL, it felt like alchemy :D
You know, perhaps I should see if I can do something with this chap.
Thanks for the suggestion (no promisses though... working on 2 bigger projects as we speak)

Thank you all! You peepz ROCK!

EDIT: in all my enthousiasm, I forgot to add this doodle sheet I made in my lunchbreak today...

06 June 2009, 12:41 AM
Love the 3d look and vibrance in the lowest one. Keep pushing this style, it seems to suit you! Maybe include even more movement/drama into it. Er, when those other 3 projects are finished, I mean:).

Love your take on life too!:) Go Johan!

06 June 2009, 05:25 PM
Hi Johan, sorry to hear about your job situation. I hope things will start to clear up after the crisis soon...
Great results with that alchemy thing; i should practice some more with alchemy myself...
Keep going!

06 June 2009, 12:42 AM
I really like that last Alchemy sketch - really cool colours!

06 June 2009, 07:43 PM
Your painting skills really impress me man, I especially love the wildlife paintings. The bird is awesome but that frog is really really awesome (the saturated but natural color in them is really great)... Im inspired for sure!

Oh I'm referring to posts #1194, #1199, and the cat and girl on #1215... awesome stuff...

06 June 2009, 05:40 PM
Hey Johan,

Have you seen the Secret Agent Challenge ( Maybe I am slow, but I just found out about it, and it sounds like a lot of fun. Maybe it could be one of your summer illustrations? ;) I am thinking about participating myself. It says it runs till Sept 10th, but that is for videos. The deadline for images is August 9th.

06 June 2009, 07:28 PM
Maladie Thank you!
batte812 would love to see some Alchemy stuff from you! C'mon... post up :D
Intervain Thanks!
Lexalotacus Hey wow, it's really nice to hear I'm actually inspiring other people! So thank you too :)
Heozart Yeah I know about it. But I usually jump in and start a thread. Then I get totally stuck and end up with nothing. Will try to finish the longer projects I am currently working on first. If there is time left, I might still give it a shot.

Short replies, sorry! Hope you don't mind.
Been to my academy's open door today. Was surrounded by color! Had a blast!
Was pleased to see a couple of my drawings exposed. Saw lots and lots of nice drawings and paintings.
Nothing much to show yet, working on a lot of stuff though.
Here's a couple of very quick doodles.

Elisabeth, walking in the park... I was in the clouds :D

Edit: forgot to say...
I'm posting different stuff on my blog than I am posting here... shameless to say this here I know, but check it out on ( if you like

06 June 2009, 08:07 PM
Here's what I made of that Alchemy Warrior:

06 June 2009, 06:41 PM
Hey Johan,

That clickable link needs to be fixed, but the one in your signature works. Awesome job on the rhino in your blog! Looking forward to seeing more animal studies. :)

06 June 2009, 08:01 PM
Hey Wes, thanks for checking that out! Link fixed. Glad you like the rhino. More to follow for sure :) Got loads of stuff going on lately...

This one, for example, I finally put together a composition, after having that idea roaming around in my skull for more than a year now.
Things have been moved around a lot already... I like how it currently is. Still lots of stuff to add though, so nothing is fixed yet. The guy will be falling upward, escaping the real world, where time was that never ending weight on his shoulders. So the background will be some kind of a view on earth from above (not sure how it is called in English).

The colored lines are the composition tool I am using. It is the armature I was talking about a while ago, as described in Juliette Aristides' book on classical painting techniques. I'll try to use this armature in my paintings from now on, because it is a very powerful tool to achieve unity within the composition.

07 July 2009, 02:28 PM
thanks for dropping a line back there in my thread :)
i love your thread, it's so inspiring, to see all your hardworking, plus your drawing is soo good

07 July 2009, 09:33 AM
Hi Johan. And thank you for your post in my sb. Also, really sorry to hear about your loss too. At least I can say I know how you feel. They keep saying the first months are most uncertain, so when you get pass them you kind of sigh in relief and think your safe. I guess the toughest part is that its so sudden and unexpected.

As always, nice stuff you got here.
For some reason the last piece reminds me of Matisse's Dance :)
Can't really say why...
Hope to see it finished though, looks promising.
The alchemy sketch is cool. I think its missing something, maybe a little black. Reminds me of some Metal Gear game covers. I seem to have a remindment day or something, sorry :D

But yeah, cools stuff. I try to keep checking your sb more often.

07 July 2009, 09:53 AM
Hey Juho thank you!

It happened to us almost 9 years ago.
Reading what happened to you brought me back to that time for a second, making me realize that we could have had 4 children already by now.
However, we have 3 healthy, smart, beautiful and creative children now of 5, nearly 7 and nearly 8. They make us the happiest parents on earth, which is all what life is about for us these days. It seemed unfair at the time of mother nature to do this to us, but in the end, maybe it was for the best... Who knows, maybe our 1st baby would have had to suffer all his/her life from a painful disease, if it were born after all? Our Inèz, Lars and Amber do not replace the people we lose (nor should they), but they are able to fill up some of the emptiness in our hearts that remains after the passing of our loved ones. We're thankful for the strength we had to continue to found a family. I really hope you and your partner will find the same strength and grow stronger from your recent experiences.
All the best!

Thanks for the kind words!
Sorry, no image with this post. I'm at the office and to be honest, I've been seriously slacking. Sure, I have excuses, but they really are just excuses ;)
Change soon, I hope!

07 July 2009, 04:50 PM
Hi Johan :)

so much has happened since I last visited! For one your drawings and art is leaping forwards heaps! :thumbsup: - great to see! I hope you find relief from the sqeezing times at work - who knows, maybe Mu is right... take the opportunity to leap in a new direction, throwing caution to the wind. Your art has come so far in these years, I'm sure there are opportunities out there for you :) I do like the way you describe the magic in nature and your kids :) The ability to see these things place you in a happier luckier place for sure :wavey:

all the best and *helloooo* from a cold rainy land in the south
a. :)

07 July 2009, 09:56 AM
Busy busy here so sorry for not updating!

Annette, great to see you back, love those portraits you've posted recently!
Nothing is gonna happen at work for now... at least not until september. If I'm not fired in September, I'll probably be able to stay until the end of the year. If it doesn't happen then, not before spring 2010, etc. In any case, I'm not gonna sit and wait for it to happen ;)

In the mean time, I've been practicing with my markers.
I really like using them for concept sketches, because they are fast and quite versatile if you know how to use them. Still learning, but having a blast so I'm gonna be focussing on that for a while when sketching.

Here's a concept that was heavily inspired by Russell Chong's Malevolence Battle Cruiser.

I have made a lot more sketches already and the latest ones are much better than this one. You will be able to see them all if you follow my blog at ( ;)

Take care y'all!

07 July 2009, 12:27 PM
Hi Johan..:)

Good to hear and see that you are staying busy, in spite of it all...:thumbsup:

About your marker concepts..I don't know if it will be of any use to you, but when I was in school years ago, majoring in graphic design, a person from a design company came to class and gave a demontration on how to develope a concept and design using markers.
He used a big pad of tracing paper, and started the design he was developing on the last page in the pad of tracing paper.
When he reached a point that he liked with the design, he would then cover it with the next piece of tracing paper in the pad, and then modify what he had done on the previous page.
It worked like a layering system...It was a very quick way to explore, experiment, and modify the concept and design.
This method might be useful to you as you develope your machines..I thought it worth mentiong anyway, just in case it might be..:)
I liked looking at your bog by the way...nice setup..:thumbsup:
Looking forward to seeing where you take these machines to, or is it where they take you to..:D

07 July 2009, 04:23 PM
Hey Glenn, great to see you here :)
Things are going pretty slow lately at the forum, don't you agree?
So it's great to see at least some people still active :)

The ship in previous post, and the ones I posted on my blog, were done before I saw Feng Zhu's DVD on creating concept sketch with markers. That DVD was another revelation to me!

So after seeing that DVD (from the gnomon workshop), I completely altered my workflow into something similar like you just described.
I now make thumb sketches like the ones below, which take only a few minutes, pick one I like and then I make a more detailed sketch, but still a quick one, with just the fine tip pen.
When I'm happy with the design, I start another one with the markers.

Here are some thumb sketches:

07 July 2009, 12:21 AM
Hi Johan, good work on those spaceships. These thumbnails are an interesting way to explore shapes - and they are great fun to do. Keep going!

07 July 2009, 10:35 AM
Hi Johan...In answer to your statement/question..Things are going pretty slow lately at the forum..don't you agree?
Yes I do agree...:)
I may be wrong in my asumption of the reason for this sudden slowdown, i've been wrong before, and am not to proud or ashamed to admit it..:) But in this case I think i am right.

I think the slow down is due to the stripping away of peoples hard earned and well deservered stars recently....I noticed that right after that happened, the most valuble players dissapeared, with the exception of a very few who stay and are in the game for the learning and helping of others to learn FREE OF CHARGE.
I think the stripping away of stars was a bad move, in and for this community.
I think it was a dumb move on the part of those who had and have the POWER to have stopped it from happening, and who stood back silently and ALLOWED it to happen, or worse yet, CAUSED IT TO HAPPEN.
I can guarantee, that if the CG AWARDS were stripped away as the stars in this forum were, more than three quarters of the best players in this community would disapear from the community..:)

I like these last machines that you posed by the way...Nice concept developement going on with them...:thumbsup:

07 July 2009, 03:54 PM
Hey Johan, if you have Kurecolor markers and work with coated paper you will be flying since you could overlay colors there very subtly with the double points as is possible and then blending with cotton and alcohol, anyway I like the last posted here, great ships.


07 July 2009, 06:08 PM
Well what can I say. It's a pleasure to see you moving forward. Some of those designs are really worth pulling further and I'll be looking forward to that. Feng Zhu must have a mechanical hand, drawing such straight lines, amazing. Keep working, mate! And I know you will without me saying that :) Just stopped by to remind you I'm watching!

07 July 2009, 06:33 AM
thanks buddy! It's indeed great fun and I'm learning heaps about drawing technique using these fine tip pens and markers. This may be a step in the right direction for me because I'm forced to keep myself from going over my lines over and over again. (one of my major weaknesses imo).

Could be, although personally I don't really care about the stars.
It's also a logical evolution for some artists I think. They come here, practice a lot, get a lot of feedback, give a lot of feedback, learn heaps, improve to a professional standard level, get a pro job in the industry and end up with having little or no time to spend on their beloved forum.
Maybe it could be seen as the major goal for a forum like this one, boost up people's skills so they are ready to take the bigger step and get into the industry.

Hey thanks for that!
I use Letraset ProMarker markers (the only ones I could find in our store). Fortunately they blend really really well on copy paper when used quickly. That is the key to using markers I think, no matter which brand or paper you use, work fast!

Always moving forward, or at least looking in that direction heh.
Thanks for the support, as always!

No image (sorry, I keep posting without image ARGH)
But I wanted to post the following info, which I found through Gurney Journey (

The New York State Museum is holding it's biennal exhibition "Focus on Nature (" and is calling for entries worldwide. I know at least some of you will find this interesting :)

07 July 2009, 10:24 AM
Hi Johan :)

Impressive sketches with your markers! I too love the thumbnail idea, it lets you work through
a whole range of shapes and ideas in a visual space (meaning you see them all together, sorry :rolleyes: ) where you can alter and change each one based on the previous ones - or if you like, a completely different image in each thumb. And then to pick a favourite to do detailed sketches - that would almost be like going shopping... Oh I'll have that one... no maybe that one too :)
The ramble above is me saying 'great work' :arteest:

take care
Annette :)

07 July 2009, 04:22 PM
Great ships, it really looks like you are moving to the next level!

08 August 2009, 10:08 PM
spaceships :D nice!

08 August 2009, 11:20 AM
thank you :D

I'll have to watch not dropping to the previous level with my figure drawing though :eek:

Thanks! Good to see you on the boards!

I finally installed the PS CS4 trial. I'm saving up for a licence so I might buy it later this year.
As I was playing with it, something struck me:

This isn't how it's supposed to be, is it??
The top strokes are done first. I lowered the saturation level in steps of 25%.
According to the HSB Sliders panel, the value didn't change at all, while it is obvious that the left stroke (top series) is far brighter than the right one. However, it stayed at 75%
So I desaturated the layer and went colorpicking again to see the real values.
This time, PS gave me the correct values.

Did a quick check in Painter with the same file and it seems Painter is giving the correct values.

What's going on here?? HHHELPP?

08 August 2009, 06:50 PM
These vehicle concepts are looking so cool and professional. :D

Have fun with that trial!

08 August 2009, 03:20 PM
I finally installed the PS CS4 trial. I'm saving up for a licence so I might buy it later this year.
As I was playing with it, something struck me:

This isn't how it's supposed to be, is it??
The top strokes are done first. I lowered the saturation level in steps of 25%.
According to the HSB Sliders panel, the value didn't change at all, while it is obvious that the left stroke (top series) is far brighter than the right one. However, it stayed at 75%
So I desaturated the layer and went colorpicking again to see the real values.
This time, PS gave me the correct values.

Did a quick check in Painter with the same file and it seems Painter is giving the correct values.

What's going on here?? HHHELPP?
It gets confusing. The problem here is the HSB color space option doesn’t show you the grayscale luminance value of a hue. The B in HSB shows the set brightness level of the color not the luminance value of the color/hue. It’s kind of like looking at a paint swatch in different percentages of source light. If the source light is at 75% intensity, the ‘Brightness” value will remain at 75%, regardless of whether the hue is yellow or blue. If you want to see the grayscale value of a color, or a pure hue (100% saturated hue), choose the Lab space and look at the L value of the picked color.

Painter’s color picker is based on the HSV color space (I wish PS had this option), but if you check the Value of fully saturated pure hues, you’ll find that the Value is always 50%.
I really think the naming convention of the different color space models need rethinking because the characteristics get confusing between them, e.g. Lightness in one space acts differently in another space.

On Luminance (

08 August 2009, 09:20 PM
Hi Johan,

If you check the color triangle in Painter you can see that the full saturation is located in the tiny corner on the right hand side. You can't go any darker or lighter from there without either adding or losing lightness.

If you keep this in mind the PS color test is accurate even though the figures are misleading.

Why I post in here:

do you know this website:


hope you like what you see...:D

08 August 2009, 11:47 PM
One tip you may try is to have photoshop in CMYK preview mode periodically even though you are painting in rgb mode. The shortcut key is Ctrl y.

This will show you if colours you have chosen are beyond the cmyk gamut. Thus avoiding really oversaturated and garish colours, something commonly seen in RGB mode only paint programmes.

08 August 2009, 06:36 AM
Hi Johan....haven't visited your SB in quite a while. Great perspective drawings.

08 August 2009, 06:41 PM
Hi Johan, nice to see more of your work here, you're really progressing! I admire your willingness to try new things, I need to do more of that :)

Sorry to hear about the uncertainty at your job. I know the feeling, we had a bunch of layoffs when I was out on medical leave, and I was very worried I'd be one of them. Times are tough. Luckily I've been able to hang in there, and I hope you are able to too, for as long as you desire -

08 August 2009, 12:48 PM
staticpen lol they look more like crap to me, but thanks for your encouragement :)
Quadart Thanks for that link! I'm still in doubt about how color really works. I will have to find out the hard way the next few years, so bear with me.
Mu Thanks buddy. Yeah conceptships blog is one of the 50+ blogs I follow :)
vincent1 thanks for that tip!
vikramvr Thanks. Need many, many more actually :s
Del great to hear you again. Not sure about the progressing part though... or at least it's going slower than I wish. It's a damn good thing that school starts again soon, so I can get some routine again.

Summer has killed my routine completely.
I planned so many things and apart from revamping my blog/site, and a few quick sketches, I didn't do shit. Failure frenzy :eek:
Not good for my self esteem either, this rut... I just can't seem to produce a decent quality, finished painting/illustration. Each time I try, I loose faith along the way, or I get bored with the subject, or... well, plenty of excuses, but not results.
It's a damn good thing that school is starting again soon, at least my routine will come back then. That's a start.

We were at the beach last week. Had a blast!
I only drew one sheet there which is really crappy so not posting that.
Took a few pictures of the kids though, with interesting poses. Will try to sketch from those a bit... here's a first:

My PS trial ran out so it's all Painter again now. I'm trying to tell myself that if I want Photoshop, I'm gonna have to earn it by proving myself that I can get finished work in Painter first. (If I can't finish anything in Painter, I won't finish it in PS either, no need to lie)

08 August 2009, 01:14 PM
I know what you're talking there about summer, mate :) Same thing here. I just keep telling myself that I'll get back to it full speed once I'm in Italy. And that will happen soon.
Say, what's wrong with Painter?
Looking forward to more studies of the pictures you took!

08 August 2009, 03:59 PM
Nothing's wrong with Painter, just the painter using it is a bit screwed lately LOL!
I would really like to buy photoshop now, but I just gotta make sure I am not making empty investments with that. I mean, it is really REALLY important now for me to get on to the next level and make some decent portfolio paintings/illustrations as soon as I can. I have painter so I should be able to do that. PS is great for coming up with ideas and quick sketching though. The transform tools, the speed of PS and the brushes etc are a big help to get past that initial phase. I can see myself starting a painting in PS, then bringing it in Painter to work it out.

Here's a quick cloud study, based on a ref I shot one evening here on our terrace.
I wanted to do at least 10 of those this summer... well I did 1 now :blush:

08 August 2009, 06:52 PM
Hi Johan, good to see you posting some work again! I like the drawing of the kids.
I hope you can make a decision on Photoshop; one more thing to consider is that it is the industry's leading program. So if you have any professional ambitions, you should be able to work with PS.
Keep going!

08 August 2009, 02:35 PM
hey johan,
so many things happened here ..
enjoying your thread, as always;
I can understand how you feel when "no result" (as you say) comes up for some time (me the same) - but - on the other hand - you deserve/or can "afford" some rest (not sure about correct Engl. word here) after such a productive year of yours, I would say ..
looking forward to seeing some new work of you again, whatever it is going to be :)

hopefully your job situation will be ok - or solved somehow, soon

about your Painter/PS dilema - no advice, sorry,
just - funny - its completely the opposite with me :)
I use PS usually mainly for image post-production/processing work or when I need working with exact color/tone information - but - when it comes to painting or some concept work, if I do not have to, I don´t sketch in PS, since I don´t like painting/sketching in PS too much (except for using some special brushes I do not have in Painter), as I find Painter much more comfortable for sketching/painting - and even its brushes (in my computer) for some reason are way too quicker than brushes in Photoshop (even when no dynamics is added) ..
but - what I really hate, is Painter´s instability (maybe it´s just me, but my Painter is crashing all the time, in both of my PCs, both versions - I have version 8 and X) and I neither like pretty bad layers/masks management, which is not a "problem", but a "feature" I would say (compared to non-problem, intuitive, comfortable and nicely working layers, groups of layers, channels, masks operations in PS, which I got used to in PS over the years; but this is not that importatnt for painting)
just my experience ..
are you considering to buy PS4 licence? (or PC3 Standard/Extended?)

08 August 2009, 03:19 PM
Alenah, do you have enough space on C/system drive? I noticed that no matter what your scratch disc is (mine is not the system one) Painter needs at least 5GB free space on the system drive or it crashes. Mine 9.5 does it anyway.
Sorry, my mistake - I haven't changed the scratch disc after reinstallation, had it on C. Anyway it needs at least 5GB free space on scratch disc or it'll crash.

Johan, what has confirmed you to Photoshop?
Like Alenah I do almost everything in Painter, use Photoshop mostly to postproduction, like levels correction and to add my website URL, because Painter doesn't see the font I have chosen; save for web also works the best here. Apart that although I miss in Painter the basic round brush* Photoshop offers, but I couldn't seriously paint in Photoshop even if I wanted - I have tested most of available Photoshop versions and in all of them my tablet paints "broken" lines (angular, even with smoothing enabled). [*None of custom brush equivalents for Painter have ever worked as this one, one of Rob's brushes was closest. ATM I use mainly oil pastels instead but it does not create the "clean" digital look so much hated and wanted, screaming "Photoshop!" from a distance ;) IMO useful for ice painting and alike.] Also the brush size in Photoshop is different in mark than size I choose and brush cursor displays. I don't have this in Painter, it only slows down with large canvas. Of course it's good to know industry standard number 1, but I don't know yet what can be done in Photoshop which could not be done in Painter (ice painting is possible, I just grumble above). Apart painting on really huge documents, that is, Painter simply cannot handle them (at least Painter 9.5).
[But if I had decent income I would get a better computer (which I really need) and the newest full industry No1, just to keep with standards and because I'm a geek, nerd or alien, whatever - I simply like computers ;) But I'm broke so feed curiosity with trials and wait for better times.]

08 August 2009, 05:34 PM
Hey Bart, saving up for Photoshop yes. It's costly, but I love it. (I love Painter too though, and PS will be the perfect addition) I think I'm gonna buy it from here ( Xmas

Thanks for visiting!
Yeah the past 2 weeks were all about kiting, building sand castles and so on :)
However, gotta get my ass back into gear as school starts again tomorrow (can't wait!) and I still don't have many illustrations worth putting in my portfolio.
Maybe this one will do? Critique plz!

Err what? :p
I wanted to try PS for a long long time and now I just couldn't wait any longer.
Had to see how it behaved (painting wise). Some stuff I like, some stuff I miss (like the just add water brush). But for editing it would be a great addition, because I seem to loose crispness and saturation when converting RIF files to JPG files. Money is always a problem for a father of 3 kids that is the only provider of income in the family, so I know what you talk about ;)

Anyway, here's an attempt to step up a level

08 August 2009, 06:07 PM
The image looks nice but I would like to see more of the lava bottom here, I feel it's cut.

Cool price! I have found it even cheaper, but I am not sure about the licence vs making prints: The licence from your looks clear, but is much more expensive. We've got to rob a bank, no other way ;)

Save TIFFs and turn into JPG in a different program, Painter saves crappy JPGs. You said you used ACDSee, I guess it should manage it. If not - ArtWeaver will do :) (And handles PNG which is nice.) Only it's JPGs are much heavier than Photoshop ones. More cool applications here, I need to test SAI, yet:

08 August 2009, 06:19 PM
The 99$ one is an OEM one that you cannot use for commercial work
The one on pbsoftware is the real thing... boxed version ;)

edit: ACDSee can't handle RIF or PSD files (at least not version 8 I have)

Thanks for commenting

08 August 2009, 06:55 PM
Oh may, look here: There are no OEMs.

09 September 2009, 03:43 PM
Yes you're right, no OEM's but the licence for that 99$ one stinks anywayz ;)
I think the licence for the one at pbsoftware is a full licence. It's not cheap, but it's still only half the price compared to buying it straight off the adobe website.

I tried to make the Golem painting better.
It's really irritating to see some details wash away with the jpg compression though...

I will put a 1280px wide version up on my DA page and some detail shots on my blog tomorrow.

09 September 2009, 09:34 AM
Hi Johan, you're really progressing,:applause:
Keep going!

09 September 2009, 06:59 PM
xsiyou Thanks! You bet ya :D
I was sooo happy to be at the life drawing atelier again :love:

Bad news: no school next monday.
Good news, talked to some really experienced people and they have advised me which instructor to choose when I start my painting class 2 years from now. I'm really looking forward to that now (can't wait actually!) because I was told this person is really a restaurateur with incredible technical skills. Exactly what I am looking for in an instructor :)
In 2 weeks time there will be open atelier days at our academy, so I will defenitely pay him a visit :bounce:

I better relax though... gotta do 2 more years of life drawing first... need more basic skills!
(Note to self: down boy! Sit!)

09 September 2009, 06:23 AM
Cool studies there, I envy you T-T I had to go outside my school to actually be able to even make it to a life-drawing class.

09 September 2009, 07:59 PM
Thanks. I need the life drawings so badly so yes, I'm fortunate to be able to follow these classes.

A 50 min speedpaint of Amber
Wanted to see if I could quickly establish likeness. Failed miserably LOL

ii spent the last 2 days painting a supersonic pizza scooter for the IDW challenge at conceptart... oh boyz... I need some serious practice...
check it out here (

09 September 2009, 02:58 PM
Hey Johan, sweet sketchbook you have here :) I am really ashamed seeing how much work you did here, great progress! Your colors looks great, especially in the last speedpaint. If you don't achieve likeliness it's not bad thing, it's fact I face as well, it's just how close you can get. For this purpose it's better to take your pencil. For example I can't concentrate enough to catch the form if I go to colors directly.
I see you started doing more industry design and perspective practice - That's GREAT! It's something that looks boring, but if you don't give up it will be a gold in the near future. I saw your IDW, it's very neat and readable, it deserved more votes than it got - but you know, the last time I did IDW I had no vote at all xD
This week it's the topic : Anti-Orbit Self Propelled Artillery ; so we could take part in this together, what do you say? :)

Keep up buddy ;)

09 September 2009, 04:42 PM
Really superb work man....
I'm excited looking at all this pages.
very inspiring.

Keep it up!

09 September 2009, 05:32 AM
Hi Michal

Thanks for the kind words and encouragement!
If you don't achieve likeliness it's not bad thing Yeah I don't mind not achieving my goal for a certain exercise at all anymore. It just means I need more practice ;)

For example I can't concentrate enough to catch the form if I go to colors directly.

That's exactly the reason why I did this exercise. It's obvious that I need plenty more practice :D

Anti-Orbit Self Propelled Artillery
I can't visit the CA website here at the office (it's blocked by IT security dept). I'll check it out tonight at home and think about something during the day. Maybe come up with some quick sketches (got a boring day ahead here at work anyway). Thanks for letting me know about IDW (so many communities, such limited free time).
No idea what they mean wth an Anti-Orbit Self Propelled Artillery is supposed to be though lol

Thanks mate.
I've got a bunch of stuff piling up to post, but there's just not much time to do all I want. So I'm trying to cut my time on surfing, downloading reference and uploading sketches.
Will upload a selection soon though!

09 September 2009, 05:36 PM
Here's a couple of fashion mag studies

And a quick sketch from at the office today.
I guess even superheroes need a break every now and then. This one is getting quite plastered though...

09 September 2009, 04:30 AM
Great studies...In the first image, is the first girl pinching the second girl in the rear??

09 September 2009, 02:08 PM
Hey, Johan! School started yet? Really looking forward to seeing stuff you'll be doing there. I like it how little line you're using in these latest studies of yours. Simplicity is a good thing. I'd suggest learning a few things from Marko Djurdjevic, who has posted a nice load of his work ( recently, which you might have seen already, but it's still worth mentioning. May not be the stuff you're after in your art but damn, the way he draws figures...

09 September 2009, 02:54 PM
vikramvr heh you bet ya! (they were both on a separate page though in the fashion mag, but since her hand wasn't there in the first place, I thought it was a funny way to avoid having to invent a hand, ok I was lazy I admit it)

razz Yep, sure has. 4th year now. 2 more to go before starting painting classes!

Some quickies with charcoal. Still losing sharpness with these soft media... need more practice!

09 September 2009, 02:57 PM
And some more with the same issues

I'm gonna play with bistre tonight!

09 September 2009, 04:10 PM
More life drawing

Bistre on A3

Assignment was to use only straight lines with this one:

10 October 2009, 09:50 AM
good to see your school has already begun :)

what is the size of your charcoal studies?
and - is there any time limit too?
and - how do you feel about painting bistre? do you feel comfortable with this medium?
(sorry, cant help, browsing your sketchbook always triggers many questions :) )
cheers, a.

10 October 2009, 10:14 AM
Thanks for popping in Alena! Always nice to see you here :D
They're all A3 sized for now, I plan to go a bit bigger soon as it will allow me to work from the shoulder and loosen up even more.

The charcoals were a couple mins max, the bistre stuff a bit longer (about 10-15min apart from the portrait and the reclined figure at the bottom, those were probably a good 20min each).

EDIT: forgot to answer your last question Alena. I love bistre! it's so much fun to do!

Concerning my "academic career", I've some news as well... I had a good talk with my teacher this week and he advised me to start painting next year already and then alternate classes each year between drawing and painting class. This way I will not have to leave life drawing class for longer than a year. Normally, each class is structured as 5 years + 2 years specialization.

So I'm seriously thinking about doing this as follows now:
2009-2010: year 4 - life drawing (currently doing this)
2010-2011: year 1 - painting
2011-2012: year 5 - life drawing
2012-2013: year 2 - painting
2013-2014: year 6 - life drawing (1st year of a 2 year "specialization")
2014-2015: year 3 - painting
2015-2016: year 7 - life drawing (2nd year of a 2 year "specialization")
2016-2017: year 4 - painting
2017-2018: year 5 - painting
2018-2019: year 6 - painting (1/2 specialization)
2019-2020: year 7 - painting (2/2 specialization)

I'm not sure though, since from the 3rd year on in painting class, you can choose a certain direction: figure painting or go for a more abstract direction.
Any ideas or suggestions or thoughts on this are very welcome!

10 October 2009, 11:02 AM
thanks, Johan :)

concerning your plans for the next 10 years - wow!
personally I do not feel like giving any advice in this, all I can say is just - yes - wow, sounds great, whatever you´ll decide for :)
but seriously - hard to say, I think you´ll better know after your first year of painting will be over, maybe then you´ll be able to compare and you´ll better know how to decide then for the next years (?) .. (in case you needn´t make a decision in advance right now)
sounds like a dream to me anyway :)

p.s. may I ask you one more question about the bistre?
do you tilt your paper while painting? (not sure about my English here)
what I mean is - do you paint with your paper laying down horizontally, or vertically (or kind of "semi-vertically") ?
in watercolor - using the gravity for the pigment spreading while the paper position is not horizontal - gives very different results,
your bistre studies look fine to me,
I am just curious, as I do not know bistre behavior very much :)

10 October 2009, 02:33 PM
Yep, it will run off your paper if you tilt it too much.
It's like with watercolors, viscosity is very low, similar to water.
I don't always have the chance to work on a table in class, so if I can't I use a trestle (had to look that up hehe), and hold my paper at an angle of maximum 10°, estimatly.

Bistre is more demanding than a pencil etc for me because it requires technical skills, something I am always aiming to improve.

But above all, I have to admit that I really had a lot of fun using it. I'm guessing it's the brushwork that does it for me :)

It's quite cheap too btw, you can buy bistre powder that will last you for months if not years for less than 1€

If you want to see what can be done with bistre, check out Rembrandt and Rubens... both have made amazing sketches with this medium.

10 October 2009, 02:40 PM
.. looking forward to more of your studies :)

10 October 2009, 10:38 PM
Long time no see :)

your sketchbook is looking great, I especially like the ink drawings :)

and seeing your 10 year plan I feel so bad about me being so impatient about everything and not having guts to attend art school myself :/
keep it up :beer:

10 October 2009, 03:32 PM
future master,:thumbsup:
Rembrandt is my idol
looking forward to more of your studies

10 October 2009, 08:27 AM
You know, I am really quite anti-social myself. I simply don't have much faith in human beings. Just read the newspaper or watch the news on tv and it's plain obvious that humans are quite selfish and egocentric creatures. I find that extremely repulsive.
The fact that I experience similar things almost every day (at work, for example), makes me want to hide from everyone in my own little world. I've recently started a project I called "Sequentina, A Linear World" that has a lot to do with my feelings towards our current situation. But more on that soon!
What I wanted to say is that even though I dislike our western ways of living, it is something we cannot avoid. I see it as a game we all must play along to assure our happiness on a long term. So I started going to school after having thought about it.
My advise would be to solve your problem by letting your hunger for knowledge and improvement decide for you. You will see that it is not that bad in school, because you will be surrounded by people with similar interests (namely art). A creative environment also works very inspiring and motivating. So I hope you will enrole in some sort of art education program soon! :)

LOL you're funny!
Maybe in 2040 :D

I've been drawing a lot with those fine tip pens you can find everywhere. They are not erasable and force me to think about my linework. Something I still consider a weak point.

Here is a fraction of what I did during the last month or so. Most sketches I won't even post because they are even worse than these... but posting some will remind me to keep thinking about my lines (I hope)...

A lot of stuff after various artists (from life, internet sources and old IFX issues), mixed with stuff from imagination.

10 October 2009, 08:30 AM
And some more from ref and imagination

10 October 2009, 03:25 PM
One can tell you've been working on your drawing skills. That is great to see. Ok, one thing I can tell from the work I see here is that it's all done pretty fast. I remember I've been told that it's also good to do something that requires lots of time. You know, i do believe that sometimes ot's more useful to spend an hour on each of twenty pieces, but it's good to spend twenty hours on one piece also. Just something to keep in mind :) And I haven't seen a lot of digital stuff lately from you. But you seem to have quite an idea on what you're after, so I don't want to be giving suggestions that are useless to you. I think you know the right way yourself :) Keep it up, mate!

10 October 2009, 05:15 PM
HEY Johan...Razz is making a good point there...Speed isn't the end all,..In fact, most of the old masters saved their speed and swift power strokes for the finale,... just to breath life into the piece once all of the hard work and planning had been acomplished..Speed was then applied like the iceing on the cake so to speak..:) Kind of like a marathon race, where the racer paces him or herself throughout the race, and only then lets out that final burst of energy when the finish line comes into view.
I like the dragonflies...AMAZING creatures, especally when you look at them up close..Over the years,I have collected a bunch of them which have died and I find laying around on the path next to the saltwater marsh where I walk my dog...They make GREAT paintings,..especally when done digitally..:D You can use all of the specal glow ect. to enhane that magical quality that the dragonfly posseses...Of all of the pieces that i've sold over the years, the digitally created dragonflies seem to sell the most..People just seem to enjoy and really like that magical quality that they possess,,Just giving you some food for thought here..:D
As always,..It's a real pleasure going through your sketchbook,and an enjoyment seeing your works and your steady/study progress..:thumbsup:

10 October 2009, 02:54 PM
I need to work much much more, both on quickies and longer pieces. I've a couple of longer ones in the making but they're not finished yet -remember I have 3 kids and a gf ;)
Soon, my friend, soon...

Thanks for the support and the inspiration! You know, I might implement some bugs in one of my next paintings :D

On a sidenote, the curtain has finally fallen at work.
Today, we've been told we will all have to leave before end of Q1 2010. The whole department will be outsourced. Legally, we can at least stay until somewhere december, so I expect to be fired by the end of the year (Merry Xmas DHL!)
Anyway, we all kind of feel relieved because at least now we know what's gonna happen.
It will be strange though, going to work some more months, knowing I will have to leave.
Oh well, playing time is over now.

If you see me online constantly... kick my butt and tell my to stop surfing and start painting!

Here's the first of Sequentina, A Linear World.
A new, side project I started a while ago. It's about a fictive world without violence, where a new part starts to exist every day (at least one frame per day).
You can read all about it on my blog, where I am posting a new frame every day.
Putting them next to eachother is really nice :D

Remember, a new frame each day on my blog ;)

10 October 2009, 03:29 PM
garden city:thumbsup:
you has a good command of drawing。Great studies...
looking forward to more of your studies

10 October 2009, 03:57 PM
Hi Johan, sad to hear about your job; and it's not a good time to find something new. There are some signs that the economy is reliving so hopefully you will find another job. Keep going!

10 October 2009, 08:07 PM

already when I read the title "Sequentina, A Linear World" I was kinda resonating with these words. I liked the sound of them!

But that first frame looks oddly promising, oddly, because there's hardly anything in there, lol! But I love it! It looks really peaceful and simple. Simple in a zen way.


And I just checked on your blog - I love the updates, too! Can you somehow piece them together?
Maybe there's a flash application for seamless sidescrolling or something, that would be soo cool!

Also, you could introduce a little storytelling that way, reading from right to left and wandering through this world.

Maybe you can add a few more twigs and branches to the upper parts of your trees, but otherwise I am sold on this little thing.

A beauty.

10 October 2009, 08:26 PM
Hi Johan, very nice ink and marker sketches, and that scarry creature is wonderfull, wouldn't you like to develop it further in this week's COW? :)

10 October 2009, 09:08 PM

Like this thing here!

10 October 2009, 02:11 PM

glad you like it.
Serenity and a general peaceful atmosphere is what I am after with Sequentina.
I guess you can see it as an escape from today's superhectic world.
It's sequential, so yes, each page follows the previous one, from right to left for me personally. It's a really nice effect to see these pages next to eachother. I imagine a big white room with loads of frames put next to eachother... a big linear world inside one room :)

I've looked around on the net for some online solutions to stitch the frames together, but haven't found a satisfying one yet to be honest, but the link you gave looks quite like what I had in mind!
People will get quite bored with it soon I think because I am actually not going for a story or anything, no action, just adding (at least) 1 frame per day. Improvisation is key within the given restrictions. This means that there will be stronger frames and weaker ones, technical issues etc... but I don't mind because no world is perfect and this is just my daily escape route :D

Thanks for the help Mu :)

I'm afraid the scary creature was not invented by me... it's just reffed from an old ImagineFX copy...

Here's frame 5 of Sequentina, today's frame on my blog as well...

10 October 2009, 10:00 PM
first of all, great pen drawings! i love pen as well (ballpoint).
Sequentina looks lovely, like an illustrated book for children, which I love :)

You know, I am really quite anti-social myself. I simply don't have much faith in human beings. Just read the newspaper or watch the news on tv and it's plain obvious that humans are quite selfish and egocentric creatures. I find that extremely repulsive.
The fact that I experience similar things almost every day (at work, for example), makes me want to hide from everyone in my own little world. I've recently started a project I called "Sequentina, A Linear World" that has a lot to do with my feelings towards our current situation. But more on that soon!
What I wanted to say is that even though I dislike our western ways of living, it is something we cannot avoid. I see it as a game we all must play along to assure our happiness on a long term. So I started going to school after having thought about it.
My advise would be to solve your problem by letting your hunger for knowledge and improvement decide for you. You will see that it is not that bad in school, because you will be surrounded by people with similar interests (namely art). A creative environment also works very inspiring and motivating. So I hope you will enrole in some sort of art education program soon! :)
What you wrote makes perfect sense and I cannot disagree with you. I think about it the same way, but I'm always finding excuses - or as I like to call them "problems":

1. I already am in school - but the wrong one ;) I will hopefully finish it by this time next year. Not happy with it at all (I got to hate it by now actually), but I'm very close to being done and don't want to quit now and lose my chance of having a degree in anything.

2. In my country, all schools have lectures in the morning. Perhaps every day, but 4 out of 5 you have to be there from 8 AM to 2 PM. This means you can't go to lectures and work at the same time.
My ex went to study to Italy, and he had lectures in the evening. This makes work + school option plausible.
So the only way is for me to become a freelancer and work in the evening :) I will definitely try that, but it won't happen in the next 5 years. Maybe I'll enroll in an art school when I get pregnant :D

How do you manage work and studying? :)

10 October 2009, 03:40 PM
Hi Nela,

yes, I understand.
I would love to get a master degree at painting, but there are only 2 schools in Flanders where you can do this, one in Brussels and one in Antwerp. They have only daytime programs as well as the schools in your area. That's why I go to a local academy in the nearest town. There's no real degree to it, but it's possible to choose a program according to your freetime. I go every monday and tuesday evening, but other schedules are "wednesday and thursday (2x4hrs)" or saturday (8hrs).

Ofcourse the program is not as demanding or intense as the program I would really love to follow (t-Lucas Brussels or Royal Academy Antwerp, to get that master degree). But it's quite cheap and it allows me to go to life drawing sessions twice a week, which sure beats drawing from photographs.

To manage it all, I have a lot of help from my lovely girlfriend, but it all comes down to efficient time management. No time to be bored ;)

I would do the same in your case and get that degree you're currently going for. Then you can go for it and have a nice degree as a backup. That's always handy :)


Here's some of this week's life drawings.

Compressed charcoal on A3

bistre on A3

The rest was even worse than these so I'm not even gonna bother showing them.

On a sidenote, my copy of Imaginative Realism by James Gourney finally arrived. It's a beauty! Read more about it here (
Get it now!

10 October 2009, 05:43 PM
great life drawing there Johan - heh I wanted to order that book, good to hear it's worth it :)

10 October 2009, 05:45 PM
Your bistre paintings are very well done, I love it ;)

10 October 2009, 10:39 AM
Hi Johan,

It's so nice to see someone so passionate about art, love your life drawings...keep up the good work. :thumbsup:

10 October 2009, 08:47 PM
Intervain I've read it through now... one of the better books I read this year :)
siiilon Thanks!
cue-she Heh it's like that one Radiohead song: "You got to feel it in your bonez..." ;)

That being said, I've not been able to do much drawing the past 3 weeks.
My whole family has been seriously stalked by virusses... it's getting really ennoying because we all get sick over and over again and according to the doctor we will just have to wait until our body conquers them. Let's hope we'll be victorious soon!

Here's a prelim sketch for a halloween painting.
A steampunk witch.

I'm not happy with the broom. It looks more like a camera lens than steampunk.
So it will probably change in the final version.

10 October 2009, 11:37 PM
A Witch!! A Witch! - lol sorry, Monty Python comes to mind ;) Looking forward to where you take her!

10 October 2009, 12:42 AM
wow, your drawings are awesome, I really can see your improvement. It´s so inspiring, I think I will do some exercises you´ve already done. great job!

I just think in some cases the smaller forms dont fit so well over the bigger ones, like the face of that witch. but its great overall

10 October 2009, 02:01 PM
Heh Magda isn't it 30 years or so now since Monty Python was broadcasted?
Awesome at the time but a bit outdated today imho :)

borroriow I'm gonna have to fix the hat of that witch... it's too big for her head I think and it should be put a bit more backward.

Thanks for the input people!
Here's a 5 min tree study from life in Painter, in between household tasks :argh:

10 October 2009, 04:11 PM
outdated? Are you serious? - OMG I love MP- they're completely up to date IMHO hehehe....

10 October 2009, 05:52 PM
something new happening here again :)
nice tree study, and the witch - cant wait where you´ll take her :)

10 October 2009, 08:10 PM
Good self-critique on the witch image, the broom does look like a lens. Maybe some refs could help you out here. Not sure if you're using any for you stuff?
Nice tree. You could've spent another fifteen minutes so that it wouldn't be flying in nothingness.
Always a pleasure to stop by your thread, mate :)

10 October 2009, 02:53 PM
Magdalena LOL you're obviously a fan :)
Alena, wait until januari (or whenever they will decide to finally kick me out at work), then I'll have a lot more time to paint... I promise you will see lots of stuff happening here then ;)
razz yep. Valid crit. But I had to get the kids from school. Noway I'm letting them wait for a painting ;)

Here's some of last night's life drawings. 1st one is pencil, 2nd and 3rd are fine tip pen. Kind of a weird effect on this paper, but I kinda like it. About 15 min each (I think, could be a bit more)

10 October 2009, 01:18 AM
I love your work! :thumbsup:

10 October 2009, 08:05 AM
Thanks Andrew

Here's a couple more from last night. Not too good, although I like the blue ink ones.

Blue rollerball ink pen on A4

Black fine tip pen on A4

pencil on A4

10 October 2009, 11:31 AM
Hi Johan, good updates! I wish I had the occasion to do so much life drawing.

10 October 2009, 09:08 PM
Thanks. No life drawing at your academy?? Strange! Maybe consider going a lil further to a bigger academy?

I wanted to have this one finished by now but in fact I only had time to do very little work on this piece. Sorry. Hope you all had a great halloween anywayz :)
More soon.
Self Portrait day tomorrow!!

11 November 2009, 11:31 AM
Hi Johan, there are life drawing lessons at our academy, but only 15 lessons a year or so. We'll have a few sessions next month, so something to look forward to.

11 November 2009, 04:25 PM
Hey Johan, like the new life drawing, keep it up dude....

11 November 2009, 06:45 PM
That's too bad man, come to Leuven you can sketch with me at our life class every day then :D

Thanks buddy!
You don't seem to be doing too bad yerself :D
Love that coffee cup!
And I'm really looking forward to see where you take that Hercules sculpt! (it looks awesome already!)

Here's my SP for the CA thread of the day (!

11 November 2009, 06:50 PM
haha, cheers dude, you are using quite a bit of imagination yourself lately......


11 November 2009, 06:51 PM
Soon I'll have plenty of time to draw and paint!
My imagination muscle needs some serious asskicking so I've got good hopes for the future!
Working hard is so cool!

11 November 2009, 08:53 PM
Oh man if you'd nail a painting like that everyday..! I see you've been working on the idea a bit also, I just went with the first one that came to my mind. Thanks for reminding me about this day. Made it quite better for me then it would've been :)
You're already working hard, what will happen when you'll be given more time, ha! Looking forward to that. Good attitude :D

11 November 2009, 05:33 PM
Heh thanks Razz.
I hope I will improve a lot because I've not read too many encouraging things about Belgian publishers and so on. Also, there's a lot of stuff that is getting loads of prizes and awards in the dutch speaking area, of which the style just doesn't look like what I do at all. I've been doing a lot of research about the Belgian Illustration market lately, and I can conclude that my type of illustration does not seem to fit in this Belgian Illustrator's scene at all. However, I will try to see this as a something good though. It's gonna be really hard to get a first real publication, but I think once that happens my credibility as an illustrator will increase. It's an extremely challenging goal to work for. That alone, is supermotivating me :D

Here's a few examples of "famous" Belgian Illustrators, to give you an idea.:

Sabien Clement (
Klaas Verplancke (

If you want to get a broader idea of the Flemish Illustration scene, take a look here:
Flemish Illustrators (

Comics is a completely different world than illustration, but I've been reading more comics lately and I'm getting hooked. Here's a flemish comic artist I recently discovered.
His stuff is just awesome!
Ken Broeders (

Anyway... I've got a long and hard road ahead, but I'm just so glad I'm getting this opportunity, I would die of regrets if I don't see this as a chance and at least give it a try.
Thanks for the encouragement! That really rocks! :D


Just a quick study from photoref I did this morning

11 November 2009, 09:00 AM
#1489 is totally awesome!
Keep going, never stop!mate:)

11 November 2009, 03:32 PM
Hey Johan, just looking through your recent stuff and i'm really digging it! Your line control is getting very good with the pencil drawings. That latest painting is very nice too! Its great to see you working this hard at your craft....looking foward to more!

11 November 2009, 05:17 PM
wow you got it right! hehe..the proportions the shading..looks well done!! any tips on those hatching/shading techniques??

11 November 2009, 04:23 PM
Andrew LOL thanks!
Zach I feel I need to improve a lot more though. But thanks for the encouragement. Always appreciated!
Richa Hey you! How have you been? Had a peep at your blog, looks quite nice :)
About the techniques... I'm trying to work less from the wrist and more from the shoulder. It's harder to control at first but I think in the end I will have much more solid work that way.

We were struck by the Mexican flu. While my daughters only had a bit of fever for 2 days, without any other discomforts, my gf, Lars and I were smacked down to the floor for a whole week. I've never been this sick in my life... wth was that??
Anyway, we feared the most for Lars, as he's got very weak airways and is highly allergic to all sorts of stuff. So we had to follow up on him quite closely to make sure he wouldn't end up in the hospital. Fortunately, he started to get better just as we were about to lose all hope. So we are all still recovering from that now... If you've not been infected yet, get a vaccination asap!

So here's a SP with compressed charcoal on A3 to get back into it. It's an asignment for school.

And some of the school work I think I hadn't posted yet.

More soon!

11 November 2009, 03:58 PM
looks like school is going well, nice to see all the life drawings, I sure do miss doing that!

I looked at some of the links to illustrators in your country - very much a super-stylized or cartoony look. I can see why you think you'd have trouble in that market - I think a lot of people here would, as we're pretty focused on realism. Maybe look into... bands that might want CD covers, book covers, places that do RPG (role playing game) cards?

11 November 2009, 10:24 PM
good works buddy..keep it up.. :beer:

11 November 2009, 10:40 AM
Hi Del
Yeah I love the academy! I've missed a lot of classes already this year due to sickness and it really hurt the most that I couln't be there. I wouldn't want to miss it for the world and I'm gonna spend many, many years there in the future! That's a promise!

I looked at some of the links to illustrators in your country - very much a super-stylized or cartoony look. I can see why you think you'd have trouble in that market - I think a lot of people here would, as we're pretty focused on realism. Maybe look into... bands that might want CD covers, book covers, places that do RPG (role playing game) cards?

Yeah, book covers is my first choice.
That's what my portfolio should be made of (mainly) when I start submitting it.
The cartoony look has been popular for quite a few years here now. I'm confident that the market is gonna get tired of that sooner or later. The fact that realistic style is very popular right now in the US, is something that can be of my advantage. Europe usually follows the American trends with a margin of a few years. Perhaps that time will arrive soon and I can benefit from it. No time to waste! :)

dscavenger Thanks mate!

Went 3 days this week iso 2, but left most drawings in my drawer at the academy.
Here's a couple from this week, about 15min each:
Vine charcoal on A4