View Full Version : Sketchbook Thread of Johan Derycke

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06 June 2006, 07:16 AM
Stimulated by seeing the first thread on the anatomy series I've decided to finally start my own thread. I've no drawing background at all since I did my first drawing only in december 2005. However, I'm seriously concidering to go to the local art academy and start the 4 year drawing course in september (as it is now, only practical issues could stop me, being a father and all), but why should I wait until september right?

My spare time (read time to draw and paint) is extremely limited (a couple of hours per week max). and since I'm a real noob at this I'm very slow, so bear with me :)
Oh... and don't expect to see anything outstanding here please hehe
I'm hoping to learn from your crits.

edit: Due to limited webspace I will have to make a choice, namely resizing images or deleting some.

Images from post 1 up to post 122 have been deleted already
Images start to show from here (

06 June 2006, 04:00 PM

Welcome! :) I look forward to seeing your work. Don't worry about not having a lot of drawing experience ~ after 50 heads, you won't be able to say that anymore! :)



06 June 2006, 01:13 PM
Thanks Rebeccak,

So I've started on the 100heads workshop.
Here's head nr1 after 30min.

[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

First thing that comes to mind is I have to get this stage on the canvas a lot faster ^^
I'll update asap :D

06 June 2006, 02:39 PM
ok, had an icecream with the kids and worked a bit more on nr1

spending more time on it than I intended (I thought I would have gotten further with this much timespending) but I guess it's not the main issue

[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

06 June 2006, 03:44 PM

These will definitely go faster as you do more of them, which is completely the point of the exercise. :) It's really helping me as well just to get past the details and simplify. Looking forward to your progress. :)



06 June 2006, 04:45 PM
Well, I think I've spend a good 3.5hrs on this one in total. As I'm writing here I notice I forgot the eyebrows but other than that I'm pretty satisfied with it...

[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

Nr2 here I come :D

06 June 2006, 05:46 PM
Dont be too modest from what i have seen on your homepage i bet youll get to 50 and do quite fine :). If you dont mind me asking what brushes are you useing?

06 June 2006, 07:03 PM
I use a custom airbrush (one where I've made the edges harder) and I blend with the "Just add water" blender brush. Blending by just painting over the same areas doesn't seem to work all that well for me

thanks for the support

07 July 2006, 01:28 PM
Had not much time today but here's a startof for 2 more heads:

head 002

[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

07 July 2006, 01:32 PM
head 067:

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Also, after reading Anatomy thread of Lyneran (, I ordered 2 loomis books (heads + figures in action) and I plan to draw them from start to end as someone once adviced on the anatomy forums

07 July 2006, 04:45 PM
I'm getting a bit excited over drawing heads now lol

here's one that isn't in the workshop :p

[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

Comments appreciated

07 July 2006, 06:36 PM

Really liking these simplifications and analyzed head drawings better than the rendered version ~ definitely think doing Loomis is a great idea, and look forward to your studies. :)



07 July 2006, 07:32 AM
I really wish my lines weren't so shaky and scribbled.
I'm watching the work on the heads workshop thread and I see all these nice and fluid lines so I try this to but the more I try... argh. Now i can't even make a straight line lol. I hope no one will tell me that this is where the talent comes in :eek:

edit: head nr48:
[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

07 July 2006, 07:37 AM

Now i can't even make a straight line lol. I hope no one will tell me that this is where the talent comes in
I strong believe these are learnt! These are achievable through efforts and practises!

I can see effort in you! You can do it too! =D

07 July 2006, 07:42 AM
A suggestion for better lines, Draw from the shoulder down, and not with the fingers only!
short strokes with fingers are only for detailing! get most of the stuff done using the shoulder also.Hope it helps.

rest assured 95% of drawing well is a result of systematic study over a period of time !:).

I think u have to just free up your lines and your proportions are good as it is, so thats a big plus!


07 July 2006, 07:54 AM
Oh thank you BNN and Thomasphoenix for the support! I'll try that from the shoulder
I will draw all day now :)

here's the 2nd part of the skull study I did yesterday afternoon while sitting outside in the garden

[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

as I tend to draw without eraser for this kind of thing you can see I have making a lot of corrections while drawing, but that'll get better soon

On the other hand, when I was looking at the skull back view ref I thought that would be the easiest one of all and yet I drew it wrong. I guess too much confidence isn't that good either. Oh well, lesson learned :) I'll redraw these in a month or so if I get to it and see if I got any better (eg faster and proportionally)

I'm using "Anatomy - A complete guide for Artists" by Joseph Sheppard for these skull studies btw.

07 July 2006, 12:14 PM
Ok I transferred my images to another url as my webhost is offline too often...

@ Rebeccak & Bourbakiyou're idea/suggestion to simplify was excellent so I'm gonna try to do all heads now but spending maximum 10 minutes per head. I note the time spent next to each sketch as a reminder to get more done in the same time.
@ BNNafter reading your thread I decided to switch to ballpen. I have to get used to this different tool but in a couple of days things will go better, so please don't mind the poor shading :)
@ Thomasphoenixwow thanks that was a golden tip about drawing more from te shoulder. I still tend to fall into my good old scribbling mode a lot but I'm gonna focus on that. It has sure given me more confidence already.
Thanks @ all! I feel like my 5y old daughter when she gets an icecream... :)

here's the result of this morning (in chronological order):

[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

(totally screwed up on nr3 though)

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[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

spent a little longer on the big one here. since I thought the mouth was totally wrong I tried it again but without success.

conclusion: Need more practice.
More coming soon!

07 July 2006, 05:20 PM

Lovely skull drawings! You're welcome for the suggestions. I think simplification is the best way to approach these heads, it sounds like you have a good plan. :)

Originally posted by NR43: I really wish my lines weren't so shaky and scribbled. I'm watching the work on the heads workshop thread and I see all these nice and fluid lines so I try this to but the more I try... argh. Now i can't even make a straight line lol. I hope no one will tell me that this is where the talent comes in.
I frankly think all good artists are 10% talent and 90% hard work. People with modest talent who work hard can achieve as much or more than someone talented but who doesn't work to improve their craft. :) It's all about how hard you're willing to work.

One thing that I think you might find helpful is to think of these digital pieces as drawings instead of paintings, and to use a slightly textured brush, such as the standard Natural Media brushes which you can append to your brushes palette ~ there is a nice round charcoal brush that I like to use there when drawing digitally. :) Michael / default-rol did some lovely digital drawings in my CGWorkshop, and his work can be seen here:

Also, I have the images up for a ballpoint pen / cross hatching Tutorial which I hope is useful here: :)

TUTORIAL - General Principles of Anatomical and Figurative Art / Cross Hatching (

Hope this helps! :)



07 July 2006, 05:45 PM
Hehe as Edison said genius is 1% inspiration and 99% transpiration :)

07 July 2006, 06:33 PM
Heh heh!

I can see the progress of the ball point pen drawings!

I believe sooner or later you will get more used to it and start using it to your advantage!

Yup and also you can work on your line weight! I'm also trying to improve on mine too!

You're doing great ok! =D

07 July 2006, 07:27 PM

I was wondering, did you use a special pen for that head in your crosshatching tut? your lines seem very thin for a ballpen. mine are rather greasy and thick, maybe i should try some different pens huh (and different brushes in Painter).
Thanks for the links btw, excellent stuff!
Ok, I got good news and bad news:

the good news is that from what I've seen and read the last days and weeks, I've come to be very determined to learn how to draw properly, because it will be a good basis to do other stuff eventually (painting, 3D, etc). I've been fooling around without getting serious long enough; hence the poor portfolio. The other good news is that I have plenty of time, even though I'm a busy man, sharing my spare time with my family, doing sports (mens sana in corpore sano) and being creative (drawing, painting, modeling, etc) and not to forget going to work every day. I'm 33y old so if I'm lucky I can still learn 40 years or more :)

the bad news is actually good news as well (in a way):

I was trying to do some sketches on different poses for heads without references. I have serious problems as soon as the head is to be drawn with an angle. So much work to do still. I'll be taking my sketchbook to work from now on so I can practice in my lunchbreak.

No worries I will get where I want but I might bug you guys for the next couple of years though
These below are just posted so I can see where I started when I look at them at a later stage so I don't mind if you giggle a bit but don't laugh out loud :D

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

07 July 2006, 04:14 PM
Originally posted by NR43: No worries I will get where I want but I might bug you guys for the next couple of years though
ROFL I actually lol'd at that one, no problem, I think it will actually be quite cool to see if there are seriously long term participants here, we already have several who have been active for a full year, hopefully they'll be with us for longer. :)

Regarding doing studies in different angles, etc., I highly recommend purchasing Hogarth's Dynamic Anatomy and other books in his series, he also has a book on heads, hands, figure drawing, etc. Also take a look at Loomis if you can, someone who has done some amazing Loomis studies is Lyneran, you should check out her thread:

Anatomy Thread of Lyneran (

But Hogarth's books are freely available through or anywhere, whereas these days you have to track down Loomis. I personally studied under and from Hogarth, so am more familiar with his work, and he does a lot to break down form in simple terms, though I don't recommend drawing in his style. :)

The main key to doing imaginative studies is to study from life, master works, and photos, and to just practice drawing. I think copying from Hogarth's work is really helpful in that regard. :)



07 July 2006, 09:21 PM
yeah I was reading in some of these wonderfull threads here at cgtalk and Hogarth will be the next book(s) I'll buy (if they're not too expensive) but I'm still waiting for 2 loomis books to arrive. I'll do those first.

I tried this charcoal brush in painter but it's something to get used to still. Here's another 10min head but I'm totally unsatisfied with it so I'll do this head again tomorrow.

[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

Oh and I was already subscribed to Lyneran's thread. It's seeing her drawings that made me buy the loomis books right away

Thanks again for the support it really boosts my motivation.
Now I gotta get to bed asap coz I've to get up in 5.5hrs again argh

07 July 2006, 09:09 AM

You're welcome! :) Heh, you just need to take this last one further. ;)



07 July 2006, 08:01 PM
Oh yes I'm so happy. I made it to 1 of 25 limited spots on drawing classes at the art academy in Leuven. I'll be doing the 4 year course for starters :D
Can't wait for september to arrive now

I feel a bit bad for not having drawn anything the last 2 days but I'm having a rough time at work having to learn a new, difficult job in 2 weeks time (replacing a colleague who resigned) so I'm really exhausted by the time I come home.

However, I made one just now to make me feel better:

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

It worked... I feel alive now, very alive :D

07 July 2006, 07:03 PM
Originally posted by NR43: Oh yes I'm so happy. I made it to 1 of 25 limited spots on drawing classes at the art academy in Leuven. I'll be doing the 4 year course for starters :D
Can't wait for september to arrive now
That's fantastic! :bounce:Congratulations! Sounds great, I really hope you'll continue to show your work here once you start school. :)

Lovely to see your step by steps. Hope you will develop this further! :)



07 July 2006, 09:39 AM
Hehe Thanks, I really can't wait, even if it was only because then I will have 3 nights a week where I can draw without being interrupted.

Btw, thanks for that charcoal brush tip Rebeccak. I really like the results I'm getting with these brushes.

Here's head 54 (12/50 for me)
[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

07 July 2006, 06:02 PM
Jee I donnow pff.
i tried head nr 57 first but I couldn't get anything right on paper so after an hour fooling around I started on head nr 75. I'm totally unhappy with it. Especially after the good result with head 54, this is quite disappointing, but I'm not gonna keep these to myself.

shading with pens is still a big issue for me I think.
oh well, on to the next (unless the Football final will be good) :)

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

now what's it gonna be? Italy or France? i got icecream in the freezer :D

07 July 2006, 05:48 AM

ROFL about the football ~ see, even I call soccer 'football' now, such is the corruptive power of my European friends. ;)

Regarding use of pen ~ it's not the easiest medium, and if you feel more comfortable using pencil, it'll probably yield better results. You might try using a significantly lighter touch, I usually feel out the line several times before committing, using very light strokes. Looking forward to seeing more of your work. :)



07 July 2006, 07:36 PM
Working on the pen pressure...
not quite there yet but there is improvement

I must mention the scanner has ruined some of the nuances.

when i look at this one in small, it actually has a good feeling to it.
[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

If i haven't miscounted, that's 15/50 for me, 500 to go lol

07 July 2006, 08:22 PM
My loomis books arrived yesterday afternoon.
I've already started working on my basics.

I've already learned a lot but now I have to put this knowledge in practice. Therefor I will leave the head drawing challenge for a while (maybe only for a couple of days, maybe for 2 weeks, who knows) and I will continue on that when I'm well familiar with drawing basic head shapes. I think I will have to draw hundreds of these schematic heads to get there.
I'll post the "better ones" here when I'm ready to do another of those 100 heads in the challenge.

To be continued :)

07 July 2006, 08:12 PM
No uploads today but I did find out something when studying Loomis...
Drawing a circle is hard, very hard. I think I'm going nuts because a couple of months ago I was drawing detailed, shaded, portraits for ppl on request with success and the more I learn, the less it seems I'm capable of.

So I drew circles today... hundreds of them... and not one was perfect lol, but I think it's paid off. The last page of circles was filled a lot faster than the first and this because I remembered what Thomasphoenix told me about drawing more from the shoulder.

I'll do this again tomorrow, and the day after if I have to dammit.

07 July 2006, 10:51 AM
Hi there,

just wanted to say how impressive your progress on these few pages is...:thumbsup:

07 July 2006, 10:20 PM
Well what can I say. I'll need to work harder if I want better results.
First hour of sketching didn't get me anything usefull at all. My arm just wouldn't listnen to my brain. How do you handle that huh?

I took a break to watch the Tour de France report of the day on tele and got back to studying afterwards. Things went better but I'm still far from satisfied with this :shrug:

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

If there are things you'd like to point out, please do. I can only learn from your crits ;)

07 July 2006, 11:05 AM
Head nr 80, where I regret changing my brushsize in the end for some of the highlights. it sorta ruined it.
[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

07 July 2006, 03:30 PM
Another one, trying to keep Loomis' technique in mind

[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

07 July 2006, 07:39 PM
more loomis work...
It's starting to pay off I think. allthough there are many more mistakes to correct, I'm having less trouble with drawing heads under an angle. If you disagree, please let me know. I'm always open for crits.

[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

07 July 2006, 08:45 PM
lol this is embarrassingbut I'm just posting this to see where I started...

[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

proportions are totally wrong
lots of work to do...

07 July 2006, 07:29 AM
HI there,

I agree with your feeling that you are gettin more confident with the forms on the human head.


As concerns proportions, there are proportion charts in Loomises "Figure Drawing" volume and I copied them to get a feeling for them and I think it helped me tremendously...

Keep it coming. We are all still watching...:D

07 July 2006, 10:35 AM
Hi Mr Mu,

Drawing the charts are on my to do list for drawing figures. I'll make them my next item on the list :)

Thanks for the encouragements and the advise.
Sorry no images (I'm at work, allthough I doodled in pen a bit this morning but no scanner here) with this post

07 July 2006, 05:48 PM

Great to see your exercises coming along! :) I don't think that crits as such are really necessary at this point in terms of the Loomis exercises ~ you are new to them, and as such, it will just take time and practice to get used to them ~ as you seem to be doing quite nicely. :)

I don't think you've 'ruined' nr 80, in fact, volumetrically, I think the head is reading quite well. I think after doing many of these faster drawings / paintings, it would be a good exercise to do a more extended, finished copy, where you can really get the pieces nailed into place to your own satisfaction. :)

Looking forward to seeing your next update!



07 July 2006, 10:57 AM
Hey great stuff here!

You may want to take a look at crosshatching for your pen stuff. Your painter stuff is really coming along!

07 July 2006, 09:26 PM
aLoneCuzzo: thanks. I'll work on it for sure.

Rebeccak: I'll have the day off on friday and I hope I can deliver something decent that day :) I Still have loads of heads on my to do list (which is getting tremendously big by now)

We're having rather unusual hot weather here in Belgium. 38°C is enough to cook my lil old brains so I'm having a bit of troubles concentrating lately due to this. Even at work lol, we're all complaining about not being able to think eheh you should see my bosses face.

Anywayz, I'm still spending my time usefull by reading lots of anatomy threads of all you fine peepz here. It's amazing how much info there is available here.:love:

thank you all

07 July 2006, 08:17 PM
Why why why did I do this??? Only to see all these mistakes omg.
This isn't progress, this is almost going backwards huh

The first one I started at work, but there are so many mistakes I don't think I will finish it (ref is head 30)
The 2nd one, head nr 82, I did just now. It totally sux omg. I guess I was concentrating too much on the hatching (which isn't even good) and totally ignored the anatomy.

[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

Well, let's hope I learn my lesson with these.
I'm a bit mad at myself now ^^

07 July 2006, 08:33 PM

don't chastise yourself - or not too much...:scream:

I actually like a lot of things about the last head. Don't have the ref at hand so it's just based on what I see:

the facial planes are nice and clearly laid out.
the highlights along with the general value structure I like very much.
The folds kick ass.

so much from me.

Keep goin'!

07 July 2006, 05:52 AM

Don't be so hard on yourself ~ we certainly all have good and bad drawing days, and the beauty of the digital age is that all traditional work can be tweaked and corrected ;) ~ so please don't despair! :)

I actually think both drawings show a nice touch with the pen, certainly it's not an easy medium to use ~ you might find it useful to sketch the basic shapes in lightly first with pencil before detailing with pen. :)



07 July 2006, 10:01 AM
Ok, thanks for trying to calm me down guys. I can get rather emotional sometimes *blushes*. I had another look at my last pen studies and aside from the proportions, the hatching is improved so that's quite positive. Thanks Mr Mu :)

And thank you again Rebeccak for the tip. Now why didn't I think of this myself? :D
It's really great to have experienced people follow up and giving advise, as simple or basic the info may seem.

*bows gratefully*

Female Proportion Chart

My first attempt.
I intend to update these every now and then. More particularly after doing some intensive body part studies and coming back to see if I can use the experience on these studied body parts to include them in an improved body chart.

No idea if this will work, but it sounds logical to me. As you can see I'm a leftie, thus I (usually) draw from right to left.

[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

i've been going through a lot of anatomy threads again. Learning with each post I read, but sometimes when reading, I forget the time, because I am so focussed on what I read. I often have to come to the conclusion I spent all the available time reading instead of drawing.
Guess I'll have to cut back on the reading a bit eh.

Hoping to finish another head study later on today (or maybe 2) but I have to watch the kids all day so I have no idea how much I'll be able to do.

07 July 2006, 02:16 PM
Pretty nice progress NR43!

Press on =D

07 July 2006, 08:32 PM
@ BNN: Thankies, still a lot of work to do. The good thing is, it's actually more a lot of fun than "work".

Head 72.
Took my time for this one, all in all 4-5hrs I think, but not in one session, more like 15 sessions. 35°C makes it hard to concentrate for longer than 30min, tour de france is also an excellent diversion :)

[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

One thing I learned with this one is I shouldn't be trying to render details too quickly. It's also an interesting experience to realize my approach to recreate a reference image has changed completely over the last few weeks :D

I can't thank you people enough for this. Ofcourse I'm the one drawing things, but you guys are excellent teachers :thumbsup:

Next head will be digital again, haven't used my wacom (I call her my mistress eheh) since last week...

07 July 2006, 09:39 PM
Pretty nice progress NR43!

Press on =D

Agreed. The head study looks great. Some proportion issues sure, but overall the sense of volume is there.

07 July 2006, 04:15 PM

Wow, this latest piece is really impressive! :thumbsup: Beautiful work ~ really amazing attention to the small planes / details of the face. :)

Keep up the good work!

Cheers, :)


07 July 2006, 08:39 PM
Thanks se7en-z3r0 and Rebeccak. Coming from you, these words sound like music to my ears :) But there's still much to do.

A quick version of head 88 below.
I'm gonna take this a lot further. There are still some huge corrections to be made, but it's about all I could do today.

[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

07 July 2006, 08:12 PM
Hm, it looks like I did a rush job of 20min or so, but I actually spent nearly 3hrs on it. Redrew it from (nearly) scratch. Having a hard time on this girl trying to get the proportions right.

[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

to be continued...

07 July 2006, 09:18 PM
Hi Johan,

I didn't see you were from Belgium too, when i posted my comment. I will start my anatomy thread by the weekend i hope.
I see you are studying Loomis. It's a good way too start. The way he constructs heads was a revelation to me.
I'll come back with more useful comments when i have more time. In the mean time keep on going!

07 July 2006, 03:34 AM

You have a lovely touch with all media; in this last piece, the basic relationships of the face, particularly around the mouth / nose area, are working really well. :) I think these more careful constructions will serve you well; most artists do best when they feel in control, it's harder to feel in control with the more quickly done pieces but a larger goal is achieved with that as well.

Looking forward to your updates! :)



07 July 2006, 10:48 AM
Johan/NR43 :)

Head nr 72
Another one using a ballpen

The hair was really fun to do in this one: curl curl curl curl ....

Very good job with this one - really like your pen work.

#88 is also in my working pile at the moment. Your 3 hours were well spent - a close likeness and neatly done.

07 July 2006, 08:28 PM
Yvonne: thanks, have you done anything with ballpen? not easy but fun once you get the hang of it

Rebeccak: thank you. I am a control freak yeah, how did you know hehe. Worked a bit on #88 today, but not enough to post yet, hopefully tomorrow...

batte812: can't wait to see your stuff! I've tried Loomis for drawing heads and yeah his "foolproof plan" works for me so I guess it really is foolproof eheh. I think I'll move on to Burne Hogarth to focus more on the rest of the body though
Some body part studies, namely muscles of the shoulder and torso
The only one that is a bit decent is the last one, the front. I really dislike the back view of the torso coz I really screwed up on the proportions.
Found out I've got some nasty habbits concerning drawing bodies. I tend to draw them too long. Well, practice makes perfect, hopefully after a couple of hundred sketches things will be better :)

[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

more to come soon...

07 July 2006, 09:17 AM
Hey Johan,

I'm impressed to see with how much energy you start here and the organized way you're learning the basics. You really know what you want, eh:) ? And the improvement is already visible, head # 72 is beautiful:thumbsup: ! I'm watching out for more now...

Have a nice day!


07 July 2006, 05:59 PM

Fantastic to see these studies ~ I think the main thing that I would suggest is really emphasizing those opposing curves ~ see the article link in my signature.

With traditional drawings, one thing I recommend is after completing a drawing that may have proportional mistakes, is to take a piece of tracing paper and redraw the areas that need to be corrected. This serves to not only soothe one's ego (believe me, I know the importance of this), :D but also to reinforce the correct proportions / drawing, etc.

Looking forward to your updates! :)



07 July 2006, 05:13 PM
Sabrina: Thanks for the support. I'm honored that you are interested in my progress. Don't be shy, be harsh if it is needed... I can only learn :)

Rebecca: I've read your article on Opposing Curves a couple of times now. I think the idea behind this is slowly dripping into my mind by now... well enough to realize that keeping this in mind while drawing all the time... wow that sounds like a serious challenge!
There are a few things I'm still not very certain about though:

Why never use concave curves? For instance in the example with the anckle you gave, when you have to zoom in a lot to see the small convex curves looking like a concave curve when zoomed out at normal size? Aren't we making things harder than we should this way? I mean, it looks like a concave curve but it's not, while the viewer's eye tells the viewers brain he/she is seeing a concave curve.
Convex vs concave. I suppose this is always to be seen as the relationship of a pair of curves onto eachother (or a pair of grouped curves) and it's all about balance. It's not always easy to determine which curves are related to eachother. Is there a trick to see this or something that could help me finding these opposing curves faster/easier? I'm afraid you'll be answering this with sometihng like "Nope, you see it or you don't, if you don't see it, look harder".
Michelangelo and Rubens, sounds great and I will definetely dive into their work sooner or later (Especially Rubens! If you ever come to Europe you simply MUST make a stop in Belgium. There are several places in Belgium that have original Rubens work, check, it's in dutch but the images speak for themselves and they are cataloged by theme, location or technique. And Rubens is just one of the many many fabulous artists from this area of Europe called "de lage landen")

Please don't see my questions as critics on your article. I just want to get more out of it than just reading a text and forgetting it afterwards. :)

Thanks in advance,

07 July 2006, 09:31 PM
Well I decided to try things out...

The torso muscle drawing, I did 2 days ago but the one on the left I did after reading the Opposing Curves article. Obviously this wasn't going to lead anywhere, trying too many things at once, learning the muscle structure, minding the curves... hehehe silly ol' meh.

So I remembered I had stumbled on a thread called "gesture drawing something" and I looked it up and found some interesting stuff made by xillion and others.

Tried some of those:
[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]
[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]
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The first sheet was all crappy but I started to get the hang of it (allthough these are still far far from perfect) and while drawing I got really exciting so I thought I'd try it with a real model, as my beloved partner was in the sofa watching a movie...

[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

Ofcourse she isn't used to being drawn at all but I think she did pretty well.
Each of these gesture drawings took about 2min, except for the last one maybe 6-7min (it was quite dark.

This is like a true revelation to me lol. I'm gonna do a lot more of these. I think it will serve my proportional skills and at the same time allow me to keep those opposing curves in mind without having to make things too complicated.


07 July 2006, 02:13 PM
Here are some more gestures from Rubens' work

1) De aanbidding der herders (Adoration of the Shepherds)
1608 oil on canvas
St-Pauluskerk Antwerpen
reference (

[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

2) Annunciation
1609-1610 oil on canvas
Rubenshuis, Antwerpen
reference (

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3) Dance of Italian Villagers
1636 oil on wood
Museo del Prado, Madrid
reference (

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the last one was hard omg. What I do notice is that for fat people like these villagers, they are damn well flexible :D

07 July 2006, 05:14 PM
And a couple more, digital ones. I should use my tablet more to draw. I loose the feeling too quickly :eek:

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07 July 2006, 07:15 PM
Couldn't get anything decent done today.
Too tired.

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quick version of head 79.

Here's the plan: I'll try to doodle a bit the rest of the week (some busy days ahead at work) and make a complete piece on saturday. On sunday I'm going to Antwerp to see Rubens' work in front of me. Really looking forward to that!

08 August 2006, 10:42 PM
Hi Johan,

Those figure drawings are very useful exercises. You might want to add a ground plane and try toplace the feet properly. Structure your figures from the pelvis and the ribcage. Study how the legs are inserted and how the shoulders move. And keep on practicing.

The anatomy studies are looking good - nice rendering.

08 August 2006, 08:01 PM
I was playing with the painter brush creator and trying different stuff, because I wanted to create a hard rounded brush, like most artists seem to prefer over a soft brush like airbrush. After an hour or so I finally got what I wanted so I thought I'd start on a recreation of a masterpiece.
I remembered how deeply impressed I was by Robert Changs work and how he had put a walkthrough on his website of this piece called Mood1. Ok it's a more contemporary masterpiece but that's not really an issue I think. Drawing isn't the only thing I want to learn :)

One thing I noticed is that the settings of my 2nd monitor, on which I keep my reference, is a lot different than my main monitor. This results in rather saturated colors sometimes. I'm gonna have to fix this asap :s

Also, I'm not going for a 100% likeness here (I'm not even able to get anywhere near the quality of the original) but learning basic painting techniques.

here's step 1: color blocking

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Update tomorrow

I'm eager to do some grayscale headstudies as well now. Too bad I don't have much time at the mo :s

08 August 2006, 08:33 PM

Well, it's just trial and error basically. I gave up on trying to match the colors exactly. I hope I'll get better at this though.

Haven't touched the head yet. Trying to get the proportions of the body right. Thought I had the arm finally how it's supposed to be, but it's still not right. The arm needs to go a bit higher. Her behind is too low as well.

Comments appreciated as usual

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That hand will be a challenge as well :)

08 August 2006, 07:32 PM
Donnow if this works for you peepz but for me it certainly does: after scanning some lineart I immediately see lots of mistakes. With head 87 as shown below his right eye is badly positioned (way too high), his mouth must move as well.

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This one obviously needs more work. I dragged down the levels after scanning coz these lines were drawn very lightly (2H pencil). When I started I hadn't decided if I wanted to switch to ballpen later on. I'm gonna finish it in pencil though.
I was in Antwerp today. Visited The Royal Museum for Fine Art, The OLV Cathedral, The St-Paulus church, The St-Jacobs Church. I wanted to see as much Rubens work as I could in real. And I must tell ya, OMFG!!!
I am still in shock. Paintings like "Assumption of the Virgin", "Adoration of the Shepherds", " Descent from the Cross" and particularly "Christ on the Cross between the Two Thieves", " Raising of the Cross" and " The Adoration of the Magi" have left a deep impression on me.
I can tell you that these paintings look great in a book or on a website, but when you're standing in front of them, I felt sooooo small... I was at his grave after seeing these masterpieces and if someone would have asked me something at that very moment (anything) I don't think I would have been able to say a single word.
I expected to be impressed, but since I'm not religious at all, I didn't expect to be that impressed.:eek:

I also so work from Antoon Van Dijk, Caravaggio, and many more from the 16th and 17th century.

I'm going back to Antwerp that's for sure (the Rubenshouse was closed)

08 August 2006, 08:24 PM
Well I'll try to work a bit traditional and digital each day.

Here are today's updates:

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As you can see I had to fall back to drawing lines to be able to get the proportions right. I started this by blocking colors just like that, but I think this technique only works if you throughly know proportions, in other words if you are very experienced.

finally got the blending sticks back on the desk after seeing some awesome shaded pencil drawings in the anatomy forums. When using them, I realized I had missed that!

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More updates soon!

08 August 2006, 06:58 AM
Hey Johan!

A lot of new work here around!
the last one was hard omg. What I do notice is that for fat people like these villagers, they are damn well flexible
Lol:D , but your studies are fine, it seems you're getting the proportions quite well!
I really admire Robert Chang's work too, so I'm very interested to watch your progress with your version of Mood1, the starting looks good to me:thumbsup: , let's see updates soon.



08 August 2006, 11:36 AM
Hi Johan,

The last drawing is looking good. Indeed blending gives some fine results. I'm curious to see how this turns out.
Something strange is going on with the right elbow in the painting. I would think the ulna would stick out more - so the upper arm doesn't seem so long.

08 August 2006, 08:05 PM
If only I had more time to draw n paint. I'd make much more progress :shrug:
I'm working a lot on getting the proportions right. Made some progress already but still room for a lot of improvement :)
Thanks for the support

You're right it does look awkward, unfinished as it is. I'll have to create enough depth to make you believe the forearm isn't way shorter than the upper arm ;)
I think it's what Mr Chang did so well in this piece, creating believable depth with a minimum of color changement.
I'm making slow progress on the pencil drawing due to hardly no time (overtime at work argh)

Had about an hour today to practice a bit so here's the first series of grayscales. Refs from the 15min sketchatlon thread (so also done at max 15min).

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More to come soon so stay tuned :D

08 August 2006, 08:05 AM
I think I never took the time to actually tell you how much I like the torso side view drawing on top of the page that I admire everytime I look at your updates...

decided to do it now...

I like it


still watching what you are doing in here...!


08 August 2006, 07:42 PM
Thanks Mu. I should do more of those (I should do more of everything but argh lacking time)

Some facial muscle study I did at work today. Please excuse the crappy scan. It looks totally different in real, but you get the idea...

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Anyway, hope y'all like it :D

08 August 2006, 10:39 AM
Last study looks nice. Good haching!
I know the feeling when the scanner takes away all the subtleties :( keep on going!

08 August 2006, 07:31 PM
I concider this a personal milestone. It's the first digital painting I can call completed. Completed meaning I have finally put enough work on a piece until it reached the true level of my capabillities. It's not a perfect, far from it. But I'm happy with it. For me, this is an achievement that smells like more :)

All in all I think I worked about 8 or 9hrs on this. I hope you like it as much as I do, because it's the first digital piece I made I didn't start to dislike as soon as I stopped working on it.

[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

I will post this in the sketchatlon thread also, along with the 15min sketch
Now back to the mastercopy...

08 August 2006, 07:38 PM
Watch the proportions in the face carefuly. I'm talking about the facial muscle study. Amazing study with the gymnast. The work you've put into it will definitely pay off. Only his left hand looks a tad small compared to the rest of the body. I think it's hard to achieve the perfect look as in the reference. It goes into space, deep perspective = hard. All in all, great peace :thumbsup: I'm painting a peace that I think of fully finishing, so this pushes me further to do so.

08 August 2006, 08:35 PM

A really beautiful and inspiring piece! I'm really happy to hear that this is a milestone for you. :) Keep up the good work!



08 August 2006, 09:42 PM
wow really good study!! Maybe you can give it some more depth using stronger contrasts.
I´ll keep an eye on this thread. Keep it up!


08 August 2006, 03:44 AM
All in all I think I worked about 8 or 9hrs on this. I hope you like it as much as I do, because it's the first digital piece I made I didn't start to dislike as soon as I stopped working on it.
Saw this in the Sketch thread, first, Johan - Wonderful work! :thumbsup:

Can see why you would be proud of this one - keep it up. :)

08 August 2006, 07:28 AM
Hey Johan,

congratz on your milestone, it is always a wonderful feeling to experience those breakthroughs. Certainly ha to do with the hard labour you put into all the previous paintings/studies, too, so that work, too is not lost. Even if you often felt unsatisfied with the results, it eventually carries over.

That's a beautiful reference to paint from - I liked that shot very much. And you did it justice. Wonderful calm lighting and excellent blending. The low contrast that someone mentioned might be due to ref, I dont have it at hand atm, but if you wanted to you could always just give it a go and try some brightness/contrast to see where it would take you. Once you have seen what it does to this you could decide on wether or not you want to increase contrast on similar pieces manually next time.

Keep it up.


08 August 2006, 02:41 PM
Great piece Johan! It looks very good. A few highlights are a bit too bright, especiallu on the nose - it's a bit disturbing i think. But the rest looks wonderful.

08 August 2006, 08:49 PM
I wasn't gonna touch it anymore but how could I ignore such usefull information from you peepz huh... I did a bit of an update and added and removed a bit of highlights here and there, except for the hand, which is indeed a bit too small but I didn't have the guts to touch it.
Overall, it looks much better now I think so thanks again you all!!

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Oh and Razz,
you are right about the muscle study. I think I totally forgot about the feature proportions there. thanks for pointing that out

I do have a practical problem with my monitors, which may cause some serious differences in appearance of my stuff. I'm using an old 17" monitor as a 2nd, to make working easier, keeping the ref on that 2nd monitor. It's very hard to get it's color settings in this particular way that a drawing, picture, image looks exactly the same as on my main monitor.
I've completely recalibrated both screens now so let me know if I messed up completely :eek:

Thanks again for the support peepz, I really appreciate this! I have a long way to go but you guys make it a nice trip :D

08 August 2006, 06:26 PM
Bad day today :(

Did a lot of figure drawing. Sadly, this is the only thing I'm daring to post...
Oh well, shit happens... Hope I'm more lucky tomorrow...

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08 August 2006, 04:02 PM
Another muscle study. I'm gonna need a lot more of these :rolleyes:

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I've worked on my mood1 re-creation as well. I Hope I can show an update tonight...

edit: forgot to mention the source for this drawing: Rey Bustos (

08 August 2006, 09:14 PM
Well, worked for several hours on it today. Actually had to rework it nearly from scratch because I was so bloody wrong at first lol.
Sometimes it's good to take a break from something...

sorry for decapitating her but I messed up the head completely while re-doing the background :twisted:

[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

If I'm lucky I'll be able to work on it tomorrow...

08 August 2006, 12:25 AM
I love your gimnast study, I think is very realistic.
Also the background of the last one is great

08 August 2006, 03:55 AM
Yo Johan! The Gymnast is beautiful! :thumbsup:

08 August 2006, 08:49 AM
Hey, it's digital! Hard to mess up something because everything can be painted on top. I'm speaking about the study you're doing. I love the original work, that artist is great. I think you can download his brushes from his website. Please continue with this!

08 August 2006, 05:03 PM
Talaria, Siju, Thanks! really means a lot to me!
razz yep wonderful artist. I'm taking my time with it actually because I'm a bit focussed on getting the colors right - or at least close to the original colors used by Mr Chang - without picking the colors using the dropper.
I installed his brushes a whlie ago but somehow I couldn't make them appear in my category list in Painter IX.5 Maybe I should have another look at it because the effect he creates for the bg is a lot nicer than the plain color blending I did with the just add water blender.
So it might take a while before I finish this masterstudy, especially with academy starting in 2 weeks (no idea what to expect of that really).
thanks for the support :cool:

In the mean time, here's that head (nr 87) I started the other day. Spent another 4hrs or so at it... 4B 2B 2H Pencils and kneadable eraser on cheapo drawing paper

08 August 2006, 07:46 PM
Johan! The Maturity in your work amazes me,:thumbsup:Your progress is one of the fastest I have seen in my artsitc career!A small suggestion, In case u are already not doing it, just let your drawings lie for a day and then do a refinement and corection pass on it,you will be amazed to see that u have a totally new perspective and that u can find the problem areas just like that!

08 August 2006, 04:55 PM
Decided to go a bit “deeper” on the thoughts “underground” and “giant”...
I read “evil” and “prevailing”. Together these words can be interpreted as violence.

Please be aware that this concept may seem rather freaky/scary/extreem. If you are sensitive to violence and/or war I would suggest skipping this post. Also, moderators are requested to remove it if it is found to be offensive in any way.

Violence is all around us, even today, in a world of technological and scientific and intellectual progression. But it's been going on for ages and ages and most people will tell you it will be going on forever if you would ask them when the world will be spared from violence. Every now and then this underground giant is awakening and war is going on...

So I decided to dipslay violence in all it's evilness, where the innocent are victims as usual, using some subjects from Greek Mythology.

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Ares, the God of War, who loved to fight and kill, just for his own entertainment is the perfect subject for this. He has an overwhelming figure and is faster than any other god, let alone any human being. He's wearing a lot of armor, showing his power.
Ares' sons Deimos and Phobos are with him, representing Panic and Fear.

The victims are innocent people. They're almost entirely nude, their nakedness symbolizing their vulnerability.

I want to state the resemblance between ancient times and today on couple of things:

Clearly a few persons on earth are in a position to make war for what could be self-entertainment. Not saying that it actually is self-entertainment, that's certainly not up to me to judge, but it sure could be. Here, Ares, an ancient god, is just having fun, shortly, after he woke up if you wish.
Most victims are innocent and have nothing to do with these few “lords, gods, spirits , emperors etc”. Even today, a lot of women, children and men die while they were only living their normal everyday lives, trying to be a productive member of a society, as they are expected to be...

My thoughts are with them
on to the more technical part of the description:


I would like to create something in the style of the old renaissance masters with focus on the characters anatomy, Rubens being my main inspiration. Not sure at all if I can achieve this but it won't hurt to try right? It will be odd because the greek mythology wasn't documented by these masters that often. If you know great examples of this, an url would be highly appreciated :D


eye moves from bottom left corner to right so via the father to ares, then following the spear down to the dead boy and mother. The sword of Phobos attracks the eye and his left arm leads the eye back to his and Ares' head. The striking pose of Deimos leads the eye back to the father.

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Even though innocent woman and children have been – and still are – victims of war, I decided not to display such victims. I tried but I couldn't. Being a father myself, I guess I am rather sensitive to this.

I've posted many ideas earlier but none of them were as well considered as this last one. I think I may go with it.This is only a concept sketch. If you have suggestions on composition, light, anatomy, poses, anything, I am eager to hear...


08 August 2006, 11:47 PM
Well I already told you how much I like this idea, but it won't hurt to say it again :D I love it!

By the way, wha-? what are you saying reinaissance (spelling?) artist didnt paint mythology scenes? They painted a lot of those, of course not as much as they painted religious scenes but still its something :) (well italians did)
try searching Corregio for example, he made a quite a few of mythological paintings.
Also Annibale Carracci, he painted an entire huh...vault? of mythological scenes, well there is Caravaggio who made a painting about eros and Tintoretto painted 'Baco and Ariadna'. Guido Reni painted 'young Baco' and Domenichino did 'Diana cazadora'.

Well those are all I had seen , if I find someone else I'll tell you :) though I don't think it's that important to take the reference out of mythological paintings only, afterall the style of painting of the artist was the same in the religious paintings too. =P

08 August 2006, 06:12 AM
Siju, thanks for your kind words. I must admit that I've drawn more in the last months than I had before in my entire life! With school starting next week I'm optimistic about getting an overall decent drawing/painting level, which is my main goal.
About leaving work rest for a while and getting back to it with fresh eyes... Honesty obliges me to say that I actually do that already. Sometimes it takes 5-6 or even a lot more attempts to get something right, so I'm not as good as you think ;)
However, practise is starting to pay off a bit I think because for what I'm doing for OFDW now (looking at renaissance paintings, drawing those parts of bodies that I want and then adding some bodyparts from imagination...) I never thought I could do that!
So I hope to surprize myself every now and then :D
Thanks Siju, your work and words help me push further so I can get that level up

Rebecca: donnow if you will read this but in case you do...
I should apologize if I've pissed you off for having doubts about opposing curves. I guess you knew I would find out for myself :) And I have! I started to look for the curves everywhere I could, even on my own body and that of my environment. And it's true. It's just a matter of observing things the way they are. I couldn't see this first, which was why I doubted it I think (me being sceptical about the unknown :blushes:). At this moment, it's easy to see the beauty of opposing curves but I'll need a loooot of practice and it will always remain challenging to get them on canvas properly, as your tutorial states. So thanks again for opening my eyes!
Also that was a great tip on the OFDW thread to just keep sketching and not expecting my first concept to be the best. In my case, the concept I'll try had been floating, growing, in my head for 3,4 days before I actually was able to sketch it.

Talaria Thanks for your support! I'll post updates in the OFDW thread and put my final here as well. Don't worry I will finish it, even if it takes me 6 months :)
Well my knowledge of art history is less than zero, I was only referring to the fact that I find a lot more paintings about catholiscism and important people from that time... It's good that there are kind people here like you to tell me when I'm telling crap hehe. I've only started to explore renaissance painters. First one I'm studying is Rubens, but I plan to study others like Caravaggio as well. If only I had more time, I could learn quicker...
Thanks for correcting me!

08 August 2006, 08:23 AM
I should apologize if I've pissed you off for having doubts about opposing curves. I guess you knew I would find out for myself :)

Hi there!

I must say I seriously doubt you did piss her off. Firstly, I have seen her being criticized before and she did not just disappear from people's threads, secondly you did not criticize her that much actually, and thirdly I think she just discovered that the forum is so active that it won't break down if she cuts down on her daily posting rate to let's say...10 percent of what she used to post...:D...think it would still be somewhere around 5 posts daily...:D

When I read Siju's post I had to reread your whole thread and I just can say...damn! The man is right. If you continue to improve like this you will leave us all in a fiery wake of incompetence behind...:scream:

As concerns your painting...there are two points I would advise to redesign...


- the composition seems a bit too crowded. When I look at it I am not sure if the focus is on Ares or Deimos. The two diagonals of Deimoses sword and Areses spear are pointing in totally different directions which makes the feeling of visual unrest even bigger.
I would say:
Focus on Ares pose only!
It is strong and captures violence over suppressed weakness perfectly...
Therefore, Deimos should still be part of the painting, but should be transferred to the background. He should be - pose and all just like this - pushed back a few steps behind Ares but on the same side of the painting.
The diagonal of his sword would then be pointing to Ares and help lead the eye to the main action, too.
Finally, the composition is spread out on one level of depth only, which makes the whole action appear sort of stiff. If you set the action up on the z-axis, too (as opposed to merely on the x and y-axis of the canvas) then the depth and eventually the action would certainly increase...

At the moment the figures are looking too stiff. Maybe go back to single sketches and studies (just like the old masters did individual studies of each character in a painting) to get their features straight.
I like it when people set themselves high goals. This is a highly ambitious painting and I think you can pull it off. You will need reference for the poses and anatomy, though. Anatomy reference you will find in abundance in the appropriate subforum around here. The difficult part is finding pose reference. Maybe you will have to shoot them yourself, either of you or of would be to shoot pose reference with more than one friend so you can check wether your pose interactions actually work.

Whoops. Long post. I guess you know I would not take the trouble to write an essay-length post in here if I thought there was not potential enough to make this a wonderful painting...?



08 August 2006, 10:10 AM
Hi Mr Mu!

Thanks a lot for your input on my painting.
I don't know if you had seen the lineart I drew yesterday so just in case here is the link:

Some things were changed in this new version compared to the first. Mainly on compositional aspect.
But you are indeed right. I should make Ares more prominent in the whole scene, I'll see if I can get the effect by scaling him up (got each figure on a separate layer) and scaling down Deimos a bit and alter his position if I have to. To be honest, the position of Deimos' sword... I did this because leading the eye via Deimos' arm & sword over the victims head and left arm to the dead man would prevent from the eye being guided to the bottom of the scene and staying there.

the composition is spread out on one level of depth only, which makes the whole action appear sort of stiff. If you set the action up on the z-axis, too (as opposed to merely on the x and y-axis of the canvas) then the depth and eventually the action would certainly increase...

That's some really great advise. I was looking at it yesterday and thinking how to create more depth... It would certainly make things more lively

08 August 2006, 11:03 AM
I don't know if you had seen the lineart I drew yesterday so just in case here is the link:

Ah no! Stiffness greatly reduced! :D

I ask the jury not to mind my previous elaborations...:scream:

To be honest, the position of Deimos' sword... I did this because leading the eye via Deimos' arm & sword over the victims head and left arm to the dead man would prevent from the eye being guided to the bottom of the scene and staying there.

Well, you could very well make the facial expression of Areses victim the main focus. It is actually pretty close to the focal point according to the rule of thirds...check out Philip Straubs article on composition here in the features sections of Also, you have the sword of Phobos leading the eye to the victim there, too.
Deimos action was sort of contradicting these lines of action, that's why I suggested pushing him into the canvas depth.

Make sure you desaturate and blur and decontrast Deimos once he is supposed to be in the background so the viewer gets enough cues on the distance that lies between him and the foreground.


08 August 2006, 05:54 PM
Well I only know about those because I read about them in some art books :P I also have practically no knowledge in art history, but renaissance paintings are my favourites :D

I saw your last update for the workshop, it looks better now that you changed Are's son position, now It does look like the central figure is Ares. What I noticed is that some of the figure arms seem too short, for example Are's right arm and also the arms of the guy that Deimos is killing. I know is still a sketch but still, I hope I could help :)

08 August 2006, 07:43 PM
What I noticed is that some of the figure arms seem too short

Aha! That's where I plan to create depth when painting. Looking at just lines, it's indeed not that sweet, but playing with light and volume should totally fix this :D
I was wondering how long it would take before someone would mention it. Today 2 persons told me: you and Shaolin7 in the OFDW thread.
I'm still thinking about light for this... Most likely I'll have my main light source coming from left.

However, this is still so early staged and I'm really not gonna bother trying to keep to the deadline since this is mainly a learning trip for me, more than a timed challenge, so I'll try to do things proper rather than fast :)

Thanks Talaria :thumbsup:
I really appreciate this
Now show me an update on your OFDW piece, i can't wait!

09 September 2006, 12:11 AM
Hi NR43!
I am very proud to be able to say this ... I FOUND YOUR THREAD ... wow yeah I am just the best ;)

Someone mentioned some of your arms are to short, want to hear something funny?
Today I was in the "Casper David Friedrich" exhebition, maybe you have heared of him? A crazy guy ... not very talented ... did some crazy katholic images and was not bad at painting environments. (OK so in fact he was the first who painted environments ;))

Ok so I was there today ... they had all the well known images and also all the other crap. So I walked through all the sketches because there was no chance of seeing one of the well known paintings. (I think there were around 40people in front of every of the paintings). After seeing your images ... I must say you are better than him :) He did the craziest and most wores anatomy figures in his sketches I have ever seen (this is no joke now!). So don't care on perfect anatomy... you can also do stupid stuff and become famous ;) (ok in fact THIS was a joke :))

Keep at it :)

09 September 2006, 02:36 AM
hi NR43

LOL, well I've been following your thead from the start, just didn't conect the 2 names :)
for some reason
it's great to see all the effort you've put into your work. seems to really be paying off.:thumbsup:
keep it up !

really like your concept for OFDW19, very ambitious, cann't wait to see more :)


09 September 2006, 06:21 PM
Trunks lol I will have to improve on anatomy drawing a lot if I ever want to become famous... these days it takes more than a few skills.

I think there were around 40people in front of every of the paintings

It's always something with them exhibitions isn't it?
Last month I went to see Rubens and they were playing some really loud and extremely repititive sounds which was very disturbing bah. At least a lot of Mr Rubens' paintings were like 4-5m tall so seeing them wasn't an issue for meh lol


thanks! it's great to know I can interest some people at least with my bungles

didn't feel like working on the ofdw today so here's some ballpen doodles...

damn scanner... that face on the top left is shaded a lot more subtile in real... just can't get the levels right bah
oh well... at least I feel good with that face after screwing up the face of the lady on the right

the bottom face took somewhere between 5-10min

09 September 2006, 05:14 AM
NR43, I love the great variety of studies you have done. Looks like you are making a good progress. I really should follow your example. I think I will be hanging out here often. :)

09 September 2006, 08:21 PM
Heozart :) the cgtalk anatomy forums can be extremely addictive... be warn brother :twisted:

[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

just a painting exercise... not too happy about it... will need a lot more of these... it's ok actually :)
reference from Ben Miller (

I had my first drawing class yesterday and came home a bit disappointed. Our teacher just did a brief explanation about what the plan was, drawing heads mostly the first year. He also told us what to bring on the first session on sept 18th... wth I thought we'd be getting into it from the very first minute??? nope... 2 more weeks...
at least I'll have extra time for the OFDW now :D

09 September 2006, 08:08 PM
Small as in visually not much difference, but I can tell ya I was trying and trying to get a nice dynamic pose for my Deimos character over and over and finally got completely stuck.
Then D-Hawk helped me out... thanks mate

Here's the cleaned up version of my final Deimos and his victim

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2 down, 5 to go wiii
Anyone putting money on me getting that deadline will lose it all haha
Used several refs from our dear friend Ben Miller again and shot some of myself as well

09 September 2006, 09:27 PM
really nice progress in this thread...its going fast!! keep it up...
the ballpenndoodles are very good!

09 September 2006, 01:56 PM
Just a quicky... got bored with it quite fast and then got lazy...
[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

thanks Cyanid for the kind comment :)

09 September 2006, 07:24 PM
Here's something I found on my hard drive just now... drew it half a year ago or something... I'd like to render it one day...

09 September 2006, 11:23 PM
Well your just a quickie sketch is really good, that looks like a very hard pose X)
You're really good at drawing dragons (I saw the dragon in your homepage :) is very beautiful, your faces are very realistic too! )

09 September 2006, 08:00 AM
Hi NR43,

I like your black/white pose studies... looking very nice :)

I think the feet are to short, also the fingers could be a little longer ;)

09 September 2006, 09:41 PM
hey you got very nice progress in here...u have done a lot this weekend hope to meet you within the next week to draw/paint something together again...this weekend i was very busy..soo see you then dude byebye

09 September 2006, 06:23 PM
Talaria thanks yeah I've been wanting to create a lot of those lovely creatures :)

Trunks you're right, there are so many things to improve still. But hands and feet are the bodyparts I've practically not studied at all yet. They're on my (bloody long) to do list.
Thanks for the visit

D-Hawk hi there... i'm wondering when you'll start your very own sketchbook here... there are loads of talented people here at cgtalk that are very willing to help! I'm glad to help you out as well, but you'll learn more from others lol

Well I hardly had any time at all to work on my OFDW entry :(
I didn't expect to finish at all by today, but at least I thought I would have been able to put my characters in a nice clean composition... oh well... I can still do that...
today's update:
[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

09 September 2006, 07:07 PM
First thing came to my mind after seeing this was "Why does he need such a clean linework?". Are you going to leave the linework after painting? Or is everything going to be painted on top? Of course it may be that you're improving your linework with this work, which you are by doing this. But if you want to finish it why not take a brush and give a splat for one man, another for the other and so on. Just a suggestion, because if I was doing this, I would draw a very fast linework or no linework at all. Just start painting and carve the form. If I would be trying to improve my linework, I would do that with a pencil. Just some thoughts.

Sorry If I misread something and don't know what is your goal for this peace.

And for a fact, I couldn't find no time to participate in the OFDW myself, damn that...

I'd like to see you finish this one.

09 September 2006, 10:33 AM
Hey Razz,

thanks for your input. I guess you're right that I tend to work too slow. It's often better to just stop thinking and get going...when you got enough "mileage".

Knowing myself, just starting to paint after a quick rough linework doesn't work yet. I would be running while I'm still learning to walk :) Check my first post on the OFDW if you don't believe me hehe. I think I need a couple of hundred quick painting studies to get confident enough to create something good "on the fly". I still need a lot of references to be able to prduce something that looks right.

I want to finish this one too, but there is simply too much I still have to learn, to be able to produce a nice painting with so many characters in a good composition, with a nice background etc, in a couple of weeks time.

So what I'll do is join in the upcoming anatomy and OFDW challenges while also making rather short studies (both painting and drawing) to get more mileage. I'll need time to get better...

09 September 2006, 07:58 PM
Here's a quicky... it's that famous apple :)

[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

not bright enough I guess... oh well
next up is that famous skull :D

09 September 2006, 09:27 AM
Hello there :)

Goodness! You know when you think you've done something... and you haven't! :rolleyes: Browsing your thread was one of those things :D Well, great work and progress and glad I finally got around to looking through :) I really like the way you described seeing original paintings - in the flesh, looking at art in books or on the screen can be great, but when you see them in real life, it's really something special, especially when they are great works :)

You have done some really nice studies here, and I love your idea and concept and progress on your OFDW... The thoughts that are going into that piece are big ones, so even if it takes a while before you call it finished, that's ok. Keep up your quick figure studies too, they are such good practice, and especially having people around that don't mind posing for a little bit here and there :)

Take care and big :thumbsup:

a. :)

09 September 2006, 12:11 PM

Just got a chance to go through your thread....REALLY NICE PROGRESS HAPPENING....:applause:

If I were you, and were going to be studying heads in class mainly,...The first thing I would do , is buy .. DRAWING THE HUMAN HEAD by BURNE HOGARTH...:)
That book, along with your teachers instruction, would enable you to go alot further in your study of the head, than just the class alone...just my persoal opinion, and is what I would do
if I were in your position.
I think you should do alot more works in ballpoint pen...that technique has a way of forcing you to think more while you are drawing...:)
GOOD LUCK in your class, and am looking forward to seeing more GREAT PROGRESS...:thumbsup:


09 September 2006, 01:26 PM
Good thinking, NR. I'll be looking forward to that couple of hundreds speedpaints :D Btw, nice apple. Try adding color. Good luck on the skull. You have lots of examples of a painted skull so make it look good! :thumbsup:

09 September 2006, 08:31 AM
thanks Razz! Would love to see you joining the Torso Challenge :)

Some figures from loomis I did earlier this week:

[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

and my first torso study for the challenge:

Will try to finish that skull study today...

09 September 2006, 08:31 PM
Torso study (1) revised (thanks Rebecca)

[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

torso study (2)

[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

more to come

09 September 2006, 09:23 PM
Wow torso study number 2 is awesome O:! (hehe I have to start doing the torso challenge)
and torso number 1 had a great shading, but is hand is kind of small, well I guess it doesn't matters since its a torso study not a hand one :P

09 September 2006, 10:09 PM
Lol thanks Talaria
I'm sure we'll have a hand challenge one day and a foot challenge as well (or I sure hope so coz those are really my weakest points)

btw, Glenn, I so badly want Burne Hogarth's books (all of them!) they are on my shopping list, believe me, but my girlfriend will kill me if I buy any more books right now :eek:
thank's for stopping by and taking the time

[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

09 September 2006, 04:48 PM
I'll do a few like this one, I really like that style, just have to make it look a bit rougher now

09 September 2006, 05:00 PM

I have to tell you, I think this is really beautiful work! :applause:

Cheers, :)


09 September 2006, 02:52 AM
:thumbsup: Hiya - and wow! that no 4 is a lovely study :) really like the way you have worked his abs and chest with the light...
take care and keep them coming :)

a. :)

09 September 2006, 03:54 AM
hey NR43

great job on that last one :thumbsup:


09 September 2006, 04:11 PM
Wow Johan, your torsos just keep getting better. I looove the last one!
keep it up :) !

09 September 2006, 05:35 PM
Yo Johan,
Blazing away I see!:)! stretch that david by about 20% , great stuff all around , very thrilled !:thumbsup:


09 September 2006, 08:21 PM
Hi Johan,

Great work on the torsos. Last one is looking really well. Mind the proportions though.

09 September 2006, 07:50 PM
batte812 Hey man thanks! I'm trying too, and also trying to watch my linework (opposing curves and all), guess it's too many things at the same time I'm trying hehe

Siju, thanks for dropping by! I'll get the proportions right one day!

Talaria Hi there :) I'm afraid it was just an inspirational moment hehe (look at the ones I'm posting today and you'll see what I mean :s)

Mark, Thanks

Frejasphere Thanks for taking the time to drop by. I'll do some more in this style until I get some real charcoal on my hands :)

Rebeccak thank you! Now don't say those things too much lol. Be harsh if you have to. Still, this means a lot though!

Christ at the Column
c. 1607
Oil on canvas, 134,5 x 175,5 cm
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rouen

RUBENS, Pieter Pauwel
Oil on canvas, transferred from panel, 191 x 161,3 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

Hope to do some more between work, supper and class the next 3 days (I got class every monday, tuesday, wednesday from 18hr till 22hr)
Also nearly done with a high detail skull study (theone from the shading tut thread) but still need a bit of work on that. Will have to wait until thursday that one...

Thanks for the continuous support you guys rock!

09 September 2006, 06:01 AM
Hey Johan,

you're really busy, a lot of new work around here! Your torsos are coming along very well, good work with the shading:thumbsup: !
Are you still on the Chang-picture and what about your composition for the last OFDW, you're still on it?...I'm just curious:) ...
Have a nice day!


09 September 2006, 02:51 PM
Wow! you have made quite some progress ...
congrats! :applause:

09 September 2006, 05:22 AM
Hi all, thanks for the support!

No image with this post but I think it's ok to make an exception this time coz I'm sooo thrilled.
We were invited to the official opening of the academy library during class yesterday. It's a rather small library, but I've already found some great books on anatomy I really want to check out. It's really great news because my hobby budget is rather low lately.
Anyway, the drawing classes are changing from 4+4+2 hours over 3 days into two 5 hour sessions from next monday on. Not bad at all in my case because I like the longer sessions, really helps me to get into it and it saves me an evening, which I can use to do other interesting things like drawing torso's, or working on my R. Chang masterstudy or my OFDW19 piece which still needs so much work, or... hm ok I think you get it :D

In the mean time I'm trying to squeezee 'em in between work, cooking, cleaning and class so bear with me (I think I liked it better when my partner wasn't working :twisted:)

Take Care

09 September 2006, 01:18 PM
Hey, Johan. Great improvement here. Love to see that. Really looking forward to much more. And whee, pretty long drawings sessions compared to mine. I have only 3 sessions which take 2h each. It's composition, which was added only this year. Then drawing and painting. Not much, eh? Ok, but not about that. Is it possible to see your drawings from the classes?

09 September 2006, 05:31 PM
Hi razz, thanks for stopping by.
I wouldn't mind showing you the stuff we draw at school but the question is do you reall want to see it lol. Since we're only just started 2 weeks ago and our teacher is assuming we've no background at all (which in my case isn't far from it), we are going slowly, step by step, from the very beginning.
In oter words we're drawing lines, squares and now boxes to practice perspective.
I think we'll be drawing boxes for a couple more weeks and then switch to cylinders and spheres. After that we should finally start doing heads (i think around november/december). I suppose we'll take on shadows as well along the way.

so do you still want to see this? boxes aren't all that interesting to look at hehe.

Oh well, here's a traditional torso study

c. 1492
Marble, 84,5 x 90,5 cm
Casa Buonarroti, Florence

And this one I've started 30min ago but is still very much wip. As it's too dark here to continue it today (I hate drawing under small spotlights :s), I'll finish it tomorrow...

[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

Hey Bourbaki are you still active? :twisted:

09 September 2006, 07:21 PM
RUBENS, Pieter Pauwel
Cupid Making His Bow
Oil on canvas, 142 x 108 cm
Alte Pinakothek, Munich

09 September 2006, 08:17 PM
Wow, I know I'm not the first in this thread to say it, but I can really see great progress. Keep going at it.

09 September 2006, 09:15 AM
Thanks Joshua :buttrock:

Well, rather late but it's finally finished. Actually, I could keep working on it because I keep seeing many many flaws and inaccurate parts, but at some point I had to call this skull study finished or I'll be working on it eternally :eek:

And here's a small step by step for the sake of spectacularity :D

I'll do a coloured version at some point in the future. However, this won't happen until I am confident and experienced enough with values and even more with lines and proportions.
I should stick more to my big plan (Thanks bobby Chiu for reminding me of that!!) which is:



ofcourse all these aspects need to be used in a nice cocktail, but that's the order of where my focus was and still should be.

The torso challenge has also helped me with this to get back to the basics, where I still need much much improvement.

All this doesn't mean I will stop my larger projects on the side (the Robert chang masterstudy, where emphasis lies on colors for me) and the OFDW19 extended study (which I see as a broad, overall study, covering all the aspects I mentioned above)

plan for today (it's 11hr15 at this very moment) is to do 3,4, maybe 5 torso studies and then dive into this wonderful WONDERFUL book from 1973 by Jenö Barcsay called Anatomy For The Artist.
I got this book from the library at the academy and I'm totally in love with it...

Anywayz... back to work...

EDIT: does anyone know if the reference photo is copyrighted? I got it from here (

09 September 2006, 11:56 AM

Really nice progress, which is always great to see...:thumbsup:


09 September 2006, 04:38 PM
Thanks Glenn!

today's torso studies:
decided to speed things up a bit and concentrate on the lines... searching for balanced curves... not quite there yet... but practice makes perfect :)

Slave (dying)
c. 1513
Marble, height 229 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

Marble, length: 195 cm
Sagrestia Nuova, San Lorenzo, Florence

RUBENS, Pieter Pauwel
The Discovery of the Child Erichthonius
c. 1615
Oil on canvas, 218 x 317 cm
Sammlungen des Fürsten von und zu Lichtenstein, Vaduz

Male Figure
Musée du Louvre, Paris

More torso's tomorrow...

09 September 2006, 05:55 PM
Hi:) You have some really wondrful work here! Especially the skull, that's just fantastic. I love the teeth :D
Looking forward to more!

09 September 2006, 06:52 PM
Really wonderful work on the skull, especially, John. I love the animated gif to show the stages of your work.

Keep up the great work!

10 October 2006, 10:30 AM
Iridyse Thank you *bows* I had a look at your cgportfolio and I must say I was really impressed with your work. Especially your Cho doll!

Cris I am honored *bows again*

With such great artists checking my threadbook, it really stimulates to push my limits with every drawing I make.

First torso for today:

Nude Viewed from Behind
Black chalk with white highlights on blue paper
Forsyth Wickes Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

revised this... some stuff was bothering me...

I hope I can do some more today, but I'm a bit worried as both my arms are hurting :s
maybe i should take a day off since I'll have 5hrs drawing sessions tomorrow and tuesday

10 October 2006, 05:36 PM

and 10 words so I can post this one :eek:

10 October 2006, 05:46 PM
Really wonderful skull! It looks like a photograph, its is hard to tell its painted. I really love the pen studies especially the profile, I'd like to see more of those. You have a very controlled line with pen and it isn't exactly the easiest medium to use. You might want to dissect some of the torso studies, aka flay. Force yourself to see every muscle and their porportions. I think this will help with the understanding of the Michaelangeo pieces. I'm not sure if they work to well as line studies, since he had a very sculptural approach to drawing the figure.

10 October 2006, 06:02 PM
Hi Womball,

thanks for your help.

I was looking at the bones and muscles today using the book I mentioned a few posts ago...
I'm planning to do all the studies I make from this book using a pen so definetely some of those coming up.

You're right though I really need to know a lot more about the muscles...

10 October 2006, 03:49 AM

Haven't checked in for a while- you're really pushing yourself. Damned impressive. Great great job on the torsos, and hats off on that skull :applause:!! Wow. I love watching talent explode......... Keep it up!

10 October 2006, 11:38 AM
Hi Johan, amazing work on the skull. Very good rendering work on the torsos as well - i think the David looks really good. You should work on proportions though: draw a lot of little figures (2 - 5 min), very schematic. Try to nail the proportions and pose. It's a fast way to learn.

Keep on improving!

10 October 2006, 10:37 PM

I thought I had replied here, but apparently not - I just have to say how incredibly impressed I am with your hard work and progress here - you've really improved in leaps and bounds, and it's pretty inspirational. That skull is just amazing! Keep up the great work! :)



10 October 2006, 10:55 AM

Just stopping by to say Hi, and to see what you've been up to....Like that blue figure....nice edges...some crisp, and some soft and faded into it AIR, and allows it to breath....:applause:
Tell your girlfriend that I said that you need to get all of Burne Hogarth's books...NOW...LOL.:scream:
Some things are worth risking your life for....LOL..:scream:
You can get them cheap, when you buy them used on the internet.....:)


10 October 2006, 06:38 PM
i just saw your skull today and it is really really awesome:thumbsup: seeing it makes me want to do one myself :)

10 October 2006, 12:31 AM
great works you have here Johan
Your drawings and aptitude are inspiring!

keep it up

Jancko anatomy thread (

10 October 2006, 07:34 PM
Wow NR43 I'm in awe, your shading is awesome! I love the 'nude view from behind' and that skull is just awesome. Not much to critique for me, just hoping one day I'll reach this kind of level :D

10 October 2006, 09:05 PM
Myku Thanks mate. There is still so much to learn for me. I will keep pushing for a long long time :) thanks for the motivation

batte812 Thanks. I will do more gestures as you suggest.

Rebeccak Thanks for everything! With you poppin in every now and then, I must keep working... it would be a shame to let you down :bounce:

Hey Glenn, I won't be able to resist much longer. I think I will go for used ones as you suggest. She'll be pissed but I think know some ways to make up ;)
Thanks for stopping by my humble thread!

piccolabella thanks a lot! I really hope you will do that skull study as well, I learned tons doing it!

jancko, Kewn Thanks for the nice words!:buttrock:


I'm planning to do Ben and myself a favour and use his wonderful work to study.
Here's the frst of a hopefully long series:

Ben Miller - Utter Despair (

I know I haven't posted much this week but I've had some turbulent days behind me. I'll try to catch up on the torso challenge tomorrow...

10 October 2006, 01:03 AM
Beautiful work, Johan! Looking forward to following your Ben series.

10 October 2006, 12:23 PM
wonderful study Johan!


10 October 2006, 02:32 PM
Yvonne, Mu, thanks.
I'm not too happy with it to be honest (mainly his arms are bothering me)


Ok, got a lot of catching up to do so here are the first 3 for today.
Done with a charcoal pencil

Charon Ferrying the Shades
Oil on canvas, 135 x 83 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

RUBENS, Pieter Pauwel
Pan and Syrinx
Oil on oak panel, 40 x 61 cm
Staatliche Museen, Kassel


Crouching Boy
Marble, height: 54 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg


I'll do some digital ones now...

10 October 2006, 03:02 PM

I like the technique you are creating, with your blue figures..very pleasing to the eye.....:) :applause:
As regards your blue drawing of BEN
Watch out when working from photo's....they tend to lie about and distort proportions.
For example..the size and width of feet, arms, and the limbs in relationship to each other.
When working from a live model, unless there is extreme perspective involed, the feet, arms hands, ect. will always be the same width and length size on the figure, in relationship to each other.
The depth will be created by an overlapping of shapes, but the width of those shapes remains the same
In a photo, this relationship will be distorted, foot, arm, leg, ect, may appear bigger or smaller than it's counterpart....pefect example, ...the upper arms and forams,and feet in your drawing,
don't match in width, and length...the overlapping shapes are not present in the far arm, that is receeding into space. The receeding arm comes across as being smaller than the arm
closest to the viewer....The same distortion happenes with the feet, except in reverse. this is the distortion created in photo's.
It is wise, to always be aware of this distortion or lie, that a photo projects, when you are trying to represent the figure ....Just a little tip, that you might keep in mind, as you do your next figure....PHOTO'S TRICK YOUR EYE, DON'T LET THEM TRICK YOUR MIND ALSO.
Those Burne Hogarth books you are getting, can and will explain what I just mentioned,
Keep up the GREAT WORK and PROGRESS,...REALLY looking forward to seeing MORE...:thumbsup:

10 October 2006, 05:07 PM
I really like the Ben Miller study :) good job<img>

10 October 2006, 11:58 PM
Hi Johan,

Great update; especially the Ben Miller study.

10 October 2006, 01:45 PM
Hey Johan! :)
Great to see how much work you're putting in and how it's paying off :thumbsup: Lots of lovely studies here, I like the blue ones too, and will join in the skull ovations! that is an AWESOME skull :) I think captain Jack sparrow and any other scull loving creature would agree! Torsos are going well too - keep it up and make sure to enjoy it lots :)

take care and cheers
a. :)

10 October 2006, 07:29 PM
Glenn, good point there. I'll try to keep it in mind. Thanks!

Intervain, batte812, Frejasphere, glad you like this last one. There are still many many things I should improve you know. I'll do more Ben Miller studies when time allows and hopefully my last, will be better than the ones before :)

Had a busy day today with lots of cleaning and having my parents for a lil celebration but I still managed to do some work:

Sketched my dad when he was sitting outside on the terras (about 15min, I tend to draw very lightly when I'm doing the first, rough lineout):

[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

Some ballpen studies:

[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

And a torso done with a charcoal pencil:

RUBENS, Pieter Pauwel
The Abduction of Ganymede
Oil on canvas, 203 x 203 cm
Schwarzenberg Palace, Vienna

Hey Glenn, I ordered 3 Hogarth books. They should arrive latest on 21st of this month. But ssst don't tell anyone ok? ;)

10 October 2006, 02:17 AM
Great job on the study with the ball point pen.

Also your Ruben drawing of Ganymede really leaps off the paper. The solid dark shading on the edges definetly help in bring the drawing to life. I look forward to seeing more of your work.

I was browsing through the rest of your sketchbook and your skull study caught my eye. I felt like I could reach into my moniter and pick up the skull. Keep up the good work.

10 October 2006, 02:53 AM
I think Glenn made some good points about photo-distortion, which I need to take note of myself. Regardless, I'm very impressed with your torso studies and your technique with the charcoal-pencil. Great, great stuff here, man :applause:.

10 October 2006, 02:26 PM
spartan02 Thanks I'll keep practising :) I'm really liking this charcoal pencil because it's very soft and therefor very manipulative.

Myku Thanks I'll keep training my eye so my observational skills improve.

here are some sketches from school (in case anyone is wondering why I'm so absent on the torso challenge)

Practising a lot on perspective. Basic stuff, but so very much needed as a foundation. there is a big big difference between drawing from an image/photo compared to drawing from a real life subject. (As Glenn and Myko pointed out)
Apologies for the bad quality (we draw with HB in class... I tend to draw very light... and my camera sux.)

10 October 2006, 02:35 PM
More school work:

We also did different kinds of exercises. 5-10min sketches of these boxes in different setups, and a really interesting one I thought was drawing them without looking at the paper we were drawing on. It's a great way to create a feel for direction and although these drawings look quite messy, the lesson is learned and I have a rather good feeling about that :)

All in all I did 67 sketches in 3 weeks... I love it :D
i also like my teacher's approach, starting with the basics and allowing us to do enough of those basic exercises. It will come in handy later for sure...
next week we start with round/cylindric shapes (an arm can be simplified as a bunch of cilinders...)

10 October 2006, 03:08 PM
Hi Johan :)

Nice boxes... not being silly here :) all foundation drawing is great practice and you are right that it comes in handy :) keep up the enthusiasm and good luck with your studies! :thumbsup:

take care and cheers
a. :)

10 October 2006, 06:47 PM
Hi there,

Thanks for dropping by my thread the other day, thought I would repay in kind (even if it has taken me a while...) I like your torso's, there's some very nice studies in amongst your work. I also liked your blue figures - it's nice to see some tonal work that isn't just your standard pencil greys! Mind you, I should really try something like that myself, as my work tends to be limited to pencil and occasionally charcoal if i'm feeling adventurous!


10 October 2006, 03:58 PM
Great little exercises with the boxes, Johan. As you say, it will sure come in handy later on. Basics are very important. Just as the basic figure - gesture, has a lot of importance. Once I saw a class drawing bunch of chairs thrown in random way into one pile. Funny looking. But what an awesome exercise for learning perspective.

Keep practising :bounce:

10 October 2006, 05:47 PM

boah, you are very busy doing all this stuff. And the torsos are looking very good and to see also the basics in the last ones. Basics, hehe, reminds me to do similar things.

You really enjoy it. Move on and have fun!


10 October 2006, 05:08 PM
First time this week I had a chance to do some torso studies...
but the workshop isn't finished yet! Expect a couple more by tomorrow evening...

The Crucifixion of Saint Peter
Oil on canvas, 230 x 175 cm
Cerasi Chapel, Santa Maria del Popolo, Rome

30 min charcoal pencil

Amor Victorious
Oil on canvas, 156 x 113 cm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin

90min normal HB pencil


Frejasphere / Annette thanks I'm always looking forward to the next classes actually. I think it's weird but some of my classmates seem to be pretty bored with them boxes... strengely enough some of them seem to draw only during class...

AndyO thanks. Actually I did change my colors for my digital torso's after seeing Helen Baq's work... ( she does this all the time and it's always good for a fresh looking effect so I figured I'd try it as well :)

razz thanks for the continuous support mate! really motivates me to push further and keeping the action alive!

Elliepower yeah I'm pretty busy but as long as I can squeeze in a few drawings every week I'm a happy man :) thanks for the visit!

10 October 2006, 07:01 PM
And a quick digital...

Study for Adam
c. 1509
Black chalk, 357 x 210 mm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

10 October 2006, 08:32 PM
Hey there, Johan, very nice work on # 101 - I stretched the poor guy's torso in my version! :)

Your quick digital is also most impressive - that's a great technique, saying so much with so little - the texture also adds nicely to the effect.

10 October 2006, 08:43 PM
Whats going on. Love the shading on the 101, same goes for your #90 digital. Clean and well defined lines.

10 October 2006, 09:16 AM
Thanks Yvonne, Matt

glad you like those :)
I've experimented a bit with a couple of these traditional drawings in GIMP
I think they looks better now...

10 October 2006, 09:46 AM
I really like the last ones - especially the Caravaggio turned out real sweet!

10 October 2006, 09:59 AM
I was thinking it, but Magdalena said it first...I love those last ones, in particular.


10 October 2006, 12:10 PM
Hi Johan!

great work :thumbsup: You are really going well with these studies! I like the play of light you have in Study for Adam, and the nice lines in The Abduction of Ganymede... :)

And wonderful that you enjoy all the aspects of drawing! It's such an important thing, to enjoy the looking-seeing process, not just try to "get a few boring boxes over and done with" :D a shape is a shape is a shape - which takes form through your eyes and hand.... :)

keep going the way you are - you are doing just fine and more! :)

a. :)

10 October 2006, 06:15 PM
Intervain Thank you I am honored
Annette, Cris, Thank you so much! You know, I think I've really found something wonderful... drawing... If I was rich I would quit my job and do nothing else for the rest of my life but drawing and painting. I still have a very long way to get where I want but so far this has been a really great ride... so don't expect me to get outta here any time soon lol

thanks for the support people it really boosts my confidence! I hope it will show in my lines :)


Probably the last one within the deadline...

Kneeling Nude Woman
c. 1518
Red chalk, stylus underdrawing on paper, 279 x 187 mm
National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh

10 October 2006, 11:00 PM
Very nice stuff done since I laste posted here, Johan. And the last CG one looks so clean. I see you're not wasting your time and progressing further each day. Great to see that. Not much I could suggest you know, just keep going :thumbsup: Would enjoy to see some traditionaly of digitaly painted ones more!

10 October 2006, 03:17 PM
Great updates NR43, nice perspective studies! Thanks for that too, almost forgot I should learn and practice that too. That last master study has awesome shading again, kinda reminds me of how Carlos Huante shades his work.

10 October 2006, 06:35 PM
Today's work:

[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

[image deleted to save bandwidth - apologies]

take my advise: NEVER buy a Canon Lide 25 scanner... it isn't worth the money :/
so much detail getting lost every time :(


razz thanks i'm really pleased I'm not boring talented people like you :)
Kewn hey I had a look at Carlos Huante's website... pretty creepy stuff but wow very nice!
thanks for that...

10 October 2006, 06:54 PM

These are gorgeous studies - so refreshing to see. :) Keep up the excellent work - and your activity around the forum is much appreciated.



10 October 2006, 10:25 AM

Your ink rendering is really very nice...very tight...:thumbsup: ....GREAT job on those torso studies also. Like the fluidness of your line on those torso's, and very much like that technique you used on the last torso posted..093..kneeling nude woman...FANTASTIC job on that..:applause:
Great to see the perspective studies, and interior's.:thumbsup:
Your thread and the work in it, are really shaping up nicely...all the right elements :)

10 October 2006, 04:57 PM
Awsome job Johan, especially the neck muscle and vertebrea studies. Love the shading and crisp lines on the vertebrae. Keep them coming.

10 October 2006, 10:43 AM
Rebecca thank you. I try to be helpful for other people here on the forum as well, since I receive so much from everyone... fair is fair right?

Glenn I'm honored you still take the time to visit my humble sb :) Thank you sir!

spartan02 Thanks for your kind and motivating words. Much much progression to make though.

My Hogarth books have arrived on wednesday. Here's what I've done so far.
The first 2 were 1hour studies. Then I decided to speed things up as it's not about shading qualities at this point, but creating form with lines (imho).

Some are quick reviews i did this morning of worse sketches. My overall impression is I've been making progress since the head challenge in July, but there is still a long way to go.

10 October 2006, 10:47 AM
Since this is a sb and not a portfolio...

10 October 2006, 10:52 AM
More Hogarth studies...

I'll try to do a longer studie from the head challenge this afternoon. No promises though :)
I think I will learn at a nice pace if I keep practicing this way... Lots of fast sketches and quickly reviewing those the next day or so... alternated with a more profound study every now and then...

I should really try to draw those from memory though (haven't done that yet even though I said I would *blushes*)

I should also watch the size of the mouth... drawing that not wide enough I think

10 October 2006, 10:52 AM
OOOh really nice HOgarth studies - especially like the jaw bone :) :thumbsup:

10 October 2006, 11:16 AM
Great work dude, It's amazing seeing your progression from the start of this thread and I'm envious of your dedication! :thumbsup: Keep goin! :bounce:

10 October 2006, 03:20 PM
Hi....Johan....:thumbsup: :applause: :)

GREAT to see these head studies.....all that information he is teaching you, will sink in, and will
really be useful when you work from your imagination. You will find yourself going back to his books your whole life, to find the solution to some problem you are having with a figure that you are trying to CREAT from your own imagination, and will always find the answer in one of his won't find the pose you are creating, but you WILL find the answer to your problem. That was the genius of his teaching method, and his books..:)
A real pleasure seeing your progress..:thumbsup:

10 October 2006, 07:47 PM
hey Intervain that was FAST! :D
didn't want to comment without an image though... but thanks for motivation! want to do a lot more of Hogarth this week.

mrcore64 thanks for the visit. I'm going slowly but steady. Nothing can stop me from getting my goal, except dying, or getting paralized or something... Now let's pray that won't happen :eek:

Glenn I surely hope so :D Thanks again for your excellent guidance!

WIP of head nr 84 from the first anatomy lesson thread.

[image removed to save bandwidth - apologies]

Think I won't be able to finish it before next weekend though...

10 October 2006, 07:51 PM
Look at you go! Nice studies, Johan. I think you've got a great start on your head study...look forward to seeing more.


10 October 2006, 07:55 PM
I really like the lips on your head study. nice job :thumbsup:

( now I'm subscribed to your thread:D )

10 October 2006, 07:56 PM
Really great head studies and eye studies!
Also number 93 is beautiful...

10 October 2006, 09:04 PM
Inspirational progress here NR43. :)

10 October 2006, 09:15 PM
Nice studies NR43, that last head looks really 3D :)

10 October 2006, 02:02 PM
Uau! Your progress is truly impressive.
And as Rebeccak said... it´s very inspiring. It move me to draw more and more.

Thanks for post your comments in my Sketchbook.
I´ll try to draw it again and post it later

10 October 2006, 06:21 AM
Hey y'all thanks a million for the motivating words! If you peepz keep boosting my confidence all the time I'll be dealing with an ego problem soon lol.
No, seriously... Thank you R-Russo, Kewn, Talaria, su, Cris, mrcore64, Intervain, Glenn
Expect more soon...
I was just reading my copy of ImagineFX nr11 here at work and oh my what a pleasant surprize to see some names from the anatomy forums here at cgtalk in it!

Rebecca, Siju, Razz... really thrilled to read your thoughts in my favourite mag!

I feel like a train now... stopping at interesting stations here and there, on my way to my final destination, which lies millions of miles away from where I am... but somehow I know I will reach it one day (the day I am on my death-bed, thinking about my journey and the creations it spawned)

Thanks all! (and get a copy of ImagineFX if you haven't already :D )

10 October 2006, 06:58 AM
I was just reading my copy of ImagineFX nr11 here at work and oh my what a pleasant surprize to see some names from the anatomy forums here at cgtalk in it!

Rebecca, Siju, Razz... really thrilled to read your thoughts in my favourite mag!

I feel like a train now... stopping at interesting stations here and there, on my way to my final destination, which lies millions of miles away from where I am... but somehow I know I will reach it one day (the day I am on my death-bed, thinking about my journey and the creations it spawned)

Thanks all! (and get a copy of ImagineFX if you haven't already :D )
Garr - I wish I could! :) It doesn't hit the US til later I guess, it always comes around a month behind it's release in Europe. I'm really glad they got to talk to Siju and Razz as well. :)

10 October 2006, 01:54 PM
Whoa, great to hear that. It's Rebecca who I should and am thankful for this. It's an achievement for me to have my thoughts printed in a magazine which whole world can read. Oh goodie! Thanks again, Rebecca!

And back to what we're here for. Great Hogarth studies, I especially like the ones of the eyes. Keep learning, I'm with you!

10 October 2006, 02:46 PM
I hope I get my copy soon! I too have to thank Rebecca for this:)!

10 October 2006, 07:57 PM
An update... Donnow if I'll work much more on it though... don't feel the need to add the hair really. Want to move on and do a bit more Hogarth studies...

[image removed to save bandwidth - apologies]

I hadn't done much in painter since the end of the torso challenge... I noticed how quickly I miss it already...

10 October 2006, 08:23 PM
Looks good, Johan. I love how the black and whites that you and others do, have this very sculptural feel to them.

Now I have to make sure I pick up that issue...thanks for the heads up.


10 October 2006, 10:13 AM
Hi again Johan :)

Great work and looks like you are enjoying it too :) :thumbsup:

The modelled head has got nice volume and I especially like the shades around her nose mouth and chin :) The lines in her hair seem to deter a little from the rest, but maybe if you revisit it after some more Hogarth studies...

keep it up and keep enjoying!

a. :)

10 October 2006, 10:36 AM
Thanks I was focussing on creating volume (the 3D feel you know)
But I'm not really happy with it, mainly the eye bothers me...
It could use more contrast as well maybe...

glad you like it, thanks.
I'll do another one within the next couple of days, hopefully a better one...
This one... I'm afraid it's doomed to remain in it's current state :shrug:

10 October 2006, 04:38 PM
Hi NR43... your studies are really cool! you are making steady progress here.. Eager to see the head finished...:) are you going to add more specular values for a marble-like look or try for a real skin finish with colors?

10 October 2006, 09:53 PM
Hi NR43
I think the last one came out very 3-D. The eye could've been a little darker, but the nose, lips and ear are awesome.

Keep up the good work
And keep pushing it!


10 October 2006, 04:45 PM
Hey Johan, cool paints in here, I just loved that last one, I almost can touch it, great job in the values, admirable progress, and now Im going to spy this thread.

10 October 2006, 04:56 PM
Thanks peepz for the nice words. If it weren't for you I wouldn't have done any work at all this weekend. Somehow I'm feeling completely empty, tired and sad... it's autumn alright...

I didn't get to do another value study on a head from the 1st challenge, but I did a lil bit of Hogarth... These took the greatest effort even though they aren't that good...

[image removed to save bandwidth - apologies]

[image removed to save bandwidth - apologies]

Oh well... a new week starts tomorrow. I'll see if I can get the right spirit again. No school this week so I might do a couple of Ben Millers

10 October 2006, 05:24 PM

Good to see these studies - I love the sculptural feel you've got to these, and I wouldn't underestimate their quality. :) Am sorry to hear the winter blues have onset, but here's hoping that keeping busy can stave off that feeling we all get this time of year. :)



10 October 2006, 08:10 PM
Hey thanks Rebecca. I'll Survive ;) (always have, always will)

here's a superquicky just to ease my concience. didn't really work as there are tons of weaknesses in it... oh well... I'll do a bit more traditionals before I'm off to bed...

yuck. lol.
ok... relativizing (is that english at all haha??)
C:/erase negative feelings [enter]
...swipp boohle dong dong...
feeling better now!

10 October 2006, 08:15 PM
Nice studies, Johan. Do lots of them caus they will prove very useful.

10 October 2006, 08:19 PM
No school for me this week too. Let's draw!! And Paint!! Damn it, I have 3 paintings to do in this week. Wouldn't be me if I didn't have bunch of work and little time.
You have a start on the guy, what's there you don't like? Everything can be corrected. Looking forward to those traditional ones before your sleep, hehe.

10 October 2006, 05:54 PM
Hey Johan. REALLY nice work here. Just wanted to stop by and congratulate you on your progress :). The Hogarthe studies are bad @ss. You are very intuitive with a ballpoint pen also. I want to see that last one developed more. Very nice pose. MORE!!:drool:

10 October 2006, 11:25 PM
O: I don't understand why the eye on the sculpture bothers you? I think it looks very realistic...
Nice Hogarth studies, they do look good :P
You have winter sadness D: why? its the time of snow and...snowman :) that's pretty i think (I have never been in snow ._. )

11 November 2006, 07:23 AM
I really like the sort of paced emotional quality you are infusing in your latest pieces. They seem calm on the surface level but also convey some tension, which you're binding up in the anatomy and drawing, which is the hallmark of good drawing. Always enjoy seeing your work here. :)

11 November 2006, 12:31 PM
Hey, Johan!
Firstly, thanks for visiting my sketchbook! And man... your progress from the first to the last page is amazing and it's inspiring for me in many ways. Keep doing your best to get better and better.

See ya!

11 November 2006, 07:03 PM
Thank you all! You have no idea how much your support means to me...
I'm very grateful that I'm able to meet such nice people here and get so much valuable input.

Here's a few more Hogarth studies. I'm getting really attached to the book, even though I must admit at first I was a bit intimidated by the robuust drawing style on the first pages.
[image removed to save bandwidth - apologies]

And here's one I've put a lotta love in... Did most of the work on it last night but only got to finish it just now.
At this point, it's good, not excellent, but good. And I'm happy with good for now :)

thanks again EVERYONE! for the nice words and the motivation.
Those winter blues are gone now :buttrock:

11 November 2006, 09:35 PM
Wow NR43 you got nice updates going on, I like the last drawings, very solid. I should take an example of how clean you draw, I always get terribly sketchy. Anyway, keep going man!

11 November 2006, 10:45 PM
Hey Johan :)

These Hogarth studies are going great! I really like the man in profile! Awesome nose, and you've really captured the intensity in his expression :thumbsup:

Sorry you were feeling the autumn blues...Wish I could send some of the southern sun to cheer you up ;) Hopefully all is well now; your work is coming along leaps and bounds, so no need to feel empty there... :applause:

take care and cheers
a. :)

11 November 2006, 01:49 AM

Real pleasure to see those last sure to read, and fully understand all that he key to getting the most from his teaching method. The memory of his words, will stick better than the images,in the future, if you fully understand them.
Just basic princaples that have been used by sculptores and painters alike for centuries...he learned them by really studying Michelangelo, who in turn learned the princaples
from artist that came before him..all the way back to the Greeks and so on..and so forth.
Not sure if you have ever used conti crayons, but it is a great method and technique for learning what he is teaching, and will lead you directly into painting, because it creates edges, instead of lines, when used properly...Conti crayon is what he used when teaching. I believe it was because it led into a better understanding of painting, through the creation of
volume, with edge, not line,.. in one using the side of the crayon to creat form,
and only the tip of the crayon to creat an accent line where needed at the end of the proccess....He used a large pad of newsprint for his lessons in class.
He used pen and ink and line work ...for printing purposes in his career as an illustrator..:)
Just some thoughts that might help you in your studies, and along your journy.

11 November 2006, 04:25 AM

great work on those studies :thumbsup:


11 November 2006, 09:16 AM
Hey, NR. You're progressing fast. I can see a tremendous leap forward from the first pages to now. I'm really very impressed. You know what would be interesting to see? Take one of the head studies which are posted in the first page, and make another study of that head. See how better it looks. I really like this last head.

Keep on with these :bounce:

11 November 2006, 10:00 PM
Kewn, thanks! I'm using a HB pencil and a 2B woodless pencil for these Hogarth studies.
Annette, Thanks for dropping in to cheer me up :bounce: sure to read, and fully understand all that he writes..
I think I am but you sound a bit like I don't Glenn :)
I've never used conti crayons but the local art store is having open door this week so I'm definetely having a look for some. thanks for the tip!
Even though I'm already thinking a tiny bit more in terms of values rather than I used to, I love drawing lines. I think it's more challenging for me at this point to draw lines properly than to add values correctly... My teacher at school is also telling us not to paint (at this point, remember only the very first weeks from a 4 year course is where I am at) but to draw. I'm wondering if I'm better off trying to stick to his method or just exploring new methods as much as possible... I'm sure if I do the latter, I'll be hearing crits from my teach :)

Anyway, It's not that big of a deal since I got still so much progress to make, I'll be trying stuff sooner or later anyhow...
Thanks for your valuable input Glenn. It's really appreciated!

I've been reading a bit on Mr Hogarth's background... didn't know he was the man from the Tarzan comics, etc...

Mark, thanks mate. Will try to push further
razz good idea I might do that! thanks for popping in mate

I'm nearly through the first part of Hogarths book now so today I did all the drawings from the first 50 pages or so for the 2nd time, but faster. I'm not gonna be bothered posting those except maybe these:

hadn't posted one of the ear studies...

after i redrew all the previous ones, I constructed a head in front view without reference, as an exercise... I must definetely do more of this kind of practice...

11 November 2006, 12:36 AM
Hi...Johan....LOL..:scream: :)

Didn't mean for it to sound like you weren't reading what he wrote...just wanted to point it out,
...Sometimes people,...not you...:) just start copying, and miss out on the benifit of his theories and princaples, as they apply to the drawings...SORRY if I made it sound personal, WASN'T MY INTENSION...:)
I think your studies are great by the way.. and I also like the way you are doing from memory and imagination, what you have just copied...great way to have it sink in that much more and better ..:thumbsup:
As far as linework goes...listen to your teacher..:scream::)
But on the other hand, never box your SELF, OR LET your SELF be boxed into a corner,when it comes to creativity and always feel free to experiment ...I think you will find your Self doing what comes to mind, whether you want to or not,..regardless....just don't get caught....LOL..:scream:
HOPE you have luck finding those conti crayons...a lot of fun to use, and can produce great results, with practice...:thumbsup:

11 November 2006, 08:13 PM
Thanks alot Johan! I have definitely watched all the bobby chiu vids. They are such a great resource. He definitely puts alot of time into his art and it shows. It seems like we got the drawing bug around the same time. I have been sketching my whole life, but it was only around december 2005 that I started figure drawing and dedicating myself to seeing better. Best of luck to you in school. I can't wait to be doing the same thing!!

11 November 2006, 08:33 PM
Hey Glenn don't worry hehe I was merely wondering if maybe you were trying to tell me I am doing something totally wrong, and i didn't realize :)
I'm here to learn so I appreciate the critique!
So that's why I re-read all of part 1 of the book and again drew all the related sketches from that first part...

i went to that artstore i was talking about the other day... didn't buy conte crayons yet... only found a set of 72 colors at 50€ which is a bit too much for me... especially for trying things out. Then, while I was waiting to pay I saw they had a stand with individual conte crayons... bloody hell now I gotta go back lol...

anyway, I bought a few sheets of colored paper, 2 watercolor pencils and a mini set of oil pastels... will see what happens with that

The oil pastels I tried...haha
We've got some Winnie the Pooh drawings on the wall in our kitchen so while I was making pancakes for the kids I drew our beloved heroe, holding my sketchbook in one hand and a pastel in my other hand ( no support... baaaad idea lol)

it was a good exercise because I had to turn the pancakes in time :D

So this only took a few minutes... oh and I didn't design this character btw lol it shows
The kids were very happy with it though I might do more of those disney characters to please them...

Any tips on blending colors with oil pastels anyone?

xiannc thanks for the nice words... i only started drawing at age 33 though (I'm 34 now lol) so you're way ahead of me ;)

11 November 2006, 09:11 PM
Hi, Johan. Cute Pooh...I know kids just love him as well as the other Milne characters.

As for oil pastels, you can sometimes find the most interesting information in Wikis.

As to Pooh...I hope you don't mind, I did a draw-over to show you the proportions on Pooh. A good way to know where the eyes and brows go is to establish the muzzle. The eyes/brows are in line over the corners of the mouth. The muzzle is a little higher than the level of the bottoms of the eyes. Remember, he is a roly-poly...big, round, chubby cheeks.

His little shirt has gone over a much too big head many, many times, and so is loose and wide at the opening.

Hope this helps explain a little bit about this little guy.


11 November 2006, 12:07 AM
Hi Johan :)

Had a look at the wiki link posted by Cris.. amazing how much information is out there! :D
I find that blending oil-pastels; working light over dark or blending similar colours gives a painterly opaque effect, if there are darker colours underneath and you scrape back with a knife or similar you can get some interesting contrast effects.. same if you go over the pastel with a dark colour to scrape back the lighter ones underneath. Like the info in the link, oil pastels give you a variety of options depending on how you use them. I like to blend in black ink and graphite or charcoal... the oil in the pastels will repel the ink, so if you wash over you'll only get the ink adhering to where there's no pastel, yet the pastel can be worked over the ink. There's so much room for experimentation when you add more than one medium - Oil pastels, chalk pastels, graphite, watercolours, pencils, conté, charcoal, acrylics, oils, ink - the lot :D :)

And yes... you shouldn't have to spend a fortune on conté! to work with it's similar to graphite, charcoal and chalk pastels, in that it can be smudged, smoothed and worked tonally. A couple of sticks (black, brown, red and maybe a soft white) should be enough :)

To get a feel for the oil-pastels... maybe get a rough piece of paper, 3-5 sticks and make a variety of marks - variying the pressure from light to hard, working colours side by side, over-lapping and crisscrossing to see the effects.. I like to break them in half so I can work them on the side...

basically - just have fun! :)

take care and cheers!
a. :)

11 November 2006, 11:09 AM
Thank you Cris and Annette
It's really great to have such wonderful teachers :)

had a busy week at school with an extra class... moving on there over circular shapes to every day objects, trying hard to get "swung" swung in my pencil strokes. Spent a complete session (+4hrs) on this on thursday, sketching rather quickly and focussing mainly on creating curves, rather than creating an accurate drawing... all in all 59 chaotic, experimental quick sketches (far from spectacular)... and although 59 is nothing (5900 would really pay off I think :D ) they have their use...

here's some longer studies from earlier this week on every day objects
(low quality photo's sorry)

I find winebottles hard to draw... imagining the axes helps though... something I will keep in mind...

11 November 2006, 02:09 PM
Very clean drawings - and nice ellipses. You are allready aware of how essential they are for constructing heads etc. Keep on doing those studies.

11 November 2006, 07:28 PM
Thanks batte I will because after doing more hogarth studies today I am realizing I must do many, many more exercises to get things down on paper exactly the way I see them...

I was a bit shocked actually as this suddenly occured to me while I was working...

Here's the result

[images removed to save bandwidth - apologies]

As you can see I'm having trouble drawing heads in movement following Hogarths' method. Mainly placing the chin and the mouth.. it's ok as long as the angle isn't too big, but as soon as it's higher than 3/4 it's... well... fooked.

So any advise on this is welcome.
I'm wondering if I'm doing this the right way really... reading one part and then practicing on it until I feel confident enough before going on to the next part. Maybe I should read the whole book first and then start all over again, practicing part after part... what do you guys think?

I also did a dozen quick heads from a fashion mag my girlfriend had laying around and I caught myself jumping to loomis' technique when I'm stuck with hogarths'... hm
I think I'm gonna do the first chapter of the book again tomorrow...

11 November 2006, 11:33 PM
Hi Johan, no matter what method you use, you should keep track of the center line, running over the head, the nose, the lips and chin all the way down. Hope this helps a bit...

11 November 2006, 11:47 AM
Thanks for wake me up:D

you have nice studies, keep it up!

11 November 2006, 03:00 PM
Thad been a while since I opened Painter to actually create something... E (my partner in crime) had taken some pictures of my face on my request so I thought wth why not paint myself huh...

So here are the first strokes using all kinds of brushes (experimenting really)
Now you already have a glimpse of how I look

Things can go anywhere really at this stage as I'm still experimenting a lot... but I'd love to keep it to a rather dark atmosphere...

On a side note, any Tom Waits fans here? I've been a fan since 1990 and as I heard he's throwing a 3cd box on the market next week, I was wondering if anyone would know of nice big pictures of him, I would love to paint the man, sort of a tribute to my alltime heroe. He's a real genius. his work has left a tremendous impression on me and I feel very related to it. I dare to say that through the years he actually was involved (without his knowing ofcourse) in who I've become as I am today...


if you don't know him... check out his latest stuff at (
(turn on your sound)


batte thanks, I think where I get confused is exactly this centre line. I'll just let it drop vertically (as says loomis) which will solve my prob I hope

11 November 2006, 05:12 PM
Starting a self-portrait, eh? Man oh man, when will I force myself to make one myself.
Clean sketches of those every day objects, that is good.
About the head studies. You know that the head is egg-shaped. I couldn't understand why Loomis simplified it to a sphere. Is an egg too hard? When I started learning anatomy, I read Loomis's book first about the head. But then at the art school we drew a head and the teacher told just to shape the head as a mass with straight lines. I liked it better. Stopped reading Loomis's book from that day and I'm drawing the head from very simple straight lines. I could show you when I'll do a head study if it's hard to understand what I'm trying to say. It's easy for me to understand because I know what I'm talking about, but to others that might be harder.
Oh, found how it looks like, see HERE (
I'm not saying it's the best way to do it, it's the best for me. When doing a figure, I start with an egg for the whole head, just like Vilppu, so it's a bit different way of starting just the head and the whole figure, but it works for me :)

11 November 2006, 08:19 PM
Calling it quits for today...

Thanks for popping in razz and for the link. That's a nice demo on a different approach.
In the end I'll end up keeping the most useful bits of all the different methods I'm learning I hope :)

sturmkim likewise :)

11 November 2006, 08:40 PM
Johan, that's looking very nice.

One thing to keep in mind is not to go too white with the eyes. Starting with a beigy-pink will yield a more realistic looking eye.

Good luck...are you working from a photo or the mirror?


11 November 2006, 09:26 PM
Nice work with your self-portrait, Johan! Looking forward to seeing your progress with it.

11 November 2006, 11:31 PM
Hi Johan :)

Great to see your updates again :thumbsup: I got too carried away with my last reply here ;) :D so I forgot to say I had a right giggle at the thought of frying pancakes and pastel drawing! You have some good studies and your own observations are showing a great insight into where and how you are going. With anything I think it's a great approach to take on board different techniques and from that take the bits that work for you, perhaps trying to stick with one for a while. The advantages of seeing the head in planes (blocks) or made up of straight lines, is that your shading becomes very easy to define - more sculpted. Each method has it's advantages - and a combination can work well :) it's really good to study proportions and do as many drawings as possible from different angles (like you are doing) if you are working from reference, perhaps try turning the photo (or model :D) upside down, so that you aren't as focused on drawing eyes, nose, ears etc, but more focused on the shapes themselves and how they all fit together...

Ah and Tom Waits :) I am not quite as devoted a fan as you, but totally appreciate where you are coming from... great music and style! Hmmm, I have this cd of (Bad Liver och hans Brustna Hjärtan - Fjorton Sånger-Tom Waits på Svenska) Tom Waits sung in Swedish (!) by a threatre group I think... It's pretty cool and they've really managed to keep the Tom Waits feel - more than happy to share ;) And great idea too to do a painting!

Exciting too to see you take form in your self-portrait :)

take care and cheers
a. :)

11 November 2006, 02:11 PM
Really nice start on that self portrait....a little trick....make the shadow at the bridge of nose, by the eye, on shadow side of face, of the darkest shadows on face, when lit from the side...also have a point usually where neck meets side of face on shadow side, be your darkest shadow in the whole painting....also the eye on shadow side of face will be darker than eye on lit side of face...You might also consider making the background on shadow side of face, a lot darker, than the lit side of face, will add a greater sense of depth and atmosphere to the whole painting.
REALLY looking forward to seeing the progress on this painting...should be a GREAT ONE I THINK..:thumbsup:

11 November 2006, 07:16 PM
Yvonne, Annette, Cris

Thanks for the valuable input once more!
I'm using a picture for the self portrait, but I think flipping the canvas every now and then and checking in the mirror will occur...

Thanks man! Those are golden tips again. This sp was actually not intentional. I was just playing in painter with different brushes... oils and sponges to name a few... sort of experimenting to see if I could get an interesting background texture... say for a portrait... then I remembered I still haven't done a sp so I dug up some pictures of me my girlfriend had taken earlier that day because I wanted reference for a nose and just started painting... completely impulsive...

This experimenting has left me with a bit of a problem now because I can't remember what brushes exactly I've been using... I'm now stuck with this:

See the strokes? They are from the background. I had painted the face on a different layer but then dropped it to the canvas. I guess there s no way to get rid of them?
I'm using Robert Changs bristle round brush for the face but the brushstrokes underneath stay.
I think I'll start all over again because the direction of some of the visible background strokes is really disturbing, unless there is a way to "flatten" the canvas

Thanks for your help peepz!
Really appreciated :love:

11 November 2006, 07:54 PM
Hey, Johan! I think you could just blend it. You know, big blending brush and the streaks should be gone. But the again, I think it would be better to paint over them. Paint some deeper shadows, highlights, halftones, etc. and they'll be gone. The painting is now too flat. Push the fatures more. Although I'm sure you would do better when starting over, I think it's not good to leave it unfinished, because you'll leave all the mistakes and won't learn from them with just starting it over. Trust me, once I started modeling a female head 6 times and i still don't know how to do it, because just when I saw it doesn't look good I deleted it and started a new. That will lead to no good.
It woulb be best if you could show the ref you're working from, then it would be easier to judge the likeness and such...

Will wait for an update :thumbsup:

11 November 2006, 08:18 PM
Hi razz

yes the painting is far from finished (it's actually in a very early stage), but it's not what I meant to be honest.

No matter what direction I add paint on it (using rob's brush or even a flat round brush for that matter) the underlaying relief of the earlier made strokes are still there. and they are really disturbing (eg at the left eye postion)

I want to get rid of the underlaying texture of the canvas...
blending doesn't work, adding color doesn't work, except for black and white, but those are the 2 colors we don't want to use in a painting...

the ref... maybe later :p

edit: forgot to say thanks!

11 November 2006, 11:37 PM

I think I read you are using painter on this...if so, you might try the SOFTENER brush in the TINTING the bottom of the list of doesn't alter the colors that are in place, like the blenders do...make the brush big, for the big areas, and small for the smaller ares...not sure if it will do the trick, but worth a try, I THINK...:)
Regardless of the outcome ,'s a handy brush, for a lot of things...rough edges ect...:)
Good luck..:thumbsup:

11 November 2006, 08:16 PM
Hey guys thanks for helping me.
I tried to get rid of them but nothing worked except using oil brushes (which caused the "relief" in the first place) but as I didn't like where things were going I restarted from scratch

Trying to make it a bit more interesting, following your suggestions:

(if image doesn't load, my crappy webhost is down :s)

Do you think the colors are too pale? I've recently been re-calibrating my monitor for the 22nd time this year or so and I've absolutely no idea how my work looks :eek:

Anyway, this one looks a bit more accurate so far but as you can tell it needs some work haha... I don't wanna be bald :rolleyes:

So what kind of hairdo do you want... green and white punk? rasta's? or maybe a hercule poirot thingie? :D

11 November 2006, 01:45 PM
I still recommend you to show the ref you're working from. Will be easier to judge for others.
I don't want to into criting right now, because it's the very start of your painting, but don't forget the trapezius muscle. Paint over that hard corner of the neck :)
Maybe I'll have more to say when you post an update. Now just keep working and progressing!

11 November 2006, 09:05 PM
Hey Johan. Great skin tones there. I know what it feels like to lose a brush in the middle of a piece lol:D. There is a nice translucency vibe going on with the self portrait. And some nice light bouncing. Can't wait to seem more. I wish I could give advice, but the others here are a lot more qualified, so I'll just admire from afar. GL and MORE! haha.Peace.

11 November 2006, 09:37 AM
Ok you've asked for it :hmm:

But you gotta promise you won't desert my thread now :p

Here's an update... still playing with the skintones (adding a bit of reds and pinks here and there) and making it a bit more anatomically resembling, although I'm not going for hyper-realistic style...

Lot's to do still, I hope I can finish it off this weekend

Are those dark areas really dark enough and the bright areas bright enough on your screen(s)? I'm wondering coz previous wip looked rather pale on my pc at work (but that's a really bad screen I have there)

edit: Lol isn't it weird as soon as I post a wip I see loads of thingsto correct... will begin with the mouth area and chin first, seems things have to go just a tad lower there