XM Magdalena 3D print, GGeorgy (3D)
LC #42 Pipers Alley

View Full Version : VelenoSangue's Speed Painting Thread

10-07-2006, 11:30 AM
Hi, my name is Michael Nicolayeff. This thread is a varied collection of things I have been working on and is meant to catalog my progress. Most of the early stuff on the early pages are pretty terrible and unfinished, so only look if you want a history lesson. :-)

10-08-2006, 02:09 AM
Thumbs link to larger versions.

"Motorcycle Crash"

WIP 1 -
http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/th_motorcycle.jpg (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/motorcycle_b.jpg)

WIP 2 - Revising a few things.
http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/th_motorcycle_b.jpg (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/motorcycle_b.jpg)


Well, I first posted this in mid 2006, and now it's February 2009. To date, almost every single thing I've called "WIP" in this thread has been put on permanent hiatus when a new project comes my way. I think it's about time I put an end to the indefinite procrastination finish this crap. (edit: haha. guess i'm still as much of a procrastinator as always. oh well. maybe someday, eh?)

In the spirit of finishing what I started, here's a new WIP. The title is now "Motorcycle Crash."

WIP 3 - Revamped sketch


I think the main ones I'll work on right now are this one, and "Bird In Cage." I blocked out the colors and started the painting after work today.

WIP 4:

Working on fleshing out the background, and trying to lead the eye towards where the guy on the motorcycle is.

Wip 5

Getting back to work on this. I've been practicing drawing motorcycles a bit on the side. It was pretty intimidating at first but I think I'm getting it. I did some concept doodles from my head tonight and I think it came out pretty well:

Back from another hiatus on this one. Working some more on the valley and the mountains. I realized that the composition lines were flowing basically everywhere except for where I intend to put the victim. To fix this I had to redesign the mountains and work in some hard and soft edges, which I have more control over now. I'm just trying to think more about what purpose each part serves in the final painting and how they contribute to the overall story. I also worked on adding more depth to the mountains by increasing how much they overlap.


10-09-2006, 10:19 AM
"Poor Boy with Firecrackers"

Sketch in a different style. Boy playing with firecrackers (edit: which turned into something a bit different that the original notion)

WIP 1 -
http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/th_mexboy1.jpg (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/mexboy1.jpg)


The title is now "Poor Boy with Firecrackers." The original version became something completely unrelated ("Plek") and will be continued as its own painting. "Poor Boy with Firecrackers" will be continued from WIP 5:
WIP 2 (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/mexboy2.jpg) (10-16-2006)
WIP 3 (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/mexboy3.jpg) (10-22-2006)
WIP 4 (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/mexboy4.jpg) (10-23-2006)

WIP 5 (10-23-2006):
Thumb links to large version.
http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/th_mexboy5.jpg (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/mexboy5.jpg)

10-15-2006, 05:53 AM
Study of a leather jacket from a photograph.


10-15-2006, 07:05 AM
Nice work, Michael.


10-16-2006, 07:12 AM
Thanks Cris.

Another study from a photo -
http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/th_LW04.jpg (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/LW04.jpg)

And another -


WIP Update on the firecracker one-

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/th_mexboy2.jpg (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/mexboy2.jpg)


All further updates to "Poor Boy with Firecrackers" will be placed in the original post. (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showpost.php?p=3917080&postcount=3)

10-17-2006, 06:26 AM
Illustration done for my college's campus paper about some possible upcoming fee hikes.


10-22-2006, 09:01 AM
More WIP

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/th_mexboy3.jpg (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/mexboy3.jpg)

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/th_mexboy4.jpg (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/mexboy4.jpg)


All further updates to "Poor Boy with Firecrackers" will be placed in the original post. (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showpost.php?p=3917080&postcount=3)

10-23-2006, 07:17 AM
Messing around a bit:

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/th_the_internet_d.jpg (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/the_internet_d.jpg)

Another update:
http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/th_mexboy5.jpg (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/mexboy5.jpg)


All further updates to "Poor Boy with Firecrackers" will be placed in the original post. (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showpost.php?p=3917080&postcount=3)

10-24-2006, 08:40 AM
Playing around. Trying to get better at modeling form without reference.
http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/th_stand-1.jpg (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/stand-1.jpg)

11-20-2006, 10:14 AM
A couple updates on things I'm working on. Both keep getting major revisions, so I don't expect to finish either anytime soon.

Edit: "Plek" painting moved to next post to aid 2009 Revival.

WIP 1 -

WIP 2 (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/trickortreat_4.jpg) (12/4/2006)

11-27-2006, 01:57 PM
Edit: moved this for 2009 Revival so each WIP can have it's own original post

Another update on this one. I'm calling it Plek now:


"Plek," which derived from the one I'm now calling "Poor Boy with Firecrackers" is now a separate work. The above posts are now considered WIP 1 and 2. Further updates will appear in this post.

Link to WIP 3 (12-04-2006) (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/Plek09.jpg)

11-27-2006, 05:41 PM
Plek looks like a nice idea and the halloween suit pic looks fine, as well
as some of the photo studies, keep painting, it'll get better :thumbsup:


11-27-2006, 05:51 PM
great stuff...

11-28-2006, 05:45 AM
Hi. Thanks for the responses. I feel as if I keep swinging between times when I can't seem to do anything right and times where everything comes effortlessly and in the right places without much thought at all.

12-04-2006, 02:20 PM
Here's another update on both Plek and the Trick-or-Treat paintings:



12-06-2006, 09:24 AM
I did a speed paining from a photo tonight...

Rib Puncture -- 2 hours


12-08-2006, 02:56 PM
Here are a few things I did last night/this morning for an animal drawing class I'm finishing up. I'm going to be using turtles for my final project:

Turtle skeleton (don't remember what species) -- 2 hours

Turtle skull from same website -- 1 hour

Skull of a painted turtle -- 15 minutes

Turtle sketch, using reference for details but not for pose or background. 45 minutes

12-13-2006, 07:32 PM
I really dig the turtles and the punctured ribs. Cant wait to see some of your finished work.

12-15-2006, 07:34 AM
2 hours, study from photo.


Study from photo. Also 2 hours.

Photo study again. Mainly sticking to photo reference but changed compositon a little. -- 30 minutes.

05-09-2007, 10:53 AM
It's been a while since I've posted here, but I think it's about time to start up again. I can't believe how bad some of the images I have on this thread are...

Here is an image I did for Yesterday's topic for the daily sketch forum (topic was "Dark"):


05-19-2007, 07:05 PM
A few sketches from the last few days. Most of the things I have been working on lately have been geared towards providing myself some source material for doing 3d modeling.

This week i've been doing my sketches over paper-textured background with another layer of paper texture on top. I guess I'm just used to drawing on paper. I also feel as if I'm getting more comfortable using color:




07-10-2007, 02:28 AM
I'm back again, perhaps for longer this time. I haven't been around my home computer long enough to paint lately, but I had a bit of time today to mess around at work while waiting for some renders to finish. I also finally bought myself a laptop so now at least I won't have to be at home or work to be able to practice painting and modeling.

I've been playing with textured brushes a bit made from photos found on www.cgtextures.com. The main thing I was trying to do was use the photos textures to depict something different from what their source was -- ex. using fur on mountians, metal for rock, broken tiles for windows, etc.

The first painting was meant to be something along the lines of skyscrapers built in the mountains, though the mountain in the background seems to be the least ambigious part.

The second painting was meant to be some kind of organic housing grown out of the side of a cliff. It's still feels ambigious but I think that one came closer to my original intention.



07-10-2007, 09:24 AM
You've really improved since the beginning of this thread man! keep up the good work =)

07-19-2007, 02:11 AM
I've been doing test renders for work again, so I've had some downtime to work with.

With this painting I was working on blocking out the image into general areas of color then blending and working in smaller details on top of that. I've got a bad habit of using too much transparency when painting that i'm trying to get rid of. I got sidetracked a bit and ended up with mud in a few parts while I was trying to practice using two different colored lights.

WIP 1 -

Though not originally stated, this painting is called "Urchin"

WIP 2 (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/urchin_2.jpg) (4-20-2008)
WIP 3 (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/urchin_2.jpg) (7-16-2008)
WIP 4 (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/pw006_Urchin_wip04.jpg) (7-28-2008)

07-21-2007, 12:40 AM
Same story as before -- doing test renders so had some downtime while waiting and practiced painting.

This one was mainly a study in blocking everything out, then blending, then detailing. I used photo textures again for some of the detail work, but manipulated them after applying them to make them consistent with the lighting.

07-22-2007, 09:44 AM
I was just playing around a bit all day in photoshop, and at the end of everything, just kind of felt like having a bit of fun attacking a virtual canvas. This is the result of that attack:


07-29-2007, 12:05 PM
This is the second revision of some cat-monster thing in some kind of armor.

This image is just a bad pun -- potato farmers.

This one is just an odd alien sketch.

This one is the last one I did tonight. I've been playing with different brushes and have been working with blending between colors.

04-08-2008, 02:41 AM
It's been a while again, but I've decided to start posting on this thread again. I've been posting a bit on some of the daily sketch threads, so I figured it was about time.

Anyways, here's some recent and not-so-recent sketches i've done, roughly in order of creation:

Some hungry aliens and their meal:

A rabbit with a mech suit:

An odd sort of king:

A yellow bird:

A pink dragon:

An oddly ornamented walkway:

Some kind of beast:

04-09-2008, 02:23 AM
Here's a new one I did today. A bird-monster type thing. I've been playing around more with different brushes and settings to get varying textural effects. In this one I blocked out the colors first and built up the base color with transparency, then started working it with textured brushes to add detail and work on the lighting.

'Nother Bird Munster: (3 hours in Photoshop)

04-20-2008, 12:02 PM
Right now the main things I'm working on improving are getting more appropriate texture in my work, having more delibrate lighting, and more delibrate composition lines.

Here are the sketches I did for the last two daily sketch topics:

"The Five" - 1 hour
In this sketch I blocked things out early on, and sketched in different elements, correcting things for perspective after the inital sketch. Right now whenever I try to sketch while trying hard to follow perspective rules, everything comes out stiff. I still draw with perspective in mind, but it just doesn't take priority over getting the ideas down on the canvas.

I also actively avoided including lighting while doing the inital sketch, so I could put a bit more thought into the light direction and how the shadow would affect the composition, which I think worked out pretty successfully.

I also tried to make it look as if the ground was a bit dusty and tried to make the carapace on the beast thick and leathery.

"Librarian" - 2 hours
I did this one a day before the other one. In this sketch i was trying to portray a middle-aged man in another area, who carries books around in an open sack that hangs over his shoulder. I wanted to make the hair thick and make his clothing look like leather. I also tried to simulate sub-surface scattering on the face. I didn't put as much work into the lighting or composition as I did later on with "The Five." If I revisit this one later, I'll probably have the light coming from in front of the librarian's face at about 75% up from the horizontal, let the chin cast some nice shadows down his chest and give it a more dramatic feel.

The main things I struggled with in this part was figuring out what kind of colors to use as skin tones, and getting the hair to look like hair. I have to admit that his hair could have been rendered a lot better, and could have used more composition work. I also noticed afterward that the proportions on the arm are pretty far off. it looks as if the librarian's upper arm is almost 50% longer than his forearm. The folds on the sleeves are pretty weak as well.

I think the strongest parts are probably the color scheme, the sholder strap, and the area where the shoulder pads are connected to the cape.

04-20-2008, 12:51 PM
Probably a bit early for another update, but after posting the last one I looked a the sketch of a homeless boy I posted on 07-18-2007 and thought that "this is not the face of someone who is living on the street. Thus, i'm working on this one a bit. The face right now is too fatty, but I think the expression is better now. I also extended the bottom so I could change the composition and make him somewhat praying while holding up his cup with both hands.


Updates for "Urchin" will be placed in the original WIP post (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showpost.php?p=4530402&postcount=25). (#25 in this thread)

06-17-2008, 05:37 AM
i like your style of sketching people(the slightly more realistic ones) it really feels like i can put a story on each one. keep it up.

06-24-2008, 09:48 AM
Thanks BenDstraw. I really should post on this thread more often.

Speaking of which..

Here's an abstract scene I'm working on:

06-24-2008, 01:56 PM
that old man librarian is cool. looks like a tired old person struggling through life with a boring job

07-16-2008, 08:45 AM
Little update on this one. Tweaked proportions with liquify tool.


Updates for "Urchin" will be placed in the original WIP post (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showpost.php?p=4530402&postcount=25). (#25 in this thread)

07-23-2008, 05:09 AM
A while back I saw a thread (http://www.conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=109672) on ConceptArt.org about using a homebrew app called "Colors!" on a Nintendo DS, which basically gives you a pressure-sensitive digital sketchbook for under $200.

So anyways, I've been messing around with that a bit...
Edit: added another one


07-24-2008, 05:56 AM
Well, I'm still getting used to working on the DS, but I'm liking it a lot so far. The portability is totally awesome :-D When I bought my laptop I had the thought that I'd bring it around with me and paint with that. While I still do that I find that it just takes up too much space to use it in any casual environments. This thing is up and running in 20 seconds and fits in my pocket. Screen doesn't get bright enough to be usable in bright sunlight though.

Also, though you can send your images to your e-mail address over wifi, you first have to set up a wifi connection using a regular NDS cartridge. I'm using Professor Layton and the Curious Village, but there's a lot of games you can use as well. Alternatively, I can get the images off the mini-sd card they're stored on and watch a playback of the painting as well.

Anyways, here are a couple 10 minute sketches I did today for two daily sketch forum topics, and a sketch-from-life that I did in my apartment before bed last night.


07-26-2008, 07:26 AM
Not much of an update today.. been a bit busy trying to finish a project and getting ready for my coworker's wedding.

I've also started putting my DS paintings up on the Colors! gallery. Normally I wouldn't link to other sites i've posted the same thing on. However, the gallery lets you upload the playback file that shows how your work was painted. In fact, it's a requirement if you want your newly uploaded work to show on the front page. Thus, for almost everything on the site, it's just another couple clicks to see how it was painted (http://colors.brombra.net/details/5787-CLRS_Abstract02_by_velenosangue.php) (requires java).

Anyways, this is another one from the daily sketch competitions. The theme this time was "red," which seemed like a perfect excuse to do an abstract. I started off blocking out the basic colors with a large brush, and gradually added more detail. I broke from this a little at one point and blocked some more features out on top of everything.


07-29-2008, 05:03 AM
Here's a bit of quick bit of work from today (1h). I had the show futurama going through my head a bit...specifically the various mentions of a space-pope. So, I did a 20 minute sketch, and spend about 40 minutes coloring it while playing with multiply and screen layers. It's not that I don't use them all the time already when making textures and so on. I just don't typically use them when painting.

That hat is bulky but lighter than it looks. Even still it take a bit of effort to wear it straight. The parts along the side act as a brace to keep it upright and firmly attached.


Also did an update tonight on Urchin. I adjusted the lighting on some parts, made the hands bigger, made the cup more metallic, and tried to fix some perspective issues. I kinda cheated on the background. I've known for a while the perspective on it was horribly off. I don't feel like repainting it yet, so for now I relit it so it would look like it wasn't parallel to the ground plane.

Edit again:
And one more for tonight. The entrance of the place i work at night. It's the view as I charge my phone for a few minutes with my car.


Updates for "Urchin" will be placed in the original WIP post (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showpost.php?p=4530402&postcount=25). (#25 in this thread)

07-29-2008, 03:32 PM
Nice work, I like your loose flowing strokes, even those DS paints are nice! So far my favorite of your entries is Yellow Bird. Keep up the good work, just tell your boss you have to wait on a few 2000x2000 mental ray renders to finish up... lol.

07-31-2008, 01:43 AM
Hi Rabid1, thanks for the kind words. I thought that one came out pretty well too.

Here's a new one I did today in about 1 1/2 hours. This was mostly done while playing around with a hard-edged brush with pressure set to size and a constant opacity usually set to 90, 70, or 30. I usually used 90 and 70 percent opacity when blocking out the different base colors, and for blocking in the base lighting. The 30 percent was mainly used for some manual blendin, tinting, and other color variation. I also used a noisy custom brush with pressure set to opacity to blend the coulds a bit.


08-07-2008, 03:26 AM
Today I brought the painting shown in my previous post into Kinkos to do a large print (32"x16"). Thought the original version is a few times higher resolution than the web version, I still needed to size it up considerably. Attempting to fix the blurriness from scaling it up, I sharpened the image a bit and overlayed some photo texture modified from images on www.cgtextures.com (http://www.cgtextures.com). It was still pretty blurry, just not as bad as it was before. I'll need to start at a higher resolution next time and rework things a bit manually after scaling.

Basically what I want to do was make prints to post around the office and home, and to give to my family. Only thing is that to do a print that size on photo paper is about $50. There are discouts for runs of 20 or more, but I didn't check how much of a discount. If anyone knows a good source for doing large prints for cheap....

Anyways, here are a few more sketches from my DS, studying the world around me.

My foot at work:

TV at my friend's house:

Some computer speakers in my friend's garage:

08-15-2008, 07:49 AM
Well, I just got back from Siggraph 08, where I had a lot of fun messing around with some Wacom Cintiqs in the booth for Create Chaos 2008. They had both the larger 21 inch version, and the smaller lighter 12 inch version. Though I like the size of the 21 inch, I really liked being able to place the 12 inch version of the tablet on my lap, which I felt outweights the slight pointer offset it gets when it's near the edge of the tablet.

For those not familiar with them, Cintiqs are the awesome love-child of wacom's tablet technology and a LCD screen, providing lots of pressure-sensitive on-the-screen drawing bliss. Though it's not as much of a usefulness jump as switching from a mouse to a tablet, I was really struck by how natural it feels. A professional camera is higher on the priority list, however.

Anyways, I did a quick 1/2 hour sketch I did after I got home:

I started by blocking out the form in black on a single layer using a hard-edged round brush with pressure=size brush at 70 percent opacity. I find that this lets things look more organic by letting the paint underneath show through abit, but still manages to keep all the areas pretty well defined. A few blends were done with lower levels of opacity. I added in more on top to work in more detailed shapes with the lighter grey again at 70 percent. I then decided that I wanted to texture with a photo-sourced brush I had and edit the background separately.

I got it off it's background by selecting the then nearly-flat grey backdrop with the select color range tool, inverted that selection, made a new layer via copy. Next I defringed by one pixel, selected the transparent area, feathered by one pixel, and hit delete to let the edges blend a bit with the background.

After that, I created a new layer up top, made it clip to the layer beneath it, set it to overlay and started going at it with the photo-sourced brush set to scatter and random size, with opacity at 100 percent. In this case I didn't use any pen pressure, perfering to handle it in a mask.

I created a layer mask for the texture layer, and softened parts using a custom noise brush. It works pretty similarly to a blurry brush, but has a lot more grain to it. I'm not a big fan of blurry brushes.

Finally I created one more layer above the background, created a noisy gradient with the same brush, darkened the tail end of the creature with another layer that clips to it, and added a levels adjustment layer to tweak the creature a little.


08-19-2008, 02:02 AM
Ok, so I finally took a moment to upload ten of my recent DS sketches from Siggraph and the weekend. Some images have had a bit of sharpening and levels adjustments done to them before uploading:











09-01-2008, 06:26 AM
Did a quick doodle today while exporting some stuff for work.

Looking (15 min in photoshop):

09-03-2008, 02:22 AM
Another small update here, though I might upload some more sketches from the DS later tonight.

Here's a 20 minute sketch from life I did in Photoshop after I finished work and had a beer:

09-03-2008, 02:55 AM
Thats a nice beer render, you should submit that to the beer topic on the daily sketch thread.

09-03-2008, 05:48 PM
Heh, didn't realize that there was one. I haven't been checking the DSF as much as usual lately. Thanks, Rabid.

09-03-2008, 06:38 PM
no problem bud.

09-04-2008, 04:01 AM
Here's something I made today for the DSF topic "red eye."

"Unraveled" (60m in PS)

09-05-2008, 09:02 AM
Here's a new painting that i've been working on for the past couple nights. The basic idea is that humans aren't the only species to invent cameras, and not the only ones that take snapshots with their friends either. For this I was trying to capture the kind of playfulness people have around their friends and a spur-of-the-moment feel.

This was painted in photoshop using a hard round brush with pressure set to both size and opacity. This is also the first image i've dared to submit to the CG talk galleries. It feels finished to me, though I suspect the mods may think it too sketchy to put there.

Critiques are welcome.

(image links to big version)
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/pw041_Smile_small.jpg (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/pw041_Smile_full.jpg)

09-09-2008, 10:33 AM
I've been messing with a new one tonight...

I started this one out sketching with a thin line, then going in and replacing the lines by defining edges with value shifts. Occasionally when somthing was fairly low contrast, I added in darker areas to run behind other parts to better define the edges. This is being painted mostly with a hard round with pressure set to size at 30, 70 and 90 percent opacity, though it varies depending on how fast I want to change the value. Most of the time when I'm using the 90 i'm trying to harden an edge.

This one is playing off the odd public art that I see now and then in various cities. Some I like and some I don't...this one I'd reject because if it were like this in real life, it would be too much contrast to the mood of the surriounding environment. That's what I want to get at -- public art that seems completely arbitrary to its setting, or just half-assed.

If I manage to portray out-of-place public sculpture in a negative light, I'm worried that people will assume that I hate public art in any way, shape or form. I'm also not sure I even feel that strongly about it.

After writing all this, I've realized that I'll probably have to make some major changes if I want to get my point across. This is what I get for developing a painting from a random doodle. I'm also planning to add more foliage all around, and maybe try to develop some kind of foreground and improve the transition from the midground to the background.

Anyways, here's the WIP of "Public Sculpture."


09-18-2008, 07:19 AM
I wanted to get stronger with silhouettes, so I did a hundred over the weekend for practice. At times I was feeling pretty stretched for ideas, but I think if I do a few more sets I'll make some good improvements.

Image links to big version.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/thumbsketch_006_100silo_small.jpg (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/thumbsketch_006_100silo.jpg)

09-18-2008, 07:25 AM
Very nice Idea. Although it looks like you were quite happy to be finished after number 100. ;-)

09-18-2008, 07:27 AM
Yeah. I was doing them a lot quicker and more gestural at that point.

09-26-2008, 06:00 AM
Just a small update here -- I'm currently working on a "sequel" to the 100 silhouettes practice sheet: 100 landscapes.

I'm currently about 1/3rd of the way through, and hopefully will be able to finish soon, though it's probably going to take another week.

11-05-2008, 06:42 PM
That 100 landscapes sheet has been taking a lot longer than I thought.

Just to keep this updated a bit, here's a sketch I did yesterday. I've been experimenting with blocking out a scene using just a few colors using a hard opaque round pressure-size brush. Then once the main composition is down, I add to it using pressure-opacity brushes and 70% opacity pressure-size brushes to add more detail while trying to maintain and add to the original composition. The next step, I think, would be to zoom in and add some higher frequency details.


And here's one I did just now, while working on a color/lighting test for a current work project. I mainly am trying to find a good relationship between dirt/grass and cement in this one.

11-08-2008, 01:32 PM
Hm. So clearly on this thread I have a lot of unfinished work. Though I don't have much trouble finishing things that are done for my job, nearly all projects I've ever done on my own seem to have taken this route. That's one of the things I really need to practice.

Not much to say on this one other than I was playing with a hard round pressure-opacity brush for around 20 minutes:


11-11-2008, 11:16 AM
Quick doodle I did tonight in about 15 minutes:

11-14-2008, 02:35 AM
Here's something I made tonight to cool down from some frustrating stuff at work. Took about 40 minutes in Photoshop:


11-14-2008, 09:29 PM
Here's a warm-up drawing that I did this morning at work. I was mainly trying to create something with a material that has complexity to its color. I also wanted to make this sketch look a lot more polished than the other more sketchy stuff I do. I also tried to be really careful when laying down the layers of transparency to avoid unintentional overlaps.


12-08-2008, 08:13 PM
Here's a painting I did as a warm up today. I like the way this one is going, so I'm going to finish it. WIP thread is here (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=31&t=705612).


12-23-2008, 06:18 AM
I've been working some more on "Bird-In-Cage" and I think it's going pretty well. I've been using a lot of reference, which is unusual for me, and I'm definitely seeing the benefit of doing so.


I'm also still whittling away at the 100 landscapes thing, but it's pretty slow. At my low level of skill with landscapes, the time is really adding up. At this rate I'll be lucky if I even finish sometime next year. I don't think I want to be doing 100 of anything again anytime soon. Sets of 5 would be just fine and less intimidating.

02-05-2009, 08:22 PM
I'm still working on "Bird In Cage" but I really need to set aside some time to finish it.

Here's a version of it from a few weeks ago.
Current version is on my laptop and I haven't uploaded that yet. I'm mainly working on the metal of the cage right now and on improving the background.

Also, here are some recent sketches:

02-05-2009, 11:07 PM
Great updates man, i love your lineweights and brush strokes... esp. in those enviros. It looks like you've been busy. Cool shit.

02-10-2009, 02:02 AM
Thanks, Rabid1. I think I'm getting better at environments, though they still give me a lot of trouble.

Pretty recently I've started sketching using a small round brush at around 10-15 opacity and pressure set to size. I block things out with broader strokes, then do more detail with finer strokes, which end up darker than the initial blocking. If things get too messy or dark, I erase with a larger soft round brush with pressure set to opacity. Other than the erasing part, it feels kind of like brushing diluted ink on paper to me.

Here are a couple things sketched in that style:

-A house in a rural area

-Some face/hair sketches

02-11-2009, 05:21 AM
I recently picked up some indian ink markers with brush tips and have been playing around with them a little bit. Here's something I did yesterday:

I also did a quick photo study today after work:

02-16-2009, 09:57 PM
Did some 1-minute silhouettes this morning, allowing 30 seconds between each for sizing down and moving to the area you see in the image. I attempted to do some 5-minute landscapes as well, but failed pretty hard.


02-17-2009, 12:24 AM
Cool, i like that sketchy digital style you've been developing here... seems to fit your drawings well. Doing 5 min thumbs for enviros sounds like a good idea...you should post em if you do more. I'll bet if you start out by copying images or using ref it will go better? I might have to give that silhouette thing a try looks fun.

02-17-2009, 12:36 AM
Hey Rabid,
The key to doing 1 minute silhouettes seems to be taking a few seconds to visualize something first each time, keeping things as gestural as possible and focusing on major forms instead of details. Works a lot better than trying to doodle without thinking about it first.

You're right about working from reference/life. That's probably part of what's been making it so hard to do good environments.

02-17-2009, 03:38 AM
Tried a little life sketching during lunch today...didn't go so well either. I ended up having a lot of trouble keeping things in proportion.

Drew this stuff this evening though and it came out a lot better than what I was doing earlier today. These were probably about 10-15 min each:

02-17-2009, 10:28 AM
Ok, one more thing from tonight - new WIP thing. (Still need to finish "bird in cage" though and a million old WIPs in this thread...)


WIP1 - Initial sketch

WIP2 - Messing with the body. Arms need to be redone.

Introducing the...

I think it's about damn time I finish all my old WIPs, starting with the first one. I'm calling this my 2009 Revival, where I take care of all the unfinished business going on in this thread.

WIP 3 on "Motorcycle Crash"

02-22-2009, 03:58 PM
More new stuff:


02-23-2009, 04:12 AM
i like the alien heads on your latest sketches. reminds me of the creatures in the Mos Eisley Cantina :p and the "soldier" looks as if hes about to urinate?:shrug:

02-23-2009, 06:08 AM
Heh. Definatly not what i'm going for with the soldier painting, so I guess I'd better work on making the pose read better. Thanks for pointing that out.

I ought to add some things to give context as well -- maybe he doesn't want to go through the door and has noticed something or though of something that would make it a bad idea. Or maybe he's not too bright and is trying to use a #6 keypass to go through a #9 door because he has it upside down and he's trying to figure out why it isn't working.

02-24-2009, 04:07 AM
Did some more exercises today, this time with types of windows.



02-25-2009, 05:04 AM
I did some work on "Motorcycle Crash" tonight. I'm not sure why, but painting the environment for this is so far a lot easier than they usually are for me. Drawing the motorcycle itself is going to be a lot harder though.

"Motorcycle Crash" WIP 4:

02-26-2009, 08:54 PM
Did a little test today... As I've said before, I struggle a lot with landscapes. I think part of that is trying to do everything at once. This time I tried doing things like I do when I'm doing 3d environment work -- creating a limited number of props separately then using them to populate the environment with varying scales and rotations. I sketched a few basic props on the right, then placed rough copies into the scene, varying the appearance as needed. I'm at work right now so I only spent about 15 minutes on it, but I think as an experiment it worked pretty well and I'll probably be using that method a lot in the future.


02-28-2009, 01:02 PM
Did a set of five paintings tonight. I want to get better at doing the style that I used in the third and fourth ones. They were a lot faster than the other ones and that style doesn't seem to need to be as specific. I'm just not really sure what I did to achieve that look.


02-28-2009, 02:26 PM
whoops. double post

03-03-2009, 03:18 AM
I worked on motorcycle crash a bit tonight. Right now I'm mainly working on fleshing out the background, and trying to lead the eye towards the guy on the motorcycle. I was having a lot of trouble for a while, but had some better luck when I switched the brush to only affect value.

Wip 5


Did a set of silhouettes today as well:

03-09-2009, 02:36 AM
Did a self-portrait tonight which came out pretty accurate to what I actually look like.

Did a quick one afterwards that isn't as close to reality:

03-11-2009, 08:55 AM
Some more silhouettes today:

Edit: And a sketch

03-16-2009, 05:56 AM
I think you should pick one of the last studies and develop them into a full painting (the last portrait for example)

Also, the silhouettes are really nice. Why don't you pick some you like and develop them into some character studies? It's great fun and it will force you to deal with light and form when working from imagination.

If you have the chance, try to do some life drawing.
If that's not an option, there is always the park, the pub, downtown,... ;)

Anyway, I think you've come a long way, looking at your latest posts.
This shows that quality rises when working disciplined.

Keep it up!

03-17-2009, 02:01 AM
No argument there -- I definitely need to draw more from life. I've been pretty bad about getting out of the house.

Here's some sketches I did today after work:




03-18-2009, 07:19 PM
Johan's got some good advice there, mate. Drawing from life is so key. I've personally seen the biggest gains in other artists and my own work when life is consistently used as a study reference. Whether objects or people, learning from the source is absolutely key, no?

Good stuff coming in man, keep at it. Cheers. :)

03-18-2009, 08:49 PM
Cool shit bro :bowdown:

03-20-2009, 10:57 PM
Nice updates V, i like the face sketches the most. I would agree with Johan's words to pick one of your favorite sketches/sillouettes and devlop it fully. Glad to see you back in the swing of it!

03-21-2009, 06:38 AM
Some quick stuff from my sketchbook:

03-23-2009, 09:51 AM
Hey guys, thanks for the comments.

I've been watching staticpen (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=31&t=559108)'s sketch thread for a while and saw that he was playing around with a program called Alchemy (http://al.chemy.org/). I though i'd give it a shot, and here is the result:


03-23-2009, 09:28 PM
Ha! Creative stuff, man. You were able to control the tools really well, especially in that image of the guy in the jacket and the face of the frog/guinea pig thing.

Way to go. :)

03-25-2009, 03:28 AM
Did some more stuff in alchemy tonight after work.


Did some motorcycle concept art in alchemy for the motorcycle crash painting tonight as well.

03-25-2009, 03:37 AM
Ah! Really great, man! Those enviros are so wonderful. I haven't tried to actually paint anything in alchemy yet. I just mess with shapes until something sparks my imagination. Really solid work here. Very inspirational! :)

03-25-2009, 03:41 AM
Thanks staticpen,

I've tried painting in it a little, as you can see. The most recent version has an eyedropper tool which makes things easier, but you can't make a keyboard shortcut for it yet.

Edit: Speaking of painting with alchemy...Craig Mullins took a shot at it:

03-25-2009, 05:26 AM
Ah, great find! Thanks for that link man. That Mullins is a beast...

04-08-2009, 12:38 AM
I've been working a lot more in Alchemy lately. Right now I'm liking it a lot better than photoshop when it comes to doing sketches in pure black and white. I'm trying to get more into doing things in sets rather than just pure randomness. I've also noticed that I'm now a lot more comfortable lately with drawing full bodies instead of just floating heads all the time.

I've tried painting over some of this stuff, but it's come out pretty horribly so far. Here are some things I'd done since my last post:

Page 1:

Page 2:

Page 3. Font at the bottom is called "anything you want":

Page 4:

Page 5:

Also, some warm-up sketches from this morning, mostly with ballpoint pen:

04-08-2009, 05:36 PM
Sweet.. alpha 7 of Alchemy came out today, adding pressure sensitivity for size, the option to do a random gradient fade effect on each stroke, and a hotkey for the eyedropper tool (I).

Edit: looks like the gradient tool has a bug right now when you save to PDF or send it to illustrator, but it works fine for sending it to Photoshop or exporting as a JPG.

04-08-2009, 06:07 PM
Hey Michael sweet thread! You're Alchemy work is stunning and inspiring. The compositions you created are really solid. It's wonderful to see someone take a new app and do things that pass the bar of what one thought was possible...namely myself. :)

The Mullins thread was an interesting read too. I think as the app evolves there will be features and settings to deviate from the stereotypical "alchemy" look, but they need to be careful about introducing more controlibility. It's better for them to expand on their niche than transform into another graphics program.

Anyhow, awesome work, I'll visit often.

04-09-2009, 03:38 AM
You know what this stuff looks like, dude? Mad World, or Sin City. I get that vibe from the crisp edges and pure black and white. Fun stuff.
But I have to say, you're scoring major creativity points with alchemy, man. I never thought of using it for still lifes or lamp posts or stairs or what have you. Really lovely stuff on some of these pages.

04-09-2009, 11:55 AM
Thanks, guys. I've been trying to keep at it. :-) Also, thanks for the plug staticpen.

Recently I picked up some sharpies, white-out pens, and a ream of card-stock paper, and I've been trying to do some of the same things I'm doing in alchemy with real-life media. I've tried sketching with sharpies before, but the part that was really missing was the whiteout-pens. It lets you be a lot looser initially, and add more detail in a second pass, which is how I usually work. The card-stock is nice because it's better at absorbing the ink so things don't bleed as much, and the ink won't soak through and get on whatever is behind the paper. I'd still probably stick to regular printer paper for initial thumbnailing though. In addition to the sharpie, I use pigma microns for fine linework, faber-castell brush pens, and prismacolor markers. I can't say I'm that great at using them however. I have found that most of my pens work pretty well over the white-out so building things up in layers is possible. I also have some quills and indian ink that have been gathering dust for a few years... I should pull those out as well, at some point.

Anyways, here's some stuff from tonights alchemy session. Now that the eyedropper tool has a hotkey, I tried some more painting. I also had some fun with the pressure sensetive tool set to do just the outlines of the stroke. seems pretty good for making things like scales and somewhat rectilinear details. Sometimes good for fingers as well. The only thing done in photoshop here was adding a little texture, and some color/contrast adjustments and compacting the sketches into less pages.

P1 of 2:
P2 of 2:

04-10-2009, 12:11 AM
Great updates man, you've really taken a hold of that program! Those enviro comps are really nice. Sharpie is pretty heavy ink right...are you able to use those whiteout pens and really get opaque white areas? The india inks are superb though. Keep going!

04-10-2009, 02:41 AM
Nice, Mike! I saw these on the alchemy forums today. Really enjoy what you're doing with the software so far. And yeah, card stock... <3

04-12-2009, 12:40 PM
Great updates man, you've really taken a hold of that program! Those enviro comps are really nice. Sharpie is pretty heavy ink right...are you able to use those whiteout pens and really get opaque white areas? The india inks are superb though. Keep going!

Thanks Rabid. Yeah, Sharpie ink is extremely heavy -- it'll bleed through regular paper like crazy. When they start getting dried out they're a bit different to work with -- almost like working in pencil in a way. The white-out pen covers it up just fine, but it's easy to miss a few specks and have some show though. The specks don't significanly affect the overall look so not much of a point covering them up until the very end. The white-out is a little resistant to new ink and shows through about 10%.

Thanks Static. :-)

Here's some more from the last few days. The first page is the result of playing with pull shapes, and making some of my own shapes to pull by using live trace on photos in illustrator. I might paint over some of these later. In the second and third pages, I'm mainly working on expressing poses with simple gestural silhouettes. It definitely feels a lot more natural making silhouettes now than last September when I did that first set of 100.

p1 of 3:

p2 of 3:

p3 of 3

04-12-2009, 03:04 PM
You put in good work, man. I really like the 3rd page image of the guy with his arm around the woman. The folds in the fabric there look legit.

04-27-2009, 11:49 AM
Thanks for the feedback staticpen.

I haven't done much much art outside of work in the last couple weeks, so did some more tonight:

04-27-2009, 05:42 PM
Nice job. I like the hatching and structure of your drawings. They look thick and gooey and fun, haha. The low light stuff is great, too.

04-27-2009, 08:17 PM
Hej velenosangue... I drop in from time to time and everytime it is a joy to see what direction you have taken :)

Love the heave contrast stuff. I find myself always weighing shape vs space in those and doing quite some trys before I end up with something I really like. Good job!

Thanks for sharing and I'll keep coming back now and then.


04-30-2009, 11:12 AM
Thanks guys. For the rough full scenes I've generally been starting using speed shapes at it's most extreme settings and throwing shapes around until I get something I think I can work with. After that, the vast majority of the refining and hatching is done with the basic Shapes tool and the Pressure Shapes tool. I try to block out the flats, but sometimes I'm weak and just go part by part.

Recently I was reading up on some photographic lighting techniques, and came across one called using "cookies." When doing that, the basic idea is to place something off camera in front of a light source (eg. a houseplant) to cast an interesting shadow into your scene, which helps break up any uninteresting flat spaces. Then not too long after that I was watching an old Hitchcock film from 1940 called Rebecca that made heavy use of the technique.

I tried doing some space-ship sketching today, some more monsters, a character test, and also finally started messing around with the gradient Affect.


05-07-2009, 01:38 AM
A different kind of update today -- right now the city I live in is on fire...again. My place is pretty close to the recommended evacuation area (http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&lr=lang_en&hl=en&msa=0&ll=34.447689,-119.799042&spn=0.06809,0.21904&z=13&msid=117142631812589675118.00046936902cc1ed7baa8) but not the mandatory one yet. I've been taking some photos of the view from our office. Most of these have some amount of manipulation done to them to adjust saturation and contrast, such as blending multiple exposure levels. The first panorama was done with photoshop's tool, and the later ones with a program called Autostitch.

(thumbnails are links to big versions)
From yesterday:
http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/th_IMG_0480.jpg (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/IMG_0480.jpg)

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/th_IMG_0481.jpg (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/IMG_0481.jpg)

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/th_IMG_0494.jpg (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/IMG_0494.jpg)

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/th_fire_pano.jpg (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/fire_pano.jpg)

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/th_fire_pano_6-19pm_v2.jpg (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/fire_pano_6-19pm_v2.jpg)

05-07-2009, 01:42 AM
Fortunately the wind is blowing the other direction now -- away from the city, but who knows how long that will keep up.

Some from today:
http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/th_IMG_0635.jpg (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/IMG_0635.jpg) http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/th_IMG_0616.jpg (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/IMG_0616.jpg) http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/th_IMG_0617.jpg (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/IMG_0617.jpg) http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/th_IMG_0618.jpg (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/IMG_0618.jpg)

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/th_IMG_0621.jpg (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/IMG_0618.jpg) http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/th_IMG_0623.jpg (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/IMG_0623.jpg) http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/th_IMG_0624.jpg (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/IMG_0624.jpg) http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/th_IMG_0630.jpg (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/IMG_0630.jpg)

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/th_fire_pano_2009-5-6_4-00pm.jpg (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/fire_pano_2009-5-6_4-00pm.jpg)

05-08-2009, 04:08 AM
Wow, that looks like a big fire (at least from your office)..

I just read through this sketchbook, and it's really good. - especially the sketches in Alchemy; the contrast and simplicity of colors make them nice.. Keep it up! :)

05-08-2009, 04:39 AM
Yeah, that fire looks like another mean one. I'm from California as well, and was there during the big san diego fires a few years ago. Have pictures like those from the hill above a friend's house. We didn't have to evacuate either, though. Hope you never have to!
Speaking of that lighting technique... it's a nice one, yeah? You always enjoy it in movies and stuff, but never think to paint it in yourself. I'd like to see you give it a whirl sometime. :)

05-09-2009, 03:20 AM
Thanks guys. :-)

SergeantOreo: Yeah, the fire is getting pretty big. It's been going on since the 5th and is still only 10% contained. So far I still don't have to evacuate, but I may have to break my plans to visit my parents for mother's day and come down next weekend instead.

Didn't get around to doing anything with cookies yet, but messed with some rim lighting and hard-to-soft edges tonight.

"Experiment 1"

Back from another hiatus on the Motorcycle Crash painting. Working some more on the valley and the mountains. I realized that the composition lines were flowing basically everywhere except for where I intend to put the victim. To fix this I had to redesign the mountains and work in some hard and soft edges, which I have more control over now. I'm just trying to think more about what purpose each part serves in the final painting and how they contribute to the overall story. I also worked on adding more depth to the mountains by increasing how much they overlap.


05-13-2009, 12:23 PM
Tried some B&W thumbnail images tonight to get some quick practice with values and to work on having more polished work. This is pretty close the style I used for the alien painting that's in my CG porfolio, which I admit is a bit messy. I've also assembled another set of alchemy sketches from the last couple weeks.






05-22-2009, 10:07 AM
Did a random abstract thing tonight that I though came out "realistic" looking. Playing around a bit with depth of field, subsurface scattering, rim lighting and doing that glowy-hair thing that fuzzy things get when backlit.


06-08-2009, 06:43 AM
Though I've been doing a lot of sketching in Alchemy, I'm pretty bad about going to the next step after making a silhouette - I choke up a bit when trying to develop one into something more finished.

I came up with a drill to try to fix this -- blocking out a simple silhouette with just a few main details, and filling it in several different ways.

Though this came off sort of gun-like, it wasn't really mean to be anything.


06-08-2009, 03:04 PM
Hey velen, it seems like you are developing a nice workflow for quick thumbs and sketches. I just saw those fire pictures and wow they are amazing! That must have been a crazy scene. This last image looks like a set of keys? Interesting idea too...filling in a silhouette differently...i'll have to try this sometime. Keep it rolling man!

06-09-2009, 11:31 AM
Thanks Rabid,
The fire was getting pretty scary at one point. Those pictures were taken right from our office. The fire spread pretty badly through the wild areas, and got some houses in the hills, but the firefighters were able to keep it from getting into the city.

Did some more painting tonight:

06-13-2009, 08:55 AM
Another random painting, mostly done as a drill for rendering hard and soft surfaces with different textures, as well as having some areas more in focus than others.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/random-6-13-2009.jpg (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/random-6-13-2009_big.jpg)

06-14-2009, 09:03 AM
A little practice blocking out lighting and composition, focusing mostly on value and basic shape than high frequency detail.


07-29-2009, 11:35 PM
Been a while again since I've uploaded anything. Nowadays I'm working mostly in pen & ink for my practice stuff, especially since my laptop is out of commission right now. I finally got around to scanning something today. I've mainly been working with a ballpoint pen + highlighter lately, but have developed a number of workflows using art pens as well (mainly prismacolor markers and pigma microns). For the ballpoint stuff I use copy paper, but for heavier inks and quill pens I use cardstock.

A few workflows I've been using:

Silouhette to detail:
-block in silouhette with lightly colored marker or highlighter, then add detail with ballpoint. Add darker color for shadow, and bring out highlights with white-out pen or white prismacolor pencil. I find that highlighters work well for the shadows because the ink doesn't get darker when layering it, keeping it flatly colored. Prismacolor markers solve this problem by blending together easily to get rid of overlapped edges, but sometiems the edges can be a bit too soft if i'm working small.

Progressively darker sketching:
-Sketch out in light pen (eg. 10% gray), secondary sketch over it with a darker pen, final sketch with black pen. Obviously this can also be done with pencil, going from a 8h to a 4h to a B, etc. - I'm just trying to do all-pen right now so I don't have to deal with sharpening and smudging. This method tends to yeild a lot of sketch detail since it goes through 3 levels of refinement.

Environments using 2 main tones and layering grays:
I don't quite have the confidence right now to directly sketch environments with a fine-tip sharpie like some people can. Right now I've mainly been blocking in the thumbnails with a 40% cool gray prismacolor marker, then sometimes going in with a 10 or 20% to add a third value. For anythign I want darker than the original strokes with the 40% gray, I wait for the paper to dry, then refine it with another layer of the 40%, which makes it just a little bit darker. Sometimes I also sketch over that with ballpoint or another pen to add detail.

Here are some recent evironment thumbnails:

Also, a sketch in photoshop I did today after work.

07-30-2009, 04:29 AM
Hey dude! I've been away for a little while, but it's good to come back and see new stuff from you. Those thumbs look really cool. :)

07-31-2009, 01:50 AM
Thanks Static. Good to see you're updating again too.


Did some more pen&ink stuff last night, this time starting with a non-photo blue pencil:


Also, here's some concept work stuff from a few days ago for the entry I'm working on for the current MGAC. I'm still working on the final design, and should finish the model sometime this weekend. Here I'm mainly using thumbnail silhouettes and the silhouette to detail method mentioned above. The marker was a pink sharpie highlighter with "smearguard." It's pretty good at not smudging the ballpoint pen.

The current concept for the character:
The settings is a world with both sentient and non-intelligent animals. Somewhat of a Narnia or Redwall type of world. The character is a polecat (wild ferret) temporally named Johndo. He is part of a nation of small animals that has an army and an air force that is composed of flying squirrels. He's been told that he can't join, because he doesn't have the proper qualifications (literally, can't fly). Not to be stopped, he sets out and one way or another gains friendship with or control over a hawk, which to them is basically the equivalent of a dragon. By riding on this dangerous creature, he is not only able to join the air force, but is now it's most powerful asset.

Some of the sketches here have him as a ferret, and some have him as a regular non-flying squirrel. Most of the above concept was worked out while doing these sketches.



08-01-2009, 01:20 AM
Trying out some new style stuff today. I was messing around in opencanvas, and decided to try painting using just a hard size-pressure brush at 90% opacity. Opencanvas has some things about it that bug me..and they just dropped their english version today. The main reason I'd been interested in it is the playback feature.

I've also been trying out SAI painter today, and I definately like it. It feels smooth and intuitive, and lines don't get jagged with fast movements. I don't have anything to show for that one yet.

Here's what I did in opencanvas:

08-05-2009, 08:13 AM
Finally finished my Johndo model tonight (never did give him a real name). Here are a couple turnaround animations, one regular and one wireframe:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/contests/Turnaround_color.gif http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/contests/Turnaround_wire.gif

And this was my final entry sheet:

08-06-2009, 05:55 PM
Some more stuff, mostly related to the ferret character again.


And some stuff from lunch today -

08-06-2009, 07:32 PM
This is the first I've seen of your thread Vel. I must say the progression from your early pieces to now is quite good. You can definitely see the improvement all of that practice has led to. This is also my first exposure to Alchemy, pretty cool little program. I may have to check it out.

08-07-2009, 08:25 AM
Thanks Wyatt. I think most of my recent improvement has come from getting used to doing thumbnailing and trying to find repeatable methods of doing things rather than just going about things randomly. Alchemy is a lot of fun, partly because of it's simplicity, and partly because it can generate random shapes and do automatic symmetry.

I did some more sketches with it tonight:

08-07-2009, 06:22 PM
Warmup sketch from this morning:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/warmup_8-7-2009.jpg (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/warmup_8-7-2009_big.jpg)

08-11-2009, 05:33 AM
Random sketch from tonight in opencanvas:

08-19-2009, 11:54 PM
Messing around in PaintTool Sai. I really like working in it - it starts up fast, the interface is intuitive and has some nice features (eg, the scratchpad), and painting in it is really smooth, whatever that means. Don't know how to describe that last bit. It just feels right.

EDIT: Opinion somewhat redacted. The blendy painting stuff is nice, but some other things are pretty annoying and kinda suck.


Edit: and another one

08-25-2009, 09:47 PM
Rough sketch from today. Trying to practice 3-value paintings this week.

Did some other stuff on my iPod Touch and DS last night that i'll post later today.

08-26-2009, 05:37 AM
Some stuff from my DS. This came out pretty well:

Random sketches:







Sketch from my ipod touch. I don't like skeching on the ipod as much b/c of the lack of pressure sensitivity, but it's much more compact and makes for a good PDA.

Using an app called Brushes:

And one done in the iphone version of Colors! Since the iphone doesn't have pressure sensitivity, it uses tilt to control opacity/brush size instead:

08-27-2009, 03:38 AM
Did a bunch of sketching in Alchemy tonight after work:





09-05-2009, 11:58 PM
Random sketch from today in opencanvas.

09-08-2009, 08:28 AM
Well, I really gotta take back what I said about Sai painter -- my first impressions were pretty good, but after I'd messed with it more, I came across various bugs an annoyances that knocked my opinion down a notch. I'm tired so i'll go over it in more detail later.

Random sketch in PS:

09-29-2009, 11:30 AM
I've been working a lot on my gameboy using Colors!DS lately. Also been doing a lot of work in pen. Here's a bunch of recent colors stuff:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/26502.jpg http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/26503.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/26505.jpg http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/26506.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/26507.jpg http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/26508.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/26509.jpg http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/26510.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/26511.jpg http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/26512.jpg

09-29-2009, 11:32 AM
And some more:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/26513.jpg http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/26759.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/26760.jpg http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/26761.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/26762.jpg http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/rrimgeaper2/art/26763.jpg


09-29-2009, 11:35 PM
Sweet stuff Velen....love the black and white pieces the most. You have such a diverse range of styles and compositions its quite refreshing. That ferret character is cool...did you ever animate him?

09-30-2009, 05:55 PM
Hi Rabid,

Normally when I sketch, I have characters floating in the blank space of the page, so lately I've been working again on improving my overall composition and control over value/contrast. The DS is pretty fast to work with for thumbnailing, though the save/load times can get annoying, especially on paintings with a longer playback file.

I've still been meaning to skin/animate Johndo, but haven't done it yet. There's a few things I'd like to change about his goggles as well.

10-01-2009, 01:04 AM
Some stuff from lunchtime today. These ones were done in photoshop.


12-09-2009, 08:49 PM
It's been a long time since I've posted to this thread. Nowadays I'm mostly sketching on paper and I don't have the patience to scan everything. Here are a few new sketches though.


12-16-2009, 10:37 PM
It's good to have you back. Keep drawing! :)

12-23-2009, 02:44 AM
Thanks for the encouragement SergeantOreo. My laptop broke a while back when the graphics card burnt out (i'm never buying an HP laptop again...). I've been trying to be out of the office more lately, so that's part of the reason for the recent switch to paper. I'm thinking of getting a Fujitsu Lifebook tablet PC at some point to replace it, but probably not for a while. My backup computer is a piece of junk, but i'll still sketch on it sometimes.

Here is some new stuff I've been doing in alchemy lately:





12-24-2009, 01:46 AM
A bit more stuff here. Probably the last I'll be able to post for this month.


12-24-2009, 04:28 PM
This is some awesome stuff, I really like your Alchemy sketches.
Could you give some insight on how you work in Alchemy?
What are you usual brushes and setup?
Do you start painting in gray and then work the darker values in?

12-25-2009, 01:01 AM
Hi CountZeroInterrupt,

First off, as i'm sure you figured out, I work a few times bigger than what I post here. When posting the sketches online I shrink things down and merge pages together to keep things compact and viewable on low resolution screens. It's easier to work small on a cintiq than on a intous or graphire/bamboo, but working big is nice and allows for much more control.

Second it's much easier to get good results quickly if you spend a few seconds imagining what the thing you want to draw looks like. The nice thing about alchemy is that you can use random shapes to jump start this process, the same way you see things in a rorsharch test, then just refine what you already see in the chaos.

My main workflow in alchemy is to block in some of the rough shapes in black or gray, then carve out the light areas with the backgroud color, generally working at around 90% opacity so some amount of the strokes remain. I mainly use the regular Shapes tool for blocking and the Pressure Shapes tool for detailing and hatching. I like the flatness of the pressure shapes brush in Alchemy better than using a flattened brush in photoshop, because in photoshop the stroke always breaks if you change direction sharply.

Another workflow I have is to plop out a few grays starting with black, then one that's 30-50% gray, and one that's 5-10% gray. The idea is the same as sketching things in with a 4h pencil then adding progressively more refined detail with softer ones. Alternatively, I'll sometimes use a light blue for the initial sketch to simulate a classic comic drawing workflow, especially if I want to remove the sketch from underneath in photoshop later.

I typically have two wacom pens to use with my tablet - one sent to a softer pressure setting and one set to a harder pressure setting. The softer one i use for blocking and rough blends, and the harder one I use for linework and finer blending. One pen is darker than the other so it's easy to remember which is which.

12-25-2009, 10:04 PM
O wow, that was a detailed answer, thanks man. It's great to hear how other people approach Alchemy and learn about different workflows, especially with such a diverse application. It would be great to have a collection of quick tutorials for Alchemy from different artists that could be added to the manual or posted in the forums here.
I am surprised that such an amazing and unique program doesn't get more attention.

Another question: Did working with Alchemy had any impact on the way you draw in general?

12-26-2009, 11:27 PM
Another question: Did working with Alchemy had any impact on the way you draw in general?

The main change has been to how comfortably I can work in silouhette and how quickly I can work in general. The tools are well suited to working roughly and having the canvas clear at specific intervals is useful when trying to get a lot of ideas out at once. It forces you to concentrate on overall form more than details, which in turn helps with your overall sketching speed.

01-04-2010, 07:46 PM
Warmup sketch from this morning:


And some doodles while waiting for stuff to render:


01-19-2010, 08:34 PM
Some recent sketches/life drawing:
(Part 1)








01-19-2010, 08:36 PM
Recent life drawing:
(Part 2)








01-21-2010, 11:59 AM

01-22-2010, 10:37 AM

02-03-2010, 10:30 PM
Life drawing from last weekend:






02-04-2010, 02:15 AM
WoW! Thats a lot of life drawings!! I like it velenosangue!! Keep it up...how did you manage to come up with such a large amount of life sketch? Are they drawn in a smaller size like silhoutte in your sketchbook or a medium size? Amazing stuff there, keep going!! :thumbsup:

02-04-2010, 12:10 PM
It's pretty simple actually - I just sit somewhere where a lot of people go by and draw whoever happens to be in front of me each time I look up. Each of the drawings here is about 1"-2" tall on a 8x11 sheet of cardstock. People standing in line is a great place to start, since everyone stands relatively still for several minutes at a time.

Some stuff from tonight:


Pushing the 2nd one further.

02-11-2010, 06:00 PM
Warmup from this morning



02-11-2010, 11:41 PM
Some sketches from the past couple days:


02-14-2010, 07:26 AM
Some coffee shop stuff from earlier today:




02-14-2010, 08:33 AM
These quick ink sketches are so important and you're doing great at them!
Keep doing those!

In your colored pieces, don't forget about the importance of values!
Always start with a design and make sure you have a plan... (thumbs! )

02-15-2010, 03:24 AM
Hi Johan, I've been following your painting thread for a long time. Everything is very beautiful and very inspiring.

I think not going into things with a plan is one of my most major weaknesses right now. I feel like most of what I have tended to paint are little more than glorified doodles without much thought behind them. There's a huge lack of narrative, and I've been meaning to get back into making conics to chip away at those issues.

Some sketches from the local zoo today:




02-16-2010, 07:01 PM
Wow you've been busy Velen, i really like all the quick thumb sketches. Particulary when you use the pen/marker combo i think your concepts are realized very well. Good stuff keep it up!

03-08-2010, 09:53 AM
Thanks, Rabid. I kinda go back and forth between pen, pen+marker and pencil. Pencil works better for value studies, though I do see my hatching technique improving.

More stuff:









03-10-2010, 05:13 PM
All of those little sketch studies are awesome!

03-25-2010, 05:09 AM
Thanks Daniel! I'm trying, though it can be incredibly frustrating at times.

Saturday March 20 and Sunday March 21: Java Jones/Camino Real Marketplace, and Maratime Museum/Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara. I picked up some Pigma brush pens recently and have been messing around with those.I'm hoping it will improve my inking technique.








03-26-2010, 02:30 AM
so many pages of studies - you are hardcore!
and your gameart submission looks pro - cool stuff ;)

04-09-2010, 08:12 AM
Random sketch from tonight


And another:

04-14-2010, 08:19 AM
Wadded paper value study from tonight. I need to do more of these things.


04-28-2010, 01:27 AM
Still sketching, just hate scanning. :-)

First batch:







04-28-2010, 01:28 AM
Second Batch








05-21-2010, 07:19 PM
Warmup from this morning. Would have finished the cup more but the guy who brought it in picked it up and left the room.


05-22-2010, 10:33 AM
A few after-midnight still lifes and a doodle:

05-22-2010, 12:15 PM
Really nice little studies here, are they done on a portable device?

05-22-2010, 06:29 PM
Sometimes I'll sketch on my DS and ipod, but these ones in particular were done on desktop PCs.

06-29-2010, 04:08 AM
Some new stuff, from life except for #6:









06-29-2010, 04:35 PM
Really nice studies, the shoes are particularly impressive.
Keep it up!

07-01-2010, 06:42 PM
Thanks, outlawstar. I'll be doing a lot of painting in the near future.

Sketch from last night, a local liquor store:





07-04-2010, 11:36 AM

07-06-2010, 08:39 AM


07-07-2010, 10:23 AM

07-08-2010, 11:09 AM



07-09-2010, 10:35 AM
More stuff. Mainly focusing my life drawing on environments right now.








07-09-2010, 10:39 AM
And some more:








07-11-2010, 01:10 AM
Those interior sketches with the chairs and computers are beautifully rendered, exccellent work!!!

07-13-2010, 05:54 AM
Those interior sketches with the chairs and computers are beautifully rendered, exccellent work!!!


Over the weekend, I was up a few hours north of SB with a friend of mine. The hotel was in Salinas, but we mostly hung around Carmel, and Monterey. Salinas is somewhat rundown and the only restaurants we could find were chains.

Carmel is beautiful, there's no doubt about it. Lots of hills and trees everywhere, and some great looking jagged rocks in the oceans, and super soft sand at the beaches. I stepped in a couple galleries while I was there, one of which was of this guy Roger Budney (http://www.rogerbudneyfineart.com/gallery.htm), who as it turns out graduated from the same university that I did (UCSB).

Monterey had some visually interesting things over at cannery row: super-gimmicky and touristy souvenir shops and things. Might be interesting to draw those if I ever come back there. This time I ended up drawing a building that was on the shore and the inside of the restaurant where we got some oysters on the half shell and a couple drinks.








07-13-2010, 05:56 AM
And some more stuff:






07-14-2010, 09:09 AM

07-24-2010, 08:04 AM
Continuing to study landscapes & interiors. Mostly in Santa Barbara. The In-N-Out was in LA, not that it matters since they're all the same inside.







07-24-2010, 08:05 AM






08-04-2010, 11:39 AM
Last couple of posts look Awesome, your line work is extremely assured, and Im loving your life studies, beautiful, keep it up, if only so I can see more!

08-10-2010, 10:38 AM
I just love all the ink sketch velonosangue ;)

08-17-2010, 08:44 AM
Thanks guys. I'm still keeping up. I think the landscape/architecture drawing is going pretty well so far. I think I also need to do more focused studies as well, trying to get things to as refined as I can.

Part 1:







08-17-2010, 08:48 AM
I was in LA for SIGGRAPH, so stopped by Venice Beach and West Hollywood. I also turned 26 on August 1st.

Part 2:







08-17-2010, 08:51 AM
Part 3:




Also messing around with doing self portraits.

08-18-2010, 09:17 AM

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