View Full Version : Benjamin's Sketch Book

12 December 2009, 06:34 PM

I am starting this sketch book as a way to obtain critiques on my process. This will be a way for me to improve my technique without always concentrating on finished images. I have leaned towards absolute realism until lately when I was introduced to some work by Craig Mullins recently ( and realized that I would like to go in that direction with my paintings.

I love his loose style with implied detail. It seems that with just a few brush strokes he can make everything seem totally detailed at first glance. I do not want to copy his style, but I do want to develop my own style in that direction.

I NEED any criticism that you can offer. I know that will not be a problem here, so I am looking forward to it! On with the show!

12 December 2009, 06:38 PM
So here is my first "sketch." I did this in black and white of a photograph from Google Images, I unfortunately lost the reference photo and only have my work to look at now.

My intent was to focus on planes of value only. I used only a hard edged brush and did no blending, or smearing. I am trying to lean towards that loose style, but it is hard for me.

I anxiously await all of your comments and critiques!

08 August 2010, 04:50 AM
Inspired by Isso, I decided to start working harder! Here are some 60 sec sketches done from posemaniacs. I accidentally wrote 30 sec on the image itself, but I took 60 for each.

08 August 2010, 05:17 AM
I really like how the woman's face turned out in the background of the first one. She looks very real and intriguing...

08 August 2010, 03:25 PM
Thank you very much. I was pleased with her as well. The woman I was painting from didn't look that way though, but when she came out like she did, I decided that I liked this better and left her that way.

08 August 2010, 09:58 PM

08 August 2010, 06:25 AM
Hello. Thank you for your comment. Your advice is very important for me. I like your last work. Especially your color balance, but there are some things I would change. Water for me looks too flat and my eye identifies it as ice, but my brain tells me - it is just liquid water, because of the green grass on the shore. I would add some reflections on the water. Also I would add some more mirror effect on the water near the rocks.
About your 30 sec sketches. There is a great book I found some time ago. Michael D. Mattesi - Force. The Key to Capturing Life Through Drawing. It gave me much. One of the most important rule for him - use only curves for sketches. And I am completely agreed with him. Try to use curves for your sketches and they will become much better.

08 August 2010, 02:59 AM
Damn man, that was one inspiring post. Thanks a lot. I know how you feel right now because I was there about a year ago. You have to figure out exactly where you want to go, and never forget that image. You have to imagine yourself reaching that goal as vividly as possible.

I've been rocking back and forth from one goal to another, because I still don't completely know what I want to do, otherwise you would have seen way more progress in my sketchbook.

Remember to explore and try everything that you like. I think that's the best way to find out what you want to dedicate your life to.

In two weeks this comment's effects (if any) are sure gonna wear off and it will be a lot harder to keep up your sketchbook. Just remember to draw every day. Sit down and start doing it. Even if you don't see improvement right away, keep going. If you want it bad enough, you'll get there.

Oh and I almost forgot, visit
He works for wizards of the coast at the moment, and he got there in about a year from virtually nothing.

08 August 2010, 04:28 AM

Thanks for your critique on the boat painting. I admit that I am not super happy with it and a lot of the points you made help. The reason that I painted it is that I got these new watercolor pencils for my mixed media class in school and wanted to try them out. They work as advertised and I like them, but not the first painting I did with them.

I am glad that you found my comments helpful with your art. Be sure to post the finished version for us so we can see it!


Yes, I just wish that I hadn't waited so long to really buckle down and try to get better. I am going to be 28 in October, and that scares me because growing up I always felt advanced in my abilities for my age, and now I am seeing people much younger than me who are way ahead of me. I have a lot of catching up to do.

Thanks for the link! It is going to take me days to go through that guys sketch book. I looked at the first few pages and the last few and it looks like he has made enormous progress. Its hard to believe that he accomplished all of that in a year! I gotta get to work!

I am very happy to have found a place where I can really push myself and see loads of awesome competition out there. I grew up as the best artist in my school and live in a small town so may very well be the best in my city, so finding CG Society has been awesome for me and I need to take more advantage of it than I have been.

08 August 2010, 04:30 AM
I had to do 50 thumbnails of a teapot, cup and saucer for a class. Here it is:

08 August 2010, 05:20 AM
Here are my sketches for tonight, done in pencil in my physical sketchbook.

08 August 2010, 09:46 AM
It looks much better now. Just add more softness. There are no sharp lines on the human body. Hope you will soon show us your super artwork.

08 August 2010, 01:12 PM
Acap: Thanks. I guess much of the softness that I am trying to get will come from practice. I have been doing a lot of cross contour studies lately so that is helping everything look smoother and less sketchy and stiff.

I have a lot of work to post, but it was 1 AM last night, I tried photographing all of it and it came out blurry. I will try again tomorrow. I want to have updates every day, please yell at me if I start slacking!

08 August 2010, 11:22 PM
I decided that my line work needs some work so I am going to start doing some of these contours. I rely on being "sketchy" too much and need practice drawing contour lines. I think these turned out ok, but I want them much much better.

I am going to continue with my study of anatomy as well, as you can see, I have done some more "foot" work and will continue to do so until I feel very familiar with them.

09 September 2010, 02:42 PM
Here is some stuff I have been working on since I last updated. Sorry for not uploading sooner!

09 September 2010, 02:43 PM
Here is some more...

These were 10 minute value studies. After 10 minutes I moved on to the next photograph. This was intended to help me pick up speed and confidence in getting values in place.
This is a 1 hour value study

09 September 2010, 02:44 PM
And more...

This is a one hour value study
This is a 30 minute value study

09 September 2010, 02:44 PM
A random old guy in a nice suit.
This was a glass of sweet tea I had for lunch the other day. The light hit the glass so wonderfully that I had to capture it!

09 September 2010, 02:45 PM
And finally...

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