Sketchbook Thread of MichalB


Hi everyone,

My name's Michal and I'm here to learn to draw :arteest:

A short list of first things to practice:
- [b]proportions[/b],
- perspective,
- value perception and shading.

I know I make a lot of mistakes but it's hard for me to find them, so please (pretty please) don't be afraid that you will hurt my feelings :D and tell me if you see anything wrong.

First two pictures for the grand opening ;)

I know - it's bad. But it's that guy's fault for taking such a strage pose...

A small update to my picture from [b][here](http://here%3C/a%3E%3C/b%3E)[/b]: the thighs and torso narrowed, the light part of the torso darkened, [b][the opposing curves theory]([/b] (just read that) applied in the guy's right calf, some random smudging.


Hey, MichalB,

It’s great to see your Anatomy Thread up and running! :slight_smile: You are more than welcome to post your other studies which were posted to the Beginner’s Lounge here as well. Looking forward to seeing more work from you!

I really recommend trying many more Master Copies. You might want to check out some of the books from this series:

Entire Master Draughtsman Series of Paperback Books:
Great books because they are cheap, light, and great for copying from, as you will not be concerned about destroying the book ~ they are really instructional devices, more than anything else.

This is taken from this thread:

Anatomy Resources : BOOKS

Alternately, you can find Master Works on the web, try here:

Web Gallery of Art

However, I think books are always better, as the detail will usually be much more clear.

Cheers, :slight_smile:



Hi Rebecca,

Thanks for the book recommendations, though I won't be able to buy them in any near future (no cash, poor student, etc. :rolleyes: ). But will get a list of second-hand bookshops from my friend and raid them as soon as I have time :D

A new picture:

Drawn from imagination using DoctorBone’s method. Proportions messed up as usual and no contraposto. But I’ve used opposing curves and drawn the lines quite clean (with no egg-timer ticking the precious seconds away it wasn’t that hard :D)

About the pictures from the Lounge - I tried to put them here but got the message about too many images in one post. I might do it tomorrow but now I have to run.



Did some work on face detail (100% size)

The face, especially the nose, was too long so I did a little copy&paste to fix that (hence the strange line) but when I merged the layers Artweaver crashed :argh:. The only thing I managed to do was to make a screenshot.



I’m really sorry to hear the file crashed! I can’t recall, do you have Photoshop / are you able to resize the image back up to a printable size? If not, let me know and I’ll resize it for you. I hate when stuff like that happens, but it’s just best to back up regularly ~ sometimes as a quick fix I’ll email myself a jpg of something.

This piece looks great! That’s a lot of improvement in a short time, I’m definitely impressed! :thumbsup: Keep up the good work. :slight_smile:




Hi :slight_smile:

I’m not sure what you meant about resizing “to a printable size”, but if need be I guess I could use GIMP to do it.

I’ve managed to put that screenshot into Artweaver without crashing it :smiley: and here is a little update:

Worked more on the nose and mouth. Put in an eye but it was too small so I reworked it and made it bigger. Then it was too big so I smugded it up and made a smaller one. So now I’ll have to make it bigger again :rolleyes: or better I’ll just move to some other part of the body.

A new 2-5-10 (reference image from OFDW 11)



The portrait looks great! What I meant by print resolution is 300 dpi (vs. 72 which is screen resolution). Typically working in a higher resolution document just lets you get to details more easily (in addition to which, should you ever want to print your work, it would come out clear and not blurry).

With the OFDW piece, I think the shoulders should be a bit higher and the head and neck should be raised accordingly ~ looking forward to your progress!

Cheers, :slight_smile:




always a pleasure seeing people rise from the fiery ovens of the Beginner’s Forge to their own anatomy threads!

and the work you did on that face is nothing short of spectacular! The highlights the proportions: very nice! do finish it up, because it will look great.

And if you have any questions about artweaver: let me know (post in my thread, PM me, skype, ICQ - whatever), because I struggled with artweaver quite a while and can handle its features and shortcomings quite well by now, I guess.

Keep it up:)



It actually was 300 dpi (just in ‘actual pixels’ view) but 1800x2400 px. I resized it to fit A4 so when I finish I can print it and give to my friends as a present :scream:


Are you sure you were looking at my picture when posting? :eek: Thank you very much for the compliment, just be careful not to spoil me with your sweet sweet words :smiley:

For now most of my questions regarding Aw have already been answered in its forums, and the answer was usually “it will be added in 0.4.x” but it is good to know that there is someone to harass should things go bad :smiley: Thanks!

And here’s an update on the OFWD 15 guy:

Almost an hour of work and very little visible improvement comparing to the previous image. What am I doing wrong? :shrug:

But on the positive side: my understanding of value seems to improve :thumbsup:

And here’s a 2-5-10:



Ah, gotcha. :slight_smile: Hey, I think your friends will be quite impressed with their present! :cool: You’re really showing a lot of improvement fast, keep up the good work!

Cheers, :slight_smile:



Hmmm… It’s not that bad an idea. My cousin and his girlfriend are getting married in June so it would be nice to give them something personal - how about a picture? :smiley: A half-naked bald guy with a gun might not be a good theme for this occasion, but hey - I have 2 months to think up some romantic image, compose it and fill up with details to fit 300 dpi A2 (everything super pretty of course). Got amphetamine?

Enough of that nonsense, back to work:

I decided to work on this leg to get some rest from the head. To-do: feet studies.

My first eye study in digital (all of my school notes’ margins are filled with eye drawings)

Also a part of the OFDW piece (to be put on the face instead of what is there).


A few days’ break and I lost my will to do all the smudging in black and white, so I started a new master copy (from Bouguereau’s …defending against love):

I'll post a few pencil sketches that I've drawn during the holiday (mostly my ugly feet but also a copy of the girl's face from [i]The Broken Pitcher[/i] by Bouguereau) as soon as I manage to scan them. And since I will need a scanner to do so, it may take some time :D


A new sketch for this copy:

It was more visible in the color sketch but even here you can easily see deviations from the original.

Now the question is: how should I go about them? :shrug:

Fix them until the sketch is as close to the original as possible? Leave it for now and fix it in the “coloring” stage? Or maybe just stay with what I have and say it is my interpretation :D?


I would say not to leave it to the coloring stage ~ things will only get more complicated then, and you will be more apt, not less, to call mistakes ‘style’ :smiley: ~ something we’re all guilty of sometimes ~ so I really recommend refining things at the drawing stage as much as is possible.

Both characters look quite short ~ are they meant to be children? :slight_smile: One thing that would be helpful is if you were to post the reference image.

If you are going to go with color from the start, I recommend trying a limited palette ~ also, you may want to check out this thread regarding color:

Color Theory and The Human Figure

The main mistake beginners make is to make everything very LIGHT and washed out looking. Try using the HSB slider in PS ~ Hue, Saturation, Brightness. This way you can adjust the different color properties with more precision. Definitely try to become a bit familiar with basic color terms, as this will really help you to think about what you are doing color wise.

Looking forward to your progress. :slight_smile:




Hi Rebecca,

Stupid me forgot to link the reference. Again :rolleyes:

It can be found here:

And if the file is not protected against hotlinking it will be visible here:

Great thread the one about color. Who would have thought there is so much theory regarding simple picture-making…


Thanks for the reference image! :slight_smile:

Try something, just as an experiment ~ take the reference image and set the mode to Grayscale. You’ll see what a Master Bouguereau is ~ the painting will more or less look like a drawing. :slight_smile:

My point being that Value, no matter how boring, will always trump color in importance.

I’m not discouraging you from using color, but without a deep appreciation and mastery of value, it will be hard to paint something very well in color.

Basically the most important things for the construction of any painting are, in order of importance:

  1. Drawing
  2. Value
  3. Color

If you want to work in Color from the start, try creating an Adjustment Layer (Image > Create Adjustment Layer > Hue / Saturation). Then move the slider so that with the Adjustment Layer on, the image appears to be desaturated. You can use this as a double check tool as you are painting in color.

But I really think the drawing needs to be much more refined before delving in. (Having said that, everyone works differently. ;))

Cheers, :slight_smile:



I made a new sketch and now I can see how badly the previous one sucked :smiley:

It still needs cleaning up and detailing but I guess the main forms are placed correctly. Is there any way to check that other than using grids or overlaying the reference with sketch?
They give good results but feel a little bit like cheating. I know, CG and graphics in general are all about fooling the viewer into thinking that the flat shapes are real objects etc., but this is more like cheating myself :shrug:


It’s looking great so far! Good job!
For checking whether the forms are correct… Try flipping both your image and the reference? Or maybe zoom the ref out to be roughly the same size as your drawing, and place them next to each other to compare? Hope that helps. :confused:
Can’t wait to see the finished product.


Hi Helen,

This flipping method seemed too easy to work, so it worked great, of course :smiley:

I’ve managed to fix some mistakes and made a few new ones along the way :rolleyes:


Yay, grayscale!

And a 2-5-10: