Styxtastic Sketches

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Re: Styxtastic Sketches

Postby MushroomSeeds » Mon May 08, 2017 10:25 am

Nice work!! The mermaid looks pretty good though you could play with the colors some more! I'm biased since I'm not a big fan of green or brown.

Are you doing warming up before you draw? Maybe that will help? I draw a lot of circles before I draw maybe something like that would help if you're not doing it already?
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Re: Styxtastic Sketches

Postby Styxcolor » Mon May 08, 2017 12:10 pm

Thank you very much for the hint!

Sometimes I warm up, sometimes I do not. I will keep my eyes open how it affects my performance.
Today I did warm up before that, but that was even more disappointing. I began drawing circles and ellipses and practised rhythm...and was stunned how dull the stuff I come up with looks compared to dynamic organic forms. I really have to catch up some things apart from mechanical problems with the graphic tablet. Everytime I learn something, there are just more problems that I realize XD
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Re: Styxtastic Sketches

Postby Willlake » Mon May 08, 2017 2:07 pm

not problems styx, challenges :) they will always exist so accept them and push forward dude!
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Re: Styxtastic Sketches

Postby Styxcolor » Wed May 17, 2017 2:21 pm

Missed me?
I was busy with work...ah, well...and my drawing hand hurt from exhaustion, almost a week... this wasn't a good thing, I won't let it come to this again.
Here I go with 8 fresh pages of attempts to design a character for a competition.
Stag beetle + human

Yeah...
I have to practise/revise legs tomorrow...and the muscles of the neck.
Not everything works right now XD
Also, that's not the final proportions/dimensions of everything! I'm in an experimenting phase...

And he will need a costume. I guess I will go back to the very first rough sketches for that and borrow elements.

Books I have read in the meantime:
Art & Fear (Bayles and Orland) changed my way of thinking
Eat That Frog (David Allen, audiobook, time management/procrastination) changed my way of working
Show your work! (Austin Kleon, about marketing/getting seen) didn't change anything at the moment

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Re: Styxtastic Sketches

Postby MushroomSeeds » Wed May 17, 2017 3:04 pm

I don't think I need to say it but I love the beetles!!
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Re: Styxtastic Sketches

Postby Styxcolor » Thu May 18, 2017 11:13 am

Aww, thank you, MushroomSeeds ^^

Today...leg day :D and bodytypes

Tomorrow, feet and leg gestures
Saturday muscles of the back
And Sunday implementation into stag beetle man design + more gestures
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Re: Styxtastic Sketches

Postby Styxcolor » Fri May 19, 2017 3:39 pm

Good evening!
Moving on :D

My reading progress:
Austin Kleon "Share Your Art!"
Austin Kleon "Steal Like an Artist"

My opinion: quoted ideas and an actual quote from Art and Fear, overall less content than Art and Fear, probably for the fast/superficial reader and some hints about being successful online. Gist of it: share things and let others shine, they will give back... something...maybe. Don't just do it to get something. Maybe it's just not for me, but those short books can surely help others.

And: began reading Steven Pressfield: "The War of Art" The book is gross and disturbing, I love it for it's strange and refreshing tone and very strange metaphors. I would not suggest to take everything literally, otherwise you'll find yourself reading a pseudo-religious book condemning laziness and other bad traits as the devil.


Okay, and for my studies for today:

Thinking about legs and feet with the pencil, no refs in this rought stage, trying to figure some basics out for myself.
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Thinking about my bug man, facial studies to figure out how his face could work with actually two mandibles.
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--unpublished experiment, thinking with pencil in my hand about what moves me at the moment, too personal to share, but really really helpful for insights about who I am as an artist and what my "artistic voice" (Kleon) really is. The best thing I read for me in his works was the appeal to use my personal "artistic voice" in order to develop and train it at all. I cannot just sit there and wait for it to develop by itself magically. Just drawing/doing studies without a goal and without myself involved will lead me nowhere.--

Aaannd a glimpse of what I will have to learn concerning muscles of the back.
So many muscles! Too much to grasp in one day or probably one week. So here my first, superficial study.
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Re: Styxtastic Sketches

Postby Styxcolor » Fri May 19, 2017 4:30 pm

Appendix. Looking at my upload here I realized that until now I had ignored any other muscle insertion for the giant stag beetle mandibles except the "human" mandible itself. Experimented with moving the attachment of the muscle to the neck and then to the back...to find out I still like my first approach best. But now I know why.
And by the way, by simple trying to draw it, I found the definitve body form I want to give my bug man. This is what most likely looks like a stag beetle in flight. My dear... I would never have dreamed of designing a character that seriously, digging in so deep... this is sheet 15 for "Saturn", my lovely bug man for a competition. Now I guess I'm in a state of the design that I can begin worrying about an outfit for him. He's a warrior. He's definitely built for that. But maybe he's different from the other stag beetles. Maybe he also likes books, philosophy and especially reading about the history of his kind, takes it seriously to use his strenghts wisely to protect rather than to attack...so he smiles so much, although everyone must think he's ugly or threatening because of the mandible.

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Re: Styxtastic Sketches

Postby Styxcolor » Sun May 21, 2017 1:57 am

Update on my reading list:
finished Steven Pressfield's The War of Art and am still a bit disturbed, but this is good, I question some of my beliefs, which is of course a good, but uncomfortable thing to do.

Steven Pressfield has written numerous other books, amongst them "Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t" ...which I of course began reading immediately. It's aimed at authors primarily, but the lessons are invaluable for visual storytellers/comic artists as well. He instantly brought me back to writing as a part of me.

I spent two hours doing research on a genre and genre-examples for a short story I will write for a competition. Well, I never have put that kind of effort in that before. Where will it lead me? I introduce a new writing- section of my blog here.

---
ART

Costume (modern) master studies from my new sketchbook. In search of inspiration for Saturn's outfit.

I was on a great little artist con yesterday.
I have to tell you so much from the great, creative day yesterday that the words won't come.

One of the things I like best was how I did those studies in a break from chatting with my fellow artists and one good soul of them approached me and told me: I guess, what you are looking for all the time, is the sengoku period in Japan.
YES.
YES. Sengoku is it.
I didn't know. I thought I was an educated person, but I'm not. I have no idea about Japanese history and she saw the essence of what I was looking for with ease and just told me what I didn't see all the time.

Of course, looking at the sengoku roots of those master designs my admiration for the creators of those designs grew even further. It's incredible what they have achieved using those historical elements!

The designs are, from left to right: Auron from Final Fantasy X, Noj from Final Fantasy X-2, Logos from Final Fantasy X-2, Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII (original design), High Priestess Selene from Grandia 2

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Re: Styxtastic Sketches

Postby Styxcolor » Mon May 29, 2017 12:09 am

Hey guys :)
I'm still alive! I practise almost daily, just don't upload that much at the moment.
Finally, I began working my way through Hampton. Yes, I hadn't read him before.

Here are some character studies of Isaak, his design needs some rework.

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Re: Styxtastic Sketches

Postby Styxcolor » Tue May 30, 2017 3:26 am

More guys from that one session.
As always it's much more exciting what's not in the picture(s).
I completely broke down over the last weekend and felt an exhaustion so deep it almost felt existential.
But now I'm not only back, it was comparable to a Windows Update that wants your computer to restart a couple of time before anything works again.
I guess this makes these pictures already old/obsolete, although they're fresh.
I'm trying so hard every day, practising and learning so much. Anything I do looks old/obsolete the moment it is produced.

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Re: Styxtastic Sketches

Postby Styxcolor » Tue May 30, 2017 3:34 am

WRITING

By the way, I'm still reading "Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t". It nuked out anything I thought I knew about storytelling.
I still write. It becomes a new old habit, I guess. I smell cornflakes, when I sit over my scripts and written thoughts, which is funny, as I stopped eating cornflakes as a child. Somehow I am returning to my roots, I guess, taking up old paths.

Also, I really enjoy Brian Tracy's talk "The Miracle of Self Discipline". I really hope, this applies to me, that I can make something out of that.

How do you fix something that was broken through it's spine a loooong time ago?
Beginning to write (again) is like walking after a long illness that kept you to the bed. The first steps are so difficult to make and you won't make it far the first time. But it will become better again. Would you refuse walking forever just because it's difficult for a certain period of time? I hope not. With writing it's the same. If you have this urge to do it...do it. And judge on the results later on.


ART

Genius...
I forced myself to make color schemes for two works I have to deliver for old debts.
They suck, holy mother of whatever do they suck!
But these are the first two I've ever made, so maybe it's an excuse for this time.


---
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Re: Styxtastic Sketches

Postby Styxcolor » Thu Jun 01, 2017 1:06 pm

Okay, so here are the finished pieces based on those color schemes.

The first one already lost because of the weird composition, she pierces the skeletons. Also turned out much browner than I thought.

The second one is surprisingly okay and already felt like thinking about the colors before helped a lot.
With the next pieces I will force myself to keep to the full cycle, beginning with proper thumbnailing and value studies and everything else needed...
I think I should have spent more time thinking about the colors and other aspects of the pictures. Well, will practise with more of them and force myself not to rush so much. I still rush, but it's not as bad as it has been before.


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Re: Styxtastic Sketches

Postby Styxcolor » Fri Jun 02, 2017 12:53 pm

Today was a good day. Working on the next piece.
Rav 03 is gonna be it. Monochromatic and spooky.

Ah...and the German words on the first page read:

Raven/Crow - have different beaks

first bird: corvus corone, second bird: corvus corax (raven)

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Re: Styxtastic Sketches

Postby Styxcolor » Fri Jun 02, 2017 4:09 pm

Nightshift!

Drawing from imagination. Hm, imagination getting better with all the training in the basics, I guess.
I have to find a good shot on the xenomorph (Alien), I want to do a fanart. The other pic is for a personal project.

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Re: Styxtastic Sketches

Postby Styxcolor » Sat Jun 03, 2017 3:06 pm

Today was a good day, I just wish the day would have been longer.

I went to an open for all workshop using the principles of artist and philosopher Arno Stern.
A key to understand them is, that he defined those having worked with children for many many years. These principles can be used to eradicate the influence of parents (or other external influences) from the child's path. We also watched a part of an interview with Arno Stern. I found it very remarkable how he stated "A child that paints is not an artist. You will treat this child differently, when you keep that in mind. There is no need for your intervention as adult, your corrections or measurement on a scale of artistry."

Those principles are (in short):
- you have 18 buckets of pure colors deducted from the color wheel.
- You may only use one bucket with a brush (or two brushes) at a time on your canvas.
- You are not allowed to judge your own work or the works of other participants. You are also not allowed to praise anyone, this is judgement, too.
- There is no competition in skill or popularity. Nothing can be won. Just play with your canvas like a child.


So, these are my results. I felt uneasy about the "war" piece. Still, after all those years I'm afraid someone will jump into the room and punish me instantly for drawing horror or violence. This is the true horror about drawing that for me hahaha.

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WRITING
A footnote... still stuck with "Nobody wants to read your sh*t". How much is this book going to change me further? I like the idea of a cultural heritage and cultural beliefs that are mirrored in the way stories are told and perceived as "right". The best thing is, most of those beliefs became storytelling rules and they did so like a subconscious contract of a whole nation/culture/unit of people affected by it. This is why French cinema works differently than Hollywood. I'm amazed. Those "rules" are everywhere. What are the rules of the majority of the people around me? I have already noticed that I am a stranger, I always have been. But I'm curious what they like. Maybe we have more in common than I thought, or less. At least no isolation from my side anymore!
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Re: Styxtastic Sketches

Postby Styxcolor » Tue Jun 06, 2017 12:51 am

Some new sketches for you.

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I'm struggling with the correction of some basic mistakes so hard right now. The human spine is a nightmare, but a nightmare I have to master if I ever want to draw decent human beings. I have quite some pages with failed attempts, at least more than usual XD But I'm on it.

WRITING

I am making good progress. I'm in the middle of creating a short story for an online mag and it rocks working on that one.
Also, the quality of my dreams became better/better to transform into writing. I dreamed a movie script last night, it was superb funny, although it's genre was clearly psycho-horror.
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Re: Styxtastic Sketches

Postby Styxcolor » Tue Jun 06, 2017 2:50 am

Lel, let's see... today's work. Have to design three fighting scenes, this is the first fav. Hope, the story speaks for itself, even in sketch stage.

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Re: Styxtastic Sketches

Postby Styxcolor » Wed Jun 07, 2017 7:36 am

I finished Mr Melting Raven ^-^
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WRITING

Also, I finished the raw version of my short story yesterday. Will refine it today, then send it to my beta readers. If writing this way could become a habit, nothing can stop me anymore :D
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Re: Styxtastic Sketches

Postby Styxcolor » Sun Jun 11, 2017 12:26 am

Currently away because of some pending deadlines.
Have some warm-up sketches from imagination from yesterday. Hampton's influence is clearly showing :
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Re: Styxtastic Sketches

Postby Styxcolor » Mon Jun 12, 2017 6:15 am

Time for another wip.

In the meantime I've read another great book I would like to recommend to you all.
Molly Bang - Picture This.
She made me rethink what I thought I knew about composition and athmosphere. I have so much to learn ^^ and to revise...
Well, won't stop, still much work to do today.

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Re: Styxtastic Sketches

Postby Styxcolor » Mon Jun 12, 2017 1:54 pm

Hnn, the next load of "value and color studies" for works of mine. Hahaha...better than the last ones, yet, not good. Unfortunately I have no time to look up lighting refs for these.

I like that one:
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I don't like that one because obviously I didn't use enough value-groups, on the other hand my first shot at indirect lighting.
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And for the strange castle... I cut most of that from paper and washi tape, inspired by Molly Bang. I'm not particularly interested in castles but I will draw many many many of them the next years for various fantasy-works, so I better get to know how to draw them.
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Re: Styxtastic Sketches

Postby Styxcolor » Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:08 am

Alien is finished. It...could have been worse, but of course it also could have been better. Pressure is good for me. I played around with the values and found out value groups do work. I don't have to think about the lighting of every tiny detail, if I can identify and correctly apply the value-groups.

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edit: wip of the next piece
I am beginning to understand how important lighting is and why it is so important to be good at mixing tones in watercolor painting.
I'm glad I can learn so much from it.
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Re: Styxtastic Sketches

Postby andofryn » Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:28 am

Wow you update almost every day, I should learn from that ;)
Keep up the hard work!
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Re: Styxtastic Sketches

Postby Styxcolor » Thu Jun 15, 2017 3:44 pm

Thank you very much, andofryn ^-^


Today I brought chokeholds here. The sketches are not "beautiful", beauty wasn't their purpose.
I distilled an illustration from them, that was rejected by the...er..."recipient". I forgot that my idea of improving is not the same as what a "recipient" that is not me, wants and expects of a certain piece of artwork. Yes, a good lesson, or maybe three:

1) Be more careful about recipients wishes and "ideas" about what you should do (sometimes they won't say what they actually want or don't know what they want until they see what you did...which is what they don't want XD...just part of the game).

2) Less recipients like this one in the future. Not meant as an offense.

3) Again, I lost a piece of the shame of being me. I really enjoy drawing action/violence and nobody cares/will punish me for it. I enjoy that.


And again- I didn't make these sketches for their beauty. I wanted to learn/understand drawing chokeholds, that's all.
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And this would have been the final product:

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I was told the background is cryptic. To me, it is not. Everything will make sense in lighting/coloring stage.


WRITING

I finally finished reading Steven Pressfield's "Nobody Wants To Read Your Sh*t" yesterday. This book changed my life.
It really did, I began writing again and I have published a short episode of a longer story yesterday.
My few readers like it and that means the world to me.

Important lessons for fellow writers:

1) Beta readers

Betareaders are important. Yes, everyone heard that a thousand times. But it's actually true. Imagine handing out your work (or parts of it) to them as handing software out to beta testers. You are omniscient, you put the code in, you know perfectly fine, what you want. They can only draw conclusions from what you actually give them. This is something else than what you perceive. Your subjective reality is biased in favor of your brainchild.

Choose your beta readers wisely. Make sure, they are neutral.

In my case, beta reader feedback helped me to eradicate major mistakes. Never before have I realized that I make so many logical mistakes when trying to pour out what's in my head. But it's all natural and part of the process. I wonder, whether I could use "beta looking" for my pictures the same way. I guess I could!


2) Time management

Murphy's Law. And everything WILL take much longer than you thought it would.
It's a natural law. So plan ahead, write quick, early and plan at least the same amount of time for corrections, maybe even more.



I also began reading the next book about writing: Stephen King "On Writing".
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Re: Styxtastic Sketches

Postby Styxcolor » Sun Jun 25, 2017 3:10 pm

Good evening ^^

I just didn't want to write/draw the week that went by.
I have lots of new stuff, but I'm kind of not motivated to upload it even here. Maybe the next couple of days.
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Re: Styxtastic Sketches

Postby Styxcolor » Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:36 am

Still not very motivated, but this phase will soon end, I think. I like how there is some progress, although I feel the urge to practise and reinforce knowledge about muscles (which is basically not developed at all by now). But as usually: Hampton works.

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Re: Styxtastic Sketches

Postby Styxcolor » Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:47 am

I shouldn't make breaks XD It all wanted out today.

I left the watermark etc. in on purpose. Please rate it. I have no idea how and where to put a watermark, but I guess I need one.
The first one was basically a study for the second one, blacksmith-themed.

I already have a neat shortstory in mind for the second one, explaining that unequal fight.
Love how it's horror by lighting alone (and a bit red for danger, yes)

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Re: Styxtastic Sketches

Postby Styxcolor » Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:51 pm

Night shift, a little pencil experiment(the last one has been years ago). Set it on fire colorwise like everything burns when I forget to comply and am purely myself. Also, I notice a strange urge to do sports/burn calories after sunset. Sweets don't taste as good as usually. Am I becoming a wer-athlete? Artist and potato by day, athlete by night?

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Re: Styxtastic Sketches

Postby Styxcolor » Sat Jul 01, 2017 3:23 pm

I don't know whether I draw more than before. Currently I'm drowning in new practise stuff to show.
The progress is slow, but it's there.
I rediscovered ink. My hatchings are 6th-grader niveau (last time I have tried that), but this is something that can be helped...

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concepts.jpg
concepts.jpg (260.65 KiB) Viewed 990 times


H ends.jpg
H ends.jpg (106.84 KiB) Viewed 990 times

This one will probably be used as ad-art for the next episode of Hunting After Work. Say hello to lovely Holden.
My muse for his looks is young Martin L. Gore from Depeche Mode

Kass ends.jpg
Kass ends.jpg (151.13 KiB) Viewed 990 times

A very personal piece. Kassandra is one of my oldest OCs and I wanted to draw this pic, when I was 13 or 15 years old. I wasn't able to back then, forgot it, and today remembered it after another session in acrylics with the Arno Stern method. I can't believe what the method can unleash in a person.
Well, she's the mother of all my necromancers. It's good to finally have a picture of her. It's also funny that I used ink here. I ceased using ink about that time I tried to draw her after her invention, so my skills are from back then (about 6th grade)... with additional precision and more human-drawing-skills from now. I feel a bit more whole now.
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