Chapter 2 is Complete (2nd draft)

Hey all, after re-writing chapter 2 multiple times i’m finally happy (as happy as an incessant tinkerer will ever be) with it. So I’m sending out another apeal for book minded foke to provide some feedback if they have the spare time.

You can read the chapter here or start from the beggining here.

In other news I signed up for wattpad, seems like a swish place for free stories, and i’m looking to get feedback/eyes on my work, so you can check it out here. https://www.wattpad.com/myworks/110044639-the-manifested

I don’t know if I mentioned it previously but I approached a professional editor to basically give me a yes/no answer on whether I was wasting my time. I wanted to know if I should concentrate on the writing or drawing. I offered some money just so they knew I wasn’t just looking to waste her time for free help. In the end she didn’t take my money but said I should carry on, at that I have a descriptive knack and present a story well, or some such words. I’ve started a patreon to try and raise funds for for her services to help with my writing, but I’m not really ready to publicise it yet.

That was a quick scattered update, chew it down and if you do read the story, please contact me with some feedback if you can spare the time.

Matt out

Volume is important: Figure drawing

So I thought I’d write this lesson quickly but I plan to expand on it with a youtube video soon. It’s a little bit of a lesson about not giving up, persisting, and get in lots of practice drawings and not polishing turds. Today I was a little down because I was in the groove, I did one good figure drawing and then everything went to sh*t and I was only drawing garbage.

I did the one on the right, then went and did some housework came back and the others just weren’t as good and I was determined to sulk on the sofa for the rest of the day. However once the kids were in be I sat myself down and forced myself to work through it. I did a load more gesturea and then figure drawing and I wend from producing something OK in 20 mins, to something OK in 8 mins.

So just keep at it and you’ll get through your funk, also force yourself to draw lots, like my image changed every 8 mins really helped. Volume = faster improvements.

 

Youtube lives again

Just thought I’d throw a quick post out to let you know that my Youtube channel lives again. I’ve started putting up speed paints and my thoughts on my progress, more vids to follow.

latest vid

previous vid

Week in review: Advance 2 spaces!

This has been a pretty good week for sorting my stuff out, even if I haven’t drawn as much as I wanted. So this is the best thing I’ve drawn to date.

What next? if we’re continuing to focus on faces I get some feedback from a few places. Which I will now recite as my homework in the hopes it sinks in.

  1. The hair is smushy and lazy, yes it is.
  2. The hairline needs work
  3. some edges are fuzzy, the barrier between face and hair for example should be sharper.
  4. the hair highlights should probably be more yellow, ginger hair highlights go yellow thanks to  http://www.sycra.net/forum user Greyphon for this example highlighting this 
  5. More contrast particularly in the hair (I do wash things out badly). Be braver with occlusion shadows.
  6. forehead perhaps not symmetrical
  7. also I had 2 different light sources and I forgot to colour the hair accordingly.

So I think that’s all the crit I got back from this image and it’s all valid and helpful. I will try harder on the next one.

Following on from my last post I’ve been painting a load of boxes over nudes and I think it’s helped me significantly with my torso’s. 

I still struggle joining the legs to pelvis but I’m doing a ton of gesture/figures with a 2 min time limit and that is going well. I’ll post some before and afters soon because I think my gestures are improving along with my anatomy.

Stay awesome internet.

Matt out!

Becoming a decent illustrator: Month one in review

So I’ve been drawing seriously (after work and family) again for 4 weeks now, I know because my deviant art profile told me. So I think it’s a good time to review how we’ve been doing with things.

I’ve tried to be more active on social media, I’ve been posting anything worthwhile to twitter and posting a batch of images on the lameframe facebook page every so often. If you feel like following me on any of these places that would be most welcome. I’ve also stepped up my creative streaming on twitch youtube and beam and my audience is steadily growing so yay. This month I want to start doing time lapse videos on Youtube. So with that plug filled section out of the way lets get onto arty type progress.

So these were the last 2 things I drew/painted

Did this just over a week ago

and this one about 2 weeks ago

and this is the monstrosity I produced a month ago

So definite progress there, the initial curve was massive, but I can chalk that up to remembering forgotten skills, so it’s not quite new knowledge just re-dredged I guess. I’ve obviously been experimenting with colour, when I was drawing about 2 years ago I was solely working in black and white, I’d convinced myself I was awful at colour and should master black and white value studies first, obviously I was correct but this is too fun.

2 years ago I was convinced that I needed to draw specific sections 100 times and then I’d be awesome, I think I got to 40 odd heads (the first focus) and got bored and went away for 2 years, though setting up a business probably had something to do with the time away. This time, as you can see I’m doing more pieces for fun as well as the life drawing/portrait pieces and I’m much happier. I’ve also been looking at a lot more learning resources and human muscle diagrams, I cannot overstate how much I should have looked at muscle structure before. helpfulfull aps I’ve found are these 3D models that you can investigate in detail. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.md3dinc.lecorche and https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.artware.ArtF the second one is poseable and you can adjust the lighting. I wouldn’t use it as a replacement for real life reference but it’s great if you can’t figure out where light should hit in specific conditions.

Exercises I’ve done

I do one of these every now and again and try to label the muscles I can remember, I think it’s helped

I’ve tried to do about half an hour of gesture drawing a day, this guy has a great channel and a really nice outlook so I’d reccomend checking out his stuff.

and then I do a few figure drawings with a little more time along this sort of line although I follow the reference more than Sycra because I haven’t found my style yet. I generally use the calss mode from this site https://line-of-action.com/practice-tools/

What Next

So planning for the next month, where am I going to focus my efforts? Speed is a big thing I want to improve on, with more speed comes more drawing and faster improvements. I want to be able to get more semi-finished pieces out, which means not getting precious and forcing myself to move on, particularly when shading faces. I’m really bad at mouths, they need focus, then I need to find my eyes groove at the minute I’d only consider them passable, noses I’ve got, they’re like my thing. I’ve not found my torso/pelvis construction groove yet, that will be my main focus bodies wise. I’m hoping following the advice in the video will help me

 

I’ve also realised my drawing tablet is 4:3 aspect ratio while my monitor is 16:9 so i’m compensating while drawing which can’t be good, so a new one of them is in order. I brought a large Intuos off eBay and received a medium, good start. So that’s a lot of things for one post hopefully future updates will be smaller and more frequent. For more regular updates follow me on twitter or drop in a stream.

 

 

What do we want to do with our life?

Hello everybody, it’s been an interesting January for me and I hope you’ve had a good one too. I’ve spent most of this month doing a bit of soul-searching as I seem to do more than actually doing anything, trying to find an actual purpose within my meandering path. Not long ago I wanted to go full throttle on our Youtube channel and twitch streaming, but having done it on and off for a fair few months now, I’m not sure that’s where my head/heart wants to go. Obviously, I enjoy games, and so does the lady but on a schedule doesn’t seem to work. I’ve not found a game I really want to play in a long while, all that I can think of is Avaria and writing that story, about designing the characters and getting them down on paper. It’s been a consistent pattern with me, that I always come back to making this story. I think I had a moment of clarity when I was in the pub the other day. I was talking to a good friend about what we wanted out of life, his goal was to be an entrepreneur, to be able to sink investments into new start-ups the way someone is investing into his new business. To be filthy rich if we boil it down, but then do things and build on that big pile O money. I had to think about it for a while, I have a remarkable amount of freedom thanks to my job, someone even recently approached me to buy my company and have me as an employee, apparently my sites are pretty good. but that offer knocked the wind out of me, and I realised that the last thing I’d want to do is go back to being an employee, I value the freedom so much more than the money. Even if I’d end up earning 2-3 times more, I wouldn’t be able to take the kids to school and pick them up when I want, to take days off for sports days as I see fit, to meet up with the lady for lunch on any given day. I’d also be tied to

I think I had a moment of clarity when I was in the pub the other day. I was talking to a good friend about what we wanted out of life, his goal was to be an entrepreneur, to be able to sink investments into new start-ups the way someone is investing into his new business. To be filthy rich if we boil it down, but then do things and build on that big pile O money. I had to think about it for a while, I have a remarkable amount of freedom thanks to my job, someone even recently approached me to buy my company and have me as an employee, apparently my sites are pretty good. That offer knocked the wind out of me, and I realised that the last thing I’d want to do is go back to being an employee. I value the freedom so much more than the money. Even if I’d end up earning 2-3 times more, I wouldn’t be able to take the kids to school and pick them up when I want, to take days off for sports days as I see fit, to meet up with the lady for lunch on any given day. I’d also be tied to web design permanently. I don’t really like building sites, I do it because I can and it’s my most saleable skill, but I don’t like it. This year hopefully I’ll have someone else doing the website work and I’ll be working towards managing a team of designers freeing me up to do more of the things I love. Coming back to the pub and my answer to the title question, my answer to my entrepreneur destined friend was I want to make beautiful things and tell stories, and I’m not really bothered what form they take, I just want to create things that make people feel something. So that’s what I’m doing. I’ve stepped up the writing I’m doing in the Avaria section here, trying to write something coherent and engaging, I’ve also picked up my drawing practice with gusto, which I stream now instead of games. I hope you’ll join me for a stream sometime.

 

 

I Tried Colour

I think I spent about an hour on it, I had a reference image but was also trying to stylize it some what. I’m so inexperienced with colour, and have generally stuck to working in grey scale, but I figure if I want to start drawing characters I just have to try more stuff, it came out OK considering it’s my second attempt as using colour, something’s off about it so I’m going to leave it I think and keep trying new things. Helpful crit is welcome.

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I Return

Been a few months since I posted, though it’s not because I’m lazy this time, actually been quite busy which is always good. I have a few project maturing which I’ll be able to show you more of soon. Exciting new sites and business type things that seem to be moving in the right direction, happy days. I really want to get back to making creative things I’m really starting to miss my fanatical drawing practice that I was doing, but for now we wait and do sensible things. Not that these sensible things aren’t exciting, they’re just not exo armoured paratrooper tearing through the jungle being chased by shadow mutants. One day I’ll make my film…. See the laundry powder concept up there? That’s a real thing now, something I designed is being sold and everything, doesn’t look like that yet though, it’s in brown bags and zip locks because printing and mechanically filling professional bags is bloody expensive. Once we get through the first few tons there might be the budget to have them done professionally, but so far the reception has been pretty good considering the relative dullness of the subject matter. Pop over to the portfolio section to take a look at some more entries I’ve popped up, all terribly dull, with more to follow soon. I also finally managed to record a couple of tutorial videos for another website i’m working on. I must have started over at least 20 times it’s just not a fun thing at first, but I think I have the hang of it now. So maybe I’ll start doing some tutorials here soon too we’ll see. BYE!

 

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heads and some figure drawing.

Last nigh I broke into the 30’s I think 33 heads drawn so far, it a little hard being so anal about feature placement alone, I get a little disappointed that I’m not finishing any pictures, since I get so little time drawing, but I’m hitting feature reasonably consistently so even if I don’t have anything I’d show to any body I know it’s working. I realised last night that I’m struggling with the neck and shoulders without the body to draw comparison lines/angles and distances with, so I’m going to modify my get good at things schedule, to remove the 100 heads and shoulders and work it into the torso practice. Here’s my warm up page from today

daily-gesture

I thought I’d post the reference photo’s I used this time in case anyone’s interested. The faces come from a very useful deviant art account, and the figure drawing used the pixel lovely tool again.

heads

http://mjranum-stock.deviantart.com/art/Call-the-Fire-7-244262837

http://mjranum-stock.deviantart.com/art/May-Queen-S-11-117077616?q=gallery%3Amjranum-stock%2F1854033&qo=913

http://fc09.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2012/235/8/9/war_weary___j___7_by_mjranum_stock-d5c7ewl.jpg

 

Also give credit to proko once again for his youtube tutorials, which I use to construct the heads very much recommended.