Studies, Sketches, and Santé!

I’m going to try and do daily stuff for a while – tentatively aiming for 50 for now. It’s easier to do repetitive stuff when you’re doing it with a partner, friend, or artist spouse, and they hold you accountable so laziness doesn’t have a chance to whisper insidiously into your ears, “It’s okay to skip today… you’re tired~~



Today’s daily is Bronze. This isn’t really a study anymore, not after I got instantly bored with my first attempt to study a bronze age ‘din’ from Shan Dynasty. Instead I just made bronze dragon scales using the color palette I already setup from that ‘din’ photo. Since it’s a weekend, I got to spend more time – way, way too much time – on finishing this up. You don’t want to know just how small a percentage of total time was on actual painting, and how much more went into positioning, warping, and smoothing over the seams… but they’re dragon scales, so they were fun. This is a 2k tile-able.



Sketch dump – inktober and digital still life

These are from Inktober attempt this year. I made it into the 2nd week before losing track and stopping. This year, I drew them on blank cards bought from art supply store, and gave them all away to a family-ran café.


Back home once more, I started doing more digital studies to get more practice in. I still lean towards studying from life, even though that limits my range of study somewhat, but all are one, and one is all, *serious nod*


Studies and application + 1 thumbnail

Shape studies

Not too much designing until 2016. Here are some studies I did from reference before sleep over the last several days.


Mushroom Butts studies

Guilty pleasure studies done more for fun than for efficiency and profit. Probably still profit from doing this later on anyway. The caps are long gone and digested, but their butts live on in my (swiss cheese) memory…. *cue emo movie soundtrack* *camera pans to epic landscape*


Thumbnail studies

A few days ago my purchase of Terryl Whitlatch’s 2 new books on creature design arrived. I haven’t read through all the text yet, but I did some studies of her lizard and amphibian drawings, thinking it’ll help me get the orthographic views of my next modelling exercise to look better. I also used the studies to guide my most recent thumbnail exercises.

These new thumbs are using the new 10% markers I got on sales. Truth be told, while the light shading is nice, I don’t think it justifies all those plastic wastes from every marker. So I finally dedicated one of my water brush to holding diluted black watercolor. I tried Sumi ink as well as waterproof comic inking India Ink, but the thing is Sumi ink clumps together a bit like honey does when it sits around, and India Ink dries on the some-what exposed brush tip, and doesn’t dissolve when washing in water again. So while black watercolor is quite weak, it’s the safest choice for the water brush’s longevity.



Thumbnail Practice – day 7

Today dragged on a bit just under 2 hours. Reference was a very small pumpkin with skin blemish. I’ve been feeling under the weather the whole day, and couldn’t think of much ideas. I think this is good practice but I’m still having trouble doing just small, 2″ fast shapes, as thumbnails seem to supposed to be.

Also, my good friends gave me a tiny mouse skeleton they found in the wall while renovating their house. The skull was very much in tact, as well as the spine, and femurs. So I took it easy today and sketched the mouse skull.


Studies and Sketches

Inktober017 2_line

Omega with an Alpha spirit


A sketch I did as part of the Imaginative Illustrator of NYC meetup group. We meet each Saturday night for a few hours. There’s usually a theme, though we’re not required to follow it. Tirst we do a round of thumbnails, talk about our ideas behind the thumbs, then we spend the rest of the time doing a finished drawing or sketch, chatting and talking on the side, but mostly focused on drawing. It’s definitely a drawing-heavy meetup.

Space Penguin flipping the bird at you


More examples from the newest batch of thumbnail designs. The Space Penguin is a temporary name I gave to this fun design based on a critter my girlfriend studied quite a bit back in grad school. Something about beheading them and squeezing their juice out…. It’s science. She says they grow spiky helmets and armor when sensing danger, so I established the base as Freckles, and they have a society, and they craft and wear many different types of armor. Space Penguin Warriors!



This confused fellow is the result of a themed concept artist meet up I went to. I found out what a paint marker is!


This is a lazy study of a leaf hopper from a library book I took out. I couldn’t be bothered to paint all the legs.

Whistling Squid Men

Some more of the thumbnail series. I wanted to finish them all up before posting, but, want to keep a regular schedule than keep waiting. Did some basic plant ‘design’ although they’re not that different from their real life look. And some squid men.


Recently I’m starting to sketch color studies more earnestly in Photoshop to practice painting digitally in preparation of the upcoming Robot Pencil Mentorship in creatures. I’m sketching from life as much as possible, so all these studies are from observation except that grey shrimp.

Other than continuing to get better understanding of the digital painting process for the next several years, next step is to paint a full background as well.