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Watts Atelier’s Skill Building Challenge 25

Mom and Dad's Portrait in charcoal

This is my entry for the Skill Building Challenge 25 at the Watts Atelier of the Arts, and the last month of the yearly Master Skill Building Challenge.
The subject was supposed to be something we are really looking forward to be doing in our career, and that would have been fantasy illustration for me. However, I felt like I did not have the necessary skills to compete yet, so I chose to portray my parents. Here follows the reference I usedMon and Dad's portrait reference photo
After six long months, I feel like I did improve my skills a little bit, hopefully sign of an ascending path from now on.
Time to get back to the program, phew!

P.S. As a side note, I won the honorable mention 😀 http://www.wattsatelier.com/cycle-24-and-25-skill-building-challenge-winners-announced/

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Portfolio Building Challenge – “Jack the Raptor”

This is a (very crappy) scene I came up with, for the Portfolio Building Challenge some students of the Watts Atelier have organized. Each month a different topic. This one was about a “Genre Mash-Up”, an illustration for a fictional book cover. I choose Detective and Dinosaurs as themes (if dinosaurs can even be called theme).
It was quite a struggle, as it’s the very first time for me to do anything this complex.

I started with a few thumbnails to put some ideas down on paper:

The first one was my favorite, I couldn’t really beat the original idea, so I carried it to a more complete stage in pencil:

And finally rendered the first image in gouache. Everything is from imagination, although I did use references to plan the composition and add believable elements. I used a couple of action figures for the detective and body poses, while I built myself a simple maquette to replicate the Velociraptor’s foot:

Portfolio Building may, velociraptor foot maquette
All in all what gave me more trouble was perspective, although I did not really dare venturing into color yet (I tried something digital but miserably failed), as that would have been a complete disaster.

p.s. Jack The Raptor is copyright Bob Green 😀

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Watts Atelier’s Skill Building Challenge 23 – Head Quick Sketch

week1_final

The most taxing challenge so far 😀 I had never tried. It was my first attempt at quicksketch, and I can ensure it really is as stressful as it seems! I burned out until the end, so I am glad the next phase will be on figure.
The above was a one hour quicksketch (one hour is still a fairly short time for a portrait). Follow two twenty minutes:

week2 (1)week2 (2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then four 10 minutes:
week3_1 week3_2_3 week3_4

And lastly eight (!) 5 minutes (!). These were by far the most challenging, I can barely find proportions in 5 minutes!

week4_2 week4_1

 

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Watts Atelier’s Skill Building Challenge 21 – Self Portrait

Watts Atelier Skill Building Challenge 21 - Self Portrait by Nemo

This is my entry for the second month of the Master Skill Building Challenge at the Watts Atelier of the Arts.
It’s actually the very first complete portrait in charcoal I draw, and I admit I am satisfied enough with the result. It’s by no means perfect, of course. I could have pushed the darks a bit more, and the nose is definitely smaller than the original (heh…).
Overall though, it’s decent enough to participate this month’s challenge.

Here follows the whole WIP, as always good luck to all participants!




Watts Atelier Skill Building Challenge 21 - Self Portrait by Nemo week 4 wipWatts Atelier Skill Building Challenge 21 - Self Portrait by Nemo week 3 finalWatts Atelier Skill Building Challenge 21 - Self Portrait by Nemo week 3 wipWatts Atelier Skill Building Challenge 21 - Self Portrait by Nemo week 2 finalWatts Atelier Skill Building Challenge 21 - Self Portrait by Nemo week 1 finalWatts Atelier Skill Building Challenge 21 - Self Portrait by Nemo week 1 lay-in

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Watts Atelier’s Skill Building Challenge 20 – Skull

Watts Atelier Skill Building Challenge 20 Final Skull

 

Here is my final piece for the Watts Atelier Skill Building Challenge 20. Yes, it’s Murray!
He’s very proud of having been chosen as subject for this challenge, hopefully I will get at least a mention.
Below is the whole wip, starting from the very first lay in to the last partial of week 4 (it’s a monthly challenge)

Good luck everyone!

week1_layinweek1_wip
week1_finalweek2_wip

week2_final

week3_wip

week3_finalweek4_wip

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Mannequins over, and over…and over again

This naughty fellow is known as block-form mannequin, and it’s probably the one that can piss you off the most. Why? Because of the straight edges. If you get one angle just slightly wrong, the pose will simply be completely off. Thus, the frustration! I first copied the handouts of the Watts Atelier, then tried to figure out some from photos, directly. This is the second mannequin I studied, right after the Skeleton Mannequin
Block Form Mannequins from the Watts Atelier Handouts

 

The next ones are made out of photos

Block Form Mannequins from photos

 

The next ones are “ovoid” mannequins. Feeling a lot more like real people, and they are less frustrating, and more forgiving than the block form one!
Ovoid Mannequins in Christmas fashion Ovoid Mannequins from real figures Ovoid Mannequins from the Watts Atelier

The last page is a study from the handouts, while others are from real people.
Ah, Merry Christmas! 😀

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The classic Asaro Head

I have been working on the asaro head recently, this time with an added complexity. This is actually the “Classic” model, while the previous one was simplified, and supposed to be memorized. I am actually trying to memorize this  as well, although I admit the facets are a lot, and hard to remember.

Classic Asaro Head - Complex 3/4 Classic Asaro Head - Easy 3/4 Classic Asaro Head - Front Classic Asaro Head - Easy Profile Classic Asaro Head - Complex Profile

P.S. I am not drunk, the head actually does have two different sides, one easier, the other more resembling a real face.

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Skeleton mannequins

Skeleton Mannequins 1 Skeleton Mannequins 3

I started working on figures alongside the head. The skeleton mannequin is the first one examined at the Watts Atelier, and I admit it’s really interesting to use! It has enough flexibility to convey dynamism and movement, though I admit finding the landmarks is not so easy, nor it is to get the proportions right.
The above are all copied from photos, meaning I had to see “through” the figures, identify the meaningful areas, place and abstract the simplified versions of the bones.
Females are a lot harder to draw, since landmarks are harder to find, while men with a stronger musculature seem a lot easier.
The bottom right female mannequin was an attempt in finding the proportions out of Loomis’ book, Figure Drawing For All it’s Worth, though I admit it looks a bit funky! 😛

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The Memorized Asaro Head

Memorized Asaro Heads
Working on heads at the Watts Atelier! I have done at least 2-3 dozens of these heads, and by now I believe I memorized them enough to draw them without having the reference.
I found it quite challenging actually, because of the lack of enough landmarks in the first place, but also because the head is not exactly following the rule of thirds (the muzzle part is a little taller than it should).
Overall I am pretty satisfied with it. I will spare you the first embarassing ones 😀 These are the last. Moving onto the Reilly Head Abstraction now!

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Still more skulls!

Continuing on my skull studies, I am trying to grasp the structure so I made a few studies focusing on that, as well as trying to recall from memory:

Skull construction Drawings
And later continued with copies from the watts atelier

Skulls drawing studies with shadow mapping

The key in these last ones was to get more of the shadow mapping, rather than real structure as in the first image. Pose number 3 (bottom left) was by far the hardest one to get, for some reason, together with number 2 (top, center)

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