Head Drawing with Erik Gist – final thoughts and comparison

After 10 weeks, the term is over! Time to wrap it up and see if I learned something. Week 10 (which I did not post here, but you can find on my instagram account: was quite satisfactory, but the test proof was week 11, aka did I really learn something?
I drew the same subject of week 1, Rob, from the exact same angle, and I am quite pleased with the difference:

Head Drawing with Erik Gist results comparison

I cannot post the reference, but what I can say is that I got the height/width proportion a little off, as well as the corners of the mouth a little too low, together with some other little things that I could have seen better.
I still am where I am, my eye needs to develop but I can definitely see an improvement from week 1. What do you think? This class has been worth every cent for me, can’t wait for next term!

Thanks again to Erik Gist (If you want to check out his instagram page, here it is: the awesome teaching and precious advice, and congratulations to all of the students who joined the class, both audit and full subscription!

p.s. for more info about the Watts Atelier, the brick&mortar school and/or the livestream classes, you can checkout


Head Drawing with Erik Gist, week 3 progress

Erik Gist Head Drawing class week 3

I am taking a head drawing class with Erik Gist (who is also my mentor, actually), and I am really excited about it!
Each week’s class is packed with great info, and the quality is just unparalleled. I still need to work on some edges, but I feel like I am slowly progressing and breaking the plateau.

I also get weekly critiques and video traceovers, which are an amazing tool for learning and clearly visualizing weak areas to focus on.

This one was about 2 hours!


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 😀


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 😀


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


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



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


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!






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! 😀