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Ubem Sketches

Discussion in 'Sketchbooks' started by Ubem, Aug 30, 2017.

  1. Ambiguity

    Ambiguity New Member

    Damn dude, how do you come up with so many details? And the sense of light you have is really killer. I can't even get the light to read as light when I use a full range of values(in color at least), let alone some of the ambient, low value difference lighting you're doing in some of these.
    Ubem likes this.
  2. Ubem

    Ubem Member

    @mrJB Thank you, loving those gritty designs and gestures in your latest pieces, keep it up!

    @Ambiguity Hope the reply on your sketchbook helped explain details a bit, in retrospect, I owe lighting, colors, and details to long master studies. Your latest video is great, and your voice is fantastic. Any tips on getting such high-quality audio? Didn't know you were a Heroes of the Storm fan, I was seriously addicted to that game for the longest time hehe. Which relates to having energy and stamina, I noticed when I have no games on my PC, I can work 2-3x more on art than if otherwise. But sometimes I work too much and start losing motivation to improve, then I take a break with games for a while.


    Hey everyone, sorry It's been a while since I've posted, mostly due to not having anything worthwhile to show. This past month I've focused mainly on traditional drawing, studying photos, creating my own designs, and practicing perspective forms. I feel like these are my weakest areas compared to color and lighting.

    It's been almost 4 years since I started to take art seriously and looking at my work now, I'm disappointed with my lack of progress. On the other hand, I've only been applying deliberate practice for half a year, and within that time frame, I think I've improved a bit. At which rate, I'm hoping to be at a professional level within the next year or two.

    I also bought into the iPad hype from other artists and got the latest iPad pro with Procreate, it's fantastic. But painting on it feels twice as slow compared to my desktop, at least it's great for reading and the occasional doodle.

    Here's a WIP I've been dabbling with on the side. It's giving me a lot of headaches and frustration, which is great. But it's not half done yet, my last painting felt too rushed toward the end, so I'm taking my time with this one.

    Here's the process from ugly beginnings

    Here's ugly concept art for a sci-fi game I did with an indie team. My visual library and design sense is pretty undeveloped, and I'm struggling with figuring out how to improve in that area.


    I keep forgetting to post these, here's a compilation of studies dating back from August. I miss doing these so much that I'm considering to forgo studying drawing altogether.

    I hope to post more often, looking back at everyone's support and encouragement is vitally motivating. Thanks for looking!
  3. Ubem

    Ubem Member

    It's been a while since posting, and I've had a few realizations since then. The biggest one was how to maintain energy when doing hard work. It all comes down to maintaining glucose levels in your brain through managing eating to maintain sufficient blood sugar levels. I.e. eating more food more often. This is probably painfully obvious to most, but I always assumed it was just my scumbag brain being lazy. I've since been able to kick gaming and procrastination for good. Excess calories literally turn into motivation and energy.

    I got my first unsolicited job offer through Artstation, but I turned it down. I don't feel like my skills are there yet and it would distract me from deliberate practice. I don't really care if I make a living from art, my only desire in life is to improve so that I can create better and more beautiful art.

    Been mostly working on drawing and building a visual library, I underestimated how vital it was to painting, especially from imagination. Knowing how to draw something before trying to figure out how to paint it saves 80% of the time spent running around in circles.

    Nothing finished or portfolio worthy, just using these to identify and work on weaknesses:
    18.7s.jpg 41s.jpg 58.2s.jpg 113.47s.jpg Untitled-1s.jpg
  4. Natalie

    Natalie New Member

    Hi Ubem!!!Dang, pushing it so hard that you just blame your brain, that's a new level there! but it's awesome that you figured out how important eating enough is!! I can only see good things coming from this haha, kicking procrastination out!! Grats on your first job offer! That's a new milestone! It's a very noble goal you have, just wanting to improve at art. I really look up to that. Your paintings are looking great! You have an amazing sense of brush strokes and color. and I agree, if you practice structure/ perspective in figure drawing, you will be absolutely golden to have a great base for painting. I can't wait to see how you progress as an artist
    Ubem likes this.
  5. Ambiguity

    Ambiguity New Member

    @Ubem Thanks, and I actually have a cheap mic(this one: https://www.amazon.com/KLIM-Desktop-Microphone-Computer-Laptop/dp/B015K11VME). Since I record my audio after the fact, I just take it into audacity and let it record some static for a few seconds before I start talking. Then, I use that static to get a noise profile with Audacity's reduce noise effect, and finally select the whole track and apply the noise reduction. My settings are 32DB noise reduction, 6.00 sensitivity, and 0 freq. smoothing(not sure if that's just default, but yeah).

    As for Heroes of the Storm, I'm actually not a fan(never played it). I was just trying to appeal to popular fandoms in hopes of getting commissions, but it didn't work out at all haha. I actually haven't played a game in like 6 months, and even then it was retro games. I'd love too play more games, but I keep feeling guilty, like the reason nothing has worked out for me art wise is because of giving time to anything else.

    That angel is looking bomb af by the way. I'm a bit partial to the open leg pose though.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
    Ubem likes this.
  6. danielcotter

    danielcotter Administrator Staff Member

    really cool to see your process man, pretty crazy lookin'. keep it up :cool::cool:
    Ubem likes this.
  7. Ubem

    Ubem Member

    @Natalie Thank you, I really appreciate the encouragement and support! Your feedback is fantastic, perspective and construction is definitely my biggest weakness. I've spent most of 2017 focused on studying painting, this year it will be drawing.

    @Ambiguity Awesome tech advice, such a smart way to go about recording. Glad you have the power to stay away from the digital drugs as Feng Zhu would put it. Thanks for the feedback, I prefer the open leg pose too, it has more contrast and more dynamic composition.

    @danielcotter Glad you liked it, I would love to create a timelapse and tutorial, but I don't think my skills are there yet.


    I may have been doing too much deliberate practice at the expense of creating things I enjoy and would put in my portfolio. That's because it never feels like my skills are good enough, maybe they are, maybe they aren't. What I do know is that I'll keep striving to improve even if it means never working as a professional artist, it's that fun.

    The biggest drawback to this lifestyle is the lack of friends to confide in. For it seems the mind focuses and obsesses best in utter solitude.

    Here are a few contest doodles, and a few gestures from imagination:
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  8. Ubem

    Ubem Member

    I'm thinking of posting every day to push myself until burning out lol.
    Struggled with weight and gesture a lot. Here's that journey in chronological order:
    25.3.jpg f11.jpg f12.jpg 30.jpg 29.jpg f13s.jpg f14.jpg 32.1.jpg See ya tomorrow with pectoral studies
  9. Ubem

    Ubem Member

    Speed paint, studies, and some 3d fractal experiments.

    2.jpg 1.jpg main paras~.jpg
    Nicholas likes this.
  10. crankshaft

    crankshaft Member

    great mileage man, your work has a lot of life
    Ubem likes this.
  11. cgmythology

    cgmythology New Member

    Some really impressive work here, really enjoyed browsing through all your studies. I'm particularly fond of how you tackle your figures, especially the armor designs in specific. Keep it up!
    Ubem likes this.
  12. Whymrwho

    Whymrwho Member

    Damn man, big fan of your edge work and color choices!! Good job!
    Ubem likes this.
  13. Ubem

    Ubem Member

    @crankshaft Thank you! I've been struggling so long with gesture and having life in my figures. The solution was to slog through dozens of 'ugly' and wrong drawings until I started making the smallest bit of progress. Pushing through that learning curve is good to keep in mind when studying other things.

    @cgmythology Thanks, glad you find the studies interesting. Improving through studies is more fun for me than creating original art. Interesting, I feel most comfortable with armor even though I haven't studied it much, I think it's due to paying attention to it when playing video games. These days I'm far more interested in exploring the world design and character designs in games than actually playing lol.

    @Whymrwho Thanks for the love! I owe all of that to master studies, which you seem to be a great fan of as well. I would love to keep honing my colors, edges, and strokes, but it seems the drawing, values, and design have started to fall far behind. Can't wait to see more of your posts and progress, that board with your goals is a fascinating idea! How has it been working for you so far? My main metric for improving is just how much pain my brain is in haha.


    Would love to post every day, but the studies I do are painstakingly slow, but effective. And the quality of my speed paints brings me great shame haha.

    Feels like I've been stagnating for the past year, not on improvement, but on producing quality work. Fortunately I started reading about this idea of how the 'why' we do what we do is important. So I've done some soul searching and found that I want to create art that quiets the mind. That is, art so intricately designed, all the way to the details, that it takes some time to take in. Because I love to feel that breathless euphoria when seeing something stunningly beautiful for the first time and want to share that experience as much as possible. This 'why' reason really helps me stay on track and motivated to actually finish something.

    I also realized why composition and gesture are so important to learn first. It's because they are the hardest to change once you start painting. I'm totally learning everything backwards haha.

    Also went to my first art convetion, Illustration Convention (ICON10) in Detroit, because my cousin couldn't use her ticket. It was absolutely life changing! Even though no one there did the art that I do, (they were all typography, vectors, etc.) just being around so many professional artists opened my eyes to the value of belonging to a community and seeing how possible it is to make a living. Because of it, I'll be visiting LA to tour Art Center, Long Beach University, and to take up a concept art workshop with Vance Kovacks.

    It's costly to travel, so I opened commisions for the public for the first time. Was pretty surprised with the result after posting on r/hungryartists. 4 people contacted me so far with serious inquiries of doing their characters. I quoted them from 100-1200$ depending on the complexity of their requests. Which seems to be pretty high for personal commisions, if not the highest on the subreddit. Everyone seems to like the price but needed to save up, so maybe I'll have to apply to studios and companies in the future. This response made me realize I can actually make a living doing this work, before it was always just a hypothetical pipe dream. So follow your dreams, pursue your calling! It's by far the hardest thing I've done, but also the most rewarding.

    Here's the body of work I put up on Reddit:

    And some other sketcherooskies after playing destiny 2:
    d1.jpg 8.jpg
    Here's chronological order of the main project. I've found the best way to produce quality paintings for me looks like this:
    Sketch with no reference>Clean up & design with reference>Doing longer studies of areas of struggle>Fix designs>Zoom in, render and polish

    Composition and face didn't look right, so did a few studies:

    Still going to spend at least another week on studies before attempting to dive in and finish. Hopefully this will be portfolio worthy in the end. Hope everyone has a great week :)
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2018
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  14. Whymrwho

    Whymrwho Member

    Damn After reading your post u and i got more in common that i thought, its hilarious! I also started going backwards, i going back to the bare bare basics the stuff i gloss through cause my brain thought i had a grasp on it, but nah once i went back to the basics i was like ummm yeah im an idiot. I also noticed that you started getting serious about art around the same time, coming up to five pretty soon.

    The board helps a lot especially it keeps in check with yourself, it show me how much time i was wasting, and how inefficient I was going about learning the material.

    Also the pricing its pretty much what i'm charging myself, 150 - 200 range, depending on the amount of people and detailed they want me too, and most of em are local commissions.

    Anyways lets keep getting better at this!!
    Ubem likes this.
  15. Imbalantus

    Imbalantus Member

    Nice fluidity on those ship designs. The reddit samples look inspiring together like that. I agree with composition/gestures, I myself have neglected it for the longest time, thinking that especially composition is probably one of the easier things to learn… wrong! It's one of the toughest things to make something look cool.

    Really glad you're starting to make money with art. It's probably about time for me aswell.
    Ubem likes this.
  16. Ubem

    Ubem Member

    @Whymrwho Too true, the basics are so vital, really starting to see how much my lack of understanding basic forms is hurting my paintings haha. Those prices sound pretty solid, I’ve really had to try an balance the supply and demand of my work with my prices, I would hate to take on too much work at the expense to quality. So far these two commissions have paid for my trip to LA and a workshop plus a little extra (350 usd). Not sure if I would want to work at this rate full time though, hopefully with either the right marketing or bigger clients I can create highly rendered art that I can comfortably spend weeks on. Can’t wait to see where we are in the next 5 years!

    @Imbalantus Thank you, been really shy with my drawing designs, glad they're getting there. Haha yeah, been thinking of spending another year just studying compositions and gestures, they are so key. Making money with art was surprisingly easy and fun, I think the biggest hurdle is marketing and finding the right clients or audience.

    Here's a finished commission and another one that's a WIP:
    10.8m.jpg f22.6s.jpg
    Quick studies for everything:
    And a little detail progress on the personal piece, I've repainted the face at least 5 times already, still not satisfied with it yet though.

    Going to try to take as much time as possible with the personal piece, I find being rushed and wanting to get to the end is no fun and creates less quality.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2018
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  17. Whymrwho

    Whymrwho Member

    Where are you!! Post more !!

    That waterfall temple is insane man top shelf my friend, top fucking shelf!! Your value understanding is impressive and inspiring.
    Ubem likes this.