There are folks who spend an inordinate amount of time in from of a computer or console during their high school or college years. Others find time to go out, and live life. Others, spend time crafting and honing their skills in well... art.

I was the guy who wasted his time in the computer.

That being said, there are a few brave souls, at this "golden age" of freedom and wasted youth, working to hone their design skills.

Painting graffiti on the wall? No.

Drawing thumbnails on the tablenapkin while your significant other is in the restroom? Close.

Sketchbooks? Closer...

I know!

Bravo! You got it! A daily sketch group is a fairly popular activity done on the net, and the most popular of which is found in (suprise) Like I said, this lil' time killer is for folks who want to hone their art and design skills.

I myself lack all of that because I yammer on and on about weird stuff I see on the net. But it was either I spend my time typing this useless entry, or I waste on a sketch group. I can't be in two places at once.

But these guys. Damn! They got no fear, man. I salute these folks. They come up there and start drawing the topic of the month - whether it be "Killer Butterflies Raping Flower" or "Mechanized Zombie Taking a Dump" They'll do it.

Take a look at this. At least this! The art subject for the day is - BEFORE THE DUSK-LIT CASTLE RAMPARTS, A SPACECRAFT HOVERS - Artists have to take heed, as they have to follow certain guidelines:

  • Are the aesthetics of the one in stark contrast to those of the other, or are they in harmony?
  • Is it a meeting of two differently advanced civilizations?
  • Is the mood one of astonishment, or confidence, or foreboding, or excitement?
  • Is the spacecraft come from the skilled technological artisans of this very kingdom?
  • Invader, defender, or passer-by?
  • Some very different ways this topic could be interpreted, as usual...
Now, lets take a look at the entries! The first is from Goran. As a first entry, it's not bad. It's got that whole black and white thing going on, so at first site, it looks "nice". "Nice" being what folks would say when they see something, then upon closer inspection they go... "wait a minute". That means... there is something not believable about the image, which sort of spoils the meaning the artist might be trying to convey. Doh! I think I just rambled again - I forget the fact that this is a daily sketch group, where people would usually not spend a lot of time double checking their paintings to see if it perfect. Ah well.

... Is that ship trying to life the fort?? Seriously now...

Vanvalen, as you can see here, did something a little more traditional, with a gothic spired fortress being patrolled by what appears to be evil space invaders. What is cool about this painting, despite frustration in the artist for not having a hard time getting this concept right, is that your mind sort of fills in the gaps. Look at those "space ships" on the sky (I suppose they're skyshi-- shutting up). My mind is sorta... imagining what the look like. But again, they're really just a bunch of silly shapes! Interesting entry.

Now this piece above is by Lennybird. As you can see, its not... technically amazing. But the person who did this had guts. He spent more than two hours using GIMP to paint this. That... that dedication, to bring this concept and have it thrown to the endless Void of the internet, is a brave, brave thing to do. As you can see, the work itself shows promise. It adheres quite literally to the topic, with a visible sun indicating the time, with the ship ready to either land or board troops. Give this person a few years and we'll see.

Racasdorph. Yet another brave talent. The basics of understanding perspective are here, the basics of complimentary colors too perhaps. Techniques such as how atmosphere is desaturating colors as well can be seen in the city. Again, an interesting experiment.

Here, Gretchen presents to us a concept. The nicely detailed 'high' coliseum-ish fort, and above it, a strange uh... thing. Everything is black and white, yet the ship is colored and the flags are red. Is the concept half-baked, or the work itself?

Jagehsto, made this in his sketchbook, with a marker and water color. Absolutely no "undo" key here folks! Interestingly enough, he kinda pulls it off, with a ship that reminds me of a cockroach heading towards the silhouette of what either a beach or a fort. And the cockroach robot is painting a new hole or touching water... or is it touching the sky?? Gah! Watercolors! There's gotta be a way for us digital whores to use dry media!

As time wears on, the sketches get better. Tommoy doesn't sketch though - the bastard paints! And its good! I think. There's something about that ship I'm having problems with. or is it the symmetry of this painting? Who knows. I'm a pretty lousy painter too.

Naastika now gives us a dark twist to this concept. The robot is launching its robotic appendages and raping the castle. A very good interpretation. It is here that the artist unleashes his creative subconscious and gave us this disturbing portrait of his psyche. And also shows his frustrations in trying to get the perspective right...

Here's another one. Looks good, with a War of the Worlds feel. This again presents the problem - just how many artists are struggling to master perspective??!

aBiliTy gives us a... blimp. I guess that's the central forest, and the fort itself is now somewhere... lost in the background. Good enough I guess.

Oofnish comes up with this... He finally couldn't execute the concept or get the art right, so he just came up with this. Not bad I have to say! Technically, if I want to be cruel, its got loads of problems, but since they're only given a day to paint these, what the hell! It's okay. The overgrown camera-ship is okay, although I do worry about that medieval knight. I wish the artist could have added something otherworldy to make him match the odd surroundings.

Finally, Apocalpyse Rex. The final entry sometimes isn't the best, but in this case, it is! When I say best - I mean at least in the technical aspect of it all. It looks pretty sweet.

Now. Now you see what a daily sketch group looks like. Not bad, eh? It's pretty cool to see how people would interpret a singular topic like this. I would certainly like to feature more here, so that at least I feel like I am learning something as I type these crazy posts only a few dozen read. Until then, stay away from septic tanks. They smell.


  1. Anonymous Says:
  2. >> There are folks who spend an
    >> inordinate amount of time in from
    >> of a computer or console during
    >> their high school or college years.

    It takes guts to come out and say something like this. There are a lot of professional artists out there who really look down on the kind of artists you consistently feature in your blog because they only know how to draw using a computer. Elitism aside, there will always be a romanticism with traditional means of art, as computer-based art will similarly long be seen as little more than -made-for-mass-consumption- productions due to the ability to disperse it to people so quickly. The question I have for you is, given the choice, would you rather be Leonardo da Vinci or Range Murata?

  3. ChrisK Says:
  4. I probably can't pose a good an argument as you probably like, but here's my take anyway:

    First of all, who doesn't want to be a da Vinci? Or a Rembrandt? Who doesn't want to have works that evoke Caravaggio or some of those other dead classical painters?

    The fact is that I really am working to (I suppose) be a 'commercial' illustrator/artist. The current junk I'm working on is really pushing towards this direction.

    That's why most of the contemporary digital artists I feature here are really the kind of artists I feel will help me the most, whether it be Range, Hyung or Chris Straub.

    The thing is that majority of these great artists, based on their bios, say they began their careers with traditional/dry media before making the switch to digital. It was necessity since the art industry moved at such a lightning pace that they struggled to keep up.

    So where am I going here... If you feel that what I am doing is something... that cannot be treasured after many years... You are right. However, this is all I am currently capable of at this point, and even here I struggle. Perhaps you may also mean that I should apply the classical techniques of the Masters in digital painting? Perhaps you are saying that at least for this blog, I should feature a little more of these folks, their life and lessons.

    That's all I can do at this point. Study the Masters. There are actually already quite a number of places devoted to that sort of thing, but you know, I'll look into it.

    Perhaps you mean that I should at least try out dry media? In that case, a lot of my works do begin in pencil. Perhaps that is an avenue to improve on?

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