sketches in conte

Sketch Challenge #13 - A Bronx Tale (Young and Adult Calogero, Jane and Sonny)

Time to do character designs for what is, in my opinion, the most underrated show from this season: A Bronx Tale!  I had no expectations when I came in to see it with the only thing that I knew being the score composed by the duo Alan Menken and Glenn Slater.  I came out really liking the show for its heartwarming story and catchy songs, as expected from one of my favorite composers.  I decided to do both the kid and adult version of Calogero, Jane and Sonny which gives a bit of variety in silhouettes and shapes.  Personally, I would have exaggerated Sonny more with the square shapes but given the space that I had on the page, I had to restrict it.  But besides that, I’m happy with how everything else came out.


Okay!  So I’m writing this up as a thank you to everybody that started following me recently, I figure, eh, maybe at every big bump or whatever I’ll try and drop whatever meager knowledge I have, and if it helps people cool, if not then it’ll just be some snazzy art. All the concepts I’m presenting have been picked up during my studies with the Watts Atelier, so it’s by no means a set in stone sort of way, this is just what makes the most sense to me (Which is probably why I gravitated towards them for further education.)

So this is a head study done over the course of 1.5-2 hours, general’s charcoal pencil on 9x12 smooth newsprint.  The smooth finish is key, if you’ve ever drawn on rough newsprint you’ll realize how much tooth there is, while smooth newsprint is a GREAT surface to work on for studies and practice.  It takes conte and charcoal really well, and I highly recommend it as that for your surface. Typically when I do studies they’re on 18x24 sheets (which you buy a ream of 500 sheets for at Dick Blick for like 15 bucks) but I picked up the smaller size recently for traveling. 

The general’s charcoal pencil isn’t my usual choice, most of the time I use Conte sketching pencils with a B hardness, but those I sharpen into long needle points so transporting them can tend to be disastrous.  The charcoal pencils, even though they smudge WAY more easily, can be sharpened with a normal sharpener and can be transported a bit easier.  Plus it’s nice to change up things every once in a while, even if it’s minute.

Okay, breakdown of everything that’s happening here.  The photos are in chronological order, so just follow along and everything will be okay.  Unless you’re following along and you ended up out in a forest, in which case dammit you’ve wandered off out into the forest didn’t you.

1) Initial layout of the head. There are three-four things you need to take care of here, otherwise from here on out everything goes tits up.  You need to capture the general shape and angle of the head, the slope and rough shape of the eye ridge, and a basic block in of the nose.  Find your most basic of basic planes and lay them out.  Nearly all of this will get covered later, so put it down lightly, but correct. You should also drop in the general neck shape too, since heads just don’t float.  At least they shouldn’t.  In this particular instance, since his beard was such a huge shape as well it necessitated putting in a general form for it.

2) Now you start to chisel away at those initial marks, and make everything a little more definite.  Your goal throughout the drawing isn’t to put down marks right the first time, but to sneak up on it and come to a level of right by chipping away at it.  Think of yourself as a marble sculptor and your statue is in 2d.  What we’re doing is taking things from very general to specific. Key areas that I dropped in next after the first round of important landmarks are the ear, the keystone shape between the eyes, eyeballs, rough box planes of the nose, and the zygomatic bone. 

3) At this point we’re shifting away from making it a head anyone can have to it being a head only this guy can have. SHAPES ARE IMPORTANT HERE. Anytime anyone says to you that a drawing doesn’t look like somebody it’s because you put down the wrong shapes. I’m defining the beard a little more, the nose is taking on a characteristic look, and I’m blocking out shapes of the shadows, which are important if you want to do mass drawing.  Line drawing is good, I’m a super linear person by nature, but it forces you to have to symbolize everything. What we’re shooting for is making a sense of things by creating abstract shapes that slot together like little puzzle pieces.  Keep this in mind as it progresses, because you’ll see me refine and add shapes as we go along.

4) Further iteration of the previous step.  Hair is blocked in on the head so we can capture the shape of the head more, and a few other minor adjustments are made.

5) Right, here’s where we’re shifting into higher gears. I take one of two approaches to this - I’ll either map out everything once, so it’s a bunch of lines defining shadow shapes and whatnot then drop in a general, even mid tone, or I’ll pick a focal point and work out from there.  I’m doing the latter in this case, so I’m working on the dominant eye first, establishing the shape and dark tones required. I’m not bringing it up to a complete finish, but I am dropping in some of my initial darkest tones just so it sets a bar for the rest of the piece.  Remember, everything is about shapes.  Don’t think of things as “There’s a line that goes along here”, think of it as “This shape starts off as a wide wedge, but it tapers down into a very small shape as we move along it, and it butts up against this shape which is more geometric by nature.”  These are going to be partly observed, and partly invented, so this is your chance to let your artistic nature and tastes dictate how you want to make them.

6) From here on out the progress becomes more minute, so apologies if these next steps boil down to “More of the same, just refined.” We’re establishing the major shadow blocks in the rest of the areas, like under the beard, areas in the hair, the ear, the far side of the face, etc.  I’m also starting to put in halftones in the light areas, though a lot of these get shifted around and adjusted as I go along.

6b) I should mention real fast, I worked most of this piece with the side of my pencil, but towards the end when I needed to really define an area, I go up on the point and really define it. Again, it’s all about going from general to specific.

7) Establishing more shadow shapes in the beard. These are all pretty much invented, so I just went with whatever fancied me at the time.  Although the reference didn’t have a highlight in the eye due to the shadow overcast, it felt dead to me without it, so I pop in a very tiny one.  Most of the time when I put it in initially it’s too big, so I have to go back with my pencil and slowly carve away at it until the highlight is the size I want.

8) Addressing the hair on the top of his head now, it’s very much the same method used for the beard.  You’d kill yourself trying to match it 1:1, and I’m not built for seeing it that way, so better to get the general idea and abstract it down.  I’m taking my finger and rag here and there now to smudge some areas selectively to lose edges, I never use it to outright blend things.  I prefer to have the tiles be close enough in value that they blend optically.

9) Homestretch! Using the point of my pencil (which I’ve kept regularly sharpened this entire time) I go in and start to hatch some areas, tighten up others, and darken some tones that may need to be punched up a bit.  This is the final polish stage, at this point if the drawing is bad you can’t save it without starting over way back at the beginning - what your goal is at this point is to hone the areas you need to and bring everything up to a satisfactory level of finish.  I probably could have tooled around on it longer, but I get a little impatient and with my time running out on the second lunch hour I was using I decided it was at a good enough level to call it quits.

So that’s it!  Feel free to shoot me a question if you got them, or if you can think of another thing you’d like to see as a breakdown/tutorial.  Maybe I’ll do another long winded post like this when I get another hundred followers, maybe sooner.

anonymous asked:

If you're still taking prompts, I have one that I've submitted to a bunch of people, but no one's taken me up on it (maybe it just sucks, idk). So, this is a nonpowered!AU, and Steve can either be pre- or post- serum. Tony has done some illegal - completely by accident. Like, he promises, he didn't know! He quickly flees the scene, but returns in disguise to see what happens. He realizes that witnesses are describing his appearance to a sketch artist - a very attractive sketch artist [cont.]

[cont.] This sketch artist is Steve. So Tony approaches Steve and begs him to listen to witness accounts, and purposefully draw him incorrectly so they can’t come after him. He can make any number of bribes. Steve can take him up on it or not. Hope you consider this! :3

my gosh, I would hate to be another person who won’t write your prompt, but I am looking for prompts where I can include tickling in (as this is a Stony tickle fics blog) and I don’t know how to include it here :( I am so sorry!

and please don’t get discouraged, there won’t be always people who share your ideas, but there will be some and you will find them! I well know that there are very little people who like everything I write, and the same goes to prompts


I was gonna wait till I colored the hairstyle sheets but whatevs U3U

Númenor sketches (some of these are super rough ;3; )!

- Tar-Míriel

- sketches of Númenor hairstyles

- Númenor hairstyles cont.

- sketch of Eonwë teaching the Edain

- Rough sketch for Sauron’s temple (tiny dots are Númenoreans)

-  Last sketches are roughs of Númenor (I imagined the mountain be crazy huge and taking up most of the island but my research shows it wasn’t as huge as imagined and there was more land but bleh I like it this way ;3;) oh yeah and sneaky Ossë on the last one huhuhu