We can draw on openCanvas with each other. It's more private and has more features. It also feels a bit more like photoshop vs a chat room. I'll pm you with my info.
So first fo all i want to say sorry for not being here for quite a long time, life is pretty busy these days and I can hardly find any time to scan all my sketchbook stuff and studies for this thread.
Here is "part 1" of my studies done so far, I will try to scan some more of the bunch of studies I have over here and post it today night or tomorrow morning.
The studies in this post include some pelvis studies (generic pelvis posted by Mr. moai and pelvis of a horse) and some horse limbs.
More to come later.
Glad to see you post, looks like you paid close attention to your studies labeling things and being very precise with your line work and each part of the bone structure. When you get a chance, try and post a full skeleton of a quadruped mammal (herbivore or carnivore) before moving on to the imaginary ones.
I'll have more advice to offer once we start reaching the actual creature design portion, after the bone and muscle work is out of the way. Something I think should be incorporated Moai, not sure if you planned to do this but having them take one of the imaginary creatures and producing a skinned version of it based off the bones would help them a lot. This is something I just did for a portion of a workshop.
Good idea, Mike. I actually was thinking of having them add muscles to the skeletons they make for this assignment as one of their assignments for the muscle lecture. Or actually, now that I reread that sentence, do you mean to have them start with a fully-fleshed imaginary animal, and then draw a skeleton based on that? That's also a good idea!
Gloominati, those are gorgeous studies. I like how you're feeling the forms with the lines you drew across them. You are definitely paying very close attention. Once you do a few more studies of some other parts and of entire animals, you will definitely be ready to do the concept assignment.
Jake Kobrin- You are not ready to be making your own skeletons. I'm sorry if I seem harsh in my critique here, but that skeleton is riddled with inaccuracies and missing parts, and it's obvious that you weren't looking at reference when you did it. On the head, the general shape of the cranium is good, except that the rear part of the skull (the brain case and occipital crest) is quite bent. The crest of the skull usually isn't that pronounced. The creature's teeth all look line canines, rather than being divided into incisors and molars/carnassials as well. I can see that you made your cervical vertebrae look a bit different from the rest of the spine, but your thoracic and lumbar vertebrae look exactly the same. Remember, the lumbar vertebrae have a different shape, and usually don't have spines as high as the thoracic vertebrae. The shape and structure of the scapula is incorrect, and the humerus is oversimplified. The hands/hooks would be more believable if you included some metatarsals, just to show that those unique limbs are indeed related to the hands and feet of other animals. The shape pelvis is oddly shaped and it in particular looks like you were drawing from memory, rather than from reference. Don't rely on your memory for these things at this time, young jedi! Use reference! There is no sacrum that I can make out. The hind limbs could be more refined, but they do have all the bones that they should.
What this drawing has shown me is that you are not ready to invent your own skeletons yet. Be patient, and plow through the sometimes-boring task of studying. Your knowledge of the skeleton will improve, and this will give you a better set of tools to use when building your own animals.
Remember, man, that I'm only harsh because I love ya.
Also, Jake, I'd still like to get together with you on Open Canvas. Is there a way for you to connect to me, rather than me trying to connect to you? We didn't have too much luck with that last time.
Have fun, guys. I look forward to further work from you. Meanwhile, I'll get to work again on preparing for the muscle lesson.
(Either - Or) It would help for them to draw the bones, then the actual creature rendered, as well as the opposite, drawing the rendered creature and then trying to draw out the bones. By doing the opposite they'll see if they learned anything about creating a creature with a believable or at least semi-realistic bone structure underneath.
Drawing a creature and then trying to draw the bones that would fit underneath could show you many mistakes and make it easy to understand where you went wrong with the bone structure and placement. These are things to come a bit later obviously but its good to discuss them now.
Thanks for the crit, I'll keep studying. Follow this guide to learn how to connect and send me your info. I have a bit of time today. http://www.angelfire.com/anime/Jessjessica/oc/7.html
Thanks, Mike and Moai, glad to hear that this stuff doesn't seem to be that bad
here's one lionskull for you, more to come later!
BTW: LOL I have studies of limbs, skulls, limbs in movement, ribcage but not one single completed skeleton, dang it! gonna get right to work now!!
Last edited by Gloominati; November 28th, 2007 at 01:02 PM.
Sorry for being absent for a few days, guys. I had a bit of a family occurrence that kept me away.
Cool skull, Gloominati. Like I said, it's great how you're feeling your way around the forms with those lines.
Jake Kobrin, I'll probably be able to try to connect with you again within the next few days. Let me know when you're free, okay? Sorry for the delay in that, dude.
Hey Maoi, I just had to break my dissapearance streak to pop in and say I absolutely LOVE all this information on movement you're bringing up! Bravo my man, bravo! This is something that almost never gets touched upon or even thought of by many artists, when it's sooooo essential to drawing good creatures.
Keep it up. I love seeing all you mentee's drawings most of all
One more study (front of cow), I know the ribcage is too narrow, but fixing that would've meant redoing the legs. Also a concept idea I was fiddling with
Hey, realitychek! Glad to see another study from you. These are looking nice. As far as crits go, the rib cage is indeed a bit too narrow, but I don't think it's very noticeable. The perspective on the shoulder blade is looking a little funny, and the legs are looking somewhat unsteady. This is from Ellenberger, correct? Pay close attention to the angles of each segment of the limb. The ulna/radius segment (these bones are combined in the cow), bend inward a bit when looking from the front view. This is so that the legs will be more directly underneath the weight of the body, and therefore able to carry it more efficiently. Keep this in mind when doing your studies and drawing your own creatures, so their stance and footing will seem more solid.
Your concept is looking good. That's a very interesting skull; I'd be interested to see what that beast would look like fully fleshed-out. It's also interesting how you chose to have it standing on its knuckles. You may consider "beefing up" the bones of its front feet a bit, as they seem a little thin to be supporting its large ribcage and head. You also may want to lengthen its humerus. Why? Animals that walk on their knuckles often do so because they have dexterous fingers that are well-adapted to handling things, but not very good for supporting weight. Examples include modern apes, which use their hands to grasp things and climb, and extinct Megatherium and Chalicotheres, which used their clawed forelimbs to forage for vegetation. These animals have long forelegs/arms, so that they can reach out and handle things. Therefore, their humeri are fairly long and not tucked closely to the body. The humerus of your creature is more like that of a cow: short and tucked close to the body, and unable to reach out to any extent. Just something to consider.
When you draw more imagined skeletons, try this method and see how you like it. Draw some random shapes, and try to fit a skeleton or part of the skeleton (like the skull) into it. That's what I did in this little sketch page of animal skulls: photobucket link. This way you can force yourself to come up with very creative solutions for fitting the skeleton into those strange and outlandish shapes. Also, if the abstract shapes that you start with are attractive, this will make the fundamental design of your skeleton concept stronger.
Yeah, working out of both Ellenberger and Goldfinger.
I did get some extra time in school to do up some skull concepts with the random shapes and doodles and here's what I came up with
Those are cool, Realitychek! The time you've spend studying is definitely showing in those concepts. I can clearly see some bits of horse and dog anatomy here and there.
My favorite skull by far, and the most inspired and original, in my opinion, is the one on the upper right. That's a very unique skull. The arrangement and shapes of its teeth are very interesting, as is that pronounced gap between its molars and front teeth on the upper jaw. What a fascinating skull. There are only two things troubling me about that skull. For one, I can't see the naris, or nasal opening. And secondarily, its zygomatic arch looks fairly thin. That may not be a problem, though; the zygomatic arches of small mammals tend to be thin.
I'd like to know more about what was going on in your head when you drew that skull. What inspired you? Were you using any particular animal skull as reference, or was it all just from your imagination.
Keep playing with the random shape method. Try even more outlandish and unlikely shapes, if you like. You're getting some good results.
Thanks The one in the upper right was my favorite so far as well, just liked how different it looked. On that skull I didn't use much of any reference, I would have, but the free time I got was rather unexpected and my anatomy books were in my locker, so I could only work from the studies I had in my sketchbook. I think I was imagining something a bit like a hippo even though it looks nothing like a hippo skull, so more of a fully fleshed out hippo shape was going on in my mind and being put into skull form I guess if that makes any sense
Yeah, it's definitely hippo-ish.
Anyway, mentees, I'm sorry for my inactivity in this thread lately. I am definitely feeling the end-of-semester crunch over here, coupled with longer hours at work for the holiday season. So yeah, I'm not having much time for art at all. I hope you all are faring better. Since I'm going to be distracted for probably the rest of the month with work, school, Christmas pictures, and LMS, it will probably be January before I can put the muscle lecture up. Sorry.
In other news, Gloominati has unfortunately dropped out. But don't worry too much, because the reason he dropped was because he was getting so many art jobs. So, good for him!
So, we have Noe, aka Marleen, as our new mentee. Welcome!
In still other news, I'd like to see some more studies from you, Jake Kobrin.
Happy busy holidays, everyone.
I'd still like to draw with you in OC when you have the time. Hopefully we can coordinate something but if we can't there's always Seattle.
Hello all, and especially Moai, Mike Corriero, realitychek and Jake Kobrin!
I'll just say a little bit about myself and proceed with assignment number one.
My name is Marleen Renders, I live in the Netherlands and I'm 17 years of age. I'm in my 6th and last year of the VWO (secondary school, pre-university I think is the best description).
I'm pretty busy with all the homework that exam year brings, but I think I'll manage to take one hour a day (and a little more in the weekends) to spend drawing creature skeletons (and more, later on), to make this a success.
I have a problem getting out of my comfort zone, which is currently drawing humans, faces, and doing reference studies and I'm really looking forward to finally getting out of that comfy zone and work more on other topics as well.
About my education so far: I'm taking a lifedrawing class once every two weeks, also I have the class "drawing" in school, which consists of one hour art history a week and 4 hours of drawing/ painting. I'm planning to study illustration after I finish secondary school.
I've had a sketchbook here on CA since I was 15, and I have improved okay in those two years, the crits in my sketchbook helped me enormously and I'm very grateful for this great place on the web.
Creature designs I think are sexay;
I made a pretty big selection, and realized I had way too many pictures, so I narrowed it down to 7
First: here are two scans of fish from a tropical fish book I have (by Keith Sagar and Jack Swain):
And these are all by Doughbot, from the GuildWars Nightfall thread. I picked a few which might describe which sorts of creatures I find interesting.
EDIT: I think elephants are pretty awesome too, so I added a picture:
Ofcourse there are many many interesting animals, so I couldn't possibly link all of them, but I hope this gives a nice impression.
one of my "creature designs"
I know these don't make any sense, but it's all I could find that were just a bit design and not more then 75% study (although that cat thing is really just a sketch of a cat that went a little further )
So I guess I really never díd a creature design this last year..
To see where I am now with the other sketch stuff, you can view my sketchbook
Okay, that was assignment 1, and it took approximately one hour so I'll have to continue the school stuff now
I just want to say that I'm really happy to be in this class and that I'll try to get things handed in in time and all that jazz..
Last edited by NoŽ; December 14th, 2007 at 03:22 PM.
Assignment 02 - Part 1 (of -hopefully- many)
Okay just one more small post with some studies I did before I was an official mentee.. I think these are too rushed, and I didn't watch proportions enough. But I figured I'd post them anyway to show something..
Next up are in depth drawings of full skeletons, I'm thinking two or three detailed skeletons, with good proportions, from the side view.
Question: how much time would you suggest to take for this? I'm thinking 1,5 - 2 hours per skeleton?
Question two: Is A4 format good for studies, or might it be better to use my A3 sketchpad?
Assignment 02 - Part 2 EDIT: it turned out to be a sheep
So erm.. Sorry for posting three times in a row, I do this because I think a new day/ new assignment deserves a new post. However if someone thinks it's better that I edit this post in with the last one and delete this, I'll do that ofcourse!
So, Fridays are nice for me because I'm out of school early..
I spent three hours on this skeleton this evening. That's a little much maybe, but it came out okay ^^ For the next sideviews I think I'll spend approximately two hours.
This was done on A3 paper so I had to scan it in halfs and paste it together in photoshop, therefor there might be some weird angles.. But I tried to get it put together properly again ^^.
So, yes.. The sheep:
I have a few questions regarding the generic skeleton, they're only minor but since I'm nitpicky I figured I'd ask them anyway:
- 1: How many ribs do these animals usually have? I counted some with 12 and some with 13, and I'm wondering if I counted correctly, or if I might have counted a bone for rib which isn't one.
- 2: Is it usual to have seven cervical vertebrae? I counted 6 on pretty much all animals in my anatomy book (well, I only counted them on 4, but you get the point )
Oh well, those were my not so important questions ^^ Gonna get some homework done now..
I'm wondering how to combine this with my LMS piece which I'm hoping to complete in time, but I'll work it out somehow.
Last edited by NoŽ; January 24th, 2008 at 12:31 PM.
Jake Kobrin- It's cool, man. I'll probably have some time to OC with you next week, but I'm not sure. But yeah, we'll definitely have Seattle.
Welcome, Noe! I'm thrilled to see you posting so much here already. That's excellent.
Assignment 01- You gotta love lionfish and elephants, and Dougbot is an excellent creature designer. You have good taste in both real and imaginary creatures.
Assignment 02- Though your self critique is accurate--these do seem a bit rushed and disproportional--you are still taking care to include all the different bones and parts, which is good. The first study is a dog, correct?
The goat looks great. I see only two items that could use some further attention. First, the shape of the scapula you drew is a little exaggerated; the rear point of it doesn't go so far back or at such an acute angle. The skull needs more work than the rib. The zygomatic arch is too thick, the eye socket is too small, and the overall shape of the mandible should be a bit more curved. See these two links: Ellenberger goat skull, Ellenberger goat skeleton.
To answer your questions:
I think one hour on a single skeleton is more than enough, but I draw quickly and am rather impatient. Just take as long as you need.Question: how much time would you suggest to take for this? I'm thinking 1,5 - 2 hours per skeleton?
After looking up what size A4 is and converting millimeters into inches, I do believe that A4 format is plenty large enough. I draw small as wall as fast, though.Question two: Is A4 format good for studies, or might it be better to use my A3 sketchpad?
The amount of ribs varies from animal to animal. Twelve or thirteen pairs of ribs are the most common numbers, but after looking through Goldfinger's book, I counted 18 for horses and rhinos, 15 for hippos, 21 or 22 for elephants (the scapula obscured them, so I couldn't be exact), and 14 or 15 for the giant anteater. So, you see, it's quite variable.- 1: How many ribs do these animals usually have? I counted some with 12 and some with 13, and I'm wondering if I counted correctly, or if I might have counted a bone for rib which isn't one.
The amount of cervical vertebrae is much less variable than the amount of ribs, though. Almost every mammal has seven. Only unusual mammals like sloths and manatees have more or less. It's easy to mistake the seventh and last cervical vertebra for a thoracic vertebra, since it is often shorter and smaller than the other cervical vertebrae and often has a long spinous process. Check on that link to images from Ellenberger's animal anatomy book, because those images clearly show that there are seven cervical vertebrae.- 2: Is it usual to have seven cervical vertebrae? I counted 6 on pretty much all animals in my anatomy book (well, I only counted them on 4, but you get the point )
It's great that you're asking so many questions. It shows that you're eager to learn. And don't worry if you have to miss a few days of doing these studies to work on schoolwork or your LMS piece. In fact, I have to go work on some homework myself. G'night!
Ok, dog front- the scanner cut off the phalanges on the front leg but they are there, and on the original front view of the dog, I started a little too low so couldn't fit all of the leg on there- therefore there's a front leg view in the middle of the page Some new skull concepts as well
I don't know why those rodent/buck teeth keep showing up, especially since they should be curving more along with the structure of the skull, not straight down, I think?
HARR ! I typed a nice reply here, but then my mum needed the comp, and accidentaly closed all my tabs So here it goes again:
Thanks so much for the awesome crits and answers to my questions Cory!
I'm sad to inform you though, that I remembered incorrectly that the skeleton was that of a goat.. It turned out to be the skeleton of a sheep that I drew! Although the two skeletons are quite alike, I think the main differences lie in the skull, and maybe the scapula? Not sure about that.. I couldn't find a good skeleton of the goat to compare.. But I'm not sure whether your crits also apply now the study is that of a sheep.. Sorry for that man! should've paid more attention remembering the correct animal..
Anyways, I think I did make the eye too small indeed, and I guess I didn't spend much time on the skull, so I'll do a sheep skull study later today, and start to work on another side view of an animal skeleton (by the way.. the skeleton of a cat is pretty awesome! And although I think pigs are really cute wíth skin and muscles, the pig skeleton looks very scary )
About the first post of assignment 02: the first study was indeed that of a dog, I think the second one was a quick generic skeleton study.
I asked in my school if it would be okay to draw some skulls they have in the biology classroom, and the teacher said it would be okay, so I'll try to get at least one skull study done from "life" ^^
Sorry, no studies for now. I did do some kneaded eraser animals during a boring class, but that wasn't very serious
EDIT; oh, forgot to reply to the A3 sketchpad thing: I totally forgot about the whole inch conversion problem! I think that A4 size is the printer paper size, so that's 8,5 x 11 inches. When the A number goes down (like from 5 to 4) the size of the sheet doubles. So A1 is really big paper, and A6 is very small paper. When you fold an A4 in half, you get two A5's.. I found a nice conversion table http://www.inkjetart.com/weight.html
Last edited by NoŽ; December 19th, 2007 at 04:25 AM.
Noe - The Sheep/Goat skeleton looks great. I was just telling Cory on myspace I recently headed to the Museum of Natural History in NYC and damn I wish it were possible for the group here to take a trip there for the entire day. So much to learn and experience, what a great inspiration for creature design. Heading to a museum like that and to Zoos like the Bronx Zoo with live animals will really open your eyes. I'm sure I'll be heading back soon again with a camera and a sketchbook but anyway, that aside, I'm hoping to see this thread pick up a little after the holidays.
Mike C -
Hey! Sorry for my short absence, guys and girls. Hope everyone's holiday was great, that you all got gifts that you actually wanted and can use, and that you all felt some Christmas love.
realitychek- Though it's not a good scan, the drawing itself on the dog study looks pretty good. I seems that you got everything down, and the shapes, sizes, and proportions of everything look about right. The front view of the dog is leaning to the left a bit, but that's the only noticeable error that I can see.
(I'm critiquing your skull concepts from left to right, top to bottom) The first skull looks pretty good. I can imagine the animal it belongs to. The shading is pretty good, and the zygomatic arch looks great. It's obvious that you weren't looking at reference when doing the skull, though. That's a problem that all of these skulls have. Study up more on that, and also study the hinge joint between the mandible and the cranium; it looks kind of odd on most of these skulls.
The second skull has a pretty severe overbite, but that's okay. Gnawing animals like rodents often have overbites, and those big incisors look like they can gnaw pretty good. The nasal bone looks rather odd, but that may not be a problem since this isn't an existing animal. The square forehead is also odd. Look at the images of skulls in Ellenberger and you will see that most animals have more of a diamond-shaped forehead, and that the back point of that diamond is continuous with the cranial crest. Again, an unusually-shaped forehead may not be a problem on a fictional animal, but I want you to be aware of how things really are in nature. Lastly, with this skull and others, it may help for you to think of the skull as a simple shape such as a box before rendering the details. If you think of these features as wrapping around a three dimensional shape, the drawing will seem less flat.
That third skull is a pretty fearsome looking beast. I imagine it as something similar to a warthog, a herbivore or omnivore whose large fangs are more for defense than catching food. Like many of your skulls, this skull is lacking the condyles and processes on the rear of the skull. There is a very unusual gap between the hinge of the mandible and the brain case. The molars of herbivores are not simple squares like that; they are more complex shapes. This is a problem with a lot of your teeth. Lastly for this skull, it's strange the way you shades its entire eye socket and temporal area. There's no reason for this whole area to be in shadow. The last two skulls have this strange shading as well; something to be fixed in future drawings.
The fourth skull, like the second skull, would benefit greatly, greatly by being thought of first as a simple three-dimensional shape. In this case, it would be more of a spherical shape than a square shape. Like your other skulls, the back of the skull seems strange, and the shading in the eye socket and temporal areas doesn't really make sense. What is really bugging me about this skull, though, is the jaw. First of all, it's strange the way the bottom jaw mimics the line of the upper jaw. Look at skull images, and you will see that the contour of the lower jaw doesn't just repeat the contour of the upper jaw. But again, since this isn't a real animal, it's probably okay that it's lower jaw doesn't follow that general rule. Once again, you gave this skull simple checkerboard molars. Not only does this look lazy, but you gave herbivore molars to what seems very much to me to be a carnivore's skull. The skull reminds me of the skulls of small cats and of small, short-faced dogs, like pugs and French bulldogs. And its front teeth look very carnivorous, equipped for biting down on prey. Give this critter some nice, sharp, flesh-shearing, bone-crushing carnassial teeth, rather than grinding molars.
The last skull has many of the problems I mentioned for other skulls, including the strange shading in the temporal area, lazy teeth, flatness, and a general rushed appearance. And yes, those buck teeth should go along more with the general curve of the skull.
Anyway, can't wait to see more work from you.
I'll respond to Noe and Mike in a bit.
Hello Mike and Cory
@ Mike:Yes, that museum would be awesome to go and do studies from I guess.. Also, something completely diferent: I'd like to tell you how much I love that thumbnail tutorial you did for ImagineFX a few months ago.. Totally rocked my socks ^^.. I'd like to try it out when we get into the creature design stuff.
@ Cory: I'm sorry to inform you that I don't have studies to post here.
I'm staying at my boyfriend's place (and working on a holiday job and big school project), so my time is limited, all my drawing time goes into my LMS work, and I couldn't take my anatomy book with me because it's too big for my rucksack. :/
So that's a lot of excuses Also I'm just waisting some time relaxing
But anyways, I've started to do some studies of the generic skeleton, since I printed out your lessons. I'll scan those when I get back home.
Next week (31st-8th of january) I'll be on vacation in Ireland, and after that I'll try to have a proper update for you.
I'm sorry this is taking so long, but I hope you understand.
Thanks for those crits Moai- definitely gives me lots of things to work on in the future I got Goldfinger's book for Christmas as well, so lots of stuff to look at. Hopefully I can do up some new stuff over the next few days and post- we'll have to see how much more time my homework takes up.....
Noe: Yea when Moai gets around to the more unconventional/unrealistic designs it may work better for that portion. Creatures that don't contain anatomy closely related to mammals and muscular or vertebrate animals though it's possible. It will be a lot of fun to use for invertebrates and strange abstract-like designs. I posted a few of those thumbnails and that final painting in my exclusive sketchbook that I just started again recently for those interested.
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