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Monday, 31 August 2009

Finished drawing - August Tree

Yesterday I finished another drawing. This one is of a tree that I see when I look out through my bedroom window (pencil, HB):

August Tree (2009)

Friday, 28 August 2009

Sketch Of The Day - Gesture drawing (nudity!)

Focusing on drawing the human figure I have done some gesture drawing lately for exercise. Don't know what gesture drawing is? Fantasytree to the rescue!

Fantasytree tip #12: If your looking for a really good introduction to gesture drawing from a great art teacher (and brilliant artist!), you should take a look at Glenn Vilppus article at Animation World Magazine. It can be found at:

Vilppu drawing online

All his articles at that site are amazing and actually make an art course in themselves. Much recommended!

Here is my favorite of my recent gestures - 2 min sketch with a 6B pencil on A4, trying out the "under palm" grip for looser arm movement:

2 min gesture drawing

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Finished work - The Caves of Per-Petaal

Finally I've finished my entry for the ImagineFX august challenge. Here is the final version of this fantasy environment painting:

(Done in ArtRage and Photoshop - Click for full view)

The Caves of Per-Petaal (2009)

Monday, 24 August 2009

Great, Short Art Tutorial

Last night I came across one really good and still not too long general art tutorial. It can be found at:

And is recommended for general reference conerning various issues (shading, coloring etc) or as a "mini course" in itself. As the author advices though, it's a lot to digest so take a little piece at the time and give it a few months between the visits. Hope you'll find it useful.

Master study of Algardi bust

While sketching the Bronzino portrait in ink, I worked on a master study in pencil. This one was drawn from a sculpture by Algardi:

Algardi bust (2009)

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Sketch Of The Day - Bronzino Portrait Study

The next master study was sketched in ink during a couple of days:

Friday, 21 August 2009

Sketch Of The Day - Caravaggio Portrait Study

Another quick portrait master study I did the other day. This one is from a painting by Caravaggio (ArtRage 2,5).

Thursday, 20 August 2009

The portrait is finally...finished!

Today I finally finished the portrait assignment I've been working on. Here is the final result:

(Media: Pencil)
Bat Masterson Portrait (2009)

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Sketch Of The Day - Botticelli Portrait Study

A quick digital sketch I have done for one of the amazing anatomy lesson threads at the Cgsociety forum. These anatomy lessons are run by Rebecca Kimmel and are based on studies from master works. Since I just love doing master studies I am so happy that I have found this great instructional resource.

Fantasytree tip #11: If you wish to improve your figure drawing (the way you draw humans, animals, beasts etc.) you should definitely register at Cgsociety and join one of the lessons or workshops found in the forum.

This sketch is a quick (15 min) master study from a portrait by Sandro Botticelli (ArtRage 2,5):

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

WiP of the day - Pencil Portrait

Here is the latest update to the portrait I'm working on in pencil. (HB and - today - 2B):

Monday, 17 August 2009

Learn to draw, Lesson 2: Pen sketch from life

First, I just have to say: Thank you, Usain Bolt. Although this is not a blog about sports, that 9.58 race last night was nothing short of a work of art. A masterpiece.

Todays lesson also has to do with speed, but of a different kind.

Lesson 2: Pen Sketch From Life

(Click for full view)

This is a quick pen sketch I did from life yesterday. Believe me: You have to draw fast when drawing children. I have found that ink/pen drawings are well suited for quick sketching. While I prefer pencil for more careful studies and drawings where many nuances are desired.

This second lesson takes your drawing practice one step further. I hope you have started where I suggested in Lesson 1 and that you are getting into the pleasant habit of drawing daily.

You claim that you just can't find the time? Sorry, but I don't believe you. Aim for one minute a day as a start. ONE minute. You can always find one single minute - IF you really want to learn to draw, that is. And frankly, there is no better way to learn drawing than... actually drawing. No technical aspects or tricks in the world will make you good at drawing unless you're willing to find time for regular practice.

If you still haven't drawn a single line since starting to follow these lessons, I suggest that you stop reading here and instead of finishing reading this lesson: Find a paper and draw for one minute. Don't know what to draw? Draw a circle, a square and a triangle. Don't look the way you want them to? Draw them again. And again, for as long as you like.

If you HAVE drawn something since the last lesson, today - and for as many days as you can possibly manage - I want you to try and pick an object from life.

Draw it, preferably using a pen.

Draw quickly, instinctively, caring more about the big shapes than getting everything correct.

Don't bother with shading until you feel really comfortable with capturing the outlines of the object. I suggest that you start with something really simple, based on a basic geometrical shape: A tennis ball, a dice, a shoebox.

All drawing is based on the basic shapes: The sphere, the box, the cylinder and the cone

Of course you can try drawing an animal or a person - but bear in mind that these are actually the hardest things to draw, so don't become discouraged if you find it really challenging.

If you really want to learn to draw the human body, I suggest that you start by drawing your own hand and/or foot. Keep drawing these - without shading - until you are satisfied with the result. After that you can try adding shading and detail.

Whatever you choose to draw, try to focus on finding the basic, underlying shape. Get the "big picture", then move on to more detailed drawing.

Always draw from "big" to "small"

And preferably try doing these quick life sketches with a pen - a regular ballpoint will do just fine.

Good luck - and let me know how you're doing

Happy drawing! 

(This lesson last updated: October 2009)

Sunday, 16 August 2009

WiP of The Day - Latest White Cave Update

Last night I kept correcting some of all the things I'm not quite satisfied with in the fantasy environment piece I'm currently working on.

(ArtRage 2,5 and Photoshop)

Saturday, 15 August 2009

30 Min Sketch of a Lord Of The Rings Scene

The other day I did a sketch for the "30 minute sketch" thread at the ImagineFX forum.

As the topic was "A LOTR scene", I did my own improvized version of the duel between Gandalf and the Balrog in the Mines of Moria.

(pencil, HB - click for full view)

The Bridge of Khazad-dûm (2009)

Friday, 14 August 2009

WiP of the day - Back in the White Cave

Here's the next update of my piece for the monthly challenge at IFX:

(ArtRage 2,5 and Photoshop)

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Learn To Draw, Lesson 1 - Start Drawing!

Learn To Draw Lessons:
1. Start Drawing! (this post)
2. Pen Sketch From Life
3. Draw a Fantasy Beast/Animal - Introduction
4. Draw a Fantasy Beast/Animal Part 2 - Start to Sketch

Simplified Fantasy Drills:
1. Simplified Citadel

Welcome to the first lesson in the "Learn to Draw" series here at Fantasytree.

First, I'll give a brief summary of the various topics I have gone through in order to improve myself, then comes the actual lesson. Please give me feedback and let me know if these drawing lessons have helped you improve your drawing.

These lessons will primarily be based on drawing basics related to subjects covered by Glenn Vilppu, Andrew Loomis, George Bridgman, Robert Beverly Hale, Jack Hamm, Rudy de Reyna and other great drawing teachers. Once again, welcome, I hope you'll learn a lot and have a good time while doing so.

The Way I've Followed

I'll start with an overview of the five first aspects of drawing as I learned them - and the order around which these lessons will be built. I believe that most - if not all beginners - would benefit from doing/reading/watching the assignments, books and links that will be suggested along the way.

1. Line
2. Basic perspective

3. Basic shape: The Cube
4. Basic shape: The cylinder

5. Basic shape: The sphere

I will be honest with you though: In order to improve quickly, I have drawn and painted A LOT these last months. On a daily basis, hours a day. In addition to working with these five foundational building blocks, I made my own "practice plan". This underlines the obvious and fundamental truth when it comes to drawing (and anything in life):

The more time you spend on drawing, the faster you will improve and the more will you learn!

If you hope to improve very much in a short time, then you will have to spend a lot of time every single day drawing. If you're a real beginner you are probably not willing to do that - and then you probably won't improve that fast. But you will improve, though, I guarantee it.

These lessons are meant for even the absolute beginner, though (as well as more experienced artists wanting to focus more on the very basics). I suggest you take them at the pace you find comfortable. Hopefully you'll soon find that you have an "urge" to draw (I sure have) just because you enjoy it so much. If you don't - you should probably reconsider why your pushing yourself on to do this against your own instinct.

Anyway, this was my background and philosophy on practice. lets now take a first, very gentle step towards learning to draw: Learn to draw, Lesson 1!

Learn To Draw, Lesson 1 - Start Drawing

FIG. 1

Material needed:
1. Something to draw with, preferably a regular pencil (HB) but even the cheapest pen, marker, crayon etc. will do
2. Something to draw on, preferably a notebook (unlined) that you can use as a "sketchbook" and collect all your drawings. That way you can easily follow your own progress.

This first lesson is probably the most important, simplest and most difficult of all the lessons you will find here. If you follow this assignment - that can be done every day, for the rest of your life, you will improve your drawing skills.

Assignment: Take what you plan to draw with and what you plan to draw on. Relax. Draw something. Just relax and start drawing. Anything. Tomorrow do the same thing. And keep doing it. Make sure you draw something every single day, anything, for as long as you wish to keep improving.
If you don't know what to draw: Just draw lines. Straight or curved, hard or soft. Doesn't matter, as long as you draw.

The way I suggest you do this is that you take your sketchbook (my favorite size is A5, since it's easy to bring wherever I go). Write the date at the top of a new page. Draw something on that page. Tomorrow you take a new page, write date and draw.

What this simple everyday activity will achieve is:
1. You will improve the way you hold the pencil (or whatever you draw with) and find the natural way for you to hold it

2. You will improve the way you handle the space of the paper (or whatever you draw on)

3. You will improve the way you draw whatever you draw, simply by repeatedly drawing it.

4. You will get bored of drawing just lines (or whatever you draw) and start changing direction, shapes, patterns. In order words: You are becoming creative! (In a fundamental sense you are becoming the artist you have always been). Art is all about creativity and personality.

5. You will learn things about yourself as you let your subconscious guide your hand into creating shapes, patterns, images.

6. You will start observing the world in a new way. Sooner or later you will most certainly draw something that reminds you of something - in that moment a tiny interest in that particular object is born and you will look at it just a little more closely the next time you see it. In a sense, you start building relationships to the things you draw. To the world around you.

7. You will feel a wish to improve the way you draw even more, by looking at how others draw, learning from others (searching for lessons like this one) and immersing yourself more and more into the rewarding hobby that is drawing (and painting - which is actually just drawing with added complexities)

I write "will", because it is my firm belief that these things do occur. When they will occur and - even less obvious - when you will discover that they occur, that's an entirely different matter.

(FIG. 1 is a simple illustration of the process)

I am aware that this became a very long post and that the lesson may confuse you and make you question the reason for even doing it.

I ask you to put all doubts aside and just give it a try. Give it a week, a month, whatever you feel suits you. And if nothing at all happens with your drawing, please let me know (and if something does happen, let me know that as well).

If you learn only one thing from me, I hope it will be this - actually the most important advice I will give in any of these lessons:

Draw something every day

Good luck and please let me know how you are doing.

Happy drawing!

Lesson 2 - Pen sketch from life

(Lesson last updated: January 2010)

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Soon here at Fantasytree: Learn to Draw the Way I Learned It!

As my readers have noticed, I've been drawing a lot lately and really made some progress with my drawing skills. At, I have been running a thread on "Drawing basics" and have decided to share the posts I've written there by turning them to lessons here.

I hope there are many beginners out there who feel like learning to draw that will benefit from my journey towards becoming a fantasy artist. (A visual representation of that odyssey can be found in the short YouTube movie I've made, Way of the artist). Or more experienced artists who feel like brushing off - or never learned - the very basics of drawing.

I can't promise that I'll turn you into a professional artist. What I can promise you though, is that if you follow the same path I've done and is willing to make drawing one of your daily habits - you will make considerable progress.

Just to give a hint of what I'm talking about I will show you a drawing from when I began practicing in a structured way - as well as a drawing I did 3 months later. If you feel like starting to developing your own drawing the same way, then you should definitely check out my
Learn to draw lessons (coming soon...).

So, do you also feel like going from


in 3 months, then you should definitely come back and hear what helped me to take such a leap.

Hope to soon post my first lesson - and that you'll feel like taking it. Every lesson I will also try to recommend a book that has helped me to become a better artist.

Monday, 10 August 2009

WiP of the day - Portrait Assignment

Today's WiP is the latest progress of a portrait I'm drawing as an online art class assignment. Drawn from an old black and white photo, here is what it looks like right now:

(Pencil, HB - Click for full view)

WiP of the day - My 100th post!

My 100th post in this blog is a fact! And I have no intention of stopping. Here's another fantasy WiP, a pencil (HB) drawing of some kind of hungry ogre character.

A big thanks to all who have read and encouraged me to continue writing, drawing and posting. A special thanks to those who have become regular followers here and to Marc for continued support and commenting. Hope you'll all stick around for another 100...

(Click for full view)

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Bridgman studies

One of the classic art teachers and one of the most popular authors on anatomy for artists, is George B Bridgman. Varying between studying drawings by Frazetta, Bridgman and Alan Lee, here are some studies I've drawn from his "Constructive anatomy"

(HB pencil - Click for full view)

Saturday, 8 August 2009

WiP of the day - More work on the White Cave

Continuing the work on the fantasy environment piece, here is the latest update of it:

(ArtRage 2,5 - Click for full view)

Thursday, 6 August 2009

WiP of the day - Shadows, light and water in the cave

Working on with the cave piece, here is what the latest WiP looks like:

(ArtRage 2,5 - Click for full view)

WiP of the day - Developing the White Cave

Have kept working on the White Cave for the August challenge. Here's the latest progress. Hope to soon light the lamps and add some pools with water running from fountains.

(ArtRage 2,5 - Click for full view)

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

WiP of the day - Next ImagineFX Monthly Challenge Piece... truly challenging. A complex environment, inspired by the "impossible stairs" of M C Escher. Hopefully I can bring it all the way to a finished piece.

The theme is "Out from the white" and I'll probably call it "The white cave of...". Here is what it looks like at the moment:

(ArtRage 2,5 - Click for full view)

WiP of the day - Continuing the Bathroom Painting

Here is the progress of the commissioned painting. Since the client wanted some kind of red branch coming from the foreground and more purple less blue, I've tried to change some parts and add the branch. Also flipped the canvas for variation and to check the balance of the piece.

(Medium: Digital - Click for full view)

Monday, 3 August 2009

WiP of the day - Commission for a Bathroom Painting

Yesterday I got a commission to do a painting for a bathroom. It is supposed to be rather abstract, with some kind of branch. The client also requested some specific colors. Here is the first WiP of the painting so far:

(ArtRage 2,5 - Click for full view)

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Some Quick Sketches

Some quick sketches I've drawn for the Spartan Training Camp #98 at No reference used for these (have tried to mark some of the most apparent mistakes in order to not repeat them next time). Drawn in pencil (HB) and scanned with my new printer/scanner - finally I've got one!

(Click for full view)

Saturday, 1 August 2009

WiP of the day - Woodwoe

First WiP of a painting I started painting yesterday (AR 2,5 Full). Work title: Woodwoe

(Click for full view)

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