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Spirit Project - another teaser by Rubisko
Spirit Project - another teaser
The world for my Spirit Project is taking form - and color!

I'm currently thinking about potentially create a patreon campaing for the development, but are still at least a month away from that point. But until then, uploads of new content will be slower
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Bi-Weekly Journal Entry 02
Studies

Ok, so, studies. I have been asked about this before, and it seems like a nice subject to talk a bit about. In this journal I will share 3 questions that can help you set up your own effective studies, as well as sharing some key words that I like to use to structure my own studies. So without further ado, let’s get going!

Battlestation by side34
Study of her Workstation by Truc Bui side34 . Image used with permission


     

How to set up Effective Studies

First off, in art we say ‘to do a study’ where in most other subjects we would say ‘to study’. For example, an artist might say to her art friends “I did this study of values yesterday night” while an engineering student would say to her classmates “I sat all night studying linear transformations in R3-space”. However if, they were talking to their moms they would probably say “I painted all night” and “I was studying math all night” respectively, making the first mom frown with worry and the second shine with pride. The effort and critical thinking in both cases should be the same though.

Secondly, while art is a visual subject, not all art related studies yield a good visual result. It’s of course more fun if it do, and as I explained in the previous entry, it might be a good idea to make your studies presentable once you are done with them, sometimes a good study could just be careful reading and reflection over a chapter in an art book.

Three Questions to get started

And now we’re ready to begin with the useful stuff. One of the greatest pitfall with studies is that as a green artist it can be hard to know how to study effectively. Most likely you see other artists do it, and you’re being told to do it, and so you just do what you see other people do. If you really want to study effectively though, it’s important to think critically about why and how you are doing what you are doing. Personally, I use three questions to help myself setting up personalised studies to address nothing that I want to study. Here they are:

  1. What is the goal of the study? Or, what do I want to learn?
  2. What process should I use? Or, how do I learn this stuff?
  3. What is redundant in my suggested process? Or, how do I get rid of unnecessary obstacles while I learn this stuff?

Ok, so number 1 seems obvious, but it’s easy to underestimate the importance of a well defined goal. If you only say; "I’m going to do a study of this master painting” you haven’t specified what you want to learn. A better example would be ‘wow, I love how Leyendecker handles the shapes of light and dark in this illustration. I want to break it down and learn how he does it”. Mindless copying is the last thing that you want to do. A lot of good artists do master studies, and they usually end up with something that looks like they only copied, but that’s just because you can’t see their thought process in the result of their study. That being said, I myself could probably benefit a lot from doing more observational studies and less analysis of things.
Landscape study by side34
Study by Concept Artist and Illustrator Truc Bui side34 . The result is stunning, but can you guess her thought process as she studied this? Probably not, but I know she wasn't just trying to get a good painting to show off (in fact, I had to ask her to upload it online just because I wanted to feature it here). Image used with permission.

Question 2 is there to define the outlines of the study. Good things to include here is stuff like process and subgoals. For example “I’m going to collect reference of interesting reptile skulls, and then sketch to learn new things and shapes for skull structure”.

The third question is there to streamline the process somewhat before you begin. If you do a study of something, you want to free up as much brain power as possible for the learning that thing. If you want to study architecture, but can’t draw well in perspective yet, then it’s probably a better idea to draw orthogonals and focus on the proportions and details rather than being frustrated about perspective. Or, if you’re new to digital drawing and want to sharpen your linear, probably better to do that study traditionally. If you want to sharpen your digital skills, set up a study focusing on only getting used to that instead. I for example, are way more comfortable working with lines than with paint, so the only painting related studies I do are the ones where I try to learn painting.
Sketchbook - Colour and Light (Shoebill) by Rubisko
These guys were based on reference photos you can easily find on google. The goal of this study was improved markmaking and strong shapes of light and shadow a la Layendecker, so I saw no reason to complicate things further by doing my own designs or light setups.

The most important thing though

Now that we have gotten this far, it’s time to tell you take everything I’ve written so far quite lightly. Don’t spend hours writing a document detailing how you are going to study something just because you read this, I don’t. I just think that these are three useful things to keep in the back of my mind. The most important thing for studying is to be playful and have lot’s of fun. Look at kids, they learn by playing, why should’t we? However, even kids have structure and rules in their games, a game where you can do anything and there’s no challenges is a boring game.

Sketchbook - Birds by Rubisko
Not everything I call a study has some advanced plan attached to it. Last summer I was usually too tired in the evenings to do anything deep, so I just prepared sheets of reference in bulk during the weekends, so I would always have something to draw. Planning can eat up your brain energy even before you start to study, so don't overdo it. Or alternatively, plan a study for tomorrow the last thing before you go to bed. Having everything roaring to go from the moment you sit down at your workspace can be a boon to your motivation!

That concludes this Bi-weekly! I felt like we didn't even scratch the surface about what I think about this subject, but I hope you are encouraged to try to customise your own learning process from now on. Remember to always ask and answer your own questions, not the questions you think you are supposed to ask. And have fun studying stuff (if you're lucky you get to do it your whole life)!

Thank you for reading, and as always, any feedback or thoughts are welcome.


Space Exploration - Back to 49 A by Rubisko
Space Exploration - Back to 49 A
So, I've returned to explore planet 49 A, the beautiful planet covered mostly in ice carved rocks and 'grassy' plains. I really enjoy sketching stuff like this, I hope you guys like it too!
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Bi-Weekly Journal Entry 01
Motivation

It’s sunday morning, and I just managed to get out of bed. It’s so sunny outside that it’s almost blinding, but I can clearly see that the budding leaves on the birch outside is already much larger and greener than they were yesterday. It’s spring, and it’s also a very good morning to sit down and write about motivation.

I didn’t plan this out too much before I began to write. I started to list things that makes me feel motivated, and as I did so I realised how similar in many respects they are to the reward systems built into RPG’s. So I tried to think about in what ways it’s possible to translate these rewards to the artists’ journey.


Life of an Artist, the RPG

Questline

Every good RPG needs a good story, a red thread that keeps you moving through the world. I personally think that it’s important to have a big project to commit to, something to burn for. Something that you respect so much that you want to learn and level up in your artistic skills just to be able to progress with. In a game, this quest line is usually provided to you, but in life, you will have to define it yourself. It might be a good idea to write a timeline, preferably on a large paper or board and put it on your wall.


Sidequests and achievements

Isn’t it amazing how you can spend a couple of hours standing in a centaur camp with your rifle just to be able to rank up your achievements to champion centaur slayer, but it’s hard to sit down and do even 30 minutes of life sketches? In real life no one takes note of your amazing achievements. Unless of course, you do. Personally, I have been trying to write down my daily achievements, but I don’t really feel it you know. Maybe it’s not just the same when you keep track of it yourself, but I think it’s important to find a way to utilise this motivation boost. I will try to experiment and find a good way to do this, maybe there should be an art community for it.
Sketchbook - Colour and Light (Shoebill) by RubiskoStudy Platypus by Rubisko
I find that doing studies and grinding is more rewarding if you make a presentation of it, at least for yourself

Epic Loot

For an artist, I guess the equivalent would be epic art. Things you put in your portfolio. Results! Everybody likes loot, and regardless of how much we get told to ‘not judge a book by it’s cover’ we all do it. I guess the good thing about loot though, is that it drops as you play. Sometimes of course, you grind spiders in the forest for hours just so that you can get enough exoskeleton to craft that epic lamellar tunic you found a recipe for, but a lot of it just drops. So don’t worry so much about this, the higher level you get the more good loot you will find, it’s the way this game works :)


Leveling up and skill trees

It’s so amazing to ding a level! For every new level you have more options of skills, you can equip cooler gear and your stats increase. You can now go back to lower level areas and feel like a king! In real life though, you don’t get skill points. But it’s still important to learn new skills, and to spend time boosting the skills you already have to higher levels. Real life is really unbalanced in a certain regard, and that is that some skills will be incredibly useful in the early game, while late game skills might be completely obsolete initially. I think the most important thing is to stick to your own build, imagine where you want to be in a few years from not, and not on where you want to be tomorrow. Sometimes it’s better to grind for achievements (studies and practice) than it is to boss raid for epic loot (portfolio pieces). And don’t spend too much time in the PvP arena if you want to reach the higher levels quickly.
Sage by Rubisko
This illustration was the product of me playing around with clay, bringing it into
photoshop and paint in texture and background. Before I started to experiment
with sculpting rendering was hard for me to grasp.

Exploration

Staying in the same area is kind of boring. Go out and explore as much as you can! Try different mediums, different process and different ways of thinking. Also, move around in a literal sense, drawing in different environments will naturally affect the way you think. Bring your sketchbook out in the forest, or to the cafe, or on the bus. Just sitting in front of your tablet in a corner of your room will make your imagination go stale


Partytime!

In an mmorpg, teaming up is usually the way to go! Same in this game, work together with people to make sure you stay motivated, learn from each other and have more fun. Just randomly asking for feedback online is not enough, you will benefit the most if the people you ask for critiques know your goals and ambitions.


Having a good time

Nothing can destroy your game time as much as knowing that you really shouldn’t be playing. When I sit down to play, I want to have a clear conscience. After I have done everything I have to, I will never feel bad or second guess about how to better spend my time. Multitasking slows me down, and being slow affects my motivation in a negative way.


That’s it for the first bi-weekly journal! I hope it was enjoyable to read, I did feel quite rusty about writing but hopefully it will get much easier in the weeks to come. Any feedback, discussion or suggestions for future topics are welcome. Also, please remember that all the content in these journals will be based on my personal viewpoint, and if you see it in another light, I would love to hear about it.


Thanks for reading, see you in two weeks~

Bi-Weekly Journal Entry 02
Studies

Ok, so, studies. I have been asked about this before, and it seems like a nice subject to talk a bit about. In this journal I will share 3 questions that can help you set up your own effective studies, as well as sharing some key words that I like to use to structure my own studies. So without further ado, let’s get going!

Battlestation by side34
Study of her Workstation by Truc Bui side34 . Image used with permission


     

How to set up Effective Studies

First off, in art we say ‘to do a study’ where in most other subjects we would say ‘to study’. For example, an artist might say to her art friends “I did this study of values yesterday night” while an engineering student would say to her classmates “I sat all night studying linear transformations in R3-space”. However if, they were talking to their moms they would probably say “I painted all night” and “I was studying math all night” respectively, making the first mom frown with worry and the second shine with pride. The effort and critical thinking in both cases should be the same though.

Secondly, while art is a visual subject, not all art related studies yield a good visual result. It’s of course more fun if it do, and as I explained in the previous entry, it might be a good idea to make your studies presentable once you are done with them, sometimes a good study could just be careful reading and reflection over a chapter in an art book.

Three Questions to get started

And now we’re ready to begin with the useful stuff. One of the greatest pitfall with studies is that as a green artist it can be hard to know how to study effectively. Most likely you see other artists do it, and you’re being told to do it, and so you just do what you see other people do. If you really want to study effectively though, it’s important to think critically about why and how you are doing what you are doing. Personally, I use three questions to help myself setting up personalised studies to address nothing that I want to study. Here they are:

  1. What is the goal of the study? Or, what do I want to learn?
  2. What process should I use? Or, how do I learn this stuff?
  3. What is redundant in my suggested process? Or, how do I get rid of unnecessary obstacles while I learn this stuff?

Ok, so number 1 seems obvious, but it’s easy to underestimate the importance of a well defined goal. If you only say; "I’m going to do a study of this master painting” you haven’t specified what you want to learn. A better example would be ‘wow, I love how Leyendecker handles the shapes of light and dark in this illustration. I want to break it down and learn how he does it”. Mindless copying is the last thing that you want to do. A lot of good artists do master studies, and they usually end up with something that looks like they only copied, but that’s just because you can’t see their thought process in the result of their study. That being said, I myself could probably benefit a lot from doing more observational studies and less analysis of things.
Landscape study by side34
Study by Concept Artist and Illustrator Truc Bui side34 . The result is stunning, but can you guess her thought process as she studied this? Probably not, but I know she wasn't just trying to get a good painting to show off (in fact, I had to ask her to upload it online just because I wanted to feature it here). Image used with permission.

Question 2 is there to define the outlines of the study. Good things to include here is stuff like process and subgoals. For example “I’m going to collect reference of interesting reptile skulls, and then sketch to learn new things and shapes for skull structure”.

The third question is there to streamline the process somewhat before you begin. If you do a study of something, you want to free up as much brain power as possible for the learning that thing. If you want to study architecture, but can’t draw well in perspective yet, then it’s probably a better idea to draw orthogonals and focus on the proportions and details rather than being frustrated about perspective. Or, if you’re new to digital drawing and want to sharpen your linear, probably better to do that study traditionally. If you want to sharpen your digital skills, set up a study focusing on only getting used to that instead. I for example, are way more comfortable working with lines than with paint, so the only painting related studies I do are the ones where I try to learn painting.
Sketchbook - Colour and Light (Shoebill) by Rubisko
These guys were based on reference photos you can easily find on google. The goal of this study was improved markmaking and strong shapes of light and shadow a la Layendecker, so I saw no reason to complicate things further by doing my own designs or light setups.

The most important thing though

Now that we have gotten this far, it’s time to tell you take everything I’ve written so far quite lightly. Don’t spend hours writing a document detailing how you are going to study something just because you read this, I don’t. I just think that these are three useful things to keep in the back of my mind. The most important thing for studying is to be playful and have lot’s of fun. Look at kids, they learn by playing, why should’t we? However, even kids have structure and rules in their games, a game where you can do anything and there’s no challenges is a boring game.

Sketchbook - Birds by Rubisko
Not everything I call a study has some advanced plan attached to it. Last summer I was usually too tired in the evenings to do anything deep, so I just prepared sheets of reference in bulk during the weekends, so I would always have something to draw. Planning can eat up your brain energy even before you start to study, so don't overdo it. Or alternatively, plan a study for tomorrow the last thing before you go to bed. Having everything roaring to go from the moment you sit down at your workspace can be a boon to your motivation!

That concludes this Bi-weekly! I felt like we didn't even scratch the surface about what I think about this subject, but I hope you are encouraged to try to customise your own learning process from now on. Remember to always ask and answer your own questions, not the questions you think you are supposed to ask. And have fun studying stuff (if you're lucky you get to do it your whole life)!

Thank you for reading, and as always, any feedback or thoughts are welcome.


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Rubisko
Jens Bengtsson
Artist
Sweden
Concept Artist, born and currently living in Sweden, graduated from FZD School of Design February 2014.

With a previous background in engineering, I enjoy mechanical design problems, but organic things also have a special place in my heart since I grew up on a farm.

I'm available for freelance, either send a note or a mail to jensbeng@gmail.com
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:iconk-wuet:
K-wuet Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2015
Your character/creatures designs are just fabulous. They really intrigue me and make me curious about the world they're evolving in. Great job!
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Rubisko Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2015
Thank you!
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K-wuet Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2015
you're welcome!
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PearOfDiscord Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2015
Your character designs are quite frankly genius.  Added to my devWatch!
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Rubisko Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2015
Wow, thank you!
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PearOfDiscord Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2015
Very welcome.
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Kittty-Catt Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015
:party: :cake:
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Rubisko Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2015
Thanks~
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Kittty-Catt Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2015
you're welcome!
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MemorialComics Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015  Student Filmographer
Happy b day form team Mythic knights , we wish you the best b day ever 
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