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Saturday, 4 January 2014

Sketchbook Review: et cetera

Artist: midknight523
Sketchbook Name: et cetera


It's not too often I get to review a sketchbook with comic pages in it. Midknight's sketchbook has some great pieces along with some stunning comic pages and is well worth a visit.


Whilst  the first few images are ok, MK quickly improves to an impressive standard. Early images tend to be slightly flat and lifeless but by the first lot of pose studies we see some excellent examples of foreshortening. He then treats us to some fantastic comic panels. The growth is quick and very impressive.


Most of the images are taken to a professional standard. I adore the variety within the sketchbook. Nothing ever gets too stale and MK seems to always be pushing himself. I love the fact that comic pages are included as it makes the sketchbook stand out from other artists around online. WIP (work in progress) gifs are a nice touch and something I wish more artists would do.


There is not much in the way of interaction. Your comments will get acknowledged but that is about it. I would love to see more conversations between him and his commenter.

Other Points

I enjoyed this sketchbook and can' wait to see more work from MK. It would be nice to see more studies but that is just me being nit picky

Score 9/10

A professional level sketchbook that is a must view for any artist.

+ Good variety of work
+ A few nice studies
+ Great personal works

-Not much in the way of interaction

Friday, 3 January 2014

Sketchbook Review: Pou's Sketch Snap

Artist: Pou
Sketchbook Name: Pou's Sketch Snap


This is one of those sketchbooks primarily devoted to studies and growth. That said the improvement in this sketchbook is quiet impressive.


The transformation in this sketchbook is fantastic. Whilst Pou was fairly competent with line art her shading did have a somewhat muddy feel to it. With in a few pages of this sketchbook the muddiness has been dealt with. There are afew occasions where the tones just don't quite gel together but that said her work has massively improved. One thing I will say is I would like to see more personal works and not just studies.


The start of this Pou's sketchbook has probably too many images in a small space. Thankfully she has adopted a more sustainable pace. Images are decently cropped. Whilst there are no really outstanding presentations here nothing is offensively arranged. I would like Pou to try experimenting with presentation and layout to make her work stand out.


Pou makes great effort to interact with anyone commenting on her sketchbook. This alone makes it a sketchbook worth visiting.

Other Points

The sketchbook is a great start. I do feel if Pou wants to grow and improve that she should try some art challenges. They will help train her creativity and get out of the trap of just posting studies. She may also want to try experimenting with styles.

Score 7/10

Great sketchbook with plenty of room for growth. Pou should be proud with how far she has come in a short time.

+ Lots of studies
+ Vast improvement from when she started
+ Good interaction with comments

-Not many personal pieces
-Occasionally slips back into old muddy habits (as many of us do from time to time)
-Still fairly small sketchbook (only 3 web pages)

Monday, 8 April 2013

Sketchbook Review: Veneq's epic journey of self discovery

Artist: Veneq
Sketchbook Name: Veneq's epic journey of self discovery


Holy crap. I go searching for sketchbooks to feature and this one comes along. From start to finish this is a fantastic portfolio. There is enough different styles to keep even me entertained. Not only that but each style is expertly and confidently handled. Nearly every piece is rendered to near perfection and the backgrounds to some of the images, just wow.


Whilst the start of this sketchbook is good, it does feel a bit flat in places. Fortunately this is corrected very quickly. It does seem like Veneq is constantly pushing himself but he has reached a level where there is not much more he can grow. Perhaps experimenting in new styles like cell shaded but that is really nit picking.


This is where I struggled to find something. There were that many pieces I could have shown that the only real way to do this sketchbook justice is to recommend you check it out yourself. The concept pieces especially are presented fantastically making full use of the sketchbook layout. That little bit of extra effort has really paid off as it shows off his skill perfectly.


As well as being an expert artist Veneq is very polite and will always respond to each post. He comes off as a really nice guy and that is another one of this sketchbooks strengths. I cannot emphasise how much of a difference this makes to me when writing these reviews up. He come across as a man I would love to work with.

Other Points

Nothing more really to point out here. Perhaps just continue as you are as I would love to see more work from you.

Score 10/10

You know what I am feeling in a generous mood and I can only find one fault with this sketchbook, so Veneq, you are getting my first perfect score.

+ Great presentation
+ Some growth from the start
+ fantastic work in general

- I want more

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Okami Official Complete Works: Sponsored Post

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The game was heavily inspired by Japanese water colour paintings and wood carving art. The book itself is full of beautiful illustrations and stunning concept art. This is a must have for all those who love art.

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Friday, 5 April 2013

Sketchbook Review: The Aether Technician's Sketchbook

Sketchbook Name: The Aether Technician's Sketchbook
Artist: Aether Technician

Art Work

I really like this sketchbook. From post to post, you have no idea what will come next. I have seen 3D models, quick sketches, concepts, and even some sculpture work. One thing I will warn you about is the start is extremely rough. This is more from in experience than anything else.


In just a few months Aether has transformed so much. In the beginning his work, in all honesty, was not that good, but through hard work and determination Aether seems to be developing an interesting style. This is extremely early days at the moment but there is a lot of potential in his work.

There are a few areas that need addressing first. There are times when his colours appear a bit muddy, but this is a relatively new sketchbook and with the rate he is growing these issues should be sorted out in no time.


I am going to give massive points for this. Not only is his concept art presented in a very neat manner but he has also done something really rare in sketchbooks, animated images. These simple animations really bring the image to life and I would love to see more artists do this. The forever waiting image on page 5 gave me a chuckle.


Here is where the sketchbook falls slightly. I would love to see better audience interaction. I am not sure if he comments on other peoples sketchbooks but I am not a huge fan of 1 word responses. At very least mention their name. That said at least he acknowledges the comment rather than just post his next work.

Other Points

This is a fairly short sketchbook at the moment, with only 6 pages so far. But it is one of the most exciting ones I have seen. Unfortunately it is too small to gain the really high marks, that said I will probably re-review this at a later date.

I sincerely hope Aether does not lose his experimental curiosity as this will make his work stand out from other sketchbooks. Keep trying new things, don't be afraid to fail.

Score 6/10

+ Every post feels fresh and exciting
+ Interesting pieces
+ Great presentation style
+ Animated images

- Very short at the moment
- Little interaction
- Muddy colours in some areas

Featured Artist: Solomon Russell

I originally knew Solomon from my time on the IFX forums. Nice person so it is nice to be able to feature his work on this blog.

Be sure to check out his full portfolio over at

I love Solomons distinctive cartoony style. When he gets it right it looks fantastic and charming.

One piece of advice I would like to give to Solomon is to look back at artists that inspired him to see what he can learn from them.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Sketchbook Review: NorthernChild Sketchbook

I am going to try something a little different with this review. A new format. If it works out well then all future sketchbook review will be done in this format.

So what is new?

Well we will be reviewing the sketchbook. Not just looking at the art but also interaction with commenter, presentation of the images, and is the artist pushing them self.
Another new feature will be the rating system, complete with summery, so without further delay lets look at today's sketchbook

Sketchbook Name: NorthernChild Sketchbook
Artist: NorthernChild

Art Work

NorthernChild's sketchbook looks great. The work is at a consistent quality level. There is also a good variety of work. One minute Child could be working on a fully rendered finished piece, the next could be a sketch or 3D work. This prevents the sketchbook from getting too stale.


Not too much can be said here. NorthernChild has been pretty consistent. One thing I have noticed is that NorthernChild has got more daring with lighting techniques compared with the start of the sketchbook. I would like to see more interesting perspectives in future updates.


The presentation of some of her image sets looks really nice. This is really oblivious with the 3D projects. Rather than just post one image after another in a vertical column, some time is given to just make sure the layout is not only readable but aesthetically pleasing.

Another thing is some of the 2D works have nice frames around them. This not only looks nice but makes the images stand out that bit more.


NorthernChild always makes an effort to interact with anyone who comments on her sketchbook. If she has no images to show off she will write something anyway. I really enjoy this about any sketchbook. It shows that an artist is not too busy for their fans.

Other Points

Whilst this is what I would consider a high end sketchbook I do kind of miss quick studies. I appreciate that this may not be the direction that NorthernChild wants to go down but I personally always enjoy a few rough pieces or even something a bit silly on occasions.

That said this is a very good sketchbook, and one I am looking forward to see grow.

Score: 8/10

+ Good variety of work
+ Very skilled execution
+ Lots to view (over 23 pages)

- Could do with some interesting perspective pieces
- Would love to see more studies and environments

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