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Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Sketchbook review: Sketchbook Journey

Sketchbook: Sketchbook Journey
Artist: Mack

It never ceases to amaze me  the abundance of talent across the Internet. Mack has not only one of the most varied and largest sketchbook I have seen but it is also one of the best. There are a multitude of styles and subjects here so you are bound to find something you like here.

Gun concepts.

From page one you are treated with professional level concept art. The presentation is slick and appealing giving you both a sense of the design options and how the fully rendered version would look like. I have yet to see another sketchbook pull this off to this level.

Another impressive feature in this sketchbook are the storyboards. They are crisp and detailed. Movements are readable, not only that but they give a great sense of atmosphere. All this with using only a monochrome style.

Example of Mack's storyboards.

Even Mack's sketches and life studies look unique. By simply using a beige colour pallet Mack produces an eye catching style for his studies. The shoes have a great depth to them that I don't think could be achieved with just black and white.

There are a few 3D models in the sketchbook. Again I am extremely impressed with the presentations. Not only do the models look great but by simply drawing a person next to the model we instantly get a sense of scale. The 3D creatures are imaginative and eye catching.

The only thing I would like to see in this sketchbook would be some youtube videos. I feel some quick speed drawing sessions would be very popular. I feel this sketchbook is better than some of the art book I have.

Picking a favourite piece was a challenge but I feel the image above is a great representation of Mack's skills. The character concept looks great but like all of Mack's pieces there is a presentational flair that I have not seen in any other sketchbook. Do not miss this sketchbook.

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ArtFreck Needs You!

Greetings all. Phoenicorn here speaking on behalf of ArtFreck. I'll try to keep this brief.

Basically we need your help. At the moment we are currently only doing sketchbook reviews with the occasional interview. Now I have ideas of what other type of article I would like to write but I would also like to hear what you guys would like to see on this blog.

Please leave a comment here and tell us WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE ON ARTFRECK?

Thanks all and I will have a new sketchbok review up very soon.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Sketchbook review: Kvetchbook

Sketchbook: Kvetchbook
Artist: Kvetch

The thing I love about Kvetch's sketchbook is the potential shown. It starts off with some oblivious confidence issues but as the post come the talent grows. You can see the effort put into this sketchbook and you can get a sense of the commitment the artist has put into his craft. The transition from blurry lines to solid forms is an impressive feat making this sketchbook one to keep an eye on.

Blurry lines at the start of the sketchbook

The studies are sharp and crisp making them really enjoyable to look at. Some of the early ones display some really advanced theories like textured and reflective surfaces. These are really hard to pull off but Kvetch makes it look effortless.

Note the textured and reflective surfaces
One of Kvetch's strengths is knowing his weaknesses. His early figure work is a bit weak so he focused on tightening up his figure skills by a set of measurement exercises and just general practise. The study shown bellow is a fine example of what can be achieved when you focus on fixing your weaknesses.

Still life studies feature heavily in this sketchbook. Simplistic items such as mobile phones are rendered to near perfection. This attention to detail makes them eye catching and nearly tangible. These are by far some of the best still life studies I have seen in a long time.

There are some extremely inspiring imagination studies in this sketchbook. Using what looks like a custom brush at varying opacity produces a great stylised effect. I would love to see this expanded upon.

The only critique I can really give is I would like to see more imaginative figure studies. Kvetch seems to have a grasp of studying figures but I have not seen many unique character designs from him. I must say what the sketchbook lacks in figure work it more than makes up for in environments.

My highlighted piece has to be an environment. Kvetch has a natural ability for creating eye catching scenes and the piece bellow is my favourite. The futuristic feel combine with the eye catching yellow is really fun to look at. Everything feels crisp and neat yet still has a stylistic look to it. The background works perfectly with the foreground leading the eye around the image.

Be sure to check out Kvetch's sketchbook at

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Sketchbook Review: Blindrat (anthro artist)

Sketchbook Name: Daily Scribbles of a Blindrat
Artist: Blindrat

I don't see many sketchbooks that deal with primarily anthropomorphic or anthro art. Even if you remove this novel idea the sketchbook is one of the strongest i have seen both in style and competency.

As well as hosting an array of unique characters there are quite few studies. Blindrat's environment studies  not only look fantastic but also show off his talent with colour. each one captures a mood or feel perfectly. The face studies (shown bellow) show Blindrat's ability to add personality to any character. Each face is unique which is quite a task considering the amount of faces in this one study alone.

One of my favourite features in this sketchbook are the animated WIP (work in progress) images. In these you see some of his creations from just a rough sketch right the way to near finished piece. They not only look great but they give the sketchbook something unique that very few other sketchbooks have. I would love this idea to trend and feature in more sketchbooks.

I struggle to critique this sketchbook. There are sketches, finished pieces, studies and even a 3D model. The only thing I can think of that I would like to see would be some character reference sheets.

This is that part of the sketchbook review where I select my favourite image but I seriously cannot find one. There are so many great pieces and as soon as I settle on a favourite image something else catches my eye. I suppose that is a cop out so after much deliberating I chose the indie project commission. The scene looks great, the lighting is fantastic and the colours really pop out at you. This is a fantastic example of what Blindrat can do. You owe it to yourself to check this sketchbook out

Monday, 21 January 2013

Sketchbook Feature - Dile wants to go to art-center!

Phoenicorn back with another featured sketchbook. At ArtFreck we are determined to showcase some of the best art work from around the web. Today we feature Dile's sketchbook.

Sketchbook Name:  Dile wants to go to art-center!
Artist: Dile

Whilst some of his images are missing from his sketchbook, it is still worth a visit. Dile has a fantastic grasp of both colour ant texture. There is a great variety of media here from full renders, to 3D models, to youtube videos this is a fantastic sketchbook to visit for inspiration.

I spend a lot of time trawling the web for sketchbooks to feature but I very rarely come across 3D models. The image above got me excited because of the presentation. The white section is used very cleverly to give both a sense of scale and depth. I would love to see more artists post this kind of thing on the web.

Dile's sketches look fantastic. The image below is a great example of his proficiency in perspective. Lines and shading are solid, easy to read and a joy to behold.

Dile has some extremely impressive environment pieces. The skill shown in the image above showcases his professional attitude to whatever subject Dile is given. I love the presentation of all the images, they really work as a set.

The image bellow is my personal favourite. The little girl stands out and really grabs your attention. The use of the rule of thirds is also masterfully done. I could look at this all day and not get board. If there is one complaint I have it would be I feel this would work well as a series of 3. I would love to see the workings of this image.

The only critique I have about this sketchbook is I feel he needs to work on a book of his own. I would snap something like this up in a heart beat. Also I would love to see more videos. Dile is an extremely talented artist so if he was to produce 1 time laps video per month I am certain that he would get a big youtube following. Speaking of youtube be sure to subscribe to his channel right here.

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Saturday, 19 January 2013

Sketchbook Review: Floatharr's endeavours

We are back with another sketchbook feature. Without further delay lets get started.

Sketchbook: Floatharr's endeavours
Artist: Floatharr

If there is one thing that makes this sketchbook stand out it is the value studies. I rarely see such crisp and confident work. Flotharr has an almost instinctive grasp of shading which makes his studies really leap off the page. The skulls (featured bellow) are an excellent example of how a simple sketch can be transformed into a really impressive fully rendered piece.

I have not seen a sketchbook with hair studies for quite some time so I was delighted to see some nice loose drawings on this subject within his sketchbook. They are simplistic but not to the extent you cant workout what they are. They all seem to have personality and the line art is confident.

Whilst looking through his sketchbook I also noticed a post on hand studies. Anyone who is struggling to draw hands may want to check this sketchbook out.

The one thing I must really point out is the massive progress Floatharr has made. The first page was nothing too special but when you compare to the later pages you can really see the dedication and love for the craft blossoming. This is not some guy who started off talented. He really worked his butt off to get to the level he is at today.

For critique I would like to see more fully fleshed ideas. Maybe character sheets but most certainly more competition entries if he has the time.

Before I end this sketchbook review I would like to leave you with one of the most eye catching images in Floatharr's sketchbook.

I love the colours, lighting and unique depth of field. Very unusual piece that is almost touchable.

Keep up the very nice work.

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Wednesday, 16 January 2013

We are back + Sketchbook feature

Greetings all
Well it’s a new year and I am making major changes to ArtFreck which should mean more updates and more artists featured. Over the next few weeks I you may see some changes in the design of this blog (the current design is temporary) but more on that another time. Lets feature a sketchbook.

Sketchbook: Sketchy Sketches Of Doom
Artist: Braineater

Let me start off by saying I am a sucker for 2 things, studies and stylised art. Braineater’s sketchbook has both. You can see the dedication to her studies by the sheer amount of them in this sketchbook. The latest batch of 1-point perspective studies look daunting, in a good way.

Posemaniacs seems to be another favourite study point for Braineater. There are alot of figure drawings here and whilst they may not especially standout individually as a group they really show commitment to her craft. One thing I would say is she needs to watch out for small anatomy errors especially with the heads.

Style wise this sketchbook is really impressive. Braineater produces at least one charmingly stylised image for each anatomy error she makes making her sketchbook one of the most charming ones I have had the pleasure of stumbling across. The strong lines and great grasp of cross hatching (and in more recent studies water colours) really puts a smile on my face. I really cant wait to see what she does next.

Whilst I really like this sketchbook there are some flaws that could be overcome with a little study in the right areas. My main gripe is with line confidence. Straight lines appear wobbly. This could be solved by practising drawing basic shapes like squares, triangles and circles as a warm up exercises.

Next is the occasional anatomy issue, particularly with heads. I think by spending a day or 2 just mapping out the human head and where the features would fall (with guide lines) would be of great benefit to her.

Overall I really love this sketchbook and I hope Braineater continues to challenge herself. I would love to see more of her stylised water colour works just because the look great.

Remember to show her some love by visiting her sketchbook

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