Study Round-Up

It's been longer than I intended since I let my habit of doing quick morning studies lapse but two things have got me back to working on them:

The first was joining The Ultimate Study Group on Facebook. Weekly challenges plus other artists sharing their own studies helps with both inspiration and motivation. It's nice when you want to doodle something but can't settle on a subject.

A couple of recent studies from the group that I'm pretty pleased with. The first topic was lava, so I decided to paint this amazing BLUE lava from a volcano in Indonesia (it's burning sulphur!).

This next topic was Skin (but not your own skin tone) so I referenced an image I've had saved on my Pinterest for ages. The source is here. I didn't use the colour picker and instead eyeballed the colours 100% - as a result, my study is too warm and dark. When I put them side by side I did consider using a colour adjustment layer to fix it, but I decided that I'd rather leave it as it is, as proof that my observational skills need more practice!

And the second reason for doing more studies? A commission which involves actually showing hands doing something, as opposed to being casually hidden behind...well, literally anything I can get away with hiding hands behind.

I can't show anything from the commission for a while yet, but here are a couple of the studies I did. The reference photos of me, pajama-clad, staring bleary-eyed into the camera first thing on a Saturday morning are not seeing the light of day and I'm doing you all a favour in this. Trust me. Art - it's a glamourous business...

These only took a few hours in total but so worth the practice (I took a bunch more reference photos and could have sworn I was posing the same way in each one, but my hand position turned out entirely different in all of them. I just couldn't have made it up from my imagination).

If you have a Facebook account and want to join The Ultimate Study Group, just make sure you have some of your artwork linked or shown on your Facebook profile so the admins know you're a practicing artist. It's a really handy way to challenge yourself to tackle a new subject, or just to give you some focus for a relaxing doodling session.