Never Seen Before! Three Unfinished Paintings From My Sketchbooks!

2015 Artwork sketchbooks July sketch

Well, I was in a slight rush when it came to making today’s article. So, instead of a proper article or review, I thought that I’d show you three unfinished paintings from my sketchbook.

I’d originally planned to post four unfinished paintings here, but the last one was an unfinished satirical cartoon (about the Jeremy Clarkson fiasco in March) and I was worried that it might be too controversial.

One or two of these pictures originally only existed as pencil sketches, but for the sake of clarity, I’ve traced over my original pencil lines with ink (and increased the contrast levels fairly heavily).

I made all of these failed paintings back in March when I was feeling very uninspired. Most of these pictures started out fairly well, but I ran out of ideas and/or enthusiasm shortly after I started them (and long before I could add any paint).

Anyway, without any further ado, here they are:

Although I quite like how this picture started out, my mind unfortunately went completely blank when it came to thinking of an idea for the background.

Although I quite like how this picture started out, my mind unfortunately went completely blank when it came to thinking of an idea for the background.

This was originally going to be a gothic/cyberpunk painting, but I was in an extremely unenthusiastic mood at the time and ended up abandoning it a few minutes after I began sketching.

This was originally going to be a gothic/cyberpunk painting, but I was in an extremely unenthusiastic mood at the time and ended up abandoning it a few minutes after I began sketching.

As you can see, this was going to be a really cool heavy metal-themed painting. I can't remember why I abandoned it at the time, but - in retrospect- I'm kind of annoyed that I did.

As you can see, this was going to be a really cool heavy metal-themed painting. I can’t remember why I abandoned it at the time, but – in retrospect- I’m kind of annoyed that I did.

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Anyway, I hope that this was interesting 🙂 Hopefully, I’ll write a proper article or review for tomorrow.

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A Ramble About Optical Illusion Drawings

Ha! You must be joking!

Ha! You must be joking!

Well, since I can’t seem to think of an idea for a proper article for today, I thought that I’d ramble about a really cool art-related thing that I saw online a few months ago. I am, of course, talking about anamorphic “3D” optical illusion drawing videos on Youtube (like this one).

Bascially, these are the kinds of drawings which appear to be actual 3D objects when viewed from a particular angle. They’re like those famous pieces of “3D” pavement art that get sent around in chain e-mails occasionally.

But, of course, anamorphic 3D drawings often tend to do this kind of thing on a much smaller scale. So, after seeing a few videos of people making this kind of art, I started to wonder “how do they do this?

Thanks to having about three years of regular art practice, I was in a slightly better position to work out how it was done than I might have been a few years ago. After all, even the most basic types of “realistic” drawings and paintings require you to be able to draw things that look like three-dimensional objects. Like this:

"Random Still Life" By C. A. Brown

“Random Still Life” By C. A. Brown

But, even though I could figure out the basic principles of how these kinds of optical illusion drawings work, my own attempts at even just copying the ones I saw on Youtube ended in miserable failure. And I think that I know why.

I still don’t understand enough about perspective and lighting.

You see, one of the things about making optical illusion drawings is that the perspective and the lighting have to be absolutely perfect. They have to be absolutely identical to what a 3D object might look like when viewed at a particular angle. They have to be close enough to the real thing to fool your brain into thinking that you’re actually looking at the real thing.

In other words, you have to know exactly where the light will fall on different parts of the object that you’re drawing. In addition to this, you not only have to know what something looks like from a particular angle (which is something that most artists can work out just by looking at it carefully), but you also have to know how to represent this view from a totally different angle too.

In other words, you need to be able to draw a bird’s eye view of the side view of something, so that it’ll look realistic when the paper is held at a particular angle. If this sounds confusing, that is because it is.

Ultimately, this kind of thing is still years ahead of my current artistic abilities. But, at the very least, I now know why artists make these kinds of drawings – not only do they look really cool, but they are also the ultimate way to show off your artistic knowledge and talents. And, as types of showing off go, I can’t think of one that’s cooler than this.

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Anyway, I hope that this was interesting 🙂

Yes! Here’s Even More Random Stuff From My Sketchbooks!

2015 Artwork sketchbooks April sketch 1

Well, I’d originally planned to write a proper article for today. But, about halfway through writing it, I realised that it wasn’t really going anywhere and I couldn’t think of what to write next. Eventually, I abandoned it out of sheer frustration. So, here’s yet more random stuff from my sketchbooks instead. Enjoy 🙂

A while after I wrote yesterday's article, I was watching a review of an old adventure game called "King's Quest V" on Youtube. And, well, I felt like drawing a medieval wizard...

A while after I wrote yesterday’s article, I was watching a review of an old adventure game called “King’s Quest V” on Youtube. And, well, I felt like drawing a medieval wizard…

These were a couple of unusually detailed doodles I made in my sketchbook whilst trying to think of ideas for blog articles back in January.

These were a couple of unusually detailed doodles I made in my sketchbook whilst trying to think of ideas for blog articles back in January.

I made this sketch of a Minbari fighting pike whilst watching "Babylon 5" a couple of months ago. In case my writing is illegible, the text reads "Minbari fighting pike - WAY cooler than a lightsaber!".

I made this sketch of a Minbari fighting pike whilst watching “Babylon 5” a couple of months ago. In case my writing is illegible, the text reads “Minbari fighting pike – WAY cooler than a lightsaber!”.

These were a couple of random monsters I drew when I was trying to think of an idea for a horror comic. The top monster was originally going to be in a comic called "It Came From The Recycling Bin!", but I decided to make a sci-fi comic (called "Conspiracy 1983") instead....

These were a couple of random monsters I drew when I was trying to think of an idea for a horror comic. The top monster was originally going to be in a comic called “It Came From The Recycling Bin!”, but I decided to make a sci-fi comic (called “Conspiracy 1983”) instead….

This was an abandoned attempt at making a comic-based article for this blog. Seriously, it's been AGES since I last made one of these!

This was an abandoned attempt at making a comic-based article for this blog. Seriously, it’s been AGES since I last made one of these!

This was a failed first attempt at re-making a drawing/painting called "The Important Question" that I re-make every year. Expect to see the final version of it on here on the 17th of this month.

This was a failed first attempt at re-making a drawing/painting called “The Important Question” that I re-make every year. Expect to see the final version of it on here on the 17th of this month.

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Hopefully, I’ll think of a good idea for a proper article for tomorrow, but I hope that you enjoyed this quick look inside my sketchbooks 🙂

Another Look Inside My Sketchbooks

2015 Artwork sketchbooks March sketch 2

Well, once again, I wasn’t really in the right mood to write the article that I’d thought of writing for today (literally, I wrote about two paragraphs before giving up in frustation). But, rather than turn this into a depressing diary-style post, I thought that I’d share some more random doodles and failed drawings/paintings from my sketchbook with you today.

As usual, there will be the monthly “top ten articles” post tomorrow and I’m not sure if I’ll write a joke article or an ordinary article for 1st April. So, it may not be until the 2nd April that proper articles resume here. Sorry about this.

Anyway, I hope that you enjoy another look into the never seen before pages of my sketchbooks:

This was originally going to be a drawing called "Be All My Daydreams In Black And White", but I ended up abandoning it for some weird reason.

This was originally going to be a drawing called “Be All My Daydreams In Black And White”, but I ended up abandoning it for some weird reason.

This untitled drawing started out quite well, but my mind went completely blank when it came to thinking of an idea for the background.

This untitled drawing started out quite well, but my mind went completely blank when it came to thinking of an idea for the background.

This was another unfinished drawing. Again, I couldn't think of a good enough idea for the background if I remember rightly.

This was another unfinished drawing. Again, I couldn’t think of a good enough idea for the background if I remember rightly.

This was going to be a melodramatic painting/drawing of a medieval knight. But, for some weird reason, I ended up abandoning it.

This was going to be a melodramatic painting/drawing of a medieval knight. But, for some weird reason, I ended up abandoning it.

These were some random 3D shapes that I doodled in my sketchbook a couple of days ago when I was trying to think of an idea for a blog article.

These were some random 3D shapes that I doodled in my sketchbook a couple of days ago when I was trying to think of an idea for a blog article.

This was a random spaceship design that suddenly popped into my mind, probably when I was watching "Bablyon 5" on DVD recently.

This was a random spaceship design that suddenly popped into my mind, probably when I was watching “Bablyon 5” on DVD recently.

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Anyway, I hope that this was interesting 🙂

Even more NEVER SEEN BEFORE art and comics from my sketchbooks!

2015 Artwork Sketchbooks february title graphic

Well, I was short of both time and ideas when it came to making today’s blog post, so I thought that I’d show you some more random “never seen before” art and badly-drawn comics from my sketchbooks today.

Sorry about this. Hopefully I’ll write a proper article for tomorrow – but I hope that you enjoy this glimpse into my sketchbooks nonetheless 🙂

(Most of these pictures and comics can also be enlarged by clicking on them too.)

Anyway, let’s get started:

This was an unfinished sci-fi drawing I made a few weeks ago. At the time I wasn't feeling very confident in my abilities, so I wrote it off as "terrible" and left it unfinished. But, looking at it again, it might be worth finishing...

This was an unfinished sci-fi drawing I made a few weeks ago. At the time I wasn’t feeling very confident in my abilities, so I wrote it off as “terrible” and left it unfinished. But, looking at it again, it might be worth finishing…

THIS is the horrifying truth behind old-school FPS games (like "Doom")!

THIS is the horrifying truth behind old-school FPS games (like “Doom”)!

This is a random page from my sketchbook, that also features Suzy from my old "CRIT" comic series in the bottom right corner of the page.

This is a random page from my sketchbook, that also features Suzy from my old “CRIT” comic series in the bottom right corner of the page.

Well, I was watching an episode of "NCIS", when I suddenly had this hilarious idea for a Wild West-themed comic.

Well, I was watching an episode of “NCIS”, when I suddenly had this hilarious idea for a Wild West-themed comic.

This was a badly-drawn picture of Katniss Everdeen that I drew when I was watching the second "Hunger Games" movie on DVD a few weeks ago.

This was a badly-drawn picture of Katniss Everdeen that I drew when I was watching the second “Hunger Games” movie on DVD a few weeks ago.

This was a totally random idea for a character that I had a few weeks ago.

This was a totally random idea for a character that I had a few weeks ago.

I was watching "The Young Turks" on Youtube a couple of months ago, when I noticed that all of the presenters' jackets were colour co-ordinated. And, well, I felt like making a Rothko-style modern art doodle based on this. Since it's modern art, this little scribble is probably worth millions....

I was watching “The Young Turks” on Youtube a couple of months ago, when I noticed that all of the presenters’ jackets were colour co-ordinated. And, well, I felt like making a Rothko-style modern art doodle based on this. Since it’s modern art, this little scribble is probably worth millions….

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Anyway, I hope that this glimpse into my sketchbooks was interesting 🙂 Hopefully, I’ll write a proper article for tomorrow.

Why Should You Keep Two Sketchbooks? (And Never-Seen-Before Pages From My Sketchbooks)

2014 Artwork Two Sketchbooks Sketch

If you’ve been creating art for a while, then you probably already keep a sketchbook. In fact, you probably have several (I have at two in use at any one time – an A4 watercolour sketchbook and an A5 plain paper sketchbook).

But, if you’re just starting out as an artist, then I’ll explain why it’s a good idea to keep at least two sketchbooks.

Why?

Well, it’s pretty simple really – you keep one sketchbook for the high-quality work that you want to show other people and you keep one sketchbook for the low-quality work that you don’t show anyone. This might sound slightly strange, but you need the low-quality sketchbook in order to make stuff for the high-quality one.

This is because the low-quality sketchbook is where you do all of your practice, try out new artistic techniques and possibly plan out ideas for the pictures you plan to draw and/or paint in your larger sketchbook. In addition to this, it can end up serving as a diary, a general notebook, somewhere to doodle when you’re bored and about a thousand other things too.

To use a rather clunky metaphor, your low-quality sketchbook is the “soil” that everything in your high-quality sketchbook grows out of. And, by keeping your low-quality and high-quality material in separate books, you’ll be able to impress people a lot more easily whenever you show off your work.

Not only that, keeping two sketchbooks allows you to self-censor your work, whilst still allowing you to express yourself at the same time. For example, my high-quality watercolour sketchbooks just contain paintings that I’d be happy to show to almost anyone.

But my low-quality sketchbooks contain all sorts of random cartoons (some of them are pretty rude..), satirical sketches, introspective poetry, random drawing practice and things like that. If you keep two sketchbooks, then you can keep one private and keep one for public consumption.

In addition to this, it’s best to use spiral-bound sketchbooks if you can, for the simple reason that it’s both easier to remove pages (if you want to frame anything or send your art anywhere) and it’s also much easier to scan pages from a spiral-bound sketchbook than it is to scan pages from a hardback sketchbook.

Well, since this is about all I can think to say about sketchbooks at the moment, I thought that I’d show you a few carefully selected pages from my own low-quality sketchbooks in case you were curious about them (click on the pictures for a larger version):

My plans for a sci-fi comic I never made called "Orbis Viridis"

My plans for a sci-fi comic I never made called “Orbis Viridis”

The (slightly censored) plans for my unfinished and abandoned "Ephemera" comic.

The (slightly censored) plans for my unfinished and abandoned “Ephemera” comic.

The REAL reason why I can't draw "Simpsons"-style art.

The REAL reason why I can’t draw “Simpsons”-style art.

My attempt at drawing something with an old pen from the 1990s that I found a few months ago.

My attempt at drawing something with an old pen from the 1990s that I found a few months ago.

This was when I was trying to work out how to draw the outlines of people's faces in a more realistic way.

This was when I was trying to work out how to draw the outlines of people’s faces in a more realistic way.

Some random planning for two "Damania" comics I made late last year

Some random planning for two “Damania” comics I made late last year

The sketchbook page that contains the little sketch at the beginning of this article.

The sketchbook page that contains the little sketch at the beginning of this article.

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Sorry for the ridiculously short article, but I hope it was interesting 🙂

Today’s Art (26th April 2014)

Well, since I couldn’t think of a new idea for a painting for today, I decided to paint a new version of one of my favourite old drawings called “Lot 89 (II)” (which is, itself a redrawing of another drawing).

I seem to make a new version of this picture about every two years, so it seemed like the right time to do this. I’ll include the previous version of this picture here, but not the first version I drew in 2010.

As usual, the two pictures in this post are released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

"Lot 89 (III)" By C. A. Brown

“Lot 89 (III)” By C. A. Brown

Lot 89 (III)” is the latest version of this picture and, although it’s in “widescreen”, in a higher resolution and the technical quality of the art is a lot better. I’m not sure if this is my favourite version of this picture, since it has less “personality” than the second version did.

"Lot 89 (II)" By C. A. Brown  [2nd October 2012]

“Lot 89 (II)” By C. A. Brown [2nd October 2012]

Lot 89 (II)” is probably my favourite version of this picture, since I decided to give it a much more gothic and J.G.Ballard-esque dystopic sci-fi background than the original version.

In addition to this, I also used an original character in this version of the picture (the very first version of this picture started out as “Heathers” fan art and then went in a slightly surreal direction instead). This allowed me to make this version a lot more gothic than the first version – and it’s also why I’m not posting the first version here either.