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Happy clicking! Any questions? Leave a comment or email me at AbrianC@hotmail.com.

A sketch for the cover of my finished sketchbook. The first word in this book was “valias.” And since I’ve been drawing sheepmen… there ya go:

Valias Cover Sketch

Caution: Long review post

So when I make a purchase over like… $15, I do some research. When I make a major purchase I do a LOT of research. My original drawing table was supposedly moved with all of our other stuff when we switched storage units. After searching for a few years I still can’t find it! And the unit is very tidy so either it is well hidden or it got left out (which is silly because I still have the chair for it).

All that aside, I needed a drawing table. It needed to be:

  • Able to raise and lower to be ergonomically correct for my height (because I know that I will be spending a lot of time hunched over it)
  • Come with an adjustable top to angle to at least 30°
  • Less than $300 otherwise I’d just build one

The preferable features were:

  • A stationary table top area that stayed flat while one side lifted
  • A shelf or drawer for light storage
  • As large as possible so I won’t kick myself for not having enough space
  • Glass top was a viable option

And so I researched. And researched. Apparently the lifting legs is not a common option in drafting tables. Even though they are $800+. Okay then. I settled on a glass top model that was the closest match and I was just going to give up on the raise and lower. Then I found the Studio Designs Graphix II Workstation:

Image shamelessly ripped from Amazon

It’s not fancy. At all. But it has all the features I required and was cheaper than every other option (since I ordered the price has gone up a bit but it was originally $180. If that’s too much, there is a smaller model too).

It’s huge. But assembly was super easy since all of the parts are labeled. Seriously:

IMG_20150411_180044378That’s a thing of beauty

It has 4 heights plus the very bottom (not setting it to a height). I am about 5’3″ so putting it at the very bottom allows my legs to be at 90° which is much better for my back. For standing I actually put it on the highest notch and it’s just about perfect.

The only issue is lowering/raising the table. The table top is pretty heavy and you have to unscrew the pegs on all four legs so it has a tendency to not move evenly. I keep a very clean desk so it’s no trouble to tip the whole thing over and change the height. But consider this if you have limited space or a messy desk.

Bottom line: This desk is amazing and being able to stand as I work is not as uncomfortable as I thought it would be. I can work just as many hours and it encourages me to take more breaks and move around since I’m already standing up. It’s a great asset to my work flow.

Happy Easter! I would totally have drawn something Easter related if I hadn’t watched Indigo League Pokemon last night and remembered how utterly deep and creepy it used to be. Can we talk about Sabrina?

Sabrina

 

I mean no one even questioned the fact that she levitates. She’s hyper psychic and that ultra creepy doll… And this was totally fine for my little brain. I think it was a little creepy but I didn’t think it was terribly radical.

…And Sabrina is kind of my favorite. I mean, she’s with Team Rocket. How cool is that?!

I’ve learned something over the past month. I don’t like to ramble about myself but I felt this one was necessary. This is for all the hyper-productive people out there. We get up early, work, exercise, clean, bed on time, the whole package.

I thought I was resting. I mean I only got maybe an hour or three of artwork done on day job days, 5-6 on weekdays. I got plenty of sleep, exercised daily but still had a ton of time to relax. And I did relax. But I wasn’t actually RESTING. Let’s talk about the difference and why it matters.

My general schedule went: Wake up early, 1hr exercise, 1hr artwork, 7hr day job, rest of the night to work, clean and/or relax. Not bad right? I really wasn’t doing much. And frankly after my day job I’d be super unproductive so cleaning and work were often saved for the weekend.

First change: I just said I was unproductive after the day job right? But mentally I knew I was just fine and I expected myself to work after I got home. And I’d feel bad when I didn’t. So I’d try to cram more in the morning but one can only get up so early! So I ditched that expectation. Instantly I felt better and actually produced more work and had more energy than before.

Second change: I exercised every day. It wasn’t high impact so I didn’t need a break right? But I also looked the same from when I started a year before (and on and off before then). Guess what? Even with a medium-intensity workout, the body needs rest to enact the changes you’re making! So I went to a strength-building workout 3 days a week. I still can’t fathom how working out less is better, but I can literally feel the mending happening as I rest an extra hour in the morning (not necessarily sleep but rest).

Two changes. That’s it. Last weekend I took one day off to rest and clean, then I drew a record number of pages the following day!

Moral of the story: Sleep and good food are vital. But so is rest, mental and physical. Not just hanging out and relaxing but genuine moments of rest. Cutting back is scary but I’m more productive after doing so!

I haven’t had a moment to post lately! I’ve really been slacking on these hour long practice sessions, not in the application of technique but in the actual final drawing. So I’m spending the last few days actually plotting out a decent drawing. So my almost finished image from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight:

IMG_2615

Some days drawing is like pulling teeth… I didn’t do a proper warm up either so if I intend to work later I should get some doodling in today! I put my main guy Berin into a mage pose that I’d usually use for Emir. Didn’t turn out as awkward as I predicted!

21 Days - 17

Back to my Nautical Forest Machines:

21 Days - 16

 

Wish I had spent more time forming the foliage but I’m getting less and less disappointed with the way these are turning out!

Another toned sketch after Justin Gerard:

21 Days - 15

 

Much simplified and tying into my comic as usual! Instead of a firmer paper, I went with softer Prismacolors. A lot more sharpening but certainly easier to get a dark line.

It feels odd to do a study of a drawing for some reason. So I opened up some toned drawing images from Justin Gerard and mixed it with some Nausicaa:

21 Days - 14

 

The papers I have been using are scraps or backing or packaging paper which are rather soft. I may grab some tougher paper for the rest of these studies… Definitely feeling better about my sketches though! Maybe my point in this 21 Days has really been “More Beautiful Drawings.” Crud. I haven’t been sticking to my Nautical Forest Machine theme lately… I should do some before the days are finished!

Okay. Last character portrait to get me comfortable with the medium. Tomorrow I start a toned study on real paper!

21 Days - 13

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