Mike Butkus / class project | Skillshare Projects



Mike Butkus / class project

11th update,

It's been awhile but life has swept me into manything since the last post. so im back to my grinding stone, spent alot of time doing more concepts for future projects and working on techniques for those as well. This illustration is close to 20 x 10 inches on rives bfk paper. I thought after going through all this i would do a finished piece since it was eating my lunch but it would help engrain all the things i had learned if was souly commited to doing my best. so this is an update on the graphite stage. as posting this i have noticed a few weird pockets of light that i would like to push back into darker colors.

My next step is to do several watercolor washes over the entire illustration pushing all my highlights back to about 40% darker, then i plan to go in and brighten my highlighted areas. the reason i have taken so long on this is so that i can raise myown exicution bar and set a higher standard for what kind of work i produce, i have many things to work on still i feel. but i also have come to realize if i just concept ideas and never finish them, then what am i doing. so this so far has been a long adventure but its been worth it. 

this is my crappy iphone photo. im also curious as to how is the best way to scan this, do i photo or scan or what. anyone have any pro tips

thanks everyone


i will be posting updates on my instagram if your interested in checking it out.


10th update,

Line work and defining all weekend. I have take in the pieces and placed them individually in place in photoshop so I could be sure that the placement looked good perspective, aestheticly with a big emphasis on composition. Hopefully it looks nice to Mike and everyone. The foreground beast needs some work, I will playing around with his head more this week but wanted to give a update. I will also this week be taking this into photoshop to help determine my lighting, light sources to help me decide on what approach I will be chugging out by hand on my paper. I wish this stuff just poured out of me like it does Mike, so I could carry around a sketch book of masterpieces. But until I'm that good, I'm going to be doing this as a final on some fancy pants paper Rives BFK print makers paper I need to order that next week. I have used the egg shell, and white in the past and you can definitely abuse the stuff, great for graphite as well as wet media so I think it might be nice to have for the final of this project. Im not sure what Mike would use as a final, but I would love to know.

Link to the paper I want to order, just wish it was a bit thicker!


9th update,

I did several tree studies for the background then decided I was over thinking it. I don't want to take away from what is actually being shown in the image, so I took one last shot at making these trees seem tall, like jail bars, stretched and tall in more of a design style instead of an illustration style. I want it to feel like the chance of getting out of the woods will be very hard and looks to only be getting harder.

I have played around with the creatures a bit, I first went in the area of some sort of hyena, then decided to go more an amphibious looking version then it changed again. So I want to keep in mind they are resident to a dark moldy forest floor. So I have yet to lay out more detail along the design of these guys. But I almost wanted to mix the following into one final, hairless cat (skin, ears and hunting mannerisms), stegosaurus dinosaur (spine plates), camel cricket (fat body, thin legs and feet) and maybe some spider eyeballs. I have a exposed bone for the foreheads of these guys (maybe they ram each others heads for territory reasons or use it to bust open old trees while hunting smaller creatures. They obviously work in teams)

This weekend I want to try and flesh out the field nurse and the soldier, and have several versions of the creatures that I can scan and show early next week.

thanks for looking everyone!

8th Update,

So last time i posted 4 different versions, i never said which one was my favorite. I even spent a little while asking peoples opinion on facebook and email, everyone liked a completely different version more then the other, it was so up in the air and actualy very unmotivating. I think the issue is i did not tell the rest of the story with my image. so i took some time to try and illustrate other elements in the picture, this is very rough as i have been busy with other projects this past week. 

the tell all. Well my favorite was number (#1), but many loved number (#4) so i tried to alter number (#1) to feel more exceptable to fit the role. In doing so I have made the soldiers neck longer, so i could show more of the soldiers face. i pushed his right arm back a bit further so show that she is pressing on it to help advance her footing. but i did not use the extreme tilted version of the shoulders on (#4) as i felt it was so loopsided. I did alter slightly the packing around his waist to give a bit more of an inclined lean Via the bags.

So as i am egear to move into drawing her surroundings, and elements that play a big secondary role in the image. i have made a digital sketch of the direction i am moving. plus i really wanted to draw some creatures, and knowing Mikes knowledge and love of them this is the time and place to do so. the tree line behind her is  going up at an incline, so it will look like it goes on forever. think of it as a very dark nasty woodlands.

Hope everyone is doing well.

this morning i spent a little more time adding in some shadows as i think it will help me pay attention to the key parts that will bear more detail. thanks for looking guys.


Seventh update,

I have went back to the drawing board, I have taken in to consideration all the elements you gave me in your version of the field nurse drawing. I loved how you made it feel more real, hyper real. I did four versions with different little tweaks and touches. I did a few with his left arm still attached and a few with his right arm still attached. I am fond of two of my new sketches but I wanted to show them and get feed back before I got to attached to any of them. The two I like the most are quite different then each other so its quite a tough decision. Thank you agian Mike and everyone that has given me feedback, and everyone thank you for the encouragements! 

I wanted to work these out a little more but i have had a crazy week, some of the angles are not correct on soldiers head but some are okay, please note that i will pay close attention to that when doing a redefined piece before going on to a final.

Thanks Am


Sixth update,

A great big thank you to Mike for taking the time to review and give my key points on my illustration. for details on what is written please see the comment section. 

I will be reworking this, i want to follow mikes direction as well as a hybrid piece. I hope i can improve, as its hard to get solid advice i just got from Mike.

thanks again and stay tuned everyone. 

thank you again! 


Fifth update,

A HUGE THANK YOU TO EVERYONE FOR GIVING ME GREAT FEEDBACK, it really helped me a ton. I have rethought out the girl in the pic, worked on her legs like everyone mentioned and how they bend and land on the ground, I have also leaned her forward to show that she is supporting more weight then it showed before. I also enlarged the band around her waist showing how she is carring the soldier.

I may still work on the direction of her face, chang what she is looking at. but for the sake of this class i tried to keep it more foward facing because of the details mike is teaching us in class about attention to face drawing.

going to do a once over with the line art and make sure i am happy with the composition, and the background.

fourth update,

alright just moving along, here is a full image of the two interacting characters, field nurse carring the partisian soldier, he is in shock but able to help support his weight with his surviving arm. i want the ground to be muddy, with bits of other fallen cyborg footsoldiers strewn about. the background will be forested trees of some sort like the red line illustrations posted below. but i would like to add a few human elements as if this was once a habited area. not sure what that will be, but im being very hard on myself and trying to think out side of my relm.

thanks for looking would love some feed back, this place is bare bones on the feed back, kind of like talking to myself im starting to think i need a stray jacket or be force feed some heavy antipsychotic meds.

third update,

after drawing the soldiers head about 30 or more times, i may finally be happy with the angle and mood i was able to capture. i want it to be precieved that he is in shock, but still alert to the point of being able to keep his head up and is still able to help the field nurse carry him by supporting some of his own weight with his only surviving arm.


Second progress Post...

Refined the thumbnail to give more natural movement in the figure on the field nurses back. I added cloth, helmet, battle damged right arm. I thinks this helps confirm that this is a battle damged droid / cyborg of some sort. She will also be synthetic, but of sleek design with some makeshift parts kind of like c3p0's leg and elbow joints. 

with gas mask, but shes a robot. hmmm.... looks cool.

one with out the helmet, but felt it was to posed. not defeated enough for a battle damged robot to be so alert... so this one was is a no for me


First progress Post...

have been working on the movement, and subject through several thumbnails that did no relfect so well. i will further refine, and crop the image as i feel like i may have the weights put in a little weird right now. she is a battle field parts collector, or botmedic of some sort.  


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