Tuesday, December 18, 2012


A great video from "The" Feng Zhu about the importance of fundamentals.  It will make you a better person. No, really.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Burrito (A re-posted rant from my blog)

 In my subject's defense, his proportions are highly exaggerated, though I was kind to the burrito.  I witnessed this in the Wilk today.  I'm not sure what this guy's major was, but I'll venture to say sword swallowing; most units of measure have a fixed standard, but "bite-size" is a relative term.

Walt Stanchfield once said "let your sketchbook take preference over your camera."  At first it seems harder to capture a moment, an emotion, a character on paper than it is through a lens.  However, the point isn't necessarily to capture a likeness– it's to capture life.  Too many people treat a sketchbook like a curated exhibit.  It shouldn't be; if it is, you're losing most of the benefit.  Sketchbooks are for practice, to be sure, and they can contain nice drawings, but more importantly they are to stretch your imagination and capture life. Life isn't always likeness. Have you ever shown someone a photo of an experience and said "I wish you could have been there, the picture doesn't do it justice"? Now, technically the camera captured the scene with complete technical accuracy.  Due to the miracles of modern physics and chemistry, everything you pointed the camera at is represented with exactness.  What then is missing?  It's life, it's heart, it's emotion.  A good photographer will capture all of these things in an image– but not every time, and they will certainly not make every passerby stop to set up lights and have a 2 hour studio session.  No, they move in and through the experience, never stopping. They open their eyes wide and try to find the story in every moment.  A good photographer will snap hundreds of pictures in ravenous pursuit of the one that will immortalize the experience.  A good photograph isn't just for the eyes– you can hear, smell, and taste every element of the experience.   It's the same with drawing.  If you are seeking to capture life, it can't be done by mere likeness; there needs to be something more.  To catch it, you have to keep moving, and I mean moving. Too often I think we pick our subject based on who is sitting still long enough to draw.  That shouldn't be the deciding factor.  Try looking instead for where the life is, for which subject has the most interesting story.  Drawthose people, even if your pen can't keep up with how fast they're moving.  The point isn't how pretty your sketchbook is anyway— it's whether you've caught a bit of life in your mind to breath into future characters.  At first these drawings will be nasty, as in pull-a-paper-bag-with-eyeholes-over-your-sketchbook-and-another-one-over-your-face-nasty.  This is a good thing.  It means you're stretching yourself.  And every so often, something nice will come out.  As you gain more experience, as your sketchbooks stack up, the number of nasty drawings between the good ones will shrink.  Best of all, your drawings will start, in some inexplicable way,  to come to life.   
     Remember, your job isn't to create an ink-jet likeness.  It's to "animate"– to bring to life. Sometimes you will want photographic accuracy, but often the most emotionally accurate drawing will be a caricature.

I've ranted long enough, but before I take off my "self-appointed-guru fez" I want to share one thing:
If you are at all serious about sketchbooking, buy this book.  The above link is a free preview on google book, which is a taste, but I would highly recommend getting the 2 volume set on Amazon. Best drawing book ever.

Ok, i need to sign out, my fiancee has confiscated my fez lol.  But no joking, get the book!  You will be happy you did.

In yo face

A fantastic tutorial about drawing the head in perspective.  Enjoy!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

An inspirational thought–

I ran into a quote today from the great writer and illustrator Howard Pyle–

"Throw your heart into the picture and then jump in after it."

In all that we do as artists, or in any other career, it's important to do what we do because we love it (Noah Bradley's thoughts on the subject).  If it becomes just about the paycheck, then what are we working for? Don't just work for a living, work to live.  

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

"Start often, finish well"

Some more spot-on art philosophy from concept artist Noah Bradley.  Enjoy!:


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Extreme Balloon Jousting

Remember, your sketch doesn't have to be complicated or beautiful as long as it's fun for you to get the idea out.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Developing a "Style"

Aloha Sketchmonkeys!  I just stumbled across this succinct but profound blog post by professional concept artist Noah Bradley.  It's really short, and well worth the read.  I feel it applies to sketching just as much as painting:


don't forget to check out his other concept art, there's some pretty slick stuff in his portfolio!

Alsoplus, a sketch from a roadtrip to Wyoming a while ago, I just posted it on my blog, but I thought it would be good to post it here too. He's an old biker I saw outside of Devils Tower in Northeastern Wyoming.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Digital Painting Links

Aloha Sketchmonkies, this is Josh.  As per request at the meeting today, here are some of rad-tastic digital painting tutorials!  These guys all have different techniques, each of them useful in different and mix-matchable able ways:


CG Society Tutorial – AMAZING intro to digital painting.  It's in a forum format, so it might be some work to navigate, but well worth it

Nebezial's Deviantart– Nebezial is somewhat of a force of nature in the DA community.  Beautiful stuff, but be warned, on occasion he does the "pinup" buxom lady thing . . . yech.  His dragons are much cooler.

Feng Zhu– Amazing environmental/mechanical concept artist from the more recent Star Wars Movies, more than 50 tutorial videos

Sam Nielsen–  BYU Digital Painting Professor/ Concept Artist at Disney Interactive.  BOSS.

"A Portrait of My Friend"– A great tutorial not only on caricature and painting skin, but also on how a few very basic brushes can interact to create astounding realism

 Again, none of these techniques is an end-all, each artist has a different style and you will find your own.  Just like sketchbooking, the biggest secret is mileage.  Draw every day, paint every day, and one day young grasshopper you will become a butterfly!  Except grasshoppers don't turn into butterflies . . . but you will become a beastly artist.  Like seriously.  Hard work . . . who knew? lol

 Stay classy!

And I lost the game.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

In a rut?

Hi guys, someone recently reminded me about this blog, I thought I'd pass it along.  It's called "today's inspiration" and has articles about old illustrators and illustration styles that can be just the thing for creative block.  Or procrastination lol.  Either way, here goes:


Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Some great resources

Hi guys, I just stumbled across a great sketch-booking resource page on Brett Bean's blog. Check it out here :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Some sketches from a personal design project I'm working on, just thought I'd share.   It's about an English Explorer's wife who has to safe her husband after a Witchdoctor switches his soul with a Guinea Pig :)  I'm tentatively calling the story "Pish-Posh"

Monday, March 12, 2012

sacrament sketches

so, since this blog hasn't been getting a lot of action lately, i decided to throw in an update of what i've been drawing.  also, visit my blog at www.austinbalaich.blogspot.com!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

E= MSugar^2

A quick sketch of some kids at the Cannon Center the other day, goofing around.  I suspect they had visited the desert bar shortly before . . . . gosh, I sound like such an old fogie :)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

WASPart has been updated!

Just an update for ya'all.  I've been working hard and just got a couple of portfolios off for concept art internships.  Here's a link to my blog.

BUT!!!  Because this is the sketchbook blog, I've decided to post some of my machinery drawings for the student film Chasm.

This one is one that I did in my sketchbook and tweaked in photoshop. . . okay, roughly painted. . .

AAAAAND. . . a colored version of Estefan as seen in the eyes of Picasso.

Monday, February 27, 2012


Just a few sketches from the last couple weeks, up top is Cyclops, who is tied for coolest X-man with Nightcrawler.  Sorry Wolverine fans, it's a scientific fact ;) Midships is a quick sketch of my roommate Justin from yesterday.  The man is is meme encyclopedia, in case you ever need assistance in such matters.  I think it's his major.  Last is this guy named William Smith who can play two clarinets at once.  Technically two half-clarinets, but still.  He performed at BYU about 3 weeks ago :)

Friday, February 10, 2012

My Prehistoric Valentine

Well, if you were a time traveler or something this could happen :) I believe this is my first club post so yeah, about time.
~Sarah Miller sarahmart.blogspot.com

"To Me, He Stinketh Not . . ."

Alohahola!  Heres is my Prehistoric Valentine :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My Prehistoric Valentine

Inspired by a boring institute and "savages" on Pocohontas, which I was watching right before.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Blog Challenge

Thanks to everyone to participated in our most recent blog challenge of snowball fights!

The next blog challenge is Prehistoric Valentine

Hopefully our activity at the museum of paleontology can give you some inspiration!

Have fun!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ever'day people doin' their thing P)

Sketched this guy in Rapid City, SD over break.  Poor gangsta . . . he was having trouble keeping up with his homies :'(

This one was witnessed, no joke, at the Wendy's on Bulldog today.  She waited for him to chew . . . echh. :)

Baby at the bean museum this afternoon, reaching for a prarie dog . . . awwww :)

Hip Wal-Mart guy from a recent sketch-crawl with Kendall and Mitch

Nephite Haberdasher lady.  Haberdashery is the business of selling buttons and sewing materials.  Fun word :) When I learned the word I had to draw something about it ;)  Hey, that could be a fun sketch game!

Have the fun!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Snowball Fight - Austin Balaich

i was never good at throwing snowballs... so i've always wanted a snow blaster.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Years!
The new blog challenge is....

As usual, post your sketchwork that has to do with the theme, or whatever else you've been working on. We want to see it!