Vanquish Studio

1 Comment

Before You Commit to an Idea, Sketch it First!

It’s actually a good idea and a good habit to create a few sketches before you commit to a drawing and actually draw it. Why? There is nothing more aggravating than spending time on the details or the shading ¬†or the textures or whatever, only to find you don’t really like the overall “look” once you are done. Maybe you don’t like the pose? The costume? The facial expression? Who knows? My point is, you may spend a lot of time on something you may not actually like! So what can you do to fix it? SKETCH IT FIRST!

I’m an art teacher. I’ve been an art teacher for 20 years and one thing I see time and time again is impatient artists. They draw things they know they are unhappy with but continue doing it anyway. It’s crazy. Then, once they’ve finished, they throw it away because they didn’t like it! Why not fix mistakes or make alterations in a few sketches before you actually commit to inking or coloring with markers? The time you save with the sketches is better than having to re-do your art entirely because you’ve thrown it in the trash.

Two useful tools I use for sketching are a blue and red lead. I generally sketch my image using basic shapes and fleshing out the figure with a non-photo blue pencil. If I see anything that needs correction, I use the red pencil and go over it. I don’t erase! The reason I don’t erase is so I can see where the incorrect line is and correct it. If I erase it, I may draw that same line again and again.



If you look at the new Star Wars art of Rey that I’m working on you can see the initial sketching of the figure in blue. Then I decided I needed to change the positioning of the cinture, the jawline, and the right foot (her right). Afterwards, I went over it again with an F lead pencil. This is a good pose and I like it after all of the alterations. I’m going to re-sketch it again with the changes. I may draw a few sketches with different expressions too. I’m not sure I like the current expression. All of these changes I’m going to make BEFORE I actually ink it and make another coloring page.

Here is another potential Thanos artwork and soon-to-be coloring page. I made the basic shape of the pose and anatomy using the blue lead and added the details of his costume in red. It’s easier for me to see how the costume works with the pose of the figure because the two different colors highlight different aspects of the drawing. This is also helpful for determining how I want my final “look” to be realized.

For this artwork, I’m going to draw a few more sketches with different expressions.


So what is the moral of today’s lesson?

It is infinitely easier to change a sketch than to redo a completed artwork. A sketch is just a few lines whereas an artwork is colored, inked, and takes a lot more time. Since you’re spending time on the artwork anyway, why not do a few preliminary sketches and work out your overall concept? The time you take during the sketches will save you the time it would take to create re-do.

Go forth and SKETCH!





Leave a comment

Art Supply Review: Ohuhu Markers?

20190723_113713A friend of mine recommended buying from WISH so I looked up markers. I’ve been looking for markers that will do the job but aren’t as expensive as Copic markers. I generally use Chartpak AD markers when I draw commissions or original art at comic cons. AD markers are wonderful for laying basic color over a large area and they blend well. The only problem is that they bleed terribly so it isn’t a good thing to use them for smaller or more detailed areas. What does an artist on a budget do? Buy from WISH!

I looked up markers and read a few reviews about Ohuhu markers before I bought them. Then I looked online and found that WISH had a great deal- 60 markers for $24. I ordered them and they arrived in record time.

Okay, let’s break down the pros and cons. First, the markers are an oblong shape and easy to grip which is a plus. Second, the colors are brilliant with a lot of intensity. The ink flows out of the pen evenly and is very easy to use. I love the selection of the colors as well. I made a chart of the colors that came with my set:


The selection of blues, reds, violets, and greens that come with the set is pretty good. I also liked the variety of grays; from warm to cool to blueish grays. It adds options when rendering any neutral colored subject. My only complaint would be to get rid of the fluorescent colors because they looked too much like regular highlighters. I would also add a canary or lemon yellow and not just the two gold colored yellows that came with the set. The good thing about these markers is that you can order any color you want. If the marker is dried out, you can ask for a new one – FREE! The dual tip is also a wonderful feature. The broad tipped edge is perfect for large areas while the smaller, brush tip is ideal for the smaller, detailed areas. There isn’t any bleeding. I used these markers on an original sketch and I didn’t see any bleeding in the smaller areas. I was able to keep areas of my artwork white that I wanted to leave white without worrying about bleeding! The price was definitely right and I’m very happy with how these markers handle and perform.

These markers don’t bleed together like the Chartpak AD markers do and you won’t lose the streakiness of the overall look. If you are coloring a large area on your paper, there will be streaks. Overall, however, I was very happy with my Ohuhu markers. If you don’t have a lot of money and can’t get Copic markers then Ohuhu is a good option.

Below is an example of Ohuhu markers used to color Thanos. I think these markers are a good value. Vanquish Studio officially recommends using Ohuhu markers.


Leave a comment

Finally Saw Endgame!

Yes, it has been this long since I saw Avengers: Endgame. Wow, what a crazy film! I was surprised that Thanos destroyed the Infinity Stones and life went on all dreary for about 5 years until Scott Lang came out of subatomic space to save the day with time travel. (I did go see Ant Man and the Wasp, which was pretty good.) I didn’t know that Vision was truly out of the game for good once that stone was destroyed. I also didn’t expect that EVERYONE who has EVER been in a Marvel film was basically in this one. It was like movie star homecoming!

Thanos! What a villain?!?! He destroys half of all life in the universe and then tries to do it again! What does that mean? A new Thanos coloring page! A big baddie like that deserves another go. Only this time I’m going to draw that incredible double edged sword he fought with in the movie in my dra. I may have to do a Black Widow as well to memorialize the awesome job Scarlett Johansson did in the role.

Here is another Iron Man coloring page since Tony Stark saved the world, again!

Ironman Coloring page


Leave a comment

Why Draw from Life?

A lot of people ask me how to get better at drawing and the answer is always the same, keep drawing! The only problem is that people don’t know exactly what TO draw. I look around my house and find everyday objects as my subject. This helps with a very useful and much needed skill if anyone is going to improve their craft. Drawing from life helps to train your eyes to see in three dimensions but create that same optical illusion on a two-dimensional surface: paper. Truthfully, when you are recreating the physical world on to your paper, you are creating the illusion of depth because the image doesn’t really recede into space, it’s a flat piece of paper. Or you create the illusion of light with values because we all know there is no light inside the image. This is the trick to drawing believable forms in your art.

As you draw from life, look closely at the lines, textures, values, and shapes that create the image. You may need to draw it a few times before you get a sketch that you are happy with, so don’t get discouraged! Drawing from life is NOT as easy as people may think. Many people work from photographs which have already flattened the image for them. It’s a good habit to draw from life and not just from photographs.

In this video, I make a quick sketch from a houseplant. This may seem silly or simple but it actually helps with looking at the shapes that make up the plant and . Go find a houseplant, some paper, a pencil, and an eraser and get started! Walk around the plant, look at it from above, place it on a shelf and draw it from below. There are a variety of ways to draw plants which will help hone your sketching and drawing skills.