Four Speedpaintings

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Four new speedpaintings! One of these I painted a few months ago, but forgot to post it until now. The others were painted last week.


Photo reference: Nichelle Nolan


Photo reference: Jessica Truscott


Photo reference: Marcus J Ranum

Pixel Figure Drawing

Monday, May 26, 2014

Let’s revisit some classics. This week, three pages of pixel figure drawings, and one page of pixel street sketches, using as reference some of my old sketches from 2004, nearly ten years ago. For that page I’m trying the black outline style commonly seen in actual game sprites. It’s a neat effect … I’m not sure which style I like better.

Return of the Daily Drawings

Sunday, May 18, 2014

So as it turns out, one of the unfortunate side effects of doing a painting every day for a year is that you end up doing almost no drawing or painting for the five months that follow. Apparently I was in such need of a break that I’ve barely touched my Wacom tablet for any reason other than to slide it to a further out-of-the-way corner of my desk.

But as draining as the last year was, I can’t stay away forever. I’m starting up the daily drawings again, but this time only 4-5 days a week, so that I can: 1) have weekends off, and 2) have time for all the other projects that I didn’t have time for last year.

I’m also going to livestream on Justin.tv/artofzacharyknoles whenever I can. I already did my first stream of 2014 yesterday — you can watch the archive here if you missed it! I’ll be announcing on Twitter whenever I’m about to stream, so if you want to catch the stream when it’s live, be sure to follow me: @zacharyknoles on Twitter


Reference by Marcus J Ranum


Reference by Hong Ly


Reference by Null-Entity


Reference by Marcus J Ranum


Reference by Marcus J Ranum and Hong Ly

365 Pages: Complete Archive

Thursday, January 2, 2014

This time last January, I decided to draw a page every day for a year. I called them “pages” because I started off by filling pages with drawings, the way I used to back in art school, but it didn’t take long before I started using each “page” to do full paintings each day. In the end, if you exclude all the full-page studies like my Frazetta or Hobbit studies, I got over 200 paintings out of this project last year. Compare that with 2012, when I wrapped up the year with a modest 13 paintings.

Originally I think my goal was to just get better at painting — and I have, don’t get me wrong. In particular, I feel way more comfortable painting in Photoshop than I did before. I still have a lot to learn, of course, but at least my problems are now painting problems and not software problems.

But what I didn’t expect — and what I ended up enjoying the most — were all the weird tangents and experiments that this project allowed me to do. My drawing time used to be so rare and precious that I always felt like I couldn’t waste it doing anatomy studies, or old master copies, or weird little novelties like pixel paintings or paperback covers. But this project gave me such an abundance of time, not only could I indulge in all these weird experiments, but I could spend weeks on them, just to fill those pages.

Looking back, those pages are the ones stand out to me now as something really special.

Week 1: New Year’s Resolution
Week 2: Color Figure Studies
Week 3: Portrait Studies
Week 4: Portrait Studies
Week 5: Landscapes
Week 6: Landscapes
Week 7: Color Experiments
Week 8: Color Experiments
Week 9: Drow Week
Week 10: Frazetta Studies
Week 11: Personal Paintings
Week 12: Personal Paintings
Week 13: Personal Paintings
Week 14: Anatomy Studies
Week 15: Anatomy Studies
Week 16: Anatomy Studies
Week 17: Costume Studies
Week 18: Costume and Armor Studies
Week 19: Armor Studies
Week 20: Armor Studies
Week 21: Armor Studies
Week 22: Speedpaintings
Week 23: Speedpaintings
Week 24: The Hobbit
Week 25: Speedpaintings
Week 26: Speedpaintings
Week 27: Speedpaintings
Week 28: Cat Paintings
Week 29: Pixel Art
Week 30: Pixel Art
Week 31: Pixel Art
Week 32: Vexel Art
Week 33: Livestreaming
Week 34: Impressions
Week 35: Impressions
Week 36: Speedpaintings
Week 37: Painterly
Week 38: Self-Portraits
Week 39: Self-Portraits
Week 40: Self-Portraits
Week 41: Paintings
Week 42: Figure Paintings
Week 43: Pulp Covers
Week 44: Pulp Covers
Week 45: Video Game Pulp Covers
Week 46: Video Game Pulp Covers
Week 47: Sketch Noir
Week 48: Sketch Noir
Week 49: Sketch Noir
Week 50: Sketch Noir
Week 51: Jane
Week 52: The End

365 Pages: Week 52 (The End)

Monday, December 30, 2013

This being my final week of the year, it seemed proper to revisit the drawings I did in week 1 and week 2, and do them again — but this time with an entire year of drawing mileage behind me.

357 of 365:

Photo Credit: Marcus J Ranum

358 of 365:

Photo Credit: Nichelle Nolan

359 of 365:

Photo Credit: Marcus J Ranum

360 of 365:

Photo Credit: Hong Ly / Tofu Girls

361 of 365:

Photo Credit: Nichelle Nolan

362 of 365:

Photo Credit: Marcus J Ranum

363 of 365:

Photo Credit: Hong Ly / Tofu Girls

364 of 365:

Photo Credit: Marcus J Ranum

And for my final painting of the year, an encore of my most viewed set of paintings, thanks to a Kotaku feature from back in November. Seeing as I did the first two, I couldn’t just let the third go unfinished:

365 of 365:

And that was my 2013, one day at a time. Thank you for watching!

This won’t be the end of new artwork from me, not by a long shot. I’ll still be painting and making artwork, just not as frequently. What I really want to do is apply some of these new art styles to larger projects — ones that require more than just one day’s worth of time! But I don’t want to give up painting for painting’s sake. I think I’ll always want to keep making art, even if it isn’t “for” anything.

If there’s anything this project has taught me, it’s that it’s not actually that hard to just sit down and paint, and finishing a painting doesn’t take nearly as much time as you think it does. Or at least, it doesn’t have to. So just sit down and paint already.

I’ve already got next year’s projects planned out, but they won’t be quite as public as this year’s. (I’ll enjoy having some creative privacy, without the pressure of having to deliver something every week.) But when I have things to show, I’ll post about them here, and on Twitter and Facebook and wherever else.

Anyway, we made it through 2013! See you next year!