Billie's sketchbook [2023 - ]


New sketchbook for new year.
Turns out not doing any kind of long-term project, not following a schedule, and not doing any challenges… was a bad idea =D
Hopefully I’ll sort things out soon(-ish) and get back into shape. There are things to do.|
For now, here’s a cat =P


Frankly, I don’t know how to start again. Mostly I’ve been curled up in my chair, asking the universe “What’s the point of doing anything?” :sweat_smile: Skipping SculptJanuary seemed like a good idea at the time, but now I think I needed some kind of push.
I went and sculpted a head, but got stuck on short stylized hair. How to make it lowpoly but stylized in the way I want? No idea. WiP:

I’ve decided to get back doing Sketchfab Weekly Challenge. The way I was going about it last year (for a few entries) was to interpret prompts as some characters and props for a fantasy game. Most (probably all) of those I already have would need to be re-done to be actually used in a game and style/workflow is far from being finalized, but it’s a thing in progress.

Last week’s prompt was “Fuzzy”, so here’s a background character - Charlotte.
I’ve tried various ways to add fur, but so far hasn’t found the one I liked =( It’s hard.

Here’s a 2D exercise: draw a random blob shape > add a cat face in random place of the shape > add the rest of the cat into the shape > marvel at your design abilities.

On traditional side of things:
We’ve got a lot of random polymer clay in my house. I find it wasteful that it just gathering dust since the person who bought it lost interest (for now at least). I want to find some use for it. The only caveat is that I don’t know anything about clay properties or sculpting irl.
So I tried it out - using Sculpey III - and made a familiar shape, to get a feel for it. It’s super stiff, I’m not sure it’s supposed to be that hard to deal with :thinking:


GeoNodes: curves

Sometimes, I feel like everything I do with GN comes down to curves :person_shrugging:

While struggling with stylized hair, I thought it would be nice to be able to control parallel curves with one master-curve. Profile is made up of multiple splines > radius scales ever spline profile individually, so they don’t arrive in the same point at the tip.
Here, “user-controlled” curve radius scales the distance between the separate curves from the position they would have assumed normally. The “thickness” radius is controlled by a Float Curve instead.

At some point it occurred to me that the idea was not that good, but I’ve come to view it as an exercise for brains so I’ve finished it. It even unwraps nicely, though needs to be scales manually.

Also, before that made a group to spawn random children from a master curve. Too random for my tastes hence the multi-spline profile idea.


Polymer clay is super stiff; you can only work with it out of the package if it is extremely fresh. Sculpey III is one of the softer ones; Fimo is so hard it can’t be worked even fresh out of the pack. Back when I played with it, the pros all chopped it up in a (dedicated) food processor and then ran it through a (dedicated) pasta machine to warm it up and make it more malleable. Especially if it’s old – if it’s really old, might have to add some liquid extender to it while chopping.

Looks like we all are having trouble to get going in this new year, darnit. Yay, cat!


There is also stuff like this, what is infact just a drill stand with a plastic stopper.

If its too hard you can also use some mineral oil ( not too much).


@piranha4D @Debuk ah, that sounds like a pain. I suppose I should experiment with it: maybe I’ll be able to at least make beads out of it, or something with low-frequency ornament :thinking: Doesn’t sit well with me that this stuff is just hidden in box there…


Purrfect shaped catbeads sounds good. Maybe with the tail as stand. :grin:


For Sketchfab Weekly Challenge last week’s prompt was “Umbrella”… but since I was avoiding actually doing anything, I missed it. This week it’s “Love”. So i though, ok, it fits the picture that I had in mind for last prompt so I might as well combine them. Yeah… I’ve kept avoiding it as well :sweat_smile:

In the end, I figured I had to do SOMETHING, anything - let it be messy and completely destructive, but at least it’s better than nothing =P

Better to do these characters right and in my own time, than stress over messing them up.


The pose of the umbrella girl looks great, really like her expression. And your drawings are lovely - hope to see more of your stuff :rabbit:


I’ve been doing this and that: some sketching practice here, some experimental node noodling there… and as it turns out it doesn’t generate any renders worth sharing. :person_shrugging:

This week prompt is “Box” (last week was “Snack”, but I absolutely detest food topics). I figured it would be better to keep it simple and just practice material painting.
Two boxes on the left are the only rejects that survived - I keep complicating the process, blurring everything too soon, adding too many details and losing shapes - it took a while to start properly :sweat_smile:


I disagree, based on the results here :sweat_smile: I’m drooling over your texturing prowess here. The top right and middle top especially- I would play the heck out of a game with this art style


Hehe, thanks. These are the last two chronologically =) At first there was a lot of stumbling around - painting and painting over on top. I guess, by the end I got a bit of understanding of how to approach these textures.


I went ahead and caught the virus (at least a demo version of it). While relatively light case, this was not fun. Poof! - just like that, two weeks are wasted in a lie-down-and-hope-the-room-will-stop-spinning kind of deal. Whatever little momentum I accumulated was gone and I have to start getting my energy back again. It’s agonizingly sloooooow.

To get things moving I made a, uhhh… sketch thing. It’s not meant to be properly detailed or polished, just a bunch of roughly sculpted shapes masked by lights. It took 3 days (!!!) because I can’t yet focus on anything long enough :rage:

I’m also trying to practice drawing - it’s been a frustrating experience so far, because I only get ridiculously random results. Like, I get an okay enough image for my skill-level, yay, but not at all what I was aiming for :crazy_face: And what I need is to get some character design nailed down, so that I can make sense of the next model.

I really am trying not to whine so much about everything. But so far this sketchbook is not going according to plan :sweat_smile: This year goal is to get it together already :rofl:

And remember, kids: don’t be an idiot and stay safe :mask:


Oh no, so sorry you caught the evil thing! I am still avoiding closeness with groups of people like the plague (:snort:, well yeah, they’re all potential plague vectors); too worried about it.

But the sketch thing looks very cool – I am definitely wondering about the story here (you are under no obligation to provide one, or even to have one, it’s just an indicator that a work of art makes me think, affects me in some way). Lots of emotion there.

Hope you’ll recover as quickly as possible.


Hey, I caught it too last week. It wasn’t terrible (just a daily build), but it sure did ruin my plans and productivity over the week!

Hope you recover soon.

The sketch is fabulous btw!


@piranha4D, @Charles_Weaver thank you :slightly_smiling_face:

I’d tell you but it’s a work in (very slow) progress so it might change completely by the time (if) I get the story actually going anywhere =D


Wish you a fast recovery!
That in 3 days is very fast imo btw, I’m impressed as usual by your work. Can’t wait to see you in full productivity!


Attention span? What attention s… ooh, I suddenly feel like dropping everything and re-reading 14 volumes of that old manga I liked. And then watch its anime adaptation :crazy_face:

…I think, character poly-modeling is just not my thing -_- I don’t find it particularly enjoyable… maybe because I’m bad at it. There’s so many issues with this I have no idea where to even begin fixing them. :person_shrugging: Still a fun little detour.



Love the hands!

Someone I met the other week tested positive, but looks like I managed to duck it so far.
Get Well Soon.


It’s always interesting to hear different people’s perspectives on character creation approaches- I love poly modeling, absolutely loathe sculpting, and poly model exclusively at this point in my journey. That said, I’m not very good at sculpting, so maybe we all just hate methods we aren’t good at :wink:

Your hair looks great, I love the tapering lines