30 - Ergonomics and Art

General / 31 October 2022

Hello and welcome back my dear readers! Here are highlights of my October activities:

  • 2 weeks of struggle with lower back pain and new ergonomics setups
  • Colored a monochromatic portrait I left unattended 3 months ago
  • Learning character design
  • Fan art of Lucy and David from Cyberpunk - Edgerunners
  • Entered Halloween 2022 contest by Escape Motions

Ergonomics is surely a big concern for many artists including myself. Since I draw daily, a proper setup of keyboard, mouse, monitors and drawing tools are crucial. However, most of the time, I don't know which setups will work out until I hurt myself with wrong setups after a few weeks or months later.

I've kept finding a way to place my keyboard underneath my Cintiq, but it's quite tricky. Luckily, I've found a cool monitor arm right in my city (Ho Chi Minh city). It's from a brand called Humanmotion (around 70 USD). So, thankfully, I did not have to find a way to buy a 329 USD Ergotron from the US (the shipping fee would be insane then).

My Cintiq Pro 13 inch on HyperWork VESA HPW-LT01 and Humanmotion T9-1B Pro Thunder Monitor Arm

Besides, I've found a compact mechanical keyboard called Keychron K2A2 (about 60 USD). Thanks to its small form factor (without numpads section), the keyboard can sit beneath my floating Cintiq, and I can comfortably put my stylus pen and mouse next to the right side of it.

Current arrangement of my Monitors - Keyboards - Pen - Mouse

I also got to thank my new ergonomic chair too. It's called Epione Easy Chair (about 220 USD) from a local vendor in my city. The cool thing is that it has an adjustable lower back support. That's just what I need, indeed.

I really like this new chair with adjustable lower back support

I'm not having a standing desk, so I've found a work-around with an old laptop stand for my keyboard and mouse. I'm hanging a monitor on the Humanmotion monitor arm, so it seems like it's floating in the air. I can browse the web, watch art lessons, or write blogs with this interesting set up while standing up. This helps change my posture throughout the day, so I don't sit all day long on my new chair.

I'm using an old laptop stand for my keyboard and mouse

I'm using this stand-up setup to write this month's blog

The new ergonomic setups have set me free from my shoulder and lower back pains (at least I'm still fine while writing this blog at the end of the month). I was so happy that I continued to work on the rough monochromatic painting below to a finished colorful artwork to celebrate this joyful moment. If I could not solve this ergonomic problem, I was afraid that I could not draw or paint at all. The pain was scary indeed.

Portrait of Aryiel
(Left side: Monochromatic rough; Right side: Finished Artwork)
inspired by the painting process of Iliya Mirochnik, a wonderful art instructor at New Masters Academy

Without shoulder and back pains, I can return to my daily art training and learn some more about character design from Trent Kaniuga and Daxiong Guo. I usually start with a gesture drawing practice session to loosen up my hand before going to the hard stuff like character design.

Some gesture drawings to warm up

Three different versions of a Female Knight,
inspired by the "Gothic Knight Character Design Workshop" by Trent Kaniuga on Gumroad

I'm learning Character Design with Daxiong Guo at New Masters Academy

Meanwhile, Cyberpunk - Edgerunners was getting a lot of attention. Thus, after watching that anime show produced by the wonderful collaboration between Polish and Japanese teams, I just wanted to paint a fan art of Lucy and David. Here it is:

Fanart of Lucy and David
(Painted in HeavyPaint and Photoshop)

By the way, I started to notice that the more time I spend horning my craft, the less I care about events and festivals. That's why this Halloween season, I've decided to do something about it by entering a Halloween art contest hosted by Escape Motions. Here comes a little witch with her raven friend!

Halloween 2022
(Roughly sketched in Photoshop then painted with oils in Rebelle 5 Pro)

It's getting long and I should wrap it up here. Even though we have video platforms like Tiktok and YouTube, which seems far more entertaining, you, my dear readers, still choose to come back to read my blog each month. Thank you so much for your time and attention! Until next time, take care and have fun with your journey!