As was foretold, we've added advertisements to the forums! If you have questions, or if you encounter any bugs, please visit this thread:
We're funding a new Acquisitions Incorporated series on Kickstarter right now! Check it out at

Art Dump. Would you be so kind as to take a look?

Drew-BDrew-B Registered User regular
edited July 2011 in Artist's Corner
Wow, it's been a few years since I've posted here, and by a few years, I mean something more like seven.

I recently fell into drawing again after discovering touch screen drawing applications, and I could use some tips, critiquing, whatever from you fine folks. It's dawning on me that I really have nobody examining my work from a critical level, and paired with a complete lack of formal training, I think I might be ripe for some input. I know I still struggle a bit with anatomy, but other than that, I'm pretty oblivious as to what rookie mistakes I might be making.

This place was a thriving art community when I last posted, so I'm hoping someone will be kind enough to take some time to lend some guidance.

If it matters, I prefer to use a normal round brush and stray from any kind of filters, non-standard brush templates, etc. It's not really a pride thing by any means. It's just the way I enjoy drawing digitally. On a different note, these are done on an HTC Thunderbolt using AutoDesk's Sketchbook program.





Thanks in advance!

Drew-B on


  • KoopKoop Registered User regular
    The perspective of the cityscape is remarkable. Though lost quickly due to the color thought process. Its especially noticable with your human piece, unless it was intentional to be that gray?

  • Drew-BDrew-B Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Thanks, could you go into a bit more detail about how the colors of the building scene degrade the impact of the perspective?

    The human piece is at dingy venue, but definitely not supposed to be that gray, no. I've read a shading tutorial that was pretty indepth yesterday and realized I was sapping all saturation from my drawings by going overboard with highlights and shadows, so I'm trying to avoid that while coloring my current project (the forest/pygmy headhunter scene)

    The best I can do at this point, as it was my first drawing on this phone and not something I wish to go back to (it's my least favorite, not to mention), is set the contrast to be on par with how the image looks on my phone. Damn PC screens wash out all the color.

    Edit: Oops, I used the same direct link so the version in the OP is now the updated version too:


    Drew-B on
  • KoopKoop Registered User regular
    The cityscape, the fact its so rich and heavy with lines; at least with me the color really doesn't do it the justice it deserves. This is more so something I see in my personal opinion though

    The person one, a good suggestion i've learned in my funtimes of paint is to use a completely different color to shade with and let it blend in. In example, If my skin tone is orange, I'd use a reddish orange and blend them together.

  • Angel_of_BaconAngel_of_Bacon Moderator mod
    The first thing that sticks out to me is that you're overemphasizing detail at the expense of the overall read of the picture/forms- and without something to unify the whole piece (composition, light, color scheme, etc.) it makes it difficult for the view to make sense of what they're looking at. In the color pieces especially, it appears you're trying to color in every single little tiny piece one at a time, rather than starting making sure that it read in a broad sense first, before narrowing down to the individual parts.

    Let me try to show you what I mean. I took your dude above there and painted over him, stripping him of all the ultra-detailed linework and color, and knocking it down to basic forms. Everything's either lit, or in shadow. Arms are cylinders, chest is a flat plane, tubes knocked down to basic cylinders, etc. If you squint, you can see the whole of the torso is basically on one big cylinder. By doing this, I was able to focus on just making sure that the overall sense of form and light was solid. It's not detailed (or particularly pretty since I was just hacking at it real quick-like) but it starts to feel like a tangible object.

    After that's established, I can go in and reintroduce all the details and such, and it will remain feeling solid because I've made sure those details are subordinate in importance to the overall forms, rather than dominating and thereby weakening them.


    Being able to simplify is also important to the overall composition- I look at the second picture in the OP (the one with all the trash), and I don't know where my eye is supposed to be going, how I'm supposed to be reading to picture, because it's so dense with undifferentiated detail that everything just winds up blending together in a mass. Trying to make everything equally important, just winds up making everything equally inscrutable.

    The best example I can give here of what I'm on about is some compositional studies that Erik Gist did of old James Bama covers. Now, James Bama definitely likes himself some details, but what makes the picture work is the basic composition that Erik's boiled the picture down to. In the first two, he's given the central figure the highest value contrast between light and dark in order to draw the eye straight there, and popped that against a middle value background so neither the dark or light value gets blended into the value of the background. In the third, he reduces the figures to an overall dark triangular shape popped against a light background. There's no ambiguity as to what the viewer is supposed to look at or why- it's very clear and very thought out at even this most basic level.


    That's why professional illustrators that can do mind-boggling detail will still sweat over doing a bunch of tiny thumbnail sketches before sitting down to do a piece, because they know that detail won't save a poorly thought out composition. If you can start to think more about how to make pictures read well at a simple level, the details you're so fond will wind up being a thousand times more effective.

  • Drew-BDrew-B Registered User regular
    I've got to run out the door to sign my first lease with a significant other in a moment (woo!) but I just wanted to say thanks to you both before I respond more in depth.

    Angel, I'm positively giddy looking at those draw-overs. You're incredibly right about my pieces having no solid form to them, and just being a mass of detail. I'm trying hard to incorporate some of these thoughts into the piece I'm currently working on, but since it's already very nearly finished, I may not be able to incorporate all of your points until my next piece. Regardless, I'll update soon.

  • Drew-BDrew-B Registered User regular
    Been busy with apartment business and the whole bit lately, but I've finished that WIP from the OP.

    I tried incorporating some of the things you mentioned Angel. I know I've still got a ways to go, but I'm really happy with how I'm changing my style in contrast with, say, that post apocalyptic piece from the OP. I'll keep working at it.


  • BelruelBelruel NARUTO FUCKS Registered User regular
    I missed that you draw these on your phone the first time I looked at them. Very impressive work. I especially like the first one, great perspective on it, so intricate.

    Is this the largest size you have them in? I think that tree stump one would look good a bit larger, so the detail is a bit more apparent.

  • Drew-BDrew-B Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    It's kind of a weird dilemma because the device I draw them on has a much higher pixel density than any computer screen your viewing these on, so when the images are scaled to the size they appear on my phone, they lose a bit of detail as you've pointed out.

    Really, they look entirely different when viewed on their native device. Whenever I pick up another digital camera, I'll try and take a side-by-side photo of a drawing pulled up in my drawing application alongside the same drawing on a computer monitor. It'll probably take you by surprise, quite. I realize that won't solve the pixel density issue, but even the colors and contrast are so much richer on the native device. Porting these to a monitor really seems to wash out the color for some reason. The only way to make them more comparable is to open them in photoshop and crank up the saturation and contrast, but that's a bit messy.

    Drew-B on
Sign In or Register to comment.