As was foretold, we've added advertisements to the forums! If you have questions, or if you encounter any bugs, please visit this thread: https://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/240191/forum-advertisement-faq-and-reports-thread/

Questions, Discussion, Tutorials

14244464748

Posts

  • Angel_of_BaconAngel_of_Bacon Moderator mod
    Lamp wrote: »

    Bacon and Lyrium, where could you see yourselves and your careers had you NOT gone to school? Could you say a few words about that?

    Well, that's difficult to say- I only went there for about ... 9 months? A year? And when I went back to work it's not like it was some massively huge change from what I was doing before in terms of what I was working on- I didn't go from small casual PC/DS games and then all of a sudden I'm lead concept on a huge AAA project or getting 5 pieces into Spectrum- I still work on fairly small, casual-ish type titles. I still apply what I learned there every day, and my work is a lot better because of it, but it's still an ongoing process of learning and figuring out how to use it and apply it all, keeping all those principles kicking around in my head as I work and continuing to develop, rather than "I learned it all! Now I can just make all the art I want, perfectly!"

    If I had 2, 3 years to attend, maybe that would have made a larger difference on the front of moving into bigger, flashier work- but the point is, no matter how long you may or may not study, don't expect it to be a magic bullet to getting everything you may want. I still have a far ways to go to be able to achieve what I want artistically and career-wise, and I may still find myself returning to atelier training again one of these days to help to try to get there.


    What I feel it did gain me was a depth of knowledge that kept me employed and (mostly) on momentum towards better, senior concept roles, rather than spend a lot of time as a 'jack of all trades' artist as I had done previously. I bounced around doing a lot of random things because I would take whatever I could get, but now I've got some ability to push towards the roles I am interested in. I may have gotten the same roles eventually, but it would rely more on a lucky break- and I don't feel I would do nearly as well when I got it.

    Also helpful was not just the skills themselves as directly applied to the work I do, but to be able to speak effectively about what needs to happen artistically in a game overall- having put a lot of time into deciding where to punch up contrast in a figure drawing, also relates to where to punch up contrast when looking at how a unit sits on terrain, for example.

    It also helped in letting me continue to do actual art in my career, which I would hate not being able to do- if you're only 'ok' at art, even if you get in, you may find yourself displaced later on in your career by another 'ok'-skilled youngster willing to work for less, or by outsourcing. So hanging on to a career in the industry if you've only got an 'ok' level of artistic skill may be a matter of moving up (taking an art director role at a small company and making a career out of that (something I've personally avoided getting on a career track for, because I don't want to deal with the more managerial aspects) or sideways into producer/designer/outsource coordination roles.

    So if I went that way, I might have still stayed employed in the industry- there's a good chance I could actually be getting paid more and have more job security if I did so- but the downside would be I might have been shuffled into a role I ultimately didn't enjoy at all, and would take little pride in doing. I'm an artist, I want to continue to make art, so investing in education to continue to be able to do that, and to continue to do it at ever-higher levels, was worth it to me.

    On the other hand, I don't have a wife/kids/mortgage/health issues/etc. that might push me to make career decisions more based on the money.


    That may have more shades of gray and be more vague than the sort of super-inspiring zero-to-hero story you may want to hear, but that's been my experience.

    But then, this also doesn't take into account things like personality, which could also be a big deciding factor in how things turn out I may type a bunch on here, but IRL I'm a social recluse and don't really attend any industry events- so someone with the same art skills, but is a lot more outgoing/socially proactive, may get further a lot faster career-wise.

    Lamp
  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    Man, I've got the week off work, and I thought I'd get a lot of anatomy practice in, but damn if it doesn't feel like math homework sometimes. I feel like I wasted most of yesterday failing to grasp how the serratus, obliques and pecs interact.

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    @Hexmage-PA often studying is a frustrating process, It tends to be you actually trying to think about things and not doing the normal autopilot drawing we all do. I find that art knowledge is especially hard to cram. I just recently compared it to a workout, and I do think its helpful to think about it like a process rather than homework.

    You generally need to work on these concepts over time. Imagine you are in a yoga class, and someone is showing you an an advanced pose. You see them doing the thing, you understand how its supposed to work, you try to get in the pose and your body says "haha, fuck you". You cant just try to strike the pose all week until you get it, either, your body has some physical blocks that it'll need to work on over months. Well in drawing, you will have some mental and observation blocks that will similarly get in the way of concepts you think you understand.

    Posting for crits helps a lot, because sometimes you thing you are doing the right thing, when in fact you are doing it all fucked up. If you can do an exercise and get feedback, it helps to then repeat the same thing attempting to apply the advice. You will eventually have to try something else and go back to it, you cant always force things to click. That's why you need to oscillate your subject matter and study regularly.

    F87
  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited July 2015
    One thing I've started doing this week is browsing art references on Pinterest for anything that might be helpful, thinking that I might stumble upon tutorials showing techniques that might "click" for me. I've found quite a bit of anatomy studies that look helpful, but I admittedly don't know how accurate they are.

    Hexmage-PA on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited July 2015
    Iruka wrote: »
    Do you own any books? There is a good list of them here: http://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/196617/anatomy-resource-masterpost#latest

    I actually own far more art books than I'm able to go through at my current rate. Ditto for digital references. I've got a two-foot tall pile of books I've been meaning to go through in a chair in my living room.

    Hexmage-PA on
  • ChicoBlueChicoBlue Registered User regular
    edited July 2015
    If you're looking for some hard anatomy stuff to use along side your art books, then there's a video series here:

    https://www.youtube.com/user/drbobrd/videos

    They're super dry and not the best production value, but having someone just point to muscles on a model, point to their origins and pronounce their names can help them stick in your brain and make sense.



    Also, https://zygotebody.com/ is a pretty good resource. You can sign up for a free account and access a 3D person, remove their skin and look at their muscles.

    ChicoBlue on
    Prospiciencelyriumtransatlanticalien
  • LampLamp Registered User regular
    I tried painting some trees and foliage at the park yesterday, but foliage is hard. I don't even really know where to start, there are just too many tiny, complicated shapes. I try to block things in and ignore the details till the end, but I can't quite understand the strategy for suggesting detailed foliage without making a mess. Does anyone know of any good resources on the subject?

  • FlayFlay Registered User regular
    edited July 2015
    Can't help you Lamp, I'm just about to try painting for the first time.

    My class is starting on a series of gouache exercises that I'm really struggling with. I've never painted in any medium, so simple things like how often to wash my brush, how to mix paints, or how to control my brush strokes are a complete mystery to me. Most of the stuff we're going to be painting is hard-surface objects, but I just can't seem to get a solid, clean edge.

    Any resources you guys can suggest for picking up gouache/painting for the very first time? I'm talking the absolute basics.

    Flay on
  • tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    thing with gouache is it's very forgiving (well, as forgiving as the surface you're painting on, anyway). You can go over areas to refine them, and unlike watercolour you can work dark-to-light, which is tremendously helpful.

    I'm hesitant to give specific advice because I've learnt all my painting by trial and error, and there may be better methods. In terms of the nitty gritty, brush control is entirely a matter of practise, but make sure you pick the right brush for the task - shorter stiffer bristles for blocking out forms and opaque areas, softer for laying in a wash, that sort of thing. If you're having trouble with a clean edge, either you're diluting your paint too much or you're using a brush that's too soft (or possibly too rigid, if you're getting 'scratchy' edges).

    Washing out can be used to dilute the colour in the bristles but usually you'd be trying to get rid of it altogether, so - wash it whenever you need a clean attack? not really sure what you're asking here. And paint mixing is something else that you get a feel from by doing - I don't actually know much about gouache paints, in acrylic and oil there are a lot of pigmentation and opacity considerations when it comes to mixing. From the little I've done, it feels to me like gouache colours tend to be more homogenous and easier to mix, but maybe there are things I haven't noticed.

    Oh, and with gouache the colours will change as they dry, and if you're painting with diluted colour over an existing colour the wet look vs dry look can be quite different. So that's something to get used to/experiment with.

  • Angel_of_BaconAngel_of_Bacon Moderator mod
    edited July 2015
    @Flay:

    Some demos in gouache that might be helpful.
    -As Tynic mentioned, the colors will change when drying, so it's a good habit to keep a piece of scrap surface around so you can daub some of your color down and let it dry before putting it down on the surface. In general, dark colors will dry lighter, light colors will dry darker.
    -There are a lot of way to use gouache- you can use it a watercolory kind of way where you're using the amount of water to control the opacity, or you can lay down strokes opaquely.
    -As you can see in the Watts demo, he starts out with a fairly light watercolory tinting, then lays down opaque, flat 'tiles' of color. With the tiles laid out, he then uses a clean, damp brush to soften edges between the tiles- this in a good technique if you want a tight, clean, illustrative look.
    -Unlike acrylics and oils, which can be painted over once dried without risking any mixing, gouache will always reactivate with water. So if you need to go over an area that you've already had pigment on, you'll have to go over it more opaquely, or wet the area down and try to pick the color back up with a paper towel, and repaint the area (though doing this too much can mar the paper surface, so try to not do that too often). If you paint wet over an already painted area, the old color will mix with the new color, so keep that in mind.

    Watts Demo:


    James Gurney has a bunch of videos on gouache (I think he just came out with a gouache DVD as well), along with a few videos on watercolor and casein. Not sure about casein, but a lot of the watercolor ideas can also be applied to gouache.

    https://youtube.com/user/gurneyjourney/videos

    Angel_of_Bacon on
    tynicFlay
  • FlayFlay Registered User regular
    edited July 2015
    Thanks a tonne guys. Painting with a brush makes me feel like I have the control of a toddler finger painting for the first time, but that demystifies some things.

    Do any skills/practices carry over from painting with oils or acrylics? Perhaps I can investigate some of those resources too.

    Flay on
  • Angel_of_BaconAngel_of_Bacon Moderator mod
    Flay wrote: »
    Thanks a tonne guys. Painting with a brush makes me feel like I have the control of a toddler finger painting for the first time, but that demystifies some things.

    Do any skills/practices carry over from painting with oils or acrylics? Perhaps I can investigate some of those resources too.

    @Flay

    Certainly painting with a brush will take a good while before you build up the dexterity to control it very well. Don't get discouraged, you'll get the hang of it with practice.

    Acrylics and oils have some different handling properties than gouache does- some things will carry over and be useful, some will be very different.

    For example, with acrylics, the drying time may be a bit longer, but once it's dry, you can't reactivate it- so if you need to get a soft edge, you need to blend while it's wet, or paint over it- so while the practice of 'tiling' with gouache helps your develop a habit of making a precise stroke on the outset, you will need to keep this difference in mind in terms of process.

    With oils, the drying time is very long, and it can feel like the paint wants to be buttery smooth. So waiting to dry before repainting a passage, as you would with acrylics, may take too long, and you'll have to load up a brush with a lot of paint to get what you need down on the canvas without the paint becoming muddy. This is very unlike gouache, where using really thick, layered paint doesn't really work. On the other hand, you can use the gouache 'tiling'/'blending' idea to great effect in oils, since it blends so nicely when done well, and the practice helps keep the canvas clean and not muddled. But with oils, you can't use it very effectively to achieve watercolor-looking effects like you can with gouache and acrylic.
    In general, it's relatively easy to get a hard edge with gouache, as long as you've got the correct ratio of water to paint on your brush- but it can be difficult to get nice, smooth blended gradations. With oils, it's the opposite- easy to blend nicely, but you have to work for your hard edges. So trying to work with one as you would work with the other may cause some issues.

    I won't say that you might not pick something up from oil painting tutorials that you can use in gouache, but the most useful things there are going to be medium-agnostic fundamentals about light/shade/color, while medium specific things (using impasto/layering techniques, for example) are going to give you some grief if you try to use them in a medium they aren't suited for.

  • LiiyaLiiya Registered User regular
    I've been finding coloured pencils are something I find comfortable for drawing landscapes/foliage, but I have a question: how do you determine how strongly pigmented they are? The ones I bought are very light in colour (staedtler, got them a while ago) and I'm not sure how you tell. Are more expensive ones stronger pigmented?

  • tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    Best way is to try 'em out in the store, but look for ones that have 'soft' somewhere in the name if you want darker/stronger values. Some coloured pencils are graded like graphite, but not always. Staedtler tends to be a stationary brand rather than an artist's brand. Look for Derwent, Caran D'ache, (Faber Castell's) Albrecht Dürer.

    I picked up some Derwent Coloursoft to do figure drawing with (because for some weird brain reason I need to do that in colour), and I really like the weight and line feel, but as with normal graphite, the softer you go the harder time you'll have with precision or maintaining a point.

    Liiya
  • LiiyaLiiya Registered User regular
    Ahh, thank you for naming brands - now I know what to look for, thank you Tynic!

  • IcemopperIcemopper Registered User regular
    I might be an odd one out here, but I've had a lot of fun with Prismacolor Pencils. The soft ones have some great saturation.

    Liiya
  • LiiyaLiiya Registered User regular
    I shall look for those too. By the way Icemopper, that book you recommended was great - thank you!

    Icemopper
  • GrifterGrifter BermudaModerator mod
    Thought that some of the web designers around here might be interested in this new tool from Google called Material Design Lite.

    http://www.getmdl.io/

    FlayProspicience
  • gavindelgavindel The reason all your software is brokenRegistered User regular
    When you guys lay out a head with the Asaro or Riley abstraction, how do you tell where to cut the sides of the sphere during the initial lay in? On the skull, the spot corresponds to the sweep of the temples and defines the width of the face, but its difficult to see when staring at the paper. Its especially hard for the 3/4ths view.

    I've got a book! Angels, innovations, and the hubris of tiny things: Seraphim
  • FlayFlay Registered User regular
    edited July 2015
    I've tried finding methods to construct the flattened sphere before, but unfortunately the only practical solution is to draw enough until you can 'feel' it. Pay attention to the minor axis of the ellipse on the side - it should point towards the center of the sphere, like the axle on a wheel. The side ellipse on average is about 2/3 of the height of the sphere, but everybody's head shape will differ.

    Flay on
  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    I'm trying to understand the brush settings of Mange Studio 5 better. Right now I'm looking at the settings under Oil Paint and trying to understand what they do.

    I kind of don't like having variable pressure settings for things such as paint density and brush density. I feel like I'd rather have a bunch of similar brushes with slight differences between them.

  • JolliJolli Registered User regular
    How do you find something that you want to draw, I've been stuck with just meaningless doodles for the longest time which results in me drawing for five minutes and losing interest. I was wondering what do you guys do when no ideas come to mind ?

  • tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    Figure out your weak areas, and study the heck out of them? Figures are my go-to if I really don't know what to do, because I suck at them.

    You can also wander around the neighbourhood and just try to do some sketching from observation.

  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited July 2015
    Jolli wrote: »
    How do you find something that you want to draw, I've been stuck with just meaningless doodles for the longest time which results in me drawing for five minutes and losing interest. I was wondering what do you guys do when no ideas come to mind ?

    I usually have some overarching goal in mind...what do I want to practice? What do I want in my portfolio? What do I want to experiment with?
    ...and maybe some sub-goals, like "I want to make a piece that's haunting/sad/exciting/peaceful/action-packed/etc". I want to make something graphic and abstract. I want to make something realistic. I want to invent something new and weird. I want to find beauty in something that already exists.....etc.

    Sometimes I just see beautiful/interesting/compelling things I want to draw, or beautiful/interesting/compelling pieces of art I want to study. Inspiration for me is pretty huge, and can come from a variety of sources.

    Pieces like this may inspire me to play with abstract compositions.

    Something like thisor this makes me want to play with lighting.

    Sometimes I see things that I really enjoy, even though I'm not interested in studying them exactly, I'm interested in analyzing the piece and figuring out why I like it so much...and then trying to use that information to give my next piece the same "feeling" or mood.

    Pinterest and Artstation have been great for me - I get to look at a huge variety of things that I really appreciate/love/admire. It helps me get inspired and see a bunch of different techniques/compositions/subjects that I might not've otherwise discovered.

    Sometimes you also just need to change things up, take a walk, read a book, listen to some music...play with paints or inks or whathaveyou. If you're stuck in a rut, sometimes just simply playing with things can give you inspiration and get the creative juices flowing.

    NightDragon on
    tynicLampProspicience
  • LampLamp Registered User regular
    @Jolli I think one key thing that has helped me a lot is to figure out what story I want to tell before I ever put pen to paper (or photoshop canvas.) I spent a lot of years making false starts, basically by struggling to invent an illustration out of thin air without planning. It led me to a lot of pointless doodling and few finished paintings. It's also my opinion that a lot of illustration (especially in the sci-fi/fantasy genres, not sure exactly what kind of art you're into) is seriously lacking in narrative thrust. People just start scribbling with the idea that they'll paint something "cool" and end up just painting random characters or monsters, and a lot of it is boring because there's no story to sink your teeth into.

    The story of an illustration doesn't have to be anything complicated, it could be as simple as "Woman looking wistfully out a window." Once you have your story in your head, you have a concrete goal to work toward. Not everyone can work out a story spontaneously on the page -- I know that I can't.

    Of course that involves developing your sense of storytelling, which is easier for some people than others. But I would say that you should make sure you're looking at a lot of good art that inspires you, and always pay special attention to the storytelling in the scene. What's the mood and how is it being conveyed? What are the characters in the scene doing, and what's their relationship? What details help you understand who these characters are at a glance?

    Jolli
  • JolliJolli Registered User regular
    edited July 2015
    Okey, I'm gonna really try and take you're guys advice and just go out and draw, and draw try to improve on my own weak point. Hopefully I can bring something worthwhile to the artist corner. I'm sorry if it was a vague question but I've been in a rut for the past 2 weeks or so, just doodling random monsters like you said lamp, not going anywhere or improving and its been giving me the shivers, like i'm losing what ever I had before.

    Jolli on
  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    edited August 2015
    Every now and then, a random stroke will be 100% opacity as if my tablet has no pressure sensitivity. This is driving me crazy!

    I tried googling, but only found a thread from years ago and a few random things like renaming a settings folder..nothing has worked! I have also reinstalled drivers to the most up to date release.

    Anyone else have this problem before?

    F87 on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Is it when you flip back to photoshop after something else was the active window? Because thats usually when it happens. Do you have any processes that may change the active window when you aren't paying attention.

  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    I've had that happen before, but that's not the case this time. I will be painting for a few strokes or maybe a minute or two and then BAM full width/opacity stroke. As for processes, I'm not 100% because I'm on Windows 10 now and it's a bit different. I'll look into that!

  • Angel_of_BaconAngel_of_Bacon Moderator mod
    I had that exact problem when I upgraded to PS CS6, back when it was brand new, and it only went away with an update from Adobe AND an update from Wacom's drivers- which took months and months. Throw in a new OS effecting how these drivers and programs work, and you've got a recipe for a mess.

    I did a lot of homework trying to resolve it- turning on and off settings in Windows' tablet interface, rolling back through a dozen Wacom drivers, reducing background/startup programs to absolute minimum- no dice. Maybe some of the solutions I found worked for someone at some point, but in my experience it all turned out to be a computer equivalent of medieval medicine- a lot of confidence in solutions that give random or no results. With Win 10 you probably won't even get that, because nobody knows anything about it yet.

    Basically the lesson I learned is to wait a year or two before upgrading any of this stuff so all the parties involved have time to get their shit together, as to not go bonkers throwing-shit-out-the-window crazy. If you get the problem with the same frequency as I had, it essentially makes the program unusable.

    I guess you could roll back your computer to a time when everything worked, or do what I did- wait it out by trying to make do with Paint Tool SAI or some other program (which all seemed to work fine- Adobe will claim they've got nothing to do with these issues, but they are completely full of it) which is obviously not ideal.

    In my case I luckily had an old copy of PS7 that still worked fine- and all's good now- but for a couple months I really did feel that I'd thrown a couple hundred dollars down the toilet in trying to upgrade.

    F87
  • LampLamp Registered User regular
    I've also had that same problem before, and if memory serves then I do believe it was round the time of the launch of CS6, just as Bacon experienced. I got so frustrated trying to resolve it that I wound up pirating and older version of Photoshop (definitely not condoning piracy, but the software had paid for wasn't working!) and just using that for a while, because it worked fine. Obviously not the best solution.

    Maybe try rolling back to Windows 8 and seeing if that resolves the issue, Frank? Out of curiosity, what version of Photoshop are you using? And what kinda tablet?

    F87
  • Tidus53Tidus53 Registered User regular
    Hey guys, I was wondering if anyone could explain the process behind doing studies? I'm probably over-complicating this way too much but from what people told me studies are to analyze the subject I'm drawing, but something like that is too simple for me to get.

    So studies are just taking something we want to improve on, and then interpreting it instead of copying it?

  • Angel_of_BaconAngel_of_Bacon Moderator mod
    Tidus53 wrote: »
    So studies are just taking something we want to improve on, and then interpreting it instead of copying it?

    I suppose that's one way to put it, but 'interpreting' may be misleading, if you think of it simply as 'changing' what you see.


    Additionally, it's probably a mistake to think of there being any one single 'process' to studies, because a study can be many things.

    A better way to think of it is that a study is any drawing that is made with express purpose of understanding or practicing a drawing concept.

    For example, let's look at a single subject- let's say you've got a picture of an arm in front of you- and look at how many ways it can be studied.
    -You can copy it as directly as possibly. The skill being studied is accuracy in seeing, reproducing what you see (This actually is very important to know!).
    -You can break the arm down into simple volumes. The skill being studied is construction, and how it applies to actual objects.
    -You can draw the skeletal structure of the arm. The skill being studied is skeletal anatomy, and figuring out how the skeleton is placed when you're looking at an actual arm, with flesh surrounding it.
    -You can draw the muscular structure of the arm, defining the muscles in a diagrammatic fashion rather than literally as you see. The skill being studied is muscular anatomy.
    -You can draw what you would imagine the same arm would look like in different positions. The skill being studied is drawing from imagination, and your knowledge of muscular anatomy in how muscles will contract and relax based on position.
    -You can draw what you would imagine the arm would look like with different physical composition- what would it look like if more muscled, more emaciated, covered with more fat. The skill being studied is interpreting reference to create new designs.
    -You can draw the arm as it would be seen in different rendering styles, or in different artist's styles. The skill being studied is understanding how differently the same subject can be treated, and what reasons you may wish to treat a certain subject a certain way.
    -You can draw the arm in several different lighting scenarios. The skill being studied is testing your knowledge of form and lighting, if you can glean an adequate knowledge of a 3d form from a 2d picture.
    -You can draw the arm framed in rectangles. The skill being studied is how to compose a simple object against a frame, to see what makes for the most interesting picture-making.
    -You can use tracing paper to trace over the arm, making several copies, each using different uses of line weight or line style. The skill being studied is controlling line weight, developing dexterity, figuring out how the interpretation of line can contribute to gracefulness or roughness.-

    I could keep going, but hopefully you get the idea. Some of these you may want to combine, like drawing a simple volume arm in various poses, or what have you. There's any number of ways to go about studying, there's any number of ways a study can look.

    Basically, there's a lot of information out there, and you're trying to cram it all into your brain. Studying is a way to not be overwhelmed which happens when trying to tackle everything at once. By picking one principle at a time and devising a way to attack that one thing separately, you can make a lot more headway in getting that information into your brain, and giving each subject the attention that it demands.

    Eventually you will have to bring all these skills together to produce a 'finished' drawing- but the studies you've done to inform that finished drawing is what's going to determine whether or not that finished drawing turns out well or not.

    Whether or not you are approaching a study correctly, depends on if your method of study is a logical way to effectively get knowledge you want into your head, and if you're seeing it through to the point that goal is actually accomplished. Making a point of being well-read on drawing principles (construction, lighting, form, anatomy, etc.) and using studies as seen or suggested by other artists who have mastered the subjects in question, should keep you informed as to whether the way you are studying is worthwhile or not. (ie: You'll probably see a lot of great artists doing anatomy and construction studies...you probably won't see many drawing 60 different variants of anime eyes floating in a void, which is the sort of thing you'll see a lot from people that are taking stabs in the dark in trying to improve their drawing.)

    tapeslingertynicF87
  • Tidus53Tidus53 Registered User regular
    Tidus53 wrote: »
    So studies are just taking something we want to improve on, and then interpreting it instead of copying it?

    I suppose that's one way to put it, but 'interpreting' may be misleading, if you think of it simply as 'changing' what you see.


    Additionally, it's probably a mistake to think of there being any one single 'process' to studies, because a study can be many things.

    A better way to think of it is that a study is any drawing that is made with express purpose of understanding or practicing a drawing concept.

    For example, let's look at a single subject- let's say you've got a picture of an arm in front of you- and look at how many ways it can be studied.
    -You can copy it as directly as possibly. The skill being studied is accuracy in seeing, reproducing what you see (This actually is very important to know!).
    -You can break the arm down into simple volumes. The skill being studied is construction, and how it applies to actual objects.
    -You can draw the skeletal structure of the arm. The skill being studied is skeletal anatomy, and figuring out how the skeleton is placed when you're looking at an actual arm, with flesh surrounding it.
    -You can draw the muscular structure of the arm, defining the muscles in a diagrammatic fashion rather than literally as you see. The skill being studied is muscular anatomy.
    -You can draw what you would imagine the same arm would look like in different positions. The skill being studied is drawing from imagination, and your knowledge of muscular anatomy in how muscles will contract and relax based on position.
    -You can draw what you would imagine the arm would look like with different physical composition- what would it look like if more muscled, more emaciated, covered with more fat. The skill being studied is interpreting reference to create new designs.
    -You can draw the arm as it would be seen in different rendering styles, or in different artist's styles. The skill being studied is understanding how differently the same subject can be treated, and what reasons you may wish to treat a certain subject a certain way.
    -You can draw the arm in several different lighting scenarios. The skill being studied is testing your knowledge of form and lighting, if you can glean an adequate knowledge of a 3d form from a 2d picture.
    -You can draw the arm framed in rectangles. The skill being studied is how to compose a simple object against a frame, to see what makes for the most interesting picture-making.
    -You can use tracing paper to trace over the arm, making several copies, each using different uses of line weight or line style. The skill being studied is controlling line weight, developing dexterity, figuring out how the interpretation of line can contribute to gracefulness or roughness.-

    I could keep going, but hopefully you get the idea. Some of these you may want to combine, like drawing a simple volume arm in various poses, or what have you. There's any number of ways to go about studying, there's any number of ways a study can look.

    Basically, there's a lot of information out there, and you're trying to cram it all into your brain. Studying is a way to not be overwhelmed which happens when trying to tackle everything at once. By picking one principle at a time and devising a way to attack that one thing separately, you can make a lot more headway in getting that information into your brain, and giving each subject the attention that it demands.

    Eventually you will have to bring all these skills together to produce a 'finished' drawing- but the studies you've done to inform that finished drawing is what's going to determine whether or not that finished drawing turns out well or not.

    Whether or not you are approaching a study correctly, depends on if your method of study is a logical way to effectively get knowledge you want into your head, and if you're seeing it through to the point that goal is actually accomplished. Making a point of being well-read on drawing principles (construction, lighting, form, anatomy, etc.) and using studies as seen or suggested by other artists who have mastered the subjects in question, should keep you informed as to whether the way you are studying is worthwhile or not. (ie: You'll probably see a lot of great artists doing anatomy and construction studies...you probably won't see many drawing 60 different variants of anime eyes floating in a void, which is the sort of thing you'll see a lot from people that are taking stabs in the dark in trying to improve their drawing.)

    Sorry but I need to use gamer logic to break this down and make sure I understand it so I don't ask you guys 100 times.

    Like let's say this is like an RPG; and skills or what I can draw are characters in my party. From what I'm hopefully understanding, studying is the equivalent of reducing your party to just one character, and then having him grind an area on his own to get stronger. And since there is only one person in the party, that character gets all the XP that would be divided across the entire party.

    The grind is time consuming but as you do it each character gets stronger and stronger, and pretty soon everyone is so strong and powerful that you can just steamroll through dungeons, bosses, areas, etc.

    So drawing finished pieces would be like bosses in a dungeon, and they can only be truly beaten when everyone in the party is at a high enough level (which I guess would be determined by the artist, I assume).

    But what I think I'm finally understanding is that studies are just another form of "grinding".

    Dude thank you. So much.

  • ScosglenScosglen Registered User regular
    edited August 2015
    Tidus53 wrote: »
    ... pretty soon everyone is so strong and powerful that you can just steamroll through dungeons, bosses, areas, etc.


    ...So drawing finished pieces would be like bosses in a dungeon, and they can only be truly beaten when everyone in the party is at a high enough level (which I guess would be determined by the artist, I assume)

    Understand that you're never going to "steamroll" anything ever when it comes to Art, at best there will simply be parts of the process that you stop thinking about. Because as your skills "level up", guess what, so do the dungeons. Be prepared to struggle with killing rats until the end of time. The rats just get bigger and more clever, and when you kill those rats, new rats that you never even knew existed show up. It's rats all the way down.

    Yes, you can broadly think of study as being like isolated grinding, but don't be overeager to stretch this metaphor more than it can bear. There is no binary "win" and "lose" state in the real world, sometimes you fight the boss and it's not actually clear what happened.

    Scosglen on
    tapeslingerAngel_of_BaconNightDragon
  • Angel_of_BaconAngel_of_Bacon Moderator mod
    I suppose there are similarities there, though the term 'grinding' somewhat implies a kind of mindlessness to what you're doing, which should be cautioned against. It's perfectly possible to just dig a rut deeper if you are unengaged and uncritical in your practice.


    If you want to put the matter in metaphorical terms, the one I've heard is that it's like becoming a professional athlete.

    Think of a "finished drawing" as a playing a game of football.

    Anyone can play a game of football- they can be out of shape, they can be not good at it, but playing A game of football doesn't require those things. You can just go and do it. Anyone can draw a drawing and call it 'finished', at any level of skill.

    Now, you can lose, win, or tie a game of football- and even the best teams and players have had their fair share of all of them- but your odds of each of those things, depends on your preparation. Even the best artists will have pieces where they want to go set their canvas on fire, rather than continue.


    But the point is, people that play football professionally- they didn't get where they are just by playing a bunch of football all the time. And if they tried to, they'd probably not have their skills progress very quickly, and they'd probably quickly become too fatigued and injured to continue.

    So instead of that, they spend their time training. Pushups, crunches, drills, weightlifting, running, studying and running plays- all these can be compared to your studies. Breaking down those individual elements of a playing a football game, and attacking them in such a way to get the skills needed- so when the time comes, they can apply them to a real game.

    Also important to this is: it's a job. It's something that the time needs be set aside to do. Whether you feel like doing it or not, or getting paid for it or not, to get there you have to come in and do the work. Someone who waits to be 'inspired' to run some laps, is someone who's not making it into the NFL.

    Additionally, unlike RPG grinding- if you decide to not battle anyone for a year, your stats will remain the same. With athletics or art, a lack of practice can degrade your ability. It's easier to get back up to speed than a novice, but again- just because you've gotten into the NFL, doesn't mean the job's done, that you can kick back and relax because now you're playing football at a professional level. You won't be doing it for long, if you don't stay in practice. RPGs also tend to follow a linear path of gaining experience, because it's a lot more satisfying to know that you're getting something out of every encounter- whereas in reality, it's far less transparent. You can plateau, and feel like you're not getting anywhere for a long time before something falls into place. You can do a drawing and feel it was worse than what you were doing the day before.
    The person who learns to love the practice even if they can't see the progress in immediate terms, is the person that's going to get past those plateaus first.


    If you want some additional reading on the subject, two books that have been suggested to me are The War of Art by Steven Pressfield and Mastery by George Leonard. Neither of them are visual artists- one is a writer and the other is an Aikido practitioner- but both are worthwhile reads in emphasizing the importance of consistent, engaged, focused practice.

    IrukatynicMangoes
  • HorizonShiftHorizonShift Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Is there a way to replicate the look of tempura or acrylic digitally? Looking for something like this.

    V078fVv.jpg

  • GrieforGloryGrieforGlory Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    Iruka wrote: »
    If thats literally the only reason you want one, the ASUS Eee slates are pressure sensitive and can run lower levels of PS, but its much, much chunkier than an ipad. A teacher of mine had one and loves it. I've only been able to play with sketching on the ipad, I dont have one. I haven't been able to try the stylus solutions for it, but I'm sorta not convinced the ipad is the best solution for this until its truly pressure sensitive, but maybe someone else has a differing opinion.

    That said, if what you really want is a tablet and sketching is just a neat thing that you'd be able to do, I think ipads are pretty great.

    I bought a $100 pressure sensitive pen for painting on the iPad and found it good for painting, but not drawing. I can draw with it, but it's frustrating cause I know where I want the line to go, I know I could get it there instantly on paper or a PC, but it is slightly off when using the iPad. Getting used to that difference is frustrating. But for painting it's great, but is it better than painting on a PC? Not by a long shot. The only benefit is your mobile, but then again I don't paint when I'm mobile.

    One great benefit though is if you use an app like Sketchbook pro or Procreate it can create a great video time lapse of your work. Procreate creates one even if you forget to ask for it! I have an example of such a video on youtube if anyone cares to see it, but there are much better ones posted by Procreate itself.

    www.MyMegaGame.com The Ultimate World Leaders Political Science MegaGame
  • GrieforGloryGrieforGlory Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    I don't know how people draw and paint consistently with Photoshop custom brushes without using tool presets so I made a quick video explaining them. Let me know if you guys find it useful. If not then I'll go back to creating illustration time lapses which are more fun anyways.

    www.MyMegaGame.com The Ultimate World Leaders Political Science MegaGame
    EncBrushwoodMuttFlay
Sign In or Register to comment.