even awful art is good art [NSFW]

kevindeekevindee Registered User regular
edited April 2013 in Artist's Corner
Ahem. Hi. I've been lurking the corner for probably around 4 years now, and I while I didn't start drawing back then, I feel like I should probably start a thread and get some critiques.

I've never had any art training, in school or elsewhere, so pretty much everything I know I learned by watching what people did here, and trying to listen. This will sound corny, but I feel like I owe some people here a hell of a lot. The least I could do is improve, and try to give back.

Last year, I made a conscious decision to try and learn and develop. This year, I want to add onto that. I'm starting weekly courses at a local atelier next week, so I'll add whatever traditional media stuff comes out of that.

A Sargent study (3hours? could be 4)

flamencodancersargentst.jpg

Some girl, tried to keep her youthful but I don't think it worked out that well

20121211facefull2.jpg

I'm relatively new to even trying colour, so usually I doodle in BW like this. Too many doodles, not enough practice.

20120102warmingup.jpg

I usually just do some quick value paintings or studies today, and really feel I need to shake things up a bit to get back to actually discovering giant flaws, since I all too often pass shitty work off as rushed, instead of just poorly executed. One of my goals this year was to be in a place where I could consider assembling a portfolio, and I wouldn't like to let myself down on that.

To be honest, I'm open to pretty much whatever, and welcome you tearing into me. Crit away. If you can think of some type of study or excercise you think I'd benefit from, please let me know, I know I need to get out of my usual comfort zone, and I could use someone to punch me out of it.

DMAC on
sharky t
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Posts

  • kevindeekevindee Registered User regular
    Some lemon and whitecake still life speedie


    20130202piestilllife.jpg

  • batcustardbatcustard Registered User regular
    I'm not seeing much concern for structure in your BW sketches. If the colors studies are from life then your values and hues are pretty good. It's a good offering overall but I guess I would like to see some line drawings done either from life or from your head.

  • sharky tsharky t LondonRegistered User regular
    Nice brushwork going on here man! Looking forward to seeing more :)

  • kevindeekevindee Registered User regular
    Bat, linework is probably one of my bigger weaknesses, so I don't have much of it to even show - I rarely do it, and that in itself is pretty messed up. I'm making an effort to improve at it, since my construction is dog shit bad. Some sketchbook and digital:

    20120209figures.jpg

    first two from refs, last one from memory. I get less stiff, but more inaccurate when i do it from memory I guess

    img0963b.jpg

    from ref,one with pencil, done fairly slowly, the second more sloppy, and possibly in charcoal?

    img0964we.jpg

    also from ref, trying to slow down

    img0968do.jpg

    after warm-up, from memory

    img0967d.jpg

    from life.

    20130217warmup.jpg

    from memory.

    Currently working my way through Scott Robertson's perspective form drawing DVDs, should probably revisit Bridgeman after I'm through with those.

    I had finished a bargue drawing at the atelier, but have to redo it since I...used the wrong side of the paper, and the honeycomb texture made things such a nightmare. I really have no idea what I'm doing

  • kevindeekevindee Registered User regular
    Still working on getting better at human bodies and form, only the girl is from reference:

    20130227vilppu.jpg

    20130227vilppu3.jpg

    20130227valuefromimagin.jpg

    20130225charactersketch.jpg

    20130226doodling.jpg

    I've been going through some vilppu, and struggling somewhat with his approach. I'm not sure if I should work more on the gesture part of the drawing, or do longer poses to flesh things out.

    20130218topmanconcept.jpg

    Little spinning top guy concept

    I feel like I'm sort of stuck in an awkward place where I'm too stiff if I draw from reference, and too inaccurate to do it from imagination. I'm also struggling with constructing anything with lines. For some reason, just painting it out makes me understand the form a lot more, I'm not sure how to get past that other than just filling out sketchbooks full of pencil work :c

    Any crits are super welcomed, I'm really unsure of which approach to take here

  • kkrieselkkriesel artist Milwaukee, WIRegistered User new member
    The tops (shoulders, breasts, heads) and bottoms (hips, pelvis, thighs) of your figures are disproportionate, as though halves from different models were put together. In your line drawings, this isn't the case - it's clear that you focus harder on technicalities in these as opposed to your more expressive figures. Your style is great, the figures actually move and have weight.
    Reference is always always ALWAYS best if you're going for realism. Find any figure drawing studios in your area and go there! That's far better than any DVD; but if there aren't any in your area or you can't get to one, DVD/pic is better than no reference at all.
    Filling up sketchbooks with pencil work is the way to improve

  • kevindeekevindee Registered User regular
    Thanks for the feedback, kkriesel!

    I've noticed the disproportion before myself, and always attributed it to me never spending enough time on constructing the whole (I usually did a torso, and then left it at that). The atelier I go to once a week has figure drawing on thursdays, but it's pretty much impossible for me to go, since I could never take two days off work a week.

    Instead, I've spent some money and got my hands on some vilppu DVDs, and so far I'm enjoying his teaching style immensely. I'll go through them over the weekend and just try to take in as much as I can.

    I've filled up a sketchbook this past month, and am going through my second one now - it really does do wonders for just getting loosened up.

  • kevindeekevindee Registered User regular
    Update time!

    bargue1.jpg

    Finished my first Bargue copy at the atlier, hard to believe I spent 9 hours on it in total - hopefully I can keep the patience up and do better on the next ones.

    img0985f.jpg

    I'm trying to keep up with gesture drawing, and not spending more than 10 mins on a single pose. I still haven't got the basics down really well, and I feel like I'm just winging most of these, not knowing if they'll end up terrible, or decent.

    img0986xr.jpg

    img0987.JPG


    20130308figuresfromimag.jpg

    20130310figures.jpg

    20130310characterconcep.jpg

    20130311mario.jpg

    20130318figuresfrommemo.jpg

    I went over Erik Gist's (from Watts) notes on figure drawing, and have been trying to apply his steps, although they feel very counterintuitive, and the way to figure out the trunk can really stiffen up some figures when I do it wrong.

    I tried applying things from the sketchbook to digital drawing, and tried my hand at just creating characters from imagination. I'm not super happy with how things turned out, and I feel like I don't have a good enough handle on anatomy or values to do a good job yet. Some things like how the trunk wedges into the body still mystify me, same for a lot of landmarks and specific body parts. I gotta do some in-depth studies of specific stuff to improve on that, i guess.

  • lyriumlyrium Registered User regular
    Your traditional gestures are my favorite thing in the thread. It's good to toss it up between drawing from reference and drawing from your head like that, just make sure when you have the reference you are taking full advantage of it for the sake of getting comfortable with proportions. You know it's your biggest weakness right now so focus on it, considering other aspects of your drawings are really nice already :)

  • DaltronicaDaltronica Creative Director DublinRegistered User regular
    Any updates for us? Interested to see how things are going. Some amazing stuff here, and you really seem to be on the right track in terms of the learning process.

  • kevindeekevindee Registered User regular
    Sorry for not updating!

    I've been spending some time brushing up on my anatomy, started a second bargue plate, and have been messing around with environment paintings and just random painting, but it's time to dump some more gestures in.

    I've been trying to transition the few things I'm learning to drawing from imagination, and want to try doing a full-on character design this month - gotta do it some time.

    leaning.jpg

    standingi.jpg

    Still feeling pretty stiff, but I'm trying to keep the lines as tight as I can without losing some of the movement

    sketchesp.jpg

    20130328doodle.jpg

    20130329quickvalue.jpg

    sittingk.jpg

    Any values were laid down after the lay-in, and are off the top of my head - I wanted to get out of refs for the lighting

    20130331frommemory.jpg

    Some of these were from memory, some had reference. This last one was entirely from memory, just to see if stuff sticks. I can't get over how much harder it is to do this on a tablet. I'm not sure if I'm getting better, but it does feel a lot easier. I had to make a much bigger effort last time to get things coming out decently.

    Poses are still pretty stiff, and I'm open to any advice on what to work on specifically, other than doing a boatload more drawing - there's loads of flaws, but I don't know of a good way to fix em.

  • GethGeth Legion Perseus VeilRegistered User, Moderator, Penny Arcade Staff, Vanilla Staff vanilla
    kevindee has been kidnapped by MuddyParasol and is being held for ransom! Solve the riddle to set em' free, or I'll hand em' over to Clamps!

    Munkus is an IMPOSTOR!
    I'm the true RODENT of esteem
    You could also say I foster
    a deep love affair with STEAM
    Which forumer am I?

  • kevindeekevindee Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    More dumping!


    img70832.jpg

    I got bored of pencil, and tried my hand at charcoal on newsprint, which proceeded to completely brutalise me for the better part of a night:

    img70882.jpg

    img70872.jpg

    img70892.jpg

    img70862.jpg

    I know this is all super dry and boring stuff, so here's some character concept thumbs, which is super unfamiliar territory.

    I'm gonna try and develop the witch doctor first, but don't really have any ideas on how to build on a solid foundation and work towards a finished product on that. I could really use some advice.

    20130403charactersilhou.jpg

    kevindee on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Your figures drawn from life are very definitive in their shapes, and their silhouettes are sound. Don't be afraid to be just as bold in your concept work, it will really benefit from it. If you feel out of your element, try relying a bit more on nude reference photos until you feel comfortable to deviate.

  • kevindeekevindee Registered User regular
    Thanks, Iruka. I'll try to get some good references and see if I can work out a character design based off of that. It's just that tablet drawing still feels so unnatural, even after such a long time. It's hard to be accurate, and I don't get any feedback like I would on paper, so I tend to be very shaky and uncertain.

  • kevindeekevindee Registered User regular
    characterdesigntribalis.jpg

    Developed this a bit and threw some colors over value. I really wish I worked at a higher res for this, and actually zoomed in instead of roughing it. Also, I have a really hard time detailing anything - I suppose that's to be expected, I haven't tried to draw any of this kind of stuff before. I have to learn how to work from big and simple to small and complex eventually though, I can't leave things so rough all the time.

    As a first experience it was kind of weird, but fun! I don't feel like I want to leave it at this, I'll try to work bigger and get something more polished out of it.

  • HalenHalen Registered User regular
    I really love the style of that actually. And even though it's rough, the detailing is really cleverly done. I particularly like the treatment of light, which I think is spot on.

    One small point is just to check your proportions before you finish the rough. Check out her left arm size compared to the right, and where you've put the knees.

    Draw an egg.
  • kevindeekevindee Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    Thanks for the input, Halen! Can't believe I didn't notice those proportions issues.

    character-design-tribalist-second-large.jpg

    I reworked it into a male, and spent a bit more time on it this time, tried to keep it tighter? Felt weird. Forgot to reference anything, and it shows. Oh well, at least I know I really need to do some drapery and limbs studies, pronto.

    EDIT: imageshack keeps breaking, so i switched to photobucket

    kevindee on
  • kevindeekevindee Registered User regular
    I started a Nathan Fowkes class (I think it's called design with color and light on schoolism), and the first assignment is to do 12 color thumbnail studies of great artists you admire, or just works you find inspiring.

    Here's the first 2! Mind you, these are thumbs, and they were meant to be done within 1 hour (I am sure I took longer on the first one already). I dont have them in a bigger file, since they were done at this size.

    1st

    nathan-1st-thumb.jpg

    ref:

    provo-lo.jpg


    2nd

    nathan-2nd-thumb.jpg

    ref:

    zhao-ming-mu-1.jpg

    I'd appreciate crits on these, as I want to start the class off on a good note. The last week is about portfolio building, so I'm kind of hoping this pushes me to put more effort into finishing up work, and eventually getting some portfolio pieces out of it!

    Irukaninjai
  • kevindeekevindee Registered User regular
    nathan-4th-thumb.jpg


    nathan-5th-thumb.jpg

    It's so hard to keep to the time limit, I went over on the first one by at least half an hour, then did the second one for 45 mins before calling it quits. ugh. The stuff with a lot of minute detail takes me forever to tackle, and I wish I could simplify things with an abstraction more naturally, I hate feeling like i'm just copying without analyzing.

    ninjaih3ndu
  • kevindeekevindee Registered User regular
    First week of the class, done!

    Looking at other student's work, it looks like I let myself down in keeping things simple (I went over the 1 hour time limit at least four times, too), and focused too much on copying accurately rather than analysing.

    It's a habit I'll have to get out of. I think it was good practice, though, and I can't wait for week 2.

    All 12 of 'em:

    Nathan-first-week-done.jpg

    ninjaifranciumEnch3nduNightDragon
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Its awesome to hear about your progress! Keep typing out the lessons you are learning, it will help you make a mental note of what you need to improve on, and help other members get a sense of what you are getting out of the class.

    I think those color studies are successful though! Keep working at it! Don't forget about your soft brushes.

  • kevindeekevindee Registered User regular
    Iruka wrote: »
    Its awesome to hear about your progress! Keep typing out the lessons you are learning, it will help you make a mental note of what you need to improve on, and help other members get a sense of what you are getting out of the class.

    I think those color studies are successful though! Keep working at it! Don't forget about your soft brushes.

    Thanks for the encouragement, Iruka. I'll keep updating the thread as I go along, but so far the class is super insightful, and I'm stoked about it. About the soft brushes, I...I don't think I used any here, but I've made some since. It's been plaguing me for some time, but I usually just use various hard brushes with opacity pressure, and try to get a sense of softness by being light with them. Usually I just get an odd muddiness though, it's one of the hardest things to get right, I can't really get a good separation between what's in focus, and what is softer. If there was a class specifically on using brushes to achieve the edges and DOF you want, I'd enroll in a heartbeat.

    Gethninjai
  • kevindeekevindee Registered User regular
    Week 2:

    Week 2's assignment has now been finished as well, and christ was it tough.

    Essentially, the task was to create a colour key for a grayscale 3d render of a scene, using warm and cool light sources.

    I can't share the resources provided, but there were 3 scenes to choose from, and the one I picked was pretty barebones, just a primitive render of a guard standing somewhere, with most of the scenery soft brushed out. I basically just painted on top of it all with normal layers, and tried to somehow get shit to look okay.

    Since I sort of messed up my warm light source, I had to cheese my way through introducing a cool one, and threw in a little ghost coming to haunt the dude, as he tries to keep it together. The light is supposed to be skylight (I know, it's unnaturally warm), and ghostly spotlight:

    haunted-guard-4.jpg

    I think I managed okay considering the first few hours I had no idea what I was doing, and I came this close to abandoning the assignment altogether. My color choices might not be super good,but that's part of why I'm in the class, and I'm sure I'll gain a better understanding as the class goes on. Also, I need to do some materials studies or something, because that reflective armour kicked my ass all over.

    I had some issues getting this to display right, if I colour proof it to Monitor RGB on my monitor the reds are blown out completely, I'm not sure why. Either way, if it looks eye-burningly saturated, please let me know. I might have messed up some settings in PS.

    So far, I'm really digging the class. Nathan is a great teacher, and the feedback videos are super helpful. I think it was @Eyecager who got me into this one in the first place, and I'm hungry for more stuff like this.

    Stay tuned for next week: Week 3 - Colour Harmony!

    mully
  • kevindeekevindee Registered User regular
    Week 3: Colour Harmony

    This week's class focused on obtaining colour harmony through the principle of Unity with Variety. We were shown a load of colour comps and quick studies that the instructor did (similar to the ones AoB posted for the colour thread), and he explained the principles behind making colours 'work'.

    The assignment itself was simple enough: Make one value drawing, and colour key it in 5 thumbnails, focusing on changing the hue, value, temperature and saturation of your colours in each one to establish a new, differently lit scene. Incorporate the principles covered in class to achieve a sense of harmony in your thumbs.

    colour-harmony-studies-2.jpg

    This one was hard, really out of my comfort zone. I don't think I've ever tried this type of exercise, but it did make me think about light and colour a lot more than I usually would have. I'm not super pleased with it, but I did learn.

    mully
  • m3nacem3nace Registered User regular
    How did you approach #2 (the first one with colour). Was that just a simple colour layer?

  • kevindeekevindee Registered User regular
    I actually worked backwards and did #2 first, then just BW'd back to have a value sketch. All others are just painted on top of #2, but it's all opaque on normal layers. I just painted over the whole thing again.

  • kevindeekevindee Registered User regular
    edited May 2013
    Between Noah's camp and nathan fowkes' class, there's not much time for personal work, but eh. mini-dump:

    figure-drawing-progress.jpg

    Haven't had any time for figure drawing whatsoever, but I've been trying out an easier way to handle figure drawing without a ref, and whipped up this fast sketch to illustrate. I think with some refinement these steps are a lot more structured than how I usually roll, hopefully it lets me control and group values better.


    imagination-trio.jpg

    Some imagination comps. I was lucky enough to be able to use these for both classes.

    Nathan Fowkes Week 4: Colour and Emotion:

    This week's class focused on strategic use of colour value, hues and temperatures to evoke specific emotions and impressions. Greens can be verdant and natural, or otherworldly, alien and scientific. Yellows can be serene, warm and peaceful, or shift to desolate when desaturated. I submitted the above images and some others for the assignment, and was given as a critique that I should aim to incorporate more hues, and shoot for a more complex colour harmony. It's true, i'm relatively new to colour so I always just went for analogous or complementary comps without even thinking about it. I'll read up in Gurney's book and try to keep it in mind as I go forward.

    kevindee on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    How is the fowkes class treating you?

  • kevindeekevindee Registered User regular
    I've reached the halfway point on the fowkes class, and it's pretty tough. Nathan's not an easy grader, and the assignments are just straight up hard. The next assignment is to take the fundamentals covered in the first 4 weeks, and incorporate them into a finished concept piece.

    It's a great class, but I just find that the Noah camp eats up most of the time I have, plus the variety of that keeps things constantly interesting. I'll try to not fall behind for Nathan's class though, since it's kind of kicking off in a big way now.

  • kevindeekevindee Registered User regular
    edited June 2013
    Ugh. Time to kick this thread in the ass and update, it's been too long.

    Nathan fowkes update, DOUBLE DOWN EDITION:

    Week 5: Full Concept

    This week's assignment was to incorporate the prior concepts of believability, colour harmony and mood, and to show them off in a single finished concept piece. I submitted two, since I can't finish things and it makes me feel guilty:

    urworm-2.jpg

    canyonlake.jpg

    The critique I got back said I need to watch out for dominating red/browns, since it gives off a feel like there's an umber underpainting everywhere. My guess is I shift colours to red because of a lack of knowledge in handling warm daylight properly.

    Week 6: Atmosphere

    Christ, I barely remember what happened in this one. A lot of talk about the prince of egypt movie Nathan worked on, and a lot of beautifully done work showcasing how atmosphere is properly handled. Atmosphere being any meterological/physical properties in the piece that contribute to and enhance the overall feeling you'd like to communicate - weather like hail, rain, cloudiness, sandstorms, tornados were obvious ones, more subtle were effects like dry heat, fog, and morning haze. Time of day is also key.

    We were given frame renders or line drawings from actual Dreamworks productions, and asked to fully do a paintover, establishing a clear atmosphere to the piece. I submitted these:

    Nathan-week-6.jpg

    I'm not super happy with these, I find the first one to be too flat, and the second one to be almost cartoony. On the other hand, at this point in time I'm not sure I can produce anything that's a lot better, so I guess I'll have to take in the critique and try to work on it.

    Not much personal work going on recently due to the Noah camp, but I revisited a study I did back in April:

    Original:

    20130329quickvalue.jpg


    New:

    figurestudy-small.jpg

    Heh. Suck it, April-me!

    kevindee on
    DversedJudasMcDtapeslingermullyBroloThe_Rat
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Looking good all around. Solid improvements in the figure rendering department. I feel like the two classes are probably combining in a pretty excellent way, by the looks of it. If you can manage to get some plein air studies done for noah, I bet you may find an increase in skill reflected in your environments. You'll be able to take some cues from the light that is not tainted by photo editing, and really incorporate that knowledge into your environment work.

    I am trying to be more aware of light just as I'm out and about. Maybe that would benefit you as well.

  • kevindeekevindee Registered User regular
    Thanks, Iruka!

    I started doing some plein air painting (shameful disclaimer: I've never touched paint in my life before), but i have no control at all over watercolors, so anything more complex than a single object usually results in a lot of frustration. I'm dedicated to pushing through and working from life though, the idea of being able to have a small sketchbook and half pan paint case in my pocket is so dope I have no choice but to get better at it.

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    I have not devised a good way to travel with it, but acrylics are much, much more forgiving. I am thinking of getting some little make-up containers and making my own little travel kit. The suitcase style ones are way too big.

  • kevindeekevindee Registered User regular
    I've been struggling to get things out recently, so I'm going through doing some quick photo studies when I have time. The goal is to get some kind of statement in about an hour, give or take:

    semi-pro-study.jpg

    sci-fi-study.jpg

    Perhaps oddly, the less time I seem to spend, the stronger things get. Once I look at it for too long I seem to sabotage things for myself, so keeping them short focuses me to keep starting well, and not think about finishing.

    I'm also looking at stuff from last year and revisiting some pieces in the same amount of time, to see how I do things now. I hate repainting old things, but I can't deny it's a very clear way of finding out what you still suck at.

    June last year:

    environment-santorini-2012.jpg

    Now:

    santorini-study.jpg


    Nathan fowkes class is entering the last stage, which has us doing a three-week assignment, culminating in a leading portfolio piece. Exciting, I just hope I find the time to commit to it.

    I'll try to update within the next week with the value studies for that, in the meantime - crit away please!

    m3naceIrukaMangoesMcDJudasMuddyParasolCustom Specialtapeslinger
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Can't argue with that then and now. Awesome, man.

    JudasHalen
  • transatlanticalientransatlanticalien Registered User regular
    What an inspiring thread and WHAT A MISLEADING TITLE

    tapeslinger
  • tapeslingertapeslinger Space Unicorn Slush Ranger Social Justice Rebel ScumRegistered User regular
    really incredible work, kevindee! That blue (looks like a space cruiser?) thing is so incredibly subtle it hurts. You have made so much progress-- keep going, dude!

  • m3nacem3nace Registered User regular
    Is that the ship from Alien?
    This is all super rad dude.

  • kevindeekevindee Registered User regular
    Thanks so much for the comments, @menace I don't know where it's from, it's just something I dug up out of my reference folder.


    Nathan Fowkes week 7: Designing With Light

    This class was the first in a three-part series on how to go through a piece from value to colour keys, and eventually to a finalised version that could be a portfolio piece. The first stage is getting to a value comp, but this week's lecture glosses over values in favour of talking about designing with light. There was a demo paintover that was a value comp, but Nathan moves quick, and it can be hard to follow his train of thought if you're not there yet.

    I turned in this as my value comp:

    environment-value-comp-1.jpg

    Ugh, this goddamn week. Value is something I've always had problems with, and I've very little experience with value comps, or environments for that matter - I struggle especially with having things read properly, and getting depth come through in the image. I'm not super pleased with this, but I've reached the point where I need some help to go forward, since it's just not coming out as I want it. I don't know if I'll be able to make this fit what I want, but if I can't I'll just have to go through more basic value comp studies until I nail the initial read better.

    The whole thing is very low-key, which seems to be a trend with me. I don't really work the halftone and middle range well at all, and I need to deal with it. I have no idea if I'll be able to fix the issues in the colour pass, or if this thing isn't going to get any better.

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