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New member, first attempt at digital paint/color

JaerJaer Registered User regular
Hi all, my first post here.
I have loved drawing (black/white) all my years of life, and I've had a Wacom Intuos Tablet for a few years, but sadly, never got around to using it on a regular basis.
When I do draw, it's generally black/white, unrefined sketches/doodles, nothing that could be considered "finished" or "inked". But I decided I need to get my mind back into art, and work on the tablet more. So today, I started doodling, and came up with this, it's currently not finished but I figured I'd post this for any tips or suggestions regarding coloring, shading, etc since this is literally all new to me with color.
A few notes:
Forehead I don't feel is "right", almost too bright or blurry.
They eyes aren't even really started, Yellow will be a base color.

ea4f8f5b-be27-4866-9291-f687665cc54b.jpg

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    falconirefalconire Registered User regular
    I'm not familiar with the program you used, so can I ask does it do the shading for you, or did you do it yourself? I think, so far at least, that it's hard to say much about this piece so far, since it's far from finished. Are you planning on giving it a body as well?

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    JaerJaer Registered User regular
    Everything is done in Sketchbook Pro, I did all the shading using various brushes (airbrush, blur, paint tool, it was a lot of just trying out different things). I have an older version of Photoshop (CS2 i think) on my PC, but I never used it to be honest in all my years doing graphic design and layouts (again that was a hobby I did, for websites/banners etc, I used Fireworks for that). I have looked into various techniques used in PS as well as a paint program named "Sai" that looked a little more robust for painting. Unless you know of some other programs (preferably low cost/free, I have Gimp as well I think on my pc) that may fare better.

    As for a body, probably not, this was just an attempt to learn coloring/shading/painting. Plus I tend to focus on faces more than anything else really. I haven't had much time as I wanted to continue on this item, I'll have to get back on it to continue on, I need to figure out how to darken it.

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    tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2013
    Sketchbook pro is actually not a bad painting tool, but my advice would be to try and find some good custom brushes, or (better) spend some time making your own. The defaults are only really good for penciling and inking.

    Otherwise - it's usually a good idea not to paint on a bright white background, but instead to use a neutral color so you get a good sense of highlights and shadow ranges.

    tynic on
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    JaerJaer Registered User regular
    tynic wrote: »
    Sketchbook pro is actually not a bad painting tool, but my advice would be to try and find some good custom brushes, or (better) spend some time making your own. The defaults are only really good for penciling and inking.

    Otherwise - it's usually a good idea not to paint on a bright white background, but instead to use a neutral color so you get a good sense of highlights and shadow ranges.

    Thanks :)
    I would adjust the properties of the brushes back and forth when I was using them (but not saving the properties). I'll have to dig in deeper to learn a bit more on the brushes and all that.

    And thanks for the tip on the background, I'll make be sure to change the background from here on out. :)

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    kevindeekevindee Registered User regular
    Two fast tips:

    - like tynic set, set your background to a 10 or 20% grey, it'll help.
    - as for brushes, I don't know how responsive sketchbook pro is, but I'd stick to a default hard round for now. It's easier to control that custom ones, and control is what you'll want for now.

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    tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    yeah, I brought up making your own brushes because from memory sketchbook pro doesn't have a decent hard round one in the defaults, although you can get one by playing with the settings.

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    CreaganCreagan Registered User regular
    This is kind of random and might seem nit-picky, but you've got your tablet set so each spot on it's surface corresponds to a spot on the screen, rather than it functioning like a glorified mouse, right? I've found that helped me adjust to the hand-eye disconnect thing much faster.

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    JaerJaer Registered User regular
    Creagan wrote: »
    This is kind of random and might seem nit-picky, but you've got your tablet set so each spot on it's surface corresponds to a spot on the screen, rather than it functioning like a glorified mouse, right? I've found that helped me adjust to the hand-eye disconnect thing much faster.

    yep, my pen placement corresponds to the placement on the screen, I don't think I could use it any other way.

    And thanks again to all the tips, I'll work on it as much as I can tomorrow and I'll try to get an update within the weekend of any progress I come across. :)

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    JaerJaer Registered User regular
    Tiny update, I didn't have as much time I had hoped for, but I did get to work on it a bit, I darkened it a bit and did the mouth. And took out the overly protruding "chin" that was there.
    I have issues getting definition in color, so on the mouth I resorted to using the pencil tool to add the separation between teeth.
    Any tips on getting definition (I find a lot of what I do seems to be "blurred" a bit) without resorting to line art for separation?

    scream1a.jpg

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    JaerJaer Registered User regular
    another update; I don't know the format, whether to just add the updates to the original post or new posts, but anyway, I did the eyes and shaded the mouth a tad (was a bit too "flat" in color)

    Any suggestions from here?

    scream1b.jpg

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    IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator Mod Emeritus
    I think its time to move on, It seems like you are dumping a lot of time into this head but not moving very far forward. I think its time to simplify what you are working on even further to get used to your tablet and photoshop.

    Do you have any other work that you can post? It could help us see where you are coming from. Scan some of your traditional work, or snap some photos of it.

    these tutorials may help you a bit:
    http://androidarts.com/art_tut.htm

    http://tcfischer.tumblr.com/post/43984475403/art-theory-brush-work-and-lighting

    I would also take a look at this thread:
    http://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/172670/feb-monthly-enrichment-simple-shapes-light-and-form

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    JaerJaer Registered User regular
    Yeah I'm pretty much done with the piece, but to be honest, I'm not able to put much time into it as I'd like. the last update took maybe 10-15 minutes, previous was 20 min maybe, original piece around 1 hr from sketch to base paint (first pic).
    I do have several older stuff I've done on the tablet (most are just sketches and/or black and white). I'll upload some older stuff I did (both traditional and tablet drawn) on this thread (loaded below), also thanks for the links, I'll take a further look at them.

    I just uploaded a few images to a photobucket album for reference, I didn't want to overload this post with several images:

    Slideshow:
    http://s853.photobucket.com/user/jrakosik/slideshow/Art

    Direct:
    http://s853.photobucket.com/user/jrakosik/library/Art

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    IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator Mod Emeritus
    From what I can see, it looks like you have some alright observation abilities, and can copy some of the things you see, but maybe are lacking some of the underlying fundamentals that will help you move forward with your work.

    Is the lack of time spent because you are more of a hobbiest? What do you want to be able to do with your artwork? What type of improvement do you want to see, what artists do you admire?

    If you could carve out the time for a life drawing course, that would be great. At the very least I would recommend doing some still life drawings. Set up and light a scene in your room, rather than working from printed photos. You want to start seeing objects as 3d forms, and thats hard to do when every thing you are drawing is already flattened out on a 2d plane.

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    JaerJaer Registered User regular
    edited May 2013
    I've drawn all my life, albeit only sketches/doodles (of which 80% probably end up getting trashed regardless of how they look), and to be honest, I'm not sure where I'd like to take my art, and whether it'd be even *possible* to go beyond the hobbyist level into any sort of career or side "career". Overall, I just want to improve on my skill overall, specially in color and lighting. As you can see, the majority of my art is more "comic" rather than realistic and I tend to focus on the face the most for some odd reason, I just like how the face can show so many different emotions and shapes. I do have art pieces from high school days and after where I did pencil drawings of bodies both comic and realistic, but I doubt I'd find them anymore.

    I know it's not the most helpful info to guide me, between work and the usual "real life", I've started to try to spend more time on my art, my music (that's a whole different story, lol) and writing. I used to do them a lot long ago (typing this all out is making me fell quite old), and I'd like to get back into the rhythm again.

    Oh, as for artists I admire, H R Giger is amazing (I'm a huge aliens fan), Many of the Marvel/DC/Image artists so on and so forth. I look at tons of stuff online (and on this forum), as well as Youtube (speed painting etc) and just admire it all.

    Edit: I noticed the thread with the challenges etc, I'm going to make an attempt to participate as much as possible in them. I did a few years ago on the Concep Art forum and thought they were fun.

    Jaer on
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    IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator Mod Emeritus
    Its cool that you are trying to get with your old passions! Participating in the challenges will certainly help. I would start with that simple shape one I linked.

    If you want to improve your skills and you only have but so much time in a day, I would recommend taking bite sized chunks out of the technical problems. Try to think of it like meditation, or like motorcycle maintenance. Spending an hour or two drawing an egg and focusing on understanding how light hits it may not seem as fun as comics and dragons, but it can be pleasant to figure out the problem.

    Post your progress in your thread, and we'll try to help!

    Another thread to check out:
    http://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/171859/2013-resolution-thread-draw-every-day/p1

    The resolution thread has some good examples of people tackling a little bit everyday.

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    JaerJaer Registered User regular
    edited May 2013
    Awesome thanks :D

    Once I get some pieces worked on, ranging from small studies to larger sketches, should I just make a sketch/art dump thread for critiques (separate from this one) or just add to this thread?

    Jaer on
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    IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator Mod Emeritus
    Just add them to this thread. I look forward to seeing them!

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