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[Enrichment] Thumbnails and Silhouettes

IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
Iruka on


  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited December 2013
    About Monthly Enrichment:
    Enrichment activities aim to encourage you to tackle a small but useful assignment every month. They are either multifaceted, or loosely defined, giving you the option to mold it to help you reach previously held aspirations. They will mostly be assignments that you can fulfill in whatever media, and commit whatever time you feel benefits you.

    What Do I Gain From Participating?
    If I'm at all qualified, I will try to provide crits and support to the people who participate. I hope that people in the thread also engage in a little more cross talk when they are working on the same assignment. I will do my best to not let anyone's work go un-commented upon. I will also try and load the OP with resources for everyone to draw from on the topic at hand.

    May I post an old work if it fits into the topic?
    You may post work that you are currently working on, or plan to revisit during the month. Don't post old work if you have no intention of touching it. If I spend time commenting on year old work and then you never do anything to it within the activity, I will shun you.

    May I post inspiration and links even if I'm not going to really participate?
    So long as this aspect doesn't get in the way of people posting work for actual crits, this is a great place to just throw up some art that is related to the topic and you think its helpful. Link the source, and spoiler images so they don't detract from people working on assignments.

    May I suggest a topic?
    Sure! If a bunch of people have something they want to work on, I'm happy to make that the next assignment. Just try and keep it something that all artists can do (like color studies) and not something that requires materials that are inaccessible to a large percentage of members (like ceramics, or metalwork) If there is something that members would like to do and it has a fairly low material buy in, like sculpey maquettes, I'm cool with that too.

    I will pretty much rotate these out monthly without exception. Perhaps if there is a popular one I will let it run for two months.

    Previous Threads:
    FEB-Simple Shapes
    MAR-Show Your Work
    APR-Color Studies
    May-Hands and Feet
    JUN-Still Life
    JUL-Character Construction
    AUG- (off month)
    SEP- Perspective and Environments
    OCT- Thumbnails and Silhouettes
    NOV - NatCoWriMo
    DEC - Secret Santa.

    JAN- Resolution

    Iruka on
  • franciumfrancium Registered User regular
    Omg iruka, these vids are great!!

  • SpaceMooseSpaceMoose Registered User regular
    Jumping in here, tripling up and using this as an Inktober sketch playing with an idea for NatCoWriMo if I can pull a decent enough easy design to use. Idea here was cowboy heads. I tried to put some variance into them but don't think I pushed it far enough, and might need to do full body ones instead to make things clearer. Gonna definitely try more rounds on these so any input would be a great help.


    Gonna go watch some of the vids above now for help.

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    @SpaceMoose I think your off to a good start. Personally, I've always preferred to do silhouettes digitally because its easier to push and pull forms around, helping me loosen up. I fixed the link of the first video, which is a nice ctrl+paint on the subject. I think the full body ones look like you started to think about things a bit more.

    If you aren't, still pull up reference and try to really pour some concentration on what you are trying to accomplish. People make the mistake of thinking that since silhouettes look effortless, that the should be done in the most quick and uncaring of manner, but in truth they are a thought process, and you should use them to help you make choices.

  • SpaceMooseSpaceMoose Registered User regular
    Thanks for the insight @Iruka. I was using reference somewhat but just wasn't able to push things as far as I hoped with just heads. Things were feeling looser and flowed better when I did the full bodies. I'll let it settle in a bit more and then try it again digitally to see what I can get.

  • NakedZerglingNakedZergling A more apocalyptic post apocalypse Portland OregonRegistered User regular
    This is going to sound stupid, but how do you actually DO these? i end up drawing a figure and coloring it in...which i feel is not the right way. I love seeing these, but i can never figure it out!!

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    If you haven't watched the videos, you should. Especially the first one. Generally, you need to be thinking about shapes rather than line.

    I'm not the best at it, but heres an example:

    As I was saying before, I like working digitally with these because it makes it easier for me to push and pull at the form. With a sort of addition and subtraction work flow, I can make general shapes and then refine them over time. By focusing on the edges (as described by spongebob, above" you can isolate where you need something to read.

    This method is not the end-goal, and is also not the only way to accomplish interesting characters/creatures, its just a useful tool that can help you understand things. If you want to draw a bit, black it out to see if its effective, rework it while its blacked out, and then go back to drawing, that's valid.

    Usually the process is something closer to this sketch here, for me:

    Which is some combination of sketching and reducing

  • ToasticusToasticus yeah YEAHRegistered User regular
    made some residential structure thumbnails yesterday. I think I need to keep going and push for more interesting / varied / unexpected shapes, pretty safe atm.


  • sampangolinsampangolin Registered User regular
    Fishing boats round 1


  • ToasticusToasticus yeah YEAHRegistered User regular
    another set of structures, this time 3 variations from a rough base


    I think these do a better job of establishing scale

  • NakedZerglingNakedZergling A more apocalyptic post apocalypse Portland OregonRegistered User regular
    Am i doing this right?

  • SpaceMooseSpaceMoose Registered User regular
    Another try at this, still need more work and more takes on the designs. Took @Iruka and @AOB's advice into account. These are all off google reference, gonna do some variants next time I get a chance off of these designs. I think C came out the best but from the reference my favorite pose was D, though I just couldn't get it to come out in a thumbnail. I think these are an overall improvement over the last attempt.


  • SM_silos.jpg

    And cross posting from NZ's thread because people said to:

  • SpaceMooseSpaceMoose Registered User regular
    Well shit. That's awesome, and clears up even more. I was thinking I was overusing the white for detailing but hesitant to stray too much from the reference due to my skills not being real great with stuff like that. I was hoping for some more advice but not at this high a level. You're right on every point you mention and then some. I shall sleep on this and revisit in the next week. Thanks a ton, all you people here helping is awesome and I'm super appreciative.

  • kevindeekevindee Registered User regular
    Silhouettes? I dig it.


  • SpaceMooseSpaceMoose Registered User regular
    Hopefully making progress here. Chose soldiers as a subject to try something different so as not to copy previous work. Used GIS for ref, found stuff I liked and then modified where it seemed it would improve the picture (moved out leg on first picture, added leg crossover to second, changed helmets and such). These are taking me a fair bit of time (prob 30 min each) but I guess as I do more of them I'll get faster.


  • Anthrax! Please.Anthrax! Please. Registered User regular

    Just drew a couple of these on the train. Tried to avoid using white lines except to add some depth or clarify things I couldn't figure out how to make clear without them... Didn't polish them very hard, obviously, hence why the devil's pitchfork is a little screwy.

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