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Frank's Thread [NSFW]

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Posts

  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    @Lamp That is super helpful! Thanks again my friend! I really gotta try that and commit it to memory!

    @Nightdragon <3

    I tried some a negative space stool, but it looks kinda sloppy on the interior shapes. I gotta try again before posting. And I think this looks sloppy too, but it's an improvement right?

    ql0rn1sbool6.png

    Also, more thumbnails, are these telling more of a story or at least showing more thought in the design?

    47zautlc1bcs.png

    I'm trying guys! Kinda slacked some this week, gotta pick up the pace.

    Lamp
  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    I'm really glad you're doing this! Here is a really quick paintover of some things to watch out for. If anything isn't clear to you without additional notes, just let me know. I copied your versions and set them to "multiply" on top of eachother, which doubled the line strength. The funny thing is that it your lines now look much closer to the line quality of the piece you're copying from! That shows that you can really push the confidence in your lines; try to match the line quality a bit more. Strong linework will make it easier for you to figure out what needs correction, as the shapes and negative space will be easier to read.

    jq3w75dmby96.jpg

    F87tapeslinger
  • tapeslingertapeslinger Space Unicorn Slush Ranger Social Justice Rebel ScumRegistered User regular
    The designs definitely speak to a little more creative approach to costuming. I'm more interested in the story *you* see there, though.

    F87
  • LampLamp Registered User regular
    edited June 2015
    Hey Frank, for all the criticism you've occasionally get for lack of originality or whatever in your character designs, I'm always impressed by stuff like that concept sheet up there ^^. Personally, I'm totally terrified of fashion and costume design, so it's really neat to see someone bang out so many different interesting iterations on a single sheet. I especially like the girl on the wheel, and the mecha spider queen. Looking forward to seeing where you go with that project.

    Lamp on
    F87BrocksMullet
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Wheel girl (left middle) is awesome. I want her story

    F87
  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    edited June 2015
    Wow, thanks guys.

    @NightDragon Super helpful! The colors and notes make it so obvious, do you think I should keep doing these? I was hoping to do some concept work next week but I can do a study or exercise each day and still get a lot out of it right?

    @tapeslinger Thanks for pushing me on these, I hope I can pull more story into my design.

    @Lamp You, Sir, are too kind! I really appreciate that, thumbnails and fashion design are definitely something I've done the most and get a lot of feedback here over.

    @Enc It could be interesting! Like a head in the jar idea but on wheels!

    I did a little more accuracy exercise. You know, you move or change one shape slightly and the whole thing can fall apart. I do like drawing the value shapes rather than outlines, that's something I should have always done!

    Edit: Can't get them to attach? I will try again later.

    Edit2: And immediately I realize his nose shadow shape is way off.

    F87 on
  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    F87 wrote: »
    NightDragon Super helpful! The colors and notes make it so obvious, do you think I should keep doing these?

    I think you should spend the time to finish one rather than jumping around at Mach 5. Continue to do these definitely though. You need to train yourself to stop seeing "this is a mouth, I'm going to draw it the same way I've always drawn mouths, I don't need to pay attention to the reference, I know what mouths look like". The more you observe what you see (and learn to view things as shapes and angles rather than things which have predefined shapes), the better your studies will get and the more you will learn.

    Slow. Down.
    F87 wrote: »
    I was hoping to do some concept work next week but I can do a study or exercise each day and still get a lot out of it right?

    IMO you should spend the vast majority of your time doing studies and not concepts. Your concepts are going to continually suffer for every study you decide to skip.

    Sometimes it's like watching somebody draw a human being 50 times with the same exact drawing error in the arms, and then they try doing one or two arm studies, and then they immediately go back to doing 50 more drawings of arms incorrectly, because they just love drawing arms, you know? And they can't understand why they're not being hired as an Arm Artist. They really want to be an Arm Artist and they have fun drawing arms, even though all their arms look the exact same, for some reason. Maybe it's because they haven't really spent the time to study different arms...? And they ask if they can get away with drawing a bunch more arms from their head next week, but if they throw in a few arm studies that makes up for it, right? They seem to always look for the "quick fix" when the answer is repeated to them every time they post arms with that same error.

    Slow. Down.

    Focus on studies, do not focus on concepts. Your concepts have their own things that we can critique, but it all seems to stem from the same core issue that you continue to have, over and over again: you need to study, you need to gain knowledge, you need to study different things to increase your mental library, you need to study different things to get better at depicting those things.

    All of your concepts seem to be comprised of random things slapped together haphazardly, no matter what the subject is. You use the exact same ideas to solve different conceptual problems. They all end up looking incredibly similar. I could ask you to concept two radically different characters, and I'm not convinced that you'd come up with two concepts that look like they came from different worlds. They might look like they came from opposite sides of the same country, but ultimately I think they wouldn't look different than something I've already seen from you. There is so much cultural and cosmetic variety in the world, and it seems like you're not aware of it.

    I'm honestly not sure how to critique your larger problems without sounding harsh, because you continually pull yourself into the same pitfalls, and the only way I know how try to get through to you on the exact same subjects is to maybe "say it a bit more bluntly this time". I don't like making people feel discouraged - I love encouraging people! And I was seriously excited when you decided to draw that upside-down dude. I'd like to think it taught you some stuff! And I mean, it's great that you asked if you should continue to do this. SERIOUSLY! That's great that you are looking to improve! But at the same time, a lot of this has already been answered for you. Are you not sure what you should focus on? You should know, by looking at your work, and looking at the critiques we've given you over the years, and by doing your own research into "how is my art different from the professionals'?" You seem to focus on the little things a lot (what color should I make her cloak?), while missing the larger picture (WHY would this character be wearing a cloak at all, conceptually?).

    I compare myself CONSTANTLY with my own art. I try to analyze my art vs. the pro's, and not in the simplified, vague sense of "oh, this professional is better than me". I break it down - "wow, they understand anatomy way better than I do! They have a great handle on the body in motion"...or "I really love the sense of scale they got in this piece! How did they do that? Oh, it looks like they used atmospheric perspective...large towering objects in the environment that make the character there look very small by comparison...oh and the details they put in also show scale very well! HUH."

    And then I try to do studies, and I try to work out those challenges (using my discoveries) in the next piece I create. I make a mental list of things I'm aware that I have to improve upon, and I make sure I have a plan on exactly how I can get better in those areas.

    When I tell you to slow down, that's not me telling you that you should develop your skills more slowly. If you slow down and focus and really try to nail some base ideas, you will improve so much faster than you ever have before. By slowing down, and by actively working towards improvement with a purpose in mind (i.e. "get better at color theory"..."get better at creating unique and different faces"..."get better at drawing different body shapes", etc), you will speed your improvement HUGELY.

    You seem to not always know where your strengths and weaknesses are, except in a vague sense. You ask a lot of questions (which is generally really good), but it seems like half the time you can figure these answers out for yourself. You've certainly been given more than enough material in your time on these forums. If you're serious about this stuff and you're serious about improving, you need to figure that shit out pronto, and learn how to self-critique. What do you need to improve? Specifically? Write a list. Take a professional's piece of artwork, place your artwork right next to it, and write down the things you can see that you (a) like about the professional piece, and (b) what you need to do to YOUR piece to bring it to that same level. Do you have no idea how they created a piece? There are tutorials out there. Videos. Articles. You can watch these professionals create these pieces while they explain their choices to you. You can learn SO MUCH, but you have to be willing to put the personal effort in.

    tapeslingertynicAngel_of_BaconFugitiveF87Scosglen
  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    edited June 2015
    After thinking about your post, @NightDragon , I've been trying to let it sink in some and I know you are right. I know this is another repeat and I'm really thankful you took the time, but sorry you had to explain it all again.

    It always comes down to me rushing and not committing these lessons/studies to memory.

    I spent the morning going through this thread and making notes of all my feedback and advice. I can't really believe how much critique is repeated and some incredible posts all but ignored in terms of effort reciprocated.

    Here is a compilation of important advice or insight I gathered from my first read through.
    • "I want 20 different looking female faces so we can settle on the look for character X. I need you to be able to do that." -Iruka
    • "Do you know how few positions there are out there to do finished sci-fi illustrations? Maybe for book covers, maybe for card games? What job do you actually imagine yourself doing?" -Iruka
    • "I feel like everything you needed to hear had already been said. Mainly, that you should be doing studies" -Nightdragon
    • "The problem is that the core of that critique seems to go out of the window by the time you sit down and make your next piece. If you can, try to gather up all the critiques you can remember getting for your work. Dig up your old threads and check out what was said there." -Nightdragon
    • "To improve, you can't recycle the same information that's in your head over and over again...you need to get new information in there, and the way you do that is through study." -Nightdragon
    • "You are stepping up to bat in a market that is really tough. You need to go from "Knowing you need to do more studies" to living and breathing doing those studies, because you are basically selling your art as a product." -Iruka
    • "Studying is your job now. Wake up, and do it 9-5, draw for fun on the weekend. If you did this for just a few months do you know how epicly better you'd be, dude?" -Iruka
    • "I'm not saying this to be discouraging, but simply to make it crystal clear that there's no way you're going to get to your destination without some real perspiration and dedication to improvement." -Scosglen
    • "I suggest finding a part time job, or at least volunteering or something. If you stay inside all day and game and smoke it’s terrible for your work ethic and that can be just as bad for your work." -Iruka
    • "Study is time you set aside to do some work where the primary objective is to learn rather than to produce a finished or appealing piece of art" -Scosglen
    • "After drawing 20 faces, draw a SINGLE FACE on the same page from your imagination, using the information you just learned from drawing those 20 faces. Does it suck? Cool! Draw 20 more from reference." -Nightdragon
    • "Cut down on the amount of your gaming and smoking and try to turn over a new leaf." -Nightdragon
    • "I just want you to know that we are all really rooting for you. If you put in the time and effort it will become fun on its own and you'll wonder why you ever treated it like pulling teeth in the first place." -Iruka
    • "Work your ass off so a year from now… five years from now…you can look back on this time and say, "I'm so grateful my mom let me live with her so I could work super hard on something very important to me." -Nibcrom
    • "It feels a bit like you are rushing through these, drawing a "shorthand" of the references, and making a lot of observational errors." -Nightdragon
    • "You are trying to run before you can walk - you are so dang keen to get your ideas down and your work out there that often it looks like you're overreaching. I think if you can pace that ambition with some more bite-sized, achievable goals which enhance your fundamental skills, you'll be doing solid work in short order." -Tynic
    • "I think it would benefit you 1000x more to broaden your range of references/influences and really experiment with your art so you don't feel so stuck." -Nightdragon
    • "If you want your work to look different, you have to force yourself out of going on autopilot and defaulting to drawing from your head. You know how beginners/kids use "symbols" for the eyes and lips when they draw? Football shapes and such? You're doing exactly that same thing, only on a higher level. This is why all your work looks the same." -Nightdragon
    • "I gave you a list of things you need to work on. Concrete, unambiguous issues that you can fix right now- not vague, inactionable soul-searching nonsense. You can just go ahead and change these things for the better right now. GO AND DO THAT. -Angel of Bacon
    • "If you move too rapidly between subjects I'm worried you won't start iterating on those lessons and end up frustrated again. I know you want to draw all the things, and eventually you will want to do landscape studies, but I think for you, at this moment, it may be better to spend time focusing on one subject matter to hone your overall technique." -Fugitive
    • " I feel like based on a lot of the work you've presented as personal/experimental-- the kind of stuff you present from the "What I want to do" corner of your portfolio, it might be a good idea to really launch yourself into anatomy studies and so on to shake off some of the habit-based mechanisms of your current work flow. " -Tapeslinger
    • "I think you could benefit a lot by taking a step back from the grind of just intuiting your way through studies, and taking a look at your approach to painting, and specifically your approach to modeling form. When you're doing a study, instead of just trying to match all the tones in a haphazard way, you would be better off using an organized method. " -Lamp
    • "I said this regarding your texture studies, but you should change up the hues when doing shadows and highlights. Using white and black is really washing out your piece." -Nightdragon
    • "When you're changing up your hues, you need to stay consistent. It's not a random hue change - it specifically is supposed to reflect the lighting in your environment." -Nightdragon
    • "I'd suggest you color-pick in your next reference, but don't just go on autopilot when you do. Select a color from your reference, and then check to see where that color is in your color picking tool. Check to see what hue it's pulling from. It can be really surprising. " -Nightdragon
    • "The question is, is the gray/brown/beige/pink I picked warmer or cooler than the one in my reference image? " -Lamp
    • "Building a quick 3d maquette can be a great help. It'll solve a lot of problems for you, but it's for the best that you do some shadow casting exercises. Even if you don't want to go through the rigmarole of plotting out exact shadows in every little illustration or thumbnail, doing those exercises will help you estimate better." -ChicoBlue
    • "Likeness relies on getting down into the muscle structure and really noodling out why someone's face looks like that. Muscle, fat, bone structure-- vital stuff." -tapeslinger
    • "Every character you make doesn't need to be battlefield ready. Look at more stuff." -Iruka
    • "When you're designing a character every element should have a reason why it is the way it is, even if you aren't necessarily making that a specific part of the narrative." -tapeslinger
    • "Don't invent anything that isn't there. Is something out of focus? Leave it out of focus. Is there a soft edge there? Don't harden the edge. Leave things as they are." -Nightdragon
    • "Strong linework will make it easier for you to figure out what needs correction, as the shapes and negative space will be easier to read." -Nightdragon

    Some general feedback
    Story elements:
    Each piece/character/object should have a narrative or tell a story.
    The narrative should exist in the character or focal point as well as the background with supporting elements.

    Composition:
    Actively explore size, scale and proportion relationships.
    Avoid evenly spaced or sized elements.

    Drawing:
    The beginning is crucial for construction, measurement and planning.
    Pencil measuring, angle comparing, internal/external shapes and negative space are key.

    Studies:
    Start general and careful, go slow and be as accurate as possible.
    Consider each stroke, mark or line. Think about what the underlying form is and compare your result with reference.
    Everyday!

    Painting:
    In general, you need more variation in saturation and hue.
    Do not use pure white to make things brighter! Or vice-a-versa. Change up your hues from light to dark. This will help prevent that "pastel" and washed-out look.
    It's worth experimenting with your digital technique, there are times when you want a blended look but to do any really good texture work you'll need to have a variety of methods under your belt.
    One extra brush stroke to soften the form would go a long way.

    @Angel_of_Bacon @Iruka @NightDragon @Lamp have all done some helpful paint overs and huge posts full of stuff I should be working on and resolving but I just keep moving on.

    If I'm to ever break out of these bad habits and actually improve consistently, I have to take all this advice and actually work it out. I could try to explain my messed up mentality up to this point, but I know everyone here is tired of my good intentions and fluffy bullshit posts. I just have to get started on one thing and fucking learn it.

    I will work on the upside down guy until I'm satisfied it's that best I can do, then post it. I don't have to post everyday at 5pm. I will slow down and try to actually learn and understand what I'm doing in such a way I can repeat or develop a process with.

    As for comparing my work to professional stuff, my gut reaction is "that's gonna hurt." but fuck that, I know that will be amazingly helpful and I will be doing that. You're right, I have to get used to self-critique, figuring out how to learn and improve myself and not use this forum as a crutch so much.

    It's kind of shameful and stupid the way I handle my art education. I guess I must seem like I don't want it that bad but I've never been more driven in my life. From now on, studies during the week, for fun on the weekends.

    F87 on
    NightDragonIrukatapeslinger
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Thats good to hear man. Stick with it.

    tapeslinger
  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    edited June 2015
    I really tried on this one, took way to long with it I'm sure. And it's still all over the place! I reached a point where I could see something was off, but adjusting it would cause a chain reaction of shapes becoming worse. I guess I needed to measure things out more, especially major landmarks before laying down the major shapes?

    All in all though, checking angles and shapes feels a lot more embedded in my brain. I have done little anatomy sketches and while I notice that I'm much more attentive to the reference, sometimes I slip back into old habits. I feel like I can keep pushing because I'm starting to get the hang of it, but I don't know if I should stick with this picture some more or start a fresh eye training exercise? I think in this area I should focus more on articulating what type of shape I'm seeing. I got into this some along with slowing down in general and thinking more about marks I'm making.

    The upside down thing is really getting to me too o_o

    4p3cb1owd6mq.png


    F87 on
    acadia
  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    edited July 2015
    Hey dudes, I'm still working away artin' over here. Slowed down some and I'm trying to focus more.

    kqhrzzmwu5jh.png
    o5hn6r131quw.png
    maiphcu46go3.png

    I've also done some concept work but not too much. Next for me will be a longer, full figure study. And I will keep at these planes or something similar to keep training my eye on shapes.

    Edit: And that last plane is just a quick one, going to keep a couple landmarks and rework it from there...

    F87 on
    acadiaEnc
  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    I'm going to try and study the junk out of this one:

    qlhkmby9k3yi.png

    And some stuff I've spent too much time on lately...

    4e86a6pzhpkq.png

    ou1zsqmaowoq.png

    Annnnd a wip. These are actually for a small twitch art community I like to hang out with sometimes. They have weekly challenges and I can't resist doing them.

    s3xlowvbv9aa.png

    I have had a commission recently and yesterday got caught up with a very frustrating client. But I'm pushing on and hope to finish the top study next week.

    Thanks for any feedback guys!

    lyriumNakedZergling
  • acadiaacadia Registered User regular
    I love your concept dinosaur and robot (and love all of the thumbnails), but feel like the feet on both of the rendered ones are kind of weak (given the more compelling (though, possibly less useful, in the case of the robot?) feet in their respective silhouettes (dinosaur, far left thumbnail; robot, bottom left?)). And the hands and feet are also weak on your study and challenge piece too. Maybe throw in a hand/feet study soon?

    F87tynic
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    I think the girl suffers from alot of your story telling issues. Not really sure what shes doing, why shes wearing that, or anything. Wouldnt be able to guess the prompt by looking at it.

    The robot I actually like, but its suffering from a lack of attention to detail when it comes to material rendering. Its all metal, you want it to be clean and sharp and really give me that tangible feeling of metal. The ball on the side looks good, the rest seems a little fuzzy. Same with the dino. Are those feathers? You can push that a lot more.

    tynicF87tapeslingerScosglen
  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    @acadia Ah yes, my ongoing struggle with hands. We had a short scrap a while back and it's time to step back in the ring for sure. Thanks for the feedback, Sir!

    @Iruka Yes, the girl's design is really simple, I was trying to show she is a mage. The challenge is Good Mage or Bad Mage and you pick one and express good or bad through the design/body language. I wish I could show she is a spellcaster without resorting to cliche things like robes, wizard hat, runic tattoos or floaty crystals.

    Metal and feathers, I really struggled with that. I will keep pushing the materials! Now that I look again I could really make the metal sharper and I feathers need so much detail D:

    acadia
  • ToasticusToasticus yeah YEAHRegistered User regular
    It's great to see you keep at it Frank!

    If I could suggest just one thing, it's this: get messy. Get messy! So much of what I've seen from you for the last few pages feels like you are terrified of making mistakes. And I mean, when you're specifically working to try to improve that's a totally understandable mentality. But I think it's robbing you of crucial vitality.

    The reason I bring this up is because I see in you very similar tendencies to what I've had to fight myself over the years. An abundance of improbably smooth surfaces, carefully defined lines and shadows, lack of color variations within a given surface or material, etc. You never let elements of a piece fade into being resolved by the viewer -- everything is explicitly defined.

    So like... for one example. Look at the way you start out your early progress in painted images. Very careful and deliberate from the very start. But then compare that to the paintover you got from Sam!

    vab54t49zhs8.jpg

    LOOK HOW MESSY THAT CRAP IS! But it works vibrantly as a starting point doesn't it? Try that out as a process for a bit -- rather that starting out refined and progressing by just adding "more", try to work as though you're starting out drunk and progress comes from sobering up!

    Now, I mean, doing that isn't intrinsically going to grant a better understanding of anatomy, or lighting physics, or what have you, but it might help you crank through such studies and discover things while doing them that you might not otherwise. It might help you get to the meat, the ideas behind why things look certain ways, more quickly and more deeply than reproducing the images more mechanically.

    tynicF87
  • lyriumlyrium Registered User regular
    edited July 2015
    Nah dog, you don't need to go nuts on details to make the feathers read better. Pushing character doesn't necessarily mean pushing tiny details. Try to see the difference in your impression looking at real feathers versus the impression you get from yours. Yours are a very uniform size and shape, that all look very hard and oddly spaced out. Feathers lay against the body in different patterns, so if you can observe these patterns and apply them to your critter, you will see areas where they lay closer together or more distinct, appear dull versus shiny, soft versus stiff, etc. A lot of the time, they are laying so closely together that their softness and translucence means you can be pretty sparse with actually drawing out edges and still get your information across. People love taking pictures of birds, haha, so there's no reason to deprive yourself of reference material. Need to look at some long feathers? GIS herons. Poofy feathers? GIS Ostrich. Camo feathers? GIS sparrow, etc. And there are always birds of paradise for when you need to be inspired by some crazy shit.
    I think the main issue with yours is the areas where they would appear soft are missing, and the feather shape is a little odd (particularly on the legs where it looks more like spikes emerging out of skin). Look at where the variation occurs on different areas of a single animal, and you'll get a lot of ideas about how to improve yours, which would probably NOT be to meticulously draw in a bunch of shafts and barbs on what you already have.
    That said I really really like your dino and robot. I looked at those sheets and thought "wow, he's improving so much!"

    lyrium on
    acadiaIrukatynictapeslingerF87
  • LampLamp Registered User regular
    edited July 2015
    Hey Frank, good work on that dino and spaceship design, I can really tell you're putting in a lot of effort here, keep at it!!!

    That said, I wanted to talk about about *how* you draw, by relaying some information that I feel has helped me.

    Now then, I can tell that you know about the idea of constructive drawing vs. contour drawing, because I can see that you're drawing in a few ellipses on your figures to show the direction of some of the forms, i.e. whether they're protruding or receding. But I don't see anything that suggests that you're ACTUALLY constructing your figures. There is no sense of *overlapping, interlocking forms* whatsoever. It looks to me like you're intensely focused on sketching in the contour of the figure, and then afterwards you're just sort of paying lip service to the idea of construction by half-heartedly drawing in some ellipses.

    Of course, there's not anything inherently wrong with carefully measuring angles and laying in the contour of a figure, I believe that's the basic approach of a whole lot of modern academic drawing, and with brilliant results. But how do you apply that skill set as an illustrator who needs to be able to draw things from his imagination? What do you do when you have no outlines sitting in front of you to copy? The answer is, of course, to stop copying outlines and instead construct your figures AS you draw them. Don't just show the construction after you've drawn an outline -- the construction should BE the drawing.

    This goes back to two of the most helpful ideas about drawing that I ever picked up, which Glen Vilppu stresses over and over in pretty much all of his figure drawing videos.

    The first is the idea of using your line to *contain volumes* instead of outlining. It's hard to describe, I very much suggest going to Youtube and watching some of the Vilppu demonstrations that are on there. But this was so helpful to me, because when I look at a model, it can be pretty hard to even tell WHERE the the outline of the figure is. That's because people aren't made of outlines, outlines are 2-dimensional. They're made of 3-dimensional forms. And so it's much easier to conceptualize the calf as an obloid sphere that is sitting on top of a cylinder than it is to carefully measure measure all of the angles of the outline. Not only that, but this way of thinking and drawing is a thousand times more useful to you when you go to apply tone to your drawing (more on this in a minute).

    The second is the idea of *overlapping* volumes. You know that old animation idea of visualizing your characters as a bag of flour that's folded in half? It's pretty much that. If you start using your line to contain volumes instead of outlining them, you can start to draw through the form and overlap those volumes. Bam, instant sense of form and direction, and you can tell the relationship between these two volumes in space. That sack of flour (basically, two overlapping circles) is more or less how I start drawing every characters I ever draw.

    omw2whymn8ev.jpg

    (^^^from Glen Vilppu's Drawing Manual book ^^^)

    I went ahead and redrew some of your recent figure work to help show what I mean. Disclaimer that I had to make up the anatomy since I didn't have the reference, but the point about drawing overlapping forms should be clear enough.

    c7kn37sbv14h.jpg

    See how the forms overlap and interlock with one another? On the lower drawing (the front-view of legs pressed together), see how there's a sense of the box form of the knee protruding from the sphere of the upper leg? This is really important, not because it looks better, but because when you go to paint it, you have plenty of actionable information -- in other words, you know how to paint a sphere and a box, and if those are the forms that your leg is constructed out of, then it's way easier to lay down values. And on the front leg of that bottom drawing, see how I can sort of draw in a foot and toes, with at least some sense of solidity and dimensionality, without reference, because I'm constructing them out of simple forms?

    6gozzzviv82a.jpg

    Again, see how the box form of the knee protrudes from the leg? See how I used the tendons on the bottom of the knee to help indicate the underside of the box? See how the forms of the torso and obliques insert into the pelvis? And see how I drew the pectoral muscle as a sort of spheroid, pill-shaped form sitting on top of the breast, to show that which form is on top of which? That's another piece of actionable information -- I know how to paint a sphere, so I have somewhere to start when I'm indicating the forms of the chest with paint.

    Yeah, the way I drew her probably looks a bit chubbier than the reference model. If I had the reference, I probably would have designed some of the forms to be a bit smaller and slimmer. Even here, I'd go in and refine the contour to slim her down and match the model -- but only after having established the big overlapping forms as simply as possible.

    Resist always the urge to look at the model and simply say, "I don't see that form or that overlap on my reference so I won't draw it." Vilppu says "don't copy the model, analyze the model," and what he means is that it's up to your to communicate the gesture of the figure to the viewer by any means possible. That might mean you have to overemphasize or stress some aspect of the pose, especially some overlap, that isn't as clear in your reference. We think that photographs perfectly capture reality, but in reality we perceive objects in real 3D space. Photographs (and drawings and paintings!) are 2D, they can flatten forms out and make it hard to tell which way a leg is pointing. In your drawing or painting, it's up to you to leave no doubt in the viewer's mind of which way that leg is pointing.

    Of course, the other big point of emphasis is that by constructing your figures out of volumes instead of outlines, you can build them from your imagination with just as much dimensionality as they would have if you were drawing from a model! At least in theory.

    And this can be applied to anything you draw, human, monster, spaceship, anything! Here's a study of a bear I'm working on tonight, I'll share it to emphasize the point. I started out with a hunched-over flour-sack abdomen and pelvis, draped the shoulders over that form as a sort of arch, and constructed the limbs as balls and cylinders.

    0xnbawbcux14.jpg


    This is all pretty much the same sort of idea I was trying to stress about portrait painting earlier in this thread, when I was saying don't just copy tones, actively construct your volumes. Then I was talking about value, here I'm talking about line, but it's the same basic philosophy.

    If you're not sick of seeing the word "Vilppu," I really can't stress enough how much his instructional videos have meant to me. I really would recommend at least checking out what's on Youtube, and if you have some extra cash, investing in a 1 month subscription to the New Masters Academy website and checking out his videos on there. Sorry if that sounds like an advertisement, but the videos on that site are SO much better than the old, poor quality Vilppu instructional videos that I spent a fortune on four years ago. I'm not quite as sold on his method of drawing the gesture of the figure, I struggled with that for years before pretty much abandoning it for the flour sack method mentioned above (plus a rudimentary gestural lay-in for the limbs) but the information about drawing overlapping volumes is worth its weight in gold. At the very least, give the Drawing Manual a good read.



    Lamp on
    tapeslingerIrukaacadiaMangoesF87Natri
  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    edited July 2015
    @Toasticus Get messy huh? So you are saying that starting a painting loose and general could help me find certain moods/feels or just different looks?
    @lyrium Yes! I see, you are completely right. It's not really the details of a thing. That makes a lot of sense about the feathers and now I really can't stand how uniform mine are. They lack variation or pattern. Thank you!
    @Lamp Wow man, you really explained that well! The actual interlocking and overlapping of construction is something I almost completely overlooked I guess! I'm really excited to try that out. I can see how it will really help later when painting the forms too, good point. That philosophy of laying things down generally in a consistent process, that's sort of the idea here right? Rather it's line or value, like you said.

    Had to submit this for the challenge last night, but I struggled with it. I think the hands could be less stiff, the staff/bird could use some reference, and the face...I'm not sure about. Uhg and the materials I barely got around to working on. Oh, and in terms of design, I tried to improve her costume but my next character I really got to think about the character first. But for now I really just want to study for a while...

    sy6tmuj9jlbf.png

    F87 on
  • LampLamp Registered User regular
    Exactly, constructing your characters like that is about going from general to specific.

    Nice job on the character, I really dig the bird and the subtle pattern on the magic orb, and the lighting on the face is a definite step in the right direction! A couple of quick things:

    1. Perspective on the feet might be a bit too extreme, makes the back leg look a tad short. Feet would probably be a bit closer together since it's mostly a straight-legged pose.
    2. Careful with lighting consistency, looks like the light source is coming from the top right, but the cylinder of her right arm looks like it's lit from the bottom right.
    3. Light falloff. Right now your lighting is a bit too even all the way down her body, I think. Even just applying an overlay gradient from the top to bottom would give a better sense of light hitting her head, shoulders and chest, and sort of diminishing in effect as you go down the character. It adds impact and helps direct the eye to the character's face, and also helps give the sense of warm light -- right now your tones are a bit too evenly cool in the reds and pinks IMO.

    Example, just applied a yellow gradient to the character, set to overlay and lowered the opacity down.
    qirnx2izzrr4.jpg

    fan.jpg 322.4K
    F87
  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    edited July 2015
    Thanks, Mr. @Lamp ! Great points. I did lose sight of the light falloff, that does look much better to have variance.

    I'm trying to construct my figure study more carefully like you demonstrated. This is really quick, but is this the right idea so far?

    bj62zx673z16.png

    F87 on
    Enc
  • LampLamp Registered User regular
    edited July 2015
    MUCH better. Looking forward to seeing the results of that study!

    Lamp on
    F87
  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    edited August 2015
    I've been somewhat busy with a commission and also really caught up in doing some concept challenges. Here is my recent work:

    fyv3xcudmuj9.png

    o0x7gc0ecopz.png

    4q7v9tfyy47g.png

    ywtduhzhhozk.png

    jsxiqbppevm5.png

    45749m192qwf.png

    I still need to do more studies! Especially hands, which has been mentioned recently on this thread. I always put them off until the end. I did take some reference for the ogre creatures hands that I will be using to finish him with.

    Any feedback is much appreciated!

    F87 on
    EncacadiaSeveredHead
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Mushroom ogre is awesome!

    F87
  • m3nacem3nace Registered User regular
    Woah baduder, couldn't recognize it was your stuff at first. Looks great!
    If I'd have to say one thing, it would be that you should try and pay more attention to how saturation works. Everything's looking a bit like a cereal commercial when it's so saturated, and some variation would definitely help.

    F87
  • tapeslingertapeslinger Space Unicorn Slush Ranger Social Justice Rebel ScumRegistered User regular
    edited August 2015
    definitely forward progress! the backpacker could use a little more effort in texturing but there's a lot of great texture work in that sword trio and on that ogre. It's funny how leaping forward in one thing will make studying something else all that more obvious (re: hands). Nice work, keep it up.

    tapeslinger on
    F87
  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    edited September 2015
    Thank you guys! I definitely need to think about my saturation more. Fixed up my site some and I've been doing some random studies here and there, finally should have more time to hit those more.

    Here is some of my recent stuffs/update:

    q7anwolakhkt.png

    uhc066u06lj2.png

    qy0to8x0e0da.png

    e7csjgb2goe4.png

    The first 3 are WIP... I really want to push the ogre, get his skin to read well and put more musculature in.

    F87 on
    Angel_of_Bacon
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Nice, man.

    I really like the ogre. Make sure his feet get planted, if you avoid them for too long you'll be too in love with the rest of it to make changes if you need to. Id try and get some sure structure in there.

    That environment is way more interesting than any setting I've seen you attempt before, thats a large step forward just in terms of you actually putting some thought into it, and that's pretty cool man.

    tapeslingertynic
  • LampLamp Registered User regular
    edited September 2015
    Good stuff, Frank! I really like that ogre, so I thought I'd throw some suggestions your way.

    wrx4w37srlrq.jpg


    1. The skin is looking way too smooth to read as skin, IMO. Could be just my taste but I'd try to do away with the airbrushed look and use hard brushes to give the skin a more believable texture. This paintover is sloppy and could use more blending but hopefully it gets across the idea.
    2. On that note, I'm not crazy about the sharp black lines delineating each muscle. Looks artificial to me, sort of like lines on an action figure. Try to be less precious about carefully defining every single line like that, I think.
    3. The blue skin is looking overly saturated, maybe? Looks like the light source is bright and warm, so I would expect the areas of skin receiving direct light to skew slightly warmer and less saturated, I think. Save the most saturated blues for the half tones, along the edge of light and shadow.
    4. Go do some photo studies of metal, that guy's metal forearm plate isn't reading as metal to me. Looks like you're thinking "metal is gray" and defaulting to neutral gray, and painting it like a matte plasticky surface. The thing that's gonna make it look like metal is how it reflects the environment around it. Giving it higher contrast between the highlight and core shadow will play the sense that it's reflecting the light source, and giving it some bounce light helps too.

    Anyway, seeing awesome progress here! Keep it up man!!

    Lamp on
    F87
  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    Thank you, @Iruka ! I tried to plant his feet better, hope it looks better.
    @Lamp I really appreciate all your help dude! You are right on all points and I tried to apply your feedback.

    Update on the ogre:

    qmeqpgou70hp.png

    A new vehicle and a couple studies:

    d4akdq00qbdh.png

    kargwzt99div.png

    zmb38h09w493.png

    bicqdmpihhch.png

    I bought this [url="https://gumroad.com/devinplatts "]process/tutorial video [/url] and it's really crazy, teaching me some cool tricks and insight about lighting as well. The succubus/demon lady was my first try but I decided to start over once I kind of understood what I was doing. The warrior dude is still early on, but it's going better this time I think.

    93z4shtoj634.png

    p3ac3hw8yoob.png

    A few self-crits:
    1. Still need to focus on a clear, cohesive process.
    2. Construction could be a lot better still in general... I still need to work on actually connecting and overlapping forms correctly.
    3. Skin texture is still too smooth on the studies? And I need to actually focus on the texture instead of form eventually.
    4. Really need to study hands/feet next.
    5. I want to push my designs more. More tangible, real things with thoughtful shapes and functions.

    Really need to study more, I finally feel like I'm at least approaching it correctly and learning some things.
    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated as always!

    Lampm3naceIrukaChicoBlueMangoesacadia
  • tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    Why do none of your people (or ogres) have nipples?

    F87
  • ChicoBlueChicoBlue Registered User regular
    That's some good progress!

    I think regarding your vehicle, the fact that it is lit from above, front and to the right, while the guy standing beside it is being lit from above, back and to the right seems a little incongruous.

    The construction of the ship's shadow is a little wonky, as well. It looks like you took the silhouette, skewed, and flattened it along the ground plane, which is a great short cut in some cases, and fudging shadows around quickly is very useful, because they can be time consuming as all get out to plot. But in this case, the shadow is very sharp, and is communicating a lot of information that conflicts with the design of the ship itself.

    Also, I posted about a free peek at an anatomy e-book thing in the Questions Thread that I think you might get a lot of out of, especially while you are working on your barbarian fella.

    Keep at 'er.

    F87
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    I'm appreciating those face and figure studies, It looks like you are really starting to take things seriously. I think your self crits are good, glad you are doing that as well. I'm looking forward to more material studies, I think that the metal cans look alright, but the armor is a little mushy. Looks like you were seeing the basics of it but didn't take the time to make things clean and sharp, with metal (and material in general) the details can make or break things.

    tynicF87
  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    edited October 2015
    Thanks for the feedback and that link, @ChicoBlue ! I've been looking through the ebook here and there, plan on referencing it more.
    @Iruka Thank you very much! I think it looks mushy too, very good point. Still need to focus and study more...!

    Calling this one... learned a lot but there wasn't enough thought put into the design.
    aj5zl8h2u1a4.png

    New character:
    lcqfx5uy2evv.png
    Trying out this type of process: http://theartcenter.blogspot.ru/2010/03/sam-nielson-painting-process.html But I think I went overboard with the AO.

    This was for a challenge:
    90165af3am3x.png

    And a couple hand/feet sketches
    ycrqt4gmd4bc.png

    F87 on
    m3naceProspicienceacadiaYoshisummons
  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    edited October 2015
    Heya dudes!

    Here are some sketch pages I did to try and loosen up some. Also, someone told me I should be putting my website on anything I post online, what do you guys think?

    qpjrz3pjghbt.png

    03xf8jpflkhc.png

    15bqsmgt5jb2.png

    Head study
    k4vu7ggm2056.png

    I'm starting some fanart, does this look like her at all so far?
    cn0kfhxw7tkv.png

    Sketchy sketch
    njhsykun0016.png

    I really need feedback on this one, it's due the 31st for a contest! Still got a long way to go, the hands, the zombies and the ground/tree textures. Also I would love to have enough time and really push the focal point.
    ulphpqvmgs79.png


    F87 on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    The quality of your faces is sliding backwards. What reference are you using for that head study? What are you using for the star wars one?

    F87
  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    edited October 2015
    Daaaang. Do you mean in terms of how flat they are? The star wars one is giving me trouble because of likeness. I tried to get a reference close the same angle.

    uq2rfvoerras.jpg
    84rw897ssrxo.png
    gdzh4ktodahb.png

    I think I will do a head study based on the feedback I got in the last couple pages. I remember lamp helped a lot and I obviously didn't retain it :P

    F87 on
    Geth
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited October 2015
    Those are all terrible references. The last one is very flat and washed out, which makes for very pretty models in photography if your into that sort of thing, but you literally have nothing to sculpt or measure by. Get something thats properly lit.

    The star wars girl, look up the actress and find better reference of her face specifically.

    Edit: find reference for the cat, too.

    Iruka on
    F87tynictapeslingerProspicience
  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    edited November 2015
    Thank you, Iruka! Not sure what I was thinking, need to stick to proper references and not let myself slide into more bad habits. I was definitely being lazy and I should do head studies...

    I got a better ref and some feedback from some friends, hopefully this is the right direction. I feel like it looks like her now! Maybe the eyes are too close? I do see some tweaks I still need to make.

    75z7lya9dfgq.png

    Also, I have to submit this tomorrow night, I've been rushing to finish!

    *snip*

    Not sure if I've managed to vary my hues enough or if the values are still working...

    Edit: Here is the final I ended with, I think it was a fairly successful piece.

    jbv0vqzx4tvu.png

    F87 on
  • LampLamp Registered User regular
    edited November 2015
    Hey Frank, good stuff happening in here for the most part, although I have to agree that you've been sliding back into old habits with faces. here's a quick little paintover and some suggestions

    582nci3n0uu8.jpg


    1. Remember that Melissandre paintover I did where I showed how to conceptualize the muzzle and ball of the chin as spheres, and then intentionally model them that way? I think you could go back to that, and start by doing some more studies of the rhythms of the face (the Reilly structure is my personally favorite). You're leaning too heavily on a really simplistic model of the face that basically divides it into front and side planes, within much specificity in between. In doing so you're losing the structure of the face. For example, there is almost no structure to the muzzle or cheekbones on your portrait. Where are all the plane changes? Using reference isn't going to do you much good if you're not recognizing where the planes are changing and *deliberately* painting them.
    2. On a related note, check out the way you painted the eyes. You're doing flat almonds instead of painting them as 3-dimensional objects. Stop worrying so much about defining the outside eyes of the eye (especially the bottom of the "almond") and start worrying about painting the eye as a sphere. I did a little eye at the top of the paintover as a quick demo of one possible approach, hopefully it helps.
    3. Lighting consistency is gonna be tricky here because there's no direct light hitting the face. But there are some obvious inconsistencies in your portrait. For example, the forehead is lit at the corner (not the front), but the lighting on the nose doesn't match -- instead of lighting the corner of the nose, you lit the front of the nose. On that note, you tend to treat the front of the nose much too flat, it's actually pretty rounded on most faces.
    4. Little proportions details are off like the neck was too thin and the cranium needed a bit more mass on the back. Also the eyebrows were the wrong shape.

    Lamp on
    IrukaF87tynic
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