Finn's Sketchbook and Brush work

BrushwoodMuttBrushwoodMutt Registered User regular
edited April 2015 in Artist's Corner
Hello, rather than the really long title of BrushwoodMutt I figured it would be easier with a shorter name like Finn. Why Finn? Because that has become the name of the character I'm working on.

Anyways, I'm a college student on the verge of graduating and while my professional goal is to go into Graphic Design my personal art goal is to become a webcomic artist, which to make a living off of is hard and a lot can't do so, thus the Graphic Design is a more stable job idea. I've been practicing art for 7ish years now, but this year (literally January 2015) I've felt like I was in an art rut and was getting no where. So I've been trying to start from scratch to try and find my own style and voice.
First I took my character idea of Finn and tried to draw him in other artists' styles as a starting place.
d9jpz23hgzaf.jpg


The artists I looked at were Tavis Maiden, Mike Krahulik, Katie Rice, Kris Straub, then my "old style" thing, Rick Griffin, and then Jonathan Ponikvar. And the last one was the style recommended to me to try, using Griffin's style, but Ponikvar's choice of when to use lines and when to leave areas open.

So here is my character concept sheet based on that.
22q50as04s6i.jpg


Both done using Illustrator's Image Trace feature from a pencil sketch, so they are vectors.

Next I animated his expressions using Photoshop



And finally tried my hand at animating him.


So I feel like I want to use this place as a way to get critique, but also as a way to help me keep working. Sometimes I procrastinate too much and so I'm working on trying to better manage my time and motivate myself. As such my goal is similar to Mike Krahulik's and have a "sketchdump" of what I've been working on during the week on Sundays, that's the day I think I could upload everything easily.

BrushwoodMutt on
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  • BrushwoodMuttBrushwoodMutt Registered User regular
    edited April 2015
    So here is my first sketch dump. Any advice and criticism is always appreciated.
    st0awohxdzsh.jpg
    nf7fbl2i1vmv.jpg
    gmwd28yq4pzq.jpg
    otnlunlw5pa9.jpg

    BrushwoodMutt on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    From your H/A thread, it seems like this is something you are taking pretty seriously, but it seems like you are still pretty weak in a lot of fundamental areas. Looking at your sketches is pretty revealing. You'll want to consider all of the enrichments: http://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/196641/enrichment-directory#latest

    The books listed in the Comic Resource Master Post are also a really good place to start. Drawn to life is a good book to put your hands on, especially. If you are going to do animation, You'll also want The Animators Survival Kit, its a pretty worthwhile resource.

    If you've been drawing for 7 years you probably don't want to hear this, but you are going to need to spend some time on basic shapes and a little life drawing. People really underestimate how well those golden age animators and cartoonists understood the basic principals of form and light. Cartoons are made out of primary shapes and if you cant use them consistently you wont be able to draw believable characters. For rants on this, John K: http://johnkstuff.blogspot.com/search/label/construction

    I would do some master studies, and in your case, that would probably be golden age cartoon redrawing (bugs, daffy, really pushing yourself to construct those characters and to do it on model). It also looks like you are probably rushing your drawings, You are going to need to slow down and try to push the quality so that you can see what you are capable of.

    tynic
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Ditto the shapes. I imagine if you spent a month, or even a week, just working on shading basic shapes your figures would end up loads more dynamic.

  • BrushwoodMuttBrushwoodMutt Registered User regular
    Thanks. Yeah I figured and it probably doesn't help that I get so rigid with drawings. And don't get me wrong, thank you for the criticism, but if we are talking about reasons why I wouldn't want to hear that is not because I've been working for 7 years (which I put because I technically started in highschool but that was working from square one), it's because I spent a year and a half in a life drawing class. So that's good to know ^ ^;

    Anyways, it's not what I normally do but I finished a painting I've been working on and I figured part of the imagery made it appropriate to post here.

    xa40ltgw74ko.jpg

    It's 4x5ft oil painting. I may like Kemper pins.

  • tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    Well, you might not want to hear it, but the reason for the recommendation is that there's little evidence of basic observational and drafting skills in your work.

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Working on your observation skills is going to be an ongoing process, you wont take one class and stop, you have to keep hacking at it.

    If you do some simple shape studies, some master studies, those kinds of things, it will really help us critique you. We'll be able to get at your fundamental problems, which will be the building blocks for the rest of your work. The exercises in http://www.reddit.com/r/ArtFundamentals maybe a good place to start as well.

    tynicEnc
  • BrushwoodMuttBrushwoodMutt Registered User regular
    edited April 2015
    To clarify, I'm not opposed to criticism. The reason I wouldn't want to hear about that lacking is because of how it makes me question how well I learned during my time, which is never fun.

    So here is my sketch dump, ie what I've worked on this week. The reason for a single day one is because I'm trying to use my time better and being on forums is an easy way to waste time for me, so scheduling it on a single day is supposed to help. Also it gives me a "deadline" to work on these.
    So here are some tests I did to work on observation:
    Test 1 and Test 2 were to see how working with lines versus blocking in lights and darks would help.
    f2c6x1upkqrb.jpgf84c11bh5t0a.jpgiaamxmgtqzzs.jpg

    g6szrx37qfkr.jpgxl0265tz6k23.jpg5ckukr2obv0r.jpgf56e4axh42nc.jpg


    One thing I also tried was to see how I could use a pre-posed object or a reference to work on my own character drawings
    lq6jw57i8b94.jpglytfahfnuyqk.jpg
    These using the poses shown before. And the third using this pose:
    mceipzh24hgf.jpg4b6kf16ekxiq.jpg

    Then I attempted to try and see how I could translate the sketch into blocking the actual colors. Personally I felt it was not super successful.
    Coloring under layerare4gf1pha3s.jpgColoring over layerxk8s63v2z2yg.jpg

    And then I thought I'd try something else to practice so I drew this under the conditions of a Brush pressure linked to Shape and Opacity and Eraser pressure linked to Opacity and no Undo Button:
    n1bzvtb6qfl6.jpgoednm0i2ih2n.jpg

    merkyffz8ot9.jpgc1l02cl2vi82.jpg

    I meant to do some shape studies this weekend but that got shot to hell. Also what are master studies?

    Also to clarify, I'm not trying to ignore your advice, such as doing the shape studies or other enrichments which had I prioritized I could have possibly done. I do plan on doing them this week, but I'm also perhaps trying to rush/streamline a bit due to an impending graduation which if I want to make a career out of art is not a very lovely thing to have looming over.

    BrushwoodMutt on
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    ~Puts on career advisor hat, which is what I actually get paid to do 9-5~

    With your level of work you probably shouldn't be assuming you will be working in art at graduation. Even folks with very, very full resumes of masterful work find it extremely difficult to find full time, or even occasional contract-based, work straight out of college (or even years later). Typically the workflow for art-based employment is doing it on the side every day as a hobby for years until you have such a following that people offer you commissions regularly or you have a portfolio of work that makes you attractive for going into specific fields. In either case you have a ways to go, and that's not a bad thing!

    What are your major/minor fields of study? It might be a better plan to segue into a field that is closer to another area of study that has way of slowly leaning into art or design over time.

  • BrushwoodMuttBrushwoodMutt Registered User regular
    I'm currently working on a BFA in Studio Art while working on a certificate (a minor, but it shows on degree) in Business and Computer Science.

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    What does your personal network look like? Have you spoken with your professors in either program about employment opportunities? If graduation is 1-2 semesters away your two best bets would be to get in touch with all of your professors, past and present, and ask if they have any leads for work. Then visit your career services office and see what the hiring market is in your area. Typically a BFA by itself isn't hugely meaningful for employment (though the skills you acquire definitely are if you build a solid portfolio of work), though it as a credential is typically solid for teaching roles.

    What sort of employment/job fields were you thinking?

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Assuming you are graduating and your loans are going to be dropping after you get out (if you dont have loans, congrats, that's awesome) You are going to need to find a job, and the likely hood that it is going to be art related is low. If you are an alright designer you maybe able to find a good stream of freelance. We really do art students a disservice by convincing them that working in another field reflects on them poorly in someway. If you are practical and dedicated, you can continue to work on your skills and have a day job. You'd probably be surprised at how many artists have some other reasonable source of income.

    A lot of studio art programs suck at giving you technical skills. They'll focus on conceptual and critical thinking and leave simple things like form and rendering up to the student to take seriously. Sometimes this is because of a lack of teachers who have solid skills themselves, and sometimes this is because its the least fun thing to work on for students. The money you are paying is too good to make it hard enough that you decide not to be there, so everyone gets to pass. Its not like med school or engineering where you can flunk out because you cant pass a test. So, It may not be a reflection on how well you learned, its probably a reflection on how poorly you were taught.

    As someone who spends a lot of time justifying a lot of debt to an artschool, I understand that this is frustrating. I also understand that graduation is scary. Being on the other side of things though, I know that both of those emotions are going to cloud your judgement. You need to do your best to not look at graduation as the time that is going to make or break the rest of your life. A few weeks working on this is going to make a difference, for sure, but you aren't going to leap from the state you are at now to money making webcomic.

    More positively though, you are putting yourself in a better position than most. You want to set your self up for continuing your education and getting feedback. That's the right mindset to be in, and if you can stay motivated to do so and not let working on your technical skills get you down, you are going to improve fast. Maybe in a year or two, you will see substantial enough improvement that you could reconsider your goals. I would spend your time right now optimizing your stability so that you can work on art without the stress and pressure of trying to make money on it. You will, ultimately, look for short cuts if you put yourself in that position, and that will hamstring you.


    For critiques on what you've put up, those little mannequins are shitty at almost everything. If you want to practice posing and anatomy life drawing is where its at, you can also set up a mirror and draw yourself. You'll always be around to model for yourself.

    Set up some a simple still life. If you can, pick up some plain blocks , You can paint them white to really reduce distractions. You want to get a more direct light while you start out. Looks like you have a florescent overhead light, and that is making too complex of a lighting set up for you to see the forms. I would get scott roberstons books (How to draw and How to Render) You are trying to break drawing way down and build back up.

    For master studies. Look at the Noahs art camp threads for an idea of that to do. Thread 1 thread 2 . I will consider making a thread just for master studies. You need to be looking at things and trying to replicate them accurately. So like I was saying before, trying to replicate golden age cartoons, making paintings, that sort of thing. Copying timeless artists so that you can understand what they did, and root out what you are lacking.

    tynicAngel_of_BaconEnc
  • BrushwoodMuttBrushwoodMutt Registered User regular
    @Enc Graphic Design or Marketing, but I do know that it is unlikely right out of college due to "entry" level positions saying you need 3-5 years experience, which doesn't sound very "entry" level. I have been to the career services and have been given job boards to look through when I'm graduating. So once I graduate I'd probably get a white collar job is the reality.

    @Iruka I know I say I want to eventually make a living off a webcomic, but first and foremost I want to make one because I want to make one, cause I enjoy both writing and art and it is a good mix of both. And I'll look into those threads.

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Just dont let that goal get in the way of learning to draw. It seems like you already have a very limited amount of time to commit to drawing, so I really want to emphasize that getting into the basics should be priority #1.

    being committed to the plan to make a comic is excellent, so Im not trying to discurage you from doing so. You should continue to draw finn and start making pages. Just know that you need to start putting in hard time on your fundamentals, and post those studies so we can help push you forward.

    Enc
  • BrushwoodMuttBrushwoodMutt Registered User regular
    edited May 2015
    So this week has been "fun" and originally meant to finish these and post them Tuesday, but yeah.

    Is this what you meant by a Master Study with regard to cartoonists?
    xlfhnnd8b1el.jpgc0hg239wj7xb.jpg
    Why only one? Well because I'm not a fast artist and this alone took over an hour I think, wasn't keeping track and it was over a few sessions.
    And attempts at a still life using as simple an object I could find. Translucent or Black Dice may not have been the best choices.
    bh61adh2y3mc.jpgppplkg175l5y.jpgwkrdqnff41bu.jpg

    ww8keypposhb.jpgrohpcdhjxoyn.jpg
    I'll try to work on more stuff during the weekend and post more Sunday.

    BrushwoodMutt on
  • tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    it looks like you've tossed off the dice study without thinking about why you're doing it. You're right, those are not the objects I'd have chosen, but actually you get some really interesting light and shade effects so it could be quite productive - if you put the time in to actually try and replicate the lighting and understand why it behaves like that. I'm not against quick sketching but you're not going to get anything out of it in this particular instance.

    Also it looks like you lack control when you're drawing digitally, which may be contributing to the lack of patience. If you are finding it a challenge, I'd suggest sticking to pencil for studies for now; if you're new to digital work then you're basically doubling up on the difficulty by trying to do two things at once (ie learning how to use the hardware while trying to study the fundamentals).

    Enctapeslinger
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    wkrdqnff41bu.jpg

    So this looks like it was about 5-10 minutes of study. Try recreating this exercise in an hour. Then start over and do it for two hours. Try getting the original lines perfect and straight without using a line tool or guide (that art fundamentals link Iruka gave had a really amazing 'how to draw lines' bit that is deceptively useful re:drawing with your shoulder/elbow), then try rendering with full flats. One of the best things about working in digital domain is that you have a wide range of tools available for you for painting. scribble-shading isn't really excusable when you have brushes and a wide range of color palletes to work with.

    Another thing you might want to start with is having your background color be a medium gray rather than white, that way you have a baseline for making your shading darker and your highlights brighter. Starting with white means you can only work down, which is often misleading to your eye.

    Gethtapeslinger
  • BrushwoodMuttBrushwoodMutt Registered User regular
    edited May 2015
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Nice! Thats leagues better than the first ones. Looking at that second one it looks like you are using smudge tool or soft brushes for those light transitions, which is a big time saver but can also lead to some degree of dependence. Have you tried painting with only hard edge brushes? It causes you to think much more on your color pallets and placements, and is a fun exercise (at least I found it fun). Maybe try it with those or with recreating a landscape photo.

  • BrushwoodMuttBrushwoodMutt Registered User regular
    @Enc I actually did that in this one. I did the top one first, using a hardbrush and eyeballing the color. The second one is me going back in and using a softer brush and soft eraser to try and make it more accurate to the reference because it was out of focus and I thought it might be better to get it to "look" like the model did.

    But that does pose a question, should I keep working on simple still lives or try to "paint" a landscape to practice colormatching, looking at lighting effects on color, etc. Which would be moving to the second and third parts of the Enrichments Iruka discussed.

    Disclaimer: I do understand that as an artist you need to practice all of them regularly, but currently my time is tight so I'm asking which would be the most productive and/or beneficial to focus on?

  • tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    You can learn colour and lighting from still lifes. If you don't have a lot of time I'd stick with fairly small, contained projects for now - landscapes have a LOT going on, and there is a strong observational advantage to being able to sit with the same real-life references for hours, which is difficult outdoors.

    If you want to branch out, I'd suggest setting up some different objects and playing with lighting. Check out lyrium's thread for some nice still life compositions.

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    I dont think there is an answer. So ling as you are honestly pushing yourself do what makes you glow

  • BrushwoodMuttBrushwoodMutt Registered User regular
    First off thank you for the critiques, I haven't said that in awhile.

    Second, I realized the issue that brought up this idea of working from observation was that when working from the imagination it didn't look like it was done from observation. So I understand the act of working from observation, but how do I apply those skills to sketches from the imagination?

  • MabelmaMabelma Registered User regular
    The way I do it, is that I think of it like making a collage. First you study things from real life, like for example say you're drawing a huge monster apple. I'd break it down into things I'd have to study, such as maybe real apples, human teeth (because they are creepy) and maybe some kind of vine structure for the legs. Then once you do your real life studies you take those different segments and you go into the imaginary image and using the knowledge from the real stuff you make an imaginary image. Hopefully that makes some kind of sense.

    Have some time, check out my blog
    Enc
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    or with landscapes, imaging an awesome fantasy city is pretty neat but when you draw it you need to know how to render certain textures for your buildings, how stone and trees look in the various lights you plan to use, etc.

    With your die exercise you probably now have a reasonable reference to use when drawing certain crystaline structures.

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    I know you are under pressure, but try not to look for shortcuts and try not to rush every piece. Some things are worth taking your time on. Some of the reasons for studying will become more apparent to you as you go along, but I will try to break some things down.

    The lighting on that is actually pretty well observed, but the structure of the cube itself isnt. In cartooning you need to concern yourself with weight, volume, and structure. I would get some solid objects and try to study those.

    You bugs looks like the bugs you drew it from. That in combination with the cube leads me to believe you actually have a pretty good eye for observation. Thats really good, it means that there are some things you will probably have to wrestle with less. You need to push yourself to be patient and accurate:
    o5g9xept2k9x.jpg

    The reason I'm critiquing your cube for not being a cube isn't just to cause you grief. The more accurate you can build these shapes, the more equipped you are to build your characters. You did alright drawing that Finn turn around, but when you watch your lip sync videos it becomes really apparent that you aren't thinking about his face ad a form with volume
    ulhswzxza74n.jpg

    Keeping characters faces elastic, on model, and appealing is something the golden age guys were masters at. I'm certainly not a master of it myself, consistency is something I'm still working on in my characters all the time. Doing studies help you do things like think in 3D space, you need to be able to draw a cube rather than a rectangle sometimes. you'll need to be able to draw a rectangle and bend it. When you start out you want to take this construction process slow and steady. Eventually you will start to see the forms there without having to draw them out all the time.

    John K on this:
    http://johnkstuff.blogspot.com/2007/10/heckling-hare-step-by-step-construction.html

    More reading:
    http://johnkstuff.blogspot.com/search/label/construction

    John K is an opinionated guy and I disagree with him on a lot of stuff, but one of the things hes generally not wrong about is construction. Its worth reading through his posts about them. Save the link to your phone, read through them while you are waiting for shit.

    Hopefully that helps make the connection for you

    tynicEncAngel_of_Bacontapeslingerlyrium
  • BrushwoodMuttBrushwoodMutt Registered User regular
    edited May 2015
    So here is what I'm working on this week.
    w2da4b0fpjaz.jpg

    This is prior to Iruka's comment. Time: 30ish minutes This is after her comment. Time: 1hour 20ish minutes

    u9oouz23664j.jpg0jrzoujsl8tn.jpg

    I can't seem to get the angles right, especially on the forms that are partially covered.

    BrushwoodMutt on
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    edited April 2015
    Have you tried creating vanishing points to help get the forms and locations right and/or those line exercises (linked to in one of the first posts) using your shoulder or elbow to get straighter lines?

    Enc on
    tapeslinger
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Do you have a really small tablet?

    Try not to lift up your pencil so much, you are making super short, choppy strokes, you want to try and get a little more confident with your lines. I would still go with solid objects over the clear dice, They dont seem to be hindering you that much, but I think any distortion from looking through the dice maybe distracting.

    You may want to set up some vanishing points, yes. Its a pain in the ass but doing it should help. You also may want to draw on paper for these early ones.

    tynic
  • kevindeekevindee Registered User regular
    edited April 2015
    My advice would be to hold off the dice. In fact, hold off translucent objects, complex shadows, or colour altogether. Focus on some basic shapes, and the accuracy - you'll get more out of it, having to worry about only one thing will let you focus your energy on said thing and improve at a faster rate. I'll post some geometric forms to work off.

    It also looks like you're not using transparency, or having a hard time handling the brush . If you need brushes or something, we can help. Might be good to know more about your tablet settings too.

    v3t3lwgqx44x.jpg
    ooqlbiax5c32.jpg
    l0w4ly4tlquu.jpg
    q1b3v3vj7ftt.jpg
    vixd7t91c8b5.jpg



    kevindee on
    IrukaEnctapeslingerNightDragon
  • BrushwoodMuttBrushwoodMutt Registered User regular
    Sorry to ask, but I thought to improve faster you needed to push yourself beyond your comfort zone/what you think you are capable of. So why would a simple structure be more beneficial to a more complex one?

    I'm not trying to be argumentative, I'm just trying to figure out what methods would be better to get better faster. Also there are weird reasons why I use the digital vs the traditional.

    As for my set-up it is a 12 inch Cintiq. I use PS CS6. And I mostly uses the basic brushes where I may tie shape to pen pressure or opacity if I'm playing with going from light to dark in a single stroke. I don't use the other brushes often because I want to be able to do effects or styles with the barest tools so that I know how to do it the hard way before making brushes to simplify the process. And I do know more complex mechanics in Photoshop but withhold them in studies.

    I use short lines to build the lines for more control in getting the angle right, because when I use more "confident," hehehe, lines I feel like it's harder to get the lines to build the right shape.

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    I use short lines to build the lines for more control in getting the angle right, because when I use more "confident," hehehe, lines I feel like it's harder to get the lines to build the right shape.

    Read: http://drawabox.com/lesson/1

    Lesson one, parts one through three. Seriously this will fix a lot of what your problems are with lines.

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Sorry to ask, but I thought to improve faster you needed to push yourself beyond your comfort zone/what you think you are capable of. So why would a simple structure be more beneficial to a more complex one?

    Because you need to start at the ground and build up. You are having trouble drawing cubes, you need to start getting the square right first before you also tack on a much more complex issues of translucence and light refraction.

    Unless your weird reasons are medical/allergy related, I heavily suggest drawing on paper.
    As for my set-up it is a 12 inch Cintiq. I use PS CS6. And I mostly uses the basic brushes where I may tie shape to pen pressure or opacity if I'm playing with going from light to dark in a single stroke. I don't use the other brushes often because I want to be able to do effects or styles with the barest tools so that I know how to do it the hard way before making brushes to simplify the process. And I do know more complex mechanics in Photoshop but withhold them in studies.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to tell you to start using the smudge tool and the cloud filter over everything, but not using different settings in photoshop is about as useful as using oil paint on printer paper. Its a tool and you are going to have to use the things you know about it to achieve the desired results. Would you smudge undiluted paint around with a tiny brush and get frustrated because you were trying to make a smooth wash? No, you'd get some water. Doing it the "hard" way is admirable when it achieves otherwise unobtainable results, but if we are just talking about the general breadth of Photoshop functions, restricting yourself isn't going to necessarily help you with anything.
    I use short lines to build the lines for more control in getting the angle right, because when I use more "confident," hehehe, lines I feel like it's harder to get the lines to build the right shape.

    Part of the reason you are doing studies of such simple objects is to learn to undo and control the most basic of your habits. I could insert a lot metaphors here too, but I wont. Learn to draw with your whole arm and make circles and cubes accurately, without short choppy strokes.

    EncAngel_of_BacontapeslingertynicNightDragon
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Think of every martial arts movie. The main character is always wanting to do advanced techniques and the master is always refusing for breathing and stance exercises. When the time comes for the big battle, though, the stance and breathing end up being the key to victory. The same applies here!

    Except drunk drawing doesn't really translate to drunken mastery. More like druknen smudgery and fun times the next morning figuring out if you painted a town or a tuna.

    acadia
  • acadiaacadia Registered User regular
    Wax on. Wax off.

    Enc
  • kevindeekevindee Registered User regular
    edited April 2015
    Sorry to ask, but I thought to improve faster you needed to push yourself beyond your comfort zone/what you think you are capable of. So why would a simple structure be more beneficial to a more complex one?

    I'm not trying to be argumentative, I'm just trying to figure out what methods would be better to get better faster. Also there are weird reasons why I use the digital vs the traditional.


    Don't worry, it's a normal question, and one that I had to ask myself a hundred times before I got the point anyway. The others have answered, but the more people you hear it from the better.

    When you first start learning something, the first thing that will always happen is that you will understand the concept intellectually. You may not be able to do it, but you get it. As a consequence, a lot of us move past what we ought to be practising, and never really do learn how to do it to a high degree. Everybody is kinda guilty of this, really. It is just plain hard. However, the further you end up going, the more you realise that your fundamental skills you learned at the beginning are what makes your work strong or weak.

    The reason you'd draw a cube isn't to push you beyond your comfort zone, but to establish one. You don't have a comfort zone yet, you can't draw a square. With practice, simple geometric forms might become a comfort zone for you. You might get so good at them that you begin to see them everywhere, and realise how many shapes make up these forms that you now know so well. Suddenly, drawing a human body doesn't seem so daunting anymore. Simple to complex is a concept that is pretty much everwhere in art.

    Also, list your reasons as to why you prefer using a tablet. I didn't start drawing until a year or two ago (I think i first picked up a sketchbook in October 2013?), having used a tablet before then. I know better than most how detrimental it is for developing a solid hand, because my drawing skills suck to this day. A cintiq would be better than the 4x5 tabby I started out on, but if growth is what you're looking for, then pencil and paper is the gold standard for it.

    Do one of the shapes, and you'll realise how hard it is. I promise if you do one I'll do one myself too, or try to correct yours if I can. It's a great learning exercise.

    kevindee on
    Enctapeslingertynic
  • BrushwoodMuttBrushwoodMutt Registered User regular
    Here is what I've worked on since the last post. I know it's not a study, but with the end of the semester drawing near and the final projects piling up my time is becoming more and more scarce as I scramble to finish them all.

    And don't get me wrong, I really appreciate the criticisms and do see them as helpful. But not gonna lie, after spending the last 3 years trying to study this to make a career out of it, to find that I'm still at square one technically is a bit disheartening. So I decided to work on a personal piece. Completed it as much as I could, still posting because I promised myself I would post every Sunday to keep me motivated to not procrastinate.

    I'll be trying to work on those studies kevindee posted of the basic forms this week. The goal is to get two done.

    ce7m4zguxrr0.jpg

    Tree.jpg 145.8K
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    And don't get me wrong, I really appreciate the criticisms and do see them as helpful. But not gonna lie, after spending the last 3 years trying to study this to make a career out of it, to find that I'm still at square one technically is a bit disheartening. So I decided to work on a personal piece. Completed it as much as I could, still posting because I promised myself I would post every Sunday to keep me motivated to not procrastinate.

    You aren't at square one. You have drive, imagination and commitment on your side. Your program was likely not very well structured very well to focus you on the fundamentals, but compared to the other three things, getting some foundation technical skills is trivial if you keep at it. The crits here are going to push you to what you need to do to improve, so its always going to be hard to read, a little frustrating. I understand feeling a little salty after you get a face full of critique. Your resolve to take it and keep working, even with all the pressures you face, is really admirable. That is a huge asset and alot of people coming out of small studio programs don't take this situation with the grace you are.

    You're doing fine, just keep putting the work in.

    tynictapeslingerBrocksMullet
  • BrushwoodMuttBrushwoodMutt Registered User regular
    edited April 2015
    @Iruka Thanks. Your comment was really nice to see. And salty is a nice adjective.

    I was able to shuffle some stuff to get more time today so I did two of them:
    w9g99374i4ed.jpg
    I will say the circle tutorial Enc posted with doing multiple paths to make a better circle was really useful, though I did have to go back in to tweak it a bit so something I need to work on.

    And I know this one isn't shaded well, but with how stark it was it almost felt like an exercise in getting a single straight line and getting the angles right which is how I treated the pyramid study.
    u4v9mxqp149x.jpg

    Edit: And Iruka was right about it being easier to do with pencil than digital.

    BrushwoodMutt on
  • kevindeekevindee Registered User regular
    edited April 2015
    real quick, as I'm heading out:

    I think these exercises are really good for you. Crucially, though, I think you really want to pay close attention to trying to render something that could exist and occupy three dimensional space. The cylinder is kinda going there, but the pyramid sort of falls flat. It doesn't have to be drawn super well (the one I did is crazy out of drawing), just try to pay attention to how the light illuminates an object. Don't try to draw the object and then shade it, fill the space around it too. You're using values to give an illusion of three dimensionality, and the better you are at it, the more convincing it'll be.

    Pencils aren't hugely my bag, but I grabbed a fat prismacolor and did a 15 min draw-over of what I mean. It's crude and has plenty of mistakes in it, but it should illustrate what I mean about trying to give the object solidity.

    ou5q2u376fre.jpg


    Try the cone and upright cylinder next if you like, the super smooth gradients allow for you to practice your control and understanding how subtle value changes make form turn, and the pictures have a huge value range.

    kevindee on
    Enctapeslinger
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    A couple minutes of googling found this:
    6degreesoflight.jpg

    Which is a pretty decent example of what to look for when doing shadows. The egg exercise is always a great way to practice this.

    Don't be afraid to push dark values. Most of your sketches seem really light, even in pencils. You can push pencils really far with dark! Go wild!

    Worst case is you do it too much and you start over, which is a learning moment.

    tynic
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