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Amateur illustrator posts about their journey

Bubster WolfBubster Wolf Registered User regular
My journey has been a long and grueling one that has gone in fits and spurts, burning out and quitting at one point but always coming back to the passion of creating. In order to get better balance, I've done a lot of thought about what I want to get out of my art and what my goals are. At this point in my life I want to tell stories to people, showing them wonderful and exciting people / places from my imagination. This is likely going to come from both individual paintings and larger co-projects. I also want to continue to develop my craft, so I'm hoping to post my continued journey in this space of like-minded folks.

As an example of what I've done before here's a couple fun projects I've done (includes fan art and original work). Note the quality of the images seems to be not the best here, so some vibrancy and contrast is lost (alas):

gu3vuhmfbdym.jpg

aow4redb6w8c.jpg

3me2vkvp4nu6.jpg


AntonioMabsDidgeridooOctirinEndless_SerpentsKim kongAim

Posts

  • AntonioMabsAntonioMabs Registered User regular
    This is what’s up! Great to see your work in one place! The clown girl is killer!!! Really great work and those houses! Dang 🙌🙌

    Bubster Wolf
  • Bubster WolfBubster Wolf Registered User regular
    Thanks Antonio!
    I honestly took way too long to post my first thread, was building up the courage ^^;;
    I could never be pro unfortunately, the clown portrait for example took 4 months to paint (on and off for an hour or so a day, maybe 3 days a week). I am getting more efficient however, and I am patient if nothing else. My goal is maybe 5-10 finished illustrations for this year I think?

    AntonioMabs
  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    Dang, loving your painterly style!

    Bubster Wolf
  • Bubster WolfBubster Wolf Registered User regular
    edited June 2021
    Currently working on a master study of Mucha, focusing on design (shape, lines, features etc.) and composition.
    Thoughts and current lessons learned show below the piece.

    1456iwy3ko56.jpg

    Even though I'm not finished with my study yet, I've already started brainstorming ways to try to incorporate my learnings into the next painting. Here's some thoughts:

    I currently have a bit of a messy, lose style (that’s what I want). I like the idea of the focal areas being very sharp, and other parts looser.
    I want to incorporate Mucha’s shape design, exaggerated features and poses, and composition into my work.

    1. You don’t need line work to exaggerate shapes, proportions, poses, etc. or remove / omit details. It can be done in a painterly style as well.
    This is the ‘exaggerating the story of the pose’ mentioned in Michael Matisse's Force books, but applied to other areas beyond the pose (shadow shapes, shape design in general, proportions, pose, etc.).

    2. In my current work I don’t have as much of an opinion on the story as I would like. Using my Kefka (clown portrait) as an example:
    Pose and facial expression could’ve been pushed / exaggerated a bit more to better tell the story of the pose / scene.
    Moving forward, be thinking about having an opinion and telling a story with all the elements in the piece from the very beginning. Especially during the rough draft sketch phase where a lot of the loose details start to get more rigid.

    3. Once you gather reference (after you shoot photo ref in particular), do your best to exaggerate / push EVERYTHING used from the photo(s) to better tell the story.
    Ex. If a character is “sneaky” or “untrustworthy”, you can liken them to a snake or reptile (metaphor!) and add more “slippery” or “snake-like” imagery into the design. When you take reference, don’t let the photo take over those design elements!

    4. Even after completing the final line-drawing phase, keep thinking about potential ways to improve the design of shapes when you start adding paint (this will show up in the ‘grey-scale “charcoal” drawing phase since you are working out shadow and value shapes in this stage), and may even still show up in the final painting as well. Though most decisions will have been made at this point, be open to changing things if needed.

    Edit*
    5. Adding another item here: Mucha uses a ton of metaphor in the way he draws his figures. For example, the hair for the women in this piece is drawn as if they were ribbons.

    Bubster Wolf on
    DidgeridooAntonioMabs
  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    I’m digging this. Thanks for the write up of your process and thoughts.

    Bubster Wolf
  • AntonioMabsAntonioMabs Registered User regular
    Mucha’s a beast! I’ve been reading up on his stuff as well and I genuinely love all he has to offer to the Art Nouveau movement.

    You’re doing a great job not just on the study itself but on writing up and processing what you’re learning so other can pick up on it as well. Thanks very much for that.

    Keep on rocking and I can’t wait to see what original works these studies yield from you.

    Bubster Wolf
  • AntonioMabsAntonioMabs Registered User regular
    Thanks Antonio!
    I honestly took way too long to post my first thread, was building up the courage ^^;;
    I could never be pro unfortunately, the clown portrait for example took 4 months to paint (on and off for an hour or so a day, maybe 3 days a week). I am getting more efficient however, and I am patient if nothing else. My goal is maybe 5-10 finished illustrations for this year I think?

    I think you definitely have the skills to go pro if you want. It took a while but what helped me the most was carving out sacred times for my art. Wether it’s 2hr or 8hrs the cumulative effort of a daily habit will take your further than anything else. It definitely has done that for me.

    Bubster Wolf
  • Bubster WolfBubster Wolf Registered User regular
    Thanks again @AntonioMabs !
    I am working on getting that regular Art Time into my schedule, and it's a work in progress. Much more difficult when you have a day job and a family to find that time. I have a little bit of flexibility in the day during my lunch hour, so I'm using that for now.

    AntonioMabs
  • Bubster WolfBubster Wolf Registered User regular
    Today I wanted to post a recent study that I did, in preparation for an upcoming portrait project. This was a 20-30 min. quick sketch that primarily focused on Color, Value, and Shapes. Using the 80/20 rule I used a super hard brush and didn't try any edges or blending at all.

    First I did the study from reference:
    tcml7jo2mhde.jpg

    Then, I did it again from imagination to better internalize the lessons:
    ak27yl7a338h.jpg


    Now, the point was not to do an accurate portrait of the model. Instead I wanted to work in this lighting setup that I have little previous experience. Here are my lessons learned!!!!

    1. There are more light sources in the reference photo than I remembered when I did it from memory. I think this was a good idea to simplify things into the blue window source and the reflected, slightly-warmer secondary light source.
    2. The reflected window light is quit a bit darker in value than the direct window light. The main areas of the face are probably no more than a '5' at their brightest? The areas in the reflected-light's shadow are a few steps even darker than that (probably a '3').
    3. Honestly, as a reference I don't think this was very good. I had a very difficult time figuring out the lighting scheme and I think I made a lot of mistakes because of it. I probably didn't learn as much as I could've if I shot my own reference. I will probably do at least one more study of this lighting setup with a better photo and proper notes about the setting.

    Up till this point I've largely stuck to direct spotlights / sunlight and it shows. Oh well, I'll keep at it and learn as best I can!

    DidgeridooOctirin
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