Lurker for 7 years, advice/critique welcome [NSFW, Fantasy/Concept Art/Figure Drawing]

mechaThormechaThor Registered User regular
edited February 2013 in Artist's Corner
Cheers,

I've lurked this thread for about 7 years and finally feel confident enough to start posting here.

I decided to take a life drawing class (first academic art experience) last semester, and am currently in a beginning drawing class. I've always wanted to pursue concept art and develop skills towards expressing myself more fluently in that regard. Looking for constructive advice on how to further develop the skill sets I have and improve my pieces with new ones still beyond my grasp. I usually use pencil on sketch paper to begin, though I want to make a move into using my tablet in CS5 to get more comfortable using it.

One thing I want to work on is use of color in pieces. My furthest experience in color use was in portrait conte crayon, so I still feel that colors beyond this spectrum are beyond my grasp, but in reach.

I'm starting to play Dungeons and Dragons once a month, so that's reinstilled a vigor for fantasy and wanting to improve. I've been inspired a lot by Todd Lockwood and Wayne Reynolds in the past. Currently also doing web work, so logo design and noodling in more vector-based formats may come through... also some graphic design work in Photoshop.

Dump begins.

A 3 hour quick foray with my tablet. Never had much experience with color, so I was mostly trying to develop a process for getting shading/texture down with my layers and having it still look relatively smooth. I know that I want to be less linear in my work, especially with shading, and bring in more round edges. Any suggestions on how to do this? Made in full using Photoshop CS5. The idea behind it is an airship route lighthouse. I was using some skills learned in the Ctrl+Paint digital painting tutorial (merging down layers, using the 3 brushes they recommend, hard thin, soft round, hard round). How could I make it 'pop' more?

AwAlNg3.jpg

An older character sketch (Abjurant Champion for D&D 3.5 nerds out there). I would really want to color this once I got more confident and knew that I could do a good job.

tU4gnPO.jpg

This is from 6 years ago or so, to give a perspective of where I came from and where I want to go. Blackguard concept.

vlviPjW.png

Life drawing final. 6 hours with a live model. Done on toned paper using portrait conte set.

33R7sPj.jpg?1

2.5 hour live model session. Conte/eraser on toned paper. Probably my favorite figure piece I've done.

QkoBc2Y.jpg?1

Self-portrait. Same medium/process as above. The eyes are big, but overall the likeness turned out pretty okay.

ZUUAndN.jpg?1

Recent concept piece from a few days ago of a druid summoning an earth elemental. Pencil on sketch paper. Also want to color this eventually once I get more savvy.

0faGfby.jpg

I want to get rolling with a goal of 3 pieces a week, whether it's a developed sketch or color practice. Discipline has never been my strong suit, so if you have recommendations of practices and/or lessons to go through independently, I welcome them.

I'm also trying to learn how to use layer options better and understanding what different layer properties do. Is this useful for digital painting in making highlights, shadows, etc?

Thanks for reading if you've made it this far.

"I sent an e-mail asking why wood elves get +2 Str when other dwarves did not. My response from customer service consisted of five words: 'Wood elves are really strong.' "
mechaThor on

Posts

  • MustangMustang Registered User regular
    edited February 2013
    Welcome dude,

    What is working for you right now is drawing from a reference. What is not working for you right now is drawing without a reference. There are huge gaps in quality of your work between the two which means, always draw using a reference. Even if you want to do something fantastical, make sure you have something you can refer back to.

    Try doing some study work of individual parts, fill a page with hands, a page with eyes, a page with noses etc. I found breaking down the face into it's individual parts made it easier to understand than the daunting task of trying to piece them all together in one hit. It's like eating a snack, rather than a full course meal. You find you wont burn out as quick if your taking it a little bit at a time, rather than trying to learn the whole body in one hit. The body is complicated as fuck, so you know, don't be too hard on yourself.
    I'm also trying to learn how to use layer options better and understanding what different layer properties do. Is this useful for digital painting in making highlights, shadows, etc?

    I wouldn't worry so much about this now, your best bet is to use two layers only, one for foreground elements and one for background elements. You may want to add a third for highlight towards the end, but try not to complicate things too much at the moment.

    Layers are really just problem solving tools. As in "How can I add this, without affecting that?" There are no firm rules as to how ou should go about it. In fact I often start out with one layer to challenge myself to get something on a page with as little digital options as possible. Sometimes the options to go back and fix something digitally can make your process a little sloppy, so don't fix later what you can fix now, or you can draw/paint yourself into a corner.

    Mustang on
  • mechaThormechaThor Registered User regular
    Thanks Mustang.

    I agree with you re: using a reference. Up until a few months ago I had never used a reference, so I'm still getting into the habit of appreciating their use.

    I have Anatomy for the Artist and just got Dynamic Figure Drawing today, so I'll dive into practicing what is in there, as well as drawing other objects from reference photos.

    The critique is appreciated. I hope to have more up soon after the weekend.

    "I sent an e-mail asking why wood elves get +2 Str when other dwarves did not. My response from customer service consisted of five words: 'Wood elves are really strong.' "
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