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Frank's Thread [NSFW]



  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    edited November 2015
    Edit: BoTP
    Lamp wrote: »
    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


    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.

    Awesome! Thank you, Sir @Lamp

    Those eyes are very satisfying to look at! And I think I'm starting to understand how I should be rendering forms a bit better. I've been looking on the last couple thread pages and trying to remember what you've explained. That paintover is an excellent example of all this, thank you again! I hate to slide back into bad habits, it's really been bugging me lately! I wont give up on that piece though!

    Too smooth...I remembered why and how I can remedy this too late...Using your method, Lamp!

    WIP Studies

    Trying to apply what I like about that head study to my work, here is a monk character I'm working on:

    I'm going to do another head study and try to really figure out the rhythms of the face/planes.

    F87 on
  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    edited November 2015
    I tried out a head study. I really love doing it this way, I feel so much more in control. I need to focus on how I blend it together/edge control because it feels plastic-y? Damnit...Maybe it's a texture thing too. I dunno D:


    Edit: I was rushing the last step, I think I should focus on the difference between blending values and having a soft edge. Not to mention it's not true to the reference in a lot of places D: Gonna take a step back and fix things up tomorrow.

    F87 on
  • m3nacem3nace Registered User regular
    edited November 2015
    wow dude... I dig the progress.

    m3nace on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    You have a tendency to over smooth women's faces. in this one (

    There is a clear indentation in her nose shape that you've omitted, and it seems like when building women's faces in general you tend to opt for anime smooth shapes rather than any sort of structure. Don't try and paint "pretty" women, paint accurate ones. They will be way more interesting that way.

  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    edited November 2015
    @m3nace Hey, thanks man. I'm trying to push myself more and more! Still rushing too much I think, not analyzing enough or hitting a lot of shapes/negative spaces accuratly... :bigfrown:

    @Iruka True, very good point. If I'm aiming for interesting characters, I should make sure I get the features shaped right.

    Trying this one again now, still a long way to go on it. The forms are off and I've been focused on the texture and messed up some stuff.

    Update on this character, I'm noticing the torso/shoulders have a weird shift to them... uhhg

    And I'm done spamming my thread, I promise!

    F87 on
  • tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    Her head pose is bugging me and I think one part is that we're seeing a very extreme angle for her head - by no means an impossible one, but it's getting towards human limits - yet there's still a distinct jawline all the way back to her ear, and we're not seeing the tendons and muscles in her neck. Pull that pose in a mirror and try and see what your neck looks like. This example is a bit more extreme (posing is hard in a coffee shop ...) but look at what happens to my neck when I turn my head. It's certainly not going ot be the smooth cylinder you have there


    Also it's kind of an unusual pose in general. She's looking over her shoulder with her face but back towards the front with her eyes, and her shoulders and legs are held more like she's dancing than walking. It's making me wonder what the story is here and I think I need more visual context to process this, as an image. If I saw it as a concept I'd be thinking "uh ... what's going on?"

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    I don't care how much you update your own thread if there's content in it. If it keeps you accountable, go for it.

  • LampLamp Registered User regular
    edited November 2015
    Yo Frank, great studies, keep em up! Here are some thoughts I have.


    The result of your study looks pretty good (I dig the skin texture!!), BUT I thought I would say a few things about the way you did the study. Now this is just my opinion, plenty of people (who I think paint primarily from life or ref) use a similar observational process. This is where you start by blocking in masses using tone, and then slowly honing the shapes and edges. In my opinion, you (as someone who obviously wants to do imaginative work) would be better served by taking a more constructive, drawing-based approach when you start a study. After all, the whole point of doing a study is to take away some bit of information that you can use in your next imaginative piece.

    SO, with that said, I went ahead and did a quick little drawing of how I would start this head study, which is basically to use the Reilly abstraction to construct the forms of the head, clearly delineating the big planes and shapes. Once I have my construction in, then I would move to paint. This approach to studying seems useful to me because it translates to imaginative work when I am either working without reference, or heavily altering my reference. Either way, I'll have to construct the head from my imagination to some degree, so I better learn how to construct heads during my study time! I think that if you are studying by copying without constructing, then you won't take away as much actionable knowledge for your next drawing.


    Just wanted to point out some weird proportions issues here. The upper thigh of the front leg is much too short and skinny, the back leg is bent backward in an odd way, and while I get what you were going for with the perspective of the shoulders, you'd have to have a much more extreme worm's eye angle for the far shoulder to be receding that much, I think.

    Good stuff!

    Lamp on
  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    edited December 2015
    Right, that makes a lot of sense. Thanks Lamp!

    Not sure if I fixed all the structure/proportion issues but I've spent waaaay too long on this. Gotta call it finished.


    Learned a lot from it, but it took me forever and it's wonky in a lot of ways. I really wanted to polish it and send it to Paizo, though! I'll be glad to move on.

    Edit: I couldn't resist fixing her foot and cleaning it up a bit more.

    F87 on
  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    edited December 2015
    Hey guys, hope you all had a nice holiday break :)

    Some characters I've been struggling with:

    Also, starting some color studies, really difficult stuff...

    Fan art I'm working on

    Trying to get faster lately and still failing to be consistent with my process. I bought "Painting with Confidence" and started following along with some sketches:

    Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

    F87 on
  • tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    Two of the top three figures - and to a certain extent the one-punch-man fanart, although it's more excusable here - are showing signs of your old 'flatface' habits. I think if you're not concentrating very hard on the face you tend to fall back into these weird flat lighting planes, just something to look out for.

    Also both the first and third images seem to have a lot of very desaturated highlights/shadows going on, which is interesting in light of the colour studies in your second image - you should see if you can transfer some of the lessons in that to your figure renderings.

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Really like the environment studies.

    Everything feels a little dark until I put it on my super shitty blown out monitor that I use only for web browsing. I'm wondering if you might have a poorly calibrated screen, or a screen that's not really capable of being adjusted. It can really hurt to try and work on your colors and shadows with a crappy screen.

    If you have a smart phone (particularly an Iphone) I would start by checking your work against it and make sure thats what you intended.

    If it is, these are all maybe a tad dark, and everything is desaturated, as Tynic is saying.

    Your nomads have nothing nomatic about them. Wheres all their shit? How do they move? Why do they move?

  • LampLamp Registered User regular
    edited January 2016
    Hey Frank, it looks to me like you're not sure where to use saturated colors and where to dial back on the saturation, especially when it comes to skin tones. You end up with people whose skin looks grey and lifeless, like they don't have any blood in their flesh. Plus, too much desaturation around the jaw and chin tends to give people that five-oclock shadow look, which is probably not intended for female character. A good rule of thumb is to stick your most saturated colors at the mid tones, around the border between light and shadow, and on the outside edges of form where the direct light is falling off. That's where you should crank up your colors. I might have overdone it here if you were going for a paler skin tone, but it's just an example.

    I'm also noticing a lot of intense blacks where I would expect to see bounce light. It looks like the underside of this character's boobs should be catching some light, for example. Also seeing some lighting inconsistencies -- there's an intense light on the top of the breasts, but it looks like the top of the head is falling into shadow. Why? Is something casting a shadow there?

    Anyway, I did a little paintover, hopefully it's useful!


    Lamp on
  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    edited January 2016
    Very good points, very helpful! Thank you @tynic @Iruka ! <3

    I'm trying to focus more on saturation now and I checked on my phone, a lot of my stuff is really dark :(

    @Lamp Thanks duder, I really am confused when it comes that saturation. Thanks for explaining that! Your paint over does look more vibrant. I wish I would have studied this week with this in mind, but I will moving forward.

    As for the nomad characters, I'll probably clean up the feet, try to fix the saturation/colors and call them done. The concept isn't the strongest but I'm happy with some character variation for my portfolio. What do you guys think?


    I've been studying some! These are limited to an hour each and I've come to find out that I can't do construction or be very accurate when I'm trying to be quick. D:


    And these where done after studying, trying to use similar color schemes and figure out what I've learned.


    And a new character I hope to do an orthographic of, I feel like a "turn-around" or two would be good for my portfolio.


    I have a commission which may take another week or so, but I really want to finish it up and start schoolism!! I'm super excited about that. Thanks for bringing that to my attention @Iruka !

    F87 on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Your environment studies are looking good! Your ones from imagination are uninspired. You should be using reference for those too, find an environment and add too it, don't try to conjure it all from your head. Imagine those studies with your scifi elements in them! Gather reference and try combining a few pictures, don't just go all or nothing.

    I would reassess that face study, the eye shape feels off to me, and why not actually attempt the lighting scheme? Colors feel dull compared to the reference. The sitting girl has some good observation in her armor, but the face is weak there too. Look at it the same way you are the rest of the work, and try and build a simplified version that actually reads the way the photo does.

    I'm excited to have you in class with us, keep pushing dude.

  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    edited February 2016
    That's a great idea @iruka I will try an environment like that! And I'm hoping to keep focusing on faces for my daily studies.

    I've been trying to keep up with these, but each weekend so far I only do a half-ass study.

    Here are the figures from last week and today's hour study.



    I feel like zooming out more has helped me some. Hopefully I will stick with this all year and see some improvement. I was concerned about my speed/efficiency but I know I need to focus more on construction, accuracy and other fundamentals. So maybe I should change up my daily study to something more long term?

    Also struggling along on the schoolism class. Almost done with the first assignment though!

    Edit: A couple recent ones



    I see some problems and I'm not happy with colors...but I trying to limit myself on time still.

    quickie doodle


    Need to do some longer form studies still... I think I may switch this up next week. Really looking forward to the second schoolism assignment also!

    F87 on
  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular




    Not happy with the perspective in the interior environment. I'm going to retry that one sometime.

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    That face is getting real close. Observe her top lip and the curve of her top eyelids again, though.

    Folds look great!

    space suits, not a lot of true variation going on there. those could all be skins of the same character, from my point of view.

  • LampLamp Registered User regular
    edited February 2016
    Hey Frank, those folds look great!

    Here's some thoughts on your portrait:

    1. Do you squint while you're observing your reference? If not I think it would help you to see the big masses and more easily separate dark from light. Right now you seem to be observing individual areas too closely and you lose the overall statement of light and shadow. For example her cheek is too light, and you picked out a highlight that's way too bright on above her right eye.
    2. Maybe think about blocking in the whole image including the background, observing the values of the face withotu having the whole context of the image can throw you off.
    3. Think about blocking in hair highlights a bit more generally. Right now you have way too many small strokes which hurts the sense of realism.
    4. Think about the muzzle as the front of a sphere and paint it that way, right now that area is flat.



    Lamp on
  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    edited February 2016
    Thanks guys! Sorry @Lamp I know you have mentioned these thing multiple times.

    Does this look better?


    Edit: Now that I post it I see all these little things like the angle of her snot canal thing...argh!

    Also, new study


    I have two new portfolio pieces I'm still working on but I'll post those soon.

    F87 on
  • tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited February 2016
    I think you're still painting what you think you ought to see, rather than what you actually see. I won't mention the angles and geometry, I'm sure you can find the problems there on your own, via overlays etc, but there are other issues I think you're missing. For example, in the photo (which, note, is grainy and not particularly in-focus), the bridge and edge of her nose blurs into her cheek, with only a vague shadow to indicate where it is. When you've painted it, you've cleaned and crisped up all the lines, which in some cases results in you inventing detail - and in the case of her nose, you've given it a much crisper, darker shadow, and exaggerated the very slight angle towards the tip, which has resulted in quite a different shape than the reference.

    Now, you don't have to perfectly replicate the graininess of the photo in order to do a study of it, but you should at least try to adhere to the qualitative values of the image - if there is a soft shadow then you shouldn't create a crisp one, for example. Look at the last gif in Lamp's paintover, see how he's softened certain areas?

    Perhaps one of the fundamental problems is, to quote from iruka earlier in the thread:
    Iruka wrote: »
    its suffering from a lack of attention to detail when it comes to material rendering.
    You almost always use the same rendering technique for everything, from skin to clothes to hair to metal - apart from giving inaccurate referenced work, it often results in everything in your scenes having a similar texture, which is disconcerting and probably not really what you're going for. I seem to recall some material studies you were doing earlier? The point of those types of exercises is not simply to complete them and move on, but to incorporate the lessons learnt into your ongoing work. Skin is also a material, and in fact it's a particularly challenging one to paint - it has a variegated surface, it has both translucence and reflectance, and the underlying tissues affect the colouring and shadowing of the skin in very complex ways.
    You often approach skin as a hard, opaque, smooth surface, so your people and faces tend to look like mannequins rather than living animals. (The doodle of the horned troll up there is actually much more appealing, texture-wise, than things you've spent longer on, and I think it's because you left parts of it loose and broad).

    tynic on
  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    @tynic Yeah, you're right. I definitely see what you mean, those are obvious mistakes now that you point them out. And I definitely still have a bad habit of not applying my studies to work sometimes, I'm working on it. Trying to focus on accuracy and material rendering. I appreciate the feedback.

    New study

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    not bad! Shapes are more accurate, for sure. Materials though, I think you'll need to actually grab some references with different materials and practice rendering them accurately. Soft surfaces with enough detail to actually denote how they would feel, for instance. Rendering requires quite a bit of patience, so it's a good thing to try out in studies. Spending 10 hours on some material studies will save you frustration when you try to dive into an 80 hour illustration

  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    edited April 2016
    Thanks, @Iruka !

    I've been working on this study, trying to focus on the texture:


    Really messed up on the shackle/jacket area and the textures need to be pushed further! I can't seem to get the hair right D:

    New study WIP:


    And some quicker studies:


    Also some warmup junk:

    Was in a slump for a while but I've been pushing through.

    I still paint what I think I see a lot. Still need to analyze and measure waaaay more! I feel like I'm finally developing the right attitude and process though, over the last month. I have to slow down and make sure I understand what I'm painting, that it's well informed and make sure I'm happy with it before progressing. Which I do to an extent but that's the workflow I need to cultivate.

    Schoolism is my biggest focus right now, I've started the second assignment over twice now. I think my current attempt is better, I will be posting it soon.

    F87 on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod

    Dude, you are pushing in the right direction! I'm working on my schoolism stuff as well, taking me a minute because I'm trying to integrate the assignments into my current long term project.

    It looks like you are finally starting to see the process of studying for what it is, and I'm really happy for that. Keep pushing and don't let yourself get comfortable!

  • lyriumlyrium Registered User regular
    Good progress, the textures are improving a lot!

  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    edited April 2016
    Thank you @lyrium !! I appreciate that a lot :D

    @Iruka Dude you are awesome. The support and community here keeps me going, I'm really focused lately thanks to your critiques!

    Update on this portrait:

    Also, some fur studies!

    Still need to fix the wolves ears...and I feel like I'm not putting enough attention on the length of the fur or angle. The way/direction it flows along the form as well as the type. And there is definitely something weird about the mouth/proportions on the cougar?

    These guys are outside my comfort zone for sure, to get the forms to read along with color variations and texture...yikes! I have a lot to practice!

    F87 on
  • tapeslingertapeslinger Space Unicorn Slush Ranger Social Justice Rebel ScumRegistered User regular
    edited April 2016
    I think it's the texture on the animals that is making the fur harder to read. there are some places where the texture of lines makes it read like it's fluffy in an area where it's not supposed to be fluffy, for example-- like, right along the noses, etc, there are long lines in your drawing that indicate long fur where the fur would actually be very short (and reads as sort of a stipple texture in the photo)

    tapeslinger on
  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    edited May 2016
    @tapeslinger Very true, good point. Thanks for the feedback :D

    I fixed them up and tried to push the texture some more:


    And I think I'm done with the portrait:

    Edit: Updated below

    I'm thinking about tweeting it at him, but probably not :?

    Also doing some basic perspective stuff lately, going to try some ellipses and more elaborate shapes soon that I can post. And I've pretty much got a new schoolism image thumbnail'd and in the works...

    F87 on
  • tapeslingertapeslinger Space Unicorn Slush Ranger Social Justice Rebel ScumRegistered User regular
    definitely an improvement; by knocking those lines down, you can get a better sense of the understructure.

  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    edited May 2016
    @tapeslinger Really appreciate all the help :) !

    Someone take this portrait away from me ahhh I could keep going forever trying to fix it


    Some morning warmup color study thingies:


    I can get kinda close to the right color but I'm constantly tweaking them as I paint. Color is really tricky for me.

    A sketch, some kind of cyber-monk nav controller guy


    And some silly perspective stuff that's probably not even totally right : \ haha

    F87 on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    On your perspective boxes, it looks like your verticals aren't always straight? Bottom middle looks particularly wonky. Love the studies! Probably time to move on from that portrait, but I think you made some huge strides there! Keep applying it, move onto something else and force yourself to not let up on it.

    You should tweet that portrait to Adam, I'd be he'd get a kick out of it.

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