OK, so I have a whole bunch of stuff to update so brace for a big post. First, here's the first environment moodboard and sketches for the Fantastic Five; my moodboards were spot on, my sketches OK, and Cris wants me to experiment more with the suspended homes between trees rather that houses in the trees themselves.
I also have an awesome new tablet, which is a touchscreen laptop thing. Means I can now draw and paint digitally anywhere, setting up with a wacom tablet next to a laptop is a real pain when trying to paint from life, this is much more portable. So far the positives are that it's so much better for linework, but that it doesn't have pen pressure settings for painting, which means I'm going to have to change my brushes and workflow around a bit and get used to it. Here's what it looks like, and a couple of doodles from it. The character is my little brother's, we drew that one together. :)
And I also had something of a revelation this week, a moment of clarity, an epiphany. I was lying in bed at like 3 in the morning, and did a little doodle before lights out. This was after seeing The Hobbit with my family, which is for the record, my film of the year, and I was exhausted but happy, and really relaxed. So I did the little doodle and realised just how stressed I am when I normally do art. I'm always worrying about what to do next, or deadlines, or that I don't know how to do something, so much so that I'm so stressed, which could lead to procrastination with most people, but with me just leads to art being not fun at all. And even with my own little sketches which I do all the time, I would do quickly and roughly to get the ideas down, and then be onto the next thing in the schedule.
But this doodle, I did slowly, I thought about each stroke and yet I didn't, I was focused and yet completely relaxed at the same time, which is how I would love to be with all my artwork. I saw a Bob Ross video for the first time a few months ago, and was inspired by how relaxed he is, how he clearly loves his work, lives for the process of doing it. So that's my moment of truth, and for the past few days I've done my doodles slowly and of what I want, and really tried to relax and enjoy them. Next step will to be to bring this into my work work, things for uni and for Cris, and to really chill when working. Very much looking forward to if I manage this, being that relaxed all the time when working would be awesome.
Here's a couple of the doodles I've done, the little dwarf one was the one where I relaxed for the first time. And also some sunsets from my bedroom window at my flat. Get some great sunsets over Dundee, and I have a perfect view. :)
I'm seeing improvement, keep going man. I dig the amount of reference you got as you work. Keep working on that line weight and figure proportions, but you got some nice still lives going on.
Guys, I have a whole bunch of posts to do to get this thread back up to date, so bear with me on this. I'm going to make separate posts for each of them and add the date they were made at the top to try and avoid confusion.
1st January 2013
This took me ages, and a fair few crashes of Photoshop, but it's finally done. A single image with all of the art I posted on my blog this year, some 200 or so images. Apologies if it's too big, but bear in mind this is down to around a third of the actual size. Blogger only let me upload a quarter size one too, so for the 30% size please click here.
It was pretty fun to do this, especially since it's made me feel slightly better about how much work I got done this year. I made more seperate posts last year, but each would usually be just one doodle (and not a very good one), whereas this year I've been much busier and so I've saved them up. It's also pretty cool to see about half down where I discovered colour, and then discovered 1080p size canvases haha.
As far as what I wanted to accomplish this year, I definitely achieved the New Year's Resolution of drawing every day, and I've done that for so long now that it's habit, I can't imagine not drawing at least once a day. I've also spent a lot more time getting serious about art, trying to learn and to teach myself the fundamentals, and I managed a couple of longer paintings, such as the statue one and my self portrait, both of which I spent much longer on that anything I've done in the past.
I also began to get recognised by some of the other artists in the community. I don't do anything for the attention; I've said before that I'd be quite happy stranded on a desert island, provided I had art materials with me, but it is nice to have people commenting on your work, recognising you in livestreams and such, and even distant relatives or friends of friends of friends telling me how much they like my work in real life. I know one girl who's learning to be a teacher, and she apparently has used my work as an example to her students. As a good example I hope. :P
I'll make another post in a couple of hours with my resolutions for this year, I have them all planned out and ready to go (and I've already started doing some), but don't want this wall of text to get tooo long. So Happy New Year all, hope you all keep being awesome, and thank you so much for the support you've given me, it makes me feel much better about myself when I'm feeling down. :D
New Year's Resolutions
1st January 2013
Let's do this. My resolutions for this year are as follows, they are in no particular order of importance:
#1 - Go Full-Time
I waste too much time, and I don't get enough done. Don't get me wrong, I spend a few hours a day drawing, painting, animating and such, and the rest of the day thinking about art, reading tutorials, getting inspiration, and studying light, composition, and other such things all the time, everywhere I go. But I need to do more, and in particular I need to grind up some hours spent holding the brush, or rather the stylus.
So, I'm going full-time. 9-5, Monday to Friday, my art needs me to spend more time on it and that's what I'm going to do. The main difference here is getting up early and working straight off the bat, I usually have slow starts. My plan so far is to get work work (mainly uni stuff) done in the morning, and then do my own work (things for Cris, studies, personal work) done in the afternoon. I also have a little day to day plan of having Motivational Mondays (start the day with inspirational videos, art, music, maybe some tuts, get myself pumped for the week), Traditional Tuesdays (less pixels more paint), and so on, but I want to try that out and see what works. My dad suggested that I take holidays into consideration so I don't burn out, I've had that in the past and it's horrible, so in holiday time I can narrow it down to 3 or 4 hours a day. Next challenge, the heavier it is the stronger I'll get.
#2 - Draw Twice Daily
I accomplished my 2012 resolution of drawing everyday and it's really helped me get past my periods of "artist's block", or rather, crippling self-doubt and fear of the blank canvas. The only way to get past such fears is through them, confront what you're afraid of. On that point, I filled more sketchbooks than ever last year, and begun to stop worrying, and that'll no doubt continue this year. For the twice daily sketch, I want to do one from imagination and one from observation. These can be whatever, and can be as loose or as finished as I want, as long as I do them everyday without fail, like last year.
#3 - Begin Freelancing in Summer
This summer is the break between my third year and my fourth, and final year of uni. That means that next summer, I'll have finished and will need to start thinking about getting a job. So, as my long-term plan has been all along, this summer I will begin to do freelance work, more for the experience and contacts than for the money itself, though I have a little challenge to see if I can make enough to pay a month's rent and bills, just to see if I could do it. If I can, then I have a couple of ideas on what I could spend said money on. Either way, the experience should be invaluable, and I should make good progress with a portfolio, getting my name more well known, and making some contacts. It'll also be useful to see whether I want to do freelance long-term after uni, or if I'd rather go down the studio route.
#4 - Daily Painting Studies
I'm somewhat hesitant on this one, not because it's too much work, but because I do have something of a life, and can't update daily every day of the year, nor can I guarantee I'll be near my tablet and such. That said, I've started reading James Gurney's book, "Colour and Light", and I'm determined to do as Jean-Léon Gérome once told his students, and paint a colour sketch from observation every day. I've enjoyed doing these very much in the past, and it was interesting and also eye-opening in the last post to see just how little colour work I did last year. This is the kind of thing I want to do daily, this one's from a Lord Of the Rings screenshot:
A very quick study, very rough, but focusing on the colour and light, as well as the composition and such. Like I say, I really like doing these, and I also think this is one of the best studies I've done, better than the completely rendered ones you might expect me to say are my best. This was quick, rough, and unpolished, but it captured exactly what I wanted it to, and I learnt from it. So, I might not be able to post daily, but I'll do these daily either way, and if I can't get to my tablet for whatever reason, I might do a rough black and white sketch to capture at least the lighting, or maybe spend some time studying something as if I was going to paint it.
So there you have it. My resolutions. Much harder than ones I've given myself in the past, but I've always found that if I give myself a challenge and truly want to achieve it, then I can do anything. So, I'll make a post in a year's time saying how well I've done, and how magnificent my art now is, but until then, let's get working. I've done both my sketches for the day already, now for a quick paint study before bed.
Happy New Year again all, and I wish you luck in your goals this year. See you on the other side.
7th January 2013
Very busy with coursework this week, determined to get everything done by the weekend so next week I just have to hand things in and then can get to working on my other group project and Fantastic Five stuff. Some updates, not everything because there's a lot of in-progress stuff going on at the moment.
Firstly, I got an awesome new chair for Christmas, my parents made note of me talking about needing one, since I'm going to spend so much time in front of my laptop working. Really comfy. :)
Also bought myself a few art books I've been wanting for a while with Christmas money. The books are Anatomy for the Artist by Sarah Simblet, Colour and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter by James Gurney, and a book on Lucian Freud by Sebastian Smee.
The anatomy book is incredible, full of so much information, and has these cool see through pages with the skeleton on them which you can put over the photos. Colour and Light is a book I've wanted for a while, one which is more about training you to see and notice things. Only bad side is that when you learn something (which is almost every page), you then feel like an idiot for not noticing it before. And the Lucian Freud book has a biography and history of him as well as loads of photos of his work. The one in the picture is my favourite, Frank Auerbach, done in 1975/76. By the end of the year at least some of the knowledge from these will be forever in my brain, and will make me a better artist. I think the anatomy book is going to take a bunch of re-reads to get it all though. :D
Then here's the original sketch and a first WIP of one of two illustrations I'm doing for coursework, the quotes are in this post, this is the smoking in the dark one. It's being a pain, partially because I'm not sure how stylised/rough to do it, and worse, I spent an hour or so getting a good start going, and then my computer crashed, losing everything. I had to start again, thinking the whole time how I would never get it the same as the first time. :/
And I'm still going with my New Year's Resolutions of course, as always. Steadily getting earlier with my sleep cycle to prepare for the earlier starts when term starts back, and sketching and painting everyday. Most aren't worth posting, but they'll get better with time. Here's a little imagination doodle I liked, and a screenshot of one of the painting studies I'm doing.
That's all for now, I'll be posting WIPs of the illustration work frequently, but I won't post my animation work until it's all done and in one video, so it's easier to keep track of what's been posted and what hasn't. And good luck to anyone else who has coursework deadlines, I know your suffering. :)
Small updates + 10,000 views!
10th January 2013
Here's a WIP of the next illustration I'm working on, the starving slave. Trying out a different way of working inspired by Sergey Kolesov's recent work by cutting up a whole bunch of reference photos like a collage; an eye here, an arm there, and then painting over the whole thing.
Still has a long way to go but you can get the idea. I'm probably going to go back and do the smoking in the dark one like this too, depending on what stock I can find; my idea at the moment is to go through convict photos for the profile shots until I can make what I think Marlow looks like, and then do the paintover and then the lighting effects. But for now I'm working on my animating, I'm moving much too slow on that, and the deadline is Monday. I'll make it, but I'm going to have to pick up the pace. Here's a screeny so you can see what rig I'm using.
I also got a surprise late Christmas present today, which I'm looking forward to reading once my deadlines are out the way. :)
And last but not least, I keep forgetting to tell you guys about how awesome and famous I am. ArtyGoodness hit 10,000 views a week or so ago, and the person who got the ten-thousandth view was the fair maiden Poopydoopy, who's questions I answered in this post a while ago. I have some plans on a prize, but we'll keep that hush hush. I've had well above this number of views elsewhere on the interwebs, mainly on ConceptArt.org and YouTube, but this means a lot because that site is purely for my artwork, nothing else. Thanks so much everyone for the support, which just keeps on growing and growing, it's amazing how much that little stats graph can make me feel happy and want to keep posting. <3
12th January 2013
This is taking so long it's unbelievable. After yesterday saved out the animation to find I'd almost hit 3 seconds. Here's some WIPs, now I have to get back to work.
And a video. Note that this isn't finished yet, there's a lot of the movement I'm not happy with, and I want him to fully climb it and then stand on top. Also note that this isn't the only animation, I'm doing a demo reel of a bunch of different movements and actions.
So close and yet so far from being done with the animation stuff, deadline is Monday. Then onto the Illustration finals and all that stuff for Wednesday, and then straight onto my other group's work for Friday's presentation. Oh lawdy.
13th January 2013
I've just finished submitting the animation coursework, and I'm surprised at how much I've enjoyed doing it all, besides all the deadline stress and sheer hours upon hours of just forcing through it. I'm also pretty pleased at how my final animation turned out, the one of the ninja character jumping and climbing up the wall. Worked on that day after day, and as well as getting further along the animation, I was constantly fixing things, making little changes and experimenting with different movements, so that all of the body parts move just enough to try make it look more natural.
post cont. in next reply...
I've also uploaded the WIPs video with my first 3D animation attempts at the start of the semester and some more work in progress shots of the final animations.
More to come soon as always; the next couple of days will be finishing off the illustrations and handing them in too, and then onto the group work for Friday's presentation.
14th January 2013
I think. Still have some time before these need submitted, and we have to do a group video and such tomorrow, so I don't know if I might change some things. But this is where I am at the moment, both are made from a ton of different photos put together and then painted over. The smoking in the dark one worked best I think, the stock was pretty good for that kind of photo; I went through some photography stock but mainly mugshots to try find all the parts of the face I wanted.
And the quotes:
Smoking in the dark
- "There was a moment of profound stillness, then a match flared, and Marlow's lean face appeared, worn, hollow, with an aspect of concentrated attention;and as he took vigorous draws at his pipe, it seemed to retreat and advance out of the night in the regular flicker of the tiny flame. The match went out."
- "Then, glancing down, I saw a face near my hand. The black bones reclined at full length with one shoulder against the tree, and slowly the eyelids rose and the sunken eyes looked up at me, enormous and vacant, a kind of blind, white flicker in the depths of the orbs, which died out slowly. The man seemed young-almost a child-but you know with them it's hard to tell. I found nothing else to do but to offer him one of my good Swede's ship's biscuits I had in my pocket. The fingers closed slowly on it and held-there was no other movement and no other glance. He had tied a bit of white worsted round his neck-Why? Where did he get it? Was it a badge-an ornament-a charm-a propitiatory act? Was there any idea at all connected with it? It looked startling round his black neck, this bit of white thread from beyond the seas."
It Begins Again
21st January 2013
Back at uni today, and Fantastic Five has started up again, though we don't have many assignments left, just the environment, then a creature, and then onto the portfolio advice section. Also pushing the 9-5 thing all this week, it's going to be hard, but the harder it is, the more satisfaction you'll get when you beat it.
Here's a WIP of the environment I'm thinking of, just some doodling while listening to music. Going to do much more on this tomorrow, since I think I have Tuesdays off this semester.
And we're back up to date at last, posted these today from Cris' stream a few hours ago. It went well, firstly he wants me to get rid of the character, because he wants to be the viewer, not watching someone else viewing it, and secondly he wants me to make the decision on the colour scheme, which I think will be a mix between the first and second one, with some more dappled sunlight and better light from the lamps. Then, we need to have two comps for next Tuesday, and he will choose the one which we'll take to final.
More to come soon as always, and now that I'm up to date on here I'll be posting much more frequently. Any feedback appreciated, if you want me to check out your sketchbook just drop a link in your reply and I'll check it out. Also, I've started centering all the images and videos I post so it matches up more with my blog and other sites, let me know what you think of that.
Color and light is such an excellent book. A must for all artists at any level. I love your art montages.
hey man big updats and big progress in here, i see you are really busy thats good i cant wait to see how 2013 treats us, theres really nothing to critique you but to keep on working and maybe being a bit more conscioius of your linework, and the angles some of them are really wrong and if you just would look carefully and try to think about what line means what i think you would do so much better, either way its a matter of practice and loving more the work, cant wait for more work hard!
benny phillips - I'm steadily working through it, and it's gold, so many things to learn from it. And thanks. :)
lionheartGFX - Thanks for the feedback, I'll always keep working, and I'll keep linework in mind to practice. Consider it added to my huge to-do list.
This week's environment stuff for the Fantastic Five. Was very pleased with the new angle one, enjoyed drawing the trees from imagination, something which seems to work really well with me, I like drawing them and they always seem to end up how I want them. Here's the final colour scheme and the two comps, first is the new viewpoint, the second was trying a different viewpoint for last week's thing.
Got torn apart on the stream though, seems we had different ideas about what Cris wanted me to do this week, he wanted me to just paintover the piece from last week, remove the guy and do other changes and improvements, and seemed pretty annoyed that I did some competely new angles. Still, he was very helpful with his feedback, and we seem on the same track now for the final piece. I'm going to send him WIP shots on Skype while working on it this week, try and avoid the same problems.
It's always somewhat soul crushing to have such a bad crit, but the important thing is that I got honest feedback on what he wanted, and that Cris accepted that we'd had some communication problems or something and we then started looking at the piece itself and how to improve it. The final for next week will be the new angle, but with way more stuff in it and much more, well, final.
We've moved onto the creature assignment now, the final assignment for the class, I think next thing will be talking about how to do portfolios and talk to clients and things. So here's the brief Cris gave, my creature is "The Tall".
And my moodboard and first sketches for this, which were for the Tuesday stream.
Just swung by for a "Look see!" and I have to say that there is nothing at all wrong with having Journey songs in your head pal, Steve Perry's voice is sublime...... when you are in the mood that is.
as for the headress for the viking dud it put me in mind of the herne the hunter legends....... the what? I hear you ask, well follow the ling and have a look see
I love the progress you are making mate some of this is getting seriously good, I say some of it because you are self critical as we all are but give yourself a momentary pat mate its getting good.
all the best and stay well cobber!!
Great progression, keep it up =]
Thanks guys. Haven't posted this yet as I took a break from the internet for a bit, had to try normalise my sleep schedule, stop working all the time, and spend some time with my family. Was very nice to relax, well worth it, went on a huge walk with my family up in the hills too. So this was what I did for last Tuesday's stream:
Cris wanted me to do some more experimenting with the neck shapes and such, really think about the design, and also start thinking about the anatomy. So here's what I did for this week, loads of studying animal anatomy for this, mainly elephants, giraffes, horses and such.
I think the short legs are killing it, if you look at horses, elephants, giraffes and some dinosaurs they have longer legs. Your sketches on post #316 on the bottom right are a great example of better proportion of the overall body. I hope that makes sense and it helps.
No longer updating here, not for a long time. See all my updates on my blog if you're interested in following my progress still.