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Thread: Scott "Desktop" Wade's Sketchbook (scientist-turned-artist)

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    Scott "Desktop" Wade's Sketchbook (scientist-turned-artist)

    Greetings all. The name is Scott, I'm new to the forum and I've been told making a sketch book here is a good idea. I'm a 20 year old college student studying Art and the University of Washington. I got into the whole art thing pretty late. I wanted to be a doctor until just over a year ago and i wasn't really drawing before that. So I have a lot of catching up to do.

    On the top of my (long) list of things to work on:
    • Color
    • Female body structure
    • Composition
    • Finishing projects that aren't assignments


    Attachment 370854
    One of my older self portraits (done earlier this fall). Roughly 20"x20" square, vine charcoal, compressed charcoal, and black conte on paper. No white used. The assignment was to copy the compositional layout of a famous painting. I chose Ribera's San Paulo and matched to that.

    Attachment 370855
    This is my most recent self portrait, done earlier tonight because I felt that this post should contain some brand new material.

    Attachment 370856
    Attachment 370857
    These are my two successive drafts for Battle 5 of the Art Crusade (The topic was Dark abominations - battle at The Horrors). I made a new version after getting some critiques from people I know. In the end this is as far as I got and I neglected to turn in a final.

    Attachment 370858
    Attachment 370859
    I thought the CHOW topic 115 (Near future East African Gang Leader/Warlord) was pretty interesting. I never had any intent to turn one in unless something amazing popped into my head and I had a bunch of free time. Still, it was a good exercise as I can't think of any time I've ever drawn someone who isn't Caucasian (and that includes both invented and from life). Reference was very helpful.

    Attachment 370860
    I'm currently in a year-long computer animation course where we produce a 3D movie. As far as art is concerned it is HIGHLY monotonous. So when I got the opportunity to do some color work I took it. These storyboards are going to be used as reference so that someone else in the class can make an actual 3D effect for the movie. I'd never drawn explosions before so it was more about teaching myself as I went than anything.

    Attachment 370867
    I wasn't familiar with Plague Doctors until it came up in a conversation recently. But I found their costume design to be interesting enough that I really couldn't resist doing a sketch.

    That's all for now. I'll scan some stuff later, but my primary sketchbook is sitting in the computer lab. Critiques are MORE than welcome, as are any recommendations on tutorials, techniques, or artists i should look at.
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  3. #2
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    hey man, sounds like you've made a big switch in studies. It's cool though, im glad to hear your doing what you enjoy.

    The first two look pretty awesome, i always had trouble with vine charcoal.

    For your digital painting, try some life studies of objects, like fruit or vegetables. Bumskees painting thread (dont have a link, but should be easy to find) is very good for beginners. Try blending your values a little more, a softer brush or lower opacity may help, and maybe defining edges more. I always find portrait studies are good practice for that.
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    The first one looks great.
    On the two digital ones for the art crusade the swords are too bright I think. They look like two lightsabers

    As Pyroclasm00 said, try some good digital painting tutorials to improve.
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    Thanks for the replies. I would have to agree that the swords in the art crusade piece are too bright. Ideally there was supposed to be a holy glow coming out of them, but i guess I went overboard on that because I agree, they look like misshapen lightsabers.

    After i posted these i remembered that i had been drawing only with a hard round brush (no feathering, its the one that's first on the list in photoshop). I'll experiment with brushes more because that's causing some serious visual distraction in undesired areas. Thanks for the tips, more work is on the way.
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    good to see you started a sketchbook scott - its about goddamn time too haha.

    anyways ya like has been said your traditional work trumps your digital and its just a matter of practice and knowledge of the programs. also what your looking for isn't feathering in the brush - just make a brush that your only controlling the opacity with pressure - not the size - and use that. I think you'll notice a difference. If that isn't your bag though just fool around with other options in the brushes - but definitely dont just use the default ones they have - im pretty sure none have any opacity change - so your gonna have to make your own brushes that dont suck (also on that same note avoid the smudge tool in PS)

    also just as a note on composition for those dark abom pieces - I know theyre not finished but I remember you saying the skeletons are the dark aboms and are the focus - right now the swords competing heavily for them - i would dull that down and just make it a normal sword and use the red glowing piece from the skeleton as the only light source - would look pretty classy + keep the focus 100% on the skeletons - as in thats where your eyes always gonna go.

    anyways i know your not gonna finish that but its just something to think about for the future.

    POST MOAR

    edit: Oh and i like the explosion - i hadn't seen it before -- double edit: fuck i totally drew those cards -_-
    Last edited by Soul Karl; May 18th, 2008 at 04:30 PM.
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    Attachment 372084

    I check out bumskee's digital painting thread (http://www.conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=47859) as TLL and Pyroclasm00 recommended. I found it quite helpful. I wound up spending more time on this than was really necessary to learn the concepts (especially given that I have class tomorrow) but whatever. The rim light on the left side (which is actually cast from my monitor) was a bitch to work out and it still looks semi-artificial.

    To SoulKarl: Yeah, actually I was using both opacity and size off of pressure sensitivity in all the stuff I posted first (except the self portrait, where I wanted to try working without it). Because of how shitty mah tablet is you probably couldn't tell though. Also, using a softer edge (which i mistakenly called 'feathering' eariler') i found to be key.
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    Hey man, welcome to CA!
    Yeah, its definitely a good thing to have a sketchbook here, and your stuff looks pretty nice so far. I like the apple a lot. The light from your monitor is really a little off, though. Maybe there would be a little reflection from the table on the bottom of the apple. Additionally the apple would shine its red on the table as well (slightly). Maybe you wanna check that out.
    Have fun and good luck!
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    btw scott before i forget http://conceptart.org/forums/showthr...21945&page=120 post there and join the sketch group

    nice apple btw but like pascallo said theres not enough red from the apple making its way on the table (it looks like you may have put some but its definitely not enough - also the dark under the apple is a little too black for my taste - try a dark blue or brown or some shit - the shadow just isn't looking nearly as up to par as the apple is

    see ya in class

    edit: oh and put a link to your sketchbook as your signature or some shit so i can get to this easier
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    Attachment 374378

    Self portrait I did back at the beginning of this quarter of painting. Given that it was from observation and how I had to position my hands/arms/face it was pretty challenging. In the end I don't think it was worth doing a crazy pose because I was really only able to work at about 1/2 efficiency and had a limited amount of time to work on it. Still, it was a good exercise in visual memory.

    Attachment 374379

    Slight touch-ups using what I learned from doing the apple study. Too smooth for a face, it'd be interesting to start messing around with textures or brushes but I think a face might be a difficult place to start using those.

    Attachment 374380

    Arm studies I did tonight. Copies from Bridgeman which I'm trying to skin as I go. This was pretty fun, I think I'll work through this and other muscle groups in a similar way (gets me practice on multiple fronts).

    Attachment 374381

    Still life I just finished for painting class. The table cloth appears less saturated in person (or at least I remember it seeming less saturated) but still it is too saturated.
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    Attachment 384031
    In-class figure study from earlier this year. I strongly disliked the model. No matter what she always had this smug grin on her face. That used to bug me like crazy for no particular reason.

    Attachment 384019
    Mock up for my life-sized self portrait. It's done over a photo in order to get my hand in the position I wanted (because I was obviously holding a camera at eye level in the original photo and i didn't want that). Not really precise enough to base the monochromatic underpainting off of. it was more so that I could move things around and figure out the exact size of the frame so that I could make the stretcher exactly what I wanted.
    Attachment 384020Attachment 384021
    WIP and the current level of completion. I wound up griding things off in PS so that I could get the shapes roughly correct (at the left). My room size prevents me from getting more than 4 feet away from the canvas so my skewed perspective is a big concern especially near the bottom of the canvas.

    Attachment 384018
    Decided to do another apple study. The shadow is still proving to be challenging. Challenging in that I have to force myself to actually spend time on it that is. It's actually the same apple as before. It's been rolling around on my floor for 2+ weeks so it's getting a little wrinkly and beaten up. That provided some interesting challenges as a lot of its shine and smoothness are gone now.
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    good stuff scott - i don't think ima touch on the trailer park shit for cale tho haha, theres too much to say and I think you prolly know most of it. Though I like how the light from the flame is actually darker than the base color of the ground and stuff haha - also on the truck that has that fatty cast shadow from the moon, the fire light would eat away at it - changing its darkness and its color, makes it a lot lighter - also light doesnt tend to end in a big circle, haha

    but seriously i figure these were all rushed mistakes - but hey maybe those are mistakes you make early and have to fix later normally - so its a good indicator.

    that first self portrait is a pretty decent likeness, and the reason you're having trouble making skin believable is because you don't have it see through at all. Skin, and im positive you know this, is fairly transparent and it gets a lot of its color from whats underneath our skin. Theres something called the ring of heat painters use, that starts at the top of the brow and ends at the upper lip, that should essentially just all be warm, so go ahead and make a new overlay layer on it and slap some warm red over that whole area, then lower the opacity on the layer till it looks just right. This is a great first step in making the skin look a lot more alive.

    another thing you can do is with a softlight layer, grab a red and later a blue or green and kinda noodle around areas to give the effect of blood veins - on someone young its gonna be very very subtle, but having even the slightest bit of it is gonna make that face that much more realistic. If you want to use photos a really good trick for this is get a picture of a brain and up the contrast on it (by that i mean levels, not actually contrast bar - stay away from brightness and contrast for the most part as they eat pixels - same goes for hue and saturation for color changes, its an inferior tool for it than variations.) then with that brain use it as an overlay or softlight and just lower the opacity. I'll explain more about photos later in person i guess =/ cuz theres some stuff to know about using em.

    those plyers are bomb btw, you should make 2 brushes though real quick for when you're doing a hard almost mech surface like that again - take the default brush and completely flatten it with that circle htat has the two dots? its like brush tip shape or something - make a horizontal and a vertical one

    pressure size, pressure opacity, pressure fill, smooth, should all be on

    this is a pretty solid sketching brush and is especially good for anything with a lot of planes, you can really knock them all out in a hurry, give it a shot i think that thing would look a lot classier the way it is if those big swatches of colors were thrown down as squares - or hell if you can make a textured brush even better

    oh and i just wat you read about only opacity - thats not a good idea haha - it mimics nothing natural. Also opacity is retarded to change, fill is the way to go - so turn both on and size pressure as well. Though I know your tablet is kinda a piece of shit, so that may be your reasoning, but using only those is kinda dumb, also if oyu dont want MUCH size jitter, fuck with minimum diamater, and then it wont vary as much, but it keeps your strokes alive.

    anyways hope this helps dude - thanks for the comments btw
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    Yeah, I dig those pliers the most.

    You've inspired me to actually try some digi-painting this evening after a few week creative hiatus. Thank you.

    (Sean, from the Seattle group)
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    One thing I've learned is that if the base proportions, lines, and angles aren't relating to each other, no amount of rendering is going to help. Make sure those are all correct before you add value or color, it'll save you hours of rendering with the end product not being what you want.
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    ~Hope~
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