Landscape process/tutorial (I said the "t" word :O)
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  1. #1
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    Landscape process/tutorial (I said the "t" word :O)

    So I suck at landscapes. So, just like whenever I realize I suck at anything, I cry a whole bunch, reassemble my fragile ego and then set about working the suckiness out of me. The thing is with landscapes, I feel like I'm stuck;

    With figures/still life/clothing etc I can sit down and usually get through it, sometimes the study looks shitty, sometimes it doesn't. With landscapes, I make my initial drawing, block in the colours, and then everything after that feels like I'm in kindergarten again struggling to find out why eyes on someone's forehead looks wrong.

    So I figure I should ask for some help on this. I guess my MAIN problem (if i had to pick one that is) is that the abstraction of the light and dark created by trees and their shadows never turns out for me, nor do I feel like I'm actually learning anything from these studies (which only ever look half done)

    Any tips, any links to processes/tutorials etc. would be greatly appreciated.

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    unless you want general advice, post examples of your work.

    In the future, everyone will have 15 minutes of privacy.

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  3. #3
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    Just do it, man.

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    Elwell is offline Sticks Like Grim Death Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
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    Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting
    A great book on drawing/painting in general, but (obviously) landscape in particular. Anyone with a serious art library should own a copy.


    Tristan Elwell
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    Yes, post examples of the suck. If I can do it so can you, I'm sure I'm much worse than you! But I'm doing the same thing, BAWWWW and then keep plugging away and trying to learn if I'm making howling errors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by squidmonk3j View Post
    unless you want general advice, post examples of your work.
    I'd like general advice, but I suppose specific advice would be neato. the problem is, I NEVER save the suck. I just get aggravated and close the program.

    this is one of the very rare times I saved it; (EDIT: and it's a shockingly accurate example of what I was talking about, just after blocking in the colours and trying some abstration)
    Name:  rdtyu45uy.jpg
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    Just do it, man.
    There are times when I really think that I'm just a big pussy about the whole thing. I can't seem to get into a head space that allows me to plow through shit along the way, not getting overly discouraged over problems.

    Last edited by Jason Rainville; May 25th, 2008 at 05:02 PM.
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    Is what troubles you the lack of depth? To an extent things are becoming desaturated as they fade off into the distance, but then the far distance has the same size 'trees' as mid distance, and is a darker, more saturated color. And the shade under the tree canopy is wildly darker than the top of the tree canopy, and more saturated.

    I would think the thing to do would be go to progressively less saturated and less contrasty color as the distance increases- that's really the main thing- and the size of the brush could be changing around a lot more than it is. Farther away = smaller features while also less contrast. It all fades off into the same haze at ten miles or so...

    I'd like to learn to do this sort of thing too, and am in the process of trying to apply such learnings...

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    Get a copy of "Hawthorne on Painting" by Charles Hawthorne. Read it. Read the chapter on landscape painting. Do exactly what he suggests and you will learn a lot. If you have questions, leave me a message on the Max the Mutt thread and I'll try to help.

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  10. #9
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    I'm no expert (yet), but here's a quick paintover. I hope it helps. There's tons to think about!

    Name:  rdtyu45uy-EIT.jpg
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    I'd recommend thinking about color theory as you study landscapes as well. "Green" grass usually has more than just green in it due to all the individual blades casting shadows onto each other, and the collective result that arises. Not to mention the variations of local color on the grasses, bounce lighting, the color of the sky etc. Moar color mixing!

    What time of day is it? Where is the sun? What color temperature is that light source and how does it effect the colors and objects that it strikes? Is it overcast? That will effect shadows and the overall saturation of the landscape.

    Pay attention to where different areas overlap, like the plain-to-treeline, or the tops of the trees vs the background, the sky vs the boundary of the mountain etc.

    A general rule is that colors in the foreground are more saturated and have more contrast than objects in the distance. This is a general rule though, and color theory is too much to sum it all up in one sentence. I highly recommend www.huevaluechroma.com for more info.

    Also, there's only so much mileage you can get on a default round Photoshop brush. I'd recommend downloading and experimenting with Alti's painterly brushset to get more interesting strokes and textures.

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  12. #10
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    Thanks earendil but the pic I was showing was from ref. Indeed I'm not talking about pulling things out of my ass, I'm saying for the goddamn life of me I just can't work from reference and make studies. I just CAN'T, nothing I create ever looks close to what I'm copying. Rocks are even worse. Even after downloading whit's new video and trying out his brushes I still can't seem to find a way to even copy landscapes from reference.

    I just feel really shitty that everything is in front of me but my fingers turn to sausages and my brain to mush whenever I try to reproduce it in a window that's right goddamn next to it.

    I was asking here about blocking in processes when there's something in front of you.... but I think I just really lack any patience whatsoever.

    EDIT: to elaborate more on this, I'm SCARED to do landscapes now, for fear that I'll end up getting mad and ruining my mood for the rest of the day. I happens every single time I sit down and try to do landscapes from reference. I even try to prepare myself by saying "alright, I'll make sure to do a good job and take my time.... hell I'll even take a few days to make it look really nice!" ten minutes later I'm ready to destroy things.

    Last edited by Jason Rainville; May 28th, 2008 at 07:31 PM.
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    Well, try starting small, and starting with black and white. FIgure out what the LIGHT is doing to denote form first before wondering about texture, color, etc. It's like they say all the time "general to specific...large areas to detail". Take your photorefs into PS, desaturate, and size 'em down to thumbnail size and take it in little steps.

    I'm scared of the figure, but it's in my head. Right now, I'm breaking it down starting with gesture, and LINE, because my line sucks.

    Break it down, don't let it break you down.

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    Mistakes are key to success.

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