Sketchbook: Two Strokes And One Undo: Learning How To Paint In Every Medium (Nudity)
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Thread: Two Strokes And One Undo: Learning How To Paint In Every Medium (Nudity)

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    Two Strokes And One Undo: Learning How To Paint In Every Medium (Nudity)

    Hello to everyone here at CA. I've been scouring these pages for a while and I figured it was time to get something of my own going. I'm not gonna blow you away with a bunch of turbo paintings or anything, but I am going to post often as I progress in the realms of charcoal, photoshop, oil, watercolor, and anything else I can get my hands on. I'm really just here because I admire all of the things getting uploaded on this forum and how encouraging and helpful everyone is.

    Truth be told, I originally started a thread like this (and it's still going) on another forum, but many of the threads I followed there are dead, and the artists have moved over to this wonderful world here at CA. So instead of posting about seven pages of images here to get started, I think I'll just post the most recent images I've done in the mediums I've been working in...

    So here we go!

    I started learning how to use charcoal a couple weeks ago. It took me a little while to get used to, but now I'm a pretty big fan of vine. It's not too big a leap from pencils and pens (which is what I grew up on) so I'm pretty comfortable with it right now. Here are a couple things I did a few weeks ago:



    I only just started trying watercolor in the last couple months, and I was pretty surprised how well things came out right away. I usually experience a period of a couple weeks of confusion before I feel comfortable with a medium. But anyway, here are a couple watercolors (I've only done 3 total):



    As for oil, well, I just got my first taste of oils a couple weeks ago, too. Turns out I've been drawing since grade school, but paint never really occurred to me until now. So anyway, oil has been slow and I've really only messed around a bit. I am however working on a master copy these days (Moissonneuse by Bouguereau) and I've got the drawing done, but I ended up starting a hand study before putting paint to the actual master copy. Wanted to try the whole Bouguereau workflow of doing studies of the hands and heads before actually getting into the final image.
    I guess this is what you call digressing, haha. So here is an early oil scrap and the current status of the hand study (underpainting):



    So what's left? Ah, PS! Been trying to figure this beast out for uuh... half a year now? I lose track. But here's a very recent attempt at trying some glazing:

    I'm a steps/process/tutorial fiend, and I'm always on the prowl for different workflows and tricks to try, so as often as I remember I'll be uploading steps to my images, just incase somebody out there happens to see something they find interesting.
    For the above image I laid down the armature of the rectangle for compositional guidelines and then sketched in lines with a solid round. the sky was put in with a textured brush I got from Brontieri. After that it's pretty much blocking in colors with a hard round at a high opacity, followed by putting down transparent strokes of different colors in the shadows on a new layer. With that said, here is an image of the steps:

    Then there's this Spaniard portrait I put together the other night. Just trying to apply some techniques I was inspired by recently from Vyle and Viag's Prince of Persia concept art. Again, a textured brush for the background and then a hard round for the actual dude, usually going from higher to lower opacities (block first, glaze in transparencies later).


    I'm tempted to throw up a bunch more stuff, but I think I'm probably approaching the image limit for a single post. I've still got stuff from as recent as this afternoon not yet uploaded to post next time, but if anyone is interested in seeing any more of the older stuff, just say so. I'm happy to do as much as I can for you!

    Oh yeah, here's one more as an attachment so I can get a thumbnail up (thanks Chris!). It's a PS copy of something I made on an oekaki board a long time ago. Just a bunch of hard round on a single layer. Throw in some paint bucket skills and we're done...

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    Last edited by staticpen; June 2nd, 2008 at 08:09 PM.
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    Nice start with a sketchbook, you have some pretty strong talent. The portrait of the man with a beard is great.

    Keep posting you look like you will have a 5 star Sketchbook in no time



    Ps: try using the CA file manager to upload an image in your first post so it will display a thumbnail in the forum list. That way it will grab more people's attention.

    Just edit your first post and "Go Advanced" to use the file manager and walla you have a thumbnail image.

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    I really gotta borrow my buddies photoshop book. Haha, I can do a mean cartoon but this glazing stuffs got me. You are fantastic. I am very impressed at the variety of mediums you can use. Moi Bien! I can basically do pencil and photoshop... yep.

    Check out my Cartooning Sketchbook! 150 Original Pokemon Work in Progress AND A JUST ADDED WEBCOMIC! CRITS PLEASE!
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    Oblio is offline Pointless. 1st CA student. Level 13 Gladiator: Retiarius
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    keep it up! good start!

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    Chris - I threw up an attachment. Hopefully the thumbnail goes up. Thanks a bunch, man! I dunno about 5 stars, though, hahaha. That sounds pretty intense.

    Mr. Perfect - Aw, you're too kind! Really! Haha. I'm feeling really uncomfortable with oil paint right now, but with the same amount of experience I'm feeling pretty good with watercolor... I guess it just depends on the person. Just go out and give things a try! What's the worst that could happen?

    Oblio - Thanks very much!

    ---

    So... Geez, oil is really getting the best of me. I'm having a ton of trouble making form shadows. Her whole left arm is one long cast shadow, hahaha. It's very tough for me to sit around waiting for paint to dry before I'm able to put another layer down. Very unlike my typical workflow. But here's to learning new things, hey?


    I got really inspired by Vyle's life-referenced PS sketches the other day and started trying them myself. So uh, here is my first ever environment from life:


    After that I went indoors and gave it another go, but trying to focus on simplicity instead of crazy textured brushes... I think it turned out a lot better.
    Step one was putting down some perspective lines. I really don't remember much about perspective, so I'm just winging it here.


    Step two was just sketching and blocking in some colors with a regular hard round.


    Step three was blocking really simply on a multiply layer, trying to stay loose and not get caught up on details, which I tend to do.


    The final image came about after doing something that I've just recently been experimenting with, which is painting the light and darkness in the air instead of painting the their effects on surfaces... such as uh, painting the emptiness in the room instead of the walls. Hard to explain, but basically all I did was make darken and soft light layers and just go in really lightly with a huge soft round brush. Other than that I just threw in a wood plank texture and painted over it. I forgot Bumskee or Vyle or whoever said to do that, which I forgot during my outdoor painting. That's why the bricks look so perfect instead of regularly painted in that one. But anyway, here's the final indoor image:


    And because I've got a bunch of images sitting around that someone out there might dig a little bit, I've decided to throw in an old image at the end of every post until I start running out... So today's oldie is uh, let's see... OK. PS, hard round at varying opacities, with a texture thrown in for some... texture. Haha. I originally painted this in color, but upon gray scaling for a value check, I found that it was all really high key with no contrast... so I broke out the burn tool and went all photographic on it and ended up with this:


    Last edited by staticpen; June 2nd, 2008 at 09:14 PM.
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    No man, just post a shit load of stuff as much as you can and you'll get a lot better. Before long you will have a 5-10 page sketchbook and probably some stars next to it. Though sometimes I see really good sketchbooks, but no stars.

    Sometimes I think people just forget all about them.

    Anywho, I see the thumbnail worked... yahoo! Hehe, nice update. I get inspired by vyles stuff all the time. I just wish I had a decent laptop instead of this POS 300 dollar desktop I have so I can go out and paint... to bad for me I'm broke

    I like the room you did here, and showing the process is always a good thing to do!

    Nice work!

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    Chris - Thanks dude. But yeah, I got a Macbook Pro a little while ago for school and film stuff, so it runs PS pretty well. It's proven very handy to be able to run around with a whole hard drive full of stuff, and I'm just finding out how useful it can be as a portable drawing studio. Heheh.

    --

    I tried going out and playing tennis this morning, what with the french open going on and everything... dude, it was way too hot. I almost died.

    I just finished up a sketch from imagination, though, so let's get to that.
    Another environment. I'm starting to really like them, which is surprising even to myself.

    Step one is just throwing down the armature of the rectangle as a compositional guide. After that I put down the horizon line on the perfect 4th intersections, also using that spot for my vanishing point (the center of the 'X' is the 'octave', with the next two intersections along the lines are the 'perfect 4th' and 'perfect 5th' marks. They have these musical names because their distances from one another are exactly the same as the distances between the wave intersections of an audible note of the same pitch. Hard to explain, but it's really fascinating if you're into that sort of thing.) I only used one point perspective for this one.


    After that I made a new layer and just started sketching in stuff really loosely. I generally followed the diagonals of the armature, but without getting too specific. If you follow every line perfectly your image can turn out looking processed or stagnant in my opinion.


    Step three is just throwing down colors on a layer underneath the lines. It's all hard round at 100% opacity and flow, both of which are set to pressure sensitivity. I try not to do too many transparent shades at this point because it makes me want to blend, and I find that to be counterproductive at this stage in the painting. For the street, however, I just put down a bunch of grey and then selected it with a magic wand, following with an application of the gradient tool.


    Step four is just experimenting with brush settings and lower opacities. The further away something is the more atmospheric haze affects the color (as well as value), so in this case with a blue sky, I laid down a slight glaze of light blue over the background, separating my painting into two distinct planes of foreground and background. I also put down the red of the stop sign to draw your eye into the street. Red is the complementary color of green, and when two complementary colors are nearby each other they clash, causing a focal point. I took care not to have red anywhere else in order to reduce distractions.


    The final stage was just putting down a photo texture on overlay and bringing the opacity down, adding details like birds and people. After that I adjusted the color balance with Selective Color, which I actually clicked by accident. haha. Lucky I did, cause I've never used it before, but the control it gave me over the look of everything was incredible. Try it if you haven't. It's not a filter, it's an image adjustment.


    So there's that, but I have one other thing that might be interesting to some of you. Have you ever seen an image with a really rad color palette and wanted to use it for one of your own paintings? Try this trick on it. Grab your admired image and go to Filters > Pixelate > Mosaic. I think that's where it is. But anyway, you can select how simple or complex you want your conversion, and it basically gives you a ready-made palette to color pick from all throughout your painting process. Here's an example of what you end up with:


    Right! So, oldies... hmmm... Alright. This one I did for a colossus contest. I guess you could say I was pretty inspired by Shadow of the Colossus (the team is actually working on another one for PS3... rumored 2-player co-op colossi killing action!):


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    I had a bunch of people over yesterday so I didn't really have time to draw. That plus the French Open AND a friendly between USA and Spain was on TV. 0-1 Spain. We couldn't even score one goal :banghead: .
    I haven't been doing much figure drawing lately so I decided to sneak a couple in before bed, though. I used a really big canvas with a pretty thin line in order to practice contour accuracy, and it proved to be pretty tough. So often I draw on little sketch pages so the thickness of line allows my eye to 'imagine' the correct contour within the stroke, but really thin lines like this were forcing me to get the line just right. It really gave me quite a workout. Maybe I'll do some more?





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    I was pretty busy again yesterday, so all I had time to do was this cast shadow study. Pretty simple, just some lines and then coloring underneath. The shadow was on its own layer, painted with black at 100% opacity, adjusting the layer opacity down to about 60%. Then I just went in with a big soft round eraser at 1% flow and pulled out from the bottom up. Turned out to be a pretty decent way of putting gradation on a cast shadow.



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    Solid skill.

    But most of all: OMG!!! Shadow of the Collossus on PS3!!!

    Solid skill. Nice range of techniques.

    Life is like a box of chocolates, when you're a fat glutton it lasts shorter.
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    David - Thanks, man! Oooh, yeah, SotC 2 is gonna be way rad. I can't wait. They're also working on another Ico game, so keep your ears to the ground for that one.
    And I checked out your thread. Keep up the good work, and post post post!

    --

    I almost forgot - an oldie! Let's see... hmm, I guess speaking of charcoal, we'll throw one of those up.



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    You've got some really nice work here. I especially appreciated your landscape study with the armature as a compositional guide. That is a great idea. I actually got a BFA in Studio Art and yet never saw anyone use that before. But I'm definitely going to start using it now. The color palette trick is pretty cool to.

    Keep up the good work.

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    Very nice stuff, you have great light and shadow. Good use of colour too, keep it up.

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    Peter - Thanks! Yeah, I've really been seeing the wisdom behind the whole idea that building a strong foundation for your image is more important than being good at making a million little details. It's quite shocking to me actually, to hear that you never saw anyone use the armature that way in school. You'd think they'd teach that stuff! But yeah, definitely use those compositional tools! I really like your pastel and charcoal work, as well as your alley painting. The cool shadows really made it pop! Keep it up.

    Madfishmonger - Thanks! I've been experimenting with new techniques, so your encouragement is very nice to hear. I also took a look at your thread. Some nice sketches in there. I particularly dig the panda.

    --

    I had a friend ask me for more paintings of environments from life, so I did another one this morning. Same techniques as before, so no need for steps.



    And for the oldie, here's a pen sketch from a couple years ago:


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    Nothing major so far today, just another go at contours. I'm getting in some good practice drawing multiple figures with these. I usually just draw people on their own. Drawing couples is definitely different. I also figured I'd throw down some lighting on this sketch to practice shadow placement. Also trying to simplify lighting by using soft brushes for form shadows and hard brushes for cast shadows. It seemed logical, and I think it turned out alright.



    As far as oldies go, this one goes waay back. I can't even remember how many years ago this was...



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    @staticpen-awesome start to your sb. Those charcoal studies are killer but you show a great range over alot of mediums. The landscape is just plain cool. I actually never though of using the mosaic filter...man that is a freaking great idea...wow. Keep it coming.

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    Trashy - Haha, thanks very much, man. Nice to have you around! I first saw your work in that still life thread by bumskee or idiotapathy or whoever started it, I can't remember. Truth be told I saved your rotten tomato cause I liked your brush work so much. Haha. Was that done in painter?

    --

    As it happens, I did another charcoal piece last night. I had some old charcoal pencils lying around from a garage sale purchase, so I thought I would try those. I think they worked out pretty well. I can see myself using them a lot more in the future. I'll probably try mixing them with vine, too. That would be cool.
    So here's that:


    Then I did this little PS sketch before bed. 30 min:


    And for an oldie... hmm. A couple kids in some orange coats? It's not actually that old, but it IS pre-thread birth, so I guess it counts.


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    Beautiful sketchbook , congrats , really like the portraits . Looks like you need more work with your digital paint. Hope this forum will provide that knowledge. Cheers

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    Flamable - Thanks for the kind words! Yeah, other than oil, PS is what I'm least comfortable with. Or maybe I'm more comfortable with PS than watercolor... hmmm... I don't know. Here's to progress, though. :cheers:

    --

    I put together a charcoal piece just a few moments ago. For the first time here I tried charcoal pencil, vine AND compressed charcoal. I liked that workflow. Sketching in and blocking with the pencil, then throwing down the compressed stuff for the deepest values. Then I just threw the vine over everything to get some greys. After that was adding details by pulling out with an eraser and adding some more compressed stuff here and there for transitions. Hope you guys can dig it.



    For an oldie, let's go wiiiith... Hahaha. An old oekaki sketch. Hahahaha.



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    awesome work man

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    Did I by any chance mention I love those charcoal pieces. The last study is really neat. You got in there nicely in the drapery. hehe...oekaki sketch is rad man!

    No prob for the comments again. Ah the rotten tomato study, I spent a pretty long time on that one. I did that one in photoshop mainly with the default hard round brush set to shape dynamics and painted it with the opacity around 75%-85%. Used one of the dry media brush's for the background and around it. I tell you man, you can get soooo much mileage out of those studies when you do them. Remember values are key in any medium. Maybe some basic value studies will get you more comfortable in ps.

    Ever see Idiot Apathy's peer project thread- http://www.conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=76955

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    KM - Thanks man!

    Trashy - No, I didn't do that Idiot Apathy thing yet, but I did do the apple one. Maybe I'll get on that and do a ball sometime, haha. But thanks for the kind words about the charcoal, man. Glad you like them.

    ---

    Sorry I haven't posted in the last couple days. I've been really busy working and writing and stuff. Four pages into the last chapter! Yey.

    So last night I decided I had to paint something, quick or not, so I did this:



    As for an oldie, well, this is from a couple years ago. Some anatomical issues, but I like the composition and movement. Hope you can dig it!



    Last edited by staticpen; June 14th, 2008 at 12:39 PM.
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    Really interesting sb. I really love your charcoal. The medium is so awesome, but I still need to learn how to handle it. Have you progressed with your oil hand study?

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    Fearself - Thanks! yeah, charcoal is great fun. Perceiver through the tough pages and you can learn any medium! That's something I'm have to tell myself every day with oil, as it happens. I haven't done anything else with the hand study. Just last night I did an underpainting for something new in oil, and I forgot to let it dry. I put down some color and it turned to mud, hahaha. I'm letting it dry as we speak, so maybe I can salvage it in a day or two.
    I think I might get a better grip of oil painting before going after the full Moissonneuse copy. I'd hate to ruin that whole 16x20 panel. Not to mention the sketch. The sketch turned out really well. :p

    ---

    Did some acrylic stuff last night. Just messing around with my abstract and surreal influences.

    "To Beyond" Acrylic on 8x10 panel. (sorry for the bad photo. my yellows look kind of green in this @__@)


    I used the armature for this one, putting the spaceship and the planet/moon thing in the background on perfect 4th intersections. I also separated the loner space dude from the group by keeping them on opposite sides of the vertical and horizontal halfway lines. Oh, and I didn't measure it or anything, but the big red shape is a freehand take on the logarithmic spiral, if anyone cares. :p


    For an oldie... well, I've seen some people here throw up photos, so I'm wondering if i can do that? Or more importantly, if any of you guys would be down for that sort of thing? I've been into photography for a while, so I have a pretty big stock to upload from... let me know what you guys think about the idea.
    But anyway, this is my older bro on Oahu. No surprise by now, but it was also composed with the armature of the rectangle.


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    I don't quiet understand your abstract painting thing. Watch I'll probably understand it once I click Post. At first I thought the spaceship thing was a house falling off the spirally tip. And are those martians space people?

    I have never tried oils before. They seem like fun, but patience seems to be a necessity.

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    Fear - Yeah, I don't really make any particular points with the stranger stuff I do. And for sure, oils take a looot of patience if you're gonna go the glazing route. Unless you use quick drying mediums, but all I have is a bottle of linseed oil, and I have to wait days for each coat to dry, so... I'm thinking this next time I try oils I'm gonna go all alla prima and just do everything in one sitting with no transparencies.

    ----

    Hmm, I guess last night I decided to do another speed painting before bed. Just messing around with... stuff. Haha. I dunno. Here it is, anyway.



    Alls I really did here was sketch over a bunch of phi things and then color with the 'Wet Medium' brushes or whatever they're called.



    And for an oldie, I thought I'd go with another oekaki today. Hope you enjoy!



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    I dig that speedpaint. It's fun and loose which is perfectly cool! I think your linework is actually pretty solid in ps. I like that photo also you took. Oh man...that would make a cool painting!!! Has a solid perspective in it also

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    Trashy - hey man, thanks very much. I still feel kind of weird doing lines with the tablet after all these years. I don't think I'll ever be as comfortable with it as a pencil... but who knows.

    ---

    I was really in the mood to write last night, so alls I did was a quick sketch again. Hope you like it.



    And on the topic of photos, I figured I'd put this one up. Shot it in Australia. Enjoy!



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    I've been working a lot and spending some more time writing, cause I'm so close to finishing the book, so today it's just another sketch.



    I used the armature again, but this time I went with halving the canvas into two separate armature sections just to try something different. Also, I put most of the action onto the same diagonal direction, which Rubens did from time to time to show uneasiness or tension. You can see that both of the swords, both legs of the airborne dude, and the spine and the rear leg of the foreground guy are all following the same direction of bottom left to top right.



    Again, I'm developing a love for the pursuit of solid and interesting compositions, so I guess that's the reason I mention what I'm doing in that area most of the time. I think composition is skimmed over too much these days. There's so much more to learn than just the rule of thirds.

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  34. #30
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    Man I have been sick these past couple days... e___e



    Oldie...



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