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Working as illustrator requires you to deliver a great artwork at limited time. What can we do to increase our effectiveness in creating artwork?
For myself, I've been practicing speedpainting and that helps me to see things globally instead of focusing too much on details, but when it comes to finishing a full blown artwork, I still need more time to polish it, and ends up taking the same length of time I did before practicing speedpaint.
Am I just not used to it yet?
I'm experiencing something similar, actually. I find working very fast at low resolution helps, concentrating on forms and values more than anything else. Then I gradually increase resolution, define forms and values even further, and repeat the process once more. Obviously this method isn't for everyone, so my advice to you would be to keep on experimenting until you find a workflow you're most comfortable with.
Farvus is right, there is no real shortcut for efficiency.
You want to put out your best, not your quickest. I've found that the more that I put out quality works, the faster I get because I end up figuring out ways to improve upon my process. Focus on your work-flow, not the length of time that it takes.
You're already wrong the minute you mentioned speedpainting. Speedpainting does not exist, it's just a meme. Either you paint or you don't. You can denote unfinished painting as speedpatinging, that's fine, but please call it that. It bothers me greatly when people use this meme which has no base of existence at all.
I'm never looking for a shortcut in paintings. I know that there's no such thing. What I'm looking for is a way to draw better, see better, understand better. These, and endless practice of course, in turn will make drawing more effective.
Example of effectiveness is one I already mention in my first post. To focus on the big things (lighting, proportion, composition, color, etc) before going into details.
So you don't waste a lot of hours detailing some stuff that you will eventually change again later on when you realize that the proportion is off.
I practice that effectiveness in speedpainting. Yes of course they are unfinished, unpolished. But by working in limited, very short time, I can see what's more important.
Thank you for the suggestions, guys. I will experiment and practice endlessly. I was just wondering if there's more to it. I mean who knows, right? ^^
The term creates the illusion that there are tricks to paint fast, or more ridiculously, "speedpaint", sorry but there are no tricks like that. There's only careless painting or unfinished painting and correct painting.
Although I'm not against people using this term, I just find it a very peculiar way to denote painting.
Last edited by Pencilcandy; November 8th, 2009 at 01:23 AM.
Alla Prima is when you do a painting in one sitting, usually with oils. It is a practise to make the artist paint more passionately without worrying about detail, but instead focus on composition, texture and value. It is a gesture with paints.
It quite literally means "at once" or "at first try".
This is exactly what speed painting is set out to do. The only differences between Alla Prima and Speed Painting are the mediums that are used. I've never thought that Speed Painting suggested that there be a quicker way, only that it was a quick painting. I haven't met anyone who thought it wasn't anything more than a gesture yet, but I don't doubt people make misconceptions either.
You may not like the term, but it clearly doesn't mean what you want it to mean.
Speed painting is not how fast you can physically lay down strokes to get a picture. It's all about getting a picture using the knowledge you gained through long term studies and observation, in as few strokes as possible. Being able to think about and lay those elements in the right way is what takes a large amount of experience, and constantly challenging your brain to get the result your looking for right away. That's how I see it right now.
I think this goes with the saying " work smart, not hard".
Timing yourself is very good exercise. It makes your mind think about what is more important to represent your subject. So you don't zone out and try to render the hell out of that eye, when what you're suppose to be drawing is a full figure. That, and doing very long studies, such as Bargue studies.
I've seen people get too carried away though with strict studies and figuring out ways to draw better, that they start losing site of what is more important. Which is experimenting, creativity, and breaking a few "rules" once and a while. They are just too strict about it, and it freezes them up.
In terms of saving time. If you work your thumbnails directly in digital format it can save you time from scanning. Having your reference folder organized helps you zip through it without being bogged down.
Anyways what people mention, it kind of reminds me of the concept "effortless effort" where one practices something so much it becomes second nature. There would be less mistakes to correct and more time on the designing. I think it all comes down to efficiency and experience.
I think cole.ossus said it best about speedpaint. It's loosen us up from strict studies and experiment a bit.
Last edited by Pigeonkill; November 9th, 2009 at 12:11 PM.
Make a sketchbook happy, feed it a tip to improve!
If you paint digitally and use masks, clipping mask and especially hotkeys (programing them cleverly on your tablet) it can speed up the workflow a lot.
I just took a break to post this.
But sometimes I also draw stuff
Don't use too much layers, don't use overly complex brushes, find efficient ways for blending. Suggest detail and texture rather than rendering it out entirely. Have a strong focal point that's worked out nice, this will detract attention from the less densely rendered stuff...
**Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial
Crash Course for Artists, Illustrators, and Cartoonists, NYC, the 2013 Edition!
"Work is more fun than fun."
"Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
I would suggest not just practicing speed but also practice being accurate. In other words making the mark or shape as perfectly as possible first time everytime without correcting it. By not correcting it iforces you to make all of the decisions about a mark before you make it. This trains eye hand coordination and then you can switch back to working faster. If you alternate between the two excersizes you should see some improvement in both fairly quickly.