Few beginner questions!
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Thread: Few beginner questions!

  1. #1
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    Few beginner questions!

    Heya guys! As the title states, i'm new around here and i'm just looking for some much needed answers to get me started. There's no doubt that these queries have been asked a few billion times, and the answers are lying around somewhere in this huge archive of juicy information, but i'll throw it out there anyway!

    So here's the deal. I'm 18 years old and live in the UK. I took an interest in design around 5 years ago, and began experimenting with Photoshop which then led on to be quite a big hobby of mine - now my career option. I'm completely self-taught with no experience of design as a subject in education (with much regret), so there are still a lot of paths undiscovered. Like a lot of stuff, digital art has always been one of those amazing forms which takes time and dedication, but I could never really stick with it. Now i'm really up for it as I NEED to build a portfolio, but i'm just not sure where to begin.

    As for my particular focus in digital art, i'm really interested in 'Speed Painting' and character design. I do understand that there's a lot of theory involved, and even more practice, but i'm just struggling to find the sources to gain that information from, and the processes of it. Here are a few examples of the sort of art i'd like to produce (sorry, if I linked particular images there'd be hundreds!):

    http://artbybin.deviantart.com/gallery
    http://leventep.deviantart.com/gallery
    http://www.leventep.com/

    Now for my questions. I'll try and keep them simple:

    1. What would be the most productive way of getting started? Should I just practice my drawing skills? Experiment with painting in Photoshop? Any past experience of learning you could share?
    2. I just can't get the whole brushing part down. Whenever I play around, nothing flows. It's always solid, blocky and flat. Any advice or settings I should be using?
    3. Are there any helpful resources and tutorials you would recommend?
    4. Any advice in general for digital speed painting?


    Any answers are really appreciated, even though the questions are quite silly and obvious. I just feel like... the cookie is on the table, but I just can't reach it... if that makes any sense. Anyway, if it helps to know, i'm using Photoshop CS4 with a Bamboo Wacom Tablet (fairly small unfortunately). Again, i'd be really grateful for your advice.

    Thanks for reading,
    Ash

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  2. #2
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    "1. What would be the most productive way of getting started? Should I just practice my drawing skills? Experiment with painting in Photoshop? Any past experience of learning you could share?
    2. I just can't get the whole brushing part down. Whenever I play around, nothing flows. It's always solid, blocky and flat. Any advice or settings I should be using?
    3. Are there any helpful resources and tutorials you would recommend?
    4. Any advice in general for digital speed painting?"

    1: There really isn't any secret to what you should do to start, just go for it and practice. It's all practice and the time you spend drawing, and I think that's been proven multiple times on this site through the progress many people have made that is documented in their sketchbooks.
    You definitely want to get your drawing skills up to par because thats really the foundation, and I would recommend doing black and white as well as value studies before getting too hardcore into color. Do both, but make sure you practice value because you can't really do great work in color without understanding the form and value behind it. You should really be drawing/painting from life, doing photo studies, master studies, self portraits, head and figure drawing, and anatomy studies, which are all great ways to go and its good to get a balance of all those if possible.
    2. Don't worry too much about brushes at first, using a hard round brush with pen pressure set to opacity (assuming you have a tablet) is a good basic way to go. I really don't use much else although I still have tons to learn.
    3. If you haven't already you need to download some of these Andrew Loomis books, they're great for getting started, and just great overall.
    http://www.placidchaos.com/AM/index..../andrew_loomis
    I'd definitely recommend Figure Drawing For All It's Worth, as well as the one on head and hands. But the figure drawing one will give you a good structure on the body and anatomy which will really help you out. Bridgeman is also really good, I know a lot of people like Hogarth, or just any quality anatomy book you can look at reviews for on amazon.
    4. Speed painting is essentially just getting comfortable with the digital medium and painting loosely. Just work loosely, don't get caught up in the details, focus on value/composition/gesture, and work zoomed out. I'm still trying to get better at this because its a weak point of mine.

    Just remember man, the BIGGEST thing is practice. It doesn't matter how naturally talented you consider yourself to be, or even not to be, anyone can become great if they work hard enough. You just have to ask yourself how dedicated are you, and how much time you can devote to art. You just have to work harder than the guy next to you.
    Also check out the Crimson Dagger art group if you haven't yet, it's awesome.
    http://www.crimsondaggers.com/
    http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=173830
    Good luck!

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