Problem with to much flat color in digi painting.
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  1. #1
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    Problem with to much flat color in digi painting.

    Hey guys, thanks for taking the time to check out my topic here.
    I'm new to the world of Digi painting, and painting in general really. And I'm just seeing a lot of flat color in my subjects. I know that this should indicate that I'm not putting enough value into the painting?

    Yea, here is a little disclaimer, I haven't taken any art classes, so a lot of this is very new to me.

    I will attach a picture of what I am talking about. My plan was to lay out my color, and then go back over that with brushes to get the texture/pull it out. And try to get rid of that "Draw inside the lines" look...that so often most of the things I paint seem to have. I'm also trying to do an environment for the first time, so I'm looking forward to learning a lot from this one. I know there has to be a better method.

    Also, any good exercises for learning good value would be extremely welcome. I could use the practice!

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    Last edited by Cleverdart; April 30th, 2010 at 02:06 PM.
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  2. #2
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    First of all, the object you're drawing is very confusing with regards to it's exact structure. The whole thing lacks any sort of perspective or indications of how it is put together. This will make it hard for you to add proper tones. How are you supposed to properly shade the object, when you've drawn it in such a way that you can't tell what planes would be hit by the light, and what planes would be parallel to light, and what planes would face away from light?

    Perhaps working on the underlying drawing will make shading much easier for you.

    Aside from that, I think you're being too shy with shadows. They are very faint right now, and the highlights are non-existent (I think that maybe the light gray squiggles on the random gadgets on the bottom are supposed to be highlights, but I'm not sure). A great way to fix this is to draw from observation instead of imagination. For now anyway. Go look at a car or something similar to your spaceship thingy, and practice values. Practicing in black and white will help you more than practicing in color at first. It's a good way to train yourself to see light and dark without getting sidetracked by which shade of red looks prettiest or whether a lime green window will look cool.

    'Cuz life is full of your regrets, and I should be one...
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    Flat color means not enough detail. Figure out what you want as the background, like add treeline, hills, a lake, etc. They don't have to be super detailed.

    In order to avoid "drawing inside the lines", draw your sketch on one layer and color it on another layer. The more complex and detailed you want your painting to be, the more layers it should have.

    And again practice drawing from life or photos. Take this photo, for example: http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/...ing-rocket.jpg and see how light hits the object. This can also be used for metal/machinery reference: http://www.motorcyclespecs.co.za/Cus...ket%20III..JPG

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    Do 100 more of these and get back to me. Quantity over quality, you got to do more work, trust yourself, make a mess, work with paint and paper, mud and sticks, meet your work 1/2 way, let it teach you, listen!

    ~MW

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    Thanks!

    Ok, here is what I have done so far on the re-do. I wanted to post it before I got to involved, just in case you guys can point anything out in the early stages. (I also wanted to at least show you guys that I am taking your advice and using it )

    Thanks everyone for your helpful comments!

    Edit* I'll keep working on it, and I wish my subject was more interesting, but I'm really trying to work on light, form, and environment on this one. I'll start some gesture drawings soon however. So I can get good at that too.

    Thanks for moving my thread too.

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    You've got way too much going on in the background with an unfamiliar shape trying to be emphasized in the foreground.

    Things in the background are creating tangents, not only getting things flatter, but also confusing the hell out of the viewer.

    Flat colors aren't bad to begin with. Use them to build the basic structure of your image. You can make a whole painting in flat colors- just keep making the flat color you're using a smaller and smaller shape to define form.

    use values to key your shapes in. Things of a consistently darker value against things of a consistently lighter color will make one or the other pop, and also be seen as a whole (to help avoid the confusion). Here I made your ship darker, simplified you background, and tried to push your background back some.

    It's a crude paint-over, but I think it gets the general point across.

    EDIT: Sorry about the fin thing. I Just realized it was part of your background. But... I guess that goes along with the confusing part .

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    Thank you so much for that paintover!
    I'm gonna start re-working it right away!

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    Cleverdart, I like how you colored the craft, but the background is indeed confusing.

    What Quigleyer did was made those mountains into three forms. He made one side darker and the other one lighter in grayscale. This is how you're supposed to draw shapes: blobs of light next to blobs of shade. I think you're still confused about what form is and how you should represent it in your drawing. This is why your background looks flat. The aircraft looks better though. But right now I would avoid drawing complex things like that which you haven't seen before. For practice, I would look up an aircraft from Star wars or another sci-fi movie and make my drawing resemble it. Again, when you practice drawing anything, the way you make it look realistic is paying attention to the simple light versus shadow, and not anything else, even avoid color. I know this sounds too simple, but this is profound in art. Once you understand form, your paintings will pop right away.

    In the future, avoid making an outline and start right away with blobs of light vs shadow in grayscale. This is why in art school students first draw simple shapes like spheres, pyramids, boxes, etc, and just draw them as light vs shadow. No outlines! You might draw a faint outline to mark where the borders of light and shadow are, but you should paint over them. Try this exercise in your next painting. I would avoid complex things like gesture and focus on the fundamentals. Watch this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjFhnyKd5_s The first 4 minutes of this is for you. The rest is for much much later. You can watch the rest though, but right now your focus is the first 4 minutes. I would even draw that white painted apple if I were you.

    Another thing that Quigleyer did was add perspective, it gives depth to the painting. Perspective is also fundamental.

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    Hey Tea Passer, Thanks a lot for that response.

    I took your advice and I started completely over with a new ship in complete grey scale. It was really challenging! Suddenly I couldn't use a blanket of color to imply a shape, or tone. And I realized that I was really using it as a crutch. So, I think I'm going to take your advice, and start with some basic shapes, and really start trying to lay down a foundation for myself to work from. That video helped me a lot with that as well.

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  14. #10
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    If you havent had any art classes before, I suggest you start with drawing/painting still lifes before tackling a spaceship concept.

    I cannot make out either image. Its very confusing and makes no sense.

    I am not putting you down, I just think, to draw the structures and forms you want to project, you need to understand them first. Once you have a basic understanding of these, the spaceship concepts you want to draw, will be more understandable to you and the viewer; you must be able to communicate your design/concepts well to the outside viewer, otherwise, its a futile cause.

    Maybe, try sketching lots of thumbnails first, before finalising on one design. And just the ship, nothing else (like the background) until your really happy with the design....

    Mx

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