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I've never really done much finished work. I need to really start pushing things so that I have something other than sketches to show for all my drawing.
Here's my first attempt at that. This is a Tarsong, a creature from my comic universe. It's supposed to be quite large (megafauna), at least the size of a two story house. I generally get things to about here and then stop. When I try to go further, the details I add just seem to make a big mess, making it chaotic and unbalanced. I know the background needs a lot of work still, and the value range is pretty middle ground. When I try to push that further too (to get some interesting, dynamic light), I just muddy up the image.
He's supposed to be charging, sort of like elephants do. Looking at it now, I think I should change the head to match the tilt elephants do while charging.
Any help would be totally awesome. I'd like to push this as far as I can, since I usually don't. Take care.
Most recent wip first, then original
Last edited by ErikHolfelder; July 3rd, 2010 at 07:55 PM.
i think adding more strong lighting and harder shadows would look nice
Thanks all, you kick ass.
Marlo That's spot on, thank you.
Diarum Also spot on, I think I'm afraid of color. I'll try to push it.
Raoul Duke That's great to hear. Thanks for these really great tips, excellent crit.
Ok, here is where I'll stop for tonight. I did some rough coloring on a layer above to try and really push the values without consequence. It always feels like I'm pushing them so far, but then I can tell it's not actually that great a range. I'm just afraid of going pure black. I am getting closer though... I also messed with the color a bit. I started using blues in the shadows and some more yellowish light for the sunlight hitting his shell and body, but this needs much more work. I also started tinting his skin red.
I'm not sure what all will work, it's fairly rough, but I'll try and go even further before my next post. I'll definitely be trying to work on the edges.
I think you did just about enough on your shading, I feel what is lacking is balanced highlights. I also suggest of adding textures of your creature/character so the viewer can have the sense of what he feels like.
Keep on going, i like it
you can always greyscale if you feel your values are weak, painting in greyscale helps! .
I took the liberty to do a fast paint-over.
A few things:
* Try to make bigger brushstrokes, details really don't matter if the big shapes aren't correct.
* Your painting has a big grey wash over it, this is mostly because your value differences are to small. Before starting try to have a good idea of where the light parts are going to be and where the dark parts are. Don't be afraid to paint them to extreme. And ofcourse your darkest lights can never be darker than your lightest darks.
Treat every part of your subject as a 3d object with a part that gets hit by the light etc... decide where it is placed in space and place your lights and darks accordingly.
* Try to put your details (the place with the most value differences is also the place with the most detail) on the places that matter.
There are a few more things, but I have to go right now, so I'll edit my post later.
eekolite... this is a fun piece.
You need to make the point at which the feet contact the ground clearer, because that's a real important detail on this particular drawing because the feet are so enjoyable. Also, try to get a sense of where the light is coming from, and make sure that you have a shadow side to the monster where the light is not hitting. Maybe build this out of clay and shine a light on it, so you can see how the light and shadow falls. Lots of artists use models to help their imaginations. It works well.
At least Icarus tried!
My Process: Dead Rider Graphic Novel (Dark Horse Comics) plus oil paintings, pencils and other goodies:
My "Smilechild" Music. Plus a medley of Commercial Music Cues and a Folksy Jingle!:
That is really good by now, i really like the fastpaint (I am a big strokes fan).
but, if he is charging, so why isn't he charging? it looks like he's just walkin' and chillin'.
Wowee, these are some fantastic responses. Thank you all!!!
Marlo Thanks for checkin back; lookin in grayscale is a great idea.
D.Labruyere Oh wow, that's probably the most helpful thing you could've done. Those tips are invaluable. These are things I've read and try to incorporate, but I think I never go extreme enough. Plus, when I try to add details I mess up the big strokes. I need to learn where to put details, like you're saying in the areas that matter.
kev ferrara Thank you. I hope I don't lose the "fun-ness" of it as I try to improve it. I think these new shadows plant him/her on the ground, is that kind of what you mean?
Dinamo You are totally right. I think the idea of this image changed a bit as I went along. I think I'll stick with the lumbering, chilling feel to it...I kind of like it.
Alright, worked on it for another ~1.5 h (takes much time). I did this all on new layers, but I tried to incorporate the lighting from the paintover. I copied it pretty closely at first which has really helped me to see the extreme value range. I'm starting to add more details now, so this is going to be difficult.
I think one of my issues is brushes. I've been trying to stick with simple hard round with shape dynamics and other dynamics, give me a pen pressure based width and opacity. This also means that when I select a color, it is going to be transparent unless I push down all the way, which also results in a thicker line. I feel like I can't get the kind of control I want with that, but I'm not sure how else to handle it. I've used a couple other more varied brushes in this newest image.
Alright, gotta keep working on it, I'm determined to take this to the end!
Ok, another 1.5 h in.
I'm starting to add in details and such and am wondering if I'm still headed in the right direction. This has been enlightening and shows me how little I really know about painting. Once this is finished, I'll have to do a lot more studying.
I've got a question about the paintover, is it "acceptable" to incorporate a paintover this much into the image? It was really useful to see how I could improve the contrast, but I started wondering if I should have maybe done that at first and then tried another version on my own? I'm trying to recapture it as my own image again, but I'm not sure about etiquette for that. It's been an insanely useful learning tool in any case.
Thanks everyone for your support.
I didn't had time to finish my reply yesterday but I just have a few more things to add.
I like the next step you took but there are still some problems.
1. First off, the shell. You placed your darks and lights, but immediately after that you put back the 'white' lines on it. This
is ofcourse possible, but I think you wanted to go to fast with that. Why not make the shell smooth first and then add the lines?
This because if you want to render it you either have to remove all that again or try and paint in between
everything which will almost always end up more messy than if you would have done it the other way around.
I like to see a painting as an x-amount of steps untill you have the finished product. Your first step has to be correct before
advancing to the second step etc. This may be a little frustrating in the beginning but in the end it will safe you a great deal of
time and your work will look way better. Also, even more importantly, it forces you to correct your mistakes and learn. Start as big and simple as
possible and work towards more and more complicated shapes and detail. If it looks
off fix it before you continue. And if you don't know how to fix it first find out how to and then fix it.
2. Watch your edges. I'll simply quote Elwell:
Edge basics 101:
There is a scale of edges, just as there is a scale of values. It goes from hard>firm>soft>lost. Just as with value, you can use the whole scale in one picture or just a piece of it. The careful manipulation of edges is one of the most overlooked, but most important, tools an artist can use to create form, atmosphere, and believability.
In general, edges are:
Harder in the light, softer in the shadow
Harder in bright light, softer in dim light
Harder in focused light, softer in diffused light
Harder in the foreground, softer in the background
Harder on smooth forms, softer on textured forms
Harder on hard forms, softer on soft forms (Duh, but really)
Harder on flat forms, softer on rounded forms
Harder on thin forms, softer on thick forms
Harder on still forms, softer on forms in motion (on moving forms they are harder on the leading edge and softer on the trailing edge)
Harder at the center of interest, softer as you move away
The above are additive. So a kitten, far away, in the dark, would be really soft.
Of course, any of these guidelines can be ignored/modified for pictorial effect.
Learn this and never forget it!
3. I don't really know what to do on your brush problem. I usually use a hard round brush with shape and other dynamics turned on just like you do.
You can maybe try to create different brushes, so a hard brush with only shape dynamics turned on, and one with only other dynamics turned on or something
like that. Could you elaborate a bit more on what your difficulties are with the brush, because maybe I can give you a better answer then.
Well, if you have questions, feel free to ask. I'll stick around in your thread for a while
edit: Didn't saw your next post. But feel free to use whatever you want from the paintover. I don't mind.
Last edited by D.Labruyere; July 3rd, 2010 at 02:53 PM.
last pic in the first post is best, because of the atmospheric perspective
At least another 1.5, maybe 2 h...
D.Labruyere Man thank you for coming back. Your critiques have been a huge help. I feel like I understand what you're trying to tell me, but I can't seem to get things to work. I think the thing is that I just need to do a lot more digital painting studies and such. I added Elwell's edges post to a text document that I'll keep open all the time for a while. I've read it a couple times but definitely don't know it that well.
Danilo Yeah, I see what you mean. I'll try to bring some of that back. Thanks for your advice.
Ok, I'm getting a little tired with this one. I feel like I'm just going in circles, I guess because I rush too far ahead too quickly. I pulled it back to before the details and am trying to smooth things out, render the right materials, etc, but I just get a mess. I think I sort of lost the character and fun of the piece too. I'm not sure.
Soon-ish, I'm considering moving on, trying to do more digital paint studies, etc. Maybe I'll come back to this later to try and give it a proper job, because I really like the original concept. What do you all think, should I keep pushing or do some study and try again?