Sketchbook: Overcoming the Digital Artist Toddler stage
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Thread: Overcoming the Digital Artist Toddler stage

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    Overcoming the Digital Artist Toddler stage

    I quit drawing in high school and only picked it back up a few years ago. To facilitate my attempt to climb the learning curve I launched a website (grandwanderer.com) and started what the 30 Days Project (drawing one piece on a specific topic every day for 30 days). I have just completed my most recent 30 Days Series: 30 Days of Characters. I've included what I thought to be the top 5 pieces below and the rest can be found on my site along with the previous 30 Days Series. I do think I have improved yet again, but the first image in the series is also in the top 5, and the series as a whole was hit and miss. I think this shows that I have plateaued some, so my next series (starting in October) will the 30 Days of Lessons using the lessons found in several digital illustration books I've picked up.

    I am profoundly proud of the Evil Office Monkey. I literally laughed out loud while drawing him.

    As ever comments and criticism is what I'm after, so lay it on.

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    i think i like the "ninjalikeguy" best - I also like that they all have a different style. good top 5!

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    I like the walking tree, the lighting is really cool maybe thats why it stands out for me

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    I also love the dancing mushrooms on your site

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    I've noticed that Illustrator doesn't appear to be an overly popular program around here, but it was one of the programs I wanted to learn so I dropped 30 Days on it. The results show the single most significant improvement to date, but that's largely due to the fact that I had never used it before. Regardless, thanks to a combination of textbooks, tutorials, and experimentation I now have a reasonable familiarity with Adobe Illustrator CS4. Here's what I made:

    Arcane Circles


    Tree Worlds


    Harnessing Motion #4


    Clouds


    Multi-Function Temporal Compass


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    I had wanted to do 30 Days of Exobiology ever since I first came up with the idea for my 30 Days series, and I finally felt like my skills were just barely inadequate for the task. Ultimately it took me three months to complete the project, in part because each piece was so technically involved. A few of the pieces I tried to do exclusively in Photoshop, but most of them (particularly the best ones) started with a pencil sketch. Having looked at other people’s WIP files I feel like my best pieces look like what a pro might call 75% done. What am I missing to get that last 25%?

    Filter Feeder


    The Walking Isles


    Repose


    Fishpedo


    Hail the Snail


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    I had wanted to do 30 Days of Exobiology ever since I first came up with the idea for my 30 Days series, and I finally felt like my skills were just barely inadequate for the task. Ultimately it took me three months to complete the project, in part because each piece was so technically involved. A few of the pieces I tried to do exclusively in Photoshop, but most of them (particularly the best ones) started with a pencil sketch. Having looked at other people’s WIP files I feel like my best pieces look like what a pro might call 75% done. What am I missing to get that last 25%?

    Filter Feeder


    The Walking Isles


    Repose


    Fishpedo


    Hail the Snail


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    30 Days of Exobiology

    I had wanted to do 30 Days of Exobiology ever since I first came up with the idea for my 30 Days series, and I finally felt like my skills were just barely inadequate for the task. Ultimately it took me three months to complete the project, in part because each piece was so technically involved. A few of the pieces I tried to do exclusively in Photoshop, but most of them (particularly the best ones) started with a pencil sketch. Having looked at other people’s WIP files I feel like my best pieces look like what a pro might call 75% done. What am I missing to get that last 25%?

    Filter Feeder


    The Walking Isles


    Repose


    Fishpedo


    Hail the Snail


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    I think that what you are doing as far as setting goals is fantastic. The only way to get better at creative design is to do it over and over, repetition will tone those muscles. And then, once you get to where you want to be you have to keep doing it to keep the muscles in shape. The illustrator stuff looks really good, especially since you didn't really have any experience before your month of immersion! I use Illustrator a lot in my current job and I will say that you're further along than people I know who use it every day in their job.

    I will say though that you'd really benefit from studying real animal anatomy for your creatures. They're looking good, but some of the anatomy, especially the legged creatures, is way off. By studying nature a little more your creatures, no matter how fantastic, will benefit from having anatomy that looks convincing to the viewer. If I may recommend a couple of books I will. How to Draw Animals by Jack Hamm though old, is fantastic. I've had a copy for a decade or more (it was old when it was given to me even). Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn't Exist by James Gurney is also fantastic. I've only recently bought that one but it was well worth it. I also hear that Gurney's Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter is a must have.

    Keep at it! Can't wait to see your progress

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    Another 30 Days Series, 30 Days of Abstraction. At least it started as 30 Days of Abstraction, but it turned into "30 Days of Whatever the Heck I Want." Each piece was pretty quick, usually not more than an hour or two to put together, but I apply some better techniques, if a bit clumsily.

    Opposing Forces


    Figure in the Fog


    The Canny Valley


    In-Cave


    My Favorite Pallet


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    30 Days of Abstraction

    Another 30 Days Series, 30 Days of Abstraction. At least it started as 30 Days of Abstraction, but it turned into "30 Days of Whatever the Heck I Want." Each piece was pretty quick, usually not more than an hour or two to put together, but I apply some better techniques, if a bit clumsily.

    Opposing Forces


    Figure in the Fog


    The Canny Valley


    In-Cave


    My Favorite Pallet


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    30 Days of Abstraction

    Another 30 Days Series, 30 Days of Abstraction. At least it started as 30 Days of Abstraction, but it turned into "30 Days of Whatever the Heck I Want." Each piece was pretty quick, usually not more than an hour or two to put together, but I applied some better techniques, if a bit clumsily.

    Opposing Forces


    Figure in the Fog


    The Canny Valley


    In-Cave


    My Favorite Pallet


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    30 Days of Abstraction

    Another 30 Days Series, 30 Days of Abstraction. At least it started as 30 Days of Abstraction, but it turned into "30 Days of Whatever the Heck I Want." Each piece was pretty quick, usually not more than an hour or two to put together, but I did apply some better techniques, if a bit clumsily.

    Opposing Forces


    Figure in the Fog


    The Canny Valley


    In-Cave


    My Favorite Pallet


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    30 Days of Abstraction

    Another 30 Days Series, 30 Days of Abstraction. At least it started as 30 Days of Abstraction, but it turned into "30 Days of Whatever the Heck I Want." Each piece was pretty quick, usually not more than an hour or two to put together, but I did apply some better techniques, if a bit clumsily.

    Opposing Forces


    Figure in the Fog


    The Canny Valley


    In-Cave


    My Favorite Pallet


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    30 Days of Abstraction

    Another 30 Days Series, 30 Days of Abstraction. At least it started as 30 Days of Abstraction, but it turned into "30 Days of Whatever the Heck I Want." Each piece was pretty quick, usually not more than an hour or two to put together, but I did apply some better techniques, if a bit clumsily.

    Opposing Forces


    Figure in the Fog


    The Canny Valley


    In-Cave


    My Favorite Pallet


    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

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    30 Days of Abstraction

    Another 30 Days Series, 30 Days of Abstraction. At least it started as 30 Days of Abstraction, but it turned into "30 Days of Whatever the Heck I Want." Each piece was pretty quick, usually not more than an hour or two to put together, but I did apply some better techniques, if a bit clumsily.

    Opposing Forces


    Figure in the Fog


    The Canny Valley


    In-Cave


    My Favorite Pallet


    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

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    I've just finished 30 Days of Robots. I'm really proud of some of this work (as compared to a lot of my previous work, not necessarily when held up against anybody else around here). It show another vast leap in technique, and an enormous improvement over my previous childish, clunky, cell-shady stuff.

    Comments and criticism is what I'm after, so lay it on.

    Self-Assembly Required


    Urban Pacification Drone


    Playing for Spare Charge


    Capacity Crab


    Arclight Archangel


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    30 Days of Environments

    30 Days of Environments has just ended. As I anticipated it wasn't quite as good as 30 Days of Robots, but there are some decent ones in there. I'm showing some good technique again, but I just don't seem to be able to make it happen consistently. Here's the top five, comments encouraged:

    Silent Worlds


    Chariot of the Ancestors


    Scrubland


    Work Environment


    Secluded Source


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