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Thread: Crystal Ash - Sketchbook
December 8th, 2010 #1
Crystal Ash - Sketchbook
Hi! I've lurked for a long time. Thought it was time to start asking for advice so I can work through some roadblocks I've been finding myself stuck at.
I'm primarily interested in illustration & comics, but do a lot of realism based study (drawing, painting, etc).
Any comments/suggestions/advice would be well appreciated.
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December 8th, 2010 #2
A few more
December 8th, 2010 #3
These look really good. Would love to see more.
December 8th, 2010 #4
Mm, really nice. The only thing I might suggest is being more aware of your mark directions so that the shading is working around the form, and not turning a leg or ribcage into a flat plane.
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December 15th, 2010 #5
So I've just bought a copy of Painter 11. I've done traditional painting, but I'm basically a beginner when it comes to digital paint. Here's step 1 & 2 of a project I'm working on.
Step 1 - Rough pencil sketch. Done without reference, hence the more cartoony appearance. That's something I want to work on - making more realistic or at least more dynamic figures from my imagination.
Step 2 - Painter 11. ACK. I spent 3 hours messing with this thing just to block in basics color shapes. The forums here were helpful when my brush selector disappeared on me.
December 16th, 2010 #6
Oh dear. So I added a second figure and started detailing the first figure.
Now the background is done using the artist oils. Is there a way to "dry" the oils and paint over it, or am I stuck with forever mixing?
The block color of the figures is done using liquid ink. The line art done with pencil. And so far, I'm becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the ... uh, inorganic way all the layers are meshing. It looks like I've put cell animation over a badly painted background. I don't like that.
Add to the fact that painter 11 crashed on me about 5 times tonight (too many layers I'm guessing), and I'm ready to call it a night.
December 16th, 2010 #7
What programs do you have open with painter? my photoshop always crashes if I turn flash on, maybe it's something like that. I don't really use painter, so i guess I'm not too much help.Anyway, your figure drawings look great! Your illustration looks nice, but I'm not really sure what the focus is. That falling ship is taking the focus from the girls. Maybe if you made it apparent that they brought the ship down or something it would be better. I'm not a color expert, but your color scheme seems all over the place. There are colors everywhere that show up in only one place, it's not really unified. Good luck, keep it up!
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December 17th, 2010 #8
Thanks Vertical! I agree completely about the color thing. I guess that's what I mean by inorganic. If I were using tangible medium, I'd just dash a bit of color around the canvas till it looked balanced. The layers and the smudgey-ness are - challenging.
Thanks for your second point. I didn't realize the composition was confusing. I'll try to fix the narrative elements.
December 17th, 2010 #9
Okay. I keep telling myself that I can't be afraid to start over. It's still hard, when hours have already been invested. Not that it matters too much, since the image was just crashing and burning. This just reminds me how important it is to think out what I'm going to do at the onset.
That rambling mess is to say - Starting over. With thumbnails. Trying to figure out what story/action/idea I'm trying to convey - even if it's a simple, it has to be clear. Sorry - I lecture myself often.
So here are a couple of the thumbnails to reconceptualize the image of the two girls.
December 18th, 2010 #10
Starting over. Take 2 - all in painter 11. 3 layers, all using the artist oils brush. Trying to be more cognizant of the color harmony. Trying to make a more narrative image. Thank you Vertical! I think this is a little better starting attempt.
Still in the learning curve with painter 11, but it's becoming easier to handle as time goes on.
Advice is sought, welcome, and appreciated as always.
December 19th, 2010 #11
Still going. Painter has really been a struggle. I think I need to look around for tutorials to watch/download/buy. Obviosly still a work in process. It's weird not using "real" medium like pencils & paint.
I like that I can undo things. I like that I can save my progress through a piece and monitor myself as I work through the image. I like that I can do things I'd never be able to do in real life, like use charcoal over top of oil paint.
I don't like that I seem to get eye strain staring at the computer so long. I have a wacom bamboo, so coordination was frustrating at first, but I think I'm getting the hang of it. I wish I could draw directly on the screen. They have one like that I think, but it's expensive.
Everything's a learning process though.
December 19th, 2010 #12
Looking good so far, I'm excited to see the final product. keep up the good work.
December 20th, 2010 #13
Thanks for the encouragement Taco!
I've started detailing. I think I'm in the home stretch at this point - just a matter of refining the foreground images and making sure the whole has some semblance of harmony. I'm off to watch my painter tutorials. With the lovely $9.99 sale I bought two Jason Chan demos & one Andrew Jones. Hopefully I'll absorb something.
December 26th, 2010 #14
Okay, so final two phases. There are some things that still bother me about this image that I can't put my finger on. However, at some point you just have to stop and say you're done.
So to recap on this image: done in painter 11 from imagination w/out reference.
Skills I'm trying to improve through this image: overall conceptual art, creating art without reference, and digitial painting.
Time to start a new image and bash my head against a different wall.
December 27th, 2010 #15
That last image is pretty nice. I like the composition, but there are some things that can be improved. I did a quick paintover to illustrate them. First the skin of the characters is looking dead. You should add redish colors to areas where blood is visible trough the skin like the cheeks, ears, nose and knuckles. Just study some reference or yourself. Second, the background was detracting a lot of attention from the foreground mainly because of the light value of the clouds so I used a light blue color with a brush set on low opacity to create more atmosphere and eliminate the problem. Third, the saturated orange on the plane was detracting attention from the characters. Assuming that there is a blue sky above the scene I lightly glazed some blue into the midtones of the characters and the plane. I also added some darker shadows to the girl with yellow hair to make her more of a focal point. If you want to make the explosion in the background the selling point of the picture you may want to reconsider the composition and the lighting. Looking for some reference will greatly help. I hope you can get something out of this. Keep up the great work!
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