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I'm Laura. Like a lot of people here I want to do concept art for video games, including character design. I'd also like to do some freelance illustrating.
When I started this I was 18, but now I'm 21 years old.
This is my journey.
Last edited by Umbravita; April 21st, 2014 at 05:55 AM.
Some relatively new stuff to show my skill level. (And by "new", I mean "the last two proper pictures I've done which were done in July and October.")
Cuddly nekkid night elf ladies - as you can tell, I have no idea how to do background and the figures are rather stiff. I didn't even know what colours to use for the background.
Bunny pic - my World of Warcraft char with a Noblegarden bunny.
I read on these forums once (don't remember who said it, so sorry!) that they did a painting by doing little thumbnails to test out positions and angles, then sketched, then they'd paint from there. This pic was the first time doing that method and I had a blast.
Please excuse the weird-looking arm. (Sometimes, I can't see something that needs fixing until I'm slapping colours on and by then it's too late to fix it without having to take a LOT of time to redo it - anyone know any shortcuts, or is that something I'm going to have to learn to grin and bear?)
This stuff has been posted on my deviantART accounts (first on Fluffysilver [the nekkid lesbian elves], then Umbravita, my newer one) so if you've seen them before, however unlikely, and you're wondering where the hell you saw them - yeah.
I used the grid tool and the eyedropper tool in several places to do this one. The grid tool, used for the first time here, made a HUGE difference.
So if anyone's around, I ask - grid tool, yay or nay? Is it a bad idea to use it too much? I felt it helping a lot, but am I likely to become dependent on it?
While I don't want to become dependent on the eyedropper tool as well, I had a terrible eye for colour without it. I shouldn't get into that habit, should I?
Anyway, have a birdie num nums. This was done in under two hours, surprisingly, and the best thing I've ever done.
ETA: I have an idea for a proper piece - a bit of WoW fanart, a naga lady. I'll post WIPs and studies - going to have to practice drawing some coral and painting underwater scenes in general. (Why, yes, I am taking art More Seriously now. Used to be I slapped something together in an hour without a sketch, nowadays it takes far longer! )
Last edited by Umbravita; December 29th, 2010 at 07:18 AM.
Thanks Onyx! I really liked that piece 'cause of that reason - when it comes to stuff from the imagination I am terrible at depth. Heh, eyedropper tool ftw. :/
Loomis, yaaay. Spent the last few hours doing this - was slow going 'cause I was talking to someone at the same time over MSN, whee. I decided to tackle it 'cause my faces are somewhat lacking, and it really shows here. And yet, I can see the improvement.
I may have to do 'em again before I progress further through the book (the head and hands book). It's much duller than using other kinds of references, but so much more effective, and I'm finding it really helpful thus far as long as I can keep focused on it.
One of 'em (Stoutwell) is applying what I learned right at the beginning. Would look different if I did another right now, but alas, I cannot brain!
"So if anyone's around, I ask - grid tool, yay or nay? Is it a bad idea to use it too much?"
yeah why not? i find drawing a vertical or horizontal line helps a lot, if not a whole grid.
good work so far, keep em coming and youll feel the improvment.
sb most art copied to page 1
Weapons of Mass Creation 2011 ::: Add your favourites!
facebook: Alface Killah
Thanks for the advice, Velocity! I wasn't sure if it would be a bad idea to become dependent on it or not.
*Grin* I feel the improvement already! Thanks for coming by, I'll have to check out your SB when I'm less braindead!
About to pass out from le tired, but before I do, more stuff I was working on tonight.
Below are two WIPs (not sure which order they're going to go up in): my WoW naga lady. I tried to do composition, then realised that the naga tails aren't darker than the bodies... not having much luck but I'm going to keep tackling it and see what I can do!
Also, before someone points it out - yes. I realised tonight that the thumb on the bottom hand - yes. Thumbs do not bend that way. Ouch. I'll fix that up tomorrow.
And, a pirate zombie Gaia Online thing. Ref'ed from a random screenie I had in my bookmarks, it was nice to do something cute. I'm really not happy with the colouring though. When it comes to colouring I've always been inspired by Bumblescutt and Jezebel on deviantART (an example of a piece by Jezebel whose colouring I'm particularly fond of here - alas, Bumblescutt deactivated her account. But if someone were very curious I think you'd still find her works on google images), but I don't know how they do it. I have a long way to go.
Will upload again when they're done.
Last edited by Umbravita; February 8th, 2011 at 11:28 AM. Reason: Yay typos.
Zombie pirate Gaiaonline thingy finished. Her hair could use fixing but I can't be stuffed. I prefer to move on from pieces quickly.
Already the naga's annoying me, so I haven't been working on her. Might do that tomorrow night.
Someone I follow on Twitter made a remark about using photobooth on mac to take pictures of yourself in strange poses for reference. She's a genius! Maybe tomorrow I'll sit in front of my comp for ten minutes making funny faces and doing studies from those. Or just pics for head studies in general.
I feel kind of overwhelmed with the amount of sheer stuff there is to draw out there. Leg studies, arm studies, head studies, hair studies, eye studies, nose studies - and that's only on the human body. Then you have flowers, trees, animals of all kinds, perspective, colour... I want to jump around from topic to topic (ah, a short attention span is not useful here) and feel in such a rush to achieve competency on all of them. But if I do that, I won't go anywhere at all.
It's silly, but I'm afraid that by focusing on one thing too long it'll take so, so long to get to a competent level with everything else. And I'm far, far behind. I've been drawing for years, but not properly, and have so little to show for it. If I'd approached art like this long ago, I'd be amazing by now.
But you can't change the past, all there is for me to do is start right here, right now, so that six years into the future I'll have made bigger steps than I have in the six that are behind me.
Also, I have to ask - how do people use textures? I've seen texture brushes all over the place, and pieces with texture in them, but... how do you do it? Do you just use the brush as a stamp or what? It looks so odd if I use them as brushes OR stamps, so I'm puzzled.
The bird looks awesome, the feathers look soft and the beak hard. The "Zombie pirate Gaiaonline thingy" looks vibrant, I like your use of color and contrast there. You are absolutely right when you say there is so much to learn. However, it isn't like you start at square one with every subject you learn to draw. Your skill in drawing a particular subject/item carries over in drawing ANY subject/item. It's all about learning to see. Once you learn that you are well on your way.
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." -- Confucius
PG - Whew. I'm very glad to hear that. It seems like there's so much to learn, and that cuts the overwhelm down quite a bit!
Tron - Thanks for the encouragement! I'll keep an eye on my proportions and try to be more conscious of them.
Thanks for the comments!
Below - so I did the photobooth stuff and tried some self portraits. The first two attempts were terrible. (Second wasn't so terrible - but I had my glasses on in that reference and tried to draw without. Probably a bad idea.) Third one (bottom left) came out really nicely. Fourth was meh.
So I whipped out the colour picker again and started colouring the pics with them to see what I could learn. Well, I learned a fair bit - that the colours in the picture were much darker than they appeared. That there were much more colours than I thought. Reds I knew of, the blues I noticed subtly - but I didn't see greens in the original picture until I'd done that, and I didn't notice the highlights were so (objectively speaking) dark! Context is everything, aye? I wish I could colour like that without using the colour picker, but that's what practice is for.
I'd like to do that again - I learn much quicker through doing - but I'm afraid of becoming dependent on it and that it's "cheating"... Eh.
Close up of my favourite one is beneath that. These pics make me look older than I actually look.
Trying to update far more regularly and get more practice in. I can only pay attention for so long, but I'm hoping my attention span and discipline will grow with practice.
thanks 4 cheking out my sketchbook man, i think u got tonnes of potential, don't let urself get down, just draw and draw and draw hack at it each day, and you should be suprised what can come out of it.
oh and btw i love that bird, u did damn well on that. u shud be proud
Nice stuff so far! I like your self portraits.
As far as online resources go, there are a couple sites that have free art ebooks. I've gotta track down the link but I'll let you know when I find it.
Tron - Thanks! Yeah, I'm trying to develop the daily habit. I wish I could hammer out more drawings at a time but my attention span's not so good yet, I'm sure with time that'll get better. Right now I'm just focusing on drawing my way through this awkward adolescence of sorts. Hopefully I'll come out the other end of that soon!
*Grin* I liked the bird! Thanks.
Elmenora - Oooh, thanks heaps, let me know if you manage to dig those up!
Some posemaniacs. Spent 50 minutes on these as I listened to an audio book.
Found the link. http://www.archive.org/ They have all sorts of stuff, just do some searches and see what pops up.
Nice figures. You have a very steady hand. They do look a little stiff, you might try doing some 1-2 minute gesture sketches to help loosen up a little. You got the low angle on the man very well.
Oooh, thanks for the link Elmenora! I'll take a look through there and see what I can find.
I did a few gestures as you suggested. They're really fun once I get over the "oh god what is this crap coming out of my pen" thing. But I think they're great for that - shooting the inner critic dead with bad quality!
I find they're a lot easier to go on paper, but I have no scanner so the quality of these pics are *awful*, so sorry, have to use my webcam. Enhanced them on photoshop, I'll work on my pic taking skills when I'm more coherent.
The posemaniacs (right, along with a solitary one on the far left) are 60 seconds, everything else (left and centre) are 30 seconds. I... think I should stick to maybe 90 seconds, no?
Looking forward to doing more tonight (it's almost 7AM right now! *Passes out* ).
These studies are a nice start. Do more of them in order to loosen up your hand more. Your line is just too generic - add variety there. Just scribble if you have to - let what's inside you show trough. Don't aim for perfect, aim for honest.
Good studies going on in here.
With gestures you want to try to capture what the figure is doing and the essence of the pose rather that what it looks like. Gestures are kind of abstract in that you do not necessarily draw contours but use line to convey the model's action. Glenn Viilppu explains it well here:
BTW, gestures are rather difficult to do well, one of the more difficult fundamentals of figure drawing in my opinion. So just keep playing around with them and you'll get a better feel the more you do.
When drawing from life, try to draw what you see not what you know. What I mean is to draw the shadow and light shapes as they appear while checking size proportions and position. Your brain will try substitute symbols instead of what is actually there. For example we all hold a symbol in our heads of what an eye looks like. This symbol is basically a stripped down cartoonish version of what eye actually looks like in reality. By studying what we see we can translate that to paper. But it takes patience to really see what is there vs the symbol that our mind holds. The more you practice this the easier it gets. Consider it weight training for the artistic brain. Drawing still life is a great exercise for this. A still life can be a simple object set up with one direct light source for starters.
I like that you are trying different approaches to the figure (the short and long gestures). Self portraits are always a good exercise. You are doing good, keep on posting!
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." -- Confucius
Great stuff man, u got some really smooth lines, but yea you need to loosen up a bit more.
those poses u did wile listening to an audiobook are also pretty good man, quite accurate indeed. keep it up!
and btw, wat audio book was it just curious lol
Last edited by tronrobot; February 14th, 2011 at 05:19 AM. Reason: misspelled
Moonrage - "Don't aim for perfect, aim for honest." I really, really like that. Thank you for saying that, that is some real food for thought there.
I've seen some other artists put some scribbles in their work and somehow make it work. It's always looked messy in my case so far, lol, but hmm, I wonder if I can pull it off. I'll do some practicing with it. Thanks!
Tron - I spent extra time on those ones. Thanks!
And the audio book was Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett. I've been reading him lately (backwards so far - whoops) and needed something to listen to while I draw so I grabbed the unabridged version off iTunes. Really enjoying it so far!
Purplegoat - I can't thank you enough for the link and the advice! Bookmarked it and I followed your advice with gestures and I'm certainly noticing a difference already.
I always wondered how artists were able to draw passer-bys and people in day-to-day life when they move so quickly. After doing some 30-sec gestures and looking at that page, I think I know now! Kept it bookmarked.
And, eep, are my symbols showing? Yeah, I need more patience with my art. Sometimes I just rushrushrush and don't slow down and learn.
Thank you so much.
Some quick gestures again - 30 secs, posemaniacs. These feel much better! Some just look messy but I reckon a couple don't look too bad! Arm's aching something awful, though, in spite of only doing a few, unusual for me. Hrm.
Again, apologies for the bad quality. Can't wait to get a scanner.
Lookin' good! You're starting to really loosen up on the gestures. Don't worry about being messy, no one expects a masterpiece in 30 seconds
Did a crapload (about half a dozen pages, maybe more) of 15 second gestures, but I'm not going to bother uploading those. I think the 15 second ones are the most fun.
Did this tonight in three hours. Morrigan from Dragon Age: Origins. I learned a bit about composition, I think. Made my best attempt at a textured background... I have no idea how to do textures at all, so I just ended up wringing it through some filters.
She's not stiff, I hope? I can't tell with my own pics, for the most part, if something's stiff or not. The gestures I've been doing certainly paid off, though, that was the easiest pose I've done in a while.
Alas, that is due to the grid tool and not my own eye, but thank you nonetheless.
So now I have a cell phone, so instead of crappy photobooth pics, we get crappy cell phone pics! I'm still trying to work out a way to shine the light on the sketchbook so it's not eye-bleedingly horrible. Failed miserably in the last one.
More quick studies in pen. I should do some in pencil. I haven't yet because I hate pencil, ugh. Something I need to get over.
I can't manage to get the eyes to look non-symbolly. On the other hand, I have different fingers - er, I mean - I can't find close-up references of eyes where they look natural, which probably doesn't help.
I need to do better studies rather than just quick pen scribbles.
Last edited by Umbravita; February 23rd, 2011 at 07:23 PM. Reason: Decided to remove one.
Those eyes don't look so bad, especially considering they're in pen. One thing that makes anything look "symboly" no matter what is a solid outline... try doing some where you build up tones with cross-hatching.
Those gestures are starting to loosen up, good job! There are a lot of cool variations on gesture drawings - you can use a crayon to block out sections of mass, draw moving figures from a tv show or from life, etc.
Nice work, you're getting better! Seems to me you're too concerned with the contours and outside lines of everything. I'd suggest building some figures out of simple 3D shapes to give them a sense of mass, make the legs cylinders and the torso a box or egg-shape.
Don't try to go over all the lines of the body and describe every body part in your gestures, just go for the pose.