Thanks razz :] I'll try to pay more attention to that from now on.
Here is an update for the piece I am working on now. Since it's due tomorrow, I would really appreciate some crits! Note: though I like the full color version, I found that if I reduce the color count by saving as a GIF file, the piece has much more unity, and works better in general. This is probably because I made missteps in using color, or just used too many... any thoughts on this?
well, i am no master in composition so the best critique i can tell you its my thoughts as a viewer and they are very very good, normally when im looking to buy a book the cover its not really something that drives me to buy it but it sure does make me check it out and this just by watching at the cover i notice several things, i know that this is about a journey and about a very specific group of characters and that tells me something, you could take this a few steps further but that is really up to you. in general the color to ME shoud translate the atmosphere of the book in this case and the palette that you chose its a bit opaque and i think you are working with a limitted palette so i think its really nice.
Well those are my two cents thanks for coming by my sketchbook by the way really appretiate it, and i hope this critique (well more of an opinion) its somewhat helpful if not atleast its undestandable, keep posting man im a fan of your art already
Thank you very much for the kind words Leonard. Those are good things to know, and wow! I will try to live up to your opinion of my art
I am pleased with the outcome of the project, especially since I didn't have the longest timespan to make it in. It's definitely the most amibitious piece that I have completed with satisfaction! I feel a little less terrified by digital painting now, and I will keep pushing myself to make final pieces like these, as I know I have a tendency to stop halfway. Thank you for your support everyone, seeing your kind words always gives me energy and courage.
Here is the final cover, including the spine and back cover, with some generic text.
Hiya! I'm in the UK too! Falmouth was one of my choices for uni, it has a really good reputation for art, how are you finding it? I really wish I had gone to do illustration instead of what I picked, but, nevermind!
Your art is looking great, particularly loving your environments! Such a huge improvement from the first couple of posts! Hope to see more soon
Thank you Iven!
Anivy, cool! Which part of the UK? Falmouth has been really great so far. Studying illustration, at first my interests differed a little from what the tutors generally expected to train me for, but since the end of the first year they have been much more encouraging towards concept art-related people. Overall I am really liking it here, it's a calm environment where I can focus on my studies and we have a very cool year Thank you!
Following up on my reflection that I need to know more about light and tone, I've decided to do a 30-day trial. Every day, I will update this thread with a tonal study (either digital or traditional) of basic shapes that I have spray-painted grey. This is a test of my discipline and whether doing this kind of focused daily study is an effective way to learn. I hope to see an improvement in my tonal studies until the end! Wish me luck
Thanks for stopping by! As usual, crits very welcome, even for past pieces! Any fresh perspective helps me improve, and I am grateful for your comments
Man this is an awesome gallery, you seem very passionate about what you do and it inspires me a lot, thank you very for the kind comment, You seem to dabble in everything, so thats great, keep grinding up that anatomy ,your compositions are great. and i love the style, clean and precise. i think you are on the road to damn awesomeness
Thank you Andartarius! I will certainly do that. Your words are very encouraging, thank you amigo
Here is my update for day 3 of my Valuestudython! I'm really pleased with how this is going so far. I've had time to spend each evening doing the studies at the same time, and after the first two days I'm noticing that my brain is catching on to little rules and trends. For tomorrow's study, I will still do at least one observational value study, but I will also try to create my own setup from imagination. This will help me apply the new things I've learned about light so far.
Last edited by ceddo; October 25th, 2012 at 06:56 AM.
Congrats on the finished book cover illustration, looks like an interesting story. Hope to see more stuff like that from you.
Nur die Harten kommen in den Garten
hey that value/light study idea its just great! make sure you finish it! and im sure there will be results, remember in order to make even more results try to think in terms of what could you Change or adjust or add in your usual way of working to get a better resulting artwork, in the end this will train your eye too so its just great good lik with that, mayble ill try it too when im more comfortable understanding light
Thank you Leonard. I'm not sure whether I should spend more time on these, at the moment I am just trying to focus on the rough values. Go for it Leonard, I can tell you it isn't as hard as it may seem. I can feel that I've learned a lot so far. In this update, I did two value studies from observation, and tried to apply what I learned in the third study, from imagination.
Hi again As I do more of these, the rules of light are becoming clearer for me - the first few were a real struggle, but now I feel like I can rest of some knowledge that I've gained, and as a result my studies from imagination are less strenuous as well. I've become aware of the atrocious linework behind these however - as my studies go on, I will either focus more on clean linework with proper perspective, or working faster and using brush strokes more efficiently (hopefully both!).
Note: the studies with both matte and glossy shapes look much more interesting. Sounds obvious, but variety makes for a more interesting picture, and I should take this into consideration when making final pieces (I have had a tendency to render everything as the same material).
Thanks for looking! Crits much appreciated
Last edited by ceddo; October 27th, 2012 at 07:38 AM.
man i really look up to the stuff here. so neat, solid and the form is so clear. I wish i could be this clear and concise with my stuff. and thank you for the post on my SB, it was helpful . and thankyou so much for the kind words!!
more life studies for all eh? lol.
i like the recent shapes here. good values
Thank you very much Shahan! Yes, life studies for the win Must have clarity!
Only one value study today, but a couple of other studies!
From Boxing Photography
From N.C. Wyeth
I learned a lot today!
Thanks to CGMW's demo video of Han's Dynamic Sketching Master Workshop, I know what I need to do in order to increase my confidence with line. I will introduce it in my daily practice.
Equally as important, I had some eureka moments during today's value study. My first study took about an hour, and I could feel that while the piece was getting more accurate as time passed, it felt like I was grinding my way to realism, rather than placing the correct brush strokes by the way.
Enter the "Pomodoro Technique", in which you set a timer for 25 minutes and focus like hell. 5 minutes break, rinse and repeat. I did three Pomodoros today, and I can already see huge benefits to doing this:
- I am forced to use my time more efficiently: to make quick decisions, and correct decisions.
- As a result, I get less stuck on details, and am forced to see the bigger picture. Broad brushstrokes.
- Energy! I prefer the aesthetic of the quicker studies. They don't look nearly as dead.
My third Pomodoro was after dinner, and I was beginning to feel a little sleepy. I decided to do it from imagination, and obviously struggled a lot more than I would when copying from life.
Notes to self:
What I learned from my failed imagination study:
- I suck at shadows. Learn how to calculate shadows with perspective! That'll also help me have a better sense of where the light is coming from.
- Consistency is key. it happens automatically when doing stuff from life because the source is always true. But from imagination, my vision needs to be clear. Be sure, be clear! Assertive. BELIEVE.
- do some micro-improvising when copying from life (try to make educated guesses instead of looking back at the reference right away). Be brave!
- try making broad brushstrokes and pausing between each one. Instead of questioning a stroke right after I've done it, LEAVE IT THERE. or do another one elsewhere... just don't reflex ctrl Z or erase it.
- also, try laying down my perspective grid beforehand
Here are my updates for today. I have always found doing studies from life to be a relatively relaxing process. Drawing from imagination on the other hand, can quickly turn sour for me. In an effort to break through that mental barrier, I decided to generate lots of thumbnails from imagination.
Thanks for looking!
I like hans video as well. Trying to incorporate what he does into my process but I keep getting sucked into old habits. Great studies btw! I dont know what you are talking about saying the imagination ones arent as good... Im jealous of your construction skills, everything is a circle for me >.<! Cya.
Nice stuff in here. I especially like your value studies. They looks awesome. I'm learning values as well at the moment and what I see here motivates me. So thank you for that.
Hey Wingal! Thanks for the vote of confidence! Yeah same, Peter Han's video really cleared up some issues I was facing as far as line confidence is concerned. I've been doing loads of the pages as warmups every day, and I really enjoy it. It's like a meditation that gets me into the drawing mood and calibrates my arm/brain coordination. I've found out a couple of things while trying out different techniques/ways of doing it. These are mostly self-notes but you can read if you like
- I lift my entire arm off the paper, the whole time (except for detailing). I don't necessarily recommend it, but being a person with "the curse of the heavy hand" for a long time, forcing you to lift your arm off the paper really makes a difference. Give it a week or two and you won't turn back!
- Inner vision is the most important thing when doing these. Most of the time I can't even see the line I initially drew because it is behind my hand. I need to picture it clearly in my mind. If I don't picture it clearly, the lines go way off.
- Like Han said, don't focus on the point of contact between pen and paper. Focus on where you are going to go. However, if you look beyond 2-3 inches of where the pen is, the line will jitter so it is best to keep tracking your eye about an inch or 2 ahead of the point of contact.
- Too much speed makes it sloppy, too slow makes it shaky. In between is the natural flow of the muscles in your arm. I find especially when doing ellipses, that I need to "wait" for the natural flow, If I let it come, it will naturally complete the circle for me with smoothness and confidence. If I bully the pen it will struggle, if I let it be my friend it will work with me!
Hey AriyaLothiriell, thank you very much. Excellent, I am glad! Always good to know you are not alone in struggling with value
Only one value study today. As per some great advice Robert AK Brown gave me the other day, I have been studying how to properly cast my shadows (on paper). I'll scan my sheets in later today, but I feel like this will not only make my shadows more accurate, but help me be more aware of where the light comes from in my pictures. Thank you again Rob, I'll work from your advice
Thanks for looking!
Thanks Countblackula Initially, I was watching one of Matt Kohr's videos on ctrlpaint.com, and he recommended studying basic shapes by spray painting them a solid color. So that's what I did - all the studies so far have been of those shapes, spraypainted either matte gray or gloss gray. I'm more familiar with the basic rules of light now, so I think I will start taking on more complex setups and materials soon. About hard lines - I do like them as well, but like Rob pointed out to me a few days ago, what really makes hard lines pop is their contrast to softer lines in other areas. Definitely worth spending some time studying that!
Perspective is one of those things that I understand but haven't practiced enough to have it fully ingrained in my mind, so that I can use it quickly and with ease. I find it particularly difficult to implement when doing compositions that don't include the horizon line. I also have trouble figuring out how far apart to space vanishing points. More time will be spent studying perspective!
In today's value study, I put a black cloth under the objects to mix things up (woo exciting!).
Thanks for looking!
Some thoughts from this update:
When under the pressure of a pomodoro study, I am forced to do the things I currently consider most important first. This streamlines my creation process. However, in order to absorb more information I need to do in-depth studies. I'll keep doing some of both, to get the best of both worlds.
I also feel my confidence has increased in doing things from imagination. Where applying lighting used to be a struggle, I'm getting the hang of calculating where highlights and reflections should be, and it's actually fun!
Cheers for stopping by!
I've been slowing down on the value studies lately because
1) I've felt a tapering in my learning curve - at least for the moment, I feel like I have absorbed quite a lot, and that I need to spend time assimilating, experimenting with this new knowledge before I can 'unlock' the next level of understanding. Nevertheless, I will continue to do value studies until the end of the 30 days. I may break through the platform if I really focus on them again. We will see.
2) I have kind of shifted my focus to an activity I had been doing on the side before, which is the expansion of my visual library. I've been finding the book "The Way Things Work" fascinating so far, and it's been a bedtime activity to read through a couple of pages every night and draw some of the mechanisms. It's a lot of fun to then apply the new mechanisms I have learned about to imaginary constructions. I'll be posting some of these experiments soon!
Meanwhile, I apologize for the very quick value study
Note to self:
took about 15 days to reach a zone of good understanding of the tones within studies from observation in my room. Maybe 15-day study cycles make more sense than 30 day ones!
Cheers for stopping by
This study was refreshing - I don't think it looks that great but I certainly had fun making it! The clouds behind the houses were really bright so the silhouettes of the structures were really pronounced.
Observation (25 mins)