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    Ultra beginner step by step feedback

    Hello everybody!
    This my first post, so forgive all the possible mistakes and violations of netiquette. I got closer to the world of illustration and concept art during the last semester at my university (i study game design) and took a peek at the huge amount of stuffs available on the internet (tutorials, books, magazines, artists blogs...) and now, finally as it's summer, i got three months of free time to completely dedicate to the subject. no previous art education of any sort except for some pencil drawings my uncle taught me when i was eight (he was a professional painter and now he unfortunately passed away, otherwise i would just stick to him like a vampire). This morning i made some silhouette sketching and found this particularly appealing. The idea is to get a rockish enraged golem out of the shape. It should float with some rocks around the hips and magic energy or whatever. Actually i'm focusing only on values and trying to sculpt the shapes with shadows and light but results were not nice to my eye. I guess color is an harder step i can take later on. The problem is nobody teaches you the very basic things or how the process of digital painting works at every iteration. I can "see" the image inside my silhouette but i don't know how technically pop up the shapes and forms.


    What should i do next? keep the outline while filling it with some really dark grey? do i add shadows later just like the highlights? is it better to go from dark parts to lighter ones?

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    Hmmm . . . you have "no previous art education of any sort" and yet you are trying to draw a "rockish enraged golem" complete with floating rocks and "magic energy" ???

    Take a look around. Particularly check out Tutorials, Tips and Tricks, and the Community Mentoring subforums. Start a sketchbook.

    First: read this and do all of the exercises - http://conceptart.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=146

    Also read through all the stickies in the critique center.

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    Forgive my drawing and writing* skills, but I did a quick red outline for you to try to illustrate how I think you should go about constructing your figure (though I can't really picture how the head will look with a shape like that.)

    No matter how you go about this piece, I would suggest that you also should consider studying some of the more basic properties of objects in space and how they behave to help you get a better sense of how you can really build up drawings like this.

    Keywords: Start with basic shapes and their alignment when you do the actual drawing (doing a silhouette to get a wholeness as a sketch first though, may work for you though. But after that, basic shapes.) And even if the drawing ends up rough, don't put the roughness in at once (you have very sharp angles and little smooth curves in your silhouette.) It only distorts the appearance of your drawing in 3D space and makes it look 2D.

    *Yeh even I can't read that, so I'll just transcript it for you:

    Black text: Don't start with a silhouette. Start with basic shapes with the silhouette as a guidance. (that is if you want to start witha silhouette in the first place.)

    Red text: You want to start with smooth edges to get a better sense of your figures composition. Even if your edges end up rough in the final render.

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    Agreed with others, and to continue bit DaEvil1's comment, the silhouette is an important part of a design and image so it's good to start with a silhouette studies if you're an experienced artist, but if you're an ultra beginner (hard to see your exact skill level just based on that on pic), that's way over your head and you probably shouldn't be even touching digital art yet.

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    "The whole point of practice is to do it until you can do it right." - dpaint

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    I would like to hike to the North Pole. I have a shoe and a ham sandwich. What do I do next?

    I was once on the receiving end of a critique so savagely nasty, I marched straight out of class to the office and changed my major (sketchbook).
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    Stoat, I laffed

    @Cobra, just to spell it out in big bold letters;

    The problem is nobody teaches you the very basic things or how the process of digital painting works at every iteration.
    Truer words never spoken. That is the problem, probably the only problem when dealing with art. The solution however is not to start the most BASIC of drawings and expect us to tell you what to do or how to get there.

    But since

    This my first post,
    I WILL
    forgive all the possible mistakes and violations of netiquette.....
    ... which includes trying to get us to do your work for you .
    -------------------------------------


    Now the GOOD news is that I know why

    I can "see" the image inside my silhouette but i don't know how technically pop up the shapes and forms.
    And that's simply because you don't have the requisite knowledge about light and form, the experience with creating shapes and rendering them into 3d forms. Representational visual art isn't like learning how to remove a bike chain or how to use an operating system. It's not simply a matter of knowledge or learning step A, step B etc. It takes years and thousands of hours to train your eye, your mind, and your hand how to properly see, analyze and follow through, respectively.

    if you've never drawn a rock or a person (from observation, that is looking at one and trying to copy it down onto the page exactly as you see it) then how can you make a rock PERSON from your imagination? If you haven't done it for years, how can you make one and make him look BADASS? If you've never studied how light really works, how certain things look under certain lighting conditions, how can you expect to pull off those lighting situations?

    I'm not trying to kick your balls around or anything, I'm just trying to hammer home the point that while there IS an informational and inspirational aspect of art, there's the equally important aspect of HARD WORK and learning through observational studies. the earlier you start and the more you put into the better you'll be

    Lastly; if the Magic School Bus taught me anything (aside from never trust weird red-headed ladies on the off chance they'll get you stuck down a frog's throat) it's that you need to try stuff for yourself and make mistakes. instead of asking us how to proceed, just.... go. Do it. Fuck it up, and look back and ask yourself why? how did you mess it up, what looks weird. Maybe try it again based on your understanding of your mistake. I'm of course not saying "never ask for help, ever" but you need to try it on your own first or you'll never really learn how to learn.

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    Thanks everybody!
    I have to specify that i'm taking my daily little lessons of fundamentals from the net and filling my sketchbook with doodles since the last month. Parallel on that, my aim is to produce a single completely colored pic every week just to face "troubles" as they arise. The results will be not encouraging at first, but it helps me packing together all the stuffs i'm learning. Forgive, anyway, my naivety. I know it's gonna be a looong process that needs dedication and time. The reason i'm looking for tips and help here is just because it's difficult to get a clear view of important concepts while watching thousands of tutorials (most of them also assume you already have knowledge of basic dynamics and techniques). Therefore, more seasoned people could surely help to bring together the pieces and enlight the process in my mind.

    so...

    Ultra beginner step by step feedback

    This is how i figured it in 3d shapes. now i should make another layer and sketch a version with more complex lines? and once i have my final sketch, i should approach lighting and values according to the basic shape i made now?

    (this damn tablet cannot be turned around like paper...i always do that unconsciously. i noticed also that my lines while drawing with the tablet are terrible and i can't get directions easily...guess it's just about practice)

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    Oh i totally agree. The path i'm taking is, infact, the one of practice and selfmade mistakes. Maybe this is not the right place of the forum for the kind of thread i proposed. I'm just looking for a sort of brief explaination of the process generally used (i mean...everybody got his own way i guess...but some elements must be common). so i can analyze the single steps by myself. somebody to tell me "ok..now that you've got your sketch you need to add values...then pick a light strategy...then a color strategy..." and so on.

    Sorry for the mistake, anyway.

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    beginner here aswell, am still drawing circles and lines! lol

    i think the ham sandwich comment was basicaly saying slow down abit lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by CobraCommander View Post
    Thanks everybody!
    This is how i figured it in 3d shapes. now i should make another layer and sketch a version with more complex lines? and once i have my final sketch, i should approach lighting and values according to the basic shape i made now?
    Before you do anything you should check how you're doing. Since working with something usually leaves you blind to how it actually looks, it's a good practice to mirror it. If you do that you may discover that his left upperarm doesn't connect to the body the same way his right arm does (if it connects to it at all.), his torso doesn't match the line that his chest follows (and the small joints between chest and torse doesn't seem to indicate that he's turning his upper body), his face seems like it's tacked on as if it is just a mask, and frankly I don't know what is going on below his waist.

    Now, when you're happy with your basic structure of this stone-golem, I'd suggest that you immediatly turn your attention to the background. That is if you want to make the background feel like anything other than just tacked on. It doesn't have to be mindblowing or anything. Just make sure it fits to a certain extent with the theme and feeling and composition you already have, and think of what needs to be in the foreground and the background.

    For example, he looks like he just broke out of a stone-wall, so you could maybe have a stone wall with a hole shaped by him, and small stones all over the place (some still moving) to indicate that he just broke out of it. That's just an example though, but the point is that just like with everything else, if you have a good idea of where you are going before you go into the more complex aspects such as rendering lighting and colors and more specific shapes, it will retain a more wholesome feeling than if you don't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CobraCommander View Post
    I'm just looking for a sort of brief explanation of the process generally used (i mean...everybody got his own way i guess...but some elements must be common).
    Well the problem is the basic elements are rough image of an idea and polished image of an idea... It's less about process and more about practice IMO.

    Practice drawing real things from observation and you will build up your knowledge of how to translate three dimensional objects into a two dimensional workspace. Once you've gotten good enough with observation, you can start enhancing observation with imagination, and finally after years of study and practice you can work form imagination backed by years of observation.

    But keep in mind a lot of the very best artists still use observation. Many literally build models of the scene they indent to paint and then light them and then use that model as a guide for the painting.

    Best wishes,

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    Jason's insight is golden - it takes years of effort. Anyone can do it, but you can't start at the end.

    So, you have a decent Rock Golem pose and idea - now go out and get a couple rocks. Set them up and light them and interepret what you see into your Golem. Voila.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CobraCommander View Post
    (this damn tablet cannot be turned around like paper...i always do that unconsciously. i noticed also that my lines while drawing with the tablet are terrible and i can't get directions easily...guess it's just about practice)
    Several solutions to this. The newer versions of Photoshop give you the ability to rotate the canvas for the purposes of working - while not actually changing the image. Personally, after a year of working with a wacom tablet, I bought an old Fujitsu t2010 off ebay (which has wacom technology built in). It cost me $500 bucks and was very well spent. It's quite easy to rotate that computer around just like you do with paper.

    I'm still waiting for my dream tablet to come out - basically something like an ipad with a pressure sensitive pen, that has a full OS. Surely it's not too far away?

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    Quote Originally Posted by thegiffman View Post
    Several solutions to this. The newer versions of Photoshop give you the ability to rotate the canvas for the purposes of working - while not actually changing the image. Personally, after a year of working with a wacom tablet, I bought an old Fujitsu t2010 off ebay (which has wacom technology built in). It cost me $500 bucks and was very well spent. It's quite easy to rotate that computer around just like you do with paper.

    I'm still waiting for my dream tablet to come out - basically something like an ipad with a pressure sensitive pen, that has a full OS. Surely it's not too far away?
    An ipad/wacom intuos mix would be pure epicness *drools* well a guy can dream.

    "The whole point of practice is to do it until you can do it right." - dpaint

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    Quote Originally Posted by thegiffman View Post
    Several solutions to this. The newer versions of Photoshop give you the ability to rotate the canvas for the purposes of working - while not actually changing the image. Personally, after a year of working with a wacom tablet, I bought an old Fujitsu t2010 off ebay (which has wacom technology built in). It cost me $500 bucks and was very well spent. It's quite easy to rotate that computer around just like you do with paper.

    I'm still waiting for my dream tablet to come out - basically something like an ipad with a pressure sensitive pen, that has a full OS. Surely it's not too far away?
    I think this may interest you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eo4QkA2nOd0

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaEvil1 View Post
    I think this may interest you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eo4QkA2nOd0
    A few problems that i saw, laggy brushes even with small size and i didn't see any pen pressure. also the pen didn't have any grip or buttons that i could see.

    I think for something like this to work it really has to be geared towards the artist... like made by wacom or something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by element1988 View Post
    A few problems that i saw, laggy brushes even with small size and i didn't see any pen pressure. also the pen didn't have any grip or buttons that i could see.

    I think for something like this to work it really has to be geared towards the artist... like made by wacom or something.
    I don't like doing research for people who don't seem to bother but...

    It has 256 levels of pressure, and uses a Wacom digitizer.

    and there are alternative pens that can be used with it which has buttons.

    And a review from an artist to get answers in regards to laggy pen and so on.

    Of course though, a simple google search or two would give you all this information...

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    yeah sorry about that, i was gunna do some research after posting that but then i starting making food so i thought fack it.

    I do have a question tho, do you think the 256 levels of pressure would be enough to replace your tablet for one of those things? I remember using a graphire a few years ago and it didn't seem that different but that had 512.

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    For me personally it wouldn't make much of a difference in terms of pressure levels. Anything above 256 doesn't seem to make that much of a difference anyway. But the ability to draw directly to screen (coupled with a pen with buttons) would probably replace and extend the usage of the tablet I'm using yes. I'm however waiting for a newer version with more battery life (ep121 has about ~3 hours I gather) so I can use it almost as freely as actual paper.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaEvil1 View Post
    I think this may interest you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eo4QkA2nOd0
    Looks very interesting. The battery life doesn't look too promising, and by golly I need my programmable buttons for my pick-and-paint process! But it's definitely heading in the exact direction I'm waiting for.

    People talk about Photoshop responsiveness on tablets, but honestly my ancient fujitsu t2010 does perfectly fine. I'm happy to sacrifice a bit of killer performance for the ability to take it out all day at the park.

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    Quote Originally Posted by element1988 View Post
    yeah sorry about that, i was gunna do some research after posting that but then i starting making food so i thought fack it.

    I do have a question tho, do you think the 256 levels of pressure would be enough to replace your tablet for one of those things? I remember using a graphire a few years ago and it didn't seem that different but that had 512.
    There is a slight difference in going down to 256 if you REALLY try to notice it, but nothing to compare with the portability of having a tablet PC.

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    "I do have a question tho, do you think the 256 levels of pressure would be enough to replace your tablet for one of those things? I remember using a graphire a few years ago and it didn't seem that different but that had 512."

    cmon seriously? you need to stop worrying about specs and just pick up some pens and pencils, look what practice and analogue tech can give you:

    Ultra beginner step by step feedback

    check. those. lines. mmmmm....

    Last edited by Velocity Kendall; June 26th, 2011 at 12:44 PM.
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    Velocity, those are some nice lines. Who's are they? Looks like James Jean's work.

    As for the golem -- use perspective!! Check out Andrew Loomis' Successful Drawing if you haven't already. Try and apply what it teaches in that to some rocks you find like Jeff suggested.

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