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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?
Last edited by CobraCommander; June 25th, 2011 at 10:58 AM.
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.
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.
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.
Everyone has given good advice so far, the only thing i can offer is this refs:
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).
Stoat, I laffed
@Cobra, just to spell it out in big bold letters;
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.The problem is nobody teaches you the very basic things or how the process of digital painting works at every iteration.
I WILLThis my first post,
... which includes trying to get us to do your work for you .forgive all the possible mistakes and violations of netiquette.....
Now the GOOD news is that I know why
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.I can "see" the image inside my silhouette but i don't know how technically pop up the shapes and forms.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 for something like this to work it really has to be geared towards the artist... like made by wacom or something.
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...
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.
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.
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.
"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:
check. those. lines. mmmmm....
Last edited by Velocity Kendall; June 26th, 2011 at 11:44 AM.
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Useful links for the Aspiring Artist
- A complete guide to drawing Anthro
- Figure and Gesture drawing practice
- CharacterDesigns - Nude Reference Photos
- Loomis Anatomy- Figure Drawing for all its Worth
- Drawing the Portrait
- 10 Top Composition Rules
- Chiseled Rocks' Musings - Fantastic tutorials on lighting and media maintenance
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.