Failed attempt at trying something new
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  1. #1
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    Failed attempt at trying something new

    So I decided that I was sick of drawing awful sparkledog-things and decided to try something new. I asked a friend and they said "Draw a spaceship". This was the hardest thing in the world so I asked for help in the "entertainment and concept art" section. They gave me some video tutorials and advice, so my next step was to get myself a "client". My boyfriend loves spaceships and physics, so he happily gave me the following brief;

    A mothership that will analyse the moons of Saturn. It will hold 220 people, have a biodome forest thing and deployable shuttles to land on the surface. This ship will be about 300 metres across and run on VASIMR drives. Oh, and the living quarters must be a decent distance from the engines.

    So I drew some silouettes like this video tutorial I watched instructed and they suck so hard...(Yes I am aware that one of the designs looks like a Vexor). Why am I sucking so hard at such a simple stage?!



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    They're just silhouettes! Try to make a design out of them before you start calling them sucky. If the overall shape is not what you wanted, then make some more silhouettes.

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    hmmm
    i don't think they suck.
    and i don't think it's such a "simple" stage - remember that the one who drew this on the tutorials you watch have loads and loads of experience, and got a huge stack of references in his head.
    my suggestion to you is don't rush into things: watch some science fiction movies and series, pay attention to the designs there.
    also start gathering references that might use you - not only from the "spaceship" area! - but also insects fish ect. lots of designers use their structure and character as inspiration for space-crafts. ( i see you started in that direction...)
    then do studies ans THEN go back to thumbnails - silluetts are a good place to start, but you must have some kind of foundation to rely on.
    it's like trying to do thumbnails to a...idk.. lets say, a dragon - when you don't even know what's a reptile..

    just take it easy and do your preparation work, it'll help you alot
    hope that helps

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    Maybe silhouettes just don't work for you. Try a different technique, like drawing spaceships from pictures and such, and learning from that, or else make draw boxes and add stuff on and take parts away.

    Try different techniques, one of them will work for you.


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    Good points there. Thankyou so much for the advice! I guess I'm just so exasperated because I've been drawing cutesy animals for so long and now I've moved away from it I feel lost...Perhaps spaceships are too big a step? What if I prctice my humans and costume, then robots and props, then scenery and archetecture and THEN spaceships? It feels more logical than jumping from little, furry critters to massive, man-made structures designed with incredible precision.

    Perhaps I should start this project in a new sketchbook thread...Ny old one is terrible...

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    you're taking a big step out of your comfort zone - and that's great!
    don't be timid and don't rush it - take your time as you need, be patient with yourself, and you'll see frustration will change into interest of "how can i make it work"
    i say, as long as you enjoy it - go for it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Foxtrot Wolfwhistle View Post
    Good points there. Thankyou so much for the advice! I guess I'm just so exasperated because I've been drawing cutesy animals for so long and now I've moved away from it I feel lost...Perhaps spaceships are too big a step? What if I prctice my humans and costume, then robots and props, then scenery and archetecture and THEN spaceships? It feels more logical than jumping from little, furry critters to massive, man-made structures designed with incredible precision.
    Nah. You just need to do more of them, look at more man-made stuff, figure out how it works. You've been drawing subjects that are completely different, of course you'll feel weird and awkward at first. but after a few weeks you'll be more used to taking your brain new places and you'll at least feel better about it.

    I'd do a variety of things if I were you. Backpedaling away from spaceships completely will leave you with a big failure to remember this by and over time you might be left with a reluctance to try them again. But poking at spaceships regularly will help you improve without frustrating you so much that you'll be unhappy and quit. Maybe try to do a new spaceship design once a week. They don't need to be super-awesome, Star Trek got away with the Borg Cube so how much worse can you do? Just stick with it. And then do other stuff on other days.

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    Well, it might be helpful if you took a more "randomized" route... for example splattering ink or watercolour to paper without really looking, and then starting to look what interesting shapes you got and if any of them looks like an interesting spaceship. Then choose one, take the general shape of it and start building a ship from it.

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    I agree with all of the positive feedback

    Also, get a big marker to make your silhouettes. The idea is that you're making big, mostly blocky, shapes. You can get a smaller size marker too if the ship has some sharp spikes or something. But you don't want to have to be filling it in with pencil like that.

    EDIT: I like what Tinybird just said. What is that program people like to use which mirrors itself? People love to use that to make random shapes for ideas. Its called...ah someone help me here lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Artfix View Post
    EDIT: I like what Tinybird just said. What is that program people like to use which mirrors itself? People love to use that to make random shapes for ideas. Its called...ah someone help me here lol.
    Do you mean alchemy? It has a mirror function and many more to get cool random shapes.

    Another cool drawing tool is harmony. Even playing around with the mouse give nice lines.
    Maybe such tools can help to get some new basic shapes for spaceships, Foxtrot Wolfwhistle.
    My teachers at the university told us to use automatic drawing too. That means drawing without looking on the paper for some minutes. Somehow it's doodling like a child. You can run wild with that and search in all those lines and shapes for some interesting contours

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    i think they are too big. make them as small as possible so only minimal effort is lost if you dont like them. otherwise youre less likely to leave your comfort zone and really explore different shapes. just a few marks with a broad soft pencil.

    ink and watercolor work aswell as tinybird suggested.

    youre looking for happy accidents here and shapes that inspire you, instead of "engineering" them.

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    AS to how to do it you are already in safer hands than mine so here you go and seek some inspiration from this lot from my bookmarks and resources collection enjoy!

    http://conceptships.blogspot.com/200...1_archive.html - concept ships

    http://ski-ffy.blogspot.com/search/label/Peter%20Elson - book covers from sci fi novels look at the labels and search by artist or author they are brilliant.

    http://www.starshipmodeler.com/index.htm - a site where people make the models from tv series and old films etc.

    http://www.fantastic-plastic.com/index.htm - more plastic models

    http://www.darkroastedblend.com/2007...echnology.html - this ones a bit odd but it does spark your imagination somewhat!!


    All or any of these should spark an idea or two cust to get your creative juices flowing

    all the best matey

    A great kind hearted lumbering bullock



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    You beat me to it Lightship! Also look up John Berkey (best to just use Google Images search), John Harris and my friend John Douglas.

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    LOl sorry Jeff matey,

    Its not often I get the better of you though is it !! Have a look at the bottom link buddy its just loaded with ideas and material.

    All the best

    A great kind hearted lumbering bullock



    http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=209918 = my Sketchbook
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    Thankyou all so much for the advice and references! I decided to brush up on my autmoatic drawing first just to loosen up a little. These are all done on an A5 sketchbook and none are larger than a few inches. However, I feel so much better about these than my first attempt! Next stage is studies of existing designs then marker silouettesand simple form-making.



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    Don't forget the cardinal rule of design: Form follows function. Nowhere is this more true than in spacecraft design...at least in relatively realistic, near future scenarios.

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