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Do you find the face flat as well? I do find the shirt terribly flat, but the face seems pretty geometric to me.
Wait, you are right! The photo is actually confusing, why is the shirt lit from the right, but the face from the left? What is going on here.
I also updated my old David statues because a friend wants to use them in his restaurant for some reason.
I have restarted the troll based on suggestions. How is this looking? (obviously it is mostly based on one of the thumbnails from the previous page)
Last edited by Pavel Sokov; December 23rd, 2012 at 10:03 PM.
Fixed a few things with the eyes and some other things on my friend's portrait.
Sent it in as part of my submissions to Spectrum.
Working on the troll. Taking way too long. I spent 4 hours painting the gem-stone necklace. Why am I so slow? I feel like everyone else does everything faster then me. What the hell is happening? I paint non-stop but nothing happens, while time flies.
EDIT: I updated the image with tonight's 4 hours of work. All I was able to do was paint the other arm (minus the bracelets), some fur, and the tiny bit of vest on the left. Ridiculously slow progress.
EDIT 2: Painted the second leg and the belt in 4 hours again. I have failed as I am far from finished. Oh well, should of started earlier.
Last edited by Pavel Sokov; January 10th, 2013 at 11:01 PM.
Hello everyone. So I am working out a commission of a dog portrait. A gorgeous dog named Guinness. Here is my plan:
First I got the ref:
Then I played around with it to develop it into the portrait I envisioned:
Then I started sketching it. I notice the eyes aren't aligned correctly, that must be fixed.:
my mum and dads next door neighbour paints labs, you might pick up some ideas loooking at how he approaches things.
my black labrador is in there somewhere.
It is true that the shirt is slightly darker on the left, which is a little strange. It's probably that there's something getting in the way of the flash fire.
The reason the face on our right is dark is just because it's tilting away from the lightsource, not because the lightsource is angled to one side. See Figure 2 in this article (good and important information in that article, btw!).
Also, to add to the debate: next time you start an image, THUMBNAILS. The whole point of them is that they're fast, so this idea about saving time or laziness is simply an excuse -- something in you is trying to hold you back and stay in your tedious but comfortable zone. A real lazy person wouldn't waste time detailing when he'll just need to start over again, and he certainly wouldn't come here for advice time after time. So just do thumbnails next time, if only to break the habit of not doing them.
"Also, to add to the debate: next time you start an image, THUMBNAILS. The whole point of them is that they're fast, so this idea about saving time or laziness is simply an excuse -- something in you is trying to hold you back and stay in your tedious but comfortable zone. A real lazy person wouldn't waste time detailing when he'll just need to start over again, and he certainly wouldn't come here for advice time after time. So just do thumbnails next time, if only to break the habit of not doing them. "
yep camera flash (again) and this
youve got the rendering skills. forcing, demanding yourself to break into thumbnails will take you to the next level. my friend ron stevens forced me into them and after the first one you realise how powerful they are. use an enormous brush and blob in shapes very fast, doing 10; stop and move on as soon as you can see something in the shapes. you have to do it, if you want to lev up.
the image looks fine but why is he on that dull grey? he looks dead. what about a heavily blurred rendering of a heath or garden?
heres my lab, i love that dude, wish he wasnt dead!
It is true! I am reading Framed Ink as Sone_one suggested and am getting excited about being more mindful of my compositions. My newly found knowledge has no better way of being tested then thumbnails! It is always good to plan ahead, and thumbnails are essentially a research process. Good research and preparation is often considered the greatest contribution to the final result. I must not unman myself by being shy to thumbnail. Maybe if I had, I wouldn't of wasted so much time with my Dominance War attempts that ultimately failed, and would of made it into the competition.
How is this troll though? Nobody gave any word yet. I am pretty fond of him.
Velocity, your dog was gorgeous! I love black dogs. Sorry he isnt alive.
As for the background. Well I looked at your friend's dog paintings and he is obviously fantastic at them, and you can tell he is comfortable with the subject. Very good, stuff. However, when it comes to me, I am less inclined for the "cottagy" stuff. I am seeking a more modern, somber, sharp and manly look. If the client also wants a happy background, I will gladly get it done. But whilst he has not seen any progress shots, I want to retain a somber modern feel to it.
your choice, but put yourself in the mind of the person its for; do they want a sharp modern labrador? is it okk the lighting regime is at odds with the background? if yes continue, if no think more or risk doing it again anyway when they ask. or mock up two options fast and show them. thats what id do anyway.
as for thumbnails, as soon as you see yourself turning out the beginnings of 5 possibly quite interesting images out of 10 quick blobbings, youll get addicted. its a useful tool wfor when you have no specific image in mind but need to create nevertheless..
this seemed relevant;
I will wait a see what the client requests (we haven't decided an art direction yet) and then I can have a chance to provide a couple of mockups for him!
Lulie. I noticed the article just now and am currently reading it. Very nice, I am learning about specular lights which explain why you see a highlight at certain angles and not others. (because light is reflected from a surface at an equal angle to its casting, which in my opinion seems to always create a 90% angle from the point of impact, so the viewer only sees the highlight when the reflected beam is pointing towards his eyeballs)
Imagine a shiny ball. The specular highlight could be anywhere on the ball, not just at 90˚, because it depends where the light is. If it's near your head (like on-camera flash), it'll be near the middle of the ball. If it's exactly to the side of the ball, it'll be a bit closer to the middle than the point facing the light. As briggsy@ashtons says here:
If you like that article, I highly recommend sinking your teeth into this site.Now for the specular reflection (highlight). We see the highlight at the point on the sphere where the surface is at just the correct angle to bounce light from the light source to our eyes - that is, where the angle of incidence equals the angle of reflection. For spheres in general, this in NOT in the middle of the centre-light, but at a point on the line between the middle of the centre-light and the middle of the sphere as we see it. (Light hitting the middle of the centre-light hits the surface at right-angles, and so bounces straight back to the light source, not to our eyes).
You are absolutely right, sorry about that. I would only be right about the 90 degree angle, if the light rays are coming at the surface at a 45 degree angle, creating a 90 degree angle between the emitted ray and the reflected ray.
I am going to check out the site more.
So I started this thread as a way to figure out why my Cg society submissions are all getting rejected. Since then, not much has changed, as everything is still constantly rejected. I was surprised to have both my Louis CK and Putin portraits be rejected even though I made good money from them and consider them to be the best of 2012 for me. However, my owl painting got in. I guess I will understand when I am older and better...
Anyways, chipping away at this troll. for no reason now, there is no competition anymore as it is finished. Nobody has said anything about him yet, is it diarrhea or it simply has no big problems so everyone is quiet?
Folds are wrong on the bent knee Pavel, actually they're wrong on the both legs - take a ref shot.
You're getting caught up on detail and aren't looking at the whole picture, so you're isolating various items, which breaks them out from the whole.
Remember, focus our gaze - if everything is super rendered then we won't know where to look.
You are right, my way of rendering certain areas to 100% completion and not working at all on others makes for a strange sense of progression that may end up in a non-cohesive image. Very amateruish of me.
Thank you so much for the overpaint! That leg is reading well, but I am struggling a bit. I like your leg, and I like mine as well, in a different way. I feel like yours reads as being too slender. I wanted some fat on mine, this is a gluttenous troll so his calorie intake must be pretty catastrophic. I do 100% agree with your remodeling of the crotch, as mine does not look right at all.
This update has been done PRIOR to reading our comment and seeing the OP:
Back to the dog commission. Is he looking more lively now?
As a test I selected his face and slid it to the left. Seems more centered on his body now. Thoughts?
Last edited by Pavel Sokov; January 25th, 2013 at 08:55 AM.
no he looks the opposite of lively. depressed. why take the time to carefully paint in tiny flecks of dandruff and sleep dust round his eyes?? I mean, literally, why would you do that? please explain, to yourself if not anyone else.
why do you think anyone wants a picture of a dog on a dark grey background staring miserably at them?
the somber dark carbon grey in place of the snow environment, the drooping face, the eye crap, i really dont understand what rationale informs your artistic choices, like, ever.
the reason CG Society rejects your work is because. you jump into spending 4.5 hours on some tiny irrelevant detail while totally ignoring the larger important details. you slavishly copy some undesirable aspects of photos, but ignore important other aspects for no reason.
Last edited by Velocity Kendall; January 25th, 2013 at 11:43 AM.
I thought about the snow flakes earlier this morning and have realized that the ref photo had a snow environment, and my new background does not, so the snow flakes will read as dandruff. I was planning to remove them and not add them anywhere else in the future.
The owner kinda asked for it this way (sent a depressed picture of his dog) and I was surprised as well. I think the best thing to do early on is to send him the painting you just posted and ask if he would rather go with something more jovial, and look through his photos or create a more lively one.
As for bad taste I'm sorry, I kinda only have my own brain, I can't regulate taste at a whim. It takes me years to understand why some of my paintings were no good. Nevertheless I must continue trying.
I know you will disagree, and that is disappointing for me considering that I really enjoy your comments in my threads, but I have indeed listened to advice and acted on it. I absolutely do forget to stay disciplined and draw in all the large forms first in all my paintings, but I have managed that in the last 3 finished paintings I have done. In fact the last 3 of my paintings don't have any details at all (I know that because I never ended up zooming in, and didn't stray from using "fit to screen" format). To me that is cause for celebration, although I know I have not been good with the Troll.
As for the thumbnails, it is true enough that I have yet to actually do any, although I am pretty sure I understand the importance of them 100%. It doesn't even seem like it would take a long time. I honestly have no clue why I don't do them. I should work on trying harder in that regard. Some people are just retarded. Some are not.
Here are the last 3 finished paintings which I did not paint any details in:
Sorry for being a dissapointment. Sometimes people just have bad taste and the only thing that would rid them of that is getting a new brain. In that case I will die in this marketing office as a lot of people do. Or maybe one day something will click and I will start making prettier art.
if you studied properly, youd see huge changes.
STOP using shitty photos with camera flash and lens distortion, thats an easy thing.
by taste, im not saynig that picture of the labrador i linked to is good taste, obviously its chintzy crap (although quite a pleasant image.. already i can see taste is the wrong word), or that im some arbiter of good taste, im obviously not. but i mean in terms of colours, and mood, that labrador painting makes sense in a away your work does not. your work seems random; a cartoony guy in a dark hellish environment, huge images with tiny miniscule details, a handsome dog in a dead grey environment. And not to make a statement or point, but for no reason at all.
so what i mean by tasteful isnt some good house keeping living room (although they may have it if done well) i mean, awareness of whats come before, of what works and does not, and why . which comes from studying.
that isnt snow, its dandruff, all dogs get it but it shows up on black dogs. ive had several black labs and they always get it. dandruff is a reality, but an unsightly one. so is the goo that comes out their eyes, and slobber, and snot. this is to be a decorative item, an affectionate portrait of a dog they love. people spend huge amounts of money on antidandruff products. that should be a clue.
this portrait doesnt need to be "warts and all" it can and should be an artistic interpretation of the photo.
by the way i thin the one of the young guy with the cigar, theres good stuff going on there. the eyes are wonky and i hate the red blue background, but it feels like youre THINKING more, not just being a machine for reproducing images. its a huge improivement over the zombie David things. So you should feel good about your progress, but stop hobbling yourself with these bad habits.
you are patient, hard working and have great control of photoshop. cover the basics and you will go from an amateur to a player, and eventually will be able to kiss that office good bye.
Last edited by Velocity Kendall; January 25th, 2013 at 01:02 PM.
Well I bought some books as sone_one suggested. I am honestly thrilled about "framed ink", that is really helping. Hopefully the Andrew Loomis will be good as well. The digital painting techniques are less profound. I had part 2. I learned very little. Not sure why I bought the 4th one. I suppose it is kind of fun to see how other people are making paintings even if they don't have any unique secrets. I did find that a lot of tutorials were from artists I didn't want to learn from whatsoever in part 2, and I already skipped one in part 4. I don't understand why there are tutorials by artists that ought to be reading tutorials themselves.
As for getting better, it is easy and understandable how to improve technique, rendering, anatomy, lighting, even composition to some degree. But when it comes to "taste", that is unique for everyone. Taste can be improved, but it is not a skill. That means it improves only on its own. You can't tell yourself to like things you don't like because you are pretty sure they are in good taste. When I'm on deviant art I see a lot of artists with art works so ugly, (even though they claim they sell them for 600$), I just feel they are completely batshit insane, and nothing will help them. If I have one of those portfolios where the artist is delusional enough to paint ugly pictures for years and think they are ok (I do have flashes of understanding years later why some art works are ugly, but most often I still like them. Like the Louis CK painting, still love it. I have been finding them boring a lot recently, which is different from ugly. Good sign I guess), then that is a brain situation. If I am one of those, what can really be done?
Personal style can be developed, yes. But there are no exercises for that. Some people buy that ugly brown/green plaid shirt and think it is pretty. Perceptions are difficult to change. So if my art is as ugly as some of the clothes people put on, then that is my permanent doom.
" I don't understand why there are tutorials by artists that ought to be reading tutorials themselves. "
haha well, thats as applicable to me as anyone else, so i take your point. but i found, in my class, id get everyone to demo something they thought was a good technique, and literally every single one of them did things I had no idea about.
they had brushes i didnt know about, shortcuts that saved loads of time id never heard of, techniques for idea generation or material rendering that made so much sense that i never thought of. it really hammered home the fa\ct that everyone has something to teach you.
"You can't tell yourself to like things you don't like because you are pretty sure they are in good taste."
And yet,coffee, beer, caviar and champagne and Bach, unbearable to a child, are beloved by older people.
perhaps taste was a bad choice of words, theres a huge mass of psychology there i dont want to get into. let me rephrase it to internal consistency and integrity. a heavy metal album cover a handsome painting and a great poem have something in common; internal consistency. each component was picked for good reasons; each colour, device, word. so even though people who like the heavy metal might not like the poem, ie have different tastes, the choices made by the creators make sense.
My other point was that as an aritst for hire, you need to anticipate your clients tastes or risk redoing lots of work. That senstivitiy isnt some abstract talent, its a learned skill.
lin your own personal work. you can learn by studying things you, personally, find amazing. brilliant, full of nuanced richness and cleverness and skill and life. a great album, an amazing painting or sculpture or book. study that. dont copy it, but learn from what theyre trying to tell you. ok not everyone shares your love of that specific kind of music, but some do, and will get what youre trying to do. see?
And theres a reason everyone always tells you to study the old masters. because they knew what they were fucking talking about, thats why!!!!!!!
also, get a colour wheel.
saying its just down to some incurable brain condition is defeatest in the worst possible way. its a way of excusing youyrself from culpability for your own actions. sure, some people wont like what you do, but if you do what you do for well thought through reasons it will show. if you think things through carefully, it will become unconscious eventually.
if that guy bought that horrible green brown shirt to go on a date, hes a fool and wont get laid. objective value judgement- it was a bad choice. if he bought it to hide in the jungle, he made a good choice.
Last edited by Velocity Kendall; January 25th, 2013 at 11:35 AM.
i reread what i put and it sounds way too harsh. keep in mind you can paint rings round me!
Pavel, I think you misunderstood Velocity Kendall somewhat. You focused on his phrase 'taste', when the content of what he was saying was: you make artistic errors (which most people summarise as 'taste', but which are very much explicit and objective), specifically by making random choices instead of having a reason for your choices.
All you have to do is consider each element of your picture (background, details, colours, etc.) as you're about to paint it, and ask yourself, "Why this?" and "What would it look like if I did the opposite?"
It's less about 'taste', more about 'what is the theme of this piece? is every element consistent with this theme?'. When people on this board said you don't have taste, it's not that you have bad taste (i.e. you enjoy 'bad' themes), it's that many of your pictures you don't show that you have a conception of what your taste is at all (i.e. there isn't one theme/style that you have in mind, instead you do a hodge-podge or else copy what happens to be in the photo).
Look for elements in your picture that are unnecessary -- as in, if you changed it or got rid of it, would the picture still look good and make sense? Or: can you easily swap the thing out for something else, and it doesn't affect the quality of the piece? If you can easily swap things out, that suggests they're fairly arbitrary. However, if swapping them out hurts the piece, you know you have something that is at least internally consistent.
This is a very simple easy thing you can do. If you find yourself not having reasons for your choices, change it and see how it looks. Try to make reasoning explicit. As an exercise, you could list your reasoning for each choice of your next painting here (paying special attention to things people have already asked you your reasoning for, like why you chose one reference picture over another, why that background colour, etc.).
I think the basic thing we all want to see you do more of here is make artistic choices instead of copying a photo. Some things that can help force you to do this are:
- Don't use ref, or only find ref after you have the concept.
- Use multiple refs for different parts. Copying only one photo has usually ended up with you not having your own reasons for things (you have reasons for some things, but mostly you follow the photo or make more arbitrary choices to stylise it -- you're still relying on the photo as a foundation).
- Paint from life! I'd love to see if you've painted anyone from life, that'd be awesome.
And yeah, you can paint rings round me too. I do quite like your stuff, and it is fun seeing your progress, especially when you make up your own stuff.
Most people think it's a compliment to artists when they say "wow, it isn't a photo?". What I'd love to see more from you is the opposite -- have the reaction be: "wow, it looks nothing like a photo!" If I can see lens distortion, static posing, on camera flash light, I know instantly that it's a photo, and that you're not improving on the photo. Consider photos to be riddled with mistakes -- much worse mistakes than you would make if you painted without them, because at least then you're the one making the decisions.
thats so much better put than how i said it.
i think "bad taste" comes from lack of knowledge and therefore lack of appreciation of nuances. it can be learned, or at least trained. eg i hated jazz as a kid/teen, but it totally floats my boat now... what i dismissed as unharmonious turned out to be just more complex than what ive been used to (theres still some stuff in jazz i probably have to mature a lot more to appreciate, though).
and lets be honest, most bad design decissions dont come from "different or bad taste", they come from beeing flippant. the different taste thing is just a (more or less blind) stab at justifying that.
look at various designs... cars, boats, shoes, aircraft, costumes, various tools, paintings, whatever. pay attention to shapes, rhythmn, relationships, etc. go figure why some stuff is appreciated and other is not. imo bad design only happens if you dont care about design, or at least is more likely to happen.
my suggestion at this point is... go grab some real paint, some panels, some brushes and have a go at it. the restrictions of the medium alone, will #1) stop you from going in with a 1 px brush, directly copying your reference (which happend with the eyes of the dog), and #2) confront you with the need to make decissions.
it will be hard, but if you enjoy learning, youll love it .
i completely agree with VK about that dog. remember youre painting this for someone, who loved that dog, had it running around the house, fooling around with it, all stations from beeing a puppy to growing old and at last dieing. thats what you need to inject somehow... thats what you get paid for. if something dead would do, theyd have any photo printed on canvas by posterjack or anyother discounter.
 obviously lulie beat me to it while ive been typing
Hey Guys! Thank you everyone for helping me out and showing the way. I emailed my client and showed him my progress, while offering other examples of happier dog photos and saying we could use another ref, we could take one together, or we could even combine pieces of sever refs into one (as Lulie suggested) but the client replied with this:
"Wow! You are doing a fantastic job on Guinness! I am going to give you the green light to continue going down the road, using the "untitled 1" as your guideline. Don't worry about the somber look, as it is in fact a look of intent that Guinness often has, and is in no way a look of sadness. It's can actually be a look, or premonition, of an act of mischievousness, which I very much enjoy seeing in him, when we are playing together. One question: How do you intend to interpret his neck and body? I also really like the grey background as well. It seems to falling into place as to how I pictured it would. Thanks for the cottagy dog reference, but Guinness never really looks like that, and the colors I find would take away from the sleek lines of the "Dark Lord". "
As much as I don't want to dissapoint you guys, it seems that the client likes my direction and wants me to continue down this somber direction. I suppose I will spare you the work-in-progress' of this one, and just post my troll WIPs.
To address the rest of the stuff:
Don't worry, I'v heard a lot worse before. Plus you apologized and edited it out so its all good You have been helpful to me since the begining of this thread 1.5 years ago and I am glad to have you for another 1.5.
I do have to mention though, that despite being no stranger to lavish gastronomy (I have spent 30-40% of my networth on a (Michelin starred) meal, a few times before), I don't understand caviar. Even being Russian and having had it from a young age. It seems like a salty ball with little complexity. I also dislike champagne, which to me lacks the complexity of wines. However I remember back when wine tasted either white or red, and now I can come up with a few notes despite having a garbage palate (my sense of smell is in the dumps, which is very important for taste sensation). Maybe one day I will find the same complexity in champagne. As for caviar, I think I will stick with fois gras. When it comes to prestigious ingredients one has to watch themselves and ask "is this expensive only because it is rare, or does it actually taste as unique as its costs would suggest?". I find that is the case with fois gras and to a lesser extend truffles, but not for caviar. Maybe I am still a 22 year old kid
Your take on the matter makes a lot of sense. I never question the elements of my work, I leave that to you guys. But it is my job, not yours. I need to think about what I'm doing for once. And the more I live the more I understand your idea about not wanting to look like a photo. After all, a good painting can not be boring, and what is more boring then copying a ref pixel by pixel? Without any personal style or touch, even the most realistic rendering can end up forgettable. And being forgettable is the worst thing to do in art.
Flippancy and lack of study are a huge problem for me. I feel... queezy at the idea of thinking about my artwork. It is the strangest thing. Like it is "douchy" to put some thought behind my work? I know full well it is not, but it kinda feels pretentious on another level so I get stupid and don't do it.
Last edited by Pavel Sokov; January 26th, 2013 at 06:14 PM.