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Thread: Pavel Sokov's Sketchbook

  1. #53
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    Guys, lets not get feelings here. I made the mistake of feeling affected by arenhaus' snark, when it was completely irrelevent to. I have a goal so I should only identify pertinent information and ignore all undertones.

    Sorry for the brief absence, I was in Toronto for the weekend trying to get my marketing career started. It is rather intimidating being almost done school.

    Ryansumo
    It is hard to not be in a hurry. Everything flies too fast. I am 21, and as I graduate from university, I find myself not good enough to have a career in art. That is ok since I have a business degree, but imagine I was in fine arts? It would of been game over, I would of been stuck. Time is always gone before you know it, and its all too late.

    It will only be a month before I am not studying, unemployed, useless, and begging any city that would have me to give me a job. Had I been working harder at school I would of had a better CV, and maybe even had a job lined up right out of school. But its all too late.

    Same with art, it is time to dance before I become an all-too old hobbyist at best!

    Game Time:

    Here is the series of lineworks including the one you already saw, and the first stage of painting.

    Pavel Sokov's Sketchbook
    Pavel Sokov's Sketchbook
    Pavel Sokov's Sketchbook
    Pavel Sokov's Sketchbook
    Pavel Sokov's Sketchbook

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    Pavel Sokov's Sketchbook
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  3. #54
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    That looks better....although the fact that the contours of the final version match those of the reference photo exactly when I line them up in Photoshop leads me to wonder how your observation skills suddenly got so good. Your drawing is improving, though. Keep at it.
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  5. #55
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    You didn't have to go in photoshop haha, just ask and you shall recieve!
    The 3d line work was considered close enough to paint with and I was happy enough with myself. So I decided to just call that mission complete and make perfect line work by cheating terribly and making the 4th line work.
    Last edited by Pavel Sokov; November 8th, 2011 at 11:39 AM.
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  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pavel Sokov View Post
    The 4th line work was considered close enough to paint with and I was happy enough with myself. So I decided to just call that mission complete and make perfect line work by cheating terribly and making the 5th line work.
    *facepalm*

    If you wanted to copy the photo exactly, you could've just traced it at the beginning and saved yourself the time and effort...the practice has fallen out of favor, but there were plenty of well-respected illustrators during the 1970s and 80s who just projected their reference photos onto the canvas and painted over that. (And as it happens, there's a vogue for that kind of thing right now among hipsterly young New York fine artists.)

    However: the entire point of drawing it, rather than tracing, is that your interpretation of the form is going to be more interesting than a mechanical reproduction. If what you want is a painterly version of the photo, then just paint over the damn photo, even though some people on this forum will sneer at you for doing so. The goal here, in my opinion, is to produce interesting work--not necessarily to follow some fixed academic procedure.
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  8. #57
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    I know, but I wanted to throw a bit of practice in there before I give up. I felt like my lines were as accurate as I could make them, and my mistakes weren't making the face interesting per say, so I just went ahead of did an accurate line work. I am becoming cynical, what can I say?

    Here is the portrait of the 3 people I posted earlier. She liked it but wanted her right eye a bit bigger as something bothered here about her own face. She also wants me to get rid of her mom's double chin and pouff up her hairstyle. I will do all that later I think.

    Pavel Sokov's Sketchbook
    Pavel Sokov's Sketchbook
    Pavel Sokov's Sketchbook
    Last edited by Pavel Sokov; November 16th, 2011 at 11:02 PM.
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  9. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pavel Sokov View Post
    I know, but I wanted to throw a bit of practice in there before I give up. I felt like my lines were as accurate as I could make them, and my mistakes weren't making the face interesting per say, so I just went ahead of did an accurate line work. I am becoming synical, what can I say?
    I wouldn't say cynical, so much as quick to abandon practice in favour of shortcuts when things get tough.

    You've been around here long enough to know how much good shortcuts are in the long run.
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  11. #59
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    I know

    Here is an update though. I worked a lot on the middle girl's face, and had to remove the older woman's double chin unfortunately and add poufier hair.

    Pavel Sokov's Sketchbook

    Here is an oil portrait I finished in early september. This was a commission but the client never came to even look at it. So I wasted 52 hours. Oils are extremely difficult for me to grasp, so I had a tough time. But that is practice I guess! Definitely missed the digital possiblities while making this.

    Pavel Sokov's Sketchbook
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    I'm not sure you're still interested in critique regarding the original picture, and, furthermore; lots of people already pointed a lot of stuff out. Nonetheless, I'm just going to add that I think the picture needs more work concept wise. I realize that its a picture of a fantasy scenario, but it still feels like you've mixed too many different cultures into it without adapting to another one.

    I think this is why, apart from the strictly technical errors, the image looks a bit odd. You've got the renaissance/classic statues, standing in front of what looks like a gothic or maybe victorian (unsure) metall fence, above which floats a summerian/egyptian pre classic age throne, and It just doesn't work.

    Looking at the wanderers approaching the gate, I get the feeling that they are exploring an ancient place, now desolated, (partly also because of how worn down the statues are); but I just can't picture any civilization or culture ever having put together such a mish mash of different styles. I think that you should shave more of an intuitive grasp over the concept or background present before you get to actually painting, just so that the picture becomes coherent (not demanding realism though).

    And finally, I think you would find it a lot easier to get the scale right if you studied a little historical architecture and bought yourself a reference book with historical buildings, because there are lots of things which distinguish really huge buildings from smaller ones, (different forms of supportive structure being one example).

    Furthermore if you did this you wouldn't need to throw in arbitrary stuff like the chains which do not seem to fill any function, but rather details that tell the viewer something.
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  13. #61
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    I'm not sure you're still interested in critique regarding the original picture, and, furthermore; lots of people already pointed a lot of stuff out. Nonetheless, I'm just going to add that I think the picture needs more work concept wise. I realize that its a picture of a fantasy scenario, but it still feels like you've mixed too many different cultures into it without adapting to another one.

    I think this is why, apart from the strictly technical errors, the image looks a bit odd. You've got the renaissance/classic statues, standing in front of what looks like a gothic or maybe victorian (unsure) metall fence, above which floats a summerian/egyptian pre classic age throne, and It just doesn't work.

    Looking at the wanderers approaching the gate, I get the feeling that they are exploring an ancient place, now desolated, (partly also because of how worn down the statues are); but I just can't picture any civilization or culture ever having put together such a mish mash of different styles. I think that you should shave more of an intuitive grasp over the concept or background present before you get to actually painting, just so that the picture becomes coherent (not demanding realism though).

    And finally, I think you would find it a lot easier to get the scale right if you studied a little historical architecture and bought yourself a reference book with historical buildings, because there are lots of things which distinguish really huge buildings from smaller ones, (different forms of supportive structure being one example).

    Furthermore if you did this you wouldn't need to throw in arbitrary stuff like the chains which do not seem to fill any function, but rather details that tell the viewer something.
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  15. #62
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    You are absolutely right. The reason why you feel confused when looking at the image is because I didn't put enough thought into it as always. I just launched right in. I have a difficult time just sitting down and thinking about the piece for some reason..

    Here is an update on the triple portrait. Hopefully I am done!
    Pavel Sokov's Sketchbook
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  16. #63
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    I like what you've done with the mother. The girl's teeth are what stand out the most, when your reference shows that her eyes are much darker round the edges with the false eyelashes. Tone the teeth down and emphasise those eyes. You've also softened the father's face to the point where he's lost all the planes of his head. Put a box around his head.
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  18. #64
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    sorry i only had like 3 minutes but heres some (super messy) suggestions
    sb most art copied to page 1
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  20. #65
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    About the 3 people portrait: The photographer in me is crying that you copied a photo that uses on-camera, front-lit flash – one of the most unflattering types of lighting.

    It's also really unfortunate light to draw from, because it flattens the face and makes it really hard to see form. You've done a pretty good job rescuing that here, but flash like this has other undesirable qualities. It's very unnatural (the sun never lights people from directly behind the viewer's eyes ), and the associations are with amateur photos of celebrities and people at drunken parties where it's too dark to get a sharp picture.

    You've also tried to hide where the light is coming from by moving the catchlights to the right, which again looks a bit unnatural/inconsistent. (Okay I imagine you moved them because they look nicer there, which they usually would, but with that strong an indication of direct front light it's a bit 'off'.)


    Given this thread has been about struggling with form and lighting, it might be worth learning some basic photographic portrait lighting (look up these types of lighting: Split, Rembrandt, Butterfly, Loop – also rim lighting to add oomph). Playing with this lighting in real life, moving a lamp around a subject, taking pictures to see what looks better.. this stuff can help you go further than copying photos by knowing what photos to copy, and what to look for in a photo. So you can still do it the 'cheap' way if you want or don't have time, you'll just get away with it more.


    Disclaimer: I don't especially condone tracing – I think working out the structure and all the other stuff people have been saying in this thread will lead to the best results and be the most interesting to both do and view – but if you're going to do it then learning what makes a good photo will help.
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