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Thread: Plateau jumper

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    Plateau jumper

    My name is Michael Lawler and I'm a 31 year old artist that is studying art to improve both my craft and myself.
    My goal is to sustain my family through art and to reach a level where the ideas I have are realized with as little loss of quality from brain to canvas as possible. I'm open to feedback and anyone is welcome. I only ask that if you think something is off, leave feedback. Best of luck to everyone else in your journeys.

    Quick links for anyone who needs help finding a place to start with art:
    Drawsh figure drawing site: link
    Figure & Gesture Drawing Tool: link
    Pose Maniacs: link
    Bumskee's Digital Painting thread: link
    The Mastery Webinar: link

    NOTE: All images have been resized so they don't break the forum

    This is the last thing I did in 2011:
    Plateau jumper

    The image before that is the first digital painting from me in more than a year.. so the values and saturation is completely out of control.

    These are my latest studies:
    Plateau jumper

    Plateau jumper

    From here on out I'll be using the attachment managers.. I didn't in this post because of the need for exact placement within the posting.

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    Value study

    I did this study in the dark with just the little tea light illuminating the skull.
    The main goals were to play with edges a little and push some low-light values so I get a better understanding. The white is blown out I think.. and I don't think I used a dark enough color for my dark tone..

    But.. I learned some things.. so I don't feel bad about it looking like poo

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    Hey mate!

    Saw your post on Anatomy Study, things being quiet there... Sad! Things were going good there!

    I'm comic book artist too (beginner), this year i'll star my own webcomic... Can we keep in touch, to share some ideas, is that cool?

    That F4 draw... Your line reminds me of Romita Jr. Is he an reference or influence to you?

    The iguana image... I LOVE IT! Haha... The tones are really cool!

    Take care, and keep up, bro!

    Cheers from Brazil!

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    Really like the photo study for the creature so far. Eager to see more work, keep posting

    Btw, I try to recommend this video to as many people as possible, it's really helped me with identifying H-S-B when doing photo studies and
    texturing/painting from imagination.
    http://www.thegnomonworkshop.com/sto...ight-and-Color

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    24 1 hour studies

    For the G2KCJB Anatomy Study Group I did a series of 24 1 hour studies of various illustrations and photos of the chest. Granted not all of the line work took that long..but I did take extra care to try to match proportions and really absorb what was being demonstrated..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tb0ne View Post
    Really like the photo study for the creature so far. Eager to see more work, keep posting

    Btw, I try to recommend this video to as many people as possible, it's really helped me with identifying H-S-B when doing photo studies and
    texturing/painting from imagination.
    http://www.thegnomonworkshop.com/sto...ight-and-Color
    Thanks for the kind words and the link. I own the color theory video and have been doing all kinds of crazy reading and video watching lately. If I'm able I'll buy that one too..though it might be a while since I just got the Mechanic, J. Manley's Composition video, and Cryptcrawler's Hostile Takeover.

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    Here's a bunch of WiP stuff..an illustration, a movie scene study (comic style), and an early stage study of a volcano..
    Any and all feedback is encouraged

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    Jan 24 Still Life

    Did this today.. not particularly thrilled with the result but I learned a thing or two I think...

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    Great to see these studies from Loomis, they're looking very accurate especially in the linework. Were the photo studies also capped at one hour? Also, for the photos are you showing the entire image or are some of them cropped?

    There are a couple things,
    Part of this depends on whether or not the photos are cropped differently than the studies, that being said, some of the Loomis studies also show proportion and angle changes from the original source. If I had a suggestion it would be to skip the linework matching for quick studies, draw through the forms/silhouettes, draw angles for aligning masses, and push harder with the use of the positive and negative spaces. On some of the photo studies try to compare the shape around the figure, within masses, forms, and shadows within forms and the angles the all of shapes make.
    If you did not create linework as a first step, for your next figure studies maybe use Loomis's method of planes/figure in perspective to tackle some of the more foreshortened poses.

    Thanks again for dropping by my thread and feedback is definitely wanted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tb0ne View Post
    Great to see these studies from Loomis, they're looking very accurate especially in the linework. Were the photo studies also capped at one hour? Also, for the photos are you showing the entire image or are some of them cropped?

    There are a couple things,
    Part of this depends on whether or not the photos are cropped differently than the studies, that being said, some of the Loomis studies also show proportion and angle changes from the original source. If I had a suggestion it would be to skip the linework matching for quick studies, draw through the forms/silhouettes, draw angles for aligning masses, and push harder with the use of the positive and negative spaces. On some of the photo studies try to compare the shape around the figure, within masses, forms, and shadows within forms and the angles the all of shapes make.
    If you did not create linework as a first step, for your next figure studies maybe use Loomis's method of planes/figure in perspective to tackle some of the more foreshortened poses.

    Thanks again for dropping by my thread and feedback is definitely wanted.
    Tb0ne, thanks for the feedback! I've done hundreds of fast anatomy sketches from Bridgman/Loomis in pencil.. and sometimes I feel like I miss the point if I'm not doing a more purposeful slow paced study of the lines first. It's almost like the idea of the Japanese Tea Ceremony. Also.. I am working on improving my skills as a comic artist.. so linework is actually part of the study for me.
    On the actual photo studies.. those were all done at maybe twice their current size.. I made a bad choice about putting all of them in one file to streamline the process and it made controlling the brush a nightmare. With the exception of the first and last photo studies they were capped at an hour. Some of them I decided to only focus on key areas and be less literal. The point of the study was chests.. so I tried to start there and stay there. Some of them started with line drawings and some started with silhouettes.. basically I was experimenting with different ways to build up the human form. The best looking ones were definetly started as drawings The woman that's just standing there looking bored .. I couldn't even bring myself to finish.. She's so just "blah" and the values are all so mid-range that I felt like it was more of a problem than a solution.

    I'll pop by your sketchbook and have a look at your new works.. again thanks so much for dropping in and having a look!

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    Today's still life.. did a bunch of other studies but they're all 1 hour each so most didn't get far enough to post..

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    Looking good, really cool to see paintings from life in photoshop. Gotta try that soon.

    A couple of suggestions,
    This isn't my image but..
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_u60sj3eAl0...llipses+1b.jpg
    Right now a few of the ellipses don't feel like true circles. For the bottom edge with the inset arrows, did you draw out an ellipse then cut the insets into it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tb0ne View Post
    Looking good, really cool to see paintings from life in photoshop. Gotta try that soon.

    A couple of suggestions,
    This isn't my image but..
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_u60sj3eAl0...llipses+1b.jpg
    Right now a few of the ellipses don't feel like true circles. For the bottom edge with the inset arrows, did you draw out an ellipse then cut the insets into it?
    @Tb0ne, yeah the angles are weird because it's not perfectly cylindrical.. very top one is.. the one that the roller ball thingy sits in.. the next one down (the one with the large bright spot) is actually a weird slope into the area with the finger notches.. that whole area is at an angle. The bottom part I did an elipse and cut in the finger holds.. but I also cut across for the cloth.. I didn't shade the cloth.. which was probably a mistake but I wanted to get done I should have at least hatched in the shaded area though :/

    I know what you're saying though about the angles and I do think mine are kinda weird... but that's the point of doing the studies in the first place right? Thanks again for stopping by man, I appreciate the feedback. It really helps

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    4ton, thanks again for stopping by the SB and leaving a critique! I wish more people would take the time to critique.
    Do you have have a digital camera by any chance? for your studies from life it would really help to see the original object and lighting as far as offering feedback. Looking forward to seeing more.

    -Travis

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    This is the progress over the last 2 days. I have a few other things but they weren't far enough to warrant anything. It seems like I'm taking on a lot but I have a schedule to keep everything running smoothly... I got my copy of Painter in the mail today..that has slowed me down a bit..
    The chiascuro study that is only linework.. I'm following a grid on that one..so it's taking forever.. but I'm wanting it to be perfect so I can just focus on planes/values. The Vallejo.. which I should have done a grid on is frustrating me because so much of it is just characteristics of actually using a brush. The gladiator study started out pissing me off because I was getting the colors somewhat close..but when I laid them out it looked like a mess... then I started using the smudge blending method from Cryptcrawler's video.. and don't feel as bad. Chewbacca is about 2 hours in and I feel like he's doing alright. The volcano.. I haven't even begun trying to correct the problems with color.. I'm still laying in the masses for everything.. Anyway .. here are the studies..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tb0ne View Post
    4ton, thanks again for stopping by the SB and leaving a critique! I wish more people would take the time to critique.
    Do you have have a digital camera by any chance? for your studies from life it would really help to see the original object and lighting as far as offering feedback. Looking forward to seeing more.

    -Travis
    I do have a camera..but my computer doesn't have a card reader
    I'm happy to leave a critique.. but I was being nitpicky..

    I HIGHLY encourage doing still life images in digital.. It's pretty tricky to try to match form, depth, color.. all of that without the luxuries of the edge of a picture or a nifty color picker that lets you compare (I avoid actual sampling of the original in a study). I'm learning a lot just from the two I've managed so far. I look forward to tomorrow's. Thanks again for the crits, I'll be heading over to your SB now

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    You say the Vallejo is frustrating you, but I must say that it's coming along mighty fine, especially the colors on the elephant. I _think_ that the male's left leg is a bit short, but I'm not 100% positive on that.

    Diggin' Chewey, torso might need a little bit of beefing up though.

    Best of luck with the lava, that's got some really nice colors to work with.

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    Thanks Tim, I did spot that on Chewy.. I have had to reform his torso a few times.

    Here's my take on the Ryan Church Intro to Painter tutorial.. I've added my own personal touches

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    I've got more to post but it'll wait until tomorrow.. but for now.. abdomen studies..

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    I'm feeling under the weather today so I only got a measly 3 hours in today..

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    Great studies, the variety in subject really stands out, anatomy, technique, composition, etc. Love the latest version of the lava field.

    Ryan Church Intro to Painter tutorial - This is going nicely, like the colour choices, lighting, design of the robot. The composition is working nicely for me, the death ray ant robot and fleeing soldiers work well off another, the tension between the plane/helicopter and robot was a great choice but maybe it could be smaller, or further off the ground? With the bottom of the frame open I found my eyes moving along the bottom edge of the composition, maybe some objects in the close foreground would help me focus on the group of soldiers only. Right now I look at the robot, then the soldiers, I search the ground for more people in danger, then look up at the aircraft. Sometimes not in that order but I always have the urge to search the bottom of the frame.

    Loomis and Hogarth studies - These are looking increasingly accurate in positive and negative spaces. I'm curious why these were painted Photoshop? I've found whenever I get into Photoshop for these sorts of studies I have more difficultly feeling the form, how they sit in perspective, especially on a tablet. With studies focused on learning anatomy in 3d/perspective I'd almost suggest doing these photography torso studies with lines, drawing through forms, rendering by crosshatching/cross contour along the forms.

    Boris Vallejo study - Looking good, can't wait to see the update.

    Hope you are feeling better!

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    @tb0ne, thanks mate, all good feedback! I was following his layout pretty slavishly.. but I completely agree about the aircraft.. I can really only claim originality in that piece on the giant mantis and some slight modifications to the aircraft.

    Today I put off all studies to just cut loose and try and push what I've learned. I can't say I didn't do any studies.. I did specific studies for this.. and worked up a series of sketches..
    I wanted the rim lighting to make the wizard feel ethereal..but I might have gone overboard.. I'm moderately happy with the little canyon/ravine that they're in.. I dunno.. I had fun doing it but I feel like there are a ton of problems..
    anyway, here it is..

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    Well, today's updates aren't that impressive.. just getting stuff done on these pieces... Each piece is updated by one hour's work.

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    Chained man - Looking good so far, can't wait to see the rest.

    Lava study - One or two suggestions: try to push either the value and or drop the saturation of the yellow edge. The cool red feels 10-15 percent low in value and maybe 10 percent high in saturation. The mass of lava on the lower left looks like it's slowly oozing, really nicely done.

    Boris study - Very nice and looks like a great piece to learn from. The only thing that's really jumping out for me is the colour pallete for the human skin, some of it's looking a bit green at the moment. The elephant skin is very close, the elephant is looking very good overall.

    Chewy - The fur is outstanding and the proportions of the body are spot out. The left eye and mouth look a bit stretched. Chewy;s eyes are a bit closer together in the photo.

    Sparta - Coming along nicely, can't wait to see the final.


    Really nice work 4ton. Btw, what are you goals with art? I know you mentioned comic books earlier but what part of the process? inking, painting, sketching?

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    Tb0ne, thanks as always! I spent most of the time in studies today doing some tuning.. not to imply that these are done..but most of them had started to come around the corner and I was able to see/implement some changes that were needed. Your advice on the lava field was helpful but I don't think I got it exactly where it needs to be :/ I feel like I screwed Chewy up a little too..but 'eh.. the face is a little sharper now. The Boris Vallejo, I know what you mean about the skin tones.. but right now I'm more worried about getting it back on grid. I was working so loose that my sins of bad pre-drawings have cost me a few hours. I keep those colors because they give me a more dynamic base of colors to build from and they're similar to where I'm going with value..at least very rough. Don't worry, I'll pay excruciating attention to the detail of those skin tones when their time comes. I'm very concerned with the details of the elephant's trunk..but I think I might have a plan.
    The spartan/gladiator is starting to frustrate me because I keep getting hung up on one spot here or there and not really moving very far.. today I tried to just blitz through and lay in some more bold shapes to get some progress.

    As far as general overall art.. my goals are : Long term: to be able to clearly convey an idea from my head that is appealing and tells a story that people care about.. and make a living doing it. Short term: to stop sucking

    Also, you asked about why I do so much digitally instead of with pencil/analog. I have been drawing with pencils for something like 25 years or more (I'm 31) and I have a strong sense for the tactile feel of a pencil. I like using my tablet because it forces me out of my comfort zone and I have to pay attention to what I'm creating. I also need to gain enough control over both touch and stroke that I can put down some decent linework. I'd like to get to the level of Ariel Ollivetti or Alex Ross but with a completely digital workflow.

    Here is where I'm at today.. I think I will do some anatomy later.. or a still life if I have time to do it alla prima.

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    Chained man - It's interesting to see what you do after you created the linework. It's different than I how I usually approach painting, especially studies from an existing piece or reference image. It looks like you are in the process of working light to dark? is this the way you usually work? I'm interested to try it as it's usually how I (try to, or was told to) work with drawing but not painting.
    I usually block in a tonal range at stops of about 10% but not all the way up to the brightest brights or down to the darkest darks.

    Boris study - Ah, I do something similar as far as using greens, reds, blues as an undercoat. This is coming along nicely. As far as the trunk, maybe draw out a wireframe in perspective before tackling those wrinkle details. Not necessarily to work with it 'on', just to closely analyze the form and to make sure the details are wrapping around them.

    Chewy - Looking close to final. The face is looking better. One question, is this the original resolution of the chewy reference photo? the reason I ask is in the photo I can't really see a defined iris/pupil but I can on your painting. The reason I mention it is that it might be causing you to make the eye a bit wide to accommodate it.

    Sparta - This is a challenging piece, are you working in layers and is the background on it's own layer? The colours are looking good. For me a few of things don't feel like they're in perspective, the graphics on the skirt and the helmet feel like the flattened. Maybe make the graphic as a seperate layer then just wrap it onto the form? with an all digital workflow why not? I know it might be considered cheating but that's a complex graphic to draw that many times, especially for a study.

    Lava study - Really feeling the heat after the changes to the yellow leading edge. Is this done? the only suggestion I have left is maybe try to drift some of the reds/purples into the darker areas.

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    tb0ne: Yeah, the lava field has maaaaybe one more hour left in it.. I might lay in a layer with a bit of an adjustment for a diagonal strip through the middle that is in need of lightening.. plus a few more tiny details and the moon..
    Chewy (and all of these studies) are at 30-50% (I think he's specifically at 50%). His iris is there ..barely.. mine is a little too contrasty.. I might leave it though because while not accurate to the photo it's a little more illustrative-y (new word yay) to me.
    Chained man is actually a bit of an experiment. In Cryptcrawler's video from TAD he does a ton of modeling with the smudge tool rather than by brush. I have a tendency to roam back and forth.. I'm pretty comfortable modeling by painting.. but there's a certain sculptural feel to his technique that appeals to me... at least for getting forms fleshed out. I actually did everything there from one mark in the middle (I think it was around 50%) and just modeled it out. A lot of the values are pretty far off though so I might have to fall back on traditional tonal blocking and smudge for touch ups. The linework is preserved on a layer so it's not really a big deal.
    The spartan guy was on layers but I've flattened and am working back up. He is going from light to dark which is new for me .. normally I work either from midtones or dark.. so it's one of those things :/ I'm doing a lot of work to counteract starting light.. so much so that I really have learned that I dislike working in this way You're right about the skirt thingy... it's not shaded right.. There's a darker value termination running right down his leg both in the center and at the front edge that I need to work on. I'm using paint-through so any changes are additive.. I'll talk more about that if you want but I feel like I'm rambling.

    On the Boris study.. I probably should do a wireframe.. I knocked in some basic shading and line work this morning.. the elephant is getting to a point that I'm happy with.. not done but far enough that I think I can start turning my attention to the co-stars.

    Here's some progress for today.. I have more to do but whatever cold I was fighting is gone..but has left that depleted feeling afterwards :/



    The value environment is a fun experiment to help me break up the monotony of all of that very literal work I have been doing for my studies and just have some visceral fun with raw shapes and brushes.

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    Some gesture drawings from a session at pixelovely.. I reeeeally need to get back into these.

    I also decided to go ahead and move to a fresh batch of studies. The ones I've been batching are far enough that I've either learned what I set out to or.. they're grating on my nerves enough to be destructive to my artistic endeavors.

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    Very little today.. most of the day was spent taking care of things and finding images for my next batch of studies. They will be more focused to say the least

    Here's the >1minute gestures I did today.. this is helping me loosen up my tablet work a lot.. for a little bit I almost felt as natural as when I work with pencil

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  39. #30
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    Being sick sucks.. I only got 4 hours of sleep and have had a splitting headache almost all day.. not to mention I started the morning dealing with legal bullshit..
    Anyway.. my new book on ecorche' came in.. I did a crappy study.. ugh..

    Hey look, page 2!

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    Last edited by 4tonmantis; February 7th, 2012 at 12:39 AM. Reason: woot
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