Well, I was a bit stagnant during the CA.org shutdown, and have been busy with all my jobs... however, I finally have a WIP that I am somewhat confident in showing off. It's inspired by that sort old school 50s era scifi/horror look... these are going to be little creepy robots. I'm planning to give them flexible, metallic legs as well... I want to give the impression that they are just sort of "hatching" or coming to life. Just have to finish up detailing their "faces" and then go in a render things through a bit more...
Well, I must have been bumped way down to the dark corners of the sketchbooks... hopefully I can get some feedback on some of my recent stuff. Anyhow, been doing random doodles after finishing my 1950s/scifi robot piece up above...
Here is just a quick sketch of a sort of walking tank robot. Randomly thrown into the same image is me practicing rendering out a simple object to make it look worn, rusted, etc.
Hi there poor little Prometheus! jaja, just kidding after reading your last rant.
Personally, i always see your updates but i don't want to over comment that much. The thing here is that there are a lot of sketchbooks with new post poping every second so they disappear very fast. I guess if you ask others here, they all will tell you that they receive a lot less feedback than they'd like to...i know i would like between 1 and 4 comments per update, though sometimes there is none...but i gues is normal.
Also, you are doing practice stuff, wich may not be the most appealing thing as to stop an comment.
Since i'm here, i think you are doing a very solid work with this practices, you are growing very fast with digital art, i don't think there is much to critique, you are just developing skills...just keep at it, be patient. If you really need more feedback, post in other forums too.
At this point you could try the Chow or Cow challenges again since they provide a theme and a deadline wich helps to concentrate the energy...generaly there is nice feedback going on there.
Just keep developing skills, keep understanding and learning about proportions, silohuette, perspective, anatomy, tonal separation, form, balance....and you'll be fine.
Well, might as well post this WIP for the new COW contest... I thought it was due yesterday, but I'm glad to know I have more time. This is a concept creature, a "spitter", for a video game. This is the first iteration of the "rock viper", as I like to call it. "Rock cobra" might be more fitting, since vipers don't spit, but hey... viper is just a cooler word, isn't it? I look forward to three more versions, as requested by the COW rules this round... critiques welcome, please!
Here is my final WIP for the latest COW (280), which I unfortunately did not fully finish. We were supposed to design 4 variations of a "spitter" creature for a hypothetical video game. I didn't have too much trouble with the snake-like critter, but the other one gave me a lot of trouble during rendering.
I put too much effort in the wrong places, and realized that this is a good chance to step back and analyze my workflow.
I also want to look at some of the areas of these creatures that did give me trouble, and do some standalone studies on various surfaces, shapes, and so on.
Enjoy! And don't forget to go vote at COW for the people who did finish on time!
Here is a new doodle I did for January 1st, 2013... about 1.5 hours maybe.
As of the new year, I've committed to creating at least one thing every day, and I'm focusing on my favorite things, which are : art, writing, and cooking.
In the coming months, I hope to improve quite a bit at all three skills, and have fun doing so.
As of January 1st, I've been creating something every day... with the exception of two days where I created a new recipe, I've found myself digital painting. One day I also did a quick drawing that was requested, and on another day I made a portrait out of pizza
Most of these pieces are inspired from a photo reference, except for the penguin and the kid dressed as Batman.
Irritatingly, I can't seem to get all of these pics to the proper file size for me to post them and still have them a good size, but anyways... Here we go!
Last edited by Prometheus09; January 15th, 2013 at 01:46 PM.
Just a quick ~30 minute "still life" from a photo reference. I have started recording myself for a few reasons, but mainly to determine where I get hung up. On this one, my main problem (besides rushing and not having nice, clean lines) is that I didn't plan out things well-enough before starting. It still turned out all right, but I need to work a lot more on color picking by eye... I used the Picker tool way too much in this, but overall, I'm pleased for now. Still gotta get better, but doing these sorts of exercises will hopefully help me do that
Last edited by Prometheus09; January 15th, 2013 at 11:53 PM.
More daily paintings... I can't post everything on here since there is a file size limit. People always say, "HEY! Try using a larger canvas in Photoshop!", and then when I do, I can't post the damn pictures because they exceed the file size requirements. Also, I haven't been posting daily because it's a huge pain in the ass, and so please feel free to check out my Facebook page that's in my signature. Anyhow, here are some of my most recent creations.
I've been trying to stop doing the environmental stuff, because it seems like a cop-out to me in a way... I haven't been drawing analog much, just doing digital stuff. So, I am trying to stay varied, but it is had with two jobs and little sleep. Anyhow, I have still been cranking out one piece per day for, what? 26 days now? Only 339 more days to go
This last page is showing great progress, you are more able to combine imagination with fundamentals. As an objective and detached observer, i can tell you that all your efforts are paying off. Keep at it!After the year you wont believe the difference of quality and confidence comparing the first sketches with the last ones.
One suggestion: try to experiment a little with a less controled, more loose , energetic, bold, broader style. Do 3 to 10 min photo real life studies in wich you only depict the more relevant stuff of things , then leave it there and start with other. Is very fun also and the results tend to be very vibrating. More...in just one hour you can do 5 or so of these learning a lot from them and learning to loosen up the hand. Great to gain confidence in general.
This guys are great examples of what i mean, look how they represent things with a minimun detail work. Is all about mases, light, space, energy.....see how little attention they pay to the line work. Obviously this style is not good to design cars or intricated mechanical stuff, or photorealism. The point is that a lot of times less and broader is better, you can insinuate things with a few strokes and the human eye/mind will put things toguether.
As always, just sharing my point of view! trying to help.
Thank you! I've been hoping for some feedback, and now that I'm producing on a daily basis, it seems to be catching on. All you say is totally true and I agree... I feel as though I spend too much time on some of these pieces, and my brush control and strokes tend to be very tight and deliberate. I want to develop that free-flowing, gestural, loose, suggestive style that you speak of, and your suggestions are fantastic. I think I will start trying to do some of those quick "sketches" to build more skill and confidence with my pieces.
By the way, the artists in those links are incredible... I really love that loose style they have, and so it's a great inspiration. Thanks again! Check back for more soon!
Decided to take up my writing brush again and shoot out some things for people who need some sketchbook lovin. I agree with elephant on the above - too much detail work early on can kill a piece (gee ive never done that before -_-; ) and take waaay too long. A suggestion from my neck of the woods; do some quick speedpaint studies (doesnt matter what the image is) by turning the reference image upside down. This turns your brain to mush and releases you from the "an apple looks like this (insert picture here)" garbage. You see our brain builds up a library of images or symbols to catalog how we recognize things quicker in our environment. Helps with movement etc etc blah blah. So when you think of an apple it pops into your head right away what a symbolic apple looks like - even though a real apple does not look anything like that at all. Ok enough blabbing.
One more thing before i go...look at your edges. Due to the way atmosphere works on edges some will be sharp and some will be soft and some will be blurry. This of course is most evident in your environmental paintings. So read up on edges and see how you can work that into your pieces.
Testuo: Nice nickname, btw... anyhow, thank you for your feedback. I am enjoying sharing my work on Facebook and Tumblr, but alas, nobody I know on there is an artist, and so you guys on CA.org are really crucial in terms of giving honest opinions from a skilled perspective.
Your idea of flipping the reference image upside-down is a good one, and it brings to mind an exercise that I once read in a book... it was either "Keys to Drawing" or "Drawing On The Right Side Of Your Brain". But yes, that is fantastically helpful... it sort of helps release you from those preconceived notions, for sure.
I guess for me, I have such a damn high standard that I feel as though I haven't actually made a daily creation unless it looks sort of "polished" or what have you... plus I might be too worried about what my "fans" on social media will think if I just start posting studies and quick sketches and stuff. However, I will break through that self-imposed road block, because while I'm sure there is value to what I've produced so far, the suggestions you both make are things that I really need to do in order to improve. One thing I've tried to do, mainly with the environments, is to look at a reference, and then try to use a similar palette or mood and then elaborate on it or create something entirely new.
As for my edges... if it's not too much to ask, can you perhaps point out a few examples in my posts of where you think I can improve? I would love to have a more specific idea of what things bother you. One example I can see is the Martian sort of landscape... even though I wanted to convey a sort of dusty atmosphere, the mountains off in the distance are still a bit too soft for my liking, especially the sort of distant middle-ground ridges. After I saved it and posted it online, I looked at it and felt like those shapes could have been more clearly defined. I often find myself repulsed by sharp edges, but then I look at others works and I see lots of them and they look fantastic when done well.
Are there any other examples that jump out at you?
Well, as I continue along my year-long creation process, I am looking forward to even more feedback from fellow CA.org members. So far, Testuo and elephant's stroke have given me very helpful suggestions, many of which I knew I should do before, but I ignored because they seemed hard. Luckily, they reminded me that I need to challenge myself, and so here is my daily creation for January 27th... I decided to not only do quick digital paintings (each of these took between 10-20 minutes), but to also reference screenshots from films. That way I know that the scenes are already planned very well, and I can analyze the mise en scene before, during, and after each painting. Unfortunately, the size of this image is just slightly too large for me to post on here, so I will have to post a shrunken image. As always, you can view the larger images by clicking on my 365 Create link in my signature!
Also, in order to find good references, I Googled something like, "screenshots from films", and found some awesome blogs where the owners capture awesome scenes and post them. The first two paintings are referenced from the film "Biutiful" starring Javier Bardem, the third painting is a not-so-accurate Hugh Jackman from this year's "Les Miserables", and the fourth painting is of course a painting of Cary Grant from the amazing film "North By Northwest", and you know the composition is great for that because it was filmed by Hitchcock.
P.S. I used hard brushes for every single one of these paintings, which is new for me. Any sort of "blending" is only due to altering the transparency of my brush, rather than the softness of the edges.
Last edited by Prometheus09; January 28th, 2013 at 05:00 AM.
Okay, please, forgive me, I'm not trying to clog up the Sketchbook thing, but I just want to share the individual paintings on their own, instead of just the combined pic.... I posted them in the order that they were created. It felt very liberating to just get crazy and loose and wild with my brush strokes... I look forward to trying out more of this sort of thing. WHY the heck didn't I do this before?!?!
hey dude. nice paintings those last ones, there's progress here!!! Something I did pick up when going through your sketchbook and correct me if I'm wrong but you're not using color reflection. In the last paintings it doesn't show but you are using a rather limited palette so it might be that. In case you don't know what I'm talking about, find some brightly colored object near you, something bright red for instance, put it on a white surface, you'll see that red color reflect on the white surface, making it red instead of white. It's the case with everything, light bounces around, certain colors are absorbed others are not and colors get scattered all over the place and they mix with the local color of the object they are reflected upon. Opening up to see these often subtle reflexions is what will bind your paintings together, make objects seem like they belong where they are.
Setherial: I dig what you're saying... radiosity/reflected light and so on. For the last pieces, of course you're right... they were very quick and loose, with a focus on the overall image rather than details, and most of the references didn't really have much in the way of reflected light cast onto other surfaces. I think for my previous pieces, all of the ones where I actually tried to copy a picture exactly, those all exhibited reflected light where it was present, but for some of my more imaginary pieces, particularly the environments, you're right. I think I will pay more attention to adding in bits of reflected light where relevant. For the rocky, beach scene with palm trees, I tried to add in a greenish/bluish hue to the bottoms of the middleground rocks, to show a bit of light reflected off the water, but I think I should have been bolder with the color. It doesn't really show much at all. Anyhow, thanks for the feedback... I will definitely make more of an effort in the future!
Wait a minute...where is the shy, controled stuff it used to be displayed here?
Now seriously, this is what i call amazing, fast, explosive improvement!
Keep at it.
(what about a little experimentation some times with photo textures with overlay and multiply and low opacity here and there to provide some healthy randomness and texture to the pieces...just saying!!! hehe)
elephant's stroke: Thank you! It's so liberating to just try and let loose and go crazy with the stylus in such a short period of time. It really makes you focus on the important stuff and crank something out. I admit that there are many other sketches that I felt were terrible, and I stopped working on them. I posted the ones I felt were best.
I will definitely try and work with textures and overlays in upcoming works!
As for more film sketches... well, this one I tried to do in 10 minutes, but that ended up being about 2 hours or so. I recorded most of the process, and I'll try and post a link to a video once I can figure out how to stitch them together and then speed up the video. I can barely remember how the hell I even got to this point... when I started it, I was nearly tearing my hair out with frustration. Then I kept working at it, and tweaking things, and suddenly it got to a point where it felt like it was coming together. I could start seeing the finished product, and so I kept on painting and painting. One thing I do remember doing was trying to keep my color picker on the painting only, rather than the reference. I did pick the first set of colors from the reference, but I quickly began tweaking them, since we all know that the color picker isn't that precise anyways. Once I had the main hues established, I just picked from my own canvas and played with the sliders when necessary.
Last edited by Prometheus09; January 30th, 2013 at 05:03 AM.
Unfortunately, I've got little to no experience editing and compiling video, so this clip is about 30 minutes long :/ But here is a video of my painting process for T-1000. There are a few parts where it jumps, because I forgot to resume recording, but this is 99% there.
i like those film sketches! but i'd like to see your anatomy drawings and loose sketches! i especially liked that WWII plane painting though.
take a peek at my SKETCHBOOK?
die angenehmen Ungeheuer
Here is a fairly quick sketch of a male torso, and then 40 gestures... since playing around with loose, wild digital sketches, I've become a bit more confident. These gestures were a lot easier than they used to be for me, and since I created a template that has enough room for 40 gestures in a document, I am going to try my best to do many dozen gestures per week. More painting of the actual musculature and form of the body will be important as well, I feel.
Ah ok here is a quick crit and paintover for what i mean. Not the greatest paintover mind you but trying to get something across. The latest stuff you are doing is bringing you in the right direction. Just be careful when you are painting to NOT get into the smaller forms before you finish the bigger forms. Get the bigger forms correctly placed first and then slowly reduce the size getting more and more detailed. Think of it like a layering effect. Anyways i hope that some of what Im saying makes sense :|
I struggle with the same issues you have so all we can do is keep working
Tetsuo: I see what you're saying, and when I was working on this, there were things that definitely didn't feel right to me. Thank you for the specifics. I was rushing myself and yet also taking way too long, if that makes any sense?... focusing on the wrong stuff. I'm not sure how I missed the way too sharp horizon line, whereas in pretty much all my other ocean-related paintings I put a haze/blurry effect on it. The trees bother me too... it was my first time trying to paint palms, and I only used the original photo as a reference, whereas I should have used many, many more references and really studied the form better.
Here is a fairly quick sketch from the other night... this one didn't come as easily to me as the male torso did, and I think it's because the reference image had way more shifts in tone across the back... the male torso was lit in a much more straightforward way. Also, studying back anatomy more will help me... I've always tended to draw the human figure from the front, at the expense of my familiarity with the back musculature.
For now, I'm going to do some more gestures to warm-up, and then I'm going to do another longer term figure study for today.