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Thread: Flat looking pictures

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Germany/ Berlin
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    Flat looking pictures

    I've been told on several occasions that my pictures look too flat , too 2D.

    The thing is I don't know what that means nor do I see it , so I don't know how to fix it.

    I attached some pictures I drew recently.
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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Frankfurt, Germany
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    1. the pics are a bit large - next time please make them smaller so people can see a picture at one glance.
    2. this is the wrong section of the forum - these are digital but this is the traditional section.

    now to your questions:
    a 3D impression comes through the lightest and darkest value and everything in between. You have already indicated lights and shadows and some midtones - but this is not enough. There is much more between white, midtone grey and black.

    Take a look at this - you´ll see that there not only is white and black but everything in between that describes the form.

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  4. #3
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    May 2003
    Hudson River valley, NY
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    Tristan Elwell
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  5. #4
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    Oct 2009
    Louisville, KY
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    As bjeorn3000 already noted, you've really only roughed in the value. These need a great deal more rendering before you will achieve a 3D effect.

    I'm just guessing that these were drawn from observation. If they were drawn from photo, go back to them and spend some more time.
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  6. #5
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    Jan 2010
    Haifa, Israel
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    I advise you to switch from digital to pencil. You are making your task unnecessarily hard by trying to do it with a computer without having a base skill in drawing on paper.

    As for the flatness - the problem is that you are trying to put down the contours without thinking of or tracking the structure. Get "Successful Drawing" by Loomis and practice structural drawing method and perspective.
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  7. #6
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    Sep 2007
    Oxford, UK
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    Flatness partly caused by too much emphasis on local shading instead of the bigger picture. Focus on the bigger areas of shading first and foremost. To see them clearly, squint at the reference (this blurs away little local details so you can just focus on the main forms).
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  8. #7
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    Sep 2011
    Seoul, Korea
    Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
    Pick a light source. Shad according to light and structure.

    Try it first with simple shapes and objects - THEN move onto faces.

    Faces are tough. It's not a digital vs. traditional thing - it's the fact that we stare at faces our whole lives, and are quick to note when something seems 'off'.

    Practice on creating values and depth on objects.

    Good luck.
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